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2012 Draft Prep: 12-team, three WRs

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Stop me if you've heard this before: The NFL is a passing league. Of course you have. And it's true.

With that in mind, why not do a Fantasy league where passing is emphasized? There are plenty of ways to make that happen, including increasing the scoring for quarterbacks, two-quarterback leagues or a standard lineup with three receivers. The latter is what we have here, and this is a fun format because receiver is so deep this season.

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I have no problem starting my team with Steve Smith and Demaryius Thomas as my top two receivers, and both are ranked in the Top 12 at their respective position. Based on Average Draft Position, I can get Smith in Round 4 and Thomas in Round 5, which is a steal. You're also able to get guys like DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Vincent Jackson, Brandon Lloyd, Steve Johnson and Dwayne Bowe in Round 6 or later.

There's no need to reach for receivers, even in this format, unless you really want Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald or Julio Jones. There's a lack of talent at running back, so the suggestion here is to load up with rushers and then target receivers beginning in Round 3 or 4.

An example of going running back heavy is Nando Di Fino, who started his team with Darren McFadden, Steven Jackson and Jamaal Charles. He took his first receiver in Round 4, which was Smith, and still got Reggie Wayne and Bowe. His only flaw was passing on quarterback and settling for Andrew Luck in Round 11, but he started his team with solid players.

On the other hand, we had Mike Freeman, who ignored running back until Round 5 with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. His first four picks were Calvin Johnson, Greg Jennings, Wes Welker and Antonio Gates. His risk was taking Tony Romo in Round 5 instead of another running back like Isaac Redman, Jonathan Stewart or Peyton Hillis based on who was available.

I like the start for both teams, but I would prefer what Di Fino did because of the overall talent on his roster. You can see how the rest of the draft came out and judge for yourself. Take advantage of our Fantasy Football Twitter feed (@CBSFantasyFB) and post your comments there, or share your thoughts on our Fantasy Football Facebook page.

In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be five reserve spots for a 15-round draft.

We also had a special guest join us for this draft as Luke Longmuir -- a randomly-selected reader -- was chosen on Twitter to mock with us. This is something we plan to do going forward, so be on the lookout for your chance to draft with us.

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Our draft order is as follows:

1. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
2. Nathan Zegura, Senior Fantasy Writer
3. Mike Freeman, National NFL Insider
4. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
5. Will Brinson, Senior NFL Blogger
6. Luke Longmuir, Twitter follower
7. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
8. J. Darin Darst, College Football Production Editor
9. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
10. Aleese Kopf, Social Media Coordinator
11. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
12. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host

