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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 8

October 23, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Between the Percy Harvin trade and injuries to some key people, this week’s waiver wire could be a an interesting one.  Here are few of the guys am considering this week.

Quarterback:

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins- Tannehill is quietly averaging just over 16pts per came which places him 13th among QB’s ahead of names like Cam Newton and Tom Brady.  While I fully expect Newton and Brady to eventually finish the season near the top 10 it’s a testament to how good Tannehill can be.  He has almost 800 yards and 6 TD’s over the last 3 weeks.  His 21% ownership is up 8% so he is starting to show on the radar, you may want to grab him quick before it’s too late.

Kyle Orton, Buffalo Bills- Always a threat to throw for 300 yards Orton has a huge upside.  Turnovers have been a bit of an issue which is why he is second on this list.  He is averaging just over 15 points per game since taking the starting roll averaging almost 300 yards per game while scoring 5TD’s and 3INT’s.  Injuries to both key running backs could be an issue or it could open the passing game wide open.

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs- It’s been a couple weeks since Smith was in a relevant waiver wire conversation.  Going into week 7 shaking off a tough pre-bye week performance in SF, Smith got back on track scoring 14 pts vs division rival San Diego Chargers.  Over the last 5 weeks Smith has thrown 8 TD’s and only 1 Int.  He has also rushed for 102 yards on 18 carries adding a few points on the back end.  With games and STL, NYJ, and BUF coming up, there is definitely opportunity here.

Running Back:

Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos- I could have very easily copied and pasted last week’s paragraph here because nothing has changed except that he is still just sitting on the waiver wire.  HE IS ONLY 22% OWNED!  In his 2 weeks as a starter he has finished in the top 20.  He plays for an offense whose captain is arguably the best scoring QB the game.  There is no sane reason for him to still be available in your league.  Pick him up now!

Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars- Toby Gerhart was supposed to the man, but like Monte Ball the experts got it all wrong.  The expectation was for Storm Johnson to take over the starting roll but Gerhart’s injury seem to open the door for Robinson instead.  127 yards on 22 carries and 1 Td.  How do you ignore those stats?  Week #8 vs Miami is going to be a tough one, starting him next week would carry some risk.  You have to decide if it is risk you are willing to take.

Tre Mason, St. Loius Rams & Jerick McKinon, Minnesota Vikings- Both of these guys play for bad teams, both of these guys have starters that are unable to perform, both of these guys were supposed to move from #3 to #2 on the depth chart, and both of these guys have shown they won’t be held back.  While people were looking to scoop up Cunningham and Asiata these guys were quietly out performing them on regular basis.  It appears that both of these players are getting the majority of their teams carries.  If you need to bye week fill in, these guys will do that nicely. 

Wide Receivers:

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks- I will be the first one to say that I am not a fan of the Percy Harvin trade, I think that it hurts Seattle’s offense.  However, it brings a spotlight to Doug Baldwin.  With Golden Tate in Detroit and now Harvin to the Jets, Baldwin will get a shot to carry the receiver core.  Baldwin has great chemistry with his QB and they can still run the ball.  He showed an ability to put up WR1 stats in last week’s loss to STL.  If you grab him now, it could be a steal.

Odell Beckham Jr, New York Giants- Since Cruz is out for the remainder of the season his targets need to go to someone.  And while Randle moves to the #1 spot, Beckham will see his targets increase as well.  Giants are a pass first offense who always seems to play from behind.  Anyone who finds the endzone twice in one game should grab your attention.

Stevie Johnson, San Francisco 49ers- I have been waiting all season to put this guy on the list.  I know that he is the #3 WR but he has talent and every week he continues to improve.  He was a fantasy starter when he played for Buffalo and I think he has potential in San Francisco as well.  He is on a bye so he won’t help you this week.  WR are hard to judge so he is worth a serious look.  If San Francisco’s defense continue to struggle the offense will have to throw to keep up.

Tight Ends:

Dwayne Allan, Indianapolis Colts- When it comes to this team’s offense you have to view it just like you would the Denver Broncos.  There are plenty of points to go around and if you can score, luck will get you the ball. Allen is 7th in overall scoring even though he is still available in 68% of leagues.  He is an week starter, if you have roster space pick him up!

Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens- So he never lived up to his former glory like I predicted, sorry about that.  However when it some the very shallow TE pool, having the 11th highest scorer isn’t a bad thing.  That makes him a starter in 12-team leagues.  If you are looking for someone to fill in for a week, he is worth closer look.

Clay Harbor, Jacksonville Jaguars- I moved him down the list this week to make it look like a fresh pick.  He didn’t find the endzoze this week so he only scored a measly 3pts.  However he did catch 6 passes last week in short yardage situations which tells me that isn’t for gotten.  I fully expect him to get some endzone work in this Sunday.

Quarterback:

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins- Tannehill is quietly averaging just over 16pts per came which places him 13th among QB’s ahead of names like Cam Newton and Tom Brady.  While I fully expect Newton and Brady to eventually finish the season near the top 10 it’s a testament to how good Tannehill can be.  He has almost 800 yards and 6 TD’s over the last 3 weeks.  His 21% ownership is up 8% so he is starting to show on the radar, you may want to grab him quick before it’s too late.

Kyle Orton, Buffalo Bills- Always a threat to throw for 300 yards Orton has a huge upside.  Turnovers have been a bit of an issue which is why he is second on this list.  He is averaging just over 15 points per game since taking the starting roll averaging almost 300 yards per game while scoring 5TD’s and 3INT’s.  Injuries to both key running backs could be an issue or it could open the passing game wide open.

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs- It’s been a couple weeks since Smith was in a relevant waiver wire conversation.  Going into week 7 shaking off a tough pre-bye week performance in SF, Smith got back on track scoring 14 pts vs division rival San Diego Chargers.  Over the last 5 weeks Smith has thrown 8 TD’s and only 1 Int.  He has also rushed for 102 yards on 18 carries adding a few points on the back end.  With games and STL, NYJ, and BUF coming up, there is definitely opportunity here.

Running Back:

Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos- I could have very easily copied and pasted last week’s paragraph here because nothing has changed except that he is still just sitting on the waiver wire.  HE IS ONLY 22% OWNED!  In his 2 weeks as a starter he has finished in the top 20.  He plays for an offense whose captain is arguably the best scoring QB the game.  There is no sane reason for him to still be available in your league.  Pick him up now!

Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars- Toby Gerhart was supposed to the man, but like Monte Ball the experts got it all wrong.  The expectation was for Storm Johnson to take over the starting roll but Gerhart’s injury seem to open the door for Robinson instead.  127 yards on 22 carries and 1 Td.  How do you ignore those stats?  Week #8 vs Miami is going to be a tough one, starting him next week would carry some risk.  You have to decide if it is risk you are willing to take.

Tre Mason, St. Loius Rams & Jerick McKinon, Minnesota Vikings- Both of these guys play for bad teams, both of these guys have starters that are unable to perform, both of these guys were supposed to move from #3 to #2 on the depth chart, and both of these guys have shown they won’t be held back.  While people were looking to scoop up Cunningham and Asiata these guys were quietly out performing them on regular basis.  It appears that both of these players are getting the majority of their teams carries.  If you need to bye week fill in, these guys will do that nicely. 

Wide Receivers:

Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks- I will be the first one to say that I am not a fan of the Percy Harvin trade, I think that it hurts Seattle’s offense.  However, it brings a spotlight to Doug Baldwin.  With Golden Tate in Detroit and now Harvin to the Jets, Baldwin will get a shot to carry the receiver core.  Baldwin has great chemistry with his QB and they can still run the ball.  He showed an ability to put up WR1 stats in last week’s loss to STL.  If you grab him now, it could be a steal.

Odell Beckham Jr, New York Giants- Since Cruz is out for the remainder of the season his targets need to go to someone.  And while Randle moves to the #1 spot, Beckham will see his targets increase as well.  Giants are a pass first offense who always seems to play from behind.  Anyone who finds the endzone twice in one game should grab your attention.

Stevie Johnson, San Francisco 49ers- I have been waiting all season to put this guy on the list.  I know that he is the #3 WR but he has talent and every week he continues to improve.  He was a fantasy starter when he played for Buffalo and I think he has potential in San Francisco as well.  He is on a bye so he won’t help you this week.  WR are hard to judge so he is worth a serious look.  If San Francisco’s defense continue to struggle the offense will have to throw to keep up.

Tight Ends:

Dwayne Allan, Indianapolis Colts- When it comes to this team’s offense you have to view it just like you would the Denver Broncos.  There are plenty of points to go around and if you can score, luck will get you the ball. Allen is 7th in overall scoring even though he is still available in 68% of leagues.  He is an week starter, if you have roster space pick him up!

Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens- So he never lived up to his former glory like I predicted, sorry about that.  However when it some the very shallow TE pool, having the 11th highest scorer isn’t a bad thing.  That makes him a starter in 12-team leagues.  If you are looking for someone to fill in for a week, he is worth closer look.

Clay Harbor, Jacksonville Jaguars- I moved him down the list this week to make it look like a fresh pick.  He didn’t find the endzoze this week so he only scored a measly 3pts.  However he did catch 6 passes last week in short yardage situations which tells me that isn’t for gotten.  I fully expect him to get some endzone work in this Sunday.

