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Fantasy Gold: Lost, Forgotten, and Undiscovered Treasures?

With the rise in price of gold I decided it’s time
to start my own treasure hunt.  So, with my Jack Sparrow hat, and a
bottle of rum in hand I climbed mountains, sailed the
seas, fought off a few great whites, and dug in to the earth’s core to
find these fine treasures. 

Okay, who am I kidding, all I had to do was search
the net
for facts and articles to find my fantasy gold for 2008.  The good news
is that I saved you hassle of doing so yourself.  Let’s get to it!

Hidden Treasure #1:

New Orleans


Saints WR Adrian Arrington

Dynasty owners everywhere will go nuts over Arrington, especially
when more news comes out on him.

  Word
out of

New Orleans thus far is that
while Robert Meachem continues to impress, Arrington is blowing coaches away,
including head honcho Sean Payton.

  Some
around the team even believe he could be the next Marques Colston.

  He has good size (6’3”, 192 lbs), is fluid in
and out of his routes, and is a natural pass catcher.

  Right now it looks as though Arrington is
more of a waiver wire player in re-draft leagues, but could possibly be a
mid-round sleeper in the dynasty world.

  The
one thing that is for sure is that with the presence of David Patten, the
progression of Robert Meachem, and the emergence of Adrian Arrington you have
to wonder how much or how little of an impact one, Devery Henderson, will have
in 2008.

  Keep a close, watchful eye on
Arrington as he seems to have landed in the right place at the right time, and
will have a top fantasy quarterback throwing him the ball in ’08.

Hidden Treasure #2: 
Packers RB Brandon Jackson

Lurking in Ryan Grant’s shadow in

Titletown,

USA
is former second round pick Brandon Jackson.

 
The funny thing is that Jackson himself could turn in to the next Ryan
Grant while Grant soaks up the real gold.

 

Jackson has reportedly made
some pretty large strides this offseason according to Coach Mike McCarthy, and
right now sits as the primary back-up to the money hungry seven game starter.

  With less pressure and #25 setting the tone,

Jackson
picked up his play towards the end of last season.

  In 2007 the former

Nebraska
standout managed to average just 2.5 yards per carry in his only three starts
at the beginning of the season.

  But then
in the last game of the regular season he turned it around, averaging 5.6 yards
per carry in a back-up role, and showing for the first time all season his true
talent and capability to carry the load.

 
On paper the Packers situation at running back looks simple, but if Ryan
Grant doesn’t come to a contract agreement and lets money get to his head, much
like the “Prince of Power” in baseball, you can bet coach McCarthy won’t
hesitate to pull the plug on #25, and insert #32 in to the starting lineup.

  And while these are big ifs, as a fantasy
owner you can never be too prepared, especially when talking about unproven
high risk/reward running backs in a zone blocking system with an unproven quarterback running the show.

 

  

Hidden Treasure #3: 49ers WR Bryant Johnson

This one may not be as hidden as the rest, kind of like
Captain Jack Sparrow’s obsession with the Black Pearl in the series of Pirates
of the

Caribbean movies, but nevertheless there is some
noteworthy news to digest here.

  With
Mike Martz in town as the new offensive coordinator there’s a new excitement
within the 49ers offense.

  There’s been
talk about Alex Smith reaching his full potential finally, and Frank Gore
having a big impact in the passing game, but what about the receivers in

San
Francisco
?

  The
only facts most people know are that both Bryant Johnson and Isaac Bruce were
brought in to challenge Arnaz Battle and Darrell Jackson, but now with

Jackson
gone it remains a three man race for the two starting spots.

  The latest is that both Johnson and Bruce
remain the frontrunners, but here’s the kicker: Johnson has been lining up at
the flanker position, which in this offense is the number one spot.

  This is great news for fantasy owners because
the last two receivers to line up at the flanker spot in Mike Martz’s offense
were Torry Holt and Roy Williams, and well, you know the rest.

 

Hidden Treasure #4: Seahawks TE John Carlson

Back in 2002 the Seattle Seahawks thought they had their
future star tight end when they drafted now free-agent Jerramy Stevens with the
28th overall pick in the first round.

  Boy, were they wrong!

  After what seemed as a myriad of drops
Stevens was finally sent packing in 2007 for ex-Colt and Lion Marcus Pollard.

  In 10 starts Pollard was able to amass just
28 receptions for 273 yards; not good.

 
So without any major needs the Seahawks decided to trade up in the
second round in this year’s draft to capture Notre Dame standout tight end John
Carlson, someone who the organization, Mike Holmgren especially, believes is
the long-term solution to their woes at tight end.

  In fact Carlson is believed to be the most
complete tight end in year’s draft class, and he couldn’t have landed in a
better spot than

Seattle.

  “Carlson is big and strong. I knew
that,” offensive coordinator Gil Haskell said during mini-camps.

  “But he’s fluid, too. He’s going to be a
real asset to this team.”

  Overall, in
re-draft leagues he may turn in to a number two tight end someday, but merely
is an afterthought until he does the Seahawk impossible (or so it seems); catch
the ball!

 As for dynasty leagues; he may
be a must have as a number two, and has the potential to be a top tier fantasy
tight end someday much like another number 89 coach Holmgren groomed.

  Let’s just hope he doesn’t like to party with
teenagers.

Hidden Treasure #5:  Dolphins RB Ricky Williams

First off, I would just like to say that I am currently not
smoking any green right now.

  This is
important, because I’m sure this is the first thing that popped in to your mind
when you saw the name Ricky Williams associated with the word treasure.

  The fact remains that the new head Dolphin,
Bill Parcells, wants to give him a chance, and the moves Parcells has made this
offseason back up this notion.

  First, he
let primary back-up running back Jesse Chatman find a new home, and then he
traded Lorenzo Booker on draft weekend and selected

Toledo
project Jalen Parmele (no relation to Bernie Parmalee).

  The Dolphins also added a few key ingredients
to their offensive line with the signings of Justin Smiley and Steve McKinney,
and the selection of offensive tackle Jake Long.

  With Chatman and Booker out of the way, and
Brown recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered
midway through the 2007 season the door is wide open for Williams.

 

Some
may view the faith Parcells is putting in Williams as a mistake, but let’s face
it, Williams still has an enormous amount of talent and head coach Tony Sparano
has had a history of favoring the two-headed monster backfield.

  The bottom line is that if Williams can stay
healthy and Brown struggles to stay on the field fantasy owners should very
carefully take a gamble on Ricky, especially considering the past success his
believer has had with talented, underachieving running backs.

Well, the treasure hunt is over for
now, but I promise you I will find more fantasy treasures before the
2008 season kicks off in September.  I was thinking maybe I should
check the back of the Declaration of Independence for some more clues.  Then again maybe I’ll just continue to allow my compass to show me the way.  

Thanks for reading! 

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