Round by Round
Round 1
Pick Owner Player
1 Dave Richard Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2 Nathan Zegura Ray Rice, RB, BAL
3 Mike Freeman Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
4 Jamey Eisenberg LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
5 Will Brinson Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
6 Luke Longmuir Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
7 Jeff Tobin Tom Brady, QB, NE
8 J. Darin Darst Drew Brees, QB, NO
9 Nando Di Fino Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
10 Aleese Kopf Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
11 Peter Madden DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
12 Adam Aizer Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
Round 2
Pick Owner Player
13 Adam Aizer Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
14 Peter Madden Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
15 Aleese Kopf Julio Jones, WR, ATL
16 Nando Di Fino Steven Jackson, RB, STL
17 J. Darin Darst Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
18 Jeff Tobin Matt Forte, RB, CHI
19 Luke Longmuir Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
20 Will Brinson A.J. Green, WR, CIN
21 Jamey Eisenberg Cam Newton, QB, CAR
22 Mike Freeman Greg Jennings, WR, GB
23 Nathan Zegura Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
24 Dave Richard Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
Round 3
Pick Owner Player
25 Dave Richard Michael Turner, RB, ATL
26 Nathan Zegura Roddy White, WR, ATL
27 Mike Freeman Wes Welker, WR, NE
28 Jamey Eisenberg Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
29 Will Brinson Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
30 Luke Longmuir Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
31 Jeff Tobin Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
32 J. Darin Darst Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
33 Nando Di Fino Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
34 Aleese Kopf Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
35 Peter Madden Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
36 Adam Aizer Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
Round 4
Pick Owner Player
37 Adam Aizer Darren Sproles, RB, NO
38 Peter Madden Doug Martin, RB, TB
39 Aleese Kopf Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
40 Nando Di Fino Steve Smith, WR, CAR
41 J. Darin Darst Marques Colston, WR, NO
42 Jeff Tobin Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
43 Luke Longmuir Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
44 Will Brinson Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
45 Jamey Eisenberg Miles Austin, WR, DAL
46 Mike Freeman Antonio Gates, TE, SD
47 Nathan Zegura Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
48 Dave Richard Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
Round 5
Pick Owner Player
49 Dave Richard Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE
50 Nathan Zegura Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
51 Mike Freeman BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
52 Jamey Eisenberg DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
53 Will Brinson Reggie Bush, RB, MIA
54 Luke Longmuir Willis McGahee, RB, DEN
55 Jeff Tobin Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
56 J. Darin Darst Frank Gore, RB, SF
57 Nando Di Fino Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
58 Aleese Kopf Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
59 Peter Madden Michael Vick, QB, PHI
60 Adam Aizer Eli Manning, QB, NYG
Round 6
Pick Owner Player
61 Adam Aizer Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
62 Peter Madden Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
63 Aleese Kopf Kevin Smith, RB, DET
64 Nando Di Fino Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
65 J. Darin Darst Eric Decker, WR, DEN
66 Jeff Tobin Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
67 Luke Longmuir Donald Brown, RB, IND
68 Will Brinson Vernon Davis, TE, SF
69 Jamey Eisenberg Robert Meachem, WR, SD
70 Mike Freeman Tony Romo, QB, DAL
71 Nathan Zegura Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
72 Dave Richard Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
Round 7
Pick Owner Player
73 Dave Richard Titus Young, WR, DET
74 Nathan Zegura Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
75 Mike Freeman Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
76 Jamey Eisenberg Peyton Hillis, RB, KC
77 Will Brinson Philip Rivers, QB, SD
78 Luke Longmuir Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
79 Jeff Tobin Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
80 J. Darin Darst Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
81 Nando Di Fino Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
82 Aleese Kopf Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
