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Chiefs 23 – Chargers 20

  • For those waiting for Jackie Battle to disappear, keep waiting. He is the only viable running back on the team and he runs downhill with heart. Oh, and he found the end zone finally.
  • Not buying into Jonathan Baldwin. He is a potential to repeat this week, but a 14-team plus only add.
  • Two great quarterback performances on Monday night. If you missed the game, try and catch an abridged version somehow. Matt Cassel looked mobile in the pocket and Phillip Rivers made plays that were hall of fame worthy.
  • Yes, they both threw two interceptions. There was a big difference between the first half and the second half in quality.
  • Ryan Matthews likely out next week. Mike Tolbert’s status completely unknown. Enter Curtis Brinkley, undrafted free agent out of Syracuse. He is another name to add to the list of undrafted FA’s who are hidden gems. If there is any doubt to Tolbert’s status, Brinkley is a must add in all formats, especially in PPR.
  • Malcolm Floyd is big, fast, and agile. He makes plays and as long as Rivers has time Floyd stands to benefit greatly.
  • I would sit Phillip Rivers this week. He may have difficulty getting over what happened with the fumble. Risky play at best.
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Sunday Notes

Rams vs Saints

It's official. The Ram's 'Luck' is done.

Well it wasn’t the best weekend of football I have ever seen, but I can sure do my best to find the most interesting points from each game. We escaped with only one or two meaningful injuries, so count your blessings for that. One has to assume there will be about 5 or 6 tonight to compensate, so we’ll see. Let’s get to why you are here, if you have any questions about my notes feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to respond.

