Holmdel Division Disappearing in McGee Survivor League
It was another tough weekend for the Holmdel branch of the McGee family as their youngest, Bobby, joined brother, Horsefeathers4John, and sister, Colleen, as one of the eliminated.  Professor Wagstaff, despite his weekly residence near the bottom of the standings, is still in the picture.  Things are gettting tighter now that the bye weeks are upon us so, stay tuned.

Fantasy Football News and Notes
While he’ll, no doubt, be the most acquired player in most leagues this week, don’t expect too much too soon from 49′ers WR Michael Crabtree.  His talent is immense and he’ll be a big boost for you in the second half but I can’t see Mike Singletary making any adjustments to what’s obviously working already…In contrast, WR Braylon Edwards’ impact on the Jets should be immediate, if not direct.  Look for things to open up for RB Thomas Jones and Leon Washington now that QB Mark Sanchez has a deep threat… Very quietly, Jacksonville QB David Garrard is putting together a very solid season…Raiders RB Darren McFadden is out with a torn meniscus.  Michael Bush and/or Justin Fargas will share his workload…Dallas WR Roy Williams will be a game time decison vs. Kansas City due to torn cartilage in his rib cage… Steelers RB  Willie Parker will be limited in practice, leaving his status as well as Rasahard Mendenhall’s, in question…Cleveland WR Mike Furrey may net a few more receptions over the next week or two with Braylon Edwards gone but Chansi Stuckey, acquired from the Jets,  is an Eric Mangini favorite and a better option than Furrey…Eagles QB Donovan McNabb returns to the starting lineup this week after missing two games with a fractured rib.  RB Brian Westbrook, out last week with a sprained ankle, should also be back… Dallas RB Marion Barber sat out a lot of the second half last week when his thigh injury acted up.  Hang on to Tashard Choice… Look for the Vikes DST, fresh off an eight sack performance vs. Green Bay, to continue the onslaught against the hapless Rams.

Fantasy Football Stars
Houston’s QB/WR tandem, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson should have a big day vs. Arizona… The Ravens seem to have given QB Joe Flacco the freedom he earned with a strong rookie year.  All of a sudden, Baltimore is an offensive force.  Flacco will have a great day vs. Cincinnati… Gotta love all of the Steelers’ skill position guys vs. Detroit; especially QB Ben Roethlisberger.  With RB Willie Parker banged up, look for Big Ben to sling it all over the lot vs. Detroit.

Fantasy Football Stiffs
Can’t be too much longer before Tennessee gives up the ghost and dismisses QB Kerry Collins for Vince Young.  A loss this week should spell the end for Collins… Raiders QB JeMarcus Russell, while probably not owned in any but the deepest leagues, must be listed simply because he is that bad… Tampa Bay QB Josh Johnson is keeping the seat warm for first round pick Josh Freeman and will do nothing to distinguish himself during that time… Seahawks’ RB Julius Jones has been too inconsistent to keep in your lineup but will struggle this week vs. Jacksonville.

Fantasy Football Sleepers
Browns RB Jerome Harrison will continue to carry the load for Cleveland. He had 29 carries for 121 yards and caught five passes for 31 yards against Cincinnati last week… Jets’ RB Leon Washington always seems to save his biggest plays for the Dolphins, Gang Green’s opponent on Monday… Grab Jags’ WR Mike Sims-Walker if he’s still available in your league.  He’s become the emerging David Garrard’s favorite target.

Fantasy Football Slippers
While Rams’ RB Stephen Jackson has been putting up decent YDS, he’s having a lot of trouble getting into the end zone, something that should continue vs. Minnesota… Can’t see Dolpin QB Chad Henne continuing last week’s success against the blitzing schemes of the Jets… Can’t see a big game in Seattle WR Nate Burleson’s future as long as Seneca Wallace is calling signals.   For more Fantasy Sports insight and analysis, visit Wagstaff and Company at FantasySportsDirt.com

by Professor Wagstaff

Well, here we are.  The first NFL training camp opens on Saturday in Buffalo, Horsefeathersperhaps because the Bills can’t wait to immerse themselves in the glow and warmth of newly acquired Terrell Owens.  Whatever the reason, the first whistle will also serve to alert Fantasy Owners that their drafts are just a few weeks away.  In most of those drafts, running backs will dominate most of the first two rounds so; the position seems as good a spot as any to start our 2009 previews.

