Three and out: Stafford could be a fantasy star

Here’s our fantasy takes on the NFL news of the day …

Matthew Stafford making progress: If statistical upside were gold, Stafford would be one of the richest quarterbacks in the league. He showed flashes of brilliance last season, throwing for 452 yards with six touchdowns in two full starts. Unfortunately, he missed almost the entire year with a shoulder injury — his second in two seasons. On a positive note, reports indicate he’s looked sharp at recent workouts with teammates. While he is a risk-reward option in fantasy land due to the shoulder issues, Stafford has breakout candidate written all over him. With a ton of talent at his disposal, none more prominent than Calvin Johnson, I can 4,000-yard, 30-touchdown season in 2011. If he can avoid the trainer’s room, Stafford is going to be a draft-day bargain.

John Beck could start for Redskins: When I saw the report that Beck will be a legitimate contender to top Washington’s depth chart this season, I had to do a double take. After all, this is the same quarterback who has one touchdown pass in five career games and hasn’t played in a regular-season contest since 2007. During the 2010 preseason with the Ravens, Beck completed 27-of-48 passes (56.2 percent) for 300 yards against mostly backups. According to CSN Washington, no quarterback of Beck’s age and experience has become an effective starter since at least 1980. So unless coach Mike Shanahan can wave his magic wand and turn Beck into a legitimate starter, it’s going to be hard for fantasy owners to trust anyone on the Redskins.

Plaxico Burress could have value: If you’ve been playing fantasy football for several years, you remember Burress. While he was never an elite wideout, Burress was a legitimate starter in most fantasy leagues before his incarceration. But as NFL Network Insider Jason La Canfora reports, Burress will be released on June 6. The current lockout could help Burress, giving him plenty of time to get back into playing shape and sign with a team. Burress, 33, isn’t guaranteed to have the same sort of success as Michael Vick coming out of prison. But if he lands with a team that allows him a chance to start, Burress is going to be well worth a look in the late rounds.

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