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Horse Racing: Beholder to Miss Breeders’ Cup Distaff

October 21, 2014 By: Category: Sports

On the weekend of October 3-1 November 1, 2014, the eyes of the Thoroughbred Racing will be on Santa Anita Park, as it once again hosts the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.  Horses of all ages and running styles compete in races over this two day event, which helps decide year end honors in various categories.  Horses and their connections from all over the world descend on the host track to compete, making the event a very important one. For those who gamble, there are great chances for money making opportunities.  However, the most important part of the Breeders’ Cup is the competition between the equine stars of the great sport of Thoroughbred Racing.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest stars of the sport will not be able to compete. She is the defending Breeders’ Cup Distaff Champion Beholder. On October 18, she worked a bullet (a workout where a horse finished with the fastest time for the distance that day) for 7 furlongs in 1:23 4/5, starting behind two other horses. According to her trainer, Richard Mandella, the following day, Beholder spiked a 102° fever which increased to 104 °.  She was given medication, and the fever started to come down.  Sadly, she had to be scratched.

Richard Mandella said, “We think she’s going to be alright, but she’s out of the race.” ( http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/88119/two-time-champion-beholder-out-of-bc-distaff ) According to the “Daily Racing Form,” Mandella said, “She had a temperature. We had to treat it, and she’s not going to be able to run. ( http://www.drf.com/news/beholder-will-miss-breeders-cup-distaff) The medication given to Beholder was penicillin.  Due to the filly being medicated, she was not able to run, and was scratched the day before pre-entry deadline of October 20, 2014.

I was not happy with this news. Beholder is one of my favorite female equine runners. I loved her since she was a 2YO in 2012.  She was awesome as a 3YO also.  I love the fight in her. She never gives up. I loved how in the 2012 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies, she lead all the way,  and beat ExecutivePrivilege . She took the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Two Year Old Honors that year.

Beholder’s  three year old year started off a little rocky. Some sort of ulcer in her throat caused her not to be at her best in the Grade II Santa Ynez Stakes. However,  she just dominated Fiftyshadesofhay in the Grade I La Virgenes, and made Iotapa and the rest of the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks field look silly,  despite a bad post position.  After a second place finish in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks to Princess of Sylmar,  she was given a four month break.

She returned in the Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar, with new jockey Gary Stevens aboard,  (replacing Garrett Gomez.). Beholder took on her elders for the first time in the Grade I Zenyatta Stakes and handily defeated Authenticity.  In the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Distaff,  not only did Beholder defeat older horses, but she defeated the two time defending champion Royalty Delta, and she beat Princess of Sylmar,  who finished last. Beholder won the Eclipse for Outstanding 3YO Filly.

Now that Beholder is a 4YO, she has won the San Lucia Stakes. However,  she finished fourth in the Grade I Ogden Phipps Stakes, and came out of it with a bruised pastern. She eventually got back on track,  and won the Zenyatta Stakes again, and was training forwardly, until this news of her scratching from the Breeders’ Cup.

Beholder is sired by Henny Hughes.  Her dam is Leslie’s Lady, who’s by Tricky Creek.  Beholder is 10 wins from 15 starts, and has earned $3,368,300.  Beholder is scheduled to be sold at the Fasig-Tipton Sales on November 3, 2014, in Lexington, KY.

As I live in Lexington, I certainly plan to attend. I have never seen Beholder in person,  so this will be an honor. It will be bittersweet, as I was hoping that she would be at the sale as a winner of 3 Breeders’ Cup Races in a row. I am glad that Spendthrift Farm, her owners, and Richard Mandella, her trainer, are looking after her health, though.

Some fans think that this year’s Breeders’ Cup has lost some of its luster due to Wise Dan (Mile) and Beholder (Distaff) bowing out due to health concerns. Of course, other stars, like Palace Malice, Mucho Macho Man, and Will Take Charge retired (Palace Malice may return.) this year as well.  I don’t agree with that. Look at the horses that (as of this writing) ARE running. We are going to see the wonderful UnTapable, Shared Belief, Tonalist, California Chrome, Bayern, and Close Hatches, to name a few.  I am sure that many new stars will be made in both Juvenile divisions as well.

I’m disappointed for Beholder.  I feel badly for her and her connections that she won’t get a shot to defend her Distaff title.  It’s a shame that she can’t have a shot at winning three Breeders’ Cup races in a row.  I’m not going to get into whether she would or wouldn’t have won.  As a huge fan of hers, I’m very sad that due to an infirmary, Beholder won’t get her shot at her place in history.  On the other hand,  I am sincerely glad that her connections are putting her health first

Fantasy Football Week 7 Sleepers

October 17, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

If you strictly follow the experts you are missing out on some serious fantasy football studs. It’s easy to play the guys ranked 1-20 but you are missing out on some big impact players. That is why I am here to give you some sleepers you can plug into your lineup and make your competition look foolish.

Last week was probably my worst in predicting sleepers. My Malcom Floyd pick was a nice hit as he had a big game against the Raiders as predicted. Bishop Sanke should have had a bigger game but he was vulture by Jackie Battle. Tony Romo had an 18 point game which was better than expected in Seattle. Chris Ivory’s one point was embarrassing for both he and I. Austin Davis looked good early but the 49ers played much better as the game went on than I expected. I love Mike Evans going forward as I do Jordan Reed.

As always I will base my sleepers on ESPN’s expert rankings for Week 7. I’ll do my best to make up this week for Ivory’s one point debacle. Here are how my sleeper picks did for Week 6.

Tony Romo 18
Austin Davis 13
Malcom Floyd 16
Chris Ivory 1
Bishop Sanke 6
Mike Evans 11
Jordan Reed 9

Quarterbacks

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals - If there is one theme I love to look for in a sleeper it is the revenge game. The revenge game is often overlooked by the experts yet there are plenty of sleepers that fly under the radar in these situations (go see what Steve Smith did to the Panthers earlier this season). Palmer is one of them. Palmer is getting his first crack at his former team, the Oakland Raiders. While Palmer’s breakup with the Raiders wasn’t as messy as his breakup with the Bengals, there are still hard feelings here. I can guarantee you that the team will want to make sure that Palmer makes a statement and you are crazy not to get on that bandwagon and play him this week if you can. Palmer is ranked 11 on ESPN which is a little low in my opinion.

Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns - Brian Hoyer is ranked 18 this week by ESPN’s experts. The Jaguars are ranked 27th against fantasy QBs and up until last week have given up one touchdown per game. Hoyer has thrown at least 1 TD in every game this season. The Jags have a 12-1 TD to Interception ratio against QBs. The numbers don’t lie. This is a great spot for Hoyer and I would be shocked if he put up less than 2 TDs in Jacksonville.

Running Backs

Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions – Like Palmer, Bush has a revenge game ahead of him on Sunday. Reggie will be hosting his old team, the New Orleans Saints. Bush has not played the Saints in a regular season game since leaving the team in 2011. Again like the Palmer situation, you better believe that the Lions will do everything they can to give Bush opportunities to score. That and the fact that the Saints have been absolutely terrible on the road make for a big day from the former Saint’s draft pick. Bush is #22 which may be fair but I think he will wind up in the top 15 this week.

Bernard Pierce, Baltimore Ravens - This is a gut feeling here. Pierce is the 38th ranked RB this week so I am digging deep for a RB sleeper. Like Hoyer, this one is a numbers game and the Falcons are the worst defense against fantasy RBs. The big question is who do you trust in Baltimore? I think Pierce gets some short yardage work in the red zone and racks up double digits on single digit carries.

Wide  Receivers

James Jones, Oakland Raiders - Jones is not even ranked in the top 50 this week among ESPN experts. He has a great matchup against an Arizona Cardinals defense that is not nearly as good against wide receivers as it is against running backs. The Cardinals give up almost 28 points per game to FF wide receivers. I know that Andre Holmes is the hot pick right now among Oakland receivers but I think it is Jones that is the beneficiary of this enticing matchup Sunday.

Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars - Shorts is a tough one because he always has potential yet the experts are always worried about him finishing games and rightfully so. I am willing to take that chance this week. Shorts has a ton of upside here against the Browns. Shorts put up a TD and 63 yards last year against this Browns D. He had a strong week last week going over 100 yards and the Browns have given up 5 TDs to wide receivers in five games. I love him this week and the good news here is that you m,ay be able to pluck him right off of the wire in 10 team leagues. Shorts is ranked 41 on this week’s ESPN board and that is just flat out ridiculous.

Tight Ends

Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts - I have to admit that I was surprised to see Allen ranked 13th among tight ends this week. The Colts are playing the worst defense against tight ends this week in the Cincinnati Bengals. Allen has 4 TDs in six games and is turning into a favorite red zone target for Andrew Luck. The Bengals have given up three TDs to tight ends in just the last two weeks alone. A hot Andrew Luck and a generous defense to TEs make for a big Dwayne Allen day.

Jared Cook, St. Louis Rams - I am going to give you a second tight end I really like this week. Jared Cook. We have heard his name as a sleeper TE for the last three seasons and every season we are disappointed. This season is different and Austin Davis loves him. Don’t let the Seahawks scare you here. They have given up seven, yes seven TDs to tight ends in five games which makes them the most generous team to TEs in fantasy football. On top of that, Cook put up a TD in their last game against the Seahawks. I love him this week as a sleeper. Cook comes in at 14 on this week’s ESPN board.

