NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider 4 New Articles Added 11/6/06

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Article Added 8/25/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Article Added 8/25/06)

Aug. 28, 2006, 4:03 PM
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FFL Chat: Aug 28


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By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Michael (Charlotte): Is there a clear cut backup for Chester Taylor? I'm trying to handcuff one of them to Taylor and can seem to agree on if it's Fason or Moore.
Scott Engel: (3:00 PM ET ) Good afternoon everyone!
Right now Fason is second on the depth chart, and recently returned to practice from an injury.
Dustin (Los Angeles, CA): If Branch somehow makes his way to the frozen tundra of Vikingland, how are the values of Branch, Chad Jackson, and Troy Williamson changed? Thanks.
Scott Engel: (3:02 PM ET ) I see only an outside shot of that happening - It would raise the value of Williamson as he wouldn't be burdened by being a No. 1 WR - Chad Jackson isn't ready to step up yet- Bardy could throw more to TEs, RBs and spread the ball among a few WRs
Erik(St. Pete): With the injury to Greg Jones who becomes the Jag's 2nd string RB? I need a back I can handcuff to Taylor.
Scott Engel: (3:04 PM ET ) It's really uncertain right now, as if Taylor goes down, Maurice Drew is too small to carry regularly, and Toefield doesn't have upside. Derrick Wimbush could be good for some scores. There is no clear handcuff. If Taylor goes down, it could ne a three-man committee
Danny (Dallas, TX): Aren't we undervaluing the Redskins trade for T.J. Duckett? I feel like they brought him in to take away goal line carries from Portis to reduce the risk of injury. This should definately drop Portis out of the top 10. Wouldn't a more realistic year from Portis be 1200 yards and 5 touchdowns...near the same value of a Willie Parker, Tatum Bell, or DeShaun Foster from 2005?
Scott Engel: (3:06 PM ET ) I agree on everything but putting him in a league with Parker, Bell, etc. - good points otherwise - I have him top 12 still, because he is simply more talented than the RBs you mentioned
Bob (Phila,Pa): I think the Steelers will have trouble running the ball this year. Am I crazy thinking Roethlisberger will account for 28+ TD's?
Scott Engel: (3:07 PM ET ) Parker will at least be a regular threat,a nd that's way too high expectations for Ben. I say he throws for 23 and runs for two or three
David (Lexington): Toefield has had some success getting it into the endzone in redzone attempts though. Do you still think that he might be worth a late-late round flier?
Scott Engel: (3:08 PM ET ) Outside of short yardage, Toefield has never displaye dmuch of anything. I'd take Wimbush first, but both are worth late-round gambles
Kevin (Hawthorne, NJ): Should the Texans be worried about Dom Davis's knee? Can Lundy and/or Morency handle the "running back" by commitee role if Davis is out for an extended period?
Scott Engel: (3:09 PM ET ) From what I have heard, it might be surprising to see Davis play at all this year. I think Lundy will be more productive than Morency
Chris, DC: Hi, I'm the big dummy who had Greg Jones as his #3 back, banking on a Fred Taylor injury. Karma sucks! Any recommendations on big-upside guys who may still be available on the waiver wire?
Scott Engel: (3:10 PM ET ) You're not a dummy - no one could have predicted the injuries. Go for Maurice Hicks, Correll Buckhalter if they are still available
Josh (New Jersey): How do you respond to those who say stay away from Alexander with the top pick because of his huge workload last season. Why not LT with the top pick?
Scott Engel: (3:11 PM ET ) Alexander ha sbeen more durable than Tomlinson and I'm not going to craete worries about him when there aren't any. He's in his prime and isn't close to getting worn down yet
Stephen (Aiken,SC): Scott, I read on a different site that Toefield has been named the backup for now. Regardless of who ultimately backs Fragile Fred up, doesn't this hurt the numbers of Leftwich?
Scott Engel: (3:14 PM ET ) Drew is the manin reserve, then Pearman, with Wimbush at FB (like Jones was) and Toefield getting a shot at short yardage. Again, there is no clear handcuff. Leftwich already has a lack of receiving depth as an issue and I don't like him as a starter in fantasy
Jem (Westchester, NY): Fred Taylor seems healthy and looked good in his last preseason game. My league is touchdown heavy. With Toefield and plowing through the pile and Pearman jumping over it, will Taylor get any goal line touches? 2003 was the last time he scored more than 3 TD?s (6). Does it help him now that G. Jones is out for the season?
Scott Engel: (3:16 PM ET ) I dont think you will see pearman jumping over too many piles. Taylor is healthy for nwo and can score a few from 10-plus yards out. Doesn't help Taylor - it helps if he actually avoids injuries himself. It's clear Del Rio would prefer to give another RB goal-line chances
Alex (Sun Diego, CA): Enough with the JAX questions. If Fragile Freddy goes down, there is no fantasy value in that backfield! Scott please project all the denver RB's production this year!
Scott Engel: (3:17 PM ET ) If a lot of people are asking Jax questions, that's what we will answer.
I think Mike and Tatum could end up splitting playing time, with Mike getting close to 1,000 yards and six TD and Tatum producing much like last year
Jason (Norfolk Va): Peyton for T.O. and delhomme....good deal?
Scott Engel: (3:18 PM ET ) Not fo rthe guy giving up Peyton - why trade for Owens right now?
Paul: Long Island: Could Burner Turner end up being this years LJ? He is having a similar preseason as LJ did last year and LT appears to have durablity issues. LJ was being drafted in the 6th round last year and this year, Turner is going undrafted for the most part. What gives?
Scott Engel: (3:19 PM ET ) Turner is certainly a fien backup, but Tomlinson is more durable than Priest was and I don't see a similar situation happening
Kevin(Chicago): Hey Scott, with the Portis injury and duckett taking carries away, what does your current top 5 look like?
Scott Engel: (3:19 PM ET ) Alexander, Tomlinson, Larry Johnson, Tiki, Rudi Johnson
Dave (Dallas):: What is your opinion of Mike Williams WR Detroit? Worth a roster spot?
Scott Engel: (3:20 PM ET ) Nope - if they didn't waste a first round pick on him (Detroit) he might be off the team this year
Graig (Indianapolis): I have the first pick in my draft tonight, which is a PPR league. I'm leaning towards drafting Alexander, since there are questions about Johnson's offensive line and wheter Rivers can carry some of the load off of LT. Wise choice?
Scott Engel: (3:21 PM ET ) Yes, Alexander is the safest choice, even though I believe Tomlinson will be fine with Rivers playing QB and he's not far behind. In leagues that award a point per reception, I'd take Tomlinson
Sam Texas: Palmer is my #1 QB, backed up by Bulger and Warner. Am I set at QB?
Scott Engel: (3:23 PM ET ) Definitely - if Palmer has any recurring issues, you can use Bulger - I'd tarde warner away to fill another need
Andrew (NYC): Following the PPR theme, is LaMont a good choice at 6?
Scott Engel: (3:23 PM ET ) In any league, Jordan is a fine pick at No. 6
Mike (Charlotte, NC): Any more news on the Rams' acquisition of Stephen Davis? How will Steven Jackson numbers be affected?
Scott Engel: (3:24 PM ET ) They ofefred him a contract but there has been no word on whether he will accept. If he signs, he's just a backup and wouldn't affect Jackson's value
Mike D (Oakland, Ca.): With Mike Martz running the O in Detroit, does this open the door for Roy Williams to finally become the reciever we all wanted him to be 3 years ago?
Scott Engel: (3:25 PM ET ) It's not really about Martz - as long a sRoy stays healthy, he'll post outstanding numbers
Alexis(New Mexico): Laurence Maroney/Bears Def. for Leinart/Giants we would be exchanging backups,make the trade?
Scott Engel: (3:27 PM ET ) Trading defenses in meaningless - if its a keeper league, it's fair, though, with thte edge going to the Maroney side. Ina yearly league it's not a fair trade and the Leinart side is making a big mistake,
Mink (Houston, Tx): Do you see Michael Clayton putting up numbers comparable to or better than those of his rookie year in Tampa Bay if he says healthy?
Scott Engel: (3:29 PM ET ) I think he can approach them, but a healthy Galloway will certainly be Simms' No. 1 target. Claytonw ouldn't better his rookie numbers but he coukl rebound.
Todd (Boston): Scott, if there's a flex WR/RB position, would you recommend starting a WR or RB? My options would be between Chester Taylor, Mike Bell, David Givens, and Brandon Stokely. Thanks!
Scott Engel: (3:30 PM ET ) I always use th eRB - better chance of assured touches, especially with a pass-catching RB like Taylor
Chris (Columbus, Ohio): Hey Scott..... Who would you rather take a flyer on? Charles Rogers, Greg Jennings or Vincent Jackson? Thanx
Scott Engel: (3:31 PM ET ) Jennings for sure - he has been the buzz of Green Bay camp and could be a big sleeper
Dave M. - Devil's Island: T.O. is driving me crazy already? What is your suggestion with him? Trade him for whatever I can get now, keep him, or be patient?
Scott Engel: (3:33 PM ET ) You're not going to get fair market value for him right now - othe rpeople don't want to take on your problem - be patient, and trade him when eh plays well early in the season
Sap Motown,MI: Here were the top 11 backs taken in my league last year: LT, Alexander, Priest, McGahee, Edge, Duece, Portis, Dom Davis, Kevin Jones, Jamal Lewis & Dillon. I count 6 total busts. That doesn't mention Ahman Greeen & Julius Jones. If you have a 50-50 chance @ busts, why do you preach RB-RB so much?
Scott Engel: (3:35 PM ET ) Because as the cliche goes, hindsight is 20-20 - Randy Moss was a bust too, and javon Walker missed the season. You must start two RBs, and with so many being question marks, you can pass on a chance to get one of the top 15 or so.
Trevor (Sarasota, FL): who would you handcuff to Westbrook?
Scott Engel: (3:36 PM ET ) Right now, Buckhalter is looking very good. But I'd take Moats first
Matt (Atlanta): I'm drafting tonight, and feel pretty confident that I'm going to take the first receiver off the board in round 2. I'm down to Smith and Johnson. Which one would you take first and why?
Scott Engel: (3:38 PM ET ) Don't be sure either one will drop to you, but I'd take Johnson first - no injury concerns
Corey (Anaheim, CA): You guys always preach to put your best players on the field each week...Well I think Gore (vs. Arizona) has a better matchup than Caddy (vs. Baltimore) or Jackson (vs. Denver) in week one. Who would you sit between Jackson and Caddy?
Scott Engel: (3:40 PM ET ) Neither - any game vs. denver can be a shootout and could mean big numbers for S-Jx,a nd Baltimore's run D isn't as fearsome as it once was. I'd use Gore as a flex, but not over Jacjkson or Cadillac
CG CT: Hi Scott! I know you must participate in a large number of drafts, but have you drafted yet in your "main/favorite league? And if so, who did you get first 3 rounds?
Scott Engel: (3:42 PM ET ) yes, thanks, my main league draft was last night - and its a very large league - I ended up with Reggie Bush, Chad Johnson and Santana Moss - all the best RBs were gone ven before my first pick - so I couldnt go RB/RB as usual
Nick (Sioux Falls): Is their really any difference between guys like mcgahee/j jones and guys like taylor/dunn? Is it really a bad move to take holt in the first, and then grab taylor in the 2nd when i have a rb and wr already in my keeper league?
Scott Engel: (3:43 PM ET ) Keeper strategies are different - you don't have to go RB/RB - it depends on what you already have - I could see taking Holt in the first round of a keeper league
John (Kingston, ON): Who was your other RB to back up Bush? Did you get McAllister as well?
Scott Engel: (3:45 PM ET ) Nope - soemeone actually took Deuce in the thid - I took N\Mike Bell in the 4th, Chris Brown in the 5th and then Bnsona nd Norwood a bit later
Tim (NC): What do you expect from Javon Walker? Is he a solid #2 Receiver?
Scott Engel: (3:46 PM ET ) Certainly looks that way - I was very encouraged by his performance last night.
Jeff (Iowa): Is Addai the man in Indy?
Scott Engel: (3:47 PM ET ) I beleiev its only a matter of time before he becomes the No. 1 RB over Rhodes, who might start quickly, then fade
Joel (NC): Hey Scott...help me out! I'm drafting before the next chat!! How do you see Rudi Johnson in keeper leagues (with Chris Perry present to take an ever-increasing role)? I'm leaning towards Carnell Williams. Talk me out of it in a PPR league with 6 pts/TD...
Scott Engel: (3:48 PM ET ) Cadillac is coming out on third downs for Pittman - Chris Perry is hurt and could be headed for the pUP list - Rudi has less appeal in PPR leagues - I'd go for Jordan or Ronnie Brown if they are available
Derek (NC:) Do you think Reggie Brown will have a productive year for the Eagles?
Scott Engel: (3:50 PM ET ) I'm not expecting too much from him - I think he is too inexperienced to be up to the challenge of facing top cover corners every week
Jimmy (Boston): Scott, please justify putting LT over Larry Johnson in your rankings. LT was held to under 80 yards 9 times last season (10 if you count the playoffs) and some of those games were really ugly for him. I don't see any reason to believe he'll do better this year, seeing as the only change is that he lost Drew Brees. Larry Johnson on the other hand was both consistant and great last year and with the chance to start and get 25+ touches each game I just don't see how a weaker line makes him slip past LT. San Diego's line isn't exactly filled with Pro Bowlers either, is it?
Scott Engel: (3:55 PM ET ) Tomlinson is a betetr receiver than Johnson and can pad his numbers further that way. Plus, he is more proven, and while th eline isn't great, it doesn't have the issues of Kansas City - as long as there are no injuries, the unit will be solid. I liek Johnson a lot still, but Tomlinson ha snever let his owners down over the long haul. Johnson now plays behind a line with problems at tackle, injuries, and age. Let's see how he handles that over a full year before I put him ahead of Tomlinson. But if you want to take Johnson, it's certainly not an awful pick.
Melissa (MI: Would you agree that Fitz, Chad Johnson and Harrison should be considered the big 3 of the receivers in light of T.O. being T.O. and Steve Smth's injury? Would you take any of these guys beore some of the top #2 backs like Westbrook or Bush?
Scott Engel: (3:56 PM ET ) Myb "big three" now is Chad Johnson, Holt and Smith, who should return soon, Fitz is fourth. I have dropped Owens to ninth. I'd take a top No. RB first, but would glaldly take any of the top four in the second half of the second round
Paul: Long Island: How come people aren't as high on Marty Booker as they are Wilford, Jurevicious or even Ashley Lelie for that matter? Would you compare him to Terry Glenn as a number 2 WR?
Scott Engel: (3:58 PM ET ) Booker is adequate, but Glenn ha smuch more speed and yardage/TD promise when healthy. Booker is decent, much like Amani Toomer. I don't like him as a fantasy starter
Andfy (NC): Is Steve Smith's missed time more a precautionary thing for a franchise player, or is it a legit troublesome injury? Fox and Henning are downplaying it pretty big-time.
Scott Engel: (4:00 PM ET ) It's both - I won't steer cl;ear of Smith yet in drafts, but hamstring problems can linger. There is no choice but to give him rest. I still draft him third among WRs for now, though.
Thanks a lot everyone! See you tomorrow morning!
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Article Added 8/28/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Article Added 8/28/06)

Aug. 29, 2006, 2:09 PM
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Carroll Injury Report: Palmer returns to the field


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<!-- firstName = Will --><!-- lastName = Carroll -->By Will Carroll
ESPN Fantasy Games

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Roger Goodell said he wasn't worried about HGH in the game. The new commissioner needs a wake-up call and might have received it with the report on the Panthers scandal. Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated incident. The NFL has done well with the public relations side of drug testing, but has done very little to actually combat the problem. In my book, "The Juice," Michael David Smith did a great job of pointing out the problem of performance enhancers in football. Football has always been more advanced than other sports because of the commonalities with weightlifting and bodybuilding. When I heard a couple of scouts look at a 6-3, 305-pound lineman and call him "undersized," I knew there was a problem. Goodell has a chance to take a stand, to make removing performance enhancers from his league a priority, and to keep the NFL in the lead by financing research or even subsidizing drug testing for high school football. The NFL has always had a broad social conscience and, Mr. Goodell, this is the right thing to do. <!--------------------------START PLAYER CARD------------------><TABLE class=tableheadFixWidth cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3 width=200 align=right><TBODY><TR class=stathead><TD class=whitelink colSpan=2>Carson Palmer</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow align=right><TD align=left>
Quarterback
Cincinnati Bengals

Profile</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow><TD align=middle><TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width=190 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=stathead align=middle><TD align=middle colSpan=6>2005 SEASON STATISTICS</TD></TR><TR style="BACKGROUND: #bcbcb4" align=right><TD width="17%">Att</TD><TD width="17%">Comp</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD><TD width="17%">Int</TD><TD width="17%">Rat</TD></TR><TR align=right bgColor=#999999><TD>509</TD><TD>345</TD><TD>3731</TD><TD>32</TD><TD>12</TD><TD>101.1</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!---------------------INLINE MINI-PLAYER CARD ENDS HERE--------------------->The latest on the injury news:
Carson Palmer reappeared Monday night, taking the big stage of ESPN's "Monday Night Football" to make his game debut. He didn't look confident in camp and wasn't saying the type of things that made anyone think his mental game was back. On his first preseason play, I could see he was fine. He is wearing a bulky brace, precisely to protect him from defensive linemen trying to twist him to the ground, as we saw in the second quarter. Palmer is back. His reconstructed knee will remain an annoyance, not a problem. The ice pack shown on his knee at the end of the half is to keep swelling down, but we'll have a good indication of how fast he can return when he plays again Friday. Palmer, like Daunte Culpepper, looks to be all the way back, ready to reclaim a spot with the elite QBs and at the top of your fantasy draft boards.
Teams don't pay out a couple of grand for MRIs just for kicks. The medical staff knows exactly what it's looking for when it takes the images. Sometimes, it's in the hope of finding a cause or confirm a theory. Other times, the staff hopes not to see something. MRIs are not perfect. (When shown one last season on a pitcher's shoulder, I commented that it looked like a sirloin steak. The doctor barely paused before saying, "Yeah, pretty meaty." I didn't eat steak for a month.) However, they are the best available tool for seeing inside the body without incisions. It's not as good as getting in there and looking around, something that's much easier to do in the age of scope surgery, but even that is fraught with risk and with lost time.

Torry Holt had "precautionary" MRIs on his sternum Monday. Because Holt is healing slowly, the images were taken to make sure there was no fracture. The medical staff can add more padding to the area, making it possible to take a hit, although I'm more concerned about the pain he is having when reaching out for the ball. Try this at home -- reach out like a wide receiver does, then smack your hands into the nearest solid object, mimicking the force of the ball coming in. Feel that in your sternum? Now, imagine your sternum is already painful and the ball is coming out of Marc Bulger's hand. This is one to watch. I wouldn't move Holt down your draft board, but if I got him, I'd move my backup WRs up a couple of notches on the "need" list.
Chris Chambers is one of those receivers that inspire a lot of debate. I think he'll be solid, one of the few speed receivers in the game with a QB who can get him the deep ball. Others point to his injury problems, especially the thumb injury that continues to be bothersome. The thumb doesn't worry me; remember that Marvin Harrison played much of last season in a cast. Great players make great plays. <!--------------------------START PLAYER CARD------------------><TABLE class=tableheadFixWidth cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3 width=200 align=right><TBODY><TR class=stathead><TD class=whitelink colSpan=2>Adam Vinatieri</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow align=right><TD align=left>
Kicker
Indianapolis Colts

Profile</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow><TD align=middle><TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width=190 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=stathead align=middle><TD align=middle colSpan=6>2005 SEASON STATISTICS</TD></TR><TR style="BACKGROUND: #bcbcb4" align=right><TD width="17%">FG</TD><TD width="17%">Att</TD><TD width="17%">PAT</TD><TD width="17%">Att</TD><TD width="17%">Pts</TD><TD width="17%">Long</TD></TR><TR align=right bgColor=#999999><TD>20</TD><TD>25</TD><TD>40</TD><TD>41</TD><TD>100</TD><TD>49</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!---------------------INLINE MINI-PLAYER CARD ENDS HERE--------------------->
I know no one drafts a kicker until the last couple of rounds, but there are always guys who make you think "I need to pick him a bit early." Adam Vinatieri has been one of those guys for years, and adding him to a potent Colts offense that plays indoors only helps him. Vinatieri has a sprained plant ankle that continues to cause him problems, although Colts sources insist he'll be ready for place-kicking by Week 1, if not kickoffs. Mike Vanderjagt, now in Dallas, is another guy with a big leg and bigger reputation. In Dallas, he has had problems with a groin strain, leading to frustration on the coaching staff. Some have been whispering that Vanderjagt might not even make the team. That won't happen, but he is risky for the first couple of weeks as his groin heals. It's just enough question to keep them back with the rest of the kickers at the end of the draft.
The Jags took a big hit, losing their big man for the season. Greg Jones, the titular fullback and backup for injury-prone Fred Taylor, is done after tearing his ACL in this week's preseason game. Jones was a popular "handcuff" with Taylor in drafts, getting picked in the 10th round on average in ESPN leagues, making him a top-50 back, something he obviously won't be now. Jones will be a loss to the Jaguars, although they have other options in Maurice Drew and LaBrandon Toefield. Figuring out whom to handcuff to Taylor is a big decision, and the uncertainty makes me push Taylor down the board slightly.
Bumps and Bruises: Javon Walker showed Sunday that his repaired knee is doing nicely. He showed no loss of speed and made some nice stops and cuts. If you were discounting his value because of the injury, quit it ... Braylon Edwards is another ACL survivor who looked good in his first preseason action. Edwards isn't quite as advanced as Walker -- he's not making sharp cuts yet. He's still very likely to be valuable in Week 1 ... Steve Smith still is not playing for Carolina. Sources tell me Smith is growing concerned about the lack of progress ... When does Jerry Jones' face end up in this report? ... A Chargers source tells me Philip Rivers' shoulder injury is minor, but brings up an interesting point. "That kid knows everything about football yet somehow doesn't seem to know how to fall," he said. "Every time he goes down, it just looks awkward." ... Jeff George? Holy crap. He did a pregame show in Indy last year at my station, and we wouldn't have used him at QB in our flag football games.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Article Added 8/28/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Article Added 8/28/06)

Donte's true worth


posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: Fantasy NFL


Really, how many NFL trades this late in the preseason have a profound effect on fantasy football? Last week the big deals were the Jets getting Kevan Barlow from the 49ers, and the three-way deal involving malcontent Ashley Lelie and T.J. Duckett. While those were interesting trades that could affect playing time of some fantasy stars (Clinton Portis, future star Frank Gore), they weren't exactly blockbusters.

Now we have the Philadelphia Eagles picking up a wide receiver, and again I say, it's not going to make fantasy owners completely rearrange their wide receiver rankings, or add another name to the top 10. In reality, Donte' Stallworth fills exactly the biggest need for this franchise. He had his finest season in 2005, with 70 catches and seven touchdowns, but does this trade really change his fantasy value?
I'd argue it doesn't. I expected Stallworth to be the main target for Drew Brees in New Orleans, probably be as productive, if not more so, than Joe Horn. But can he really do much better than 2005? He'll be 26 during the season, certainly not old, but health and attitude have long been question marks. Isn't Philly going down the similar path it did with Terrell Owens?
Stallworth, in his contract year by the way, is going to be hard pressed to top his 2005 stats in Philly. Terrell Owens was a touchdown-per-game player in his tenure, but Stallworth, on the field, is not Owens. Stallworth is talented, a solid athlete with breakaway speed, and he's been able to find the end zone at a good rate, but think of the comparisons with Barlow, from a fantasy sense. Barlow did nothing but disappoint fantasy owners the last two years; he changes teams, to one with little hope of opening up the holes he needs, and in drafts I've seen over the last week he's been overrated. He's still Kevan Barlow, you know.
And Stallworth remains Stallworth. Philly loves Reggie Brown, and Stallworth will fit in nicely alongside him. I'd guess that the Todd Pinkston era is ending soon, and Philly really needed another veteran wideout who could spread the field. Stallworth does that, and I could see him having some big games, scoring on a few highlight reel plays. Do I see him topping 70 catches, 1,000 yards or 10 touchdowns? Can't see it on any of those stats, and that, my friends, is what we're talking about for fantasy football. As an Eagles fan, this is a great move. If someone tries to get you to draft Stallworth in the third round, laugh at them. Philly did throw the ball a ton last year, but in reality, Stallworth's plight as a team's go-to receiver hasn't changed much.
I originally ranked Stallworth as the 28th wide receiver off the board, and I don't intend to change it after this deal. In fact, if anything, his numbers could slide a bit.
Here are others affected by this deal:
Someone has to start alongside Horn, but it hasn't been announced who it will be. Devery Henderson is entering his third season in the NFL, and while he's not putting up huge preseason statistics, he could step right in. The Saints also seem to love rookie Marques Colston, but the bottom line with this franchise is it's starting over. Fantasy owners should not read into the trading of Stallworth as proof the Saints feel someone can duplicate those stats. Bethel Johnson might start, folks. Bethel Johnson? Draft Henderson as a late sleeper but don't expect anywhere near 70 catches. Meanwhile, Mark Simoneau will certainly help the Saints' linebacking corps, but you don't want the Saints defense in your fantasy draft. It's clearly not a top 20 defense.
As for other Saints, this really doesn't affect Brees, Horn or the running backs. Saints fans won't shed a tear over losing Stallworth either.
In Philly, while Stallworth is an improvement over the other Eagles wide receivers, it's Donovan McNabb who becomes more productive now with this added weapon. I think Brian Westbrook will be fine for Week 1, and the Eagles think McNabb looks as good as ever this preseason. While Stallworth isn't the type of receiver opposing teams stay awake at night planning to stop, he is the closest thing Philly has to that kind of guy. McNabb was a top five quarterback in my mind to start with, since he was able to be a top five QB even prior to T.O.'s arrival. Now I see McNabb getting back to 25 touchdown passes, which he's accomplished twice already. I might move him ahead of Matt Hasselbeck as the No. 3 QB off the board.
Meanwhile, this doesn't hurt Reggie Brown either. I think what he really needed was another threat on the field. Rookie Hank Baskett is making some acrobatic catches, but c'mon, he is, after all, an undrafted rookie who has already been traded. Greg Lewis is nothing special, and Pinkston probably won't make the Eagles. Brown remains the Eagles' No. 1 wide receiver. I have him ranked 35th, seven spots behind Stallworth; I could see Stallworth scoring an extra touchdown or two and matching the receptions, so they're pretty interchangeable.
I know, I know, others will view this Stallworth trade as a launching point for him into T.O. and Randy Moss territory, but I don't see it. In 2003 no Eagle caught 50 passes, and the entire receiving corps scored five touchdowns. In 2002 Pinkston reached 60 receptions, 798 yards and seven touchdowns (see, people, this guy was once productive). And in 2001, James Thrash had 63 receptions for 833 yards and eight scores. McNabb has had productive receivers in his tenure whose name was Terrell, but few recognize this. Stallworth will be productive, but 70 receptions, 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, those are all lofty goals. Continue to select Stallworth where you were before.
***
What else is going on? Busy Monday for fantasy football, eh? I was in a draft over the weekend, and I looked up the stats in that league for the previous seasons. Kerry Collins might have seemed like a fantasy bust last year, but in that league's scoring format, he was No. 3 in 2005? I couldn't believe it. In ESPN leagues, Collins finished fifth among signal callers, and No. 15 overall! And this guy couldn't find work?
Well, now Collins has found work, and I'm guessing the Titans didn't bring him in to sit on the bench. Billy Volek wasn't real high on my list to start with, ranked 26th among quarterbacks in the area code of Mark Brunell, Brad Johnson and Charlie Frye, but doesn't he deserve a chance? Volek knew he had a small window of opportunity to start with when the team drafted Vince Young, but now?
From a fantasy aspect, this doesn't bode well for those who already picked Volek. Maybe it takes Collins a few weeks to get up to speed for the season, and then he replaces Volek. Who knows? Bottom line is this is not the place for Collins, or Volek, to be a top five fantasy quarterback. Collins was sixth in passing yards last season, tied for 10th in touchdowns, and gained his No. 5 ranking in part for avoiding mistakes. He threw only 12 interceptions, fumbled only four times. You know what that looks like to me? An aberration. Don't expect Collins to do it again. The Titans don't figure to be even a .500 team with their defense, so one might view this as a great opportunity for a quarterback to come in and throw the ball 40 times per game, constantly trailing. I just don't trust the new Collins, and the fact he was brought in at all is a huge indictment of Volek's ability.
I don't think I want any of the Tennessee quarterbacks this season.
***
Meanwhile, big news out of Jacksonville, where one of the interesting training camp battles was decided the way you hate to see it happen, with the younger, probably more talented player losing his season due to a torn ACL. Goodbye to Greg Jones, who hurt his knee on the first series of Saturday's preseason game. Taylor was anointed the starter a week ago anyway, but with his injury history, Jones was a highly regarded sleeper, a 250-pounder who could carry the ball half the time. He did score four touchdowns last season, and could have been even better this year as a goal line back also stealing 15 carries per game.
Now fantasy owners will turn their attention to Maurice Drew, this year's second-round pick. Me, I'd bet LaBrandon Toefield and Derrick Wimbush get more run than Drew initially. Don't bump Taylor up too much on your cheat sheets, and don't go nuts after Taylor's backup. Why not? Well, the Jaguars are normally tight-lipped about Taylor's backup, and have tortured fantasy owners with rumors the last few years. As for Taylor, this would seem to be a big victory for him, but I can't authorize him in the top 20 of running backs.
***
I did a few things in my draft over the weekend that I don't normally do. But those actions go to illustrate how you can never enter a draft with such a strict mindset that you aren't willing to adapt, you must roll with the punches. It's a 10-team league, and the scoring seems a little generous for touchdowns and long plays, but I didn't change my rankings for the draft. I'm always thinking running backs early and often, and in this league a season ago I spent my first three picks on backs, even though the active roster consists of only two. Of course, Jamal Lewis and Kevin Jones made the whole season pretty irrelevant for me anyway. Many of you have asked for a blow-by-blow account of a recent draft, so here it is.
I received the first pick in this draft, and as I've been writing and saying for months, if I got the first pick ever, it was going to be Shaun Alexander. I think the guy with the second pick was actually disappointed by this. He would rather have gotten Alexander over Larry Johnson as well. We never talked trade, but I don't think he could have gotten a deal done anyway. Again, I have no real concerns with Johnson, but I think Alexander is safer.
So I don't pick again until 20 and 21, which I love. Some of the picks in between were a bit odd, but I don't judge. Among those who went earlier than I expected were Warrick Dunn, Willie Parker and Julius Jones. Still, Clinton Portis fell to 14, and 17 of the first 19 picks were running backs. So, which running back did I take at 20 or 21? Well, I passed. I just couldn't pull the trigger on the backs I have ranked next, Reggie Bush, Kevin Jones, Brian Westbrook and Chester Taylor. The only wide receiver off the board was Chad Johnson, and I couldn't pass up the chance to get both Steve Smith and Torry Holt. So I did it. I have Alexander already, I'm never taking him out, he doesn't get hurt, so I just have to fill one running back each week, and I had 13 more rounds to do it. Easy, right?
In retrospect, it was easy. A flurry of wide receivers, two quarterbacks and Antonio Gates all went before I picked again at 40 and 41. The top running backs on my rankings at that spot were Corey Dillon, DeShaun Foster and Mike Bell. I passed Dillon over for the other two. How come? Just because you make a draft list doesn't mean you have to stick to it. I played the upside angle, and I figured I could afford a risk. Just as I never intended to bypass a running back in the 20-21 spot, who knew I'd take a Denver running back? Ever. I like Foster as a possible double digit touchdown guy, but I could also see him missing half the season with injury. As for Mike Bell, it's the same thought; either he's a terrific fantasy player that we'll look back on as a steal in every draft, or he'll finish the season with 45 relief carries and in January we'll wonder who the heck this guy is and what we were thinking. Remember Quentin Griffin? Sure you do.
When the draft got back to me at 60-61, I thought about taking another wide receiver as insurance, but in reality, assuming Smith and Holt are healthy, what would be the point in going receiver there? Am I ever taking these guys out? Of course, neither are 100 percent healthy or guaranteed to start the season strong, but I decided quickly I'd let Donald Driver, Lee Evans and Roy Williams remain on the board. I grabbed Jeremy Shockey with one pick, thinking a run was about to begin and I wanted a safe guy in this shallow league. Shockey is fine; it turned out four other tight ends were selected before I picked again at 80-81, so I like the pick.
In the 61 slot, I took Trent Green, a top five performer the last two seasons in this scoring format. I immediately regretted the pick. Eight other quarterbacks had already been grabbed, meaning I was only competing with one other team for a starting QB. And that team used its next two picks on wide receivers, which he probably would have done anyway had I passed on Green. I view Green and Jake Delhomme as equals, but because I already had Delhomme's top wide receiver in Smith, I decided to go Green. Smart call, or not? Well, there's the theory you don't want too many players from the same team, because the week the Panthers lose 28-3, your fantasy team takes the hit. I should've taken Thomas Jones there, or handcuffed Tatum Bell to unrelated Mike. Yeah, I don't entirely trust Foster. Green is fine, really, even though I could have probably waited on him, but as the ninth quarterback, no complaints.
When I picked at 80-81, Jones was off the board, but not his handcuff, Cedric Benson. I thought about messing with the guy who took Jones, but with Tatum Bell inexplicably still out there, that was definitely one pick. Now all I have to worry about are Ron Dayne and/or Cedric Cobbs messing with the Bells, and I really doubt that will happen. I still had only two receivers, and even without a flex option in this league, I wanted some insurance. The top wide receiver on my board was Rod Smith, who I still kind of trust. Three Broncos in the first nine rounds? Yep, I did it, though it's likely all are reserves for me. I also thought about Delhomme, to mess up the guy without a quarterback, but don't ever count on making trades and using a draft pick just for that reason. It seldom works out. Meanwhile, the first defense and kicker went in round eight, but there was no way I'd fall for that one. I knew other defenses were about to go, which they did, but I wasn't worried.
By the time I closed out round 10 and began the 11th, four defenses were off the board, and all teams had finished out their starting lineups of skill players. At this point of a draft I'm thinking about value more than anything else. Someone is bound to get hurt that I don't expect, but picking up a potential starting running back at this point is tremendous. Maybe I'll never need the guy, but also I've kept him away from someone else. In my top 200 you'll see Fred Taylor at 73 and Chris Brown at 78. I was stunned to see them available with picks 100 and 101 here, and I didn't hesitate to draft them. Look, I'm no particular fan of either for fantasy, but they are starting running backs. All players go at some point, there's clear value there. With the Greg Jones injury it turns out Taylor went about three or four rounds later than he should have. Jones did not get drafted.
In the final five rounds I needed to fill two of the spots with defenses, one with a kicker and another with a backup quarterback. This is probably the only league I've ever taken more than one defense, but the league rules dictate I must, though I've never asked why. I made the Buccaneers the eighth defense taken. A few minutes later I looked up the defense stats in this league the last two years and saw the Bucs finished 10th and 16th. Ugh. How could that be? Two rounds later I got Baltimore as the 16th defense off the board. Upside, baby. And the Bucs play which team in Week 1? Exactly, it's the Ravens. Tough call there, no?
With the first pick of round 13 I took my fourth wide receiver, Matt Jones. I love that pick, even I never get to play the guy. There is clearly upside with this guy, and I figured why spend a pick on someone without a chance to be great. The waiver wire will have plenty of Bobby Engram types, no? Turns out I could have had Donte Stallworth, but I'm not bothered by this. I do think Michael Clayton might have been a safer pick. Both quickly went.
With my 15th pick I grabbed that backup quarterback, and chose Byron Leftwich over Ben Roethlisberger and Jon Kitna, each of whom I rank higher. I can't explain why. It's not like there's a bye week issue there. Roethlisberger and Kitna did not get selected, but Brett Favre, David Carr and Mark Brunell did. I've already selected the Pittsburgh and Detroit quarterbacks in other leagues, so yeah, while it doesn't make a ton of sense, I wanted to draft someone I didn't have. I can't tell you how many leagues I had Jamal Lewis in last year. Even if you think a particular player is going to be terrific, it's not wise to hitch all your wagons to said fellow. In this case, it's a backup quarterback, no big deal, and I assume Trent Green will start for me 16 of the 17 weeks.
And the last pick of the draft: I chose Nate Kaeding. Hey, I'm a lefty, too.
This could be a terrific fantasy team. Of course, all I did was select the players. Now they have to play!
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Article Added 8/29/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Article Added 8/29/06)

Aug. 30, 2006, 4:12 PM
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FFL: Question of the Week


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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Each week leading up to and throughout the season, we'll ask our Fantasy Games experts about a hot topic in fantasy football.
This week's question: Who is a late-draft wide receiver you're targeting who would surprise the rest of us?
Eric Karabell: Two seasons ago Michael Clayton of the Buccaneers was a rookie sensation, topping 1,100 yards and scoring seven touchdowns? Last year, well, that didn't go so well, but blame injuries for his poor sophomore performance. Clayton came to Bucs camp this year in terrific shape, and with something to prove, and considering Joey Galloway is 34 years old, it's certainly possible Clayton could take his place as the top target for Chris Simms. It's never a bad idea to look at stats from two years ago to find players who have the ability, but just got sidetracked. Don't confuse Michael Clayton with the unrelated Mark Clayton from Baltimore, but really, both are nice late-round sleepers.
Tristan Cockcroft: Doug Gabriel. He has always had the talent and the upside to step up as a useful No. 3 or 4 fantasy receiver, but unfortunately never really had the opportunity, especially with more proven players like Randy Moss and Jerry Porter ahead of him on the depth chart a year ago. This preseason, however, with Porter's status entirely in question due to his frequent trade demands, Gabriel has been getting the chance to display his skills as the No. 2 receiver, and in his time so far, he looks like a player who might be every bit as productive as Porter the past two seasons. Remember, Oakland is a pass-happy offense, and if Gabriel winds up starting most often alongside Moss, he could receive a fair share of balls thrown his way as opposing defenses focus on shutting down the veteran.
Scott Engel: Greg Jennings could be one of the biggest surprises of the rookie class and an instant impact player for the Packers. Jennings has been creating a buzz all throughout camp, and his 115-yard outing two weeks ago certainly put him on the radar screens of fantasy owners. The Packers seemed destined to play from behind often this year and should throw the ball quite a lot. Brett Favre can't count on the erratic Robert Ferguson, and Jennings should get his chance to shine when it quickly becomes apparent that Green Bay won't be a contender and a younger player like Jennings should get more work. His talent alone should push him past Ferguson on the depth chart quite quickly. Jennings is a smart, fluid receiver who can grab the ball in stride and make good things happen after the catch. He fits into the classic Green Bay receiver mold, and the Pack could have found a steal when they landed him in the second round of this year's draft. You could also pull off a steal by tabbing Jennings in the final rounds of your draft or plucking him off the free agent list if he is available.
Kevin Rounce: Kevin Curtis was a very popular sleeper last season for receivers. In the wide-open offense of the Rams, he was to excel as the third receiver. While he didn't quite live up to the hype, there's no reason that he can't experience that breakout this year. He has fallen off many fantasy radars, either for the Rams' philosophical change on offense, or the disappointments of last season. Isaac Bruce is not guaranteed to start the season healthy, nor stay healthy which puts Kevin Curtis in prime position to step in as the second receiver. There are rumors that Shaun MacDonald is actually the man in St. Louis, but Curtis has shown a great burst of speed and instincts as a receiver. I have every reason to believe that you will see Curtis' reception total increase into the 70s and maybe his first season as a 1,000-yard receiver. Even with a greater commitment to the run game, the Rams' receivers will get plenty of receptions.

