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 Player: Ryan Torain RB, Washington Redskins 02/28/11, Time: 3:21 pm
 News: Any wonder over whether Torain might share carries with Clinton Portis in 2011 can be forgotten. The team released Portis on Monday.

Torain should have been the heavy favorite in everyone's eyes to be featured anyway. His only issue is staying healthy, but Torain makes plenty of sense as a fantasy RB2. (

 Player: Clinton Portis RB, Free Agent 02/28/11, Time: 3:19 pm
 News: As expected, Washington released Portis on Monday.

The veteran has broken down over the past couple of seasons after some heavy workloads through his early seasons. He might land somewhere else, but don't expect Portis to fill a significant role for fantasy purposes. (

 Player: Clinton Portis RB, Washington Redskins 02/28/11, Time: 12:33 pm
 News: Portis is expected to be released Monday.

The running back most recently said so himself during Monday morning radio interview, but such reports have been floating for nearly a week. Washington obviously doesn't need the disintegrating veteran with the big contract and bigger attitude. It'll be surprising if any other team gives him a shot at a feature job. (

 Player: Sidney Rice WR, Minnesota Vikings 02/28/11, Time: 11:29 am
 News: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that agent Drew Rosenhaus said Rice won't re-sign with the Vikings before the end of the league year this Thursday.

Rice's recent offer from the Vikings must not have been good enough, and the young wideout appears headed for free agency -- whenever that might happen. (

 Player: Sidney Rice WR, Minnesota Vikings 02/28/11, Time: 10:01 am
 News: NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora reports that the Vikings have extended a contract offer to Rice.

The wideout is on track for unrestricted free agency, and the team has already franchised LB Chad Greenway. We'll see how negotiations go, though Rice's fantasy value might be stronger this year if he were to land elsewhere. (

 Player: Santonio Holmes WR, N.Y. Jets Jets 02/26/11, Time: 12:43 pm
 News:'s Jason LaCanfora reports that Holmes is the Jets' top priority in free agency.

The wideout ended his season on a sour note, lamenting his absence from the starting lineup in the AFC Championship game. Still, he was clearly the Jets' best wideout last season and was Mark Sanchez's favorite target down the stretch. We'll see what happens, as the Jets have already used their franchise tag on LB David Harris. (

 Player: Montario Hardesty RB, Cleveland Browns 02/25/11, Time: 5:41 pm
 News: Hardesty's new coach Pat Shurmur said Friday that he likes the thought of a backfield employing both the second-year player and Peyton Hillis.

Hardesty was poised to become a key factor in the Browns' backfield before injury struck last summer and might have won the primary job outright. Hillis was awesome, though, and has to get his work in 2011. This is a situation that figures to vex fantasy owners right up until the season starts -- or someone gets hurt. (

 Player: Peyton Hillis RB, Cleveland Browns 02/25/11, Time: 5:37 pm
 News: New coach Pat Shurmur said Friday at the Scouting Combine that he likes the thought of Hillis and Montario Hardesty sharing the backfield.

This shouldn't surprise anyone, as Eric Mangini was high on Hardesty last year. Let's hope we get a clearer picture through the summer of how the carries will be split, but Hillis was tremendous in 2010 and shouldn't be marginalized. His draft position figures to be all over the place. (

 Player: Brandon Jacobs RB, N.Y. Giants Giants 02/25/11, Time: 5:21 pm
 News: Coach Tom Coughlin said Friday at the Combine that Jacobs probably needs to carry the ball more in 2011.

Jacobs' 147 carries in 2010 stood more than 50 behind each of his previous three totals, but his 5.6 yards per carry was the best mark of his career. Jacobs also managed nine rushing scores. More carries won't be surprising, but if he gets back to 200 or more, it would hurt the value of his backfield mate. Ahmad Bradshaw faces free agency. (

 Player: Jason Campbell QB, Oakland Raiders 02/24/11, Time: 10:36 pm
 News: New Raiders head coach Hue Jackson said Thursday he feels good about heading into next season with Campbell as his starting quarterback.