Fantasy Football Running Backs


Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson carried the ball 363 times last year.  363!  The NFL’s leading rusher probably won’t carry the same load this season but will still be the first pick in your draft… Michael Turner emerged from LT’s shadow in San Diego and became a superstar in Atlanta.  He ran for 220 YDS on Opening Day and never looked back. Ironically, he’ll likely go before Tomlinson in most Fantasy drafts…  It took a year but DeAngelo Williams finally showed the panthers the talent they expected when they drafted him.  His 1,500 YDS were a team record and 20 TD boosted him to an elite Fantasy ranking…  Jaguars’ star Maurice Jones Drew ran for less YDS than anyone in this group but made up for it with better than 500 YDS receiving.  Look for his rushing total to increase in ’09 as he’ll no longer be splitting time with the departed Fred Taylor… Not a bad rookie year for Matt Forte, who quickly became the focal point of the Bears’ offense.  The addition of Jay Cutler won’t hurt him at all since he’s probably Chicago’s best receiver, as well.


Talk to Fantasy owners that drafted Marion Barber in the first or second round in ‘08 and they’ll tell you they were somewhat disappointed.  Slowed in the final four games by a toe injury, Barber’s production fell off.  Healthy now, don’t look past the fact that he still managed 1,300 total YDS and 10 TD… Frank Gore, slowed in the latter part of the season by a concussion, had 1,500 total YDS and 8 TD.  A new O Coordinator with a reputation for running the ball will give the 49’ers star a huge boost…  Houston’s Steve Slaton went undrafted in many leagues last year (including mine) and was happily grabbed as a FA early on.  He’ll be the starter out of the gate this year so, expect bigger numbers… Brian Westbrook suffered through a litany of injuries last season yet, the Eagles star still had 14 TD and 1,300 YDS.  He’s had off season surgery on his ankle and knee so, be careful but the risk reward for drafting him is huge.


How does one of the greatest RB in the history of the game end up on a Fantasy sleeper list?  When he’s coming off an injury riddled season and he’s over 30, that’s when.  San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson is Wagstaff’s pick for steal of the draft in ’09 as he’ll probably go late second or early third round in a year where he’ll show everyone how great he is when healthy… Injuries and the emergence of LeRon McLain made for a tough rookie year for the Ravens’ Ray Rice.  However, McLain will be moved to fullback while Rice will split time with Willis McGahee…  We’re going out on a limb here with Arizona’s Beanie Wells, as he’s slated to split time with Tim Hightower.  The thought, however, is that Wells has more breakaway potential; enough to give him the bulk of the carries and some late round value… Given the history, how can you not want a Denver RB?  Knowshon Moreno will quickly become the Broncos’ go to guy, especially as they gently work Kyle Orton into the offense.


A decent sleeper pick in ’08, LenDale White became nothing more than a short yardage specialist for the Titans as the season wore on with Chris Johnson taking the reins.  Don’t get sucked in by his TD total… Age and the Browns’ ineptitude have conspired to rob Jamal Lewis of his Fantasy value.  His totals last year were his lowest in four years and the Browns don’t look like they’ve worked out too many of their problems…, Willis McGahee seems to have hit the infamous RB wall; and the Ravens apparently think so, too.  They’re looking to work Ray Rice into the rotation… The Colts’ Joseph Addai was a first rounder in most Fantasy leagues last year but struggled mightily.  So much so, that Indy used its first pick on Donald Brown, who will definitely take touches from Addai.


  Larry Johnson has asked the Chiefs for a trade and will lose touches to Jamaal Charles and Kolby Smith… In Tampa Bay, Earnest Graham is returning from an ankle injury that cost him the last five weeks of an already disappointing season while battling the newly signed Derrick Ward for playing time… In Baltimore, LeRon McLain became a viable option when Willis McGahee went down.  However, he’s being moved to FB, making him the Ravens’ third option at best.

Fantasy Football Picks: Wagstaff’s Top 20 Running Backs

  1. Adrian Peterson                            
  2. DeAngelo Williams                    
  3.  Matt Forte                                         
  4. Michael Turner                             
  5. Maurice Jones Drew                  
  6. Steve Slaton                                    
  7. LaDainian Tomlinson               
  8. Brian Westbrook                         
  9. Marion Barber                              
  10. Frank Gore                                     
  11. Steven Jackson
  12. Clinton Portis   
  13. Brandon Jacobs   
  14. Knowshon Moreno
  15. Thomas Jones
  16. Marshawn Lynch
  17. Ryan Grant
  18. Joseph Addai
  19. Kevin Smith
  20. Willie Parker                                    
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