Saturday, December 31, 2011

More Fun at the Expense of Broncos Management

I am not a Denver Bronco fan or hater.

But for some reason, I have had lots to post about on the Broncos.

And with my last 2011 post, why not offer another thought on the team formerly known as the Orange Crush:

Wouldn't it be ironic tomorrow if Kyle Orton leads the Chiefs past Denver, the Raiders win, and the Broncos do not make the playoffs?

This would be a final punch in the stomach for Broncos management that has seemingly fumbled through the 2011-12 season.

I refer to decisions like these:

--Tout Tim Tebow as the starter prior to the season and generate excitement around ticket sales.  Yet he ends camp as the third-stringer.

--Put Kyle Orton on the trading block and then can't quite reach a deal with at least the Miami Dolphins that would have brought a good draft pick or two.

--Apologize to and then hold onto Kyle Orton, he wins the starting job, and then is benched after losing 4 of the 5 games that he leads the team.

--Unable to move the former starter before the trade deadline and then cannot get anything for him this season, Orton watches games from the sidelines.

--Once Tebow's winning streak is in full swing, Orton requests to be released.  The team does not have to grant his wish; especially since he could be signed by someone that they may play later.  Someone in their division.  Someone who can end their season.  You know, like the Chiefs in Week 17.

--They release Orton anyway, and he is signed by those Chiefs.

Whatever happens Sunday, Broncos management should be criticized for providing the Chiefs with a capable NFL quarterback that could result in a defeat and no playoffs for Denver.

A game that might have looked quite different if Orton were still holding a clipboard on Denver's sideline--as in facing Ricky Stanzi (a rookie who has never started an NFL game) or undrafted journeyman Tyler Palko (who has a less than 60 quarterback rating this year).

Monday, December 19, 2011

One and Done

Well it was good news/bad news for me in fantasy.

I lost my last regular season game, but still made it to the playoffs (9-5).

Unfortunately, I faced a team that had a hot scoring week, and RB Frank Gore will not be able to score enough tonight to help me win.

I was hopeful that RB Felix Jones, who I proudly drafted with my 5th pick only to watch him be a fantasy bust this year, would score bundles against my lowly Buccaneers. 

And, the Cowboys won easily and Jones had good yardage totals, but he did not score a TD. 

So as I play for 3rd place next week, I'll have plenty of time to rethink my drafting in the off-season.

I hope your team is doing better.   

Monday, December 12, 2011

On Karen Kornacki

At the Chiefs news conference on the firing of head coach Todd Haley, KMBC reporter Karen Kornacki questioned management as to why the move was made so close to Christmas. 

She then suggested that firing the coach could have waited until the end of the year; as it would have benefited Haley's family.

Well, Kornacki is taking a load of ribbing online.

In contrast to Kornacki's belief, I think former coach Haley's family may be the happiest group ever to welcome home a newly unemployed dad during the holidays.

Instead of barely seeing the guy this Christmas, Haley's family will now have lots of time to spend with him--and the sizable payout he'll receive due to the contract being terminated will bring even more smiles.

This is a coach who has been paid millions, and will likely have little problem finding a new job in the off-season.

He will be just fine.

And, Kornacki is tough and will weather this storm.

At least this controversy did not involve her being shot in the face with a pellet gun by Kansas City Royals outfielder Emil Brown again as she was interviewing another player.       

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

End of the Fantasy Season

This is the last regular season game of my fantasy football league and 7 out of the 10 teams have either clinched a playoff birth or can still advance to the playoffs depending on the results.

Though my top three draft picks have been less than impressive this year (RB Mendenhall, RB Gore, and QB Rivers), I am still fighting for the playoffs with a 9-4 record. 

Unfortunately, my last game is against my son's team--he always seems to go on a late winning streak, and is doing just that in 2011.

Last year, all I needed was a win to make the playoffs on the last game, and I was playing the worst team in the league.  Instead, I lost and my son made the playoffs instead.

Just to make his dad look bad, he even advanced to the Super Bowl only to finish as the league's runner-up.

Perhaps this year, I can take bragging rights from him. 

If not, it will be another long off-season of Dad whining.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On Beating the Packers

I have grown weary listening to football experts discuss whether the Saints are built to beat the Packers in the playoffs.

The pontificators always answer "No" to this type of question, and argue that the Saints are a dome team dependent on an impressive and complex passing game for lots of points--a strategy that typically does not translate well for a visiting team challenging those "cheese-heads" on a frigid Wisconsin Sunday. 

They also list the Saints defense as questionable with their 18th NFL ranking in "Points Allowed Per Game."

So what is wrong with this explanation?

