Can fantasy players trust Winslow?

(Tony Dejak / Associated Press)

Kellen Winslow had 43 catches for 428 yards in 2008 with the Browns. (Tony Dejak / Associated Press)

The early reports out of Tampa on TE Kellen Winslow are good. Glowing, actually. Not that you would expect much different during the hyperbole-driven days of June. Teammates and coaches, as you would expect, have been raving about Winslow.

But we’ve heard that before, right?

Just last summer, I sat at a conference table with Kellen Winslow (the Hall of Fame father, that is) in Canton, Ohio, and talked about the impact TE Jeremy Shockey would have on the Saints in 2008. And how did that work out?

So any story with the younger Winslow will be peppered with jokes about motorcycles, staph infections and being a solider. So we should just brush off any news of Winslow’s development, right?

Well, not so fast.

There is no denying Winslow has some baggage. And if the team signs WR Plaxico Burress, the Buccaneers will officially join Britney Spears‘ Circus tour. But Winslow is a tight end. A position that will allow you to take a chance on a questionable player. Even the people who took Shockey last year were likely able to weather the storm by grabbing a guy like John Carlson off the waiver wire.

The Buccaneers lack big-time playmakers (hence the Burress flirtation, which may or may not have occurred), meaning Winslow could do some damage. Maybe I’m just in an abusive relationship with Winslow, but he could be a nice surprise in 2009. Don’t overspend, of course, but Winslow is on my recommended list.

Adam Rank

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