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2011 Draft Prep: No slump for Freeman

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Josh Freeman was among the best surprises last year when he shook off a preseason thumb injury to defy expectations and finish as the No. 8 quarterback in standard leagues. The Tampa Bay passer was a breakout Fantasy option.

Now Fantasy owners want to know if he can do it again, and we think he can. The prediction here is Freeman will repeat as a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback.

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There are many people who doubt Freeman will be a starting Fantasy option in the majority of leagues. His Average Draft Position has him as the No. 11 quarterback, and he is being selected at No. 76 overall in Round 7.

But in several drafts I've done -- including our latest 12-team standard draft -- Freeman was selected as a backup quarterback. Not everyone is ready to trust him as the starter for their Fantasy team despite last year's performance when he had 3,451 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions and 68 carries for 364 yards and three fumbles.

The knocks on him are that last year was a fluke, he plays in a tough division in the NFC South, his weapons are overrated and his stats, while good overall, were marginal week to week. Those are all fair points.

But if you look a little closer, you'll see Freeman was almost a Top 6 Fantasy quarterback. He had 291 Fantasy points, and the No. 6 passer in standard leagues last year was Drew Brees at 327.

Freeman was one of four quarterbacks to have at least 60 rushing attempts (Michael Vick, David Garrard and Aaron Rodgers were the others). Each had at least four rushing touchdowns with an average of six. Give Freeman the average and he matches Brees at 327 points.

Now, no one is suggesting Freeman is as good as Brees or should be considered a Top 6 quarterback on Draft Day. But we like his weapons with Mike Williams, Kellen Winslow and Arrelious Benn in the receiving corps and LeGarrette Blount in the backfield. They are only going to get better after last year's success.

Freeman also did a great job this offseason organizing workouts during the lockout, and he has proven to be an accurate passer. His touchdown to interception ratio of nearly 5:1 was second in the NFL to only Tom Brady at 8:1.

His confidence is also high. Warren Sapp, the former Bucs standout defensive lineman and current Inside the NFL analyst on Showtime, said Freeman is "an MVP candidate this year." Freeman is taking all the accolades in stride, but he's ready to go this season. And he's 100 percent healthy now as compared to last year when he started off dealing with a thumb injury.

"I feel a lot more prepared," Freeman said recently. "Last year at this time I could barely even grip a football. It was definitely a nervous time, very anxious going into that first game. This year everybody's healthy, everybody's ready to rock and roll."

We're looking forward to Freeman making plenty of noise with his game. And he could be an outstanding Fantasy option on Draft Day. So let the other owners in your league pass on him because they're not sold on him being a starter.

You should have confidence that Freeman is ready to repeat as a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback in 2011.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Report: Josh McCown to miss 'several weeks' with thumb injury
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown is undergoing a second test on his injured thumb, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports Friday. McCown left Thursday's game in Atlanta in the second quarter after hitting his hand on a helmet during a throw. According to the report, he is expected to miss "several weeks" with the injury.

If that is the case, the Buccaneers will turn to Mike Glennon moving forward. Tampa Bay will have 10 days before their Week 4 matchup at Pittsburgh.

Marshawn Lynch should be good to go Week 3
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is probable entering Week 3.

Lynch is dealing with a back issue. After sitting out Wednesday, Lynch returned to full practice Thursday and Friday. 


Carson Palmer among notable players listed questionable for Week 3
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The Cardinals have nine players listed on the injury report for Week 3. Punter David Zastudil (groin) and linebacker Alex Okafor (thigh) were the only players officially ruled out for Sunday's game against the 49ers.

Deemed questionable were tight end Rob Housler (hip), defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (calf) and quarterback Carson Palmer (shoulder).

Linebacker Kevin Minter (quad), center Lyle Sendlein (ankle), running back Andre Ellington (foot) and linebacker Larry Foote (shoulder) were each ruled probable for Sunday.

Seahawks list nine on final injury report
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The Seahawks have listed nine players on the final injury report heading into Week 3.

Only Tharold Simon has been ruled out for the game. Bruce Irvin didn't practice throughout the week, but is questionable for the game. 

Kam Chancellor, Cooper Helfet, Marshawn Lynch, Christine Michael, Zach Miller, Mike Morgan and Kevin Pierre-Louis are all probable. 


Cordarrelle Patterson, Kyle Rudolph expected to go
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The Vikings should have their offensive playmakers for Week 3.

Both Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph are probable entering the game. Rudolph was limited in practice Friday, but Pattterson was able to practice in full. 


Vikings release final injury report
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The Vikings have released their final injury report before Week 3.

Chad Greenway, Rodney Smith and Brandon Watts will all enter the game listed as questionable.

The Sharrif Floyd, Phil Loadholt, Michael Mauti and Xavier Rhodes are all probable heading into the contest.

Both Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Rudolph are considered probable for Week 3. 


49ers list lengthy injury report for Week 3
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The 49ers have nine players listed on the injury report for Week 3. Center Marcus Martin, who's nursing an knee injury, was the only player ruled out for Sunday's game against the Cardinals.

Deemed questionable are cornerback Tramaine Brock (toe), tackle Anthony Davis (hamstring), tight end Vernon Davis (ankle) and tight end Vance McDonald (knee).

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick (back), running back Carlos Hyde (calf), defensive end Justin Smith (not injury related) and tackle Joe Staley (knee) were ruled probable for Sunday.

The Raiders list nine players on final injury report
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The Raiders have nine players listed on the injury report for Week 3. Linebacker Sio Moore, who's nursing an ankle injury, was the only player ruled out for Sunday's game against the Patriots.

Deemed questionable are cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (knee). running back Maurice Jones-Drew (hand), tackle Matt McCants (knee), linebacker Nick Roach (concussion), cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee), defensive lineman Antonio Smith (back) and wide receiver Rod Streater (hip).

Justin Tuck, who is dealing with an illness, was the only player ruled probable for Sunday.


Dolphins issue lengthy injury list for Week 3
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The Dolphins have officially ruled out running back Knowshon Moreno (elbow) for their Sunday game against Kansas City. Also out are linebacker Koa Misi (ankle) and guard Shelley Smith (knee).

Listed as doubtful are defensive end Terrence Fede (knee), center Mike Pouncey (hip) and linebacker Jordan Tripp (chest).

Tight end Charles Clay (knee) and guard Billy Turner (foot) are considered questionable.

The probables are safeties Walt Aikens (hand) and Louis Delmas (calf), tackle Branden Albert (shoulder) and linebackers Jonathan Freeny (calif), Jelani Jenkins (shoulder) and Philip Wheeler (thumb).


Chargers issue injury report with seven probables
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(9/19/2014) The Chargers have issued an extensive injury report for their Sunday game in Buffalo. Ruled out are running back Ryan Mathews (knee) and linebacker Melvin Ingram (hamstring).

Listed as questionable are safety Jahleel Addae (hamstring), wide receiver Keenan Allen (groin) and linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu (hamstring).

The probables are cornerbacks Chris Davis (ankle) and Brandon Flowers (groin), linebacker Dwight Freeney (non-injury related), tight end Antonio Gates (hamstring), defensive end Corey Liuget (ankle) and offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger (back) and Johnnie Troutman (back).


 
 
 
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