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August 29, 2:44 PM ET
Chat with Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (11:56 AM)

Hey everyone. Matty Dub here. Let's get rolling on this chat a little early. Also, I realize that many of you have fantasy drafts upcoming, so don't hesitate to send a question along those lines.

Matt Williamson
  (11:56 AM)

Hey everyone. Matty Dub here. Let's get rolling on this chat a little early. Also, I realize that many of you have fantasy drafts upcoming, so don't hesitate to send a question along those lines.

Cory Benn,Syracuse,New York

Do you think Donovan McNabb will have a healthy season?

Matt Williamson
  (11:58 AM)

Honestly, I don't know how you could expect me to predict that. Who knows? Obviously his durability has been a major issue over the last few years, but I don't question his desire to stay on the field and compete. He played very well down the stretch last year and throughout the preseason. His weapons are very suspect, but his system is excellent. I still think McNabb is amongst the better QBs in this league.

Armando _Eugene, Or

Man do u think Brett favre will help the Jets. Will Eric Mangini Regret this? woa what am i saying this guy is a legend he is BRETT FAVRE!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

After last season, the Jets very much took a "Win Now" approach. Maybe the decision makers are feeling heat from management. Personally, I would have rebuilt with youth and not taken the route they did with the roster they had when the season ended but that is neither here nor there. So-when the Favre opportunity presented itself, it was very logical. He will not hold the team back as Clemens or Pennington would have. I have no doubt about that. This team still has holes though and I think a Wild Card birth is their ceiling this season. Favre's presence will allow the O to be more vertical while also opening up a lot more running room and allowing the D to stay off the field more.

Steiny (NYC)

On ESPN.com you said that the Jets will finish in second place. You also went on to say that they have a handful of holes that can't be overlooked and a wild card is this team's ceiling. What exactly are those holes?

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

I am not sold on the OTs. Woody is a guard/center who has had weight/desire issues in the past. Now he is playing pretty much a new position after signing a massive pay day. Ferguson is very talented and having Faneca next to him surely will help, but his strength/power problems are not going away. The OL depth is awful and one injury here could really hurt. I am not sold at all on the CBs outside of Revis and the DEs in general. They certainly made steps to get better, but I stand by what I said in the preview.

Steve (Rochester, NY)

Will Javon Walker pull it together for the regular season? He played well in the latest preseason game and in recent practices.

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Can he? Sure. He is capable. I am not betting my paycheck on it. His career has been remarkably inconsistent. Injuries obviously have been a problem as well. Oakland's passing game really worries me overall. Poor protection. Few weapons. New QB.

Phil (NJ)

What kind of season do you expect from Anquan Boldin given the animosity toward management and the contract issues?

Matt Williamson
  (12:05 PM)

A strong season. He has a lot to prove and plays the game very competitively. If Warner is the QB, both Fitz and Boldin should have big years. It coud be Boldin's last in Zona, but he has a ton to play for. Personally, I like Boldin a lot, but I also think he benefits from playing next to Fitz more than the other way around. If he goes to a new team where he faces loads of double coverage, he might be real sorry.

Clayton (Jacksonville,FL)

Hey MM. As I watched the Jaguars take on the Redskins last night, I was pleasantly surprised. Derrick Harvey was applying pressure off the edge and was lining up at both the left and right ends. Do you think he can provide an impact sooner rather than later?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

I do. He probably will not be an everydown player for some time, as teams would surely run right at him over and over until he proves that he can hold up at this level. Plus, his ability to feel the run, diagnose and hold up in terms of conditioning would give me pause early in the season. But-and this is what they want him and Groves for-he can rush the passer. Get him out there on throwing downs and for a series or two throughout the game and he should do fine.

Domenic (Columbus, OH)

What are the cowboys chances of winning the superbowl this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

They are my pick. I can't say I feel as strongly about it right now as I did picking the Pats last year at this time, but Dallas is stocked. I am not a believer at all in Romo being a choker. The D is loaded. Star DBs everywhere you look. Lots of options on that side of the ball. TO needs to stay healthy, but Dallas is very good.

brandt (DC)

Donovan gets hurt a lot, but at least they are different things. And its not like he is that old. considering what he has done with his tools, not many QBs have that pedigree.

