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NFL Week 11 Recap and Week 12 Picks

November 19, 2014 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

I’m fairly certain that the one thing I find absolutely infuriating in sports is when athletes quit. This past weekend we had 3 examples of football players quitting within 2 days of each other. 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks started the theme on Sunday when he took himself out of the 49ers game due to what he felt was inadequate playing time.

The 49ers have had an emerging star in Chris Borland at Linebacker and he has been given his fair share of opportunities this season. A lot of his chances come because of Aldon Smith’s suspension and Navorro Bowman’s recovery from knee surgery. Bowman has found his plays down this season and reacted on Sunday by sitting on the bench, pouting. A multi-millionaire baby…..sat there….on the bench….in front of thousands in attendance and millions watching around at home…..and he pouted.

He pouted like a 2 year old when they spill their milk. And then, in a bizarre game of “whatever you can do, I can do better,” Legarrette Blount and Ben Tate quit on their respective teams Sunday and Monday. During the 2nd half of their Monday Night Football game, Steelers Running Back Le’Veon Bell was stomping the Titans into oblivion. Back-up Running Back Legarette Blount decided that the 4th quarter was the opportune time to go check his fantasy lineup score and proceeded to leave the bench, shower and get ready to leave the game….with it still going on! Blount was unhappy with his usage (no pun intended) and proceeded to get on the Brooks cry train and left the field.

Thankfully the Steelers cut Blount promptly the next morning and now the man who once punched another player in the face at the end of the game and was lucky enough to even have a job in the first place, finds himself looking for his 5th team in as many years. How about Ben Tate, formerly of the Browns and now of the Vikings? Tate had some solid years as a back-up to Arian Foster in Houston and that led to him being one of the hottest Free Agents this past off season. Tate had a few personal injuries and the emergence of a trio of great rookie Running Backs led to the “pout train” taking a trip through Cleveland before its trip down to Nashville. The Browns would cut Tate on Monday morning.

I have no sympathy for these guys who put themselves over their team. The 49ers, Steelers and Browns are all winning currently and look like they can cause some major noise in their respective conferences. You don’t want to be here? Fine, pack your bags and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. What happened to the days when players would do whatever it took in the name of winning a game? The Steeler game was close at the end. What if Bell would have suffered an injury in the middle of the 4th quarter?

“Hey ah…anyone see Legarrette?”…..”Hold on coach, he’s in the middle of this crucial mission of Call of Duty and it couldn’t wait”.

“Hey ah…anyone see Legarrette?”….”Hold on coach, he thought he left his stove on back in Pittsburgh, he went to go check on it”

It’s ridiculous! I saw reports that one vocal Steeler player didn’t even want Blount on the bus on the ride back to the hotel / airport after the game. I wouldn’t either, I’d toss him 50 bucks and a Mega-Bus schedule. The 49ers should have reacted in this same way that the Browns and Steelers did. I am tired of these multi-million dollar athletes who put themselves above other guys over a silly thing as their plays being reduced or things just not going their way. Kudos to the Steelers and Browns. Hopefully this sends a message to the other players in the league thinking about taking a seat for their own better good.

Week 11 Recap

Bold Prediction from Week 11: Texans over the Browns. – RIGHT – Pretty simple result here. I don’t believe in the Browns. I am happy that one of the worst teams in the history of the NFL seems to be on the rise but until they get into the playoffs and have some major wins, I more or less will always favor the opponent.

Guaranteed Lock from Week 11: Raiders over the Chargers. – WRONG - 0-16 here we come Raider Nation! Their remaining schedule has them facing the Chiefs, Rams, 49ers, Chiefs, Bills and Broncos. The ONLY game I think they have a remote chance of winning would be the final against Denver (due to Denver resting starters for playoffs). However, I’m fairly certain Peyton Manning will have something to say about potentially losing to a 0-15 team.

Week 12 Predictions:

Bold Prediction for Week 12: Giants over the Cowboys. – This is what Eli Manning does. He brings all us suckers in close with poor play, lulls us to sleep like little babies and then boom, he throws for 300, 3 TD’s, no picks and the team wins. I like it to happen against the Cowboys Sunday night.

Guaranteed Lock for Week 11: Broncos over the Dolphins. – Denver has been fairly mediocre the last 3 weeks. It would not be surprising that the red hot Dolphins could pull the win off but I believe Manning ends any questions to his play on Sunday with an absolute beat down of the Dolphins.

