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Possible Landing Spots If The Broncos Trade Brandon Marshall

By: — March 30, 2010 @ 9:54 am
Filed under: Transactions

With the Denver Broncos choosing to place a first round tender on Brandon Marshall, the wide receiver was expected to receive plenty of attention as free agency opened. Surprisingly, that hasn’t happened and a player who has had three straight 100-reception seasons has made only one free agent visit.

With the rookie draft approaching, the chances of a team signing Marshall to an offer sheet prior to the April 15th deadline are dwindling. Reports indicate that the Broncos are now willing to accept less than a first round pick for Marshall and may be willing to move him for a pick in the second round.

Unfortunately for Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels, his running and well-publicised feud with his talented wide receiver has hindered the team’s attempt to receive fair value for Marshall.

Potential suitors are well aware of the volatile relationship between the coach and his player. McDaniels forced Marshall to come off the bench for the opening game of last season, and then questioned Marshall’s ability to play through a hamstring injury at the end of the season. McDaniels benched him for the team’s week 17 home loss to Kansas City.

Also hurting Marshall’s trade value is the fact that any team acquiring him will have to sign him to a lucrative long-term contract extension. That is a significant risk considering any further violations of the league’s personal-conduct policy could result in an eight game suspension or more.

Seattle Seahawks

The new Seahawks brain trust has already proven they are willing to roll the dice given their acquisition of third string Chargers quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. With T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch on the downside of their careers, and Deon Butler coming off a disappointing rookie season, the Seahawks are in need of a playmaker at the wide receiver position.

Fantasy Impact

Marshall would immediately become the Seahawks top receiver and could top 100 catches in 2010 provided Matt Hasselbeck stays under center for 16 games. However, Whitehurst will likely be given a chance to take over the team if they struggle or if Hasselbeck cannot stay healthy.

Expect one of those two scenarios to play out with Whitehurst taking over at some point in 2010. It’s worth noting that Marshall’s production would likely take a hit if Whitehurst moves into the starting line-up during the fantasy playoffs.

Marshall’s downside risk certainly increases without Hasselbeck at the controls. However, he is likely to top 1,100 yards and eight to ten touchdowns if Hasselbeck starts the majority of the team’s games next season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs currently possess the league’s worst pair of starting wide receivers in two of Michael Clayton, Reggie Brown, Maurice Stovall and Sammie Stroughter. With quarterback Josh Freeman entering his second year, it would make sense for the team to surround him with a better supporting cast at the wide receiver position.

Armed with two second round draft picks from the Gaines Adams trade with Chicago, the Bucs could afford to move picks to Denver to acquire Marshall. The Bears pick is the 42nd overall and could be enough to pry Marshall away from Denver. It also helps that the Bucs own selections are the third of each round, except for the fifth round which they traded.

Diminishing the odds of a trade to Tampa Bay is that the Bucs may not want to add Marshall’s questionable character to their young team.

Fantasy Impact

Although Freeman flashed some ability as a rookie, his accuracy and decision making leave much to be desired at this point in his career. Expecting him to make a big jump in his second year in the league may be asking too much.

With Tampa Bay, Marshall’s string of three consecutive 100-reception seasons would almost certainly come to an end. A season with between 80-90 receptions, a little over 1,000 yards and 6-7 touchdowns would be more likely. In Tampa, Marshall slides to WR2 status.

New York Jets

The Jets have a solid tandem of starting wide receivers in Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery, but with Edwards on a one-year contract, there has been much speculation that the Jets want to acquire a wide receiver in the draft.

Increasing the odds of a Marshall move to New York is that Mike Tannenbaum is one of the least conservative general managers in the league and is not afraid to move draft picks to acquire veteran players.

The Jets 29th pick of the second round may not be enough to entice McDaniels but an additional late round selection in this year’s draft or in 2011 might be. Alternatively, moving Cotchery and a late round pick would give the Broncos a solid veteran that would help them immediately.

Fantasy Impact

Marshall’s fantasy value in New York would depend on the maturation of Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. For all the accolades Sanchez received as a rookie, the bottom line is that he had a 54.8% completion rate and threw 20 interceptions against 12 touchdowns in a conservative offense.

Sanchez certainly has upside and the moxie to establish himself as one of the better quarterbacks in the league but he needs to mature and reduce his risk taking when the team gets behind. Of his 20 interceptions, 15 came in just four games.

Simply put, the Jets don’t throw enough to have any receiver catch 100 passes and Marshall’s presence wouldn’t likely change that. They are built to run early and run often. Expect a season of 80 receptions for a little over 1,000 yards and 7-8 touchdowns in New York.

New England Patriots

The Patriots recent history suggests they aren’t afraid of trading for malcontent veteran wide receivers providing the price is right. In addition, they are in need of a receiving threat to play opposite Randy Moss given the uncertain timetable for Wes Welker’s return from the knee injury he suffered at the end of last season.

With three second round picks as well as their fourth and sixth rounds picks and two picks in the seventh round, the Patriots have the ability to acquire Marshall which would give quarterback Tom Brady the best pair (or trio, with Welker) of wide receivers in the league.

Fantasy Impact

Marshall would fit in nicely in New England as the team’s intermediate possession receiver with Moss handling most of the deep work and Welker assuming the underneath routes once he is healthy.

The sky might be the limit in New England for Marshall provided the offensive line returns to its pre-2009 form when it struggled for the first time in recent memory. On the Patriots, Marshall would likely catch a little under 100 passes but be around 1,100 yards and ten or more touchdowns. Marshall’s numbers in this scenario are highly dependent on the return to health of Wes Welker.

Dallas Cowboys

Would the Cowboys like to pair Marshall with Miles Austin? Absolutely.

Would Cowboys owner Jerry Jones be willing to admit the colossal mistake he made by acquiring Roy Williams and a 2010 seventh round pick from the Lions for first, third and sixth round picks in the 2009 draft? Absolutely not.

Fantasy Impact

Marshall would look good in a Cowboys uniform but Austin would likely be the team’s deep threat with Marshall assuming more of a possession type receiver role. However, tight end Jason Witten has been Tony Romo’s security blanket so Marshall’s impact in this role would certainly result in less production than as been the norm in Denver.

With the Cowboys, Marshall would likely catch 80-90 passes for around 1,100 yards with seven or eight touchdowns.

Washington Redskins

Would new Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan love to be reunited with his former star pupil? Absolutely.

