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June 26, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Matt Williamson

Matt Williamson
  (12:00 PM)

Let's get rolling on this-back to the usual format. Anything exciting happen in the NFL today?

Matt Williamson
  (12:01 PM)

Just got off the phone with James Walker talking Hernandez...wow

Mike (Beantown)

So the Pats release Hernandez, and word around MA from people close to the investigation is to expect the worse right now. That being said, do any NFL teams have the gall to put in a claim on him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Wow, that is a tough question and I honestly have no idea at this point. Such an impact player. But if the dude is a murderer...

Merle (Colorado)

I have looked, but have found no comments on the issues surrounding Aaron Hernandez FROM Aaron Hernandez. Has he said anything at all about this situation?

Matt Williamson
  (12:02 PM)

Excellent point...dunno. Anyone know?

JAY(Louisiana) [via mobile]

Do you see the SAINTS as a top contender this year.

Matt Williamson
  (12:03 PM)

I am high on the Saints and very well could pick them to win their division. Top Contender? I put them firmly behind SEA, SF, GB, CHI in the NFC-and maybe ATL

CC (Atlanta)

I don't get your concerns about Atlanta. You knock them for lack of pass rush (which we had none of last year) and uncertain DBs. You think the Saints may win the division. How's their pass rush and DBs?

Matt Williamson
  (12:04 PM)

Yeah, I hear ya. That is a very valid point. But I just feel that ATL is old and is counting on guys at the end of their careers. They are obviously a very good team. I think NO improved dramatically on D and getting Payton back is gigantic. Did ATL get better on D? Also real worried about ATL's OL

Matt (Brooklyn)

What would you do with Hernandez if you owned him in a dynasty league?

Matt Williamson
  (12:06 PM)

Gotta hold him until more info comes out...won't get a thing for him in trade and cutting him off your roster doesn't make sense yet.

Chet (LA)

Have you heard anything about how the Steelers plan to use LeVeon Bell in year 1?

Matt Williamson
  (12:07 PM)

I think they view him as a true feature RB and a guy that they want to throw the ball to quite a bit-which Redman and Dwyer didn't excel at. Can he handle such a load? Who knows, but they surely will relieve him plenty.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Do you think Jake Ballard can return to his pre-injury form and fill the void left by the release of Hernandez?

Matt Williamson
  (12:09 PM)

Can't fill that void...Hernandez is equal parts TE and WR-creates all sorts of personnel nightmares for the D. Ballard will be a very solid #2 TE, but a very traditional inline type TE

Pete (Spokane)

Demaryius or Dez? Who would you rather have on your team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:10 PM)

Are we talking Fantasy? Actually, either way I slightly prefer Dez, but especially in Fantasy where his off the field issues are not an issue. But both these guys should be Top 5 NFL WRs in 2013. Total studs. But I think Dez is slightly studlier.

B (NC)

Are the expectations for the Giants low enough for them to go win another Superbowl this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:11 PM)

Well put! I am expecting the DL to be better, which is an obvious key to that D. I also think a giant key to a big time season for NYG is a healthy Nicks.

Blueman (Indy)

Will Robert Mathis moving to right side hurt his productivity,now he will be facing LT who are more suited to handle him?

Matt Williamson
  (12:13 PM)

He has always been more of a RDE type of player, but you are right, he will now face OTs with better feet overall. His production might drop a bit, but I still think he is a force.

Joe (Philby)

Is loss of Hernandez a big enough cut for Mia to take top spot in division?

Matt Williamson
  (12:14 PM)

That seems extreme to me. I expect MIA to have a Top 5 type D though and clearly they have improved weapons on O. But I will still bet on Brady and Bill

Craig (Braintree, MA)

Care to say which bloggers ask you for the most input?

Matt Williamson
  (12:15 PM)

I really talk to all of them pretty equally come to think of it. If I had to pick one, I would say Sando I guess...we have some pretty great chats

Martin (New York, NY)

I think you need to applaud what Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization stand for. Not sure if other teams would rid themselves so quickly of such a productive in order to maintain a positive image in the community.

Matt Williamson
  (12:16 PM)

Agreed, although at this point, I also don't think any of us know the whole story

Steve (Cheney)

Which rookie running back and wide receiver will be the most productive fantasy wise?

Matt Williamson
  (12:17 PM)

Give me Hopkins and Bell. Ball is certainly a thought too, but I don't think Hillman is going away.

ASN (NY)

All your favorites for the NFS come from 3 divisions. Who wins the NFC East?

