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Tim Brown: Luck Be a Gray Lady

With less than a week before opening kickoff, now is the time for fantasy football league drafts. Earlier in the year I wrote a column about how it was too early to start thinking about fantasy football. Well, now the time has come to finalize your draft board. The teams are all ready -- almost. Everyone has the same record: 0-0.

This is the time when fans all over the country try to slice and dice the data to see if they can find any hidden gems. Sure, the first round is predictable -- running backs will go like crazy. Maybe even a quarterback (Peyton Manning) or, depending on the league, a slew of wide receivers may also go.

But for the most part, the names will be the same in leagues across the country. The picks are made in a matter of seconds in most leagues, and there are maybe a few surprises, but when someone passes on a big player, the next team typically scoops up that passed-over player in a matter of seconds. There really is no thrill, no fun in the top rounds.

The area to grab real finds is in the middle and late rounds. That's where you find rookies who have not proven themselves in the NFL but may play a bigger role if they perform. You will also find comeback players who many have written off. And, you will get backups who are thrust into the limelight because of an injury or underperformance by the starter. Lastly, there are the players who inexplicably slip through to the later rounds.

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