Does McDaniels want to reunite the pair and watch from a distance as the Broncos former coach and Marshall help reignite a dormant Redskins passing offense? Absolutely not.

The odds of McDaniels doing anything to help resurrect the career of Shanahan and potentially embarrass Broncos owner Pat Bowlen are slim to none. McDaniels may have had a rough ride in his first year as coach of the franchise but there’s no way he’s foolish enough to risk moving Marshall to Washington.

Fantasy Impact

We know what they did together in Denver and Jason Campbell is good enough to allow Marshall to top 100 catches and 1,100 yards. However, the Redskins offense figures to be a work in progress so projecting more than eight touchdowns in Washington would be a stretch.

Chicago Bears

Similar to the Redskins scenario, McDaniels isn’t about to bring about a Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall reunion in one of the NFL’s largest markets.

Fantasy Impact

Marshall does not seem to really fit the mould of a Torry Holt or Isaac Bruce, who excelled in the Mike Martz offense, but given their past we would expect Cutler to lean heavily on Marshall in this hypothetical situation. Not to mention, Mad Mike will almost certainly have Cutler near the top of the league in pass attempts. This would be the best possible destination for Marshall from a fantasy standpoint. Chalk them up for the pair’s third 100-reception season together, and Marshall’s fourth straight of his career.

Possible Landing Spots If The Eagles Trade Donovan McNabb

By: — March 25, 2010 @ 11:21 am
Filed under: Transactions

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid let the rest of the league in on the worst kept secret of the 2010 off-season—the team is listening to offers for all three of its quarterbacks. What was left unsaid was which of the team’s three starting calibre quarterbacks was most likely to be traded.

While Reid was quick to point out the current depth chart has Donovan McNabb starting with Kevin Kolb backing him up and Michael Vick occupying the third spot, it seems clear that if one of them is to be traded it will be McNabb.

Kolb was drafted to be the team’s quarterback of the future and there is nothing to suggest the team wants to move him. Vick is entering the final year of his contract, played little in 2009 and would not command much in a trade.

That leaves McNabb as the quarterback most likely to be moved.

The most probable potential suitors for McNabb right now appear to be the St. Louis Rams, Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders and Cleveland Browns. Let’s analyze the current situation for each team, and what the fantasy impact would be acquiring McNabb.

St. Louis Rams

The Rams own the 1st pick in the draft and there are indications the team is strongly considering using the pick on University of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, provided they are convinced he has recovered from surgery on his throwing shoulder.

The team’s first free agent acquisition was veteran quarterback A.J. Feeley, and they have hinted they will have Bradford in for a visit just prior to the draft. Feeley could begin the season as the team’s starter if Bradford isn’t deemed ready. The visit will allow them to examine the shoulder after his pro day workout this coming Monday.

Reports have indicated the Rams may be willing to part with the first pick in the 2nd round and either safety O.J. Atogwe or defensive tackle Adam Carriker for McNabb.

However, players not under contract cannot be traded and Atogwe has not signed his one-year tender for $1.2 million and is unlikely to do so because the Rams have to increase their offer to $6.7 million on June 1st or release him. The Eagles interest in Carriker seems questionable given the team’s depth along the defensive line and recent acquisition of Darryl Tapp.

Also working against McNabb going to St. Louis is that he is entering the final year of his contract and the rebuilding Rams cannot afford to move a high draft choice unless they agree to an extension prior to a trade.

For what it’s worth, Rams general manager Billy Devaney has steadfastly denied being in trade discussions with the Eagles.

It’s also worth noting that should the Eagles trade McNabb to the Rams, they will increase the likelihood of the division rival Washington Redskins using the fourth pick in the draft on Bradford.

Fantasy Impact

At the moment, the Rams most explosive wide receiver is Donnie Avery but his growth stalled in 2009 and it does not appear that he will develop into a true number one receiver. Laurent Robinson and Brandon Gibson figure to vie for the other starting spot and Danny Amendola has potential as a slot receiver. However, the team lacks a receiving threat at tight end.

There also wouldn’t be much on the way in the draft since acquiring McNabb would free the Rams to take defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Even with Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson in the backfield with him, McNabb’s fantasy prospect for 2010 would take a serious hit with a move to St. Louis. He would likely be nothing more than a high end backup.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills have major question marks at quarterback with Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm on the depth chart and they may not be in a position to address them at the draft. The team has the ninth pick in the draft that is widely regarded as having two quarterbacks worthy of selections in the first round, Bradford and Notre Dame’s Jimmy Clausen.

Unfortunately for the Bills, both players could be gone by the time the Bills are on the clock. Washington, Cleveland and the Seattle Seahawks are all rumoured to be interested in taking a quarterback before the Bills pick. The Bills could always attempt to move up but they would have to pay a steep price to get ahead of the Redskins or perhaps Seattle who picks sixth.

That is why the Bills are the most logical destination for McNabb, provided he is willing to go there. The Bills generally make at least one notable transaction each off-season (note the Terrell Owens free agent signing last year) and acquiring McNabb would certainly ignite their somewhat disenchanted fan base.

Buffalo has the ninth pick in the second round and that pick and perhaps Roscoe Parrish as a return threat to reduce DeSean Jackson’s workload could entice the Eagles.

Fantasy Impact

In Buffalo, McNabb’s fantasy prospects would take a hit with only Lee Evans a proven threat at wide receiver. However, the team is high on Shawn Nelson as a pass catching tight end and wide receiver James Hardy is entering his third year after two disappointing seasons.

The team has solid depth at running back in Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch and would likely use their first pick in the draft on a left tackle. Nonetheless, McNabb would be a fantasy backup in Buffalo.

Oakland Raiders

Raiders owner Al Davis is loathe to admit his mistakes and acquiring McNabb would be admitting that taking JaMarcus Russell first overall in 2008 was a major misfire. That alone would seem to rule out the Raiders but Davis is as unpredictable as his teams have been predictably bad over the last few years.

The team received strong play from backups Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye last year and both players return to challenge Russell for the starting position. The Raiders have many needs so moving draft picks for an aging quarterback given their current depth chart at the position would seem a questionable move at best.

However, nothing the Raiders do should come as a surprise at this point so a move to trade for McNabb shouldn’t be ruled out. The Raiders’ second round pick and a LB, where the Raiders do have some quality depth, could net McNabb in a trade.

