I did my fourth The Sporting News Live Mock Fantasy Football Draft today.  They offer 10 & 12 Team Drafts that go 15 rounds, which  I use to gauge where people are picked.  As the season approaches, these Mock Drafts become better because everyone is more up-to-speed on the players and you get a full draft.  When there isn’t a full draft, there is an Autopick in place.  They go by Sporting News rankings.  It’s not ideal, but it’s acceptable.  Another cool feature is the chat board which allows you to discuss players with other fantasy football fanatics.  

Here’s the team I drafted:
It was a 12 team draft and I had the fourth pick so I knew I was going to go with a RB to start things off.  I went with Brian Westbrook because I love his versatility.  With my 2nd pick I went with another RB in Willie Parker.  I don’t see Pittsburgh passing as much as last year.  With my third pick I opted for Steve Smith.  I could have had Ocho Cinco, but I think he’ll become a problem at some point this year.  In the 4th round I snagged Anquan Boldin.  I figured he made a pretty good #2 WR in a 12 team league.  In the 5th I added RB depth with the acquisition of LenDale White.  The WRs available were Calvin Johnson, Roddy White, Dwayne Bowe, etc.  I thought I would secure my RB position rather than reach for a 3rd WR.  In the 6th I went with Dallas Clark as Chris Chambers got picked right before my spot.  Instead of reaching for that 3rd WR, I went with a top TE.  In the 7th I took WR Bernard Berrian.  I didn’t want to be stuck with a Reggie Brown/Santana Moss type for my 3rd WR.  With my 8th pick I decided to go QB.  I was fortunate enough to have Donovan McNabb still hanging around.  In the 9th I went for more RB depth with Cowboy rookie Felix Jones.  In the 10th I figured I needed some QB insurance so I took Philip Rivers.  In the 11th I knew my WR depth wasn’t strong so I grabbed Donte Stallworth. In the 12th I went with best available and took Rashard Mendenhall, Willie Parker’s handcuff.  In the 13th I grabbed Bryant Johnson to add to my WR depth.  With my 14th pick I went with Jacksonville Defense.  I finished with Washington Defense for some depth.

QBs
Donovan McNabb
Philip Rivers

RBs
Brian Westbrook
Willie Parker
LenDale White
Felix Jones
Rashard Mendenhall

WRs
Steve Smith
Anquan Boldin
Bernard Berrian
Donte Stallworth
Bryant Johnson

TEs
Dallas Clark

DEF
Jacksonville
Washington

I recently stumbled upon a fantasy football game called Pay the Fan (www.paythefan.com).  It’s a weekly game that allows you to pick your lineup out of the entire fantasy football pool.  The catch is you can only use each player twice during the course of the year so you can’t mindlessly plug in Tom Brady, LT, and Adrian Peterson every week.  A starting lineup consists of a QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, a TE, a K, and a DST.  Pretty standard lineup so fantasy footballers will be familiar with it. 

The scoring looks like this:

There are two versions you can choose from.  You can join a League before the season kicks off to be eligible for the Grand Prize of $250,000.  You can select a Private League to use with your friends or a Public League that’s open to anyone.  Alternatively, you can play the Weekly version and you could take home the $10,000 Best of the Week prize.

What would a fantasy football game be without the ability to stir the pot against your rivals?  Well Pay the Fan has that covered with their Smack Board.  You can taunt your opponents as you dominate them. 

So you get to play a simple fantasy football game with $10K weekly payouts and a $250K Grand Prize.  That’s got to cost a pretty penny, right?  Not exactly.  The full season cost is $69.95.  If you break it down, that’s $4.12 per week (17 week seasons).  That’s like playing $0.60 a day in the lottery.  Only, your odds are much better here, especially when you consider your fantasy football knowledge will give you an advantage.  If you just want to get in on the Weekly Prizes (or if you miss the boat for the Full Season package) it will cost you only $39.95.  Here is a look at the Full Season Prizes:

Here’s a look at Last Year’s Winners:

Sign up today and it could be you collecting the riches!