Matt Williamson
  (12:18 PM)

The NFC East is the division I feel the worst about predicting right now. Any of the four could win it, but I will prob go with NYG...but that answer certainly is very fluid right now. No clarity on the NFC East here.

Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)

What do you expect from Trent Richardson this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:19 PM)

A gigantic season. Tons of touches, both carries and receptions. Greatly improved Browns' O...much better coached and a scheme that fits Weeden much better than last year. Injuries are the only thing that can hold TR back

Derek (work) [via mobile]

Dan Graz is too scared to answer this question. How many rushes do you think Desean Jackson will get this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

You think he fears that question like Freddie Kruger? Dunno know about that. Jackson will get carries. Maybe 25 on the season?

Steve (Cheney)

Is this a make or break season for Ryan Mathews?

Matt Williamson
  (12:20 PM)

Most Def

Matt (DC)

I found RB ranking to be a tad ridiculous, esp when you decided to "project" players who hadn't played a down in the NFL, while doubting other guys drafted in similar positions (re: Alfred Morris) to did prove themselves. Care to defend your criteria?

Matt Williamson
  (12:23 PM)

I will say that projecting who will be the best at any position in the NFL three years from now is a pretty tough chore-and my editors did me no favors giving me RBs, since their shelf lives are so much shorter. I like Morris and expect him to remain highly productive, but don't consider him a "Great Player" or someone with an exceptional skill set. And of course, there will be several guys who have yet to be drafted in that top 10. I also did Safeties, which was much easier-but unlike RBs, there were even more Safeties that I really wanted to include

Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)

Most improved team in the NFL this season will be...

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

Gotta be KC. Feel like I am cheating picking them though. Philly comes to mind. Both teams were just awful last year

Derek (work) [via mobile]

Going to see Bob Dylan tonight in West Palm? Did you get to see him at all back in the day?

Matt Williamson
  (12:24 PM)

He came to town with Tom Petty maybe 10 years ago-super cool. Respect to Dylan

Cody (St. Louis)

Is there a RB available in FA that the Rams should take a flyer on? Wells? McGahee?

Matt Williamson
  (12:25 PM)

Is Wells is broken, but McGahee is still a quality player. But I think the Rams are happy with their three young guys.

Matt (DC)

But it just looked obvious to the average reader you were giving credit more to WHERE the player was playing (SF and Sea) than who the player is..

Matt Williamson
  (12:26 PM)

In those two instances, yes-in a way. I don't think Lattimore or Michael is NFL ready right now-for various reasons. But going where they are going allows them to start their career properly and ease into things, which I project makes them a better player in three years

Mark Warno (Sleepy Hollow)

Who would you be more scared of if they were out to get you: Omar Little (The Wire) or Doc Holiday (Tombstone)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:27 PM)

Mark! Good to hear from you! I have been saying for quite a while that Omar truly is Doc...slightly different environment however. Don't make me pick!

Gabe (Denver)

If the Steelers miss the PO's this year and struggle again, would you think it's time to blow up the team?

Matt Williamson
  (12:28 PM)

It might be time to move on from guys like Troy P, Foote, Taylor...but not Ben...I know I am a Pittsburgher, but I can't see that organization sitting down behind the scenes and saying "Let's blow this thing up, go 4-12 for a few years and just start over"

Andrew Z. (Struthers, OH)

How likely is it we see a team in London in the next 10-15 years?

Matt Williamson
  (12:29 PM)

It seems highly likely to me. Money Talks Brother

Matt Williamson
  (12:30 PM)

Random on the iPhone isn't treating me well today...had to take control and put on "For Whom the Bell Tolls" Live from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...that should pick things up around here

Bernard (France)

With the additions of Cherilus and Thomas how improved do you expect the Colts O line to be?

Matt Williamson
  (12:31 PM)

Well from 1 to 10, in 2012, I would have given the Colts a 2.5 OL grade...which obviously stinks. Now, I would say a 6

Mike (Mision Viejo, CA)

I really like what the Raiders have done over the past two off-seasons. Am I crazy to think that after one more good draft and having $50 million in cap space they could be contending for the AFC West as early as 2014?

Matt Williamson
  (12:32 PM)

I totally agree and the arrow for that organization is really pointing up. And I think contention for the division is very possible. BUT...who is the 2014 QB? Those guys don't grow on trees. But maybe they use an early first rounder next year on Clowney and Wilson hits...now you are talking!