Do you agree or disagree? Let us know and we'll run a few e-mails next week! Also, if you have ideas for future questions of the week, or comments on our fantasy coverage, send them here. Here are two emails we got about last week's question, Who is a running back, in your top 20, you fear could be a major bust this season and why?
Matt: I agree with everyone's choices except Scott Engel. Yes, Willis McGahee had a pretty bad year last year. But I predict a comeback. J.P. Losman is coming into his third year and has already looked leaps and bounds better than the year before. McGahee has dropped 15 pounds and is faster and another year removed from his knee injury. The coaches wish to remove him from the power straight ahead running game and let him utilize his cutting and speed ability to the outside, which was evident in a 61-yard TD run against Cincy in the preseason. He will also be used more as a pass catcher this year and I also believe the defense will provide better field position for this team as well. You say bust, I say sleeper. Sean from WI: I disagree that the James will lose an 'Edge' by playing with the Cardinals. Dennis Green has changed to the zone blocking scheme to cover up that lack of talent. James will not only get good lanes, but will also get favorable matchups in the pass game. I would take Edgerrin over other questionable/potential RB's anyday.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Article Added 8/29/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Article Added 8/29/06)

Aug. 30, 2006, 3:02 PM
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FFL: KC Joyner on draft strategy


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By KC Joyner
ESPN Insider

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I have to admit that I am a sucker for a good scientific football experiment. One of the leagues that my brother Jason and I are in has starting rosters and scoring based on the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF) rules. This means that the starting lineup is composed of one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers and one flex position (either a RB, WR or TE). The scoring system gives one point per pass reception and also gives one point for every 10 yards rushing or receiving. All of the other scoring is fairly standard (six points for a TD, one point for every 20 passing yards, etc.).
Coaches who are in these kinds of catch leagues have often asked me if they should go for wide receivers early in their drafts. I have even had coaches ask me if they should invest both their first- and second-round picks in premier wideouts. My answer to both questions has always been, "No, put your top picks into running backs and then get your wide receivers."
Those questions did eventually get me to thinking about what would happen if a coach did draft elite wide receivers early on. I thought it might work, but I didn't want to ask anyone to risk their season trying this strategy. The solution to this quandary came when my brother and I were slotted with the ninth pick in our WCOFF draft. We felt that the running backs that would be available at that slot weren't dominant point producers, so we were open to taking chances. We decided to risk our team in the name of science and went with a heavy passing-game draft strategy.
We figured that the key to this strategy was to go all-out with it. We passed up many chances to pick up quality second- and third-tier running backs and kept our focus on getting the best passing-game starters we could. Here is how our first 10 picks panned out:
No. 1 -- WR - Terrell Owens
No. 2 -- WR - Steve Smith
No. 3 -- WR - Santana Moss
No. 4 -- WR - Derrick Mason
No. 5 -- TE - Todd Heap
No. 6 -- QB - Daunte Culpepper
No. 7 -- RB - Kevan Barlow
No. 8 -- RB - T.J. Duckett
No. 9 -- RB - Marion Barber
No. 10 -- RB - Jerious Norwood
The big question with this lineup is whether Owens and Smith can give us enough points to keep up with our opponent's top two running backs. Both Owens and Smith are a bit risky because of their health status, but if they are able to play up to their potential, they could both put up 80-90 catch/1,200-yard/8-10 TD seasons. Those yardage and TD numbers would compare quite favorably to the running backs who would have been available in the Nos. 9 and 16 spots. When the catch points are factored in, the potential upside of this strategy becomes clear.
Another benefit to drafting this way is that we have two very good starting wide receivers in our Nos. 3 and 4 slots. Moss is an excellent vertical threat and Mason catches 80 to 90 passes per season. Those two very likely will give this team an edge over any other team's third and fourth wide receivers.
The potential downside of this lineup is that we could have mediocre or poor performance from our running backs, especially if Barlow doesn't adjust well to his new environment and if Duckett/Barber/Norwood don't get enough carries. The way I see it, this team does have a good chance to be competitive. It will field as many as six elite or near-elite-level starters every week with the wide receivers, quarterback and tight end. If Barlow is able to put up 1,000 yards and five or six touchdowns, that would give us ample production from the No. 1 running back position. If Duckett can get his usual share of goal-line carries and/or Barber or Norwood can get 10 to 15 carries per game, it should give us enough production from the No. 2 spot to keep us competitive. Those are a lot of ifs, but that is what makes this kind of experiment interesting!
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Article Added 8/29/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Article Added 8/29/06)

Aug. 30, 2006, 2:42 PM
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FFL: Goal-Line Frustration


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By Tristan H. Cockcroft
ESPN Fantasy Games

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In setting up one of my new leagues this season, I had a discussion with one owner regarding the proposed scoring system. It seems this owner had a fair share of concern about being too generous to goal-line backs, players who come in for only a couple of touches a game, yet rack up oodles of fantasy points by stealing touchdowns away from the men who spend the rest of the game racking up big yardage between the 20s.
I couldn't help but wonder whether this particular person was a Carnell Williams owner in 2005, having watched as his starting running back averaged 79 rushing yards per game in a four-game span in November-December, yet actually wound up the less desirable fantasy back on his own team during that span. Goal-line back Mike Alstott managed four touchdowns in those weeks despite getting only 16 carries.
It's a trend increasingly common in the NFL world, and incredibly frustrating in the fantasy world. These days, it seems more teams are emulating the successful blueprints the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have used the past half-decade, going with a speedy runner for the bulk of the work and a bulky, powerhouse back to punch the ball in for a score in the red zone. Last year's Willie Parker-Jerome Bettis tandem, which helped the Steelers on their way to a Super Bowl title, is a perfect such example.
The problem, however, is that although guys like Bettis make for good football, they're a real headache for owners of guys such as Parker. No matter what your league's scoring system, touchdowns are going to generate you the most fantasy points. In my aforementioned league, I decided to reward the traditional one point per 10 rushing yards, but even then, a guy who carries the ball one time and rushes it in for a 1-yard score is going to be every bit as valuable as the man who carried it 20 times for 65 yards.
As a result, it's no longer enough simply to trust any starting running back's skills; a knowledge of his team's philosophy at the goal line is every bit as important. Is your guy a smallish back who lacks the strength to consistently break through opposing defensive lines in short-yardage situations? Is there a bigger, stronger, bowling-ball-like back on the roster who seems a more logical fit in those goal-line situations?
The following goal-line backs appear most threatening to their teams' respective starters' workloads in the red zone. For that reason, you shouldn't expect lofty touchdown totals from the respective starters, and in leagues that allow a "flex" position, their status as preferred options near the goal line could make them useful starters on occasion.
T.J. Duckett, Redskins: I was worried enough about Clinton Portis' value this season after his shoulder injury, but the Duckett acquisition makes me all the more concerned. Just look at Duckett; he's 6-0, 254 pounds, a physical model of perfection for short-yardage situations. His very presence makes me wonder whether Washington trusts Portis' health at all in those instances, and Duckett also has proved in the past that he can be a useful stand-in when called upon to assume a starter's workload. It's why Portis is now nothing more than an end-of-the-first-round value in my rankings, and it's why getting him makes it almost mandatory you handcuff him with Duckett. And considering Duckett has 27 scores combined the past three seasons despite averaging only 141 carries a year, he's clearly productive enough to warrant "flex" consideration in almost any week. <!--------------------------START PLAYER CARD------------------><TABLE class=tableheadFixWidth cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3 width=200 align=right><TBODY><TR class=stathead><TD class=whitelink colSpan=2>Brandon Jacobs</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow align=right><TD align=left>
Running Back
New York Giants

Profile</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow><TD align=middle><TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=1 width=190 bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=stathead align=middle><TD align=middle colSpan=6>2005 SEASON STATISTICS</TD></TR><TR style="BACKGROUND: #bcbcb4" align=right><TD width="17%">Rush</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD><TD width="17%">Rec</TD><TD width="17%">Yds</TD><TD width="17%">TD</TD></TR><TR align=right bgColor=#999999><TD>38</TD><TD>99</TD><TD>7</TD><TD>0</TD><TD>0</TD><TD>0</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><!---------------------INLINE MINI-PLAYER CARD ENDS HERE--------------------->
Brandon Jacobs, Giants: A lot of people are going to tell you Jacobs' presence didn't hurt starter Tiki Barber's value much in 2005, and they're right, it didn't. But that doesn't change the fact that Jacobs, a 6-4, 264-pound monster, still managed seven scores on 16 touches from within the 10-yard line. Those could have been Tiki touchdowns! Now Jacobs is a year more experienced and a year stronger, and Barber is 31 and coming off grueling back-to-back seasons of more than 320 rushing attempts each. If you don't think Jacobs is going to be asked to take a little more of the load off Barber's shoulders in 2006, you're kidding yourself. It's exactly why I call the drop-off from the "big three" running backs to No. 4 such a sizable one, and why Jacobs is such a critical handcuff for Barber. A 10-TD season isn't unthinkable, which could make Jacobs a valuable "flex" guy, as well.
Mike Alstott, Buccaneers: I've already mentioned Tampa Bay's propensity for using a goal-line back in the past, so we can't overlook Alstott, who has been serving in that role for nearly a decade. The 6-foot-1, 248-pound fullback has been there to vulture touchdowns since his rookie year of 1996, and in 2005, it was Williams from whom he nabbed six scores despite carrying the ball only 34 times. In fact, Alstott has 25 touchdowns since 2001 despite averaging only 88 carries per year, which is an astonishing success rate. Cadillac has been a popular breakout pick, and I don't deny his breakaway speed makes him an attractive mid-to-late first-round selection, but the Alstott factor should keep you from overrating the sophomore. Unfortunately, Alstott's scores are usually most consistent when Tampa Bay's starter is slumping, meaning his primary value is a late-round handcuff for Williams in larger leagues. He's too inconsistent to trust, otherwise.
Deuce McAllister, Saints: He might not seem like your prototypical goal-line back, or the most logical choice coming off major knee surgery, but that seems to be New Orleans' plan -- to use McAllister more in short-yardage situations and Reggie Bush more often in the receiving department. Those seem to be the respective areas the Saints will make best use of them, so keep it in mind when evaluating them compared with the scoring system of your league.
Marion Barber, Cowboys: Julius Jones is the unquestioned starter in Dallas, but his propensity for injury might make Dallas a little more tentative about using him in short-yardage situations. In the few games in which both Barber and Jones were healthy in 2005, Jones got the bulk of the work between the 20s and Barber got the call at the goal line. That's a trend that could continue this year, which is why Jones is more of a late second-round value. Getting him also makes nabbing Barber a key late-round consideration.
LenDale White, Titans: Two things can be said for certain about Tennessee's top two backs on the depth chart. One, Chris Brown is notoriously injury prone, and two, Travis Henry is too small to be an ideal short-yardage back. That leaves only White, a 6-0, 237-pound guy who excelled in the role in his college years at USC. He's not in the mix to start, but a good way for the Titans to break him in at the NFL level would be as a goal-line back, the same kind of role Jacobs occupied a year ago. White's a sleeper in TD-heavy formats. Derrick Wimbush, Jaguars: It's a real shame Greg Jones is out for the season because he'd be another perfect fit for the goal-line carries in Jacksonville. After all, Fred Taylor isn't that guy. Almost anyone could step in as the short-yardage back to supplement Taylor -- Wimbush, LaBrandon Toefield, Maurice Drew -- but I'm picking Wimbush to emerge for now because of his toughness and ability to break tackles. Keep an eye on Thursday's game, during which Toefield and Wimbush assuredly will be flashing their skills in an attempt to lock down the role, but the bottom line here is that prospective Taylor owners shouldn't assume he gets a big boost in touchdown potential as a result of Jones' injury. The Jaguars will find someone to slot into Jones' old role.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Article Added 8/29/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Article Added 8/29/06)

Aug. 30, 2006, 2:28 PM
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FFL: Mock Draft


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Here is our latest 12-team, 16-round mock draft, using ESPN.com's scoring system for customizable leagues and a starting lineup of one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, a "flex" player that can be a running back or receiver, one tight end, one kicker and one defensive unit. Seven reserves are permitted. Analysis by ESPN.com Fantasy Writer Scott Engel follows each round. The draft was held in late August.
Round One
1. Larry Johnson, RB, Chiefs
2. Shaun Alexander, RB, Seahawks
3. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers
4. Tiki Barber, RB, Giants
5. Edgerrin James, RB, Cardinals
6. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
7. Rudi Johnson, RB, Bengals
8. Ronnie Brown, RB, Dolphins
9. Carnell Williams, RB, Buccaneers
10. Peyton Manning, QB, Colts
11. LaMont Jordan, RB, Raiders
12. Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles
Engel's Take: With the offensive line issues in Kansas City, Alexander looks like a safer No. 1 pick than Larry Johnson right now. Rudi Johnson is a bit of a bargain at seventh overall, as he is more proven than Steven Jackson and doesn't have any offensive line concerns like Edgerrin James. Jordan sometimes slips too far, and he's a good value at No. 11 overall. As expected in many drafts, running backs fly off the board quickly. I'm sure the team with the final pick in the round wasn't quite comfortable with the Westbrook pick, but at that point, he was certainly one of the best RBs available, especially with the concerns about Clinton Portis' shoulder dropping him to the second round in some drafts.
Round Two
13. Chad Johnson, WR, Bengals
14. Willis McGahee, RB, Bills
15. Torry Holt, WR, Rams
16. Reggie Bush, RB, Saints
17. Steve Smith, WR, Panthers
18. Clinton Portis, RB, Redskins
19. Willie Parker, RB, Steelers
20. Marvin Harrison, WR, Colts
21. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
22. Reuben Droughns, RB, Browns
23. Kevin Jones, RB, Lions
24. Julius Jones, RB, Cowboys
Engel's Take: The top wide receivers come off the board here, with the notable absence of Terrell Owens, whose stock has started to drop a bit. Team 10 steers clear of taking a RB again, which might not be a wise choice. It's a little early for Parker and Droughns, but obviously, the teams that picked them felt they were the best RBs available. I don't like the Julius Jones pick, as he could be in line to share some carries with other RBs in the Dallas backfield. The first two rounds of this draft are a clear indication of how quickly the best RBs will be gone, even with the elite wide receivers being picked in the second round.
Round Three
25. Randy Moss, WR, Raiders
26. Anquan Boldin, WR, Cardinals
27. Santana Moss, WR, Redskins
28. Chester Taylor, RB, Vikings
29. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers
30. Hines Ward, WR, Steelers
31. Roy Williams, WR, Lions
32. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers
33. Terrell Owens, WR, Cowboys
34. Warrick Dunn, RB, Falcons
35. Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals
36. Chris Chambers, WR, Dolphins
Engel's Take: This round is clear proof that you can still have a shot at very good wide receivers if you choose to go with two running backs early. The three teams at the beginning of the round both went with running backs in the first two rounds, and Ward and Roy Williams were still available mid-round. Yes, the first three were early in the "snake" process in this round after taking RBs late in the second, but the bottom line is that there are still top receivers available here. In a league of this size, it's no shock to see Gore picked here, as he has become a "hot" player since Kevan Barlow was traded. Dunn might get more goal-line chances this year, so that is a smart pick as well, but not as a No. 1 RB, which is the case for Team 10 after it took Peyton Manning and Holt in the first two rounds. Palmer should be a surefire pick by the third round of many drafts after his very encouraging preseason debut.
Round Four
37. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
38. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts
39. Jamal Lewis, RB, Ravens
40. Plaxico Burress, WR, Giants
41. Todd Heap, TE, Ravens
42. Javon Walker, WR, Broncos
43. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Bengals
44. Joey Galloway, WR, Buccaneers
45. Jeremy Shockey, TE, Giants
46. Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seahawks
47. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans
48. Donald Driver, WR, Packers
Engel's Take: I do think the Brady pick was a bit early, especially when Team 12 still didn't have a second RB. Heap is certainly a chic pick right now, as many fantasy leaguers are expecting him to have a career year playing with Steve McNair. I like the Walker and Houshmandzadeh picks. Walker could be an outstanding value choice here, and the underrated Houshmandzadeh has fallen even farther in some other drafts I've participated in. Galloway is a good pick also, as he has become a complete receiver in the later stages of his career. He now makes possession grabs and can still challenge any defensive back with his speed. I'm not convinced Andre Johnson will have his breakthrough season yet, as David Carr still might not get enough time to throw and locate him downfield on a consistent basis.
Round Five
49. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Chiefs
50. Mike Bell, RB, Broncos
51. Joe Horn, WR, Saints
52. Darrell Jackson, WR, Seahawks
53. DeShaun Foster, RB, Panthers
54. Joseph Addai, RB, Colts
55. Corey Dillon, RB, Patriots
56. Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens
57. Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles
58. Lee Evans, WR, Bills
59. Deion Branch, WR, Patriots
60. Ahman Green, RB, Packers
Engel's Take: Some notable value picks here by a few teams. Mike Bell could turn out to be quite a good pick, and a healthy Joe Horn looks like he is primed for a rebound season. Addai could sew up a starting job by midseason, if not sooner. Dillon is still a good pick for possible TDs. Mason could really enjoy a reunion with McNair. Team 9 actually reunites Owens and McNabb. Thankfully, there are no player personality clashes in fantasy football. Time will tell if the Branch pick is a reach, as a prolonged holdout could certainly affect his conditioning, and missed games are a very good possibility. A lot of owners will take Foster before Mike Bell, and you'll see the Carolina RB go earlier often.
Round Six
61. Tatum Bell, RB, Broncos
62. T.J. Duckett, RB, Redskins
63. Deuce McAllister, RB, Saints
64. Chris Brown, RB, Titans
65. Rod Smith, WR, Broncos
66. Eli Manning, QB, Giants
67. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
68. Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars
69. Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots
70. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers
71. Drew Bledsoe, QB, Cowboys
72. Thomas Jones, RB, Bears
Engel's Take: McAllister could be a nifty pick here for decent numbers if he has no further setbacks. Rod Smith is always a solid choice. I'm not sure Manning was the best QB available, as there are other QBs who might offer more consistency this season. Bledsoe isn't a terrible pick, either, but I still have questions about how consistent he can be, also. Maroney and Williams could be steals here if they both get the chance to carry often. Maroney has looked better this preseason than I expected, and looks like he is ready to start at the NFL level right now.
Round Seven
73. Cedric Benson, RB, Bears
74. Alge Crumpler, TE, Falcons
75. Benjamin Watson, TE, Patriots
76. Daunte Culpepper, QB, Dolphins
77. Marc Bulger, QB, Rams
78. Kevan Barlow, RB, Jets
79. Jerious Norwood, RB, Falcons
80. Dominic Rhodes, RB, Colts
81. Randy McMichael, TE, Dolphins
82. LenDale White, RB, Titans
83. Chris Cooley, TE, Redksins
84. Heath Miller, TE, Steelers
Engel's Take: Team 1 takes Benson to go with Thomas Jones. It will either be assured of having the Bears' starting RB, or it will be frustrated as the two could ultimately share carries. We see a a handful of tight ends go here, and it's clear Watson's value has shot up recently. Culpepper could be a great bargain choice in this round, and I really like the Norwood pick too. Rhodes might not hold the starting job in Indianapolis for long, and White might not get a chance to start until much later in the year.
Round Eight
85. Terry Glenn, WR, Cowboys
86. Bears Defense/Special Teams
87. Eddie Kennison, WR, Chiefs
88. Domanick Davis, RB, Texans
89. Trent Green, QB, Chiefs
90. L.J. Smith, TE, Eagles
91. Jake Delhomme, QB, Panthers
92. Donte' Stallworth, WR, Eagles
93. Steelers D/ST
94. Nate Burleson, WR, Seahawks
95. Keyshawn Johnson, WR, Panthers
96. Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals
Engel's Take: Someone always is the first to take a defense/special teams unit too early, and Team 11 is the culprit here. Unfortunately, Team 4 also follows suit late in the round. The first kicker pick can't be far behind, but it should be. I'm not crazy about the Stallworth pick. Just because he will likely be the top target for Philadelphia doesn't make him a steal here. He was inconsistent as a No. 2 receiver in the past, and I don't think he'll fare well regularly if he has to face top cover corners every week. A lot of fantasy owners seem to like Warner, but his offensive line is still shaky and he might not stay healthy if he takes too many big hits. I'd avoid Davis altogether, but someone will eventually take a chance on him in most drafts and he might go earlier in some leagues.
Round Nine
97. Matt Jones, WR, Jaguars
98. Neil Rackers, K, Cardinals
99. Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys
100. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants
101. Wali Lundy, RB, Texans
102. Muhsin Muhammad, WR, Bears
103. Keenan McCardell, WR, Chargers
104. Laveranues Coles, WR, Jets
105. Vernand Morency, RB, Texans
106. David Akers, K, Eagles
107. Jason Elam, K, Broncos
108. Samkon Gado, RB, Packers
Engel's Take: Some interesting RB picks here. Team 4 takes Jacobs as an obvious handcuff to Tiki Barber, but Tiki really isn't an injury concern and whispers about his age aren't really necessary yet. Lundy could be a big sleeper, and Morency is a handcuff for Team 9 one round after it picked Domanick Davis. But Lundy could end up outplaying Morency and could be the one to fill in regularly for Davis. Gado is a great handcuff to Ahman Green for Team 12. Three kickers go here, and that's not a strategy I'd employ when you can still get a dependable one in the final rounds.
Round 10
109. Drew Brees, QB, Saints
110. Jake Plummer, QB, Broncos
111. Mike Anderson, RB, Ravens
112. Panthers D/ST
113. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
114. Steve McNair, QB, Ravens
115. Byron Leftwich, QB, Jaguars
116. Shayne Graham, K, Bengals
117. Michael Vick, QB, Falcons
118. Buccaneers D/ST
119. Seahawks D/ST
120. Brett Favre, QB, Packers
Engel's Take: Outside of a backup QB run here, we see Team 10 make the smart handcuff pick, taking Anderson to back up Jamal Lewis. Favre's issues are well documented, and Leftwich could struggle to find open receivers on a regular basis. Again, this is too early to pick kickers and defenses, but you will see it happen. Mock drafts are a great way to find out what to expect on draft day, including good strategies to follow and questionable ones you should avoid and expect from other owners.
Round 11
121. Reggie Brown, WR, Eagles
122. Travis Henry, RB, Titans
123. Michael Turner, RB, Chargers
124. Eric Moulds, WR, Texans
125. Colts D/ST
126. Ryan Moats, RB , Eagles
127. Drew Bennett, WR, Titans
128. Troy Williamson, WR, Vikings
129. Adam Vinatieri, K, Colts
130. David Givens, WR, Titans
131. Michael Clayton, WR, Buccaneers
132. Correll Buckhalter, RB, Eagles
Engel's Take: More handcuffs here in Turner, who might have been picked too early, and Buckhalter, a nifty move. Williamson and Clayton could be great values here, especially Clayton, who is healthy and ready to rebound.
Round 12
133. Antonio Bryant, WR, 49ers
134. Jerry Porter, WR, Raiders
135. Eagles D/ST
136. Michael Pittman, RB, Buccaneers
137. Roddy White, WR, Falcons
138. Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers
139. Verron Haynes, RB, Steelers
140. Aaron Brooks, QB, Raiders
141. Jeff Wilkins, K, Rams
142. John Kasay, K, Panthers
143. Mike Vanderjagt, K, Cowboys
144. Michael Bennett, RB, Chiefs
Engel's Take: Bryant is a possible steal by this point of the draft. Kitna could also post some good numbers and is a nice reserve QB pick in this round. More handcuff picks here, with Michael Pittman being useful again if Cadillac Williams can't stay healthy the whole season. Michael Bennett is insurance for Larry Johnson, but he might not see much action.
Round 13
145. Chris Simms, QB, Buccaneers
146. Jeff Reed, K, Steelers
147. Jay Feely, K, Giants
148. Redskins D/ST
149. Derrick Blaylock, RB, Jets
150. Ben Troupe, TE, Titans
151. Matt Stover, K, Ravens
152. Mark Clayton, WR, Ravens
153. Josh Brown, K, Seahawks
154. Kellen Winslow, TE, Browns
155. Cedric Houston, RB, Jets
156. Cedrick Wilson, WR, Steelers
Engel: If Barlow doesn't work out for the Jets, Blaylock is next in the pecking order, but he's really nothing more than a good change of pace RB. Wilson could be a gem at this point. He's looked very good during the preseason.
Round 14
157. Maurice Drew, RB, Jaguars
158. Isaac Bruce, WR, Rams
159. Lawrence Tynes, K, Chiefs
160. Alex Smith, TE, Buccaneers
161. Zachary Hilton, TE, Saints
162. Jaguars D/ST
163. Brandon Lloyd, WR, Redskins
164. Dolphins D/ST
165. Nate Kaeding, K, Chargers
166. Jon Kitna, QB, Lions
167. David Carr, QB, Texans
168. Braylon Edwards, WR, Browns
Engel's Take: Many fantasy owners are now targeting Drew with Greg Jones out, but he's too small to play regularly if Fred Taylor goes down. Lloyd is a terrific value pick, and so is Edwards, even if the Browns bring him along slowly early in the season.
Round 15
169. Ravens D/ST
170. Cowboys D/ST
171. Olindo Mare, K, Dolphins
172. Falcons D/ST
173. Ryan Longwell, K, Vikings
174. Bengals D/ST
175. Chris Perry, RB, Bengals
176. Broncos D/ST
177. Giants D/ST
178. Jerramy Stevens, TE, Seahawks
179. Sebastian Janikowski, K, Raiders
180. Stephen Gostkowski, K, Patriots
Engel's Take: Perry and Stevens are injured now, but both are well worth the late picks to stash away on the bench. The Giants could be quite a bargain with their furious pass rush, and the unknown Gostkowski could be an instant impact rookie. Round 16
181. Vikings D/ST
182. Patriots D/ST
183. Chargers D/ST
184. Josh Scobee, K, Jaguars
185. Matt Bryant, K, Buccaneers
186. Joe Jurevicius, WR, Browns
187. Phil Dawson, K, Browns
188. Kevin Curtis, WR, Rams
189. Greg Jennings, WR, Packers
190. Browns D/ST
191. Maurice Hicks, RB, 49ers
192. Jason Hanson, K, Lions
Engel's Take: Jennings and Hicks could be the final-round steals. Jennings could move into Green Bay's starting lineup at some point, and Hicks could be very useful if he's pressed into action.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (4 New Articles Added 8/30/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (4 New Articles Added 8/30/06)

Aug. 31, 2006, 2:05 PM
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FFL: Mythbusters


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By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

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If you've done your homework this preseason, you've come across a lot of analysis and information. What do you believe and when should you follow your own hunches and desires? Many valid opinions and estimations of players and trends are available. But I'm certainly not buying into some widespread beliefs this preseason. In fact, some of the statements/stances I've come across strike me as being simply not true, or at least unlikely. Sure, no one is perfect in making their predictions and projections. But here are some viewpoints that I must categorize as fantasy "myths."
Myth: The numbers of Donovan McNabb will suffer without Terrell Owens this season.
Reality: New acquisition Donte' Stallworth is no Owens, but McNabb has played well with less-accomplished receivers in the past and fared well. Yes, McNabb threw a career-best 31 TD passes in 2004 with Owens as a regular weapon, but McNabb was consistently good for 19-plus total scores in the four seasons prior to Owens' arrival, including two seasons of 20-plus TD passes. McNabb was a top-five fantasy QB before the Owens saga, and he has always played well and has overcome limited receiving talent in the past. McNabb is a smart passer who uses his running backs and tight ends well to help him move the ball, and even if Stallworth is a bust, McNabb will be a high-quality fantasy starter.
Myth: Shaun Alexander is destined for a considerable falloff without Steve Hutchinson at left guard.
Reality: Hutchinson might indeed be the best guard in the NFL, but any guy who plays next to Seattle left tackle Walter Jones reaps some benefits. Jones is the best offensive tackle in the league, and he's still leading the way on the left side of the line. Plus, Alexander often also does quite well when running to the right, and he does a lot of things himself to gain extra yardage. He makes defenders miss and has outstanding vision, especially after he gets past the first wave of defenders. Alexander might not reach his amazing TD numbers of 2005, but he still has a sturdy offensive line overall and plays in a potent offense. I expect him to still score 20 or more total TDs.
Myth: Tiki Barber is a gamble at 31 years old and Brandon Jacobs will continue to improve and cut into his workload.
Reality: You just can't throw out a generic number and expect it to apply to all players. Yes, Barber is coming off a pair of two 300-carry seasons, but he hasn't been a full-time featured RB for his whole career and doesn't have the wear and tear of other 31-year-olds. Two seasons of heavy workloads aren't going to make him suddenly fade, as he is still in great shape and is showing no apparent signs of slowing down. Barber has at least one or two more outstanding seasons left in him. I need more than numbers to believe Barber will see a marked decline in his totals this year. Jacobs is having a fine preseason and will be a regular goal-line presence, but Barber can still score from anywhere on the field and he can still end up with eight-plus total TDs. He's not quite done yet.
Myth: Kurt Warner is ready for a big year. That's obvious by looking at his 2005 numbers when he was healthy.
Reality: Warner is well past his prime, even though he still makes smart decisions when he has time to throw. Warner had five 300-yard games last year, but only one of those outings came in a victory. Warner was forced to throw often because the Cardinals had to play catch-up and had the worst running game in the league. With the addition of Edgerrin James, Warner won't have to throw as much. And there will still be offensive line issues to deal with. Warner will have protection issues and will be a risk for injuries. Be careful not to overrate him. Warner hasn't played in more than 10 games in a season since 2001.
Myth: The preseason is meaningless. It's not important.
Reality: That's only true to a certain degree. Sure, the statistical leaders won't really matter in the end. But there are a lot of performances to take note of, and you have to separate what is important from what isn't. The impressive preseason performances of Wali Lundy, Greg Jennings and Ben Watson are notable and important. Lundy and Jennings could be great later-round sleepers, and Watson appears to be on the verge of a big breakthrough season. The RB battle in Denver isn't over and will be played out on a preseason stage this week. In Atlanta, the fine exhibition game performances of Jerious Norwood prompted the trade of T.J. Duckett. Stats don't always mean a lot in the preseason, but important news and trends aren't always reflected in the numbers.
Myth: Rudi Johnson isn't worthy of an early first-round pick. And when he is healthy again, Chris Perry should continue to take touches way from Johnson.
Reality: Many fantasy owners pass on Johnson because he isn't an exciting upside pick like Steven Jackson or Ronnie Brown. But, as much as I like Jackson and Brown, I'll take a proven performer over an upside guy every time. Johnson might come out of the game on third downs, but he still has been a 1,400-yard, 12-TD standout the past two seasons. He doesn't back down from the toughest opponents and finishes off many drives for a very productive offense. Perry could begin the season on the physically unable to perform list because of knee and ankle problems, and Johnson has been performing too well over the past two years to expect him to lose reps even when Perry returns. Perry's promise isn't a negative for Johnson, who still demands a ton of playing time, and with Perry hurting, it's doubtful Kenny Watson will threaten Johnson's playing time very much.
Myth: If I take a top defense/special teams before anyone else, I gain an advantage because I have the best unit at the position.
Engel: Many defensive performances vary from year to year, and if you do your homework, you can still pick off a very productive unit such as the Giants or the Dolphins, who should be improved in 2006. Personnel changes and other factors must all be taken into account when scouting your defenses, and even if you take the Bears this season, you're not getting a sure thing. Chicago is having some serious offensive issues, with instability at QB, injuries at RB and a lack of quality playmakers at receiver. If the defense spends too much time on the field this season, the Bears could be a disappointing unit from the fantasy perspective.
Myth: You better check the schedule before making a final decision on a player, especially when considering two players of similar value.
Reality: Look, I'll admit it. I pay very little attention to strength of schedule when drafting each year. Looking down the road several weeks from now and trying to gauge who someone faces isn't a very important exercise to me, because again, defensive performances often vary from season to season. Too much of schedule analysis is based on 2005 performances. This is a new season and too many factors -- such as personnel changes, injuries, etc. -- will affect defensive outlooks. And when it comes to the very best players in fantasy football, they are the best because they produce against all types of opponents. You're not going to get me to pass on any top offensive player from Cincinnati because they face Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice as well as Tampa Bay and Carolina. That team can score against anyone.
Myth: This is definitely the season when Reggie Wayne becomes the No. 1 target for Peyton Manning, and Marvin Harrison starts to fade.
Reality: This is another assumption made based on a number (Harrison turned 34 recently) rather than apparent trends. I'm not convinced Harrison will decline just because of his age. I won't believe it until I see it, and I don't think it's going to happen in 2006. Harrison caught 12 TD passes for the second time in his career in 2005, and even though his yardage production has slipped a bit, he is still Manning's favorite target when he goes for the score. Wayne received more defensive attention last season and scored only five times. The Colts should throw more often this season, and Wayne still must prove he can come through consistently as a scorer. I like Wayne this year, but I don't believe he will suddenly emerge as a favored TD option over Harrison yet, and improved production for Wayne won't necessarily mean a major decline for Harrison.
Myth: Reggie Bush isn't worth an early fantasy draft pick, especially with Deuce McAllister in the backfield and looking better recently. Reality: These two RBs can coexist and produce, and McAllister still could struggle at times in his first season back from a major knee injury. Bush can score any time he touches the ball and should register a healthy amount of TDs even if he doesn't get short-yardage carries. He can rip off a long run at any time and could have the most amazing receiving skills we've seen in a RB in a long time. He'll get his touches every week and will immediately be a major part of New Orleans' offense. The Saints' defense could also force the offense to engage in a lot of shootouts, and Bush can be a major part of such battles. I wouldn't take him with a first-round pick, but why not go for the tremendous upside in the second round if you have already taken a RB with your first pick? I have already landed Bush as a No. 2 RB, because I don't see why you shouldn't take the chance early in round two.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (4 New Articles Added 8/30/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (4 New Articles Added 8/30/06)

AFC Predictions


posted: Thursday, August 31, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: Fantasy NFL


While real life doesn't always mirror fantasy, I think it is important to follow the game, not just your fantasy football players. Good teams don't always breed terrific fantasy players, but bad teams seldom do. So, without hesitation, here are my team-by-team picks, for record and fantasy football. Today's the AFC, tomorrow the NFC.