Fantasy Impact

The Raiders offense was one of the league’s worst in 2009 but it is not a stretch to conclude that was a direct result of poor play at quarterback. The team has a number of young, talented skill position players who could excel with increased production from the quarterback position.

The running back depth chart features a potential thunder and lightning duo in Michael Bush and Darren McFadden. Tight end Zach Miller could have a break out season with McNabb at quarterback and there is potential at wide receiver in Darrius Heyward-Bey, Chaz Schilens, Louis Murphy and Johnnie Lee Higgins.

With McNabb on board, the team could solidify its offensive line by taking an offensive tackle with the eighth pick in the first round.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns have completely revamped their quarterback depth chart over the last month. Brady Quinn was traded and Derek Anderson was released to make way for free agent signee Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, acquired in a trade with Seattle.

There have also been rumors that new general manager Mike Holmgren wants to use the fifth pick in the draft on Clausen, assuming Bradford is off the board by them. That seems logical given that none of Delhomme, Wallace, or third string quarterback Brett Ratliff can be considered the team’s quarterback of the future.

The Browns are loaded with draft picks with all of their own picks except their seventh round selection as well two additional third round picks, three additional fifth round picks and an additional sixth round picks.

Although McNabb may be a solid fit in Cleveland and the Browns have the draft picks to make it happen, the more likely scenario is the Browns taking a quarterback with the fifth pick in the draft or packaging it and additional picks to move up.

Fantasy Impact

The Browns are bereft of talent at the skill positions so a move to Cleveland would be the worst possible scenario for McNabb’s fantasy prospects in 2010. Even running back Jerome Harrison, widely touted as a breakout candidate next year, is somewhat suspect given his lack of use over his first three years in Cleveland.

If you have McNabb in a dynasty league, look to unload him if he ends up in Cleveland.

Mike Bell to Eagles—Fantasy Impact

By: — March 24, 2010 @ 10:16 am
Filed under: Free Agents

As expected, the New Orleans Saints will not match the offer sheet that restricted free agent running back Mike Bell signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Saints won’t receive any draft pick compensation because Bell was an undrafted player who the Saints tendered at the lowest level.

Reports indicate the offer sheet was a one year contract for $1.7 million with $500,000 guaranteed and also included modest incentives as well as a no-trade clause. With a solid one-two punch of Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush and a desire to increase the role of third year power back Lynell Hamilton, the Saints decided against retaining Bell.

Bell is coming off a solid year in which he ran for 654 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games last season. He had success as a rookie in 2006 with Denver but bounced around the league in 2007 and 2008 before resurrecting his career in 2009.

In Philadelphia, Bell will provide another veteran presence behind LeSean McCoy and allow Leonard Weaver to concentrate on the fullback position. His acquisition reduces the likelihood of the team taking a running back in the rookie draft this year.

Fantasy Impact

The biggest winner with Bell moving to Philadelphia is Pierre Thomas. With Bell off the roster, the short yardage and goal-line work will fall to either Thomas or Hamilton. Hamilton lacks Bell’s experience so there is now a greater likelihood of Thomas getting increased touches at the goal-line.

Thomas moves up to 15th in my running back rankings with an increased likelihood of a breakout season.

Hamilton assumes Bell’s role in the offense but is unlikely to match Bell’s production from a year ago. Look for approximately 450 yards and 4-5 touchdowns from him.

In Philadelphia, Bell’s signing negatively impacts fullback and backup running back Leonard Weaver more than McCoy. Weaver figures to be relegated almost exclusively to fullback duties with Bell taking over in short yardage situations. Barring injury, Weaver is not worth owning except in leagues with deep rosters.

Bell is a proven short-yardage runner and figures to amass 500-600 yards and 5-6 touchdowns as part of a potent Eagles offense. The move is slightly negative for Bell from a fantasy perspective since he was expected to achieve similar production in New Orleans as he had last year.

The Saints run the ball far more frequently and effectively than the Eagles. While Bell’s touchdown production won’t suffer in Philadelphia, there is a risk that he won’t see enough carries to match his yardage total from 2009.

Passing Time With A One-Man Mock Draft

By: — March 23, 2010 @ 10:17 am
Filed under: Mock Draft

The unrestricted free agent market is slowing down due to a number of early signings and lack of quality free agents available courtesy of 2010 being an uncapped year.

Much like the NFL, fantasy football has leagues that run all year due to the expanding number of dynasty leagues that employ keepers, salary caps and various free agent tags, not to mention rookie drafts.

With fantasy football becoming a year-round pursuit for many, lets fill the time with something useful during this down period, before we ratchet things up for the next big event on the NFL calendar, the NFL Draft.

Well, as I always say, there is never a wrong time to do a mock draft to think about when players will be drafted if we started a brand new league, today.

This mock is a one-man show based on statistical projections for the 2010 season, and assumes all players are going to play 16 games and be solid citizens from now until the end of the year.

Concerns about Brandon Marshall? Forget about it. Vincent Jackson might get suspended? For what? Let’s agree to ignore all that, at least for the next ten minutes.

Plus, this mock draft does not consider the incoming rookie crop or some veteran free agents who are bound to end up as handcuffs to players in this draft and negatively impact their touches.

Keep your eye out for where Brian Westbrook and Willie Parker eventually sign. Plus, a couple of players will likely drop in value once the rookie draft is complete such as Kevin Smith of the Detroit Lions.

Round 1

1.01 (1) Adrian Peterson, MIN—He’s my top ranked running back at the moment.

1.02 (2) Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC—Touchdown machine who put concerns about his durability to rest after his first year as a starter in 2009.

1.03 (3) Chris Johnson, TEN—Fantasy’s biggest breakout star last year will try to duplicate his 2009 performance. He’ll be great in 2010, just not as great.

1.04 (4) Ray Rice, BAL—Others may think the addition of Anquan Boldin will reduce his numbers. Boldin’s presence will just make Rice more dangerous.

1.05 (5) Frank Gore, SF—Plenty of talented, young skill position players in San Francisco will help Gore’s touchdown totals.

1.06 (6) Steven Jackson, STL—He’s a beast but a bit of a risk due to the low number of touchdowns and injury issues. Downside risk if they take a quarterback in Round 1 of the draft.

1.07 (7) Michael Turner, ATL—Lack of receiving ability drops him down but he’s good for almost a score a game.

1.08 (8) Aaron Rodgers, GB—First quarterback off the board. There’s no reason why he can’t duplicate his 2009 performance.

