Three and out: Favre’s absence has fantasy impact

Here are our fantasy takes on the NFL news of the day …

Brett Favre is done with football: Yes, we’ve heard it all before — Favre is retired and won’t be back playing in the NFL. But this time, it appears to be for real. In his absence, the Vikings are left with a rookie, Christian Ponder, and a one-time wide receiver, Joe Webb, as the two best options at the quarterback position. That, my friends, is not good news for the value of Sidney Rice. Here’s an interesting little factoid: In 20 career games in which Favre wasn’t with the Vikings or didn’t play the majority of the team’s snaps, Rice has averaged 2.9 receptions for 37 yards. That’s 46.4 catches and 592 yards over a full season — so, in other words, he’s Jordy Nelson 2010. That is the power of Favre. He made average wideouts good, and good wideouts great. Ponder or Webb? Not so much. If the Vikes don’t add another option, like Donovan McNabb, Rice will not be in my draft-day plans for 2011.

Ahmad Bradshaw hard to replace: senior writer Steve Wyche recently listed six free agents who would be wise to remain with their current teams. Bradshaw, who is coming off a breakout season in 2010, was among them. While he does lose some of the workload in New York to Brandon Jacobs, the fact that Bradshaw isn’t run into the ground is a positive considering his history of ankle problems. His versatility makes him a great option for coach Tom Coughlin and fantasy owners alike, and staying in the Big Apple would serve him well in both respects. While that leaves him little chance of being a true featured back, keep in mind that Bradshaw saw the 10th-most touches among running backs last season. In fact, he finished with more touches than Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles. That’s good enough to make him a solid No. 2 fantasy option.

Brady Quinn wants to start: One of the situations that fantasy owners need to watch once the lockout ends is in Denver, where Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow will compete for the starting quarterback spot. And then there’s Quinn, who wants the chance to “be No. 1.” Well, I want to play center field for the New York Yankees, but that’s not happening. Neither is Quinn starting in the Mile High City. Even if the team decides to deal Orton, Tebow would clearly have the inside track at the top spot on the depth chart. And considering that no one scored more fantasy points than the new Jockey man over the final three weeks of last season, that move would suit those of us in fantasy land just fine. As for Quinn, well, he’s proved to be better suited for a reserve role in the pros.

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