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Volume 6, Issue 51 (Wednesday, June 8th)

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Hi Folks,

Big news today as it is every year when we unveil the new Value Based
Draft (VBD) App. Details in the Site News below. We've also got plenty
of news for you tonight - thanks to our Will Grant for rounding these
up. Let's get to it.



Site News:

A. Value Based Draft (VBD) Application Released.
We introduced Value Based Drafting to the Fantasy Football world years
ago and while there are lots of imitators, we've continued to refine the principles
and push the envelope. More detail on VBD here. If you have Microsoft Excel,
you can download this Excel document, input your data and create custom
cheatsheets based on VBD tailored specifically to your unique league requirements.
This version is free. We'll have updated versions throughout the summer that will be
available to our folks that purchase the FBG subscription. And as always, a new
VBD App, means a new Draft Dominator is right around the corner. Stay tuned.

B. Quote of the Day: "Feeling good, looking good," Sanders said. "If
women weren't present, I'd take off my shirt and show you how good I
look. Trust me, 37-year-olds can't do what I do."
- Who else but
Baltimore DB Deion Sanders



1. CLE - OT Marcus Spears signed.
2. CLE - OT Verba Reaches Amicable Split
3. JAX - Deny Alexander Report. Scobee vs. Marler heats up.
4. SEA - WR Darrell Jackson Missing from Camp.
5. CAR - RB Stephen Davis Running Again
6. CIN - WR Johnson Promises No Hold Out
7. CIN - WR Henry Quietly Making Strides
8. MIN - WR Starting Lineup Unchanged. (For Now)
9. BAL - IDP CB Deion Sanders signs a One-Year Deal
10. IND - IDP S Doss Suspended at Least One Game
11. WAS - IDP S Taylor Will Not Be Suspended


1. CLE - OT Marcus Spears signed.

Clipped from: SeattlePi.Com article 6/7/05

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - The Cleveland Browns continued to add
depth to their offensive line on Tuesday, inking veteran tackle Marcus

Spears, who is the second tackle to be signed by the club in the last
three days, is an 11-year veteran. He has played in 104 career games,
including 21 starts with Chicago, Kansas City and Houston.

The Browns signed L.J. Shelton to a one-year deal over the weekend.

The signing of Spears gives Cleveland added depth in the wake of the
Ross Verba situation. Verba, the Brown's starting left tackle in 2002
and 2004, has made it known that he wants to get traded if the club
can't honor his request for a five-year deal worth a reported $38.5

Verba, who is under contract for two more years, has been absent from
passing camp practices.

In other team news, defensive backs James Boyd and Jamall Johnson were
both released.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Cleveland stated that they were committed to running the ball more.
Signing Spears and LT Shelton this week will add depth and experience
to an offensive line that ranked 23rd in rushing yards, 27th in yards
per attempt and 31st in rushing TDS last season. Spears is more of a
backup though, having only started three games in the last three
seasons (all in 2004). Now if only the Browns would drop the RBBC


2. CLE - OT Verba Reaches Amicable Split

Clipped from: Associated Press article 6/8/05

Frustrated that he can't get a new contract, offensive tackle Ross
Verba will be released by the Cleveland Browns once he repays a
$465,000 roster bonus.

Verba and the Browns have agreed to the amicable split rather than
drag out a contract dispute that began when the eight-year veteran
said the club reneged on a promise to redo his current deal, which
will pay him $2.9 million in 2005 and 2006.

Repaying the bonus he received in March was one of two options the
Browns gave Verba and his agent, Tom Condon. The other was to give
Verba permission to seek a trade.

Condon's background with the Browns might have been a factor in
Verba's decision to buy his way out. Condon also represents Browns
running back William Green, who was told in February he could seek a
trade but is still with Cleveland.

A club spokesman said Verba has not yet returned the bonus, but once
he does he will likely be released.

"The bottom line is they don't want to pay me and if they don't want
to, then I'll play somewhere else," Verba said on WTAM-AM, the club's
flagship station. "They didn't uphold their end of the bargain."