1.09 (9) DeAngelo Williams, CAR—If he can stay healthy, he could get back in the top five like he was in 2008.

1.10 (10) Andre Johnson, HOU—Topped 1,500 yards and eight touchdowns in each of the last two years.

1.11 (11) Ryan Grant, GB—Fantasy’s most underrated running back. I’m not sure why fantasy owners aren’t more interested in a RB who starts on one of the most explosive offenses in the league.

1.12 (12) Matt Schaub, HOU—Threw for more yards than any other quarterback last year. Bit of an injury risk but guaranteed to be in the top five if he stays healthy for 16 games.

Round 2

2.01 (13) Knowshon Moreno, DEN—All he needs to breakout is more touches. Look for him to get those touches in 2010.

2.02 (14) Chris Wells, ARI—Same story for Wells plus the Cardinals figure to run more with the loss of quarterback Kurt Warner and Boldin.

2.03 (15) Randy Moss, NE—With Welker hurt and no proven third wide receiver or starting tight end, Moss figures to get plenty of looks in 2010.

2.04 (16) Peyton Manning, IND—Top five lock once again but a risk considering he’s often rested for at least part of the fantasy playoffs.

2.05 (17) Jonathan Stewart, CAR—Matt Moore isn’t that much better than Jake Delhomme to change this team’s identity. There will be a healthy dose of running in Carolina once again in 2010.

2.06 (18) Drew Brees, NO—Before you get your knickers in a knot, note that five quarterbacks threw for more yards than Brees in 2009.

2.07 (19) Roddy White, ATL—Matt Ryan should only get better and White figures to reap the benefits with Tony Gonzalez a year older and a lack of playmakers amongst the team’s other wide receivers.

2.08 (20) Cedric Benson, CIN—The Bengals now feature the running game and Benson is one of the few workhorses in the league.

2.09 (21) Rashard Mendenhall, PIT—Mendenhall came on strong last season but it remains to be seen whether the Steelers will revert back to a more ground based attack after a pass heavy 2009 season.

2.10 (22) Miles Austin, DAL—Dynamic playmaker usurped Roy Williams as the Cowboys top wide receiver. Expect big production in 2010.

2.11 (23) Brandon Marshall, DEN—Catches 100 balls every year even with the suspensions.

2.12 (24) DeSean Jackson, PHI—Expect Jackson to make plenty of big plays again in 2010.

Round 3

3.01 (25) Donovan McNabb, PHI—Eagles young skill position players only figure to get better and the offensive line should bounce back after underperforming in 2009.

3.02 (26) Fred Jackson, BUF—Jackson figures to relegate Marshawn Lynch to the bench and perhaps off the roster in 2010. If Lynch goes, Jackson will be in line for major touches.

3.03 (27) Pierre Thomas, NO—Thomas was solid in 2009 and could get increased work if Mike Bell doesn’t return. Big upside on a strong Saints offense.

3.04 (28) Vincent Jackson, SD—Facing a league suspension but has gotten better every year, and the Chargers could lean more on the pass this year.

3.05 (29) Calvin Johnson, DET—Expect a bounce back season with Matthew Stafford entering his second year.

3.06 (30) Shonn Greene, NYJ—Greene was pegged at least a round higher before the LaDainian Tomlinson signing. Greene will still be solid enough for a mid-third round pick. Leon Washington was likely going to get the third down work anyway.

3.07 (31) Matt Forte, CHI—Chester Taylor’s a good back but he’s a similar player to Forte. If Taylor gets the goal line work, Forte will suffer slightly. However, Forte’s a solid receiving threat out of the backfield and should benefit in that area with Mike Martz running the show.

3.08 (32) Greg Jennings, GB—Scored only four touchdowns in 2009 but that should improve in 2010. Jennings was a touchdown machine in 2007 and 2008 with 21 over those two seasons.

3.09 (33) Marques Colston, NO—Top receiving threat on a great offense that unfortunately spreads it around a lot.

3.10 (34) Kevin Smith, DET—Bit of an injury risk. However, I’m not as sold as other prognosticators on the Lions taking an impact running back early in the draft.

3.11 (35) Philip Rivers, SD—His passing yards have gone up every year and that shouldn’t change in 2010 with no clear starter at the running back position.

3.12 (36) Larry Fitzgerald, ARI—He’s a bargain at this spot but hard to move up given the doubts about Matt Leinart’s ability to produce at quarterback. Had the 15th most receiving yards in the league in 2009 but was the fourth ranked fantasy wide receiver courtesy of his 13 touchdowns.

Whitehurst, Quinn, Delhomme, Larry Johnson—Fantasy Impact

By: — March 19, 2010 @ 1:12 pm
Filed under: Free Agents

With the NFL free agent market cooling off until the restricted free agent market heats up, the number of important unrestricted free agent signings has slowed to a trickle. However, teams continue to fill their personnel needs for the 2010 season with more modest acquisitions through free agency and trades.

That the free agent market has included so few key signings comes as no surprise given teams’ increased propensity to retain their own free agents over the last few years, and the breakdown of labour negotiations which resulted in 2010 being an uncapped year. The latter point severely reduced the number of unrestricted free agents on the market due to players now requiring six years of experience before qualifying for unrestricted status.

Despite that, there were a number of interesting moves this week that will have fantasy implications for the 2010 season. Some of the players that changed teams this week could provide surprise fantasy value.

Charlie Whitehurst Traded to Seattle

This one qualifies as the most intriguing transaction of the week with the Seattle Seahawks swapping 2nd round picks in this year’s rookie draft and also giving up a 3rd round pick in 2011 to San Diego to acquire Charlie Whitehurst.

The ‘Hawks drop 20 spots in the 2nd round and also have reportedly agreed to a contract extension for Whitehurst that pays him $5 million per season.

Teams don’t pay backups $5 million a season unless they are all but guaranteed to become starters. With Seattle in a rebuilding mode under new head coach Pete Carroll and an injury-prone Matt Hasselbeck hitting 35 early in the season, there’s little doubt Whitehurst will be behind center at some point in 2010 barring a Seattle early season resurgence.

Whitehurst is an unknown commodity, not having thrown a regular season pass during his four years in the league. With the team’s offense expected to struggle and being led by an aging Hasselbeck or the inexperienced Whitehurst, you should downgrade the team’s wide receivers and tight end John Carlson. They carry significant fantasy risk with little upside given the quarterback situation.