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Titans 27 – Colts 10

  • Javon Ringer is outpacing, outplaying, and outscoring Chris Johnson on a weekly basis. Time to take evasive actions if you were waiting for a cue.
  • Just when you wanted to drop him, Nate Washington reminds fantasy owners he is there. This game was against the Colts, don’t base anything off of it. He is still who we though he was, an average number 2 receiver.
  • Damian Williams is still a solid deep league play. He should have had a touchdown but just missed it. He seems to get the most red zone targets of anyone on the team, by far.
  • Donald Brown appears to be the goal line back, but Delone Carter was the better change of pace back. Going forward, Carter is the better play if Addai is out.
  • Colts worth starting (in this order): Pierre Garcon, and Dallas Clark. Time to move on, and good ‘Luck’.
Rams 31 – Saints 21
  • Don’t blame Pierre Thomas or Darren Sproles for their forgettable days, they were behind the entire day and there really weren’t any rushing opportunities. Both are startable for now, Thomas is startable while Ingram is out or limited.
  • Thus proving anyone and everyone can have a good day for the Saints, Lance Moore makes an appearance and was really the only Saint who returned benefit. Still a flex play at best.
  • Hopefully you didn’t give up on Stephan Jackson, he looked like the back of old, which is scary good going forward.
  • Brandon Lloyd made great catches and made A.J. Feeely look like a competent NFL quarterback (which he is not). When Bradford is back, this combination is going to be a thing of beauty.
  • Greg Salas continues to be a sneaky good play at flex. Bye-week fill-in only.
Giants 20 – Dolphins 17
  • Just so I covered it, Reggie Bush had a good day. Time to move on, don’t read into it too much. The Giants are spotty at best on defense and Daniel Thomas wasn’t there to take carries.
  • Steve Slaton looks like he is going to be the goal line vulture for the Dolphins. Really good deep league play moving forward.
  • Sadly, the Miami passing game is a mess. Davone Bess is a good PPR play, but outside of that not startable. Marshall is a guy you have to play but you are really praying for that one play to make his day.
  • Eli Manning looks incredible. Definitely playing at a high level right now. Nicks, Cruz, and Manningham are all good starts every week.
  • Nicks’ status for next week shouldn’t be in question, but his owners are going to be following the injury reports all weeks. Hamstring injuries are never ‘nothing’.
Vikings 24 – Panthers 21
  • If you played against Adrian Peterson this week, sorry.
  • Christian Ponder doesn’t hurt the value of any Vikings, but he sure doesn’t make it better. Percy Harvin is the only receiver who should be considered as a start, but he is by no means a must-start.
  • And the shift in power to Jonathan Stewart continues. The workload is still about 70-30 but the production isn’t even close. Williams isn’t startable.
  • Shockey had his first touchdown of the year. A one yard catch. His only one of the game. Don’t go hunting for him.
Ravens 30 – Cardinals 27
  • Nothing to say about the Cardinals other then Kevin Kolb isn’t good, and was over hyped. 10 for 21 is not the line of a viable NFL quarterback.
  • Joe ‘Cool’ Flacco is ‘Mr. Inconsistent’. In the first half he was dreadful, hardly looked like he was playing in the pros. The second half was a different story and he was unstoppable. Point is, Flacco is a ‘box of chocolates’.
  • Ray Rice had three touchdowns, which is why Flacco had none. Nothing significant about that. Just the way the game played out.
  • Anquan Boldin is putting together good games. Bump up his value and get him in your line-up.
  • Baltimore is trying to feed Torrey Smith the ball, they really are. Other teams have figured out his speed and don’t let him run freely anymore. Tough match-ups ahead, hard to see a situation in which you start him.
Texans 24 – Jaguars 14
  • Not foreseeing a situation in which I’d start anyone in the Texans passing game until Johnson is back. Walter is the ‘best’ start of the bunch, but even Daniels is struggling. Hopefully Andre Johnson is back in the next two weeks.
  • I’ll just repeat this again, in a redraft, Arian Foster has to be a top-3 pick.
  • Ugh. Blaine Gabbert is awful.
  • You’re starting MJD, obviously, and sitting every other Jaguar. They aren’t even fun to watch.
Bills 23 – Redskins 0
  • Fred Davis had a decent day.
  • Not convinced John Beck is better then Rex Grossman, but Washington is stuck with Beck by default at this point.
  • Buffalo’s defense isn’t elite by any means, the Redskins just looked that bad.
