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News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pick three: Things we've learned in the NFL playoffs

We already knew the studio crews laugh at everything, Phil Simms talks too much, Shannon Sharpe should provide the audio for every highlight and Tony Siragusa's shtick wore out its welcome whenever it was he worked the sidelines for the second time.

The following we might not have been aware of until the last two weeks:

1. Felix Jones will be a high draft pick next season: In 20 regular-season games with the Cowboys, the second-year running back has averaged 6.5 yards per carry and has six touchdowns on 167 carries. In two playoff games, Jones rushed 30 times for 217 yards and a TD, and he caught four passes for 52 yards.

Marion Barber, who has never rushed for 1,000 yards in a season and has had back-to-back mediocre years, will still be around in 2010 to steal carries, especially at the goal line, but the guess here is the Cowboys will make Jones -- their first-round pick in 2008 -- the featured back.

2. Same goes for Shonn Greene: The Jets' postseason run has been only slightly more improbable than a fantasy development that will get much more notice next season. Greene, a rookie from Iowa who rushed for 540 yards in the regular season, has been the Jets' featured back in the playoffs, not Thomas Jones, who rushed for 1,402 yards and 14 scores in the regular season.

Jones has been hampered by a knee injury, allowing Greene to carry 44 times for 263 yards (6.0 per carry) and two TDs in two postseason games. Jones has 29 carries for 75 yards and a score in that span.

As is the case with the Cowboys, a 2010 time share is likely, but the explosive Greene is big enough (226 pounds) to absorb a 20-carry-per-game pounding. If Greene is allowed to be the workhorse, he should be considered an upper-level No. 2 back.

3. Ravens running back Ray Rice will get strong consideration as the No. 2 overall pick in point-per-reception leagues:
Chris Johnson, who became the sixth player in history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, has cemented his place as the top pick in any format next season. In PPR leagues, however, Rice probably is a better pick than Adrian Peterson, but would we be able to pull the trigger on such a move?

Consider the following numbers: Rice had 2,041 total yards, eight TDs and 78 receptions in the regular season. After Baltimore's bye week, he had 1,392 total yards in 10 games -- which equates to 2,227 yards for a 16-game season.

Peterson, meanwhile, had 1,819 total yards, 18 TDs and 43 catches for the Vikings. In TD-heavy scoring formats, he's a safer selection than Rice. In PPR formats, Rice, who doesn't turn 23 until Friday, would seem to be the pick.

Then there's this: Peterson hasn't rushed for 100 yards since Week 10 against the Lions.

Would I love to have him on my team? Yes. At the expense of Rice? We'll have to mull over that one this summer.

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