Is Whitehurst a sleeper in Seattle? Not in 2010 and maybe not in dynasty leagues given the team’s aging starting wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Deion Branch.

Delhomme to Start in Cleveland

If the Whitehurst situation was intriguing, this one is the head scratcher of the week. Cleveland trades a former 1st round pick in Brady Quinn, who never really had much of a chance to succeed, for a fullback, a 2011 6th round pick and a conditional pick in 2012. They also dumped former Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Anderson.

They did this all for the chance to install Delhomme as the team’s starting quarterback on a 2 year deal for a reported $7 million a season. This for a player who has over his last 12 games, thrown for 2,220 yards, nine touchdowns and 23 interceptions while completing less than 55% of his passes.

As with the Seattle wide receivers, avoid Cleveland’s wideouts and tight ends in 2010. In fact, the only useful offensive fantasy player on the roster is running back Jerome Harrison.

Quinn Traded to the Broncos

The Broncos gave up little to acquire Quinn and he will enter training camp with a chance to unseat Kyle Orton as the team’s starting quarterback in 2011. While Quinn has been dismal as a pro, there should be little argument with the notion that he had little to work with in Cleveland, particularly in 2009.

Of course, the other side of the argument is that there’s nothing to suggest that he’s bound for success in Denver in 2010 or even that he’ll push Orton to the bench. However, head coach Josh McDaniels may have seen enough from Orton to know that after five years in the league he’s not about to relinquish his role as a game manager.

Here’s betting that McDaniels gives Quinn every opportunity to win the job and that he does. Quinn’s motivation has never been questioned and it’s possible that the better supporting cast that resides in Denver will propel him from the fantasy backwaters to being a useful fantasy backup quarterback.

Orton was the 16th ranked quarterback in 2009, the team has talented young playmakers on offense and a solid, young offensive line so if Brandon Marshall returns, whoever wins the starting job could provide some upside to your fantasy squad next year.

Derek Anderson Signs with Arizona

Jettisoned by the Browns, Anderson quickly found a home with the Arizona Cardinals. The former Pro Bowl quarterback figures to play behind Matt Leinart, but there are mixed signals coming from the team’s coaching staff regarding where Anderson fits in.

A week ago Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt noted that Leinart would be the team’s anointed starter after he goes to three Pro Bowls and wins a Super Bowl. Then after Anderson signed, Whisenhunt claimed that Leinart was the starter.

However, Anderson’s deal is significant for a backup and reports indicate that it includes $7.25 million over two years with the chance to earn up to $18 million. While Leinart may be the starter heading into camp, Anderson’s deal suggests that the team certainly felt they needed competition for Leinart.

That should come as no surprise given his history off the field as well as his performance on it over the last few years.

Nonetheless, Leinart figures to win the job out of training camp and his fantasy situation is solid given the team’s cast of offensive skill position players, even with the departure of wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the Ravens.

However, while his fantasy situation is solid, he has done little to suggest that he is about to become an elite level quarterback overnight. More likely, he will struggle at times in 2010 and the team will almost certainly look to increase the use of their running attack behind 2009 1st round pick Chris Wells.

Leinart figures to be a mid to low end backup fantasy quarterback in 2010, albeit one with upside. In dynasty leagues, he’s certainly worth taking a chance on.

Johnson Signs on to Backup Portis in Washington

Former Chief Larry Johnson signed a two year deal for the chance to compete for playing time in Washington behind starter Clinton Portis. While Johnson has been an enigma for his entire career and is perhaps the most overrated fantasy running back over the last decade with just two 1,000 yard seasons out of seven in the league, his performance over the last few years hasn’t been as horrible as some would suggest.

He averaged 4.5 yards per carry in 2008 and would have topped 1,000 yards had he not missed four games due to his off the field transgressions. While his performance last year was poor, it seems clear that he is a player that plays best when his back is against the wall or when he is challenged.

His best years in the league came when he had to beat Priest Holmes out of the starting spot in Kansas City. In Washington, his career is on the line and he will be out of the league unless his performs.

In Washington, they might consider him the oldest running back on the roster since at 30, he is two years older than Clinton Portis. However, he’s carried the ball 775 fewer times in his career. He’s worth taking a flier on but certainly not worth reaching for.

Tomlinson Jets to New York—Fantasy Impact

By: — March 15, 2010 @ 9:09 am
Filed under: Free Agents

After a short free agent tour that saw him take trips to Minnesota and New York, LaDainian Tomlinson flew home to San Diego to mull his options and has chosen to join the New York Jets in 2010. Reports indicate he will sign a 2 year deal for over $5 million.

Tomlinson was looking for a chance to play on a contending team in 2010 but also wanted to be in a situation where he had the potential to get 10-15 carries a game. It should come as no surprise that he chose to sign with a Jets team that relies heavily on the run and features a much less proven number one guy relative to the Vikings. The Vikings also sport a solid passing game with Brett Favre at the helm.

The Jets were in the market for a veteran back after failing to renegotiate the final year on Thomas Jones’ contract and watching him move to Kansas City. Tomlinson’s signing may also be an indication that the team is concerned about Leon Washington’s recovery from a broken right fibula.

With Washington also a restricted free agent, the move to acquire Tomlinson now allows the Jets to consider taking draft pick compensation if another team signs Washington to an offer sheet they deem to be excessive. Washington was tendered at the 2nd round pick level.

Reports out of San Francisco indicate the 49ers are interested in a running back who can returns kicks. Washington is another logical destination for Leon Washington.

Fantasy Impact

In New York, Tomlinson joins a Jets team that led the league in rushing in 2010 with 2,756 yards and carries with 607, 140 more than the Vikings. Clearly, the Jets represented his best opportunity to get on the field and this in turns positively impacts his fantasy value.

Unfortunately he is coming off the worst year of his career with 730 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns while averaging 3.3 yards per attempt. In addition, he had just 154 yards receiving, well off his career average of 475 entering the season.

Fantasy wise the issue is, what does he have left? In considering Tomlinson’s performance, what is often overlooked is the deteriorating play of the Chargers’ offensive line over the last two seasons.

The Jets possess perhaps the league’s best run blocking offensive line. Last year, counting the game where Washington was injured, Shonn Greene averaged over 10 carries per game backing up Jones. Expect Tomlinson to average at least that many touches due to his superior receiving ability, something that kept Greene off the field in certain situations.

