May 26, 2011
Welcome to another lockout-free edition of the Fantasy Guru Daily, where we forget about the agonizing labor dispute and instead focus on what we all want to focus on: football.
Surgery for Ward… At least the injury didn’t happen on “Dancing with the Stars.” We here at the Fantasy Guru Daily have done our best to avoid discussing the appearance of Steeler WR Hines Ward on the hit ABC show, and now that it’s over and he apparently won, we can focus on his football. Well, he will undergo surgery to repair ligament damage in his left thumb, and he’s apparently been dealing with the injury since the end of the 2010 season. It was a disappointing year for Ward, as he saw his involvement in the offense take a big hit, and he didn’t have much value for fantasy in most weeks. He had four 100-yard games but was ineffective in many other games in a passing offense that lacked rhythm all season. Instead, the focus was on the running game and taking shots with Mike Wallace downfield. After putting up 95/1167/6 in 2009, Ward’s numbers plummeted to 59/755/5 with an average of 6.6 FPG. As for the injury, he hasn’t missed a game since 2007.
Sanchez plans more workouts … Jet QB Mark Sanchez has taken on the leadership role expected of him and already successfully organized the second annual “Jets West” camp for skill players in Southern California a few weeks ago. Now, he says he hopes to organize full-team workouts if the lockout continues next month. Elsewhere in his NFL Network interview, he pointed out that his goal over the next few years is to become more consistent. His receivers probably agree. Speaking of them, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, and Brad Smith are all set for free agency, but Sanchez is hoping everyone is back – and that remains a possibility.
Benn making quick recovery … Although he was the higher pick, Buccaneer WR Arrelious Benn was the forgotten man last year as he made a slow transition and was overshadowed by emerging star Mike Williams. Benn had his moments, including 4/122 against the Redskins, but his season was cut short when he tore his ACL in Week Sixteen. Less than six months after the injury, Benn is working out with teammates such as QB Josh Freeman and TEs Kellen Winslow and Luke Stocker. Benn has also been working with personal trainers, who cleared him to run. He’s still not making quick cuts, but just being back on the field already is a huge step, especially this soon after the injury.
Avery healthy again … After missing the entire 2010 season because of a torn ACL, Ram WR Donnie Avery is apparently back at full speed and is “92-93 percent” recovered. In fact, he claims to have been timed at a blistering 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash last week. Avery had been working out in his hometown of Houston and now has joined several players in workouts at Lindenwood University. He averaged 6.6 FPG in 2008 and 5.7 FPG in 2009, and now he rejoins a crowded but mediocre receiving corps with the emerging Sam Bradford at QB. New OC Josh McDaniels likes to pass, so there should be plenty of room for receivers to get involved. However, the Rams drafted Greg Salas and Austin Pettis, and they join a receiving corps featuring WRs Brandon Gibson, Mark Clayton, Danario Alexander, Laurent Robinson, Danny Amendola, and Mardy Gilyard, as well as TEs Lance Kendricks, Michael Hoomanawanui, Daniel Fells, and Billy Bajema. Free agency could claim Fells and Robinson, while Clayton is expected to return. In other words, there will be plenty of competition in training camp.