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Fantasy Football Week 12 Waiver Wire Pickups

November 18, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

In light of the Adrian Peterson verdict, I am pretty fired up this morning. Stay tuned for a few thoughts on the NFL and what this guy thinks about the AP and the Ray Rice situation. As usual there are more questions than answers as we enter playoff season. Sure there are a couple of weeks left but there is no doubt that many of us are thinking about our road to the championship. All year long I preached trust in your starters and don’t worry about matchups, just let the good players play.   Well that playbook is getting ready to head out the window as real team start to think about real playoffs. Time to guess who is going to play and who is going to rest. Let’s not waste any more time on this.

Quarterback:

Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns- No one wants to admit it but the Browns are pretty good. Everyone predicted that Johnny Football was going to be running this team by the end of the year and look at what has happened. Hoyer is a top 20 QB who is a lock for 13pts each week. The running game seems to be working itself out and the Josh Gordon’s return is looming on the horizon. These guys could be fighting for a playoff spot all the way to the end which means there could be a lot of value in Hoyer.

Drew Stanton, Arizona Cardinals- Another team that is better than people had expected. Yes, we knew the Cardinals were tough but we didn’t expect them to be in the “best team in the NFL” discussion. At least not a serious part of it. 2 touchdowns and over 300 yards taking over for the injured Palmer. Stanton is going to get you the same 13pts each week you will see with Hoyer but he is going to have more opportunities to blow up the score board with the weapons he has at his disposal. Also that Cardinal defense is going to keep the ball in Stanton’s hands. This might be the one team that doesn’t need to ride Stanton too hard to finish the season, however they may have him play the whole way just to get the reps. Either way he is going to get you something. And no I am not worried about him in Seattle.

Kyle Orton, Buffalo Bills- Here I am looking at quantity over quality. Orton loves to throw the ball and has proven time and time again that he can rack up the yardage through the air. It looks as though Fred Jackson is finally going to make is way back. That will free up some pressure from the rest of the offense to have Jackson catching passes out of the backfield. Yes he did go without a score against a tough Miami defense and he is questionable to start. I still think Orton has a lot left in his tank this season and we will that against the Jets on Sunday.

Running Back:

Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland Browns- Here is this week’s HOT free agent pick-up. Crowell was already going to be on this list, but the release of Ben Tate earlier this morning puts the spot light on Crowell. Everyone is looking at Gordon to make a huge impact and that is really good for the Browns running game. I would keep my eye on West as he will get some of the carries but right now Crowell is firmly in the driver’s seat. The Browns are going to be fighting to stay near the top of the tough division, Crowell might be the blue light special that brings home the gold.

Jonus Gray, New England Patriots- This is probably the name on the top of everyone list. He appears to be the lead back in New England which means he should be picked up, there is no doubt about that. He has not shown the consistency we would expect from a #1 back on a top team but he is a threat all the time. Running for 199 yards and 4 TD’s is going to get everyone’s attention. Those who started him last week probably walked away a winner. Maybe you get lucky and history repeats itself.

Tre Mason, St. Louis Rams- Mason has been the lead back in Stl. for several weeks now but his impact has not always been a huge one. However I am wondering if his 113 yards against a good Bronco’s team is the spark that will ignite a fantasy inferno. Like everywhere else, if you are the lead back you are going to get the carries which leads to the scoring and yardage opportunities. I guess the Chargers get to find out if he is the real deal. Personally I don’t think you can go wrong with Mason this week.

Alfred Blue, Houston Texans- I guess there is extra room on the list this week or maybe I just don’t want to leave any man behind. Foster was out and Blue finally did what owners had hoped he would do earlier in the season, BE PRODUCTIVE! I am not sure of Fosters status this week, I know they want him back. However, in the event he is unable to go I would take a shot on Blue. The Texans have a decent offense and like to balance their attack. Without Foster, Blue is a big part of that.

Wide Receiver:

Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia Eagles- There are only two things for certain in this life, death and taxes. Well I think that it is time to add Matthews to that list. 4 TD’s in 3 weeks to go along with 15 catches for 285 yards, those are Maclin type numbers. It is hard to find much consistency in Chip Kelly’s offense but Matthews seems to have found himself a niche. He might be one of the hottest receiver pickups this season.