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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 7

October 15, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Waiver wire pick-ups week 6: The preferred read for people who need a little mid-season insurance

It is crunch time as mid-season approaches. Most leagues have broken into three categories. You have the 2-3 teams who are going to make the playoffs, 3-5 teams who are fighting to stay alive and then maybe 2-4 teams who are already thinking about next season. For most teams the waiver wire means hitting a homerun just to stay alive. Make sure you choose wisely.

Quarterback:

Philadelphia and Tampa Bay are on bye this week so I don’t suspect many people are going to be grazing for a QB. This might be the week to grab someone so you don’t have to worry in the future, but I will be honest I am not really impressed with the choices. In the event you do end up needing a QB here are a few to consider.

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals- Palmer was supposed to be one of those late pick QB’s that could carry your team and not cost you a pick. Then he got hurt, which what happens to old people. Now that his broken hip has healed it looks like he is poised to be that strong fantasy player again. In week 6 he picked up right where he left off and he has options. The Cardinals are looking good this season and Palmer might be worthy of roster spot, until once again he falls and he can’t get up.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens- I said it a few weeks ago, Flacco is your “sure thing” if you need a starter the rest of the way. Last week’s 32pt effort is going to make a lot of people forget the 7pts performance from the week before. He does have weapons and the running game seems to be solid. I don’t think he is going to blow up every week but he has shown that he is a high scoring threat. I don’t think you can go wrong here.

Running Back:

Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos- Any offensive player that is starting for Denver should be on a roster. 100 yards on 24 carries in his first start for the injured Monte Ball, not too shabby. There isn’t much to say, it’s the Broncos. They are going to be in the redzone a lot which gives Hillman opportunity.

Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns- There is definitely some inconsistency and some risk here but the RB position just doesn’t have a lot to choose from. Ran for 77 yard and a score in the blowout against the Steelers. He has score double digits in 3/5 games even when Tate was on the field. I am starting to believe in the Browns, Crowell is a decent bet to fill a spot this week.

Antone Smith, Atlanta Falcons- Talk about a player that goes against everything I stand for. He has only rushed for 124 yards but has 2 touchdowns in 6 games. He also has 220 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. Basically I am suggesting you risk a lot on the hot hand. He is feast or famine, but in PPR league you could easily argue he is worth the risk.

Wide Receivers:

Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati Bengals- This guy has some frequent flyer miles on this list but I think this is the last time you will see him in coach. Already a threat going into week 6 he showed that he has starter potential holding his own as Dalton’s #1 target. Green is scheduled to miss one more week due to injury making Sanu a must start in all leagues. Even when Green comes back I think Sanu will still produce as long as the defense continues to focus on Bernard and the running game.

Brandon Lafell, New England Patriots- It appears that Rip Van Brady has finally woken up from his slumber and has the Patriots offense rolling again. Lafell has 11 catches for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns over the last 3 games. It appears that Brady likes getting him the ball and he should be getting plenty of chances with defenses focusing on a healthy Gronk. The injury to Ridley might encourage the Patriots to spend a little more time throwing the ball this week.

Andre Holmes, Oakland Raiders- It is still being said that he is #2 on the depth chart behind James Jones but Holmes has shown he has the ability to be #1. 9 catches for 195 yards and 3 touchdowns in the last 2 games should grab your attention. I always look for constancy and when I guy puts together a string of decent games I take notice. The Raiders are not good so they have to play from behind and score a lot of point to stay in the game. Their running game is non-existent so they have to throw. There has to be some value there.

Tight Ends:

Clay Harbor, Jacksonville Jaguars- Blake Bortles looks like he is a legit NFL QB which could bring Harbor into the spotlight. He had a good game last week racking up a 91 yards and a touchdown. The whole receiving core will continue to benefit with Bortles behind center. He is a good fill-in for you if you are looking to replace Graham or Ertz this week. He is a low risk pick that could really pay off going the rest of the way.

Jace Amaro, New York Jets- Had what some are calling a break out week against the Broncos catching 10 passes for almost 100 yards and a touchdown. Looks like he is the clear #2 option behind Eric Decker which again provides him with ample opportunity to score points. Smith has struggled off and on this season and as I have said many times this year, TE’s provide some security for struggling QB’s. Look for him in short yardage situations and in the red zone.

Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins- In his first start since week #1 fantasy owners saw Reed be the player they hoped he would be when they drafted him. Of course he was dropped in a lot of leagues and I am sure there are owners who are now kicking themselves. 9 catches for over 90 yards in his first game back. It is only a matter of time before he finds the endzone. If he stays healthy he should be starting in all leagues at TE or a very high flex option.

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NFL Week 6 2014-15 Recap and Week 7 Questions

October 15, 2014 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

  • Let’s be a little cautious with the Cleveland Brown hype train. Remember a few blogs ago I commented that due to a seemingly an easy early schedule the Houston Texans could have really set up their entire season for the rest of the year? The Texans have since faltered due to their own poor play and the fact that some of their opponents have been better than advertised. The Browns are now in a very similar situation that I showed the Texans to be in. After drubbing the Steelers on Sunday, Cleveland now faces the Jaguars, Raiders and Buccaneers in the next 3 games. I don’t expect them to win all of them but what if they did? These are by far the worst 3 teams in the NFL. That would put the Browns at 6-2. Then the Browns can be in a simple solution such as all they have to do for the rest of the year is win every other game and boom; 10-6 and potential playoffs. The Browns are not a pretty team. They currently rank 21st in the league in total offense and their passing stats are lower than all of that. There’s an old saying in the NFL that “winning is the best disguise for problems.” The world is in love with Brian Hoyer and this team and for many reasons they should be but the bottom line is that they are a mediocre offense, slightly above average defense and play in a division where none of the teams can make up their minds about how good they want to be.
  • As collective fans of the NFL we all need to take some deep breaths and slow down the hype trains that are all leaving the stations at once and will assuredly cause a pile up. Hype trains such as the above mentioned Browns, the Seahawks faltering and the Cowboys being the greatest team since the 85’ Bears. We just wrapped up Week 6 people. I know the Cowboys have looked better than they should and the last 4 games for the Seahawks are as pedestrian as they come but there is still so much out there to be answered. It’s fun and exciting to be caught up in the moment but that kind of excitement should be reserved for Weeks 14 or 15. We aren’t even halfway through the season yet and we have already crowned the Cowboys as Superbowl 49 champs.
  • Kudos to the NFL for an article I read this weekend from Sports Illustrated. The NFL plans on proposing potential loss of draft picks to teams whose players can’t seemingly stay out of trouble. For years, talent has always outweighed any off field issue in the league. Based off this I fully expect Ray Rice to be back in the league within the next year and barring any prolonged jail time, I expect Adrian Peterson back as well. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for second chances but not the second chances that take place in the same week or season. Take for example a player with issues such as Santonio Holmes. He had multiple arrests over his career with the Steelers and the final straw had been an alleged night club incident where Holmes had thrown a glass at a woman. The Steelers were able to trade Holmes to the Jets for a 5th round pick (which in a roundabout way later became Antonio Brown) and cleansed themselves of the issues. The problem to me here was that Holmes had a mountain of off the field issues and the Jets (and most likely any other team) swept him up without fear and he was ready for the following season. So the Steelers chose to lose one of the best offensive players for morality purposes just so another team could have him? In the world of the NFL, everything is now right. Issues like this never get brought up again. “Yeah, this guy…this guy needed a change of scenery” is the most often used quote surrounding off the field issues leading to transactions with other teams. Rumors swirled about Desean Jackson’s abrupt departure after leading the Eagles in receiving last year. Rumors were that Chip Kelly and company feared Jackson had “gang involvements”. ……..So this didn’t deter the Redskins? Later more reports would come out about general attitude and comments that Jackson was “just not a good locker-room guy” that lead to the dismissal. How weird was that whole situation when it happened? How about Adam “never call me Pacman again” Jones. He was the 6th overall pick for the Tennessee Titans in 2005 and played that way at times. His mountain of off the field issues would be that of Mount Everest from 2005 – 2008. Jones was suspended for the entire 2007 season and then the Titans traded him to the Dallas Cowboys the following season where the issues continued. So the Titans got a clear conscience and pass from media and fans but the Cowboys didn’t care about Jones’ never ending rap sheet? I remember almost little to no criticism to the Cowboys for that move. It was just met with the typical “Ha-Ha-Ha, well that’s the Cowboy’s for ya” remarks. After the failed experiment with Jones in Dallas (shocker!) he was then out of the league for 2 years and resurfaced with the Bengals in 2010. Finally holding NFL teams accountable for off the field issues where teams would be hit financially and/or with draft picks can finally send a message to the teams that multiple issues can no longer be ignored just because of overwhelming talent. Once again, I am all for second chances but a TRUE second chance is maybe after your first moronic DUI the team lets you back, not the 345 chances Adam Jones or many others have had. This would stop the idiotic process of forcing a team to get rid of a player that inevitably gets scooped up by another team in the same breath and will now make teams honestly think about their future with a player if it will do more harm than good.

Questions and Predictions for Week 7:

Cincinnati’s season is potentially on the line this week. The NFL is funny at times. The Bengals were once 3-0 and seemingly on top of the NFL. Now having lost 2 straight and rolling into Indianapolis to face the Colts (it appears without AJ Green), the odds don’t look good for the Bengals. The Bengals find themselves now falling with the Steelers and being passed by the Ravens and Browns in the AFC North.

My Guess: Colts go over on the Bengals.

