Scouting Notebook: MoJo on a roll

Michael Salfino
Yahoo! SportsSeptember 24, 2012

Boy, Maurice Jones-Drew is really showing the effects of that long holdout. But don't worry, if he breaks a leg in Week 14, people will blame the holdout. And please do not tell me that Rashard Jennings would have gotten a timeshare if he stayed healthy at the expense of a first-team All-NFL back.

Andre Brown is a top 10-to-15 among backs if Ahmad Bradshaw is out. If Bradshaw is healthy, slot Brown 25-to-30. He's the new, improved Brandon Jacobs when Bradshaw returns. Expect Bradshaw to have slightly higher value if both are healthy.
The first half on Sunday did not go well for Stevan Ridley owners, as Bill Belichick went total Sybil with his running backs. But the market has bought into Ridley so expect the response to be muted. If Mike Shanahan did anything like this to lowly Alfred Morris, imagine the volume of the I-told-you-so outcries/guffaws.
And that ties in nicely to a Twitter debate with the highly recommended @SigmundBloom of regarding the relative merits of Doug Martin vs. Donald Brown. My point was that Martin is thought to be top quality but there has been very little evidence of it through 60-plus carries yet. Brown is poorly regarded by many experts, and anything he does well gets discounted in anticipation for the eventual Vic Ballard takeover that I think is unlikely should Brown remain healthy. And I like the Colts offense better than the Bucs.
So be a Martin seller at his draft-day price and a Brown buyer given the market isn't really moving from his fifth-round(ish) ADP. If anything, it's lower.
The Cowboys pass defense is very tough so Vincent Jackson owners can sleep easy tonight.
So, today in New Orleans, Pierre Thomas did the catching and Darren Sproles the running. The one constant: Mark Ingram doing nothing useful. Ever.
Bounty-gate ironically is the best thing that ever happened to Sean Payton's career and really the career of all the elite coaches, who can now make a compelling case for adding as many wins as elite QBs.
Cam Newton has looked pretty ordinary, especially as a runner, in two of three games. I'm concerned but not worried – yet.
I stand by Morris over Steven Jackson (from my Week 1 Notebook), if anyone still wants to argue. Morris, by the way, had a very nice broken tackle on his touchdown, no gimmie. He's on pace for 1,400 yards (4.3 per carry) with 16 TDs. But he doesn't catch passes so let's bury him in the backyard with the squirrel that cat killed.
Time to reserve/waive Greg Little. If you can't get rolling against the Bills secondary, you can't get rolling, period.
Rashard Mendenhall should be the pickup of the week. The Steelers running game is a joke, and Mendenhall is badly needed. Expect Mendenhall to get 60 percent of the carries after the Week 4 bye.
No one purchases more with the time he buys than Ben Roethlisberger. And I think we can just all concede now that Mike Wallace is really good and better than Antonio Brown, too limited by lack of size and speed but good still because his quarterback is great. There was no logical basis for ranking Brown ahead of Wallace the second Wallace's holdout ended.
Andre Johnson could have two more long TD catches, easy, but fumbled them away.
The NFL average is always about a point every 15 yards from scrimmage. Philly is averaging a point every 26.5. So they should have about 38 more points. The skill guys are about five total TDs below expectations.
I'm not expecting a correction though. Michael Vick is not close to being a good quarterback. He has the pocket awareness of Tommy. He showed on that inexcusable fumble to end the first half that every side is his blind side, if Michael Lewis is angling for a sequel. Throughout the day, he proved again and again that no one tees himself up better for on-rushing lineman.
Kevin Kolb shredding a Philly pass defense we thought was elite and doing it with Larry Fitzgerald was shocking. I figured Kolb and Fitz had Gallagher brothers chemistry at this point.
Arizona is that good defense, .500-or-better setup that we generally like for our fantasy RBs, but the backs or the blocking (or both) is severely lacking.
These are the sloppy, often unwatchable games I thought we'd get last year after the lockout.
Michael Turner, who I touted, was really concerning me but then he woke up and generated some solid gains and a TD in what really should be very good Atlanta running environment. So I'd hold him.
I would not be sleeping well at all tonight if Philip Rivers was my starting fantasy QB.
Former Jet @FreemanMcNeil24 (one of the best backs of his generation) is fun to follow when Gang Green is playing and struggling (redundant, I know). Today: "Yes, yes, give it to Shonn Greene. He'll get it in the end zone if you hand it to him 439 times in a row." Later, Green was rejected on a goal-line leap like he was a basketball and the defense was Bill Russell.
I figured that Chris Johnson owners this year may have to settle for one yard from scrimmage per Titans point. But then CJ went backwards big twice in overtime.
Priority 1 this week is the Reggie Bush (left knee) news, though the early word seems optimistic. But pick up Daniel Thomas just in case. I thought C.J. Spiller was done for about eight weeks with a broken collarbone but now they say he could be back in two. What happens with Fred Jackson then is purely a guess but I do not think the market is pricing in the risk of an even time-share. So with the injury, too, you may want to test what he will return now in a trade.