Kenny Britt, St. Louis Rams-With Quick down someone has to step up and fill the void. Britt did that this week after he was on the receiving end of 4 passes from Hill including a TD. He only gets targeted a few times each week but he is making the most out of his targets averaging over 10 yards per catch in the last 4 games. Knee injuries slowed what looked to be a hall of fame career but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have something left in the tank. There are no guarantees here, but Britt could capture some of that magic he had a few years ago in Tennessee. If he does he will help you out.

John Brown, Arizona Cardinals- Statistically Brown is the 2nd best receiver on this team behind Larry Fitzgerald. In fact he is 2nd in all categories except for TD’s where he is 1st. Not a whole lot of secrets here, the guy gets targets and he finds the end zone. He has breakaway speed and will see a lot of single coverage as teams have to account for Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. This rookie might be a guy to target if you are in a keeper league.

Tight End:

Coby Fleener, Indianapolis Colts- The Colts took a whooping at the hands of Tom Brady and Patriots this week losing Bradshaw and possibly Dwayne Allen in the process. I guess you could call this a case of addition by subtraction. The loss of 2 key recievers brings Fleener to the front of the line. Fleener has put together a few good weeks and this could be the breakout opportunity he needs. As much as I would like to see Richardson value increase this week my money is on Fleener. The loss of Bradshaw means more passing and the door is open to Fleener. Coming off 7 catches for 177 yards, this could be someone to get excited about.

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers- No it isn’t grandparent’s day. Miller has proven once again that he has a little life left in his old body. I don’t even know how old he is but he has been around a while. Big Ben is still throwing a lot and Mille is quietly bringing in what he can. TE is a very shallow position and Miller isn’t a threat to get huge points but he might just get you the few points you need to come out on top.

Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders- I should just direct you to my blog from last week. Rovera took a little step back totaling 4 pts on only 40 yards but that shoudn’t scare you too bad since that is 2 more points than Jimmy Graham. Rivera isn’t Graham but he is a good TE who is allowed to have a down week. The upside here is that GM’s who scooped him up last week might have dropped him in their disappointment. Now is a good time to grab this guy, he is going to score in bunches the rest of the way.

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NFL Week 10 Recap and Week 11 Chatter

November 13, 2014 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Week 10 Recap, Week 11 Questions / Predictions

  • Week 10 had its fair share of disappointing showings. Here’s a headline that has become all but routine: the Pittsburgh Steelers losing to a far lesser opponent. Let’s not forget the Bears were destroyed and embarrassed on national TV Sunday night. And we certainly can’t forget to start the week off it was the Bengals, who yet again, crumbled…..I mean absolutely crumbled in the primetime lights when it mattered the most. I look at all these games and there is one that sticks out the most to me. It was the Buffalo Bills going down at home to the Kansas City Chiefs. This was a huge let down. The Bills have battled all season through position changes, key injuries and still found themselves at 5-3 through 8 games. They faced off against a mirror image of themselves in the Chiefs and needed to capitalize with a victory to keep pace in the division and against a team that a potential Wild Card battle could be had at the end of the season. The Bills lead most of the game and kept Jamaal Charles contained for the most part, minus a 40 yard TD run but this game was theirs to have. Leading 13-3 in the 3rd quarter, the wheels of the infamous Bills wagon fell off. 2 TD’s late it was game over and I think it could have dare say ended a 5-4 teams playoff hopes already. Every team in the AFC north is 2 games above .500. 3 teams in the AFC West are over .500 and 2 other teams in the AFC east are as well. This is going to be one of the tightest playoff races in AFC history and the Bills needed to win this home game more than anything. The Bills next 3 games have them facing off with the Dolphins in a huge divisional game, then the lowly Jets come to Buffalo, then capped off with one of the NFL’s pleasant surprises, the Cleveland Browns. Buffalo needs to pick it up in the coming weeks or they will soon be out of the playoff picture.

