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Eisenberg profiles Bills' Jackson

Terrell Owens, Lee Evans, Marshawn Lynch and Trent Edwards are the four playerswho immediately come to mind when discussing which Buffalo Bills can make an impact in fantasy football this season, but CBS Sports senior fantasy writer Jamey Eisenberg has another name to consider: Fred Jackson.

The Bills' backup running back should get plenty of touches in the first three weeks with Lynch out on suspension. Eisenberg, however, takes it a step further, proclaiming Jackson will be the best running back in Buffalo by season's end.

"Jackson has several things working in his favor," Eisenberg writes. "He wants to prove he's worth the four-year contract extension he signed in May and show he's an every-down back. He is a good receiver out of the backfield and should benefit from the Bills' new no-huddle offense. And there aren't a lot of expectations for Jackson since Lynch is considered the star running back, and Buffalo also brought in Dominic Rhodes this offseason."

I often at times thought last season that Jackson was Lynch's equal -- and maybe even his superior -- but I'm of the mindset that unless Lynch totally falls on his face, the Bills will continue to run him out there when he gets back from suspension. He was the 12th overall pick, after all.

What do you think? Can Jackson take over the starting role from Lynch? Will he become a stud fantasy player? Comment away below.


---Jay Skurski

What the Snell is going on?

That's the question fantasy owners -- and Pittsburgh Pirates fans -- are asking about starting pitcher Ian Snell. Slated to be the No. 2 starter for the Bucs coming out of spring training, Snell struggled greatly. After compiling a 2-8 record and a 5.36 ERA, he took the unusual step -- even for a Pirates pitcher -- of asking to be sent to the minor leagues.

If that weren't strange enough, Snell has owned Triple-A hitters. In four starts since being demoted June 25, he's struck out 34 and walked just eight. With No. 5 starter Virgil Vasquez putting up a 1-3 record and a 6.52 ERA, there's a need in Pittsburgh for a reliable starter.

Snell, though, won't be it -- at least for now. First, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published a story saying the pitcher didn't want to return to Pittsburgh.

Then Snell said that's not exactly true. The Indianapolis Star reported a few weeks ago that Snell is battling depression and even had thoughts of suicide earlier this season while with the Pirates. If that's the case -- and he's happier in the minor leagues -- that's exactly where he should stay until his issues are worked out.


---Jay Skurski 

Quentin close to a return

The breakout fantasy star of 2008, Chicago White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, is finally getting closer to a return.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Quentin played all nine innings Thursday in left field for Triple-A Charlotte in a 7-1 win over Norfolk. Quentin went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI single.

It's been a long time coming for fantasy owners patient enough for Quentin to return from plantar fasciitis, a painful condition in the foot that can take months to overcome (the same injury landed Bills cornerback Ashton Youboty on injured reserve last year).

Quentin hasn't played since May 25, but if he's healthy, he should provide a huge fantasy boost in the season's second half.


---Jay Skurski

Owens, Evans don't make the list

The fantasy football rankings and lists are coming out by the dozens these days. On foxsports.com, Mike Harmon unveils his projections for the top 15 receptions leaders.

No surprise at No. 1 with Andre Johnson, but a few of Harmon's picks were head-scratchers. T.J. Houshmandzadeh at No. 3 ahead of Larry Fitzgerald? Torry Holt and Laveranues Coles on the list at 13 and 14?

Rounding out the top 15 is Antonio Gates of San Diego, who Harmon has pegged for 77 catches.

Not on the list are Bills receivers Terrell Owens or Lee Evans. What do you think of Harmon's list? Any big omissions or oversights?


---Jay Skurski

Yahoo, NFLPA settle their differences

Yahoo Inc. will be allowed to use NFL players' statistics, likenesses and other data in its fantasy football leagues after reaching an agreement Monday to drop a lawsuit against the NFL Players Association.

Yahoo had sued the NFLPA last month in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, claiming it shouldn't have to pay royalties for data that is already publicly available.

That stance makes sense when you consider the NFLPA doesn't charge media outlets a fee for publishing or broadcasting the information.

Officials from both sides declined to offer specifics on the settlement.

This should be viewed as good news for fantasy football participants like myself who use Yahoo for their leagues. If the NLFPA was successful in charging fees to fantasy providers like Yahoo, it would be only a matter of time until those costs were passed along to participants. 


---Jay Skurski