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL | Tagged: Fantasy Football, gambling, NFL |

We’ve done the Big Dog RBs, Second Tier RBs, Third Tier RBs, and Fourth Tier RBs, now it’s time to look at the next wave of RBs.  We’re getting your bench RBs and Bye Week plays.  You can use these guys for trades or simply use them as insurance policies in case of injury.

Selvin Young – Usually a Denver RB is as good as gold.  I just can’t quite trust any of them this year.  Selvin had 960 total yards last year, but only 1 TD.  Michael Pittman and Ryan Torain could steal touches from Young.

Rudi Johnson/Kenny Watson – Early indications are that Rudi is back.  He’s in terrific shape and is hitting the holes hard.  Problem is Kenny Watson easily outplayed him last year.  I think this is going to be a true RBBC with them splittiing carries fairly equally (barring injury).  Kenny Watson had over 1000 total yards and 7 TDs.  Rudi had 600 and 4.  You would think Rudi would be the short yardage back, but Watson will probably get plenty of work in the redzone because of his pass-catching ability. 

Jonathan Stewart – Since DeAngelo Williams hasn’t lived up to the hype, I see the Oregon rookie stealing the show down in Carolina.  He’s a bruiser at 5’11″, 230 Lbs with good speed.  He ran for 1722 yards for the Ducks last year, and should have a solid rookie showing.

Matt Forté - Things looked real good for the Tulane rookie before Kevin Jones inked a deal with Da Bears.  That said, I’m not sure KJ is healthy enough (or will remain healthy) to keep Forte from being a decent fantasy play.  He ran for 2127 yards and 23 TDs in his Senior season.  He’s also capable of catching the ball out of the backfield. 

Kevin Smith – Another rookie that could make waves this year is Detroit’s Kevin Smith.  He doesn’t have great speed, but he tore it up for UCF last year racking up 2567 yards and 29 TDs.  If the Pro game isn’t too fast for him, he could be a steady contributor.

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The Rich get Richer

21 July 2008

The Saints acquired Pro Bowl TE Jeremy Shockey from the Giants for 2009 second and fifth round draft picks.  While he can give you headaches because of his big mouth, he is still a valuable contributor on Offense.  For his career he has 371 catches for 4228 yards and 27 TDs.  Suddenly, Drew Brees has another weapon at his disposal.  In what is considered a down year by his standards he had 57 catches and 619 yards.  That will be more than welcome in New Orleans.  There will likely be a honeymoon period where his mouth doesn’t bother anybody.  This a great fit for Shockey.  Brees (see Antonio Gates) has a thing for Tight Ends.

For the Giants, Kevin Boss gets that upgrade in value everyone was expecting.  He didn’t do a whole lot as a rookie, but that 45 yard reception in the Super Bowl opened some eyes.  He’s big.  He’s strong.  He’s quick.  He should do just fine in the starting role.


I did my third The Sporting News Live Mock Fantasy Football Draft today.  They offer 10 & 12 Team Drafts that go 15 rounds, which  I use to gauge where people are picked.  As the season approaches, these Mock Drafts become better because everyone is more up-to-speed on the players and you get a full draft.  When there isn’t a full draft, there is an Autopick in place.  They go by Sporting News rankings.  It’s not ideal, but it’s acceptable.  Another cool feature is the chat board which allows you to discuss players with other fantasy football fanatics. 

Here’s how my team shaked out:
This time I joined a ten-man league and had the fifth pick.  I knew I was going to get one of the Big Dog Running Backs.  It was just a matter of which one.   I had the choice between S-Jax and Joseph Addai.  I chose Addai because he’s the safer of the two in my opinion.  If Bulger gets hurt again, S-Jax could struggle.  With my second pick I was undecided between an RB (Willis McGahee) or a WR (Andre Johnson). I decided to go with McGahee with my second pick and was fortunate enough to have AJ still there with pick #3.  With my fourth and fifth picks I rounded out my WR corps by adding Torry Holt and Brandon Marshall.  In the sixth round I opted for RB depth.  I chose LenDale White over Michael Turner and Darren McFadden.  In Round 7 Run DMC was still there so I snatched him up.  I figured I should grab a QB in Round 8.  I had a choice between Matt Hasselbeck, Marc Bulger, and McNabb.  I went with Hasselbeck.  I’ve had him my first two mocks so it’s natural I grabbed Jonathan Stewart once again in the 9th round.  In the 10th, 11th & 12 rounds I went for WR depth by adding Jerricho CotcheryReggie Brown and Javon Walker.  In the 13th I decided to finally take a TE.  I went with Tony Scheffler.  In Round 14 I decided to get a backup QB so I added Matt Schaub.  I wrapped up by grabbing Pittsburgh Defense.