Week 11 Questions / Preview / Quick Hits:

  • Has there ever been a more important game between two 3-6 teams? The Panthers and Falcons are matching up Sunday in Carolina in A BATTLE FOR SOLE POSSESSION OF 2ND PLACE in the division. How AWFUL is the NFC South? I predicted that the NFC East was going to be the worst division in football to start the season but I couldn’t have been more wrong. No matter what happens from this point on till the end, the NFC South will be by far the worst division to end the season. Someone is going to win this thing at 7-9 or 9-7 and then probably upset one of the best teams in the playoffs. Why? Because NFL, that’s why.
  • Every Steeler nation fan is going to be glued to the TV on Monday night against the Titans. The Steelers yet again disappointed their legion of fans by laying a dud against a much inferior opponent last Sunday. Arguably the Titans are even more inferior to the Jets and are next up for the Steelers. History shows that the Steelers should dispatch the Titans but from now until the rest of the season I have no faith in the Steelers to win a football game against teams with below .500 records. If they were playing the Eagles this week? Steelers win by 30. But they are playing the Titans, so they will more than likely lose on a last second field goal similar to a few years ago to the very same opponent.
  • Former NFL Quarterback Chris Simms was recently on the Jim Rome Radio Show (CBS Network). Simms never really got off the ground in the NFL as a Quarterback but did hang around for close to 10 years in the league. There is no doubt that Simms is one of the toughest men to ever play any sport. It’s a shame I have to refresh your memories but Simms was battered and beaten (literally) by the Panthers in a game during the 2006 season. Simms would leave with discomfort and then return in the same game to lead a successful scoring drive. Simms was in so much pain after the game that he stayed in Carolina and went to the hospital. What did the doctor’s discover? A ruptured spleen caused hours earlier. Simms had lost 5-6 pints of blood and doctor’s even brought in his family to say goodbye to him as he wasn’t supposed to make it. Simms would recover and even come back and play sparingly in the league for a few more years. Chris Simms = MAN. I sort of digressed off my original point so here goes: Simms commented on the Jim Rome Show that he would put Russell Wilson in the Top 5 NFL Quarterbacks currently playing. Who’s not on the list? Tom Brady. After Rome rephrased the question making sure Simms didn’t think it was a question about the “best future quarterback”, Simms stood tall and said “No” he would take Wilson over Brady as a Top 5 QB. Simms could not be more wrong with that. Wilson has looked rushed this season, panicked and allegedly rattled from a locker room deteriorating around him. I do think Wilson is good but if you swap Brady and Wilson right now, the Patriots are as bad as the Jets and Seattle would probably be 9-0. No chance and no scenario I take Wilson over Brady (this season). But kudos to Simms because he threw something out there and did get people talking about it. Just sad that he couldn’t be more wrong.

Recap from Week 10 predictions:

Bold Predication from Week 10: Titans over the Ravens. – WRONG- This game started in favor of the Titans. However, ever since the NFL instituted that pesky “4 quarters of play” rule the Titans have been doomed. They completely shelved the game after the 1st and the Ravens got a much needed win.

Guaranteed Lock from Week 10: Saints over the 49ers. – WRONG – Great job to Kaepernick and company continuing to scratch and claw in the NFC West and pull out the massive road victory. The Saints continue to be one of my biggest let downs of the season but yet, at 4-5, they are in complete control of the NFC South. Why? Because NFL, that’s why.

Week 11 predictions

Bold Prediction for Week 11: Texans over the Browns. I don’t know how shocking a 4-5 team beating a 6-3 team would really be but since the world has ordained Brian Hoyer as the biggest savior in Cleveland since LeBron and then the sequel, LeBron: Returns, Cleveland is bound to have a letdown soon. I’ll take that to happen this week against Houston’s savior, Ryan Mallet

Guaranteed Lock for Week 11: Raiders over the Chargers. Here, let me type it again. Raiders over the Chargers. Oakland has to win this game, you just can’t go 0-16. If they go 0-16, that franchise will crumble from the top to the bottom. San Diego has come down to earth in recent weeks, mainly since the Chiefs knocked them off. I believe in Derek Carr to lead this team to their first win of the season.

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Fantasy Football Week 11 Waiver Wire Pickups

November 12, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

At the beginning of the season I wrote a blog titled “Fantasy rules to live by.” If you asked me I would describe it as the Fantasy Football equivalent to Sun Tzu’s book “The Art of War.” The basic theme is don’t overreach, don’t overreact, and finally don’t overthink. It requires a bit of discipline and a lot of patience, but it always pays off, even if it doesn’t always look like it on paper. You might remember last week I was licking the wounds from the 3 game losing streak only to come back this week with the highest score of the season.

Even though I am in 4th place my team is the one that everyone is watching. My team is the one hitting its stride when it matters most. It’s hard to sit on your hands after back to back losses and not blow up your team for the “next big thing.” Most of us are in leagues of at least 10 people which means someone is going to make a mistake and if you wait long enough you can capitalize on it.