83 Peter Madden Nate Washington, WR, TEN
84 Adam Aizer Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
Round 8
Pick Owner Player
85 Adam Aizer Lance Moore, WR, NO
86 Peter Madden Beanie Wells, RB, ARI
87 Aleese Kopf Greg Little, WR, CLE
88 Nando Di Fino Mark Ingram, RB, NO
89 J. Darin Darst Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
90 Jeff Tobin Michael Bush, RB, CHI
91 Luke Longmuir Malcom Floyd, WR, SD
92 Will Brinson DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
93 Jamey Eisenberg Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
94 Mike Freeman Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
95 Nathan Zegura Jason Witten, TE, DAL
96 Dave Richard C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
Round 9
Pick Owner Player
97 Dave Richard Jacob Tamme, TE, DEN
98 Nathan Zegura Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN
99 Mike Freeman LeGarrette Blount, RB, TB
100 Jamey Eisenberg Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
101 Will Brinson Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
102 Luke Longmuir Roy Helu, RB, WAS
103 Jeff Tobin Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
104 J. Darin Darst Ben Tate, RB, HOU
105 Nando Di Fino Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
106 Aleese Kopf Evan Royster, RB, WAS
107 Peter Madden Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
108 Adam Aizer Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN
Round 10
Pick Owner Player
109 Adam Aizer Ronnie Brown, RB, SD
110 Peter Madden Randy Moss, WR, SF
111 Aleese Kopf Laurent Robinson, WR, JAC
112 Nando Di Fino Jon Baldwin, WR, KC
113 J. Darin Darst Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
114 Jeff Tobin Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
115 Luke Longmuir Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC
116 Will Brinson Cedric Benson, RB, GB
117 Jamey Eisenberg Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL
118 Mike Freeman Brandon Jacobs, RB, SF
119 Nathan Zegura Austin Collie, WR, IND
120 Dave Richard Mike Goodson, RB, OAK
Round 11
Pick Owner Player
121 Dave Richard Danny Amendola, WR, STL
122 Nathan Zegura David Wilson, RB, NYG
123 Mike Freeman Brent Celek, TE, PHI
124 Jamey Eisenberg Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
125 Will Brinson Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
126 Luke Longmuir Felix Jones, RB, DAL
127 Jeff Tobin Fred Davis, TE, WAS
128 J. Darin Darst Matt Schaub, QB, HOU
129 Nando Di Fino Andrew Luck, QB, IND
130 Aleese Kopf Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
131 Peter Madden Bernard Scott, RB, CIN
132 Adam Aizer Randall Cobb, WR, GB
Round 12
Pick Owner Player
133 Adam Aizer Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
134 Peter Madden Robert Turbin, RB, SEA
135 Aleese Kopf Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
136 Nando Di Fino Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
137 J. Darin Darst Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
138 Jeff Tobin Steve Smith, WR, STL
139 Luke Longmuir Brian Quick, WR, STL
140 Will Brinson Leonard Hankerson, WR, WAS
141 Jamey Eisenberg Mike Williams, WR, TB
142 Mike Freeman Tim Hightower, RB, WAS
143 Nathan Zegura Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
144 Dave Richard Nate Burleson, WR, DET
Round 13
Pick Owner Player
145 Dave Richard Shane Vereen, RB, NE
146 Nathan Zegura Owen Daniels, TE, HOU
147 Mike Freeman Santana Moss, WR, WAS
148 Jamey Eisenberg 49ers DST
149 Will Brinson Eagles DST
150 Luke Longmuir James Starks, RB, GB
151 Jeff Tobin Mike Tolbert, RB, CAR
152 J. Darin Darst Chris Rainey, RB, PIT
153 Nando Di Fino Montario Hardesty, RB, CLE
154 Aleese Kopf Alex Green, RB, GB
155 Peter Madden Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA
156 Adam Aizer David Nelson, WR, BUF
Round 14
Pick Owner Player
157 Adam Aizer Texans DST
158 Peter Madden Steelers DST
159 Aleese Kopf Ravens DST
160 Nando Di Fino Giants DST
161 J. Darin Darst Bears DST
162 Jeff Tobin Jets DST
163 Luke Longmuir David Akers, K, SF
164 Will Brinson Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
165 Jamey Eisenberg Josh Freeman, QB, TB
166 Mike Freeman Mason Crosby, K, GB
167 Nathan Zegura Patriots DST
168 Dave Richard Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
Round 15
Pick Owner Player
169 Dave Richard Packers DST
170 Nathan Zegura Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
171 Mike Freeman Lions DST
172 Jamey Eisenberg Garrett Hartley, K, NO
173 Will Brinson Alex Henery, K, PHI
174 Luke Longmuir Bills DST
175 Jeff Tobin Randy Bullock, K, HOU
176 J. Darin Darst Dan Bailey, K, DAL
177 Nando Di Fino Jason Hanson, K, DET
178 Aleese Kopf Matt Bryant, K, ATL
179 Peter Madden Nate Kaeding, K, SD
180 Adam Aizer Matt Prater, K, DEN
 
