Articles By Corby Yarbrough

All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-rounds-11-15
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011
ROUND 11
121. Dallas, DST (Athlon Consensus 1)
122. Caron Palmer, QB, CIN (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
123. Mark Sanchez, QB, NYJ (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
124. Marcedes Lewis, TE, JAC (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
125. Terrell Owens, WR, CIN (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
126. Mike Thomas, WR, JAC (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
127. Chad Ochocinco, WR, CIN (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
128. Jordan Todman, RB, Rookie (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
129. Atlanta, DST (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
130. Pierre Thomas, RB, NO (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
131. Titus Young, WR, Rookie (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
132. Ricky Williams, RB, MIA (Athlon Consensus 2)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

I managed to hold out for 11 rounds before taking a TE and snagged Marcedes Lewis who finished fourth in scoring for TEs. Todman and Titus Young should be solid rookies for whichever teams draft them, and are good values in the late end of the 11th.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

Like the picks of Titus Young and Jordan Todman in this round. At this point of the draft, it’s worth gambling on rookies and depending on where each player lands, could be picked higher in later mocks.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

Unlike Moss, T.O. still produced (983 yards, nine TDs in 14 games) last season. If a coach/QB can put up with him, so should your fantasy team if he’s available this late. Jordan Todman could be a solid rookie in the right situation.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

At this point in the draft, I am always in favor of taking the upside guy. Mike Thomas, Jordan Todman and Titus Young are three young players who could post solid numbers. I actually like the value of the Chad Ochocinco pick actually— someone I would normally never draft.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Two USC passers on the opposite ends of their career, Carson Palmer and Mark Sanchez, go back to back. At this point, the upside, steady improvement and supporting cast of Sanchez is probably a better bet than the INTs, trade rumors and mediocrity of Palmer.

ROUND 12
133. David Garrard, QB, JAC (Athlon Consensus 2)
134. San Diego, DST (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
135. Jerome Simpson, WR, CIN (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
136. Derrick Mason, WR, BAL (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
137. Minnesota, DST (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
138. Kevin Kolb, QB, PHI (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
139. Steve Smith, WR, CAR (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
140. Robert Meachem, WR, NO (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
141. Lance Moore, WR, NO (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
142. Malcom Floyd, WR, SD (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
143. Mark Clayton, WR, STL (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
144. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, JAC (Athlon Consensus 1)

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

This was the time-to-be-sneaky round. Jerome Simpson could be a steal if both Owens and Ochocinco exit Cincinnati; Mason is still solid in any PPR format. If Kolb gets traded, he’s worth the shot to backup Peyton Manning. Steve Smith Carolina used to be a marquee receiver. Remember that? If the Panthers find a QB that can throw a forward pass, he’s a steal at 139 overall. The round closes down with solid picks in Saints Meachem and Moore, Charger No. 2, Floyd, Mark Clayton, who was Bradford’s go-to guy before an October season-ending knee injury and a Sims-Walker that hopefully won’t repeat his disappearing act of 2010.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

How the mighty have fallen. Carolina’s Steve Smith was once a WR1 and is barely on fantasy radars for 2011. With an awful quarterback situation, Smith’s fantasy value is pretty low going into next season, but is a player worth the risk. Mitch’s pick of Kevin Kolb is a low-risk, high-reward option. If Kolb goes to Arizona, he has to be on the cusp of being one of the first 12-16 quarterbacks off the board.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

Is that Panthers’ wideout Steve Smith in Round 12? The Carolina offense was an abject disaster in ’10, but he’s still worth a pick this late. Garrard (28 total TDs in 14 games) is a nice choice here.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

Wide receiver value was the theme in this round. Sims-Walker, Clayton, Floyd, Smith and Simpson could all end up being No. 1’s (ok, maybe not Floyd). I also am intrigued by the Kevin Kolb pick — however, if I was Tim (with Vick), there is no chance he would not have made it past me.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

The new “other” Steve Smith, the artist formerly known as “the” Steve Smith, could be a cheap bounce-back candidate — if he didn’t sound like he wanted to meet Jimmy Clausen in the Octagon.

ROUND 13
145. Benjamin Watson, TE, CLE (Athlon Consensus 1)
146. Mike Goodson, RB, CAR (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
147. Nate Kaeding, K, SD (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
148. Dustin Keller, TE, NYJ (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
149. Cadillac Williams, RB, TB (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
150. Jacoby Ford, WR, OAK (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
151. Tim Hightower, RB, ARI (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
152. Clinton Portis, RB, WAS (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
153. Mason Crosby, K, GB (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
154. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
155. Tim Tebow, QB, DEN (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
156. David Akers, K, PHI (Athlon Consensus 2)

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

Someone has to replace DeAngelo Williams in Carolina if the Panthers are going to keep a two-horse backfield, making Mike Goodson a helluva deal at 146 overall … Waiting on Lewis as a TE in the 11th was a great play, drafting a backup in Dustin Keller might not have been a solid use of a pick. If Jacoby Ford and Emmanuel Sanders are involved in their respective offenses they are going to be some of the best draft values of any of the 180 picks.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

Emmanuel Sanders had a short appearance in the Super Bowl due to a foot injury, but he came on strong for Pittsburgh in the second half of the season. With Hines Ward on the last legs of his career, expect Sanders to play a bigger role in Pittsburgh’s offense next season.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

Love the value of young speedsters Mike Goodson and Jacoby Ford. Both had productive stretches in ’10 and should be improved this season. The first three kickers go in this round. It’s nice to have a top kicker, but only when your starters and key backups have been selected.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

Speed kills and this was the round of the small, speedy skill guys — Goodson, Sanders and Ford can all fly. Or the round that would have been great in 2005 with Williams and Portis.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Tim Tebow showed flashes as a rookie, contributing to more than a few fantasy playoff runs late in the season. And, as a flier pick, he’s probably on par with Cadillac Williams and Clinton Portis — two injury-prone tailbacks whose best seasons are in the rearview mirror.

ROUND 14
157. Owen Daniels, TE, HOU (Athlon Consensus 2)
158. Jordy Nelson, WR, GB (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
159. Philadelphia, DST (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
160. Bernard Scott, RB, CIN (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
161. Rob Bironas, K, TEN (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
162. Zach Miller, TE, OAK (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
163. Matt Bryant, K, ATL (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
164. Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
165. Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
166. Jordan Shipley, WR, CIN (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
167. Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
168. Ryan Longwell, K, MIN (Athlon Consensus 1)

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

Kickers, backups and Bengals abound. Bernard Scott, Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham should all be key cogs in the Jay Gruden-led offense, making them solid late-round picks.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

Is new coordinator Jay Gruden what Cincinnati’s offense needs to get going in 2011? I’m not sure what to expect out of the Bengals just yet, but it’s interesting that three players from Cincinnati were selected in this round — Jordan Shipley, Jermaine Gresham and Bernard Scott.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

Super Bowl hero Jordy Nelson could play a bigger role with Green Bay with Donald Driver hitting the twilight of his career. Two Bengals — Shipley and Gresham — could be nice weapons in Cincinnati’s new offense.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

I love the Bengals, Gresham and Shipley, as well as taking the flier on Owen Daniels. What have you risked, really?

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Sebastian Janikowski and Stephen Gostkowski go back to back as if this were a point-per-letter league. Sea Bass was the best kicker in fantasy last year; Gostkowski missed the season due to a thigh injury. Both should be two of the best — especially in point-per-letter leagues.

