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101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130

Circle 2 QBs brady,t (ne) manning,p (ind) palmer,c (cin) romo,t (dal) anderson,d (cle) brees,d (no) hasselbeck,m (sea) manning,e (nyg) roethlisberger (pit) bulger,m (stl) cutler,j (den) delhomme,j (car) mcnabb,d (phi) rivers,p (sd) schaub,m (hou) young,v (ten) boller,k (bal) campbell,j (was) croyle,b (kc) edwards,t (buf) garcia,j (tb) gerrard,d (jac) grossman,r (chi) jackson,t (min) kitna,j (det) leinart,m (ari) pennington,c (nyj) rodgers,a (gb) russell,j (oak) smith,a (sf)

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

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Circle 2 Kickers

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401 402 403 404 405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 419 420 421 422 423 424 425 426 427 428 429 430

akers,d (phi) bironas,r (ten) dawson,p (cle) folk,n (dal) gostkowski,s (ne) gould,r (chi) hanson,j (det) kasay,j (car) tynes,l (nyg) vinatieri,a (ind) brown,j (stl) brown,k (hou) bryant,m (tb) cosby,m (gb) cuniff,b (kc) graham,s (cin) gramatica,m (no) janikowski (oak) kaeding,n (sd) lindell,r (buf) longwell,r (min) mare,o (sea) nedney,j (sf) nugent,m (nyj) prater,m (den) rackers,n (ari) reed,j (pit) scobee,j (jac) stover,m (bal) suisham,s (was)

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Circle 3 Running Backs

201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230

peterson,a (min) tomlinson,l (sd) addai,j (ind) jackson,s (stl) johnson,l (kc) westbrook (phi) barber,m (dal) gore,f (sf) grant,r (gb) mcgahee,w (bal) parker,w (pit) portis,c (was) brown,r (mia) bush,r (no) henry,t (den) jacobs,b (nyg) james,e (ari) jones,j (sea) jones,t (nyj) jones-drew,m (jac) lewis,j (cle) lynch,m (buf) maroney,l (ne) mcfadden,d (oak) taylor,f (jac) turner,m (atl) white,l (ten) benson,c (chi) bradshaw,a (nyg) buckhalter,c (phi)

301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330

moss,r (ne) owens,t (dal) wayne,r (ind) burress,p (nyg) colston,m (no) edwards,b (cle) fitzgerald,l (ari) gates,a (sd) gonzalez,t (kc) harrison,m (ind) heap,t (bal) holt,t (stl) housh...deh (cin) johnson,an (hou) johnson,c (cin) smith,s (car) welker,w (ne) berrian,b (min) bouldin,a (ari) bowe,d (kc) branch,d (sea) brown,r (phi) chambers (sd) coles,l (nyj) cooley,c (was) cotchery,j (nyj) crayton,p (dal) curtis,k (phi) driver,d (gb) evans,l (buf)

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

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231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260

dunn,w (tb) graham,e (tb) green,a (hou) johnson,r (cin) keith,k (ind) mcallister,d (no) smith,k (det) stewart,j (car) taylor,c (min) williams,c (tb) williams,de (car) bell,t (det) betts,l (was) brown,c (ten) fargas,j (oak) faulk,k (ne) forte,m (tb) foster,d (sf) jones,f (dal) leonard,b (stl) mendenhall,r (pit) morris,m (sea) norwood,j (atl) richardson,t (nyj) shipp,m (ari) smith,k (kc) washington,l (nyj) watson,k (cin) wright,j (cle) young,s (den)

Circle 4 Receivers $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

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331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360

galloway,j (tb) holmes,s (pit) jackson,d (den) jennings,g (gb) johnson,ca (det) marshall,b (den) mason,d (bal) moss,s (was) porter,j (jac) shockey,j (nyg) walker,j (oak) ward,h (pit) white,r (atl) williams,ro (det) winslow,k (cle) witten,j (dal) bradley,m (chi) bruce,i (sf) burleson,n (sea) clayton,mi (tb) curry,r (oak) hackett,dj (car) hester,d (chi) jackson,v (sd) johnson,b (sf) muhammad (car) rice,s (min) stallworth,d (cle) toomer,a (nyg) williamson,t (jac)

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

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WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OF

FANTASY FOOTBALL Table of Contents Editorial Staff Publisher World Championship of Fantasy Football

Creative Director Nicole Fortson Project Manager Jeff Vernetti

Contributing Authors

Jeff Vernetti, John Culligan, Jeff Gordon, Howard Balzer, Dustin Ashby, Jesse Herron, Shawn Childs, Eddie Gillis, Kenny Lavallee

Special Thanks

Emil Kadlec & Lenny Pappano

WCOFF.com

7 10 14 18 22 27 29 33 36 40 43 45 57 58 60 66

68 74 84 97 103 108 113 115 121 123 131

Who’s #1 Preview of the 2008 WCOFF Auction Draft Strategy Sleepers Watch Out for Overvalued Players IDP Rankings Breakout Players Breaking Down the Bye Week Rookie Preview Supporting Cast Interview with the 2007 Champion Mock Draft & Experts Poll Mock Draft - 12 Rounds Draft Boards Top 200 ADP Cheat Sheet Offensive Line Pull Out Cheat Sheet Player Profiles Quarterbacks Running Backs Wide Receivers Tight Ends Kickers Defense Red Zone status Target status NFL Schedule Strength of Schedule Breakdown Advertiser Index

PRINTED IN THE USA COPYRIGHT © 2008 BY GRIDIRON FANTASY SPORTS, INC.

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WHO’S #1?

Slam Dunk for LT... or is it? By Jeff Vernetti, WCOFF.com

Last year in this very publication we looked at who the number two players were at each position based on the assumption that LaDainian Tomlinson was the top back, Marvin Harrison was the top wide receiver, and Peyton Manning was the best quarterback. The theory is that for the most part running backs go off the board first, however with the impact that quarterbacks and wide receivers had last season, some experts have began to change that trend. With 1,474 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground last season, Tomlinson still proved to be a force for fantasy owners. That total was a bit below his career averages of 1,521 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns and a far cry below 2006 when he rushed for 1,815 yards and scored 28 times. However, while the pack is gaining on Tomlinson, he is still the most elite running back in football, has never missed a game in his career, and plays for a team in San Diego that can do a number of things well offensively. With that said some fantasy experts are trying to decide if this is the year to jump off the Tomlinson train and go a different direction. Some say you can never gamble with the number one pick overall, but would any of these be a true gamble?

Adrian Peterson, Running Back, Minnesota: At 23-years old he is arguably the games most exciting running back. Peterson rushed for over 1,300 yards and had 13 total touchdowns while looking explosive on several highlight runs. The question is will Peterson take a step forward like other number one fantasy backs over the last decade (Tomlinson, Larry

Johnson, Jamal Lewis) and have a huge year or will he remain simply a very good starting back for your team. Steven Jackson, Running Back, St. Louis: Last season Jackson was the only player that made the majority of fantasy owners that had the number one pick think twice in not selecting Tomlinson. Jackson was coming off a monster 2006 season (1,528 rush yards, 806 rec yards, 16 TD) and looked like he would be the type of all- purpose back that deserved a number one selection. However, Jackson had injuries and the Rams offense floundered behind an injured

offensive line. Jackson is still young at 25 and could be the leagues most dominant running back if you are willing to roll the dice on “Action Jackson” in his contract year. He wants to get paid and may help you get paid in your league.

Brian Westbrook, Running Back, Philadelphia: If Westbrook was two or three years younger he would almost be a slam dunk number one pick

for those owners who like a versatile running back. Westbrook is the example of an all-purpose back and put up huge numbers in 2007 (2,104 total yards, 12 total TD) but has never played a full season in his career. Will Westbrook take a step back or continue to move up the draft boards for running backs?

Tom Brady, Quarterback, New England: Payton Manning Who? Tom Brady put up team carrying numbers in 2007 with 50 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. The Patriots went undefeated until losing in the Super Bowl and has been arguably the greatest quarterback over the last decade. Quarterbacks are often considered overrated and drafted very low. We understand that. However Manning was a first round draft pick in more leagues than he wasn’t in the 2007 WCOFF and now Brady is thrust into that category. The seasons that Brady and Manning have had recently have fantasy owners rethinking their draft strategy.

Randy Moss, Wide Receiver, New England: After being forgotten in Oakland and in most fantasy war rooms, Moss came out of no where in 2007. Now he is regarded as the top wide receiver and has security in New England after signing a new contract. Moss saw a lot of double teams and it never seemed to matter. Wes Welker takes catches away, but even with his dominant year, Moss was the key target with almost 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns. 23 may be a high goal for 2008, but with the New England offense and Brady at the helm, can you easily dismiss numbers that are better than most running backs?

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WHO’S #1 Overall

Steven Jackson

Adrian Peterson

Age

23

23

Weight

231

217

Height

6’2”

NFL Experience

Rank at Position Expert Poll 07 Stats

4 Years 2

6’1”

1 Year 3

12 games, 1,007 rush yrds, 271 rec yards, 6 Total TD

14 games, 1,341 rush yards, 268 rec yards, 13 Total TD

Career Stats

57 games, 4,249 rush yards, 1,586 rec yards, 36 Total TD

14 games, 1,341 rush yards, 268 rec yards, 13 Total TD

Upside

New Offensive Coordinator in St. Louis (Al Saunders) loves to get RB involved all aspects of the offense

Young and healthy with a team that should contend for the division title this season

Jackson is angry after a three win season filled with injury, tons to prove, plus he's playing for a big contract

If Jackson can run the offense, there is only so many people that you can cover, plus Peterson wants to lead the league in rushing his second season

Downside

XFactor

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Torry Holt is one year older, defenses may be able to focus on Jackson until someone else can prove they can be an offensive force

If Tarvaris Jackson can't run the offense, defenses will know that all the Vikings can do is run the football


Brian Westbrook

Randy Moss

Tom Brady

29

30

30

5’10”

203

6’4”

6’4”

6 Years

210

10 Years

225

4

1

1

15 games, 1,333 rush yards, 771 rec yards, 12 Total TD

16 games, 98 rec, 1,493 yards, 23 TD

85 games, 4,785 rush yards, 3,207 rec yards, 50 Total TD

154 games, 774 rec, 12,193 yards 124 TDS

Probably the best all purpose back in the league, lines up as a wide out on several plays per game

New England offense shows no signs of slowing down with Moss and Welker catching balls from Tom Brady

8 Years 16 games, 117.2 QBR, 68.9 pass %, 4,806 yards, 50 TD, 8 INT

112 games, 92.9 QBR, 63.0 pass % 26,370 yards, 197 TD, 86 INT

One of the greatest quarterbacks of his era, how is that for upside

Age and health. Enough said. Never has played 16 games in a season.

He has his contract, isn't this when he usually gets complacent?

Isn't down the only place a quarterback can go from 50 TD and an undefeated regular season?

30 is the age of decline for running backs, and Westbrook turns 30 mid season

Undeafeated season but a Super Bowl let down. Will the hang over carry over to Moss and Brady combination?

The division got better and the Super Bowl still stings, will Brady be a leader or come back to earth in '08?

