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My USA Today Article (1 Viewer)

David Dodds

Administrator
I have a nice opportunity to write a small article for the USA Today newspaper. The article will be 400-450 words and the slant they are looking for is mid-year fantasy awards. Specifically they want these four categories:

MVP

Biggest Bust (non-season-ending injury...ie don't want guys like Brady here)

Most Improved

Best Value

Obviously I could just sit down and pen this, but I thought I would probably end up with a better article if I took input from the boards. Besides naming names for the above awards, let's hear your reasons on why they deserve them.

I owe the article by 4pm ET on Wednesday and it will appear in the Thursday edition. Thanks in advance for those that help me create this.

 
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MVP (or more like most unheralded MVP) = Portis

Biggest Bust = Adrian Peterson

Most Improved = Rivers or Rodgers

Best Value = Turner, Forte

I'd try to avoid writing what everyone else would write, and try to come up with something a little different. Something that will make people want to visit footballguys.com. :violin:

 
Biggest Bust = Adrian PetersonI'd try to avoid writing what everyone else would write, and try to come up with something a little different. Something that will make people want to visit footballguys.com. :violin:
Peterson's on pace for 1700 yards and double digit touchdowns. I'm not sure what you were expecting, but hardly bust numbers even for a player taken #1 overall. You definitely came up with something "different," I'm just not sure it's going to want to make anyone visit footballguys.com.
 
MVP

Clinton Portis, RB WAS. He was most likely drafted at the tail end of the first, which meant you had a high second to take your second back or top receiver. He's just crushing this year and is on track for 2,000 yards rushing.

Biggest Bust (non-injury)

Peyton Manning, QB IND. I guess it could be argued that he's playing injured, but one thing is for certain: if you drafted him in the first, he's not delivering what you need.

Most Improved

Roddy White, WR ATL. White showed his skills last year, but nearly everyone assumed his numbers would regress with a rookie signal caller throwing him the ball. Quite the opposite. White is flourishing with Ryan and proving week in and week out to be a solid #1 FF WR.

Best Value

Kurt Warner, QB ARI. Warner wasn't drafted in a lot of early-draft leagues as he didn't win the starting job until week three of the preseason. Warner has been a boon to any team lucky enough to snag him up, as the rest of his owner's squads are likely solid at RB and WR.

 
MVP = Portis

He was drafted at the end of round 1 or beginning of round 2 and is clearly outproducing everyone taken ahead of him save for a healthy Brian Westbrook.

Biggest Bust = Larry Johnson or Ryan Grant (assuming you leave Brady off the list)

These guys were drafted right around Portis in some leagues as a borderline #1/#2 RB. LJ was lost in a terrible offense and now may not finish the season because of off-field problems. Ryan Grant looked nothing like the guy who finished the season at RB for GB last year and has only 1 td thus far.

Most Improved = Kyle Orton

Orton probably went undrafted in most redraft leagues and has become one of the more dependable QBs. He has brought an aerial attack to a team that has been lacking one for a long time.

Best Value = Chris Johnson or Kurt Warner

Warner went undrafted in many leagues and has been consistently among the top-scoring qbs from week to week. CJ3 went late as well and he is outperforming guys drafted in the 1st 2 rounds on a consistent basis.

 
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MVP: Portis

Biggest Bust (non-injury): Ryan Grant or Braylon Edwards

Most Improved: Kyle Orton

Best Value: Steve Slaton

 
MVP - Portis

Bust - Ryan Grant, Derek Anderson

MIP - Santana Moss, Kyle Orton, Roddy White

Value (Kinda goes with improved?) - Brees as the QB3-5

 
MVP = Clinton Portis - I believe he may be the only non-QB to score double digits every week. That's incredibly important.

honorable mention = Frank Gore, Marion Barber

Biggest Bust = Larry Johnson - Completely erratic on the field and can't stay out of trouble off it. Biggest first round non-injury bust.

honorable mention = Torry Holt, Braylon Edwards

Most Improved = Roddy White - dude went from a post-fourth round flyer to a top 5-10 WR. Kid is a stud.

Honorable mention = Lendale White, Santana Moss

Best value = Kurt Warner - top 3 QB taken in the 8th round or later. Pick of most drafts IMO.

