Deion Branch - Seattle Seahawks - 2006 Fantasy Football Player Profile, News, and Stats

DEION BRANCH - SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - 2006 FANTASY FOOTBALL PLAYER PROFILE, RANKINGS, NEWS, AND CUSTOMIZED ADVICE

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guide to 2006 fantasy football rankings - Deion Branch
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PLAYER
Deion Branch
#83 - WR - Seattle Seahawks

Height: 5'9'' Weight: 193
Born: 07/18/1979
College: Louisville
2006 Projections
CatchYdsTDsFF POINT VOLATILITY
344435AVG (102%)
 
ANALYSIS

Player Analysis: Branch is waiting to come off a knee injury.

Fantasy Football Impact: Coach Mike Holmgren suggested that Branch will not return before the team's bye week, though he should be back shortly thereafter.


 
RECENTLY BREAKING NEWS

Five things to watch Monday - 11/27/2006
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

DOUBLE TROUBLE: The Packers haven't given up a 100-yard game to a wide receiver since Miami's Marty Booker caught seven for 110 yards in Week 6. However, of their last four opponents, the only two top wide receivers that they've faced were Arizona's Anquan Boldin and Buffalo's Lee Evans. The Seahawks will confront Green Bay with two explosive wide receivers, Deion Branch and Darrell Jackson, as well as dangerous backups in D.J. Hackett and Nate Burleson. "Jackson is very dangerous," said an executive in personnel for a recent Seahawks opponent. "He's a go-to guy who's highly competitive. He's one of those guys that can overachieve on this level, which doesn't happen very often. He makes key big plays all the time. He's the guy the quarterbacks look for. But Branch is better. He's a game-killer. He will score two on the Packers. He's so quick in and out of the breaks and he can burst to separate. If you make one mistake and he's going up field on you, he's gone." LOOKING FOR NO. 1: Matt Hasselbeck returns to the lineup tonight after having missed the last four games with a knee injury. It will be the fourth start for Hasselbeck against the Packers, his old team. Hasselbeck lost to the Packers twice in 2003, including a playoff game, and again in Week 16 last season when he played only the first half. "You can count on one thing," one scout said. "He'll play good. He is good. The only thing he can't handle is pressure, especially now that he's coming off that injury. You get to blitzing him and he'll throw it up and get shook up mentally. I'd go after him 100%. I'd run-blitz on first down and pass-blitz on every other down." Said an opposing defensive coach: "He's one of the top quarterbacks in the league for a reason. He's very smart. He's very confident. He's very poised in the pocket. He goes through his progressions very quickly. Knowing that his back side is covered (by Walter Jones) gives a guy a tremendous amount of confidence." ANOTHER THREAT: The Packers had problems covering tight ends early in the season but appeared much improved in Weeks 7-9. Last week, New England's Benjamin Watson broke free for 74 yards in five receptions. Seattle's tight end, Jerramy Stevens, is one of the most talented in the league. What has caused the Seahawks untold consternation during Stevens' five-year career is his erratic performance. "Got a world of talent but who knows what you're going to get with this wacko?" one scout said. "He'll drop easy passes and catch hard ones. He'll make a bonehead play in every game. He's unstable. He's got enough ability to be as good as anybody in the league but you can't count on him." Despite ideal stature, Stevens isn't much for the rough stuff, either. "I think he's a pretend tough guy," an opposing defensive coach said. "Put him out in space and let him run fast and catch balls. That's what he likes to do. But he don't want to get his face in the mix. He's not a physical kid. He's an edge trash-talking guy with a very high skill level in the passing game." SCHEME SWITCH: The Seahawks' defense is coordinated by John Marshall, who served as an assistant in Green Bay from 1980-'82. Former Packers coach Ray Rhodes serves as a defensive consultant. Under Marshall, the Seahawks have had problems stopping the run since losing DT Marcus Tubbs in Week 6 with a season-ending knee injury. "They've changed their style," said an offensive coach for a recent Seahawks opponent. "They basically have changed from a small stay-at-home defense to an attack mode. They're using fire zones, they're slanting (Bryce) Fisher. Power football is what will hurt this defensive front. They're not the biggest guys in the world. Tubbs gave them some inside run-stopping ability. But it's hard to zone-block them. They grab the (expletive) out of your guys on the way up to the linebacker level. So their linebackers get free because the defense does a great job of holding and not getting called. That's what's wrong with this league. There's no experienced referees anymore and nothing is getting called that used to get called by experienced referees." POTENTIAL MISMATCH: Aaron Kampman will want to make amends for his subpar pass-rushing performance last week against New England RT Nick Kaczur. His opponent, RT Tom Ashworth, has been subbing for injured Sean Locklear since Week 7. "Ashworth can't play dead," one scout said. "They'll have to keep somebody in there to help him. It'd be a mistake to ask him to go one-on-one against Kampman." Ashworth, 29, did start 30 games off the bench for New England from 2002-'05. "He's the weak link of their front," an opposing defensive coach said. "He's pretty much just a guy. He's stiff. He does work hard and does try to finish. He is long. He's a little below average strength-wise compared to right tackles in the league. He's an effort guy. I think he's a lot like (Mark) Tauscher."

