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Volume 6, Issue 132 (Sunday, August 28th)

Tonight's update brought to you by:
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Hi Folks,

First off on a serious note - hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to our friends along the Gulf Coast and especially those in New Orleans as they face Hurricane Katrina. Hang tough.

You subscribe to us for Fantasy Football information and we'll continue to ramp up our coverage to bring you everything you need to Dominate Your League. From Training Camp Updates, Drafting Software, to Fantasy Articles to the latest in Cheatsheets and up to the minute Stat Projections. We'll keep you covered. Thanks to our Footballguy Mike Brown for the help rounding up these stories tonight. Let's get to it.

Joe Bryant

SITE NEWS

A. More Player Spotlights Released
If you want the most detailed scoops on guys like Priest Holmes, Braylon Edwards or Eric Shelton plus more, check out the Player Spotlights released today


INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. CHI - Orton Named Starting QB
2. HOU - RB Davis Leaves Game With Bruised Ankle, Elbow
3. DEN - RB Anderson Has Huge Night
4. GB - Injury To WR Walker Not Serious
5. PIT - RB Bettis Iffy For Opener; Parker's Turn?
6. MIN - RB Moore's Ankle Sprain Not As Bad As Feared
7. OAK - WR Porter Should Play Thursday
8. NYG - QB E. Manning Will Probably Play In Opener
9. MIA - Starting QB Job Still Unclaimed
10. DEN - RB Clarett To Be Cut
11. DEN - RB Dayne Has Looked Great
12. CIN - Bengals' Passing Game Struggling
13. PIT - Offensive Woes Continue
14. MIA - Dolphins Not Expected To Trade RB Williams
15. TEN - TE Troupe Working His Way Back
16. JAC - WR Edwards Released
17. PHI - Eagles, RB Westbrook Working Toward New Contract
18. DAL - Trade For PK Marler Rescinded After Failed Physical
19. TB - TE Becht Shows Off Receiving Skills
20. IDP: CIN - S Herring Injured

1. CHI - Orton Named Starting QB

Clipped from: Associated Press article in SI 8/28/05

Rookie Kyle Orton was named the Chicago Bears' starting quarterback Sunday and the team demoted Chad Hutchinson out of the playing rotation.

Orton's strong performance in Friday's 16-12 win over Buffalo when he led an 81-yard scoring drive, and Hutchinson's second straight shaky outing -- 3-for-14 passing, two interceptions and three sacks -- prompted coach Lovie Smith to make the move.

Smith said recently signed veteran Jeff Blake is now the backup and Kurt Kittner is No. 3.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

It wasn't very difficult to see this coming. The writing was on the wall all preseason, as Hutchinson failed to make any kind of positive impression on the Bears. While some will disregard Orton because of his rookie status, Ben Roethlisberger at least showed us last year that rookie QBs can have a level of fantasy success. While we aren't coming close to suggesting Orton is another Big Ben, we also know enough to not discount a player that we we haven't seen much of on the NFL level. He'll be undrafted in most leagues, but could help late in the season if he is able to hold onto the job. Do not take him as anything more than a QB3 with upside at this point. At the very least, he's better than Hutchinson. Granted, that's not saying a lot.

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2. HOU - RB Davis Leaves Game With Bruised Ankle, Elbow

Clipped from: AP article in Washington Times by Jaime Aron 8/28/05

Houston running back Domanick Davis had 39 yards on eight carries, then left with bruises on his right ankle and elbow.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

The injuries aren't expected to be serious, and Davis likely would have remained in the game if it were a regular season affair. He got his work in, and don't adjust your cheatsheets because of this. Anytime a star player is involved in the news, however, we'll always be on top of it for you.

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3. DEN - RB Anderson Has Huge Night

Clipped from AP article 8/28/05

RB Mike Anderson was Denver's star, scoring a 93-yard touchdown as part of his 159-yard, two-score night. It came one year to the day since he was lost for the 2004 season with a groin injury suffered in a preseason game against Houston.

Anderson was the biggest story. In addition to his 93-yard score, he had a 25-yard run and a 20-yard catch from Plummer. The reception came early in the third quarter and set up Anderson's 2-yard touchdown run behind a block from defensive tackle Gerard Warren, who checked in as a fullback.