?Jason Campbell, in my opinion, did a tremendous job last year," Jackson said, according to Jackson spent last year as Oakland's offensive coordinator, so it's not as if he simply came to this realization after a couple of weeks of tape work. Campbell has shown impressive flashes throughout his career but has struggled with inconsistency while also dealing with many system changes. Even if he improves for the Raiders next year, he'll come with a fairly low fantasy ceiling overall. (

 Player: Kyle Orton QB, Denver Broncos 02/24/11, Time: 12:49 pm
 News: Fox reiterated at Thursday's Draft Combine press conferences that Orton is Denver's starting quarterback.

Here's the quote: ?As far as I?m concerned, he?s under contract and he?s the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos.? Not exactly a ringing endorsement, especially in light of other recent reports stating that Orton hasn't had much contact from the team. This situation is far from clear at this early stage. (

 Player: Jared Cook TE, Tennessee Titans 02/24/11, Time: 12:38 pm
 News: After taking over as the Titans' offensive coordinator, Chris Palmer recently said of Cook: "I want to get my hands around him right away. I think he is a special talent."

Jimmy Graham carries much more hype after a bigger breakout at the end of last year, but Cook carries similar athleticism and upside. His ceiling is especially tough to project before Tennessee's QB situation gets sorted out, but Cook will bring big fantasy upside into 2011. (

 Player: Donald Driver WR, Green Bay Packers 02/24/11, Time: 12:34 pm
 News: Driver has maintained his stated goal of playing until he turns 40 and said he has no thoughts of retiring this year.

Play as long as you want and can get paid, Donald. You don't look very good for fantasy at this point, though. Of course, even Jerry Rice finished his career as a fantasy non-option. (

 Player: Carson Palmer QB, Cincinnati Bengals 02/24/11, Time: 10:58 am
 News: The team's official website reports that the Bengals are taking a look at potential replacements for Palmer in the event he follows through on retirement threats, including the top players in this year's draft class.

Regardless of Palmer's decision, but Bengals would be stupid to NOT take a good look at this crop of passers. Palmer's game seems to be aging even more quickly than his body, and the future isn't that far away. We'll have to see what Palmer ultimately plans to do in 2011. (

 Player: David Harris LB, N.Y. Jets Jets 02/24/11, Time: 10:56 am
 News: Harris signed his franchise tender with the Jets on Wednesday.

We'll see exactly what that means when all the labor strife is sorted out, but Harris seems likely to stick around with the Jets. The versatile inside performer is a top IDP option. (

 Player: Charles Johnson DE, Carolina Panthers 02/24/11, Time: 10:54 am
 News: Johnson was tendered as a restricted free agent by Carolina on Wednesday, a tender that doesn't seem likely to become binding.

Johnson has been in the league four years, which would have made him eligible for unrestricted free agency under the previous CBA. Only the no-cap rules of 2010 put him in the restricted category. Once a new labor deal is worked out, expect the old free agency rules to be back in place and Johnson to be free. (

 Player: DeAngelo Williams RB, Carolina Panthers 02/24/11, Time: 10:51 am
 News: The Panthers tendered Williams as a restricted free agent on Wednesday, though it seems unlikely the offer will be supported by the next CBA.

Williams, with five years in the league, would only fall under the restricted column under the no-cap rules of 2010. Look for the next CBA to return to previous rules that would make him an unrestricted free agent. (

 Player: Marcedes Lewis TE, Jacksonville Jaguars 02/23/11, Time: 12:24 am
 News: As expected, Lewis received the Jaguars' franchise tag on Wednesday.

The NFLPA apparently continues to say the tags are invalid under the current labor situation, but there doesn't seem any reason to believe Lewis will play anywhere else in 2011. (

 Player: Charles Johnson DE, Carolina Panthers 02/23/11, Time: 9:38 pm
 News: The Charlotte Observer reports that Johnson says he still hopes to re-sign with the Panthers despite not getting the franchise tag and being on the verge of unrestricted free agency.

