Admit it, fellas, you want it. You crave it. You actually need it. Dude, you're sick. Instead of a fantasy where you jump into a Jessica sandwich between slices of Simpson and Alba, your dream scenario this time of year involves...fantasy football. On second thought, perhaps I see your point. At least the latter will keep you going through Christmas. The other one, not nearly as long.
"From everything we can tell, fantasy football is good for the NFL," says Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. "I don't own a team, but I've consulted my family and even showed up at a couple of drafts. It's a lot of fun."
And, let's face it, the paper version of Unfair Park didn't send me here to Oxnard, California, to gauge Mount Owens' first eruption or pinpoint Mike Vanderjagt's accuracy from 45 yards on the left hashmark. No, I'm mandated to ship back fantasy tips for the millions of geeks preparing for their drafts later this month. So, if you trust me more than sites like this or this or this or this--and you should--allow me to drop some Cowboys knowledge on your fantasy football frontal lobes. They're after the jump. --Richie Whitt
Drew Bledsoe: Thirty-four-year-old quarterbacks don't usually play all 16 games, especially coming off a season in which they were sacked 49 times. Bledsoe still has a rocket arm and some great weapons in Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn and Jason Witten. But remember, he plays for Bill Parcells, master of milking the 7-3 lead through the running game. Draft him somewhere between Peyton Manning and Billy Volek.
Tony Romo: As Bledsoe's backup he'll start at least one game this season. But don't even think about it.
Julius Jones: Even more than last season, Parcells will run the ball by committee. Jones will get the majority of carries, but he'll be far from a 25-carry workhorse like the Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson or the Chiefs' Larry Johnson. With Marion Barber, Tyson Thompson and now rookie Skyler Green in the mix as a third-down option, Jones just isn't a top-10 back.
Marion Barber: See above.
Tyson Thompson: I said see above.
Terrell Owens: He's probably the best receiver in the league. But remember this: During Parcells' 18 seasons as head coach, he's only had six 1,000-yard receivers. And this year Parcells has promised to run the ball even more near the goal line behind two tight ends. Still, T.O. had better be in your top five WRs.
Terry Glenn: With all the attention given Owens on the opposite side, Glenn may be a great sleeper pick. If he stays healthy, which is always his problem, he could put up giant numbers against single coverage.
Jason Witten: A new contract for him and a bigger commitment to getting him the ball inside the 20 makes for a juicy combo. Again, the arrival of Owens makes him a Top 3 TE.
Mike Vanderjagt: He missed his last kick as a Colt and his first kick as a Cowboy at training camp. But in between, he's been the most accurate kicker in NFL history. With Parcells' conservative philosophy, he'll get as many FG attempts as any K in the league.
If none of this gets you jazzed, there's always fantasy cricket.