Verba said he'll give a check to the Browns on Thursday afternoon and
expects to be released shortly after that.

The 31-year-old sat out coach Romeo Crennel's voluntary "passing camp"
and demanded a new contract. Verba, who had two years left on his
deal, claims that former coach Butch Davis promised to renegotiate his
contract last year when Verba was coming off a biceps injury that
Verba insists he doesn't want to leave the Browns, but that the club
has left him no other option.

"As far as they are concerned, we're all replaceable," Verba said.

Phil Savage, Cleveland's first-year general manager, has said he will
not honor any promises Davis made while running the Browns.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

A bit of a surprise that Savage would revoke anything that was
promised before he took over. That's a dangerous message to send to
your team, especially how often the front office of an NFL team can
change hands. The Browns appear to be no worse for the wear, after
signing Shelton and Spears this week. As we reported yesterday, once
Verba is released, he has enough skill to be picked up by another
team. We'll keep you posted on how this story unfolds.


3. JAX - Deny Alexander Report. Scobee vs. Marler heats up.

Clipped from: article by Bart Hubbuch 6/8/05

The Jaguars scoffed at a report by The NFL Network that they had
discussed a trade with Seattle for disgruntled running back Shaun
Alexander but had balked at the Seahawks' demand for a third-round

"It's a bunch of nonsense,'' Jaguars pro personnel director Charlie
Bailey said. "Where do these things get started?''

Josh Scobee won a game for the Jaguars at Indianapolis, didn't miss an
extra point and had one of the better field-goal percentages in the
NFL as a rookie last season.

So why is Seth Marler -- the Jaguars' kicker in 2003 -- still on the
roster and headed to training camp with the team next month?

"Because Seth has the ability to be a very, very good kicker in the
National Football League, and you just don't put guys like that out on
the street,'' Jaguars special teams coordinator Pete Rodriguez said

The competition between Scobee and Marler, which dominated training
camp last year until Marler suffered a season-ending leg injury, has
resumed this spring.

Rodriguez said the Scobee-Marler battle will continue, though he
describes Scobee's 24-for-31 performance on field goals last year as
"an excellent year for a rookie.''

"We're happy with Josh, but we want to make sure he keeps his head
straight and knows he still has to compete,'' Rodriguez said.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

The Alexander story smells more and more like Seattle trying to
pressure Alexander into signing a long-term deal. Something just
didn't seem right about the Jags not wanting to give up a 3rd rounder
for a guy who nearly won the rushing title last year. Stay tuned for
more details on this.

Kicking battles in June only seem to draw attention from Dynasty and
Keeper leagues. That being said, both of these guys are pretty good.
Scobee probably has the edge though, as he's been more accurate (24-31
in 2004 vs. Marler's 20-33 in 2003) and has a stronger leg on kickoffs
as well (11 TBS in 2004 vs. Marler's 3 in 2003.) If one of these guys
wins the starting job, we'll let you know.


4. SEA - WR Darrell Jackson Missing from Camp.

Clipped from: Seattle Times article by Jose Miguel Romero 6/8/05

Seahawks wide receiver Darrell Jackson's absence from minicamp is even
more glaring in light of the release of Koren Robinson, since the two
were starters at flanker and split end for much of last season.

Jackson is not in camp because he says the team has not honored what
seems to be a financial promise made by former team president Bob
Whitsitt. Both sides are calling it a matter of principle but are
trying to resolve the issue.

After talking to Jackson, Holmgren said Monday he remains hopeful that
Jackson will report before this voluntary minicamp ends June 16, but
that doesn't seem likely.

One of Jackson's agents, Brian Mooney, said the receiver will arrive
for training camp on time next month, ready to work. The agent also
said Jackson will honor any public-appearance clauses that are written
into the six-year, $25 million contract Jackson signed last offseason.

Hasselbeck wondered aloud when asked what it was like not having
offensive starters in camp.

