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Dynasty Watch

The purpose of this column is to spotlight deeper roster moves that could pay off big over the course of the season. Unless stated in a player's write up, we're not looking for one-week wonders here, but shark moves that could really strengthen your team down the road.

Dynasty Watch focuses on low risk, huge payoff roster moves that you might be able make before the guys in your league think about it. This aim of this column is to make you look like a genius to the other owners in your league. When news breaks and the other owners are scrambling to make a waiver wire move, we want them to be upset time and time again that the player is already on your squad.

Derrick Blaylock: RB New York Jets

What has he done so far
Blaylock, in his fifth year in the league, spent the start of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. After only 38 carries in his first three years with the Chiefs, Blaylock took five starts last season when Priest Holmes went down with injury. Blaylock totaled 540 yards and five scores while starting. Blaylock has proven to be an effective goal line option, as evidenced by his 12 TDs in 201 career touches, and his four-touchdown performance against the Falcons a year ago. Blaylock is also a skilled in the passing game out of the back field.

Current Situation
Blaylock was brought in to replace LaMont Jordan as the primary back up to Curtis Martin. Although Martin had a string of over 110 consecutive starts, he is getting up in age where injury concerns and a replacement for retirement start coming into play. Blaylock broke his foot in the win over Tampa Bay, and was announced as "done for the season" on most of the major news outlets. After medical review, it was determined that the injury was not as severe as first thought, and Blaylock could be back before the end of the season. Blaylock had surgery three days later to insert a screw into his fractured fifth metatarsal, a bone leading from the midfoot to the little toe. At this point, it's week 15, and Blaylock has been practicing with the team. While Blaylock has been recovering, Martin underwent season-ending surgery this last Wednesday on his right knee. Rookie Cedric Houston has played well as the starter for the Jets, but has failed to capitalize at the goal line with the volume of opportunities he has been given.

Spotlight ETA
It won't be this week. Jets head coach Herman Edwards called Blaylock questionable for Week 15 at Miami. "He practiced a little bit, but not a whole lot," Edwards said. "So we'll see where he's at this week, he'll come along further if he can." Blaylock is most likely a week away from limited action after suffering his foot injury in week five. Once he returns, he has only a rookie in Houston, and a fullback in B.J. Askew to compete with for playing time.

Dynasty Upside
Huge. We are talking upside. Although Martin has vowed to return next season, Blaylock could be the starting running back for the Jets in 2006. We don't feel that role will be handed to him, but he is every bit in position to have it. Blaylock's injury may prove too costly to that advancement, ending a great opportunity as Houston steps over him. With Houston's struggles around the goal line, and Blaylock's strength in the red zone, ability in the passing attack, speed, and surprising strength, we believe he is still right in running as the future running back for the Jets.

Final Thoughts
Despite being known as a small fast running back, Blaylock is deceptively strong due to his compact 5'9", 210 lbs. build. He can be a workhorse as showcased in week ten against the Saints in 2004, carrying the ball 33 times for 186 yards. Although Blaylock shouldn't be able to come back from injury this season and really show much of anything in the time left, he is in a great position for the future of the running back position for the Jets. Except or a few news reports recently on his attempt back to the field, most Fantasy Owners have forgotten about Blaylock. He has a nose for the goal line, a decent frame with speed and power, and can catch out of the backfield. Blaylock could be everything you want in a versatile dynamic back. For his lack of opportunity in the first five years of his career, he played behind Pro-Bowlers in Holmes and Martin. Because of that, he has very few miles on the tires. Blaylock's injury history could, and very well will, put a damper on his ability to exceed. Even with the injury concerns, here is a great opportunity for a Dynasty Owner to catch lightening in the future.


Players You Should Already Be Watching

Lamar Gordon, RB Eagles - Ryan Moats is the flavor of the day after 114 yards on only 11 carries with TD runs of 40 and 18 yards last weekend. There is no way to predict those long touch downs going forward. At 6'1", 223 lbs, Gordon is far and away the biggest option for the Eagles at the goal line. Gordon was the starting running back for the Miami Dolphins before injuries derailed him down in Florida.

Ciatrick Fason, RB Vikings - Barring injury, Fason will not be the starter for the Vikings this season, nor will he get a significant amount of playing time. However, Fason is getting goal line carries for the team, and proving effective in doing so. He has scored three touch downs on just 24 carries this season. Should the coaching staff change out after the season, Fason has proven that he can protect the ball and get the hard yards.

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