AFC East:
Miami Dolphins, 11-5: This team is clearly going in the right direction, and I guess I'm buying into Daunte Culpepper, just a little. I think Culpepper can guide this team to a division title, but ultimately he won't be putting up the record-setting stats from his Viking days. Ronnie Brown rushes for 1,400 yards and 10 scores, totally justifying his late first-round status. And while you won't see the Dolphins defense among the top 10 in most fantasy leagues, I'd bet they end up there. This team could go far, as you'll see in my playoff predictions at the bottom.
New England Patriots, 10-6, wildcard: I have concerns about a few key positions, including a number on the defense. The Pats won half their games last year in the division, and while the Bills and Jets really aren't stronger, I could see a slip or two here. Tom Brady tops 25 touchdowns yet again, even without a standout Deion Branch, who eventually signs in Week 4 and doesn't approach his 2005 stats. Corey Dillon starts quick, gets hurt and barely cracks 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns and Laurence Maroney sees enough time to be a fantasy helper, you just won't know when to activate him. And the kicking game, how can it be any more obvious that this will be an issue?
Buffalo Bills, 7-9: I think the defense bounces back a bit, since it was fantasy's top defense two seasons ago, and the personnel hasn't changed that much. I do think J.P. Losman makes strides, but not enough consistency here to make him worth drafting in fantasy as a backup. Willis McGahee wasn't bad in 2005, he just didn't score as much. Watch him gain another 1,300 yards and split the difference on the touchdowns, making him, retrospectively, worthy of a top 12 selection. Lee Evans breaks out a bit, but needs a solid No. 2 to take the pressure off. Peerless Price isn't that guy.
New York Jets, 3-13: Sorry, I think things will get worse before they get better. I'm not a big Chad Pennington fan for fantasy, and I doubt he makes it through the entire season as the starter. Patrick Ramsey ends up starting way too much, and the Kellen Clemens era begins when January starts. Kevan Barlow is an upgrade to what's in the backfield, but there won't be anywhere to run. Barlow might get to 1,000 yards by attrition, running 20 times per game for 60 yards or so, but that doesn't make him a fantasy asset. Curtis Martin doesn't suit up again, and the Hall of Fame beckons.
AFC North:
Pittsburgh Steelers, 10-6: This remains a good team, but remember, it won only 11 games last season, so why expect more than that now? Ben Roethlisberger starts in Week 1, and suffers some kind of injury in the first month. He's not durable, motorcycle notwithstanding. Willie Parker is expected to become a fantasy monster by some, but he's not big, so I remain cautious on that breakout season. Defense will keep them in games in a tough division, but from a fantasy angle, most of these players are likely a bit overrated, including Hines Ward and Heath Miller.
Baltimore Ravens, 10-6, wildcard: Yep, I'm taking the plunge with this team, moving them past the Bengals and into the postseason. Steve McNair won't share the MVP award again, but he does give this team a legit threat in close games, and I am banking on this Ray Lewis led defense to return to past dominance. Jamal Lewis starts Week 1 but shares the carries with Mike Anderson, and when Musa Smith gets a few looks in September the team starts to rely on him more and more. By December, Musa is a fantasy starter. McNair gets the ball to Derrick Mason enough for 90 receptions, and Mark Clayton approaches 10 touchdowns.
Cincinnati Bengals, 8-8: Carson Palmer looked fine on Monday night, but I don't know that he's all the way back, and he might need to miss a game or two during the season. The Bengals will have their moments of explosive play, Rudi Johnson will hold off Chris Perry enough to get back to 1,300 yards, and there's no reason to be concerned about Chad Johnson. But this was a difficult off-season for the team off the field, and it catches up to them in the clubhouse. They're playing golf in January.
Cleveland Browns, 5-11: Charlie Frye and Reuben Droughns will do their best, but with the lines a mess and a very tough division, the Browns can't keep up. Droughns levels off a bit on the yards, scores five times and is a decent No. 2 fantasy back. Kellen Winslow Jr. and Braylon Edwards are expected to become stars, and they'll each put up some numbers to make them fantasy options, but it won't help the team win.
AFC South:
Indianapolis Colts, 13-3: Who plays running back? How many touchdowns will Peyton Manning throw? And can this team do anything in the playoffs? I'm saying Dominic Rhodes is the main back in Week 1, and for most of the season, while Joseph Addai gets some chances at the goal line and in passing situations, but Rhodes holds him off. Sometimes it's about loyalty, even if Addai is the future. Manning throws 29 touchdown passes, which isn't really going out on much of a limb, since he's done pretty much exactly that for all but the 49-touchdown season. No change statistically in the receivers. It's business as usual as the Colts lock up the division title early and Manning gets the final two games off. And this time, he gets to the Super Bowl.
Jacksonville Jaguars, 10-6: I don't think the Jags can get away with Byron Leftwich missing games anymore, and hope the defense keeps them alive. Leftwich needs to break out into the 24-touchdown range, but I doubt it happens. Matt Jones becomes the team's home run hitter, and catches 70 passes, nine for scores. Fred Taylor isn't any more durable than he used to be, or likely to find the end zone when he is out there. Figure on 13 games, 1,100 yards, four scores, and eventually Maurice Drew gets a chance. This isn't a bad team at all, but it misses the playoffs.
Houston Texans, 5-12: This team misses the playoffs as well, and jobs get lost because Reggie Bush is elsewhere. Domanick Davis does not play in Week 1, or 2 or 3, missing half the season with knee problems. Wali Lundy tries hard to replace him, and has a few big yardage games, but ultimately isn't a reliable fantasy option. Maybe David Carr puts some more points on the board, but I can't expect too many wins to result. This is a not a team you want to get your fantasy options from, even Andre Johnson.
Tennessee Titans, 4-12: The strange signing of Kerry Collins makes it obvious that Vince Young is not going to see playing time this season. I don't think Collins or Billy Volek are worth much in fantasy, neither have the weapons or the protection to top 20 touchdown passes. Chris Brown eventually gets traded, or hurt, making this a backfield by committee. LenDale White eventually gets some carries, but does little with them. The Titans aren't any better than the Texans, and it will show in fantasy.
AFC West:
Denver Broncos, 11-5: For which Bell will the team's rushing lead toll for? I'm going to go with Mike Bell, who has a big Week 1 and keeps going through much of the season. Tatum Bell rushes for 750 yards in relief, breaking off some major runs late in games, just like last season. Look for both to be fantasy options, but Mike Bell tops 1,200 yards and nine scores. He's the better fantasy player. Ron Dayne, meanwhile, gets cut and ends up on the Eagles. Jake Plummer throws a few more interceptions, but counteracts it in fantasy with more yards. What, you thought he'd throw single digit picks again? Javon Walker doesn't live up the hype, finishing second on the team to ageless Rod Smith in catches and yards.
San Diego Chargers, 9-7: I do think Philip Rivers can lead this team to play important games in late December, but ultimately it will be another injury to LaDainian Tomlinson that complicates things. Tomlinson is the third pick in most drafts, and he'll be worth it for the most part, but watch his yards slip a bit, and the touchdowns fall into the 15 range. Michael Turner is ready to pick up some of these carries, and in a year could be a starter on quite a few teams. Rivers throws 22 touchdown passes and 16 interceptions, similar numbers to those the man he was dealt for (Eli Manning) compiled in 2005. Antonio Gates remains the team's top target, and among the league leaders in catches.
Kansas City Chiefs, 9-7: My problem isn't with Larry Johnson, or Trent Green, or even with Tony Gonzalez. I just don't trust Herm Edwards in close games. Johnson gets a ton of carries, the most in the NFL, and approaches 2,000 yards, but he does not reach 20 touchdowns. He and Shaun Alexander are the two best fantasy options all year. Gonzalez finds the end zone five times, and catches 75 passes, and Green begins to show his age. Nine wins for this team isn't that bad.
Oakland Raiders, 3-13: This is not a very good team, and my only concern from a fantasy aspect is what it does to poor LaMont Jordan. You know he waited years for his chance, but does he want to lose 25 games in two seasons? Jordan tops double digit touchdowns and remains a wonderful receiver out of the backfield, but on the ground he has some troubles, barely topping 1,000 yards. The Raiders are going to be trailing all the time, Aaron Brooks is going to be having some nasty games, Randy Moss will pull himself from the lineup so he doesn't have to deal with it, and the losses will pile up. Brooks eventually gets benched for Andrew Walter, and Ronald Curry becomes a better home run threat than Moss. Ugly season.
Playoffs:
Just for fun, I have the Dolphins, Steelers, Colts and Broncos taking their divisions, and the Patriots and Ravens joining them in the playoffs. The Steelers beat the Ravens and the Dolphins top Belichick in the first round. Payton polishes off the Steelers this time around, while the Broncos are upset at home by Ronnie Brown's 150-yard effort. In the AFC title game, the Colts top the Dolphins 35-14 to advance to the Super Bowl. OK, tomorrow it's the NFC.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (4 New Articles Added 8/30/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (4 New Articles Added 8/30/06)

Aug. 31, 2006, 2:11 PM
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SportsCenter's 25 Rules


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SPORTSCENTER'S 25 FANTASY FOOTBALL RULES TO DRAFT BY
By Matthew Berry
ESPN2's "The Fantasy Show"
RULE #1: Avoid Terrell Owens: He is a big name and a sexy pick but consider this: In 17 years as a Head Coach, Bill Parcells has never had a 1200 yard WR. And other than Keyshawn in '98, he has never had WR get double digit TD's. Those are the kind of numbers you want out of your #1 WR. This is his first year in a non-West Coast offense and that's before you throw in the fact that he's nuts.
RULE #2: Practice by doing mock drafts. The first time you drive a car wouldn't be at your license so why are you going to draft without practicing? ESPN.com's Mock Draft Lobby is free and great way to see where players are going and where they aren't. Like Corey Dillon is going around pick 35 while Laurence Maroney, his back-up, is going around pick 85. Meanwhile, Thomas Jones averages being taken with pick 60 and his back-up, Cedric Benson is being take with pick 70. So, if you want to handcuff your starter with his back-up, you now know you have to grab Benson almost two rounds earlier than Maroney.
RULE #3: Take 2 RB's as your first two picks. In a standard 12 team league, you have to play 1 QB and 2 RB. The difference between the #1 QB last year (Carson Palmer) and the #12 (Trent Green) averaged out to just 3 points a game. Yet the difference between last year's #1 RB (Shaun Alexander) and the #24 RB (DeShaun Foster) was 13.9 points a game. It's a field goal a week vs. 2 TD. There's a lot of depth at QB and you can get one in the later rounds but if you take a QB in the first round, you won't find a strong #2 RB in round 3.
RULE # 4: Don't draft any rookie wide receivers or rookie quarterbacks. Since the year 2000, 200 WR have been drafted. Only two of them - Anquan Boldin and Michael Clayton - have had 1,000 yard receiving. And in the last two years, only one rookie QB, Ben Roethlisberger, has been a top 24 fantasy QB. The odds are against you. They're sexy names but not worth the gamble.
RULE #5: Handcuff your studs. By "handcuff" we mean take the back-up. You invest an early round pick on a stud RB, why would you not use a mid-round pick to protect it. The Priest Holmes owners last year who did not have Larry Johnson or any Fred Taylor owner who did not have Greg Jones will be happy to tell you. You must, must handcuff your studs.
RULE #6: WR's are a dime a dozen. You score in fantasy football the same way you score in real football - by touching the ball. And that's RB and QB. Don't waste an early pick on a WR - they are too inconsistent. Consider: Over the past three years, only one WR has had at least 5 100 games each of the last three seasons: Torry Holt. And only two others have had at least 5 100 games two of the last three years: Anquan Boldin and... Eddie Kennison. Not suggesting you make Boldin and Kennison #2 and #3, but rather that WR are inconsistent. You can always find a guy in the middle rounds - Santana Moss last year is a great example - and save your high picks for RB and QB.
RULE #7: All about consistency. It's not just about the big numbers, it is about guys that get you points week in and week out. Consider this: He's a sexy name, but last year, Eli Manning had a game where he had over 300 yards or had at least 2 TD in only 7 games. That's 9 games where he did nothing for you. And it's more games that less popular picks like Jake Delhomme, Mark Brunell or Drew Brees had last year. You need points from your big position every week.
RULE #8: Contract year players: It's always good to know who is playing for a contract and has that extra motivation. As someone who grew up in College Station, Texas and an Aggie fan, it pains me to admit it, but former UT Longhorn Chris Simms is due for a huge year. Dominic Rhodes, Ahman Green and Chris Brown all have more motivation to stay healthy this year and for WR, Drew Bennett would like to cash in after this season.
RULE #9: Don't waste high pick on kickers. It seems obvious, but according to ESPN.com's Average Draft Position, guys like Neil Rackers and Adam Vinatieri are being draft in the middle rounds. Statistically, it does not make sense. Last year, the #1 fantasy kicker (Rackers) scored 165 points. The #12 kicker, Jeff Reed, scored 123. Over the course of a 16 week season, that equals less than 3 points a game. Kickers are kickers are kickers - just grab whoever in the last round and you'll be just fine.
RULE #10: Don't draft Tony Gonzalez. He's a big name, but TE is very deep this year. New head coach Herm Edwards has never had a TE catch more than 4 TD in a year. Over the last two years, Tony Gonzalez has the same amount of TD as...Randy McMichael. And with Willie Roaf and Tony Richardson leaving, Gonzo is going to have stay in and block more for Larry Johnson. The high pick you'll have to spend won't return that value for Gonzo this year.
RULE #11: Fantasy defenses are statistically unimportant. Over the last three years, the #1 fantasy defense has averaged 166 fantasy points. The #12 defense? 122. That works out to less than three points a game. Here's another stat that will blow your mind. Over the past three years, the TB and MIA D have averaged 120 fantasy points. The Detroit Lions? 121. Draft a defense in the second to last round, just ahead of your kicker. You'll score the same amount.
RULE #12: Know the coaching philosophies of the guys in charge of your players to turn up sleeprs. For example, in 15 years as a Head Coach or Offensive Coordinator, Norv Turner has had 13 1,000 yard rushers. Suddenyl Frank Gore's value takes a rise. Look at Mike Martz in Detroit or Al Saunders in Washington. The fantasy fortunes of guys like Jon Kitna, Chris Cooley and Brandon Lloyd take a spike as both guys are terrific offensive minds that are very fantasy friendly.
RULE # 13: Know you gets the the looks in the red zone: For example, did you know that last year, no WR in the NFL was targeted more than Chambers. Marvin Harrison was the #2 target but you know who was #3? T.J. Houshmanzedah with 25 targets. Chad Johnson, since I know you were wondering, was 14th with 18.
RULE # 14: Make draft day your day: have a plan: It's important to have a draft day plan, but it is also important to be flexible if things are not going your way. One thing I like to do is, if you find yourself on the long end of a run, load up on a position. So, if all the RB are going off the board, grab a second or third stud QB rather than reaching for some warm body like Curtis Martin. Give yourself something to trade.
RULE # 15: Don't believe the hype -- Reggie Bush. Yes, he is an exciting player. But he is also going in the late second rounds and that is way too early for a player who will be splitting carries. And not just splitting carries. He won't get the ball at the goal line either. If USC gave it to LenDale White inside the 5, what makes you think the Saints won't do the same with McAllister? And by the way, during the fantasy playoffs of week 14-16, Bush faces @DAL, WAS, @NYG.
RULE #16: TE's are deep this year. There's no reason to waste an early pick this year on Gates or Gonzo. Listen to this list: Jason Witten, Jeremy Shockey, Todd Heap, Chris Cooley, Alge Crumpler, Randy McMichael, Dallas Clark, L.J. Smith. All very good choices for you at TE and that's before you get to sleepers like Ben Watson in NE or Kellen Winslow in CLE. What about Vernon Davis in SF? You will be able to find a good TE late in your draft this year.
RULE #17: Don't forget about back up running backs. Because RB is such an important position, I like to take a fliers on back-up RB in the middle and late rounds. I grab one more WR than I need, take only one K, D and TE and then load up on back-up RB. Look at guys last year like Ryan Moats or Larry Johnson last year. Neither guy had a starting gig in week one and both helped teams win their leagues last year. Instead of grabbing an extra TE you don't need or another WR that you'll just end up cutting, why not grab a guy with upside like DeAngelo Williams, LenDale White or Jerious Norwood?
RULE #18: Mike Shanahan hates you and he hates me. - Denver running backs. Mike Bell, Tatum Bell, Ron Dayne, Cedric Cobbs. Who knows who will ultimately be the starter. All we do know is that whoever Mike Shanahan says it will be, that's the guy it won't be. Over the last three years, the Broncos have had 7 different players be the leading rusher in a game. Don't reach too early for a DEN RB.
RULE #19: Ignore the preseason. Last year, the leading scorer in pre-season was Adrian Peterson and Tyson Thompson, both RB, with 3 TD each. Something to think about when looking at 2006 pre-season stats.
RULE #20: Pay attention to what other people say at the draft. Make sure you see who gets upset, what people are saying. For example, say you draft Chris Chambers this year and some guy goes "Argh. That's who I wanted." It'll probably me - I love Chris Chambers this year. So, you write down my name next to Chambers on your sheet. That way, in the middle of the year, you can look at that sheet and know you really values Chambers. Now you know who to target in trade negotiations when you are dangling Chambers as the bait. And you have a leg up, too.
RULE # 21: Doing research before your draft. Knowing those extra nuggets can really help when trying to make decisions in the middle rounds. For example, did you know that last year, no QB had more 300 yard passing games than Kurt Warner. He had 5. Or that when he took over for Edge James as the full time back that one year, Dominic Rhodes yards per carry average was 4.7. Higher than James has ever had in his career. How about this one? Over the past three years, only Chad Johnson and Torry Holt have had more receiving yards than Derrick Mason.
RULE #22: Look at the schedule. Knowing who has favorable schedules and who does not will make a difference as fantasy football is very match-up driven. For example, instead of wasting that first round pick on Manning, who goes on the road to JAX in Week 14 and gets CIN in Week 15, consider Brett Favre about 6 rounds later. He is at SF, DET and MINN at home in Week 14-16, one of the easiest passing schedules in the league. The Bears and Thomas Jones, meanewhile, have one of the most fantasy friendly schedules when it comes to run defense.
RULE # 23: The 3rd year wide receiver rule is a myth. What do Taylor Jacobs, Kelley Washington, Charles Rogers, Andre Johnson, Ty Calico and Bryant Johnson have in common? All of them were 3rd year WR last season. In case you were wondering if there was any validity to that "rule."
RULE #24: Know the playoff schedule. Knowing who a guys plays in weeks 14-16 of the year can help you make some tough decisions. For example, do you have the #1 pick? Does this help make up your mind? During weeks 14-16, Shaun Alexander is at AZ, gets SF and then SD at home. RULE #25: The Smurfs are back, baby. Take small wide receivers. Last year, 9 of the top 15 WR were under 6'0" and under 200 pounds. With the new defensive rules, speed is what is getting it donethese days. Think about guys like Steve Smith or Santana Moss last year. When trying to decided between WR, go with the guy who is short and fast. This year, small is what will come up big.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 8/31/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 8/31/06)

Sep. 1, 2006, 2:06 PM
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Carroll Injury Report: Drew Bledsoe dinged up


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ESPN Fantasy Games

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I'm heading into my big draft, the long-term local league in which I was embarrassed last year. Let's just say that drafting Kevin Jones in the first round wasn't my best move and that Donovan McNabb in the second didn't help, either. I've got the ESPN draft kit and Eric, Scott and Tristan on speed dial, so I'll do better. (I should mention I won another league and made the playoffs in the other one I played in.) Hopefully, you'll take your copy of the kit and your printouts of the injury report to your draft, the first step on the way to victory. Yeah, we understand your fantasy side. Right now, let's take a look at the injury side:
The latest on the injury news:
As I watched the television coverage of the Cowboys-Vikings game, they showed a great shot of Drew Bledsoe on the sidelines with the medical staff. Bledsoe had taken a late hit -- not what you want for your starting QB in the last preseason game -- and he was being tested for concussion. It wasn't a fancy test; it was Bledsoe walking a heel-to-toe line. As I watched, I turned to my friend and said, "He's been knocked goofy" (that's not the technical term). Bledsoe had stayed in the game after the hit, making a terrible play that became much more understandable when you realized that he'd just suffered a concussion. We'll keep an eye on Bledsoe, who's already battling Tony Romo for the starting job, as we head into Week 1. It shouldn't significantly affect his draft position.
Chris Chambers is still bothered by his chronic thumb problem. Bothered might be an understatement. Chambers says that he's in "significant pain." The only upside to chronic injuries is that players often learn to deal with them. A thumb won't cause a cascade injury, and Chambers played with the same injury during the last half of 2005. Another comparable injury was that of Marvin Harrison, who put up big numbers despite wearing a soft cast. Chambers is thought by many to be an elite-level WR. This is a good bluff play at the draft table; talk up Chambers' injury, then draft him when others weren't smart enough to read this column.
Fred Taylor is injured? Color me shocked. Without Greg Jones to fall back on, this one is more of a problem for the Jags. Taylor has a sore shoulder, which isn't serious in and of itself. The condition is far less worrisome than the shoulder of Clinton Portis, who will be ready for Week 1. This tells us that Fred Taylor is already starting his annual battle with wear and tear. Taylor simply can't hold up for a full season under the normal workload of a feature back, and as he ages he'll need more and more time to recover from injuries. Things that didn't bother him suddenly will now, and before we know it, we'll stop calling him injury-prone and call him a former player. He's good when he's in, but not as good as he once was. He also is the reason the handcuff is such a popular tactic.
Brian Westbrook has rarely been able to stay healthy, yet he's being drafted among the top tier of backs. His average position of 23.5 in ESPN leagues seems high to me based on his injury history and his numbers, which have declined since his big 2003. There's a big correlation in those numbers. Westbrook missed most of camp with a sprained foot, just returning to practice this week. The lack of options will give him a workload he has proven he can't handle. It's a fantasy catch-22 -- he'll lose value if he gets less touches, but without less touches, he'll likely be injured. Pick your poison, fantasy players.
A kicker? Why am I talking about a kicker in this injury report? Aren't they all interchangeable in fantasy? Yes, mostly, but a lot of you are picking up Adam Vinatieri earlier than any other kicker, at the start of the ninth round. My guy Philip B. Wilson of the Indy Star reported that Vinatieri had a broken bone in his plant foot, echoing a report two weeks ago by Peter King. What no one knows is which bone is broken -- and the Colts are denying that there's a break at all. Sources tell me there's some debate over whether the bone is in fact broken, with conflicting image readings, which tells me it's likely one of the midfoot tarsal bones. The same source insists that, broken or not, Vinatieri is making progress and will be available for Week 1. I'm a bit dubious, though without knowing the date of injury it's impossible to get a good handle on the timing. If you're willing to take the risk that you'll need to find a kicker on the waiver wire for Week 1, all the reasons you want Vinatieri are still there.
Alge Crumpler is just one of a deep group of TEs this season, as opposed to the two-man elite that the position had become over the past few seasons. Crumpler is coming off knee surgery in the offseason, forcing the Falcons to play things very cautiously with him. He's made it past every test short of playing in games. He'll do that in the final preseason game on Saturday when the Falcons take on the Titans, or at least line up against each other. Crumpler should have no problems, and while he's not yet at 100 percent, he'll be effective enough to make Michael Vick happy.
I don't talk much about defensive players, but some guys make enough of a difference to actually change a whole defense. (And sometimes, it's just a cool injury. I can't pass those up no matter the position.) Ray Lewis had his hamstring reattached surgically, an increasingly routine surgery. His presence in the middle of the Ravens' defense makes them fearsome, if not elite. Lewis is not the guy he once was. Age does to him what it does to all of us. However, he is healthy for the first time in quite a while. That means he's likely to put a couple people in this report before the season is through. Bumps and Bruises: Terrell Owens? He played like Terrell Owens, showing no effects of any injury, especially in the red zone. ... Matt Leinart is probably agreeing with Clinton Portis about now. Leinart suffered a sprained shoulder in the third quarter of the final preseason game. No details on the severity were available, so look for more on this in my next injury report and across the ESPN networks. ... Laurence Maroney has missed a couple days of practice with a mystery injury. Bill Belichick's Pats are always cagey with injuries. A team source tells me Maroney's condition is "rookie-itis." He's tired and the Pats are being cautious with him. ... Why should you care about team chemistry? You shouldn't, unless you're drafting Cedric Benson. Sources tell me his teammates have it in for him, leaving him open for injury. ... So, did you watch "The Fantasy Show" on Thursday? E-mail me and let me know what you thought!
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 8/31/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 8/31/06)

Sep. 1, 2006, 3:33 PM
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FFL: O-Lines Analyzed


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By Jason Langendorf
ESPN Fantasy Games

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The NFL lags a little behind some other leagues in the rush to quantify every detail of its sport. Thus, MLB pocket-protector types are currently developing complex algorithms that determine the relationship between a cleanup hitter's crotch scratches and his OPS while offensive linemen toil in statistical anonymity.
Incidentally, our ESPN buddy K.C. Joyner has made interesting advancements in this department. But messing even slightly with the inner workings of a team's offensive line, probably more than any area on either side of the ball, can throw the entire works off-kilter in a way that no slide rule could reasonably predict. (Seriously, we've tried. No dice.)
With that in mind, I consulted the crystal ball, read the tarot cards and tore myself away from The View long enough to watch a little tape. What I found: the offseason O-line moves that matter most -- and least -- to fantasy owners. (Don't worry, it'll make sense in a minute ? I think.)
Houston hires Gary Kubiak. If he does nothing else for the Texans than help keep QB David Carr upright and instill his zone-blocking principles, Kubiak will give the franchise more than predecessors Chris Palmer or Dom Capers ever did. Kubiak helped make a good offensive line look great as Denver's offensive coordinator. So according to the transitive property of offensive lines, he ought to be able to at least make a bad Houston group look decent. If C Mike Flanagan has anything left and rookie OTs Charles Spencer and Eric Winston pan out soon, Carr could take off, WR Andre Johnson finally will break out and unheralded runners like RBs Wali Lundy and Vernand Morency will delight back-starved fantasy owners.
Baltimore does ? nothing. Evil prediction: The football gods frown upon the Ravens' signing of QB Steve McNair in the midst of their neglect of the offensive line. McNair winds up in traction after an umpteenth missed blitz pickup, dooming RB Jamal Lewis to an existence of 20-carry, 60-yard performances. The right side of Baltimore's line was almost unspeakably bad last year, and even LT Jonathan Ogden lost his dominant edge. These guys look old, slow and creaky -- a scary thought for your offense when your new quarterback appears much the same.
The Jets get younger. With the franchise clearly in transition, the front office blew up a veteran O-line and snagged arguably the best pair of offensive linemen drafted by one team in recent memory: LT D'Brickashaw Ferguson and C Nick Mangold. Rebuilding an offensive line takes time, especially with so many folks new to their gigs -- and not just the rookies, but coach Eric Mangini and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer too. The entire offense figures to stumble out of the blocks, but don't be surprised if QB Chad Pennington, WR Laveranues Coles and even RB Kevan Barlow hit their strides around Week 12, when the Jets begin a stretch against Houston, Green Bay and Buffalo.
Oakland's Robert Gallery flip-flops. As in, Gallery flopped as a right tackle and now will try to flip the script on the left side, where he did so much damage in college. The move slides last year's left tackle Barry Sims inside to guard (where he belongs) and sends hulking Langston Walker from guard out to Gallery's vacated right tackle spot. Not surprisingly, all the shuffling led to a clunky preseason showing for Oakland's offense, but in the long run the moves should pay off for RB LaMont Jordan (3.8 yards per carry in '05) and give QB Aaron Brooks more time to launch downfield to his unrivaled vertical weapons.
Dallas signs RT Jason Fabini. QB Tony Romo is a nice little developmental backup who eventually might be able to channel his inner Jake Delhomme in a starting role. But Cowboys fans (not to mention owners of WR Terrell Owens and RB Julius Jones) are delusional if they think someone other than QB Drew Bledsoe can stir this drink in 2006. That's exactly the prospect they were facing when Bledsoe got rung up in Thursday's preseason finale. Fabini was breaking down last season, and only his experience sets him apart from the man he replaces on the right side, Rob Petitti. Only the resurrection of first-round washout and injury-plagued Marc Colombo, the current starter, can rescue the position. The 'Boys might come to regret not doing more to shore up Bledsoe's protection, particularly if LT Flozell Adams and RG Marco Rivera have more health problems.
New Orleans starts over. Unlike the Jets, the Saints were dealing from a position of relative strength on the offensive line ? and decided to fold anyway. No team deserves to be pilloried for trying to better itself, but it's hard to understand how New Orleans' moves will improve the product, even in the long run. Moving OT Jammal Brown from the right to the left side puts the team's best lineman in the most challenging spot on the line, but it isn't necessarily a good fit. Most of the other changes are even more puzzling. And after cutting ties with their only legitimate downfield weapon (WR Donte' Stallworth) last week, Saints officials are starting to appear downright ham-handed after falling over themselves to sign QB Drew Brees in the offseason. I've seen Allen Iverson play 1-on-5. I've never seen a quarterback play 1-on-11 and live to tell about it. RB Reggie Bush occasionally will create magic all on his own, but fantasy owners shouldn't hitch their wagons to any Saints on a weekly basis.
LG Steve Hutchinson signs with Minnesota. The Vikings probably aren't ready to contend for NFC supremacy, but they took one significant step in that direction with this move while sapping strength from the conference's reigning champs. Hutchinson is a 313-pound Tasmanian Devil. He moves well, plays nasty and, along with 343-pound LT Bryant McKinnie, gives Minnesota a left side that could simply mow down a lot of opponents, particularly the undersized ends in the NFC North. RB Chester Taylor was a dud in the preseason, but trust me, that won't last. I'm not as bully on QB Brad Johnson and the Funky Bunch -- they don't stink, but there's definitely a detectable aroma around the receivers. Still, with Hutchinson, a healthy C Matt Birk and a one-year-wiser RT Marcus Johnson, the passing game could surprise under the guidance of West Coast-chillin' Brad Childress. LT Willie Roaf retires. More than Hutchinson's departure from Seattle, Roaf's calling it quits is the single most devastating offseason O-line development. RG Will Shields is aging and Kansas City seemed caught off-guard by John Welbourn calling it a career, but those are ripples in the water compared to the cannonball splash of Roaf's retirement. QB Trent Green, 36, has lost mobility and had trouble adjusting to more pressure when Roaf missed games last season. Now imagine Green transitioning to a new offense under a new coordinator, with OTs Kyle Turley (coming off a two-year NFL hiatus) and Kevin Sampson (one career start) as his bookend blockers. If TE Tony Gonzalez is forced to stay home and block more often, as he did at times in '05, everyone in the passing game loses. And not to be too morbid with the injury predictions, but Jamal Lewis owners can attest to the dangers of overworking a feature back -- even a burly one seemingly built for the job. Strap it up tight RB Larry Johnson. You too, L.J. owners. And just in case, slap that handcuff on RB Michael Bennett.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 8/31/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 8/31/06)

Sep. 1, 2006, 3:01 PM
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FFL Mailbag: Sept. 1


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By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

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Rob Livingston, Seattle: My league held our draft recently and I took Domanick Davis in the sixth round, feeling he was worthy of such a gamble. Wali Lundy went undrafted and our waivers start shortly, so he will likely be picked up. I had a pretty good draft and don't have anyone I'm willing to drop for Lundy, other than Davis. Should I swap the two or hang tight with Davis and let someone else grab Lundy? Some other RBs that went undrafted in my league were Thomas Jones, Chris Brown, Travis Henry, and Mike Anderson.
<!--##FRONTSTOP##--><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width=200 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD width=8><SPACER width="8" type="block" height="1"></TD><TD width=300 bgColor=#ecece4>[FONT=Arial,Helvetica, sans-serif]The FFL Mailbag has the answers you need every Friday! Click here to send FFL questions and comments on players and trends. [/FONT]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>Engel: There certainly has been talk that Davis' knee problems could lead to him spending the season on injured reserve, and it appears he could be a wasted fantasy draft choice. It's not easy to cut a sixth-rounder, but the draft is over and you simply must move forward and do what is best for your team. Lundy is in line to start over Vernand Morency, and would be the perfect plug-in for Davis, who you would simply stash on your bench and possibly waste a spot waiting on a return that might not come. If your waiver order doesn't put you in line to nab Lundy, I certainly would add a RB who looks like he should play much more this year. I'd add Jones, Brown, then Anderson and Henry, in that order. If Cedric Benson continues to battle shoulder problems, Jones could be a quality addition. Brown does own the top the Titans' depth chart for now, but there have been unconfirmed rumors he might lose his starting job to Henry, so you could add Brown for now while continuing to monitor the situation.
Matt Wyckoff, New York, N.Y.:: I am in a 12-team keeper league, where there were 12 RBs kept. I kept LaMont Jordan for a second-rounder and Chris Chambers for a ninth-rounder. I have the first pick in the draft, and the two best available players are Chad Johnson and Brian Westbrook. Who would you take, knowing that I will not be able to pick again until the third round?
Engel: Westbrook should be ready for the season opener, and his injury concerns should worry you less over the long term. But you simply can't pass on the opportunity to get arguably the best wide receiver in fantasy football. Johnson is in the prime of his career, is annually excellent, and has more outstanding years to come. You'll simply have to take the best RB available with your third pick and add two or three quality RB picks for upside shortly thereafter, expanding your options at the position. I do place a heavy emphasis on RBs often, but Johnson can be a cornerstone of an annual keeper league contender for now and in the future.
John B. Jacob, Toledo, Ohio: How will the Donte' Stallworth trade affect Reggie Brown owners this season? At this point I'm remaining positive. With his ability to read coverages and blazing speed, Stallworth should contend for the number one spot providing he can absorb the offense and limit his drops. Brown, who had a nice rookie campaign, could explode as the number two guy facing single coverages and No. 2 cornerbacks.
Engel: I'm not as high on Philadelphia's starting receivers as you seem to be. Stallworth was not dependable as a No. 2 receiver with New Orleans, so I don't have much faith he will fare well overall when facing top cover cornerbacks on a regular basis. Hoping he can fit well into the offense unfortunately won't mean he will be a regularly productive fantasy receiver. Stallworth has a lot to prove and it speaks volumes about what a risk he is when you consider the Saints shipped him off without a solid receiver to replace him. Brown is certainly better off not apparently being in line for the No. 1 receiver spot, but he does lack experience and I wouldn't look for consistency from him, either. This will be Brown's first full season in a prominent role, and it comes quite early in his pro career. I'm not convinced he is ready to be a dependable fantasy player, and I don't look for either Stallworth or Brown to be useful as anything more than No. 3 fantasy receivers at best.
Zach, Hopkins, Minn.: I am the commissioner of a 12-team league. The guy with the first pick took LaDainain Tomlinson, then ended up with the worst draft of the league. I believe that my team is one of the best and deepest. I offered him Corey Dillon, Joey Galloway and Kurt Warner for Tomlinson and he accepted. I feel like I am taking advantage of someone because they had a poor draft. Should I overturn the deal?
Engel: Any trade that involves three players for one usually favors the team getting the one player. You received the superstar in return for three considerably lesser players, stacking up quantity for quality. I'm usually not in favor of such deals, but this deal could be an exception if the other side had a few holes he needed to fill quickly. But I do think you might have taken some advantage of a clearly inexperienced owner, as a more savvy fantasy player would make other single-player deals or explore other options to strengthen his team without losing Tomlinson. And if Tomlinson was my only standout, I would have demanded at least two better players than the three you offered. But what's done is done and you can't go on feeling guilty. To maintain the faith and respect of your league owners, let them vote on the trade, and if they approve it, move on and enjoy your season. Don't look back, and you'll certainly think twice before making possibly unbalanced trade offers in the future.
Paul Thureen, Brooklyn, N.Y.: This year I held out on drafting a QB as long as possible, focusing on RBs and WRs, knowing that someone I like such as Kurt Warner or Marc Bulger usually ends up falling into my hands relatively late. In a recent draft though, my strategy didn't work out, and I got stuck with Michael Vick and Steve McNair. Will I be fine platooning these two at the start of the season while keeping an eye out for a free agent or should I package Vick with Joseph Addai and try to work out a trade with someone who was a strong backup QB?
Engel: I feel your frustration, as I waited too long in one of my leagues, and ended up with Brett Favre and Aaron Brooks. Face it, neither one of us will feel comfortable until we actually improve our situations at QB. McNair could end up being a dependable starter, though, and I'd use him over the sometimes overrated and mediocre (for fantasy purposes) Vick. The Atlanta QB might not net you much in a deal, though. But I do believe Addai has some upside and could help you land a better starter in a deal with a team that has apparent RB needs. Addai certainly has a lot of promise, and you could possibly acquire a better passer to rotate with Vick. If a team that has Jake Plummer or Trent Green needs a player like Addai, either one would make a good partner with McNair, and you can rotate the two depending on matchups. I've won leagues before with alternating QBs before, as long as the rest of my roster is strong.
Bill, Richmond, Va.: I am in a 10-team keeper league. This year we are adding individual defensive players to the system. I was offered Edgerrin James, Steve Smith, and Adrian Wilson for Ladainian Tomlinson. It doesn't seem like a bad trade, But I keep reading all the negative talk about Edge's offensive line. If I take the trade, my core starters would be Carson Palmer, Edge, Chad Johnson, Steve Smith, and either Terrell Owens, Chester Taylor, or Reggie Bush. I also have Javon Walker.
Engel: While Wilson is certainly one of the better defensive backs to acquire in an IDP league, there are many other quality DBs you can add from what is usually a deep free agent pool, even if the available players aren't quite on Wilson's level. You would then take on the worries about James' blocking and the minor concerns about Smith's hamstring. Your team is strong enough without the players offered, and you don't need to give up your franchise guy when you don't have any major needs to fill. Don't give into the lure of building a possibly more intimidating starting lineup overall. Keeping one of the best three RBs in fantasy football is more important. You should only give up your top superstar if you have obvious needs to fill. You don't. You will do just fine and possibly better than you expect with a RB duo of Tomlinson and Bush. Taylor will also be a decent starting option. The deal actually weakens your RB corps, and you already have two superstar receivers and Smith is just a luxury, not a necessity by any means. Turn the offer down.
Darrell, Las Vegas: I just finished my auction draft and ended up with Steven Jackson, Carnell Williams, Reuben Droughns, Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne and Marc Bulger as my core group. We play with three RBs and two WRs. Should I trade Steven Jackson for Ronnie Brown since I am depending a lot on one team, or shop Torry Holt? I have Muhsin Muhammad, Ahman Green, Kevan Barlow, Cedric Benson and Brandon Lloyd on the bench.
Engel: You certainly have too many Rams, and you could be headed for a bad fate in weeks in which the St. Louis offense doesn't play to an optimum level. But it's hard to break up a Jackson/Cadillac duo, and having a RB and WR from the same team might hurt you less than a QB/WR combo. I would try to package Bulger and a RB for an upgrade at QB. After that, you will have only two Rams of major note to depend on, and a better QB conceivably could compensate for down performances by your Rams in the instances when they might struggle on offense. It's still not an ideal scenario to have a top RB and WR from the same team, but it's also not easy to part with Jackson or Holt. Jackson for Brown would be a fair swap in your case, though. Ultimately, you could explore the Brown deal while also moving Bulger. In the end, you'd only end up sacrificing maybe one backup RB in a two-for-one deal for another QB.
Christopher, Tulsa, Okla: I understand the theory of taking starting RBs over QBs because of starting lineup requirements. However, if it came down to taking Chad Johnson, Torry Holt, etc. in the middle of the second round over Reggie Bush or another comparable second RB, how can you compare? There are three starting WR slots in both my leagues, and I just think you can pick up a Chester Taylor or maybe even a couple of Samkon Gado-type flyers in later rounds and hope one of them will turn out to be a gem down the road. Meanwhile, you've got 20-plus points a game from a stud wide receiver.
Engel: Taking the second RB or not usually depends on where I pick in the second round. If I pick late in the round, I'll take the receiver, because there won't be a major dropoff to the next RB I'll get in the third. But if I pick early in the second round, I won't get a shot at another RB until the end of the third round, and the pool of WRs is deeper and I can still get a Chris Chambers or Hines Ward late in the third. There are only roughly three or four high-quality No. 2 RBs available after the first round is over, and I'm not passing on them. That includes Bush, who I believe will be more explosive than some other fantasy leaguers think. I believe he'll make a very good No. 2 fantasy RB in his rookie year. I don't want to gamble on a Gado as a starter when I can still take quality starting WRs in the third through fifth rounds after grabbing my two RBs. I do agree with you if I'm picking late in the second round. But RBs get more touches and I'm not guaranteed great production from most WRs every week. Plus, the top RBs fly off the board so fast, that I want to join in before I'm left with a very shaky starter. And with many RBs going off the board early, some of the top receivers naturally fall to the third and fourth rounds. COMMENTARY: Brian, Holly Springs, N.C.: I just wanted to share stories from leagues I was in last year. In one league, the guy who picked 12th decided to go with Terrell Owens and Randy Moss at 12 and 13, and passed on RBs. His RBs were Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams (which might be a good combo this year, but not very reliable last year). He only won three games. In my other league, a guy went for overall points and drafted Tom Brady with the eighth overall pick because he had the highest average points per game of anyone left in our scoring system. His RBs were Ahman Green and Jamal Lewis. He won two games. The point is RB is the most valuable position in fantasy football. The dropoff between the top RBs and mid-level RBs is much greater than any other position. Compare Rudi Johnson to Kevin Jones; and then compare Chad Johnson to Reggie Wayne or Darrell Jackson. You could get away with having Wayne or even Jackson as a No. 1 receiver. But if you have Jones as your top RB, you're in for a long season.
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Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/1/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/1/06)

great stuff, Hache
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/1/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/1/06)

Goodbye, Domanick


posted: Monday, September 4, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: Fantasy NFL


Are you aware the NFL season begins this week? On Thursday. This Thursday! Dolphins at Steelers. Culpepper at Roethlisberger. That's 23 letters of starting quarterbacks, people.

