Four Downs with Ben Standig
1) Training camps have only just begun and it might be time to revise Ben Roethlisberger's place in my recently posted QB tiers now that the Mike Wallace holdout situation has taken a turn into "uh-oh" territory. Not only is the speedster still not in camp, the Steelers gave the big $$$ money previously offered to Wallace to Antonio Brown. That pretty much means Wallace either holdouts or signs his one-year tender. If the latter, then he a) plays with the Steelers this season or b) Pittsburgh seeks a trading partner. This all looks great for WR Emmanuel Sanders, who moves into the starting lineup with Wallace out, but it takes away a major weapon from Big Ben. Rather than be my QB sleeper in Tier 3, Roethlisberger falls to the back of the lot with another uncertain passer (in my eyes anyway), Peyton Manning. The Steelers always find a way, but Roethlisberger has never been the most consistent of fantasy QBs to begin with and now the the thought of no Wallace could drop him down a tier before long.
2) Speaking of Peyton Manning, the daily reports out of Broncos camp figure to be hot and heavy with every analyst trying to offer the definitive "he's back!" or "run away" observation. As I've said, I'm withholding judgement until hits are taken, but I remain a skeptic especially when I can draft a Matt Ryan, Tony Romo or Philip Rivers in the same general vicinity. Of course, I'm reading all the 411 out there like you and I particularly found this one from Yahoo's Jason Cole interesting. for example...
"Aside from accuracy, Manning's timing was terrific. Even when he had to recoil on a throw to manipulate a defender, he got rid of the ball quickly. His ability to run a practice is a thing of beauty, executing plays as if the field was a chalkboard. On Thursday, he had a firm grip of a giant piece of chalk.
"The downside coming out of this practice was Manning didn't show arm strength in critical areas. The deep comeback routes that were essential during his time in Indianapolis weren't on display. Aside from one deep throw and a timing/lob pass over the top of the defense, Manning rarely went deep.
"He did enough of that in the offseason to make people believe he still has the ability, but you have to wonder if those strong-arm throws are going to be there in September and on through the season. Can he make tough throws from awkward positions in real games? How will his body respond to more rigorous practice and eventually getting hit again?"
3) Sports Illustrated's Peter King issued a "fantasy alert" on Twitter, suggesting Eddie Royal could catch 75 passes now that he's with Philip Rivers and the Chargers. You know, I actually kind of like Royal (who went from hero to zero during regime change in Denver) as a late round sleeper or future waiver wire candidate. However, the fact that King brings this up sways me not in the least. Why? Let's just say his track record with the fantasy talk is spotty. We all make faulty projections, but not sure anyone has ever been sooooo wrong as Mr. King. For proof, scroll down to this old school "The Ten Things I Think I Think" article and commence jaw dropping when you see the name "Wuerffel, Danny"
4) Overlooked by many in all the RG3 hysteria is that the Redskins did little in the way of upgrading their right tackle position. Instead the team chose to rely on veteran Jammal Brown, he of the bum hip and participant of many a Yoga class this winter and spring designed to help the ailing body part. Yeah, not so much so far as the team placed Brown on the PUP list at the start of camp. This "little" problem as the team described could become a major one if Brown is slow to return.
Extra and rather random point...sticking with the Olympics theme from the previous - and seeing how those in the pool figure to dominate the opening week, here's that the U.S. swimming team's viral video that's making waves on the interwebs this week. Cheesy, sure, but fun, yeah, that too. Also shows why so many have Missy Franklin, shooting for U.S. female record of seven medals, tagged as the breakout star. The charming 6-foot-1 Franklin is in the video throughout, but her bubbly persona pop during the airplane aisle scene (she's the lead off strutter).