Enough about me, this blog is for you. The end is near with only 3 or 4 weeks left in the season. That means there are only 2 types of waiver watchers left out there. Those of you who are trying to make the playoffs and those of you who are already in the playoffs. One group is looking to for a boost while the other is just trying to keep the advantage. Either way the next 3 weeks are possibly the most important of the season.

Quarterback:

Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles- Sanchez makes the top spot for the second week in a row because he is still only 40% owned. Don’t expect that to be the case next week, in fact I don’t expect that 40% to last the next 24 hours. Sanchez is now playing in one of the most QB friendly offenses in the league and he is surrounded by more weapons than he can shake a stick at. Vegas is predicting this game to be a shootout and it will have to be if the Eagles are going to stand a chance. Chip Kelly is going to rely on Sanchez to put points up on that board. Even if you don’t believe in Sanchez, I think this season has proved that you can believe in Chip Kelly.

Josh McCown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- In his 1st week back Bucs fans finally saw the McCown they thought had signed over the summer. His “almost tears” after last week’s tough loss I will chalk up to passion for the game. They have a favorable match-up this week against the Redskins. Evans has emerged as a legit threat that defenses have to account for who knows how to get into the end-zone. Jackson is still a top receiver in this league. If the running game can carry its part of the load I would look for McCown to score big numbers again this week.

Ryan Tannehill, Alex Smith, and Ryan Fitzpatrick should have honorable mention this week. All 3 have been good “replacement” players however they all have difficult matchups.

Running Back:

C.J. Anderson. Denver Broncos-   I expected Monte Ball to underachieve since week #1 which is why I didn’t draft him. He was slated to be the starter last year and lost out to Knowshon Moreno and then this year he was outplayed by Hillman. I don’t buy the injury excuse. Face it, Ball just isn’t the back we hoped he would be. Enter C.J. Anderson who had 163 yards from scrimmage with a touchdown. He averaged almost 7 yards per carry which is incredible. Not sure how long Hillman is out, but if you are looking for a fill in this week, I expect another big game out of Anderson.

Terrance West, Cleveland Browns- Here is another name that we have seen here before but I am thinking that this will be the last time. It appears that he has taken the lead back role away from Ben Tate who has underachieved as the Brown starter. If that trend continues West will be good for 10pts which is plenty if you looking for a one week boost. They are going up against a tough Houston defense but if he gets the carries I look for West to be a top 15 back this week.

Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers- I don’t think it has quite clicked with everyone that he is going to be taking his starting job back in an offense that needs a boost after a difficult loss. He is active in both the running and passing game and has the potential to score big points. He should be starting in all formats and is still readily available. Similar to Sanchez, once these waiver blogs and articles start hitting websites he isn’t going to last very long.

Wide Receivers:

Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants- With all eyes on Ruben Randle it appears the Beckham has taken over the #1 receiver spot. Maybe not in targets or on the depth chart but statistically he is looking strong. Jennings is supposed to back this week and Giants showed they can move the ball on a tough defense after staying close for a while in Seattle. Jennings will give Beckham some single coverage opportunities and Manning will find him. 15 catches for 164 yards over the last 2 weeks are fantasy starter numbers. Keep your eye on this guy.

Cecil Shorts III, Jacksonville Jaguars- BYE WEEK ALERT! He is not playing this weekend which is the reason he is on this list. This guy was supposed to be the man this year, picked up and dropped multiple times because of high expectations that never worked out. Last week he finally stepped up. If that was a sign of things to come he is worth a stash. Remember with playoffs coming up you may need to rely on some “unproven” players to carry you to the end. Shorts might be a steal.

Preston Parker, New York Giants- The down side here is a rookie who has really only had one strong week. The upside is that it came in the form of 7 catches for 79 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks. That is an impressive resume. Manning will continue to throw so there is a good chance that Parker will continue to get passes in his direction. If he continues to haul them in he will be a trusted force to be reckoned with.

Tight End:

Mychal Rivera, Oakland Raiders- Seems like there is at least one “must have” player in each of the categories this week. I have posed this questions a few times this season but let’s try it again. How many weeks does a guy have to perform before we actually buy into him? 21 catches, 185 yards, and 3 touchdowns in 3 weeks. During his hot streak he is averaging 12 pts per week. That puts him in the top 3! One more note if you are not already buying. He did this against Cleveland, Seattle, and Denver.