Bold Prediction for Week 7: Chiefs over the Chargers. The Chiefs seemingly are putting things together this season on the field at last. This is a must win game for them. They are at the bottom staring up at the Broncos (4-1) and their Sunday opponents (5-1). Dropping to 2-4 is not an option in this division. I don’t think San Diego learns from the scare they got from the Raiders last week and officially falter this week against the Chiefs.

Guaranteed Lock for Week 7: Pittsburgh over Houston. You almost never bet against the Steelers in a home primetime game (defined as Thursday Night, Sunday Night and Monday night). Not counting playoffs the Steelers have had 36 primetime games since Mike Tomlin became head coach. The Steelers are 11-6 at home during these games (but just 10-9 on the road). Although Arian Foster will do damage to the defense, I fully expect the Steelers to win.

Recap from Questions and Predictions from last week:

Does Rex Ryan become the first mid-season termination in the NFL?

My Guess: Jets are destroyed and Rex Ryan is termed middle of the week. –RIGHT/UNDETERMINED –The Jets were more competitive than I thought they were going to be, even as close as being down by one score late. Then the wheels fell off, they became the Jets again and are now have lost 5 straight to be 1-5. The loss was probably not embarrassing enough to cost Ryan his job midweek (I was expecting Tampa Bay Buccaneers performances for that to happen).

Bold Prediction from Week 6: The Carolina Panthers take down the Cincinnati Bengals. –PUSH- Oh joy, the ever loving moment when a tie occurs in sports. I hate ties. I hated it in hockey, hate it in soccer, hate, hate—hate ties. This was your typical slugfest where each team exchanged the lead throughout the game. I was surprised how effective the Bengals were on offense without Mega Star Wide Receiver AJ Green. I can’t ignore that the Bengals did have a field goal chance late in overtime to win it but a team like Cincinnati shouldn’t take until 3 seconds left in overtime to decide on trying to beating a team.

Guaranteed Lock from Week 6: The Eagles defeat the Giants on Sunday Night Football. – RIGHT- I am surprised the Giants laid a huge goose egg in this game, specifically the offense. Eli was sacked 8 times and the Giants lost Victor Cruz to a season ending injury. It doesn’t get any easier for the Giants as they face the red hot Cowboys next week.

NFL 2014 Graveyard (now accepting applicants)

*In my opinion these teams are officially done and need to start thinking about 2015 sooner rather than later. Probably the most surprising to me to be done this early would probably have to go to the Jets. I didn’t expect a Superbowl or even playoffs but to be 1-5 and just an utter complete mess of a team was a real let down for them this year. I fully expect Rex Ryan to be out in New York even before seasons end. Especially if the Jets have an eye on a top collegiate coach that they would need to move fast on.

New York Jets – (1-5)

Oakland Raiders – (0-5)

Washington Redskins – (1-5)

Jacksonville Jaguars – (0-6)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-5)

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Fantasy Football Week 6 Sleepers

October 11, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

It’s easy to tell fantasy football players to start Matt Forte or Aaron Rodgers but you aren’t going to find them on your bench or waiver wire. That is why I look at the sleepers. They may get no respect from ESPN but I am here to give them their props and recommend some savvy starts.

Unfortunately due to scheduling I had to take a break from the sleepers last week and wasn’t able to get a blog in on time. However, I have done fairly well the first few weeks with my sleepers. They haven’t all been hits but there haven’t been many misses. Of course it’s impossible to account for injuries so barring unforeseen circumstances, here are several sleepers that you need to give some serious consideration to starting this week if you need help.

The theme of this week’s sleeper list is reputation. A lot of guys are being devalued simply due to the reputation of defenses. However, a closer look at the numbers will tell you that these defenses are more bark than bite and those reputations open up some valuable opportunities for you. For consistency I am comparing my sleeper ranks to the overall ESPN rankings of Week 6.

Quarterbacks

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys – Romo is the 15th ranked QB by ESPN this week and I think that is ridiculous. Don’t be scared by this Seattle Seahawks defense. It’s good but it is not nearly as good as its reputation, especially against Tony Romo. Romo has played very well historically against the Seahawks. As a matter of a fact, Romo has thrown at least 1 TD in every game against the Seahawks. Going back further he has scored over 23 fantasy points in his last 3 of 4 games against the Seahawks. The Seahawks are ranked a mere 22nd against fantasy QBs. Kirk Cousins was even able to throw 2 TDs against this D. The attention paid to DeMarco Murray should open up all kinds of opportunity for the Cowboys QB on Sunday.

Austin Davis, St. Louis Rams – Even more ridiculous than Romo’s 15th spot is ESPN ranking Davis as the 20th best QB this week. That is just insane! Austin Davis is a guy who probably isn’t on your fantasy radar yet he should be. This kid has put up over 50 FF points over the last two weeks thanks to a struggling running game and disrespectful defenses. This week they play a San Francisco 49ers defense that like the Seahawks, are highly overrated. Thanks to an inept Nick Foles, the 49ers are ranked 4th against FF QBs but that number is misleading. They gave up 7 passing TDs the first three weeks and have struggled on the road. Davis is going to need to put this team on his shoulders Monday thanks to an injured Zac Stacy and I expect big numbers on Monday.

Running Backs

Bishop Sanke, Tennessee Titans – Sanke is the 27th ranked RB this week on the ESPN board. He is being highly undervalued in my opinion but it is not without merit. The lack of commitment to Sanke has hurt expectations but this week should be different. Shonn Greene is hurt and even better, they play the very sliceable Jacksonville Jaguars defense. The Titans have to give Sanke more carries this week and while the Jags don’t give up rushing TDs, they give up a ton of yardage.

Chris Ivory, New York Jets – This is a tough call. Ivory is the 23rd ranked RB this week and while I understand it, I think there is bigtime sleeper potential here. The idea that the Jets will need to throw to keep up is highly logical. However, the Broncos have a very poor rushing defense. They are 27th against RBs and have given up at least 1 TD in each of their last three games. The Broncos have had one road game thus far and I think that is going to come into play here. I think the Jets are going to surprise the Broncos and a guy like Ivory is the type of RB who can really punish this defense through four quarters. The Broncos don’t give up a lot of yards but they do give up TDs and for a red zone guy like Ivory, that’s all you need to know.

Wide Receivers

Malcolm Floyd, San Diego Chargers – I am reaching really, really high here as Floyd comes in as the 48th ranked WR this week. I am basing this a lot on player history. Floyd has owned the Raiders scoring 3 TD in 4 games including a 213 yard bonanza. I am not as convinced as most that the Chargers are going to trust Brandon Oliver. I think they keep it in the air and look for Floyd in the red zone. Floyd has been fairly dependable as a WR2/3 and for a guy ranked 48th, he should highly exceed expectations.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Evans is another longshot here but that is the point of a sleeper isn’t it? Evans ranks 49th on the ESPN rankings and boy do I think there is some big value here. The Baltimore Ravens are living off of a reputation here that is undeserved. Are they are a great defense overall? Absolutely but against WRs, they have been eaten up alive. They are stingy on TDs but they do give up yards which overall has totaled up as an average of 23.2 points per game given up to WRs. With Vincent Jackson hurt and a hot Mike Glennon at the helm, I think Evans surprises a lot of fantasy players on Sunday.

Tight Ends

Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins – Reed ranks 11th this week among TE projections. As of today he is questionable although the majority of reports indicate he will play. There is certainly reason to be conservative because Reed hasn’t played since the first week. However, Reed is playing an Arizona Cardinals team that have been decimated by tight ends. The big question here is whether you expect Reed to finish the game. If you do, you have to roll him out against this generous defense.

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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 6

October 09, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

You ever watch an infomercial that convinces you to buy something for a problem that you don’t have? I love how they sold me the Magic Bullet because they told me that blenders suck. Now how many households threw away their blenders to buy a small blender? Once the word got out that the Magic Bullet was really a blender the magic was gone. Just when we figured out that our blenders are not that hard to clean the Nutri-bullet informed that they were in fact an unhealthy option. Turns out the Nutri-bullet is really just a repackaged Magic Bullet which is really just a little blender. It only takes a little doubt to get you thinking and pretty soon you overthink yourself into three easy payments of $29.99.

If you ever learn anything for reading any of my fantasy football blogs it is DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE! Fantasy experts are constantly trying to sell you solutions to problems that you don’t actually have. They get you thinking about who to sit, who to start, or which team gave up the most fantasy points to QB’s who are left handed. They create doubt and get you thinking. “Oh man, I need a lefty this week” now you are starting Michael Vick instead of Peyton Manning. Sure that is an absurd example but it draws the picture. Read a few articles from the experts who make money off the advertising for their sites and overthink yourself right into a fantasy loss.

A guy asked me a few weeks back if he should start Olsen or Donnell at TE. Without hesitation I told him Olsen, for a number of reasons. The main reason being that he was the more consistent reciever on a team where he has already been established as a go to option. I made the right call, even though Donnell outscored Olsen by 20pts. Donnell went from waiver wire to “sure” starter almost instantly. The following week thousands of people threw away their old reliable blenders and spent hard earned waivers on the Magic Bullet, only to see their new fix all solution score 0 points on 0 catches for 0 yards. A report came out that says Donnell lost in fantasy football the week he scored 3 TD’s because he believed there was a better way to go. You probably should have thought about that before starting him the following week. Even he didn’t think he would score.