According to, Johnson led all 4-3 ends in QB pressures in 2010. There should be plenty of money staring him down from other cities whenever free agency opens. We'll see then what he really wants to do. (

 Player: Ben Tate RB, Houston Texans 02/23/11, Time: 9:13 pm
 News: Tate reported via Twitter this week that his doctor has cleared him to return to the field following last season's right-leg fracture and torn ankle ligaments.

Tate was the assumed top back in Houston among fantasy drafters before he got hurt in an exhibition game last summer. Needless to say, he won't reach that mantle this time around without a similar injury to 2010's NFL rushing leader. (

 Player: Kyle Orton QB, Denver Broncos 02/23/11, Time: 9:10 pm
 News:'s Michael Fabiano relays that new Broncos VP of football operations John Elway has said that Orton remains the starter.

There have been plenty of rumors of the Broncos potentially trading Orton as well, so we'll have to wait to see how much truth resides in anything. At this stage, though, there's at least reason for any fantasy folks excited about Tim Tebow to get themselves under control. (

 Player: Tim Tebow QB, Denver Broncos 02/23/11, Time: 9:07 pm
 News:'s Michael Lombardi reports that Tebow doesn't carry a whole lot of support among the new Broncos regime.

The golden quarterback would seem like the obvious 2011 starter after finishing 2010 with some strong performances, but he has a whole new coaching staff to impress. Also, playing decently well over three games shouldn't be overrated. The situation should clear up further before fantasy draft time, but for now, Tebow looks like no more than a late flier at best. (

 Player: LaMarr Woodley LB, Pittsburgh Steelers 02/23/11, Time: 9:05 pm
 News: Woodley signed his franchise tender on Wednesday.

The young stud 'backer is now locked in to return to the Steelers in 2011, but really, a long-term deal seems likely in this case. Woodley has quickly turned into an annual IDP starting option. (

 Player: Arian Foster RB, Houston Texans 02/23/11, Time: 5:07 pm
 News: John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that Foster had arthroscopic knee surgery Wednesday to fix cartilage damage the back suffered in the Pro Bowl.

McClain reported that Foster could be back in three weeks if this happened during the season. Of course, fantasy owners would rather no off-season surgery for a guy with a decent college injury history and the 2010 rushing title behind him. Fortunately, there's plenty of time for Foster to show us this is no big deal. (

 Player: Phil Dawson K, Cleveland Browns 02/23/11, Time: 11:28 am
 News: Dawson has been franchised by the Browns.

This says more about the general talent level of the Browns than about the real value of a fairly average kicker. Cleveland will need to get stronger on offense before its kicker becomes truly interesting in fantasy. (

 Player: Zach Miller TE, Jacksonville Jaguars 02/23/11, Time: 11:26 am
 News: Miller figures to continue to be blocked by Marcedes Lewis, who is expected to be franchised by the Jaguars.

Miller has shown impressive athleticism in stretches as a young pro but has also been injury prone. The Jags are far from deep in receiving options, so there's room for him to catch some balls, but the ceiling will be low as long as he sits behind Lewis on the depth chart. (

 Player: Marcedes Lewis TE, Jacksonville Jaguars 02/23/11, Time: 11:22 am
 News: Multiple sources report that the Jaguars are expected to apply the franchise tag to Lewis, barring a turnaround in negotiations on a long-term deal.

Lewis broke through statistically in 2010 but has long been viewed as a valuable member of the offense by the Jaguars. Look for him to stick around Jacksonville one way or the other. (

 Player: Drew Brees QB, New Orleans Saints 02/22/11, Time: 12:35 am
 News: reports that coach Sean Payton says the left knee injury on which Brees played was a low-grade MCL sprain, as opposed to the previously reported MCL tear.

The specifics here hardly matter. The point is that Brees played through a decently significant knee injury for about a third of the year and was still pretty good. The fact that a few more QBs outscored him in fantasy only means that you'll be able to draft him at better value in 2011. (

 Player: Jimmy Graham TE, New Orleans Saints 02/22/11, Time: 10:57 pm
 News: Graham figures to be a hot fantasy topic for 2011 with Tuesday's release of Jeremy Shockey in New Orleans.