Charles Clay, Miami Dolphins- Here is your run of the mill fantasy fill in. The Dolphins have been a decent team and Tannehill has proven to be able to get the ball to his receivers. He is getting 4-7 catches a week so there is always potential for a few points maybe a touchdown on a good day. They are playing the Bills which means short passes might be on the menu and Clay might see a little more action that he is used to.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- If you are like me you are asking yourself, who? I figured that we needed a little fresh meat this week and maybe this Jenkins character will be something special. Is it a coincidence that he pops up on the radar the same week McCown returns? Maybe. He is on the field about 85% of the snaps so again with that word “opportunity.” This is probably a stretch but there isn’t much out there for TE this week.

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Top 10 Fantasy Football Busts This Season

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

We are heading into the tenth week of the Fantasy Football season and I think it’s time to start holding people accountable. Several of the top ranked players entering this season have failed to deliver and it is time to start calling them out.

Fantasy football owners spend weeks preparing for drafts. Owners research stats, explore trends, and rely on experts to point them in the right direction. While there are many players that the experts got right, both experts and owners came up short when it came to the top picks. What makes matters worse is that a failed top draft pick is all you need to ruin your season.

We have ten weeks of stats to analyze as we head into the fantasy playoffs and I think we have enough to declare a player a bust. Now I’ll be fair and say that many of these players under-performed due to injuries, but as the old saying goes, “You are what you are,” and every single one of these players have failed to meet the expectations that come with being a top fantasy draft pick.

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles - McCoy may be the biggest bust on this list for one reason. McCoy was not hurt, or at least reportedly. There have been rumors for weeks that McCoy was playing hurt but nothing has been confirmed, thus we have to conclude he is fine.

McCoy finished the 2013-14 season as the second best RB in fantasy standard leagues behind Jamaal Charles. Nothing changed in the offseason to give you any indication that he would fall off. Unfortunately nobody could have predicted how badly the offensive line problems would impact Shady. However, many great running backs have gotten it done with shaky QBs and bad lines, even Shady in the past so those are no excuses.

McCoy currently ranks 20th in fantasy RBs in standard scoring leagues. To give you a better perspective, Justin Forsett, Jeremy Hill, Matt Asiata, and Chris Ivory are all having better seasons. You could have gotten every one of those guys off of waivers, yet the only way you were getting McCoy was with a top five pick. That hurts!

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions – The warning signs have been there. Johnson finished the 2013-14 season hurt and saw his numbers go from four weeks of double-digit games to three weeks of single digit games, sitting out the final game. While we were all told that he was fine heading into the season, some had doubts, but nobody predicted this kind of a drop off.

Johnson is not even ranked in the first page on ESPN if you look at fantasy wide receivers in standard scoring leagues. Johnson opened up the season with an expected big game putting up 28 points with 2 TDs. It looked like Megatron was back. Then came an 8 point game in Week 2, an injury, and four straight doughnuts if you owned him due to him missing games or playing as a decoy.

Johnson was ranked 6th overall on Fantasy Pros coming into the season. You don’t own Calvin Johnson unless you took him with your first pick. Unless you drafted well, you are hurting. Fortunately wide receivers pop up weekly on the wire, yet you will never find someone to deliver those 28 points regularly that Johnson did in Week 1. Injury or not, he’s a bust.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions - See Calvin Johnson. Stafford was ranked in the top five by the Fantasy Pros consensus picks heading into the season. Why wouldn’t you have those kinds of expectations from Stafford? He finished in the top five last season and could have finished in the top 2 if Johnson didn’t go down those last four weeks. Those last four weeks however should have been a warning.

While Stafford has gotten hot lately with Golden Tate, it is clear that he is not nearly as valuable without a healthy Johnson. The warning here is that if you take Stafford, you better be confident that Johnson stays healthy. That is a lot to ask, yet that is the reality here. Last year’s number four QB is not even in the top ten at this point, behind guys like Ryan Tannehill, Joe Flacco, and the struggling Matt Ryan.

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons - Jones had a lot of hype coming into the season. He was on fire last season until he broke his foot and missed the final eleven games. Fantasy analysts and owners looked at those first four games, placing those as expectations of a healthy Julio Jones. They have been disappointed.