Team by Team
Adam Aizer
Rd.Pk Player
1.12 Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
2.1 Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
3.12 Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
4.1 Darren Sproles, RB, NO
5.12 Eli Manning, QB, NYG
6.1 Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
7.12 Jermichael Finley, TE, GB
8.1 Lance Moore, WR, NO
9.12 Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN
10.1 Ronnie Brown, RB, SD
11.12 Randall Cobb, WR, GB
12.1 Daniel Thomas, RB, MIA
13.12 David Nelson, WR, BUF
14.1 Texans DST
15.12 Matt Prater, K, DEN
Aleese Kopf
Rd.Pk Player
1.10 Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
2.3 Julio Jones, WR, ATL
3.10 Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
4.3 Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
5.10 Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
6.3 Kevin Smith, RB, DET
7.10 Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
8.3 Greg Little, WR, CLE
9.10 Evan Royster, RB, WAS
10.3 Laurent Robinson, WR, JAC
11.10 Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
12.3 Sidney Rice, WR, SEA
13.10 Alex Green, RB, GB
14.3 Ravens DST
15.10 Matt Bryant, K, ATL
Dave Richard
Rd.Pk Player
1.1 Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2.12 Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
3.1 Michael Turner, RB, ATL
4.12 Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
5.1 Brandon Lloyd, WR, NE
6.12 Isaac Redman, RB, PIT
7.1 Titus Young, WR, DET
8.12 C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
9.1 Jacob Tamme, TE, DEN
10.12 Mike Goodson, RB, OAK
11.1 Danny Amendola, WR, STL
12.12 Nate Burleson, WR, DET
13.1 Shane Vereen, RB, NE
14.12 Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
15.1 Packers DST
J. Darin Darst
Rd.Pk Player
1.8 Drew Brees, QB, NO
2.5 Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
3.8 Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
4.5 Marques Colston, WR, NO
5.8 Frank Gore, RB, SF
6.5 Eric Decker, WR, DEN
7.8 Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, OAK
8.5 Brandon LaFell, WR, CAR
9.8 Ben Tate, RB, HOU
10.5 Brandon Pettigrew, TE, DET
11.8 Matt Schaub, QB, HOU
12.5 Isaiah Pead, RB, STL
13.8 Chris Rainey, RB, PIT
14.5 Bears DST
15.8 Dan Bailey, K, DAL
Jamey Eisenberg
Rd.Pk Player
1.4 LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
2.9 Cam Newton, QB, CAR
3.4 Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
4.9 Miles Austin, WR, DAL
5.4 DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
6.9 Robert Meachem, WR, SD
7.4 Peyton Hillis, RB, KC
8.9 Ryan Williams, RB, ARI
9.4 Jermaine Gresham, TE, CIN
10.9 Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, ATL
11.4 Santonio Holmes, WR, NYJ
12.9 Mike Williams, WR, TB
13.4 49ers DST
14.9 Josh Freeman, QB, TB
15.4 Garrett Hartley, K, NO
Jeff Tobin
Rd.Pk Player
1.7 Tom Brady, QB, NE
2.6 Matt Forte, RB, CHI
3.7 Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NYG
4.6 Mike Wallace, WR, PIT
5.7 Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
6.6 Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
7.7 Mikel Leshoure, RB, DET
8.6 Michael Bush, RB, CHI
9.7 Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
10.6 Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
11.7 Fred Davis, TE, WAS
12.6 Steve Smith, WR, STL
13.7 Mike Tolbert, RB, CAR
14.6 Jets DST
15.7 Randy Bullock, K, HOU
Luke Longmuir
Rd.Pk Player
1.6 Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
2.7 Trent Richardson, RB, CLE
3.6 Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
4.7 Percy Harvin, WR, MIN
5.6 Willis McGahee, RB, DEN
6.7 Donald Brown, RB, IND