Matt Williamson
  (12:08 PM)

Couldn't agree more-its a rough game!

la, ca

Seahawks d? over chargers niners?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

For fantasy reasons I assume? The Niners would be a distant third on that list for me. If Merriman is Merriman, I like SD's over Seattle's. However, I am a real believer in Seattle's defense and I expect them to be MUCH better on that side of the ball than on O. If Merriman isn't a dominator, I like Seattle.

Bob B - Auburn Hills, Michigan

Who do you think the Lions will play in the Super Bowl?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Ever?

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

Can the Chargers still have a top notch defense with Merriman playing hurt, or does this put them at a large disadvantage against the AFC contenders?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

It certainly doesn't help, but keep an eye on J Tucker. AJ Smith deserves so much credit for building a simply rediculous roster. They also have a handful of ILBs who could really assert themselves this year. Obviously not having a great player (Merriman) at his peak could be a big deal, but it isn't enough to keep SD from winning that putrid division and probably gettnig a first round bye.

Nate (Madison)

Not a bad short night for Aaron Rodgers. 1 for 1, 68 yards, and a TD. But he did look pretty good last week against Broncos.

Matt Williamson
  (12:12 PM)

I am a believer and have said many times that GBay wins that division with Rodgers. GREAT system for him to succeed in and he throws a tremendous deep ball. I like.

miguel (SoCal)

How well will Marvin Harrison Perform this season? And whats your prediction on DeSean Jackson's impact at WR this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

Jackson is a good looking prospect, but I think people are getting a little too excited about him right now. He is going to get pushed around and rookie WRs usually have a very tough time. That O isn't easy to digest either. Lifetime role player, but will make some big plays. As for Marvin, I have been impressed with what I have seen. He looks healthy and remember-Dungy is usually VERY catious about playing stars in the preseason with any sort of ailment. They must trust his knee-so I do as well. Indy's fire power is rediculous.

loaf (parts unknown)

trying to figure out my TE situation. please rank: crumpler, heap, utecht, boss.

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Heap....big gap....the other three. Of course Heap has to stay healthy-and that is worrisome-but with Cameron and an inexperienced QB in Balt, the TE is going to be featured. Additionally, Heap is far more talented than those other three at this point in their respective careers. I expected more from Crump than I have seen this preseason. Utecht is a nice pickup for sure, but remember-he isn't even Cincy's starting TE and they still have 85 and Housh. Throw Henry into that mix in Week 4 and C Perry who catches a lot of balls and I think Utecht becomes a better football component than FF option. Boss is fine, but I am not yet a believer. WRs are going to catch most of the balls in that O.

ray gordon REID tallahassee FLORIDA 32311

QUESTION TO AT 12.20 PM, HI NATT WILLIASMSON THURSDAY NIGHT GIANTS OR SKINS

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Funny you should ask. I sent in our Scouts Inc preview on that game about half an hour ago. Read it early next week. I picked NYG to win pretty big.

Peter (DC)

What do you think of Carolina's running game?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

I really like the whole O, esp with S Smith on the field. The OL should be better than last year for sure, but more importantly, there are more weapons that a D has to defend than just Smith. Stewart will be a star.

Rudolfo von Golfo (DC)

I know it's only pre-season, but should Skins fans be worried? They look bad. Terrible. F.

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

I catch a lot of heat on these chats for being a "Skins Hater". I am not a believer. I think the organization from top to bottom is backwards. I see them as a seven win team at best and last in that division. Passing game is going to struggle. Too much change.

Marc (Malden, MA)

What do you expect from Delhomme this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Along the same lines as the former Carolina question, I like Delhomme. Needs to limit his mistakes and lean on that running game more than he probably wants to, but Smith and Hackett will be great targets for him.

Scott (Reno)

Rudi Johnson and Change for Boldin? Get it done!!!

Matt Williamson
  (12:22 PM)

Rudi is worthless. At this point of his career, he is very similiar to S Alexander. Overused aged runners who can't help on special teams or as pass catchers. If Rudi gets cut, surely he will get picked up though, but still, no one is giving up a "Legitimate" WR for Rudi. There are a ton of RBs in the league right now and excellent young RBs at that. Why would Zona want anything to do with Rudi? ....esp for one of their best players?