If you are reading this for the first time my picks are not sexy and they are not long shots. I don’t value the high risk/high reward mentality. The goal here is to find you someone to fill a hole for a few weeks while your starters are on bye weeks or recovering from injury. I trust you did your due diligence prior to the draft because there hasn’t been a waiver player available yet this season that will save you from a unsuccessful draft. I feel better now, don’t you? With all that being said the waiver wire pool continues to be shallow, let’s take a look.

Quarterback:

This position is so deep I find it hard to believe there are many people out there looking for a fill in. Part of my strategy is to only carry one QB so I have room to hoard handcuffs, but most people play with back-up on their bench. Alex Smith is on a bye and I have never been a fan of Flacco, so if I am looking for a little help this week here are a few guys on my radar.

Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns- Here is a top 20 quarterback who is only 3.5% owned which means even though this blog is coming out a little late, he is still around. His TD to INT ratio is 6/1 and he averages over 200 yards per game. Hoyer has scored double digits in every game this season and he is playing against a Steelers team who allowed 13pts to Hoyer week one in Pittsburg. This week they are playing at home in Cleveland, I look at Hoyer to be the most constant player available this week.

Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- The theme here is always going to be consistency and availability. Glennon has been a top 10 QB the last 2 weeks since taking the starting job for the injured McCown. Glennon has the benefit of already having chemistry with the offense after starting last season. Most people won’t grab him because he is on a bad team going against a decent defense from Baltimore. 5/2 TD to INT ratio in a just under 3 games isn’t too shabby.

Austin Davis, St. Louis Rams- I know I don’t do sexy, this was too good to pass up. He plays for a bad team which means he is usually playing from behind. This opens the door up for a lot of yards and possibly TD’s. 6 in his last 2 games if you are counting to go with over 600 yards. This is your classic high risk/high reward that I usually stay away from but if that is your thing this is your guy. Playing against a tough SF defense makes me ever less excited about Austin this week, is he worth the risk?

Running Back:

Talk about a shallow pool of talent, I think this is why I prefer a PPR league. Even in the driest of times a running back still gets points for catching passes.

Justin Forsett, Baltimore Ravens- Look, if you are in the unfortunate position to need a running back PICK THIS GUY UP! He averages almost 6 yards a carry and plays on most of the passing down which means this guy gets the ball. At 42% avaialbe his stock is slowly rising, he won’t be around much longer. Double digit fantasy point 3/5 weeks, he is the best option out there. TAKE IT!

Brenden Oliver, San Deigo Chargers- Is this the guy we have finally been waiting for? I like to see 2 good weeks of before I am ready to stamp anyone a game changer but Oliver seems to have “it.” Fast and elusive, this kids really showed us something last week. He is going to get a chance to shine as long as Matthews and Brown on the mend. This kid could be something special, don’t wait to see because it will be too late.

Andre Williams, New York Giants- Another guy getting a shot because a starter in injured and proving that he can play. Getting 15+ carries each of the last 2 weeks mean the Giants like giving him the ball. If the passing game can continue to step up Williams will get room to run. As long as Jennings in out, Williams is a must start in all leagues.

Wide Receiver:

Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati Bengals- AJ Green is going to be sidelined this week which pushes Sanu into the spotlight. He has found the endzone for either a touchdown or 2pt conversion in every game this season. He is averaging over 10 pts a game and will be the go to guy this Sunday against Carolina.

Brian Quick, St. Louis Rams- When was the last time a Rams WR was in the top 15 going into week 6? Quick is the Rams go to guy as he continue to gain the confidence of his new QB. Catching 68% of the balls thrown his way Quick is the real deal. Still less that 50% owned. He is easily a #2 starter in all leagues.

Rueben Randle, New York Giants- Randle’s stock is on the rise and if the Giants can keep the offense rolling the sky is the limit. With defense focusing on Cruz and Donnell for short yard situations Randle is poised for some big play opportunity. He is a great flex option this week or possible a #2 starter in deep leagues.

Tight End:

Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts- Talk about Mr. Reliable, Allen seems to be sure bet for 10pts every week. A top 10 TE through 5 weeks with a touchdown in 4/5 games. How this guy is only owned in 15% of leagues is beyond me. Maybe you all see something I that I don’t, because what I see is someone who should be starting every week.

Owen Daniels, Baltimore Ravens- If are you are looking for a TE you are sure out of luck, hopefully like me it’s only for a week. I am putting Daniels on here again simply because there isn’t anyone else in Baltimore and Daniels knows how to play. The passing game took a step back last week, but that isn’t because of Daniels. I expect him to pick it up again this week as Flacco looks to redeem himself after a poor performance. TE are a security blanket for QB’s so I expect Flacco and Daniels to get comfy on Sunday.

Maybe the pool isn’t too shallow after all.

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NFL Week 5 Recap and Week 6 Questions

October 08, 2014 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

  • The Buffalo Bills have officially become my “sexy pick” to make some noise in the AFC this year. After wasting a stellar defensive effort last week in a loss to the Houston Texans, Buffalo clearly pointed the blame at 2nd year Quarterback EJ Manuel and decided to pull the plug. Manuel, who still hasn’t played a full season of games (14 total in 2 seasons), was benched in favor of master negotiator and veteran Kyle Orton. Manuel did not start out very smoothly in his transition to the NFL. If you recall when Manuel first declared for the draft out of Florida State, Head Coach Jimbo Fisher chastised the decision claiming Manuel was not ready for Sunday football. This season, the Bills recognized that even without last year’s rookie sensation Kiko Alonso, that their defense was good enough to be considered one of the best in the AFC (currently tied for 3rd in turnovers (10), 4th best rush defense (355 total yards allowed) and tied for league best with 0 rushing touchdowns allowed). Although Orton did not win the game for the Bills, he certainly did nothing to lose it. For today’s NFL Quarterback standards he certainly did enough to officially put the final nails into Manuel’s QB coffin.
  • This brings me to what has become a growing issue lately in the NFL (on the field at least). Since the NFL adopted the new first year salary cap system in 2011 it makes taking gambles on players like Jake Locker, EJ Manuel or Christian Ponder an easy decision. A great example of this was the Washington Redskins taking Robert Griffin III with the 2nd overall pick in 2012 and then in the 4th round took Kirk Cousins in a move that 5 years ago would have never happened due to the fact that the Redskins would have had to pay Griffin an estimated amount of money somewhere north of 70 million dollars guaranteed. Check out this list of Quarterbacks that were taken in the 1st round since 2010 and look at some of the overwhelming disappointments. Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, Christian Ponder, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, EJ Manuel, Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater. In my opinion the jury is still out for a few of the names but in their short amount of playing time I really only see 2 that are franchise players in my opinion (Newton and Luck). I don’t solely blame just talent, I blame the salary cap system that allows for quick hooks to be made. In 2010, Sam Bradford was the last “big money” Quarterback draft pick (6 years, 78.05 million with 50 million guaranteed). In comparison, the following year under the new salary cap, Cam Newton signed only a 4 year deal worth 22 million and the whole contract guaranteed.
  • Since 2011 it’s no longer a financial hardship or financial gamble for these teams to go after 1st round quarterbacks. This is the part of the new system that I do This now allows teams to quit on these players early. This is the part of the new system that I don’t like. Now I’m not saying if the Jaguars stayed with Blaine Gabbert then he would be the next Peyton Manning but I reference more recent benching’s such as EJ Manuel or the decision for the Vikings to take Teddy Bridgewater after only giving Ponder 2 years. I would not want to be a quarterback in this day and age in the NFL. The pressure to win now with little to no talent is literally a career killer. I am not a fan of the pattern that we are now in with what seems to be “Superbowl or bust” for quarterbacks on teams with no realistic chance at title hopes. Check out Peyton Manning’s rookie year when he went 3-13 and threw almost 30 interceptions. If those were EJ Manuel’s exact numbers from last season, the result this year would be the same (EJ’s eventual benching). 5 or 10 years ago, Manuel would have been a “work in progress”. Years ago you were forced to ride out your “mistake” and work with what you had until the contract was traded or ended. Peyton obviously was not a mistake but those longer, guaranteed deals really altered careers for guys like Alex Smith and Sam Bradford. How about Drew Brees? In his first 2 seasons he went 10-17 with San Diego. That’s the same amount of wins that Christian Ponder had in his first 2 years with the Vikings and just 2 more wins than what Sam Bradford had. These teams need to give these quarterbacks 4 years in a system and if at all possible the same coordinators for those years. The Titans have done a perfect job with Jake Locker. Locker, now in his 4th year has shown signs of brilliance but that doesn’t outweigh the lack of accuracy, critical thinking or ability to stay healthy when needed that you need to have in an NFL Quarterback. The Titans assuredly will let Locker walk at the end of this year and will be looking at a QB with their definite high draft pick in 2015. This was a completely appropriate amount of time to evaluate his future and potential with the team. I know I am asking a lot but it does nothing for development (see Alex Smith who had 6 or 7 coordinators during his time with the 49ers) of these Quarterbacks when their guidance and mentoring is constantly changing. My hope for teams in the future is to decide to invest more time in their talent and to not be so quick to judge and to give them a fair shake.

Question for Week 6:

Does Rex Ryan become the first mid-season termination in the NFL? The 1-4 Jets head home this week and face Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I have “0” faith in the Jets winning this game and I am assuming they fall to 1-5. I expect Michael Vick to be the starter and have a better effort than the 8/19 passing game when he replaced Geno Smith at halftime this past week. In the NFL, it’s one thing to lose and another to look like you don’t belong. Geno has not shined as expected and Vick gave no Jets fan any reason to believe in a turnaround season with his 2 quarter performance. I assumed a few blogs ago that if Dolphins Head Coach Joe Philbin benched Ryan Tannehill then he would be the first mid-season termination. Philbin didn’t and his job is seemingly safe until the end of the year but I truly believe that if Rex is blown out on Sunday then he will be let go for the remainder of the season.