Larry (Pittsburgh)

Thoughts on the Falcons safeties? How far outside the top 10 for 2016 were they?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

It is a solid pair. I was tempted to put Moore on that list, but again-there were SO many young quality safeties to pick from, he just didn't make the cut, esp three years from now. DeCoud didn't cross my mind, but he isn't a bad player. Solid starter.

Buddy (Peoria, IL)

Will the Raiders offense go back to McFadden's strengths and preferences, or will it be more square peg-round hole schemes again this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:34 PM)

No, they will tailor their scheme better to his preferences...which begs the question: Why didn't they last year? McF is in a contract year. He could produce in 2013.

B (NC)

What is David Wilson's ceiling this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:35 PM)

Very high ceiling, but Andre Brown isn't going away. Brown is a good player and is talented. He isn't BJGE type.

Martin (New York, NY)

Would you try to avoid Tom Brady in fantasy this season?

Matt Williamson
  (12:36 PM)

Brady will produce, esp if Gronk is healthy. And Brady is such a great red zone passer, esp if Gronk is healthy. Feeling a trend here? Avoid him though? TONS of QBs to pick from and I would drop TB down my rankings, but I am sure I could field a very strong fantasy squad with TB as my starter

Buddy (Peoria, IL)

Sleeper RB's for fantasy this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:37 PM)

Ingam, DeAngelo, I am sure there are more

Suburban Rhythm (Pittsburgh)

Pens open as the oddsmakers favorites in 13-14...that counts for something, right???

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

They do? Wow, surprising. But I like it! They are rather strong

Stuart (Glasgow, Scotland)

Have IND taken over from HOU as the top offense in the AFC South, even despite the Hopkins pick?

Matt Williamson
  (12:38 PM)

Love the Hopkins pick, but yes, Indy is the Top O in the South. Luck will be substantially better in 2013 and he has plenty of weapons. Plus an OL that now grades as a "6"

Jim (Dallas)

How is LeSean McCoy only 25? Does he have a higher ceiling now with Chip?

Matt Williamson
  (12:39 PM)

Crazy huh? I would say Yes to that and I expect McCoy to blow up this year, but he wasn't exactly a slouch with Reid and Reid has a great history of maximizing RB production as well.

Boys of Fall (four seasons.)

Why you never answer my questions?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

I dunno

Derek (Evansville IN)

Do you think Andrew Luck has the potential to be better than Aaron Rodgers?

Matt Williamson
  (12:40 PM)

Wow. Maybe, but prob not. Just doesn't sling it quite like AR. Luck will be amazing. Maybe a Hall of Famer. Rodgers is crazy-good though. People forget that he just doesn't turn the ball over.

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

"I Used to Love Her"...Live....so good

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Over/under on sacks for Shaun Phillips...6.5?

Matt Williamson
  (12:41 PM)

Good line you made there Scott. Seems about right. Q Smith might take over his role as the season goes along though. Guess I go UNDER

Phyllis (Pittsburgh )

Do you Shane Vereen as the Patriots most likely to replace and benefit from Hernandez's absence? Has played Wide, Slot and RB.

Matt Williamson
  (12:42 PM)

Yes. He should have been one of my Fantasy Sleeper RBs too. Was VERY high on him even before the Hernandez nonsense. He will get more carries, the Pats should run more and he will get the entire Woodhead role.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

How good was Sean Taylor to your scouting eye? Compare him to...

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Not sure there was anyone to compare him to. I remember when I was at Pitt and we played against him and all those other studs from The U, back when they were truly The U. That is like asking, what WR could you compare Calvin Johnson to? They just don't make them like that. Taylor hadn't yet realized his amazing potential at the NFL level like Calvin has though.

Evil Richie J (The Burgh)

Would you rather fight Mike Tyson in the ring or Bob Probert on the ice?

Matt Williamson
  (12:44 PM)

Def Tyson...I can't skate a lick. Bring on Iron Mike!

Dan A. (Rochester, NY)

Matt, what 3 things need to happen for the Raiders to exceed expectations (notice I didn't say make the playoffs cause that ain't happening)?

Matt Williamson
  (12:45 PM)

Wilson has to be The Man...possible. That itself would go a long way. McF stays healthy and has his best season....possible. A OLineman or DLineman steps up huge...not seeing that one.

Roy (SF)

Loving this chat Matty. As a Cal alum, Rogers > Luck, you like DeSean, Vareen this year. Didnt give DeCound his props, but i tend to agree he is solid but not spectacular. Go Bears!

Matt Williamson
  (12:46 PM)

Wow, didn't put the Cal connection together. I am also really high on K Allen for the long term!