Graham garnered five starts as a rookie despite carrying the "raw" label into the league and caught four touchdown passes over the final three games. He has a very high fantasy ceiling in 2011, especially because of the offense in which he'll play. (

 Player: Jeremy Shockey TE, Free Agent 02/22/11, Time: 6:35 pm
 News: Fox's Jay Glazer reports the Saints have released Shockey.

Shockey was due to make $4.7 million this coming season, and given his propensity for injury this is not surprising. (

 Player: Chad Greenway LB, Minnesota Vikings 02/21/11, Time: 2:10 pm
 News: The Vikings have used their franchise tag on Greenway.

Greenway led the Vikings with 149 tackles last season and he stays on the field on third down, so this is not a big surprise. (

 Player: O.J. Atogwe DB, Free Agent 02/21/11, Time: 10:15 am
 News: 101 ESPN in St. Louis reports Atogwe is scheduled to visit the Redskins on Monday.

The Rams released Atogwe last week, and he should get plenty of attention on the free agent market. (

 Player: Vincent Jackson WR, L.A. Chargers Chargers 02/19/11, Time: 10:48 pm
 News: Chargers GM A.J. Smith says he doesn't plan to negotiate a long-term deal with Jackson in the wake of applying the franchise tag to the star receiver, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

You have to love Smith's brutal honesty. At the same time, Jackson's value would seem lower at this point compared to what it might be if he shows up for all of 2011 and plays to his potential. Will this motivate Jackson or distract him? He's worth drafting to find out. (

 Player: Bob Sanders DB, Free Agent 02/18/11, Time: 3:34 pm
 News: The Colts finally released their injury bug on Friday.

Oft-injured is a term easily attached to Sanders but nowhere near strong enough. If he weren't so good when healthy, he'd have been booted long ago. For much the same reason, some other team figures to give him another chance at a much more friendly cap number. Our money would be on Jacksonville. (

 Player: Mike Goodson RB, Carolina Panthers 02/18/11, Time: 3:29 pm
 News: Goodson appears in line to stay the team's No. 2 running back in 2011, with news that the team figures to apply its franchise tag to either Ryan Kalil or Charles Johnson.

Goodson played very well when thrust into action last season, and this move shouldn't surprise anyone. The Panthers will have to again rely primarily on the running game, so the combo of that and Stewart's injury history will give Goodson plenty of value come draft time. (

 Player: Jonathan Stewart RB, Carolina Panthers 02/18/11, Time: 3:13 pm
 News: NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora reports that the Panthers aren't expected to use the franchise tag on DeAngelo Williams.

It's time, fantasy owners. Can Stewart deliver? We'll see. His draft stock figures to vary quite a bit, especially between PPR and non-PPR formats. (

 Player: DeAngelo Williams RB, Carolina Panthers 02/18/11, Time: 2:57 pm
 News: NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora reports that the Panthers expect to choose between C Ryan Kalil and DE Charles Johnson for its franchise tag.

That means it won't be applied to Williams, which shouldn't really surprise anyone. The Panthers have Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson ready to go. Williams should be as attractive as running back on the free-agent market. (

 Player: Donald Driver WR, Green Bay Packers 02/18/11, Time: 11:46 am
 News: reports Driver has no intention of retiring any time soon.

Driver stated a goal of playing until age 40, which seems a little unrealistic since he just turned 36 and battled injuries throughout 2010. (

 Player: Steve Smith WR, Carolina Panthers 02/16/11, Time: 9:41 am
 News: NFL Network's Michael Lombardi expects the Panthers to finally deal Smith this offseason.

Lombardi suggests the Patriots as a potential trade partner for the Panthers, which could make sense for both sides. (

 Player: Frank Gore RB, San Francisco 49ers 02/16/11, Time: 9:38 am
 News: CSN Bay Area reports 49ers' head coach Jim Harbaugh said Gore (hip) won't be "coming off the field too much" in 2011.