"We really feel like Mike is in great shape," coach Mike Shanahan said. "He's had a great camp. There are no questions in our minds that he's totally healthy."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

This news has everyone (including us) questioning Tatum Bell's forecast for 2005. Anderson has looked awesome, and as evidenced by both the big gain and the goal line carry (not to mention a 20-yard reception), he looks to be the guy who'll get the call most often. Of course, the Broncos have been known to change direction. Therefore, the starter at the beginning won't necessarily be the starter at the end (or even by Week 3). But right now, if you're drafting a Denver back, you've got to go with Anderson. It would be wise to take both he and Tatum Bell, if you have the roster space, because it's almost certain that one of them will have a ton of value on a week-to-week basis.

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4. GB - Injury To WR Walker Not Serious

Clipped from: Packers.com article by Nathan Hager 8/27/05

Javon Walker suffered a dislocated finger when he was on the opposite end of a trademark Brett Favre heater. According to Walker, this injury was unlike any he has received before.

"It just popped out of place," Walker said. "I came inside so they (medical personnel) could pop it back in. Other than that, it's fine.

I've never had the experience of it, and they didn't want to take the glove off because they didn't know if it was broken or not. It's just a little swelling, but I'm glad it's a dislocation instead of a broken finger."

On a positive note, Walker shrugged off the possibility of missing significant time due to the injury.

"No, I'm not out," Walker insisted. "If this game was postseason, regular season, I could have been out there playing. It's just doing the right things to get ready for Detroit.

We have a lot of guys that have aches and pains right now, but let's find out where we stand with injuries. We have a big game coming up game against Tennessee, but the next week is more important. With a short week, it's better to see who we can get back going into the Detroit game."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

On the plus side, it doesn't look like Walker will miss any regular season time with this injury. On the downside, it could hamper him in the early going. If it's that tough to catch a Favre pass when all of your fingers are working, imagine trying to do so with a bad finger? We don't think this will affect his production, but since his hands are more than just a little important as a wide receiver, we'll keep watch to see how he looks. Bottom line is expect him to suit up in Week 1 and be ok.

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5. PIT - RB Bettis Iffy For Opener; Parker's Turn?

Clipped from: NFL.com wire reports 8/27/05

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis had an MRI test on his injured right calf, but team officials did not update his condition.

Coach Bill Cowher prefers to personally make such injury-related announcements. Cowher isn't expected to update Bettis' condition until Aug. 29. The Steelers will finish their preseason schedule Sept. 1 at Carolina.

Bettis apparently was injured while making a cut on a play-action fake in the first quarter of the Steelers' 17-10 preseason loss Aug. 26 at Washington.

The Steelers wouldn't speculate how long Bettis would be out, but even if the injury is minor, he appears likely to miss the season opener Sept. 11 against Tennessee. If so, the Steelers probably would be without their top two running backs, Duce Staley and Bettis, for the opener.

Staley had knee surgery a week after training camp started and has not practiced since. The team has not officially announced when he will return, but he is not expected back until sometime after the Tennessee game.

If neither Staley nor Bettis can play against Tennessee, No. 3 running back Willie Parker -- who did not start a game during his senior season at North Carolina in 2003 -- would start. Parker is the Steelers' leading rusher through three preseason games with 112 yards on 11 carries.

"You might not see him again until Tennessee," Cowher said of Parker -- meaning the team isn't likely to risk playing him against Carolina with Staley and Bettis hurt. Parker gained 51 yards on his only carry against Washington.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

We may yet get our wish to see Footballguy favorite "Fast" Willie Parker as a feature back, if only for a week. Pay special attention to the part that mentions Parker will be held out of the exhibition game. That is very telling, in that Pittsburgh doesn't want to risk injury to Parker. Usually, a team won't hold a player out of the final preseason game unless they know they're going to be relying on him. While we wouldn't advocate starting Parker in Week 1, if for some reason your running backs are unusually weak after your draft, you could do worse than starting a Steelers back at home. As for Bettis, it's got to be a concern when an older back suffers an injury. It remains to be seen what Bettis' role will be going forward, as the Steelers running back situation is very muddied right now because of the injuries to Bettis and starter Duce Staley.

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6. MIN - RB Moore's Ankle Sprain Not As Bad As Feared

Clipped from: Associated Press

Mewelde Moore's news was better, as the sprain was not as bad as originally thought. Moore sprained the same ankle as a rookie last year and missed six games.