  • Ryan Torain led the team in rushes. DeMarco Murray easily out rushed the Redskins after his first two official rushes. We aren’t being Shannahaned any more, they are just bad.
  • Why did Scott Chandler have to have two touchdowns? People are going to mistake this for him being a good fantasy player. Drop that thought out of your head, go back and look at his previous weeks. Not a good pick-up.
  • C.J. Spiller is still being used as a receiver, but he isn’t in on enough plays to be startable.
  • Stevie Johnson has a slight edge in value over David Nelson, but both are mediocre plays while Fred Jackson is healthy. Jackson is the Bills offense for now and he hurts everyone’s value.
Lions 45 – Broncos 10
  • If Tim Tebow isn’t the worst NFL quarterback to play the game, he certainly is in discussion for top-5. His throws are so far off you don’t know who he is throwing to sometimes.
  • Tebow and Moreno had equal rushing games.
  • Everyone on the Lions except Pettigrew and Burleson posted great games. Not much to think about, could have been anyone. If you can sell high on anyone (except Calvin Johnson), now would be the time to do so.
  • Morris and Williams split carries for the Lions, Morris looked an NFL running back, Williams looked like a practice squad guy.
Pittsburgh 25 – Patriots 17
  • Welcome back Kevin Faulk who is likely the back to own now in New England. He is a Belichick favorite and will at least share a large split of the workload. BJGE is still an alright option.
  • Tight End split in New England pops it’s evil head again. Gronkowski easily led the team in targets, catches, and yards.
  • Branch is still a viable flex play.
  • There is definitely a split in carries for Pittsburgh between Mendenhall and Redman even though Isaac Redman is awful. Don’t even consider starting him.
  • Five Steelers had good receiving days. Remember who they were playing. You are starting Wallace every week. Brown and Sanders are flex plays.
  • Ben Roethlisberger was gimpy again, he is not over his foot injury that had to of been re-aggravated in this one. He’ll play through it either way.
49ers 20 – Browns 10
  • Montario Hardesty left early with an injury. Assuming Hillis returns, Hardesty is 100% drop-able. Chris Ogbonnaya is next on the depth chart, but hopefully you don’t have to scavenge that deep.
  • Regression for Greg Little but progression from Benjamin Watson. Watson continues to be one of the sneakier fantasy plays all year that no one really talks about.
  • It’s still humerus how much the 49ers do not want Alex Smith throwing the ball. Mind boggling they let him have the ball if they don’t trust him.
  • Kendall Hunter didn’t have a big part in the running game as was once expected, Gore appears to have the full workload again. Good news.
  • Michael Crabtree’s stock is skyrocketing right now. He is a borderline must-start. Seriously.
  • Braylon Edwards looked good. Need to see one more good game in a row to recommend anything.
Bengals 34 – Seahawks 12
  • Watching Andy Dalton and AJ Greene play pitch and catch is going to be one of America’s best past times in years to come. Really great combination, great drafting Cincinnati.
  • Bernard Scott did as well as expected. You can drop him now.
  • Charlie Whitehurst had the start at QB for Seattle, but he was so bad they just decided to put Jackson in anyways.
  • Marshawn Lynch hopefully is hurt, if not there is no excuse for averaging under 2 yards per carry.
  • Sidney Rice, Ben Obomanu, and Doug Baldwin are all risky flex plays with big upside (in that order).
Eagles 34 – Cowboys 7
  • In case you missed the memo, Jeremy Maclin is the best receiver in Philadelphia.
  • LeSean McCoy is a top-3 back in the NFL, I have no idea how so many people missed that in preseason rankings.
  • They are designing runs for Vick again, scary actually. Hope he can stay healthy.
  • The Eagles figured out how to play together, on offense and defense. Really optimistic about everyone moving forward.
  • Brent Celek is relevant again? Cautiously optimistic on this one.
  • Dallas as a team gets a break for this performance, Philadelphia could have beaten anyone last night.
  • DeMarco Murray was great again on limited action. He only had 8 carries but managed 74 yards on them. Game just never allowed for running situations.
  • Not buying Laurent Robinson at all. His touchdown came in garbage time against soft coverage.
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Back to the bullet points list as that seemed to be the favorable way from the limited feedback received. Pretty uninteresting night game, again, but some fantasy relevant events occurred.

