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Bucs RB Huggins shoots up rankings with Ward’s release

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Posted Aug. 31, 2010 @ 5:24 p.m. ET
By Michael Blunda

If you're a fantasy owner who isn't familiar with Kareem Huggins, you had better get used to hearing his name.

Already a darling in the fantasy expert community, Huggins saw his stock boosted in a major way Tuesday when the Buccaneers released RB Derrick Ward just one year after signing him to a four-year deal. The move elevates Huggins to No. 2 on the Bucs' backfield depth chart behind only Cadillac Williams.

Entering the league as an undrafted free agent out of Hofstra in 2009, Huggins did not receive a single carry in his rookie season, seeing his only time as a kickoff returner (two returns for 52 yards). But the buzz began to build for the 24-year-old this preseason when he came out and had eight carries for 55 yards in the exhibition opener, then followed it up with eight attempts for 44 yards in Game Two. He bombed in his third outing, but that didn't affect Tampa Bay's plans, as the team cut ties with a slow, overweight Ward this week.

Given the fact that Williams has played all 16 games just once in his five-year career (it just happened to be last season), Huggins becomes someone to target in the late rounds of your draft. There's a good chance that the diminutive speedster will be needed to step in and start at some point in 2010, in which case he'd be a very valuable commodity.


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