QBs
Matt Hassellbeck
Matt Schaub

RBs
Joseph Addai
Willis McGahee
LenDale White
Darren McFadden
Jonathan Stewart

WRs
Andre Johnson
Torry Holt
Brandon Marshall
Jerricho Cotchery
Reggie Brown
Javon Walker

TEs
Tony Scheffler

DEF
Pittsburgh

We’ve done the Big Dog RBs, Second Tier RBs, and Third Tier RBs, now it’s time to look at the next wave of RBs.  We’re getting into #2 RBs if you have stacked your team elsewhere and/or your bench RBs.

LenDale White - LenDale silenced his critics last year by running for 1110 yards and 7 TDs.  He had either a TD or 100 yards in six games during a seven-game stretch last year.  Then he ran for 81 yards combined the next three weeks before four straight weeks of 95+ yards or a TD.  That middle stretch is what keeps him out of the third tier.

Reggie Bush- I think the best thing that can happen for Reggie Bush and New Orleans is for Deuce McAllister to return healthy.  The 1-2 punch was ideal for Bush and the Saints.  Bush doesn’t have to pound it between the tackles so frequently.  He is free to be able to get to the outside as well as become a bigger factor in the passing game. 

Thomas Jones – The Jets made some nice moves in the offseason, mainly to improve their Offensive Line.  The acquisitions of Alan Faneca and Damien Woody (along with FB Tony Richardson) should open the running lanes for Jones.  He had a decent amount of yards last year (1119 rushing, 1336 total), but needs to score more than 2 TDs.

Michael Turner – I hesitate to put him in a higher bracket because he doesn’t have a track record to prove he can hold up to a full load.  He’s also going to a team that will likely be behind in most games, and may have to abandon the run.  It’s also unclear if he was a product of the system (San Diego) or if he can bring his explosiveness to Atlanta.  Oh, and he was mainly used after LT wore the defenses down.  How is he going to do against a fresh defensive unit?  These are the questions I have, and the reason he lands in the 4th tier.  That said, he is worth taking a chance on as your 3rd RB.

Earnest Graham – Tampa’s Earnest Graham falls into the category of RBs I don’t quite trust.  He was a great story last year running for 898 yards (1222 total) and 10 TDs.  I’m just afraid the fluke factor is high for him.  Not to mention the acquisition of Warrick Dunn could cut into his digits.  If Cadillac Williams makes a successful return, Tampa’s backfield is further muddied.

Julius Jones – The Seahawks parted ways with Shaun Alexander and have tabbed JJ as their replacement.  He has the ability, but hasn’t really been a force since his shortened rookie season in 2004.  Since then he hasn’t been much of a TD threat.  We’ll see how he’s used in Seattle, who also has Maurice Morris and T.J. Duckett. 

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I did my second The Sporting News Live Mock Fantasy Football Draft today.  They offer 10 & 12 Team Drafts that go 15 rounds, which  I use to gauge where people are picked.  As the season approaches, these Mock Drafts become better because everyone is more up-to-speed on the players and you get a full draft.  When there isn’t a full draft, there is an Autopick in place.  They go by Sporting News rankings.  It’s not ideal, but it’s acceptable.  Another cool feature is the chat board which allows you to discuss players with other fantasy football fanatics. 