Jets 24 – Dolphins 6

  • Reggie Bush looked much better then Daniel Thomas, but had four less touches.
  • Matt Moore clearly trusts Brandon Marshall enough to target him with Revis, can’t wait to see his stats without him.
  • Moore has strong pocket presence and is quite mobile.
  • Shonn Greene only had one more point then LT in PPR leagues but out rushed him by 50 yards on 14 more carries. Clearly Greene is the guy in New York.
  • Still no Plaxico Burress.
  • Mark Sanchez is still extremely inconsistent. One play he looks on his game, the next he misses by three yards.
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Kyle Boller

Kyle Boller could make any defense look elite. R.I.P. Oakland's playoff hopes.

So new concept I’m going with here. Instead of just recapping what happened and adding important notes for each game, I’m just going to list the notes for each game. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Falcons 31 – Panthers 17

  • Jonathan Stewart had a goal line carry (first of the year for any Panthers RB) and he scored. Good sign for Stewart and D. Williams owners.
  • Michael Turner proved he is still a stud (were concerns going into this game).
  • Atlanta needs Julio Jones to get the passing game going. Teams can double team Roddy White too easily.
  • DeAngelo Williams led the team in carries but Jonathon Stewart looked more explosive.
  • Cam Newton’s first bad fantasy day of his NFL career. He’s a rookie, it’s going to happen.
Bengals 27 – Colts 17
  • Assuming Cedric Benson is suspended, they are going to really miss him.
  • Jerome Simpson, too.
  • A. J. Greene isn’t just a rookie, he is an NFL super star in the making.
  • Pierre Garcon is still being targeted more often then Reggie Wayne.
  • Donald Brown should be the Colt’s second running back behind Joseph Addai but they haven’t figured that out yet.
49ers 25 – Lions 19
  • Calvin Johnson’s fantasy floor is over 100 yards.
  • Jahvid Best is not a work horse.
  • Brandon Pettigrew should be a top-10 TE going forward in standard leagues.
  • San Francisco really hates when Alex Smith throws the ball.
  • If Frank Gore stays healthy, and that is a big if, he could easily finish in the top three as a fantasy running back.
Packers 24 – Rams 3
  • James Jones had one catch, one. Don’t over react to his touch down.
  • Jordy Nelson doesn’t appear he will get a ton of looks but he makes the most of them.
  • Confirmation Starks is the running back in Green Bay to own.
  • St. Louis is awful.
  • Five Rams’ receivers had at least four catches.
Giants 27 – Bills 24
  • Fred Jackson = Buffalo’s chances.
  • Ahmad Bradshaw finally took advantage of being a work horse (three touchdowns).
  • Mario Manningham looked much better then Victor Cruz and was looked for more often.
  • Jake Ballard (TE) should be owned in at least 90% of leagues after this game.
Steelers 17 – Jaguars 13
  • Blaine Gabbert threw another touchdown. He has one in every game so far. How?
  • Jones-Drew is the only Jaguar you are starting. Ever.
  • Rashard Mendenhall must be 100% as he looked MVP like this game.
Eagles 20 – Redskins 13
  • LeSean McCoy seems like the safest bet, at RB, right now in fantasy.
  • Jeremy Maclin should be started over DeSean Jackson every week.
  • There is almost no chance Michael Vick plays even six more games this season. If I had stock, I would be selling.
  • Washington had a combined 42 rushing yards against probably the worst running defense in the NFL.
  • Tim Hightower had 0 touches.
Raiders 24 – Browns 17
  • Oakland’s season is probably over. Jason Campbell is out for the season and Kyle Boller is next on the depth chart. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit if you have stock in the Raiders passing game.
  • Do not pick-up Kyle Boller.
  • Darren McFadden doesn’t seem as explosive the past few weeks.
  • Darrius Heyward-Bey is the receiver to start if you felt inclined to still start someone.
  • The Greg Little hype was real. Don’t trust the Browns passing game though, Little is a flex play at best during bye-weeks.
  • Peyton Hillis was benched or has an injury, either way not good for his owners.
Ravens 29 – Texans 14
  • Houston needs Andre Johnson back, fast.
  • Jacoby Jones was alright, his stat line looked better then he played.
  • Foster and Tate are splitting the work load 60/40. Bad news for Foster owners.
  • Anquan Boldin showed up. Semi-buying it.
  • Joe Flacco hopefully hasn’t peaked, if he has his fantasy value is minuet.
Patriots 20 – Cowboys 16
  • Both Patriots tight ends are TE1 plays.
  • Green-Ellis is the back, not Ridley, if anyone had any questions on the matter.
  • Tom Brady looked human. Still a top-5 play.
  • Felix Jones is hurt. Murray and Choice were okay at best filling in.
  • Boy did the Cowboys miss Miles Austin.
  • Tony Romo isn’t to blame for this loss entirely, he had no run support.
Buccaneers 26 – Saints 20
  • Mark Ingram is ‘the guy’ for New Orleans in the back field but his fantasy value is really low.
  • Darren Sproles is still a PPR stud.
  • Marques Colston will win you match-ups if you held onto him.
  • Meachem and Henderson combined for two catches (one each).
  • Josh Freeman finally looked like 2010 Josh Freeman.
  • Earnest Graham is a must-start until Blount is back.
  • Mike Williams continues to tease fantasy owners. He still isn’t performing anywhere near his projected value.
Bears 39 – Vikings 10
  • Everyone is getting love in the Minnesota passing game but no one is getting starter points.
  • Christian Ponder came in for McNabb in the 2nd half. He may have a future in the NFL after all if he keeps progressing.
  • Chicago’s defense causes mismatches upfront.
  • It’s Devin Hester then no one on the Bears receiving order. Knox and Williams are barely ownable.
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That’s it for the Sunday games. Let me know what you think!
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Arian Foster

Foster is good to go and is a must-start in week 5.

