The Fire Sale (cont.)
I'm not right all the time but I know deep down in my bones that Allen is the better player. Fleener will be a solid pro but Allen has the skills to be an elite tight end. In two months don't forget who set you straight on this one.
Charles Clay, TE, Dolphins - Clay played both running back and H-back at Tulsa, but I always thought he was miscast as a running back. Clay was such a productive receiver from the H-back position, it seemed odd why the team even bothered using him in the backfield at all. It made no sense. Clay has soft hands, so catching the ball has never been a problem. He's always been a better receiver than a running back.
Anthony Fasano is what he is at this point -- a good blocker but just an average receiver. Rookie Michael Egnew may have been the most overrated tight end prospect in this year's draft class. So that leaves Clay as Miami's most athletic tight end.
New Dolphins coach Joe Philbin knows he needs to get the ball into the hands of the few playmakers he has on offense. Clay is one of those playmakers. Philbin can line Clay up in different spots and use his athleticism to create mismatches in the passing game. Plus, given the Dolphins' current situation at receiver, they really need a guy like Clay to step up and provide some big plays.
Some are concerned because Clay got yelled at in practice on an episode of HBO's Hard Knocks. Well, Clay responded by playing well in Miami's first preseason game. Besides, if you're making fantasy decisions based off Hard Knocks there's a chance you drafted Chad Johnson after the first episode. How's that working out for you? Also, in Miami's second preseason game Clay ran exclusively with the first-team offense at H-back, so it's not like he's playing in the fourth quarter.
When I used to watch Clay at Tulsa I knew he would be a tight end in the NFL and I also thought he could shine in the right system. Well, I believe he's now in the right system.
Clay is a deep sleeper so there's a chance he could get cut at any time during the summer. However, if you're looking for one of those guys that comes out of nowhere to have a big fantasy season, Clay may be your guy at tight end.
Delone Carter, RB, Colts -- The Colts' running back pecking order is one of the more intriguing training camp battles for fantasy owners to keep an eye on. After getting to see Carter play quite a bit at Syracuse I liked his chances to be a successful NFL running back. Well, after one season I was wrong.
Carter disappointed as a rookie. I went back and watched some of his runs from last year and it wasn't pretty. If you take away a 42-yard scamper against the Saints, Carter may have been the worst running back in the NFL last season who got at least 100 rushing attempts. He was that bad.
Carter was indecisive, slow and easy to tackle. I don't know about you but that usually doesn't sound like a recipe for success when it comes to NFL running backs. Maybe Carter lost his confidence, but at times he was really hard to watch. If he doesn't get a lot better in a hurry, Carter will get buried on the depth chart, even in Indianapolis.
The guy to watch in Indianapolis is rookie Vic Ballard. If Carter and Donald Brown don't get the job done, Ballard will have a lot of fantasy value. Brown has talent but he has had trouble staying on the field, so a guy like Ballard could play a major role in the Colts offense.
Carter is already dealing with a rib injury and Ballard is gaining ground on him to the point where he may have locked down the backup job. With Mewelde Moore probably locked in as the third-down back, Carter is falling out of favor fast in Indianapolis.
Some tabbed Carter as a sleeper earlier in the summer. Forget about being a sleeper, Carter has to worry about just making the Colts roster. I say he gets cut. The Jets will probably pick him up, though. They seem to like big backs that don't go anywhere.
Michael Turner, RB, Falcons -- He's slower, older, doesn't catch passes and will have have his workload reduced. Should I go on? If you can get Turner in Round 8, go ahead. If you're drafting Turner in Round 4 then you must think we're drafting based on last year's statistics. You may as well draft Eddie George instead. You'll get about the same amount of production every week. The only thing Turner is "Burning" in 2012 is the fantasy owners wasting a high draft pick on him.
Justin Blackmon, WR, Jaguars -- There's a chance Blackmon will burst onto the scene and be the NFL Rookie of the Year, but let's be honest; he didn't get off to a very good start.
Soon after being drafted, Blackmon learned his offense is in such shambles that Chad Henne could actually be the Jaguars starting quarterback. Then after getting arrested for a DUI Blackmon declared he's done drinking "for now."
Boy that makes me feel good. What the heck does that mean? I used to wake up on my kitchen floor after a night of snorting Jagermeister up my nose and say "I'm done drinking for now." Then five hours later I was funneling Vodka.
Sorry if Blackmon's statement doesn't give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside or instill much confidence that he's done drinking. Again, maybe he doesn't touch another drop of alcohol and blows up as a rookie, but the facts are the facts.
I suppose finding out one of the worst franchises in sports traded up to draft you would make anyone hit the bottle. To quote the infamous Dean Wormer in Animal House, "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."
I know Blaine Gabbert has looked like a Hall of Famer so far in the preseason, and Blackmon played well in his first meaningless game. That really means a lot considering Colt McCoy and Mark Sanchez were tearing it up last preseason, while Cam Newton couldn't complete a pass. How did that turn out?
Please don't listen to fantasy geeks who make predictions based off of glorified practices. It just shows they don't understand the game of football. Hey, if you don't want to hear the truth, don't read this column.
Do yourself a favor and don't draft any Jacksonville players on your fantasy team this season. At least wait until 2013, when Matt Barkley arrives. Then maybe Blackmon will finally be able to stay sober.
Sidney Rice, WR, Seahawks -- I'm going to talk about Rice this once because I don't want to have to talk about him again this season. In fantasy terms, I'm not really sure why we spend any time talking about this guy.
Here are the facts: Rice has played five seasons in the NFL. He's had one season with more than 32 receptions. He's had one season with over 500 yards receiving. He's had one season with more than four touchdowns. Guess what? It all came in the same season. You know what that means? Sidney Rice has only had one good year in the NFL.
It stuns me that people still draft this guy. Do you know how bad things have to be for a team to sign Terrell Owens? Do you know how little faith they must have in their No. 1 receiver to sign a guy who was recently released from an Indoor Football League team where he was part owner? That really says a lot.
We talk a lot about guys like Ryan Mathews and Beanie Wells, but Rice may be the least durable player in the NFL. He's only played 15 games in the last two years. People say you can't predict injuries but I think that's a bunch of garbage.
If a guy is always injured, I'm going to say he has a better chance of missing games than most players. That's just common sense. I mean who is more likely to get hurt, Rice or Reggie Wayne? I know who I have my money on.
Rice's average draft position has dropped to Round 12 but that's still too high. He's getting selected right near Vincent Brown. That's a joke. I would much rather have Brown and at the end of the year I bet Brown has better numbers and Rice will be on IR.
Don't waste your time on Rice. Go get a more durable receiver, like, say ... Malcom Floyd.
Chad Johnson, WR, Unemployed -- I don't understand, you mean Johnson met his wife on Twitter and things didn't work out? What is this world coming to? By the way, call me when this clown actually says something funny. Why do people still laugh at him? He hasn't said anything funny since 2008. If he really wants to make people laugh he should show us film of his play last season. That would have had us rolling.
Follow Thomas Casale on Twitter @ThePigskinGuy.
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