Daily Haze, fantasy football, NFL, sports news

If fantasy football was the stock market and fantasy owners were stockholders, yesterday would have provided an early retirement for Jonathan Stewart and Jimmy Graham owners.

In keeper/dynasty formats, patience with these two commodities paid significant dividends. The Panthers did not franchise DeAngelo Williams, allowing him to hit the free agent market next month, and the Saints cut veteran tight end Jeremy Shockey, clearing the way for Graham as a starter.

For Stewart owners, this move has been a long time coming. Even when Williams was tearing up the fantasy scene, fantasy owners clearly could see the potential of JStew. When Williams went down with injuries during the 2009 season, Stewart had a fantasy playoff run to remember (it won me a championship, and I am sure there were several others).

Now, it appears Stewart gets his shot to tote the rock full time in Carolina. Even better for Stewart, the Panthers used the franchise tag on starting center Ryan Kalil.

Graham, meanwhile, takes over as the Saints’ No. 1 pass-catching tight end — a lucrative position. Consider what Antonio Gates was able to accomplish early in his career with Drew Brees at quarterback.

Not saying Graham is going to equal Gates, that would be quite the accomplishment. But look at what he did in limited fashion this year: 31 catches, 356 yards and five touchdowns. And most of that came during weeks 9 – 17, when he starting getting more playing time because of injuries to the other Saints’ tight ends.

Here are today’s great reads:

  • We have a NFL mock draft update coming for y’all soon. Lots of things have changed since I published The Hazean’s first mock draft a few weeks ago (Champ Bailey resigning in Denver last night, for starters). Stay tuned for our latest incarnation.
  • Speaking of the NFL Draft, it is pretty obvious at this point that Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert are the top two quarterback prospects in the field. Once upon a time, however, many thought that Ryan Mallett would be the top QB taken in the NFL Draft. Now there are some concerns about Mallett’s off-the-field behavior. [ProFootballTalk]
  • One more shameless plug before I go … Sign up for The Hazean’s March Madness challenge. $25 gift card to the winner, $50 if the group reaches 100+.

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