Injuries and bye-weeks. This is where fantasy football gets interesting. Let’s jump into who I am starting and sitting.

Start
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Arian Foster – Without Ben Tate, Arian Foster should be back to his usual full workload as he is all but completely recovered from his early injury.
Ryan Grant – 50/50 split with Starks is likely. Not a whole lot of upside.
Jacoby Jones – Best option in Houston at receiver but he isn’t completely healthy yet. The targets will be there.
Frank Gore – Ankle isn’t bothering him, and even if it was you’re starting Gore after last week.
Marques Colston – He is almost 100% and should be in on more then enough plays to rack up WR2 numbers (big upside).
Vincent Jackson – Looks like he going to give it a go and even on limited plays (22 last week and had 108 yards) he is productive.

Sit
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Andre Johnson – Looking optimistic for an early return. We are hearing two weeks so he should be back after Baltimore.
Kerry Collins – Concussions are tricky, but even if he suits up Curtis Painter is the guy in Indy.
Ben Roethlisberger – He’s going to give it a go, but as the game rolls on he is likely to accumulate more injuries as the Steelers have been unable to protect him. If he makes it out of the game I will be surprised.
Brandon Jacobs – Looks bad. Never like hearing anything about an MCL. Going to be the Ahmad Bradshaw show in New York.
Antonio Gates – He’s doubtful and he won’t be playing.
Aaron Hernandez – He will likely suit up but only have a limited roll. Patriots typically only keep two tight ends on roster so he would be an emergency guy.
Rashard Mendenhall – Don’t expect him to go and even if he does he isn’t healthy enough to warrant a start.
Mike Williams (SEA) – He is officially out with a concussion.
Tim Hightower – Shoulder issues but little is known about it. Likely he is the 3rd running back behind Torain and Helu.
Danny Woodhead – Another doubtful designation but it may as well be out. Not worth a start in any formats.

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Rashard Mendenhall

The greatest thing about fantasy sports is the unknown. One of the biggest concerns most people have going into week 5 is that they drafted a team full of big name players (Charles, P. Manning, A. Johnson, Miles Austin, and Kenny Britt) and are now 0-4 in their leagues and are really in must-win situations. This is why they play the game. Week 5 has really been about the start of bye-weeks and the continuing trend of a top-5 guy at his position going down. This week it was Andre Johnson. Johnson owners have to be worried as the Texans don’t have a bye-week until week 11. You could also make an argument Rashard Mendenhall was a stud to go down, but he really hadn’t shown us anything to this point other then a one or two above average runs. But what about those questions? Have at it.

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Hey I love your blog, I’ve got one quick question: who should i start at flex, Mike Tolbert, Nate Washington, or percy harvin? – Ben

Glad you like the blog! There is a major difference between PPR and non-PPR leagues. In a PPR league I am going with Tolbert and in non-PPR leagues I am leaning towards Harvin over Washington simply by match-up. Washington is going to have to deal with Troy Polamalu over the top.

My division has 8 teams. Could you give me your 1-8 for the first round draft in my second half draft. -Rob

Absolutely.  AP, Rice, McFadden, Brady, McCoy, Foster, Rodgers, and Calvin Johnson.

Who is a better pickup for RB depth…Ridley or Torain?  -Glen

Both running backs offer similar upsides and downsides with Ridley likely being  more valuable to own. Torain has more resale value after use (assuming he remains the guy). Decide which is more important to you and act accordingly. Can’t feel overly confident about a RB from either team.

Should i go with Beanie Wells or Michael turner this week? – Adam

Go with the hot hand and roll with Beanie Wells. Turner just isn’t the same this year. The big concern with Beanie going into any year is his injury history. Assuming he stays healthy he is a top-5 back all year. The next RB on the depth chart is LaRod Stephens-Howling; no one is taking the job from Beanie any time soon (ever).

