BREAKING: Crosby Cleared for Contact

(3/6/12) Huge news out of Pittsburgh today as Sidney Crosby dropped the bombshell that he's symptom free and cleared for contact.  He could even return to game action as early as Sunday.

Talk about a surprising development.  We thought Crosby was probably done for the year, but now he's back in the fantasy mix at a critical point in the season.  When he does return, expect it to be the same as last time.  Crosby has been skating hard and his conditioning is already at a high level, so there's no reason to think he won't hit the ground running with huge production right off the bat.  We don't have to tell you that he should be inserted into lineups the moment he returns. 

The news clearly elevates the fantasy value of every player on the Penguins.  Crosby generates offense like no other player in the league, and the points he creates trickle through the lineup from top to bottom.  And his return also vaults the Penguins into the mix as an elite Cup contender.  Bump every Penguin up in your playoff rankings.

In the midst of the excitement, it's easy to forget the dark side.  The danger of another concussion will forever loom in the background with Crosby.  It's a simple medical reality that a player who suffers a concussion is more susceptible to another.  He lasted eight games in his previous comeback attempt before being sent back to the press box after a minor bump.  Every time Crosby takes a hit, fantasy owners will hold their breath and hope he gets up.  We wish him the best of luck in resuming a long and successful career.