 

Patriots sign WR Gaffney, cut Sullivan, Poteat - 10/09/2006
Source: ESPN

The New England Patriots addressed their lack of veteran depth at wide receiver on Monday, signing free agent Jabar Gaffney. Gaffney, 25, worked out for New England coaches and personnel officials on Friday, along with veteran free agent wide receivers Kevin Johnson and Charles Rogers, and was deemed to be the best of the trio. Gaffney played four seasons with the Houston Texans and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an unrestricted free agent this spring, but was released at the end of training camp. To create a roster spot for Gaffney, the Patriots released defensive tackle Johnathan Sullivan, who had not dressed for any of the team's five regular-season five games this season. The club also released veteran defensive back Hank Poteat, who has been on and off the roster several times the past three seasons, and was re-signed two weeks ago. New England has been playing with just four wide receivers and has been attempting to upgrade the position. The Pats lost both starters from 2005, as David Givens signed with the Tennessee Titans and Deion Branch was traded to the Seattle Seahawks last month. Givens signed with the Titans as an unrestricted free agent, and Branch was dealt after a lengthy contract dispute in which the former Super Bowl MVP failed to report to camp. Gaffney is a solid possession-type receiver with good hands and quickness, and he should be a good fit in the New England offensive design. The former Florida standout, a second-round choice in the 2002 draft, has 171 receptions for 2,009 yards and seven touchdowns in his career. Gaffney has played in 64 games and started in 50 of them. He enjoyed his best overall season in 2005, posting 55 catches for 492 yards and two touchdowns. Contract details were not immediately available. New England's wide receivers have just 41 catches for 466 yards and five touchdowns in five outings this year. The lone holdover wide receiver from the 2005 roster is 14-year veteran Troy Brown. While the addition of Gaffney is key for the Patriots, the release of Sullivan might be even bigger news league-wide. The former Georgia star was the first-round choice of the New England Patriots in 2003, the sixth player selected overall that year. But his weight and lack of motivation were problems in New Orleans and the Saints dealt him to the Patriots this spring for wide receiver Bethel Johnson. Now, two teams have now given up on Sullivan, 25, in four months. Because he plays a position that is difficult to fill, Sullivan may draw some interest. But other teams will be wary, given that the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick were unable to get him to play to his potential, and will be skeptical about signing him. In 36 appearances, including 17 starts, Sullivan has 102 tackles and 1½ sacks. A dominant player at the college level, Sullivan has yet to transfer his abilities to the NFL. Poteat, 28, is a journeyman defensive back to whom New England seems to often turn when injuries deplete their secondary. In stints with Pittsburgh (2000-2002), Tampa Bay (2003) and New England (2004-2006), Poteat has appeared in 54 games. The six-year veteran appeared in two games, with one start, for New England this season.