It fails to address that the Packers are not built like a team that wins in cold weather either

Every liability that New Orleans has, could be characterized as a weakness for Green Bay as well.

The Packers are a high-octane passing team with a superstar QB and fantastic receivers.

Both teams depend on throwing to their TEs to create match-up problems.

Neither team runs the ball exceptionally well--I think the Saints have the advantage here with the four good backs.

And what about defense? 

The Packers are only ranked 14th in the league in points allowed.

In "Total Yards Per Game," twenty-nine other team defenses are better than the Packers (the Saints are ranked 25th overall).

In sum, neither team has a great defense, running the ball is not a strength for either, and both would likely prefer to play in a comfy dome somewhere where they can score 70 points by passing. 

So, the next time you hear "the Saints are not built to defeat the Packers in the cold weather", I say flip the argument on them and have them explain how the Packers are constructed to win in January.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Were the Players Thinking?

What were NFL players thinking in not insisting that port-a-potties be installed on the sideline and available for use during games?

I mean that could have easily been added to the last agreement after this summer's lockout.

It sure would have saved Chargers K Nick Novak from his most embarrassing moment--a clip that will continue playing for years and years thanks to the Internet.

You can go here to see poor Nick.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Know When to Hold

It has been a difficult year for Denver Broncos' management.

They are starting Tim Tebow at quarterback--not something that team executive John Elway or Head Coach John Fox wanted to do.

And today, they released opening day starting quarterback Kyle Orton

This is the same Orton that the Broncos were shopping at the start of the season for a high draft pick to at least the Dolphins and the Colts.

But, Denver management failed to complete a deal involving Orton, and so months later, they release him and get nothing in return.

Evidently, Orton had requested the move in hopes of getting a fresh start elsewhere (thinking the Bears). 

Obviously, Orton was still desirable to other teams--as the Chiefs, Bears, and Cowboys tried to claim him via waivers.

The Chiefs had the higher priority, and expect Orton to be their starting signal-caller in a week or two.

Wouldn't it be funny if Orton leads the Chiefs in winning the AFC West over his old team the Broncos?

After Broncos management listened to their back-up quarterback and granted the release instead of just holding him so that no other potential competitors had his valuable services?

This has the potential to be a move that Denver fans will have difficulty forgetting.

You gotta know when to hold 'em.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Philip Rivers Can Reduce Crime

Suffering through a Chargers game a few weeks ago, I thought of an innovative crime reduction strategy related to football.

What if those convicted of petty crimes (minor shoplifting, vandalism, etc.) had their sentence based on how many turnovers that Chargers QB Philip Rivers makes during a game?

If he has one turnover or less, then the offender receives just a warning.

But, if Philip has more than one fumble/interception, then the offender is mandated to up to four weekend litter clean-up details on area roads?

I firmly believe that the stress of watching a full Chargers game with QB Rivers take each snap from center, covering your eyes, and then screaming "I just know this play is going to be another turnover", would be torture enough to keep people from wanting to commit future crimes.

Plus, no one would get off with a warning--Philip consistently deliver those weekly turnovers.

Ok, yes I do have Philip Rivers on my fantasy team this year (used my third pick), and dread watching him implode each week with the horrible interceptions and fumbles.   

So, despite not being a criminal, that'll be me every game weekend, with eyes covered and muttering choice words that end in "...Rivers."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sideline Reporting

Who said that football sideline reporters never get any good scoops?

Michelle TaFoya did during last night's Patriots thumping the Jets:

Rex Ryan knew it was a mistake right away.

When Mark Sanchez took a time out with 1:24 left in the first half, Ryan was angry, already thinking about the Patriots next possession.

Ryan told NBC’s Michele TaFoya that the timeout was the “stupidest play in NFL history.”...

So, instead of the usual "coach talk" when confronted with a microphone, I offer this solution: Have the sideline reported just hang out with Rex Ryan and get his input on every Sunday night game.

They could pay him to watch the first half, he could assume his effective portrayal of a comedian, and the audience could just laugh and shake their heads.

It would be much better than the usual blah, blah, blah.

Rex, you won't coach forever, but I think you have a bright future as television court jester.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thursday Night Games and My Fav Hit

These Thursday night games are tough for Fantasy Footballers.

Instead of waiting until Sunday morning for all the information to develop, you have to make decisions much earlier--some based on your best guess.

I am wrestling with: should I start Raiders RB Bush or go with Chiefs RB Battle?

With no McFadden, Bush will get almost all the RB touches this week, and he posted over 18 points last week.

He does play a good Chargers defense (despite what they showed against the Packers last Sunday), but Battle goes against a bad Broncos run defense and, outside of last week, has looked promising.

Battle does compete with two other backs for touches though.