"I guess I really just don't understand where someone could be coming
from when they don't want to be here," Hasselbeck said. "It's not that
hard. It's actually fun. ... I wouldn't say frustration. I just
totally have no idea of that mentality.

"It escapes me completely, but hey, it's OK, we're still a team, and
you have to do the best you can."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

When your off field problems begin to overshadow your entire team,
things are not good. Now Jackson is unhappy about his contract? What
the heck is going on in Seattle? This seems like a small bump in the
road as his agent promises that he will be in camp next month. He
should still be considered one of your top WR choices, especially with
the release of Robinson. Jackson ranks 11th on our current expert
rankings, and should be expected to make huge contributions this year
unless he is injured. The key here is that yet another Seattle star
has a problem. If the Seahawks' off-field problems continue, it could
become a major distraction when the pre-season rolls around.


5. CAR - RB Stephen Davis Running Again

Clipped from: Charlotte associated press article 6/8/05

Stephen Davis is running again with his Carolina Panthers teammates.

Davis ran several sprints at half-speed during the team's coaching
sessions Wednesday, another step in his recovery from microfracture
knee surgery. The Panthers are cautiously optimistic that the
31-year-old will begin practicing during training camp this summer and
will be ready for the regular-season opener.

"Did I look all right?" Davis joked with reporters. "It feels great.
Getting out there helps get my confidence up. I think it's coming
along very well."

Coach John Fox said he was pleased with Davis' progress, but added
that the team was still proceeding carefully.

"We're going to do what is right for him," Fox said. "At the end of
the day, time is going to help that thing heal. We don't want to rush
anything. We have good depth at that position."

Davis was greeted Wednesday by good-natured jabs from his teammates,
who are hoping to see him return to his 2003 form. That year, Davis
ran for a career-best 1,444 yards and led the Panthers to the Super
Bowl before playing just two games in 2004 due to injury.

DeShaun Foster has worked with the first team at running back during
Davis' absence.

"We stay on Stephen a good bit and we try to push him because we know
what kind of asset he can be to the team," quarterback Jake Delhomme
said. "I know it's frustrating for him. He feels like anyone of us -
if you're not out there, you're letting the team down, even if it's
something you can't control."

Added offensive tackle Jordan Gross, "Everyone has their fingers
crossed that everything will go right in line, exactly as it's
supposed to so that we'll have him out there for the season."

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

As Coach Fox said, the Panther running back corps is deep. Rookie RB
Eric Shelton is learning fast.While that may be good for the Panthers in the
long run, Stephen Davis has proven to be the lead guy in years past. It's great
to see a player like Davis back from injury, and his progress should be
commended. However, DeShaun Foster is also healthy and working with the
first team, and Shelton is coming on strong as well. Expect a RBBC to take
place until one of these guys can come out on top. Given the recent
injuries to Davis and Foster, Shelton could be a nice late round
sleeper pick in most leagues.


6. CIN - WR Johnson Promises No Hold Out

Clipped from: article by Geoff Hobson

Whether he thinks he's underpaid or not, Bengals Pro Bowl wide
receiver Chad Johnson reiterated Wednesday what he has said all
spring. He won't hold out even though agent Drew Rosenhaus has gone on
record saying he thinks his client is "sorely underpaid."

"My agent doesn't run me, I run myself. He works for me," said Johnson
after the voluntary practice. "If there was ever any type of holdout
going on, it would be going on right now with all the others going on
... (No.) 85 ain't going nowhere.

"I'm not sure," said Johnson, when asked if he thinks he's underpaid.
"I would like everyone to look at the numbers and see for yourself and
understand where I am and you make the assumption about whether I'm
underpaid or not. Don't leave it on me."

Johnson, who got a $26 million extension through 2009 during the 2003
season, is second in yards and third in catches in the NFL the past
two seasons.