"Moore's not as bad as he was last year, but he's hurt," Tice said.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Moore has some work to do to overtake incumbent starter Michael Bennett, as HC Mike Tice has declared that Bennett won't lose his job due to injury. It's good that Moore's injury isn't as serious as once feared, but any setback will make it that much more difficult for him to gain any serious fantasy value. In any event, the Vikings' RB situation suddenly looks as muddy as Pittsburgh's, as neither team really knows who is going to be starting in Week 1. With the potential for fantasy success of each of these units, however, you'd be well served to pay close attention to any new developments over the next several days. You know we'll be there for you bringing you the latest.

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7. OAK - WR Porter Should Play Thursday

Clipped from: Contra Costa Times article by Steve Corkran 8/28/05

HC Norv Turner said he anticipates wide receiver Jerry Porter will practice this week and play in Oakland's exhibition finale Thursday against the New Orleans Saints.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Well, Porter may not be at 100% by Thursday, but at least we'll get a chance to see him before heading into crunch time right before the season. It'll be good to get him some reps and get back into the flow of playing, as he's missed a good chunk of time this preseason. We expect big things from Porter and the rest of the Raider offense.

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8. NYG - QB E. Manning Will Probably Play In Opener

Clipped from: New York Post article by Paul Schwartz 8/28/05

Tom Coughlin yesterday said all the medical information he has received on Eli Manning is that the Giants starting quarterback is "on schedule" with his rehabilitation from a sprained right elbow.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

We weren't advocating Manning for a breakout season before the injury, so our opinion of him obviously hasn't been helped any the past week or so. Until Manning gets out on the field and demonstrates that he's ok, we'll still be a little leery of relying on him even as a QB2. It's good news that his rehab is on schedule, but he still will have missed several weeks of valuable time with Plaxico Burress and company. It could be a bit bumpy in the early going for the New York passing game.

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9. MIA - Starting QB Job Still Unclaimed

Clipped from: MiamiDolphins.com article 8/28/05

Miami's quarterback job remained unclaimed. Frerotte played the first 2 1/2 quarters and completed only nine of 25 attempts for 103 yards, while A.J. Feeley came off the bench to lead the Dolphins to 10 points.

"It's something that we need to continue to evaluate,'' Saban said. "It has seemed the entire preseason, whichever quarterback played second has played best.''

Feeley went 8-for-14 for 90 yards. After rookie end Matt Roth intercepted a deflected pass from Luke McCown, Feeley hit Danny Farmer for the go-ahead touchdown, a 36-yard score with 10 minutes left.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Perhaps the reason why whichever QB plays second plays best is because neither man is really a legitimate option for a starting NFL QB. Between the offensive line issues, the lack of cohesion, and the ineptitude all preseason long of the two QB "challengers", we have a tough time recommending any of the Dolphins all that highly. Of course they'll all have value at some point, but be careful not to reach for anyone, as the entire team will have a tough time living up to even modest expectations with either Frerotte or Feeley at QB.

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1010. DEN - RB Clarett To Be Cut

Clipped from: ESPN.com article by John Clayton

RB Maurice Clarett's gamble for the big dollars in the NFL failed for a second time. The Denver Broncos informed Clarett on Sunday that he is being released. As it turned out, Shanahan made a mistake and didn't want to waste time admitting it. With Tuesday's deadline for cutting the roster to 65 looming, Clarett, who never made the field in three preseason games, was let go.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

What a disaster. Who should be more embarrassed here, Shanahan for cutting a third round pick, or Clarett for performing so poorly (both on and off-field) as to warrant being cut despite being a third rounder. Kudos to Mike Shanahan for admitting a mistake and moving on. If nothing else, this would make for a clearer RB picture in Denver, with Anderson #1, Bell #2, and Ron Dayne #3. Along those lines…

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11. DEN - RB Dayne Has Looked Great

Clipped from: NFL.com article by Adam Schefter 8/27/05

This will come as a surprise to Giants fans, but former Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne has shined this summer in the way he was supposed to when New York made him a first-round draft choice. Dayne has run hard, authoritatively and with a sense of purpose.

He is the Broncos' leading rusher this preseason, carrying the football 29 times for 143 yards, a 4.9 yards per carry average -- 1.4 yards per carry more than he averaged on his 585 attempts in five seasons in New York.