Honorable mention = Santana Moss, Chris Johnson

 
Kudos on the opportunity to post the article in a national read rag...I might even pick up a copy...

MVP - Phillip Rivers - has 19 passing TDs on the year and was never anticipated to be this good with LT2 running the ball

Biggest Bust (non-injury) - Santonio Holmes - all the hype going into the 2008 season after a very nice 2007 likely made a number of FF owners take him as their #1 WR to all have him get suspended for one game and have one TD on the season.

Most Improved - Jason Campbell - after a mediocre season in 2007, he has 1,754 passing yards (tied for 7th with Peyton Manning) and eight TDs (tied 14th in the league with McNabb and O'Sullivan). The real clincher should be his zero interceptions, which is best in the league (next comparable based on number of attempts would be McNabb with three INTs on the season)

Best Value - DeAngelo Williams - many thought Jonathan Stewart would be the guy in Carolina after he was drafted in the first round. Williams has become more determined to prove naysayers wrong and was likely picked up as a 3RB in most drafts.

 
I don't see how Roddy White would be the Most Improved. He is having a great season, but he had 83 catches and 1,200 yards last year, so it is not like he is suddenly playing great; he was great last year, too. He is just being give, more attention because the Falcons are doing better as a team and he is scoring more.

 
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MVP = Philip Rivers In a year where the QB position has been so unpredictable, many teams got this guy late and have been rewarded with a top 3 fantasy QB. Plus, bonus points for coming back strong so soon after ACL surgery.

Biggest Bust = Braylon Edwards After such a monster season last year, he's been terrible. It would be one thing if it was just Anderson being lousy, but Edwards has been dropping passes since Week 1. And chances are he went in the middle to high second round in many drafts. Almost went with Ocho Cinco here.

Most Improved = Kyle Orton He's gone from Grossman's backup to a possible every week fantasy starter, especially in 12-team leagues.

Best Value = Kurt Warner He got drafted very late in each of the leagues I participate in, and he's a top 5 fantasy QB in every one of them.

 
I don't see how Roddy White would be the Most Improved. He is having a great season, but he had 83 catches and 1,200 yards last year, so it is not like he is suddenly playing great; he was great last year, too. He is just being give, more attention because the Falcons are doing better as a team and he is scoring more.
:wub:
 
MVP has to be Portis. Drafted very high, come up huge, carried teams. I don't really like going with a boom/bust pick here. Sure cj3 in the 12th round might be working out great, but I think you have to go with a guy taken in the first two rounds. A need you needed to come up big or you were in a really bad spot.

Bust, has to be chad johnson. He's a good pick because hes well known, talks trash, and has been horrible. Biggest flop of the year, isn't even in the top 50 WRs.

Impoved, gotta go with White. Having just a monster year, is now an elite WR.

Best Value. Might be Brees. Was taken after Manning, Romo, Brady, but is just killing it. Rivers is close for where you took him. Roddy White could be in there. I do like the Warner pick. Rodgers too.

I'd probably go with Portis, Chad, White, Brees.

 
MVP: Portis - #1 ranked rb is having a monster season and has been amazingly consistent, putting up double digits every week after week 1.

Biggest Bust: LJ - Other than 1 spectacular game, he has been a huge disappointment to say the least. Now it appears he may miss the rest of the season due to suspension, so he doesn't even have trade value anymore.

Most Improved: Rivers - Has gone from being a borderline starting QB in fantasy to the #1 scoring fantasy QB in the league.

Best Value: Chris Johnson - Could be had in the middle to late rounds of just about every fantasy draft and has been a difference maker the entire season starting in week 1. Thus far he's averaging more ppg than fantasy studs like LT, Addai, LJ, Bush, Lynch, MJD, and even ADP, who were all drafted much higher.

 
I don't see how Roddy White would be the Most Improved. He is having a great season, but he had 83 catches and 1,200 yards last year, so it is not like he is suddenly playing great; he was great last year, too. He is just being give, more attention because the Falcons are doing better as a team and he is scoring more.
:tinfoilhat:
He was ranked 14th last year, now he's rank 2. That's called, uh, improvement? And a lot of it.
 