As long as Gore remains on track in his recovery from a hip injury, he should be one of the first five running backs off the board in 2011 fantasy drafts. (

 Player: Matt Cassel QB, Kansas City Chiefs 02/15/11, Time: 11:06 pm
 News: The Chiefs added Jim Zorn as quarterbacks coach on Tuesday.

The former NFL QB and veteran QB coach was lauded for his work in Seattle, which landed him the ill-fated head job in Washington. Jason Campbell performed fairly efficiently in that brief stretch, though, and Joe Flacco was reportedly angry when the Ravens dumped Zorn this off-season. The hiring sure seems like good news for Cassel. (

 Player: Ahmad Bradshaw RB, N.Y. Giants Giants 02/15/11, Time: 10:59 pm
 News: Bradshaw shared via Twitter on Tuesday that he underwent a minor ankle procedure, which went well, and that he "will be ready to go soon."

Bradshaw's foot and ankle issues, which date back to his college days, are certainly a bit worrisome. They haven't kept him from being a very productive runner, though. Expect Bradshaw to be a fantasy starter again in 2011, and it seems likely that he'll return to the Giants despite facing free agency. (

 Player: Vincent Jackson WR, L.A. Chargers Chargers 02/15/11, Time: 10:46 pm
 News: Jackson has received the Chargers' franchise tag.

There has been plenty of animosity between these two sides over the past year, but GM A.J. Smith isn't stupid. He won't let Jackson walk away for nothing. Unfortunately, the labor struggle will also likely make a trade tough to do this year. Don't be surprised if Jackson plays out the year on the franchise tender. (

 Player: Kevin Kolb QB, Philadelphia Eagles 02/15/11, Time: 10:44 pm
 News: Any slight chance that Kolb might have had of factoring into the Philly starting picture in 2011 disappeared this week when the team tagged Michael Vick as its franchise player.

The move was widely expected. Kolb and fantasy owners should hope that a new labor deal arrives in time for the Eagles to trade Kolb before the draft. Failing that, he'll make for an attractive handcuff for the oft-nicked Vick. (

 Player: Michael Vick QB, Philadelphia Eagles 02/15/11, Time: 10:43 pm
 News: As expected, the Eagles have applied the franchise tag to Vick.

Expect the two sides to work out an extension beyond this season. Even if that doesn't happen, though, it's now more official that the Eagles will keep Vick around for at least 2011. (

 Player: Peyton Manning QB, Indianapolis Colts 02/15/11, Time: 10:41 pm
 News: The Colts placed the franchise tag on Manning Tuesday.

Who could've guessed? It looks like Manning just might stick around Indy. (

 Player: Matt Flynn QB, Green Bay Packers 02/15/11, Time: 10:23 am
 News: Dan Pompei of National Football Post reports teams in need of a QB are "taking a good look" at Flynn.

Flynn is obviously stuck behind Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, so he could become a popular trade target this offseason. (

 Player: Visanthe Shiancoe TE, Minnesota Vikings 02/14/11, Time: 2:48 pm
 News: The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports Shiancoe is "very excited" about his potential role in Vikings' offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's offense.

The uncertainty Minnesota has at QB hurts Shiancoe's fantasy potential right now. (

 Player: Kevin Kolb QB, Philadelphia Eagles 02/14/11, Time: 9:38 am
 News: reports Kolb is open to a trade to the Cardinals.

Kolb was apparently atop Cardinals' WR Larry Fitzgerald's QB "wish list." The Eagles asking price may be a hurdle for anyone looking to trade for him. (

 Player: Jimmy Clausen QB, Carolina Panthers 02/13/11, Time: 1:09 am
 News: NFL Network's Charles Davis doesn't believe the Panthers will hand the starting job to Clausen in 2011.

The article on frames this in discussion of who the team will take with the first pick, but if that player is a QB, he would seem an unlikely Week 1 starter. If the new Panthers staff wants a serious challenger for Clausen -- or a different starter altogether -- it'll likely have to find that player in free agency. (

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