So tomorrow night, I'll be biting my fingernails and making a call that will likely win or lose my fantasy game this week.


I'll leave you with my favorite Tampa Bay Buccaneers hit of all time--not legal by current rules, but whoa, was it a dinger back in the day.

Note: Eric Hipple was not seriously injured on the play, and remembering how bad my Bucs were back then, he probably returned and led the Lions to a two touchdown victory.

Friday, November 4, 2011


As college football fans prepare for the showdown in Tuscaloosa this weekend, I am looking forward to watching Bama junior running back Trent Richardson.

Backing-up now Saints running back Mark Ingram, Richardson turned some heads last season with his abilities while Ingram was out with an injury.

Listed at 5'11 and 224 lbs., Richardson seems to have all the tools.  Speed. Quickness.  Elusiveness.  Good hands.

But the Richardson trait that stands out the most is his strength.

It looks like he can leg squat a house, and it shows on the football field as he carries would-be tacklers down the field.

I think the term "NFL ready" is overused by analysts talking about drafting college quarterbacks, but I see nothing wrong with characterizing running back Richardson as a guy ready for professional football.

He reminds me of Maurice Jones-Drew--a versatile ball carrier, blocker, and receiver.

So, enjoy Saturday night's LSU-Alabama game as it may be a preview for players involved in your 2012 Fantasy Football Draft.   

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

No Respect

Listening to all the fantasy football fans must really get annoying for professional football players.

But how bad is it when your own family disses you in fantasy?

...Going into the year, we weren’t sure that Fred Jackson would start for the Bills. He struggled to get respect even inside his own house.

His wife didn’t select him until the fifth round of her fantasy football draft. She chose Michael Turner over him.

“[I told her] I’m not going to continue to sit here if you’re skipping over me in these rounds. If you don’t take me, I’m going to call your brother and tell him to pick me up,” Jackson said.

She drafted him. Like all of Jackson’s fantasy owners, she’s doing very well this year.

Too funny.

I drafted you Fred.

Wait it was in the 8th round.

Now that was a lucky pick for me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Watch Ivory

I haven't had time to post much here this week.

Busy with stuff--aren't we all

I was going to comment on the Patriots Rob Gronkowski and BiBi Jones photo, but it is old news now.

So, my sleeper play of for last week was the Raiders RB Michael Bush.

He did well, but not in the scenario I had envisioned. 

The Raiders looked awful, Darren McFadden got hurt early, and Bush became to go-to guy even in a blowout loss.

As a long-term sleeper pickup, I like Saints RB Chris Ivory who was activated by the team this week (was recovering from a foot injury).

Last year, the undrafted Ivory was inserted into the lineup after injuries, and was fantastic--finishing the season with over 700 yards rushing and five touchdowns. 

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll called Ivory "a freak" after watching him perform in a game last season. 

The Saints have one of the most explosive passing games in the NFL, yet coaches would love to run the ball well too.

And they have not excelled at that thus far.

With RBs Ingram hurt, Thomas still trying to find his old form after injuries, and Sproles more of a complimentary back, Ivory's value as lead runner has appeal.

Look for him to play sparingly this week, but watch for Ivory as the Saints search for a favorite in their run game.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coach Fox and Tim Tebow

After listening to the Tim Tebow supporters and detractors, I have not heard one relevant question about his performance from last Sunday discussed:

After completing four of fourteen passes for a paltry forty-plus yards in over three quarters of playing time but with the game still close at 15-0, why did Coach John Fox not bench Tebow for Kyle Orton or Brady Quinn?

Orton is considered an NFL starter, and by some accounts, Quinn outplayed Tebow in training camp and the preseason, and was considered the team's backup quarterback.

So, why stay with Tebow in that game?

Here are two possibilities:

1) Loyalty

Coach Fox was loyal to Tebow and wanted him to start what he finished.  He and organization executives needed to evaluate Tebow on a full-game of work, and pulling him in the second half would not have allowed it. 

When Coach Fox called the shots for the Carolina Panthers, he stuck with embattled signal-caller Jake Delhomme longer than most everyone would have.

Fox had named Tebow the starter, and he was going to give him a full game to show his talents.


2) To Prove a Point

Coach Fox did not draft Tim Tebow.  He watches him struggle with a traditional passing game.  He does not see him as an NFL starting quarterback. 

But, he has to listen to very vocal Broncos and national supporters holler for Tebow to start at quarterback.  With the team's season looking bad, and the starter (Orton) being ineffective, Fox decided to settle the Tebow issue once and for all.

He would start Tebow.  Then, his deficiencies would be visible to all.  Coach Fox would not consider removing Tebow, if he performed poorly.  If Tebow played the entire game and failed (including leading the Broncos at the end), the pro-Tebow supporters would have been silenced.

