Jan. 1, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew (32) stiff arms Indianapolis Colts linebacker Ernie Sims (55) during the first half at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

Quick Fantasy Interview With MJD and Brent Celek

This evening I had a superb opportunity thanks to DirecTV to chat with Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek and Jacksonville’s Maurice Jones-Drew (an avid fantasy man) about some potential fantasy possibilities.  When I came in there was some talk about what Robert Griffin III can do in Washington and what Andrew Luck can do in Indianapolis.

As we all know, as much as we love MJD he isn’t any good to us in our fantasy league on the couch at home, so we touched on some wider ranging questions as well.

Let’s get to the main points:

  • Robert Griffin III – When I came in, MJD was talking about the potential that Robert Griffin III has in his rookie year with the Redskins.  He placed an emphasis on the abilities of the quarterback to make plays, whether with his feet or with his arm.  At the end he said that RGIII and company may just have enough to get to the playoffs and maybe win the NFC East (all apologies to Brent Celek).  If I’m basing who I pick up as a second quarterback (maybe first) entirely on what Jones-Drew said then it sounds like RGIII may be the guy.
  • Could Andrew Luck struggle against some of the stouter defenses in his rookie year? Source: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

    Andrew Luck – To follow RGIII, MJD touched on what he thought Andrew Luck could do in his first year with Indy.  While there was discussion about the ability and sharpness that Luck has displayed throughout the preseason, Jones-Drew seemed hung up on the difficult nature of playing against AFC South defenses.  He made a point of saying that the defenses could provide some struggles for Luck.  It made me think of how the Jags held Cam Newton to 53% completed pass attempts and 158 yards when they played last season.  It’s a good point when thinking about taking Luck at any point in the fantasy draft since he faces the stout Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Houston defenses two times each.

  • Peyton Manning – My first question was what Celek and Jones-Drew thought Peyton Manning could do out in Denver and whether he could return to form.  While MJD said there is an obvious need to gel with the new team and hinting that it may not be similar caliber passing-wise to what he had in Indy, he said that we should expect Manning to get back to form – 30+ TDs and 4,000+ yards.  For someone coming off a few neck surgeries, I don’t think that’s too bad.  Celek agreed but said that it will be tough for him to get back to form.  Whether that means Manning will have early season struggles or will be limited in his personal control is beyond me.  Either way, if Manning is back to 30+ touchdowns and 4,000 yards he’ll be quite valuable on a fantasy team.  I’m not certain I’m as optimistic as Celek and MJD, but maybe that’s because I’ve been on the other side of a heated rivalry for a while now.
  • I'd prefer to see a few more touchdowns out of MJD if I draft him this year. Source: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE

    MJD and Whether He Can Do It Again – I asked if MJD could keep his yards per carry so high for a second season if/when he returns to the Jags, especially considering the early preseason success of the other Jacksonville running backs behind the patchwork offensive line.  All I got from him was confidence (he’ll be drafting himself again after all).  Jones-Drew thinks that the O-line will only be better with another year to gel with each other.  The play on the field of the other running backs is a good indication of that.  He also seemed confident he could do it again, smiling when asked whether his yards per carry could continue to be high (4.7 in 2011, highest since his rookie season).  He was very pleased with the development of the young offensive linemen, touching specifically on the injured Will Rackley, and was happy to see them improving.  In my opinion it seemed like he definitely wanted to see his teammates succeed and I suspect he’ll be back to play with the Jags this season at some point.  Will he be worth that first round pick?  I’m not certain because there could be some early struggles, but if he doesn’t put up 1,300 yards or more like he has done since he started full time in 2009 I’d be shocked.

While it was short, there was a lot to be garnered from Celek and MJD.  Celek had a monster year last year for Philly with over 800 yards and could easily do it again with a healthy Michael Vick or otherwise.  He should be a strong consideration for a lower end starting tight end…but you never know he could explode for another 970 yard season like in 2009.

Once again, a big thanks to DirecTV for the opportunity to chat with MJD and Brent Celek!  NFL Sunday Ticket from DriecTV is a superb to keep track of your fantasy team each week.  Whether it’s the Player Tracker system that provides live updates on up to 18 players or the ability to log directly into your fantasy league with NFL Sunday Ticket live on screen, it provides you with fantasy football interaction that can’t be competed with.  For $199.95 (the lowest cost in the decade) it is easy to track eight games on one screen, switch to the player tracker, and get the information you need for your fantasy matchup.  It’s the only place to get all the games and now syncs with several major fantasy platforms.

- Luke N. Sims

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Tags: AFC South Andrew Luck Brent Celek Cam Newton Denver Broncos Fantasy Football Indianapolis Colts Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-drew Maurice Jones-Drew Contract Maurice Jones-Drew Holdout Maurice Jones-Drew Trade NFC East NFL Sunday Ticket Peyton Manning Philadelphia Eagles RGIII Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins Will Rackley

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