Here’s how my team shaked out:

I had the first pick so I took LT.  I love him and Adrian Peterson, but figured LT is the safer pick.  With my next two picks I opted to go WR-WR to see what sort of RB I would get with my 4th pick.  I took Andre Johnson and Housh.  I usually would go RB-WR there, but wanted to try this strategy out.  The RBs that were available were Ryan Grant, Maroney, Brandon Jacobs, Jamal, and Edge.  I think my two wideouts are more likely than any of those RBs to go for 1200 yards and 10 TDs.  I debated between USC backs LenDale and Reggie Bush for my #2 RB.  I decided to go with Reggie Bush.  I think he’s going to catch a ton of passes this year once again.  I considered grabbing Carson Palmer with my 5th pick, but I had him on my first mock.  I wanted to see what QBs would be available if I passed again.  I took Calvin Johnson as my 3rd WR instead.  With my 6th pick I took a chance on Marc Bulger.  If he can stay healthy he’ll produce 4th round numbers.  I grabbed Jonathan Stewart as a backup RB.  With my next two picks I added depth at RB with Felix Jones and WR with Javon Walker.  I picked Alge Crumpler as my TE with my 10th pick and handcuffed Reggie Bush with Deuce McAllister in the 11th.  I figured with Bulger I better get a backup QB so I took Matt Schaub.  With Javon Walker penciled in as my 4th WR, I knew I needed more depth.  I took Indy’s Anthony Gonzalez with my 13th pick.  I grabbed Greg Olsen for TE depth and Jacksonville for my Defense to round out the draft.

QBs
Bulger
Schaub

RBs
LT
Bush
Jonathan Stewart
Felix Jones
Deuce

WRs
Andre Johnson
Housh
Calvin Johnson
Javon Walker
Anthony Gonzalez

TEs
Crumpler
Greg Olsen

DEF
Jax

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL | Tagged: Fantasy Football, mock draft, NFL |

We’ve done the Big Dog RBs and the Second Tier RBs, now it’s time to look at the next wave of RBs.  These are likely your #2 backs unless you opted to go QB or WR early (which isn’t a bad idea).

Willie Parker – Fast Willie piled on the yards last year (1316 to be exact), but didn’t make many trips (2) to the endzone.  I don’t see Big Ben tossing as many TD passes next year so that number should go up.  The problem I have with Willie is the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall.  He scares me if I’m a Willie Parker owner.

Jamal Lewis – Jamal had a terrific season (1552 total yards, 11 TDs) last year with Cleveland, but I just don’t trust him to be my #1 RB.  I expect their passing attack to take a step back next year, which will make it harder to run.

Ryan Grant – Ryan Grant came in and answered Green Bay’s prayers for some balance.  Lost in the whole QB debate is whether or not Grant will be a fluke.  If Rodgers struggles at QB, things could get difficult for Grant.  I’d hate to pin my hopes on him.

Maurice Jones-Drew/Fred Taylor – MJD gets the TDs.  Fred Taylor gets the yards.  Will the recipe be the same in Jacksonville next year?  Most likely.  They compliment each other so well.  Unfortunately for fantasy owners it makes it difficult to rely on either one.  Obviously I give MJD the edge because of his age and his ability to reach paydirt.

Laurence Maroney – Did you see Maroney run in the playoffs?  I’m sure the Patriot Coaches did.  Heck, they probably even have video on it.  Bad jokes aside, I see the Patriots running a more balanced attack next year.  With the holes the passing game should open, Maroney should run wild.

Ronnie Brown – Until he got hurt, Ronnie Brown was having one of the best years by any RB.  Unfortunately he blew out his knee following an Interception (thanks Cleo Lemon) and will likely take a year or so to get back to form.

Brandon Jacobs – Brandon Jacobs is a beast.  He should have plenty of opportunity to score TDs.  He needs to prove he can stay healthy.  He’ll likely have to share carries with some capable running mates.

Edgerrin James – Edge had over 1400 total yards last year, but will turn the dreaded 30 next month.  That usually doesn’t go over very well for a Running Back.  The Cards have two extraordinary WRs to keep defenses honest, but I’d be shocked if Edge replicates his 2007 campaign.

Darren McFadden – This one is based on potential, but Run DMC sure seems to be this year’s version of Adrian Peterson.  I don’t see him running for as many yards, or breaking any records, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he finished in top ten for RB fantasy scoring.