Rob (San Antonio)

The one aspect of the Steelers team that must step up for them to be successful this season is . . . ?

Matt Williamson
  (12:47 PM)

OL for sure. Very talented young group-all high draft picks, but they collectively have dealt with SO many injuries. The Pass Rush also needs to step up. Both are possible.

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

Doug Martin with both All-Pro guards back..chance at leading the league in YFS?

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

Oh he is going to get a TON of touches too! I wouldn't bet against Peterson, but Martin certainly is in that convo.

keith (ohio)

what part of your job do you look forward to the most (outside of these chats obviously)

Matt Williamson
  (12:48 PM)

There isn't much of it that I don't like Bro! Beats digging a ditch for a living

Ruth (Alaska)

What do you predict for the Titans run game this year? Can CJ return to 2k form with the upgraded line?

Matt Williamson
  (12:49 PM)

That OL should be great. Johnson won't get to 2K, but he could get to that form. People forget it, but he was very good during the 2nd half of the 2012 season.

Awayne (Indy)

Dallas corners are very good coverage guys but are they good enough in run support to make the new defense work?

Matt Williamson
  (12:50 PM)

Such poor planning. That is like BUF paying Mario Williams a fortune to be a 4-3 DE and then switching to a 3-4 the NEXT Season! Dallas did the same at the CB position.

T (Boston)

The world needs ditch diggers too, Matt.

Matt Williamson
  (12:51 PM)

That they do Judge Smails

Hugo Jacks (Houston, TX)

Can you provide reasoning why you think Indy's offense is better than Houston's OTHER than QB?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

QB is a big one though! I will say better weapons overall too-many more weapons and diversity, which I expect Luck to handle really well. Improved running game from 2012 with Bradshaw and a better OL, but not nearly as good as HOUS on the ground...Houston's D is far superior however

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

MDub, you were all over the SEA D before anyone else last year..nice call! What DEF do you think can make a surprise jump into either top5 or 10 convo?

Matt Williamson
  (12:52 PM)

I most certainly was. The 2 I am smitten with are MIA and BALT

Matt (DC)

Pick One: Leonard Hankerson, Aldrick Robinson, Josh Morgan

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Hankerson...pretty good blocker...don't think that doesn't factor in with Shanny and that run game

Scott (Northglenn, CO)

More receptions this year - Antonio Brown or Randall Cobb?

Matt Williamson
  (12:53 PM)

Cobb...in that 100 catch neighborhood

Larry (RI)

What about Dallas Clark to NE?

Matt Williamson
  (12:54 PM)

Guess I could see that. Not that I would do jumping jacks about it. They still have a quality stable though.

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Twisted Sister "We're not going to take it"!!! Yup, blasting it too!

HJ (Houston, TX)

so follow up.... would you rather take IND's offense vs texans - OR - HOU's offense vs colts?

Matt Williamson
  (12:55 PM)

Houston's O vs. Colts D...I am not sold that INDY can consistently stop the run, let alone that run game

Derek (Evansville IN)

If Ball and Hillman are effective, how do opposing defenses stop the broncos?

Matt Williamson
  (12:56 PM)

They won't

Andrew (MINNY) [via mobile]

The Vikes signing Bishop is a good move to me. We now have at least 3 starting caliber LB's on our roster if he is healthy. What do you think about the signing?

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

If healthy, I love the fit. But why did GB release him? Has to be for health reasons. And GB isn't a foolish organization. Might work out great for Minny though...certainly an improvement

Matt Williamson
  (12:57 PM)

"You're all worthless and weak!!!" So great

Keith H (Seattle)

I'm starting to wonder if the "accuracy issues" with Jake Locker might be his undoing in the NFL. What do you expect from him this year?

Matt Williamson
  (12:58 PM)

It is a MASSIVE concern and always has been with Locker. Few guys all of a sudden become accurate at this level.

Brian (Tampa)

The scary thing about you saying that Indy can't stop the run is that they likely have very little pass rush either. Doesn't this feel like what Peyton dealt with his first few years?

Matt Williamson
  (12:59 PM)

Didn't work all that bad for those Manning teams. That was their team building plan...use resources on pass rushers and weapons for #18...not much different now

Backstreet Boys (It's Gonna Be Me)

Go ahead, blast us on your playlist, no one will know! More yards this year - Chris Ivory or Lamar Miller?

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Nice...Miller. Ivory doesn't have breakaway ability and offers nothing in the pass game. Plus, every D will be keying on him. Easy decision there.

Matt Williamson
  (1:00 PM)

Folks, that is a wrap! I am out