ROUND 15
169. Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN (Athlon Consensus 1)
170. Josh Brown, K, STL (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
171. Ben Tate, RB, HOU (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
172. Oakland, DST (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
173. Cam Newton, QB, Rookie (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
174. Jason Snelling, RB, ATL (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
175. Adam Vinatier, K, IND (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
176. Ryan Mallett, QB, Rookie (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
177. Ryan Williams, RB, Rookie (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
178. Dan Carpenter, K, MIA (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
179. Lawrence Tynes, K, NYG (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
180. Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN (Athlon Consensus 2)

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

Gerhart to backup Peterson in the last round — great play. The forgotten Ben Tate to backup Foster — great play. The seldom-used Jason Snelling to backup Turner — solid insurance, and he could become even better if he is an unrestricted free agent this offseason. The three rookies were certainly worth fliers in Cam Newton as a third QB, Ryan Mallett as a backup QB to a player like Brady that will only be pulled once (bye week) and Ryan Williams for a team that went WR-WR to start the draft.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

The last round of the draft is always filled with kickers, but some interesting picks with rookies Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett and Ryan Williams. Newton is probably a year or two away from starting in the NFL, but certainly worth the risk at this point. Ben Tate was a solid handcuff pick in the last round for Arian Foster.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

Handcuffing was the last round theme with Gerhart, Tate and Snelling being selected. It’s a rock solid strategy in case of injury or if those backs play a bigger role than previously expected.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

If you take a kicker before this round, you are stupid. And I would have taken Ryan Mallett over Cam Newton.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Toby Gerhart was the right play by Athlon Consensus 1 after taking Adrian Peterson No. 1 overall. No owner wants to see “All Day” banged up; but it’s not nearly as painful with his capable backup waiting patiently on the bench.

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards)and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

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Post date: Friday, February 18, 2011 - 10:39
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /columns/national-notebook/no-6-paul-casey
Body:

2011 Golfer Countdown

BORN: July 21, 1977, Cheltenham, England

FEDEX FINISH: 6

2010 PGA TOUR EARNINGS: $3,613,194

WORLD GOLF RANKING: 6 (as of Feb. 18, 2011)

GOLF CHANNEL’S BRANDEL CHAMBLEE GIVES HIS TAKE: Paul Casey’s No. 3 world ranking at one point during 2009 had some onlookers scoffing because of his dearth of success in the game’s biggest events and his inability to post a good number on major championship Sundays. His ranking had fallen to eighth in the world at the end of 2010. But rankings aside, Casey has become a much-improved player in the last year and is poised for his biggest year ever in 2011. His effortless length, a one-way miss (to the right) that widens the fairway and allows him to play without fear, his high ball flight and massively improved putting make him a threat in any event.

CAREER PGA TOUR STATS (as of Feb. 18, 2011)

  • Events — 103
  • Cuts — 73
  • 1st — 1
  • 2nd — 3
  • 3rd — 1
  • T10 — 23
  • T25 — 46
     
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Post date: Friday, February 18, 2011 - 10:35
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-10
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011
ROUND 10

109. New England, DST (Athlon Consensus 2)
110. Mike Tolbert, RB, SD (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
111. Michael Bush, RB, OAK (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
112. Thomas Jones, RB, KC (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
113. Randy Moss, WR, TEN (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
114. Chicago, DST (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
115. New York Jets, DST (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
116. Matt Stafford, QB, DET (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
117. Montario Hardesty, RB, CLE (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
118. New York Giants, DST (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
119. Baltimore, DST (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
120. Matt Cassel, QB, KC (Athlon Consensus 1)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

Five defenses in 12 picks should have been expected as the defensive runs can hardly ever be stopped despite what scoring setup you have. If Stafford can stay healthy then he’s a great back up for Vick; if neither can stay healthy, you’re screwed. Hardesty was drafted by the Browns in 2010 with a high pick for a reason. The question now is: What will Hillis’ role be and how will the coach that didn’t draft Hardesty use him under the guidance of the GM that did draft him? Getting Cassel to back up Freeman with the stable of RBs the AC-1 team has is about as good as you can expect.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

The one name that sticks out to me in this round was Cleveland’s Montario Hardesty. He missed all of 2010 with an injury, but with Peyton Hillis needing a backfield mate, Hardesty could see significant playing time in 2011.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

Thomas Jones is obviously aging, but still a good value here. Backing up Jamaal Charles, he had 896 yards and six scores. Did you ever think Randy Moss would go this late? Hard to see him returning to prominence after three clubs barely used Moss in ’10.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

Stafford and Hardesty are the two picks that stand out. Each could have a huge season if they return to 100 percent.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Randy Moss in the 10th round? Crazy, since he had a 1,200-yard, 13-TD year in 2009. But that was with Tom Brady. Still, 2010 was only Randy’s second season in which he failed to notch either 1,000 yards or 10 TDs. Randy was probably a better pick than Braylon Edwards and rookie Julio Jones, who both went ahead of the future Hall of Famer.

Coming Friday, Feb. 18: Rounds 11-15

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards)and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

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Post date: Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 10:45
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /columns/national-notebook/no-7-rory-mcilroy
Body:

2011 Golfer Countdown

BORN: May 4, 1989, Holywood, Northern Ireland

FEDEX FINISH: 36

2010 PGA TOUR EARNINGS: $2,554,280

WORLD GOLF RANKING: 7 (as of Feb. 17, 2011)

GOLF CHANNEL’S BRANDEL CHAMBLEE GIVES HIS TAKE: Rory McIlroy, whether he is closing with a 62 to win at Wachovia or opening with the lowest score in the 150-year history of the Open Championship (63), is a player not to be missed. The first player since Tiger Woods to win on the PGA Tour prior to his 21st birthday, McIlroy has already recorded three top-three finishes in only eight majors as a professional. He possesses the swing and the face of the future of this game. McIlroy is a member of the 300/60 club — meaning he averages over 300 yards off the tee while hitting 60 percent of the fairways. That club is so exclusive that its members number fewer than five worldwide. Rarer, still, is a young man of McIlroy’s talent and maturity.

CAREER PGA TOUR STATS (as of Feb. 17, 2011)

  • Events — 28
  • Cuts — 23
  • 1st — 1
  • 2nd — 0
  • 3rd — 3
  • T10 — 8
  • T25 — 13
     
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Post date: Thursday, February 17, 2011 - 10:35
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /columns/national-notebook/no-8-jim-furyk
Body:

2011 Golfer Countdown

BORN: May 12, 1970, West Chester, Pa.

FEDEX FINISH: 1

2010 PGA TOUR EARNINGS: $4,809,622

WORLD GOLF RANKING: 10 (as of Feb. 16, 2011)

GOLF CHANNEL’S BRANDEL CHAMBLEE GIVES HIS TAKE: Jim Furyk is not a great driver of the ball; he is not a great iron player, nor is he a great putter; but he is a great player and an example of how statistics can be very misleading. All that matters is the score, and Jim has been safely inside the top seven in scoring average every year but one in the last eight years. Coming off his Player of the Year performance, his confidence should spur him on to another stellar season.

CAREER PGA TOUR STATS (through Feb. 16, 2011)

  • Events — 435
  • Cuts — 358
  • 1st — 16
  • 2nd — 22
  • 3rd — 13
  • T10 — 143
  • T25 — 245
     
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Post date: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 10:35
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /columns/nba-power-rankings/status-quo-break
Body:

The NBA season has reached All-Star Week. From here until regular season's end on April 13, it really can become a different season from what we have seen the first 55 games or so. But for each conference's top four seeds, that is doubtful.

The All-Star break comes 13 games after the true halfway point of the season, but usually serves as the unofficial halfway mark. There are 23 games to be played amongst the 30 teams over the next three days before the season is tabled for the four-day break. When teams return to play Feb. 22 we will be two days shy of the trade deadline — where you can always expect the unexpected to a team's roster.

Some teams will equip themselves to make a more adequate run at the title, while some of the favorites will try and bolster themselves to make their roster that much more tougher to defeat.

Through the first 17 weeks of the Athlon Sports Power Rankings no team has been as dominant as the San Antonio Spurs. The Western Conference's top seed has been at the top almost the whole season while the Eastern Conference's top-seeded Boston has been right there at No. 2 seemingly just as long. Miami is starting to threaten but cannot get over the Celtics hump yet.

As a matter of fact, the top eight teams have pretty much been the same for the last four months, and there is no reason to think they shouldn't be the clear-cut favorites come playoff time. The top eight this week is split, with each of the conference's top four seeds being represented.

