Saturday, August 16, 2008

Names You Should Know this year in fantasy football in 2008

Names You Should Know in Fantasy Football 2008
By Christopher Harris

You always knew Ryan Grant was going to be a fantasy stud.

No you didn't. Liar.

The same can be said of Derek Anderson, Earnest Graham, Dwayne Bowe, Kenny Watson, Justin Fargas, Kevin Walter, Kenton Keith and Kolby Smith. Each was well nigh undraftable last August, but each was a much-added fantasy entity early in the season.

Who's next?

Not all of these guys will wind up being fantasy factors in '08. But I'd bet at least one or two will.

Anthony Alridge, RB, Broncos: This spot would've been reserved for rookie Ryan Torain out of Arizona State, he broke his elbow and is out for at least two or three months. Alridge is an undrafted free agent who's made a positive enough impression that he's currently third on the depth chart, and we all know that in Mike Shanahan's world, anything can happen

David Clowney, WR, Jets: Hey, did you hear some guy named Brett Favre is a Jet now? And that he likes to go downfield just a little bit? The third-receiver job in New York is up for grabs, and the winner of that gig has the potential to be a touchdown maker.

Will Franklin, WR, Chiefs: He's 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, and runs a 4.39, so I can definitely see him supplanting the underwhelming Devard Darling opposite Dwayne Bowe.. If Herm Edwards has suddenly found an offense, Franklin might be a part of it.

Roy Hall, WR, Colts: Marvin Harrison is healthy. The Colts say it, so it must be true, right? But what if he goes down again? Sure, Anthony Gonzalez would be the primary beneficiary, but who becomes the third receiver? Hall is 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, and runs a 4.35. That makes him David Boston (before Boston got fat), but bigger and faster.

Tim Hightower, RB, Cardinals: When the Cardinals waived Marcel Shipp, Hightower, a rookie from Richmond, gained some street cred. He's 6-foot-1, 225 pounds, and coming off a 1,900-yard senior season. He's not fast or shifty, but he's powerful, and I'm betting he's the Cardinals' goal-line back.

Jason Hill, WR, 49ers: Mike Martz breeds fantasy stars. Who knew Mike Furrey's name before he got thrown into the Martz mix? Or Shaun McDonald's? Hill's got 4.32 speed and spectacular hands. He's injury-prone, but frankly, Hill reminds me of a slightly bigger version of the young Isaac Bruce.

Jalen Parmele, RB, Dolphins: A rookie out of Toledo who's 6 feet tall and 221 pounds, he was a punishing rusher in college and clocks in at a respectable 4.53. Consider the two men he's currently behind on the Miami depth chart: Ronnie Brown is coming off ACL surgery and you can insert your own Ricky Williams "doobage" joke here.

Antonio Pittman, RB, Rams: Steven Jackson is still holding out. He'll probably be in there by Week 1, but Pittman seems the likely starter if Jackson stays away. Cut by the Saints after last year's draft, he was solid as a backup for St. Louis last year, is a very good pass catcher and has nice elusiveness. The presence of fellow sophomore Brian Leonard would complicate things, but I'd prefer Pittman.

Marcus Thomas, RB, Chargers: Thomas, who was a fifth-rounder this spring out of UTEP, is a relatively big, very powerful runner with the kind of nice pass-catching hands the Chargers like. He's not fast enough to turn the corner, but then, neither is Jacob Hester. Alas, at the moment, LaDainian Tomlinson simply doesn't have a traditional handcuff any longer, but watch both Hester and Thomas.

Mike Walker, WR, Jaguars: Walker isn't huge and he isn't lightning, but he's a pretty good combination of size and speed: 6-foot-2, 209 pounds with a 4.45 40. Considering that Reggie Williams has already undergone knee surgery during training camp (he's expected back near the season's start), Jerry Porter will miss all of camp because of hamstring surgery, and Matt Jones has a cocaine-related trial date, Walker could step forward.

Christopher Harris is a fantasy baseball, football and racing analyst for He is a six-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner across all three of those sports. You can read the complete "10 players you've never heard of" for free on

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