I spent a few days in Las Vegas last week catching up, um, on my sleep, and while I was there I did a draft. In round 10 I took Domanick Davis. At the time, it looked smart. I mean, why not take a guy who, a month ago, was looked at by most as a top 10 player. I knew he was hurt, all the experts in the draft did, but in round 10? More than 110 players had been taken, including another Houston running back. In an experts league you know a controversial draft pick is smart when you don't get mocked. This seemed like a decent move.
And today, a mere 48 hours later, it appears I wasted the pick.
Turns out the Davis knee injury was so significant that it will cost Dom the 2006 season. The Texans placed Davis on injured reserve, which is no 15-day disabled list, for those who play fantasy baseball. Davis is done. History. It's over. We won't need to discuss him again for about nine months. If you drafted Davis in round 10, oh well, no big deal. If you drafted Davis in round one, it is.
First things first, those who selected Davis with their first or second round draft pick do not need to pack it in and start preparing for fantasy hockey season (by the way, hockey is coming, sooner than you think). Just because the Davis pick was the most royal of busts doesn't mean you cannot compete. On the contrary, Davis won't be the only first round running back to torture fantasy football teams.
A year ago -- and it's hard to envision this today -- Jamal Lewis, Kevin Jones and Deuce McAllister were viewed as safe first round running backs. Safe as in the way we today view Steven Jackson, Carnell Williams and LaMont Jordan. Top, reliable running backs change all the time. Davis is no longer one of them. Your season is not over. Other teams will be joining you in their unhappiness.
For now the Texans intend to give sixth-round draft pick Wali Lundy the start against the Eagles in Week 1. We'll get into all the ramifications about why Lundy isn't an attractive fantasy option for Week 1 in our myriad columns and analysis later in the week (trust me, from my blogs to the flowery prose of Scott Engel and Tristan Cockcroft, to Scouts Inc. detailed projections, the Will Carroll injury report and more, we've got you covered), but for now, you must pick Lundy up off the waiver wire. Any starting running back should be owned in a league. Even a Jet.
How good might Lundy be? Don't even look at his numbers at Virginia. They don't matter. Doesn't matter what his yards per carry looked like, or how many times he scored. Did any of that matter last year to J.J. Arrington? What's more important is how the Texans plan to use Lundy, and whether they can open up holes for him. As of now I have some doubts Lundy will get significantly more carries than Vernand Morency, but I'm not prepared to say for sure. Why not go on a limb? Because Lundy might be a 1,200-yard back who scores a handful of touchdowns, or he might be Arrington. He might be Willie Parker, a somewhat forgotten, afterthought draft pick who seizes the opportunity and becomes very, very good. Or he might be Ryan Moats, who shows ability but doesn't get enough touches. Nobody knows. That's why he's a must add, just in case this is a great situation. While you're at it, in deeper leagues, pick up Morency as well.
Here are some other items from cutdown day in the NFL and other things generally on my mind this fine Sunday morning (right after we did the latest Fantasy Focus on ESPN Radio, each Sunday from 7-9 a.m. ET), the day before Labor Day.
? Carson Palmer is back. I didn't get into this situation too much in my writing last week, but Palmer looked terrific last Monday night in destroying the Packers and that's about all I needed to see. Sure, it's preseason. This was also the top fantasy quarterback from last year. Palmer has had a few levels of fantasy draft status in the last month. Originally he was an interesting draft pick in the fourth round range, going after Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck and possibly Donovan McNabb. Then Palmer looked timid in the preseason, lending many to believe he hadn't mentally overcome the serious knee injury. He dropped to the Eli Manning-Jake Delhomme-Marc Bulger range of quarterbacks. Then he masterfully picks apart the Packers, and in my Vegas draft he was the second signal caller off the draft board, going in the fourth round. Peyton Manning went mid-third. I'm moving Palmer back up to No. 2 on my list of quarterbacks, but don't ask me what round to take him. Every league, every draft is different. He might be worth a second or third rounder in some formats, and in leagues with multiple starting quarterbacks. In other leagues, the fifth round might be right.
? Doug Gabriel is a Patriot! Before we all go out and move Gabriel into fourth round draft territory, let's remember Tom Brady spreads the ball around pretty good. Gabriel being dealt by the Raiders signals a few things to me. One, Ronald Curry is the No. 2/3 receiver there, depending on how you feel about Jerry Porter. Gabriel was excess. Two, Deion Branch is as good as gone. Where will he go? Rumors of the Jets and Seahawks being interested in Branch have been making the rounds. Hard to get too excited about the Jets from a fantasy standpoint, but what about the Seahawks? The defending NFC champs have all the pieces in place to thrive again, and interest in Branch probably signals that you don't want any part of Darrell Jackson this season. Jackson has a knee problem and should not be depended on as a No. 2 fantasy receiver. What to do with Branch? If you already drafted him, do nothing. Don't cut him, don't trade him. If you're about to draft, take him later than you would have, because it's likely he doesn't play the first few weeks, if at all.
? Is it Vince Young time? Nope, I don't think the Titans want to throw their rookie into the fire just yet, and the Kerry Collins signing proves it. What happens with Billy Volek? I'm surprised he hasn't already been traded, maybe to San Diego to back up Philip Rivers, or some other team with a young starting quarterback looking for a veteran presence. Volek won't be a Titan next week. Collins will start Week 1, and all the weeks until the team is eliminated from playoff contention. So yeah, we might see Vince Young in late-September after all.
? Which fantasy notables actually got cut? Well, a month ago Ron Dayne was Denver's starting running back in name only, but that didn't last long. Dayne didn't have a great preseason at all, Mike Bell and Cedric Cobbs did, and Dayne couldn't even make the team. That's how far the Heisman Trophy winner has fallen. Should you flat out cut him if you already drafted him? Oddly enough I would wait on that. I bet he finds work this week and certainly he could figure into someone's goal line situation. Take the Eagles for example, a popular hangout for Dorsey Levens the last few years. The Rams just signed Stephen Davis to a one-year deal, and it wasn't to motivate Steven Jackson. It was to get a veteran bruiser in there to get the tough carries at the goal line. This makes Jackson similar to Tiki Barber near the goal line, potentially if Davis can stay healthy, except Jackson isn't Barber. Look for Dayne to get a job and get some run. The Giants (and now Rams) don't want their main backs to get hurt, so they stick someone else in there for the really tough carries, the ones likely to get someone hurt. That's what Dayne can do.
? Anyone draft Charles Rogers? I don't know of too many leagues in which the enigmatic Lions bust was selected. At least Dayne had been around a while and lost his job due to depth and financial reasons. By most accounts Rogers just wasn't good enough to make the Lions. He was the second overall draft pick in 2003! What a fall! Will he find work? I think he will, but don't bet on too much fantasy value here. It's not like he's been able to thrive or even stay healthy. When he wasn't breaking his collarbone, there were off-field issues.
Other noteworthy cuts of players who were potentially on your draft board:
? Lee Suggs, former Brown: Couldn't pass his physical, otherwise he would be a New York Jet right now. So maybe getting cut was a positive step. Don't expect to see Suggs on a roster anytime soon. The Browns also placed William Green on injured reserve, meaning the two fellows competing to back up Reuben Droughns will not be doing just that. What happens if Droughns gets hurt? Jerome Harrison seems to be the popular handcuff these days, but there's also no reason to worry about Droughns.
? Najeh Davenport, former Packer: This one also came down to injury, so don't view this as a pronouncement of 2004 form or a sterling reminder of what Ahman Green could be. He hasn't looked good, neither has Samkon Gado, but apparently Davenport looked worse. Most fantasy owners knew he was the third running back option in Green Bay, at best. This is absolutely a team in which a Mike Bell or Wali Lundy type of late (or non) draft pick could make an impact. Rookie Greg Jennings already won a starting wide receiver spot, watch the running back situation as well. Noah Herron, anyone?
? Jeff George, former (ever so briefly) Raider: Look, the guy hadn't played in a game since 2001. Why he was brought in for just a week and then cut seems odd, and mean, but maybe the Raiders just realized things would really, really have to hit rock bottom for George to get snaps. Aaron Brooks is the starter, he's relatively safe, and Andrew Walter seems the next in line. I can't believe I just spent so much time writing about Jeff George. Nice PR move by Oakland! OK, that's a weekend wrap for now (and my rankings are all updated), with more to come soon. Enjoy the rest of your Labor Day weekend!
 
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (1 New Article Added 9/4/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (1 New Article Added 9/4/06)

more great stuff
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (1 New Article Added 9/4/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (1 New Article Added 9/4/06)

Sep. 5, 2006, 3:44 PM
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Carroll Injury Report: Ben Roethlisberger goes under the knife


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ESPN Fantasy Games

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It's the little things that bother me, from a deceptive injury report to not being able to buy a customized Colts home jersey. Of course, those little things are what make the difference in the NFL, a matter of inches and depth, things that look like luck unless you look closely. The one big thing that bothers me is when experts, people who really understand the game, say that injuries are part of football. Injuries are not purely a random event. Yes, injuries happen without an apparent pattern, but over the course of a season or a career, it's easy to see these patterns. Teams and their medical staffs all try to reduce the number of injuries while front offices try to reduce the effect of injuries. In the end, it's as true in football as baseball that luck is the residue of design.
With two days until kickoff, let's get to the injuries:
Did Ben Roethlisberger desecrate an ancient burial ground, steal a tiki head on vacation, or walk under a ladder as he left the Super Bowl? It's hard to call the Steelers QB anything but unlucky, yet he's got a Super Bowl ring, a big contract and escaped a devastating motorcycle accident with his life. His latest setback, an emergency appendectomy, isn't as serious as it sounds. Appendectomies are now done with a laparoscope, the abdominal equivalent of an arthroscope. The big scar a lot of us sport is now being replaced by a couple incisions of an inch or less and the recovery time is reduced as well. Roethlisberger is out for Week 1, but Week 2 is well within reach with the long layoff between the Thursday season starter and the Monday game in Week 2. He's a much better real QB than he is a fantasy QB, so in most cases, he's just a backup anyway. Beyond Week 1, keep your projections on Roethlisberger about the same -- there will be no long-term consequences.
With Big Ben out for Week 1, Hines Ward becomes a lesser play at WR. Ward has missed much of the preseason with a hamstring strain, but he's ready to go. There's a school of thought that Charlie Batch will be more likely to go to his top target, but there's no evidence to support that across the league. Worse, Ward tends to start out of motion, forcing a hard cut that will strain the hamstring, especially if he's moving to the left of the formation. The hamstring injury alone shouldn't be enough to keep him out of your lineup, but combined with other factors, it's enough to make you check all your options.
The NFL Network's whiparound coverage of the preseason was interesting, or at least as interesting as preseason football can be. Last Friday, Rich Eisen got the final word on Adam Vinatieri and his ankle problem, but couldn't parse the info, actually calling out for some help. Rich, e-mail me and I'll give you my number for the next time you're confronted with a talocalcaneal sprain with minor avulsion. OK, in English now -- Vinatieri has a sprain of a small ligament in his foot, one that resists adduction, or keeps the foot from rolling inward (toward the big toe side). The kicking motion does tax this during the follow-through as the kicker "spins out", though it shouldn't affect the plant itself. A Colts source who saw Vinatieri kick on Friday says that Vinatieri's kickoffs looked unaltered, though slightly shorter than normal. So what was all this about the broken bone? That's the avulsion part mentioned above. When the ligament was stretched, it tore away a small part of the attaching bone. This isn't a big concern as long as the bone fragment doesn't end up in the joint space, where it would act as a bone spur. That's a lot of words about a kicker who will play Week 1, but I think we've all learned something.
So what do we know about Laurence Maroney? Fantastic hair. Powerful running that looked great in the preseason. Injury to his knee. The vague details that normally come out of New England are nothing new, so we'll look to sources and symptoms to help us gauge this. Maroney came back to practice with a small brace on his left knee, far smaller than the braces one would associate with a serious injury. Some think he's having a bit of patellar tendonitis but most point to a mild MCL strain. Missing the final preseason game tells us nothing; Tom Brady missed the game and he's no more than banged up. Maroney remains a solid backup to Corey Dillon, but as with Joseph Addai, the early part of the season likely belongs to the vet.
We've already learned that Darrell Jackson didn't have full range of motion in his surgically repaired knee last week. Now, we see that Mike Holmgren is discussing Deion Branch as an option. Of course, the Branch possibility could say as much about Nate Burleson as it does about Jackson, but are you willing to take that chance? Jackson is a slow healer, a small speed receiver, and the team has other options. That's a mix you don't want. I wouldn't be surprised to see him very limited in the first couple weeks of the season. Bumps & Bruises: Brian Westbrook? He's healthy. Period. Anyone who tries to tell you differently is wrong. ? Roy Williams' groin strain won't keep him out of the Lions' new attack. It might affect his jumps in the red zone more than anything else. ? Who else drafted Clinton Portis early? Good, I like to see smart people get rewarded. Portis will get the bulk of carries in Week 1. ? Matt Leinart was listed as having a sprained shoulder, but he described a subluxation. He does have a history of non-throwing shoulder problems going all the way back to high school, so this is a nice data point. He'll have plenty of time to heal.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (1 New Article Added 9/4/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (1 New Article Added 9/4/06)

Tuesday, September 5, 2006
<SCRIPT language=javascript src="http://ai059.insightexpressai.com/adServer/adServer.aspx?bannerID=7560"></SCRIPT> Stained Steel?


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By Scott Engel
ESPN.com

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=762 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width=552><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->As their 2006 opener quickly approaches, the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with significant injury issues and some other question marks. From a fantasy perspective, any team heading into their opener with Charlie Batch leading them into battle can't be considered a powerhouse, to say the least. Fantasy owners might be hesitant to start some of their best Steelers in the first week.
Most notably, Ben Roethlisberger is certain to miss the opener because of an emergency appendectomy. That means Batch gets the call against what should be an improved Dolphins squad, and he will likely be quite conservative and attempt to minimize mistakes. Cedrick Wilson could be his best target with Hines Ward also on the mend from a hamstring injury. Wilson isn't afraid to make tough catches, and Batch could look his way often.
Ward does expect to play, but he might not produce at an optimum statistical level and could get off to a slow start this season if the injury lingers. There is also the existing possibility that the problem could flare up again. With Ward possibility operating at less than 100 percent, Wilson and tight end Heath Miller could be targeted regularly early in the schedule. Ward said Roethlisberger is a "fast healer" and would be surprised to see him miss more than one game. It can only benefit the entire Pittsburgh offense if Roethlisberger returns for the second game at Jacksonville on Monday, Sept. 18. The early opener and second-week Monday nighter does give Roethlisberger a better chance to recover in time for the second game. But Bill Cowher has chose to term Roethlisberger's status as "week to week." And Roethlisberger could miss up to two games, according to some published reports.
Any time missed by Roethlisberger won't bode well for the Pittsburgh running game. It won't be surprising to see opposing defenses stack their fronts against Willie Parker, who won't be able to elude tacklers if they are constantly focusing on him. Parker is at his best when Roethlisberger is challenging defenses regularly and opening up running lanes for possible big running plays. Parker isn't a banger who will grind out yardage to take pressure off Batch. The Pittsburgh offense could sputter with Batch at the controls, forcing the defense to spend more time on the field while giving up more yardage and points than usual, which could also be a concern depending on your scoring system. Without Roethlisberger and Ward's health still a minor concern, the Steelers certainly will be less dependable offensively for the first week or two. While Wilson and Miller could be quality starting selections, everything seems uncertain with Roethlisberger out. If it comes down to a close decision between a Steeler and another player of similar value in week one, you should consider opting for the alternative over the Pittsburgh option.
The Pittsburgh running back situation could ultimately remain a shaky one for some time. Parker is explosive, but he certainly isn't built for regular feature back work and there isn't another RB on the roster who is the ideal player to share carries with him. Parker was outstanding at times last year because he was a great complement for Jerome Bettis, but he could wear down quickly if he's expected to run inside more often, and it remains to be seen whether he can consistently produce as a goal-line runner. After two 20-plus carry, 100-yard rushing games to open the 2005 season, Parker only reached the century mark one more time until Christmas Eve. Verron Haynes is a nice third-down RB, but he's not physical enough to be a quality partner for Parker, and Duce Staley might not dress for some games. Parker could be very inconsistent and statistically frustrating, even when Roethlisberger returns. <STYLE> .headshot { visibility: visible; padding: 0px 5px 4px 0px; float: left;} .bottom { font: 10px verdana, san-serif; color: #fff; font-weight: bold; background: #006633; padding: 5px; } </STYLE>BETWEEN THE LINES

The Steelers' opponent in Super Bowl XL, the Seattle Seahawks, aren't opening the season in ideal offensive form, either. Darrell Jackson (knee surgery) finally rejoined his teammates at practice on Monday, and while he should play in the season opener at Detroit, Jackson could be eased slowly into the passing game and isn't looking like a recommended fantasy option for the first week. Tight end Jerramy Stevens (right) might not return until October after undergoing knee surgery last month. Reserve Itula Mili, not nearly a receiving threat in the league of Stevens, is also recovering from a knee sprain, but is expected to be ready for the opener. All-world left tackle Walter Jones has missed practice time recently with a shoulder problem, but he is expected to be ready for the opener also. The Seattle offensive line has not only dealt with the loss of guard Steve Hutchinson, but the unit has been banged up during the preseason.
Mike Holmgren, however, maintains that only Stevens has been ruled out for the season opener. Seattle has been rumored to still be in the market for Deion Branch, which is understandable considering the concerns about Jackson's health. For now. it could be time for newcomer Nate Burleson to shine. While Jackson was out, Matt Hasselbeck established a very quick and positive on-field relationship with Burleson. Even if Jackson is limited early on, wily veteran Bobby Engram remains a top target on important passing downs. He isn't a fantasy starter by any means, but he does complement Burleson well. Engram can be counted on for key possession grabs, and Jackson still demands defensive attention even if he isn't in top form. D.J. Hackett also remains a deep threat. The Lions likely won't be able to give Burleson extra defensive attention, and he and Hasselbeck could enjoy some prolific downfield hookups in their first real game together. Hasselbeck could take some shots to Burleson early to keep Detroit from focusing too much on RB Shaun Alexander. Alexander should quickly quell any worries about losing Hutchinson in front of him as long as Jones stays healthy. He should come out of the gate quickly against the Lions and Cardinals. But a week three meeting with the Giants could prove to be a major test for the Seahawks' offense. New York is still smarting from losing a game that it should have won at Seattle last season. "Big Blue" will be primed to erase the memory of the 2005 Jay Feely debacle. The Seahawks could coast early before engaging in a struggle of epic proportions in their third game. Seattle can fare well on offense without Stevens and a fully healthy Jackson for the first two games. But if they host the Giants with injury issues, a strong start by Hasselbeck, Alexander and Burleson could come to a quick halt. A trip to Chicago the following week doesn't look like a friendly matchup, either, but the 'Hawks could be more productive than expected on offense if the Bears sputter offensively. A bye week follows before they face the Rams. Trading for Alexander or Hasselbeck might not be possible early, but their value could drop before the Chicago game.



THE BOTTOM LINE

Willis McGahee, RB, Bills
8 carries, 29 yards, 1 TD at Detroit

McGahee finished off a rather impressive preseason by making the most of his work on the Bills' opening drive in the exhibition finale. He finished the preseason with 151 rushing yards and averaged nearly five yards per carry in exhibition play. McGahee had also ripped off a 61-yard scoring run against the Bengals in Buffalo's second preseason game. He is reportedly very comfortable with Buffalo's new coaching regime and he expects to become more involved in the passing game. Those are all nice positives to hear if you're one of McGahee's fantasy owners. He does have the ability to be a strong runner for fantasy purposes when the matchup is right. But it still remains to be seen how the quarterback situation works out in Buffalo, and the offensive line still doesn't scare any opposing defensive coordinator. J.P. Losman is the No. 1 passer for now, and while he has shown some signs of possible improvement during the preseason, he still might crumble when play begins for real. Losman doesn't make good decisions, especially under pressure, and until he proves he can fare better more consistently, defenses will continue to key on McGahee often. Don't expect statistical consistency from McGahee, and Losman's inability to put together solid drives could continue to hurt McGahee's TD totals. Sure, Losman will find Lee Evans for a few bombs, but he doesn't have much else, and McGahee might continue to be an overall disappointment. Maybe Marv Levy can coax Frank Reich out of retirement.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (1 New Article Added 9/4/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (1 New Article Added 9/4/06)

Sep. 5, 2006, 3:44 PM
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FFL: Position Winners


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By Tristan H. Cockcroft
ESPN Fantasy Games

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Now that the preseason has drawn to a close, let's take a look back at how those training-camp battles have panned out. ? First, the ones that have reached their conclusion:
Bears starting running back: Health ultimately came into play in this battle, and Thomas Jones simply had the advantage due to his appearing in two preseason games compared to Cedric Benson's none. Whether Bears management really wanted Benson to be the starter in Week 1, as it said early in the preseason, we'll never know. What counts is that Jones will get the start on Sunday, and based on this having been termed a battle, it might be easy for some people to forget that he ran for 1,335 yards and nine scores in 2005, each of those top-10 numbers in the league. He's well worth No. 2 RB consideration, though with Benson's shoulder apparently healthy enough to allow him to play in Week 1, we might not yet have heard the last of this competition. Jones owners should look to handcuff him with Benson just in case of a potential switch.
Colts starting running back: The Indianapolis Star reports that Dominic Rhodes enters the season as the Colts' starter, though rookie Joseph Addai clearly will be worked in depending on both players' level of effectiveness. Neither was particularly impressive in the preseason, though let's not forget that Rhodes is only five years removed from a 1,104-yard, nine-TD season in place of an injured Edgerrin James, the man he's now replacing. I wouldn't be surprised if this position develops into one in which Rhodes gets the goal-line and short-yardage work, while Addai carries the load between the 20s, so don't expect either back to be more than a No. 2 RB for fantasy unless one clearly steps forward early.
Jets starting running back: Most people, having heard the news that Kevan Barlow had been traded by the 49ers to the Jets, immediately assumed the sixth-year veteran would slide right in as the starter. However, if there's one thing Barlow showed us in San Francisco, it's that he's incapable of serving as that kind of workhorse, which is why it's no shock that Derrick Blaylock is reportedly set to serve as the Week 1 starter. Don't go racing to get Blaylock, though; the Jets are clearly planning this as a running back-by-committee kind of situation, perhaps only turning to one man if he steps up as the hot hand. Whether it's Blaylock, Barlow, Leon Washington or Cedric Houston, none of these guys strikes me as a reliable fantasy option beyond the rare matchup play, and even then, I'd like to hear one declared the go-to guy before putting that kind of trust in him.
Packers starting running back: Ahman Green's quadriceps injury hasn't been a problem this preseason, meaning he'll enter the season the unquestioned starter, for at least as long as he's able to remain healthy. Taking into account Green Bay's offensive line problems, though, that might not last long, and throwing in the fact that the defense isn't strong, there might not be that many chances for Green, anyway. If he can be much better than a spot-start No. 2 RB for a fantasy team, consider it a great season for him. More important to this battle was the release of Najeh Davenport, last year's primary backup, which cements Samkon Gado's status as the No. 2 back in Green Bay this season. Gado's story the second half of 2005 was an inspiring one, and he's now a must-have handcuff for Green owners, and perhaps a potential sleeper in leagues with deeper benches.
Packers No. 2 receiver: What a training camp rookie Greg Jennings had; 12 catches for 328 yards and a score! That allowed the second-round pick to leap ahead of Robert Ferguson on the depth chart to serve as the starter across from Donald Driver, which is a pretty valuable role on a team almost certain to throw the ball 40-plus times a game. I see the Packers playing from behind a fair amount, and when Driver is mired in double coverage, expect Jennings to benefit from a few extra targets, making him a nice No. 4 or 5 WR.
Texans starting running back: What a wild ride Domanick Davis has endured this calendar year. He went from possible backup when it appeared Reggie Bush would be Houston's pick at No. 1 in the draft, to unquestioned starter after Houston passed on Bush, to a slight risk to miss the regular-season opener when his balky knee acted up in early workouts, and now, if you believe the Houston Chronicle, Davis eventually could be shown the door after landing on injured reserve last week with his chronic knee problem. That created an open competition between rookie Wali Lundy and Vernand Morency, and while each impressed in the preseason, Lundy wound up the victor, at least for Week 1. He's not a bad No. 3 option, though this is another battle that could continue all year, not only between these two, but also including Ron Dayne, recently signed from the Broncos. In fact, Dayne quickly could emerge as the goal-line back in Houston, and if he's effective early in that role, it'll limit the fantasy appeal of either potential starter.
Titans starting running back: Published reports late in the preseason suggested that Travis Henry, who scored twice in the preseason, was expected to emerge as the Week 1 starter, but all indications are that this remains Chris Brown's job. The Henry rumors could merely have been Tennessee's attempt to boost his trade stock, as the sixth-year veteran is a smallish back with a fumbling problem, things that don't exactly portray him as the best option as the team's workhorse. Brown likely will start for as long as he can stay healthy, with Henry his backup, though I think there will come a time when LenDale White will be a factor on this team. White could be a nice late-season sleeper.
These three, however, remain up for grabs as Week 1 approaches:
Broncos starting running back: Mike Shanahan, could you be any more frustrating? I'd advise you to pick a Bell and stick with him, but considering the Mike Anderson/Tatum Bell tandem worked so effectively last season, I suppose there's no fault in trying that kind of mix again, with Mike Bell sliding into the Anderson role. The problem, however, is that Shanahan made that public statement that Mike Bell was his projected starter early in the preseason, a move believed by some and laughed off by others who saw it as a motivating tool to inspire Tatum Bell to play better. So which was it? Was the Mike Bell talk all a mirage? My money's on this being an identical approach to the one Denver took in 2005, meaning it'll be anyone's guess from week to week which Bell will be the fantasy standout. (For the record, that would make neither too much more than a "flex" option.) Or ?Shanahan could fool us all and go with Cedric Cobbs as his Week 1 starter.
Jaguars No. 2 receiver: There's a simple reason this battle is still technically up for grabs, and it's that Jacksonville seems likely to get both Ernest Wilford and Reggie Williams heavily involved in the offense, no matter who starts alongside Matt Jones in Week 1. Wilford, with his 681 yards and seven scores of a year ago, most likely gets the starting nod on Sunday, but former first rounder Williams should be involved in a fair share of three-receiver sets, which will keep him on the fantasy map. All three receivers carry a good amount of sleeper/breakout potential, and with them likely being featured in that order, in fantasy, they're useful Nos. 3-4-5 options, in that order.
Raiders No. 2 receiver: Doug Gabriel's departure opens this position up, and it's an interesting development in that Ronald Curry wasn't expected by anyone to make much of an impact this season coming off his Achilles' injury. So here's what we have to track the first few weeks of the season: Curry, the young, upside guy loaded with injury risk, against Jerry Porter, a more proven receiver but one who has done nothing but irk team management with his persistent trade demands. The bottom line is that a healthy Curry is probably going to get the starting job across from Randy Moss, but that's no guarantee, and if Curry can't hold up, the Raiders can't possibly overlook Porter to the detriment of the team, can they? The winner here could become quite the trade bargain/quality pickup. Titans starting quarterback: I think Tennessee is simply being coy about its starter for Week 1. After all, isn't it fun to thwart the Jets' preparation? The Titans will tell you they haven't decided between newly signed Kerry Collins or Billy Volek as their starter for Sunday, but the fact that they were peddling around Volek to most any team in need of a quality backup quarterback tells you all you need to know. Collins' experience should help him quickly ramp up to assume this job, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't get the call, even if it comes only minutes before game time. Now, whether the winner of this battle warrants fantasy consideration is another matter; expect matchups potential at best.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/5/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/5/06)

Wednesday, September 6, 2006
<SCRIPT language=javascript src="http://ai059.insightexpressai.com/adServer/adServer.aspx?bannerID=7560"></SCRIPT> The Clinton Conundrum


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By Tristan Cockcroft
ESPN.com

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=762 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width=552><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->One of the biggest stories of the preseason, Clinton Portis' shoulder injury put his draft status into much question. Most people seemed to drop the Redskins' running back either to the back end of the first round or the early stages of the second because they were worried about the risk of a recurrence (or about T.J. Duckett's stealing many of his touchdown chances).
Now that the regular season is upon us, however, the Portis questions are beginning to circulate about how to use him on a weekly basis in fantasy leagues. In Week 1, for instance, his status is very much up in the air, with reports circulating that it'll be up to him whether he's ready to start against the Vikings on "Monday Night Football."
Unfortunately, the problem with deciding on Portis for this week centers on when his game takes place. A Monday game means an official decision on his status might not be known until well after the Sunday games get under way, which would limit the options for Portis owners' to only Minnesota, Oakland, San Diego or Washington running backs if he's unable to go. For that reason, checking the news on Portis is imperative for his owners, and if there isn't anything definitive on his health before the Sunday kickoff, it's a better idea to play the safe route and go with a healthy guy playing Sunday, assuming you have one.
I'd expect Portis should be fine for Week 1, and a matchup against Minnesota is indeed a favorable one. As a "flex" option he'd be well worth the risk even if he's not cleared in advance of the Sunday games, and in leagues that allow changes up to game time, Ladell Betts would likely get the start and the bulk of the work between the 20s while Duckett would be in as the goal-line back, meaning either one could be slotted in for those formats, if needed. Also, Michael Turner isn't a terrible option in those leagues in the unlikely event Portis is a no-go and you need a last-minute stand-in.
Beyond Week 1, Duckett's presence does have me a bit worried about how much Portis will be trusted in short-yardage situations, which should cost him a couple touchdowns over the course of the season. But he's one of the best pure talents among running backs, and after all the talk this preseason, it seems he has actually slipped a bit into underrated territory. Portis is talented enough to be at least the runner he was in 2004, when he managed 1,315 rushing yards and seven total scores, and that's at worst a solid No. 2 fantasy RB, but more likely a No. 1 RB on the back end of that tier. There's risk, but it's not substantial. <STYLE> .headshot { visibility: visible; padding: 0px 5px 4px 0px; float: left;} .bottom { font: 10px verdana, san-serif; color: #fff; font-weight: bold; background: #006633; padding: 5px; } </STYLE>BETWEEN THE LINES
Coach Art Shell can't possibly hold Jerry Porter back forever, can he? Maybe Porter is no superstar receiver, but all he has done the past two seasons is average 4.4 receptions and 60.6 yards per game, scoring 14 touchdowns total, which aren't bad numbers by any means. I like Ronald Curry as much as the next sleeper chaser, but fact remains that Curry's comeback from an Achilles' injury won't be easy, and is the kind of thing that could take until 2007 to return to 100 percent. If Porter doesn't emerge as the No. 2 receiver within the month, I'd be surprised, and expecting to see Oakland at the bottom of the AFC West standings. (OK, maybe they'll wind up there anyway.) Perhaps that's OK for Shell so long as he makes his point to Porter, but if you own the seventh-year receiver, keep him on hand for now. It'd be a real surprise if he didn't get close to as many chances as he did in 2005. ... I can't help but feel all the trade rumors surrounding Patriots -- at least current Patriot -- WR Deion Branch are doing nothing but overrating him. If the reports that he wants Reggie Wayne money and that New England wants a first-round pick in exchange for him in a trade are accurate, those are two tough hurdles to overcome, especially this late in the calendar year. More likely, Branch sits out some of the regular season, is forced to return to New England and then pays the price statistically for having missed so much time. I liken the situation much to the one Joey Galloway and the Seahawks endured in 1999, and when Galloway finally returned in Week 10, which is one rumored date for Branch rejoining the Patriots, he wasn't anything like the performer he was the previous two seasons. Galloway was a better player at the time than Branch is now, incidentally, so that's another factor to take into account. It's too early to go dropping Branch, since he could return at any time and be productive, but if you get a solid trade offer for him from someone speculating about a possible trade to, say, Seattle, you should at least listen long and hard. I don't think a trade is coming at all, and that could mean a whole lost half-season of games for him.


THE BOTTOM LINE

Duce Staley, RB, Steelers
42 carries, 92 rushing yards, 2.2 average

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that Staley wasn't included among the final round of cuts this preseason. Considered the favorite to step into the goal-line role vacated by the retired Jerome Bettis, Staley did nothing to demonstrate himself capable of that status in four preseason games, with the worst yards-per-carry average among backs with 25-plus attempts. Sure, it's the preseason, so the stats might not matter, but put together that and the fact that Staley did little to prove himself durable enough to step into that role in 2005, winding up a scratch for the entire postseason, and it's clear he's a terribly overrated fantasy option. Goal-line back is an oft-discussed role in the world of the NFL and fantasy football, and sometimes it's a little overrated, but in the case of the Steelers, don't overlook that Bettis did manage an impressive nine scores in those shoes last season. That's an impact flex player in touchdown-heavy scoring systems, and it was enough to slightly lower Willie Parker's appeal out of yardage-heavy formats. This season, it appears no one stands in the way of Parker's status as the workhorse back, even at the goal line, and even if one does emerge, it probably won't be Staley. More likely, it'd be Verron Haynes. In fact, I'd imagine the Steelers might have only kept Staley on the roster for depth, and because they didn't see anyone they liked better on the waiver wire. There's a good chance he'll rarely be used, and when he does, his stats won't matter, making him an afterthought even as a Parker handcuff.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/5/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/5/06)

Sep. 6, 2006, 3:19 PM
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Engel: Be wary of Titans QBs


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By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

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Each Wednesday, we take a quick-hitting, fantasy-style look at some of the most important stories and trends at the three critical positions in fantasy football.
Quarterbacks
Many fantasy owners think that Broncos coach Mike Shanahan is their enemy, because he always keeps them guessing about his RBs. Well, Jeff Fisher is also frustrating fantasy players as well with his refusal to openly name a starter for the season opener against the Jets. Fisher wants to keep New York off balance in its game planning. But for fantasy owners who might need to replace Ben Roethlisberger, participate in two-QB leagues or drafted Billy Volek as a reserve and are wondering whether to cut him, the Tennessee head coach has certainly become a dark, evil figure.
Fisher has said he might not reveal his starter until kickoff, which automatically forces fantasy leagues to avoid starting any Titans QB in the first week. Rookie Vince Young will be the No. 2 QB and could see some action as well in packages designed specifically to take advantage of his tremendous athletic skills. Young can be an occasional dual threat as both a runner and passer, and any reps he gets will certainly cut into the playing time of Kerry Collins or Volek, and could hurt the numbers of other top RBs and WRs if Young is used as a runner near the goal line.
Rumors out of Tennessee suggest Collins will be named the starter, but after he wasn't dependable as a fantasy player with Oakland in 2005, it's hard to envision him becoming anything more than a mediocre fantasy backup in Tennessee. Volek has previously asked to be traded or released and other teams are reportedly interested in him, but he might only be able to land a backup role elsewhere and should be dropped from fantasy rosters. Even if Volek does get to start in the opener, it doesn't appear he'll hold the job for very long. Collins was obviously signed because the Titans lack confidence in Volek as a regular starter, and Collins will very likely start at some point if not in the first game.
QB Audibles: According to published reports, Todd Collins is listed as the top backup to Mark Brunell, but Jason Campbell could get the call to start if Brunell goes down with an injury at some point. ... Kelly Holcomb finished up the preseason well for Buffalo, but he still hasn't been named the primary backup to J.P. Losman. Maybe the Bills could use Volek.. ... Andrew Walter was able to play in Oakland's exhibition finale after overcoming an arm injury, but Aaron Brooks looked better late in the preseason and might hold onto the starting job for awhile.
Running Backs
Initially, some reports noted that Laurence Maroney would not play in the season opener against Buffalo because of a knee injury. The Boston Herald confirmed that Maroney was able to practice on Monday with a brace on his left knee, but he wore a red, non-contact jersey. The Boston Globe then reported on Tuesday that Maroney looked to be in much better form on Tuesday, so some hope remains that he could play.
Before Maroney was hurt, the Patriots were planning to open the season with the impressive rookie sharing carries with veteran Corey Dillon. While Dillon still runs with determination and can gain the tough yards, he is no longer elusive and doesn't get away from too many defenders these days. There are concerns about his durability at this point of his career, and only his continued proficiency near the goal line still makes him a viable fantasy starter. Dillon still has great vision and body lean and he isn't quite finished yet, although he clearly shouldn't get regular carries anymore.
Fantasy owners should steer clear of Maroney for the first week, and play it safe by using a player who has no health issues. A part-time RB with a knee problem is not someone you want in your starting lineup for the first game, even at a flex position. When in doubt, you should always take the healthy player over the questionable one, even if the injured player appears to have more upside. Even if Maroney looks good in practice the rest of the week, there is always the chance the problem could be more apparent on game day. If Maroney does play and fares well against Buffalo, you can simply feel free to use him for Week 2. If Maroney misses the game, don't expect a heavier workload for Dillon, as New England could use other RBs in an effort not to overwork Dillon. Still, Dillon should be good for a TD or two against the Bills.
RB cutbacks: Cedric Benson (shoulder) is expected to be ready for the season opener, but how much he will play is unclear, and Thomas Jones is locked in as the starter, but only for now. ... Derrick Blaylock is expected to start for the Jets, and it could be some time before Kevan Barlow becomes more comfortable in New York. But Blaylock is expected to share carries with other RBs and is truly not cut out for regular work, so don't overrate him just because he might start.
Wide Receivers
The Bears seem desperate to find a decent complement for Muhsin Muhammad, and quality depth overall at the WR position. The team reportedly worked out veteran Rod Gardner after he was cut loose by the Packers, and the club also took a look at ex-Bronco Darius Watts.
Bernard Berrian, who recently returned from a knee injury, is ahead of everyone except for Muhammad on the depth chart right now, but a definite No. 2 starter has not been named for the season opener yet, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Mark Bradley, who has returned to practices after battling a hip injury, has some upside and could ultimately be a more dependable playmaker than Berrian. But Bradley's young career has been marred by injuries so far. Justin Gage certainly is not much of a factor anymore, and the Times indicated his spot on the roster isn't safe.
The lack of quality complements doesn't bode well for Muhammad, who could face a lot of double-teaming this season and could be very erratic statistically. If Bradley can actually stay healthy, he could pass Berrian on the depth chart for good at some point. But for now, there is clearly a lack of dependable players at the position, and no one other than Muhammad should be on your roster. The WR issues and uncertainty at RB could ultimately bring down the offense and cause the defensive unit to get overworked as well. WR patterns: After some speculation that rookie Marques Colston might start alongside Joe Horn, Devery Henderson has re-emerged and claimed the No. 2 WR spot and is expected to start against Cleveland. Henderson is still a work in progress and shouldn't start in any fantasy leagues yet, but he is certainly worth adding if you need receiver depth. ... Arnaz Battle will be the No. 2 receiver for the 49ers to open the season, but his recurring knee issues could force him to sit often for Bryan Gilmore, who has seemingly earned the favor of the coaching staff.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/5/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/5/06)

Sep. 6, 2006, 3:17 PM
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FFL: Lineup Rankings