 

Holmgren playing coy, but Bears are likely to see plenty of 4-WR sets from Seahawks on Sunday - 09/30/2006
Source: Daily Herald

Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren wants to let everyone know that his four-receiver offense is not new, and it’s not the only offense his team plays. With undersized running back Maurice Morris replacing injured league MVP Shaun Alexander for Sunday’s meeting with the Bears, however, the Seahawks will go to their strong passing attack as often as necessary. It will make for some enjoyable viewing, as the Seahawks send out four receivers while the Bears try to capitalize on what may be a vulnerable offensive line with that many players running passing routes. The Seahawks raced to a 35-3 halftime lead on the New York Giants on Sunday as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw touchdown passes to Nate Burleson (a former Bears nemesis in Minnesota), Darrell Jackson and former Bears receiver Bobby Engram. Deion Branch, the new member of the Fantastic Four, had a couple of catches but did not score. In his weekly conversation with the media, Holmgren tried to downplay the four-receiver set, probably to no avail. “We’ve always had it in,’’ Holmgren said. “Now we have Deion Branch and we really can put four receivers in the game that can be pretty productive. You give up some things when you have that kind of formation. We’ve never done that more than a few times, a few snaps of the game. We did it a little more last week, but that was a game-plan type of thing. We have the ability to do it a little bit more than we’ve done it in the past.”

 

Bears defense waiting for Seahawks to try four-receiver tricks - 09/28/2006
Source: Chicago Sun Times

The Bears weren't quite licking their chops Wednesday while contemplating Seattle's four-receiver package, but it was apparent the prospect doesn't scare them. The Seahawks are as deep at wide receiver as any team after acquiring Deion Branch from the New England Patriots, and they torched the New York Giants on Sunday with the four-receiver look as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck tied a career high of five touchdown passes. The Bears don't have a dime package -- a scheme with six defensive backs -- because, among other reasons, it would require taking Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs (weak side) off the field. They do feel awfully good about their nickel package, with cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. replacing strong-side linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer. If the Seahawks (3-0) bust out all four wideouts Sunday night (7:30, Ch. 5, 780-AM), rookie free safety Danieal Manning probably will find himself locked in coverage on Branch, Darrell Jackson, Nate Burleson or ex-Bear Bobby Engram. Jackson scored two touchdowns against the Giants, and Burleson and Engram also scored. ''That means more one-on-ones for our defensive line,'' cornerback Nathan Vasher said. ''So that plays into our favor.''

 

Branch sees plenty of the field in Seahawks debut - 09/25/2006
Source: ESPN

The speedy wide receiver was part of an offense that threw the ball 33 times, flashed multiple three- and four-receiver formations, and spread passes among eight different receivers, seven in the first half.

Fantasy Impact: The Seahawks should throw even more in RB Shaun Alexander's absence. Branch should become especially viable in larger formats, and could be a trade target, as his value will likely never be lower than it is now.

 

Fast start propells Seahawks past Giants - 09/24/2006
Source: NFL.com

The Giants wanted to take Seattle's roaring, allegedly enhanced crowd out of the game early. Plunging into the deepest first-half hole in their 82-year history probably wasn't what New York had in mind. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw five touchdown passes - four in the first half. Meanwhile, Eli Manning had three interceptions, the Giants were way behind early and never caught up in a 42-30 loss Sunday. The rout was so quick, so decisive, it rendered the incessant roaring of a Qwest Field-record crowd of 68,161 moot - but not mute. The fans were mostly mocking the stunned visitors by the end of the third quarter, after the Seahawks completed a 17-play drive that ended with Darrell Jackson's second touchdown catch for a 42-3 lead. The Seahawks won their 12th consecutive regular-season home game to become 3-0 for the third time in four seasons. They finally felt good about their previously sputtering offense, thanks to a boost by Deion Branch's debut. The former Patriot and Super Bowl MVP caught two passes for 23 yards and ran a reverse 8 yards. He was part of the Seahawks' new, four-wide receiver scheme, an offensive makeover during the game's relatively few important parts. The Giants (1-2) just got plain worked over. Manning threw scoring passes of 13 yards to Toomer and 25 yards to Tim Carter in the fourth quarter to make it 42-17. McQuarters then intercepted a short, Hasselbeck flip and returned it 27 yards for another touchdown with 9:30 left. New York's final score came on a 94-yard drive out of the same no-huddle offense in which Manning shined last week. Manning was 7-for-8 on the drive, which ended with a 9-yard scoring pass to David Tyree with 2:42 remaining. Seattle's Jimmy Williams batted the subsequent onside kick out of bounds to effectively end the Giants' wild, 27-point final quarter.

