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It would be easy enough to drop Peyton Manning in as the number one quarterback this year and worry about slotting the rest after that, but that doesnt have to be automatic either. Yes, Manning is coming off a career-best season, one for the ages, but after three consecutive seasons with more than 5,000 yards passing, Drew Brees can make a reasonable claim for top spot too. No matter which one is on top -- and I have Brees -- they are a cut above the rest at the position. The way that passing has evolved in the NFL, there are now lots of quarterbacks who can throw for 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns -- there were eight last season -- but Manning and Brees were the only ones north of 5,000 yards and 35 touchdowns, so consider them Tier One. After that, Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers are accomplished passers. Over the past three seasons, Stafford ranks second (behind only Brees) with 14,655 passing yards and that gives him a slight edge on Rodgers, who ranks second in that time (again behind Brees) with 101 touchdown passes. Those are still elite options but, after that, the warts start to become a little more apparent, even among quality options. Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton are brilliant runners and while thats a potential fantasy goldmine for yardage and touchdowns, it also presents a risk of injury. Working in Kaepernicks favour is that he has an improved receiving corps, with a healthy Michael Crabtree and newcomers Stevie Johnson joining Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis, Kaepernick doesnt lack weapons. Newton, on the other hand, requires a leap of faith, because his supporting cast is suspect, at best. Tight end Greg Olsen is a good one, but Newtons No. 1 wideout appears to be Jerricho Cotchery, a 32-year-old who had a nice season (46 REC, 602 YDS, 10 TD) last year, as Pittsburghs number three receiver, but he has one 1,000-yard receiving season in his career and last year was the only time in Cotcherys career that hes had more than half a dozen touchdowns in a year. On the other side, the Panthers have rookie Kelvin Benjamin, a 6-foot-5, 240-pounder who had a big year (54 REC, 1011 YDS, 15 TD) at Florida State, but its asking a lot to expect the 28th pick in the draft to immediately make an impact. In any case, these are some challenges that Newton faces as he tries to match the production of his first three seasons. They arent the only accomplished running quarterbacks. Further down the draft list, Robert Griffin III -- who ought to benefit from the addition of wide receiver DeSean Jackson -- and Russell Wilson, maybe with a healthy Percy Harvin at his disposal, have appeal as well. After a breakout performance last season, during which he threw for 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions in 13 games (10 starts), Nick Foles has exciting potential, if not the longest track record in the league. Andrew Luck has the pedigree, as a first overall pick, and has thrown for more than 8,000 yards with 46 touchdowns in his first two seasons. Its tempting to go for that potential. For more established options, maybe look to Atlantas Matt Ryan, who is likely to bounce back with a healthy Julio Jones in the lineup and Tom Brady has to be considered. Even though his passing touchdowns declined last year, to 25 his lowest since 2006, Brady has thrown for more than 4,300 yards in four of the past five seasons and the Patriots offence is still focused on him. Beyond that top dozen, there are proven veterans, like Andy Dalton, Tony Romo, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, all of whom have been able to put up big numbers, just not with the same kind of consistency. Romo has, in fact, been pretty consistent in his production but, coming off back surgery, hes perhaps a little riskier than in previous years. Among the younger quarterbacks looking for a breakthrough, maybe Ryan Tannehill, Geno Smith or E.J. Manuel are ready to move up, but they are still second-stringers, at best, for fantasy purposes. As for rookies Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater, keep an eye on them and be prepared to work the waiver wire, but none of the three appear to be set for big production right off the start. Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. Fantasy Football Report powered by Coors Light. 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Goldeyes third baseman Ryan Pineda drove in three runs and the pitching staff didnt allow an earned run, as Winnipeg downed Kansas City 6-3 in American Association exhibition action at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas.SOCHI - What she remembers most is what it felt like to stand on the blue-line, proudly watch the Canadian flag rise for the first time and hear OCanada belted out passionately amongst a sea of Americans. "Just that feeling of complete satisfaction," said Jayna Hefford. "Feeling like everything we went through paid off." It was 2002 in Salt Lake City and the first of three consecutive Olympic gold medals for the national womens hockey program with Hefford, a native of Kingston, Ontario, scoring the game-winning goal in triumph over Team USA. The bid for a fourth straight gold begins Saturday at Shayba Arena with a preliminary round matchup against Switzerland. "Its a memory and a feeling Ill never forget," said Hefford of winning gold for the first time, one of three on the roster to do so in 2002, 2006, and 2010. "It was a special time so Im hoping we can recreate it here [in Sochi]." Getting to that point is certain to include yet another round of hostilities with an American team bent on ending Canadas run of dominance at this event. Though theyve captured four of the past five World Championships, beating the Canadians each time, the US squad has fallen in two of the past three gold medal games, yet to triumph at the Olympics since 1998. "Obviously we haave a great rivalry with them," said Hefford, "but theres a lot of games before then and if we dont take care of ourselves here we could face them either earlier than we want in a medal round or not get to a medal round so its really day-by-day and I think thats the best way to look at it.dddddddddddd" These will be the fifth Olympics for Hefford, but she says the experience remains as fresh and exciting as it was 16 years ago when womens hockey was first introduced to the Olympic stage in Nagano - she and the Canadians were edged by the Americans in the gold medal game. "You still have that youthful energy and that excitement," she said. "Its so exciting to be here. You try to take lessons that you learned along the way and bring them into this one, but it still feels like the first one." And thats just one of the lessons shell try to impart on a group of teammates itching for their first taste of gold - enjoy the moment. "It goes by so quickly and you wait so long to get here so really just take in every day and enjoy that," said Hefford, also advising patience with the teams plan of attack. "Theres tough days and theres going to be challenges in these next two weeks, but believe that in the end we can be where we want to be." Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping China Jerseys Wholesale China Jerseys Cheap Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys ' ' '
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