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Fantasy spin: Seattle releases Shaun Alexander

In a move that shouldn't come as a shock to fantasy football owners, the Seattle Seahawks have decided to release Shaun Alexander after eight seasons with the team.

Whether it was age, injuries, the loss of OG Steve Hutchinson or some combination of the three, Alexander's tenure as an elite fantasy runner ended quickly...and with a thud.

Considered one of the most valuable running backs in fantasy land after an MVP season in 2005, Alexander has seen his numbers fall hard over the past two seasons. In fact, he has recorded a combined 1,612 rushing yards and 12 total touchdowns from 2006-2007 -- that's 268 fewer rushing yards and 16 fewer total touchdowns than he produced in 2005 alone.

Despite his recent failures, Alexander's impact on fantasy football has been immense.

He rushed for 1,100-plus yards and scored double-digit touchdowns in five consecutive seasons between 2001-2005, and Alexander was a lock first-round selection in most drafts. He also held the NFL record for touchdowns in a single season with 28, but that record was shattered when LaDainian Tomlinson found the end zone an incredible 31 times in 2006.

Alexander's future in the league is now in a state of limbo, as most teams don't need a 30-year-old running back who has missed 12 of his past 32 starts due to injuries. Still, Alexander will warrant some attention after this weekend's NFL Draft.

In fact, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and New England have been mentioned as a possible landing places. Baltimore, Detroit and San Diego are other possibilities.

In a best-case scenario, Alexander could find himself in a backfield committee with a team willing to roll the dice. But based on his recent injury issues and decreased level of production between the white lines, Alexander shouldn't be seen as more than a low-end No. 3 fantasy back in leagues with 12-plus teams.

The Seahawks will now move on with Jones atop their depth chart. A former 1,000-yard back, Jones has averaged just 221 carries in four NFL seasons. With fresh legs, a prominent role on a new team and past success at Qwest Field (Jones has 310 rushing yards and three touchdowns in two career starts), the Notre Dame product has seen his value increase.

The presence of Maurice Morris and Duckett, who could steal some goal-line carries, does limit his stock, but Jones should still be seen as a viable No. 3 fantasy back or flex starter.

In our recent 12-team staff mock draft, Jones was taken in the sixth round (72nd overall selection) as a potential flex option. Morris came off the board in the 12th round (139th overall selection) as a reserve, but Duckett was left undrafted.

Alexander was taken in Round 8.

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