"That's Drew's opinion. He has about nine, 10, 12, 15 guys all around
the league. No big deal," said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis,
referring to Rosenhaus' list of clients that have held out this spring
despite contracts. "He's under contract for six years. What does Chad
Johnson like to do? (Play football.) What's he going to do if he
doesn't do it here?"

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

In a time when it seems like too many players have agents pulling all
the strings, it's nice to see that Johnson has a mind of his own.
Johnson says he is going to honor his contract. A couple other notes
on Bengals' camps are mentioned, the most notable of which is that
Chris Perry is still not healthy and that he is hoping he can be back
for the camp in late July.


7. CIN - WR Henry Quietly Making Strides

Clipped from: article by Geoff Hobson 6/7/05

Rookie wide receiver Chris Henry, all 6-4 and 220 pounds of him, has
come in here and caught everything but his past since the Bengals took
him in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

The kid who was supposed to be so volatile has said about three words
total on the field while quickly becoming a quarterback favorite. The
guy who was supposed to have an attitude has a great one, shaking
reporters' hands the day after an interview, doing the little extras
in the meeting room, and hooking up with quarterback Carson Palmer
after almost every one of their routes.

His go-up-and-get-it game may remind some of Bengals all-time leading
receiver Carl Pickens. But all the similarities end after the vertical

"Reading all the stuff coming in, he was supposed to be 'Chad II,' "
says cornerback Keiwan Ratliff. "But he's pretty quiet on the field.
He doesn't say much of anything."

But when he's an NFL receiver, that means you just can't write him in
for a big rookie year. Only six wide receivers in Bengals history have
caught more than 30 balls their first season in a list that doesn't
include Pickens, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, or Chad I. And since 2000, only
25 of the 63 wide receivers taken on the first day of the draft have
had more than 30 catches as rookies.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

This one is more for the Dynasty guys and Peter Warrick owners. Henry
is currently 5th on the depth chart, and will have little impact in
2005 unless there are a ton of injuries. Even the article points out
how rookie WRs don't usually catch a lot of passes (in Cincinnati or
anywhere else). However, a solid camp from Henry could start the Peter
Warrick trade rumors flying again. For now though, tuck this info away
for a while until something changes to move Henry up the depth chart.


8. MIN - WR Starting Lineup Unchanged. (For Now)

Clipped from: article 6/7/05

The starting line-up for the receiving corps has been unchanging
during this early camp. Nate Burleson and Marcus Robinson have been
split out with the base offense, while Kelly Campbell joins for 3
wide-out formations. Behind those three is an impressive line of young
players already dueling for the few spots available. Number 7 overall
pick Troy Williamson continues to move up the depth charts as he once
again ran a few routes with the first team offense. In one sequence
Daunte Culpepper had Williamson split wide on consecutive plays and
found the rookie with bullets on both occasions. The rookie has taken
a positive step forward during each day of this camp.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

It's interesting that there is no mention of Free Agent WR Travis
Taylor. Williamson is moving up, but is still behind Kelly Campbell in
the depth chart. At this point, it's still too early to tell exactly
what the starting lineup will look like for the Vikings. However, the
fact that Burleson and Robinson are still getting the starting reps
should be a concern for anyone expecting Williamson or Campbell to
break into the starting lineup. Lots of other Viking camp notes here
if anyone wants the full scoop


9. BAL - IDP CB Deion Sanders signs a One-Year Deal.

Clipped from: Associated Press article 6/8/05

Deion Sanders signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the
Baltimore Ravens after passing his physical Wednesday, then announced
himself ready for another season.

"Feeling good, looking good," Sanders said. "If women weren't present,
I'd take off my shirt and show you how good I look. Trust me,
37-year-olds can't do what I do."

"I don't have personal, selfish goals," he added. "I'd like to add
another Super Bowl."

His return to the team was delayed for several days while his
orthopedic surgeon in New York examined Sanders and reviewed the
results of an MRI of the foot. The seven-time Pro Bowl cornerback, who
will turn 38 on Aug. 9, could earn as much as $4 million if
playing-time incentives are triggered.

