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Monday Night Fantasy Football Preview: Double Whammy

Sep 14, 2009 – 6:15 PM
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Ryan Dembinsky

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Are you ready for some football? A Monday Night Partaaay? The NFL Monday Night Football season kicks off in grand style with a double-feature, which means double the fantasy impact. Tonight's matchups feature a lot of exciting fantasy angles, so we thought it fitting to provide a quick MNF preview to give you the key storylines.

- Arguably one of the biggest question marks of the 2009 fantasy season rests on the chest of longtime juggernaut, LaDainian Tomlinson. San Diego signed backup Darren Sproles to a mega-contract and Tomlinson posted just slightly less than fantastic numbers in 2008, so his value ground lowered this draft season. Monday night, LdT will prove to all those Forte, Slaton and Turner owners that you should never second-guess a legend.

- The Raiders defense is not all bad, but if that preseason game taught us anything, this one should be pretty lopsided. The Chargers defense will probably set the tone with JaMarcus Russell and company playing from behind and LaDainian controlling the game.

- What can we make of the Raiders? Well, besides Darren McFadden likely coming into his own as a superstar in 2009 -- in due time -- the keen eyes are on tight end Zach Miller (a.k.a., the good Zach Miller), who is the most (maybe only) consistent player on the offense.

- Also, keep an eye on Michael Bush to see how many carries he gets. My guess is he'll get in the game, but we'll realize his fantasy value is next to nil on account of being a backup on a team playing from behind too often.

- Get ready for Tom Brady to silence the critics. This is just a gut feeling, but on the big stage with doubters nitpicking Brady every time he touches the lawn, I'm expecting him to light it up and put the naysayers to bed. In fact, I bet he connects with Randy Moss for at least one first-quarter touchdown.

Fantasy FanHouse Twitter- Another key fantasy storyline is where Fred Taylor fits into the New England offensive game plan. Despite having the deepest receivers in the game and a great quarterback, the Pats will still run the ball often, so expect Taylor to get a good 10 carries tonight. Ultimately, there may not be enough balls to go around and Taylor will probably end up a decent bye week waiver wire grab. Still, I suspect he'll be off some rosters by later this week.

- Frankly, as much as the Tom Brady show will be drilled home ad nausea, at least it gives the announcers something to talk about besides Terrell Owens. Do we really have to do this every year? I'm more interested to see how Lee Evans reacts to the cushier coverage after being an underperforming No. 1 receiver for several years.

- Just as it looked like Fred Jackson was going to miss his chance to solidify his spot as a committee running back alongside Marshawn Lynch, given Lynch's three-game suspension, the Bills cut expected starter Dominic Rhodes and determined Jackson will get the start. Jackson is a great player, so watch for him to make an impact on Monday night.

- Finally, keep an eye on old Joey Galloway as the dark horse of the New England receivers. The guy can still motor, so he makes for a threatening deep option.
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