Marc (Malden, MA)

What do you expect from Anthony Gonzalez? Would you rather have him or DeSean Jackson? I have a short bench so need to make the right choice. Thanks.

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

MUCH rather have Gonzo. Star in the making. Think about Reggie Wayne in his 2nd year. Yes, he is in that league. GREAT fit in this O. If Marvin is healthy, Gonzo's numbers will suffer a bit, but this kid is legit and Manning will spread it around well. On a side note, I don't love Wayne this year compared to some of the other big dog FF WRs for those reasons.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

How much of an improvement do you see Brodie Croyle making in KC, because he has two legit options in Gonzalez and Bowe?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

He does have two very good options and I actually think that Bowe is underrated and a budding star. Still, that is all he has. That OL might be even worse this year than last. LJ is legit-don't get me wrong, but I question how "into it" he will be come Week 10 or so when KC is 1-9. As for Croyle, I have seen nothing to think that he is the answer.

Scott (Reno)

Because Arizona collects over the hill RB's? Emmitt, Edge, etc..

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Oh-you were being funny. I see. Missed it. Then yes, trade Boldin for him straight up and sign Alexander to boot.

Jim (Westerville,OH)

What is with the Bears defense? I know it is only preseason, but they look uninspired and out of position. Is it just a veteran group pacing themselves or is this unit really not all that good? Crazy, but the offense has looked better than them throughout the preaseason.

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

That is a huge mystery to me, but I think that trend will reverse itself in a big way. I like what Chi has on D quite a bit. A healthy T Harris is HUGE for the whole group. That D and Special Teams should keep some games close, but their passing game and OL might just be the worst in the league when it is all said and done.

Mark (DC)

Who do you think will get the most touches, Julius Jones or Morris?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

Close, but Jones. That isn't a good situation up there right now. I expect Sea's O to take huge steps backwards. I like Holmgren and Hass and both of them can get good production from average players, but looking at their skill positions, they are even short on average players.

R. Grant (GB)

Why didn't I get some snaps last night? Am I healthy? Will I be splitting with Jackson?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

Hard to say, but I would imagine that the coaches just wanted to keep you as fresh as possible. As for Jackson, I am a fan. Big jump for him in year two. GREAT FF sleeper and in all honesty, he might even be more talented than Grant.

James(Huntington)

What do you see from Randy McMichael this year, the offensive coordinator has said that he plans on using him in a major way, especially w/o Bruce.

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

He has a habit of using TEs prolifically and I also don't see a lot of other suitable pass catchers in that O, so yes, I do think McMichael will really improve his production. But still, I don't see him as a difference maker or a special player by any means.

Jim (PDX, Oregon)

Ant change the Rams can stiff 8-8 this season or are they picking in the top five again in the draft

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

If I had to chose one or the other, I would say they are picking Top Five. Pace's injury worries me. I don't like the weapons overall. The DL should be very good and that will have a positive affect on the entire D, but that back seven is well below average. Remember when we ranked every position group in the NFL? I did LB (amongst others) and ranked STL's last. No team in the league has awful LBs because that position is easy to find, but I am not big on their group (oustide of Witherspoon) at all.

Mike (Toledo)

Browns are gonna go 10-6, 9-7 8-8. I would have to believe that a 4-2 record in the AFC North wins the division. Agree?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

4-2 in the division would be impressive, but remember, they play the AFC South and NFC East. So, if they go 4-2 in the division and 1-7 against those two divisions, that won't cut it. I like Cleveland to finish 2nd in the North behind PGH and I expect just one team to go to the playoffs from that division. Nine wins might be enough to win it.

Rick (nyc)

What are the odds of Kevin Jones taking over as the starter from Forte during the season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:33 PM)

Doubtful. His role could really expand once Forte hits that rookie wall and Jones gets healthier and healthier, but overall, that is Forte's job and he should do fine.

Todd(Brooklyn)

Can you rank these backs Lynch, Portis and Bush---in a pure fantasy aspect.