 

Brady Looks to Raise Game - 09/21/2006
Source: The Boston Globe

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a career 61.9 percent passer, but he's at 50 percent through two games this season. In leading the team to two victories, Brady is 26 of 52 for 383 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Assessing his performance, Brady said ``there were plenty of plays I wish I would have thrown better balls on" while acknowledging that the team's passing game hasn't ``been at the level it's been at in the past." Brady, who has also been sacked four times and lost two fumbles, said the offense was fortunate to have its running game producing (330 yards, 4.1 yards per carry). That, in turn, has taken pressure off the passing game. ``Is it frustrating? Sure, it's frustrating," Brady said. ``Hopefully we make more improvements this week, just like we did from Week 1 to Week 2."

Fantasy Impact: In the long-run, Brady is a sure-fire, solid fantasy performer. Disregard his problems,temporarily. But, have a solid backup. And, be prepared to play him. Shopping Cutler might be a good option.

 

Branch will play against Giants, so will new LG and TE - 09/19/2006
Source: ESPN

Coach Mike Holmgren said the former Super Bowl MVP will be added to the roster to play against the New York Giants on Sunday -- 13 days after the Seahawks traded with the Patriots to end Branch's 45-day contract holdout, and eight months since his last game.

Fantasy Impact: Branch will step into a Seattle offense that found its stride last week. QB Matt Hasselbeck also seemed to find his groove with Darrell Jackson, so Branch may find difficulty in attempts to put up numbers that most owners may expect of him.

 

Branch signs $39 million, six-year deal with Seahawks - 09/12/2006
Source: ESPN

Deion Branch eased the pain of nearly $600,000 in fines for his holdout in New England by signing a $39 million, six-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday.

Fantasy Impact: Branch, with all of his off field issues behind him, should be poised to fulfill his fantasy potential.

 

Branch traded - 09/11/2006
Source: Boston.com

The Deion Branch holdout is over, but Branch isn’t returning to the Patriots. Branch, the fifth-year receiver, has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a 2007 first-round draft choice today.

Fantasy Impact: This is certainly a big loss for the Patriots, and Tom Brady's production, especially to receivers, should see some letdown. Branch should see some success in Seattle with the absence of premier WRs for Hasselbeck to throw to.

 

Jackson is back but playing catch-up - 09/08/2006
Source: Boston.com, BostonHerald.com, ProJo.com

After testing his injured hamstring by running full-speed routes Wednesday, rookie receiver Chad Jackson called his agent, David Canter, and uttered: ``I'm back." Jackson participated in a non-walkthrough workout yesterday for the first time since Aug. 2. He remains questionable on the injury report, giving him a 50-50 chance to play in Sunday's season opener against the Bills at Gillette Stadium.

Fantasy Impact: Considering his absence from the Patriots' lineup since early August, Jackson is most likely not full-speed for the game against Buffalo on Sunday. Nevertheless, Jackson might be able to turn in some quality plays considering the thin WR unit.

 

Watson's a go-to guy in tight spot - 09/07/2006
Source: Boston.com, FoxSports.com, Projo.com

While there are few positives for the Patriots with the continued holdout of receiver Deion Branch, one of them might be the development of third-year tight end Benjamin Watson. ``He's taking great strides; I'm excited to see the year he could have," Brady said. ``He could be a really dominant player. It's not like he's going to be our third or fourth option, and at times he was last year. He's really a guy you're always looking for."

Fantasy Impact: As has been expected throughout Branch's holdout, Watson should see huge success this year as Brady's primary target.

 

With Branch holding out, Pats add WR - 09/04/2006
Source: Boston.com, BostonHerald.com, ESPN.com

Wide receiver Doug Gabriel was traded Saturday from the Oakland Raiders to the New England Patriots, who faced the uncertainty of whether holdout Deion Branch will return. The Raiders received an undisclosed draft choice. Gabriel, who was scheduled to start across from Randy Moss, has 71 receptions in three seasons and fills a need on the Patriots even if Branch, their best receiver and the MVP of the 2005 Super Bowl, does return.

Fantasy Impact: Without Deion Branch on the field and with rookie Chad Jackson injured with a hamstring problem, the acquisition of Doug Gabriel could have an instant impact for the Patriots and could help Gabriel's production out of the shadow of Randy Moss and Jerry Porter.

