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There is some speculation that Chad Ochocinco could land with the Patriots when the lockout comes to a close. The Patriots have had success taking talented players with less than perfect pasts. Does he make sense for New England though?
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At 33 he is no longer the threat that he once was. Ocho has just one 1000 yard season in the past three year, and at 1047 yards it was well off the 1374 he averaged from 2003-2007. 43 (8.6 TDs per season) of his 66 career touchdowns came from that stretch giving him an average of. The past three years he averaged 806  yards and 5.7 touchdowns. He averaged 92.4 receptions from 03-07 and just 64 over the past three years.
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Everything depends on Ochocinco’s mental state. If he commits himself to the game, like he did in 2009, Ocho can put up solid numbers once again. He would have to limit some of the sideshow activities and focus on football.
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The thing the Patriots have going for them is they are not afraid to step on toes. Randy Moss was abruptly shown the door when he started to create tension in New England’s locker room. When players’ worth on the field no longer justifies their paychecks, the Patriots aren’t afraid to move on. With a strong-minded coach and quarterback, the Patriots simply wouldn’t put up with Ocho’s ways.
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Most of the drama is usually occurs when his team isn’t winning. When things were going good in Cincinnati, Ocho’s antics were cute and funny. When they were losing it was looked at as a distraction. If the Patriots were to continue their success, which is a strong possibility, then it should be less of an issue for Ochocinco to walk the line.
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While he would’t replace Randy Moss as a deep threat, Ocho would help. Deion Branch did an admirable job for the Patriots following his trade from Seattle, but he would likely have a hard time holding off Ocho for snaps.
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Ocho’s days of being a WR1 are long over. Mostly he would be a WR3 that could potentially produce like a WR2. We’ll just have to stay tuned to see where he lands.
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By Andy Boyum
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From all the reports and speculation coming out in the last few days regarding the ongoing labor issues in the NFL, it seems that we may have a deal in place by the end of the month. That, of course, begs the question. What type of free-agency rules will be put into play under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement? For the Vikings front-office, they may be crossing their fingers in hopes of rules more along the lines of the former CBA.
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Sidney Rice will be a free-agent in 2011. At this point, it’s just a matter of whether he’ll remain restricted as per current rules or hit the lucrative unrestricted market in hopes of landing a larger long-term deal than the one offered him by the Vikings prior to the lockout, of which he subsequently pointed his nose up at.
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Everybody knows the Vikings are a work in progress and have significant question marks all over the field, most importantly at the quarterback position. That is exactly why, in my opinion, it would be a mistake to let such a young and talented, field-stretching and potentially game-changing receiver walk right into the arms of the Robert Kraft’s and Jerry Jones’ of the world.
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You could make the argument that, presumably, the NFL will revert back to the salary-cap under the new CBA, and that you simply can not afford to pay and resign all the important skill positions. When you think of guys like Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway, and Steve Hutchinson and in another year or two, Percy Harvin, it makes swallowing the “long-term extension for Sidney Rice” pill akin to that of castor oil. But you simply can not deny the offensive production shift of performance when Rice was healthy and in uniform playing on Sunday.
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Losing Rice last season to hip injury, I believe, was as big of a loss to the organization as losing E.J. was to the defense in ’09. I still remember all the talk at the time was that he’d only had one good season. That he was injured in ’07 & ’08 and we didn’t need him with the play of Adrian Peterson, and of course the ultimate denial in that “Favre will make any receiver look better.” Maybe it’s my small-town upbringing, but to me, a pig with lipstick is still a pig.
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For as good as Rice was in ’09 with Favre, you could make a case for him being that consistent in his first two years with undoubtedly inferior quarterback play. Injury of course being the caveat here, but ’08 was his worst statistical season and still managed four touchdowns in three games. His rookie season, despite only playing in four contests, had an output of 31 catches for 396 yards and four touchdowns.
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Extrapolate those numbers into a 16-game season (while forgetting the fact that the Vikings quarterbacking tree consisted of Tarvaris Jackson, Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bolinger) and you have a monstrous 124 receptions for 1584 yards and 16 touchdowns. Unlikely as it would have been, those numbers would put him amongst the best single-season production for a receiver in the last ten years.
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You can’t argue his ability to stretch the field and jump over defenders. His importance on the field and to the success of the offense is paramount. Percy Harvin is a wonderful talent, but he is not a true #1 receiver. When he was out wide and defenders were able to isolate him on the edge he looked as stranded as Gilligan and the Skipper.
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I think all Vikings fans will admit that Christian Ponder needs to be the future of the franchise. Part of that responsibility is having the confidence in yourself to make the throws and in your receivers, that they will make the catches. We all expect, and Bill Musgrave has confirmed, that the offense will basically run through Peterson, in which it should.
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So in a power-running offense you need one of two things: A) good play-action or B) a vertical passing game. If you are Musgrave and are going to start a rookie QB, would you gamble on him being able to transition from run to pass without having that outside threat that can drag one if not two defenders with him?
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Receivers that do not create separation cost the quarterback time and cause the offensive line to break apart more quickly. As evidenced last season, holding onto the ball that extra one or two seconds longer can be the difference between a 1st & 10 or a 2nd & 17, or worse. And over a large enough sample size, can be the difference between Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf.
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I’m not trying to insinuate that the presence of Sidney Rice is going to catapult Ponder into the conversation with Manning, and hopefully the lack of #18 doesn’t mingle his name with the latter either. What we do know if that Musgrave is a maker of QB’s. Under his tutelage and with the right weapons, I believe Ponder can thrive and replicate numbers close to that of the last rookie quarterback to study under our new Offensive Coordinator.
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Musgrave earlier admitted that Matt Ryan would not have started as a rookie in Atlanta without having all the pieces in place. Michael Turner, Roddy White and Michael Jenkins versus Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin…which tandem would you rather have? The Falcons group is good – a very close second, but second nonetheless…I’ll take the Purple.
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I believe it is of utmost importance to resign Rice to a deal in the event his free agent status becomes unrestricted under the new CBA. Not because he is the missing link to our Super Bowl run, although it doesn’t hurt. Rather, it’s the best thing to do for the continuity and development of our new offense, and the confidence that will enable our future signal-caller for years to come.
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And let’s face it…the guy can flat jump out of the gym!