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Exactly in that order. Huge believer in Lynch this year and only have LT, Peterson, SJax, Westbrook and Barber ahead of him on my list. I could take or leave Portis. I don't trust that passing game and think Portis could really take a beating this season. Still, he will get a lot of touches and will produce. Bush is interesting, but how many TDs will he score? A lot of catches. A long TD run or two, but he seems like a guy who gets intot he end zone about five times if all goes well.

jon (holland. ohio)

am i nuts to think the raiders can go at least 8-8 ?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Not a difficult schedule and that helps, but I think they are more like a six win team. I have said this before and it still holds true. This team has two massive weaknesses: Their ability to stop the run-which might improve a bit-and more worrisome is their passing attack from top to bottom.

Brian (NY)

With injuries and suspensions mounting are the Packers starting to slip? Their lines on both D and O are getting banged up right out of the gate.

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

I still like them to win the division, but I hear ya. That DL is what worries me. I bet they regret trading Williams to the Browns. They used to have more DLinemen than they knew what to do with-which is an awesome thing to have in this league.

Andy (Boise)

I have been hearing for the last couple of years that MJD is the mand and Fred Taylor will go away. Still not happening so why is everyone stil so high on MJD?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

I believe in Taylor as well and MJD has extended his career-no doubt in my mind. However, I also really like MJD. He does it all. Great young player. In fact, they both really benefit from having the other there.

Ben (AZ)

Ryan Grant had such a succesful season last year, are you really that down on him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

No-not at all. He runs hard. Good vision. Better speed than you would guess. But, that system is very RB friendly. B Jackson could do just about as well.

Davey (Den)

You think Royal will have good production fantasy-wise during the year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Of all the rookie WRs, he might be the one who I bet on to have the best production. Great situation for him. Big believer in Cutler here and Marshall will take a ton of attention away from Royal. Explosive player who has aclimated himself very quickly.

Marc (Malden, MA)

If you take the 11 games David Garrard played last year (ignoring the Indy game he only played 2 min) and stretch those stats to a full 16 games season, he would have had 3,545 yds and 26 TDs. Is that realistic for him this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Yeah, I said that when I wrote up the QB positions and it is VERY impressive. Not to mention he hardly threw any INTs. I really like Garrard, but I think those numbers are a bit excessive considering the running game in Jax. However, I do expect Jax's OL to take a step back this year and running the ball might not be as easy going forward.

frank (seattle)

Would it be crazy to pick Brady with the 2nd pick when td's thrown count for 6?

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Yes-but that isn't a knock on Brady. In FF, I like what Manning and Brees bring to the table more than Brady considering where all three are being picked. In fact, I like guys like Garrard and Cutler's value even better, which allows you to stock up other places.

Matt Williamson
  (12:43 PM)

Side note on that last Brady FF question-you have to know your strengths and weaknesses as a FF owner. If you are the type who needs one big horse to ride, then picking Brady isn't such a bad idea. He will surely produce.

jeremy(syracuse,ny)

deangelo hall and wilson will be big for the raiders because now they can play man and line 8 in the box to stop the run and wilson is top 3 defensive backs at stopping the run mark my words the raiders will be much improved a

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

I agree with all of that, which is why I said that aspect of their team is improving. However, I would attack the Raiders by forcing them to go nickel against 3 WR packages and then attack them with the run out of that personnel. I don't trust their DTs, although T Kelly certainly is not the terrible player that many make him out to be. I don't like their DEs very much either from a two way perspective. I hear ya though and overall, do not massivly disagree with ya.

Marc (Malden, MA)

Will Matt Schaub stay healthy all year? What should we expect?

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

If he and Andre J stay healthy all year then expect BIG things. Schaub's fragility does have to worry you though. He isn't exactly a big thick well built guy to take a heavy pounding and that pass pro will be just average.

Tyler (seattle)

who's going to be the starting QB in baltimore? Troy Smith or Joe Flacco?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

I would imagine that the coaches and players want it to be Smith, but he is fighting a tonsil infection and the timing for that couldn't be worse. Flacco isn't ready. Any way you cut it, ugly situation to start the season.

