Steven Jackson: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
That giant, collective "phew" you're hearing is the sound of fantasy owners everywhere exhaling now that Steven Jackson has returned to Rams camp. With each day he failed to report, Jackson's stock slipped a bit further from the lofty heights almost every fantasy expert, including SI.com's Greg Ambrosius, placed him in. Rest easy, Jackson owners. Not only is Jackson back in time to start the regular season, but he likely has a new fat contract on the way to please him and may actually benefit from missing the pounding of training camp, speculates the Fantasy Kickoff. And if he doesn't get a new deal signed all that quickly, well, there are few motivators better than playing for a contract. We don't know if we would call his name before Brian Westbrook's -- after all, the Rams likely won't be good this season -- but he shouldn't fall any lower than fifth.
More than a few fantasy titles have been won on the backs of players poached from the waiver wire. Jon Williams at RotoExperts.com takes a crack at figuring out which players plucked from obscurity this season have the tools to make a lasting impact beyond this year and which do not.
There are few stories Mike Florio at Pro Football talk doesn't break or get to the bottom of. But who knew that man could offer some scoops about the fantasy aspect of the NFL. Over the past few weeks, PFT has offered up his rankings in each position, from running backs to quarterbacks to wideouts to tight ends to defenses.
With Olympic baseball coming to an end after the Beijing games, Japan is fielding as sterling a lineup as it can muster, reports Baseball HQ. That means there is plenty of prospecting to be done for the savvy (obsessed?) fantasy player. Starter Kenshin Kawakami and reliever Hitoki Iwase have already crossed many a radar screen, but the list of prospects doesn't end there.
Ricky Williams: Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI
So, Ronnie Brown is out and Ricky Williams is in as the Dolphins starting running back. Color us skeptical about the whole situation. As analyzed by KFFL's Bryce McRae, the Dolphins don't seem overly committed to Williams and Brown has too sordid a history of injuries to be counted on. In other words, steer clear of the Miami backfield as long as you can.
NBA training camps are a little more than a month away. What better way to pass the long few weeks before roundball season tips off than with a mock draft. Dropping Dimes obliges with the first five picks and more as they roll in. We can't say the first three picks surprise us, but No. 4 offers something to think about.
Only two owners in your fantasy draft are getting Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. So where does that leave the rest of us? Gambling as to whom we feel can outperform expectations. Chris Eakin at Fantasy Football Today thinks he has some insight into that, by looking at which QBs produced the most fantasy points per pass attempt last season. That's good news for anyone who rolls the dice on Jake Delhomme or David Garrard this season. It isn't for Alex Smith owners, if there are any of you out there.
Ever dreamt of playing fantasy football against a Hall of Fame safety, Sports Illustrated football writer, Major League Baseball general manager, world-renowned swimsuit model, professional poker player or best-selling author -- to name a few? SI.com, in conjunction with Facebook, will welcome someone into its 2008 Celebrity Fantasy League where one lucky fan matches weekly wits, from Draft Day to the Fantasy Bowl, with Ronnie Lott, Peter King, Oakland A's GM Billy Beane, supermodel Brooklyn Decker, poker great Phil Gordon and Michael Lewis, author of the sabremetrician-friendly book, Moneyball. Time's running out, though, so click here and register today! As a consolation prize for the contest non-winners, you can create new leagues and develop newer rivals on the new SI/Facebook fantasy game.
At long last, SI.com has a fantasy football game, complete with all of the drafts, waiver wires, stats and analysis you need. Take the grand tour here and sign up a league. Heck, sign up two leagues if you want. We'll be waiting.