Long lockout will kill fantasy offenses

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - OK, a long lockout won't kill every offense... only the ones involving a new head coach, offensive coordinator or quarterback.

Which means if it's late August and teams haven't had any minicamps, OTAs, team meetings, etc., then the plan for your fantasy draft should be to select players on teams who have played together for many years.

This strategy says to keep away from Carolina, Cleveland, Denver, Minnesota, Oakland, San Francisco and Tennessee because each has a new head coach.

Note; Dallas was specifically left off the above list because new head coach Jason Garrett ran the offense last year.

And you also won't select players involved in offenses led by rookie quarterbacks who will have little or no time to learn the entire playbook. If the lockout lasts into August, you will not find a Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco or Sam Bradford in this year's quarterback crop.

Therefore, unless you liked the offenses you saw last year in Carolina, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Cincinnati or San Francisco, you are unlikely to like them any better in 2011 - at least from a passing point of view.

If you still want to pick Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Frank Gore or Maurice Jones-Drew, just be aware that there won't be much of a passing game to keep the opposing defenses honest.

Units which should have the majority of their skill position players and coaching staff back in 2011 include; New England, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Indianapolis, Houston, San Diego, Philadelphia, New York Giants, Dallas, Chicago, Green Bay, Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and St. Louis.

It's here that you should concentrate your early-round attention and draft choices.

Leave the gambling on first-year head coaches, offensive coordinators and rookies to the other owners until later in the draft. And ignore the rookie quarterbacks and their receivers completely, except in keeper leagues.

The conservative route is the best one in a season where there is little preseason practice.

In other words, the plan for 2011 should be stick with the tried and true veterans; Tom Brady-to-Wes Welker, Peyton Manning-to-Reggie Wayne, Philip Rivers-to-Antonio Gates and Aaron Rodgers-to-Greg Jennings.

Let the other guy start the Cam Newton-to-Kealoha Pilares hookup.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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