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Draft prep: Let Vince Young prove himself

Jamey Eisenberg
Senior Fantasy Writer

Editor's note: This is a series of 10 predictions of things that will happen in 2008 Fantasy Football leagues according to Senior Fantasy Writer Jamey Eisenberg

Vince Young broke your heart last year. It's OK to admit it. You sat there, waiting by your computer every game, hoping he would call with a big performance -- but it never happened.

And it might not happen again this year.

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Young was great as a rookie when you added him off the waiver wire in 2006. That led most Fantasy owners to believe he could be a starter last year, but he was awful.

Young had only 2,546 passing yards (170 yards per game) with nine touchdowns and 17 interceptions. And his rushing totals, which is a strength Fantasy owners count on, was only 395 yards and three touchdowns.

He went from a No. 1 Fantasy option prior to the season to being released in many leagues by the end of the year. And this year, Young should not be drafted in any standard league.

The safe bet is to leave Young on the waiver wire. Let him prove he can get off the scrap heap and then add him as a free agent. For his career, Young has 21 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in 30 games, so he hasn't exactly been stellar to date.












Vince Young needs show Fantasy owners that he can be a dynamic quarterback. (US Presswire)
 


Vince Young needs show Fantasy owners that he can be a dynamic quarterback.

(US Presswire)

 
The Titans did little to help Young this season. They brought in an aging Alge Crumpler to start at tight end and spent a first-round draft pick on another running back in Chris Johnson.

Justin Gage is a solid receiver, but is he worthy of being a No. 1 option? We'll find out this season. And opposite Gage is Justin McCareins, who has been terrible since leaving Tennessee in 2003. Roydell Williams is coming off a broken ankle, and Brandon Jones is trying to get over last year's disappointing season.

Young can still make plays with his legs, and the addition of offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger will help. But the Titans will remain a strong running team with LenDale White and Johnson, which will limit what Young can do.

Gage disagrees with our assessment and said Young is in line for a standout season.

"He looks real good," Gage said in an interview with CBSSports.com. "He's doing a great job with his reads. Vince is a diamond in the rough. He does things that not many quarterbacks can do. He controls the offense and makes things difficult for the defense."

Gage said Young's job is to win and not concern himself with stats. Last year, despite his poor stats, Young still led Tennessee to the playoffs.

"We look at it like that as long as he's winning games he's playing well," Gage said. "And right now we see him winning games. The stats will come along with it. He's a different quarterback than Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. He'll get his stats, and I hope he does. The better the stats are for him, the better the stats are for me."

Gage hopes Young doesn't break his heart and leave him disappointed. But Fantasy owners should know better by now.

Young should not be drafted in 2008. Save your draft picks for players who are more consistent and have the chance to help your Fantasy team instead of hurting it.

Q&A with Justin Gage

Justin Gage has a lot to prove in 2008. He wants to show that the Titans not only have a passing game, but they have a legitimate No. 1 receiver.

Gage, entering his sixth season, had his best year in 2007, his first with Tennessee. He caught 55 passes for 750 yards and two touchdowns.

This year, Gage wants to become an elite wide receiver, but he needs Vince Young to improve as a passer, which might not happen. Still, since Gage is a No. 1 receiver, he is worth drafting as a No. 4 Fantasy option with a late-round pick.

Even if he duplicates last year's stats, Gage is still worth owning as a reserve receiver. But Gage said in a recent interview that he is ready for an outstanding season this year.

How is training camp going?

Gage: It's going real good. Training camp is always tough, but we're trying to make it go downhill real fast.

Does it bother you that people don't respect the Titans receivers?

Gage: I use it as motivation. It's a slap in the face to me and the other receivers. We're going to prove we're capable of making big plays. The trick is to not let it get under your skin.

Does it help sometimes that other teams don't respect you guys as playmakers?

Gage: I know we're going to see a lot of one-to-one coverage. We get to prove to everyone we can make plays.

How good has rookie running back Chris Johnson looked thus far?

Gage: He's looked good. He's seeing time at running back and receiver. When you have a player with that speed and quickness, he has to be on the field all the time.

How much of a difference has Alge Crumpler made on the offense?

Alge is a Pro Bowl player. He's going to get his catches and create space. With the way he plays in the middle of the field, he's going to open up things for us on the outside.

How much fun was last year coming to Tennessee and making the playoffs?

Gage: I feel like a fifth-year rookie. Coming into a situation with a young quarterback who can reach the Hall of Fame was a great thing for me. There's a lot of upside with this team, and I'm looking forward to being a big part of it.

What do you like about new offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger?

Gage: I like his game plan. He attacks the defense, and he goes down field. He has an aggressive offense, and I think people are going to like it.

I heard a story that you have large hands. How much is that an asset as a receiver?

Gage: I'm trying to use them a lot and catch everything possible.