 

No deal for Deion: Pats’ WR files grievance - 09/02/2006
Source: BostonHerald.com, Boston.com, Projo.com

Sources confirm Branch has received six-year offers from the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks in the $36 million to $39 million range, with $13 million guaranteed. The Patriots issued a 15-word press release saying no trade had been consummated and that Branch remained under contract. Head coach Bill Belichick refused to answer repeated questions about Branch during a conference call, referring to the statement. Meanwhile, NBC.com’s Tom Curran reported that Branch has filed a grievance accusing the Patriots of violating a verbal agreement to trade him if they were offered “fair and reasonable” compensation in return.

Fantasy Impact: Deion Branch was the Patriots' leading receiver in '05, but the Patriots have clearly indicated through their actions that they do not believe Branch to be worth a pay raise. While the Patriots have had receivers of different quality contributing over the years to their success, Branch is a talented player and losing him would downgrade the offense. It appears as though the Patriots will agree with him somehow, but if not then Brady's numbers should not suffer and Ben Watson should see an increase in production.

 

Some Pats make impression in loss to Giants - 09/01/2006
Source: Projo.com, Boston.com, ESPN.com

But we did learn a few things in New England's 31-23 loss to the Giants: Matt Cassel has made significant strides from his first year to his second; Stephen Gostkowski is not only accurate, but has some distance in his right leg; beloved veteran Troy Brown may end up as the emergency quarterback for the Pats; Bam Childress has a flair for the dramatic, and Corey Bramlet is not just a name on the roster.

Fantasy Impact: The only weakness demonstrated in last night's game appeared to be a defense that could not stop the Giants' ground game, but the Patriots did not demonstrate much in the way of their regular season personnel or strategy. Cassel is promising as Brady's primary backup, but he has no value due to Brady's stellar injury record. One intrigue from the game is Bam Childress, a player in the mold of Troy Brown or Deion Branch that could see time if either of those two misses any significant time.

 

Branch still a Pat as deadline passes - 09/01/2006
Source: Boston.com, ESPN.com

Holdout wide receiver Deion Branch was still a member of the New England Patriots when the team-imposed deadline for him to seek a trade passed Friday. At 4:02 p.m. Friday, the Patriots issued a statement saying, "No trade has been consummated. Deion Branch remains under contract to the New England Patriots." When told of a report that Branch's agent, Jason Chayut, had filed a grievance with the NFL Players Association, Belichick said, "Really, I don't have anything else to say about it. I'll let that statement speak for itself."

Fantasy Impact: The Patriots clearly value Deion Branch less than most teams, although it is hard to deny that Branch is the most talented reciver on the Patriots' roster. Branch's value in fantasy leagues will fall severely if he does follow through with a holdout until week 10. However, QB Tom Brady's stats, although they will suffer, should compensate with more passes to players such as TE Ben Watson.

 

Birds might stand pat on Branch - 08/28/2006
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

THE EAGLES know they're counting on some things they can't really be sure of getting from their wide receivers: Todd Pinkston being healthy and productive, Reggie Brown blossoming, Hank Baskett being not only for real but ready to contribute solidly as a rookie.

Fantasy Impact: Branch is unlikely to be moved, so don't dream about him catching passes from McNabb.

 

Little guys go low - 08/28/2006
Source: Jaguars.com

Are you concerned at all that Greg Jones is out for the season? My hopes just sank a little lower this morning

Fantasy Impact: As if it needs to be said again, losing Greg Jones is really going to hurt for the Jags.

 

Tom Brady looks sharp as Patriots romp - 08/27/2006
Source: Boston.com, ESPN.com, wtopnews.com

Tom Brady started the rout and the Patriots defense finished it. The winless Redskins were woeful all game long. "I hope it looks as good in the regular season as it did tonight," Brady said after New England's 41-0 win over Washington on Saturday night. He completed 17 of 30 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown before leaving after the first series of the third quarter. The Patriots (2-1) recorded seven sacks while allowing eight first downs and extending their streak to nine quarters without giving up a touchdown.

Fantasy Impact: Although preseason results cannot be entirely trusted to give accurate predictions for the regular season, Brady's performance does give some idea of how he will play in the absence of Deion Branch, and there is no cause for concern.

