Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Updates from around the NFL

In follow-up to yesterday's post on Brandon Marshall, here's a link to his web site, where he essentially kisses Denver goodbye:

Of course, money talks, so this can always change. In fact, SI's Peter King is convinced that Denver won't let Marshall walk.

Other players to watch:

Brett Favre is dropping some heavy hints about returning (again), but only if he can play for the Vikes. It's sad to see him wind down his career in such desperate fashion. His possible return seems only designed to make the Packers regret letting him go. Come on, Brett...give it up, wait five years, and go to Canton where you belong. Don't add yet another sorry chapter to the end of your career. Wasn't your late-season implosion with the Jets enough of a sign? Even if he goes to Minnesota, I'm not interested from a fantasy perspective.

Speaking of Minnesota, keep an eye on rookie WR Percy Harvin (above). Of course, first-year receivers are generally Fool's gold -- though Eddie Royal and DeSean Jackson might beg to differ. But Harvin is so intriguing because he will likely line up in several positions (as he did at Florida), including RB and as a wildcat QB. So while his receiving numbers may not be any great shakes, the addition of rushing and passing stats could make him fantasy-worthy right out of the box.

Jay Cutler's move to Chicago reunites him with his favorite WR target from Vanderbilt, Earl Bennett. Word out of Bears camp is the two have rebuilt their on-field chemistry quickly, so don't be surprised if Bennett -- a second year pro who was virtually invisible in his rookie season -- quickly surpasses Devin Hester as the team's WR1. Meanwhile, TE Greg Olsen is also making waves early on, and could become Cutler's favorite red zone target. Consider Bennett a late-middle-round sleeper, and Olsen a potential top 5 fantasy TE (who can also be gotten on the cheap).

Stay away from Willis McGahee until further notice. He's had a horrible offseason, and could be as low as 3rd in the RBBC pecking order, or off the team completely. Ray Rice looks to be the starter, and LeRon McClain the short-yardage specialist from the FB position. McGahee is the odd man out.

Lots of chatter about Plaxico Burress latching on with another team now that his trial has been pushed back to 2010. I'll believe it when I see it. He will surely be suspended by the commish for several weeks (if not the whole season), and if a team does sign him, it could be weeks before he's up-to-speed on the playbook. Let someone else waste a draft pick on him. They'll release him soon enough, and you can scoop him up midseason if he looks like he has a chance to contribute.

Put Chad Ochocinco back on your radar. Now that TJ Housh is a Seahawk, Chad has decided to get back with the program in Cinci. He's been palling around with Carson Palmer, and is saying and doing all the right things in preparation for the 2009 campaign. He could be a worthy WR1 again, but should be available among the second tier on draft day. Note to those who haven't been paying attention: Laveranues Coles was brought over from the Jets to team with Ocho.

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