Job Winners

Teams are finally letting loose and unveiling the names of their starters. What significance does this have for your waiver wire and last minute fantasy football drafts?

Chad Pennington was officially named the starter by the Jets, and that comes as no surprise. He knows the offense and when healthy is near the top of the league in quarterback rating. Another main reason why he is the starter from the beginning is for the Jets to get their final look at Pennington.

Durability is not the lone question when it comes to Pennington. He needs to reestablish himself and he’ll have fun doing it without Curtis Martin. It has been plenty of time since Pennington showed his prowess as a quarterback in the NFL in 2002. In 2003 and 2004 he had poor seasons. His career as a starting quarterback in the future of the NFL rests on his first month of this season.

Pennington should do fine and keep the Jets from thinking of inserting Ramsey or Clemons. No one is expecting great things from the Jets so that plays in the favor of Pennington. He should be able to let loose and show his true colors. He already has a huge chip on his shoulder to stay away from injuries. Being a catalyst in a Jets near .500 season would mean Pennington being a Jet for a bit more.

Fantasy wise Pennington will be a capable backup. For several reasons including his weak arm and the Jets limited offense. They will likely be down quite a bit which will result in more turnovers offensively. No one wants to start at quarterback that is turnover prone. It’s too costly to lose those valuable points in tight fantasy football head to head matchups.

Over in Tennessee the Titans made a shocking bold decision by naming Travis Henry as their starter. No one really thought of or gave consideration for Henry to win the job. Simply because since he was traded from Buffalo he has been unheard of. Last year he lost the starting role to Chris Brown, and did not do too well when Brown was hurt. Then he was suspended and the drafting of Lendale White made the outcome of Travis Henry’s days foreseeable as a non Titan.

With Henry being named the starter it shows how much of a disappointment Lendale White has been and that Chris Brown has not become fully healthy. Tennessee has weapons offensively to make Travis Henry a decent second starting running back in majority leagues. Volek can deliver the football and there are even hints that Kerry Collins could be the starter. So offensively, the Titans should be fine.

Henry has been dominant in years past with Buffalo and must have showed something stellar to push him so quickly back in the fold. Some sort of recommitment to the game of football must have clicked in his head. Any thoughts of a turn around towards his 02’ or 03’ fantasy football numbers are a bit far fetched.

He will be lucky to get fifteen carries a game but his big play ability is what makes him a decent fantasy back. As a Buffalo Bill he never had the huge amount of carries that would warrant the numbers he put up. He just made the most out of every carry.

The platoon of backs in Tennessee is long and maybe too much too even think about for a fantasy football team. Anytime a Pro Bowl back is a starter again it just is too much to pass on. He has to have extremely fresh legs from not touching the football that much, and he is only entering his sixth season in the NFL. Sure, Henry may lose the starting job by October but do not play “what ifs” in his case. You have bench spots for a reason on your fantasy squads.

Lastly, a player that was huge on sleeper draft boards last season is presumably a fantasy throw away this season. The Arizona Cardinals went out and signed Edgerrin James and that automatically ended any thoughts of JJ Arrington. Anyone that watched him last season saw how poor he did and the disastrous Cardinals offensive line. Well folks, JJ has had a darn good preseason and has been named the official backup by beating out Marcel Shipp.

The difference with Arrington this season thus far seems to be his bulking up a bit which has added a Warrick Dunn type flash to his running style. Against the Bears in last weeks preseason game he was bursting through holes and getting plenty of yards. It was hard to tell who was running the football.

The Cardinals also ran the football thirty plus times in that preseason game and figure to hand the ball off more this regular season. Edgerrin James has not received that much playing time in preseason, so do not expect him to suddenly get a ton of carries. Arrington will see enough playing time to get four to five fantasy points a week on yardage alone. If you have Edgerrin James and want solid insurance we suggest you draft Arrington as a handcuff.


You must be logged in to post a comment.