MVP - Portis or Brees

Most Improved - KYLE ORTON

Bust - Addai

Value - Orton? Santana Moss

I really don't see how value is different from improved.

 
MVP - Drew Brees - No one can deny the numbers he's putting up in New Orleans. He has proven himself to be, without a doubt, THE most important person on that team. Colston and Shockey were out and his numbers hardly showed it. Reggie Bush got injured and he just beat the San Diego Chargers with amazing numbers once again. Fantasy-wise, he has been one of the lone QBs to produce at or above their expectations and, amidst this year's plethora of QB busts and unfortunate injuries, he's the lone shining star for that position.

Biggest Bust - Considering expectations and circumstances, I would say Braylon Edwards. He was a consensus WR1 before the season. I would also consider Randy Moss but I would think that you can pull out the "indirect injury" card with him because of what happened to Brady. Braylon, however, has been returning to old form and has been dropping passes and just plain playing bad.

Most Improved - Most improved from last year? Or for this season?

From last year, I would say Philip Rivers. He has been outstanding fantasy-wise this year as compared to last year's stats. He has managed to keep the Chargers in contention throughout LT's injury woes. It'll be interesting to see how their situation pans out now that LT is showing signs of life.

Honorable mention goes to Lee Evans who had a mediocre season, at best, last year. This year, he is proving that he can be counted on to provide consistently good numbers.

As far as this year? My vote goes to David Garrard. The Jaguars started off on the wrong foot and that caused initial issues with Garrard. However, since then, their O-line has begun to gel and give David Garrard more time to do what he wants. He has been playing very well as of late.

Honorable mention goes to Bernard Berrian. After starting so horribly that some owners were talking of dropping him (some did, btw), he has recently been putting up decent numbers and seems to only be getting better.

Best Value - Kurt Warner - Not quite sure what his ADP was, but I'm assuming it was around or past double-digit territory. He has been lights out at a position that has had quite some disappointments this year. Sure, there's an injury risk there, but it hasn't happened (knock on wood) and he's got quite an arsenal of WRs to go to battle with.

Again, you can throw in Matt Forte and Chris Johnson into the honorable mention category but I still stand by my vote for Kurt.

 
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MVP - Portis or BreesMost Improved - KYLE ORTONBust - AddaiValue - Orton? Santana Moss I really don't see how value is different from improved.
I would imagine based on the place he normally would be selected in a draft and his current output.
 
I don't see how Roddy White would be the Most Improved. He is having a great season, but he had 83 catches and 1,200 yards last year, so it is not like he is suddenly playing great; he was great last year, too. He is just being give, more attention because the Falcons are doing better as a team and he is scoring more.
:clap:
He was ranked 14th last year, now he's rank 2. That's called, uh, improvement? And a lot of it.
In the Gladiator league I am in, Kyle Orton ranked 52nd last year. This year, he is 8th. That is more of an improvement. :wub: :bow:No one is saying that White hasn't improved. He has, especially in regards to touchdowns. But he is not THE most improved player; at least I do not think he is.Also, it is very possible that Orton wasn't drafted in most leagues (or in the last rounds, at best), while White was still a top 20 WR pick in most leagues.
 
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MVP - gotta go with Portis here too - he's been steady week in and week out - even in non-ppr leagues

Biggest Bust - I'd go Braylon Edwards - take away the one big game and he has been unstartable.

Most Improved - Reggie Bush

Best value - Kurt Warner or Matt Forte

 
MVP - Unquestionably Portis IMO.

Biggest Bust - Toss up between LJ and V Davis. Kind of tough to put VD on here since TE's usually dont hurt a team as much as othe rpositions if they become busts, but my lord is he useless this year. Some people were high on him before the season (myself included), but for all the hype, he sucks!

Most Improved - Rivers. He went from a marginal starter to the best QB so far.

Best Value - Forte, Chris Johnson. Makes sense that rookies who are having a great start so far represent the best value. No one knew what to expect. Getting them in the middle round too. I would also mention Portis here. Getting him in the late 1st/early 2nd also represents great value.

 
MVP - Drew Brees. Can carry a team like no other. When he has one of his monster games, his team should win.