Tomlinson figures to approach but not exceed the 730 yards he had in 2009 with fewer than the 12 touchdowns he posted last year. Look for 600-650 yards and four to six touchdowns. If Washington goes elsewhere, Tomlinson also becomes the team’s receiving back. For Greene’s owners, he is a must have handcuff.

Greene was pegged as a low end RB2 with upside and he slides down a couple of spots in the rankings. He remains a solid option in all fantasy leagues but his value takes a hit due to the acquisition of Tomlinson and his lack of touches in the passing game. Greene failed to catch a pass in the regular season as a rookie. He caught one in three playoff games.

Fantasy Football Rankings—Tight Ends

By: — @ 7:46 am
Filed under: Forecast

1. Antonio Gates, SD—Gates bounced back last year after a subpar year in 2008 to lead all tight ends in receiving yards. The Chargers offense figures to dominate and he had six TD in the last six games of 2009.

2. Brent Celek, PHI—Built on his impressive late season performance in 2008 to become the 4th ranked fantasy TE in 2009 with nearly 1,000 yards receiving and eight TD. No reason why he can’t duplicate that in 2010.

3. Vernon Davis, SF—Huge, unforeseen breakout campaign in 2009 that included 13 TD made him the top fantasy TE. Difficult to imagine that happening again but he should top 900 yards again next year.

4. Dallas Clark, IND—Coming off a career year where he benefited from the absence of a solid threat opposite Reggie Wayne early in 2009. With Anthony Gonzalez back from injury and Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie developing, Clark’s opportunities could be reduced in 2010.

5. Jermichael Finley, GB—Had a coming out party in 2009 with 55 receptions for 676 yards and five TD despite playing in only 13 games with nine starts. Finley averaged 11.5 fantasy points per game over the last five games of the season. Young player with major upside who should be the top ranked TE in dynasty leagues.

6. Owen Daniels, HOU—Daniels was on pace for a career year in 2009 before an ACL injury derailed his season. If he is fully recovered by week one, he will be in the top 5 in 2010 but that is unlikely.

7. Tony Gonzalez, ATL—Another solid campaign but he looked slower than in 2008 and was definitely underutilized by the Falcons.

8. Heath Miller, PIT—Coming off a career year, Miller emerged as a solid check down option for the Steelers as well as a great option in the red zone. Expect similar production in 2010.

9. Jason Witten, DAL—Witten ranked 3rd in yards amongst TE last year with 1,030 but was only the 8th ranked fantasy TE due to his low TD total (two in 2009, scoring six over the last two years). The Cowboys have shown a propensity to throw to their big wide receivers in the end zone and there’s little reason why that would change in 2010.

10. Kellen Winslow, TB—Sneaks into the top 10 despite being hindered by quarterback play and the lack of a dominant wide receiver in what figures to be one of the worst offenses in the league in 2010.

11. Zach Miller, OAK—Miller doesn’t get the credit he deserves, mostly because he has never had the chance to play with a decent quarterback. However, his numbers improved once the team benched JaMarcus Russell and Russell will be on a shorter leash in 2010.

12. Visanthe Shiancoe, MIN—A solid fantasy TE for the last two years because he is a TD machine (11 last year and seven in 2008). However, he has yet to top 600 yards so if you grab him, you’re banking on the touchdowns and that makes him a bit of a risk.

13. Greg Olsen, CHI—Olsen is talented but no TE in a Mike Martz offense has ever topped 380 yards. As with Shiancoe, if you grab him, you’re banking on touchdowns.

14. John Carlson, SEA—Carlson wasn’t a bust in 2009 but it’s safe to say that his owners expected him to improve on his rookie season in 2008 and that didn’t happen. He was forced to stay in to pass protect more often and given the team’s questionable offensive line, that likely won’t change much in 2010.

15. Chris Cooley, WAS—Suffered an ankle injury which relegated him to seven games last year. He is a talented player and, at 27, should bounce back but the Redskins offense is in a rebuilding mode and Fred Davis played well in his absence.

16. Brandon Pettigrew, DET—Last year’s top ranked rookie TE was rounding nicely into form with 15 receptions for 165 yards and two TD in the three games before he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Might start slowly in 2010 but expect him to come on by mid-season.

17. Kevin Boss, NYG—Boss has increased his receiving yards every year (118 to 384 to 567) which is encouraging, however the team completely forgot about him in the red zone until week eight last year. He had five TD over his final nine games but may be forgotten once again in 2010 due to the emergence of the team’s wide receivers.

18. Todd Heap, BAL—Provided a surprisingly solid season last year but he’s about to turn 30, he’s injury prone and the Ravens will almost certainly pick up a TE in the draft.

19. Dustin Keller, NYJ—Similar to Carlson in that an improvement in his receiving numbers was expected in his second year, but he was held in to pass block more. Keller got a boost when Leon Washington went down but not as much as expected.

20. Jeremy Shockey, NO—Played well when he was healthy in 2009 but still missed two games and played hurt in a number of others.

21. Tony Scheffler, DEN—Forgotten man in Denver last year figures to have a new team in 2010.

22. Marcedes Lewis, JAC—Has improved his yardage totals in each of his four years in the league but has never topped two TD in a season which severely restricts his fantasy usefulness.

23. Anthony Fasano, MIA—Fasano was a decent option in 2008 courtesy of his seven TD but slumped to just two last season. His receiving skills are mediocre at best.

24. Daniel Fells, STL—The Rams didn’t tender Fells but was re-signed after the Patriots expressed interest. Obviously, they’re not sold on him and you shouldn’t be either.

25. Fred Davis, WAS—Played too well last year to be relegated to a strictly backup role but the Redskins offense figures to be mediocre in 2010 so his upside is limited unless Cooley gets hurt again.

26. Chase Coffman, CIN—The Bengals have big hopes for him, but with the addition of Antonio Bryant and strong running by Cedric Benson, there are already a lot of mouths to feed in this offense.

27. Bo Scaife, TEN—Seemed to be a promising player a couple of years ago but now he is what he is—30-40 yards per game and one or two TD on the season. Why bother.

28. David Thomas, NO—Thomas showed surprising receiving ability last year in limited opportunities, which makes you wonder what he might do if Shockey were to suffer a season-ending injury.

29. Brad Cottam, KC—He’s the starter for the Chiefs but there is not much upside here.

30. Dante Rosario, CAR—Another player who has looked the part at times but never put it together for an extended number of games.

