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Fantasy News of the Week – 8/24

Fantasy drafts are heating up. You know what that means! It’s almost football season. Here are your top headlines from this past week. 

 

Big running back is ready for a big season in Big-D.

Friday night’s game between the Texans and Cowboys gave fantasy owners more than just a one-point victory by the Cowboys. As Cowboys running back Marion Barber ran over the Texans defense en route to a 13 carry, 75 yard, one touchdown performance, fantasy owners everywhere were smiling with confidence. And according to the

Dallas Morning News the running back could be primed for a huge season in ‘08.

Marion

embraces every opportunity of whatever we give him,” offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. “He loves to play football. I think we all see that each and every game.”  

 

Barber’s style sets him apart from any other back in the league, but with that bruising style come questions of whether or not he can handle a bigger load for a full season. And what about Felix Jones? “Whether it’s in practice, in preseason games or regular season games, he’s always ready,” Garrett said. As for Jones – he never saw the field in the first half, but that’s because coach Wade Phillips wanted his star back to get as many repetitions as he could. “We were just in a rhythm,” Phillips said. “We needed to see Barber get some work in. We’ll need it during the regular season.” If Friday night’s performance is any indication of what to expect, then there is no doubt that Barber will be a fantasy star this season.

Who will step up in Philly?

You wouldn’t know it, but according to the

Philadelphia Enquirer Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb actually felt good about the offensive progress, even in the wake of the latest news surrounding his top wideout Kevin Curtis. “I felt great,” McNabb said after the Eagles’ 27-17 win over the New England Patriots on Friday night. “We are progressing week in and week out … I think you have to give guys opportunities to make plays, and we did that.”  

One of the reasons why McNabb felt great had to be because of the play of rookie DeSean Jackson, who has been a major contributor this preseason. “I just wanted to show to the fans, everybody that’s watching, coaches, everybody, that I’m capable of getting the job done,”

Jackson said. “I’m young, I’m a rookie and things like that, but I definitely feel I play very confident … I just know what I’m capable of doing.” Not only did

Jackson catch four balls for 67 yards in the first half, but he went out of the game with a bang when he took a punt 76 yards for a touchdown at the end the second quarter.

Fantasy owners shouldn’t buy in to

Jackson just yet. He still has heavy competition in Hank Baskett, Greg Lewis and Jason Avant, who all have the experience factor going for them. However, I do think no matter what happens with Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown, Jackson may become the permanent slot receiver by the end of the 2008 season.

 

Did you know?

Since 1997 only two receivers have eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark in Philly – Terrell Owens with his 1,200 yard performance in 2004, and Kevin Curtis last season with his 1,110 yard performance.

 

Aaron Rodgers looks sharp … well, sort of.

With his Hulk Hogan-like mustache, Aaron Rodgers “enjoyed a good game” this week against the Broncos in the thick air of Mile High Stadium, this on the heels of a horrid performance in

San Francisco. And, as

Packers.com points out, Mike McCarthy was pretty pleased with what he saw from Rodgers. “I thought Aaron had a very good night,” head coach Mike McCarthy said after the game. “I thought he was sharp. I thought he managed the offense, the tempo, was smart with the football and was very good on third down.”  

Rodgers seemed to be more focused on finding the high percentage play, rather than trying for the homerun. “I really wanted to focus on making good decisions,” Rodgers said. “Last week I don’t think I took the checkdowns as much as I should have. I just wanted to take what the defense gave me. I know it is cliché, but it’s the truth, especially on more than one occasion we had the checkdown go for big yardage. I just wanted to get the ball out of my hand quickly and throw for a high percentage.” Rodgers is a competitor, and he should continue to progress over time, but I have to echo my fellow shark writer Matt Wilson in that like as he pointed out in his recent article,

Is Aaron Rodgers A Legitimate Fantasy Option?. Rodgers may not be the best option as a backup fantasy quarterback in 2008 as he’s inexperienced and inconsistent. I will say that if he performs like he did against the Broncos all season he may have to be labeled as Hulk Hogan by the end of the 2008 season.

  

 

 

Number of the Week:

0.

 It’s the number of regular season starts the Packers quarterbacks have between the three of them. 

Perry and Henry getting their chances in Cincy.  

The Bengals’ tailback situation is starting to get dicey. Front runner Rudi Johnson is nursing a hamstring injury, but that doesn’t seem to bother Bengals coaches as according to the

Cincinnati Enquirer Chris Perry has really stepped up in his absence and seems more determined than ever. “I want to make it so they have to make a decision,” Perry said of coaches. “I want to be taken seriously.” Perry has been no joke in the first two preseason contests, recording 65 yards on 18 rushes while finding the endzone once, but he says it all will matter once the season begins. “I made progress, but I still have a long way to go,” he said. “I’m really not happy with it. There’s nothing to be happy about; it’s preseason. The real games start in two weeks.”  

While it may be too early to tell what kind of impact Perry will have this season, fantasy owners have to be worried that he has only played in just over one-third of his playable games in four seasons.  

 

Disgusted. It’s how some around the Bengals organization feel about the whole Chris Henry saga. And while early on coach Marvin Lewis didn’t seem too pleased with the move to bring him back, according to the

Associated Press, “He’s doing well,” Lewis said. “His goal is to be ready to play when we go to

Baltimore, so we’ll see. But right now, he’s surprisingly doing better than expected.”  

For fantasy owners’ sake I hope Henry stays out of trouble for this could be his last chance to make a name for himself. “I hope he can stay out of trouble and — not anything about his football career — just can make it and get through and not have any problems,” quarterback Carson Palmer said. “It’s nice to give somebody a second chance, a third chance. I just hope he makes it.” Henry is making progress.

 

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