Biggest Bust - Joseph Addai. Yea hes hurt now, but he was a consensus top 5 guy that was not even coming close to producing like one.

Most Improved - Santana Moss. Should be unanimous. #1 wr coming off a brutal year. Nobody saw this coming.

Best Value - Kurt Warner. #2 qb to Brees this year. Most likely drafted around the qb20 mark.

 
MVP -- Portis

Bust -- (non Injury) Manning (unless you consider the preseason surgery). If not manning, then B Edwards

Most Improved -- Roddy White

Best Value -- Anyone of the rookie RBs not named McFadden.

 
MVP- Portis

Bust- Ryan Grant.......and its not close

MIP- Orton

Value- Slaton

MVP and Value should go Hand in Hand IMO. You could very easily put Portis in the value slot, just like Brady last year was a fo sho MVP and probably the best value pick. Portis prolly doesnt get you "enough" value, but had he been mid second round early 3rd he would hold the Value spot as well.

Most Improved....are they talking from last year or as the season goes on.

 
I don't see how Roddy White would be the Most Improved. He is having a great season, but he had 83 catches and 1,200 yards last year, so it is not like he is suddenly playing great; he was great last year, too. He is just being give, more attention because the Falcons are doing better as a team and he is scoring more.
:unsure:
He was ranked 14th last year, now he's rank 2. That's called, uh, improvement? And a lot of it.
He certainly has improved but I can think of a few guys who I think have improved more than White.
 
I don't see how Roddy White would be the Most Improved. He is having a great season, but he had 83 catches and 1,200 yards last year, so it is not like he is suddenly playing great; he was great last year, too. He is just being give, more attention because the Falcons are doing better as a team and he is scoring more.
:unsure:
He was ranked 14th last year, now he's rank 2. That's called, uh, improvement? And a lot of it.
He certainly has improved but I can think of a few guys who I think have improved more than White.
Can't wait to see your list.
 
MVP - Clinton Portis. Hes' raised his game a notch and has provided those with late Round 1 draft choices the opportunity to double up with a potential highly productive WR grabbed at the Top of Round 2. Honorable Mention: Drew Brees

Biggest Bust - Joseph Addai. I know he's been injured, but he was a shell of himself before going down and was having no impact. Drafted in the 5-7 range, his failures have probably ground it's drafting teams running attacks to a halt. Honorable Mention: Ryan Grant

Most Improved - Michael Turner. A little unfair as his role in SD was subserviant while he is the main man in Atlanta. But even with Jerious Norwood, he's on pace for 330 carries and his bruising style has been critical in making the Falcons run game relevant again. Honorable Mention: Kyle Orton

Best Value - Kurt Warner. Depending upon when your draft was, you may have either gotten Warner off the FA pile after the draft or were wise enough to spend a late draft pick on him foreseeing the implosion of Matt Leinart. Either way, from a fantasy perspective, Warner has been a hair worse than Drew Brees without having to spend the 2nd/3rd round pick on him. Honorable Mention: Steve Slaton

 
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MVP: Brees (without him Saints are nothing and he's top QB in FF and NFL)

Biggest bust:Larry Johnson(for a top 18 pick a waste and no excuse for team overall,he did good before with a weak OL)

Most improved: Rivers (with LT hurting some he did great to try to win games passing)

Best Value: A.Johnson WR Houston

 
MVP: Brees/Portis

Biggest Bust: Addai

Most Improved: Rivers

Best Value: Roddy White/ Jennings

 
Congrats on the article. My take:

MVP: Portis

Tough call as noone truly jumps out from a point per game perspective at any position. I vote for him based on consistency week in and week out. He has only had 1 game under 10 points so far (in week 1). He is pretty reliable. I agree he is having a monster season running the ball but his lack of receiving numbers levels the playing field a little.

Bust: Torry Holt

There are alot of options here but even though LJ has not been great he had 2 weeks early where he could have carried a team to a victory. Grant has underperformed but hasn't been terrible. Derek Anderson and Edwards have had a game or two of productivity. As bad as Chad Johnson has been, Holt has been worse. He currently ranks 51st at the wr position with 289 yards and 1 td.