The Western Conference's Spurs, Mavericks, Lakers and Thunder represent Nos. 1, 3, 5 and 8. The Eastern Conference's Celtics, Heat, Bulls and Magic represent Nos. 2, 4, 6 and 7. Throw in Atlanta at No. 9 for the East and Memphis at No. 10 for the West and the parity couldn't get any better.

But the top four seeds in each conference currently should also be the final four teams left in their conference semifinals come May. Perhaps Memphis, New Orleans Portland or Denver could sneak in there in the West, while Atlanta seems like the only threat to disrupt the East's current top four.

As for this week it is fitting that in a shortened schedule of games there is only one matchup between teams in this week's Athlon Sports Power Rankings top 10.

The No. 5 Chicago Bulls play host to San Antonio Thursday night on TNT. The two teams met in November as the second game of the Bulls' annual circus trip — their two-week swing through the Western Conference due to the circus being at the United Center. San Antonio won the meeting 104-93 as part of its 13-1 run to begin the 2010-11 season.

Athlon Sports Power Rankings Week 17
1. San Antonio
2. Boston
3. Dallas
4. Miami
5. Lakers
6. Chicago
7. Orlando
8. Oklahoma City
9. Atlanta
10. Memphis
11. New Orleans
12. Portland
13. Denver
14. Philadelphia
15. Utah
16. Phoenix
17. New York
18. Indiana
19. Golden State
20. Houston
21. Charlotte
22. Detroit
23. Milwaukee
24. Clippers
25. New Jersey
26. Washington
27. Sacramento
28. Minnesota
29. Toronto
30. Cleveland

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

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Post date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 15:17
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /columns/nba-fantasy-dime/specialty-time
Body:

The NBA season rolls into the All-Star break this weekend, and that means there should be about a month left in your fantasy league's regular season. Now is the time of year where you should really start assessing what areas you need to bolster your fantasy roster.

You may be solid in points and assists but trailing in field goal percentage, etcetera, etcetera. This edition of Athlon Sports' Fantasy Dime will break down eight categories and 10 players in each category that might be best suited to help you down the homestretch.

The criteria is simple: They need to be averaging at least 20 minutes a game to be worth your while, they need to be available in at least 50 percent of Yahoo leagues and, of course, they need to be relatively healthy. The statistics are through Feb. 14, 2011.

Highest field goal percentage of those averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
DeAndre Jordan, PF/C, LAC

Shooting .682, averages 25:53 a game and he is available in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Ed Davis, PF/C, TOR
Shooting .584, averages 22:04 a game and he is available in 91 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Kendrick Perkins, C, BOS
Shooting .580, averages 27:30 a game and he is available in 68 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Chuck Hayes, PF/C, HOU
Shooting .573, averages 25:34 a game and he is available in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Nick Collison, PF/C, OKC
Shooting .549, averages 20:51 a game and he is available in 99 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Greg Monroe, PF/C, DET
Shooting .526, averages 25:11 a game and he is available in 59 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Kurt Thomas, PF/C, CHI
Shooting .522, averages 24:14 a game and he is available in 95 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Josh McRoberts, PF/C, IND
Shooting .520, averages 22:33 a game and he is available in 86 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Darrell Arthur, PF/C, MEM
Shooting .509, averages 20:12 a game and he is available in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Kwame Brown, C, CHA
Shooting .508, averages 22:48 a game and he is available in 89 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Highest free throw percentage of those averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
Mario Chalmers, PG, MIA
Shooting .927, averages 21:46 a game and he is available in 91 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Steve Blake, PG/SG, LAL
Shooting .905, averages 20:14 a game and he is available in 93 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Ersan Ilyasova, SF/PF, MIL
Shooting .890, averages 25:22 a game and he is available in 69 percent of Yahoo leagues.
James Jones, SG/SF, MIA
Shooting .885, averages 20:34 a game and he is available in 86 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Jodie Meeks, SG, PHI
Shooting .885, averages 24:42 a game and he is available in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues.
J.J. Redick, SG, ORL
Shooting .883, averages 25:45 a game and he is available in 85 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Randy Foye, PG/SG, LAC
Shooting .882, averages 20:45 a game and he is available in 89 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Kirk Hinrich, PG/SG, WAS
Shooting .875, averages 30:38 a game and he is available in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Raja Bell, SG, UTA
Shooting .873, averages 30:40 a game and he is vailable in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Kenyon Dooling, PG, MIL
Shooting .870, averages 23:24 a game and he is available in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Highest total of 3-pointers made of those averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
Mike Bibby, PG, ATL

Has made 108 3s, averages 30:02 a game and he is available in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues.
James Jones, SG/SF, MIA
Has made 93 3s, averages 20:34 a game and he is available in 86 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Charlie Villanueva, PF, DET
Has made 89 3s, averages 24:03 a game and he is available in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Daniel Gibson, PG/SG, CLE
Has made 86 3s, averages 29:15 a game and he is available in 63 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Rudy Fernandez, SG, POR
Has made 86 3s, averages 22:56 a game and he is available in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Marco Belinelli, SG, NO
Has made 83 3s, averages 25:04 a game and he is available in 89 percent of Yahoo leagues.
J.J. Redick, SG, ORL
Has made 79 3s, averages 25:45 a game and he is available in 85 percent of Yahoo leagues.
C.J. Miles, SG/SF, UTA
Has made 79 3s, averages 23:28 a game and he is available in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Jodie Meeks, SG, PHI
Has made 78 3s, averages 24:42 a game and he is available in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Kyle Korver, SG/SF, CHI
Has made 75 3s, averages 20:56 a game and he is available in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Highest total points scored of those averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
C.J, Miles, SG/SF, UTAH

Has scored 630 points, averages 23:28 a game and he is available in 62 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Glen Davis, PF/C, BOS
Has scored 628 points, averages 29:33 a game and he is available in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Charlie Villanueva, PF. DET
Has scored 616 points, averages 24:03 a game and he is available in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Ty Lawson, PG, DEN
Has scored 572 points, averages 24:11 a game and he is available in 75 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Daniel Gibson, PG/SG, CLE
Has scored 565 points, averages 29:15 a game and he is available in 63 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Brandon Bass, PF/C, ORL
Has scored 552 points, averages 24:57 a game and he is available in 78 percent of Yahoo leagues.
George Hill, PG/SG, SA
Has scored 547 points, averages 28:03 a game and he is available in 51 percent of Yahoo leagues.
James Harden, SG, OKC
Has scored 544 points, averages 25:45 a game and he is available in 66 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Travis Outlaw, SF/PF, NJ
Has scored 539 points, averages 30:39 a game and he is available in 82 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Marco Belinelli, SG, NO
Has scored 534 points, averages 25:04 a game and he is available in 89 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Highest total rebounds of those averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
DeAndre Jordan, PF/C, LAC

Has 387 rebounds, averages 25:53 a game and he is available in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Greg Monroe, PF/C, DET
Has 348 rebounds, averages 25:11 a game and he is available in 59 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Ersan Ilyasova, SF/PF, MIL
Has 333 rebounds, averages 25:22 a game and he is available in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Chuck Hayes, PF/C, HOU
Has 327 rebounds, averages 25:34 a game and he is available in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Samuel Dalembert, C, SAC
Has 321 rebounds, averages 20:55 a game and he is available in 52 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Ben Wallace, PF/C, DET
Has 309 rebounds, averages 23:00 a game and he is available in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Taj Gibson, PF, CHI
Has 290 rebounds, averages 22:40 a game and he is available in 73 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, SF/PF, MIL
Has 283 rebounds, averages 24:49 a game and he is available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Brandon Bass, PF/C, ORL
Has 283 rebounds, averages 24:57 a game and he is available in 78 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Glen Davis, PF/C, BOS
Has 276 rebounds, averages 29:33 a game and he is available in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Highest total assists of those averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
Jordan Farmar, PG, NJ

