Archive for June, 2008

Bucs sign Graham to extension

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Earnest Graham to a three-year, $10.5 million contract extension. While this isn’t an enormous deal from a financial standpoint, it does cement Graham as the favorite to start this season.

Pittsburgh cuts ties with Davenport

When it came across the wire that the Pittsburgh Steelers had released Najeh Davenport, I told NFL.com Associate Editor Jason Feller, “Don’t use the headline, ‘Steelers dump Davenport!’” (If you didn’t already know, Davenport is infamous for his, well, use of a closet for something other than hanging clothes).

Responses to the quarterback experiment

Quarterbacks did get the better of running backs last season, but there is still a lot of debate over which position should be targeted in the first round of fantasy drafts. That was evident in the numerous emails I received in regards to Wednesday’s post, which described an experimental mock draft where I took Tom Brady rather than one of the two best backs on the board, Marion Barber or Larry Johnson.

The Mike Martz effect

One trend that could have an enormous impact on drafts this season surrounds the increase in statistical success of running backs in their first season under offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Widely considered one of the greatest offensive minds in the NFL, Martz has been better known for his prolific pass attacks. But when we look inside the numbers, we find that runners also tend to see their overall numbers rise as well.

Titans interested in Jones

Reports out of Tennessee indicate the Titans have some real interest in free-agent running back Kevin Jones. In fact, the team will be represented at a June 29 workout that features the veteran back.

Rodgers looks good in workouts

One of the biggest questions in fantasy football this season surrounds the impact of Aaron Rodgers in his first stint as the starter in Green Bay. After all, he’s replacing a legend in Brett Favre and now holds the keys to what could be one of the league’s most talented offenses.

Bears have faith in rookie Forte

The Chicago Bears have been known as a defensive-minded team in recent seasons. In fact, the Windy City has been a virtual fantasy wasteland. But this team now fields several potential sleeper candidates, none more attractive than rookie Matt Forte.

Ocho Cinco to have surgery

Our Adam Schefter is reporting that Chad Johnson will undergo ankle surgery on Wednesday. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told reporters last week that his client has bone chips in the ankle. Johnson is expected to return in time for training camp, but this is a situation that fantasy footballers need to watch over the next several weeks.

Curse of the fantasy writer?

I’ve always liked to have fun with curses, trends and superstitions as they relate to fantasy football. I’ve documented now infamous hexes like the Madden curse and the curse of the Super Bowl loser this offseason, and I’m always the first person to jump on trends like second- and third-year wide receivers and how closing in on the age of 30 affects the value of running backs. Now I’m starting to feel like I’ve created a curse.

Cadillac in drive for Bucs?

One of the biggest questions headed into the 2008 fantasy football season centers around the status of Cadillac Williams in his return from an injured knee. Williams sustained a damaged patellar tendon in the third week of last season that was so serious that it was questioned whether or not his career was over. But after a surgical procedure to repair the tendon and months of laborious rehabilitation, Williams might actually have a chance to be on the Buccaneers’ active roster at some point this season.

Rivers, Burress in the news

Philip Rivers has made incredible progress in his recovery from surgery to repair the torn ACL in his right knee. He’s been able to run at full speed and even participated in full 11-on-11 practices earlier in the month.

Ocho Cinco reports to minicamp

Chad Johnson had threatened to hold out from all Cincinnati Bengals team activities, including training camp, during one of his numerous offseason rants to the media. But when the Bengals opened their mandatory minicamp practice on Thursday, Johnson was there (albeit 12 minutes late). However, showing up to camp was about all he did. Johnson didn’t run routes during positional drills and failed to interact with teammates or coaches not named T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Branch remains a question

Deion Branch was once considered an attractive option in fantasy football. But ever since his holdout in New England and eventual trade to Seattle, Branch has seen a decided decrease in value.

McNabb has shoulder issues

The Philadelphia Eagles have decided to shut down Donovan McNabb due to what is being called shoulder tendinitis. Head coach Andy Reid said the injury is “not a big deal,” but this is still something for fantasy owners to monitor.

Bears release troubled RB Benson

In a move that should surprise no one, the Chicago Bears have released Cedric Benson. The decision came after Benson’s second run-in with police this offseason.

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