 

The beginning of the end - 08/27/2006
Source: Boston.com, BostonHerald.com, FoxSports.com

The Patriots love to use multiple tight ends -- they'd send out 10 on a play if the NFL would let them -- but last night one was sufficient. Benjamin Watson stood out from the herd and stomped all over the Redskins in New England's 41-0 exhibition decimation of Washington at Gillette Stadium. Before joining Brady on the bench halfway through the third quarter, which required almost as much effort as sundering the Washington secondary, Watson caught 8 passes for 97 yards. Seven went for first downs. Six covered at least 10 yards, and the only reason that another didn't was that Watson's 6-yard grab with 7:49 left until halftime officially ended in the end zone, and a 17-0 New England pillow.

Fantasy Impact: In the absence of Deion Branch, Benjamin Watson answered the challenge to be New England's primary offensive weapon.

 

Eagles Notes | Branch could fill need for receiver - 08/26/2006
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Eagles fans in August are a lot like toddlers in December. They both have long wish lists that constantly are changing. Today's hot item is Deion Branch, the wide receiver who was granted permission by the New England Patriots yesterday to negotiate a new contract with another team for the purpose of working out a trade.

Fantasy Impact: What a big addition that would be, getting the man who shredded them in the Super Bowl two seasons ago. It's doubtful that the Eagles will come up with the compensation required to pry Branch away from the Pats, but if they somehow can, the Eagles offense will improve significantly.

 

Patriots give Branch a week to seek a trade - 08/25/2006
Source: Boston.com, BostonHerald.com

The New England Patriots have given holdout wide receiver Deion Branch a week to seek a trade and negotiate a contract with another team, the Patriots announced Friday. Branch has permission to seek a new team until Sept. 1, next Friday, the team said in a two- sentence statement. Branch, the 2005 Super Bowl MVP and the team's top receiver, is scheduled to earn $1.045 million this season, the last of his original five-year contract, but he wants a new deal. He has refused to report to the Patriots mandatory preseason mini-camp and its ongoing training camp.

Fantasy Impact: Although Branch is a skilled wide receiver, with QB Tom Brady at the helm a slight decrease in production should be the only effect if the disgruntled wideout is traded. The Patriots have seen success with lesser receivers in the past, so Brady is still a valuable prospect with TEs Watson and Graham as targets. WR Reche Caldwell could be a surprise fantasy star if Branch is traded and he can adjust to New England's system.

 

Branch ‘pretty sure’ holdout will end - 08/23/2006
Source: BostonHerald.com, foxsports.com, scout.com

Holdout wide receiver Deion Branch broke his silence in an interview with Ch. 4’s Steve Burton last night, saying he’s “pretty sure everything will work out” between himself and the Patriots. “I’ve got a great feeling that we’re both going to do what’s right,” Branch said. “We’re going to make sure everything works out.” He watched the Patriots’ first two preseason games against Atlanta and Arizona and was impressed. However, he knows what his presence would mean to the offense. “The guys look good,” Branch said. “They look real good. We’ll look better when and if I’m out there.”

Fantasy Impact: With the holdout extending this far there is no saying that Branch will certainly return soon, but it seems as though a deal should happen and he should once again be the number one target for Brady.

 

Opportunity comes knocking, and Childress answers - 08/21/2006
Source: BostonHerald.com, unionleader.com

In the first quarter of Saturday night’s 30-3 Patriots win over the Arizona Cardinals at Gillette Stadium, Bam Childress beat the press and broke upfield on a fade route. The problem was he didn’t know when the ball was coming. When it was thrown in his direction, the crowd erupted. Childress noticed, turned and, in the nick of time, reached out and claimed a spectacular 29-yard catch over his outside shoulder. A highlight, yes. But just the start. By the time he was done, the 2005 practice-squad receiver had three catches for 75 yards in his first start since his junior year at Ohio State.

Fantasy Impact: A small speedy receiver unafraid of going across the middle to make catches is bound to draw comparisons between Childress and Deion Branch. Childress does not possess the same skills of Branch, but filling in for the held out receiver could help him make a surprise impact early in the season.

 

One solution could involve TEs - 08/21/2006
Source: Boston.com

The Patriots ran 41 plays from the line of scrimmage in the first half of Saturday night's exhibition game against the Cardinals. Of those plays, 28 involved two or more tight ends on the field. It started on the game's first play, with Daniel Graham and Benjamin Watson lined up side by side on the left side of the line. The team's last offensive play of the half included four tight ends on the field -- Graham, Watson, David Thomas and Garrett Mills -- as Corey Dillon pounded in for a 4-yard touchdown run.