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PREVIEW OF THE

2008 WCOFF By Dustin Ashby & Jesse Herron, WCOFF Owners

Las Vegas, NV

Dallas, TX

Atlantic City, NJ

Orlando, FL

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In the ever changing and growing world of fantasy football one thing stays the same. The World Championship of Fantasy Football is the industry’s premier live fantasy football event and 2008 is set to feature unprecedented award opportunities for fantasy owners, including a chance at $3,000,000. Founded in 2002, the World Championship of Fantasy Football is the longest running live high stakes fantasy contest. Up to 1,200 teams will compete in the World Championship of Fantasy Football (WCOFF) main event for the $300,000 grand prize, with simultaneous drafts being held in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Orlando and the newest WCOFF venue, Dallas. Kenny Lavallee of Tampa, FL captured the prestigious WCOFF Championship in 2007 in just his first attempt on the grand stage of the World Championship of Fantasy Football. Kenny was awarded his $300,000 grand prize at the Super Bowl in Phoenix, AZ where he enjoyed several days on radio row mixing it up with former NFL greats, celebrities and media personalities. Last year the World Championship of Fantasy Football introduced a new on line event called the Super Satellite Championship. The Super Satellite Championship featured up to 132 teams competing for a $10,000 over-

all award in addition to their respective league awards. The highly acclaimed Super Satellite returns in 2008 and is being complimented with another new online event, The World Championship of Online Fantasy Football. The World Championship of Online Fantasy Football is modeled after the highly successful live main event, featuring 12 team leagues and identical rules to the WCOFF Main Event. For a $300 entry fee, teams will compete for a $2,000 1st place league award, $350 2nd place league award and $10,000 grand prize. Fantasy football owners participating in both the World Online Championship and Main Event will have the opportunity to win an unprecedented $3,000,000 in 2008 as part of the WCOFF $3M Challenge Presented by OPEN Sports. Should an owner win both the World Online Championship and Main Event in 2008 they win $3,000,000. “The World Championship of Fantasy Football has been the leader in live fantasy events since its inception in 2002. We’re excited to offer this best of breed fantasy competition to the growing community of online fantasy players in 2008,” said Dustin Ashby, COO of the World Championship of Fantasy Football.


The World Championship of Fantasy Football Las Vegas draft features a full schedule of ancillary events held in conjunction with the WCOFF main event. Beginning on Thursday night, WCOFF participants and special guests will watch the season’s first game featuring the defending Super Bowl Champion, N.Y. Giants and Washington Redskins. Immediately following the game, the GridIron $10K Draft takes place. Beginning Friday morning, Draft Masters leagues and Keeper leagues will be held. Later in the day private auction leagues and draft leagues at the $5,000 level are hosted. On Friday evening the WCOFF will conduct the Main Auction Division Championship featuring 1st place league awards of $5,000, 2nd place - $2,000 and 3rd place - $500. The Overall Auction Champion will receive the $25,000 grand prize with overall awards presented to the top five teams in the Auction Division Playoffs. “Auction formats provide fantasy owners the opportunity to bid on any player they can afford. There is a comfort in knowing when you start the draft every player is available and you aren’t subject to your draft position,” commented Jesse Herron of the WCOFF. The WCOFF Main Event drafts are held simultaneously in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Orlando and Dallas at 1pm EST. Upon the conclusion of the main event in Las Vegas the $25,000 Platinum league will be held. This new format in 2008 features the single largest payout for a self contained, 12-team league in high stakes fantasy football. $150,000 will be awarded to the league champion, 2nd place - $75,000, 3rd

place - $25,000, 4th place - $10,000, 5th place - $10,000, 6th place - $5,000 and 7th place - $2,500. On Saturday evening, many WCOFF participants and guests will gather at the ESPN Zone in Las Vegas for a private post draft party. Guests of the WCOFF enjoy food, drinks, video games and a lot of post draft discussion. “The continued growth of fantasy football has allowed the WCOFF to provide an expanded schedule of events in which fantasy owners can participate,” Ashby added. “Beyond the expanded schedule we’ve also included added value to our player community in 2008 in the form of premium subscriptions to several of the leading fantasy football content sites as part of the entry to the WCOFF.” While fantasy owners are being provided more choices than ever before, the World Championship of Fantasy Football continues to be the most prestigious and most lucrative fantasy title for a fantasy owner to win.

WCOFF FORMATS WCOFF Main Event

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 6th WHERE: Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Sheraton Hotel, Atlantic City, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center, Dallas TIME: Drafts start at 1pm EST in Orlando and Atlantic City, 11am CST in Dallas, 10am PST in Las Vegas PRIZES: $300,000 overall award with league prizes of $7,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place and $500 for third place COST: $1,700 per team; $150 for co-manager, $125 events fee

WCOFF Draft Masters

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 5th WHERE: Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas TIME: Drafts start at 9am PST in Las Vegas PRIZES: $6,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place and $750 for third place COST: $1,000 per team; $50 for co-manager

WCOFF Auction Division

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 5th WHERE: Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Sheraton Hotel, Atlantic City, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center, Dallas TIME: Drafts start at 7pm EST in Orlando and Atlantic City, 6pm CST in Dallas and 6pm PST in Las Vegas PRIZES: $25,000 overall award with league prizes of $5,000 for first place, $2,000 for second place and $500 for third place COST: $1,000 per team; $50 for co-manager

WCOFF $25K Platinum League

WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 6th WHERE: Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas, Sheraton Hotel, Atlantic City, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Gaylord Texan Resort and Conference Center, Dallas TIME: Drafts start at 7pm EST in Orlando and Atlantic City, 6pm CST in Dallas and 6pm PST in Las Vegas PRIZES: League prizes of $150,000 for first place, $75,000 for second place, $25,000 for third place, $10,000 for fourth place, $10,000 for fifth place, $5,000 for sixth place, $2,500 for 7th place COST: $25,000 per team

WCOFF $5K Auction and $5K Draft

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 5th WHERE: Las Vegas Hilton, Las Vegas TIME: Drafts start at 1pm PST in Las Vegas PRIZES: $30,000 for first place, $15,000 for second place and $5,000 for third place COST: $5,000 per team; $50 for co-manager

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WCOFF Scoring

Kenny Lavallee, 2007 WCOFF Champ and Dustin Ashby, President, WCOFF at Super Bowl XLII in Phoenix, AZ, 2007.

WCOFF teams consist of 20 players at all times, with a starting lineup of: 1 Quarterback, 2 Running Backs, 3 Wide Receivers, 1 Tight End, 1 Flex Position (RB, WR or TE), 1 Kicker and 1 Defense/Special Team.

Scoring: An individual offensive player on any active WCOFF starting roster will be credited for scoring in the following manner, unless otherwise noted:

Passing: .05 points for every yard passing (works out to 1 point for every 20 yards) 4 points for every passing touchdown 2 points for every 2-Point conversion Minus 1 for every interception thrown Rushing: .10 points for every yard rushing (works out to 1 point for every 10 yards) 6 points for every rushing touchdown 2 points for every 2-Point conversion Receiving: .10 points for every yard receiving (works out to 1 point for every 10 yards) 6 points for every receiving touchdown 2 points for every 2-Point conversion 1 point for every catch for WRs, Tight Ends, RBs and QBs Kicking: 1 point for every Extra Point 3 points for every Field Goal made of 1 to 30 yards, plus .1 point for every yard thereafter (Example: a 43 yard field goal made would be worth 4.3 points)

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All Other TDs: 6 points for any TD scored by recovered or returned fumbles, laterals, or any other means by which a skill position player (QB, RB, WR, TE, or K) is awarded an individual TD, except kickoff and punt returns. No rushing or receiving yardage is awarded for a TC returned on a fumble.

Team Scoring (Defense / Special Teams): 1 point for every sack 2 points for every team takeaway (interception or fumble recovery)** 6 points for every TD (via interception return, fumble return, punt or kickoff return, blocked FG return, missed FG return, block punt return)* 2 points for every safety 5 points for every shutout*** 1 point for allowing between 6 to 10 points*** *TDs scored on “fake” FGs or “fake” punts do not count as Defense/Special Teams scoring. TDs scored by the offensive team after a blocked FG or blocked punt do not count as Defense/Special teams score. TDs scored on a double-turnover only count for the individual player who scored the TD, not for the team.

**A double turnover is considered points for the recovering team’s defense and ST. Thus, an example, team A’s offense fumbles and team B’s defense recovers, but then fumbles the ball back to team A’s offense. In that scenario team A’s defense and special teams (along with team B’s defense and ST) are both awarded a fumble recovery.

***Any and all points scored against a team are considered points scored against the special teams and defense. Thus, as an example, a turnover by the offense that is returned for a TD is considered as points scored against the special teams and defense.


AUCTION DRAFT SUMMARY By Dustin Ashby & Jesse Herron, WCOFF Owners

NEED STORY! And what typ of images you want me to use.

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NEED STORY! And what typ of images you want me to use.

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NEED STORY! And what typ of images you want me to use.

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NEED STORY! And what typ of images you want me to use.

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Don’t Snooze on the

SLEEPERS

By John Culligan, Senior Editor, FFBookmarks.com

I’ll forego the standard introduction that there are no more sleepers in Fantasy Football. We all know it and read the “Sleeper Articles” in every magazine and website available anyway.

The review is done and having hung my head in shame and thumped my chest at the same time, we’ll move on to this year’s value players that may surprise you.

When asked to do this piece for the second year, I went back and looked at how I fared in my predictions last year. Truthfully, I was a bust in my selections for quarterback and running back sleepers. Among the signal callers, Tarvaris Jackson had an awful season and Alex Smith was even worse. Toting the rock, Lorenzo Booker and Chris Henry were rookies and never really got a chance to show their stuff. While Jerious Norwood and DeAngelo Williams flat out failed to meet expectations.

Without touching on rookie signal callers (and all other rookie skill position players) I’m sure they’re covered elsewhere in this mag, we’ll start with some veteran…

At the receiver positions, I was right on, but by the time the drafts rolled around everyone was fully aware of the potential for Brandon Marshall, Wes Welker, Vincent Jackson, Ronald Curry and Troy Walter. Of that quintet, only Ronald Curry failed to improve over his previous year’s FF point totals and he was close. Welker and Marshall were studs, Walter had a career year and Jackson was marginally better ( I wonder how he would have done if the Chargers didn’t trade for Chris Chambers). At tight end, I picked Bo Scaife to be the best the Titan TE and Donald Lee, successfully made Bubba Franks an afterthought in Green Bay.

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Jake Delhomme

QUARTERBACKS

Jake Delhomme - Carolina If you had any of the skill players from Carolina last year, you know just how bad the team missed their resident gunslinger. Often criticized for his freewheeling and streaky performances, Delhomme seems to be getting ready in earnest for a return trip behind center. Reports have Jake, recovering from surgery, throwing the football in preparation for pre-season camp. He been quoted as saying he’s feeling better and stronger than ever. His supporting cast has been revitalized with the addition of first round draft choices Jonathan Stewart, RB, and Jeff Otah, OT. This should give them a solid

ground game to take the focus off receivers, Steve Smith, newly acquired DJ Hackett and the re-acquired Muhsin Muhammad. It’s hard to name a vet, like Delhomme as a sleeper, but he qualifies as a great value pick when all the top QBs are off the board. Provided everyone remains healthy, I think you’ll see his best season ever. Kellen Clemens - NY Jets It’s sink or swim time for the heir apparent to Chad Pennington now that the Jets have given the third year pro an offensive line that can buy him sometime. Both Laveranues Coles and Jerricho Cothchery are above average receivers that can explot secondaries if Clemens can get them the ball. His arm strength is better than his predecessor and with Thomas Jones running behind Alan Faneca and company look for Kellen to move up in the ranks of good fantasy QBs. Again, he’s probably not the starter on your FF squad, but look for decent numbers for an insurance policy.

Kellen Clemens


Alex Smith

Alex Smith or Shaun Hill San Francisco Go on, say it. What are you crazy? Yes, I’m picking two guys as sleepers. Not really, whichever one wins the battle in camp will have all the benefits of a Mike Martz run offense and it’s heavy emphasis on the passing game. With the addition of “Martz” veteran Isaac Bruce, former Arizona first round selection Bryant Johnson and the hardworking and reliable Arnaz Battle to go wide and long, there should be a lot of shootouts by the Bay. Oh, did I forget the promise of future stud ,Vernon Davis, at TE. Neither of these two QBs could carry a team by themselves, but look what Martz has done in the past. Sit back and enjoy the fireworks if you have the right one on your roster as a second choice quarterback.

