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2014 Draft Prep: Tony Romo will be the top value QB

Senior Fantasy Writer
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You may not want Tony Romo on your Fantasy team this year. You might think he's old at 34 and brittle coming off back surgery for the second time in two years. You probably consider him overrated.

While all of that might be true to some degree, he's still an above-average Fantasy quarterback. And this year he's going to be great. The prediction is Romo will be the best value at quarterback on Draft Day.

Heading into the second week of preseason action, Romo's Average Draft Position on CBSSports.com is No. 78 overall in Round 7. That value is good, but the bigger issue is some of the quarterbacks being drafted ahead of him in Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick, Nick Foles and Robert Griffin III.

I'd rather have Romo. Here's why.

Romo has the perfect cocktail for Fantasy success this season. He has an awesome receiving corps and offensive line, an awful defense and a pass-happy play-caller in Scott Linehan. He also has a good history of success. He's has been a top-10 Fantasy quarterback in four of the past five years, including three in a row. He was No. 8 in Fantasy points last year in a standard league with 3,828 passing yards, 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 64 percent completions.

He missed the final game of the season last year with his back injury, but if he played in that game and reached his average of 21 Fantasy points he would have been No. 6, just two points shy of Cam Newton at No. 5. And he should improve this year as long as he can remain healthy.

The addition of Linehan, coupled with a defense that could keep Romo in hurry-up and comeback mode, should allow for big games. As the play-caller in Detroit, Linehan had Matthew Stafford throwing at a ridiculous pace. Stafford was fourth, first and first in pass attempts the past three years. He was No. 7 in Fantasy points last season, No. 11 in 2012 and No. 4 in 2011. Romo is going to challenge for the pass-attempts lead and that should lead to a potential career year.

Romo averaged 0.6 Fantasy points per attempt in 2013. If he had Stafford's pass attempts last season at 634 with his same point per attempt average, Romo would have been at 380 points, which would have made him the No. 3 Fantasy quarterback behind Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

Now, there are other variables to consider besides Linehan. Most of them are positive.

His offensive line is elite, highlighted by Tyron Smith and Doug Free at the tackle spots and Travis Frederick at center. The Cowboys spent a first-round pick on right guard Zack Martin and the team should improve with its protection after Romo was sacked 35 times, which was No. 17 among quarterbacks.

Romo also has tremendous weapons in Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, Terrance Williams and DeMarco Murray. Last year, Bryant led the NFL by being tackled inside the 5-yard line seven times. Had Bryant converted those touchdowns with Romo scoring an additional 42 Fantasy points (based on six points for passing scores) then he would have been third behind Manning and Brees in total scoring.

Now, it would help if Romo was more consistent this season compared to last year. He had just eight games with more than 20 Fantasy points, including only two of his final six. And Murray's rushing prowess could cut into Romo's productivity, especially if Dallas tries to keep its terrible defense off the field.

The back surgery is also troubling. Romo has to prove he's over the problems from last year. But the Cowboys didn't invest heavily in a backup option, instead going with a castoff in Brandon Weeden and passing on Johnny Manziel in the NFL Draft. They obviously feel Romo is ready to go. I'm confident in him, too.

There could be other quarterbacks with better value on Draft Day -- Jay Cutler at No. 88 overall is a strong candidate -- but I'll go with Romo. I'll let other owners draft quarterbacks early while I stockpile talent at running back and receiver, and then I'll gamble on Romo in Round 7 or later depending on how the draft goes.

You know what you're getting with Romo, which is at least a top-10 finish based on his history. And with the other factors surrounding him this season, a top-5 finish is not out of the question.

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Player News
Report: Jets to cut DE Jason Babin
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:59 am ET) The Jets are expected to part ways with defensive lineman Jason Babin on Saturday, a source told the New York Daily News. Babin totaled 25 tackles and two sacks in 16 games last season.

Report: Redskins demote Robert Griffin III to third string
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:55 am ET) While Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is expected to make the team, he will start the season as the No. 3 quarterback on the depth chart, a source told the NFL Network.

Griffin has struggled during the preseason and has been dealing with lingering concussion symptoms. Colt McCoy is epected to backup Kirk Cousins to open the season. 


Report: Giants to cut WR James Jones
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:50 am ET) Wide receiver James Jones is expected to be among the cuts for the Giants on Saturday, a source told NFL.com.

Jones caught 73 passes for 666 yards and six touchdowns in 16 games last season for the Raiders. He spent his first seven years in the league with Green Bay.


Report: Colts to place DL Arthur Jones on IR
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:26 am ET) Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones is expected to be placed on injured reserve, which would end his 2015 season, a source told NFL.com. Jones underwent ankle surgery Friday.

Jones produced 23 tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in nine games last season.


Panthers cut WR Brenton Bersin on Saturday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:10 am ET) The Panthers released wide receiver Brenton Bersin on Saturday, reports ESPN.com. Bersin caught 13 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown in 15 games last season.

Report: Seahawks to waive RB Robert Turbin
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/4/2015) Seahawks running back Robert Turbin is expected to be waived with an injury designation, a source told NFL.com. Turbin is currently nursing an ankle injury, which will sideline him for five weeks.

Seahawks exploring trade for RB Christine Michael
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/4/2015) With the recent acquisition of Fred Jackson, the Seahawks are discussing trading running back Christine Michael, reports CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. Michael rushed for 175 yards on 34 carries in 10 games last season.

Tom Brady on Deflategate: I am sorry our league had to endure this
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/4/2015) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady released a statement about his role in Deflategate and was remorseful on the toll the case played on the sport.

"While I am pleased to be eligible to play, I am sorry our league had to endure this," Brady said. "I don't think it has been good for our sport - to a large degree, we have all lost. I am also sorry to anyone whose feelings I may have hurt as I have tried to work to resolve this situation."

After being suspended for four games, a judge overturned the suspension.


Report: Raiders to release QB Christian Ponder
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/4/2015) The Raiders are expected to part ways with quarterback Christian Ponder, a source told ESPN. Ponder was a first-round draft pick in 2011.

Colts acquire LB Sio Moore from Raiders
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9/4/2015) The Raiders traded linebacker Sio Moore to the Colts for a late-round draft pick in 2016, the Colts announced. Moore produced 90 tackles and three sacks in 11 games last season.

 
 
 
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