He has drawn so much attention that even the Philadelphia Eagles, who lost running back Correll Buckhalter this week to a season-ending injury, made trade inquiries for Dayne that Denver quickly rebuffed. Dayne, who is playing on a one-year deal in Denver, would have been a great fit in Philadelphia, but the Broncos now like him too much.

Right now, Mike Anderson is running as the Broncos' first-team running back, and Tatum Bell as the second-string running back. But the way he has looked this summer, Dayne is vying for playing time in a system that has turned running backs such as Olandis Gary and Reuben Droughns into stars.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Dayne has looked fantastic, and is running hard. Yes, Dayne has teased us with his potential before, but now he's a Bronco. He won't get significant playing time at the outset, but if Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell suffer through injuries or joint cases of fumblitis, Dayne could get his shot. The good thing is that you can get him very late in your draft, which at that point is all about upside anyway. On the downside, check out this link for last season's preseason rushing leaders http://www.nfl.com/stats/2004/pre (Hint - Dayne was #2) Granted, Denver is different than New York, but the reality is we've seen this before from Dayne.

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12. CIN - Bengals' Passing Game Struggling

Clipped from: Bengals.com article by Geoff Hobson 8/27/05

It's now officially time to start worrying about the vaunted Bengals passing game:

Friday night's only touchdown passes came from the men battling for the No. 3 quarterback job, Casey Bramlet and Craig Krenzel.

Chad Johnson, the Pro Bowl wide receiver, has more drops than touchdown catches (0), and catches of 20 yards or longer (0) in three preseason games. Johnson has fewer catches (8) than incompleted balls thrown to him from quarterback Carson Palmer (10).

Wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh didn't make his first catch of the preseason until the last minute of the first quarter, but followed that up with another drop as Palmer oversaw a first-team offense that committed six penalties.

"I can't really pinpoint it," said Houshmandzadeh, who also lined up illegally for a penalty. "You just hope we can clean it up and when Sept. 11 comes, things click."

No one can seem to figure why things aren't clicking like last year, when Johnson and Houshmandzadeh set the Bengals season record for receiving duos and Palmer finished his year completing 69 of his last 89 passes.

But Palmer hasn't even hit on half of his 60 passes (29 for 48 percent) in the preseason and while he's been victimized by drops, he also hasn't put the ball on the money.

Note the 28-yard pass with the Bengals trailing, 10-0. Johnson had cornerback Lito Sheppard beat down the sideline as he crossed the goal line. Palmer lofted it over his shoulder, but it was too far as Johnson couldn't get his second foot down before going out of bounds.

"I think it was not a good enough pass," Palmer said. "Maybe we haven't been working hard enough. We need to keep going, keep pounding and working and just get the rhythm and timing back."

Johnson: "It will be there. I know you're hearing the same things. It will be here. That's all I can say. There's nothing I can say, but just keep working on it. If it means him and I staying after practice, throwing extra balls, or double moves, or our deep balls, that's what we'll have to. It's something that we do anyway, we just haven't gotten to it yet because it's still early."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Call us concerned but not worried yet. Obviously, you don't want to see such big-time fantasy producers struggle to get anything done, but with the talent and system in place there, we don't anticipate this being a lingering problem. Preseason is meant to resolve these kinds of things, to try and work out the kinks before the regular season. While we'd prefer to see the Bengals clicking on all cylinders by now, it's not disastrous that they have been unable to do so to this point. At least everyone recognizes an issue right now and will work to correct it, hopefully in time for Week One.

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13. PIT - Offensive Woes Continue

Clipped from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article by Ed Bouchette 8/28/05

The Steelers' top two running backs are injured, their passing game limps and their top receiver sounds hurt that a contract extension has not been forthcoming.

Their first-team offense has not scored a touchdown, their backup kicker has more points than any starter, their defensive secondary has scored as many touchdowns as their entire offense with three apiece.

Other than that, all is right with the Steelers' offense.

"We have plenty of time to go out on the practice field and get better," said receiver Hines Ward, who has played little in two preseason games since ending his two-week contract holdout, "but we have to carry it over to game-time situations and learn how to get on the same page with everybody."

They're not even on the same page as to whether anything's wrong.