Shawn Alexander

RUNNING BACK

Shaun Alexander - Free Agent Two years removed from his MVP season and dismissed as an afterthought

by the Seahawks, Alexander has got to have a world class chip on his shoulder. At this time, he’s rumored to be headed for Cincinnati, where he’s sure to be used as a backup to Rudi Johnson. If Johnson, who has some mileage on his tread, can’t take the punishment, we can expect Alexander to try and prove he’s not washed up or injury prone. Marvin Lewis says that he expects to implement a power rushing game and with the likely hold out or trade of Chad Johnson diminishing the passing game; Alexander, if he winds up with the Bengals, may get the chance to say I told you so. Even if he doesn’t sign with the Bengals, wherever he lands, he’ll wind up being the short yardage and goal line back waiting for the chance to go full time in the event of an injury. You could do far worse when selecting a third or fourth back for your team. Deuce McAllister New Orleans When Deuce went down last season, the Saints running game went into the

tank. Sure there are inherent risks in selecting a back that’s had two major knee surgeries in three years, but McAllister’s rehab and work ethic make him less of a long shot to come back strong. He’s a necessary complement to Reggie Bush and will be available later than most other RBs in your draft. Again you won’t be disappointed if he’s third or fourth on your roster come opening day. Ahmad Bradshaw - NY Giants I’m confident that Bradshaw, after his ‘07 year end showing, will be the number two back behind Brandon Jacobs. If, or should I say when, Jacobs gets hurt, Ahmad will get to show what he can do on a full-time basis. Even if an injury does not occur, Brandon’s hard

charging running style demands that he get more rest during the game so that his caddy will see plenty of time on the field. Bradshaw has an explosive quality about him that will provide you with someone sure to give you fantasy value every time he steps on the field. Ahmad Bradshaw

If you want him, you’ll probably have to pick him before the Jacobs owner grabs him for insurance. I liken this to a second tier level of the Priest Holmes/Larry Johnson situation of three years ago.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Jerry Porter - Jacksonville Reports say that Porter has the enthusiasm of a rookie in his workouts in Jacksonville. After leaving the debacle of his last three years as a Raider, he has the potential to step up and shine for a club that’s been WR challenged since the departure of Jimmy Smith. With the stability of David Garrard at QB, Jerry can step right in as the number one option in the passing game. Faster than Reggie Williams, he will be the deep threat that the Jags have needed to be Super Bowl contenders in a very tough AFC. Yes, the Jaguars are a run oriented team, but if you’re a sure handed receiver, as Porter is, you can expect that he’ll post decent

19


numbers for TDs and yardage, if not receptions, and be a fine third receiver on your team. In all likelihood, he’ll be available in the 8th of 9th round of your draft.

sleeper if he wins the job in camp. My money’s on David to retain his slot in the pecking order on the Saints depth chart. He runs well after the catch but is not a big threat to take it to the house - probably because Marques Colston is the primary red zone option on this team. Still, if he’s the established number two WR, he’ll probably have about eighty catches in this pass happy offense for about 900 yards and five TDs, which when you consider where you’ll be drafting him makes him an excellent value pickin the later rounds.

numbers in ‘07. Playing with the young QB, JaMarcus Russell, he will surprise many folks if he just duplicates the numbers from his rookie campaign. I believe he can add to his totals significantly and maybe wind up among the top dozen TEs in the league. This will be a high risk/high reward situation, but not if you can get him in the later rounds of the draft.

TIGHT ENDS

Jerry Porter

Nate Burleson - Seattle It’s taken long enough for Burleson to pick up the offense in Seattle, but the ‘07 second half production from Nate indicate, that he may have finally gotten it. A majority of his receptions, yardage and TDs came in the last eight games and playoffs. With it looking more likely that Deion Branch won’t be ready for the start of the season, Nate looks like the perfect running mate for the Seahawks leading receiver, Bobby Engram and if his production is reflected by his late season run, it will be hard for Branch to reclaim his starting spot. Seattle has shifted to a short passing attack which means that Burleson yards after the catch could translate into 80 catches, 900 yards and 10 TDs. Better than average for a third WR on your team. David Patten - New Orleans Patten will face competition from second year pro, Robert Meachum, who could very well fit in this slot as a

20

Ben Utrecht - Cincinnati Although the Bengals have not had much use for the TE position as a part of their offense, but that could change due to the threatened holdout of Chad Johnson and release of Chris Henry. Underutilized in his days with the Colts, Utecht has soft hands and a knack for finding the openings in the seams. But playing behind Dallas Clark, he rarely got the chance to show his stuff. There’s the probability that he goes undrafted in many leagues, but with the Bengals hurting for pass catchers, Ben could have significant value as your backup TE. Zach Miller - Oakland He’s not very fast and his route running needs to improve, but he does have good hands. As a rookie on a poor offense, Zach put up very respectable

Ben Utrecht

HONORABLE MENTION

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RB: Warrick Dunn, Sammy Morris & Lorenzo Booker

WR: Steve Smith (Giants), Laurent Robinson, Marty Booker & Antwaan Randle-El

TE: Courtney Anderson & Marcedes Lewis


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WATCH OUT FOR

OVERVALUED PLAYERS By Jeff Gordon

In the unpredictable and hyper-competitive realm of fantasy football, participants often gravitate toward familiar names. After all, many of these guys have served them well in previous seasons. They are fun to follow, too, which a big part of the game’s appeal. When a fantasy GM is on the clock and feeling conflicted about his choice, he often goes with the established player. But this default position can be very dangerous. Some of the biggest names in the NFL have become iffy fantasy commodities because of injury, advancing age, off-field problems, increased job competition, schematic changes or the decline of their supporting cast.

Some of the biggest names in the sport are also some of the most overvalued fantasy prospects. Packers icon Brett Favre was a great example of this phenomenon. In 2004, he was a statistical superstar. He passed for 4,088 yards and 30 touchdowns. He turned 35 that season, yet he exploited a fine set of receivers in a run-and-gun offense to produce spectacular numbers. In 2005, after going high in a lot of drafts, Favre threw more interceptions (29) than TD passes (20) and suffered twice as many sacks (24). He killed a LOT of fantasy teams with this regression.

His ’06 season wasn’t much better, for many of the same reasons. It was a grim spectacle, a disaster that prompted media types to plead for his retirement. His fantasy value crashed – making him a bargain in ’07, when he magically reverted to his ’04 form. This wild statistical fluctuation of a Hall of Fame player reminds fantasy GMs that the same player can produce varying results from year to year. The trick, of course, is to predict which players are undervalued heading into a draft and which players are overvalued. Don’t gamble your higher picks on players carrying significant risk of decline. Wait until the later rounds to take flyers on guys who could go either way in ’08.

22

Brett Farve

Carson Palmer

Here are some familiar players to be wary of: Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals: Lost mobility, due to his catastrophic knee injury, is just one problem with this perennial high fantasy draft pick. His once-great receiving corps suddenly looks iffy. Cincinnati finally cut ties with oft-arrested third receiver Chris Henry and deep threat Chad Johnson is threatening to sit out rather than play for the Bengals this season. Palmer is trying to pull out of three-year statistical slide. He threw 20 interceptions last season after throwing just 25 the previous two seasons combined. His passer rating slid from 101.1 to 93.9 and 86.7 the past three seasons.


Edgerrin James, RB, Cardinals: His 1,222 yards rushing in ’07 was the fifthhighest total in team history. But he turns 30 during training camp and Arizona management suspects his odometer is about to roll over. Marcel Shipp and J.J. Arrington are decent options, but the Cardinals also drafted Tim Hightower from Richmond. “When you look at our situation,” Cardinals general manager Rod Graves said before the draft, “we have to be concerned about the future of our football team at that position.” Chad Johnson

The Johnson issue bears watching as your fantasy drafts near. Maybe Palmer will bounce back with a huge ’08 season . . . or maybe his slide will continue as the Bengals struggle again. He could be a great middle-round fantasy pick, but a risky selection in the upper rounds. Reggie Bush, RB, Saints: When Deuce McAllister went down with knee injuries – torn ACL in his left knee, microfracture surgery on the right – Bush’s limitations as a feature back were exposed. He averaged just 3.7 yards per carry and recorded more fumbles (7) than touchdowns (4) on the ground. The Saints should return him to his flex role while leaning on McAllister (gallantly attempting to one more comeback) and second-year back Pierre Thomas to pound the ball between the tackles. Reggie has promised to rededicate himself to football this year, but all those fantasy GMs he burned last season remain skeptical.

Fred Taylor, RB, Jaguars: After a peak statistical season (1,202 yards rushing, earning him his first Pro Bowl trip), he will rise on many draft boards. And the 32-year-old runner insists he can still outrun Father Time.

could improve to a first-rounder, if Johnson met certain goals) in 2009. But the Bengals passed on that deal, making Ocho Cinco all the more unhappy. Unless Johnson relocates to a passhappy team in time to prepare for the season, he could become a statistical disaster. Jeremy Shockey, TE, Giants: By default, he has remained near the top of many draft boards at tight end. That position produces precious few consistent producers. But Shockey washed out in New York last season. Teammates grew weary of his antics. Sure, he caught 57 passes for 619 yards and three TDs in 14 games. But the team was better with rookie Kevin Boss in that position.

“I’m going to have a better season this year,” he vowed during the off-season. Taylor carried the ball 454 times the past two seasons, a remarkable total for an older back, but he rushed for just 10 touchdowns in that span. He is not a primary red zone option for Jacksonville and he isn’t a third-down back either – he caught just nine passes for 58 yards last season. Explosive Maurice Jones-Drew is poised to take an even bigger load after getting 207 touches (167 rushing, 40 receiving) last season. Chad Johnson, WR, Bengals: He vowed to sit out the 2008 season unless Cincinnati traded him. The Bengals dared him to do just that. This is not a healthy situation. The Bengals could have moved him to Washington before the draft, gaining a first-round pick plus a third-round pick (which

Fred Taylor

23


while teamed with Michael Vick in the good old days with the Falcons. Vick never did find a comfort zone with his receivers, so he kept feeding his tight ends instead. Now Crumpler moves on to Tennessee and one of the NFL’s most feckless passing games. Maybe he will find second life in his new setting . . . or maybe he won’t.

Cedric Benson

So Shockey was the subject of many off-season trade rumors. Could he reemerge as a top fantasy producer in a new environment? Perhaps, but he will carry the “buyer beware” tag until he gains some maturity and stability. Rudi Johnson, RB, Bengals: His familiar name will make him a middleround pick in a lot of drafts. The man did rush for 2,767 yards in 2005-06. But he is a risky pick at this point in his career. In 11 games last year, he gained 497 yards on just 2.9 yards per carry. Cincinnati has many running backs, including Kenny Watson, DeDe Dorsey (183 yards on just 21 carries last season) and Kenny Irons, the team’s second-round pick in 2007. Cedric Benson, Free Agent: Last year was supposed to be his breakout season. It wasn’t. Running behind a suspect offensive line, he demonstrated little toughness while gaining 674 yards in 11 games. Bears management gave up on him due to his off the field issues. Will he get another

24

change? We will see. Greg Jennings, WR, Packers: Favre’s on-again, off-again retirement was on again at this writing. So what will become of the Green Bay offense on Aaron Rodgers’ watch? Jennings became a fantasy hero in ’07 with 12 touchdown catches. His 17.4 yards per catch made him one of the NFL’s elite big-play threats. But what is his real value for ’08? Justin Fargas, RB, Raiders: He broke through for 1,009 rushing yards and was rewarded with a three-year deal. His statistical surge raised his price in dollar-value games. But then Oakland drafted Darren McFadden and that is that.

LenDale White, RB, Titans: Yes, he ran for 1,110 yards last season. And, yes, the team turned the page on Chris Brown. But Tennessee needs to become more explosive offensively and White didn’t break a run longer than 28 yards last season. He will always battle weight issues and his off-season knee surgery, albeit it minor, throws another caution flag. Chris Henry, a second-round pick in 2007, got just 31 carries last season. He figures to see more time this season. Laurence Maroney, RB, Patriots: He burned a lot of fantasy GMs last season, rushing for just 835 yards in 13 games. Experts projected a breakout season that didn’t come. New England

Fargas moved to No. 2 on the depth chart and Dominic Rhodes hit the waiver wire. And LaMont Jordan’s comeback will probably occur elsewhere, since Oakland also had Michael Bush on hand. Alge Crumpler, TE, Titans: He remained s a strong fantasy commodity

Laurence Maroney


still relied on Kevin Faulk as the third-down back, making Maroney invisible in the passing game. The good news: He rushed for 100 or more yards in four of his last six games. The bad news: He has been plagued by injuries during his young career. Flip a coin on this guy, but not too high in the draft. Marvin Harrison, WR, Colts: So where do you draft this perennial topof-the-board receiver? He is 36 years old. He has two balky knees. A career played on artificial turf has taken its toll. He played just five games last season and caught just 20 passes. IF Harrison is healthy, he could reconnect with Peyton Manning and post numbers. But that is a HUGE if at this late stage of his career.