My Guess: Jets are destroyed and Rex Ryan is termed middle of the week.

Bold Prediction for Week 6: The Carolina Panthers take down the Cincinnati Bengals. I am on record with picking the Bengals as the best first quarter NFL team this year but in the same breath I am realistic to the point that they will stumble at times. Despite them giving a better performance than the loss to the Patriots, I like Cam Newton and the Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate, Kelvin Benjamin for the win.

Guaranteed Lock for Week 6: The Eagles defeat the Giants on Sunday Night Football. Although the Giants are proving most of their doubters wrong, Philadelphia has shown me this year they can win some ugly football games. I like Philly to win, albeit close, and move to 5-1.

Recap from Predictions last week:

Bold Prediction from Week 5: The Arizona Cardinals beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos. – WRONG – The Cardinals put up a good fight for most of this game but really fell apart once they lost starting QB Drew Stanton to injury. Rookie Logan Thomas had literally one big pass completion for a touchdown but that was it. Denver piled on at the end and moved to 3-1 on the year.

Guaranteed Lock from Week 5: The Cincinnati Bengals remain undefeated by beating the New England Patriots. – WRONG – New England stepped up in this game in a huge way answering all the criticisms they heard all week. The Patriots started hot and although cooled during the midway point, they looked like the Patriots of old and pulled off their best win of the season. Cincinnati, once again, faltered when it mattered the most (primetime and on the road). This is a big loss for the Bengals as there is no shame in losing but not being competitive is completely different.

Stats that will help you win money from your friends:

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have given up the most defensive 1st downs in the NFL this season with 125. Can you name the team with the least? That would be the Miami Dolphins with 73.
  • Arizona Cardinals Rookie back-up Quarterback, Logan Thomas completed 1 out of 8 passes in a relief effort in the loss to the Broncos’ Sunday. His one completion? That was an 81 yard catch and run to Andre Ellington which ties Thomas with the 2nd longest pass on the season. Not hard to guess that Peyton Manning holds the top spot with an 86 yard pass, but who is tied with Thomas? That would be back-up turned starter, Kirk Cousins of the Washington Redskins.
  • New York Giants superstar Wide Receiver Victor Cruz has 1 receiving touchdown on the season. Think he is having a down year in the touchdown column? Check out these guys who have a big ol’ goose egg in when it comes to touchdowns for this season: Emmanuel Sanders (9th in receiving yards), Andre Johnson (15th in receiving yards), Keenan Allen (21st in receiving yards) and Anquan Boldin (22nd in receiving yards). All have started every game this season and have yet to have a receiving touchdown.

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Fantasy Football Running Back Frenzy Waiver Wire Week 6

October 07, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Starting running backs have popped up almost weekly on the waiver wire. This week is no different as there are several options to choose from. Unfortunately you are only likely to get one so who do you grab?

There is a new trend emerging this year in fantasy football. The streaming running back. It is starting to get to the point where you can stream running backs like you can defenses. It will be interesting to see how this plays into your drafts next year. Do players shift from taking RBs first to waiting and filling in spots with waiver wire hopes? It is an interesting predicament nonetheless.

Once again fantasy players are presented with several options at the running back position on the waiver wire this week. Fantasy players can literally pluck their starting RB right off of the wire and not miss a beat with bye weeks. But you are only going to get one shot at these RBs. Where is the value and which are fool’s gold?

Andre Williams, New York Giants – In my opinion I think that Williams is the best long-term investment you can make this week of all available starting RBs. Here is my case for Williams. Rashad Jennings is brittle. Whether he comes back in two weeks or not, there is a good chance he will miss time again. Williams is also the real deal. I hate when experts make a big deal out of a guy simply due to the opportunity. I want the guy with the talent who will use that opportunity and turn it into something special. I think that is Williams. His schedule is terrific as he plays the Eagles and Cowboys. Finally whether Jennings is back or not, I think Williams will have a solid role moving forward if he can put together a couple of productive weeks. Tom Coughlin loves a goalline back and I would not be surprised if Williams snags that job once Jennings returns.

Branden Oliver, San Diego Chargers – It is hard not to like what this kid did on Sunday. Not only was he wearing Darren Sproles old number, he looked just like Sproles running through that New York Jets defense. There is a chance that Oliver could find a regular role once Ryan Matthews returns in that Danny Woodhead spot as a pass-catching RB. Oliver will have great short-term value, better than Williams. I just worry about the Chargers having one more mouth to feed if Oliver does work himself into a regular role.

Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos – Hillman will be another hot add this week. I have read all kinds of timetables regarding Monte Ball’s return. The problem with Hillman is that he will be sharing time unlike Williams who will be the workhorse. I was also never impressed with Hillman and I have no reason to think he will do it now just because of the opportunity. Now Hillman could have some value if Ball misses several weeks but the latest reports indicate Ball could be back in a week which makes Hillman a one-week chance in my opinion.

Benny Cunningham, St. Louis Rams – Cunningham is a real interesting name as there was a lot of buzz about him coming out of the preseason. I almost drafted him with a late pick but the inconsistency with Rams’ RBs scared me off. Zac Stacy is down although it is expected that he will be back Monday night against the 49ers. There are injury concerns with Stacy and you may want to roll the dice on Cunningham. He’s a long shot but if Stacy reinjures his calf you could have yourself a gem in Cunningham.

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In Defense Of Tom Brady

October 05, 2014 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

As everyone connected to the NFL has heard, whether one is a fan, a player, or a member of the media, New England Patriots star QB Tom Brady is under fire for a bad performance, along with the team on Monday Night Football, September 29, 2014, against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO. On that night, the Chiefs blasted the Patriots by a score of 41-14. The Patriots defense made Chiefs QB Alex Smith look like Joe Montana. Tom Brady and the Patriots were so lifeless and lost, that Brady was replaced by rookie QB Jimmy Garropolo. Garropolo threw a TD pass in garbage time, and that created grief for Brady.

Since the game, Brady has been attacked from all sides. He has been heavily criticized by the local Boston media, by ESPN, other media, and by fans, both non-fans and Patriot fans alike. The criticism that has been going around centers on the following themes: Brady is declining. Brady is scared. Brady was a poor sport not to congratulate Garropolo for the TD. Brady is no longer elite. I have read many of the articles, and listened to some of the commentary, and much of it made me shake my head. I wondered if anyone has either watched the game of professional football, or just wants to see their names in public. I mean, some of the criticism that Brady is receiving is going beyond the pale, as I see it.

I don’t think I have hidden the fact in my past blogs that I think very highly of Tom Brady and I am a huge fan of Patriots. I have written past blogs praising Brady and the team. I make it no secret that Brady is my favorite QB of all time. In my opinion, along with San Francisco 49ers legend Joe Montana, Tom Brady is the best ever. On social media, I’ve defended the man against ridiculous attacks, much to my own detriment.

In this blog, I plan to discuss some of the criticism that has been leveled against the Patriots star quarterback. I plan to list each of the main themes. Next, I will discuss what I think, and demonstrate why I disagree. So, I am going to present my case for the defense of Tom Brady. I hope that my readers will read this blog with an open mind, and enjoy it as well.

THEME 1: Tom Brady is sharply declining.

There’s the old saying, “Time waits for no one.” One of my fellow parishioners at my church coined this similar phrase, “Time is undefeated.” However you want to say it, Father Time catches up everyone. I don’t care if it is a lawyer, doctor, or professional athlete. Eventually, there comes a point where we can’t do things as well as we used to be able to do them.

Let’s see what has been happening with Brady. His accuracy has been off. I noticed that last season, and the beginning of this season. He will either throw the ball 5 yards in front of the receiver, or will overthrow the receiver on long pass attempts. He also looks very skittish in the pocket, especially when the pocket collapses, and there’s pressure up the middle. His decision making has definitely taken a downturn.

However, I think the cause may be elsewhere, especially this year. Is there an undisclosed injury that he’s dealing with that he got while taking one of those huge hits? I was wondering why he didn’t run for that 1st down late in the Monday Night Game. Perhaps he didn’t want to take the hit due to a physical reason.

THEME 2. Tom Brady is the sole reason for the Patriots’ problems.

I have seen this argument from many pundits on all the networks. I have seen this in the Boston media, and from fans, both of the team, and non-fans. I was under the impression that football was a TEAM sport, unlike a sport such as figure skating or golf. Tom Brady, unlike say, 1988 Men’s Olympic Gold Medalist Brian Boitano or Phil Mickelson, is not out on that field by himself. If Mickelson and Boitano (when he competed both in amateur and professional competitions) screw up, it’s on them alone. If Brady (and for every QB), screws up, it is not only on him, as he is on a team. I will concede that a crucial mistake by a QB can lose the game, I still say they win as a team and they lose as a team. The QB gets too much praise for wins and too much blame for losses.

Let’s examine some other problems with the Patriots. Their offensive line has been attrocious. How can any reasonable person expect a top QB like Brady to play behind that offensive line? Even when Garropolo came into the game, he got sacked. It doesn’t matter who they have as QB, that O Line is awful.