The coach and team could then move forward with Orton or Quinn.

But, then Tebow rallied the team for a win--and solved nothing for organization administrators.


So which is it--did Coach Fox emphasize loyalty by giving Tebow a full game or did he expect the guy to fail so that they could move forward next season?

I tend to believe it was the latter.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Too Much

In the best-selling book MoneyBall, author Michael Lewis cites a telling quote from Oakland Athletics' General Manager Billy Beane (yes, for non-sport fans, as played by Brad Pitt in the movie-version):

"The day you say you have to do something, you're screwed.  Because you are going to make a bad deal.  You can always recover from the player you didn't sign.  You may never recover from the player that you signed at the wrong price."

I think Beane's observation accurately describes the Oakland Raiders this week.

With QB Jason Campbell injured and out indefinitely, Raiders management acquired QB Carson Palmer from the Bengals.

The asking price for the disgruntled Palmer before the apparently desperate Raiders contacted them was rumored to be a second round draft pick.

Quite a difference as compared to the first round draft pick, and another conditional draft pick (that could be a first-rounder as well)  the Raiders will lose in the trade.

So, acquiring Palmer may solidify a respectable Raiders team, and likely will send them into the playoffs.

But, would Oakland have been better off keeping those top picks and trading for unwanted game managers Kyle Orton or Donovan McNabb?    

Does trading so much of your future for a veteran QB who has never quite looked like the superstar he was prior to suffering that a serious knee injury a few years ago make long-term sense?

I say "no", but time will tell.

The Bengals' management is sure smiling though.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Who is Whining Louder?

Who is whining louder this morning: Redskins fans after a difficult loss to a reeling Eagles team or the saps that started Rex Grossman as a fill-in quarterback for the week's fantasy football games?

 I would argue it is me and the other fantasy players who watched Grossman star in one of the worst QB-performances of the season--resulting in an unreal -2 points for our teams.

I am thinking Grossman will be the most frequently cut player in fantasy football today and tomorrow as the Skins welcome the QB John Beck era.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On Tim Tebow

It was announced yesterday that Broncos John Fox named Tim Tebow as the starting quarterback for the team's next game.

Tebow goes from the best job in professional football--that of the "backup" quarterback who is beloved by fans based only on expectations--to perhaps the most difficult: the starting signal caller.

From an outsider's perspective, it seems that Broncos management did not want Tebow. 

He was a first round pick by the previous administration, and multiple reports had Tebow as the third string quarterback as the season started.

Scouts dislike his accuracy.

He is perceived as a more dangerous runner than thrower.

And, Tebow is simply not "their guy."

I consider it reasonable to believe that Broncos management, tired of Denver fans demanding to see Tebow, inserted the young QB into the second half of last week's game so that he could fail.

Behind by two scores, against a top-ranked defense, and starting from inside his own ten-yard line, management expected Tebow to finish the game completing something like 6 out of 18 passes for 55 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions.

But, instead Tebow injected energy into the Broncos.

He rallied them for two touchdown drives--throwing for one and running another across the goal line himself.

The crowd went wild. 

Tebow's teammates were pumped.

And even though Denver lost, the Broncos management now had no choice but to name Tebow the starter.

Though they seem less than excited about the prospect.

So in two weeks, Tebow gets his opportunity to lead the Broncos against the Dolphins from the start of the game.

And what is even better for Tebow--playing the Dolphins game is certainly winnable game.

Now, you may want to stash Tebow on your fantasy team and wait and see.  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Parker on the Rise

I did enjoy watching my Bucs on Monday.  Since I live in the Northeast, I rarely get to see them.

I was reading one of the fantasy writers (forgot which one) who also watched the game, and he stated that Bucs WR Preston Parker is now a legit third receiving option for fantasy football players.

I am not so sure about that.  Parker has posted some good numbers, and has a good relationship with QB Josh Freeman, but I think he may be just benefiting from WR Mike Williams drawing all the defensive attention.

So, I short-term I am not that high on Parker. 

But, long-term is a different story.  The Bucs plan on having Freeman for the next forever and his current favorite go-to guy on third down is Parker. 

Freeman is in trouble look for Parker.

Bucs need a first down, Freeman throws to Parker.

Brady to Welker combinations take time. 

Freeman to Parker could be something special in the future.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sleeper of the Week: Installment I

Since I am short-handed at RB this week, I was considering my options with the available players in the waiver pool.

I signed Dexter McCluster and plan to use the WR/RB for the Chiefs as my flex starter.

With star RB Jaamal Charles done for the season, the Chiefs wanting to spread the ball around, and McCluster showing flashes of greatness, I expect him to get more than 12 touches per game.