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Friday Tidbits 7/18/08

18 July 2008


Roy Halladay threw a Complete Game Shutout.  A-Rod passed The Mick on the HR list.  Randy Johnson picked up win #290.  The Rays lost seven straight to head into the All-Star Breakk in 2nd Place.  Ryan Howard (28) and Josh Hamilton (95) led the Majors in HRs and RBI, respectively, at the break.  Brandon Webb, who got a rare no-decision, topped the Bigs with 13 Wins.  K-Rod had 38 first-half Saves.  Cliff Lee and Ben Sheets were named All-Star starters.  Josh Hamilton clubbed 28 first round HRs in the HR Derby, but Justin Morneau took home the crown.  The All-Star game went 15 Innings.  Yuck.  J.D. Drew won the MVP.  Oh yeah, the AL won again giving them Home Field Advantage in the World Series.  The years go by and that rule seems as dumb as it did when it was first implemented.  Takashi Saito’s elbow will keep him out a few weeks.  Florida’s Sergio Mitre had Tommy John surgery.  It looks like Richie Sexson will land with the Yankees.  San Diego traded Tony Clark to Arizona for Minor League Pitcher Evan Scribner.  Oakland sent Joe Blanton to the Phils for some Minor Leaguers.  The Mets won their 10th straight.  That can’t make Willie Randolph feel good.  Francisco Liriano wants the Players Association to investigate why he hasn’t been called up yet.  Magglio Ordonez came off the DL.
 

Travis Henry got busted for weed…again.  Darrion Scott got a three game suspension for pleading guilty to child abuse charges.  He held a plastic bag over his son’s head.  He gets three games.  Chris Henry and Pacman Jones didn’t come close to the level of sickness Scott displayed and they got much stiffer penalties.  Something is wrong here.  Peyton Manning had a bursa sac removed.  He’ll be out a month.  It sold for $10K on eBay.  Just kidding.  The pissing match in Green Bay continued.  It’s now involving the Vikings.  The Bears signed RB Kevin Jones.  He’s good, but can’t stay healthy.  Cedric Benson was the same, only he wasn’t good and he also displayed a drinking problem.  Dallas signed Ken Hamlin to a six-year deal.  Terrell Suggs, Albert Haynesworth, and Nnamdi Asomugha didn’t reach long-term deals with their respective teams.  Joe Flacco signed a five-year deal with Baltimore.


Gilbert Arenas was offered a six-year deal with the Wizards worth $127 million.  He signed for $111 instead to give his team more money for other deals.  Marcus Camby was traded to the Clippers for a 2nd round pick.  My guess is Denver is getting rid of money so they can lock up Melo long term.  Orlando signed PG Anthony Johnson.   James Posey signed a four-year deal with New Orleans.  The Cavs signed Daniel Gibson to a five-year deal.  Luke Walton is having ankle surgery today.  The Celtics signed Patrick O’Bryant.  Deron Williams signed a four-year, $70 million extension.  Milwaukee signed Tyronn Lue and Malik Allen.  The Wolves signed Craig Smith.
 

San Jose signed Marcel Goc.  Tampa Bay GM Jay Feaster quit his post.  They also signed G Mike Smith to a two-year deal and Vincent Lecavalier to an eleven-year deal worth $85 million.  Minnesota traded D Shawn Belle to Montreal for C Corey Locke.  Atlanta signed RW Jason Williams, C Marty Reasoner, and G Kari Lehtonen.  Dallas tacked two more years onto Coach Dave Tippett’s contract.  Dallas Drake retired.  The Islanders fired Ted Nolan.  Buffalo re-signed LW Daniel Paille.  Edmonton signed C Shawn Horcoff to a six-year, $33 million deal.  Terry Murray will coach the Kings.

 

Florida S Dorian Munroe will miss the year because of a knee injury.  Louisville kicked WR JaJuan Spillman to the curb.  Jack Swarbrick will be the new Athletic Director at Notre Dame.  Some sad news to report, Oregon redshirt freshman Todd Doxey drowned.  Kansas extended Coach Mark Mangino’s contract for two more years. UConn’s Terence Jeffers is transferring to Vanderbilt.  Destin Hood decided to play baseball with the Nationals rather than play at Alabama.  LSU kicked OL Jarvis Jones off the team for violating team rules.
 

Gonzaga F Austin Daye partially tore his ACL.  Upon second review he just has a bone bruise.  He’ll only miss a couple of weeks.  Temple gave Coach Fran Dunphy a two-year extension.  UAB Center Zisis Sarikopoulos is transferring to The Ohio State.
 

Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Nationwide Series at Chicagoland Speedway.  He wins everything.
 
Rocco Mediate, Graeme McDowell, and Robert Allenby  led the British Open after the Opening Round.  Greg Norman was a shot back.  He shot another even round to take the early lead in Day 2 at the British Open. Last week Kenny Perry beat Brad Adamonis and Jay Williamson in a one-hole playoff to take the John Deere Classic.  Paula Creamer won the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.  Rick Price beat Chris Anderson in a playoff to win the Nationwide Tour Players Cup.  Graeme McDowell won the Scottish Open.
 
Victor Hanescu beat Igor Andreev in the ATP Allianz Suisse Open Gstaad.  Fabrice Santoro beat Prakash Amritraj in the Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships.  Juan Martin Del Potro beat Richard Gasquet in the ATP Mercedes Cup.  Tommy Robredo beat Tomas Berdych in the ATP Catella Swedish Open.  On the Women’s Circuit, Sara Errani beat Mariya Koryttseva in the WTA Tour Internazionali Femminili di Palermo and Alize Cornet beat Andreja Klepac in the WTA Budapest Grand Prix.
 
That concludes the Tidbits. As always feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.
 
Thanks again for supporting my blog. Be sure to check out my Links Page for some great sites.

The Sporting News has a sweet Live Mock Fantasy Football Draft that I’ve been using for the last few years to get ready for the season.  They offer 10 & 12 Team Drafts that go 15 rounds.  I use it as a gauge to see where certain people are picked.  As the season approaches, these Mock Drafts become better because everyone is more up-to-speed on the players and you get a full draft.  When there isn’t a full draft, there is an Autopick in place.  They go by Sporting News rankings.  It’s not ideal, but it’s acceptable.  Another cool feature is the chat board which allows you to discuss players with other fantasy football fanatics.  Unfortunately I wasn’t in a very chatty room so I didn’t gain much fantasy insight this time around.  Oh well, there’s always next time.

For my first mock I got the 9th pick.  The Big Dog RBs (as well as Brady, Moss, and Lynch) were off the board.  I opted to go for Larry Johnson.  With my second pick I opted to go with the 2 RB system and grabbed Clinton Portis.  I thought about Larry Fitzgerald, but chose to go with 2 RBs here with thoughts of grabbing 2 WRs in the next Snake swing.  When my pick got to me I was surprised to see Torry Holt still hanging around.  Naturally, I grabbed him.  The other WRs available were Jennings, Harrison, Boldin, and Roy Williams so I eschewed the 2 WR thought and went with Carson Palmer.  I again let the WRs slide (as Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers were the ilk of WRs available) and took Darren McFadden with my 5th pick.  Dwayne Bowe was still available when the Snake swung to me so I grabbed him.  I took old man Hines Ward with my 7th pick to round out my starting WR corps.  In the 8th round, I opted to take another rookie RB in Jonathan Stewart.  With my 9th pick I added WR depth with Vincent Jackson, hoping he’ll meet the high expectations that were put on him last year.  I finished off with a TE.  I debated between Alge Crumpler and Vernon Davis, but was afraid one is washed up and the other is too injury-prone so I went with Chicago’s Greg Olsen.  In Round 11 I decided to go Defense and chose Pittsburgh.  In Round 12 I decided to add RB depth by choosing Deuce McAllister.  In the 13th round I went with D.J. Hackett.  I was a big fan of his heading into last year, and think he should do fine in Carolina.  I took a flier on the Giants’ Steve Smith in the 14th.  I finished the draft by taking a Kicker.  Much to my delight Adam Vinatieri was available.  I snatched him up quickly.

One suggestion I have is to stick with the picks until the end.  Often people duck out early to get to their next draft (because they are rather addictive), but that defeats the purpose of the mock draft.  Anyone can pick the first several rounds.  Where you want to practice is the middle to late rounds.  That’s where fantasy football championships are won.  So head on over to the Sporting News and sign up for a Mock Draft right away.  My team name is Lester’s Legends.  If you see me, say hi.


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