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Fantasy News of the Week- 8/22

News Headlines

Giant Receiver?

According to the

NY Daily News wide receiver Domenik Hixon has been the best receiver the Giants have had all summer.   Hixon has been on the receiving end of some big passes lately and continues to sit atop of the depth along with Steve Smith as the Giants two current starters.  He has a current

MyFantasyLeague.com ADP of 132.32 in re-draft formats.  He’s definitely a receiver to consider as a fourth or fifth option late in drafts. 

Pittsburgh’s tandem

In one of the games that is a must watch tonight the Steelers’ Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall, according to the

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, will suit up together for the first time in 11 months.  And when asked about Mendenhall‘s progress Fast Willie went on to say, “He’s more comfortable,” Parker said. “He’s more patient this year. This time from last year, you can tell a big difference. He has something on his mind this year. He’s definitely working very hard. I see him in the weight room every day, so he’s ready for the season.”  I hope so. 

Switching gears- Parker’s role as a third down receiving option was lost to Mewelde Moore in 2008.  Well, he wants it back and has been working hard to correct his problems with his hands.  “That was my main focus in the offseason, just work on my hands and give me some plays in the open field one on one vs. a linebacker or one on one vs. a cornerback. That’s what I wanted to do and that’s what we’re planning to do this season.”

If all three (Parker, Mendenhall, and Moore) can stay healthy the Steelers could have the best 1-2-3 punch at running back the AFC has to offer. 

Tennessee Three

Speaking of 1-2-3 punches,

NFL.com recently suggested that the Tennessee Titans could have a nice triple threat in the making.  Fantasy owners already know about the abilities of speed back Chris Johnson, and bulldozing hog LenDale White, but what about Javon Ringer? Well, we’re starting to learn as once again Ringer was one of the lone bright spots on offense last night against the Cowboys, running the ball effectively five times for 33 yards, and catching a few passes out of the backfield.  Last week he ran for 51 yards, which included a 36-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter. 

Ringer still hasn’t leaped over Chris Henry on the depth chart, but his recent outbursts beg the question who will be the odd man out?  If Ringer has one more week like he did the last two, it may become safe, especially for dynasty owners, to take a flier on him late. 

Washington’s Back-up

While you’re watching the Steelers triplets tonight, observe the Redskins rushing attack as well.  According to the

Washington Post head coach Jim Zorn has expanded Ladell Betts’ responsibilities within the offense to include being the primary third down back; something that was Portis’ job in the past.  Betts has earned this opportunity due to his impressive drive and attitude he has shown throughout the off-season. 

“He has been preparing to play,” offensive coordinator Sherman Smith said. “We told him, ‘You need to prepare like a starter would prepare,’ because of what we want to do with him. We’ve already committed to him that he’s going to be our third-down guy, so he wants to take ownership of that. And just to be prepared that if something happens to C.P., he’s going to go in there and we’re not going to miss a beat. He’s been great. He’s had a great camp.”

Smith went on…….

“He’s going to deliver; we’re not worried about that,” Smith said of Betts, who like Portis is considered outstanding in pass protection. “The thing we’re doing with this also, for Clinton, is to give him some plays, some breaks, where we can put another guy in. You need two backs to do it today. One guy can’t carry the whole load. We have a very good running back in Ladell Betts, and it’s just foolish not to use him.”

The most important news here is that the Redskins don’t believe Portis can shoulder the load himself; something that could make him a less attractive fantasy option in 2009.  I’m starting to believe that it may be better to look beyond the starter in what some claim to be the best division in football, as the NFC East is stacked with good back-up running backs on every team, and could become a fantasy goldmine for owners looking for late round bargains. 

Responding to quotes

Here’s Chiefs head coach Todd Haley talking about Dwayne Bowe (per

ESPN.com): “Dwayne has been terrific in the past few days. He’s been terrific.”  I agree Mr. Haley.  His 8 receptions and 107 yards in the past two pre-season games have been a breath of fresh air compared to how Mr. Bowe started the offseason.  Keep him high on your fantasy radar. 

Wide receiver Vincent Jackson talks about his sprained middle finger (per

San Diego Union-Tribune): “This is definitely something I can recover from.”  No, no Vincent, you don’t need to rush back.  Chris Chambers (139.16) is a great value late, and I want it to stay that way. 

Larry Fitzgerald talks about the re-structuring of his contract to help the team (per

AZCardinals.com): “Guys that are elite players in the business, they have to sacrifice,” Fitzgerald said. “I know my fellow guy [Boldin], he is in a position he doesn’t want to be in and I just want to see him happy. …”  Why aren’t there more unselfish receivers like this?  It’s a win for Cardinals fans, and it’s a even bigger win for fantasy owners like me who are counting on Boldin being drafted by someone else so players like the above mentioned Dwayne Bowe can be stolen by fantasy owners like me picks behind. 