Ronnie Brown. RB, Dolphins: Can he bounce back from his serious knee injury? Before he went down, he rushed for 602 yards in seven games, gaining 5.1 yards per carry. This season he will get to run behind Jake Long and a revamped offensive line. But, again, how healthy will he be come September? Track his progress carefully before spending a high pick on him. Jamal Lewis, RB, Browns: He plowed toward the top of many draft boards by rushing for 1,304 yards and nine TDs last season. He also caught 30 passes for 248 yards and two TDs, making him one of the fantasy heroes of 2007. Lewis has rushed the ball 2,120 times in the NFL, though, so you wonder how much is left in his legs. He canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t defy nature forever. During his

Jamal Lewis

previous two seasons as a Raven, he averaged just 3.4 and 3.6 yards per carry. Carrying less weight helped him in Cleveland, but he canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t turn back the clock.

Ronnie Brown

25


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2008 WCOFF

IDP RANKINGS By Cecil Taylor, IDPBlitz.com RANK

DL

2

Julius Peppers

1

Jason Taylor

TEAM

OFF

Car

7

Mia

9

RANK

LB

2

1

TEAM

OFF

Antonio Pierce

NYG

9

London Fletcher-Baker

Was

A.J.Hawk

GB

DeMeco Ryans

Hou

10

RANK

DB

2

1

TEAM

OFF

Kerry Rhodes

NYJ

10

Chris Hope

Ten

4

Ronde Barber

TB

Champ Bailey

NEEDS UPDATING 3

4

5

6 7

8

9

10 11

Aaron Schobel

Osi Umenyiora Mario Williams Will Smith

Aaron Kampman

8

Luis Castillo

SD

Jared Allen

24 25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

Ind KC

Min

Kyle VandenBosch

Ten

Tamba Hali

23

Ind

Kevin Williams

20

22

9

Bal

Simeon Rice

21

9

Terrell Suggs

18

19

5

10

Dwight Freeney

17

StL

4

NE

14

16

7

Chi

Robert Mathis

15

GB

NO

Mark Anderson Ty Warren

9

10

Oak

Leonard Little

6

Hou

Derrick Burgess

12

13

Buf

NYG

Jamaal Anderson

Bal

John Abraham

NO Atl

Patrick Kerney

Sea

Jarvis Moss

Den

Adewale Ogunleye Michael Strahan Cullen Jenkins Justin Smith

Chi

NYG GB

Cin

8

5

4

8 6

4 8

8 8

9

6

9

7 5

Bobby McCray

Jac

Chris Kelsay

Buf

36

Vonnie Holliday

Mia

38

Andre Carter

Was

Amobi Okoye

Hou

10

Victor Abiamiri

Phi

5

33

34

35

37

39

40

41

42

43

44

Trent Cole

Robert Geathers

James Hall

Quentin Moses

Aaron Smith

John Henderson

Phi

Cin

StL

Oak Pit

Jac

7

8

9

10 11

14

7

8

Trevor Pryce

Charles Grant

6

6

KC Atl

5

12

10

Det

4

6

TB

Dewayne White

3

4

5

6

5 9

9

4

5

13

15

16 17

18 19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27 28

29 30 31

32

33

34

35

DeMarcus Ware Zach Thomas

Mike Peterson

D.J.Williams

Den

Shawne Merriman

SD

Brian Urlacher Kirk Morrison Bart Scott

Karlos Dansby

6

KC

Bal

Det Ari

SD

Atl

KC

9

16

Roy Williams

Dal

8

Dawan Landry

Bal

8

Michael Huff

Oak

5

Ind

6

8

17

DeAngelo Hall

6

19

Troy Polamalu

8

21

Sean Taylor

8

8

26

Nnamdi Asomugha

Oak

Dre Bly

Den

6

Cle

Chad Greenway

Min

48

Bryce Fisher

8

48

David Thornton

47

49 50

TB

Kamerion Wimbley

Napoleon Harris Jon Beason

Cato June Takeo Spikes

Michael Lewis

Pit

5 7

8 7

Ari

28 30 31

32

33

Keith Lewis

Ken Hamlin

Darren Sharper

Madieu Williams

8

34

Oshiomogo Atogwe

36

Eric Weddle

5

10

46

25

Cedric Griffin

Dal

8

10 7

8

5

35 37

38

39

40

41

42

43

Chris Gamble

8 6

Dal

8

SF

Min Cin

StL SD

6

5

5 9 9

7

8

NE

10

Car

7

SF

6

Was

10 5

49 50

Darrelle Revis Yeremiah Bell

TB Phi

6

5

7

Ty Law

48

4

Cle

47

4

4

Brodney Pool

7

Car

Ten

4

10

Carlos Rogers

46

6

NYJ

45

8

8

Erik Coleman

Charles Woodson

7

KC

4

5

Sea

Nate Clements

4

Min

Marcus Trufant

Asante Samuel

Cle

44

Bal

NYG

4 6

SF

Will Demps

NO Ind

NO

7

8

29

Atl

Was

Jac

NE

5

Roman Harper

Pit

Reggie Nelson

Mike Vrabel

Dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Qwell Jackson

23

Antoine Bethea

Atl

24

38

45

22

10

Cin

Brian Simmons

20

Jac

8

10

42

18

TB

Ahmad Brooks

Barrett Ruud

Rashean Mathis

Ed Reed

Ari

6

5

Was

15

27

SD

SF

5

LaRon Landry

NYJ

39

Walt Harris

6

14

8

Bryan Thomas

40

12

7

GB

Matt Wilhelm

Anthony Spencer

Phi

9

6

36

37

9

Brian Dawkins

Min

Shaun Phillips

Michael Boley

10

Antoine Winfield

Phi

Gerald Hayes

Hou

13

7

7

10

Dunta Robinson

Pit

8

Jeremiah Trotter

James Farrior

10

8

Chi

Anthony Smith

Bal

Cle

Derrick Brooks

9

6

Charles Tillman

NYG

Andra Davis

Nick Barnett

8

Gibril Wilson

Sea

Donnie Edwards

7

Cle

11

Lofa Tatupu

Keith Brooking

6

Ari

5

Sea

43

8 9

9

4

Oak

Julian Peterson

4

Atl StL

4

6

Angelo Crowell

Min

Rod Coleman Adam Carriker

4

Buf

Ernie Sims

Darrion Scott

49 50

7

10

Bert Berry

10

Sean Jones

NE

41

NE

5

Adalius Thomas

Ray Lewis

46

Sea

9

StL

Gary Brackett

Richard Seymour

Adrian Wilson

Will Witherspoon

44

47

3

4

Buf

Derrick Johnson

6

9

Chi

8

Paul Posluszny

10

Mia

Jac

Ten

NYJ

Matt Roth

Mia

Keith Bulluck

Shaun Ellis

45

Dal

Den

Nick Collins

Adam Archuleta

Kevin Kaesviharn

GB

7

GB

7

Chi

9

NO

4

KC

NYJ Mia

27

4

8

10 9


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BREAKOUT PLAYERS By Shawn Childs Quarterbacks

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay- When you are preparing for this seasons draft, you will see Brett Favre’s name in the top five in passing yards and top 10 in touchdowns. Many will dismiss Aaron Rodgers ability to fill Favre’s shoes. I believe Rodgers will rank in the top 10 in both categories next year with a chance to be higher. He played very well throwing for 201 yards and one TD in the lone game he played in last year against Dallas. He showed some mobility. He will run for an occasional TD and a few first downs to keep a drive alive. With his group of receivers and Ryan Grant at running back, he will have plenty of chances to put the ball in the end zone. I think many fantasy owners will shy away from him because of injury concerns. If he falls to you after 10-12 quarterbacks have come off the board, you could be reward with a top five quarterback.

Aaron Rodgers

Matt Leinart, Arizona-He is the high flying playboy who has the keys to drive Boldin and Fitzgerald. Last year Arizona ranked 2nd in passing attempt per game, 5th in yards, and 3rd in touchdown passes. Larry Fitzgerald missed one game and Anquan Boldin missed three games total last season. Matt has lost a lot of respect in the fantasy world with his partial benching and his broken collar bone last year. He still has Kurt Warner looking over his shoulder which will keep his draft value down. With two healthy top ten receivers, Matt Leinart could be ready to finally break into the elite group of quarterbacks.

proved offensive line and better skill players on offense, Delhomme is poised to put his name back on the NFL radar.

Running Backs

Laurence Maroney, New England –He was a disappointment to many fantasy owners in 2007. Maroney played his best football after all his fantasy supporters were eliminated from contention. He started to show his value late in the season and in the playoffs. The last six games of the year, he rushed for 586 yards and seven TD’s. Last year New England scored 75 touchdowns during the regular season, which was 21 more than the closet team. They might not repeat, but Maroney will be the starting running back on one of the highest scoring teams in the league. New England was tied for 5th most rushing TD’s last year (17). Laurence’s only draw back is he isn’t as involved in the passing game. Last year he averaged 24.4 yard per catch. His rookie season he had 22 catches so there could be some underlying value there. If he is healthy, he has a legitimate shot at 1,500 rushing/200 passing and 15+ TD’s.

“ Looking for

Content For a Quote Here

Jake Delhomme, Carolina-Jake missed most of 2007 with Tommy John surgery. Last year he got off to fast start with eight TD’s in the first three games of the year with Steve Smith catching 15 balls for 271 yards and four TD’s. After Delhomme went down, Carolina wasn’t the same team. He looks like he will be ready when the season starts. Carolina upgraded their offense in free agency and made a huge trade in the draft to get tackle Jeff Otah. They also added a stud running back in Jonathan Stewart and signed D.J. Hackett. Hackett is the best second receiver he has had since Muhsin Muhammad who they also signed in the off-season. With an im-

Michael Turner, Atlanta-Michael has finally escaped from the shadows of LaDainian Tomlinson. Last year Atlanta ranked 26th in rushing yards

29


Michael Turner

and 29th in attempts per game and they signed Turner to feature him at running back. He has averaged 5.5 yards per carry for his career and he will share carries with Jerious Norwood. With his contract Turner should touch the ball 80% of the time. Atlanta should run the ball a minimum of 400 times next year that would put him in the 1,400 range if he averaged 4.5 per carry. Turner will be a bull dozier at the goal line and I am betting that he will score 10 TD’s in what will be a bad year for the Falcons. Darren McFadden, Oakland-The Raiders ranked 4th in rushing attempts and 6th in rushing yards last season. With McFadden’s power and speed, he should quickly establish himself as the best running back on the team. Darren is a homerun threat every time he touches the ball. He ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. With his speed and 300 rushing attempts, he should have no problem rushing for 1,300 yards. He has a chance to match

30

Oakland’s rushing touchdown total from last year (11) all by himself.