McCluster's situation reminds me of how Peyton Hillis developed last year: versatile and productive players, on teams that want to run the ball, and both with key injuries at the RB position.

Now, McCluster's small frame certainly does not translate into a Hillis 30-carry game, but having a serviceable veteran QB in Cassel can only help prevent defenses from keying on Chiefs' runners.

Plus, last week as the Chiefs rallied and just fell short of defeating the Chargers, McCluster's rushing was a key component of the team's second-half charge.  His over 6 yards per carry should force Chiefs' coaches to involve Dexter more in the offense.

I am looking for a base of 8 fantasy points, and hoping he sneaks in a touchdown--finishing the game of against the Vikings with a double-digit total.

We will see.


Post Game Update:  This is where someone shouts "Don't quit your day job" and I just shake my noggin.  Dexter finished with less than four fantasy points on the day. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Start or Sit Challenge Update

I just reviewed the results of my week three Start/Sit Challenge entry over at Fantasy Pros.

After an awful week two, I rebounded for a 137 score--with the top score being 160.

My ranking was 11 out of 67 versus professional fantasy writers.

I had two bad picks last week: 1) Plaxico easily scored more than Jerome Simpson (had I known Simpson was not going to start; I would have gone with Plax as I was hoping for the motivated Simpson eager to get away from his personal life and perform on the field);  and 2) Shonn Greene outperformed James Starks by 10 points--just missed that one.

After a stellar Week #1, I am guessing that I am due for lousy picks in the next slate of games.

If that is the case, you won't see me mention Start/Sit Challenge next week.

Living life wearing rose colored glasses--yep, that is me.

Here are my stats so far:

Week 1: Rank #2, 146.02 points

Week 2: Rank #52, 92.04 points

Week 3: Rank #11, 136.98 points

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Mental Game

Tennessee Titans Insider Jim Wyatt reported this today on star running back Chris Johnson:

Running back Chris Johnson needs as many reps as he can take to get on the same page with his offensive line. He didn’t practice Wednesday, however, because of sore ribs.

Johnson said he would practice Thursday and expects to play on Sunday against the Broncos.

“I am just a little sore,” he said. “I got a lot of mental reps. I’ll be OK...

Glad to hear that you got all those "mental reps" at practice today Chris.

I just finished a 6 mile mental rep run, and before that, I completed three sets of mental rep bench presses of 325 lbs.

Dude, I am exhausted...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

True Confessions: Of the Fantasy Football Variety

I'd like to clear my conscience of a few things after two weeks of football:

1)  I was big on Jamaal Charles

Yes, I had him ranked as the #3 fantasy guy earlier this year (behind Peterson and Foster, but ahead of Chris Johnson when he was holding out).  One cannot predict injuries, but history tells us that no matter how good a running back is, if his team is losing by three touchdowns in the 3rd quarter every week, the back's fantasy value will suffer. Charles was going to "suffer" through a long season on a bad team anyway.

2) I traded Beanie Wells and Miles Austin for Nicks and low-ranking receiver

It was prior to the season starting, I was deep at running back, and of course I am convinced that Austin was personally motivated to post great fantasy point totals just to make me look bad.

3) I passed on Kenny Britt

I had him high because he is big, fast, and I liked his performance last year; not to mention that the Titans brought in a veteran QB to throw to him.  I just could not get past the character issues--that he might be suspended and miss games.  So far skipping him has been a big whiff for me.

4) My fantasy team is 2-0 so far-- I admit that we are not good but lucky

Drafting Mendenhall and Gore as a solid one-two running back punch seemed like a good idea, but has me just disappointed now.  Some of the experts cited Mendenhall's overuse last year as a reason to stay away from him; I blocked it out.  Combine that with Isaac Redman stealing goal line runs, and I may be witnessing a recipe for disaster.  As for my other team "stars": QB Rivers has not been great, Nicks has been good but not stellar, and Mike Williams posted the magic negative total this past week.  Blah...


I am sure I'll have more confessions to report (that I am in denial about now) after a few more weeks.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Start or Sit: The Accuracy Challenge

For this week, at least, I can claim that my fantasy football advice is better than just about every paid expert out there.

My entry for the Start/Sit Accuracy Challenge over at FantasyPros scored a 146 or third place out of the fifty-eight experts the site tracks.  Keet Bailey and Kevin Roberts at NFL Soup finished first and second respectively; edging me by a mere one point.

But as with most things in life, I'll enjoy smiling and patting myself on the back this test result, fully expecting to finish next to last in week two.  


Note: I learned about the challenge over at the Fantasy Football Librarian's site.