The retirement of former O line coach Dante Scarrnechia is really hurting the offense. The inability to pick 5 guys and stick with them is not helping matters. Trading Logan Mankins is coming back to bite them. Some have played the trade down, but I think it is more than a small issue.
Brady does look “scared” as former teammate, and NBC Sports commentator Rodney Harrison said, because I don’t think he trusts that offensive line, and Mankins is gone. Mankins was also a great leader. Never underestimate the loss of a great locker room leader like Mankins.

Another issue that I am seeing with the Patriots is where is the offensive help? I know the Patriots business model is to build the team through the draft, and don’t spend a lot on free agency, and such. Robert Kraft is one of the few NFL owners I have full respect for. I’m disappointed that in the Rice case, he’s full supported Goodell, but that’s another thing. Mr. Kraft has built a successful franchise. Coach Bill Belichick is a first ballot Hall of Fame coach. People can say what they want, Coach Belichick can flat out coach.
Both of these men work very hard for their success. I am not taking that away from them.

That being said, I’m seeing the last years of Tom Brady’s greatness going to waste. Brady has been throwing the ball to virtually no one almost his entire career, with the exception of 2007. It appears to me that the team’s mindset is that, “if Brady won us 3 Super Bowl victories with nobodies, we will keep it the same.” Well, I am sorry, but it looks like the team got a very rude awakening on that Monday Night Football game. WR Julian Edelman is the team’s offense. TE Rob Gronkowski is still working his way back in the offense. He and Brady are not on the same page. WR Kenbrell Thompkins has been released, and WR Aaron Dobson has been benched.

Brandon LaFell is the only person they got this past free agency period. I mean, look at who was available this off season. The team could have spent money on Emmanuel Sanders. They could have gotten Steve Smith, who was unceremoniously released by the Panthers. Steve Smith may be “old,” but he’s doing well in Baltimore.

Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is not helping the team at all. His play calling is horrible. The team is going up against a Chiefs team that can’t stop the run. What does McDaniels call? He calls pass plays. He also did that against the Raiders, who also have a hard time stopping the run. McDaniels needs to find a way to stick to the run. Brady won’t last the season this way.

The problems with the team lay at the doorstep of Bill Belichick. He is the General Manager and the Head Coach. The team is suffering from poor drafts in the past few years. Some of Coach Belichick’s own decisions as coach make me wonder if he’s outsmarted himself. The decision to bench WR Wes Welker (as punishment) for that first drive in that playoff game against the New York Jets is still a head scratcher). He needs to do what he does best, and coach. It is too big a job for one person.

He’s also a defensive oriented coach What has happened to the defense over the past decade? The defense has declined rapidly since the departure of guys like Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, etc. Even when they were there, the team never drafted players who were good enough to help those guys, and replace them. One of the reasons why the NY Giants won SB 42 and SB 46 is because of defensive lapses, particularly SB 42.

THEME 3: Brady didn’t congratulate QB Jimmy Garropolo after the game.

This theme goes under the, “Are you kidding me? ” category. I know that jealous people slam Brady for some of the dumbest reasons (talented, rich, Gisele Bundchen, cute kids, handsome) , but this takes the cake. Tom Brady is a competitive person. He’s not thinking about what the camera is showing or not showing. He and his team are getting their rear ends handed to them. He was not thinking about who scored what when. I thought the whole thing was ridiculous. People were making more than it was.

I thought that it was ridiculous for people to suggest a QB controversy. I mean, Garropolo throws a TD pass in garbage time, and people want the rookie to start? How about some patience and some loyalty? Honestly, I think there’s those that have forgotten when the Patriots were a horrible team, and have gotten spoiled. Now, when the team has a bad stretch, I am seeing folks calling for Brady’s head. That’s not right.

I also am seeing a lot of media people, especially folks like Kurt Warner, getting their pound of flesh, and taking some real unfair shots. Kurt Warner, an analyst on NFL Network, said that Brady had to start taking responsibility for his bad playing. I don’t know what press conferences Warner watches, but Brady always says he has to play better. In every interview, Brady says, I have to play better.”

In summation, I feel that Tom Brady is still a top QB. I think the drop off in his play is not so much due to him, but the team, and the coaching. The bad play calling, the Mankins trade, and the offensive line are the more likely reasons for the Patriots’ recent problems. Tom Brady is the least of the problems. I am not saying that Brady is blameless. He needs to start trusting other players (Danny Amendola, LaFell). He can’t lock onto just Edelman and Gronkowski.

Can Tom Brady and the Patriots turn the season around? As of this writing, Brady and the team, are preparing to take the field tonight at Gillette Stadium to take on the 3-0 Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. Win or lose tonight, I have confidence that the team will be playing much better. It’s still early in the season, and the Patriots are in a very weak AFC East division. I still have confidence in Tom Brady. I have yet to write him or the Patriots off, as there have been other teams that in the minds of pundits and fans, have been left for dead. The 2005 Steelers should come to mind.

That, my readers, is my case for the defense of Tom Brady. I hope my readers enjoyed it.

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NFL 2014-15 Season Q1 Report and Review

October 03, 2014 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

The 2014 NFL Season has gone through its first four games.  As we horse racing fans would say, the field of 32 teams are at the quarter pole. I think that this has been a very weird season. I don’t know how to describe the beginning of the season, other than weird.  Instead of discussing games, we fans and media types are discussing domestic violence, child abuse, and a Commissioner who might be fighting for his job

I’ve seen the NFL in strike-shortened seasons.  I’ve seen the NFL go through a Lockout of the players, which got resolved just in time to save the 2011 NFL season, and possibly the sport itself. I have even seen coverage of many NFL-related scandals.   However, these past four weeks have been unusual, and the fallout is not over.

In this blog,  I am going to discuss my observations of the first four weeks of the 2014 NFL Season.  I am going to talk about action on the field.  I will be discussing off the field activity, and I also plan to comment on the media and fan reaction.  I will be using a new literary device.  Instead of using, “The Good, Bad, and the Ugly,” I am going to use “Thumbs Up” and  “Thumbs Down.”

For the first four weeks of the 2014 NFL Season,  here is what I thought deserved the following:

THUMBS UP

  1. The Cincinnati Bengals,  and their support for Devon Still.

I live in Lexington, KY.  Therefore, I live in Bengals country,  so every Sunday,  I have to put up with “Who Dey”  chants.  I follow the Pittsburgh Steelers, so I obviously don’t root for Cincinnati.  However,  when a baby has cancer,  your NFL allegiance doesn’t matter.  Not only do the Cincinnati Bengals have a very good team this year,  but they have very big hearts. Rookie Devon Still has a baby daughter, Leah, with cancer.  Not only did the Bengals keep him on the team,  so he could help pay for his daughter’s medical bills,  but jerseys were made to raise money.  Sales of the jerseys tallied to over $1,000,000. Even New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton bought 100 of the jerseys,  and Still thanked Payton on ESPN2’s “Mike & Mike” show.  As of this writing,  Devon Still’s daughter had successful surgery to remove the cancerous growth. This is an awesome story.  The Bengals are a wonderful organization to reach out to help.

  1. Houston Texans J.J. Watt makes early case for NFL MVP.

Talk about Mr. Fix it. Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt can do it all. He can be a Defensive End. He can be a receiver,  who could catch TDs. Watt can intercept a ball, and take it to the house. He can even be great in that NFL Mobile commercial.  Seriously,  J.J. Watt is an awesome athlete. I honestly don’t know what those Texans would do if they didn’t have him.  Andre Johnson doesn’t seem to be himself.  QB Fitzpatrick is not what I call starting material.  J.J.Watt is carrying the team on his back, and that, to me, that is the definition of an MVP.  The award is the Most Valuable PLAYER.

I know, realistically that the Associated Press can’t measure what J.J. Watt is doing by a stat line. I know that J.J. Watt is not a QB, so, I realistically know that J.J. Watt is up against it. That being said, I seriously think that J.J Watt should be considered an early MVP candidate. I just wish that the Associated Press would think outside the box sometimes when voting on these awards,especially the MVP Award.

  1. The Subjects of Domestic Violence and Child Abuse being brought to the forefront.

As I have said in my previous blog, “The NFL Is A Mess,” instead of the NFL being an escape from reality, many real life events have started to permeate the sport we NFL fans love. On the other hand, a good thing can come out of all this. The NFL is a huge sport in viewership and popularity, and with non sports media, such as CBS News covering the Ray Rice case, and the Adrian Peterson case, perhaps society will learn some things about domestic violence. Perhaps people will start a dialogue concerning domestic violence and child abuse.

At my Episcopal church, we have a weekly Adult Education Class called, “The Wired Word.” The class discusses modern issues and how we as Christians should be responding to them, according to the Scripture.  Recently, the subject was Adrian Peterson’s child abuse case, It created a very lively dialogue. I also hope what happened with the players involved, and especially how the teams and the NFL chose to handle, or not to handle these issues will change society in a positive way.

  1. The NFC East appears to be better than first thought.

I remember how the sports media, were all over the NFC East. I even thought the NFC East was going to be a one team (the Philadelphia Eagles) division. As much as I can NOT stand Jerry Jones and his Dallas Cowboys, I have to give them credit. They are 3-1. QB Tony Romo is having a good season, so far. Their defense is not all that, but they are holding up. There are twelve more games to go,so I am going to be cautiously optimistic. The Eagles lost to the 49ers, but they still look decent on offense. They have defensive issues though.  The New York Giants look like they’re coming around. From all the talk,  it looked like the G Men were going to be one of the worst teams in the NFL.  However,  QB Eli Manning didn’t forget how to play the position,  and Coach Tom Coughlin didn’t forget how to coach.  The defense is looking a lot better. Washington is a mess, but there’s, at least for now,  three teams that are looking fairly decent at this point in the season.