Has 214 assists, averages 24:03 a game and he is available in 92 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Eric Bledsoe, PG/SG, LAC
Has 210 assists, averages 23:58 a game and he is available in 91 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Kirk Hinrich, PG/SG, WAS
Has 207 assists, averages 30:38 a game and he is available in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Ty Lawson, PG, DEN
Has 205 assists, averages 24:11 a game and he is available in 75 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Mike Bibby, PG, ATL
Has 200 assists, averages 30:02 a game and he is available in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Keyon Dooling, PG, MIL
Has 198 assists, averages 23:24 a game and he is available in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues.
J.J. Barea, PG, DAL
Has 183 assists, averages 20:35 a game and he is available in 92 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Derek Fisher, PG, LAL
Has 155 assists, averages 27:13 a game and he is available in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Anthony Parker, SG/SF, CLE
Has 129 assists, averages 29:02 a game and he is available in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Rudy Fernandez, SG, POR
Has 122 assists, averages 22:56 a game and he is available in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Highest total steals of those averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
Corey Brewer, SG/SF, MIN

Has 87 steals, averages 24:26 a game and he is available in 86 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Ron Artest, SG/SF, LAL
Has 79 steals, averages 28:21 a game and he is available in 53 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Derek Fisher, PG, LAL
Has 79 steals, averages 27:13 a game and he is available in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Ronnie Brewer, SG/SF, CHI
Has 72 steals, averages 23:22 a game and he is available in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Thabo Sefolosha, SG/SF, OKC
Has 67 steals, averages 27:24 a game and he is available in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Toney Douglas, PG/SG, NY
Has 61 steals, averages 22:28 a game and he is available in 86 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Rudy Fernandez, SG, POR
Has 58 steals, averages 22:56 a game and he is available in 77 percent of Yahoo leagues.
James Harden, SG, OKC
Has 57 steals, averages 25:45 a game and he is available in 66 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Kirk Hinrich, PG/SG, WAS
Has 56 steals, averages 30:38 a game and he is available in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Eric Bledsoe, PG/SG, LAC
Has 55 steals, averages 23:58 a game and he is available in 91 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Highest total blocks of those averaging at least 20 minutes per game.
DeAndre Jordan, PF/C, LAC

Has 90 blocks, averages 25:53 a game and he is available in 55 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Taj Gibson, PF, CHI
Has 79 blocks, averages 22:40 a game and he is available in 73 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Joel Anthony, PF/C, MIA
Has 77 blocks, averages 20:36 a game and he is available in 97 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Ben Wallace, PF/C, DET
Has 46 blocks, averages 23:00 a game and he is available in 88 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Ed Davis, PF/C, TOR
Has 42 blocks, averages 22:04 a game and he is available in 91 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Josh McRoberts, PF/C, IND
Has 36 blocks, averages 22:33 a game and he is available in 86 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Wes Johnson, SG/SF, MIN
Has 35 blocks, averages 26:15 a game and he is available in 67 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Chuck Hayes, PF/C, HOU
Has 33 blocks, averages 25:34 a game and he is available in 58 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Francisco Garcia, SG/SF, SAC
Has 32 blocks, averages 23:20 a game and he is available in 81 percent of Yahoo leagues. Currently injured, but might be back after the All-Star break.
Charlie Villanueva, PF, DET
Has 32 blocks, averages 24:03 a game and he is available in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
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Post date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 12:35
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-8
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011
ROUND 8

85. Kellen Winslow, TE, TB (Athlon Consensus 2)
86. James Starks, RB, GB (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
87. A.J. Green, WR, Rookie (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
88. Joe Flacco, QB, BAL (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
89. Aaron Hernadez, TE, NE (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
90. Austin Collie, WR, IND (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
91. Sam Bradford, QB, STL (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
92. Hines Ward, WR, PIT (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
93. LaDanian Tomlinson, RB, NYJ (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
94. Chris Ivory, RB, NO (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
95. Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
96. Josh Freeman, QB, TB (Athlon Consensus 1)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

Starks has gone from who’s that to will he steal Grant’s job? A great playoff run and drafting the day after the Packers win the Super Bowl can certainly make you a mid-round pick in a fantasy draft. Rookie A.J. Green doesn’t have a team yet, but has the physical tools to make an impact if he gets with a team that has a solid QB. Flacco joined a team that already had Eli Manning, and this is a situation you will run into again, just as in 2010. If you draft what you think is a mediocre QB when do you draft another mediocre QB to give yourself some matchup piece of mind? Collie’s concussions might sideline him for a while, but we draft him as if he will return, so that’s a good value. What will be the role of Tomlinson and Ivory? If LT repeats he’s great here, but it just goes to show you what the RBBC has done to fantasy football. Athlon Consensus 1 went RB heavy the first three rounds and held out for QB. It was a calculated risk that you will have to make by waiting. Every team had a starter and there was the chance Flacco or Bradford could have come back to him, but they were snatched as back ups by other teams. AC-1 was left with Freeman. It’s not the greatest of starting QBs, but there is plenty of emerging talent on the Bucs roster and he might be just as good as Flacco or Bradford in 2011.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

The Athlon Consensus 1 waited until this round to pick its first quarterback and getting Josh Freeman is a pretty good prize. Although Freeman isn’t in the elite passer category, the Bucs are getting better and so is the talent around their quarterback.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

The first backup quarterbacks went here. It’s a good idea to get a quality backup if you don’t draft a top-five 5 QB. They provide quality insurance and can be used as trade bait to fix a hole in your lineup midseason.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

I love the Sam Bradford pick. He is the real deal and that gives (that owner) Matt Ryan and Bradford to pick from each week. Flacco was also a great value as his numbers have improved every year and he has never missed a start in his 48-game career. The risks with Collie, Starks and Hernandez were well worth it. Packaging Jacobs with Bradshaw was a great move by (owner) also. The Athlon Consensus 1 waited to take his quarterback last and ended up with Freeman here. While the Bucs’ signal caller looks like he will have a better-than-expected career in Tampa, I would not want to go into fantasy battle with Josh Freeman each week.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Josh Freeman as a No. 1 fantasy QB is a bold and possibly brilliant move. The big gunslinger threw for 3,400 yards, 25 TDs and just six INTs, while scrambling for 360 yards in his first season as a full-time starter. If the best is yet to come, Freeman will be a first- or second-rounder in 2012.

Coming Wednesday, Feb. 16: Round 9

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards)and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 10:45
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /columns/national-notebook/no-9-dustin-johnson
Body:

2011 Golfer Countdown

BORN: June 22, 1984, Columbia, S.C.

FEDEX FINISH: 5

2010 PGA TOUR EARNINGS: $4,473,122

WORLD GOLF RANKING: 14 (as of Feb. 15, 2011)

GOLF CHANNEL’S BRANDEL CHAMBLEE GIVES HIS TAKE: Dustin Johnson has finished in the top 10 in three of the last five majors, and in 2011 will very likely pick up right where he left off in 2010. The reason is an asteroid storm of talent that leaves viewers agape. At 26 years old, he has the highest upside and potential of any player under 30 in the world. I can’t wait to watch what he does this year and for the rest of his career.

CAREER PGA TOUR STATS (through Feb. 15, 2011)

  • Events — 83
  • Cuts — 61
  • 1st — 4
  • 2nd — 0
  • 3rd — 2
  • T10 — 17
  • T25 — 31
     
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 10:43
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-9
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011
ROUND 9

97. Chris Cooley, TE, WAS (Athlon Consensus 1)
98. Mike Williams, WR, SEA (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
99. Deion Branch, WR, NE (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
100. Julio Jones, WR, Rookie (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
101. Green Bay, DST (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
102. Donald Brown, RB, IND (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
103. Fred Jackson, RB, BUF (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
104. Pittsburgh, DST (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports
105. Mario Manningham, WR, NYG (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
106. Jay Cutler, QB, CHI (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
107. Danny Amendola, WR, STL (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
108. Braylon Edwards, WR, NYJ (Athlon Consensus 2)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

You really need to know your league’s scoring for when to finally make the plunge for a defense. The plunge was made twice in this round, and if your league values defense like this Athlon league does, then there is nothing wrong with going for the upper echelons as long as you’ve got the rest of your starting skill players set. Rookie Julio Jones falls into the same category as A.J. Green from a round earlier.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

After taking Tony Romo in Round 4 and his injury this year, I had to get some insurance with Jay Cutler. Although Cutler can throw interceptions and will frustrate some fantasy owners, he’s a solid QB2 and a starter in select matchups when Romo faces a tough defense.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

The first two defenses go here. Depending on your league scoring, a top defense can make a big difference. Supreme route-runner Branch could be a steal here.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

It might be a bit too early to start taking team defenses (special teams) for my taste, but you cannot argue with the two defenses that were selected. They did just play in the most-watched TV program in history.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

The Packers and Steelers defenses are the top two off the board, just one day after Super Bowl XLV. Who says it’s a “what have you done for me lately” league? Personnel and coaching combined, Green Bay and Pittsburgh are rock solid stop-units who deserved to be the first taken — and started a little mini run on D/ST.