Fantasy Impact: With the extraordinary skills that both Watson and Graham possess it is not surprising for the Patriots to take advantage of the mismatch they cause. While Deion Branch holds out, it seems possible that Watson and Graham could have receiver-like production. In addition rookie Thomas and Mills may not make an impact every week, but could be surprise contributors.

 

Short of targets, Brady still hits his marks - 08/20/2006
Source: projo.com

Playing 36 of the Patriots 39 first-half plays last night, quarterback Tom Brady responded to the increased workload, going 15-for-20 for 149 yards in the first half and leading three scoring drives. The greatest cause for concern? It's clearly missing its outside weapons. Receivers aren't getting any separation. Just four of Brady's 15 completions went to wideouts -- two to Bam Childress (including a 29-yarder down the right sideline) and one each to Reche Caldwell and Kelvin Kight. Brady went to his wide receivers just seven times in the first half.

Fantasy Impact: This game is a good demonstration of why the Patriots disappoint fantasy owners, except for those who possess Brady. No matter the situation, Brady will always generate solid production and spread the ball around. However, Deion Branch's holdout has left New England without a solid receiving corps, except for TE Ben Watson, and the offense does not generate good individual receiver numbers.

 

Dropoff in dress rehearsal - 08/12/2006
Source: Boston.com, bostonherald.com, courant.com

It only took one drive to learn two things about the Patriots last night: Laurence Maroney can still run and Reche Caldwell still can't catch. The Patriots' No. 1 draft choice nearly broke runs twice in the first 10 minutes, piling up 39 yards on three carries to help move the ball to the 7-yard line. Tom Brady dropped back on third down, read the Atlanta Falcons' defense perfectly, and put the ball into the hands of Caldwell, who until Deion Branch settles his differences with team management, is masquerading as New England's No. 1 receiver.

Fantasy Impact: If Corey Dillon goes down with injuries or Deion Branch continues his holdout, then the occurrences of this first game should ease concerns about Maroney, but raise them about Caldwell. Fantasy owners should be equally wary.

 

Brady has Branch’s back: But receiver, Pats aren’t talking - 08/02/2006
Source: BostonHerald.com

Not only is Deion Branch’s holdout entering its sixth day, the two sides haven’t spoken in a week. That’s a bad sign in a stalemate that’s beginning to take a toll on quarterback Tom Brady. He told Sports Illustrated yesterday that the offense desperately needs the wideout back on the field.

Fantasy Impact: After spending years in the Patriots' system, Branch does not lose much by missing a few days of training camp. However, if the holdout continues much longer some signs may be seen come the regular season.

 

Belichick silent on Brady's absence - 07/31/2006
Source: Boston.com, bostonherald.com

Tom Brady missed his third straight practice on Monday, but coach Bill Belichick didn't say why his quarterback was absent from the New England Patriots training camp. Asked specifically about Brady, Belichick referred to the team in general.

Fantasy Impact: It goes without saying that an injury to Brady would eliminate a top 5 fantasy quarterback and most likely hurt the production of receivers such as Deion Branch, Ben Watson, and Reche Caldwell.

 

Dream scheme -- Pats bring back two tight end set - 07/27/2006
Source: BostonHerald.com

The rest of the NFL catches on, however, so the Patriots must continually adapt. And heading into the 2006 season, they’re on the forefront of another trend that could subtly alter the balance of power in the league - the two tight end offense. Ben Watson certainly applies, along with San Diego’s Antonio Gates, Kansas City’s Tony Gonzalez, and San Francisco rookie Vernon Davis, to name three. What separates the Patriots from just about everybody else is the presence of Daniel Graham, a punishing blocker and dangerous open-field runner. When the Patriots put the two first-round picks on the field simultaneously this year - which should be quite often - they’ll create mismatches in the passing and running games.

Fantasy Impact: With the two athletic tight ends on the roster, they should see both their numbers rise, perhaps Watson more than Graham, and those of Branch may see a slight decline.

 

Branch not reporting to camp - 07/26/2006
Source: Boston.com, BostonHerald.com, ESPN.com

After mulling his options for several days, No. 1 wide receiver Deion Branch decided last night he will not report to camp despite facing a $14,000-per-day fine. A year ago, Richard Seymour sat out of camp until the Patriots agreed to bump up his contract by more than $1 million before making him one of the NFL's highest-paid defensive linemen this past offseason.

