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Fantasy Fix

By Dan O'Shea

When the New England Patriots picked up wide receiver Joey Galloway for this season, it seemed like he had the potential to be yet another faded veteran revived and deployed to great value by crafty Coach Bill Belichick, With the return of a healthy Tom Brady, Galloway had the speed and the experience to be part of a great three-headed pass-catching monster, along with Randy Moss and Wes Welker. In fact, with Welker injured, Galloway had the potential to be Brady's No. 2 target for at least a few weeks.

Today's Ofman:
  • Huet Must Go

  • But none of that happened. The Patriots simply chose not to play him, even after he scored on a kickoff return in Week 4 (that made us recommend him as a hot pick-up - oops). It was a very strange demotion, and there has been some speculation that Galloway and Brady just didn't click. In any case, when the Pats scored 59 points in Week 6 on 6 Brady touchdown passes - all without the services of Galloway - the writing was on the wall. New England released Galloway this week, and his departure has the potential to give more playing time to a relative unknown named Julian Edelman, who may have notable fantasy potential if only for his highly rare combination of position eligibilities: QB and WR. So, given the opportunity to drop Galloway and/or pick up Edelman, what should you do?

    Our Fantasy Fix Action Ratings have the answers:

    Player: Joey Galloway, WR
    FFAR: HOLD
    Comment: You'll see fantasy owners dropping him left and right, but hold on a little longer if you can. Galloway was released before the trading deadline, so it's a good bet he could land with another team. I like his potential to salvage his season if he gets the playing time and the chances.

    *

    Player: Julian Edelman, QB/WR
    FFAR: PICK UP
    Comment: I wouldn't drop Galloway specifically for Edelman, but this could be a nice speculative play for later in the season. Brady may have found his old zone, and that means good things for all his receivers. Plus, in some leagues, you'll get kick-return points from Edelman, and if you're really desperate in a two-QB league, you could slot him there. Might be better than deploying Derek Anderson.

    *

    Player: Zach Miller, TE
    FFAR: PICK UP
    Comment: We haven't talked a lot about TEs this season. Oakland's Miller was one who had potential at the season's opening, but hasn't done much. Then, Week 6 came with 139 yards receiving and 2 TDs, and what should have been happening weeks before is now apparent: Miller is becoming Oakland's most-thrown-to receiver.

    *

    Player: Steven Jackson, RB
    FFAR: TRADE
    Comment: His 501 rushing yards are good for fourth in the NFL, but no TDs through the first six weeks makes him trade bait for somebody who believes he'll have a strong second half. I think he'll do well the remainder of the season, but trade him for a player who sees the end zone more often, maybe Rashard Mendenhall or Ricky Williams.

    *

    Player: Mark Sanchez, QB
    FFAR: DROP
    Comment: The NY Jets started 3-0, but have dropped their last three games, and in Week 6, Sanchez threw five interceptions. After having a fairly stong Week 1, he has had two games of no TDs and multiple INTs, and has failed to pass for more than 172 yards any game in the last five weeks. His chance may soon be over.

    *

    Expert Wire
    * Roto Arcade, like everyone else, is wondering what's wrong with Matt Forte. Twenty-three yards rushing and a lost fumble last week provided only the latest evidence that Forte's playing well under his first-round promise.

    * The New York Daily News sees NY Giants WR Hakeem Nicks among the hot picks. Nicks seemed to get a boost in recent weeks with more teams covering WR Steve Smith heavily, and now fellow WR Mario Mannigham may be injured.

    * The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the latest to note that Philadelphia has done very little with Michael Vick. This really surprises me, as the Eagles would seem to benefit from some imaginative play-calling with Vick taking snaps, taking hand-offs or just in general giving an opposing defense more to think about.

    *

    Fantasy Basketball
    Last year, I was such a huge fan of Dwight Howard that I probably didn't study the center position as closely as I could have. I managed to draft Howard in all three of my leagues, but his promised improvement in free throw percentage and turnovers never developed and whoever I had as back-ups at the C-spot couldn't pick up the slack in those areas. This year, I'm moving Howard a bit further down on my shopping list. And with the perennial first-round C pick Yao Ming out for the season, here's some new thinking on C rankings:

    1. Amare Stoudemire. We noted in our earlier first-round preview that he's got the center spot all to himself this year.

    2. Chris Bosh. Contract year plus his overall experience mean he's due for a career year.

    3. Al Jefferson. He almost makes the cut as a first-round pick with 23 points-per-game average.

    4. Troy Murphy. Surprisingly good last year with double-double consistency, and averages more than two three-pointers a game.

    5. Dwight Howard. Could very well lead the league in rebounds and blocks, but you have to take a little bad with all that good.

    6. Brook Lopez. Barring a sophomore slump, two blocks per game with 55% field goal shooting and 80% FT is possible.

    7. Pau Gasol. Was great last year and definitely sound, but the Lakers are stuffed with talent, which is bad for fantasy purposes.

    8. Tim Duncan. Still reliable across the board, but blocks have been down three years straight and he's starting to show his age.

    9. David Lee. One of the most exciting and still under-rated scorers at this position. Could take aim at 20 PPG this season.

    10. Al Horford. Narrowly missed averaging a double-double last year, and should get it this year with close to two blocks per game.

    -

    Dan O'Shea's Fantasy Fix appears in this space every Wednesday. Tips, comments, and suggestions are welcome. You can also read his about his split sports fan personality at SwingsBothWays, which isn't about what it sounds like It's about.

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