Coming Thursday, Feb. 17: Round 10

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards)and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 14:00
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /columns/national-notebook/no-10-steve-stricker
Body:

2011 Golfer Countdown

BORN: Feb. 23, 1967, Edgerton, Wisc.

FEDEX FINISH: 7

2010 PGA TOUR EARNINGS: $4,190,235

WORLD GOLF RANKING: 8 (as of Feb. 14, 2011)

GOLF CHANNEL’S BRANDEL CHAMBLEE GIVES HIS TAKE: Steve Stricker has averaged better than eight top 10s a year the last five seasons, but in 2009-10 Steve finally learned to drive the ball straight. For years it was a weakness he couldn’t fix, and it’s why he hasn’t had a top-5 finish in a major in over a decade. This newfound accuracy is a big part of the reason he has won five times in the last two seasons and why, even in a year in which he turns 44, he has his best chance ever of finally becoming a major champion.

CAREER PGA TOUR STATS (as of Feb. 14, 2011)

  • Events — 380
  • Cuts — 273
  • 1st  — 9           
  • 2nd — 10        
  • 3rd  — 10        
  • T10  — 83    
  • T25  — 151
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-7
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011

ROUND 7
73. Santana Moss, WR, WAS (Athlon Consensus 1)
74. Steve Smith, WR, NYG (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
75. Reggie Bush, RB, NO (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
76. Pierre Garcon, WR, IND (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
77. Ryan Grant, RB, GB (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
78. Joseph Addai, RB, IND (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
79. Ronnie Brown, RB, MIA (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
80. Beanie Wells, RB. ARI (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports
81. Johnny Knox, WR, CHI (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
82. Ryan Torrain, RB, WAS (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
83. C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
84. Danny Woodhead, RB, NE (Athlon Consensus 2)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

This is the can-they-play round? Moss will reportedly not being extended in Washington, so will he be productive elsewhere? Steve Smith New York did not repeat his stellar 2009 campaign. Reggie Bush, Pierre Garcon, Ryan Grant (if James Starks gets a foothold on some Packer carries), Joseph Addai, Ronnie Brown, Beanie Wells, Ryan Torrain, C.J. Spiller and Danny Woodhead are all inconsistent. Are these names you feel comfortable going to battle with week in and week out. In a league with two RBs, three WR and a flex, I will say yes. In a more traditional league, I would be a little concerned since they all have stiff competition at their spots.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

This round showcases some names with some high upside, but some questionable production next season – Reggie Bush, Beanie Wells and C.J. Spiller. Certainly some talented options, but what is their role in 2011?

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

You have to wonder about Reggie Bush’s decline. The former PPR dynamo scored 32 total touchdowns in his first four seasons, but only one last year in eight games. I wonder how/if Ryan Grant will fit back into the Green Bay running attack.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

It appears, based on how this draft played out, that if you didn't land your starting RBs by this round, you might be in serious trouble. Certainly Addai, Grant, Bush, Wells, Torrain, Spiller and Woodhead could perform above their draft stock, but each one of those is a risk pick with a major question mark surrounding their future fantasy value. On a lighter note, Steve Smith could be a steal in this round.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

C.J. Spiller wasn’t the second coming of the original C.J., nor was he the dynamic R.O.Y. alternative many fantasy owners would have been happy to settle with last season. Beanie Wells appears to be nothing more than a mirage in the desert. But both guys are still young and have more hold-your-breath upside than the similar Reggie Bush and Cedric Benson. Right?

Coming Tuesday, Feb. 15: Round 8

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards)and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Monday, February 14, 2011 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-6
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011

ROUND 6
61. Cedric Benson, RB, CIN (Athlon Consensus 2)
62. Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
63. Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
64. Eli Manning, QB, NYG (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
65. Percy Harvin, WR, MIN (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
66. Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
67. Michael Crabtree, WR, SF (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
68. Sidney Rice, WR, MIN (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
69. DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
70. Steve Johnson, WR, BUF (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
71. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
72. Felix Jones, RB, DAL (Athlon Consensus 1)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

DeAngelo Williams will land on a team, and if he can become the primary ball carrier there he will be a great value at the No. 69 overall pick. The round had plenty of big-play potential receivers in the form of Maclin, Holmes, Harvin, Crabtree, Rice and Steve Johnson; you will never be disappointed to get consistent big-play guys in the sixth round of a 15-round draft. If the Cowboys do unload Tashard Choice and give Felix Jones a heavier workload then the end of the sixth round is larceny.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

One thing I learned about 2011 is the lack of quality receivers. If I had to do it over, I would’ve made Holmes my No. 3 and tried to target another receiver earlier in the draft. Holmes isn’t a terrible No. 2, but would feel a little better about my team had I addressed receiver a little earlier.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

With a (possible) new home and healed foot, DeAngelo Williams should be a solid selection. Felix Jones seems like a great pick at the end of the round, but he only scored two total touchdowns last season despite an increased workload.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

What a great value round. Crabtree, Harvin, Rice, Williams, Holmes, Maclin and Benson could all turn out to be fantastic values. Great job Athlon Sports!

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Tony Gonzalez was a great pick — if his “50-50” retirement decision lands on the right side of the fantasy coin.

Coming Monday, Feb. 14: Round 7

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards)and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Sunday, February 13, 2011 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-4
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011

ROUND 4
37. LeGarrette Blount, RB, TB (Athlon Consensus 2)
38. Miles Austin, WR, DAL (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
39. Tony Romo, QB, DAL (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
40. Peyton Hillis, RB, CLE (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
41. Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
42. Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
43. Marques Colston, WR, NO (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
44. Antonio Gates, TE, SD (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
45. Brandon Lloyd, WR, DEN (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
46. BenJarvis Green-Ellis, RB, NE (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
47. Matt Schaub, QB, HOU (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
48. Mike Williams, WR, TB (Athlon Consensus 1)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

This was the flash-in-the-pan or are-they-for-real round. LeGarrette Blount, Peyton Hillis, Brandon Lloyd, BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Tampa Bay Mike Williams all had breakout seasons, and if they can have encore performances this is a great quintet of talent in the fourth round. If Shonn Greene can be the bell cow for the Jets then he could join that quintet.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

The thing that stood out to me in this round was the running back selections of Shonn Greene, Peyton Hillis and LeGarrette Blount. Hillis had an outstanding 2010 season, but wore down as the year went on. Greene has potential, but will Tomlinson return in 2011? Blount may just be tapping into his potential and could easily exceed this draft spot.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

Blount (100-plus yards in three of last five games) could be a steal here. Schaub was also great value. He’s put together two consecutive 16-game seasons, butting to rest previous injury concerns.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

This appears to the point in the draft where huge question marks start popping up. Blount, Romo, Greene, Lloyd, Williams and Green-Ellis each have their own particular set of issues. Even proven stud Antonio Gates (my favorite pick of this round) has some injury concerns. This might have been the make or break round for most owners.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

The Law Firm, BenJarvis Green-Ellis, scares me in the fourth round. New England could just as easily cop a plea for a rookie like Mark Ingram or a veteran like DeAngelo Williams or Clinton Portis.