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ESPN Fantasy Games

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Quarterbacks
1. Peyton Manning at NYG
2. Carson Palmer at KC
3. Tom Brady vs. BUF
<!--##FRONTSTOP##-->4. Matt Hasselbeck at DET
5. Eli Manning vs. IND
6. Kurt Warner vs. SF
7. Marc Bulger vs. DEN
8. Donovan McNabb at HOU
9. Jake Plummer at STL
10. Trent Green vs. CIN
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width=200 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD width=8><SPACER type="block" height="1" width="8"></TD><TD width=300 bgColor=#ecece4>[FONT=Arial,Helvetica, sans-serif]We rate players based on possible fantasy production each week, taking into account past production as well as matchups. These are not overall player rankings, but rather a list of who you should start for the upcoming week. Top superstars will rarely get moved out of the prime spots, as they should not be benched unless injured. Most players with an unclear injury or starting status for the upcoming week will not be included. All four major offensive positions and defense/special teams units are ranked. [/FONT]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>11. Jake Delhomme vs. ATL
12. Drew Brees at CLE
13. Drew Bledsoe at JAC
14. Daunte Culpepper at PIT
15. Aaron Brooks vs. SD
16. Jon Kitna vs. SEA
17. Steve McNair at TB
18. Brett Favre vs. CHI
19. Byron Leftwich vs. DAL
20. Michael Vick at CAR
21. Chris Simms vs. BAL
22. Mark Brunell vs. MIN
23. Charlie Frye vs. NO
24. Brad Johnson at WAS
25. David Carr vs. PHI
26. Rex Grossman at GB
27. Alex Smith at ARI
28. Philip Rivers at OAK
29. Charlie Batch vs. MIA
30. Chad Pennington at TEN
31. J.P. Losman at NE
32. Kerry Collins vs. NYJ

Running Backs
1. Larry Johnson vs. CIN
2. Shaun Alexander at DET
3. LaDainian Tomlinson at OAK
4. Rudi Johnson at KC
5. Tiki Barber vs. IND
6. Steven Jackson vs. DEN
7. LaMont Jordan vs. SD
8. Edgerrin James vs. SF
9. Carnell Williams vs. BAL
10. Willis McGahee at NE
11. Ronnie Brown at PIT
12. DeShaun Foster vs. ATL
13. Reuben Droughns vs. NO
14. Warrick Dunn at CAR
15. Frank Gore at ARI
16. Kevin Jones vs. SEA
17. Reggie Bush at CLE
18. Brian Westbrook at HOU
19. Chester Taylor at WAS
20. Thomas Jones at GB
21. Fred Taylor vs. DAL
22. Corey Dillon vs. BUF
23. Willie Parker vs. MIA
24. Ahman Green vs. CHI
25. Jamal Lewis at TB
26. Julius Jones at JAC
27. Mike Bell at STL
28. Wali Lundy vs. PHI
29. Deuce McAllister at CLE
30. Chris Brown vs. NYJ
31. Dominic Rhodes at NYG
32. Derrick Blaylock at TEN
33. Tatum Bell at STL
34. Joseph Addai at NYG
35. Jerious Norwood at CAR
36. Kevan Barlow at TEN
37. T.J. Duckett vs. MIN
38. Marion Barber at JAC
39. DeAngelo Williams vs. ATL
40. Ladell Betts vs. MIN

Wide Receivers
1. Chad Johnson at KC
2. Larry Fitzgerald vs. SF
3. Torry Holt vs. DEN
4. Steve Smith vs. ATL
5. Anquan Boldin vs. SF
6. Randy Moss vs. SD
7. Marvin Harrison at NYG
8. Roy Williams vs. SEA
9. Terrell Owens at JAC
10. Santana Moss vs. MIN
11. Chris Chambers at PIT
12. T.J. Houshmandzadeh at KC
13. Plaxico Burress vs. IND
14. Reggie Wayne at NYG
15. Lee Evans at NE
16. Joey Galloway vs. BAL
17. Joe Horn at CLE
18. Eddie Kennison vs. CIN
19. Rod Smith at STL
20. Donald Driver vs. CHI
21. Derrick Mason at TB
22. Hines Ward vs. MIA
23. Javon Walker at STL
24. Nate Burleson at DET
25. Terry Glenn at JAC
26. Andre Johnson vs. PHI
27. Muhsin Muhammad at GB
28. Matt Jones vs. DAL
29. Keyshawn Johnson vs. ATL
30. Laveranues Coles at TEN
31. Donte' Stallworth at HOU
32. Antonio Bryant at ARI
33. Keenan McCardell at OAK
34. Drew Bennett vs. NYJ
35. Cedrick Wilson vs. MIA
36. Amani Toomer vs. IND
37. Michael Clayton vs. BAL
38. Joe Jurevicius vs. NO
39. Reggie Brown at HOU
40. David Givens vs. NYJ
41. Troy Williamson at WAS
42. Brandon Lloyd vs. MIN
43. Marty Booker at PIT
44. Mark Clayton at TB
45. Samie Parker vs. CIN
46. Chris Henry at KC
47. Greg Jennings vs. CHI
48. Doug Gabriel vs. BUF
49. Roddy White at CAR
50. Eric Moulds vs. PHI
51. Ronald Curry vs. SD
52. Marcus Robinson at WAS
53. Isaac Bruce vs. DEN
54. Jerry Porter vs. SD
55. Travis Taylor at WAS
56. Kevin Curtis vs. DEN
57. Corey Bradford vs. SEA
58. Bobby Engram at DET
59. Ernest Wilford vs. DAL
60. Peerless Price at NE

Tight Ends
1. Antonio Gates at OAK
2. Jeremy Shockey vs. IND
3. Tony Gonzalez vs. CIN
4. Todd Heap at TB
5. Benjamin Watson vs. BUF
6. Alge Crumpler at CAR
7. Chris Cooley vs. MIN
8. Jason Witten at JAC
9. L.J. Smith at HOU
10. Randy McMichael at PIT
11. Heath Miller vs. MIA
12. Alex Smith vs. BAL
13. Kellen Winslow vs. NO
14. Vernon Davis at ARI
15. Ben Troupe vs. NYJ
16. Jermaine Wiggins at WAS
17. Marcus Pollard vs. SEA
18. Leonard Pope vs. SF
19. Dallas Clark at NYG
20. Bubba Franks vs. CHI
21. Tony Scheffler at STL
22. Ben Utecht at NYG
23. Joe Klopfenstein vs. DEN
24. Chris Baker at TEN
25. Jeb Putzier vs. PHI

Defense/Special Teams
1. Chicago at GB
2. Pittsburgh vs. MIA
3. Philadelphia at HOU
4. Seattle at DET
5. Tampa Bay vs. BAL
6. Carolina vs. ATL
7. Dallas at JAC
8. Washington vs. MIN
9. Miami at PIT
10. Baltimore at TB
11. New England vs. BUF
12. Indianapolis at NYG
13. Jacksonville vs. DAL
14. Cincinnati at KC
15. N.Y. Giants vs. IND
16. Atlanta at CAR
17. Minnesota at WAS
18. San Diego at OAK
19. Cleveland vs. NO
20. Denver at STL
21. Arizona vs. SF
22. Green Bay vs. CHI
23. New Orleans at CLE
24. Kansas City vs. CIN
25. N.Y. Jets at TEN
26. Tennessee vs. NYJ
27. Oakland vs. SD
28. Detroit vs. SEA
29. Buffalo at NE
30. San Francisco at ARI
31. Houston vs. PHI
32. St. Louis vs. DEN

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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Sep. 7, 2006, 3:26 PM
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Cockcroft: 10 Things to watch


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By Tristan H. Cockcroft
ESPN Fantasy Games

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Part of being a fantasy owner is being prepared to identify the new trends, anticipating them even before they happen. After all, player values change every day, especially on game day, which is why it's so important to watch your players play, and keep tabs regularly on the latest news. I'm a big proponent of watching a lot of football in order to stay up to date on all the latest happenings, and as you watch those Week 1 contests, take stock of the following 10 situations and how they shake out. Each week of the season, I'll provide a similar list of the 10 things I'm watching, so you'll be reasonably prepared for some of the week's biggest developments in advance of them happening.
The Broncos' merry-go-running backs: Let's face it; you can't trust anything Mike Shanahan says. He doesn't care about your fantasy team, nor should he, so the only way you're going to get any actual information about how he's handling his running back situation is by watching Broncos games, and watching them often. I'm sure I could list this as an item to monitor for all 16 of Denver's games this season, but Week 1 is the key, because it's going to answer the question, "Does Shanahan believe in Mike Bell, or was all that talk about him starting a big, fat lie?" Here's something for you: Shanahan's now singing the praises of Tatum Bell, so maybe he's zigging now that fantasy owners are zagging because he just loves giving us all headaches. I actually think Shanahan hasn't been entirely untruthful; he likens Mike Bell to 2005's Mike Anderson, and Tatum Bell to 2005's Tatum Bell. That means maybe 15-17 carries a game for Mike, 10-12 for Tatum, but that's not so bad for fantasy. Whatever the plan, we're finally going to see it on Sunday.
Daunte Culpepper's knee: One week's all I need to know what kind of quarterback we can expect Culpepper to be in 2006, the scrambler he was the first seven years of his career or a pocket passer like Dan Marino once was for more than a decade in Miami. I really don't think it matters all that much to fantasy owners which one, because all we care about is that he's healthy and under center for 16 games. I'm thinking pocket passer, and if that's the case, it'll be great news for those receivers. And I'm not only talking about everyone's favorite breakout candidate Chris Chambers; Marty Booker could be a sleeper!
New England's passing game: Tom Brady has done a nice job spreading the ball around the past several seasons, but this year, he'll face quite a challenge with some new faces and last year's top receiver, Deion Branch, holding out. I'm not convinced any of these guys -- putting Branch aside, of course -- has what it takes to be a consistent, every-week type, but there's lots of upside here. Tight end Ben Watson could be Brady's go-to guy. Newly acquired Doug Gabriel could build upon his nice 2005 in Oakland working with one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the game. But will one actually stand out?
Darrell Jackson's health: If the Seahawks keep getting linked to trade rumors for Branch, that can't speak well of Jackson's knee, which could limit him in the early weeks. Jackson's health must be closely monitored, because while the Seahawks survived nicely without him in 2005, the receiving corps isn't quite so deep this time. Matt Hasselbeck's numbers could be closely tied to Jackson's performance, and Nate Burleson is the kind of guy who only thrives when there's a better receiver there to defray defensive attention.
The Reggie Bush-Deuce McAllister timeshare: There's a bit of a fantasy backlash surrounding Bush, but he performed nicely enough in the preseason that he should get the touches needed to help your team. How much he can help, though, is another matter. This could be much the kind of timeshare we saw in Denver and Miami in 2005, or it could be the kind of situation we saw in Chicago, where the veteran (Thomas Jones) kept the rookie (Cedric Benson) on the bench for much of the season. I'd be amazed if Bush isn't used at least as much as a Tatum Bell or Ronnie Brown were in 2005, but that begins with what needs to be a standout Week 1 game at Cleveland. McAllister looked good in the preseason, after all, and is looking remarkably healthy right now.
Fred Taylor's complements: You might ask why this matters, and if you do, I'm going to accuse you of never having had the pleasure of owning Mr. Taylor in your fantasy football career. If you had, you'd know he and the word "brittle" go hand in hand, as in eight years, Taylor has missed 31 games (that's nearly two seasons of games!). I just checked the over/under on the date of Taylor's first injury, and let me tell you, baseball's Tampa Bay Devil Rays have a game scheduled then. In a normal season, that'd be great news for Greg Jones, but with Jones himself hurt, it's a wide-open opportunity for any of four backs, Maurice Drew, Alvin Pearman, LaBrandon Toefield or Derrick Wimbush. Great news: They're likely all available in your league, but once Taylor goes down and one of them steps up as the starter, it might be too late to get him. Keep tabs on how each fare in Week 1 (and beyond), because the first to claim the backup role is going to have quite a nice opportunity.
Carolina's running backs: That DeAngelo Williams kid, he can fly. Of course, none of us are going to notice it that often, because for now, DeShaun Foster is healthy, and therefore the starter. Remember, last year, all that mattered was that the most experienced of Carolina's healthy runners, Stephen Davis, got the ball early in the year, so that's why it's no surprise it's Foster who will get the bulk of the work in Week 1. Beyond that, however, it's anyone's guess how this position could shake out. Williams is the most logical choice to step in as the workhorse should Foster get hurt, as he so often does, but I'd keep my eye on what might wind up a Nick Goings/Eric Shelton platoon in the short-yardage role. If either of them proves effective, it's going to limit the fantasy potential of Foster/Williams.
Who's this Wali Lundy?: Remember, Willie Parker, a relative no-name, stepped up with 161 rushing yards in Week 1 of 2005, leading all running backs. So why can't Lundy? All right, so Parker tore up a thin Tennessee defense in that game, while Lundy, behind the shaky Houston O-line, shouldn't be so lucky against Philadelphia. But if you watched Lundy at all this preseason, it's clear there's sleeper potential in him, though he needs a strong start if he wants to keep Ron Dayne from vulturing all of his goal-line chances.
Gabriel's replacement in Oakland: I've already mentioned in the past that Jerry Porter should soon reclaim this role, at least if the Raiders are serious about winning, but for Week 1, it's Alvis Whitted getting the start opposite Randy Moss. Whitted isn't someone fantasy owners should go get, and he, Porter and Ronald Curry will all be in the mix for the role in the long term. I'm still a big believer in Porter, but if he's continually ignored by coach Art Shell now that the regular season has arrived, it's going to be terrible news for his and Aaron Brooks' fantasy value and good news for Curry's. Mike Martz's impact in Detroit: Like Chambers, Roy Williams is another breakout candidate on most everyone's list, and I don't deny there's a good chance Williams excels in Martz's pass-friendly offense. But if Williams is going to succeed, it's going to mean quarterback Jon Kitna did an efficient job getting him the ball, which is something that could matter for fantasy leagues. Kitna actually isn't a half-bad quarterback when he's given the chance, and in a Martz offense, he could begin surprising you in Week 1.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Thursday, September 7, 2006
<SCRIPT language=javascript src="http://ai059.insightexpressai.com/adServer/adServer.aspx?bannerID=7560"></SCRIPT> No. 1 Receiver is No. 1 Concern


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By Scott Engel
ESPN.com

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=762 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width=552><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->After coming off an amazing 2006 season, Steve Smith was the first wide receiver off the board in many fantasy drafts. Now, those fantasy leaguers who built their hopes around the exciting Carolina wideout are facing the prospect of heading into their first week without their best player.
Just when it seemed Smith's owners could rest easier after he overcame a left hamstring problem and ingrown toenail that caused him to miss significant time in training camp, more bad news flowed quickly through the fantasy news pipeline on Wednesday. Smith tweaked his right hamstring in Tuesday's practice and missed Wednesday's workout. Smith is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's game against the Falcons, but his fantasy owners must start preparing to make alternate plans at wide receiver.
While the Panthers have yet to rule Smith out for the opener, he could be very limited if he plays at all, and Smith is obviously a very risky starting option. Unless he suddenly looks much better in the days ahead, it's best to hold Smith out of action in the first week, especially if he is listed as a game-time decision. You don't want to risk him giving you little or no statistical production, and if he does somehow perform well against the Falcons, you can simply exhale and start him with confidence in his second game. The conservative approach will likely net you more fantasy points in the first week.
If Smith sits out, Keyshawn Johnson becomes Carolina's No. 1 target, and that could drop his value a bit for Week 1. Johnson looks better as a fantasy option when facing No. 2 cornerbacks while benefitting from Smith drawing the most defensive attention. Johnson could be less productive if matched up against Atlanta CB DeAngelo Hall. If Smith does sit out, Drew Carter could start opposite Johnson or at least be the second primary read for Jake Delhomme. It's unclear whether Carter or Keary Colbert would start in Smith's place, but the smart hunch says it would be Carter over Colbert.
Carter could make a fine free-agent addition if you are in dire need of receiving help in your fantasy season opener. Carter is owned in only 0.5 percent of ESPN leagues, and he's a tall, fast target who averaged 20.6 yards per catch last season. Even if Smith starts, Carter could be a factor against Atlanta if Smith has trouble getting open or has to rest for a significant portion of the game. Don't downgrade Delhomme or pull him out of your lineup if Smith sits out, though. The fiery leader should seize the opportunity to spur his team to success without his top weapon at full strength, and he should still give you at least respectable fantasy totals. Don't bench Delhomme for a lesser quarterback with a seemingly better matchup. He's confident, tough, and usually seems to react well to challenging situations. <STYLE> .headshot { visibility: visible; padding: 0px 5px 4px 0px; float: left;} .bottom { font: 10px verdana, san-serif; color: #fff; font-weight: bold; background: #006633; padding: 5px; } </STYLE>BETWEEN THE LINES
Jamal Lewis has vowed he will play in the season opener at Tampa Bay, but he is officially listed as questionable because of a hip flexor problem that continued to nag him during the preseason. The Baltimore Sun noted that Lewis does need rest to help the injury heal properly and it could limit his explosiveness if he tries to play with the problem. Lewis did look good in training camp and the preseason before he was put out of action after two exhibition games. Lewis gained 61 yards on 15 carries in those games and appeared to run with more confidence than he did in 2005, when he admitted he was affected by concerns about his contract situation and future. Lewis signed a three-year contract during the offseason, but is essentially on a one-year deal that could be reviewed after the 2006 season is finished. Lewis has another chance to prove himself in Baltimore, and appeared ready to flash some of his past form before he went down again during the preseason. Lewis admitted he was still dealing with pain during the preseason even before he was put out of action. Lewis had started training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list, but was able to take the field when exhibition games started. While he didn't run with his classic authority, he did display some promise and looked more determined than he did for most of 2005. Lewis may try to play through any more pain, if it still exists, when the regular season opens. But he does face a hard-hitting Tampa Bay defense and Lewis isn't an ideal fantasy starter until he shows us otherwise. If Smith isn't ready to carry a full load or has to leave Sunday's game, Mike Anderson has gotten past a foot injury and should be ready to fill in adequately. Musa Smith, however, showed some promise in the preseason, including a 43-yard TD run against the Eagles. Keep a close eye on Lewis this week, and consider Smith as a possible sleeper, even if Anderson gets the call to share carries with Lewis or replace him first.


THE BOTTOM LINE

Edgerrin James, RB, Cardinals
Seven carries, one yard, 2 receptions, 11 yards

Arizona's prized new RB hates the preseason, and his nine total touches during exhibition play are no true indication of things to come during the regular season. Dennis Green told the Associated Press that James should probably get 25 carries and five touches as a receiver in the season opener against the 49ers. While there are still concerns about his offensive line, a heavy workload could help him post good overall fantasy numbers, even if he has to work harder for his yardage. Right tackle Oliver Ross is not expected to play in the season opener because of a knee injury, which doesn't help matters. While James' fantasy owners can be encouraged that he will get a lot of touches to build up his stats, there is also the concern that he could get banged up if he gets overworked. The Cardinals need James to take pressure off Kurt Warner, as a quality running game can help the QB avoid the big hits that would put him out of action. If someone is offering you James in a trade, hold back until you see how he fares early on with his new team. Of course, you don't bench a player of his caliber, either, if you have him already.
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<TABLE class=tablehead cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3><TBODY><TR><TD class=stathead align=middle bgColor=#555555 colSpan=6>Preseason</TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff>
</TD><TD colSpan=5>Jake Plummer, QB, Broncos: Despite all the Jay Cutler hype, Plummer looked solid during the preseason and addition of Javon Walker is a boost.</TD></TR><!-- inline box score --><TR class=colhead><TD>ATT</TD><TD>CMP</TD><TD>PCT</TD><TD>passYDS</TD><TD>passTD</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow vAlign=top><TD><NOBR>34</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>19</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>55.9</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>226</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>1</NOBR></TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff colSpan=5 height=3></TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff>
</TD><TD colSpan=5>Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys: A sleeper candidate who could be a bigger threat to Julius Jones this year.</TD></TR><!-- inline box score --><TR class=colhead><TD>ATT</TD><TD>rushYDS</TD><TD>AVG</TD><TD>recYDS</TD><TD>TD</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow vAlign=top><TD><NOBR>36</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>146</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>4.1</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>51</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>1</NOBR></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE class=tablehead cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3><!-- <tr><td align=center bgcolor="#555555" COLSPAN=6 class="stathead" colspan="6"> </td></tr> --><TBODY><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff>
</TD><TD colSpan=5>Peerless Price, WR, Bills: Worth a look after showing some signs of life again during exhibition play.</TD></TR><!-- inline box score --><TR class=colhead><TD>REC</TD><TD>recYDS</TD><TD>AVG</TD><TD>LONG</TD><TD>TD</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow vAlign=top><TD><NOBR>4</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>78</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>19.5</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>54</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>1</NOBR></TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff colSpan=5 height=3></TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff>
</TD><TD colSpan=5>Ben Utecht, TE, Colts: Could be a pleasant surprise and he might get a lot of looks in goal-line situations.</TD></TR><!-- inline box score --><TR class=colhead><TD>REC</TD><TD>recYDS</TD><TD>AVG</TD><TD>LONG</TD><TD>TD</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow vAlign=top><TD><NOBR>6</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>52</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>8.7</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>27</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>1</NOBR></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

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Trainer's Room
? Seahawks WR Darrell Jackson (knee) is now listed as probable for week one. But he could be eased slowly into the offense in the first game, and he isn't an ideal starting option in fantasy leagues. Mike Holmgren said it might be a game-time decision on how much Jackson plays.
? Patriots RB Laurence Maroney (knee) is not listed on the team's injury report. He has been able to practice, but it would not be a shock to see Bill Belichick limit his action in the opener, so he still could be a rsiky starting option as a flex player.
? Rookie RB LenDale White is listed as questionable for the season opener because of an ankle injury. Chris Brown and Travis Henry might share carries against the Jets, and it's unclear who will get the goal-line touches for the Titans. WR David Givens (hamstring) is also listed as questionable for the Titans.
? WR Terrell Owens practiced on Wednesday with no issues and is not listed on the Cowboys' injury report for their season opener against the Jaguars.
? Jaguars rookie TE Marcedes Lewis is listed as questionable for the opener against Dallas because of an ankle problem. Lewis has been out of action since the middle of August and fantasy owners shouldn't expect anything from him for awhile.
? Ravens WR Derrick Mason is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay because a thigh injury, but he has been able to practice and should be a good starting option for week one.
? Steelers WR Hines Ward (hamstring) was upgraded to probable for Thursday's opener against Miami. He has been able to practice and appears to be safe to put in your lineup, but having Charlie Batch at QB could hinder his statistical production slightly. ? Wed Box | Tue Box | Karabell's Blog





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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Week 1 strategy


posted: Wednesday, September 6, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: Fantasy NFL


One day before the regular season starts and all was right with the fantasy football world. Well, most of it was right. The Domanick Davis owners aren't happy they spent such a high pick on someone who will not play. The Clinton Portis managers are hoping the NFL will suddenly move that Monday night game up a day, so we get a clearer picture of his availability. And anyone who has Hines Ward has to seriously consider if it's worth it to play him. Charlie Batch? Nice.

Me? I had yet another draft on Tuesday night. How many drafts have I done? Well, we're into double figures now, but it's not all that tough to manage. Certain fantasy teams interest me more than others, of course, and those are the ones I'll spend my time on. The one from last night was one such league I'll enjoy and it came about at the last minute. Totally different scoring format and roster construction than any other league I've done. The draft order had already been selected, so they added me as the last pick. Fine. Unless I'm top three, I'll pick last anyway.
So it gets to me at pick 11, and there's Ronnie Brown on the board. He was the highest ranking guy from my cheat sheets, and yet, I passed on him for Carnell Williams and Willis McGahee. Have I lost my mind? Not really. I just wanted some different players. I can't tell you how angry Jamal Lewis and Javon Walker made me last season and how many teams they messed up. I don't want Ronnie Brown to get hurt, of course, but if he does, at least this is one of my teams I won't have to dig up Lee Suggs.
So when I passed on Brown, there was some degree of surprise. Why? Fantasy football isn't about the lists and rankings. They are a guide, for sure, but to what degree? Well, I didn't even follow my own rankings when push came to shove, and those in the league knew it. So, why? Hey, I have Brown on other teams. I don't recall McGahee being a Fine Young Karabell in too many places. So I did something different. And I didn't put much thought into it, or into the other picks. I saw Plaxico Burress sitting there in a nice spot, so I acted fast. No more than 10 seconds went by on my picks when I was on the clock. What is there to consider at this point that you don't already know? It's like studying for the SATs the night before. Go to the movies. Cramming doesn't help.
Instinct and emotion do play a role in this crazy game. They have to. Think about the team you've drafted. Maybe you went by the book, maybe you didn't, but it's your team now. Of course we're all too happy to share our opinions here on ESPN.com, and if you read our fantasy pages you'll see plenty of them for each and every week. Half of them are posted already. But it's still ultimately your decision whether to start Michael Clayton or Mark Clayton (or neither).
I've been asked a bunch over the last week how I decide who to play in Week 1. Do I go with the big guns, even if they don't have a great matchup, or take some chances? It's a combination of the two really. Fantasy owners shouldn't feel like they have to activate the players with the big names, or the ones they took in the first four rounds, but I can tell you there aren't any situations this week that would have me sitting someone I spent a very high pick on. Maybe that appears to be going against this whole instinct thing, but that's what also tells me Reuben Droughns is a solid play this week, even if I took Thomas Jones four rounds later and I'm tempted to switch 'em up because he has momentum. Droughns is still my guy. It's nice owning Jones, but let's not overrate his sudden popularity. Yes, I think Jones will hold off Cedric Benson for a few weeks, but that doesn't mean he's a better play than someone like Droughns.
If you own comparable players, you have to make the call on what to do. We have a chat per day and a weekly radio show in which to answer your questions directly, but honestly, is it your team or mine? I tell you what I would do if presented with a decision on starting Reggie Bush or Mike Bell (or neither). I have lots of teams, and lots of decisions to make. Most of them have already been made. Read about the player's injury or status, consult with a web site or a pal, but then make the decision on your team and live with it.
Top Five guys I see named over and over again in "should I play or sit" questions:
1. Mike Bell, Broncos: Personally, I think he will play more than Tatum Bell, and play well, but this coaching call might go down to the wire.
2. Wali Lundy, Texans: More on this in Friday's game-by-game blog, but not every starting running back is a good play every week.
3. Deuce McAllister, Saints: Bush is a big favorite in fantasy, but the truth is, he was overrated in drafts. McAllister has a big role in this running game. I'd play him.
4. Terrell Owens, Cowboys: Is he talented? Yes. Did you spend a top three pick on him? Yes. Will he play this week? Yes. So, what's the question? 5. Clinton Portis, Redskins: It stinks that your deadline is probably Sunday before the early games, and he plays Monday. It's only Wednesday. Wait as long as you can. He'll play.


But think about those above players. All have issues to some degree. I do have a league in which I selected both the Bronco Bells, and both will be on my bench. I have Alexander and DeShaun Foster there, and can only play two backs. But that doesn't mean you should necessarily sit Mike Bell in your league. Maybe you're in a 14-team league, or can play three running backs. Every league is different.
The real point is something crazy is going to happen this weekend, something that nobody expects. Maybe Tatum Bell rips off a 75-yarder and ends his day with 100 yards and a score on eight carries, while Mike Bell gets 20 carries for 80 yards and a score. Who was the better play? Well, I like Mike, but it guarantees nothing.
Just don't get too cute with your lineups. Something unexpected will happen, but how can anyone know what?
Last season the top players in Week 1 weren't Alexander, Edgerrin James or a Manning. Fast Willie Parker topped the leaderboard in performance leagues with 26 points. He was available in plenty of leagues, around the same number you'll find Wali Lundy sitting there today. The top receiver and overall No. 2 player was Jimmy Smith of the Jags. He's retired now! And three of the top six quarterbacks were then retreads Kerry Collins, Drew Bledsoe and Gus Frerotte. Gus Frerotte! Who knew?
That brings up another good point. While Frerotte wasn't someone you should have known would have a big Week 1 in 2005, Parker was a definite threat to break out. So here you are a day from the start of 2006, and you have a player or two on your roster who isn't going to contribute. Let 'em go! Hit that free agent list right now and get the guys who could become important players before they actually become important.
For example, maybe there's no way you'd actually play Lundy or Samkon Gado or Jerious Norwood this week. I hear you on that. But what if one of these guys has a big game this weekend? Next Wednesday everyone in your league will know those names, and your chances of landing a top free agent becomes dependent on a random waiver list in which you only do well if you did poorly in Week 1. Get ahead of the curve and sign the potential player now, and part ways with Domanick Davis.
Tomorrow, we get back to fantasy baseball, and then on Friday a game by game fantasy preview of the weekend. What about Thursday night's affair? OK, let's get to it now.
Dolphins 24, Steelers 21: Nothing against Charlie Batch, but the Dolphins are one of the teams I think will make noise this season. Ultimately I think the AFC representative in Miami in February will be (finally) Peyton Manning and his Colts, but I do have the Dolphins in the AFC title game. This team has all the pieces, assuming Daunte Culpepper is healthy. As of now, he is.
Look for Ronnie Brown to get into the end zone but not exactly run all over a solid Pittsburgh defense. Culpepper should get into the scoring column as well, though it could be on the ground. I'll give Willie Parker a 75-yard game and a score, and I could see Batch throwing a touchdown pass, but also giving the ball away a time or two. You don't use Batch in fantasy this week. For those who own Hines Ward, I would stick with him. Not because you made him your top wide receiver in the draft, but because he's talented enough to make something happen. And really, while I'm not the biggest Batch fan, let's not overrate Ben Roethlisberger, either. He wasn't throwing the ball 30 times per game last year, and Ward still ended up the No. 10 wide receiver in fantasy. Not bad at all. Leave him in your lineup. Basically, don't get too cute. Play your best guys.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Sep. 7, 2006, 10:06 AM
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FFL: Lineup Rankings


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By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-TOP: 10px" vAlign=top><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Quarterbacks
1. Peyton Manning at NYG
2. Carson Palmer at KC
3. Tom Brady vs. BUF
<!--##FRONTSTOP##-->4. Matt Hasselbeck at DET
5. Eli Manning vs. IND
6. Kurt Warner vs. SF
7. Marc Bulger vs. DEN
8. Donovan McNabb at HOU
9. Jake Plummer at STL
10. Trent Green vs. CIN
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width=200 align=right border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD width=8><SPACER type="block" width="8" height="1"></TD><TD width=300 bgColor=#ecece4>[FONT=Arial,Helvetica, sans-serif]We rate players based on possible fantasy production each week, taking into account past production as well as matchups. These are not overall player rankings, but rather a list of who you should start for the upcoming week. Top superstars will rarely get moved out of the prime spots, as they should not be benched unless injured. Most players with an unclear injury or starting status for the upcoming week will not be included. All four major offensive positions and defense/special teams units are ranked. [/FONT]</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>11. Jake Delhomme vs. ATL
12. Drew Brees at CLE
13. Drew Bledsoe at JAC
14. Daunte Culpepper at PIT
15. Aaron Brooks vs. SD
16. Jon Kitna vs. SEA
17. Steve McNair at TB
18. Brett Favre vs. CHI
19. Byron Leftwich vs. DAL
20. Michael Vick at CAR
21. Chris Simms vs. BAL
22. Mark Brunell vs. MIN
23. Charlie Frye vs. NO
24. Brad Johnson at WAS
25. David Carr vs. PHI
26. Rex Grossman at GB
27. Alex Smith at ARI
28. Philip Rivers at OAK
29. Charlie Batch vs. MIA
30. Chad Pennington at TEN
31. J.P. Losman at NE
32. Kerry Collins vs. NYJ

Running Backs
1. Larry Johnson vs. CIN
2. Shaun Alexander at DET
3. LaDainian Tomlinson at OAK
4. Rudi Johnson at KC
5. Tiki Barber vs. IND
6. Steven Jackson vs. DEN
7. LaMont Jordan vs. SD
8. Edgerrin James vs. SF
9. Carnell Williams vs. BAL
10. Willis McGahee at NE
11. Ronnie Brown at PIT
12. DeShaun Foster vs. ATL
13. Reuben Droughns vs. NO
14. Warrick Dunn at CAR
15. Frank Gore at ARI
16. Kevin Jones vs. SEA
17. Reggie Bush at CLE
18. Brian Westbrook at HOU
19. Chester Taylor at WAS
20. Thomas Jones at GB
21. Fred Taylor vs. DAL
22. Corey Dillon vs. BUF
23. Willie Parker vs. MIA
24. Ahman Green vs. CHI
25. Jamal Lewis at TB
26. Julius Jones at JAC
27. Mike Bell at STL
28. Wali Lundy vs. PHI
29. Deuce McAllister at CLE
30. Chris Brown vs. NYJ
31. Dominic Rhodes at NYG
32. Derrick Blaylock at TEN
33. Tatum Bell at STL
34. Joseph Addai at NYG
35. Jerious Norwood at CAR
36. Kevan Barlow at TEN
37. T.J. Duckett vs. MIN
38. Marion Barber at JAC
39. DeAngelo Williams vs. ATL
40. Ladell Betts vs. MIN

Wide Receivers
1. Chad Johnson at KC
2. Larry Fitzgerald vs. SF
3. Torry Holt vs. DEN
4. Anquan Boldin vs. SF
5. Randy Moss vs. SD
6. Marvin Harrison at NYG
7. Roy Williams vs. SEA
8. Terrell Owens at JAC
9. Santana Moss vs. MIN
10. Steve Smith vs. ATL
11. Chris Chambers at PIT
12. T.J. Houshmandzadeh at KC
13. Plaxico Burress vs. IND
14. Reggie Wayne at NYG
15. Lee Evans at NE
16. Joey Galloway vs. BAL
17. Joe Horn at CLE
18. Eddie Kennison vs. CIN
19. Rod Smith at STL
20. Donald Driver vs. CHI
21. Derrick Mason at TB
22. Hines Ward vs. MIA
23. Javon Walker at STL
24. Nate Burleson at DET
25. Terry Glenn at JAC
26. Andre Johnson vs. PHI
27. Muhsin Muhammad at GB
28. Matt Jones vs. DAL
29. Keyshawn Johnson vs. ATL
30. Laveranues Coles at TEN
31. Donte' Stallworth at HOU
32. Antonio Bryant at ARI
33. Keenan McCardell at OAK
34. Drew Bennett vs. NYJ
35. Cedrick Wilson vs. MIA
36. Amani Toomer vs. IND
37. Michael Clayton vs. BAL
38. Joe Jurevicius vs. NO
39. Reggie Brown at HOU
40. David Givens vs. NYJ
41. Troy Williamson at WAS
42. Brandon Lloyd vs. MIN
43. Marty Booker at PIT
44. Mark Clayton at TB
45. Samie Parker vs. CIN
46. Chris Henry at KC
47. Greg Jennings vs. CHI
48. Doug Gabriel vs. BUF
49. Roddy White at CAR
50. Eric Moulds vs. PHI
51. Ronald Curry vs. SD
52. Marcus Robinson at WAS
53. Isaac Bruce vs. DEN
54. Jerry Porter vs. SD
55. Travis Taylor at WAS
56. Kevin Curtis vs. DEN
57. Corey Bradford vs. SEA
58. Bobby Engram at DET
59. Ernest Wilford vs. DAL
60. Peerless Price at NE

Tight Ends
1. Antonio Gates at OAK
2. Jeremy Shockey vs. IND
3. Tony Gonzalez vs. CIN
4. Todd Heap at TB
5. Benjamin Watson vs. BUF
6. Alge Crumpler at CAR
7. Chris Cooley vs. MIN
8. Jason Witten at JAC
9. L.J. Smith at HOU
10. Randy McMichael at PIT
11. Heath Miller vs. MIA
12. Alex Smith vs. BAL
13. Kellen Winslow vs. NO
14. Vernon Davis at ARI
15. Ben Troupe vs. NYJ
16. Jermaine Wiggins at WAS
17. Marcus Pollard vs. SEA
18. Leonard Pope vs. SF
19. Dallas Clark at NYG
20. Bubba Franks vs. CHI
21. Tony Scheffler at STL
22. Ben Utecht at NYG
23. Joe Klopfenstein vs. DEN
24. Chris Baker at TEN
25. Jeb Putzier vs. PHI

Defense/Special Teams
1. Chicago at GB
2. Pittsburgh vs. MIA
3. Philadelphia at HOU
4. Seattle at DET
5. Tampa Bay vs. BAL
6. Carolina vs. ATL
7. Dallas at JAC
8. Washington vs. MIN
9. Miami at PIT
10. Baltimore at TB
11. New England vs. BUF
12. Indianapolis at NYG
13. Jacksonville vs. DAL
14. Cincinnati at KC
15. N.Y. Giants vs. IND
16. Atlanta at CAR
17. Minnesota at WAS
18. San Diego at OAK
19. Cleveland vs. NO
20. Denver at STL
21. Arizona vs. SF
22. Green Bay vs. CHI
23. New Orleans at CLE
24. Kansas City vs. CIN
25. N.Y. Jets at TEN
26. Tennessee vs. NYJ
27. Oakland vs. SD
28. Detroit vs. SEA
29. Buffalo at NE
30. San Francisco at ARI
31. Houston vs. PHI
32. St. Louis vs. DEN