Fantasy Impact: At most, the biggest impact this holdout could have upon the Patriots will be allowing other receivers such as Reche Caldwell and Chad Jackson the chance to get more reps than they would. Branch has demonstrated the ability over the years to step in and make an immediate impact with his knowledge of the offense.

 

Branch mulls options - 07/25/2006
Source: Boston.com

While the five veterans were made officially unavailable for the opening of camp, wide receiver Deion Branch continued to mull his options in an ongoing battle to win a contract extension. Branch continues to tell friends he intends to hold out, refusing to come to camp despite a change in league rules that has increased the fine for a player under contract not attending training camp workouts from $5,000 per day to $14,000 a day.

Fantasy Impact: Branch's holdout means that the number one receiving threat of the Patriots will lose some time to the other options on the roster, notably Chad Jackson, but as a veteran he should not be too greatly effected.

 

Patriots ink two rookies: Jackson, Mincey in fold - 07/22/2006
Source: BostonHerald.com, ESPN.com

The Patriots agreed to contracts with second-round draft pick Chad Jackson and sixth-round choice Jeremy Mincey yesterday, according to a report on ESPN.com. Jackson caught 88 passes for the Gators last season, matching a single-season school record. He’s expected to compete with Reche Caldwell for the No. 2 wide receiver job with the Pats. Mincey, another Florida alum, agreed to a three-year deal. Financial terms weren’t available. The linebacker played 24 games for the Gators the last two seasons, collecting five sacks and one interception.

Fantasy Impact: The holdout of Deion Branch and notoriety of Reche Caldwell's underachievement leaves a spot open for Jackson to step in immediately and make a huge contribution by signing on time. Mincey offers immediate depth at linebacker and could see some playing time with the departure of Willie McGinest, but should have little impact.

 

Branch not catching a break on pact - 07/16/2006
Source: Boston.com

Deion Branch is blessed with an innate sense of timing. His understanding of route running and how to get open is what separates him from most receivers in the NFL. Unfortunately, the fifth-year pro has had some poor timing when it comes to being paid. And time is running out for Branch and the Patriots to come to a contract agreement that will please him this season. Training camp is two weeks away and the clock is ticking.

Fantasy Impact: Deion Branch continues to hold out for a big payday extension from his rookie contract, and if he doesn't report to camp on time, the lone beneficiary could be rookie Chad Jackson.

 

Brady looks to raise game - 00/00/0000
Source: The Boston Globe

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a career 61.9 percent passer, but he's at 50 percent through two games this season. In leading the team to two victories, Brady is 26 of 52 for 383 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Assessing his performance, Brady said ``there were plenty of plays I wish I would have thrown better balls on" while acknowledging that the team's passing game hasn't ``been at the level it's been at in the past." Brady, who has also been sacked four times and lost two fumbles, said the offense was fortunate to have its running game producing (330 yards, 4.1 yards per carry). That, in turn, has taken pressure off the passing game. ``Is it frustrating? Sure, it's frustrating," Brady said. ``Hopefully we make more improvements this week, just like we did from Week 1 to Week 2."

Fantasy Impact: In the long-run, Brady is a sure-fire, solid fantasy performer. Disregard his problems,temporarily. But, have a solid backup. And, be prepared to play him. Shopping Cutler might be a good option.

 
RECENT CAREER
  Receiving Kick Returns Punt Returns Fumbles
Year Team G Rec Yds YPR YPG YAC 1st
Downs
TD 100+
Yd G
No Yds Avg TD No Yds Avg TD Fum Fum
Lost
2004 NWE 9 35 454 13 50.4 4 27 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
2005 NWE 16 78 998 12.8 62.4 3 51 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 
CURRENT SEASON
  Receiving Kick Returns Punt Returns Fumbles
Week Opp Rec Yds YPR YPG YAC 1st
Downs
TD 100+
Yd G
No Yds Avg TD No Yds Avg TD Fum Fum
Lost
1@DET 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2ARI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3NYG 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4@CHI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5Bye
6@STL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
7MIN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8@KAN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9OAK 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10STL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
11@SFO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
12GNB 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
13@DEN 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
14@ARI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
15SFO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
16SDG 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
17@TAM 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006To Date 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 

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