Coming Saturday, Feb. 12: Round 5

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards)and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-3
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011

ROUND 3
25. Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR (Athlon Consensus 1)
26. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
27. Reggie Wayne, WR, IND (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
28. Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
29. Michael Vick, QB, PHI (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
30. Matt Ryan, QB, ATL (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
31. Mike Wallace, WR, PIT (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
32. Dez Bryant, WR, DAL (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports
33. Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
34. DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
35. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
36. Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC (Athlon Consensus 2)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

This was the round of potential. Is Jonathan Stewart going to be the lead back in Charlotte with DeAngelo Williams leaving? We think yes. Larry Fitzgerald in the third round with the numbers he put up with a terrible set of QBs? Hard to find value like that at the 26th pick. Michael Vick, the top scoring QB per game in 2010, proved it for one year but struggled down the stretch. He won many a player championships as the waiver pick up of the year, but one year and a stumble down the stretch does not warrant the kind of high ranking he is receiving among other fantasy Web sites. Hines Ward says he is coming back for another year and that should be good news for Mike Wallace to keep some attention off himself; of course the Steelers will also have Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown to throw to as well. Hard to say if Dez Bryant is worth the 32nd pick with the Cowboys offensive struggles and Roy Williams still on the roster. Knowshon Moreno might thrive with a healthy OL and a run-minded coach in John Fox in Denver.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

I really like Nathan’s pick of Dez Bryant. With Tony Romo back in the mix, expect this second-year receiver to explode in 2011. Although it may seem a bit high for Bryant, he’s worth the risk in a shallow pool of receivers.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

This was decision time for your QB drop-off point. Once the top five were gone, do you want the next best guy or are you comfortable waiting until the 4th/5th round for who’s left?

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

The round of the young, rising receiver. Bowe, Jackson, Nicks, Wallace and Bryant all have loads of talent and potential, but don't overlook two former first rounders — Larry Fitzgerald and Reggie Wayne — who could offer some excellent value in the third round.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Mike Vick and Matt Ryan were solid mid-third-round QB values. Dez Bryant and DeSean Jackson are late-third-round steals; both are triple-threats who can score on any play and have an off-the-charts career-year potential.

Coming Friday, Feb. 11: Round 4

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards) and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

Teaser:
<p> <a href="http://www.athlonsports.com/columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-7">http://www.athlonsports.com/columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-7</a></p>
Post date: Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /columns/national-notebook/no-14-retief-goosen
Body:

2011 Golfer Countdown

BORN: Feb. 3, 1969, Pietersburg, South Africa

FEDEX FINISH: 10

2010 PGA TOUR EARNINGS: $3,218,089

WORLD GOLF RANKING: 16 (as of Feb. 9, 2011)

GOLF CHANNEL’S BRANDEL CHAMBLEE GIVES HIS TAKE: Retief Goosen is the man who wormed his way into the Big Four of the early millennium, making it the Big Five, and who has two U.S. Opens to his credit. But at this point in his career, with his spotty ballstriking, he is unlikely to play well at the U.S. Open and the PGA. His high right-to-left ball flight and great putting are the reasons he plays so well at the Masters and the Open Championship. At 41 years old, he had his best season since 2004 in terms of consistency and is one of the most overlooked and underrated players on the planet. It will be interesting to watch what he does in 2011.

CAREER PGA TOUR STATS (as of Feb. 10, 2011)

  • Events — 199
  • Cuts — 163
  • 1st  — 7           
  • 2nd — 7          
  • 3rd  — 10        
  • T10  — 59     
  • T25  — 104
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-2
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011

ROUND 2
13. Roddy White, WR, ATL (Athlon Consensus 2)
14. Steven Jackson, RB, STL (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
15. LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
16. Calvin Johnson, WR, DET (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
17. Ryan Mathews, RB, SD (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports)
18. Peyton Manning, QB, IND (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
19. Michel Turner, RB, ATL (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
20. Greg Jennings, WR, GB (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
21. Darren McFadden, RB, OAK (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
22. Philip Rivers, QB, SD (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
23. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
24. Matt Forte, RB, CHI (Athlon Consensus 1)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

Doster started off his draft with Andre Johnson as the No. 9 overall pick and when it came back around to the 16th pick and Calvin Johnson was still on the board it was too good to pass up. He has two of the three premiere receivers in the league on his team and still managed to pick up a few solid RBs in the next two rounds. The round was rather uneventful save for Peyton Manning, Michael Turner and Greg Jennings being selected as the Nos. 18-20 overall picks.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

Braden’s pick of Ahmad Bradshaw was interesting. If he can stay healthy and avoid Brandon Jacobs stealing some touchdowns, Bradshaw should be a top 10-15 fantasy back. I like Jonathan Stewart and Matt Forte just ahead of Bradshaw, but you can’t go wrong with any of the three. Corby got great value with Darren McFadden at No. 21 overall.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

Interesting choice(s) in the back of the round as RBs like McFadden/Bradshaw/Forte went before top WRs like Wayne/Nicks/D. Jackson/Bowe.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

This may be the last year to own Steven Jackson, but getting him in the second round seems like great value. I worry about the carry totals and the beating he has taken, but the team seems to be improving and he is still an incredible talent. The story is the same for Michael Turner — lots of carries but lots of talent on a good team. I thought those two were great picks. Mathews was a huge risk pick, but he should be better (healthier?) in his second year.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Following Andre Johnson with Calvin Johnson is a boom-or-bust move, but is relatively excusable in a three-WR plus Flex league like this one. Philip Rivers was a steal 18 picks after Aaron Rodgers was the first QB taken.

Coming Thursday, Feb. 10: Round 3

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards)and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

Teaser:
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Post date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 23:00
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /columns/national-notebook/no-11-matt-kuchar
Body:

2011 Golfer Countdown

BORN: June 21, 1978, Winter Park, Fla.

FEDEX FINISH: 2

2010 PGA TOUR EARNINGS: $4,910,477

WORLD GOLF RANKING: 13 (as of Feb. 13, 2011)

GOLF CHANNEL’S BRANDEL CHAMBLEE GIVES HIS TAKE: Matt Kuchar improved incrementally from 2007 to 2009, and then in 2010, he took a decisive step, doing what was predicted of him 13 years ago and what no one thought he would do six years ago. He played with a consistency that was nothing short of brilliant. He won the PGA Tour money title, had the lowest scoring average and won his third career tournament title. Top 10s in two of the last three majors only whetted his appetite. Look for that success to continue as Matt attempts to build on a dream year.

CAREER PGA TOUR STATS (as of Feb. 13, 2011)

  • Events — 235
  • Cuts — 135
  • 1st  — 3           
  • 2nd — 3          
  • 3rd  — 6          
  • T10  — 34    
  • T25  — 66
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 14:40
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /columns/national-notebook/no-13-luke-donald
Body:

2011 Golfer Countdown

BORN: Dec. 7, 1977, Hemel Hempstead, England

FEDEX FINISH: 3

2010 PGA TOUR EARNINGS: $3,665,234

WORLD GOLF RANKING: 9 (as of Feb. 11, 2011)

GOLF CHANNEL’S BRANDEL CHAMBLEE GIVES HIS TAKE: Luke Donald led the world money list in 2010 and broke a four-year winless drought with a victory at the Madrid Masters. In addition, he finished in the top three five times on the PGA Tour, mostly on the strength of a phenomenal short game. His elegant swing belies inconsistent ballstriking, but on fairways where the ball sets up like at Riviera or Congressional, he will be a threat.