Now that I have given some items that deserved some Thumbs Up, it is now time to give some Thumbs Down to the following:

THUMBS DOWN

  1. The NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Ray Rice case.

The subject of Roger Goodell could be a blog in and of itself.  However, for this blog,  I am very disappointed in how he and his office mishandled the Ray Rice case. I don’t buy any of his explanations  His recent press conference (announcing all these new initiatives that may include reducing his power) didn’t help him any,  at least, not with me.  I’m still having a hard time understanding how TMZ got that tape, and Goodell couldn’t.  I don’t think the Commissioner’s office is prepared to deal with domestic violence and child abuse cases.

What’s worse is the NFL and its image has taken a huge hit,  and the 32 owners don’t seem to care.  They’re backing Goodell because he’s done what they’ve hired him to do, and that is make them money. In speaking of owners, I’m not buying what Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is trying to sell either. Anyway, two prominent owners, Giants owner John Mara, and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney, hired former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead an independent investigation into the handling of the Rice case.  Some “independent” investigation.

  1. The AFC East: Does anyone want to win it?

The worst division in the NFL, at least for now,  is the AFC East.  I am amazed.  All four teams are in some sort of mess. The Dolphins look like world beaters one week, and look awful during the following week.  I know Knoshawn Moreno is a few weeks from returning from injury,  but really?  The Bills started out 2-0, but fell back to earth.  They benched E.J. Manuel for Kyle Orton. Jets Coach Rex Ryan is trying to stave off a QB controversy,  as starter Geno Smith is having a hard time dealing with rude fans, and the spector of backup Michael Vick.  The team has injuries in the secondary,  and Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg needs to do a better job. Smith isn’t great, but the play calling isn’t helping.  The Patriots have a lot of offensive problems,  but despite popular belief (thanks to ESPN), their problems are NOT with the QB. Is Tom Brady struggling?  Yes. However,  he’s the least of the problems (blog coming). Coach Belichick and Josh McDaniels need to get their heads out of their rear ends. Offensive line coach needs to get his act together.

  1. Washington is a disaster.

If people want to see a real, not manufactured QB mess, look no further than Washington.  When starting QB Robert Griffin III went down to injury,  everyone jumped on the Kirk Cousins bandwagon. As fans have been noticing, Cousins has been dreadful.  He’s a backup. He was shell-shocked in that Thursday Night Game against the Giants.  Just from watching how the entire team responded to Cousins,  I could tell that it was Griffin’s team.

  1. Overreaction from fans and media.

I am very familiar with what is called, “Overreaction Monday.”  It’s when an NFL team loses or wins and fans/media go crazy. It happens every season,  but I have never seen such mania like this.  It lasts a whole week. People are trying to decide how good or bad a team is week to week.  I think it is insane.

Of course,  many fans and media have agendas,  and they like to make mountains out of molehills.  Some of the hate and double standards that permeate the sports media and social media to the point where you can’t decide who is reporting responsible news or just expressing opinion disguised as news. Many people act as if  an opinion is fact, but one checks the meaning of the two words, one will discover that’s not the case.

For example,  like the aforementioned Brady,  New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are leading struggling offenses.  The Saints got destroyed by the Cowboys.  They lost on the road to both the Atlanta Falcons and the Cleveland Browns. The Saints barely defeated the Minnesota Vikings at home, where they’re virtually unbeatable.  The Packers got bullied by the defending champs, the Seattle Seahawks on opening night. In the game against the New York Jets, if it weren’t for Aaron Rodgers and the Jets’ incompetence,  the Packers would have lost to them also.  Rodgers told folks to relax, and he and the team recently took care of the Chicago Bears.

Now why aren’t media types like ESPN’s  Trent Dilfer, Mark Schlereth, and Stephen A. Smith calling out these two QBs? I don’t see Profootballtalk’s Mike Florio taking shots at Brees, saying his “talent is disappearing,” like he said about Brady, recently.   I mean, every team is different and each situation is different. I realize that. As I said, I have problem when people who are supposed to be covering sports, insert their own agendas. I just don’t get the double standard,  here. How can Stephen A. Smith complain about Brady dancing in the pocket and getting sacked, when his man, Rodgers is also behind a shaky offensive line? According to the Sack Leaders board,  Aaron Rodgers is tied for 5th place at this point with 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, with 10 sacks, and Tom Brady is 7th with 9 sacks. ( http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/player/_/stat/passing/sort/sacks )  I know that Stephen A. Smith is on a debate show, and he’s an entertainer, but I just think he comes across as ill informed.  Many less informed fans will buy into what he says.

I go after ESPN quite a bit,  because in my opinion,  they’re the WWE of sports reporting.  Everything about that network is scripted. All the commentators have agendas.  The viewer knows which commentator is going to say what about what team or player. When ESPN wants to really push an agenda (player, controversial play, etc.), real or manufactured, the network will shove it down viewers’ throats like WWE shoves John Cena down WWE fans’ throats.  Like many dumb things on WWE programming (Bo Dallas, Adam Rose), ESPN just dumbs down sports reporting.

As for the NFL fans, the hate and hypocrisy from them is even worse. Most of what I am seeing on social media is not worth repeating.  It just appears to me that both fans and the media need to take Aaron Rodgers’ advice, and relax. You can’t decide a team is good in one week and then decide it stinks the next.  This is a marathon,  not a sprint.
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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 5

October 01, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Well the first quarter of the season is officially over, how have you done so far? I am comfortably sitting at 3-1 alone in second place. I don’t have too much time so lets get to it. The options are getting slimmer and slimmer each week. I hope there is something here you can use on your way to you championship.

Quarterback:

Eli Manning, New York Giants- Ranked 6th in overall scoring Manning is quietly working his way back to fantasy relevance after multiple disappointing seasons. His 17.5 fantasy pts per game put him ahead of names like Brees, Stafford, and Brady. This week he is going up against an Atlanta team that loves to score points but also loves to give them up. This game should be a shoot-out.

Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs- After routing the Brady-lead Patriots on Monday night I don’t see how you can ignore Alex Smith any longer. The former #1 pick is putting together one of his strongest seasons and I am not even sure who he is throwing to. He is ranked 12th overall which means statistically he could be starting in most leagues yet he is only owned in 15% of them. He has 7 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. All 3 interceptions came in week 1 which means for the last 3 weeks he has been a top 5 quarterback.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens- Once again not a sexy pick but consistency is always the theme. Sure I could throw up Bridgewater or Boyles but if you are looking for a sure thing you have to consider Flacco. Another quarterback ranked in the top 12 (10th) that isn’t starting for anyone. If your drafted started was Brady, Newton, RG III, Foles or Wilson you would have been better off starting Smith over the first 4 weeks. That has to be worth something.

Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings- Speak of the devil. Here is the sexy pick of the week. How do ignore a guy who throws for over 300 yards and runs for almost 30 yards and touchdown. Even more impressive is that he was able to do it with a Vikings offense minus AP. Sure they were able to run for 200 yards which opens up the passing game, but Teddy could be this year’s Foles.

Running Back:

Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota Vikings- Wow, multiple Vikings on the same waiver wire. Same thoughts for Bridgewater apply to McKinnon as well. How do you ignore a guy of runs for 135 on 18 carries? He didn’t find the endzone but he racked up massive yards. Available starting running backs are few and far between so if you have to take a shot, McKinnon will get more chances to prove what he can do.

Wide Recievers:

Eddie Royal, San Diego Chargers- Leading the Chargers in targets as well as touchdowns, Royal is the real deal and have become a must start in all leagues. He is a strong #2 receiver or flex option. With Gates and Allen receiving most of the defense attention and a lack of a running game, Royal will continue to see ball coming his way.

Rueben Randle, New York Giants- When your offense scores as much as the Giants did this week your players are going to get a little more attention. There were high hopes for Randle this season lining up opposite Victor Cruz. 89 yard on 8 catches are the numbers those of us who drafted him were hoping for. If this is Giants team that shows up the rest of the season picking up Randle will be a steal.

Devin Hester, Atlanta Falcons- Another interesting pick because he still gets the occasional punt or kickoff return. Falcons are planning to continue to use him as part of their weekly passing attack. With Douglas and White nursing injuries, Hester could be a nice bye week fill in.

Tight End:

Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs- Kelce is the go to TE for Alex Smith and he has shown in the last couple of weeks that they look for him in the redzone. The return of Jamal Charles will take more pressure off the passing game, opening up more opportunities. There are not to many good targets on this team and with Smith playing at a pro-bowl level I see Kelce continuing to get his piece of fantasy scoring pie.

Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts- Luck is throwing the ball so much that Allen is always going to be a threat. He has respectively scored 12, 9, and 10pts is 3 games this season. If you can look passed his goose egg against Philly and pick him up you won’t be disappointed.

Larry Donnell, New York Giants- A guy who has been getting targets since week 1. In 4 games his catch totals read 5, 7, 6, 7 and 4 touchdowns. Yes, I know that 3 of those touchdowns happened on Thursday night but the upside is still there. If I had to use my waiver this week, I think Donnell is the best skill option on the board.

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