</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Week 1 Projections





Team: <SELECT class=sidebar id=proteam onchange="gotosite('http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/tools/projections?proTeamId=' + this.value + '');" name=proteam><OPTION value=null selected>All</OPTION><OPTION value=22>Ari</OPTION><OPTION value=1>Atl</OPTION><OPTION value=33>Bal</OPTION><OPTION value=2>Buf</OPTION><OPTION value=29>Car</OPTION><OPTION value=3>Chi</OPTION><OPTION value=4>Cin</OPTION><OPTION value=5>Cle</OPTION><OPTION value=6>Dal</OPTION><OPTION value=7>Den</OPTION><OPTION value=8>Det</OPTION><OPTION value=9>GB</OPTION><OPTION value=34>Hou</OPTION><OPTION value=11>Ind</OPTION><OPTION value=30>Jac</OPTION><OPTION value=12>KC</OPTION><OPTION value=15>Mia</OPTION><OPTION value=16>Min</OPTION><OPTION value=17>NE</OPTION><OPTION value=18>NO</OPTION><OPTION value=19>NYG</OPTION><OPTION value=20>NYJ</OPTION><OPTION value=13>Oak</OPTION><OPTION value=21>Phi</OPTION><OPTION value=23>Pit</OPTION><OPTION value=24>SD</OPTION><OPTION value=26>Sea</OPTION><OPTION value=25>SF</OPTION><OPTION value=14>StL</OPTION><OPTION value=27>TB</OPTION><OPTION value=10>Ten</OPTION><OPTION value=28>Was</OPTION></SELECT>
Stat Type: Last Season | Projections
Week to view: Season | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
Position: All | QB | RB | RB/WR | WR | TE | D/ST | K
Players Per Page: 50 | 100 | 200 | 400
<TABLE class=tableBody cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=2 width="100%" bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=tableHead bgColor=#0b550a><TD colSpan=4>PLAYER</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=4>PASSING</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=3>RECEIVING</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=3>RUSHING</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=3>FANTASY</TD></TR><TR class=tableSubHead bgColor=#afc9ae><TD title=Position align=left>POS</TD><TD title="Player and Team" align=left>PLAYER</TD><TD title=Opponent align=left>OPP</TD><TD title=Opponent align=left>STATUS</TD><TD title="Completions - Passing Attempts" align=right>C-A</TD><TD title=Interceptions align=right>INT</TD><TD title="TD Pass" align=right>TD</TD><TD title="Passing Yards" align=right>YDS</TD><TD title=Receptions align=right>REC</TD><TD title="Receiving Yards" align=right>YDS</TD><TD title="TD Reception" align=right>TD</TD><TD title="Rushing Attempt" align=right>ATT</TD><TD title="Rushing Yards" align=right>YDS</TD><TD title="TD Rush" align=right>TD</TD><TD title="Total Points" align=right>PTS</TD><TD title="Average Points" align=right>AVG</TD><TD title="Projected Season Points" align=right>2006 PROJ</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Larry Johnson
, KC
</TD><TD id=opponent_4485>Cin</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4485><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.2</TD><TD align=right>25</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>24</TD><TD align=right>128</TD><TD align=right>1.6</TD><TD align=right>25.6</TD><TD align=right>24.1</TD><TD align=right>384.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Donte' Stallworth
, Phi
</TD><TD id=opponent_3541>@Hou</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3541><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>11.3</TD><TD align=right>151</TD><TD align=right>1.1</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>22</TD><TD align=right>8.3</TD><TD align=right>132.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>LaDainian Tomlinson
, SD
</TD><TD id=opponent_2553>@Oak</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2553><NOBR>Mon 10:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.6</TD><TD align=right>18</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>24</TD><TD align=right>110</TD><TD align=right>1.2</TD><TD align=right>20.6</TD><TD align=right>18.5</TD><TD align=right>295.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Peyton Manning
, Ind</TD><TD id=opponent_1428>@NYG</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1428><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>22-35</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>2.5</TD><TD align=right>292</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>20.5</TD><TD align=right>19.6</TD><TD align=right>314.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Donovan McNabb
, Phi</TD><TD id=opponent_1753>@Hou</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1753><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>23-35</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>2.1</TD><TD align=right>253</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>14</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>19.1</TD><TD align=right>16.9</TD><TD align=right>270</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Carson Palmer
, Cin
</TD><TD id=opponent_4459>@KC</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4459><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>24-33</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>2.3</TD><TD align=right>274</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>19</TD><TD align=right>15.6</TD><TD align=right>250.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Shaun Alexander
, Sea
</TD><TD id=opponent_2150>@Det</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2150><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.1</TD><TD align=right>6</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>23</TD><TD align=right>122</TD><TD align=right>0.9</TD><TD align=right>18.8</TD><TD align=right>21.1</TD><TD align=right>337.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Edgerrin James
, Ari
</TD><TD id=opponent_1755>SF</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1755><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.9</TD><TD align=right>25</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>21</TD><TD align=right>96</TD><TD align=right>0.9</TD><TD align=right>18.1</TD><TD align=right>15</TD><TD align=right>240.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Kurt Warner
, Ari</TD><TD id=opponent_1682>SF</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1682><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>24-35</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>1.8</TD><TD align=right>282</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>17.3</TD><TD align=right>14.1</TD><TD align=right>226.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Ben Roethlisberger
*, Pit
</TD><TD id=opponent_5536>Mia</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5536><NOBR>Thu 8:30</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>17-27</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>239</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>5</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>17.2</TD><TD align=right>13</TD><TD align=right>208</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Aaron Brooks
, Oak</TD><TD id=opponent_1884>SD</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1884><NOBR>Mon 10:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>21-36</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>1.5</TD><TD align=right>262</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>13</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>16.6</TD><TD align=right>17.8</TD><TD align=right>284.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Brian Westbrook
, Phi</TD><TD id=opponent_3619>@Hou</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3619><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.3</TD><TD align=right>51</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>16</TD><TD align=right>70</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>16.3</TD><TD align=right>14.8</TD><TD align=right>236.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Jake Plummer
, Den</TD><TD id=opponent_1177>@StL</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1177><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>19-30</TD><TD align=right>0.7</TD><TD align=right>1.5</TD><TD align=right>235</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>14</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>16.2</TD><TD align=right>14.7</TD><TD align=right>235.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Mark Brunell
, Was</TD><TD id=opponent_445>Min</TD><TD id=gamestatus_445><NOBR>Mon 7:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>16-30</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>1.6</TD><TD align=right>220</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>6</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>14.9</TD><TD align=right>13.6</TD><TD align=right>218.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Marc Bulger
, StL</TD><TD id=opponent_2299>Den</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2299><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>22-31</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>260</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>5</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>14.8</TD><TD align=right>14.4</TD><TD align=right>229.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Chad Pennington
, NYJ</TD><TD id=opponent_2149>@Ten</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2149><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>21-32</TD><TD align=right>0.7</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>229</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>10</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>14.6</TD><TD align=right>11.3</TD><TD align=right>180.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Rudi Johnson
, Cin</TD><TD id=opponent_2649>@KC</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2649><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.2</TD><TD align=right>6</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>23</TD><TD align=right>85</TD><TD align=right>0.9</TD><TD align=right>14.5</TD><TD align=right>13.1</TD><TD align=right>209.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>DeShaun Foster
, Car</TD><TD id=opponent_3562>Atl</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3562><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>20</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>19</TD><TD align=right>83</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>14.5</TD><TD align=right>12.7</TD><TD align=right>203.6</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Trent Green
, KC</TD><TD id=opponent_478>Cin</TD><TD id=gamestatus_478><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>21-33</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>267</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>14.4</TD><TD align=right>15.7</TD><TD align=right>250.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Matt Hasselbeck
, Sea</TD><TD id=opponent_1575>@Det</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1575><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>20-33</TD><TD align=right>1.1</TD><TD align=right>1.4</TD><TD align=right>244</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>8</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>14.1</TD><TD align=right>16</TD><TD align=right>256.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Michael Vick
, Atl</TD><TD id=opponent_2549>@Car</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2549><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>15-27</TD><TD align=right>1.2</TD><TD align=right>0.7</TD><TD align=right>188</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>49</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>14.1</TD><TD align=right>17.4</TD><TD align=right>277.6</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Tiki Barber
, NYG</TD><TD id=opponent_1218>Ind</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1218><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.6</TD><TD align=right>26</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>18</TD><TD align=right>78</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>14</TD><TD align=right>15.1</TD><TD align=right>242.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Tom Brady
, NE
</TD><TD id=opponent_2330>Buf</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2330><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>20-32</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>1.4</TD><TD align=right>237</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>14</TD><TD align=right>14.9</TD><TD align=right>238.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Reuben Droughns
, Cle</TD><TD id=opponent_2212>NO</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2212><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.2</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>19</TD><TD align=right>92</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>13.9</TD><TD align=right>10.9</TD><TD align=right>174.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Domanick Davis
*, Hou
</TD><TD id=opponent_4559>Phi</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4559><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.6</TD><TD align=right>32</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>71</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>13.9</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Charlie Frye
, Cle</TD><TD id=opponent_8481>NO</TD><TD id=gamestatus_8481><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>19-31</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>1.5</TD><TD align=right>195</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>8</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>13.7</TD><TD align=right>11.5</TD><TD align=right>184</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Billy Volek
, Ten
</TD><TD id=opponent_2440>NYJ</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2440><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>21-35</TD><TD align=right>1.1</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>251</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>13.6</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Rex Grossman
, Chi</TD><TD id=opponent_4480>@GB</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4480><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>18-33</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>1.5</TD><TD align=right>198</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>10</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>13.6</TD><TD align=right>10.9</TD><TD align=right>175.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Corey Dillon
, NE
</TD><TD id=opponent_1196>Buf</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1196><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>73</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>13.4</TD><TD align=right>10.8</TD><TD align=right>173.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>David Carr
, Hou</TD><TD id=opponent_3529>Phi</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3529><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>18-28</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>206</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>20</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>13.3</TD><TD align=right>13.5</TD><TD align=right>215.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Drew Bledsoe
, Dal
</TD><TD id=opponent_393>@Jac</TD><TD id=gamestatus_393><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>18-31</TD><TD align=right>1.2</TD><TD align=right>1.5</TD><TD align=right>228</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>13.2</TD><TD align=right>14.5</TD><TD align=right>231.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Chris Brown
, Ten</TD><TD id=opponent_4551>NYJ</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4551><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.6</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>79</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>13.2</TD><TD align=right>10.1</TD><TD align=right>161.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Jon Kitna
, Det</TD><TD id=opponent_1383>Sea</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1383><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>17-30</TD><TD align=right>1.2</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>200</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>15</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>13</TD><TD align=right>14</TD><TD align=right>224.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Jake Delhomme
, Car</TD><TD id=opponent_1693>Atl</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1693><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>18-31</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>1.4</TD><TD align=right>234</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>12.9</TD><TD align=right>14</TD><TD align=right>223.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Chad Johnson
, Cin</TD><TD id=opponent_2584>@KC</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2584><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.1</TD><TD align=right>88</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>12.8</TD><TD align=right>11.6</TD><TD align=right>184.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Steven Jackson
, StL</TD><TD id=opponent_5549>Den</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5549><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.1</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>19</TD><TD align=right>74</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>12.7</TD><TD align=right>13.5</TD><TD align=right>215.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Kerry Collins
, Ten
</TD><TD id=opponent_734>NYJ</TD><TD id=gamestatus_734><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>19-35</TD><TD align=right>1.2</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>232</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>5</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>12.7</TD><TD align=right>9.9</TD><TD align=right>157.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Mike Bell
, Den
</TD><TD id=opponent_9864>@StL</TD><TD id=gamestatus_9864><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>11</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>15</TD><TD align=right>72</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>12.5</TD><TD align=right>11.6</TD><TD align=right>185.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Randy Moss
, Oak</TD><TD id=opponent_1433>SD</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1433><NOBR>Mon 10:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.7</TD><TD align=right>77</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>12.5</TD><TD align=right>11.6</TD><TD align=right>186.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Byron Leftwich
, Jac</TD><TD id=opponent_4465>Dal</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4465><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>17-31</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>184</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>12.4</TD><TD align=right>12.6</TD><TD align=right>201.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Daunte Culpepper
, Mia
</TD><TD id=opponent_1762>@Pit</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1762><NOBR>Thu 8:30</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>19-29</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>200</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5</TD><TD align=right>25</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>12.3</TD><TD align=right>16.7</TD><TD align=right>266.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>LaMont Jordan
, Oak
</TD><TD id=opponent_2597>SD</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2597><NOBR>Mon 10:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.1</TD><TD align=right>33</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>14</TD><TD align=right>54</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>12.3</TD><TD align=right>11.7</TD><TD align=right>187.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Anquan Boldin
, Ari</TD><TD id=opponent_4512>SF</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4512><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.5</TD><TD align=right>91</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>12.2</TD><TD align=right>10</TD><TD align=right>159.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Ronnie Brown
, Mia</TD><TD id=opponent_8417>@Pit</TD><TD id=gamestatus_8417><NOBR>Thu 8:30</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.1</TD><TD align=right>21</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>20</TD><TD align=right>77</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>12.2</TD><TD align=right>15.2</TD><TD align=right>243.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Philip Rivers
, SD
</TD><TD id=opponent_5529>@Oak</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5529><NOBR>Mon 10:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>17-30</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>1.5</TD><TD align=right>185</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>11.9</TD><TD align=right>10.3</TD><TD align=right>165</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Marvin Harrison
, Ind</TD><TD id=opponent_939>@NYG</TD><TD id=gamestatus_939><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.5</TD><TD align=right>70</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>11.8</TD><TD align=right>10.9</TD><TD align=right>174.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Steve Smith
, Car
</TD><TD id=opponent_2622>Atl</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2622><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.6</TD><TD align=right>82</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>11.8</TD><TD align=right>12.9</TD><TD align=right>205.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Larry Fitzgerald
, Ari</TD><TD id=opponent_5528>SF</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5528><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.9</TD><TD align=right>75</TD><TD align=right>0.7</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>11.8</TD><TD align=right>9.8</TD><TD align=right>157.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Muhsin Muhammad
, Chi</TD><TD id=opponent_936>@GB</TD><TD id=gamestatus_936><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.5</TD><TD align=right>75</TD><TD align=right>0.7</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>11.7</TD><TD align=right>9.7</TD><TD align=right>155.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Carnell Williams
, TB
</TD><TD id=opponent_8420>Bal</TD><TD id=gamestatus_8420><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.6</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>23</TD><TD align=right>85</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>11.6</TD><TD align=right>12.1</TD><TD align=right>193.1</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
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Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Week 1 Projections




Team: <SELECT class=sidebar id=proteam onchange="gotosite('http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/tools/projections?&proTeamId=' + this.value + '');" name=proteam><OPTION value=null selected>All</OPTION><OPTION value=22>Ari</OPTION><OPTION value=1>Atl</OPTION><OPTION value=33>Bal</OPTION><OPTION value=2>Buf</OPTION><OPTION value=29>Car</OPTION><OPTION value=3>Chi</OPTION><OPTION value=4>Cin</OPTION><OPTION value=5>Cle</OPTION><OPTION value=6>Dal</OPTION><OPTION value=7>Den</OPTION><OPTION value=8>Det</OPTION><OPTION value=9>GB</OPTION><OPTION value=34>Hou</OPTION><OPTION value=11>Ind</OPTION><OPTION value=30>Jac</OPTION><OPTION value=12>KC</OPTION><OPTION value=15>Mia</OPTION><OPTION value=16>Min</OPTION><OPTION value=17>NE</OPTION><OPTION value=18>NO</OPTION><OPTION value=19>NYG</OPTION><OPTION value=20>NYJ</OPTION><OPTION value=13>Oak</OPTION><OPTION value=21>Phi</OPTION><OPTION value=23>Pit</OPTION><OPTION value=24>SD</OPTION><OPTION value=26>Sea</OPTION><OPTION value=25>SF</OPTION><OPTION value=14>StL</OPTION><OPTION value=27>TB</OPTION><OPTION value=10>Ten</OPTION><OPTION value=28>Was</OPTION></SELECT>
Stat Type: Last Season | Projections
Week to view: Season | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
Position: All | QB | RB | RB/WR | WR | TE | D/ST | K
Players Per Page: 50 | 100 | 200 | 400
<TABLE class=tableBody cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=2 width="100%" bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=tableHead bgColor=#0b550a><TD colSpan=4>PLAYER</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=4>PASSING</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=3>RECEIVING</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=3>RUSHING</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=3>FANTASY</TD></TR><TR class=tableSubHead bgColor=#afc9ae><TD title=Position align=left>POS</TD><TD title="Player and Team" align=left>PLAYER</TD><TD title=Opponent align=left>OPP</TD><TD title=Opponent align=left>STATUS</TD><TD title="Completions - Passing Attempts" align=right>C-A</TD><TD title=Interceptions align=right>INT</TD><TD title="TD Pass" align=right>TD</TD><TD title="Passing Yards" align=right>YDS</TD><TD title=Receptions align=right>REC</TD><TD title="Receiving Yards" align=right>YDS</TD><TD title="TD Reception" align=right>TD</TD><TD title="Rushing Attempt" align=right>ATT</TD><TD title="Rushing Yards" align=right>YDS</TD><TD title="TD Rush" align=right>TD</TD><TD title="Total Points" align=right>PTS</TD><TD title="Average Points" align=right>AVG</TD><TD title="Projected Season Points" align=right>2006 PROJ</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Todd Pinkston
, Min</TD><TD id=opponent_2167>@Was</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2167><NOBR>Mon 7:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.2</TD><TD align=right>90</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>11.4</TD><TD align=right>1.2</TD><TD align=right>18.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Kevan Barlow
, NYJ
</TD><TD id=opponent_2628>@Ten</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2628><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.9</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>60</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>11.3</TD><TD align=right>8.7</TD><TD align=right>138.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Tatum Bell
, Den
</TD><TD id=opponent_5566>@StL</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5566><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>13</TD><TD align=right>72</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>11.1</TD><TD align=right>9.3</TD><TD align=right>148.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Frank Gore
, SF</TD><TD id=opponent_8479>@Ari</TD><TD id=gamestatus_8479><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>15</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>13</TD><TD align=right>66</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>11.1</TD><TD align=right>10.9</TD><TD align=right>175.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Willie Parker
, Pit</TD><TD id=opponent_5880>Mia</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5880><NOBR>Thu 8:30</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.1</TD><TD align=right>13</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>78</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>10.9</TD><TD align=right>11.1</TD><TD align=right>177.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Drew Brees
, NO</TD><TD id=opponent_2580>@Cle</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2580><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>20-32</TD><TD align=right>1.1</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>219</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>10.9</TD><TD align=right>13</TD><TD align=right>207.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Torry Holt
, StL
</TD><TD id=opponent_1757>Den</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1757><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.4</TD><TD align=right>78</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>10.8</TD><TD align=right>10.1</TD><TD align=right>161.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Steve McNair
, Bal</TD><TD id=opponent_733>@TB</TD><TD id=gamestatus_733><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>19-31</TD><TD align=right>0.9</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>198</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>13</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>10.7</TD><TD align=right>12.7</TD><TD align=right>203.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Chris Simms
, TB</TD><TD id=opponent_4555>Bal</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4555><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>19-32</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>209</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>10.6</TD><TD align=right>10.1</TD><TD align=right>161.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Charlie Batch
, Pit
</TD><TD id=opponent_1490>Mia</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1490><NOBR>Thu 8:30</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>14-24</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>169</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>8</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>10.6</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>12.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Julius Jones
, Dal</TD><TD id=opponent_5568>@Jac</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5568><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.6</TD><TD align=right>19</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>21</TD><TD align=right>69</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>10.6</TD><TD align=right>13</TD><TD align=right>208</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Reggie Wayne
, Ind</TD><TD id=opponent_2578>@NYG</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2578><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.1</TD><TD align=right>76</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>10.6</TD><TD align=right>9.9</TD><TD align=right>157.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Eli Manning
, NYG</TD><TD id=opponent_5526>Ind</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5526><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>16-29</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>1.1</TD><TD align=right>205</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>10.5</TD><TD align=right>12.2</TD><TD align=right>194.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Ahman Green
, GB</TD><TD id=opponent_1432>Chi</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1432><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.3</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>18</TD><TD align=right>62</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>10.3</TD><TD align=right>11.8</TD><TD align=right>188.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Terrell Owens
, Dal
</TD><TD id=opponent_1056>@Jac</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1056><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.6</TD><TD align=right>72</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>10.2</TD><TD align=right>11</TD><TD align=right>175.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Thomas Jones
, Chi
</TD><TD id=opponent_2138>@GB</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2138><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.4</TD><TD align=right>17</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>16</TD><TD align=right>61</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>10.2</TD><TD align=right>9.2</TD><TD align=right>147.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Dominic Rhodes
, Ind</TD><TD id=opponent_2893>@NYG</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2893><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.3</TD><TD align=right>9</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>15</TD><TD align=right>62</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>10.1</TD><TD align=right>9.7</TD><TD align=right>155.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Ron Dayne
, Hou
</TD><TD id=opponent_2142>Phi</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2142><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>14</TD><TD align=right>77</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>10.1</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>31.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Darrell Jackson
, Sea
</TD><TD id=opponent_2211>@Det</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2211><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.4</TD><TD align=right>77</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>10.1</TD><TD align=right>10.4</TD><TD align=right>167.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Neil Rackers
, Ari</TD><TD id=opponent_2300>SF</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2300><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9.7</TD><TD align=right>8.6</TD><TD align=right>138</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Javon Walker
, Den
</TD><TD id=opponent_3548>@StL</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3548><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>61</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9.7</TD><TD align=right>9.2</TD><TD align=right>146.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Joey Galloway
, TB</TD><TD id=opponent_751>Bal</TD><TD id=gamestatus_751><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.5</TD><TD align=right>65</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9.5</TD><TD align=right>8.4</TD><TD align=right>133.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Wali Lundy
, Hou
</TD><TD id=opponent_9756>Phi</TD><TD id=gamestatus_9756><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0.9</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>16</TD><TD align=right>64</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>9.5</TD><TD align=right>9.7</TD><TD align=right>156</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Brad Johnson
, Min</TD><TD id=opponent_331>@Was</TD><TD id=gamestatus_331><NOBR>Mon 7:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>20-32</TD><TD align=right>0.7</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>199</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>5</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9.5</TD><TD align=right>11.7</TD><TD align=right>187.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Eddie Kennison
, KC</TD><TD id=opponent_943>Cin</TD><TD id=gamestatus_943><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.3</TD><TD align=right>75</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9.4</TD><TD align=right>10</TD><TD align=right>159.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>T.J. Houshmandzadeh
, Cin
</TD><TD id=opponent_2753>@KC</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2753><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.3</TD><TD align=right>67</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9.4</TD><TD align=right>8.9</TD><TD align=right>142</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Joe Jurevicius
, Cle</TD><TD id=opponent_1485>NO</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1485><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.1</TD><TD align=right>52</TD><TD align=right>0.7</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9.4</TD><TD align=right>6.9</TD><TD align=right>110.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Chester Taylor
, Min</TD><TD id=opponent_3784>@Was</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3784><NOBR>Mon 7:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.6</TD><TD align=right>23</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>12</TD><TD align=right>52</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>9.3</TD><TD align=right>10.1</TD><TD align=right>161.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Roy Williams
, Det</TD><TD id=opponent_5532>Sea</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5532><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.7</TD><TD align=right>57</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9.3</TD><TD align=right>9.3</TD><TD align=right>149.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>J.P. Losman
, Buf</TD><TD id=opponent_5547>@NE</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5547><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>13-27</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>161</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>19</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9.2</TD><TD align=right>11.8</TD><TD align=right>189.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Warrick Dunn
, Atl</TD><TD id=opponent_1175>@Car</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1175><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.8</TD><TD align=right>12</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>16</TD><TD align=right>62</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>9.2</TD><TD align=right>11.8</TD><TD align=right>188</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Santana Moss
, Was</TD><TD id=opponent_2564>Min</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2564><NOBR>Mon 7:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.7</TD><TD align=right>66</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9.1</TD><TD align=right>9.1</TD><TD align=right>145</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Rod Smith
, Den</TD><TD id=opponent_866>@StL</TD><TD id=gamestatus_866><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.7</TD><TD align=right>63</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9</TD><TD align=right>8.5</TD><TD align=right>136.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Drew Bennett
, Ten</TD><TD id=opponent_2898>NYJ</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2898><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.1</TD><TD align=right>60</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9</TD><TD align=right>7.6</TD><TD align=right>122</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Clinton Portis
, Was
</TD><TD id=opponent_3579>Min</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3579><NOBR>Mon 7:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0.9</TD><TD align=right>6</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>14</TD><TD align=right>54</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>9</TD><TD align=right>11.6</TD><TD align=right>185.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Deion Branch
*, NE
</TD><TD id=opponent_3593>Buf</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3593><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.2</TD><TD align=right>54</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9</TD><TD align=right>8.5</TD><TD align=right>136.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>TE</TD><TD align=left>Antonio Gates
, SD</TD><TD id=opponent_5362>@Oak</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5362><NOBR>Mon 10:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.7</TD><TD align=right>54</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>128.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Brandon Stokley
, Ind
</TD><TD id=opponent_1858>@NYG</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1858><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.9</TD><TD align=right>64</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>8.8</TD><TD align=right>8</TD><TD align=right>127.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Matt Stover
, Bal</TD><TD id=opponent_129>@TB</TD><TD id=gamestatus_129><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>8.5</TD><TD align=right>8.5</TD><TD align=right>136.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Willis McGahee
, Buf
</TD><TD id=opponent_4481>@NE</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4481><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.2</TD><TD align=right>8</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>19</TD><TD align=right>65</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>8.5</TD><TD align=right>11.2</TD><TD align=right>179.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Kevin Jones
, Det</TD><TD id=opponent_5555>Sea</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5555><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>11</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>16</TD><TD align=right>56</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>8.5</TD><TD align=right>11.6</TD><TD align=right>185.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Reggie Bush
, NO
</TD><TD id=opponent_9588>@Cle</TD><TD id=gamestatus_9588><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.7</TD><TD align=right>25</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>9</TD><TD align=right>42</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>8.5</TD><TD align=right>9.5</TD><TD align=right>152.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Andre Johnson
, Hou</TD><TD id=opponent_4461>Phi</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4461><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.8</TD><TD align=right>66</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>8.4</TD><TD align=right>9.2</TD><TD align=right>147.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Joe Horn
, NO</TD><TD id=opponent_1042>@Cle</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1042><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.8</TD><TD align=right>65</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>8.3</TD><TD align=right>9.3</TD><TD align=right>148.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Chris Chambers
, Mia</TD><TD id=opponent_2600>@Pit</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2600><NOBR>Thu 8:30</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.8</TD><TD align=right>57</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>8.2</TD><TD align=right>10</TD><TD align=right>160.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Jason Elam
, Den</TD><TD id=opponent_453>@StL</TD><TD id=gamestatus_453><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>8.2</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>129.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Plaxico Burress
, NYG</TD><TD id=opponent_2139>Ind</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2139><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.6</TD><TD align=right>58</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>8.2</TD><TD align=right>8.5</TD><TD align=right>135.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Hines Ward
, Pit
</TD><TD id=opponent_1494>Mia</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1494><NOBR>Thu 8:30</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.1</TD><TD align=right>55</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>9.8</TD><TD align=right>156.6</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Jamal Lewis
, Bal
</TD><TD id=opponent_2136>@TB</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2136><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.7</TD><TD align=right>10</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>19</TD><TD align=right>59</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>10.4</TD><TD align=right>167</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Eric Moulds
, Hou</TD><TD id=opponent_935>Phi</TD><TD id=gamestatus_935><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.8</TD><TD align=right>63</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>8.3</TD><TD align=right>132.2</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (3 New Articles Added 9/6/06)

Week 1 Projections




Team: <SELECT class=sidebar id=proteam onchange="gotosite('http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/tools/projections?&proTeamId=' + this.value + '');" name=proteam><OPTION value=null selected>All</OPTION><OPTION value=22>Ari</OPTION><OPTION value=1>Atl</OPTION><OPTION value=33>Bal</OPTION><OPTION value=2>Buf</OPTION><OPTION value=29>Car</OPTION><OPTION value=3>Chi</OPTION><OPTION value=4>Cin</OPTION><OPTION value=5>Cle</OPTION><OPTION value=6>Dal</OPTION><OPTION value=7>Den</OPTION><OPTION value=8>Det</OPTION><OPTION value=9>GB</OPTION><OPTION value=34>Hou</OPTION><OPTION value=11>Ind</OPTION><OPTION value=30>Jac</OPTION><OPTION value=12>KC</OPTION><OPTION value=15>Mia</OPTION><OPTION value=16>Min</OPTION><OPTION value=17>NE</OPTION><OPTION value=18>NO</OPTION><OPTION value=19>NYG</OPTION><OPTION value=20>NYJ</OPTION><OPTION value=13>Oak</OPTION><OPTION value=21>Phi</OPTION><OPTION value=23>Pit</OPTION><OPTION value=24>SD</OPTION><OPTION value=26>Sea</OPTION><OPTION value=25>SF</OPTION><OPTION value=14>StL</OPTION><OPTION value=27>TB</OPTION><OPTION value=10>Ten</OPTION><OPTION value=28>Was</OPTION></SELECT>
Stat Type: Last Season | Projections
Week to view: Season | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17
Position: All | QB | RB | RB/WR | WR | TE | D/ST | K
Players Per Page: 50 | 100 | 200 | 400
<TABLE class=tableBody cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=2 width="100%" bgColor=#ffffff border=0><TBODY><TR class=tableHead bgColor=#0b550a><TD colSpan=4>PLAYER</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=4>PASSING</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=3>RECEIVING</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=3>RUSHING</TD><TD align=middle colSpan=3>FANTASY</TD></TR><TR class=tableSubHead bgColor=#afc9ae><TD title=Position align=left>POS</TD><TD title="Player and Team" align=left>PLAYER</TD><TD title=Opponent align=left>OPP</TD><TD title=Opponent align=left>STATUS</TD><TD title="Completions - Passing Attempts" align=right>C-A</TD><TD title=Interceptions align=right>INT</TD><TD title="TD Pass" align=right>TD</TD><TD title="Passing Yards" align=right>YDS</TD><TD title=Receptions align=right>REC</TD><TD title="Receiving Yards" align=right>YDS</TD><TD title="TD Reception" align=right>TD</TD><TD title="Rushing Attempt" align=right>ATT</TD><TD title="Rushing Yards" align=right>YDS</TD><TD title="TD Rush" align=right>TD</TD><TD title="Total Points" align=right>PTS</TD><TD title="Average Points" align=right>AVG</TD><TD title="Projected Season Points" align=right>2006 PROJ</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Stephen Davis
, StL</TD><TD id=opponent_979>Den</TD><TD id=gamestatus_979><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>5</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>12</TD><TD align=right>40</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>3.4</TD><TD align=right>53.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Alex Smith
, SF</TD><TD id=opponent_8416>@Ari</TD><TD id=gamestatus_8416><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>15-26</TD><TD align=right>0.9</TD><TD align=right>0.5</TD><TD align=right>164</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>9.5</TD><TD align=right>151.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Joe Nedney
, SF</TD><TD id=opponent_982>@Ari</TD><TD id=gamestatus_982><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>8</TD><TD align=right>8</TD><TD align=right>127.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>QB</TD><TD align=left>Brett Favre
, GB</TD><TD id=opponent_112>Chi</TD><TD id=gamestatus_112><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>18-32</TD><TD align=right>1.7</TD><TD align=right>0.9</TD><TD align=right>187</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.9</TD><TD align=right>11.9</TD><TD align=right>189.6</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Jeff Reed
, Pit</TD><TD id=opponent_4399>Mia</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4399><NOBR>Thu 8:30</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.9</TD><TD align=right>7.5</TD><TD align=right>119.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Laveranues Coles
, NYJ</TD><TD id=opponent_2209>@Ten</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2209><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.7</TD><TD align=right>65</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.8</TD><TD align=right>7.3</TD><TD align=right>116.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Nate Burleson
, Sea</TD><TD id=opponent_4529>@Det</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4529><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.5</TD><TD align=right>51</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.8</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>129.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>David Akers
, Phi</TD><TD id=opponent_1716>@Hou</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1716><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.8</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>129.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Josh Brown
, Sea</TD><TD id=opponent_4680>@Det</TD><TD id=gamestatus_4680><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.7</TD><TD align=right>7.3</TD><TD align=right>116.6</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Terry Glenn
, Dal</TD><TD id=opponent_940>@Jac</TD><TD id=gamestatus_940><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.3</TD><TD align=right>52</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.6</TD><TD align=right>7.8</TD><TD align=right>124.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Fred Taylor
, Jac
</TD><TD id=opponent_1430>Dal</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1430><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1.2</TD><TD align=right>9</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>14</TD><TD align=right>49</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>7.6</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>130.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>TE</TD><TD align=left>Doug Jolley
, TB</TD><TD id=opponent_3583>Bal</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3583><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5.8</TD><TD align=right>52</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.6</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>6.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>John Carney
, NO</TD><TD id=opponent_43>@Cle</TD><TD id=gamestatus_43><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.6</TD><TD align=right>7.4</TD><TD align=right>118.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>T.J. Duckett
, Was</TD><TD id=opponent_3546>Min</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3546><NOBR>Mon 7:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>11</TD><TD align=right>47</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>7.5</TD><TD align=right>3.2</TD><TD align=right>51.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Jeff Wilkins
, StL</TD><TD id=opponent_726>Den</TD><TD id=gamestatus_726><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.5</TD><TD align=right>7.8</TD><TD align=right>124.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>TE</TD><TD align=left>Tony Gonzalez
, KC</TD><TD id=opponent_1231>Cin</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1231><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.9</TD><TD align=right>57</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.5</TD><TD align=right>8.2</TD><TD align=right>131.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Sebastian Janikowski
, Oak</TD><TD id=opponent_2148>SD</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2148><NOBR>Mon 10:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.5</TD><TD align=right>7.1</TD><TD align=right>113.6</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Shayne Graham
, Cin</TD><TD id=opponent_3504>@KC</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3504><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.5</TD><TD align=right>8.3</TD><TD align=right>132.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Matt Jones
, Jac</TD><TD id=opponent_8436>Dal</TD><TD id=gamestatus_8436><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.3</TD><TD align=right>47</TD><TD align=right>0.4</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.2</TD><TD align=right>6.6</TD><TD align=right>104.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Rob Bironas
, Ten</TD><TD id=opponent_9235>NYJ</TD><TD id=gamestatus_9235><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.2</TD><TD align=right>6.2</TD><TD align=right>99.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Adam Vinatieri
, Ind
</TD><TD id=opponent_1097>@NYG</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1097><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.2</TD><TD align=right>7.5</TD><TD align=right>119.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Derrick Mason
, Bal
</TD><TD id=opponent_1263>@TB</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1263><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.6</TD><TD align=right>60</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.2</TD><TD align=right>7.6</TD><TD align=right>121.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>John Kasay
, Car</TD><TD id=opponent_139>Atl</TD><TD id=gamestatus_139><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7.2</TD><TD align=right>7.6</TD><TD align=right>121</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Deuce McAllister
, NO</TD><TD id=opponent_2571>@Cle</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2571><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>2.6</TD><TD align=right>16</TD><TD align=right>0.1</TD><TD align=right>12</TD><TD align=right>37</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>7.1</TD><TD align=right>7.7</TD><TD align=right>123.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Isaac Bruce
, StL</TD><TD id=opponent_658>Den</TD><TD id=gamestatus_658><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>58</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>7.3</TD><TD align=right>117.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Jerry Porter
, Oak
</TD><TD id=opponent_2178>SD</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2178><NOBR>Mon 10:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4.2</TD><TD align=right>58</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>8.1</TD><TD align=right>129.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Lawrence Tynes
, KC</TD><TD id=opponent_3413>Cin</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3413><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>112.6</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Michael Clayton
, TB</TD><TD id=opponent_5540>Bal</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5540><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.9</TD><TD align=right>58</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>6.9</TD><TD align=right>111</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Josh Scobee
, Jac</TD><TD id=opponent_5662>Dal</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5662><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>7</TD><TD align=right>6.9</TD><TD align=right>109.6</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Jay Feely
, NYG</TD><TD id=opponent_2548>Ind</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2548><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.8</TD><TD align=right>7.6</TD><TD align=right>121.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Brandon Jacobs
, NYG</TD><TD id=opponent_8524>Ind</TD><TD id=gamestatus_8524><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>1</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>5</TD><TD align=right>19</TD><TD align=right>0.8</TD><TD align=right>6.8</TD><TD align=right>5.1</TD><TD align=right>81.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Stephen Gostkowski
, NE</TD><TD id=opponent_9704>Buf</TD><TD id=gamestatus_9704><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.8</TD><TD align=right>7.1</TD><TD align=right>114.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Olindo Mare
, Mia</TD><TD id=opponent_1170>@Pit</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1170><NOBR>Thu 8:30</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.8</TD><TD align=right>6.8</TD><TD align=right>108.4</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Reggie Brown
, Phi</TD><TD id=opponent_8449>@Hou</TD><TD id=gamestatus_8449><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.3</TD><TD align=right>49</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.7</TD><TD align=right>6.4</TD><TD align=right>102.7</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Phil Dawson
, Cle</TD><TD id=opponent_1440>NO</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1440><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.6</TD><TD align=right>6.9</TD><TD align=right>110</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Donald Driver
, GB</TD><TD id=opponent_1966>Chi</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1966><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>4</TD><TD align=right>54</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.6</TD><TD align=right>8.6</TD><TD align=right>137</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Justin McCareins
, NYJ</TD><TD id=opponent_2673>@Ten</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2673><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.8</TD><TD align=right>54</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.6</TD><TD align=right>5.8</TD><TD align=right>92.9</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Ryan Longwell
, Min</TD><TD id=opponent_1328>@Was</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1328><NOBR>Mon 7:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.6</TD><TD align=right>6</TD><TD align=right>95.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Laurence Maroney
, NE
</TD><TD id=opponent_9607>Buf</TD><TD id=gamestatus_9607><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0.7</TD><TD align=right>9</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>9</TD><TD align=right>38</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>6.5</TD><TD align=right>5.9</TD><TD align=right>93.6</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Mike Vanderjagt
, Dal
</TD><TD id=opponent_1669>@Jac</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1669><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.5</TD><TD align=right>7.1</TD><TD align=right>114</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Mike Nugent
, NYJ</TD><TD id=opponent_8461>@Ten</TD><TD id=gamestatus_8461><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.5</TD><TD align=right>6.4</TD><TD align=right>103.1</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Rian Lindell
, Buf</TD><TD id=opponent_2489>@NE</TD><TD id=gamestatus_2489><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.5</TD><TD align=right>7.1</TD><TD align=right>112.8</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>RB</TD><TD align=left>Joseph Addai
, Ind
</TD><TD id=opponent_9616>@NYG</TD><TD id=gamestatus_9616><NOBR>Sun 8:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0.6</TD><TD align=right>6</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>11</TD><TD align=right>41</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>6.5</TD><TD align=right>6.9</TD><TD align=right>110.3</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Keyshawn Johnson
, Car</TD><TD id=opponent_924>Atl</TD><TD id=gamestatus_924><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.7</TD><TD align=right>46</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.4</TD><TD align=right>6.7</TD><TD align=right>106.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Nate Kaeding
, SD</TD><TD id=opponent_5590>@Oak</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5590><NOBR>Mon 10:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.4</TD><TD align=right>5.9</TD><TD align=right>95.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Jason Hanson
, Det</TD><TD id=opponent_286>Sea</TD><TD id=gamestatus_286><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.3</TD><TD align=right>6.4</TD><TD align=right>103</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Robbie Gould
, Chi</TD><TD id=opponent_9354>@GB</TD><TD id=gamestatus_9354><NOBR>Sun 4:15</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.3</TD><TD align=right>5.7</TD><TD align=right>91.5</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>K</TD><TD align=left>Kris Brown
, Hou</TD><TD id=opponent_1981>Phi</TD><TD id=gamestatus_1981><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.3</TD><TD align=right>6.5</TD><TD align=right>104</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#e6edef><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>David Givens
, Ten
</TD><TD id=opponent_3757>NYJ</TD><TD id=gamestatus_3757><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.5</TD><TD align=right>51</TD><TD align=right>0.2</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.3</TD><TD align=right>6.1</TD><TD align=right>98.2</TD></TR><TR class=tableBody bgColor=#f5f8f9><TD align=left>WR</TD><TD align=left>Samie Parker
, KC</TD><TD id=opponent_5630>Cin</TD><TD id=gamestatus_5630><NOBR>Sun 1:00</NOBR></TD><TD align=right>0-0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>3.2</TD><TD align=right>44</TD><TD align=right>0.3</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>0</TD><TD align=right>6.2</TD><TD align=right>6.4</TD><TD align=right>102.7</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (7 New Articles Added 9/7/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (7 New Articles Added 9/7/06)

