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2007 NFL Fantasy Running Backs
Even though a lot of teams are moving to a two back system (and thus royally screwing over fantasy football owners), 2007 is actually shaping up to be a good season for fantasy football running backs. A number of younger backs are coming into their own Marcus Mariota jersey and a few runners who broke into the big time over the past few seasons are poised to dominate the game.
So, after the long dark exile of the off season, it is finally time to rejoice. So Rejoice! It’s time to start planning for your upcoming fantasy football draft.
LT is the consensus first pick in any fantasy draft. Tomlinson would be the top running back even if he played only ten games this season. He is a virtual lock for 1,500 rushing yards, 700 receiving yards and 22 total touchdowns. Take him first. Don’t even think about it.
2. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams (1,528 rush yds, 13 rushing TDs, 806 receiving yds, 3 TDs)
In 2006, Jackson put up the second best combined rushing and passing yards in history. Only Marshall Faulk in 2000 had more combined yards. While it’s hard to ask for more yards out of Jackson in 2007, it may not be unreasonable to expect a few more touchdowns. To that end, the Rams drafted Brian Leonard, a great blocking fullback out of Rutgers, who will make the Rams tougher in short yardage and in the Red Zone. Both of these things should mean more touchdowns for Jackson.
3. Larry Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs (1,789 rushing yds, 17 rushing TDs, 410 receiving yds, 2 TDs)
Johnson is giving fantasy owners heartburn with his holdout. Although the Chiefs and ESPN keep talking about how many carries this guy had last year, fantasy owners should remember that Johnson is only 27 years old, and has played slightly less than two full seasons in the NFL. As long as he plays, he will be productive enough to justify a pick between number two and four.
4. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (1,695 rushing yds, 8 TDs, 485 receiving yds, 2 TDs)
With another year under his belt, and the Niners poised to finally take a step back towards solid mediocrity, watch for Gore to take another step forward and pick up 1,600 yards and 14 total touchdowns.
5. Willie Parker, Pittsburgh Steelers (1,494 rushing yds, 13 rush TDs, 222 receiving yds, 3 TDs)
Parker took a huge step forward last year, moving out of the considerable shadow cast by Jerome Bettis. Fast and dodgy, this 26 year old will produce even more this year, to the tune of 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns on the rushing side, and 350 yards and four touchdowns on the receiving end.
6. Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals (1,309 rushing yds, 13 TDs, 124 receiving yds)
People don’t get too excited about Johnson, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a young, steady performer who gives fantasy owners 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns every season. Can’t complain about that.
7. Maurice Jones Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars (941rushing yards, 13 rush TDs, 436 Rec. yds, 2 TDs)
As a rookie in 2006, Drew performed the way that Reggie Bush was supposed to play down in New Orleans. Now, Bush was very good for the Saints, but he was a little less than thrilling for his fantasy owners. Drew, on the other hand, was the sleeper running back of the 2006 season, averaging 5.7 yards per carry and reaching the end zone 16 times. With regular starter Fred Taylor now 31 years old, look for Drew to get more than the 10 carries he averaged last year, and look for his statistics to increase proportionally. He could be scary.
8. Shaun Alexander, Seattle Mariners (876 rushing yds, 7 rushing TDs)
Alexander missed the first six games of Brian Orakpo Jersey the 2006 season with an injury. When he returned, he barely resembled the Shaun Alexander who scored 27 touchdowns in 2005. So the question for draft day is this: will the 30 year old return to his pre injury form, or is he at the beginning of the inevitable slide that begins for most backs as they close out their 20s. Take your pick.
9. Reggie Authentic Eddie George Jersey Bush, New Orleans Saints (565 rushing yds, 6 rush TDs, 742 receiving yds, 2 TDs)
Bush made a huge impact in New Orleans, helping Kendall Wright Titans Jersey turn that club into a winner during a very emotional season for the Bayou City. But as a fantasy player he left a little to be desired. Splitting his time between running, catching and returning, Bush posted good fantasy numbers for a rookie. But this is Reggie Bush. People expected a lot more. Well, now he is a year older and most likely a lot more settled in as a professional, so he should be a more productive fantasy weapon this season.
10. Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia Eagles (1,217 rushing yards, 7 rush TDs, 699 receiving yds, 4 TDs)
Brian Westbrook finally had his breakout year in 2006, and although it seems like he’s been around forever, the guy won’t turn 28 years old until the first week of the season. While Donovan McNabb is still the focal point of the offense, Westbrook will see his role increase even more this season. That means better statistics, better fantasy numbers and the chance at a title (not for the Eagles, though).
What’s Not To Like About DirecTV
Berkshire’s stake has been bought up during the last twelve months and now forms about 2% of the company’s common stock portfolio.
So what does Buffett, or actually his lieutenant Ted Weschler, see in this company? DirecTV is the world’s largest satellite tv provider with 30 million subscribers in the US and Latin America combined. The subscriber count has risen steadily even amid the recession, as subscribers have cut cords and switched to satellite from cable companies like Time Warner (TWX) and Comcast (CMCSA). The last quarter was an exception though as DirecTV had its first ever net loss of subscribers in the US. In Latin America the market for pay tv is growing fast, and DirecTV is clearly the leader of the pack with a premium brand, best sports contracts and best distribution technology in countries with very small cable penetration. On average each subscriber pays about a hundred dollars per month for their tv channel bundle in the US, and about sixty dollars in Latin America. I won’t go deep into the numbers, but let’s just say DirecTV’s business is very cash rich, and they’ve been buying billions worth of their own stock lately. You can Carl Banks Jersey check some of their numbers for example here.
So, what’s there NOT to like about DirecTV ?The internet has brought up a generation of people who’ve never paid for tv, and Victor Cruz Jersey may never subscribe to a pay tv. They are ‘cord nevers’, and they do pose a Phil Simms Giants Jersey problem, along with other cord cutters who just can’t cope with the ever rising subscription fees. However, producing content costs a lot Authentic Prince Amukamara Jersey of money, and if these people still like to watch their Jersey Shore or NFL, they will need to pay for it one way or another. Looking at the pure content producers like CBS (CBS), Viacom (VIA) etc., you’ll notice that Authentic Michael Strahan Jersey subscription fees form a very big part of their revenue even as much as half of it. It hasn’t been in their interest to unbundle their channels to be streamed on the internet as it leads to piracy and subscriber losses elsewhere. A la carte programming (you get exactly the channels you pay for, as opposed to bundling of channels) hasn’t been introduced, because the whole “bundled pay tv ecosystem pie” takes the most lucrative shape as it stands today this is the main reason why Apple’s (AAPL) and Google’s (GOOG) tv platforms haven’t exactly flourished. More than technology, it’s about content rights and how they evolve. Here’s CEO Mike White’s version of what I described:
Content costs are rising like crazy, they can’t be passed on to subscribers at these rates.
This is a big problem, and DirecTV CEO Mike White agrees that this is the largest single problem for DirecTV (check the above mentioned video). This has led to many disputes and blackouts between the distributors and the content producers, the latest of which occurred between DirecTV and Viacom, blacking out about 16 channels including MTV, and Nickelodeon. This problem will probably persist and will eat away at the margins of distributors (as well as content producers). But these guys are in the same boat they need each other and can’t really afford a lot of blackouts with more subscribers cutting cords for good with every new blackout and content producers losing ad revenue.
These harrowing questions aside, I think you’ve got a very nice business with a simple business model (maintain satellites, distribute channels, collect payments, pay the providers, keep the rest!). Geographically DTV is also operating in markets that seem very promising US and Latin America at least compared to the crisis ridden Europe or the autocratic China or Russia, or the multilingual India. DTV has a premium brand and premium DVR technology that is easily ported to the fast growing Latin America market. DTV is trading at about 13.4 times last 12 months Jason Pierre-Paul Giants Jersey earnings or 9.6 times forecasted earnings, which doesn’t look like too bad a price for a company like this.
Source: What Not To Like About DirecTV?
Disclosure: I am long DTV. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. (More.)