Sanders, playing primarily as a nickel back, finished second on Ravens
last year with three interceptions. He was limited to nine games
because of his toe and hamstring injuries.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

It's Prime Time in Baltimore again. Fantasy wise, this isn't much more
news than Jerry Rice signing in Denver. Sanders had eight tackles and
one assist last year. His three INTS are not enough to make him an IDP
starter though. He only had five punt returns, and no kick returns.
Signing him might be good for the Ravens long term, but Fantasy Wise,
there is nothing to see here.


10. IND - IDP S Doss Suspended at Least One Game

Clipped from: article by Mike Chappell 6/8/05

Starting safety Mike Doss will be suspended without pay for at least
one regular-season game this season in the wake of his conviction on
two misdemeanor gun charges, Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian
said Tuesday.

The Colts open Sept. 11 at Baltimore against the Ravens. Polian
indicated the suspension could be more than one game, and said the
announcement would be made within the week.

"We need to check some details with the league office to make sure
we're in compliance with league policy," Polian said after the Colts
concluded a summer school workout at the Union Federal Football

He reiterated that discipline is "going to be strong" and that it's
important for the team to "send a strong message" that such conduct
will not be tolerated.

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

It may not end there. The Colts are making a pre-emptive strike here,
trying to keep their team in line. The league could chime into this
also, and perhaps the Colts hope to avert a league-imposed sentence by
hitting him hard right out of the gate. The NFL will probably issue
some type of statement within the next few days. The article also
mentions CB Nick Harper's arrest for domestic battery on Saturday.


11. WAS - IDP S Taylor Will Not Be Suspended

Clipped from: Associated Press article by Jody Foldesy 6/8/05

Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor appears likely to play the 2005
season without suspension unless coach Joe Gibbs changes his mind and
benches Taylor before his criminal charges are adjudicated.

Taylor's case, which involves two third-degree felony charges and a
first-degree misdemeanor charge, is scheduled to receive an initial
felony screening by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office on Tuesday.
The office will determine at that point whether to prosecute. If it
does, a tentative court date would be set at the June 24 arraignment.

Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the state attorney's office, said the
court date is "quite flexible." NFL players facing trial commonly
request continuances until after the season, and Griffith said it
wouldn't be wrong to expect the trial ultimately to occur next January
or February.

Griffith stressed that "preliminary hurdles," such as gathering enough
evidence, are the immediate issue and that a continuance "ultimately
... is a judge's decision." But he noted that failure to grant a
continuance can boost the odds of an appeal, something judges try to

The likelihood of a continuance is significant given Gibbs' statement
Monday that placed the burden of Taylor's punishment on the NFL. Gibbs
dismissed Taylor for the remainder of the offseason program and
prominently referenced the league's personal conduct policy.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello yesterday made clear the league won't punish
a player who hasn't been convicted of a crime. In some circumstances,
he said, a team will suspend a player before the case is adjudicated,
as Gibbs did following Taylor's DUI arrest in October.

Asked whether the Redskins might suspend Taylor if the case hasn't
been resolved by season's start, Gibbs replied, "We haven't talked
about anything like that. We have no plans for anything like that.
What we're hoping is that Sean can get his personal situation squared
away, and we're giving him time to do that."

Thus, barring a significant turn of events, Taylor is in line to join
the team July 31, when players report to training camp

[[[[[[[[[[ OUR VIEW ]]]]]]]]]]

Leaving the legal argument and preferential treatment arguments aside
here, it seems unlikely that this will have any impact on Taylor's
ability to play football. Even the state attorney's office is willing
to work with Taylor based on his NFL schedule. Taylor had 60 solo
tackles, 16 assists, 4 INTS and forced 2 fumbles during his rookie
season. He also defended nine passes. At this point it doesn't appear
that Taylor's issues off the field will have any effect on his ability
to play this season.


That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and have a great
Thursday. See you tomorrow with the update.


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