31. Jared Cook, TEN—Titans are high on him and he could surprise if he can beat out Scaife and assume the role full-time.

32. Ben Watson, CLE—Watson moves from the Patriots, where he continued to tease fantasy owners with short flashes of excellence, to the Browns. Not overly excited here.

33. James Casey, HOU—Casey showed some ability last year and could get some opportunities if Daniels is slow to recover from injury.

34. Leonard Pope, KC—Pope moved from the Cardinals to the Chiefs last year, and got some chances in K.C. but didn’t do much with them.

Fantasy Football Rankings—Wide Receivers

By: — March 12, 2010 @ 1:38 am
Filed under: Forecast

1. Andre Johnson, HOU—Followed up his 1,575 yard, eight TD season in 2008 with 1,569 yards and nine TD in 2009. Let’s chalk him up for, say, 1,575 yards and, oh, eight or nine TD. Good enough for our top spot.

2. Randy Moss, NE—With Wes Welker coming back from injury, a lack of a proven threat at the other outside receiver position and no tight end who can catch, Moss’ opportunities figure to increase in 2010.

3. Roddy White, ATL—Not quite as explosive as he was in 2008, White still managed 1,153 yards and 11 TD. If Matt Ryan continues to develop, White figures to produce more.

4. Miles Austin, DAL—Huge breakout season in 2009 vaulted him to the top of the Cowboys depth chart and there’s no reason why he can’t duplicate his performance this year.

5. Brandon Marshall, DEN—Despite the turmoil in Denver last year, he was still the 5th ranked fantasy wide receiver. No matter what team he lands on, he’s in the top 10.

6. DeSean Jackson, PHI—Was the most explosive big play receiver in the league last year and is only getting better.

7. Vincent Jackson, SD—Coming off a solid campaign that was marred by a four game slump between weeks 10-13. Jackson will likely be suspended for one or two games due to his off the field troubles.

8. Calvin Johnson, DET—Definitely one of the largest fantasy busts at wide receiver in 2009 with under 1,000 yards and only five TD. However, Matthew Stafford figures to improve significantly in 2010 and hopefully Johnson can avoid the nagging injuries that hindered his performance last year.

9. Greg Jennings, GB—Another fantasy disappointment who posted solid receiving yards but managed just four TD after scoring 21 during the previous two years.

10. Marques Colston, NO—Dynamite talent who suffers fantasy wise from playing on a team with so many solid offensive skill position players.

11. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI—Talent wise, he is definitely higher. Rankings wise, you have to move him down based on the departures of Kurt Warner and Anquan Boldin.

12. Reggie Wayne, IND—Was exceptional for the first nine games of 2009 but trailed off badly during the last seven with 385 yards and two TD, which begs the question—is he wearing down at 31. The return of Anthony Gonzalez figures to have a minor negative impact on his numbers.

13. Sidney Rice, MIN—Breakout campaign in 2009 but difficult to bank on another phenomenal season from Brett Favre plus Percy Harvin’s role figures to expand.

14. Santonio Holmes, PIT—Finally delivered on his promise with a solid season in 2009 but still left something to be desired with only five TD, including a nine game stretch when he failed to find the end zone.

15. Hakeem Nicks, NYG—Simply put, he looks like a younger, faster version of Anquan Boldin. Nicks had 115 fantasy points on only 74 targets, ranking him 5th in that category. Look for the Giants to get him more involved in 2010.

16. Anquan Boldin, BAL—The move to Baltimore figures to have little effect on Boldin. If he’s healthy for 14-16 games, expect a little over 1,000 yards and 8-10 TD.

17. Chad Ochocinco, CIN—Comeback season in 2009 but is a year older and with Antonio Bryant an improvement over Laveraneus Coles opposite him, his targets may go down.

18. Michael Crabtree, SF—Solid rookie season and he figures to top 1,000 yards in 2010 but tight end Vernon Davis gobbles up the touchdowns so it’s hard to move Crabtree higher.

19. Mike Sims-Walker, JAC—Talented player coming off a breakout season but disappeared at times. With more consistency, he could hit the top 10. Here’s at 19 but with upside.

20. Steve Smith, NYG—Came out of nowhere to become the 12th ranked fantasy wide receiver in 2009. Here’s the question—do you believe? He’s at 20 so I’m not entirely sold especially with talented youngsters Nicks and Mario Manningham on board in New York.

21. Percy Harvin, MIN—Nice rookie season from Harvin and he has the talent to be a 1,000 yard receiver for years to come. The quarterback situation in Minnesota will impact where he ultimately lands in the projections and rankings.

22. Steve Smith, CAR—Salvaged his fantasy reputation with some nice games at the end of the season. His production in 2010 hinges on the play of new quarterback Matt Moore.

23. Dwayne Bowe, KC—Worked his way into new head coach Todd Haley’s doghouse by being an out of shape diva and then made things worse by getting suspended for four games. I keep wondering why Michael Clayton pops into my mind when I’m talking about Bowe?

24. Donald Driver, GB—Just keeps on producing but worrying signs on the horizon due to his week 14-17 production of 185 yards and no TD.

25. Jeremy Maclin, PHI—Maclin played well as a rookie with 762 yards and four TD. Natural progression should help him top 900 yards with at least six TD in 2010.

26. Hines Ward, PIT—Even though he had to play through some nagging injuries, he managed his most receiving yards since the 2003 season. He’s still Ben Roethlisberger’s security blanket.

27. Wes Welker, NE—Assuming he returns by the fourth week of the season, Welker still figures to land in the top 30.

28. Mike Wallace, PIT—Was the biggest surprise amongst the rookie receivers with 756 yards and six TD, good enough for 34th overall at the position. Look for him to improve on that in 2010.

29. Kenny Britt, TEN—Topped 700 yards as a rookie but only had three TD despite his 6’3”, 220 pound frame. The Titans are a well coached team so expect his red zone targets to increase in 2010.

30. Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ—Solid player who produces but doesn’t get enough targets to be a fantasy difference maker.

31. Steve Breaston, ARI—Moves into the starting line-up with Boldin’s departure but questions about Matt Leinart and Breaston’s lack of TD (only six on 140 career receptions) keep his ranking down.

32. Devin Aromashodu, CHI—Look for him to line up outside and be the main benefactor at wide receiver of the team’s decision to install Mike Martz at offensive co-ordinator. Solid dynasty option, provided he can hold off Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox.

