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    Sitting at Patriots training camp this past Sunday I got the excitement for the start of the NFL season that I've been patiently waiting for.  Even more important, I was reminded that the start of the fantasy football season was even closer. 
    While we can all (well, almost all) enjoy muddy, rainy, mud-bowl games in September, the games that make Thanksgiving a little less blah, and hot totties while watching the games in January - some of us enjoy flipping on NFL Redzone and indulging in more football stats and highlights than the brain can possibly handle every Sunday.  12:45pm on a football-season Sunday is like Easter when you are five, or St. Patty's day when you are 22 for us fantasy freaks. 
    I find it funny that even the people that mock me about being a fantasy sports player get sucked in every once in a while.  My wife tells me not to draft Mike Vick because he will let me down again and she doesn't like the way he treats animals.  My father in law asks me how fantasy sports works twice a year, and my best friend tells me every year that when he gets his own computer he'll own my league with some beginners luck.  Even my five year old nephew got his very own Brady jersey and has already asked me to watch pre-season football with him.
    Thing is, it's fun for all of us to pay attention to football, whether all of the time of some of the time, to the offseason dramas of Ochocinco, Randy Moss, and Brandon Marshall.  It's fun for some of us to vicariously follow another persons fantasy team and root for guys like Peyton Hillis and A.J. Green, even though we don't really have our own.  And it's fun for some - like the two crazy ladies in the front row of training camp last Sunday yelling for Gronk to "show us his ass just once" for four hours.
    Either way you slice it, this time of year brings most of us all at least some excitement. 

    With that being said, it's time to start writing some fantasy advice for those who really, deep down inside, give a shit.  I've picked out a few guys who could surprise for your team with a late round pick or two.  Cheers to a healthy, happy fantasy football season.

C.J. Spiller BUF - The bite-sized Buffalo Bill carried the ball 85 times in the last six games with the Bills last year and scored three times.  He could be in for more work going forward, and with the Bills revamped and upgraded D, they will certainly want to run more.  Think Darren Sproles lite.  600 yards rushing  and 400 receiving.

Colby Fleener IND - This rookie TE has already worked at length with Luck in college, and with Tamme and Clark gone, the position is all his.  With such a bad offense in Indy, Fleener will look to be Luck's release valve over the middle when times get rough.  I expect to see close to 700 yards and a fistful of TD's when all of the big name tight ends are long gone. 

Shane Vereen NE - Vereen was the number 5 running back on the Pats depth chart a year ago, and this year he looks to be the #2.  With lawfirm gone, Faulk retired, and an already-ousted Addai, Vereen has the smooth-running ability, and the vision to find holes in the line.  The former second round pick out of Cal should be good for a season close to that of Ridley a year ago with more receptions out of the backfield.  400 yards rushing, 250 receiving with a couple of big time touchdowns.

James Jones GB - Jones has quietly put up some sneaky WR4 numbers over the past couple of seasons, and with Driver another year older and Rodgers throwing to him, expect those numbers to climb a bit.  The Packers are thin at RB and Finley can't stay healthy.  Take a very late round gamble on 50-750-6 with Dub J.

Jay Cutler CHI -   Cutler?  You ask.  Yes.  Cutler is slipping deep into drafts, going after the likes of Schaub, Ryan, Eli, and Roethlisberger - but could post better numbers than all of them.  There are some fresh faces on the O-Line, and the additions of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery will certainly help his cause.  Take Cutler as your second QB and feel confident if your starter goes down.

Santana Moss Another seasoned veteran on this list.  I took Moss with my 16th round pick in both leagues this summer.  And he will bring dividends for that price as a backup/bye week player.  Moss is just one year removed from a 93-1115-6 season, and the addition of Garcon will help take some of the pressure off this year.  Oh yeah, and this RG3 guy is light years better than Rex Grossman.  Pay the absurdly low price for Moss and be happy.

Some other names to look for late:  Titus Young, WR, DET... Isiah Pead, RB, StL... Sidney Rice, WR, SEA... Rashard Mendenhall, RB, PIT... Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL... Michael Floyd, WR, ARZ... Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN... Alex Smith, QB, SF... Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN... Jacob Tamme, TE, DEN... Laurent Robinson, WR, JAX... Andrew Luck, QB, IND

 


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