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News From Around The NFL (6/4/2009)

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IJune 4, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 18:  Willis McGahee #23 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Championship game on January 18, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

With the Stanley Cup Finals in full swing and the NBA Finals getting ready to start it must be the first week of June, which means one thing Bruno Boys Nation; it’s time to start getting ready for fantasy football. We are less then two months away from your favorite teams and players reporting to training camp and fantasy football drafts are right around the corner.

Many of you may be playing fantasy baseball right now, but this is a crucial time of year to start preparing for the upcoming fantasy football season and the Bruno Boys are here to help with another look around the NFL.

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Marshall avoids another NFL suspension

For the second off-season in a row Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall has had a situation that lead to his arrest. Marshall was suspended for the Broncos Week 1 game in 2008 for multiple off the field issues, but he found out this week that he will not be suspended by the NFL this season for his latest arrest.

Marshall was arrested March 1, 2009 in Atlanta for an altercation with his fiancé. Charges were dropped the next day and the couple is continuing to make their wedding plans.

This is good news for Marshall, the Denver Broncos and fantasy football. Marshall is a Pro Bowl wide receiver who has posted back-to-back seasons with over 100 receptions, 1,200 yards and at least six touchdowns.

He was well on his way to elite receiver status in fantasy football, but there are some concerns now that the Broncos traded their Pro Bowl quarterback Jay Cutler to the Chicago Bears.

Plus Denver has an entirely new coaching staff that will be implementing a brand new offense. Even with all the changes Marshall is still a very good receiver who should be drafted as a low-end WR1, drafted in the third or fourth round of most fantasy football drafts.

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Westbrook misses OTA workout with sore ankle

Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrookmissed the teams OTA workout on Tuesday due to a sore ankle. Injuries are nothing new to Westbrook who has been plagued by them throughout his career, including 2008 when he was hampered by a knee injury which required off-season surgery.

According to head coach Andy Reid the sore ankle has nothing to do with the knee injury. Reid also stated that Westbrook was able to practice during the Eagles last camp and the knee was feeling good.

It appears that the Eagles are just being cautious with their star running back and for good reason. Westbrook is a versatile back who can both run and catch passes out of the backfield.

Continue to monitor this situation throughout the summer and in training camp, but if this is indeed just a sore ankle then Westbrook should be looked at as a RB1 and first round fantasy football pick heading into 2009.

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Breaston practices with the first team while Boldin holds out

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Steve Breastonmay be third on the depth chart, but with Anquan Boldin continuing to hold out of off-season workouts he is getting plenty of time practicing with the first team.

Breaston had a breakout year in 2008 when he had 77 receptions for 1,006 yards with three touchdowns and the longer Boldin holds out, the more time Breaston gets to work on his game with the first team.

Breaston is a speedy wide receiver who many believed wouldn’t be anything more then a backup wide receiver and a kick returner in the NFL, but in 2008 he showed that he has the skills to be a very good wide receiver in this league.

Consider Breaston a WR3 from a fantasy standpoint, likely drafted somewhere between rounds seven and ten in upcoming fantasy football drafts. The longer Boldin continues to hold out the more potential value there is for Breaston in 2009.

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McGahee reports to Ravens OTA workouts, practices with second team

Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGaheereported to the teams OTA workouts on Tuesday after missing mini camp last week. He missed last week’s mini camp while recovering from off-season arthroscopic knee surgery. McGahee practiced with the second team on Tuesday, but don’t read too much into it.

This was his first workout with the team during the off-season and second year running back Ray Rice has been practicing with the first team during all the Raven’s off-season workouts.

McGahee did not wear a red practice jersey during the workout, which should indicate that the knee is doing fine. He will likely be the Ravens opening day starter, but he will have Rice right on his heels.

McGahee lost starts last season to Le’Ron McClain (who has been moved to fullback this year) and if he is not careful he could lose starts to Rice this season. Consider McGahee a RB3 at this time, this is a crowded backfield without a clear-cut favorite.

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Thomas adds ten pounds, wants to be Saints power back

New Orleans Saints running back Pierre Thomas has added about 10 pounds during the off-season and said he would like to play at around 225 pounds in 2009 (he played at about 215 pounds in 2008). He envisions himself as the power back to compliment speed back Reggie Bush in the Saints high powered offense.

The Saints running game has ranked 28th each of the past two seasons, a number they desperately need to improve if they want to take that next step towards winning the NFC South title and make a deep playoff run.

The Saints have lacked a power compliment to Bush since Deuce McAllister suffered a season ending knee injury Week 3 of the 2007 season. Bush and McAllister made a formidable one-two punch for the Saints in 2006.

Thomas believes with his added size that he can be the back New Orleans has been missing since the injury to McAllister. Thomas led the team in rushing in 2008 with 129 rushes for 625 yards with nine touchdowns, while starting five games. He also added 31 receptions for 284 yards with three touchdowns.

If Thomas remains in line to start at running back along with Reggie Bush, he should be considered a low-end RB2 who will likely go off the boards somewhere between rounds three and four.

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