Wide Receivers

D.J. Hackett, Carolina-The happiest man in Carolina could be Steve Smith, but the player who might be the most rewarded is D.J. Hackett. Steve Smith should draw most of the attention on the other side of the field. Hackett will be allowed to run free in the secondary. Last year D.J. had an ankle problem most of the year. When he was healthy, he flashed his big play ability. He had a three game stretch where he had 23 catches, 295 yards, and three TD’s. He has the skills to put up an 80 catch/1,200 yard season with double digit TD’s. Steve Smith, New York Giants-He won’t stand out on the stat sheet with his eight catches and his 63 yards receiving, but in the playoffs Eli Manning was showing a lot of confidence in him. Smith had 14 catches for 152 yards in four games. With Amani

Toomer entering the season at age 34, Smith might have a chance to step up to be the number two receiver. He will be late round sleeper in 2008. Calvin Johnson, Detroit-Last year he had back problems early in the season that held him back most of the year. Most rookies would be happy with a 48 catch 756 yard season, but Calvin Johnson is an elite talent. At 6’5” and 235 lbs., he is difficult to cover on any part of the field. The problem is that he doesn’t have the quarterback to allow him to have the monster season like Randy Moss, but there will be a day when he will be the best wide receiver in the league. I expect a jump up in production that would put him in the 80 catch range with 1,200 yards. He will have plenty of chances to score touchdowns. Bryant Johnson, San FranciscoThe past few seasons he has done his best impersonation of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin when they were hurt. He now has the chance to


establish himself as the best wide receiver on San Francisco. He is a big receiver who should be the best goal line threat in San Fran. He has averaged 42 catches and 525 yards in five years as Arizona third receiver. With a full time starting job, he should push for 70 catches and close to 1,000 yards receiving.

Tight Ends

Tony Scheffler, Denver-When you look at his final numbers, you will think he will make a nice pick after 10 or so tight ends are off the board. What you might miss is the he put up those stats in 12 games. With the emergence of Brandon Marshall, Scheffler could have more looks and space to make plays. If

he develops into one of Jay Cutler’s favorite targets around the goal line, he could make a push at being a top five tight end this year.

Kickers

Josh Brown, St. Louis-Many will discount Josh’s numbers with his signing in St. Louis. The Rams have been one the top teams the last three years in field goal attempt of over forty yards. Jeff Wilkins had 52 field goal attempts over 40 yards the last three years. With Josh’s success from long range in Seattle, he should get plenty of chances to score points via the long field goal. A healthy offensive line would go a long way in creating more scoring opportunities for St. Louis.

Defense

Dallas-While Dallas made improvements across the board on defense last year, they were no better than an average fantasy defense. They ranked 5th in points allowed and 3rd in sacks. They added Pacman Jones and drafted the highest rated cornerback Mike Jenkins. With better corner back coverage, they will pressure the quarterback to hold the ball longer or make a bad throw. If Pacman Jones is reinstated, he could make a huge impact in the return game. Jenkins is also a dangerous return man. Dallas also drafted Felix Jones. He should be a homerun threat on kickoff returns. Dallas has a chance to be the best fantasy defense in the draft.

Tony Scheffler

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Bye Week

BREAKDOWN By Jeff Gordan

The first bye week of the NFL season will sideline a Who’s Who list of fantasy commodities. With six teams off, a massive statistical vacuum could develop. Quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots will be off for Week 4 of the 2008 season. So do Peyton Manning and the Colts, Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks and Eli Manning and the Giants. Other sidelined players include receivers Reggie Wayne and Randy Moss and running backs Joseph Addai, Laurence Maroney, Ronnie Brown and Brandon Jacobs. While drafting, fantasy GMs must remain mindful of the bye week factor.

HERE ARE SOME POINTS TO REMEMBER:

Spreading the bye weeks out is always ideal, since that allows you to field a quality lineup every week. Your No. 2 running back and No. 2 receiver should have different bye weeks than your top picks at those positions. Optimally, your lineup will miss just one starter each week during this stretch of the season.

But don’t let this factor can’t dictate the top half your draft. Take the top player on your board when it’s your turn to pick. Don’t sacrifice 16 weeks to protect one. In any given fantasy season, odds are one of the 17 weeks will leave you somewhat shorthanded. In some head-to-head leagues, some GMs may prefer to tank one week to maximize the strength of the other weeks. This is obviously a risky strategy, Use the later rounds to fill your all bye week gaps. Focus first on the positions where you have biggest issues. Use the waiver wire, as needed, to fill less-critical bye week gaps. In many leagues, GMs don’t have the taxi squad space to keep No. 2 kickers, tight ends or team defenses. Maintaining running back and receiver depth is more critical. Remain prepared to adjust your roster as injuries change the equation. Monitor the waiver wire constantly, even when your roster is healthy and productive, Things change quickly in the NFL.

While deciding between evenly-ranked players, use their bye week as the tiebreaker.

T E

B Y E

W A E E MK S

We e k 4

Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, New England, New York Giants, Seattle

We e k 6

Buffalo, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Tennessee

We e k 5 We e k 7

We e k 8

We e k 9

W e e k 10

Cleveland, New York Jets, Oakland, St. Louis Arizona, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Philadelphia

Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Houston, Minnesota Carolina, New Orleans, San Diego, San Francisco Baltimore, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Washington

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Here is a look at the bye week conflicts in 2008:

WEEK 4

QUARTERBACKS: Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Matt Hasselbeck, Eli Manning, Jon Kitna. RUNNING BACKS:

Laurence Maroney, Joseph Addai, Ronnie Brown, Julius Jones, Tatum Bell, Brandon Jacobs. WIDE RECEIVERS: Randy Moss, Reggie Wayne, Wes Welker, Marvin Harrison, Deion Branch, Nate Burleson, Calvin Johnson, Roy Williams, Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer, Anthony Gonzalez, Ted Ginn Jr.

WEEK 5

QUARTERBACKS: Derek Anderson, Marc Bulger. RUNNING BACKS: Steven Jackson, Jamal Lewis, Thomas Jones, Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden. WIDE RECEIVERS: Torry Holt, Braylon Edwards, Laveranues Coles, Ronald Curry, Javon Walker, Jerricho Cotchery. TEAM DEFENSES: Browns, Raiders, Jets, Rams.

WEEK 6

QUARTERBACKS: Ben Roethlisberger, Vince Young, Trent Edwards. RUNNING BACKS: Marshawn Lynch, Willie Parker, Larry Johnson, LenDale White. WIDE RECEIVERS: Santonio Holmes, Lee Evans, Hines Ward, Josh Reed, Roydell Williams, Justin McCareins. TEAM DEFENSES: Steelers, Bills, Titans, Chiefs

TEAM DEFENSES: Giants, Lions, Dolphins, Seahawks,

Patriots, Colts.

Peyton Manning

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Jamal Lewis

Hines Ward


WEEK 7

WEEK 8

WEEK 9

RUNNING BACKS: Brian Westbrook, Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew, Michael Turner, Edgerrin James.

RUNNING BACKS: Adrian Peterson, Travis Henry, Ryan Grant, Cedric Benson, Kenny Watson, Rudi Johnson, Chris Brown, Ahman Green.

RUNNING BACKS: LaDainian Tomlinson, Frank Gore, Reggie Bush, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Deuce McAllister.

QUARTERBACKS: Donovan McNabb, David Garrard, Matt Leinart/Kurt Warner.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Kevin Curtis, Reggie Brown, Roddy White, Joe Horn, Troy Williamson, Jerry Porter. TEAM DEFENSES: Jaguars, Eagles, Falcons, Cardinals

QUARTERBACKS: Carson Palmer, Matt Schaub, Jay Cutler, Tavaris Jackson.

WIDE RECEIVERS: T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Chad Johnson, Andre Johnson, Greg Jennings, Bernard Berrian, Donald Driver, Brandon Marshall, Sidney Rice, Keary Colbert, Marty Booker, Brandon Lloyd, Kevin Walter. TEAM DEFENSES: Broncos, Bears, Packers, Vikings, Bengals, Texans.

QUARTERBACKS: Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Jake Delhomme, Alex Smith.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Steve Smith, Chris Chambers, Marques Colston, D.J. Hackett, Bryant Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Isaac Bruce, Lance Moore. TEAM DEFENSES: Chargers, Panthers, 49ers, Saints.

WEEK 10 QUARTERBACKS: Tony Romo, Jeff Garcia.

RUNNING BACKS: Willis McGahee, Clinton Portis, Marion Barber, Carnell “Cadillac” Williams. WIDE RECEIVERS: Terrell Owens, Santana Moss, Joey Galloway, Mark Clayton, Antwaan Randle El Derrick Mason, Ike Hilliard, Patrick Crayton, TEAM DEFENSES: Cowboys, Ravens, Redskins, Buccaneers.

Chicago Defense

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ROOKIE PREVIEW By Howard Balzer

When it comes to deciding whether to invest in rookies for fantasy football, buyer beware should be the relevant philosophy.

The hoopla of draft day leads to the mistaken belief that the heralded rookies will be able to simply walk on the field and continue doing what they did in college. In some cases, that is true. In most others, there is only disappointment. Consider these sobering numbers: *Last season, rookie running backs Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch had 20 touchdowns combined, and each rushed for over 1,000 yards. Peterson had 1,341 yards and 13 touchdowns, including one receiving, while Lynch ran for 1,115 yards and seven scores.

Twelve other rookie runners scored touchdowns. Green Bay’s DeShawn Wynn led the way with four, but the other 11 totaled just 14. Denver undrafted free agent Selvin Young rushed for 740 yards, and only Kansas City’s Kolby Smith of the remainder had more than 400.

Darren McFadden

*Among receivers, it is worse. There were 15 pass-catchers, including six tight ends, that scored touchdowns in

36

2007. The leader was Kansas City’s Dwayne Bowe with five and 995 yards. Next in line were Detroit’s Calvin Johnson (756 yards) and Minnesota’s Sidney Rice (396 yards) with four.

*The best tight ends are Oakland’s Zach Miller and Matt Spaeth of Pittsburgh with three touchdowns. Spaeth had just five receptions for 34 yards. Those 15 players totaled 36 touchdowns. It’s not even necessary here to discuss the obvious danger of considering a rookie quarterback.

Stewart in the first round to team with DeAngelo Williams, who had 717 yards and five touchdowns last season. One major question is how productive Carolina’s offense will be with a recovering quarterback Jake Delhomme (elbow) and potentially a rookie (Jeff Otah) at left tackle.

Having said that, here is a look at the 2008 rookies, and who might have impacts this season.

RUNNING BACKS

The proliferation of teams utilizing two runners can make a fantasy draft a minefield. It’s certainly possible that less publicized picks could end up being more productive, at least as rookies, depending on the teams that drafted them.

Darren McFadden, Oakland (first round, 4th overall) There’s no question McFadden is worth taking, and he will have a significant impact for the Raiders. Will it be to the extent that Peterson was in 2007? Probably not. But McFadden’s versatility will also make him productive in the passing game. Let’s remember, he wasn’t an every-down player at Arkansas, but his big-play capability is enormous. McFadden will likely share time with Justin Fargas and possibly Michael Bush.

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina (first round, 13th overall) The Panthers released DeShaun Foster in the off-season and then added

Felix Jones

Felix Jones, Dallas (first round, 22nd overall) Owner Jerry Jones got his Arkansas back, but it was Jones instead of McFadden. This is a great spot for a rookie runner on a good team with a strong offensive line. Jones will get his yards, but the question is whether he will get his touchdowns with Marion Barber around.


Kevin Smith, Detrot (third round, 64th overall) Here is another pick after the first round that could become a fantasy standout. With new offensive coordinator Jim Colletto emphasizing the run, the Lions are hoping Smith can be competitive with Tatum Bell for the starting job.

WIDE RECEIVERS

For the first time since 1990, there were no receivers selected in the first round. However, there were 10 taken in round two and another five in the third round. You’d need a crystal ball to know which, if any, have fantasy impact I their rookie year.

Rashard Mendenhall

Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh (first round, 23rd overall) How often will Mendenhall be used? That is the question. Willie Parker remains the team’s top back, so its’ impossible predict how often Mendenhall will get the ball.

Chris Johnson, Tennessee (first round (24th overall) The speedy back from East Carolina should be a solid complement to LenDale White, who had 1,110 yards and seven rushing touchdowns last season. Johnson’s big-play possibilities are what make him an exciting proposition. Matt Forte, Chicago (second round, 44th overall) The second-round pick has a chance at becoming one of this year’s top rookie producers. Starter Cedric Benson is deep in the team’s doghouse, and the only other alternatives for the Bears are Adrian Peterson and the undersized Garrett Wolfe. After McFadden, Forte might be one of the better bets in fantasy drafts.

Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton, St. Louis (second round, 33rd overall; fourth round, 12th overall)

James Hardy, Buffalo (second round, 41st overall) The Bills wanted a big receiver to line up opposite Lee Evans, and they got in the 6-6 Hardy. However, off-field issues were a concern entering the draft, and could continue into his career. This could end up being bad decision by the Bills. Eddie Royal, Denver (second round, 42nd overall) After the release of Javon Walker, the Broncos started collecting receivers, signing veterans Darrell Jackson, Samie Parker and Keary Colbert and then drafting Royal to go with incumbents Brandon Marshall and Brandon Stokley. It’s hard to imagine Royal having much of an impact this season.

With Isaac Bruce in San Francisco and Torry Holt and Drew Bennett 30something starters, the Rams were looking for speed. They got it with two potentially productive players that could also contribute in the return game. Burton lasted until the fourth round because of injuries that affected his playing time at Kentucky. Avery has big-play threat written all over him.

Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, Washington (second round, 34th and 51st overall) The Redskins need playmakers on offense, and both players fill the bill. With Antwaan Randle El a disappointment, there is the chance for one to be a starter. Too bad fantasy drafters can’t take them both as an entry. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay (second round, 36th overall) With Donald Driver, Greg Jennings and last year’s rookie James Jones on the roster, taking a receiver in the second round raised some eyebrows. But Driver had just two touchdowns last season and he turned 33 in February. It’s a new dawn in Titletown without Brett Favre.

Donnie Avery

Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell, Cincinnati (second round, 46th overall; third round, 97th overall) Getting Caldwell in the third round might be the steal of the draft. Simpson will need some time, having played at Coastal Carolina. But there is an opportunity for a third receiver, an perhaps more depending on what eventually happens with Chad Johnson.

37


DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia (second round, 49th overall) He will contribute immediately as a punt returner, while any contribution on offense will likely come in the slot. At 5-9, 169 pounds, Jackson just won’t be able to be on the field enough to satisfy fantasy players.

Limas Sweed, Pittsburgh (second round, 53rd overall) Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger asked for a tall receiver and he got one with the 6-4 Sweed. There is little currently behind Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes on the roster, so Sweed has great opportunity for rookie production.

Dexter Jackson, Tampa Bay (second round, 58th overall) The Bucs need depth at receiver, but the 5-9, 182-pound Jackson will be a work in progress for down-the-road numbers, if it ever happens.

Earl Bennett, Chicago (third round, 70th overall) The Bears’ current projected starters are Marty Booker and Brandon Lloyd, with Devin Hester also contributing. If Bennett can pick things up quickly, there is a job waiting for him. Early Doucet, Arizona (third round, 81st overall) The Cardinals lost their No. 3 receiver Bryant Johnson in free agency, leaving a job available. However, even if Doucet were to win it, how many balls will he take away from Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.

Mario Manningham, N.Y. Giants (third round, 95th overall) He has veterans Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer ahead of him, along with last year’s rookie Steve Smith. But if the talented Manningham listens and learns what it takes to be a pro, he could be a third-round steal.

38

QUARTERBACKS

We won’t spend a lot of time on rookie quarterbacks for obvious reasons, but taking one late, especially if you are in a keeper league, could be a deft move . Matt Ryan, Atlanta (first round, 3rd overall) Some scouts didn’t think he was head and shoulders above some other quarterbacks, but the Falcons have staked their future on him. Even if he plays early, it’s hard to imagine much success, especially with the suspect line in front of him.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore (first round, 18th overall) The Ravens traded up to get him, and they can only hope he works out better than their previous No. 1 quarterback pick: Kyle Boller in 2003.

Brian Brohm, Green Bay (second round, 56th overall) How much confidence do the Packers really have in Aaron Rodgers? If Rodgers stumbles, Brohm could be playing, and he’s on a good team with good receivers. Chad Henne, Miami (second round, 57th overall) Who knows what Bill Parcells is really thinking? Oh, that’s right, forgot. He’s not the coach. The other quarterbacks are Josh McCown and John Beck.

Josh Johnson, Tampa Bay (fifth round, 160th overall) Write this down and put it in a time capsule: Johnson will be the Bucs’ starting quarterback in 2010. That won’t help anyone this year, but it will later.

TIGHT ENDS

They usually need some time to develop, but the right situation can mean some dividends in their rookie seasons. Dustin Keller, N.Y. Jets (first round, 30th overall) The Jets traded up for him, and he

could contribute as a receiver. That assumes the Jets figure out who will be throwing the ball this season.

John Carlson, Seattle (second round, 38th overall) The Seahawks need a tight end, and the West Coast offense utilizes one frequently. It all depends on how long it takes Carlson to understand everything around him.

Fred Davis, Southern Cal (second round, 48th overall) With Chris Cooley already established, there won’t be much opportunity for Davis.

KICKERS

Brandon Coutu, Seattle (seventh round, 235th overall) The Seahawks need a kicker, and Coutu’s competition is the aging Olindo Mare. Of course, the rookie will also have to handle the inclement weather.

DEFENSES

Here are some defenses that should improve, based on rookie contributions:

Arizona: With Antrel Rolle moving to safety, cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie should help the big plays increase in the back line.

Jacksonville: If there’s one thing the Jaguars need, it’s a pass rush from their defensive ends. Defensive ends Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves should help that unit. N.Y. Jets: The addition of linebacker Vernon Gholston should help increase the sack totals.

St. Louis: The Rams got 5.5 sacks from their defensive ends last season. Defensive end Chris Long should eclipse that, and his presence should also help Leonard Little.


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It’s All About the

SUPPORTING CAST By Jeff Vernetti

In the NFL, it is all about the company you keep. We’re not talking about the company you keep when you go hang out at the mall – OH NO. We are talking about one of the most overlooked and underrated fantasy elements, a strong supporting cast. How many of you out there have uttered the words, “I can’t believe he was a bust this year!” We all have at one time or another. History is littered with great players who move from one team to another in free agency or via a trade and never amount to anywhere near the output they racked up before. A perfect example of this phenomenon is Arizona Cardinal running back Edgerrin James. James took the league by storm in Indianapolis and became one of the must have running backs for several years in fantasy football. James racked up over 9,000 yards on the ground, averaging 1,318 yards a year for seven seasons. He had double digit touchdown seasons four times and was usually good for at least 400 yards per season catching balls out of the backfield.

40

Then James signed a free agent deal with Arizona, where he was continuing as the starting running back. Nothing is wrong with drafting James again as your number one right? WRONG. Arizona is a place where running backs go to die, its history littered with bad offensive lines and issues on offense. While Arizona had emerging and talented wideouts James has never been a dominant back. His highs came last year with 1,222 yards and 7 touchdowns. They are nice numbers to have on your team, but not as a leader and not as a number one. The supporting cast is not there and to put it all on James with his age and health amounts to a below average fantasy pick. This season Randy Moss and Wes Welker were the ultimate examples of having a great supporting cast. Not only do they have one of the games great quarterbacks in Tom Brady, the Patriots had a wonderful overall team, as evident by their undefeated regular season and trip to the Super Bowl. The offensive line is one of the games best, the defense was very strong and got the offense back out on the field quick, and Laurence Maroney is quickly becoming a force in the backfield. Moss is the ultimate example of a receiver that shines with a good supporting cast. Moss was a league standout and a fantasy homerun for his first six years in Minnesota. He averaged 1,210 yards and 13 touchdowns before

an injury and controversy riddled seventh season sent him to Oakland. In Oakland he never became the dominant number one receiver due to injury, problems off the field with coaches and coordinators, and inconsistent quarterback play. He only went for 1,558 yards and 11 touchdowns over two seasons and was practically forgotten before being moved to the Patriots in 2007. Moss awoke with 98 catches, 1,493 yards, and a career high 23 touchdowns. Don’t say it is not all about the supporting cast. Wes Welker was always a fairly good complimentary player when he was with the Dolphins but was never a fantasy football factor. Quietly he was dealt to the Patriots and became a fantasy football mainstay. In two years and 24 games as a starter with Miami, Welker caught 96 balls for 1,121 yards, and one touchdown. This past season Welker caught 112 balls for 1,175 yards and eight scores. One would guarantee he will be drafted in every fantasy league in the country for the first time in his career.

Wes Welker


Let’s take a look at some of the free agent signings that could be huge improvements or huge busts due to their supporting casts this season: ATLANTA FALCONS

RB Michael Turner – He showed flashes of brilliance in San Diego but was backup to the leagues top back in LaDainien Tomlinson. Turner has home run speed and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield but will share some carries with Jerious Norwood. Turner will be a good complimentary back to have on your team but beware any player on Atlanta as they will struggle for certain in 2008.

HOUSTON TEXANS

OAKLAND RAIDERS

out year.

far as fantasy numbers.

RB Chris Brown – Brown never amounted to much in his five seasons in Tennessee and do not look for that to change all of a sudden now that he is in Houston. He is still behind Ahman Green and will see some carries for sure, but don’t look for him to have a break-

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

WR Jerry Porter – Porter turns 30 this year but should be a sleeper pick in a number of fantasy drafts this season. Going with the Randy Moss theory that wideouts leave their problems in Oakland, Porter will thrive as a starting target for quarterback David Garrard and will be a good number two wideout in your lineup.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Michael Turner

WR Bernard Berrian – another big threat wide receiver changed places this year as Minnesota is trying to win now. Berrian found a way to be a star in Chicago for their anemic passing game and will be a burner in the dome in Minnesota. If anything look for his touchdowns to go up as he will connect with Tarvaris Jackson often. On the supporting cast note, his signing will open up the run game and really help Adrian Peterson have an even better year.

WRs Drew Carter and Javon Walker – see Randy Moss. Don’t waste your time here with either player. Walker has not had a number one receiver year since 2004 and has been injured for the last two years consistently. Carter is nothing more than a number thre e receiver in their offense an should not improve as

ST. LOUIS RAMS

Jeff viewed Wilkins K Josh Brown – The Rams Brown as the best player available at his position in all of free agency. Brown was signed to replace the retired Jeff Wilkins and he has huge shoes to fill for certain. Brown has been a Rams killer so they are happy to have him off the team of a division rival and kicking for them in their dome. Brown has hit 80% of his field goals in his career and should continue to be one of the elite kickers in fantasy football.

41


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

WR Isaac Bruce, WR Bryant Johnson – with offensive coordinator Mike Martz on board, anything is possible. Bruce and Johnson were signed and immediately are the two starters for quarterback Alex Smith. If Smith can have a good season and get some help deflecting the passing game from running back Frank Gore, the 49ers could really score some points. Johnson showed big play ability in limited time in Arizona and Bruce will be a great possession guy to move the chains.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

RBs T.J. Duckett and Julius Jones – Both backs were signed to pick up the slack for released pro bowler Shaun Alexander. The problem with this backfield for fantasy fans is that it also includes Maurice Morris who will get a ton of carries. Jones has the best chance of putting up good fantasy numbers but the supporting cast around him might not let him be anything more than a complimentary back on your roster.

TENNESSEE TITANS

TE Alge Crumpler, and WR Justin McCareins – both players will improve with this change of scenery and give Vince Young some big play targets. Crumpler was a touchdown machine but was lost without displaced Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. McCarenins returns as a deep threat to the Titans after spending the majority of four seasons floundering in the Jets offense. Look for improvements for both with this supporting cast.

Vince Young

42


15 Questions with, Kenny Lavallee, the

2007 WCOFF CHAMP

1

By Jeff Vernetti

Here you sit, the WCOFF Champion. How did you get your start playing fantasy sports?

I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and the youngest of four kids. I grew up probably being the biggest sports fanatic in the family. I love playing basketball but like watching NFL football. I graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Finance and currently operate my real estate business called Lavallee Homes & Realty.

I was first introduced to Fantasy Football about 4 years ago by a friend of mine who asked to play in his local league. At the time I didn’t realize how obsessed I would become over Fantasy Football and from that point on I was hooked. After playing in a few local leagues each year I decided that I wanted to challenge myself and compete in a bigger event. This is when I found out about the WCOFF and the $300,000 grand prize. After doing a little research I decided to enter the WCOFF not only for the money but to see if I could compete against some of the best in the world. This was my first year playing and honestly I would have been content with just competing in my league, but when I realized that I had a real shot at not only winning my league but winning the entire championship it was a unbelievable experience.