Monday Night Injury

I learned last year that if you have a star performer with an injury who is questionable and is scheduled to play on Monday night, grab another player (teammate or from the opponent's team) at the same position for your bench.

That way, if it is announced that your star is unable to go right before kickoff, you have another player to insert into your lineup.

Otherwise, you have to play someone else prior to Monday's game or take a risk that might leave you with a zero point performance by your injured guy.

This week, I am watching the Giants' WR Nicks and his bad knee.  If he can't play on Monday, I also have the Giants WR Manningham.

Hopefully, Nicks will be a go--I like the Giants having a good offensive showing after a poor showing in Week #1 and playing a banged-up Rams squad.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On the David Garrard Release

I had another post ready until I saw that the Jags QB David Garrard was released today.

Now, he was not a top fantasy performer, but what does that move mean for other players of the Jaguars?

The stock for RB Jones-Drew certainly should decline some as the pressure will be great on one of the McCown brothers to run the offense. 

I'd avoid the team's top receivers including Mike Thomas and Cecil Shorts as the team certainly will try to establish a running game (and then watch defenses clog the box to stop it).

But, making a QB change right before the season opener may provide an opportunity for fantasy owners.

Remember when the Titans did that a few years ago or when the Cardinals dumped Matt Leinart in 2010?

Neither move translated into a successful season.

This could be an opportunity to grab the defense who plays the Jags each week--as it is likely Luke McCown and company will struggle and turn the ball over.

The Jags first five games are against the Titans, Jets, Panthers, Saints and Bengals.

In sum, avoid Jags players at least initially, but look for opportunities for their opponents.

Friday, September 2, 2011

My Fantasty Draft Evaluated

I had my 2011 Fantasy Draft late last week, and am happy with the results.

Of course, I never land all of the players that I want.

Picking late in a snake draft (8), limited my first pick options, but I was glad to see RB Mendenhall available. 

With the second round pick, I went with probably my highest risk/reward pick in selecting RB Frank Gore.  He is valuable while he is healthy, but never seems to escape the injury bug.  Passing on about all of the top receivers to grab Gore may haunt me.

I knew WR Nicks would likely not be there when I picked in the late 3rd, and to my regret, he was chosen a few picks ahead of me.  With two star RBs, I decided to go with QB Rivers. 

I have no problem in waiting to grab a QB later (Big Ben) if I like who is on the board, but this year many of the guys I liked for round 3 were gone. 

I was glad to take Rivers and not have to worry about the position though.  Last year I got burned by a QB run and was left with QB Kolb--that definitely did not work out. 

After going with WR Austin, I was able to stockpile backs--grabbing my planned flex back RB F. Jones, my primary depth guy RB F. Jackson, and RB Wells.  I also nabbed WR M. Williams (Bucs) during that span of picks. 

The good backup QBs were on the board when I picked RB Wells, but I felt like waiting was a reasonable strategy with QB Rivers good health. 

Plus, in a ten-team league, productive QBs can be found later in the waiver pile.

I was tempted to grab QB Stafford though.

For TEs, I landed the Saints sleeper Jimmy Graham and the Bucs's always limping Winslow, Jr.

I did not like my depth at wideout after settling for WR Manningham and Knox, and had some concerns about my #1 WR Austin, so I planned to look for a trade.   

My last two picks were K (Rams' Brown) and 49ers DEF--I play matchups with Team D.

In sum, I was happy with my mock draft results.  I am strong at RB as long as Gore stays on the field, and Jones meets expectations for what is supposed to be a good Cowboy team.  I have a top 5 QB and solid WRs.  The TEs may be good or a weakness, but should be at least solid.

I was able to work a trade at WR, and I'll cover that deal next post.

It will be a pleasure or torture to reread this post again in a few weeks.   

Monday, August 22, 2011

Last Round: Kickers Only?

Just about every fantasy expert will label your draft as "amateurish" or a "mistake" if you do not draft a kicker last.

Yes, kicker performance is difficult to predict from year to year. 

Will their team's offense score points and provide kicking opportunities?

What if the kicker plays for a good red zone team--won't that limit opportunities for 3 points?

Does the kicker's team play in a dome?  Does he have a schedule that includes indoor and warm weather venues to maximize his accuracy?

I agree that kicker's should be taken last, but with at least one exception.

In a ten team draft, I like to play match-ups with defense.  So, I pick my defense late and usually target a team that has a favorable week one opponent (aka lousy offense).  Often, the defenses that I want are not with teams that are in high demand.

As such, if I know the defense I want will be available in the last draft round, why not pick a kicker with the next to last pick?

I mean choosing an accurate kicker that plays for a high scoring team.

Is my draft a failure because I went kicker in the next to last round? 

