James White
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New England Patriots Running Back Dion Lewis suffered a setback as he required a second procedure to his knee, which will sideline him two to three months. Lewis was effective last year for New England, running for 234 yards and a pair of touchdowns while adding 36 receptions for 388 yards and another pair of scores in seven games.
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The injury will help LeGarrette Blount will likely occupy the Patriots’ big back duties. He has been decent for the Patriots the past few years, but is a tough fantasy prediction. Blount ran for 703 yards and a touchdown last year.
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The real winner should be James White. He will get some carries, but should really be utilized in the passing game. White ran for 56 yards and a pair of touchdowns last year, but caught 40 passes for 410 yards and four scores. He will be a nice early season flex option, particularly in points-per-reception leagues.


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This week’s topic:
Would you rather have LeGarrette Blount or Shonn Greene in redraft leagues?
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My response:
LeGarrette Blount was one of the major surprises last year when he ran for 1007 yards and six touchdowns. Perhaps more impressive was his 5.0 yards per carry. I was surprised that the Bucs didn’t add a speedy back to compliment Blount in the 2011 NFL Draft. Perhaps that is a sign that they are confident in their ability to re-sign Cadillac Williams. Blount could yield some carries to potential touchdown vulture Allen Bradford, but it appears Blount’s run as the lead back is safe.
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Greene, meanwhile will also take over as the lead back. At least that’s what is supposed to happen. Isn’t what we thought when Thomas Jones left town? LaDainian Tomlinson will be brought in to backup Shonn Greene. Meanwhile LT outperformed him in every category. More attemps, more yards, better yards per carry, more touchdowns, more receptions, more recieving yards, more touches per fumble. You get the point.
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LT will be back next year, and I do believe his role will be minimized. That said, I think Joe McKnight will cut into both Greene and LT’s production. LT will take the bigger hit, but both Greene and LT will probably come off the board a little sooner than they should.

It’s a close call, but I like Blount a little better for 2011 fantasy drafts.


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Boser’s Tweetbeat –
Sifting through the hashtags to bring you the hottest trending Twitter topics in the Fantasy Football industry.
By Ryan Boser
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Golden Graham
Casual fantasy footballers everywhere have earmarked New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham as their favorite 2011 sleeper. They’re in for a rude awakening. Graham’s a household name inside industry circles. In fact, he’s so so popular that I’m beginning to wonder if he’s being overvalued. Listen, I love him as much as the next guy. A 6’6″, 260 lb. power forward in a pass-happy offense? Sign me up.
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My only caution is that we’re still working with a minuscule half-season sample size. Graham’s four touchdowns over the final three regular season games mask the fact that he reached 30 yards just once in his past six. What’s more, Drew Brees spreads the ball as much as any quarterback in the league—how many happy Marques Colston owners do you know? I can appreciate getting ahead of the curve on Graham, but too often I’m seeing him come off the board in the same general vicinity as guys like Vernon Davis, Jason Witten, and Jermichael Finley. That’s too rich for my blood.
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Star Search
Every draft or auction has a couple of guys (or gals) who love their rookie wide receivers. They dream of turning up the next Randy Moss, Marques Colston, or Mike Williams (Tampa Bay). Moss was a first round prodigy back in 1998. Colston, as the 27th wide receiver selected, was a seventh round gem in 2006. Last season, Williams was a fourth rounder and the 14th receiver off the board. Noticing a trend? Me neither… there is none. Rookie receivers certainly are capable of having great seasons, but they’re incredibly unpredictable.
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Let’s stick with Williams for a moment. He was a borderline fantasy WR1 last season, with an impressive 65 catches, 964 yards, and 11 touchdowns. However, those 13 wide receivers drafted before him averaged 22/280/1.5, and outside of a nice six-game midseason stretch by Dez Bryant, none of them really provided anything noteworthy. Of the six 2009 first rounders, Percy Harvin and Hakeem Nicks gave us decent WR2/3 options, but Jeremy Maclin, Michael Crabtree, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and Kenny Britt were plug’n plays at best. DeSean Jackson topped the 2008 rookie charts—he was the seventh receiver drafted, and the No. 34 fantasy wide receiver. Dwayne Bowe paced the 2007 first rounders (including Calvin Johnson, Ted Ginn, Jr., Robert Meachem, Buster Davis, and Anthony Gonzalez) with an ordinary 70/995/5 season.
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You get the point. A.J. Green, Julio Jones, and Jonathan Baldwin are creeping up draft boards. Chances are that one of them will give us solid production next season, but keep this post in mind when you’re choosing between a rookie and a proven commodity. For every boom, there’s a dozen busts.
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Beanie Blinders
Shockingly, there’s still a small segment of the fantasy community infatuated with Beanie Wells’ “potential.” Despite the injuries and the struggles in pass protection, they’re still holding out hope. They refuse to accept the fact that the coaching staff loves Tim Hightower, one of the least talented backs in the league, because he’s more dependable than Wells in every facet of the game. For reference, Beanie’s averaged 10.7 touches per game over the past two seasons, while Hightower’s averaged 11.9. What’s more, Arizona’s offensive line is lousy, and Beanie can’t break a tackle (he broke just four in 116 carries last season). Don’t be fooled again in 2011—Beanie’s a bust.
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Reaching for the Blount
This past week, Andy Benoit’s critical analysis of LeGarrette Blount in the New York Times drew a heavy Twitter response, and the opinions were overwhelmingly one-sided. Industry insiders agree—Blount is overrated. The consensus seemed to be that he’s not especially talented, and that he’ll be hard pressed to overachieve again. People are especially wary of him in PPR leagues (he caught just five balls last season) and keeper/dynasty leagues, as most don’t think he has the chops to stick for long as an uncontested starter. Personally, I’m fine with him as an RB2 in standard scoring leagues for 2011, but because of his deficiencies in the passing game I think his ceiling is lower than some of the other backs drafted in that same proximity.
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Ryan Boser is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA), and regularly contributes writing and commentary to numerous media outlets. Ryan’s own website, Out of My League, covers both fantasy football and the Minnesota sports landscape.


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