Coach Bill Cowher, after his team lost, 17-10, to the Washington Redskins without another touchdown on offense, said: "I'm disappointed in the effort tonight and I thought certainly, offensively, our passing game has not been in sync this entire preseason."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger responded: "I have a lot of things to be optimistic and confident about. I'm confident in this offense, our offensive line did a great job tonight. I really think we have great potential and we're real close ... I'm not going to contradict coach. If he doesn't think guys did [give a good effort], then obviously they didn't, but I'm going to give our line lot of credit. I think they did a great job tonight."

Cowher compared the effort in Landover, Md., to what he termed a poor final week of training camp in Latrobe. Roethlisberger disagreed on that, too.

"I thought the last couple of practices were good, mentally, for me and the rest of the quarterbacks. We got all the final stuff in. I really feel that, mentally, the last week of practice was really good."

It's obvious that the coach and starting quarterback see that half-full, half-empty glass differently.

They have one more game to get their offense straight, if not their story right, when the Steelers finish the preseason at Carolina Thursday.

That offense looks as if it could use an entire game for a tune-up. Receivers dropped passes and, at times, did not seem to want to catch them Friday night. And Roethlisberger was wild with some of his throws for the third consecutive game.

"I don't know, we're not being consistent, we're not converting on third downs," Ward said. "We're just out of sync right now, for whatever reason. I can't put a finger on it, we're just not in sync right now.

"Am I worried? No, because we still have two weeks before the regular season. We have plenty of time to go out on the practice field and get better, but we have to carry it over to game-time situations and learn how to get on the same page with everybody."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Most observers, us included, feel that Ben Roethlisberger will slip back to the pack a bit this year (how can he not after a 15-1 campaign?), and with the running game a major problem right now due to injuries, as well as the defection of Plaxico Burress, we can definitely see the Steeler offense struggling a little at the outset.

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14. MIA - Dolphins Not Expected To Trade RB R. Williams

Clipped from: Newsday.com article by Bob Glauber 8/28/05

Conventional wisdom suggests that the Dolphins' major motivation for inviting running back Ricky Williams back this season was to trade him. Not so fast.

Williams, who retired before last season but decided to continue playing this year, is expected to remain with the team through at least this season and perhaps even beyond, according to two people familiar with the Dolphins' situation.

Dolphins first-year coach Nick Saban is actually looking forward to deploying both Williams and first-round pick Ronnie Brown in the same backfield. Williams will miss the first four games of the season while serving a four-game suspension for testing positive for marijuana last year. A deal in the meantime is remote at best, as Williams will have played only one game before the Oct. 18 trading deadline.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

While this writer doesn't necessarily think the Dolphins will trade Williams at any point, we see it unlikely that they retain him past this season. It's a stretch to believe they drafted Ronnie Brown #2 overall just so he can have him looking over his shoulder his entire career. Having a quality backup is one thing; having a Pro Bowl-caliber back as a backup is something quite different. Williams has progressed well this preseason and finally appears to have his legs under him, as evidenced by his solid game Saturday night. Still, his value in redraft leagues for this year is limited to needing a Brown injury to make an impact.

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15. TEN - TE Troupe Working His Way Back

Clipped from: Tennessean article by Paul Kuharsky 8/28/05

The Titans still aren't sharing a specific timetable for Ben Troupe's return. They may not have one yet themselves.

But once the second-year tight end completes his rehabilitation of the surgically repaired fifth metatarsal in his left foot, there could be a numbers problem at the position.

Veteran Erron Kinney is locked in, and rookie Bo Scaife has quickly earned the confidence of the coaching staff.

Gregg Guenther, brought in largely because Norm Chow was familiar with him at USC, is making a strong case for a roster spot as well.

Guenther should be around at least until the Titans remove Troupe from the physically unable to perform list and he joins practice.

But yesterday Coach Jeff Fisher left open the possibility the Titans could keep four tight ends.

Fisher said Troupe, whose surgery was in May, will get an increase in his rehabilitation workload this week.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Ben Troupe has terrific skills, and could make quite a splash if he managed to remain healthy enough to do so. The fact that he's still working his way back and it's already August 28th leads us to believe his impact for 2005 will be relegated to later in the season. He's not a terrible TE option, but he's clearly nowhere near elite status yet.

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16. JAC - WR Edwards Released

Clipped From: Associated Press article 8/28/05

Troy Edwards, a one-time first-round pick, was released by Jacksonville on Sunday after he was unable to move ahead of rookie receivers Matt Jones and Chad Owens.