Must Have Player No. 1

When asked last night by someone as to who my five must have fantasy players are this year: I responded with two words Peyton Manning (

MyFantasyLeague.com re-draft ADP: 23.77).  Why? 

Let’s start with stability.  The man has never missed a game in his career, and knows how to maintain his health by using his head.  He’s like Brett “The Ironman” Favre, only with a more accurate, smooth throwing motion, and a sturdier noggin. 

Let’s move on to consistency.  In nine of his eleven NFL seasons Manning has thrown for at least 4,000 yards.  In all eleven seasons he has thrown for over 25 touchdowns.  And in nine of eleven seasons he has thrown for 300+ yards at least four times; in the other two seasons he posted two and three 300+ games.

 

Let’s end this with his weapons.  Sure, Manning has lost long-time favorite target Marvin Harrison, but he still has one of the best receivers in football in Reggie Wayne, one of the best tight ends in Dallas Clark, a rising star in the making in Anthony Gonzalez, and a one-two punch at running back that only the Titans could better in the AFC South, and they’re all healthy  Most of all, last time I checked he still has his accurate right arm— the most important weapon of all.

So let the other fantasy owners overvalue Tom Brady and Drew Brees.  That just means that must have player numero uno will fall in your lap with an absurd amount of value, stability, consistency, and plenty of weapons. 

Speaking Out: Listen up Favre Haters. 

I can’t take it anymore!  The agony of annoying rants every cheese lovin’, green and gold wearing, Aaron Rodgers is my hero now, Brett Favre hatin’ Packers fan are just pounding my head full of absolute nonsense.  So how do you “Shhh” the pounding out and make them stop?  Hopefully this “Speaking Out” will help. 

The Facts

Let me get this straight.  Packer fans put up with number four’s flip-floppin’ antics for several seasons.  After good old Brett decides it’s time to hang up the cleats, Packer fans get teary-eyed and start paying tribute to Favre (I was one of the none teary-eyed variety).  Then number four ultimately decides that he wants back in, but Mr. Thompson decides he will have none of it anymore, and much to the dismay and protest of the green and gold faithful ships him off to New York, out of state and out of mind; well sort of. 

Fans everywhere, most notably in northern Wisconsin are seen with green and white Favre jersies.  The 2008 season begins and Favre puts together a good start, leading the Jets to a division leading 8-3 record.  He collapses down the stretch, the Jets don’t make the playoffs, and the green and white faithful foots all the blame on him while head coach Eric Mangini packs his bags, and green and gold fans (you know those same jersey-wearing protesting fans) rejoice.   Confused yet? 

Once again Favre decides it’s time to retire.  The Jets and their fans say goodbye; little did they know the saga was far from over.  The Vikings rumors start up.  He’s going to sign…… He’s not going to sign.  He finally decides to ride his tractor off in to the sunset.  That’s it.  It’s over!  Finally peace, right?  Wrong!

In Mike Tyson-like fashion he bites the ear off Packer fans everywhere, and spits it out as he holds up the purple and gold number four; a sight that the green and gold faithful can’t bear to watch.  He says all the right things, answers all the media’s questions, and stuns every cheese head wearing Packers’ fan with these words: “If you’re true Packer fans, you’d understand.”  The can of worms turned in to a bucket at that moment.

The Rant

Now, let me just say- that was an arrogant comment to make, however for the first time I found myself actually agreeing with Brett.  See if we go back to paragraphs two and three (am I sounding like a preacher?), we find that some Packer fans were not true green and gold fans.  In fact, if I remember correctly (Fantasy News of the Week- 8/10/08) Packer fans were shouting expletives and booing Aaron Rodgers because of the events that transpired early last offseason.  Were those true Packer fans? 

My point is that while Packer fans do have the right to be stunned, they don’t have the right to throw batteries, or in this case fire off expletives (oh, the irony….) at the immortal number four for events that were a chain reaction of their own GM Ted Thompson’s actions (which they once hated by the way) when he decided to draft Aaron Rodgers in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft.  Now, don’t get me wrong, with Rodgers’ jersey hanging proud in my bedroom closet, I’m glad these events went down.  However, I am not pleased to hear the absurd views of ungrateful Packer fans who were spoiled by number four’s field presence and love for the game on the field— good and bad— for 16+ years (something they may never see again).  So please save the foolish thoughts, and focus on your team— the green and gold; if you‘re a true Packers’ fan that is.   

Thanks for reading!  And thanks Brett, for being, well, Brett— the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.  For the record, I am a true Packers fan. 

Eric Huber is a staff writer for FantasySharks.com.  He can be reached at

e.huber12@yahoo.com

.  All opinions for or against Favre are welcome. 

 

 

 

 

 

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