SPORTS FORECASTER September 5, 2007 Free Online Preseason UPDATE ‘BOYS TO WIN IT ALL! WHAT WENT DOWN IN TRAINING CAMP? CAMP EYE-OPENERS NEW STARTERS INJURY UPDATES FEARLESS FORECASTS Cowboys WR JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IMAGES Terrell Owens THE TOP STORY Guess what? Michael Vick... Who else? There was a time at some point during the month of August when it looked CAMP EYE-OPENERS Can Devin Hester really play wideout as well as return kicks? He certainly worked hard in training camp and seems to have impressed the coaching staff... After pub- like the 27-year-old Vick might get off charges of dogfighting but his admission of licly talking about how his preseason goal was to show improvement, Bears QB Rex guilt and subsequent indefinite suspension by the NFL sent shockwaves through not Grossman went out and looked, well, not improved... Michael Strahan’s holdout / in- just the NFL but through society in general. From a fantasy perspective, it sends an jury shenanigans were put up with by the Giants and he finally returned. More shock- equally strong shockwave through the Falcons’ offense. With Vick unlikely to play ing was the seeming rift between Eli Manning and former teammate Tiki Barber, who all season, one of fantasy’s most productive players is off the board but his absence claimed on national television that Manning’s leadership is ‘comical’ ... New England also probably gives a big fantasy boost to the remaining active Falcons (from running safety Rodney Harrison will be gone for the first four games of the regular schedule, backs Warrick Dunn and Jerious Norwood to reportedly for taking a banned substance (said to be Human Growth Hormone)... wideouts Joe Horn and Michael Jenkins even OTTO GREULE/GETTY IMAGES to new starting quarterback Joey Harrington THE NEW STARTERS who might raise some eyebrowses this season). Kansas City’s Damon Huard finally gets to start a season as a No. 1 QB, edging Could Atlanta actually be better off offensively young Brodie Croyle... David Garrard is the clear-cut No. 1 QB for the Jaguars after now that Vick’s one-man, run-first show won’t Byron Leftwich’s shaky preseason and eventual release... Daunte Culpepper seems happen anytime soon this upcoming season? Of to be holding off Josh McCown to be Oakland’s top man behind center... LenDale course. The timing is great for new coach Bobby White appears to be at the head of the Titans’ RB committee... Brandon Jacobs has Petrino -- a successful college coach in Louisville held off Reuben Droughns (who’ll line up at fullback) as the Giants’ starting tailback... and former offensive coordinator and Charlie Frye is poised to start the season as the Browns’ No. 1 QB but that may not quarterbacks coach with the Jaguars from 1999 last long... Rookie Brandon Jackson seems to be the top RB in Green Bay... Rookie to 2001 -- to make his mark right off the bat by Mason Crosby edged Dave Rayner for the top kicking job in Green Bay... Rookie instilling a brand new offensive system. Vick With Martin Gramatica out, Nick Folk now is the No. 1 kicker in Dallas... Powered by Fantasy Sports Services Inc. INJURY UPDATES NOTABLE PRESEASON CUTS QB Byron Lefwich, by the Jaguars; LB Jer- RB Frank Gore broke his hand early in training camp but will probably be ready emiah Trotter was let go by the Eagles; DL to go for the Niners’ opener... RB Laurence Maroney appears to be ready to Tank Johnson was released by the Bears; carry the load in the New England backfield after offseason shoulder surgery... DL Kimo von Oelhoffen was cut by the Jets RB Travis Henry sprained his left knee early in the preseason but is expected to then signed with the Eagles; DL Simeon be ready for the Broncos’ opener... RB Kevin Jones was taken off the Physi- Rice and LB Shelton Quarles were let go cally Unable to Perform List, meaning his foot injury may be more healed by the Bucs; PK Billy Cundiff was booted than expected. He could be ready to go early in the season for the Lions... RB by the Falcons; PK Dave Rayner was cut Clinton Portis hopes to be ready for the season but was barely active in August by the Packers; Speedy return man Eddie due to knee tendinitis... QB Donovan McNabb’s surgically-repaired knee seems Drummond was let go by the Lions and to be holding up well... QB Jason Campbell hurt his knee in exhibition play but wound up with the Chiefs; Wideouts Keenan will probably be able to start the season... Vet WR Donald Driver sprained his McCardell and Bethel Johnson along with right foot midway through the preseason and his status for the Packer opener RB Wali Lundy were released by the Texans; is iffy... The Chiefs placed Priest Holmes on injured reserve -- again -- with his P Scott Player was released after years neck problem... New England defensive lineman Richard Seymour will be gone JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IMAGES with the Cardinals; RB Kevan Barlow and for the first six weeks of the season due to a knee injury... Diminutive PK Martin RB/FB Verron Haynes were cut from the Gramatica has been placed on the injured reserve with a hamstring problem... Steeler backfield; RB DeDe Dorsey was let Safety Will Demps, of the Giants, is also on injured reserve with an elbow prob- go by the Colts; SS Donovin Darius was lem... Tennessee WR David Givens is still sidelined by his knee injury which will again released, this time by the Raiders; TE keep him out for at least the first six weeks; RB Vernand Morency barely played Courtney Anderson was given his walking for the Packers in August because of a knee injury... papers by the Dolphins; Ageless QB Vinny Testaverde may finally be done after being BOUNCING BACK? cut by the Patriots... Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger looks ready to bounce back after leading the NFL in interceptions last year. He had a solid preseason... Raiders RB LaMont Jordan had a very nice preseason, looking fully recovered from his MCL injury. Having NOTABLE TRADES: DT Gerard Warren was moved by the Broncos to the Justin Griffith as his lead blocker could be a fantasy bonus for him... Cards RB Raiders; QB Kelly Holcomb was traded Edgerrin James didn’t exactly wow during the preseason but the Cardinals at least from the Eagles to the Vikings; S Michael seem somewhat committed to running more this season... Seahawks RB Shaun Trotter Boulware was traded to the Texans for LB Alexander’s foot problem seems to be behind him and he may still have a couple of Jason Babin; Still shaky at RB, the Packers acquired Ryan Grant from the Giants; elite seasons left... Vet RB Jamal Lewis had a solid camp with the Browns... The Steelers acquired return specialist Allen Rossum from the Falcons; Back-up QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was traded by the Rams to the Bengals... DON’T BE SURPRISED IF... REVEALING PRESEASON STATS ... the Colts struggle early on, especially on defense; The Arizona defense allowed a preseason-high 114 points. They were the only ... Ladell Betts takes over as the No.1 RB in Washington over Clinton Portis; NFL defense to allow 100 and they joined the Chiefs as the only teams to go ... the Redskins are one of the NFL’s early surprise teams; 0-4... The best preseason defense? Pittsburgh’s, which allowed only 46 points ... Ronnie Brown is better than all the doubters say he will be; in five games... New Orleans’ defense was also much-improved, allowing just ... new Cardinals’ head coach Ken Whisenhunt is on the hot seat fairly early; 59 points in five games... Only two teams scored 100 points or more during ... the Atlanta offense is much better than expected without Michael Vick; preseason play: the Houston Texans (104) and Jacksonville Jaguars (100)... ... Frank Gore gets injured, again, in the first few weeks -- again; ... Thomas Jones becomes a revelation as a full-time starter for the Jets; RISING FAST... ... Chicago’s Cedric Benson becomes a top-10 running back; Vincent Jackson was a beast in preseason and looks JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY IMAGES ready for a breakout season as San Diego’s No. 1 wide ROOKIE LOOKS receiver... Nate Burleson had a very good preseason Adrian Peterson was very impressive during preseason play and it might only be and camp for the Seahawks and may even soon be chal- a matter of time before he’s the No. 1 RB in Minny... Brady Quinn wowed coaches lenging D.J. Hackett for the No. 2 WR spot in Seattle... and fans with some strong play for the Browns and may be close to grabbing the Don’t look now but WR Ashley Lelie finally seems to be top QB spot in Cleveland... Wideout and return man Jacoby Jones is living up to ready for prime time and may be the No. 2 target in San Lelie his advance billing as potentially this season’s Marques Colston... Little-known RB Fran this season... Second-year TE Vernon Davis, who missed most of last year due Selvin Young appears to be the top backup in the Denver backfield behind Travis to a broken fibula, really looks like the real deal for the Niners... Houston DE Mario Henry... Patrick Willis has won a starting linebacker job with the Niners... TE Zach Williams may soon be ready to prove his doubters wrong... Miller appears to be one of the top options in the Oakland pass attack already and may be a very nice sleeper... WR Dwayne Bowe looks like the real deal for the IN THE HUDDLE... Chiefs, as does Anthony Gonzalez Anthony Gonzalez for the Colts... Same goes Ending their holdouts: Larry Johnson, Lance Briggs, Asante Samuel and Michael for safety LaRon Landry in Washington... Strahan. Still holding out: JaMarcus Russell... In what could become an off-field dis- traction, Travis Henry is reportedly being sued for child support for several of the nine TOP 5 FANTASY SLEEPERS WHO WILL START AT RB children he fathered with nine different women... Still no word on the banned Ricky 1. LaMont Jordan, Raiders: He’s healthy again... Williams or Koren Robinson, who might both actually be fantasy factors yet again at 2. Tatum Bell, Lions: The Lions need a rusher... some point in 2007... Lance Briggs crashing his car is not a good omen for the Chi- 3. Chris Brown, Titans: Tennessee’s only experienced runner... cago defense which may struggle early on... Don’t look now but the new-look Patriots 4. De’Shaun Foster, Panthers: He’s been under the radar for years now... suddenly have issues... Amazingly, the Bengals actually behaved themselves off the 5. Brandon Jackson, Packers: The RB situation is a mess in Packerland... field during the preseason... UPDATED FEARLESS FORECASTS Super Bowl champs: Cowboys Individual Honors Finalists: Patriots AFC STEPHEN DUNN/GETTY IMAGES DIVISION CHAMPIONS GREG TROTT/GETTY IMAGES Offensive MVP: Tom Brady, Patriots Defensive MVP: Shawne Merriman, Chargers AFC East: New England Patriots Offensive ROY: Marshawn Lynch, Bills AFC North: Baltimore Ravens Defensive ROY: Lawrence Timmons, Steelers AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars AFC West: San Diego Chargers NFC Romo NFC East: Dallas Cowboys Offensive MVP: Steven Jackson, Rams NFC North: Chicago Bears Defensive MVP: DeMarcus Ware, Cowboys Jackson NFC South: New Orleans Saints Offensive ROY: Calvin Johnson, Lions NFC West: St. Louis Rams Defensive ROY: Patrick Willis, 49ers
"The Score Sports Forecaster - Football Update 2007"