Tom (Hackensack)

Matt, what type of role do you see shockey having on the saints this year? playmaker? or just take some heat off of colston, bush, etc.?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Both. Will exploit LB coverage. Payton will move him around very effectively. Red zone target. Probably not as many overall targets as he was used to in NYG though. That passing attack is fantastic and Drew Brees was my choice for league MVP. He will light it up. Great QB.

Vernon (TX)

Whats your opinion on the Cowboys DEF in FF

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Top two-only behind Minny

Ryan (PA)

You think Mr. Ocho Cinco will make it through the year with that injury?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

Speculating on injuries doesn't make sense from where I sit, but I don't feel good about his situation at all. Just one more thing to worry about with this guy. Drama. Too much drama. Too many questions. I back him more than most for what he brings to the field and he is capable of exploding, but he worries the heck out of me.

joe (york)

big ben will be a top 3 fantasy quarterback this year! holmes, ward, sweed, miller, parker, mendenhall, are you kidding me?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Fantastic group, but I also think PGH runs more TDs in than a year ago. Not a knock on Ben as a player at all, but matching his TD #s won't be easy.

Geoff (NY)

What's the recieving situation look like in Tennessee?

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

Moe, Larry, Curly. Shemp. Honestly, Gage looks like the #2 and he can be fine-not a true #1 at all, but an okay starter. The rest of the group is b-l-a-h...plus, VY is such a poor passer that he doesn't do them any favors.

Ryan (San Diego)

The Chargers are the top defense in fantasy football and are in the top 2 in real life

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

With Merriman at 100% I think they are only behind Minny. With Merriman's questions, I have some doubts. Still, they are exceptional. Dallas is loaded though. Ware could very well be DPOY.

Eric(philly)

can westy keep up the pace? SI says eagles are super bowl bound!

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

I picked the Eagles a year ago and I do think they go to the playoffs. D will be much better. Worry about the pass catchers though. Westy is amazing and a league MVP candidate. Could happen.

Nick (CO)

So with Marshall playing the Chargers at home now, do the Broncos have a chance of taking this game?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Sure. He is a differnce maker and that team would be doomed without him. We ranked the top ten players on every team and stop and think about it-who are the top 10 for Denver? I don't have the list handy, but the obvious answers are Champ, Cutler, Marshall. Nalen if healthy. Scheffler shows promise. Bly is Top 10. As is DJ Williams. Maybe someone steps up on the DL. But that is an eye opening drill with this Den roster. Give me SD in that game.

Matt (Rochester, NY)

How has Teddy Ginn looked so far? Should he have a decent year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

Much improved. Should have a good year for sure. However, he doesn't look like a Braylon/Andre J/TO type of number one to me at any point of his career. Miami needs to find that horse WR (maybe with their early first rounder next year) and Ginn will explode after that. Still, he has become a good player and is very dangerous with the ball in his hands.

Nate (Madison)

Do you see Collins and Bigby holding their spots all year or do you see Rouse passing one of them?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

Nice situation for Green Bay. All will play. I would bet that Rouse does not unseat them, but Bigby's highlight tape is also far greater than his true consistency and overall performance.

Ryan (San Diego)

No worries about Brady to start the season? That's an awful long time to not be playing in a live game or practicing

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

Oh yeah, there are worries. But, their schedule is such a cake walk he will be fine. Guy is tough. Super tough. Ultra competitive. Surely has played hurt more than many realize in the past.

Don(Omaha)

Vinny Jackson is a boom or bust this year? can her carry over from last years finish?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Arrow is certainly going up on VJax, but there just is not enough passes to go around there for him to be a top producer. Will kill some #2 CBs occasionally though. Beast.

Robbie (Indianapolis)

Why do you and the other pro-Steelers homers ignore the Steelers OL problems? It's going to be a long season for Steely McBeam. Time to hit the bottle again.

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

It is bad. Very bad. But, Ben makes up for a lot of their problems. So does their wealth of weapons. Sure, it is a worry, but I still think PGH is the best team in their division. No Homer-ism. That OL just needs to be adaquate. That is debatable though.

Matt Williamson
  (1:01 PM)

Okay folks, I am out. This was a lot of grins. Take care. -MW