Do you think Vick is worth keeping or would you go with someone like Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco. Its a one qb league. – Mike

Vick is head and shoulders above Ryan and Flacco. Even if he only performs at 70% of his production last year he is still a top 8 QB; Ryan and Flacco probably do not finish in the top 10.

For a WR I need to choose 1 of the following to start – David Nelson, Pierre Garcon, Lance Moore, or Victor Cruz? – Chris

Out of those four at WR you are starting David Nelson. Garcon is attached to Curtis Painter (8 targets 2 receptions, albeit TD’s), Lance Moore is the 3rd receiver and 5th option on plays, and Victor Cruz is still trying to establish where he fits on the Giants option. If he is the no. 3 receiver, his value is quite low.

Who would you start between Mark Ingram and Tolbert as a #2 RB non-ppr? I already have Peterson starting and Felix Jones has a bye week! – Antonio

I would start Tolbert in all formats over Ingram. Tolbert is going to see more touches and is much more explosive. The Saint’s are a pass first team and Tolbert is in on passing downs.

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Stock Rising

Every week in the NFL season there are players who have a sudden stock rise due to a sudden change in direction or an injury. This week is no different and has quite a few players who should be bought into and in most cases started.
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Jacoby Jones
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With Andre Johnson out Jacoby Jones stands to receive the most looks on the Texans. Whether this leads to more production is up for debate but one thing we do know is he is the first read on most plays now. Look for Jones to get anywhere from 10-12 targets a week until Johnson is back.


Owen Daniels
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Owen Daniels probably stands to have the biggest increase in fantasy production for the Texans. Daniels has already been a top-10 TE to this point and this pushes him into discussion for top-5. Foster is going to be capped with his attempts to avoid further injury which puts Daniels into a drop-off role and I expect him to get a ton of red zone looks (4-5 a week). Owen Daniels owners probably have no idea the gold mine they are sitting on.


Ryan Torain
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It is impossible to feel good about a rising stock in the Washington backfield. Two weeks ago this would have been about Roy Helu and at the beginning of the season it was about Tim Hightower. Proceed with serious caution. The Redskins have a bye-week but I wouldn’t wait until the next Washington game to sell high on Torain. Good chance Torain has already reached his peek (don’t forget he is very injury prone).


Stevan Ridley
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As goes for Torain goes for Ridley. New England never has the fantasy community in mind during their game plans so there is no way to know for certain Ridley is the guy. Eye ball test says he is the most skilled back the Patriots have. He is heavier and faster then Green-Ellis and could easily be labeled as a change-of-pace back.


Isaac Redman
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Simple here. If you wanted in on Redman you were betting on starting him this week and likely letting him go (he has the skill). He is valuable this week but once Mendenhall is completely healthy his value is nothing more then a top-10 handcuff.


Pierre Garcon
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Two catches for two plays where the defense forgot how to tackle, and yet he makes this list. Garcon led the Colts in targets (tied with Wayne) and since Painter stepped in has led the team in targets overall. He isn’t a strong play on any given week but he is a great flex guy with huge upside. Very favorable match-up this week as the Chiefs look awful this year.


Victor Cruz
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So who’s the number two guy in New York? No one knows but if it’s Victor Cruz then we likely have one of the best bangs for you buck in a long time. He pairs nicely with Nicks as they both can go deep and take advantage of any man to man situation. He isn’t likely to see double coverage with Nicks still on the field which gives Cruz a unique opportunity.


Jared Cook
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Well he finally found pay dirt which makes this stock watch easier then it should be. He still isn’t getting a ton of catches a game but Hasselbeck is a solid quarterback and Jared Cook is a reliable tight end. Something has to give eventually.


Darrius Heyward-Bey
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University of Maryland product Darrius Heyward-Bey is fast. He must be as the Raiders only sign and draft guys who do well on the 40-yard dash. But until week 4 Heyward-Bey was invisible and no one was really talking about him. The Raiders are still a run first team but Jason Campbell is doing a good enough job of spreading the ball around to make all their receivers relevant. In deeper formats, roll with him with confidence that he could post over 100 yards on 3 touches for a touchdown (or better).
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Rest in Peace Steve Jobs.

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