What analysts and owners never accounted for was how bad the Falcons offense was going to be this year. Jones has also had some minor injuries but for a guy expected to finish well within the top five or six WRs, he has only three TDs on the year, and those came in a two-week span in Weeks 2 and 3. He ranks fourteenth right now and there are no signs that I can see of the Falcons turning it around. Sure, he will have some big weeks like Week 3 but he has no shot at this point of meeting the high expectations set on him coming into the year.

Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers - Lacy is a tough one because there were a few signs here that said to proceed with caution. The biggest sign was injury-history yet none of Lacy’s struggles seem to be as a result of any injuries. In other words, this guy is just a flat out bust.

Lacy finished seventh in fantasy RBs in standard scoring leagues last season. Lacy was ranked fifth among all RBs at Fantasy Pros who all saw big numbers ahead for the Packer. Lacy is out of the top ten and ranks sixteen among RBs today. There is some hope here as Lacy has turned it around in recent weeks, yet he killed you early on with a combined 51 points through the first six weeks. He has put up 30 in the last two weeks so it may be a bit early to call him a bust, although it may be too late for Lacy owners who are out of the playoff hunt.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - It is funny in retrospect how one preseason game fooled the entire fantasy football community of experts and owners. A late preseason outing shot Martin right up to the top of fantasy RB rankings heading into the season. Martin was ranked ninth in the consensus Fantasy Pro rankings with many claiming Martin could finish even higher.

Fast-forward to Week 10 and Martin is now number-three on the RB depth chart behind Bobby Rainey and Charles Sims. Martin has a total of 23 points through 10 games…23 points! Carlos Hyde, Shonn Greene, and James Starks all have more than 23 points. Yes he’s been hurt but that doesn’t excuse his performance all season long. It’s been pitiful.

AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals - This is a tough one because Green’s lack of productivity is attributed to his injuries but again, that doesn’t make a difference if you are a Green owner. This guy was ranked in the top 15 overall by most experts and had big expectations coming into the season. 3 TDs through Week 10 is not going to cut it.

Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers - After taking me to a title last season I fell for the Keenan Allen hype. I took him early like most did who drafted him and was rewarded with one of the biggest sophomore slumps for a wide receiver I have ever seen. Allen has only one TD on the season and only two double-digit games in one of the most potent offenses in the league. Most experts had him ranked right outside of the top 10 but the numbers are a big disappointment from a guy that was within the top fifteen last season.

Giovanni Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals - Oh Gio, how you let your owners down. Gio was a hot name coming into the season. Many experts predicted big numbers in the run-heavy Hue Jackson offense for the Bengal. Through three weeks it looked like he was the real deal, but one week does not make a season.

Gio has missed two games with an injury and has been in and out of the lineup in weeks prior to that. Gio has given his owners a mere 39 points since Week 5 while his backup has given his owners 30 in just two weeks. My hunch is that Gio is going to be hampered by these injuries all season long and while the potential is there for a healthy Gio, that Gio won’t be back until next season.

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers - I had to throw a tight end in here and it was either Davis or Jordan Cameron. I’d say that Davis is by far the bigger disappointment. Most people forget that Davis finished number two overall in tight ends last season ahead of Julius Thomas. Davis is not even in the top 20 tight ends in standard scoring leagues and has a total of 25 points through Week 10 with 16 of those coming in Week 1.

Nobody could have predicted the reduced role that Davis has taken in the offense. He is a non-factor. I also think that he is a victim of bad QB play. Colin Kaepernick has not progressed at all and has even regressed a bit at times. The team is in disarray thanks to a lame duck coach and their running game is just non-existent.

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Fantasy Football: Mark Sanchez Returns to the Waiver Wire

November 05, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

The Sanchize is back! Mark Sanchez has taken his familiar seat on the waiver wire after snagging the Philadelphia Eagles starting job. With only a few weeks to go Sanchez could bring you many rewards but what is the risk of rolling with the former Jets QB?

It’s a familiar theme every season. Mark Sanchez has a good game or two and he becomes the waiver wire darling of fantasy football experts around the globe. We have seen this show since 2009 but this time is different. While his colors are the same, the situation and team around him could be the missing pieces Sanchez has been looking for.

Let’s look at this realistically. You aren’t going to get a better QB off of the waiver wire this week. Your other choices are probably Josh McCown and maybe Michael Vick. Most of the good QBs are taken and there is a pretty good chance that you have a decent QB if you are in the playoff hunt. Do you really want to risk your fantasy season in Week 10 by making such a drastic change?