Sep. 8, 2006, 4:37 PM
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Carroll Injury Report: Week 1


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<!-- firstName = Will --><!-- lastName = Carroll -->By Will Carroll
ESPN Fantasy Games

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Finally, we have games. We came out of Thursday night's kickoff game with nothing much to talk about -- and that's a good thing. I don't get some perverse pleasure out of watching players get injured. I wish there were a week when I had nothing to write about and could just extol the virtues of Drive-By Truckers' latest album or talk about my own coffee addiction. That hasn't happened in my career, but there's always hope. I don't believe in miracles anymore, but I do believe that medical science is often indistinguishable from magic. What was once a career-ending injury is now routine. What was once routine now costs only one or two weeks. Healthier players make for better teams and, at its heart, my column is about making the game better. So let's get to the injuries:
There's a fine line between what is an injury move and what is a coaching decision. A player says he's at less than 100 percent and the coach then has to decide if his backups are better options. That's the decision facing Redskins coach Joe Gibbs this weekend. Clinton Portis is reportedly assessing himself at about 75 percent, something my source calls "laughable -- none of his characters [i.e., people] is a doctor, I guess." Portis' shoulder is fully healed and ready to go, but the combination of Portis' value and the team's depth at running back gives Gibbs enough leeway to back off on Portis if he feels that's the right decision for his team. Late word out of DC is that Portis didn't pass Gibbs' tests and will be on the sidelines for Week 1. The Skins are playing the "better safe than sorry" card here and long-term concerns remain low for Portis. Ladell Betts gets the start.
What's more important to a wide receiver -- his hands or his legs? The answer depends on the receiver. There are burners and there are possession guys and a million variations on those themes, so the same injury can affect two players very differently. Steve Smith is a yards-after-catch guy, gaining a lot of ground (and fantasy value) after the reception because of his explosive speed. Some of that dynamite in his legs went boom, causing a cascade of recurrences and even a bilateral compensation. What's that, you ask? An injury often causes unintended consequences, such as a limp due to a strained left hamstring causing a problem in the right hamstring, as happened with Smith. Smith is a ball of muscle wound as tight as Tobias Beecher in Season One of Oz. He's going to need to find some flexibility or he's seen the last of his days as an elite fantasy receiver.
Sometimes, players not on your fantasy roster will have more of an impact on your success than the players who are on your squad, so don't ignore those complimentary guys. Here's a great example -- not only will Cadillac Williams, a 100 percent owned first rounder, be facing the Ravens rush defense, he'll be doing it without Davin Joseph between him and Ray Lewis. Joseph, the starting RG, had won the job and raves from the coaching staff, but it looks like his season is done before it started with a devastating knee injury. An MRI taken Wednesday should reveal how serious the damage is, but the full-length brace Joseph was sporting says a lot. If you watched "The Fantasy Show" last night -- and if you don't watch, you can't win -- you'll know that ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski was already down on Cadillac. This is just more reason and a lesson to keep your eye on the line.
Here's another example of the need to watch non-roster players. Deltha O'Neal is coming off a week of missed practices due to a recurrence of chronic knee problems. Listed as questionable, you might think that you don't want to play the Cincy defense or you might get creative and think that Samie Parker or Dante Hall might get better matchups with O'Neal's backup. Don't make that mistake. O'Neal is often listed as questionable and just as often plays on Sunday. The chronic nature of his problem has taught him to adjust and gives the medical staff a known target to shoot at. You don't just have to know the player, the injury and the context -- you have to know the history, too.
Everyone who has seen Adam Vinatieri kick this week has said that he looks fine. He's wearing a small, removable brace for kickoffs and leaving them a bit shorter than his average, but the Colts are a team that's struggled on kickoffs for years. What you care about is his place kicking and that seems unaffected. He's playing on grass with a chance of rain in New Jersey this week, two things that will add a degree of difficulty. Vinatieri's still worth starting in what promises to be a high-scoring game. I won't advocate gambling here, but checking the over-under can be for more than entertainment purposes only to the fantasy player. Set at 48 right now, that translates into 24 a side or six kicking points for Vinatieri under common rules. That's not too bad for a guy who looked very questionable just a week ago.
When I spoke about Hines Ward on Thursday, I pointed out that the hamstring injury would affect his game by limiting his motion, quick cuts to the right and his ability to separate. We saw all that on Thursday, and while I'm still running through the TiVo of the game, it appears that while I was right on with my analysis, Ward still found ways to be effective. Ward is a physical receiver with sure hands, not a speed receiver like Steve Smith. While he certainly showed his limitations, Ward did a good job of doing what he could do well, giving his owners a touchdown on short receiving yardage and helping the Steelers to a season-opening win. Ward now has 10 days to heal. Here's another question for the Steelers: Will Charlie Batch's performance make Bill Cowher a bit more conservative with Ben Roethlisberger's return?
Darrell Jackson is practicing, a big improvement on where he was at the start of the week. He's still lost range of motion, and now there are whispers that he has a bone-on-bone situation in his problematic knee. Jaworski always tells us how important reps are, and with this pair of conditions, Jackson likely won't be able to practice much this season. The knee is going to continue descending, costing Jackson opportunities and eventually eroding his skills. That doesn't sound like a guy you should have starting, even he even found a place on your roster. Bumps & Bruises: The NFL does a great job of controlling the PR on steroids violations. About once a year, they nail someone. You might not notice that they're hurt or even retired, as in the case of John Welbourn, formerly of the Chiefs. Revisit the policy? Why bother, if there are no teeth? ... All's quiet on the Torry Holt front. The elite WR should continue to lead the Rams. He'll have some extra padding to protect his bruised sternum, but he's also likely to put some extra padding on his stats with another big day. ... Things aren't so bright for Holt's teammate, Steven Jackson. How does a guy this big and strong need a goal line back? Jackson's chronic Achilles' problems prevent him from getting the dynamic push and burst. Steven Davis is in St. Louis for a reason. ... The Bengals No. 2 WR? (No, I'm not spelling it out. Come on -- Week One, T.J.?) He'll be limited by the heel injury, but will play. Chad Johnson will probably see a couple more passes coming his way from Carson Palmer due to the limitation. ... I'll say it again. Terrell Owens doesn't belong in this column. Don't look to his hamstring for an excuse if you don't get what you expect from him.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (7 New Articles Added 9/7/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (7 New Articles Added 9/7/06)

Friday, September 8, 2006
<SCRIPT language=javascript src="http://ai059.insightexpressai.com/adServer/adServer.aspx?bannerID=7560"></SCRIPT> Stopgap Seven: Week 1


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By Tristan H. Cockcroft
ESPN.com

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=762 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width=552><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->The rough-and-tumble NFL can take a toll on your fantasy team's depth, so if you're looking particularly thin at a position, consider the following players who are a little more under-the-radar as starters. (I'll list my Stopgap Seven each Friday all season.)
Mike Bell, RB, Broncos (@STL): He might be splitting carries with Tatum Bell, but the Broncos face the Rams, hardly a threatening rush defense. Both Bells should be decent deeper-league plays, but Bell has a little more size, so I'd bet he's more likely to score.
Reggie Brown, WR, Eagles (@HOU): I've had a lot of people ask me about Donte' Stallworth as an underappreciated fantasy starter, but I think Brown is the one Donovan McNabb looks to first. Give Stallworth a little time, and look to Brown in the early weeks.
Antonio Bryant, WR, 49ers (@ARI): He's the No. 1 receiver on what most people consider a bad offense, but this O has a year more experience, and even the "bad" offenses can give you a good outing facing the right matchup. This strikes me as the right matchup.
T.J. Duckett, RB, Redskins (MIN): Clinton Portis' status obviously has a tremendous bearing on Duckett's potential for Week 1, but I'd say start Duckett either way. Even if Portis can play, I think he'll be limited, most likely in short-yardage situations.
Deuce McAllister, RB, Saints (@CLE): If either of the New Orleans backs is going to find the end zone, I'm thinking it's McAllister. (Hey, Reggie Bush could too!) McAllister looked good in the preseason, and this is a nice matchup for him to build a hot start.
Samie Parker, WR, Chiefs (CIN): I'm expecting a shootout in Kansas City, plenty of scoring and a great deal of passing. There isn't a person around who would sit Eddie Kennison for this one, but I'd go ahead and get Parker in there too as a No. 3 or 4.
Kellen Winslow Jr., TE, Browns (NO): There isn't an awful lot to get excited about in Cleveland this season, but among the passing-game components, Winslow did look impressive in the preseason. It's a nice matchup, and I expect he should catch 5-7 passes.

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Among the players I'm avoiding in Week 1: It's the first week of the season, and with that, my first chance to say avoid Michael Vick! The Atlanta QB heads to Carolina, and no matter what your feeling about the Panthers' offense with Steve Smith's status a little iffy, the Panthers owned the Falcons last season. Vick, incidentally, hasn't had a touchdown pass in his last three trips to Carolina, and he hasn't run for a score there since 2003. ... It's bad enough that the Bears' defense presents an awful matchup for Ahman Green in his first game since returning from quadriceps surgery, but anytime the Packers fall behind, expect them to take the load off their RB. I see a lot of disappointing games for Green behind that shaky O-line, and this will only be the first of them. ... Texans RB Wali Lundy is a nice little sleeper, but Vernand Morency and Ron Dayne will get their chances, and until that situation settles itself, there's no way you can use any of them against a defense like that of the Eagles. ... Ravens RB Jamal Lewis' hip flexor injury should allow him to play in Week 1, but Musa Smith will be there to help defray some of the load. A potential time-share for two players facing the Buccaneers is not a good situation for fantasy. ... Panthers WR Keyshawn Johnson's value for this week hinges entirely on Smith's status. If Johnson is the No. 1 receiver due to Smith's absence, you can count on the Falcons sending tons of defensive attention his way. Be careful with him if Smith is unable to go.


THE BOTTOM LINE

Daunte Culpepper, QB, Dolphins
18-for-37 passing, 262 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT

While fantasy owners scramble to set their Week 1 lineups, the regular season is already under way, and on Thursday night, we got our first glimpse of Culpepper since a knee injury knocked him out in Week 8 of the 2005 season. And he looked much as one might have expected, far more a pocket passer than the traditional scrambling quarterback he was in his Minnesota Vikings days, when he averaged 5.59 rushing attempts per game. Culpepper did run the ball three times, though only one was the kind of creative running play he'd attempt in his Minnesota days, so it's clear he's playing more conservatively coming off major surgery. As a passer, he seemed fine, and the numbers really shouldn't be taken too seriously since he faced such a challenging matchup at Pittsburgh. But two things stood out as minor worries regarding Culpepper: One, he didn't seem to locate Chris Chambers as well as he needs to, not even targeting Chambers until his 10th pass attempt of the game. Two, Culpepper really seemed to melt down once his team fell behind in the game, looking like a quarterback completely incapable of playing from behind. Both of his interceptions came on poorly advised pass attempts after the Steelers mounded a four-point lead with 6:25 to go in the game, and one of them was run back by Joey Porter for a touchdown. Neither is a devastating thing, but they're enough to suggest a healthy Culpepper probably won't quite return to top-five QB status this season; his apparent limitations are what separate him from the top fantasy options like Peyton Manning and Carson Palmer.
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<TABLE class=tablehead cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3><TBODY><TR><TD class=stathead align=middle bgColor=#555555 colSpan=6>Preseason</TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff>
</TD><TD colSpan=5>Donovan McNabb, QB, Eagles: Showed no signs of health issues in the preseason; expect a big game at HOU</TD></TR><!-- inline box score --><TR class=colhead><TD>ATT</TD><TD>CMP</TD><TD>PCT</TD><TD>passYDS</TD><TD>passTD</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow vAlign=top><TD><NOBR>31</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>23</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>74.2</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>283</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>1</NOBR></TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff colSpan=5 height=3></TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff>
</TD><TD colSpan=5>Tatum Bell, RB, Broncos: Mike Shanahan wasn't lying, this guy looked good this preseason; I'd play him too</TD></TR><!-- inline box score --><TR class=colhead><TD>ATT</TD><TD>rushYDS</TD><TD>AVG</TD><TD>recYDS</TD><TD>TD</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow vAlign=top><TD><NOBR>31</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>134</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>4.3</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>19</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>2</NOBR></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE class=tablehead cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=3><!-- <tr><td align=center bgcolor="#555555" COLSPAN=6 class="stathead" colspan="6"> </td></tr> --><TBODY><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff>
</TD><TD colSpan=5>Laveranues Coles, WR, Jets: Bad offense or not, he's a key cog and has a nice rapport with Chad Pennington</TD></TR><!-- inline box score --><TR class=colhead><TD>REC</TD><TD>recYDS</TD><TD>AVG</TD><TD>LONG</TD><TD>TD</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow vAlign=top><TD><NOBR>12</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>90</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>7.5</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>15</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>0</NOBR></TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff colSpan=5 height=3></TD></TR><TR><TD bgColor=#ffffff>
</TD><TD colSpan=5>Todd Heap, TE, Ravens: Could be primed for a huge year now that he has Steve McNair throwing to him</TD></TR><!-- inline box score --><TR class=colhead><TD>REC</TD><TD>recYDS</TD><TD>AVG</TD><TD>LONG</TD><TD>TD</TD></TR><TR class=evenrow vAlign=top><TD><NOBR>6</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>75</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>12.5</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>18</NOBR></TD><TD><NOBR>0</NOBR></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

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<!-- begin also see2 -->Surfin' the Scoreboard


Lineup Shuffling
? The Raiders have officially named Jerry Porter their No. 4 receiver for Week 1, with Alvis Whitted getting the start opposite Randy Moss. With the exception of Moss, fantasy owners should look somewhere other than Oakland for receiver options.

Trainer's Room
? Falcons TE Alge Crumpler (knee) has been able to practice all week and is probable for Week 1 at the Panthers. While that's not a great matchup on paper necessarily, Crumpler has been QB Michael Vick's favorite receiving target over the years, and as such, Crumpler should be in your lineup in any week in which he's healthy.
? Bengals WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (heel) has been downgraded from probable to questionable for Week 1 at the Chiefs. He'd be facing a fine matchup if he's able to play, meaning his owners should keep an eye on his status the next couple days, but if Houshmandzadeh does sit out, Chris Henry would presumably step up to start opposite Chad Johnson. That'd make Henry an interesting sleeper based on the matchup.
? Redskins RB Clinton Portis (shoulder) sounded less optimistic on Thursday that he'd be able to play in Week 1 against the Vikings, though no official decision on his status has been made. If you're a Portis owner thinking of using him, it's a wise move to handcuff him with backup Ladell Betts, who would start if needed, at least for this week. That way, whichever one gets the start, you'll be assured having a healthy runner on Monday.
? Eagles RB Brian Westbrook (foot) has been practicing all week and is expected to start in Week 1 at the Texans. That's a fine matchup for him, and while Correll Buckhalter could be there to alleviate some of the load on him, Westbrook should still receive plenty of action as both a runner and receiver, particularly if Philadelphia builds an early lead. ? Thu Box | Wed Box | Karabell's Blog





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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Articles Added 9/8/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Articles Added 9/8/06)

Monday, September 11, 2006
<SCRIPT language=javascript src="http://ai059.insightexpressai.com/adServer/adServer.aspx?bannerID=7560"></SCRIPT> They passed ... with flying colors


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By Tristan H. Cockcroft
ESPN.com

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=762 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width=552><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->Beating the Houston Texans might not seem like all that special a feat, but in doing it, the Philadelphia Eagles helped answer two key questions for fantasy owners: Just how healthy is quarterback Donovan McNabb, who missed the final seven games of 2005 with a sports hernia, and just how ready is Donte' Stallworth to become a key part of the passing game?
First of all, the numbers: McNabb completed 24 of 35 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns, getting intercepted only once, while Stallworth caught six passes in the nine times he was targeted, amassing 141 receiving yards and a score. Those are awfully gaudy numbers, and the danger here is that you shouldn't take them too much to heart; after all, as I said earlier, they did come against the Texans, whose defense wasn't remotely threatening.
For McNabb, though, while we can't take those numbers and assume he's a lock for top-three fantasy quarterback status, we can assume that he's healthy enough to reclaim his former status as a must-start option. He showed no limitations from his previous injuries, he made good use of his surprisingly deep receiving corps and the Eagles demonstrated that once again, their playbook will rely heavily on the passing game. Just watching Philadelphia's season opener, it's clear the continued development of Reggie Brown, the addition of Stallworth and the return of a healthy Brian Westbrook has more than made up for the void in the passing game some feared was left when Terrell Owens departed for Dallas. McNabb looks like a Tom Brady-esque fantasy quarterback, the kind of guy who should spread the ball around and be remarkably accurate. The only difference, really, is that he's a slightly higher injury risk and he's on a team that should throw more often.
Stallworth, in one week, answered my questions in regard to whether he's ready to be a key element of the Philadelphia pass attack, as he stepped right up as McNabb's preferred target. These two displayed the rapport of any of the great quarterback-wide receiver tandems over the years, and while I doubt we'll see that stunning an effort the remainder of the season, it's time to elevate Stallworth to fantasy-starter status so long as the matchups allow. (Think must-play except against the stiffest of pass defenses.)
Stallworth does worry me a little due to his inconsistent performances in his New Orleans days, but perhaps his trade and the fresh outlook it provided, plus his contract-year status, has inspired him to stay more focused. He could indeed crack the top 20 receivers; he has that kind of upside. I still think McNabb spreads the field and Brown is the fantasy standout a fair share of weeks, but hey, why can't both of them make the top 20, then? <STYLE> .headshot { visibility: visible; padding: 0px 5px 4px 0px; float: left;} .bottom { font: 10px verdana, san-serif; color: #fff; font-weight: bold; background: #006633; padding: 5px; } </STYLE>BETWEEN THE LINES
Is there anything more exciting than Week 1? So much to say, but here are some of my quick-hit observations from the first week of NFL action: Rams RB Steven Jackson stepped up with 22 carries for 121 yards, showing us why he was such a popular mid-first-round selection, but just a note to coach Scott Linehan, how about testing Jackson in the red zone next time? It was nice to see Stephen Davis kept on the sidelines instead of swooping in there for those chances, but St. Louis threw the ball six of eight times from within the 10-yard line, which could help explain why Jeff Wilkins was the offensive star of the game. Next time, Scott, could you just try Jackson a few times at the goal line? ... It figures that Mike Shanahan took the Bell controversy right down until game time, as Mike Bell was starting for the Broncos on Sunday, then it was Tatum Bell, and wait, which one had more fantasy points? That's right, it was Mike, the guy who didn't start. Tatum had more yards, 103-58, and more carries, 15-10, but Mike had more points, 14-8, mainly thanks to his touchdown and Tatum's fumble. Mike's the one who made four catches, too, so it's pretty clear these guys are about even, which is more than could be said in 2005, when Mike Anderson was actually the slightly better fantasy pick. I'm revising my statement that Mike Bell is this year's Anderson; Mike and Tatum indeed look like they might be in a straight platoon, but there's value in that. Facing matchups like this one, I'd be happy to have either in a flex spot. ... I look at a stat line like Bengals QB Carson Palmer's 127 passing yards and no touchdowns and can't help but wonder whether, like Peyton Manning did last year, he's willing to let go of the statistical achievement angle in exchange for taking the best course for the team to win? Nothing against Manning's 2005, really, because he did everything the Colts needed -- at least in the regular season -- to win, but for fantasy, his early weeks were a disaster. One week doesn't mean Palmer's the guy doing that this year, but it did strike me as a thing to watch next week. He clearly was willing to sit back while the ground game did the work.


THE BOTTOM LINE

Drew Bledsoe, QB, Cowboys
16-for-33 passing for 246 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT

One poor game doesn't seal Bledsoe's fate as a poor fantasy option, or a guy better served holding a clipboard, but if you kept tabs on the news out of Dallas' camp during the preseason, surely you're aware that coach Bill Parcells wasn't exactly enamored with his veteran's performance in August. There was actually a point this preseason when it looked like Tony Romo might mount a serious challenge to Bledsoe's starting job, a story laughed off by a fair share of Bledsoe owners but now something that needs to be monitored more closely in Dallas' next couple of games. All the pieces were in place for a big year from Bledsoe, and don't forget, he's coming off a pretty decent one in 2005; Terrell Owens' addition gave Bledsoe a top receiving target, and again, don't forget, Bledsoe already had a pretty decent one at his disposal in 2005 in Terry Glenn. We might preach patience with your fantasy players, but Parcells is not a patient man when it comes to players performing like this. Bledsoe wasn't particularly accurate with his passes, especially playing catch-up in the fourth quarter, when he was picked off twice, the second only two plays after another potential interception was overturned by a review. Sure, he completed the TD pass to T.O., which looks nice in the box score, but Bledsoe's performance actually hurt Owens' numbers, as he targeted Owens 13 times but only completed six of those attempts. Bledsoe's going to need better efforts than this to avoid a quarterback controversy, and while we -- and Parcells, probably -- can grant him a mulligan against a tough Jaguars defense, he's going to need a better effort against the Redskins in Week 2 and Titans in Week 4. Owens' owners are certainly rooting for Bledsoe; Owens' potential is much greater with Bledsoe under center.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Articles Added 9/8/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Articles Added 9/8/06)

New fantasy stars


posted: Monday, September 11, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: Fantasy NFL


The biggest fantasy football story coming out of Sunday's games is probably that your first-round pick didn't do much for your team. Look at the scoring leaders, and you'll see only one running back topping 20 points, and that was Frank Gore, generally a third-round pick.

Who were the other high-scoring running backs? Well, we don't see Larry Johnson and Shaun Alexander near the top, that's for sure. Does that mean that Gore or Brian Westbrook or Travis Henry should have been first-round picks? Of course not! It's just one game.
For the record, the top running backs in Week 1 (performance scoring):
Gore, 26 points
Westbrook, 19 points
Ronnie Brown, 18 points
Fred Taylor, 17 points
Henry, 16 points
Julius Jones, 16 points
Rudi Johnson, 15 points

OK, so there are two running backs out of that group of seven who generally were first-round picks. Note that at 14 points are Edgerrin James and Larry Johnson, so let's not let panic set in, but still. Plenty of owners who had early first round picks are not going to be real pleased. Johnson, for example, had a streak of nine straight games with 100 yards broken. When's the last time Alexander didn't even have five fantasy points in a game? Ridiculous or just one of those days? You thought they were going to go nuts every week?
Since the feedback from the Friday blog was positive, let's go game by game to recap the Sunday games as well.
Seahawks 9, Lions 6: OK, so Alexander had his worst game in a long time, with 51 yards and no touchdowns. Is this all Steve Hutchinson's fault? I just don't see it. It's a bad game. For the record, Alexander had two games last season, his record-breaking season, in which he did not score a touchdown. One was opening weekend against the Jaguars (14 rushes, 73 yards), the other in Week 7 against Dallas (21 for 61). OK, so how is this game different? Don't trade the guy. Don't panic. He'll do better next week.
There were actually no touchdowns in this game, so unless you had a kicker, you're not pleased (and even then, Josh Brown and Jason Hanson were only 5 of 8 on field goals!). But that doesn't mean you need to start kicking aside Kevin Jones. One game.
Notes: Darrell Jackson was kind of iffy before this one, but he played, and helped Matt Hasselbeck to a very accurate 25-of-30 day. Nate Burleson caught a 36-yarder early, but nothing else. I thought he'd do more. Kevin Jones still has a pair of games left on the schedule with Green Bay. That's good news, right? Overall, I figured the Seahawks would score a lot here, and they didn't. But I don't think this is enough of a sample size to assume they won't score all season.
Bengals 23, Chiefs 10: As a multiple Trent Green owner for years, I was first concerned about his health. He got hit hard, and you never want to see a stretcher. It's not being called a significant head injury, but still, don't expect him to play next week. He got the Chiefs on the board first, threw a pick, and then it was Damon Huard time. Can't really evaluate him too well, but the absence of Green sure didn't help Johnson, who expects to rush for 2,000 yards.
Of course, it's just one game and Johnson could still do it. Just reread the above Alexander paragraph. Johnson was a factor in the passing game, which helped him to a 14-point day, far better than Alexander. Tony Gonzalez also bounced back with nice numbers, 10 catches and a touchdown. Backup quarterbacks tend to stick with what they know, the big names, so Huard's entrance might have helped Gonzo.
Carson Palmer didn't need to do much here, because Rudi Johnson carried the ball 28 times, and the Bengals had a two-touchdown lead at the half. Again, Palmer didn't look bad, it was just how the game went. Don't be surprised if Palmer has a similar game next week against the Browns. Last year he had a game against Cleveland with only 93 yards passing. Rudi Johnson should enjoy Week 2 more.
Notes: T.J. Houshmandzadeh did not play, and Chris Henry didn't have that breakout game, with only one catch, and for negative five yards. Palmer completed only 13 passes, so Chad Johnson couldn't have done much. He will.
Eagles 24, Texans 10: This went pretty much as I expected. Donovan McNabb looked terrific, throwing for 314 yards and three touchdowns. Brian Westbrook scored his touchdown through the air, which is actually his most popular way. Donte' Stallworth had a career game with 141 yards and a touchdown, scoring uncovered on a terrific play fake by McNabb. And Philly's defense did torture David Carr with five sacks. Only thing that surprised me was Philly using Westbrook to return punts. Look, the guy isn't the most durable cat around. Can't someone else return punts?
Carr ended up with 208 yards, which isn't too bad considering the pressure he was under. The acquisition of Eric Moulds was probably just what Andre Johnson needed. Johnson caught six passes for 101 yards, with Moulds getting most of his six catches early on, which opened things up a bit. Look for Johnson to gain from this new partnership. Really, can you recall a solid No. 2 receiver in Houston the last few years?
Notes: There was plenty of things I predicted wrong Sunday, but Wali Lundy wasn't one of them. There was nowhere to run, and Vernand Morency got nearly half the carries. This could become a timeshare real soon. And really, look for Ron Dayne to figure into this situation at some point.
Saints 19, Browns 14: The big story here is Reggie Bush, who got a decent amount of carries, about two thirds of what lead back Deuce McAllister received, but more importantly was a huge asset through the air. Bush is talented. Nobody denies this. He could do what Tatum Bell did last season, get close to 1,000 yards on the ground and add some 50 receptions. Hey, he might get more. He got 119 yards rushing and receiving, and you know he's going to break a punt return or two this season. McAllister looked good gaining 90 yards, though he lost a fumble and didn't score a touchdown.
Bad day for Reuben Droughns. I'm surprised he could only gain 27 yards against that defense. Might be a smart time to try to trade for him on the cheap.
Notes: Nice comeback game for Kellen Winslow, who clearly is a fine athlete and capable of leading this team in receptions. Charlie Frye completed half his passes to Winslow. I'd add Winslow this week if you're in a league in which he was undrafted. For the Saints, Joe Horn wasn't 100 percent coming in, and other than a 20-yard reception he didn't do much. Don't cut him yet. He gets the double coverage, which is why Marques Colston and Devery Henderson caught more passes.
Falcons 20, Panthers 6: Stunner here as the Panthers are the vogue NFC Super Bowl pick by many, but couldn't even score a touchdown. Last season Carolina dominated Atlanta. It's obviously a new year. Give the Falcons credit, but one has to wonder how much the absence of Steve Smith was a factor. Jake Delhomme threw for 186 yards and a pick. Drew Carter looks like a pretty solid No. 3 receiver, someone Carolina has to get into the action more.
Warrick Dunn carried the ball 29 times, which is a lot. Just like the Willie Parker game from Thursday seemed like too many carries, I doubt we'll see Dunn overused like that too often. But he was the top ball carrier of the day for yards, with 132 of them, and still rookie Jerious Norwood received 10 carries. Michael Vick was opportunistic with a pair of touchdown passes and 48 yards rushing, and only three quarterbacks in Sunday's day games had a better fantasy day. Now if Vick can do this every week, we've got something.
Notes: Didn't expect DeShaun Foster to have fewer yards than Norwood. I'll stick with him next week. Look, the loss of Steve Smith affects him, too. Good work from John Kasay, who kicked two field goals, 100 yards worth. Those 50-yarders always help.
Jets 23, Titans 16: When you get two bad teams together some crazy things can happen. Like Chad Pennington and Travis Henry having the big games. Not that I expected anyone in this one to do anything special. Pennington had an accurate day, and Laveranues Coles a monster day, but can you see them doing this in New England, or Miami? Who knows, I shouldn't rule it out. Pennington's shoulder might be healthier than we think. The Jets running game did enough, I suppose, but Derrick Blaylock hardly distinguished himself. Look for Kevan Barlow, who scored in this game, to get more carries, maybe twice as many, starting next week.
So I check in on this game with the Jets up 16-0, and figure it's about over. It was strange. Jeff Fisher starts Kerry Collins, as expected, but what is Vince Young doing in there early on? Doesn't make sense. I'm all for getting him some playing time, but doesn't that happen late in games? Collins drove the Jets in the fourth quarter, with both drives ending in Henry touchdowns. Henry didn't have a great day by any means, but if he's going to get the goal line looks, you've gotta pick him up. At least play keep away from others. Can he be this year's Stephen Davis, with few yards but lots of touchdown love? Hard to believe.
Notes: David Givens had a lost preseason, but he did play, catching three passes. Drew Bennett had the bigger day, topping 100 yards. And to think, most fantasy owners thought the only way Bennett would have success was if Billy Volek was slinging it.
Ravens 27, Buccaneers 0: I feel good about my initial reaction to rank the Baltimore defense No. 3 overall, behind only Chicago and Carolina. Yep, that's what I did a few months back, and the only change I made was moving them to fourth behind Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. The talent is there. Ray Lewis is healthy. Chris McAlister is a playmaker. And Chris Simms didn't have a chance.
I'm surprised Tampa Bay offered so little in a home game. No points? Carnell Williams did nothing. I'm still waiting for Joey Galloway to catch a pass. Pathetic. I don't want to overrate one game, especially against a top defense, but I have concerns Simms can be in the top 20 of quarterbacks. I'll stick with Cadillac next week, and the receivers.
Notes: Musa Smith got a carry early on, which I thought would be a precursor to a three-headed time share. It wasn't. Smith got only two carries total. Jamal Lewis wasn't overworked at all, getting only 18 carries, one of them a 27-yard jaunt and another a 4-yard scoring run in the first quarter. Lewis owners will certainly take that. Mike Anderson was the fullback.
Rams 18, Broncos 10: OK, Jake Plummer, are you stepping back in time here to the Phoenix days when you'd throw the ball straight up and hope one of your guys would come down with it? You know, like what Favre does now? All the pieces were in place for the Broncos to move the ball with ease, but Plummer threw three interceptions and fumbled another all away. The big wide receivers weren't big at all, with Javon Walker and Rod Smith each catching three passes only. Very disappointing game for Denver. This team is going to win 12 games?
Mike Shanahan again messed around with who was starting at running back and who wasn't, but does it really matter who starts? I thought Mike Bell would get more carries than Tatum Bell, but he didn't. Look for Shanahan to go with the hot hand. Tatum Bell got a third more carries, topped 100 yards, but also fumbled, didn't catch a pass, and didn't get the goal line plunge. Mike Bell did. Neither had a great day. Take away Mike Bell's 36-yard jaunt and he had a Travis Henry-like nine carries for 22 yards. Tatum did better. Shanahan's going to keep platooning them. Third running back Cedric Cobbs didn't even dress.
Steven Jackson wasn't on my list of top plays, but he had no issue with Denver's line, going for 121 yards. Of course, the Rams will need to do better when they cross the opponent's 35-yard line, and not depend on seven field goal tries for Jeff Wilkins. He made six, and could be in line for what Neil Rackers did last season. Six field goals is a lot. Jackson's yards are great, let's see him get into the end zone now. And enough with the Mike Martz factor. Jackson is Jackson no matter who the offensive coordinator is.
Notes: Torry Holt looked fine, and Marc Bulger a workmanlike 217 yards. Denver didn't pressure him as much as I figured, though he was sacked three times.
Patriots 19, Bills 17: Kind of a bad omen when your quarterback gets popped on the first play from scrimmage, and the road team picks up the fumble and scores. But Tom Brady persevered, ultimately throwing a pair of touchdown passes, doing what he always does and spreading the ball around. Old-timer Troy Brown caught the first one, but then barely got looked at the rest of the way. Old standby Kevin Faulk caught the other one. Honestly, it's possible neither catches another touchdown for months. Brady always shares, especially with Deion Branch nowhere to be found. I guess Doug Gabriel just wasn't ready to play. New England deactivated him. Not that I would have played him, but most people figured he was a sleeper. This game he could have actually slept.
Laurence Maroney got more carries and more yards than Corey Dillon, which certainly will scare off Dillon owners. Could be a sign of things to come, but I wouldn't overrate it and make Maroney a definite start next weekend.
J.P. Losman just didn't look good, did he? Looked pressured, nervous, didn't know where to throw the ball. His sack in the end zone cost his team the game, and he couldn't drive the team after that. Lee Evans is going to have to do more, get open more. He's a game-breaker, can average 20 yards per catch, but he needs to get open more.
Notes: Willis McGahee did OK, reaching 70 yards on 20 carries. Not quite a big game, but in line with the 1,200 yard season I think he'll get. McGahee was on the sideline getting an ankle taped when Anthony Thomas rambled to the end zone for an 18-yard score. Don't read into things. It's not a platoon, and it was not a one-yard touchdown.
Jaguars 24, Cowboys 17: Two of the top running backs of the day were in this one, with Julius Jones certainly more popular on draft day than Fred Taylor. They had very similar stats, each scoring a touchdown and looking spry. Yeah, Taylor looked spry. Had some bounce in his legs. Good to see him get so many touches. And who knew Julius would get 17 carries, but only three for Marion Barber? Dallas did have that fourth down play and Barber got the carry, and the Jones touchdown was a 23-yard run. I definitely think Barber is the goal line back for Dallas, so don't forget about him.
Those who sat Terrell Owens won't be pleased, and you know who you are, but I can't fathom why you would sit him. I saw quite a few e-mails, even Sunday morning on the Fantasy Focus radio show on ESPN Radio, from people asking if they should play Owens. I figured he'd be an end zone threat even with only five catches. He got six and scored on a pretty play in the final minutes. Now he just needs to stay healthy, and out of trouble.
Notes: Like Plummer in the Rams game, Drew Bledsoe was messy, throwing three interceptions, mainly on poor decisions when the pressure was coming. The Jaguars can definitely rush the passer. Down 10-0 early, they didn't allow another point until two minutes were left. And finally, Dallas must do something about the kicking game. Mike Vanderjagt is probably overrated, but he needs to get healthy fast.
Bears 26, Packers 0: What a joke. Everyone loves the Bears defense, of course, but for Brett Favre to get a 100-yard game from Ahman Green and still not get his team a single point is tough to do. Favre threw the obligatory two interceptions and killed drives whenever possible. I wouldn't run out and sign Aaron Rodgers, because there's no way the changeover happens this fast, but Favre has to show more in the first half of the season. Green did have a strong preseason, and averaged 5.5 yards per carry against the Bears without breaking a long run. That's impressive, though ultimately it went unrewarded.
I figured Thomas Jones would do better, but the Packers kept him in check for the most part. Jones got twice as many carries as Cedric Benson, and nearly twice as many yards, but consider that opportunity lost. He needed to do better. Benson could get more looks than Jones next week.
Notes: Not that I thought the Bears would lose, but a road shutout? Two in one day? Look at the scoreboard, only four home teams won Sunday! Nice game for Rex Grossman, who had a brutal preseason, but he picked apart the Packers nicely. Don't expect Muhsin Muhammad to top 100 yards each week. He never did it last season once!
Cardinals 34, 49ers 27: This is the kind of game Kurt Warner lures the fantasy owner in with, topping 300 yards and scoring all these points. And then, he's not there and his backup is in there. Hopefully Warner can stay healthy all season. He led the Cards on three short touchdown drives in the first quarter, then it was the Edgerrin James show. The Cards should move the ball. The presence of James should help Warner and the fabulous receivers. On this day, the Cards looked like a top five offense, and that's with three receivers other than Larry Fitzgerald scoring. But Kurt, the fumbles, three of them, they have to stop.
But kudos to Alex Smith as well. He had to throw the ball 40 times, but he looked every bit ready to do so, nearly reaching 300 yards. Again, he wasn't doing that last season. We still need to see Smith do this against a different defense, just like it would be nice to see Warner and the gang against the Seahawks, for example. Frank Gore looked terrific in having the biggest fantasy day, scoring on a few short runs and being a weapon for Smith to throw to. Gore was a popular sleeper this season, this could be the start of something big.
Notes: Impressive day for Antonio Bryant, but again, we need to see Smith do this on a consistent basis first. It's more likely that Vernon Davis can sustain a game like this, as he impressively took a pass near the sideline, eluded a defender and scored on a 31-yard play. Davis is the highest paid tight end in the game, and if Smith can find him, he's a weekly play for sure. OK, that's all the games leading up to the brother matchup in the Meadowlands. More on that one Tuesday. Enjoy, and remember, it's just one week. Shouldn't be too many points being scored in Oakland and Washington tonight.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Articles Added 9/8/06)

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Branch to Seattle


posted: Monday, September 11, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: Fantasy NFL


As Deion Branch just proved, sometimes when you take a stand and wait for the outcome you want, you get your way. Neither the Patriots nor the Seahawks looked particularly smooth on offense in Week 1, but it was Seattle making the choice to improve things, sending a first round draft pick to New England for a former Super Bowl MVP, and for our purposes, a potential top 20 fantasy wide receiver.