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Andy Boyum
Farmington, MN
Fantasy Football enthusiast since 1999
Commissioner: Purlple Pride Fantasy League 2002-present: 1 Championship (2004)
RT Sports Commissioner Money League Champion: 2003 & 2005
Keeper League Champion 2006, 07 & 09
Yahoo PPR Champion: 2010



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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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This past week over at ZoneBlitz.com, Andrew Tellijohn and I discussed how the NFL lockout could affect the 2011 fantasy football season. With the postponement of free agency/trading and the cancellation of minicamps, we’ve likely already reached a point where the quality of the product on the field will suffer—at least early.
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So what does this mean for fantasy football?
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Because of shortened offseason programs, both Andrew and I are in strong agreement that roster continuity will be a major key to success this season. Players trying to learn new playbooks will be at a disadvantage. What’s more, new coaching staffs trying to implement their systems are facing an uphill battle that grows steeper with each passing day.
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Rookies are the obvious victims of the lockout. As a group, they’ll likely be slower out of the gate than usual as they attempt to process the nuances and speed of the NFL. Many prospects who’d ordinarily be Week 1 starters will begin the season on the bench, as they won’t have the requisite opportunities to earn playing time. The clock begins ticking the wrong way at the conclusion of next week’s draft, when teams are prohibited from having any contact with rookies.
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I’m also beginning to wonder how players who are launching themselves into new athletic ventures (boxing, MMA, track and field, soccer) will fare when they’re forced to refocus their efforts and training back on football. Maybe I’m over-thinking this angle, but messing with an offseason routine, both mentally and physically, certainly can’t help a player’s performance on Sundays.
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On the surface, I think veterans could benefit from the lockout. For one, they’re not the guys who need the extra offseason reps. What’s more, the longer the lockout drags on, the less toll they’ll be putting on their bodies. Take LaDainian Tomlinson, for instance. He hit a wall around Week 6 last season. It’s conceivable that fantasy owners could have gotten two or three extra weeks of production out of him if he’d exerted less of his dwindling mileage prior to the season.
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Inevitably, we all come to a point in our fantasy drafts where we face the decision between a boring, proven veteran or a flashy rookie. This may be the year to take the known commodity.

