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Graham Uses Sad Past, Basketball To Join Ranks Of Elite Tight Ends

http://www.saintspro.com/19-jonathan-vilma-jersey Jimmy Graham Solidifies Status as Best Fantasy Football TE With Monster Game vs Bucs

5924362196756452508.jpg "When I first got [to the group home] it was difficult," Graham said. "I blamed the world. But slowly, it started to sink in that I control my own destiny. I focused on what I would do when I got out." Nine months of beatings, black eyes and tear-filled calls home convinced Graham's mother to bring him home to Goldsboro, N.C., though she left him largely on his own to feed and clothe himself. "It made me grow up at a very young age," Graham said.

Jimmy Graham posts a career-high 156 yards in just one half vs. Buccaneers

5924362200418685288.jpg Graybeards Witten, Tony Gonzalez of the Atlanta Falcons and Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers appear to be in the twilight of their record-setting careers. At 27, Graham is healthy coming off a perceived down year despite leading the Saints with 85 receptions. He also piled up 982 receiving yards and nine touchdowns despite playing through a debilitating left wrist injury that required surgery after the season. "Last year was very difficult playing all season with that much pain," said Graham, who won't reveal whether the wrist was broken. "But that's football. "I'm going to be a man and play for this team no matter what." PHOTOS: NFL preseason action Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Chris Harper (17) tumbles through the end zone after dropping a potential touchdown pass during the second quarter at CenturyLink Field. Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Josh Bellamy (8) is congratulated by tight end Kevin Brock (46) during the second half of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium. Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports San Francisco 49ers tight end Vance McDonald (89) is goes airborne after getting hit by San Diego Chargers defensive back Jahleel Addae (37) during first quarter action at Qualcomm Stadium. Robert Hanashiro, http://www.neworleanssaintsimage.com/elite-nike-12-archie-manning-jersey USA TODAY Sports New York Jets tight end Konrad Reuland (88) fumbles after being hit by Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho (53) during the first half of a preseason game at Metlife Stadium. Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports Chicago Bears cornerback Demontre Hurst (30) makes and interception in front of Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon (12) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Rob Grabowski, USA TODAY Sports Houston Texans running back Dennis Johnson (28) scores a first quarter touchdown against Dallas Cowboys safety J.J.

Jimmy Graham healthier, hungrier

5924336939786561590.jpg Essentially the position's unanimous first pick this season, Graham cemented that claim with 10 catches, 179 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, inflicting most of the damage during the first half. Jimmy Graham has a career high 8 REC, 156 YDS, 1 TD -- AND ITS STILL THE FIRST HALF!! #BEAST NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 15, 2013 The fourth-year star scooped up his second score of the year on a 56-yard strike from Drew Brees. This is what drafters signed up for when they invested a second-round pick to gain an upper hand at a position that seemingly lacked sterling standouts. Fantasy managers were forced to bypass wide receivers of greater talent who will likely finish with more points, but Graham is proving worthy of the high appraisal in the season's early stages.

Jimmy Graham Felt Unwanted, Unloved, Hopeless, Until A...

5924362206424302110.jpg Now it's a little bit more on my shoulders... I'm definitely getting a little older, I'm learning a lot more about defenses this year, and I think that's what is going to help." Notes Payton said he has not decided who will call the offensive plays this season. In 2011, he stopped doing it after he was injured in a sideline collision in the sixth game of the season, taking more of an oversight role while offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael called plays. Last season Carmichael again called all the plays while Payton was suspended, and the Saints' offense ranked second in total yards.

Now healthy, Saints' Jimmy Graham could cash in during contract year

5917850681521646232.jpg I was very protective. I had a lot of people who ran over me, used me. By that age, I was smart enough to not let it happen again. And [Vinson] was asking some questions that were very penetrating questions about how I was feeling." Vinson, 11 years older, believes she developed Graham's trust and friendship because they had a common bond. "I had a bad childhood, too, and I believe he had someone who understood him," she said. "I think that bond made him more free to talk about things." Not wanting to go home, Graham would spend every evening at Vinson's home, eating dinner and staying late. "It wasn't like I was trying to harbor someone's kid," Vinson said.

5908917685951333794.jpg 15, 2013 Jimmy Graham posts a career-high 156 yards in just one half vs. Buccaneers Related In partnership with SBNation.com By Dan Ciarrocchi Saints tight end Jimmy Graham caught eight passes for a career-high 156 yards and a touchdown in the first half versus the Buccaneers. More: For more on the Saints, check out Canal Street Chronicles Graham is proving to be far too much for the Buccaneers safeties and linebackers to keep up with, despite their athleticism at those positions. But as Graham has shown plenty of times in the past, he is his own animal and can pose a mismatch on just about any player lining up across from him. Graham nearly reeled-in a second touchdown catch, but the call was overturned after video evidence confirmed he was down at the one yard line. Fantasy Spin: In PPR leagues, Graham is already one of the top options of the week at tight end with 29.6 fantasy points with two quarters to still be played.