Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Westy, DeSean, Bowe, Bell, MBIII and more

DeSean Jackson, Brian Westbrook miss practice. Westy has a long history of not practicing during the week and then killing defenses on Sunday, so plan to use him in Week 3. The Eagles play in the early game, so you’ll have an opportunity to make an adjustment if he’s inactive. While tweaked ankles can clear up fast, I’m a little worried about Jackson’s groin injury. Muscle injuries don’t typically just go away, but he may be able to fight through it. One wonders if the Eagles will risk it against a Kansas City defense that hasn’t shown much in 2009.

Dwayne Bowe fighting a hamstring injury. He was a limited participant in Thursday’s practice, but the fact that he was out there is a good sign for Sunday. Again, the PHI/KC game is at 1 PM ET, so you should have time to make a move if he is a surprise scratch. He was practicing again on Friday, so that’s a good sign.

Giants lose SS Phillips for the season. This is a serious blow to a Giants DT that has looked strong thus far this season. The loss of Phillips will hurt both in the passing game and in run support, and given the team’s other injury problems on defense, don’t be afraid to start players facing the Giants this week (mainly Cadillac Williams, if healthy, and Derrick Ward).

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Bucs finally find their playmaker

Antonio Bryant has always been a tough guy to get a read on. He showed good progress in his second, third and fourth seasons by increasing the number of catches and receiving yards in each season. He took a step back in 2006 with the 49ers, who signed him to be their go-to receiver.

From Wikipedia:

Following a victory over the Seattle Seahawks on November 19, 2006, Bryant was arrested for driving his orange Lamborghini faster than 100 mph on Highway 101. He was charged with suspicion of misdemeanor reckless driving, driving under the influence, and resisting arrest. As a result, Bryant was suspended for four games by the NFL. He sat out the final two games of the 2006 season, and was scheduled to sit out the first two games of the 2007 season.

On September 17, 2007, Bryant was reinstated by the league, but was not able to sign with a team, partly because of a failed drug test over the summer. In October 2007, he filed a lawsuit against the NFL to try to get them to stop drug testing him since he is not currently a player, and to drop the failed drug test. In December 2007, the case was resolved without the details being released.

Thus far, it’s clear that the Bucs were smart to roll the dice on Bryant. Joey Galloway has been fighting injuries all season, and that leaves Bryant as the sole playmaker in the passing game (and some would argue — in the entire Tampa Bay offense). He is on pace to finish with 81 catches for 1,152 yards and six TD, which would be the best statistical season of his career. Moreover, he’s just 27 and *seems* to have turned his life and football career around.

Bryant will be a free agent this summer, and it’s going to be interesting to see where he lands. I would be most optimistic about his chances to continue this upward career swing if the Bucs were to re-sign him. It would show a desire on their part to keep him and it would show maturity on his part to show some loyalty to the team that took a chance on him when very few other teams would.

Bryant’s nine-catch, 200-yard, two-TD performance (and in particular, this amazing catch) against Carolina on Monday night surely increased his profile around the league. If you look hard enough you can see Jerry Maguire jumping for joy on the sidelines.

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