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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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I wrote this for NFLTouchdown.com, but I figured I would share it with my readers as well.
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All of us at NFLTouchdown.com are hoping for a quick solution to the collective bargaining disagreement. Minnesotans take their football very seriously, so a lockout would be devastating. I’m here to help by offering up some alternative entertainment plans.
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Week 1:  This is your first week without NFL football. Why not travel back in time to the days before there was football? No, I’m not suggesting you hook up with Marty McFly and go Back to the Future . I’m talking about hitting up the Renaissance Festival. Beer, drumsticks, maidens. It’s not football, but it should be pretty darn fun. The opener is on September 8th so the Vikings will likely be playing on September 11th.

Week 2:  Enjoy a crisp fall morning by booking a foursome at Hazeltine with Charlie Sheen and two of his girls. Winning! You’ll have to explain to Charlie that Hazeltine is the golf course and Hazelden is the treatment center. Tiger blood optional. You’re looking at September 18th.

Week 3:  Head up to Mille Lacs Lake for some fall muskie fishing. Make sure to pack your rain gear. You’re looking at September 25th.

Week 4:  October is a great time to go apple picking in Minnesota. There are a ton of orchards around so finding one should be a snap. By now it’s October 2nd.

Week 5:  Take advantage of a beautiful fall day and head over to the Minnesota Zoo. It is October 9th.

Week 6:  Head over to the Mall of America for Camp Spooky or whatever they call it now. It’s October 16th.

Week 7:  You’ll have to figure out what to do Sunday, but Saturday the 22nd you can watch the Gophers get destroyed by Nebraska.

Week 8: Two words. Beer bus. You’re on the eighth week of what would be the NFL season and you’re one step away from taking up crocheting. Celebrate the night before Halloween having some Buds with some buds.

Week 9:  Form a petition to exile Prince from Minnesota forever.  After all, they went in the tank after that awful song he made for them before the Saints game. It’s November 6th.

Week  10:  Check out a Wolves game. I know they aren’t good either, but you can watch Ricky Rubio in person. It’s November 13th and along with the Rubio sighting I think I saw pigs flying over the Metrodome.  It’s November 13th.

Week 11:  Go deer hunting. You can’t take your aggression out yelling at your flat screen TV so do the Minnesotan thing and try to shoot something. It will be November 20th, your last day for firearm season in zone 1-A. Make sure you use your MonsterRaxx Whitetail Magnet to pull the deer in.

Week 12:  Pull a John & Yoko and stage a bed in until the players and owners agree on a solution. If it doesn’t work, at least you will be nice and rested after eating all that turkey on Thanksgiving. It’s November 27th.

Week 13:  Go to Holidazzle. Get some Christmas shopping done early and enjoy the parade at night. It’s December 4th.

Week 14:  Start writing your book titled “The Rise and Fall of the Kick Ass Offense”.

Week 15:  Take a vacation somewhere warm. It’s December 18th and the winter is unbearable without football. Go somewhere warm where football to them is soccer.

Week 16:  Send a letter to the league stating that you miss football so bad that you would take it back even if it meant Brad Childress was your head coach again and Tim Brewster was his top assistant. Maybe your Christmas present will be a resolution.

Week 17:  Go ice fishing. If you catch your dinner, great. If not, at least you can have a few beers on the lake to ring in the New Year.

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: Minnesota Vikings, NFL, NFL lockout |


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The Vikings have issues at quarterback. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or someone that bleeds purple to know that. That’s what happens when you put all of your eggs in Brett Favre’s tattered basket. The Tarvaris Jackson Experiment failed miserably, and despite his heroics efforts against the Eagles, Joe Webb is simply not prepared to lead an NFL franchise. That’s means the Vikings will have to retool.
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Unfortunately with a work stoppage looming, this quarterback void couldn’t have happened at a worse time. The NFL could cease all operations as early as March 4th. That means the Vikings would be unable to acquire any free agents, nor would they be able to complete a trade. The owners would lose some leverage if they paid any free agents between now and the possible lockout, that a prior deal would be a long shot.
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Say this is a lockout that isn’t settled until after the April 28-30 2011 NFL Draft. If that is the case, there would be no incentive for a team like the Eagles to deal away Kevin Kolb. Without a chance to improve their team for the upcoming season, why not hang onto Kolb in case Michael Vick gets hurt. The Eagles are definite playoff contenders and Vick is a running quarterback so it wouldn’t make sense to leave the cupboard bare. continue reading »


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