Edwards, the team's second-leading receiver with 50 catches for 533 yards last year, was displeased with his reduced role this season. He voiced his angst after Thursday's preseason game against Atlanta, saying, "you can see what's going on. It's obvious."

The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Edwards was the Jags' No. 3 receiver the past two years, but he lost that spot to first-round pick Jones this season and even fell behind sixth-round selection Owens in the last two preseason games.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Not a ton of fantasy relevance here, as Edwards was not going to make a very significant fantasy impact anyway. What this does do, however, is solidify Matt Jones' hold on the #3 spot. We all know about Jones' skills, and he demonstrated them in full effect Friday night with a phenomenal one-handed reception down the seam. It would be a stretch to assume he'd make a huge impact in his first season because of his limited experience at the position, but he certainly has the talent to do so.

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17. PHI - Eagles, RB Westbrook Working Toward New Contract

Clipped from: Philadelphia Inquirer article by Shannon Ryan and Mark Narducci 8/27/05

Talks are alive, and that means hope is alive for the Eagles to work out a contract agreement with running back Brian Westbrook.

Westbrook and his agent, Fletcher Smith, have been in discussions with the Eagles about arriving at a deal, according to a team source. The source said both sides are optimistic that a deal will be reached, whether it is before the season or at the end of it.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

We can't wait to hear T.O.'s reaction to seeing both PK David Akers and RB Brian Westbrook get new contracts. Actually, hold that thought - we can wait. In any case, this is positive news for the Eagles, as some may argue that Westbrook is Philadelphia's most indispensable player (especially with the latest Buckhalter injury). We project Westbrook to be the #13 RB, making him a borderline RB1 or a great RB2.

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18. DAL - Trade For PK Marler Rescinded After Failed Physical

Clipped from: DallasCowboys.com article by Rob Phillips 8/26/05

The Cowboys traded a conditional seventh-round pick for Jacksonville kicker Seth Marler, but Marler failed his physical on Saturday, nullifying the trade.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

So much for that. What was supposed to be a competition between Marler and Jose Cortez now sees Cortez as the only guy. Of course, Dallas isn't finished searching for another kicker to compete with Cortez, so expect to see another veteran in camp before too long. Still, until you hear otherwise, assume Cortez is the Cowboys' kicker for the foreseeable future.

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19. TB - TE Becht Shows Off Receiving Skills

Clipped from: Tampa Bay Online article by Katherine Smith 8/28/05

Anthony Becht came to Tampa Bay looking to break the stereotype that he was just a blocking tight end. Against Miami on Saturday night, Becht showed he was more than a one-dimensional player.

Becht caught two passes during the Bucs' opening scoring drive, including one for 6 yards. He snagged another pass for 29 yards in the third quarter that helped lead to Tampa Bay's second field goal of the game.

In three quarters of action against the Dolphins, Becht led the Bucs with four receptions for 40 yards.

Becht's best of five seasons with the New York Jets was 2003, when he had a career-high 40 receptions for 356 yards and four touchdowns. His numbers dropped significantly last season to 13 catches. He signed as a free agent with Tampa Bay in March.

Becht's blocking skills will obviously be important, especially as the offensive line continues to jell. But that's not all he wants to do.

"I had a couple of opportunities to make some catches Saturday, and I liked that," Becht said. "But I have some things to work on. Every guy has an equal opportunity to make a play in this offense, and I'm going to try and do that.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Becht is actually an excellent receiving tight end as far as hands go, though he is a bit lacking in the speed/mobility department. The Gruden system has never historically been very TE-friendly, and Becht also has rookie Alex Smith to compete with at the position. We don't recommend Becht as a reliable option except in the absolute deepest of leagues.

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20. IDP: CIN - S Herring Injured

Clipped from: Bengals.com article

After going through six different safety combinations last year and having to re-shuffle on the eve of the last regular season because of injuries, the Bengals hope they don't have to do it again. S Kim Herring thinks he injured the labrum in his shoulder and is getting an MRI Sunday.

He didn't return after getting his arm stepped on during a punt in the first half when it got pinned.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Herring isn't a big fantasy producer in an IDP setup, so this news affects the Bengals' team defense more than anything. Still, Herring is a solid but unspectacular safety, and the Bengals shouldn't lose too much if he's out for a long period of time. It does hurt the depth of the team, but we wouldn't suggest moving the Bengal defense down any notches based on that alone.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Have a great day and we'll see you tomorrow with the update.

J

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