CAREER PGA TOUR STATS (as of Feb. 11, 2011)

  • Events — 198
  • Cuts — 150
  • 1st  — 2           
  • 2nd — 10        
  • 3rd  — 6          
  • T10  — 43     
  • T25  — 95
Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 14:26
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-5
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011

ROUND 5
49. Brandon Marshall, WR, MIA (Athlon Consensus 1)
50. Jahvid Best, RB, DET (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
51. Jason Witten, TE, DAL (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
52. Vincent Jackson, WR, SD (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
53. Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
54. Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
55. Wes Welker, WR, NE (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
56. Mark Ingram, RB, Rookie (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports
57. Vernon Davis, TE, SF (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
58. Dallas Clark, TE, IND (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
59. Jermichael Finley, TE, GB (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
60. Kenny Britt, WR, TEN (Athlon Consensus 2)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

If Chad Henne can perform or the Dolphins can find a competent QB then you’re going to be doing cartwheels if you can draft Brandon Marshall in the fifth round. Vincent Jackson performed pretty well after his extended holdout and did not put much wear and tear on the body. With Rivers running the show and Mathews entering his second year, Jackson should flourish if he remains a Charger; he should flourish wherever he has a solid QB, though. Remember Jermichael Finley? Well your league is going to if you get to brag all year that you selected him as the sixth TE selected and at the end of the fifth round. Kenny Britt could become next season’s Lloyd if he has a QB that can stay upright.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

Running back is usually where rookies make the most immediate impact and that’s why I like the pick of Mark Ingram here. Wherever Ingram lands, expect him to be a top 30 fantasy running back with potential for at least 700 yards.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

The first tight end (Gates) went off the board in Round 4, so the big run started here if you want an elite one. Gronkowski really jumped up, but seven TDs in the last eight games will do that. The first rookie went here in Mark Ingram. RB is definitely the place to draft a rookie in this range, as opposed to QB or WR.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

Wideouts Marshall, Welker and Vincent Jackson would be higher on my board than Lloyd or Williams, so those picks struck me as excellent value selections. It is tough to argue with the tight end run, other than maybe Rob Gronkowski. He is a red zone machine, but Aaron Hernandez (and the Pats tendency to spread it around) would have led me to select Finley, Davis or Clark first.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Cal guys Jahvid Best and Marshawn Lynch may seem like reaches, but both are former first-round picks whose coaches love them. With so many RBBC situations around the league, Best and Lynch provide rare high-end — nearly “feature back” potential — from upper-middle-class rounds of the draft.

Coming Sunday, Feb. 13: Round 6

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards)and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 13:30
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /columns/national-notebook/no-15-ian-poulter
Body:

BORN: Jan. 10, 1976, Stevenage, England

FEDEX FINISH: 39

2010 PGA TOUR EARNINGS: $2,079,664

WORLD GOLF RANKING: 12 (as of Feb. 9, 2011)

GOLF CHANNEL’S BRANDEL CHAMBLEE GIVES HIS TAKE: Ian Poulter has been called an incomplete golfer because of his perceived inadequacies from tee to green. In the U.S., he was 181st in greens in regulation, but that separates him from the leader in GIRs by just seven greens a week, and Poulter more than makes up for this deficiency with brilliant putting. He was first on Tour from 15-20 feet in 2010, and he has the ability to handle the big moment. His prodigious skills, colorful personality, quick wit and bold predictions make him indispensable in the world of golf.

CAREER PGA TOUR STATS (as of Feb. 9, 2011)

  • Events — 118
  • Cuts — 88
  • 1st  — 1
  • 2nd — 3
  • 3rd  — 1
  • T10  — 21
  • T25  — 47
Teaser:
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Post date: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /columns/nba-power-rankings/heavyweight-bouts-tap
Body:

The San Antonio Spurs continue to roll, winning two of three last week and as winners of 13 of their last 15. And this week, San Antonio is in the same spot it has been for the last month — atop the weekly Athlon Sports NBA Power Rankings.

Boston and Miami are Nos. 2 and 3 for the second straight week.

The big jumper of the week is Dallas, which went from No. 9 three weeks ago to No. 7 last week and now to No. 4. The Mavericks have bounced back from Dirk Nowitzki's injury and are winners of their last nine and 10 of 11.

There's not much on the slate once again in reference to Athlon Sports' top 10 teams of the week facing off against each other. There are three of the marquee match ups of the season on the schedule, however.

Thursday night, the No. 6 Lakers travel to No. 2 Boston. It will be the second time the two teams have played in 12 days. The Celtics won the first meeting in L.A., 109-96, behind 32 from Paul Pierce and despite 41 from Kobe Bryant. The Celtics outrebounded the Lakers 49-38 and their starters outscored Los Angeles' starting five 81-72.

These two teams are also part of a Sunday afternoon doubleheader that should make for a good day of basketball.

The Celtics play host to No. 3 Miami first, followed by the Lakers traveling to No. 8 Orlando.

This will be the third meeting of the season between the Heat and Celtics. The two teams met on opening night and then 12 days later. Boston won both games — 88-80 and 112-107.

Orlando meets the Lakers for the first time this season. Neither team is particularly hot right now. The Magic are 5-5 in their last 10 with loses to Boston, Miami and Chicago; the Lakers 6-4 with losses to Boston and San Antonio as part of those 10.

Other top-10 games this week include No. 10 New Orleans being the team the Magic have to face on Friday before welcoming the Lakers on Sunday. The Hornets then turnaround and face No. 5 Chicago Saturday night.

It's not a top-10 game, but it's as close as we can get when No. 11 Denver travels to No. 12 Memphis Sunday night.

Athlon Sports NBA Power Rankings Week 16
1. San Antonio
2. Boston
3. Miami
4. Dallas
5. Chicago
6. L.A. Lakers
7. Oklahoma City
8. Orlando
9. Atlanta
10. New Orleans
11. Denver
12. Memphis
13. Utah
14. Portland
15. Phoenix
16. New York
17. Philadelphia
18. Houston
19. Golden State
20. Indiana
21. Charlotte
22. L.A. Clippers
23. Milwaukee
24. Detroit
25. New Jersey
26. Sacramento
27. Toronto
28. Washington
29. Minnesota
30. Cleveland

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 19:08
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /columns/winning-game-plan/fantasy-mock-recap-round-1
Body:

Athlon Sports NFL Fantasy Mock Draft — February 2011

ROUND 1
1. Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN (Athlon Consensus 1)
2. Ray Rice, RB, BAL (Braden Gall, Athlon Sports)
3. Arian Foster, RB, HOU (Charlie Miller, Athlon Sports)
4. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB (Corby Yarbrough, Athlon Sports)
5. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN (Tim Clark, Athlon Sports)
6. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC (Patrick Snow, Athlon Sports)
7. Frank Gore, RB, SF (Mitch Light, Athlon Sports)
8. Tom Brady, QB, NE (Nathan Rush, Athlon Sports
9. Andre Johnson, WR, HOU (Rob Doster, Athlon Sports)
10. Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT (Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports)
11. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC (Matt Taliaferro, Athlon Sports)
12. Drew Brees, QB, NO (Athlon Consensus 2)

R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | R5 | R6 | R7 | R8 | R9 | R10 | R11-15

Corby Yarbrough @AthlonCorby

If the debate of who was a legitimate No. 1 pick last year was a tough one, then get ready to rack your brain even more in 2011. In leagues where all touchdowns count six points, there was quite a significant pause and debate whether Aaron Rodgers could actually be the No. 1 overall pick. It almost seemed as if Peterson was settled on as the first pick because no one is willing to believe Arian Foster can hold up and be worth the top pick. That belief was so much that Foster was the third back off the board … Rodgers seemed like a more comfortable, yet would still, and wrongly, be considered too early of a pick at No. 4. Last year’s No. 1 in many drafts, Chris Johnson, has to be considered a great value at No. 5 considering he was still the NFL’s third-leading rusher, and Maurice Jones-Drew, who was also in the discussions as No. 1 last season is fantastic value at No. 11.

Steven Lassan @AthlonSteven

The debate at No. 1 overall is going to be really interesting this offseason. Adrian Peterson is the best overall running back in the NFL, but will he have enough help around him to finish as the top fantasy option? I’m not sold until we know more about who the Vikings have at quarterback. Considering there’s a plethora of good running backs on the board and at six points a passing touchdown, it’s not out of the question to consider Aaron Rodgers No. 1 overall.

Patrick Snow @AthlonSnowman

Two things stood out early. Who would go No. 1? It was Peterson here, but I think I’d be happy with any of the top four backs. The other factor was how soon Aaron Rodgers (and other elite QBs) would go. Three went in Round 1, so you could still get a top QB in Round 2 if that fits your strategy.