Most Improved: Vincent Jackson

He seems to have finally fulfilled on the expectations. He ranks 13th at the wr position with 538 yards and 4 td. There are alot of ways you can go with this category. White and Jennings have gone from nice #2's to bonafides # 1's. Rivers has improved tremendoulsy but Jackson has had the hype for a few years now and has finally started to come into his own

Best Value: Phillip Rivers

Either the #1 or #2 qb in nearly every league, depending on your scoring. He leads the league in td passes and had an ADP of the 9th round. Looking at what has happened at the qb position outside of Brees with injuries to Brady and Romo, and Manning playing through them, Rivers has been great.

 
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Torry Holt has to be in the mix for biggest bust, though he is a less thrilling choice for print. Other guys like Chad Johnson had red flags before the season, deservedly or not, but almost everyone mindlessly plugged Holt into his annual Top 15 WR ranking... and he has been garbage. Regardless of who has been at QB, before and after the emergence of Avery, at home and away. Garbage.

edit: simultaneous Holt Hate!

 
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MVP: Portis for reasons already mentioned.

Bust: I gotta say Braylon Edwards. Most people drafted him as their top WR and he's probably single handedly ruined most of those teams.

Improved: This category is tricky for me to comprehend since there is also a "Value" category. I'll assume this means an improvement we all saw coming since if it was unexpected by most of us they would be "Value". That being said, Steve Smith is making us quickly forget about a down season last year. I also really like the mention of Jason Campbell, Kyle Orton, and I'll add Trent Edwards.

Value: Normally I think QB position for "best value" since most of us sharks wait until the later rounds to do just that. This year Warner, Rivers, and Rodgers have all represented tremendous draft day value. Otherwise for RB/WR I really like Roddy White and Chris Johnson who have been absolute mid-round gems. Toss in TE Owen Daniels here also.

 
Forgot to say in my past post David..cheers :bag: on getting this chance for USA Today papers.

I recall when I ran out the door just to buy USA Today on a Monday morning to see the stats from Sundays games..no internet back then like now.

 
I have a nice opportunity to write a small article for the USA Today newspaper. The article will be 400-450 words and the slant they are looking for is mid-year fantasy awards. Specifically they want these four categories:MVPBiggest Bust (non-season-ending injury...ie don't want guys like Brady here)Most ImprovedBest ValueObviously I could just sit down and pen this, but I thought I would probably end up with a better article if I took input from the boards. Besides naming names for the above awards, let's hear your reasons on why they deserve them.I owe the article by 4pm ET on Wednesday and it will appear in the Thursday edition. Thanks in advance for those that help me create this.
MVP, FF wise, Brees has carried a bunch of my teams so I'd have to guess him here. Bust-Ocho Cincomost improved-is roddy elite now? Trent Edwards is an interesting choice here. Big big improvement, Lance Moore or Breaston or CamarilloValue-either titans RB. could be a few of the latter most improved guys as they were probably only drafted super late, if at allBest of luck with this opportunity David
 
MVP - Portis, alot of people wrote him off the last 2 years. So far he has fantastic.

Biggest Bust - Ocho Stinko, Larry Johnson and Ryan Grant. If all 3 were in the same room, could you really distinguish which one stinks more?

Most Improved - Orton. He was on the WW as late as the 3rd game in my 12 team league.

Best Value - Slaton and Chris Johnson. No way to I expect either to be flirting with top 10 status.

 
MVP - Portis - for all the reasons stated

Addai - a top 5 pick, hurt again, 3.5 ypc for 216 yards, 5 - 29 receiving in 5 games which extrapolates to under 800 yards for the season. Just terrible and will likely be in a RBBC when he returns.

Most Improved - Calvin Johnson. He put it all together this year and will be a top 5 player as long as he's healthy.

Best value - Forte. He's a top 5 RB through his bye week and was probably taken in the 6th+ round and is surrounded in the standings by 1st and 2nd round picks.

