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NFL Running Backs in Contract Year 2013
People familiar to fantasy sports know that contract years can play a major role in predicting a big year from a player. This years notable "contract year" running backs include: Darren McFadden: When he stays healthy, he's a monster. The question is if he can actually play out an entire year. The Raiders are ditching the zone-blocking scheme of last year and are going back to a scheme that will allow McFadden to be the key to the offense. He will have to be amazing, especially with unproven Matt Flynn at the helm, for the Raiders to win games. Expect a big year from McFadden while crossing your fingers that he avoids the injury bug. Maurice Jones-Drew: Last year was certainly a disaster for MJD. First his attempt to hold out ended up as a failure, then he got a LIsfranc foot injury knocking him out for the majority of the season, and just recently he gets in a fight at a bar. I doubt that management is going to extend him a new offer and he is likely playing for a new contract with another team. While he is still not practicing, expect a motivated year from him to try and make the Jaguars look stupid for not extending him. Rashard Mendenhall: He couldn't get the multi-year contract that he wanted so is playing on a one year deal with the Cardinals. This is his chance to prove he can handle the RB1 load again. His main competition is Ryan Williams, who cannot seem to avoid injury. Now with Carson Palmer at the helm, the Cardinals offense may be in for a revival this season. Expect a healthy dose of run to keep pressure off Palmer and to utilize their new first round draft choice left guard Jonathan Cooper, who is known for his run blocking. Ben Tate: The famous Arian Foster handcuff has not been able to showcase his skills as a RB1 as Foster has proven to be a pretty dependable back. Fumble issues have also lowered Tates opportunities to handle the rock in crucial situations. However with an extra year of experience, and another year of pounding for Foster, Kubiak would be wise to give Tate some extra carries this year to keep Foster fresh for the playoffs. Marcel Reece: Marcel had a big year last year filling in for McFadden while he was injured. It would be wise for anyone drafting McFadden to handcuff him with Reece in the later rounds. Reece has proven he can be productive if given the carries and targets. If McFadden goes down early and Reece is able to start for a majority of the year, he could be in line for a big payday next year. Joe McKnight: McKnight likely won't be able to get many carries with Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, and Mike Goodson all ahead of him on the depth chart. I would not draft him in any leagues. He will likely be used for special teams. Scroll through the pictures and highlight videos with the arrows. Photos by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images, Jim Rassol, Sun Sentinel, Al Bello/Getty Images.
NFL Dads Tackle Hair Styling In This Pantene Campaign.
Every year, major sponsors shell out some serious cash to grab our attention during the Super Bowl, by far the largest single sporting event of the year. They enlist A-List celebrities, bust out the CGI, and have the ability to transform a typical 30-second spot into a minute long movie of epic proportions. However, if there's one thing that these companies can learn from haircare brand Pantene this year, it's that turning on America's feels doesn't have to be that complicated - just bring in the adorableness of some NFL kids! Pantene's 'Dad-Do' Super Bowl campaign features a number of popular NFL fathers taking a stab at styling their daughters' hair with Pantene products. Like you could probably guess, they definitely struggle through it, but with some adorable encouragement from their daughters, the results are very much 'aww'-worthy. (My personal favorite is pictured above: DeAngelo Williams of the Pittsburgh Steelers versus his daughter Rhiya's braids and bows.) Benjamin Watson, tight end for the New Orleans Saints, displayed some pigtail game earning an impressed high five from his daughter, Grace. (He tried to argue that bigger hands make it hard for athletes to style hair, but he didn't do too bad for a first-timer!) The Dallas Cowboys' Jason Witten's adorable daughter Landry was SUPPOSED to get a braided ballerina bun, but let's just say there were some complications on the way. (Hey, if there's anything the Cowboys learned this season, it's that you can't win 'em all!) Click the video above for a look at the finished 30-second Super Bowl ad, or visit Pantene's official YouTube Channel to watch the full styling videos from each athlete. So how do you think they did? Was this concept just as adorable to you as it was to me? Let me know in the comments below and for more trending videos from across the web, follow my YouTube Nation collection!
Don't Sleep on the Cardinals Offense
A lot of people may not be familiar with the Arizona Cardinals offense outside of Larry Fitzgerald. You must realize however that Bruce Arians is now the head coach, the man who revitalized Reggie Wayne's career and helped create an offense that gave Andrew Luck and his receivers success even with a minimal running game. People will think of the past few seasons where the Cardinals offense tanked but they have patched the holes that were left after their Super Bowl run. They finally have a legit QB throwing the ball to Fitzgerald in Carson Palmer. Fitz is also not the only weapon on offense anymore. Last year's first round choice Michael Floyd is being groomed in OTAs to take on a "larger load" and Tight End Rob Housler has also been generating a lot of hype from Cardinals camp. Their backfield has also gotten an upgrade in Rashard Mendenhall, who prior to injury seemed like the back of the future for the Steelers. The point I'm trying to make is do not undervalue Cardinals members due to the failures of the past few seasons. Larry Fitzgerald is in line for a monster year as he will be playing a similar role to Reggie Wayne from last season. Fitz is still in his prime. Imagine the possibilities that Arians will create for him. He may have the best season of his career and I would not be surprised. Draft him with confidence in all leagues in the beginning of round 2. I believe every other member of the offense will also have fantasy value, but it is hard to say how much exactly. Floyd and slot receiver Andre Roberts could both have big years, but I would say Housler is more in line to have a breakout year. I would also draft Mendenhall as my RB2 in rounds 4 to 5. He has proven he is a goal-line back and could end up as a steal that late.