2

What was your key to victory last year?

There were many things that fell my way last year but a real key to my victory was acquiring Earnest Graham off waiver during the season. He really filled a void in my roster because two of my stud wide receivers were out with injuries throughout the year. What I didn’t expect was for Earnest Graham to put up the numbers that he did each week. The Tamba Bay offense pretty much was run through him and not only did he put up great rushing yards and touchdowns but he also picked me up a lot of points with his point per receptions totals.

3

How do you prepare for the draft and your weekly lineup decisions?

I usually start in July when all the dust as settled. I get pick of a few Fantasy Magazines and of course the WCOFF magazine. I also use Draft Sharks service to give me a good foundation. From that point I just do as much research as I can and use my gut to make my decisions in the end. I never try to second guess myself, although it’s hard not to in Fantasy Football.

4

Kenny Lavallee, 2007 WCOFF Champ and Dustin Ashby, President, WCOFF

How many hours do you spend working on your research?

I probably spend a good two to three hours a day sometimes doing research. I really do not have a process I just try and find out as much information as I can and then base my decision on my gut feeling.

5

So you start playing four years ago and now you play on the biggest stage of them all. Are you surprised how big Fantasy Football is?

Honestly, I am not surprised by the growth and popularity of Fantasy Football. Fantasy Football allows football fans to connect with different players on another level. The games are more exciting to watch and you not only just watch your favorite team and really have a reason to watch almost every game. Fantasy football just makes everything that much more exciting to watch. I think fantasy football will just keep growing and growing. There is not limit what fantasy football can become and I think that it will just gain more popularity year after year. Fantasy Football will some day come to the level of the World Series of Poker and will get a lot more respect by the networks. There is just too much money involved.

6

What is the biggest mistake a fantasy owner can make?

In my opinion the biggest mistake a fantasy football owner can make is letting their emotions get in the way and sitting their stud players. Trust me I have learned from these two mistakes the hard way.

43


7

What is your draft philosophy? Does it depend on where you are drafting or do you have a plan no matter what?

It does depend on what draft spot I have and the scoring system of the league. As far as for this year I had the number one pick so I knew I was going to take LT first and then I wanted to pick up two stud wideouts with my 2nd and 3rd pick. Because the WCOFF scoring systems allows points per receptions I don’t mind going RB, WR, WR instead of RB, RB, WR which I think is kind of the norm. As long as I feel that the value is there for the WR’s that I am going to pick.

8

What is the most overrated and underrated valued positions?

I think the most overvalued position is the quarterback position although Tom Brady proved that wrong this year. Normally the difference in total points between say 1st or 2nd round quarterbacks is not much different than say a 6th or 7th round quarterback. For example I had Brett Farve who I know I got after the 10th round and think he had close or maybe even better total points than a Peyton Manning or Carson Palmer and they went 1st and 2nd in my league. The most underrated valued position in fantasy football in my opinion is your defense. I have had defenses when games for me a lot of times throughout my fantasy football career. However, both of these opinions could be disputed based on the scoring system of the league.

9

In the draft last year, what pick helped you the most?

I could easily say Tom Brady or LT, but they are too obvious. I truly feel that my best pick of the draft was Brandon Marshall which I picked up in the 10th round of the draft. He was consistent throughout the entire season.

10

What are your plans for the prize money?

Well, after paying Uncle Sam his portion I am going to put most of it in the bank and probably take a nice junk out to turn my lanai into a state of the art fantasy football players heaven. I am really going to try and deck it out. What ever money I have left after that I will use to take a nice vacation.

11

Did you ever feel confident at any point of the season that you may be able to win the championship?

I never really felt confident that I would be the winner because in Fantasy Football anything can happen but I knew I had a solid team that could potentially make some noise in the end.

44

12

Who are some of the players this year that have the best potential for breakout fantasy success?

At this moment I think that Marion Barber will have a great year if he doesn’t get into a running back by committee. I think Carson Palmer really steps it up this year. Larry Johnson has something to prove and Steven Jackson I think will really be a monster this year. Andre Johnson if he stays healthy the whole year and Brandon Marshall if he stays out of trouble.

13

How do you stay away from your favorite NFL players if they are not right for your team?

When it comes to Fantasy Football I feel that you should not let your emotions get in the way of your decisions. I will never pick a player just because he is on my favorite team. I think some players do this and in my opinion it is a big mistake. You have to pick players who have the most value and fill a need on your roster not just because he plays on your favorite team. There is nothing wrong with it if you want to do it I just don’t think high stakes fantasy football is probably the best place for you to play. One thing I learned in my first year is that people who play high stakes fantasy football are savages and they know their stuff. It is not like your local league. If a player on my favorite team is affecting my fantasy player in bad way they are no longer my favorite team for that day…..its fantasy football and it’s all about how your players perform if you want to win.

14

What do your friends and family members say when they see the trophy? Honestly, do you brag a bit?

Of course I rub it in my friends and family face all the time. Most of them couldn’t believe I was actually paying that kind of money to play Fantasy Football. The funniest one was of course my wife who wanted nothing to do with it and did not agree with me paying that kind of money to play. Now she is very supportive to say the least. The trophy is icing on the cake when they all come over. They can’t believe how nice that thing is!

15

What are your general thoughts on the WCOFF and how would you describe your experience.

My general thoughts about the WCOFF is that it is a very well organized and professional fantasy football event. It’s a very exciting event that puts the best of the best in fantasy football up against each other. On top of being able to compete against some of the best there are so many different ways to win money and a chance to win the biggest prize of all the $300,000. To me there is nothing more exciting in fantasy football than the WCOFF. This event can not be touched right now.


OFFENSIVE LINES By Howard Balzer

They don’t score fantasy points, but their impact on whether others do is immense. A team can have a great collection of runners and receivers, along with a good quarterback, but without a solid group of blockers in front, production will be affected.

The St. Louis Rams in 2007 are a classic example. Quarterback Marc Bulger, wide receiver Torry Holt and running back Steven Jackson were coming off outstanding 2006 seasons and it looked as if 2007 would be more of the same.

However, when left tackle Orlando Pace was lost for the season in the opening game, it started a chain reaction that saw the Rams use 13 different linemen and get a total of only 18 of 80 starts from their projected starters on the line. The Rams scored 263 points, fourth lowest in the league, and Bulger’s touchdown passes fell from 24 to 11.

Jackson led the NFL with 2,334 combined yards from scrimmage in 2006 and scored 16 touchdowns. Last season, missing the equivalent of five games because of injuries, he had just 1,273 yards and six touchdowns.

Thus, it would be futile to analyze fantasy positional prospects without looking at their team’s offensive line. It’s certainly not trite to say, “It’s what up front that counts.”

T H E BE S T

Cleveland:

It happened quickly, but the Browns developed one of the league’s best offensive lines last season. They signed left guard Eric Steinbach in free agency, then hit big with left tackle Joe Thomas in the first round of the draft. When free-agent addition LeCharles Bentley was injured two years ago, the Browns acquired Hank Fraley. With Kevin Shaffer at right tackle and Rex Hadnot competing with Rex Tucker at right guard, the line should be excellent again.

New England:

The Patriots scored 589 points last season, and a big reason was the line that protected quarterback Tom Brady. It returns intact. Tackles Matt Light and Nick Kaczur, along with guard Logan Mankins and center Dan Koppen, started 63 of a possible 64 games. Guard Stephen Neal is the other starter.

N.Y. Giants:

Heading into the 2007 season, the biggest question surrounded left tackle David Diehl. He held up well, as did an entire line that never missed a regular-

Dallas: This was another line with outstanding stability, and the re-signing of left tackle Flozell Adams should keep it that way. Of the five starters, only center Andre Gurode missed any games, and that was only two. After starters Leonard Davis, Marc Colombo and Kyle Kosier, Cory Procter and Pat McQuistan provide solid depth. New Orleans:

The biggest question entering 2008 is how well Jonathan Goodwin will replace deNew York Giants parted center Jeff season start. In fact, with no first-round Faine. The rest of the line, anchored by picks on the line, there was only one tackles Jammal Brown and Jon Stinchmissed start in 20 games, including the comb helps protect quarterback Drew post-season. Backup center/guard Brees. Grey Ruegamer played instead of center Shaun O’Hara in the first playoff game against Tampa Bay.

60


T H E N EX T L EV EL Indianapolis:

The Colts were able to replace the retired Tarik Glenn with rookie Tony Ugoh last season, and they re-signed guard Ryan Lilja this off-season. However, guard Jake Scott was lost in free agency, and they have switched Charlie Johnson to Scottâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spot.

Philadelphia:

Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan are still linchpins at tackle, while Shawn Andrews, Todd Herremans and Jamaal Jackson are stalwarts inside. That group missed a total of three starts last season.

Green Bay:

There is some aging at tackle with Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, but they still get the job done. Youth is being served inside with Daryn Colledge, Jason Spitz and Scott Wells.

Buffalo:

High hopes for the Bills are centered around an unknown, but excellent line. Guard Derrick Dockery and tackle Langston Walker were added in free agency last year, joining Brad Butler, Jason Peters and Melvin Fowler. That group missed only one start in 2007.

Washington:

Injuries took tackle Jon Jansen and guard Randy Thomas out for most of the season in 2007, but they are expected to join a veteran crew that also includes Pete Kendall, Chris Samuels and Casey Rabach. That five-man unit has 45 combined years on experience.

A NOTCH BELOW

Jacksonville:

A solid group when together, but every starter missed some time last season. The key will be how well Maurice Williams does at guard for the departed Chris Naeole.

Tennessee:

Maurice Williams

The Titans both starting guards in the offseason as Benji Olson retired and Jacob Bell signed with St. Louis. Jake Scott comes over from Indianapolis, while Eugene Amano will likely be the other starter. Tackles Michael Roos and David Stewart are the best unknown tackles in the NFL, and Kevin Mawae is excellent at center.

Minnesota:

Some would argue for a higher ranking, but the uncertain status of tackle Bryant McKinnie raises some concern. However, the line still features guard Steve Hutchinson and center Matt Birk. Tackle Ryan Cook and guard Anthony Herrera are OK.

San Diego:

Mark Tauscher

61

The availability of center Nick Hardwick is in limbo for the start of the season, and newcomer L.J. Shelton will be competing with Jeromey Clary at right tackle. Tackle Kris Dielman and guard Mike Goff are fine, but left tackle Marcus McNeill didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play as well in his second year as he did as a rookie.

David Stewart


HALF PAGE AD? WCOFF

HANGI NG I N T H ER E Oakland:

They were better in 2007 than they were the year before, but more changes are coming. Free-agent additions Kwame Harris (left tackle) and John Wade (center) are expected to start. Robert Gallery has found a home at guard.

Arizona:

This line is being rebuilt in Russ Grimm’s image, and the improvement was seen last season. The same starters are back from a group that missed just eight starts in 2007.

Cincinnati:

Some of the Bengals’ offensive issues last season can be traced to the departure of guard Eric Steinbach and tackle Willie Anderson missing 11 starts. Entering his 13th season, the Bengals needs Anderson to be healthy.

Tampa Bay:

Guard Aaron Sears started 16 games as a rookie and Donald Penn became the starter after left tackle Luke Petitgout was injured. The Bucs paid big money for center Jeff Faine. The line should get better as the younger players accumulate experience.

St. Louis:

Jacob Bell was signed as a free agent to play left guard, but most important is whether Pace and guard Richie Incognito can stay healthy. The center job is also up for grabs between Brett Romberg and Mark Setterstrom.

N.Y. Jets:

Nick Mangold

During the offseason, the Jets paid huge money to land guard Alan Faneca and tackle Damien Woody. Nick Mangold is the best of the incumbents at center. How well they play depends on the newcomers.

