Offensive and Defensive Line notes

Eric Karabell (hat tip to Extreme Skins) of ESPN has the Fantasy scoop (or does he?) on... the offensive line?

On the line: Keeping tackles Chris Samuels and Jon Jansen healthy is critical, especially with Campbell being a bit fumble-prone. Jansen missed the entire season because of a dislocated ankle, while right guard Randy Thomas has not been durable. It's an old, brittle line learning a new system it might be able to thrive in, although that shouldn't hold back Portis. The defensive line welcomes former Viking Erasmus James, but he's not guaranteed to start. Andre Carter can be an impact guy in deep IDP leagues, but for the most part, fantasy owners need not worry about this defensive line.

Despite the fact that the article hails from ESPN's 2008 Fantasy Football Draft Kit, the author obviously went off the fantasy sports reservation, because I've never played a fantasy football league where the offensive line garnered points. Maybe he's focused on the indirect effects a struggling line has on your RB and QB and everyone else. Who knows?

There is no news, so we'll talk about the defensive line, I suppose. Issue is which or whether either of James or Chris Wilson will make the team. I have absolutely no read on how this non-battle has played out so far, as there's sufficient print supporting both of them to give me pause. For instance, you can read about Erasmus James at ESPN or Wilson at TSN:

PERSONNEL ANALYSIS: Two backups could play prominent roles for the defense this season. Chris Wilson is a lightweight in terms of bulk, but the DE comes off the ball with a great deal of explosion. He's quick enough to get around most offensive tackles, and fast enough to get to the QB before the pass is thrown. Defensive coordinator Greg Blache plans to play to the individual strengths of his players, and that could mean Wilson gets more snaps in passing situations. ...

I think I've said it before, but if the team wants to keep both Wilson and James it could mean the end for Demetric Evans. We've got a lot of Defensive Ends, including recently signed draft pick Rob Jackson, undrafted FA Dorian Smith. Not everyone can make the team.

They weren't kidding about Wilson being on the small side, either. The team lists him at 240 lbs, which makes him the smallest by over 10 pounds. Then again, Carter was the 2nd smallest on the line last year but by far the most productive. From the looks of it, lean and mean is the strategy for rushing the bad guy's passer.

Situational defenders are great so long as the starters remain healthy.

There really is nothing going on right now, these are the offseason doldrums. Enjoy.

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