THE NFL’S WILD WEST OFFSEASON
The West is wild in the NFL right now. Quarterback shuffle galore. Big time trades and free agent signings. It’s getting very exciting and we haven’t even seen a draft yet! Everyone’s looking for a gunslinger to give them a chance to improve. Only problem is, there are no gunslingers in this quarterback carousel with the possible exception of Carson Palmer. Carson Palmer gets shipped off to Arizona because he thinks a little too much of himself and won’t restructure his deal so Oakland trades for Matt Flynn from Seattle in anticipation of this. Will Matt Flynn make a difference? Who really knows? I mean, we saw him in two or three games in Green Bay where he played like a Pro Bowler. He gets traded to Seattle to be their savior and he disappears behind the rookie stand out Russell Wilson.
San Francisco makes several big time moves. The trade for Anquan Boldin, the signing of Nnamdi Asomugha, and the not so flashy pick up of Colt McCoy. San Francisco is looking scary good and they were already scary good. Now last but not least, and probably the most relevant in my mind, Alex Smith suiting up in red and yellow out in KC. Let me be clear here, I’m not saying he is going to blow us away, but he will improve that team greatly at the position under the tutelage of Andy Reid. It may take a season for it to click, but when it does, I see good things happening.
Now what do these things do for us where it matters most, our fantasy leagues. It’s never too early to think about these things if you’re serious about winning a league. Let’s start with Carson Palmer in Arizona. No change here really. I don’t see his stat line changing but that team will see more wins. He will still collect close to 4,000 yards and at most 20 TD’s. Good numbers really, of course you’ll also have to deal with his interception numbers too so there’s that. In the end he’ll be a decent starter if you’re desperate and a capable bye week stand in. Matt Flynn is an anomaly here. I don’t think I’d risk drafting him as a starter with the fact that he’s on a rebuilding team (when aren’t the Raiders rebuilding?) and we just haven’t seen enough tape to rely on his infrequent performances. The most solid fantasy QB I’ve touched on is Alex Smith. He’s the reliable, he’s accurate, and now he’ll play for a coach that will want him to throw it downfield. Andy Reid will have Alex Smith’s game humming and firing on all cylinders. Call it a hunch.
So with the dust beginning to settle in the West, the tumbleweeds are rolling and the desperados are preparing their teams for the clock to strike noon. When the shootout begins it’s up in the air. Who comes up on top is always a mystery in the NFL. That’s what’s great about the game. No matter how much science we use to determine outcomes and probability, there are still these immeasurable intangibles that can flip seasons upside down in a heartbeat. It’s only April and I’m thrilled to see how it all goes down.
“Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it’s so incredible, it’s unbelievable.” Tom Landry