Braden Gall @AthlonBraden

Pick No. 1 would have been easy for me, All Day. But after that, it is wide open. I trust the more proven commodities like Gore, Jones-Drew, Johnson and Rice over names like Foster and Charles. Let me see it one more year before I invest the No. 3 pick in the draft. From there, the logic was relatively simple. Gore has the biggest injury risk and a new coach, Johnson is on the worst team also with a new coach and no quarterback and Jones-Drew has touched the ball a ton (1,468 times) in five seasons on a questionable team. Rice is the youngest and plays on the best team with the best quarterback and the best coach. For four guys who are all roughly the same, hairs are probably worth splitting.

Nathan Rush @AthlonRush

Eight running backs, three quarterbacks and one receiver is about what one would expect in the first round. Chris Johnson falling to No. 5 and Maurice Jones-Drew to No. 11 overall, however, was surprising — especially considering that Adrian Peterson went No. 1 and has many of the same coach-QB concerns that CJ2K and Mojo do.

Coming Tuesday, Feb. 9: Round 2

You will notice we had two Athlon Consensus draft spots. Each month the AC will draft in different spots and represent different draft styles that are commonplace in the world of fantasy football. We set up these two Athlon Consensus drafters for multiple reasons, among those being that there is always a drafter that never deviates from their position-by-position plan and there is always the drafter that selects best player available and sorts out the rest later. These players affect the outcome of both their drafts and yours as well. So we will consistently represent them in each of our monthly mock drafts at different draft positions on the board each time.

This mock draft, the first AC (AC-1) went the traditional RB, RB early route. Meanwhile, the second AC (AC-2) selected last in the first round was slated as the drafter who always goes QB-WR in the first two rounds no matter what.

This is a 12-team, head-to-head league. All touchdowns are 6 points. 1 point for 25 yards passing, 1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving. Receptions are .5 points. Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points. PATs are 1 point, field goals are 3 points (30 yards), 4 points (40 yards) and 5 points (50-plus yards). Kickoff/punt returns count 6 points both for individuals and team defenses. Team defenses are scored with 1 point for a sack, 2 points for an interception, fumble recovery, safety or blocked kick. Points allowed are 12 for a shutout, 10 for 1-6, 8 for 7-13, 6 for 14-20, 2 for 21-27 and 0 for 28-plus. Lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 flex (RB/WR), 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DST and 5 bench spots.

Teaser:
<br />
Post date: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 14:20
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /columns/national-notebook/no-16-francesco-molinari
Body:

2011 Golfer Countdown

BORN: Nov. 8, 1982. Turin, Italy

FEDEX FINISH: n/a

2010 PGA TOUR EARNINGS: $358,196

WORLD GOLF RANKING: 17 (as of Feb. 8, 2011)

GOLF CHANNEL’S BRANDEL CHAMBLEE GIVES HIS TAKE: Molinari was soundly beaten by Tiger Woods 4&3 at the Ryder Cup when Tiger played the last seven holes 7-under par.  That experience, however, helped Francesco in the WGC HSBC Championship as he battled the newly crowned No. 1, Lee Westwood, all four days and won. Known for his control, he is one of the straightest drivers in the world, and his iron play may lack the height of the power players but is otherwise superior to most. He will threaten on the toughest courses.

CAREER PGA TOUR STATS (through Feb. 8, 2011)

  • Events — 15
  • Cuts — 12
  • 1st  — 1           
  • 2nd — 0           
  • 3rd  — 0           
  • T10  — 2           
  • T25  — 6
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Post date: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 11:24
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /columns/nba-fantasy-dime/dejuan-have
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There are many ways to play fantasy basketball — rotisserie, head to head, lineups that can be changed any time and lineups that lock just prior to Monday night’s tip. With that in mind, Athlon Sports will give you the Fantasy Dime each week. These are 10 things to assist you before you have to lock in that lineup for the week.

DeJuan Blair is another forward-center you might want to take a stab at. He is available in 60 percent of Yahoo's nine-category leagues and had a pretty solid week. In four games last week, he registered three double-doubles and shot 50 percent from the field. The Spurs have a great schedule this week, too. They play Detroit, Toronto, Philadelphia and Washington, none of which have a winning record.

PACER OF THE WEEK
It always seems like there's an Indiana player available, and this week's Pacer of choice is Mike Dunleavy. The guard-forward ranks 15th over the last two weeks in nine-category leagues and is still available in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues. The Pacers have a four-game week, taking on Miami, Charlotte, Minnesota and Milwaukee.

NOT HAMSTRUNG ANYMORE
Anthony Morrow
returned to New Jersey's starting lineup on Feb. 4 — his first time back there since a hamstring injury shelved him Dec. 14. He has played two games as a starter so far, averaging 16.5 points, two 3s a game, 4.5 rebounds and shooting 54 percent from the field. The Nets only have a three-game slate this week — New Orleans, Charlotte and New York — but Morrow was balling before he injured himself and should get back to that point. He is available in 37 percent of Yahoo leagues.

BUCKING THE TREND
Ersan Ilyasova
continues to shine for Milwuakee and its last-place offense (91.3 ppg). The forward had the 20th-best week in nine-category leagues and can still be had in 64 percent of those Yahoo leagues. Until his last game, Ilyasova had posted double-digit scoring efforts in five straight games and averaged 8.6 rebounds during those games. The Bucks play the Raptors, Wizards, Grizzlies and Pacers this week as part of two back-to-backs.

GOOD TIME CHUCK
While injuries have taken their toll on the Houston frontcourt, Chuck Hayes continues to shine as the Rockets' big man. He is the 39th-best nine-category player over the last two weeks and is still available in 63 percent of Yahoo leagues. He's had some nice averages over the last seven games — 10.8 points,  8.7 boards, 2.6 assists, 1.6 steals a block per game. The Rockets have just three games this week — Denver, Minnesota and Dallas — but a good center is hard to find.

LAST TWO WEEKS HAVE BEEN A LOU LOU
Lou Williams
has been running point for the resurgent 76ers and has not been too shabby a guard in fantasy the last two weeks. Williams, who is eligible at both guard positions in Yahoo leagues and is still available in 47 percent of those leagues, has been the 45th-best nine-category player the last 14 days. That is a marked improvement over his 138th-place rank for the season currently. Philly plays a four-game slate this week — Atlanta, Orlando, San Antonio and Minnesota.

T-MAC IS BACK?
Tracy McGrady
is worth a shot for your roster. He is multiple things going for him. In Yahoo nine-category leagues, he is available in 54 percent of them and carries a three-spot eligibility (PG/SG/SF). McGrady has been the 68th-best player over the last 14 days after scoring in double digits the last seven games and eight of the last nine. Of those last seven, T-Mac is averaging over 33 minutes per game, 15.4 points, 5.7 assists and five rebounds.

SHY ON TY
If you were counting on Ty Lawson for this week, you might want to hold up. He underwent an MRI on his left knee Monday morning, and his status is uncertain for Monday's games. The Nuggets play four games this week — Houston, Golden State, Dallas and Memphis — and only Dallas poses a defensive threat. Lawson, however, has not played over 20 minutes since Jan. 30 and has only played over 20 minutes in 10 of the last 20 games.

TAKE IT TO THE HOUSE
If you're in a deeeeeeeep league you might want to give Miami point-shooting guard Eddie House a look. He went from seeing barely any time from Thanksgiving until Jan. 13 and now has played over 20 minutes in eight of the last 11 games, hitting 26 3-pointers during that time, shooting 52 percent from the field and averaging 2.5 rebounds. Those aren't bad numbers for a deep league, and might not be bad numbers in a smaller league if you need a dual-eligibility guard.

POWER RAPTOR
Toronto power forward Amir Johnson continues to stay in the upper echelon of fantasy players and there's a chance you can still grab him. He is available in 33 percent of Yahoo leagues and has been the sixth-best nine-category player over the last two weeks. The Raptors play four games this week — Milwaukee, San Antonio, Portland and the Clippers.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

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Post date: Monday, February 7, 2011 - 16:52

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