The Sidney Rice Aftermath

How good is Sidney Rice? Is he really as good as the 83 catches last season suggest, or is he simply the latest recipient of the Brett Favre treatment? Well, we’re all about to find out. After what has seemed like a whirlwind of mixed information coming from Rice this summer, he had serious hip surgery this week. It’s not like everyone in the football world was clueless that this guy has had a lingering injury over recent months, so what bothers me is that the surgery seemed to be as sneaky and mysterious as when Robert Irsay moved the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis overnight in Mayflower moving trucks.

Regardless, what’s done is done, and it’s time to determine who will account for the 5.2 catches per game that Rice hauled in last season. The obvious answer here is Percy Harvin, but I’m still a little sketched out by his migraines. It’s one thing to have headaches, but if you’re having consistent migraines and it causes you to be carted off the practice field in an ambulance, do you really think strapping on a helmet and being smashed by NFL safeties is the smart play here? If he is on the field, Harvin will probably post decent numbers, but his style of play doesn’t lead me to believe that he can be the deep ball outlet that Rice was for Sir Brett last season.

The guy that everyone seems to be forgetting is Bernard Berrian. In 2008, he averaged a whopping 20.1 yards per catch, and at age 29 he still has plenty of gas left in the tank. If you haven’t drafted yet, Berrian should be targeted as early as Round 6 or 7, ahead of Percy Harvin. And please don’t buy into the belief that Javon Walker and Brett Favre might be able to rekindle what they had in Green Bay. That was ages ago. Seriously, George W. Bush was still in his first term as President the last time Walker made a Lambeau leap into the stands, and he’s had one healthy season since those glory days.

Amid the cloud of gloom and doubt that now surrounds those fantasy owners who drafted Rice in the early rounds, there will be brighter days. I promise. Don’t be that guy who sells him at a discounted price or you will regret it. To answer my question from earlier, Sidney Rice is real good, and he’ll be REAL good when it counts in the fantasy playoffs at the end of the season. Don’t be surprised if he returns by Week 6 or 7 and still leads all Vikings receivers in yards and touchdowns.

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