33. Robert Meachem, NO—Has all the tools but needs to be more consistent so the coaches have confidence to make him a bigger part of the game plan. Entering his 4th season, maybe the light will stay on more frequently. Big upside.

34. Malcom Floyd, SD—The Chargers dumped Chris Chambers to get him into the starting line-up. Floyd is a tall, physical receiver who has the ability to go up and get jump balls on deep passes. Decent upside considering he plays on a solid offense that passes plenty.

35. Nate Burleson, DET—Burleson moves to the Lions where he figures to get plenty of single coverage opposite Calvin Johnson.

36. Mario Manningham, NYG—Solid second season with 822 yards and five TD but dropped at least 200 yards and two or three TD worth of production. Solid upside if Steve Smith’s career year was a fluke (which is possible).

37. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, SEA—Last year’s most overhyped wide receiver free agent signing was a bust in Seattle. With an aging O-line and quarterback, and Burleson in Detroit, expect similar production in 2010.

38. Braylon Edwards, NYJ—Maddeningly inconsistent on a team that likes to run. He’s their deep threat who averaged six targets a game with the Jets, too low to be even a WR3.

39. Pierre Garcon, IND—Made some big plays in his second year, finishing with 47 receptions for 765 yards and four TD. However, perhaps it is telling that he only caught 51% of the passes thrown his way, exceptionally low considering Peyton Manning’s 68.8% completion rate in 2009.

40. Lee Evans, BUF—Remarkably the Bills seem content with Trent Edwards at quarterback. Realistically, a rookie wouldn’t be much better so in either scenario, Evans ranks as a WR4 in 2010.

41. Derrick Mason, BAL—Back in Baltimore for another season but now playing second fiddle to Boldin.

42. Earl Bennett, CHI—Solid sophomore season after being a bust as a rookie. May not have the speed that Martz requires out wide and he’s not an option as a slot receiver.

43. Anthony Gonzalez, IND—He’s back in Indy after a wasted 2009 campaign. Caught 71.8% of the passes Manning tossed his way during his first two years in the league. While others are clamouring for Garcon and Collie, get Gonzalez on the cheap.

44. Devery Henderson, NO—He’s fast, he plays on one of the best passing offenses in the league but he doesn’t go over the middle so his fantasy upside is dependent on touchdowns. He had two last year.

45. Mohamed Massaquoi, CLE—Productive as a rookie with 624 yards and three TD but was that because they didn’t have anybody else to throw to? Who’s the QB in 2010 and how much are they throwing it? Hard to see the upside here.

46. Chris Chambers, KC—Did some nice things in K.C. in 2009 but now has his shiny new contract and don’t forget that he basically disappeared for a year and a half in San Diego.

47. Antonio Bryant, CIN—Bryant is a talented receiver. Unfortunately in Cincinnati he’s the second most talented receiver and they don’t throw it a whole lot.

48. Donnie Avery, STL—A burner who is maddeningly inconsistent and injury prone. Plus, the Rams have some major questions marks at quarterback. That being said, he has some upside provided they bring in a veteran like Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick.

49. Chaz Schilens, OAK—He’s Oakland’s best receiver. That’s not saying much and the quarterback situation is a mess so not much upside here.

50. Early Doucet, ARI—Looked like a poor man’s version of Anquan Boldin in the playoffs, when he put up 145 yards receiving and two TD. If he beats out Breaston, he could be WR3 material.

51. Santana Moss, WAS—Another player who is his team’s best receiver and another, “so what?”

52. Kevin Walter, HOU—Solid possession receiver coming off a down year, mostly due to injury, he could benefit if Owen Daniels is slow to recover from a torn ACL.

53. Davone Bess, MIA—Was the Dolphins most productive receiver over the last two years but is a small, shifty player who lacks top end speed, averages 10.1 yards per reception and has three TD in two years. Once again, not much upside.

54. Devin Thomas, WAS—Showed some flashes last year but now has to prove it to a new coach and may be catching balls from a rookie quarterback. That being said, there isn’t much talent at wide receiver in Washington so he could come on.

55. Josh Morgan, SF—Looks the part but seems to lack big play ability. Maybe the light goes on in 2010.

56. Roy Williams, DAL—Seven TD salvaged his fantasy season in 2009 when he had just 596 yards receiving. Caught 44.2% of his targets, a clear indication he and Tony Romo have some chemistry building to do.

57. Eddie Royal, DEN—Huge fantasy disappointment with 345 yards receiving and no TD after a rookie season of 91 receptions for 980 yards and five TD. Head coach Josh McDaniels says he’s going to be more involved in 2010 and if Marshall is traded, maybe it happens. There is some upside here.

58. Mike Thomas, JAC—Flashed some playmaking ability as a rookie but will need to beat out fellow second year player Jarrett Dillard to get into the starting line-up.

59. Jacoby Jones, HOU—Texans head coach Gary Kubiak says he loves Jones’ potential. If that’s the case, why did they sign Kevin Walter to a lucrative long-term contract?

60. Jason Avant, PHI—Has improved in each of his four years in the league. If Jackson or Maclin go down, Avant has the talent to produce.

61. Deion Branch, SEA—Hey, the Seahawks are going to be behind plenty and somebody has to catch some balls.

62. Johnny Knox, CHI—Move him up plenty if he works his way into the starting line-up.

63. Bernard Berrian, MIN—Sidney Rice. Percy Harvin. Meet Minnesota’s starting receivers in 2010.

64. Devin Hester, CHI—Mike Martz says Hester’s going to line up in the slot which will keep him fresh to return kicks. One comment like that and his potential drops like a stone.

65. James Jones, GB—Displayed inconsistent hands, but he’s talented enough to produce if injury strikes Jennings or Driver.

66. Nate Washington, TEN—With Britt needing to start, it makes more sense to have the explosive Washington in the starting line-up ahead of Justin Gage.

67. Brandon Gibson, STL—Showed some potential as a possession receiver and the Rams have a major need in that area.

68. Laurent Robinson, STL—Looked good before getting hurt in the third game of the season.

69. Patrick Crayton, DAL—Not much upside but he has a couple of solid games every year.

70. Malcolm Kelly, WAS—Hasn’t done much in two years and the knock on him is that he doesn’t use his size to his advantage. This is likely his last year to put it together.

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