Ladies and gentlemen, I proudly present to you the 2008 fantasy football sleeper at wide receiver: the one, the only, the incomparable Donnie Avery.
My relationship with Avery began last week when I picked him up as a free agent (he was owned by a scant 8 percent of users on Yahoo! at the time) seconds after his 42-yard touchdown reception against Dallas, his second jaunt to the end zone in as many weeks.
After waffling about whether to start him on the road against New England, I finally pulled the trigger and benched Amani Toomer Saturday night, clearing space for Avery. Sunday morning, ESPN’s fantasy nerd guru Matthew Berry reaffirmed my decision on national TV, predicting Avery would come through with at least one score.
Of course, Avery paid off in spades, hauling in six catches for 163 yards and a touchdown. That was good for 14 fantasy points, 9 more than my number one draft pick Randy Moss (whose fantasy potential was sabotaged by Tom Brady’s knee). In addition to the emergence of Chris Long, Leonard Little and the rest of the defensive line and the epic back-from-the-dead-with-a-vengeance play of Fakhir Brown and the Rams’ secondary, Avery has been pivotal in the Rams turnaround.
Avery is young, he’s fast, and I shout at the TV for the Rams to give him the ball on every possession. Making the University of Houston alum the first receiver drafted this past year may have been the only thing that Scott Linehan ever did right as head coach. My only beef with Avery is his touchdown celebration dance.
Thus far, his scores have been followed by a perfunctory rendition of the robot. If he continues to score at this rate, I demand a windmill breakdance, or, at the very least, a moonwalk.
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