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Fantasy News of the Week- 8/31

Manning is ready to

With all the back-ups playing for the last time, and laying
an egg, the most noteworthy news was the status of quarterback Peyton Manning.

  According to the

Indianapolis Star Manning went through pre-game warm-ups
comfortably on Thursday at Lucas Oil Stadium leaving fans and his head coach
pleased with his progress.

step we’ve taken has been good,” Tony Dungy said. “I’d be very, very
surprised if he’s not ready to go.”

It’s pretty safe to say that the Colts’ 2008 season will be decided by
Mr. Manning’s status making his comeback crucial.

  If Manning struggles to stay on the field the
offense may be in trouble.

  Back-up Jim
Sorgi will be the only other opening day quarterback on the Colts 53-man



Manning’s first challenge may prove to be tough as the Colts
host the Bears in week one, and although Chicago’s defense has diminished overall in
the last two years, they still have a very fast front four— one that could
cause major problems for the veteran quarterback come September 7th.

 If all goes well Colts fans and fantasy
owners will be able to breathe easy and happy knowing that an important part of
the AFC picture should be just fine in 2008.  But as of right now that remains
as a big “if.”


Cooley likes what he
sees from Zorn, but is it promising?

The coaching carousel was in full swing this offseason for all teams, but the
most surprising moves had to be the changes made by the Washington Redskins at
both the offensive and defensive coordinator positions.

  Long-time defensive guru Greg Williams was
dismissed, and following him out the door was offensive mastermind Al

That left voids on both sides
of the ball which were quickly filled with the promotions of Greg Blache and
Jim Zorn.

  But let’s focus on Zorn.


According to the

tight end Chris Cooley is very enthusiastic about the new offensive

“I really like what
Coach Zorn has done. I like what we’re doing as an offense, because he’s really
put us in a position to make plays,” said Cooley. “As soon as a
couple of us start to put things together and make some plays, it makes it
harder to cover everyone else. I know this much: We’re going to get a lot of
chances to make plays. We have a lot of players who could make a huge impact in
this offense for our team.”

While there is no doubt that the Redskins have the players
on offense to make plays, fantasy owners have to be a little concerned with
Jason Campbell’s pre-season numbers.


has gone 11 of 24 for 70 yards in three pre-season contests, two of which the
Redskins as a team scored just three points.

Yes, it is just pre-season, but to say the look of the Redskins offense
is concerning may be an understatement.



, Slaton will see an expanded role in week

It’s no coincidence that the Houston Texans have followed
the same path as the Denver Broncos when it comes to their running backs, but the
question now is will one of the unproven back-ups rise to the occasion?

  For Ahman Green it’s been a rough

ride since he has arrived in

and it’s not going to get any easier.

Yes, it’s true that he was running strong in training camp, but a groin
injury that he suffered in the Texans first pre-season game may slow him when


Pittsburgh September 7th.

  Solution? According to the

Houston Chronicle coach Gary Kubiak
plans on using Chris Taylor and rookie Steve Slaton extensively.

  “You have to remember that Ahman hasn’t
played a lot,” Kubiak said. “To all of a sudden go out there and start and
think he is going to carry the ball 25 times this weekend, I think would be a
mistake. We could very well play three guys in the game.”


With Chris Brown out indefinitely and Green limping fantasy
owners will get to see what the rookie Slaton can do, but don’t expect him to
see a lot of time on passing downs as pass protection seems to be his Achilles

  “A lot of veterans told me that is
the reason some running backs don’t play — they can’t protect,” Slaton said.
“That’s one of the things that I felt I could do the most improving on.”


As for Taylor— He seems to fit the system well, but lacks
the ideal speed to be a star in the NFL.

He should get the majority of the carries around the goal line, but
shouldn’t see many carries between the twenties.

  In the end it may not matter for fantasy
owners, at least not until week four, as the Texans play the second, third, and
fifth overall rushing defenses in the NFL from last season.


Cowboys’ receiver
issues could mean more playing time for Jefferson and Amendola?

  The Dallas Cowboys started the off-season with good depth at
wide receiver, but that depth has been quickly whittled away to just the
two-man show of Terrell Owens and Patrick Crayton heading in to the season
opener against the Browns.

  Miles Austin
and Sam Hurd, who are expected to be solid contributors in ‘08, will miss some
time with injuries they sustained in preseason games, while Isaiah Stanback’s
status remains uncertain as he battles a shoulder injury.

  What does this mean?


According to the

Morning News
the Cowboys have Mike Jefferson and Danny Amendola waiting on
the practice squad for their name(s) to be called, and don’t seem interested in
the services of veteran wide receivers available on the free agent market; most
notably- Joe Horn and Freddie Mitchell.

and Amendola have looked pretty good this pre-season, but probably won’t make a
big enough impact to be consider as good waiver wire pick-ups.

Shark Attack:

News Rundown

In Atlanta the Falcons have decided to stick with Shockley as their
number three quarterback and have cut former starter Joey Harrington who now has landed with the Ravens…… The
New England Patriots made a few surprising moves this past weekend.

  Notable players that were cut included wide
receiver Chad Jackson, safety John Lynch, and cornerback Fernando Bryant.

  With Bryant now gone rookie Terrence Wheatley
will start at cornerback, while recently signed ex-Bengal Deltha O’Neal will play third fiddle in the rotation….. Redskins rookie wide receiver Malcolm Kelly could
miss the rest of season due to recurring knee problems…..After being recently
cut by the Eagles, defensive end Jerome McDougle has already found a new home
and it’s within the division.

  To offset
the loss of Osi Umenyiora the Giants have signed McDougle to a one-year $1
million deal….. The Houston Texans said goodbye to linebacker Roosevelt
Colvin…… The Bengals said goodbye to a few former game changers.

  Running back Rudi Johnson, and offensive
tackle Willie Anderson were among the cuts made by the team on Saturday. 

Johnson has already found a new home in Detroit while Anderson has yet to visit a team…… Fantasy owners can forget about Ben Obomanu as he
suffered a broken clavicle in the Seahawk’s pre-season finale on Friday.

  He has been placed on injured reserve and
will not play in 2008…… The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have cut quarterback Chris
Simms, and safety Eugene Wilson……. The Dolphins signed running back Ricky
Williams to a one-year contract extension….. And finally, the latest news out

Pittsburgh surrounding their
back-up quarterback situation is that Byron Leftwich will be next in line
behind Ben Roethlisberger as Charlie Batch has been placed on injured reserve,
ending his 2008 season.



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