I say "no" as I still get use both picks to obtain performers that I wanted.

In sum, picking a kicker prior to the final round is not the best scenario, but saying "never do this" could cost you an opportunity. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bad Luck Could Mean Best Excels

The unfortunate news that Lions rookie RB Mikel LeShoure tore his left Achilles tendon and will miss the 2011 season is significant for fantasy players.

Obviously, second year RB Jahvid Best's fantasy value has soared at the news.

I was high on Best anyway as my 3rd or 4th RB.  I like the Lions' offense, and think that a healthy and fast Best (unlike the unhealthy RB from last year) will post high yardage totals in 2011.

Plus, consider this.

Why did Peyton Hillis get overused by the Browns last year?

What do the Saints Chris Ivory and the Texans Arian Foster have in common with Hillis?

These three top fantasy runners of 2010 all got their shot after injuries to teammates.

So, it makes sense that Best could use the bad luck of LeShoure to enjoy a banner season for the Lions this year.   

It certainly makes him worth drafting.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nice Call Dan

While reading Pro Football Weekly's Fantasy Football Guide 2011, I was impressed by something that Associate Editor Dan Parr said.

In defending his rating of the Philadelphia Eagles team defense (13) as higher than almost all of the other writers, he stated this:

"...Don't forget Philadelphia is a potential landing spot for free-agent CB Nnamdi Asomugha."

I can't remember anyone talking about Asomugha to the Eagles until it happened.  The focus was Jets, Jets, Jets...

Nice call Dan.

Now that is good analysis.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Plax to the Jets: Good for Me

Plaxico Burress signing with the Jets is great news--in a purely selfish way.

Plax signing with the other New York team means he did not resign with his former team.

As a Giant, he was a fav target of Eli Manning and would potentially have stolen red zone targets and touchdowns from the current top receiver there: Hakeem Nicks.

No Plax, means Nicks is still an appealing target for fantasy drafts in the second round as the overall #4 wideout or better (depending on who you agree with).

Nicks had a big year last year, and I expect the same in 2011.

Friday, July 29, 2011

On Three WR Signings

Here are some notes on three receiver signings from this week:

Sidney Rice/Seahawks (Downgrade past 65)

Rice followed up a fantastic 2009 with an injury-plagued season limiting him to 6 games.  Not only will we have to watch his continued hip recovery, but his new team features QBs Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst who are a significant step down from Brett Favre (now that statement shows my superior IQ or lack thereof). 

The offense should struggle early if not all season, resulting in limited opportunities for Rice. 

Steve Breaston/Chiefs (Upgrade from 151)

Breaston missed several games last year due to an injured knee, but still managed to catch 47 passes for 718 years and a touchdown--well done for a team that featured the worst quarterback situation in the NFL.  In 2008, a healthy Breaston with a good QB and opposite star receiver Larry Fitzgerald, totalled over 1,000 yards receiving. 

Could he enjoy success in KC with Cassel and playing opposite Dwayne Bowe? 

It will take first round pick Jonathan Baldwin some time to adjust to the pros (with no team-led off-season), so Breaston will certainly get opportunities--and with a five year deal, KC obviously sees him as part of the future.

Santonio Holmes/Jets (Upgrade from 49)

With Holmes resigned and last year's counterpart not (Braylon Edwards), expect him to build on his 2010 benchmark of exceptional stats garnered in less than a full season.  If he played a full season last year, Holmes would have likely had more than 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns. 

Though the Jets are a favorite in the AFC, and they have a run-first offense, Holmes has great hands and break-away speed that would be a gem to select with a fantasy seventh rounder or so--confidently pass on the better ranked Brandon Lloyd to take Holmes. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Seahawks Quarterback Moves: What to Expect

What do the Seahawks' moves and rumored moves for their 2011 quarterbacks (dumping Matt Hasselbeck, signing Tarvaris Jackson, and reportedly pursuing Matt Leinart) mean to fantasy footballers?

Well, besides leaving Seattle fantasy football fans with an upset stomach?

Expect a sputtering/slow start to their offense, and as a result, avoid any and all Seattle offensive players until the end of your draft. 

I mean Marshawn Lynch, Mike Williams, John Carlson, Golden Tate, Olindo Mare or anyone else added to the roster. 

In contrast, while the Seahawks' offense tries to gain traction early, it may be an opportunity for those who play matchups with team defense--meaning the 49ers, Steelers, and Cardinals defenders could feast on the below average quarterbacking.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Two Players Who May Get Cut: What it Means

Last week, Gregg Rosental of ProFootballTalk, wrote a good article: 24 Offensive Players that Could Get Cut.

