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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, September 15, 2011

Fantasy football: Buy and sell

In this week's column for the print and Web editions of the News-Herald (spend the extra 75 cents on Saturday!), we will have an expanded sale.

Our three big purchases, if you will, concern Ray Rice, Brandon Marshall and the Panthers' Steve Smith (not the former Giant who was held without a catch last week in his Eagles debut). Our three sales involve Reggie Wayne, DeAngelo Williams and Chad Ochocinco.

None of which is to say we're down on Wayne and we're stating the obvious -- that Rice, Smith and Marshall are good. It involves predictions -- for example, buying that Peyton Hillis won't rush for 1,000 yards this season (don't worry, Browns fans, this isn't one of our beliefs) or selling the possibility of Steven Jackson ever staying healthy.

Anyway, here are two more predictions that didn't make the column because of space constraints.


Tim Hightower will be a top-20 fantasy running back.

Hightower had 25 of Washington's 26 rushing attempts in Week 1, and he proved in 2008 and '09 with Arizona that he can be an effective source of touchdowns (a combined 18 on the ground in those two years). Hightower is capable of being a big asset in the passing game (he had 63 receptions in 2009), and he averaged 4.8 yards per carry in 2010.

Granted, he plays for Mike Shanahan, who has toyed with our emotions at running back before. But Week 1, in which Hightower had 97 total yards, one TD and three receptions, seems to be a sign of good things to come.


Assuming Matthew Stafford can stay healthy, he's a top-10 quarterback.

Yes, that's a big assumption regarding Stafford, who played in three games last season and 10 in 2009, his rookie year. Stafford threw for 305 yards, three TDs and an interception Sunday at Tampa Bay, and, dating back to last season, he has 757 yards passing, nine TDs and two picks in his last three games.

This week, the Lions play host to the Chiefs, who were torched by Ryan Fitzpatrick last week, so you should consider Stafford a must-start this week.

Regardless, Stafford has thrown as many interceptions as touchdown passes (22) in his brief career. He could be great. He could be mediocre. He could be on injured reserve by Week 4.

If you drafted Stafford as a backup, my advice is sell high.

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