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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.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fantasy football: The Favre Effect

While the Brett Favre circus takes on an even wilder life of its own (hint: Google "Brett Favre Deadspin"), the less-talked-about aspect isn't poor Tarvaris Jackson (Favre's backup, who may or may not be a starter in September), Brad Childress or anyone else left twisting in the diva-induced wind.

What about us -- the ones who have a fantasy football draft in the next two or three weeks and don't know if we're drafting the Sidney Rice of 2009 or the Sidney Rice who is battling a bad hip and might be playing in an offense that gets a lot more run-heavy?

Let's take a quick look at the potential impact of Favre not playing in 2010 on five key Vikings, none of whom is named Tarvaris Jackson, who is no more than a lower-level backup in a 12-team league.

-- Adrian Peterson, RB: He scored a career-high 18 touchdowns and caught a career-best 43 passes for 436 yards last season. However, the consensus 2009 No. 1 overall pick had his rushing yards drop from 1,760 in 2008 to 1,383 and he lost a career-worst five fumbles, giving him 12 in three years.

In point-per-reception leagues, Peterson could drop as low as No. 4 overall, behind Chris Johnson, Ray Rice and Maurice Jones-Drew. I wouldn't let Peterson get past me at No. 2, with or without the indecisive one.

-- Sidney Rice, WR: He had 83 receptions for 1,312 yards and eight TDs last year, after totaling 46 catches and eight scores in his first two NFL seasons. Rice isn't practicing because of the hip issue, but he says he'll ready for the regular-season opener.

Combine the injury with the possibility of Favre not playing, and Rice likely drops out of the top 20 at wide receiver. If he's healthy and Favre is as effective as he was last season, Rice is an ideal No. 2 wideout in fantasy.

-- Percy Harvin, WR: He had 60 receptions and six TDs as a rookie, and he should reach 1,000 yards and eight scores in Year 2. Draft Harvin as a No. 3 receiver in 12-team leagues and hope No. 4 is the one slinging passes in September.

-- Bernard Berrian, WR: If Rice is healthy, Berrian is a low-level No. 4 receiver in fantasy. If Favre retires, he's no better than a No. 5. However, should Favre play and Rice sit at the beginning of the season, Berrian -- who had a career-high 964 yards receiving and seven TDs in 2008 -- could be a late-round bargain.

-- Visanthe Shiancoe, TE: The notable difference between the 2008 Shiancoe and the 2009 version with Favre at QB was the tight end scored 11 TDs (Add short TD catches by the tight ends to training camp indecision, running down the sideline like a little kid and Rachel Nichols reporting live from Mississippi as Favre traditions).

Shiancoe was productive in 2008 (42 receptions, 596 yards and seven TDs), but with Jackson at QB, he is an upper-level backup in 10- and 12-team leagues.

For more fantasy updates, follow Kevin Kleps on Twitter.

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