7.6 Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
8.7 Malcom Floyd, WR, SD
9.6 Roy Helu, RB, WAS
10.7 Rashad Jennings, RB, JAC
11.6 Felix Jones, RB, DAL
12.7 Brian Quick, WR, STL
13.6 James Starks, RB, GB
14.7 David Akers, K, SF
15.6 Bills DST
Mike Freeman
Rd.Pk Player
1.3 Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
2.10 Greg Jennings, WR, GB
3.3 Wes Welker, WR, NE
4.10 Antonio Gates, TE, SD
5.3 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
6.10 Tony Romo, QB, DAL
7.3 Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
8.10 Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL
9.3 LeGarrette Blount, RB, TB
10.10 Brandon Jacobs, RB, SF
11.3 Brent Celek, TE, PHI
12.10 Tim Hightower, RB, WAS
13.3 Santana Moss, WR, WAS
14.10 Mason Crosby, K, GB
15.3 Lions DST
Nando Di Fino
Rd.Pk Player
1.9 Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
2.4 Steven Jackson, RB, STL
3.9 Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
4.4 Steve Smith, WR, CAR
5.9 Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
6.4 Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
7.9 Anquan Boldin, WR, BAL
8.4 Mark Ingram, RB, NO
9.9 Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
10.4 Jon Baldwin, WR, KC
11.9 Andrew Luck, QB, IND
12.4 Kenny Britt, WR, TEN
13.9 Montario Hardesty, RB, CLE
14.4 Giants DST
15.9 Jason Hanson, K, DET
Nathan Zegura
Rd.Pk Player
1.2 Ray Rice, RB, BAL
2.11 Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
3.2 Roddy White, WR, ATL
4.11 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
5.2 Shonn Greene, RB, NYJ
6.11 Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
7.2 Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
8.11 Jason Witten, TE, DAL
9.2 Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN
10.11 Austin Collie, WR, IND
11.2 David Wilson, RB, NYG
12.11 Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
13.2 Owen Daniels, TE, HOU
14.11 Patriots DST
15.2 Sebastian Janikowski, K, OAK
Peter Madden
Rd.Pk Player
1.11 DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
2.2 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
3.11 Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
4.2 Doug Martin, RB, TB
5.11 Michael Vick, QB, PHI
6.2 Aaron Hernandez, TE, NE
7.11 Nate Washington, WR, TEN
8.2 Beanie Wells, RB, ARI
9.11 Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
10.2 Randy Moss, WR, SF
11.11 Bernard Scott, RB, CIN
12.2 Robert Turbin, RB, SEA
13.11 Doug Baldwin, WR, SEA
14.2 Steelers DST
15.11 Nate Kaeding, K, SD
Will Brinson
Rd.Pk Player
1.5 Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
2.8 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
3.5 Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
4.8 Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
5.5 Reggie Bush, RB, MIA
6.8 Vernon Davis, TE, SF
7.5 Philip Rivers, QB, SD
8.8 DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
9.5 Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
10.8 Cedric Benson, RB, GB
11.5 Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT
12.8 Leonard Hankerson, WR, WAS
13.5 Eagles DST
14.8 Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
15.5 Alex Henery, K, PHI
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Player News
Chris Harris targeting midway point of preseason
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:44 pm ET) Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, who's coming back from ACL surgery, told ESPN he expects to be cleared for full participation by the midway point of the preseason. Harris said the exact timetable hinges on his upcoming visit to his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