The usual suspects reside at the top of the list--Vince Young, Reggie Bush, and Donovan McNabb--but I am more interested in the last few players named.

Rosenthal lists Bronco running backs Correll Buckhalter and LenDale White at 20 and 21 respectively.

Now, Buckhalter is a veteran with lots of mileage on him and underachiever White has a long list of off-field problems that has certainly impacted his athletic ability, but both are physical runners and either would seem to blend well with Denver's expected running game emphasis.

For years, new Bronco coach John Fox employed a two-headed monster for an effective ground game at Carolina.

Not too long ago, Fox's offense featured bruiser Jonathan Stewart and speedy DeAngelo Williams--both who gained over 1,000 yards rushing.

Now at Denver, I'd expect Fox to tandem talented speed back Knowshon Moreno with someone big and strong.

If not Buckhalter or White, then who?  Lance Ball?

It will worth watching the free-agency carousel this week to see if Denver grabs a veteran big back; a player who will be touching the ball often and will be a late-round fantasy steal.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ahmad Bradshaw to South Beach?

In a future post, I'll be arguing against selecting Miami Dolphins rookie running back Daniel Thomas at 45 (via

In the news this week, it was reported that Giants super runner and free agent Ahmad Bradshaw would be interested in signing with the Dolphins. 

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller states that Bradshaw's high profile agent Drew Rosenhaus is from that area and pitched his client to South Beach. 

And what is not to like about the ocean, the warm climate, and a good organization like the Dolphins?

So what does this mean?

For Bradshaw, Miami would seem like a great fit--a team with a running emphasis that would feed him with lots of opportunities. 

For Thomas, it would cause his fantasy draft stock to fall; as 45 for a rookie that will likely be sharing carries and playing second-fiddle is just too high.

Even if the Dolphins pass on Bradshaw and sign another veteran to run the ball this season, grab a WR or another proven performer at 45 and select the Bills RB Fred Jackson and his 900+ rushing yards and 7 total touchdowns with your next pick. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Fantasy Draft Now? Not...

Obviously, this blog's appearance needs lots of work, and I'll be making improvements over the next couple of weeks.

In the meantime, here is my initial post on Fantasy Football 2011.


Last week an energetic fantasy football enthusiast invited me to join his league.

"C'mon dude, my draft is on Sunday."

This Sunday?

With so many unknowns due to the NFL player lockout?

How can anyone evaluate teams and talent when we have can view only about 50% of what each organization will look like when (ok if) the season opens in September.

Anyway, I respectfully declined the invitation, and here are five questions that I want to be able to better answer before I participate in any fantasy draft:

5) How is Maurice Jones-Drew's Surgically Repaired Knee?

MJD has been an elite fantasy performer for many years and produced well in 2010 despite an injury-plagued season while playing for a below-average team (bad defense and sub par quarterbacking).

Will his knee be 100% during training camp? Did the lockout help or hinder his rehab? The answers to these questions will not only impact MJD, but his talented back-up Rashad Jennings.

4) Where will Kevin Kolb be Traded?

The expendable but capable Eagles QB will most certainly be traded during 2011, but will he go to the 49ers, Seahawks, Cardinals, or somewhere else? Kolb's fantasy value will have a wide variation depending on his team and how soon the Eagles make a deal.

3) Which QB will the Cardinals Acquire?

Larry Fitzgerald had another 1,000 yard season despite a revolving door at the Cardinals's signal caller. Trading for Kolb would push Fitzgerald's draft status from around 30 into the top 20--where the top WRs are. Also, having Kolb and the threat of a passing game would make Arizona running backs (Ryan Williams, Beanie Wells, and Tim Hightower) more appealing.

2) Which Starting RBs will Return to His 2010 Team?

Will Ahmad Bradshaw return to the Giants? Bengals officials have declared that resigning Cedric Benson is a priority, but will it happen (His arrest this weekend does not help)? Will the Panthers or another team reward DeAngelo Williams with a new contract--despite a down 2010 and a foot injury?

With these three top 25 RBs, I want to more information before investing a high draft pick on them.

1) Will Chris Johnson Holdout?

The Titans and their star running back were not able to reach an agreement on a new contract prior to the labor problems, and reports have Johnson as dissatisfied. Will the top fantasy player decide to holdout and skip training camp? What if the issue results in him missing regular season games?

If the two parties are feuding, would it not be easier to grab one of the other elite fantasy RBs like Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, or Jaamal Charles and let one of your competitors take the risk on Johnson?

With Johnson and the other questions, it is wise to wait on any fantasy drafts until free agency is over and the teams are showing us something during the preseason.

Selections now would involve too many rolls of the dice and likely translate to a much more stressful rather than enjoyable season.