Scouting Notebook: The Revis Effect

Michael Salfino
Yahoo Sports

The last week of preseason games warrants little analysis. Beginning next week, here now exclusively at Yahoo!, I'll man the leadoff spot every Sunday night when I condense each week's NFL action via this Scouting Notebook. Here's the last batch of summer notes.

Darrelle Revis's(notes) signing means that owners of Randy Moss(notes) and Brandon Marshall(notes) should consider them to have three byes – the actual one plus the two games against Revis. It's not quite as bad for Tom Brady(notes) owners, but it's going to be a lot tougher to make a living against the rest of the Jets secondary with Antonio Cromartie(notes) and rookie Kyle Wilson(notes) capable of taking out just about every No. 2 and No. 3 WR man-to-man, too.

With Julian Edelman(notes) out a couple of weeks and Revis in lockdown mode on Moss in Week 2, keep an early eye on Patriots speedster Brandon Tate(notes), now quite draftable in deep formats at least as a late-round pocket pick.

Vincent Jackson's(notes) situation is a mess. Avoid him in non-dynasty formats. The important news is that Malcolm Floyd(notes) and Legedu Naanee(notes) are starters and that Antonio Gates(notes) is a sure-fire No. 1 receiver, albeit at tight end. Gates is thus a solid third-round pick in leagues that require a TE and at worst a fourth rounder in leagues that do not. While I like Floyd, I'm not sure he's guaranteed to be significantly more valuable than Naanee. Consider that Naanee was targeted on 29 passes last year and caught 25, the best rate in the NFL.

I wanted some first-person perspective on the Eagles in order to properly assess Kevin Kolb(notes) and LeSean McCoy(notes). No one I know follows Philly more closely than CSNPhilly.com managing editor Andy Schwartz, also an avid fantasy player. So note that he says you'd be wise to have a solidly projectable No. 3 if you draft LeSean McCoy as your No. 2 back. Also, he pegged Matt Ryan(notes) four rounds earlier than Kevin Kolb, though he owns both. The big issue in Philly is a very shaky offensive line – also very bad news if your value is tied to deep scoring strikes, DeSean Jackson(notes) owners.

Last year at this time, everything was trending against Pierre Thomas(notes). Now the opposite is true. Chris Ivory is the latest third-string RB to get hurt. This leaves a two-man committee in the short term unless you think DeShawn Wynn(notes) is getting significant action. Thomas is a No. 1/2 back not a No. 2/3 like where he's getting drafted. He was arguably the best player in fantasy football down the stretch of '08. Why can't he be that in '10?

We're at the point where the notion of drafting the best receiver in football in the second round is raising eyebrows. But Derek Anderson(notes) starting in Arizona is good news for Larry Fitzgerald(notes). Anderson has a top-five NFL arm and once threw 16 TDs just to Braylon Edwards(notes). So unless you think Edwards is better than Fitzgerald, you should not be discounting Fitzy at all. While he's lost Kurt Warner(notes), also losing Anquan Boldin(notes) ensures considerably more targets.

Percy Harvin(notes) does not have a miracle migraine cure in hand, saying only that he's confident that the problem can be managed. That can mean anything from being able to play every week to no longer collapsing on the field and having to be removed by ambulance. Triggers, says Harvin, include "change of weather" and "pollen." He should be a No. 3/4 wide receiver who you must consider a game-time decision every week. Better have a Plan B if your Plan A includes Harvin.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh(notes) has chosen to play for the Ravens at the veteran minimum while the Seahawks stay on the hook for about $6.5 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. This is further fodder for the Ravens deploying a spread offense and more reason to downgrade Willis McGahee(notes) (Ray Rice(notes) is a much better fit for a spread attack) and to upgrade Joe Flacco(notes). Downgrade Derrick Mason(notes), too.

Caution is necessary with Ahmad Bradshaw's(notes) apparent ascendency to the No. 1 running back job for the Giants. Their offensive line is in decline. Their secondary stinks so they will not be able to ground and pound (or, in Bradshaw's case, slash and dash). Plus the promotion can be mostly nominal with Bradshaw still expected to share significant carries with Brandon Jacobs(notes). Instead of 10 Bradshaw carries for every 15 of Jacobs, consider that ratio to be reversed, pending Bradshaw's ability to withstand the new workload with his surgically repaired feet.

Neil Rackers(notes) is a pretty good last-kicker drafted who could end up being top five at the position, as the Texans easily could be top five in points scored (they were 10th last year).

Knowshon Moreno(notes) (hamstring) is a leap of faith and thus not someone who should be drafted in the first three rounds. Beyond the injury concerns (no snaps all summer, not even in practice) is this question: "Is he any good." Last year, journeyman Correll Buckhalter(notes) blew his doors off.

Dez Bryant(notes) last played a football game on September 19, 2009. Why is he being drafted over Santonio Holmes(notes)? Things are tough for rookie WRs even without a full-year layoff. There's little chance Bryant has a 2010 impact before Holmes.

Moving the umpire into the offensive backfield is going to be a big story. The Colts are complaining it's slowing down their no-huddle (the umpires have to now go about 15 yards to spot the ball instead of five) and allowing defenses to substitute. There's also a fear that we'll see a lot more holding calls given their new proximity to offensive linemen. But maybe the ump won't be able to see the hands of the blockers while looking at their backs and there will be more illegal hand action that gets unchecked. If offense is hurt, the NFL will fix the problem. If it's helped, they will look the other way as every major rule change for the past 40 years has favored scoring.

Michael Salfino writes for the Wall Street Journal and is a regular contributor to Yahoo! Sports.

View Comments