Seattle:

There is a new line coach, but they still haven’t recovered from losing guard Steve Hutchinson. Tackle Walter Jones might be wearing down, and they are counting heavily upon freeagent guard Mike Wahle.

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BI G

Q U ES TI O N S San Francisco:

Last year’s rookie, Joe Staley, moves from right to left tackle because the 49ers can’t rely on injury-prone Jonas Jennings. Guard David Baas suffered a pectoral injury in offseason workouts, and they might be counting on rookie Chilo Rachal to start at guard.

Pittsburgh:

The Steelers let guard Alan Faneca walk and his replacement will likely be untested Chris Kemoeatu. Left tackle Marvel Smith had back surgery in December. The Steelers out the transition tag on tackle Max Starks, and he might not be able to beat out Willie Colon.

Carolina:

Center Justin Hartwig was released, and will be replaced by Ryan Kalil. Travelle Wharton slides from left tackle to left guard with the hope rookie Jeff Otah can immediately be on the right side, with Jordan Gross moving to left tackle. Jeremy Bridges and Keydrick Vincent will fight for the right guard job.

Chicago:

Tackle Fred Miller is gone, as is guard Ruben Brown. The Bears hope rookie tackle Chris Williams can step right in at left tackle, so John Tait can go back to the right side. Center Olin Kreutz is the best of a suddenly shaky line.

Baltimore:

It is expected that left tackle Jonathan Ogden will retire, leaving a gaping hole on the line. Guard Ben Grubbs was solid in 2007 as a rookie, but the line is young and learning.

Ben Grubbs

Denver:

Once a strength, the line now has many questions. Tackle Matt Leps is retired, and guard Ben Hamilton returns after missing the entire 2007 season because of concussion issues. Center Tom Nalen enters his 15th season, and played just five games last season. The Broncos are hoping rookie tackle Ryan Clady can step in and play.

Houston:

The Texans are another team counting on a rookie tackle (Duane Brown). If he can’t cut it, Ephraim Salaam starts again on the left side. Another newcomer is former Denver center Chris Myers. They are still wondering if Charles Spencer, now at guard instead of tackle, can make it back after missing two years because of a knee injury. Alan Faneca

63


RUN FOR YOUR LIFE

AT A GLANCE CHART - OFFENSIVE LINES... NEED HELP HERE... JEFF’s SUGGESTION

Detroit:

The line will be asked to run block more with former offensive coordinator Mike Martz having departed. The line isn’t as bad as some make it out to be, but right tackle remains a problem area they hope will be answered with rookie Gosder Cherilus.

Miami:

There will likely be two rookie starters: left tackle Jake Long and guard Shawn Murphy. Justin Smiley comes over from San Francisco to be another guard, Vernon Carey switches to right tackle and 2007 rookie starter Samson Satele will be at center.

Atlanta:

With Todd Weiner unlikely to play because of a knee injury, tackle is a huge problem. Rookie Sam Baker is expected to start on the left side, with guard Justin Blalock a possibility on the right side. Todd McClure is a solid center, but guard Kynan Forney struggled last season. Tyson Clabo and Quinn Ojinnaka will also be competing at guard.

Kansas City:

Once the pride of the Chiefs, the line is a shambles. Damion McIntosh could move to guard if Adrian Jones proves himself at center. It’s hoped rookie Branden Albert can be the left tackle. Brian Waters is a mainstay at guard, while Rudy Niswanger and Wade Smith compete at center.

64


NEED UPDATE CHEAT SHEET PULL OUT QUARTERBACKS

1

PLAYER Peyton Manning

3

Drew Brees

2

4

5 6

7

8

9

10 11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

Carson Palmer Tom Brady

Marc Bulger

Donovan McNabb Tony Romo

Matt Hasselbeck

TEAM BYE IND

CIN

NOR PHI

5

STL

DAL

SEA

Vince Young

TEN

Michael Vick Matt Leinart Jay Cutler

Brett Favre

4

10

NYG

Jon Kitna

5

NEW

Eli Manning

Philip Rivers

6

SDG DET ATL ARI

DEN

GNB

9

8

8

9

7 4

6 8

8

6

7

Matt Schaub

HOU

10

Alex Smith

SFO

6

Ben Roethlisberger

20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33

Trent Green Jake Delhomme Daunte Culpepper Rex Grossman Chad Pennington Steve McNair J.P. Losman Byron Leftwich Jeff Garcia Jason Campbell JaMarcus Russell Damon Huard Chris Simms Brady Quinn

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

PLAYER LaDainian Tomlinson Steven Jackson Larry Johnson Frank Gore Shaun Alexander Brian Westbrook Joseph Addai Willie Parker Rudi Johnson Reggie Bush Laurence Maroney Travis Henry Willis McGahee Maurice Jones-Drew Ronnie Brown Edgerrin James Deuce McAllister Cedric Benson Clinton Portis Thomas Jones Marion Barber Ahman Green Cadillac Williams Brandon Jacobs Jamal Lewis Marshawn Lynch Chester Taylor DeAngelo Williams Julius Jones Fred Taylor Jerious Norwood

RUNNING BACKS

66

PIT

MIA CAR MIA CHI NYJ BAL BUF JAC TAM WAS OAK KAN TAM CLE

6

9 7 9 9 10 8 6 4 10 4 5 8 10 7

TEAM BYE SDG 7 STL 9 KAN 8 SFO 6 SEA 8 PHI 5 IND 6 PIT 6 CIN 5 NOR 4 NEW 10 DEN 6 BAL 8 JAC 4 MIA 9 ARI 8 NOR 4 CHI 9 WAS 4 NYJ 10 DAL 8 HOU 10 TAM 10 NYG 9 CLE 7 BUF 6 MIN 5 CAR 7 DAL 8 JAC 4 ATL 8

32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Adrian Peterson LenDale White Warrick Dunn Kevin Jones Tatum Bell LaMont Jordan Ladell Betts Michael Turner Vernand Morency Leon Washington Reuben Droughns DeShaun Foster Chris Henry Dominic Rhodes Brandon Jackson Mike Bell Anthony Thomas Michael Robinson Correll Buckhalter

MIN TEN ATL DET DET OAK WAS SDG GNB NYJ NYG CAR TEN OAK GNB DEN BUF SFO PHI

5 4 8 6 6 5 4 7 7 10 9 7 4 5 7 6 6 6 5

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43

Deion Branch Braylon Edwards Donte Stallworth Calvin Johnson Joey Galloway Jerricho Cotchery Terry Glenn Vincent Jackson Derrick Mason Mike Furrey Mark Clayton Drew Bennett Muhsin Muhammad Greg Jennings Matt Jones Santonio Holmes Wes Welker Devery Henderson Joe Horn

SEA CLE NEW DET TAM NYJ DAL SDG BAL DET BAL STL CHI GNB JAC PIT NEW NOR ATL

8 7 10 6 10 10 8 7 8 6 8 9 9 7 4 6 10 4 8

52

Ron Dayne

HOU

10

45

Eddie Kennison

KAN

8

DEN TAM BUF MIA OAK DEN CIN SEA SEA WAS SFO NOR SDG

6 10 6 9 5 6 5 8 8 4 6 4 7

51 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71

72 73

Chris Brown

Chris Perry Maurice Morris Corey Dillon Tony Hunt Musa Smith Adrian Peterson Mike Anderson Michael Bush Brian Leonard Lorenzo Booker DeDe Dorsey Garrett Wolfe Kevan Barlow Sammy Morris Kenny Irons Michael Pittman T.J. Duckett Michael Bennett Ricky Williams Wali Lundy Cedric Houston

WIDE RECEIVERS

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

TEN

CIN SEA FA PHI BAL CHI BAL OAK STL MIA IND CHI PIT NEW CIN TAM DET KAN MIA HOU NYJ

4

5 8

5 8 9 8 5 9 9 6 9 6 10 5 10 6 8 9

10 10

PLAYER TEAM BYE Chad Johnson CIN 5 Steve Smith CAR 7 Marvin Harrison IND 6 Terrell Owens DAL 8 Torry Holt STL 9 Reggie Wayne IND 6 Larry Fitzgerald ARI 8 Anquan Boldin ARI 8 Randy Moss NEW 10 Roy Williams DET 6 T.J. Houshmandzadeh CIN 5 Andre Johnson HOU 10 Javon Walker DEN 6 Lee Evans BUF 6 Marques Colston NOR 4 Plaxico Burress NYG 9 Donald Driver GNB 7 Laveranues Coles NYJ 10 Hines Ward PIT 6 Santana Moss WAS 4 Darrell Jackson SFO 6 Reggie Brown PHI 5 Chris Chambers MIA 9 Bernard Berrian CHI 9

44

46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64

65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77

Kevin Curtis

Amani Toomer D.J. Hackett Joe Jurevicius Marty Booker Anthony Gonzalez Michael Jenkins Jerry Porter Robert Meachem Reggie Williams Isaac Bruce Ashley Lelie Troy Williamson Dwayne Bowe Brandon Jones Drew Carter Arnaz Battle Dwayne Jarrett Bryant Johnson Hank Baskett

Brandon Marshall Michael Clayton Roscoe Parrish Ted Ginn Jr. Ronald Curry Rod Smith Chris Henry Bobby Engram Nate Burleson Antwaan Randle El Antonio Bryant Terrance Copper Eric Parker

TIGHT ENDS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

PLAYER Antonio Gates Todd Heap Jeremy Shockey Alge Crumpler Tony Gonzalez Vernon Davis Chris Cooley Kellen Winslow Ben Watson L.J. Smith Randy McMichael Dallas Clark Jason Witten

PHI

NYG SEA CLE MIA IND ATL OAK NOR JAC STL SFO MIN KAN TEN CAR SFO CAR ARI PHI

5

9 8 7 9 6 8 5 4 4 9 6 5 8 4 7 6 7 8 5

TEAM BYE SDG 7 BAL 8 NYG 9 ATL 8 KAN 8 SFO 6 WAS 4 CLE 7 NEW 10 PHI 5 STL 9 IND 6 DAL 8

14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Heath Miller Tony Scheffler Greg Olsen Desmond Clark Owen Daniels Eric Johnson Ben Troupe Leonard Pope Daniel Graham Marcus Pollard David Martin Jerramy Stevens Alex Smith Marcedes Lewis Jermaine Wiggins Bo Scaife

KICKERS

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

PLAYER

Adam Vinatieri Robbie Gould Jeff Wilkins Nate Kaeding Josh Brown Neil Rackers Stephen Gostkowski Shayne Graham Jason Elam Matt Stover David Akers Olindo Mare John Kasay Josh Scobee Mike Nugent Jason Hanson Lawrence Tynes Jeff Reed Joe Nedney Jay Feely

DEFENSE

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

PIT DEN CHI CHI HOU NOR TEN ARI DEN SEA MIA TAM TAM JAC JAC TEN

6 6 9 9 10 4 4 8 6 8 9 10 10 4 4 4

TEAM BYE IND CHI STL SDG SEA ARI NE CIN DEN BAL PHI NOR CAR JAC NYJ DET NYG PIT SFO MIA

6 9 9 7 9 8 10 5 6 8 5 4 7 4 10 6 9 6 6 9

PLAYER TEAM BYE Chicago Bears CHI 9 Baltimore Ravens BAL 8 San Diego Chargers SDG 7 New England Patriots NEW 10 Denver Broncos DEN 6 Dallas Cowboys DAL 8 Pittsburgh Steelers PIT 6 Carolina Panthers CAR 7 Miami Dolphins MIA 9 Jacksonville Jaguars JAC 4 Philadelphia Eagles PHI 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers TAM 10 Green Bay Packers GBO 7 Minnesota Vikings MIN 5 Seattle Seahawks SEA 8 San Francisco 49ers SFO 6 Washington Redskins WAS 4 Atlanta Falcons ATL 8 Kansas City Chiefs KAN 8 New York Giants NYG 9 Oakland Raiders OAK 5 New York Jets NYJ 10 New Orleans Saints NOR 4 Indianapolis Colts IND 6 Cincinnati Bengals CIN 5 Buffalo Bills BUF 6


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