Marques Colston: Icon SMI
Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported Friday that Marques Colston actually "underwent a microfracture surgical procedure on his left knee in January to repair a small hole he had worn in his kneecap."
Coach Sean Payton mentioned offhandedly in February that Colston wouldn't be ready for March OTAs due to his knee, but he failed to mention anything about microfracture surgery.
The wide receiver had the joint scoped last offseason and was ready for training camp, but microfracture is far more likely to limit a receiver. It's easier to recover from this procedure and play football than basketball, but this is something we'll all watch closely during training camp and the preseason.
This is particularly true because he missed six weeks last year with a torn thumb ligament but finished the season strongly, pulling in 22 passes for 306 yards and four touchdowns over the final three games.
As a sportswriter, I can never get enough of a story that's so ridiculously entertaining that no one would believe it if you made it up. Case in point: Jeremy Shockey, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune and TMZ, was taken to a hospital Sunday afternoon after being found unconscious at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. A league source indicated that Shockey was dehydrated, though he was released and is doing fine, the Times-Picayune noted.
That part of the story is easy to buy, if you read between the lines; Shockey probably had a little too much fun at the bar over Memorial Day weekend. But only a guy like Shockey could pass out from overdoing it at a pool party called "Rehab" and end up in the hospital. You can't make that stuff up.
More relevant to the fantasy crowd is whether an offseason of training with Drew Brees, and being healthy all offseason (Sunday's episode aside), will lead to a fantasy renaissance for Shockey in '09.
If he can stay healthy, he could be a draft-day steal. Even while playing hurt last season, Shockey caught at least four passes in five of his last six games. So there is hope, especially playing for a high-scoring team like the Saints. The real key to his value, though, will be finding a goal-line rhythm with Brees in '09. Shockey failed to score a single touchdown in '08 for the first time in his career.
As the NBA draft lottery last week was narrowed down to three teams (Clippers, Grizzlies and Thunder), I was only pulling for one thing: "Don't let the Clips get the top pick, please!"
No other franchise in NBA history has such an awful history of losing, screwing up draft picks and ruining careers as the Clippers. And I really didn't want to see Blake Griffin's career toasted before it even started.
But as we all know by now, the Clippers did get the No. 1 pick, and GM/coach Mike Dunleavy told the Los Angeles Times, "Clearly, we're taking Blake Griffin. This guy is the No. 1 pick. We're extremely excited. He's the guy."
It's nice to see the Clippers won't try to get cute and not take the consensus best player available. But I'm going to have to assume the worst from this bumbling franchise in the long run.
As for his potential fantasy impact out of the gate, he should be able to score and board easily when he's on the court. But the Clippers already have Marcus Camby, Chris Kaman and Zach Randolph on the frontcourt roster. Admittedly, they're all prone to missing game action, but unless one or two of those bigs are traded away, it's anyone's guess how much playing time Griffin might actually see on a regular basis.
And while their first No. 1 pick, Danny Manning, did manage two decent healthy seasons for the Clips (out of the five he was in L.A.), I'll leave you with the most damning evidence that the Clippers don't know what they're doing by simply mentioning their other top pick: Michael Olowokandi.
Brett Favre: AP
All the talk now is about whether we'll see Brett Favre in an NFL uni this year, specifically a purple one. He proved the past couple of years that even as he approaches his 40th birthday, the slinger can still be a useful fantasy quarterback.
But when Favre first exploded in statistical terms, it changed the way fantasy football was played.
We've grown used to seeing staggering touchdown totals like 50 from Tom Brady and 49 from Peyton Manning in recent years. However, the 38 TDs which Favre tallied in '95 was more than anyone else since Dan Marino (48 in '84, 44 in '86) -- and before that, Y.A. Tittle's 36 TDs in '63.
Most leagues back then gave six points for passing touchdowns and, as a result, most fantasy squads with Favre as QB won their leagues. Due to Favre's continued success at racking up TDs ('94-'98: 33, 38, 39, 35, 31), most leagues changed their scoring to reward TD passes with just four points to make play fairer for teams who didn't have Favre.
Obviously, that remains the standard today, where three QBs (Philip Rivers, Drew Brees and Kurt Warner) threw 30 or more TDs last season.