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7/07/2007

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Drafting Cowboys in Fantasy Football

Football is in the air, and camp is less than 3 weeks away. I've been having football withdrawal symptoms since the Super Bowl ended, and the other professional sports just don't cut it for me.

Fantasy Football leagues have been forming since June and this has helped fill the void between then and training camp. I've already been in a few league drafts, and you can almost script the first round of picks, its the 2nd round and onward that get interesting. Yahoo Fantasy Football is still the best in my opinion. Easy interface, menus, settings, scoring, offense and defense, its complete. So, my review is based on the Yahoo FF System.

I'm going to give my Dallas Cowboys rankings for Fantasy Football(Most value to least value, along with recommended round to draft).

1. Terrell Owens: Owens is a scoring machine, and you can only expect this to be the same if not better with Garrett's new down-the field approach. He'll get you the receptions, the yards, and TDs needed to be a force in any league. (1st-2nd round)

2. Marion Barber III: Barber is another scoring machine, he has a nose for the endzone, runs hard everytime, and he's the man in the redzone. Garrett wants to utilize the RBs in the passing game some more, and Barber has the advantage here, he has better receiving hands, which makes him more dangerous this year. Barber is the running back that will deliver the nail in the coffin with his TDs which is why he's still get the moniker of "The Closer" (6th-8th round)

3. Jason Witten: Witten isn't ranking in the top echelon of tight ends in fantasy football because they are basing this on his output last year. This is not the case this year, and if you're looking for a TE with numbers, its gonna be Witten. Witten will be a solid TE this year, and could be a solid W/T swing player. Expect Witten to be a major threat in the redzone/endzone this year. Witten will be a major beneficiary from Garrett's new high octane system and you can reap the benefits in your league. (8th-11th round)

4. Tony Romo: Romo will have solid numbers, he could have great numbers, so picking Romo could be a top round pick for sure. The thing you have to remember is that you want to stockpile your team with high-end WRs/RBs first, that's been my rule of thumb for years. The only QB you'll probably see drafted in the 1st round is Peyton Manning, and that's because he puts up ridiculous output every year, he's money. Romo has that scoring potential, but you just don't know for sure. Fans and die hard fans could find it hard not to draft Romo with their first pick in the first round, stick to the gameplan. You can get Romo in later rounds and for a steal. Next year could be a different story. (9th-12th round)

5. Terry Glenn: Glenn's scoring potential is underrated in Fantasy Football as it is in the real world, and because of this, you can probably grab Glenn in a mid round and feel good about it. Glenn is someone you can plug in as a starter and not worry about it. Glenn is good for 6-10 TDS this season, along with receptions 60-70 at least, 1100+ yard receiver. Glenn is a solid #2-3 WR or a swing W/R in other leagues. (9-12th round)

6. Julius Jones: Jones situation is the same as the rest of our offensive players, he has the "potential" to be a knockout player this year. But based on my draft experiences this year, Jones has been going in mid rounds and later. Jones is going to be a mega steal this year. MB3 has been going ahead of Jones in most leagues, but Jones will have his true chance to run more instinctively and less robotic as Jones put it. Jones could be a top round pick easily and you'll feel good about it, but there will be alot of value on the board. So, Jones can be stolen away in a later round. (10th-12th round)

7. Patrick Crayton: Crayton will probably be the #3 WR, and he could a bigger role in the slot. He'll be that Kelvin Martin/Kevin Williams type player, and his numbers will be higher. Unfortunately, the roster size of most leagues won't be big enough for you to draft him, tuck him away and hope for some magical numbers from Crayton (last round-undrafted)

Others: Sam Hurd, Tony Fasano, Miles Austin, FBs, don't hold much Fantasy Football prowess at all, so these guys will all be undrafted, but could be valuable if a starter becomes injured for a period of time.

In Leagues that have Defensive Players, these will be your top Cowboys to look for:

1. Demarcus Ware: Ware is ranked high because of his amount of sacks, solo tackles, and assisted tackles, and forced fumbles, and the occasional INT. In leagues that have defensive players, Ware can be drafted in the late rounds, he'll fill the D or Dline roster spot

2. Roy Williams: Roy Williams will be more active in-the box under the Phillips34, and you can expect his numbers to flourish, with solo tackles, assisted tackles, INTS, and maybe a few sacks from the blitz. Roy can be taken in the late rounds too, he'll fill the D or DB roster spot.

3. Bradie James: James gets a look here, assuming he remains the starting MLB, James will give you decent numbers in regards to tackles, don't expect many sacks from James, your points will come from tackles. I would bunch Akin Ayodele in here too. Most leagues with defensive players have 1point per tackle, it all depends on your leagues points configurations.

4. Ken Hamlin: Hamlin is another player in the secondary that will get you points with INTs, tackles, and assisted tackles. He's gonna be the center fielder which means he'll be roaming around and has that potential to be a solid D or DB player for your roster.

5. Newman/Henry: Newman and Henry will garner points on tackles, but not that many, their money comes with INTs. QBs don't throw to Newman much, so his INT opportunities are lowered, and solo tackles too. Henry has more opportunity, since he's the most thrown at DB in the league according to several metrics, so his INT chances go up, and so do his solo tackles.

When drafting DBs for your league, you want the guys that make tackles, solo tackles, assisted tackles, and INTs. That means safeties are your best bet to filling DB spots, they have more scoring value. Don't draft based on a DBs shutdown ability, players like Champ Bailey, DeAngelo Hall, and Terence Newman. They won't give you the same output as league safeties. Keep that in mind.

6. Anthony Spencer/Greg Ellis: he could be your steal when it comes to drafting a player to fill your D or Dline roster spot. It depends on how much time he gets, but his numbers could mirror Demarcus Ware's, so you could save him with a very late round pick if you drafted smart earlier in your draft.

Others: Chris Canty, Marcus Spears, Jason Ferguson, Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff could have some value, but they get undrafted. Of course this could all change if any of these guys get hot and become defensive line monsters, forcing fumbles, and sacking the QB.

The key for ANY fantasy football league are the bye-weeks. Be smart with your picks, don't stockpile players with the same bye-weeks, this will hurt you in the long run, you'll lose games, and you'll always be looking for those average free agents to fill your voids; moreover, your roster will be unstable and you'll lose important games down the stretch.

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