"I’m doing everything, there’s really nothing I can’t do right now," Harris told the network. "I still have to go see Dr. Andrews at the end of the month and get checked up and he’ll pretty much let us know the plan from there."

Harris had 65 tackles and three interceptions last year before getting hurt in the playoffs.


Dimitri Patterson a starter by default
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:28 pm ET) Unable to land a high-end free agent cornerback, the Jets "were forced to settle for journeyman Dimitri Patterson as a consolation," notes The Star-Ledger. Patterson, who projects to start opposite Dee Milliner, is on his sixth team in 10 seasons and has played all 16 games just once in his career.

If Patterson falters, third-round pick Dexter McDougle could get a shot.


Fred Jackson in danger of losing carries
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:58 pm ET) Bills running back Fred Jackson might not approach the 207 carries he received last year. According to WGR550.com, Jackson will once again split time with C.J. Spiller but also potentially lose snaps to the team's additions at running back, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon.

The website said Jackson, 33, who's entering the last year of his deal, will be trying to prove how much he has left.


Teammate: Bitterness won't linger from Jimmy Graham standoff
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:32 pm ET) Saints tight end Benjamin Watson told ESPN that the the team's arbitration fight with Jimmy Graham over whether he's a receiver or a tight end won't have a longterm detrimental effect. Watson is hopeful the sides will reach a multiyear contract agreement by Tuesday's deadline.

"I’m very confident that it’ll be resolved the right way and guys can move forward," Watson said. "Obviously it’s always tough when you go through litigation with somebody, and it can probably get heated. And I’m sure there are emotions on both sides. But that is the business side of the game. 

"And it’s unfortunate that it came to that and that it was so public. But I really think -- I know, I don’t think -- I know that Jimmy loves New Orleans and I know that he loves our team and the organization and he loves playing here. And we love him, everybody wants him here, coaches included. So when it comes down to contract situations, that’s just a necessary evil ... not even evil, but just a necessary progression of getting a player here."


Dallas Thomas eyes starting job
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:17 pm ET) Dolphins coach Joe Philbin named Dallas Thomas one of the team's most improved players, and he has a good chance to start at left guard, according to the team's website. A third-round pick in last year's draft, Thomas played only four offensive snaps last season.

Thomas worked with the first team during spring drills and is much further along than he was in 2013. He stayed in South Florida throughout the offseason to get better prepared.

"You’ve got to know your material, you’ve got to know what you’re doing on the field because stuff happens so fast," Thomas said. "You’ve got to be able to just react to it and not even think about what’s happening on the field."


Spencer Nealy hit with four-game ban
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:58 pm ET) The NFL suspended Vikings defensive end Spencer Nealy four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. An undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, the 24-year-old Nealy did not play in a game last season.

Nealy apologized and took responsibility in a statement, saying he took a supplement containing a banned stimulant.


Jarrett Boykin will be 'hard to dislodge'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:54 pm ET) Jarrett Boykin improved dramatically last season and "will be hard to dislodge" from the Packers' No. 3 receiver job, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Boykin will have to hold off second-round pick Davante Adams, fifth-rounder Jared Abbrederis and seventh-rounder Jeff Janis.

Boykin, 24, caught 49 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns last season.


Trent Richardson might not get long leash
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:40 pm ET) Averaging 2.9 yards a carry, like he did last year, will get Trent Richardson benched quickly, reports ESPN.com. Richardson "will have to produce right away because it's unlikely the Colts will wait for him to get going" if running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard are healthy and productive, the website said.

Richardson likely will get the first shot at the starting job. He has a much better grasp of the playbook than he did in 2013 and the belief is he'll be able to run on instinct as opposed to overthinking, the report said.


Bruce Ellington trying to overcome stature
by Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer
(3:33 pm ET) At 5-foot-9, Bruce Ellington is the shortest receiver on the 49ers' roster. But the fourth-round pick out of South Carolina should not be discounted, his high school coach, Jerry Brown, told the Sacramento Bee.

Brown said Ellington is relentless at finding open space and catching everything thrown his way. "Football's played on a big field and it's hard to track someone like Bruce who's got so much agility," Brown said.

Ellington believes he has lots of room for growth because he only gave up basketball last year. Also a former track competitor, Ellington clocked a 4.45 forty at the combine.

"I'm just going to work hard, give it a hundred (percent) every time I step on the field and keep on chasing the dream," he said.


Colts dump LaVon Brazill, sign Aaron Burks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:03 pm ET) The Colts waived suspended wideout LaVon Brazill and signed receiver Aaron Burks, an undrafted free agent from Boise State. Brazill, 25, is suspended for at least a year for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Burks caught 18 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns for the Broncos last season, averaging 17.2 yards per catch.


 
 
 
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