 
MVP: Aaron Rodgers: In a year when QB's have been down, Rodgers has been nothing short of spectacular. He averages 25 ppg in standard scoring leagues while scoring less than 20 points only twice. Hes played through pain and led the Packers back from an emotionally draining offseason. FF Teams that picked him late were able to utilize early round picks on RB's and WR's/

Biggest Bust - Braylon Edwards: He was drafted by many at the 1-2 turn ahead of guys like Reggie Wayne, Larry Fitzgerald. And hes been miserable, leading the league in dropped passes and epitomizing the Browns downard spiral this year.

Most Improved - Greg Jennings: Last year he was primarilly a big play threat, but this year hes expanded his game to become a more reliable intermediate receiver as well. Hes on pace to record 85 receptions this year as the primary target for Aaron Rodgers. As many as 20 other WR's were drafted before him, but hes still the #1 receiver in FF this year.

Best Value- Kurt Warner: Either Undrafted or selected as a late-round backup in most leagues, Warner is among the top 5 players in FF this year. In a year when Manning, Brady, Palmer, Roethlisberger and Anderson have ALL underperformed as top 7 QB's, Warner's production has been that much more dramatic.

 
MVP: Brees. But you could argue Marshall or Warner because they were drafted much later and allowed other

Bust: Braylon, MJD, Anderson, Holt

Improved: Rivers, Rodgers

Value: CJ3, Slaton, Warner, Rodgers, Cutler, Marshall, Vincent Jackson

 
I really think LJ is unequivocably the biggest bust right now. Braylon Edwards, Grant, and Holt are right there, but here are the reasons LJ is a bigger bust than these 3 guys.

While Edwards and Grant are comparable busts to LJ based on performance, these guys both still hold some trade value right now -- if you're sick of their underperforming ways you can still get another player in exchange for them. LJ has absolutely no trade value right now. At the present, you're not going to be able to get a good kicker for LJ. Also, at least Edwards and Grant have a chance to turn it around the second half of the season. All signs point to LJ's season being effectively over.

Holt may not have much trade value either, but he's still playing, unlike LJ. Also, Holt was drafted at least 1 or 2 rounds lower than LJ in most draft. LJ was a 1st or high 2nd round pick in most drafts.

 
MVP: CPortis

Biggest Bust (non-injury): Ryan Grant, Braylon Edwards,

Most Improved: Rivers, Kyle Orton, Roddy White

Best Value: Steve Slaton, LenDale White, DeAngelo Williams (if you know what weeks to start him), Chris Johnson, Bernard Berrian, Roddy White, Kurt Warner

 
MVP: another vote for CPortis

HM: Brees, AJ

Most Improved: Orton or Rivers

Bust: Bray or Ocho

Best Value - Kurt Warner; top 5 QB value that went very late or undrafted; that's why FBG always suggests to wait on a QB in your draft.

HM: Slaton, Aaron Rodgers

As an added feature, why not give them your second half of the season prognistications for the same categories?!?!?

 
First - congrats on the opportunity!

MVP - Portis, with a tip of the cap to Brees

Bust - Holt and Ocho in a photo finish

Improved - Trent Edwards

Value - Orton, with a tip of the cap to Warner

 
For MVP I picked Brees over Portis because Brees has nothing...no DT..no RB (most of Bush's scoring is by passing) and injuries galore for Wr's on the Saints, but Brees is still top QB in FF for mid-season. Portis would of been my second pick for MVP..but Washington does have a nice DT and so-so passing game so my opinion had to go with Brees.

 
MVP - Clinton Portis

Biggest Bust - Ryan Grant, Braylon Edwards and Chad 'Ocho Stinko' Johnson

Most Improved - Santana Moss

This is the only one that hasn't been said, but if you look at the stats, they're pretty impressive.

His output for PPR in 06 and 07 was 161.1 and 178.2 in 14 games. This year over 8? 140.5. He was written off as a mid-rounder that was streaky at the beginning of the year and right now he's a legit #1 WR with only 3 games under 20 points. He's on pace to smash his last couple of years scoring even if he misses another game or two.

Best Value - Steve Slaton / Kurt Warner

 
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MVP - Clinton Portis

Biggest Bust - Ryan Grant

Most Improved - Roddy White, Kyle Orton, Santan Moss

Best Value - Kurt Warner

 
Good stuff in here.

I think you should add the "toughest mo fo" award and give it to Boldin.

 

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