Branch's preseason draft status was all over the board as fantasy owners first assumed he'd cave in on his contract demands and play with Tom Brady, then when it became obvious the situation wasn't improving Branch dropped from being a safe No. 2 fantasy receiver to outside most leagues' top 10 rounds.
Now Branch looks pretty good in Seattle's colors, potentially better than he would have in New England. The fact the Seahawks only managed field goals in Detroit is irrelevant and too small a sample size to panic; the defending NFC champs led the NFL in scoring points last season, and have much of the key personnel back.
Darrell Jackson and Nate Burleson started on Sunday, with Jackson overcoming knee woes to catch five passes, and Burleson hauling in a 36-yarder. It's likely that Branch will need a few weeks to acclimate himself to this new offense, but when he does, he'd step right in to a large role, likely pushing Burleson to No. 3 status, and Bobby Engram even farther away.
While Branch's fantasy status took a hit the last month, good luck finding him on free agency in any leagues. Fantasy owners who drafted him realized it would take some time for the pick to pay off. Branch comes off his best season, with 78 catches and 998 yards for a team that generally spreads the ball around. While Jackson remains the first aerial option for Matt Hasselbeck, Branch should be able to post solid No. 2 receiver numbers anyway. Fantasy owners will just need to wait a few weeks. As Branch showed, it should be worth it.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Articles Added 9/8/06)

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Sep. 11, 2006, 4:06 PM
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FFL: Week 2 Fantasy Scout


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By Scott Engel
ESPN Fantasy Games

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Each Monday afternoon, the Fantasy Scout takes an early look ahead to the coming week and beyond. We give you the early lowdown on players to watch and consider emerging trends that will affect your fantasy strategy, even before the "Monday Night Football" game!
Player Spotlight
New England RB Laurence Maroney could be the best No. 2 RB in the league, and even though he is listed behind Corey Dillon on the depth chart, it's very clear Maroney is the better runner right now. Of course, Dillon's best years appear to be behind him, while Maroney's NFL journey is just beginning, but how long can the veteran hold off the ultra-impressive rookie for more carries? If you don't have Maroney on your roster, get him now. If you have him, don't trade him. Outside of Reggie Bush, Maroney is the most impressive rookie in fantasy football. He came into the NFL labeled as a possibly explosive runner who needed work on his inside running skills. But Maroney has looked like the full package early on, taking on defenders and fighting for extra yardage, while also displaying the vision and quickness that can make him a big threat to opposing defenses on outside runs. Maroney seems to have it all as a runner. He can pound the ball inside and is difficult for tacklers to bring down once he gets past the initial wave of defenders. When Maroney picks up momentum, he can charge into the secondary for some big gainers. So far, Maroney is looking like he could be in the mold of Steven Jackson, with a little less bulk and a bit more quickness. Maroney led the Patriots with 86 rushing yards against Buffalo, including a long run of 27 yards. He carried the ball 17 times, while Dillon had 16 carries. Dillon is still dependable for New England, but Maroney clearly gives the offense more life and is a bigger threat to break loose for big runs. You can't count Dillon out yet, but it might just be a matter of time before Maroney becomes the preferred option. Even if he continues to split reps with Dillon in the near future, Maroney could post very good fantasy numbers quite often, and he is at least looking like a fine flex option for now.
Injury Fallout
Browns wide receiver Joe Jurevicius is expected to miss four to six weeks with broken ribs, robbing the Browns of possibly their best possession receiver. Jurevicius has had an unfortunate injury history in his career overall, even though he managed to steer clear of misfortune during his best year with Seattle in 2005. Even if Jurevicius were healthy now, he seemed to be overmatched as a possible prime target for Cleveland, and was a better fit as a secondary option in Seattle. Without Jurevicius, opposing defenses might continue to pay extra attention to RB Reuben Droughns, who rushed for only 27 yards against the Saints. Opponents might prefer to take their chances against Charlie Frye, who can make some plays to help his team, but the young QB is also prone to making some ill-advised decisions that could cost his team some wins. Braylon Edwards may take some time to round into full form, and Dennis Northcutt simply isn't dependable. While most of the Cleveland offense looks very shaky right now, especially without Jurevicius, who can at least command some extra attention from secondaries, one player might continue to rise. Frye's best target right now appears to be Kellen Winslow Jr., who made a rather happy return to real NFL action on Sunday after a long absence. Winslow caught eight balls for 63 yards, including an 18-yard TD catch. Even if the rest of the offense sputters, it looks like you can count on him for quality production in the weeks ahead. As for Jurevicius, cut him loose and don't look back. He might have trouble posting regularly good numbers when he returns.
Preparing for Changes
There are already published reports that Kansas City quarterback Trent Green, who suffered a devastating blow to the head on Sunday, might not return until after the bye week on Oct. 1. I'm sure all fantasy owners wish him a speedy recovery, as the usually durable Green has served us all well over the years, and it will be good to see him return at some point. In the meantime, the Chiefs have very questionable depth, to say the least, at the quarterback position. Green's fantasy owners are now facing the prospect of at least two weeks without possibly their top QB. Adding Chad Pennington or even Alex Smith looks like viable options, with the latter still being a desperation pickup. If you drafted a solid backup, obviously now is the time to lean on him. If your backup is Chris Simms or Jon Kitna, you'll simply have to hope he can bounce back from his opening-week performances.
If Green isn't back by early October, the Chiefs have only journeyman Damon Huard and rookie Brodie Croyle behind him. Huard did complete 12 of 20 passes for 140 yards and a TD in relief work on Sunday, but he certainly isn't a good fantasy pickup and he would bog down the Kansas City offense if he had to take over for an extended period. He has good size and arm strength, but Huard is limited in his playmaking ability and doesn't make good decisions under pressure. Croyle and practice squad QB Casey Printers simply aren't ready to guide an NFL offense.
Huard would certainly struggle against defenses better than the Bengals, who are overaggressive and often porous. The Chiefs have the Broncos next on the schedule, on the road, and Denver is no doubt in a foul mood after losing their opener at St. Louis. Huard certainly could be in for a long day in a hostile environment. Owners of Larry Johnson are now understandably worried that opposing defenses will key on Johnson often and limit his production. Johnson will certainly be less productive overall given the QB situation, but the offensive line blocked well for him in the opener and he also caught five passes for 80 yards. So you can't consider benching him under any circumstances. Johnson might have to fight harder for his yards, but he could also function as a safety receiver for Huard often and his overall numbers could still be good, but not great.
Unless Kansas City makes a move to acquire another QB, Huard is certain to stifle the production of the offense while he plays. Tony Gonzalez caught 10 balls on Sunday, but he'll likely draw extra defenders as Huard might lock onto him too often. Still, you can't bench him for a lesser player just yet. He could post decent totals when the Chiefs play from behind. Huard also doesn't inspire much confidence as a deep passer, so the value of Eddie Kennison certainly takes a hit. Don't hesitate to bench him in the near future.
Reality Strikes
After the bad news about Domanick Davis sank in, rookie Wali Lundy became a hot sleeper pick. But on Sunday, it became more apparent why Lundy slipped to the sixth round of the NFL Draft this year. He simply didn't show much in a loss to Philadelphia. Lundy rushed for only 32 yards on 11 carries, even with a respectable Houston passing game opening up some running room.
Lundy simply isn't going to challenge defenses on a consistent basis as a starter. He has good vision and quickness, but he's not tough to tackle, isn't very elusive, and looked tentative at times. Lundy finished with minus-one receiving yards on two receptions. Vernand Morency didn't look any better, with 13 rushing yards on five carries. New acquisition Ron Dayne was deactivated.
The Houston RB situation simply looks like a mess right now. Lundy doesn't appear to be capable of challenging defenses on a consistent basis, and Morency doesn't run with authority. Dayne has been a regular tease throughout his career to fantasy leaguers, so we can't assume he wins the job at some point, either. This is a bad situation that might not get better any time soon. Keep Lundy on your bench for now, but don't expect much, and don't waste roster spots on Morency or Dayne.
Fantasy Scout's Notebook
? Illusion of the day on Sunday? Ahman Green rushing for 110 yards against Chicago. He padded his stats in garbage time, and he could be much less effective against the Saints next week.
? Jacksonville WR Reggie Williams is finally showing some signs of promise. He finished with six catches for 47 yards and a TD against Dallas, making some difficult grabs on passes he used to drop. His mettle will truly be tested against the Steelers next week.
<!--&#8226 Seattle WR Nate Burleson caught only one ball for 36 yards against Detroit. Expect his numbers to improve in the weeks ahead, though, and now might be a good time to trade for him. He should perform much better against Arizona next week.
-->? Jamal Lewis did an admirable job of playing through his hip issues Sunday. Now that play has started for real, Lewis seems determined to stay on the field. He could post quality numbers again when he faces Oakland next week. ? 49ers rookie tight end Vernon Davis caught a 31-yard TD pass in the opener, but he also lost a fumble. While he will suffer some rookie doldrums and might disappear against some better opponents, he should perform rather well when the matchup is right. He's looking like a quality starter for the second week against the Rams, who still must prove that their defensive success in the opener was no fluke.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Articles Added 9/8/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Articles Added 9/8/06)

Sep. 11, 2006, 3:56 PM
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Engel: Week 1 wrap


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ESPN Fantasy Games

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Here's a quick-hitting recap of key performances and news from the first week of the NFL season, complete with in-depth fantasy analysis.
Seattle struggles on offense: Shaun Alexander was a No. 1 overall pick in many fantasy leagues, and Matt Hasselbeck was one of the first few quarterbacks selected. Yet neither one looked worthy of his preseason outlook in Detroit. Alexander was held to 51 rushing yards as the Lions' defense controlled the line of scrimmage for much of the day and quickly sealed off any possible open running lanes. Alexander had to battle hard for his yards, and Hasselbeck, who was sacked five times, didn't throw a TD pass as he finished with 210 passing yards in a mostly uneven and unimpressive performance. Newcomer Nate Burleson caught only one pass for 36 yards. Seattle's offensive line, which also lost All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones for a brief spell, looked quite shaky in its first game without departed guard Steve Hutchinson. The Seahawks could rebound next week against Arizona, but continued offensive line issues could be a concern in upcoming games against the Giants and Bears in Weeks 3 and 4.
The Reggie Bush report: Bush quickly found out that big plays aren't as easy to come by at the pro level, but he certainly wasn't a disappointment. Bush totaled 119 yards from scrimmage on 22 total touches, with a long run of 18 yards. Bush did look like he was trying too hard to make things happen at times and will certainly have to learn to read his blocks better and make quicker decisions in traffic as he progresses. But his amazing natural skills will at least lead him to produce quality all-around numbers on a regular basis, and he looks like a good No. 2 fantasy RB already. The Saints even gave Bush some chances to run inside and experimented with him near the goal line as a runner. He'll also continue to be a receiving target in the red zone. Deuce McAllister still totaled 90 yards on 22 carries, so these two RBs can obviously coexist while serving fantasy leaguers quite well. McAllister was the preferred goal-line runner, but did not get into the end zone on Sunday.
Rock the Bells: Denver's two top running backs showed they can split touches with optimum results on Sunday. Last year, Tatum Bell and Mike Anderson shared carries and both were quality fantasy starting options. Mike Bell and Tatum Bell certainly look like they could be partners much in the same mold of Anderson and Tatum Bell in 2005. Tatum Bell rushed for 103 yards on 15 carries, with a long of 39, as he demonstrated that he will continue to be a regular threat to rip off some long runs. Mike Bell rushed for 58 yards on 10 carries and added 30 receiving yards on four catches. He also scored on a 1-yard run, leaping over the pile in the second quarter for the Broncos' only TD of the day. Mike Bell seems to be the better inside runner and short-yardage threat, but he also displayed some ability to make bigger plays, as he had a long run of 36 yards. Both RBs might get a similar amount of touches often, and both players look like fine flex position starters going forward.
The high-profile Dallas debut: The final numbers of Terrell Owens were pretty good on Sunday. He finished with six catches for 80 yards and made a nifty 21-yard TD reception. But there were also indicators that Owens could certainly be in for much bigger days in the weeks ahead. There were times, especially early on, when Owens seemed to be struggling to get open and could have been hindered a bit by a lack of preseason conditioning. There were also a few instances when it appeared he and Drew Bledsoe were not in sync with one another. But Owens posted fine totals when you consider his time missed during the preseason, for whatever reasons. It was very apparent on Sunday that once Owens gets even more comfortable in the Dallas offense, he'll have some amazing outings as his statistical efforts possibly overshadow his recent controversies, especially for fantasy leaguers.
Philly on fire: The rejuvenated Eagles put on a passing clinic against the Texans, who didn't look any better defensively than they did last year. Donovan McNabb quickly dispelled any doubts that he would struggle more often without Terrell Owens, as he threw for 314 yards and three TDs. McNabb quickly took to new receiver Donte' Stallworth, who caught six passes for 141 yards and a TD. Reggie Brown also caught a TD pass and tight end L.J. Smith hauled in six receptions for 56 yards. McNabb did a fine job of spreading the ball around and wasn't afraid to roll out of the pocket. He might not post such gaudy numbers against better opponents, but McNabb clearly proved he is still a very good fantasy QB now that he is healthy again. Stallworth, however, has been inconsistent in the past and could be much less impressive against some teams with better secondaries in the weeks ahead. Stallworth still has to prove he can produce well consistently, especially as a more featured target after being a No. 2 WR in New Orleans in the past.
Tampa Bay looks terrible: Without top guards Davin Joseph and Dan Buenning, the Tampa Bay offensive line was dominated by a Ravens defense that looked in top form to open the season. Carnell Williams was held to only 22 yards on eight carries, and the running game was relegated to a second thought as the Buccaneers fell behind 17-0 by halftime. Chris Simms was intercepted three times, and was benched in the fourth quarter. Michael Clayton was Tampa Bay's leading receiver, with only 34 receiving yards. Certainly, the Buccaneers won't look this bad all year long. But if injuries continue to be an issue on the offensive line, Simms won't be able to play respectably, and Tampa Bay's top skill position players won't be dependable. It's too early to consider sitting Cadillac, though, as one poor performance shouldn't raise major concerns yet. Williams is easily capable of turning things around very quickly.
Flying high: The Jets looked nothing like the sputtering offensive unit they were expected to be. Most important, Chad Pennington showed no major residual effects from his recent shoulder problem, as he finished with 319 passing yards, two TDs and no interceptions. Pennington displayed good velocity and accuracy on many of his passes, and he is looking like a solid free-agent addition as a backup QB while he stays healthy. Of higher note is the fact that Laveranues Coles caught eight balls for 153 yards. If Pennington continues to look good, Coles, obviously his favorite receiver, could have some more impressive performances ahead. Jerricho Cotchery caught six passes for 65 yards and a TD and is looking like a solid possession receiver. Kevan Barlow rushed for only 35 yards, but he did score on a 1-yard run, and it seems to be just a matter of time before he overtakes Derrick Blaylock as New York's No. 1 RB. The Jets could be much less effective against some tougher opponents in the future, but New York clearly now has some offensive promise when the matchup is right.
No one is scared of these Lions: There was much talk in the preseason about how Mike Martz could pump new life into the Detroit offense. But Martz is only a coordinator, not a miracle worker. He doesn't have the same types of players he once had with St. Louis, and it's clear the Lions are going to have offensive issues this season. Jon Kitna is a very shaky QB, especially under pressure, and his top receiver, Roy Williams, clearly doesn't have a solid complement. Williams was held to only three receptions for 36 yards, and Kevin Jones continued to look like a bust with only 35 rushing yards and a lost fumble. He did add 45 receiving yards, but Jones didn't threaten the Seattle defense very much overall. Without a dependable running game to support him and with only one receiver to count on, Kitna could be in for many tough outings. And Williams can't be counted on for consistently good numbers unless the Lions and Martz suddenly find more quality options at the skill positions.
More problems for the Pack: While playing against a top-notch defense certainly has to be taken into account, it's clear that Green Bay's passing game still has a lot of issues. Brett Favre threw for only 170 yards, no TDs, and was intercepted twice. Donald Driver caught seven balls for 96 yards, but most of his numbers came as the Packers were playing catch-up, and it's still questionable how he can fare regularly against top cover corners. Rookie Greg Jennings caught only one pass for five yards, and it's clear he still has much to prove during regular play after an impressive preseason. Ahman Green did rush for 110 yards, an encouraging sign, but he could face much more defensive attention in the future from teams who might want Green Bay to depend on Favre, who now looks like a very unreliable QB with a questionable crew of receivers. Frank Gore has arrived: When Barlow was traded to the Jets, Gore became a very hot fantasy player on the rise, and he didn't disappoint those who took a chance on him in the third or fourth rounds of their drafts. Gore displayed the ability to run inside effectively. He scored on runs of four and two yards, and willingly banged his way through a pile of defenders to reach the end zone. Gore also showed off the ability to get loose for big runs, as he cut loose for a 39-yarder against the Cardinals. Gore also caught six passes for 83 yards. Gore made a great first impression as San Francisco's new starting RB, and he is looking like a must-starter as a No. 2 fantasy RB right now.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Articles Added 9/8/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (2 New Articles Added 9/8/06)

Sep. 11, 2006, 5:47 PM
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FFL: Defensive Thinking


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By Jason Langendorf
ESPN Fantasy Games

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Back in the day, Nick Nolte made a career out of playing borderline scumbags. Often charismatic, semi-sympathetic borderline scumbags, yes, but scumbags nonetheless. Looking back, it was difficult to think of him any other way at the time.
Then, out of nowhere, he goes all "Prince of Tides" on us. And convincingly. It's as if his entire persona had been one gigantic ruse. Meantime, we start believing that all this time he's actually been content to sip espressos in some cottage off the Cape, ruminating about the influence of Andy Warhol on contemporary artists.
And just when you're almost completely sucked in, Nolte gets pulled over on the PCH, trumping Robert Downey Jr. and setting the bar impossibly high for the likes of Mel Gibson and upstart actor-scumbags everywhere. The DUI charge was standard fare, but The Mugshot took everything to another level. Imagine the mutant offspring of Yahoo Serious, Marge Schott and Don Ho, and you're in the ballpark. One Kodak moment cleared up everything for us: We weren't dreaming -- Nolte really was just acting.
Coincidentally, this is exactly how I feel about the St. Louis Rams' defense.
OK, maybe not the scumbag stuff or the illicit drug use, but everything else is pretty square. After hanging out with the dregs last season -- the Rams ranked among the league's bottom five in rushing yards and TDs allowed and red-zone defense -- the franchise overhauled seemingly everything, cleaning up the D with free agents LB Will Witherspoon, DT La'Roi Glover and SS Corey Chavous and bettering itself in the draft (CB Tye Hill, DT Claude Wroten, among others).
The infusion of athleticism, experience and leadership seemed to provide an immediate lift. The Rams bagged five turnovers (including picks by Chavous and Hill) and four sacks in an 18-10 opening-day win over Denver. Coordinator Jim Haslett -- this unit's Babs Streisand -- fashioned an aggressive game plan for the Broncos, and many more should follow. The schedule is a peach, or would seem to be. The club's shift in focus to ball control will protect the defense.
Sorry, not convinced. The Rams were absolutely crushed up front last season, ranking dead last in yards allowed per carry (4.7) and rushing TDs allowed (22). Signing one swift linebacker and an undersized 32-year-old tackle wasn't going to cure what ails this defense -- a lack of discipline, size and depth. The Broncos' 161 rushing yards (6.4 per carry) vividly illustrates that much. The Rams all but bled big plays last season, which a healthier secondary should help reduce. But what's the difference if opponents are keelhauling your run defense?
And trust me, they will. That warm and fuzzy schedule? Look closer and you'll see its teeth. San Francisco RB Frank Gore (Week 2) is the real deal, and RB Edgerrin James (Week 3) at least makes Arizona's rushing attack respectable. Just wait until a five-game thresher that begins in Week 6: Seattle, San Diego, Kansas City, Seattle (again) and Carolina. If St. Louis' run D is still drawing breath after that stretch, the 49ers, Cardinals and Bears will suck the remaining life out of it.
Owners who live life in the fast lane and need a No. 2 defense/special teams unit over the short haul, feel free to kick the Rams' tires. Maybe even lease for a month. But with St. Louis facing three of its next four on the road, the D could start breaking down well before the warranty expires in Week 6.
If our beloved Hollywood icons have taught us anything -- aside from avoiding perilous highways while cooked out of your mind -- it's that a man can't change his stripes overnight. Apparently, it's no easier for 11 football players.

IDP WATCH: DeMeco Ryans, Texans LB

DeMeco who? Ryans isn't even the most highly touted rookie starter on Houston's defense, but the second-rounder could very well prove more valuable -- to the Texans and fantasy owners alike -- than overall No. 1 DE Mario Williams.
Ryans racked up 12 solo tackles against Philadelphia (13 total), the sort of figure that could become commonplace on this unit. Houston simply isn't that good, so the defense will be on the field a lot. Sweet. More stat chances for the kid.
Though small for the middle and not especially fast, Ryans has excellent balance, instincts and quickness. He always seems to wind up around the ball, and because he's disciplined and technically sound he won't cheat his owners out of potential tackles. Sacks and forced fumbles are in his future, too. You want LB Lofa Tatupu, version 2006? You just found him.

TWO CENTS, AND THEN SOME ?
? I could turn out to be wrong about QBs Eli Manning, Drew Brees and Chad Pennington, but I doubt it. If any of my projected quarterback fantasy busts winds up making me look foolish, I'm betting it'll be Brees. That WR Marques Colston looks like a keeper, and RB Reggie Bush's versatility and playmaking after short catches could keep Brees alive and jazz up his numbers behind a wobbly offensive line. But Pennington can't be trusted to stay healthy. Manning? He just isn't there yet, and the schedule bites him in the keister starting next week.
? Don't sleep on WR Doug Gabriel. He didn't get enough time to soak up New England's offense after an 11th-hour trade from Oakland and was inactive in Week 1. But if the Pats' egalitarian system lets him, QB Tom Brady can turn Gabriel into a star. ? I know I'm out of my league, but who's gonna stop me? Quick 2007 roto baseball tip: Grab Toronto OF Adam Lind with a late-round pick, and don't forget who told you. (Unless he stinks. Then, you know, it's cool if it slips your mind.)
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Articles Added 9/11/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Articles Added 9/11/06)

Sep. 12, 2006, 11:12 AM
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Carroll Injury Report: M. Bell, T. Green


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<!-- firstName = Will --><!-- lastName = Carroll -->By Will Carroll
ESPN Fantasy Games

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In the years that I've been looking at sports through the lens of injuries, there's one fact, one lesson that keeps coming back. Injuries have context. An ACL injury to one player is not the same to another. An ankle sprain affects one running back more than another. The reason is context. Drew Bledsoe and Michael Vick are both listed at QB, but couldn't be more different in almost every other way. The same holds true for systems, teams, bodies, playing styles and hundreds of other factors. You have to take them all into consideration if you're going to truly understand the effect any injury -- or worse, series of injuries -- will have on your team. Alternately, you can just keep reading this column and I'll do the work.
Let's get to it:
? I heard someone say at last year's NFL Combine that linemen were the anonymous ones, that no one would recognize even the best offensive tackles if they walked down the street. Aside from possibly mistaking them for a suburban McMansion, he was right. Go ahead and try to name the right guard who plows the lanes open for your lead fantasy RB. There are a lot of injuries to linemen coming out of Week 1 and many of them will affect fantasy teams. Walter Jones is perhaps the best OT in the league and a big reason that Shaun Alexander went first overall in many drafts. Jones doesn't look to miss time with his ankle sprain, so take a deep breath. Injuries to the Rams' Andy McCollum (knee surgery, done for the season), the Panthers' Travelle Wharton (knee surgery, done for the season), and the Niners' Larry Allen (out two weeks with, you guessed it, a knee injury) will affect a lot of fantasy teams. The smart ones will understand that.
? The time-share between Mike Bell and Tatum Bell almost came to an abrupt end when Mike Bell injured his finger on a carry. The injury has been variously described as a fracture, a dislocated finger and a torn fingernail, depending on whom you listen to, but sources with the Broncos tell me that the injury is a non-displaced fracture. This is the best scenario. Bell was able to come back into the game with his injured finger taped to his ring finger and played normally. It could affect his reception chances, but that's about it. If you were hoping you'd have a bit more certainty with the Broncos' running situation, I can't give it to you.
? If you listened to The Fantasy Show last week, you didn't start Cadillac Williams. Facing a tough Ravens defense without his two starting guards, Williams had a rough day for his fantasy owners and didn't help Jon Gruden much either. It wasn't just that he got stuffed on runs, his body got stuffed as well. Williams took a shot that compressed him at least once, perhaps several times, and began having back spasms late in the game. Williams was due to have an MRI on Monday, but results were not known at deadline. While Williams is expected to play and play better, just because it's not the Ravens across from him, this is one of those notes that you should file away.
? It was an evil hit that Trent Green took. Not evil in the sense that there were bad intentions, and not in the trauma he took from the shoulder of Robert Geathers. The evil part was the second hit as his head bounced off the hard Kansas City turf like a basketball. In fact, the rain that was falling may have made the field softer. I don't even want to think about that hit on artificial turf. Green was unconscious before he stopped sliding and was unconscious for quite some time. One thing to look for next time you see a hit like this is the arms; you'll see guys "lock out" or "go limp" as they get hit. The "lock" normally happens with a twisting, boxing-type trauma, while the "limp" happens with the straight-line type of hit that Green took. A concussion is very literally a brain injury. As his head snapped back from the hit, his brain moved inside the "brain bucket." When it hit the turf, the brain smashed into the back of the skull like an unbelted passenger in a car wreck. Chris Mortensen is reporting that Green is out at least the next two weeks. Let's hope that's all it is. We've seen a lot of post-concussion syndrome cases in baseball this year.
? Not much has changed with Ben Roethlisberger since we last talked. The scars are already fading and Roethlisberger will practice with the team this week. By the time I write to you next time, we'll know if he's ready to take a hit. While Big Ben could come back, I think, for Week 2, the great play of Charlie Batch gives Bill Cowher plenty of room to be conservative. The main factor for Roethlisberger will be pain tolerance. Getting hit by big, strong men hurts, especially if you've just had surgery. One thing to keep in mind here is that sources with knowledge of Roethlisberger's case say that his appendectomy is related to his motorcycle accident. During that trauma, Roethlisberger's appendix was likely torn slightly, eventually leading to the inflammation that necessitated surgery. Hopefully this is the last consequence of that accident, but it might not be.
? Never second-guess good sources. That's a rule I live by. Usually. I let Clinton Portis and Joe Gibbs confuse me this week, moving off my original report that his playing status would be a coaching decision and not a medical one. As Portis showed on the field Monday night, his shoulder wasn't a problem at all. Portis was wearing a harness underneath his pads to prevent any problems, though it didn't look to be cinched in very tight given the motion he showed. Assuming that he comes out Tuesday without pain or swelling, Portis should get the start and the bulk of carries in Week 2.
? There's no new information on Steve Smith early in the week, but we'll be monitoring his status at practice all week long. The Panthers looked out of sync without Smith on the field, so he'll have a lot of pressure to get back on the field. The continual setbacks, straining and restraining both hamstrings, don't bode well for his ability to return to his previous level quickly. The key stat for Smith is YAC, so once he does get back, keep your eye on that to see how healthy he really is. ? Bumps & Bruises: Trent Green's wasn't the only big concussion of the day. Dan Morgan is out for at least this week with the fifth major concussion of his career ? Am I the only guy that notices that the DLP elephant is standing on the 55-yard line of Skydome? ? Did you notice Jeremy Shockey limping around between plays? Did you notice Jeremy Shockey running fine during the play? ? Javon Walker was limited Sunday after he dislocated his finger. While he returned, sources tell me that Jake Plummer was scared he couldn't catch the ball ? Joe Jurevicius is out at least a month with broken ribs. I was surprised that he was owned in 72% of ESPN leagues, but he should be easily replaced. You should replace him; WRs have a hard time coming back from rib injuries.
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Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Articles Added 9/11/06)

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Tuesday what we know


posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 | Feedback | Print Entry
filed under: Fantasy NFL


Week 1 is officially over, but not the talk. Most fantasy owners probably didn't stick around into the wee hours to see whether Oakland would get on the board against the Chargers, a brutal game to watch by the way. But you sign on to your computer on Tuesday morning and only one number or letter matters: Did you get a W or an L?

Folks, it's just one week. I'm seeing plenty of feedback from users asking whether they should trade Larry Johnson, or if it's time to flat out dump Jake Plummer. It's early. There are 16 more weeks to go. While it's certainly possible that Johnson doesn't even approach the 2,000 yards he counted on, maybe settling in the 1,500-yard range or even down in the Droughns-1,200-yard section, it's just way too early to tell. It's one week. Don't panic. It's just one loss.
In the same line of thinking, your juggernaut team might still be terrific. Or it might have problems. You think you know a lot from Week 1, but do we? Here are some of comments I keep seeing in feedback and in the chats, and we'll play the game of what we do know vs. what we really don't.
We know ... that Trent Green is out for this week's game at Denver, and probably for a few weeks after that. Green was the No. 11 quarterback chosen in ESPN live drafts, meaning in 12-team standard leagues, he was a starting quarterback. While this head injury obviously is painful for Green, your fantasy team isn't automatically saddled with pain. Fantasy owners were banking on a comeback season from Green, who threw only 17 touchdown passes last year, though he did top 4,000 yards for the third straight season, but he is replaceable. The Green injury is another reminder that even the most durable of players do get hurt at times. Green had played in every game for the Chiefs since arriving for the 2001 season, so the fantasy owner feels safe in choosing him, and pretty much ignoring the notion of drafting a top backup. Nobody has thrown for more yards the last three years, the touchdowns would surely rise to more normal levels, Green was a smart mid-round choice, one you weren't supposed to worry about. Of course, now you do. Don't cut him, but don't assume this is just a one-week thing, either. Get a safe backup, maybe even the next fellow.


We don't know ... that Damon Huard will stink in place of Green, however. This is a pet peeve of mine, when those who have never seen a player perform automatically assume he can't do the job because he never has before. Tom Brady overcame this, didn't he? Didn't Trent Green overcome this stigma as a backup once upon a time? We know Huard is not Green; the comparisons of career numbers between the two are ridiculous, since one has been a starter this decade and the other has six career starts. We don't know for sure that Huard will be a bust at all. He's not Green, but he's also not green.
Huard relieved Green on Sunday but those numbers are largely irrelevant in the context of the game. I have a 20-team league in which Green was essentially my lone quarterback, unless miraculously Joey Harrington or Brian Griese find their way into a game. Look, in a 20-team league, depth becomes a concern. Green hadn't missed a game in more than five years. I figured I'd need a backup for just the bye week. Well, I'll be signing Huard this week and, obviously, playing him. While I'm certainly not pleased by these turn of events, and don't expect good numbers from Huard, I can definitely see scenarios in which he succeeds.
Look at who the top quarterbacks were in fantasy this week, and sprinkled in with Donovan McNabb and Kurt Warner are Charlie Batch, Chad Pennington, Alex Smith and David Carr. Hard to believe. We might think Huard has no chance against the Broncos, but we certainly don't know it as a certainty.
We know ... the Steve Smith injury status will be a very popular topic this week. Will he play or won't he? Impossible to guess on a Tuesday morning.
We don't know ... that Smith's absence was the main reason why the Panthers laid a collective egg in the ugly home loss to Atlanta, or will again. I've been a fan of Jake Delhomme for years in fantasy leagues, often ending up with him, Trent Green or another quarterback in the middle rounds of drafts, while letting someone else overdraft Peyton Manning and get similar stats. I'm not giving up on Delhomme topping 25 touchdowns, nor is it smart to assume DeShaun Foster can't do better than his 54 yards on 15 carries.
We know ... there are quite a few bad teams out there, with the Raiders, Texans and Packers the early-line favorites for the first overall pick in the 2007 draft, and despite scoring 27 points, the 49ers are in that group as well. Hey, it's never too early to look ahead. But to what degree will these teams' losing seasons affect their fantasy players? Try not to confuse a bad team with a bad fantasy team, because ...
We don't know ... that LaMont Jordan, Frank Gore and Donald Driver, among others, will suffer statistically along with their teams. Gore had a big game against the Cardinals, ending up as fantasy's top player and the only running back to top 20 points (he had 26), and even when San Fran has to face a decent defense, I think Gore can provide decent fantasy stats. Jordan had nowhere to run Monday night in Oakland's embarrassing performance against the Chargers, and while we might not have much faith that an Art Shell team will make major adjustments in the offensive line for this week, Jordan has the talent to overcome some of this. The fact that Jordan didn't catch a pass is the main stat that caught my eye from the box score.
Fantasy owners probably don't think too much about how a team's performance can affect their fantasy players, but it certainly does. Many factors should be taken into consideration when evaluating potential statistics, including schedule, weather, injury, depth and whether the Texans are going to lose nearly all their games again and get the opportunity to again mess up the first overall pick. But don't make a 2-14 season a reason to trade Gore or Jordan this week.
We know ... a running back needs carries to put up big numbers, and in the case of Chester Taylor, Willie Parker and others who got plenty of touches, their fantasy owners are probably excited about it. Taylor carried the ball 31 times on Monday, and while he never broke a long one, 88 yards are, well, 88 yards. But is this really a good thing, because ...
We don't know ... whether there will be long-term affects on these running backs. Five backs ran the ball 28 or more times in Week 1, and a few of them aren't exactly built like Jerome Bettis. Fantasy owners have a good sample size on Rudi Johnson and LaDainian Tomlinson, but each of these players have logged many carries over the last few years. Johnson is likely to see his carries decreased moving forward when Chris Perry gets healthy. Tomlinson owners who snapped him up at No. 3 overall feel pretty lucky today considering the disappointing games from Shaun Alexander and Larry Johnson. But only one time last season did Tomlinson top 25 carries in a game, coincidentally against the Raiders. And Tomlinson did nothing in the fantasy playoffs, scoring only one touchdown in the final five weeks!
Taylor has never been a starting running back before, and while it's a good thing that he doesn't have too many miles on those tires, it is something fantasy owners should think about as the season goes on. It's the same thing as A.J. Burnett throwing 125 pitches in a few April games. It tends to catch up to the player.
We know ... someone in Chicago is going to have a golden opportunity to seize that running back job, and whoever it is will come recommended.
We don't know ... why Thomas Jones hasn't already done this. The Bears play the Lions this week, a team that held Seattle's Alexander in check, so whether to play Jones or not this week will be a hot topic. Thing is, look for Cedric Benson to get just as many carries as Jones, if not more. We know ... that it's a long season, and it doesn't get decided in one week. We don't know ... why people continue to panic before Week 2 every season. Don't let it be you. More blogging tomorrow.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Articles Added 9/11/06)

Re: NFL Fantasy Football News/Articles - ESPN Insider (5 New Articles Added 9/11/06)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006
<SCRIPT language=javascript src="http://ai059.insightexpressai.com/adServer/adServer.aspx?bannerID=7560"></SCRIPT> We're ready for some football


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By Tristan H. Cockcroft
ESPN.com

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=762 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width=552><!-- begin leftcol --><!-- template inline -->A doubleheader opener for "Monday Night Football" ? does Week 1 get any better than that? Let's take a look back at some of the big fantasy stories from the Monday games:
Vikings at Redskins: Washington's Clinton Portis, recovering from a shoulder injury, had the spotlight for fantasy, serving as Ladell Betts' backup but easily outperforming the starter in limited action. Portis looked good for a player who not three days earlier sounded like a lock to sit the season opener out, though one thing's for sure: the Redskins are taking the conservative approach with him. He managed 10 carries for 39 yards and a score, and the numbers might not have even looked that good had Mike Sellers not done a fine job blocking on his 5-yard TD run in the second quarter. Betts, though, wasn't nearly as effective, with only 22 yards on eight carries, and if you add that T.J. Duckett didn't have a touch in the game, it's great news for Portis' long-term outlook. His workload should only increase as he gets healthier, and while the Betts/Duckett factor does limit his carry-a-fantasy-team upside, Portis is still someone who should have stuck in the back end of your first round at worst. He's a fine back end No. 1 fantasy RB.
Across the field, though, Chester Taylor offered an even more encouraging performance, rushing 31 times for 88 yards and a score, despite the fact that the Vikings held a lead for less than half the contest. That's an awful lot of work for a starting running back, something that shouldn't continue every week, but Taylor has shown he's capable of being a solid No. 2 RB option. Don't take Marcus Robinson's touchdown too much to heart, either; Troy Williamson (four catches, 77 yards) looks like Brad Johnson's go-to guy, if he has one.
Chargers at Raiders: The focus here was on San Diego's Philip Rivers making his first career NFL start, but Marty Schottenheimer and Co. instead made this one the LaDainian Tomlinson show, understandably so. Tomlinson stepped up with a dominating, 31-carry, 131-yard, one-TD performance on the ground, taking much of the pressure off Rivers. Still, while LT will surely be the featured member of this offense most of the year, San Diego can't live solely on its top runner touching the ball 34 times a week, since it'd almost assuredly wear him down. Too often, the Chargers wouldn't even think about throwing to set up the run, and Oakland's defense was ready for it (especially on the 10 carries Michael Turner had). Fortunately, San Diego's defense was strong enough to shut down the Oakland offense entirely -- what an ugly effort by the Raiders -- so the conservative offensive approach at least didn't hurt the Chargers. Let's hope that improves, because while LT owners are happy today, I don't think they'll be so much in two months if he's worn down, nor will Antonio Gates or Keenan McCardell owners if their guys are still averaging only one or two receptions per game.
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I always think of Week 1 as a good time to start the search for sleeper defensive units, because I'm one of the many who avoids using early picks on top units and instead winds up gambling on late-round sleepers, patching together matchups until one steps up as a go-to weekly option or, if it all fails, trades for one after it's clear which are the consistent units. And with Week 1 in the book, two stand out as somewhat interesting pickups/acquisitions -- teams that weren't considered close to top options on draft day but appear to be useful ones to exploit against lesser options. The Atlanta Falcons, a unit I had ranked 10th overall in the preseason, limited an impressive Carolina Panthers offense to only six points on their home field, and while much of that could be attributed to Carolina's problems adjusting to the absence of Steve Smith, don't overlook the pressure Atlanta's defensive line put on Jake Delhomme. Atlanta recorded four sacks and forced an interception, and generally had Delhomme running scared for much of the game. DE John Abraham's groin injury, though, does put this unit into a bit of question, as he was the leader of the attack, so keep tabs on him this week. The San Diego Chargers, meanwhile, the No. 1 defense against the run in 2005, were one of three road teams to record a shutout. The Chargers, my 19th-ranked defense in the preseason, managed nine sacks, led by an astonishing outing by LB Shawne Merriman. There will be tougher weeks ahead, but any time these Chargers are matched up with a team poor on the offensive line, think a sleeper fantasy performance. Week 2 could be one of those, as San Diego hosts Tennessee.


THE BOTTOM LINE

Aaron Brooks, QB, Raiders
6-for-14 passing for 68 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

What a tough debut for Brooks, a guy who seemed to be moving into a decent situation for him, to a team that loves to throw and has one of the game's best receivers for him to work with in Randy Moss. Brooks hadn't been that useful a fantasy option in recent seasons, with final numbers that look better than the game-to-game performances would indicate, which actually compares him an awful lot to last year's Oakland quarterback, Kerry Collins, a guy who had nice overall numbers but was largely inconsistent for fantasy in 2005. But while Brooks might have once seemed a potential matchups type in the silver and black, Monday's game showed what happens when he faces a stiff defense. He received little to no support from his offensive line, and San Diego's relentless pass rush sacked him seven times, never even giving him a chance to find Moss or any of his other receivers downfield. That's the kind of outing Brooks owners should expect some weeks: maybe not to this extreme, but still fairly poor from a fantasy perspective. Things got so bad in Week 1 that Oakland actually yanked him for Andrew Walter down 20 points in the fourth quarter, and don't think the Raiders wouldn't consider a more permanent switch to either Walter or Marques Tuiasosopo should the team quickly fall out of the playoff race. Brooks is shaping up as mostly a fill-in type if you can exploit the occasional nice matchup, but I don't see a lot of them on the schedule. He might not be far off from desperation consideration only.
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