There are some good reasons to pick up Sanchez. He is in one of the most fantasy-friendly offenses for a QB in the NFL. Chip Kelly isn’t going to change anything for Mark Sanchez. Kelly produces the number five passing offense in the NFL. Sanchez has also never had this much talent around him, although he had a nice supporting cast his rookie season. He has never had the deep threats that the Eagles give him, and never had a receiver with the skills that Jeremy Maclin has. This situation is set up for Sanchez to succeed.

It is fun to pile one Sanchez but he had a ton of potential when he came into the NFL. He was young and I think his immaturity did him in (remember Sanchez eating hot dogs on the sidelines?). People are quick to forget that Sanchez was one game away from the Super Bowl his rookie season. I always thought the departures of Alan Faneca and Thomas Jones in Sanchez’s sophomore season really hurt him, specifically Faneca. The running game he was able to utilize was out of town and all of the pressure was on the passing game. A passing game mind you that featured selfish receivers and an offense that just never seemed to click.

There are also some good reasons not to take Sanchez. He is still new to this offense. He hasn’t had a full season in Chip’s offense and I think you are expecting a lot from a guy taking over a team in Week 10. He mentally breaks down quickly. When Sanchez is on, he is on but when he is off, he is really off. Sanchez has never been able to work himself out of a funk. His arm may not have the juice to take advantage of his new weapons.

Finally it should be noted that Sanchez has a really rough schedule when the playoffs begin. He will be playing teams weeks 12-15 that rank within the top 15 defenses against fantasy QBs. He has the Titans, Cowboys twice, and the Seahawks. You probably wouldn’t play many QBs outside of your top 8 against those defenses. So if you expect to make a savvy grab with Sanchez and use him for the playoffs, you better understand that the schedule is one of the worst against fantasy QBs at a time when you need a QB you can count on. The schedule alone would have me thinking twice about Sanchez.

Was Sanchez that bad or was he overcompensating for a weak offense in New York? We will find out shortly. Whether you should get Sanchez or not entirely depends upon your needs. If you are desperate or have a guy on a bye week, you may want to take a shot with him against Carolina. Just understand you are only going to get two fantasy QB-friendly defenses with him before you run into problems. Otherwise take your shot but I would proceed with much more caution than those proclaiming Sanchez as the second coming are willing to admit.

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NFL Week 9 Recap, Week 10 Predictions and Headlines

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

  • Have you ever been hanging out with your friends and you ask one another “If you were the #1 pick, who would you least want to play for?” Who would you say this year? The typical answers have always been the Browns, Raiders and Jaguars. What would my answer be? It would be the Washington Redskins. Every week there is an epic power struggle between the Jets and Redskins for most disastrous franchise currently. This week the Redskins have won. They have been publicly protested and verbally destroyed over the use of the nickname Redskins. Let’s combine that with the fact that their 3rd year Quarterback that they mortgaged the current franchise to get has proven to be the definition of a prima donna and he just reminds me week after week of Vince Young. If you remember, Vince Young capitalized off one good college football season, finished 2nd in Heisman voting and arguably single handedly beat USC for the National Championship. Riding an unbelievably high draft stock, Young was selected 3rd overall by the Tennessee Titans.
  • Despite an overall career winning record, Young’s off the field issues, to include a questionable maturity level lead to a short NFL career with several teams. Robert Griffin III is on this same path. He was drafted to a team that had no identity and Griffin instantly became “the man”. He has been in almost as many sponsorship ads as Peyton Manning and has only played in a handful of games due to injury and talent level. Griffin didn’t help himself much by not trying to distance himself from the spotlight of the team. In Griffin’s first season him and only him was the only player and or staff member invited to owner Dan Snyder’s home for Thanksgiving dinner. How blind could you be to accept that and not know the internal consequences? Let me clarify that I am not rooting for Griffin to fail, I want him to succeed and add to the value that is the NFL but he needs to get out of Washington and to a team that is established, where he is instantly not bigger than an entire billion dollar franchise. Take a page out of established veterans on how to handle interviews and actions during the day. Griffin has never had the elder, established Quarterback to do that for him. The RGIII project has failed in DC.
  • I don’t blame John Harbaugh’s decision to go for the win on Sunday against the Rams. Of course it backfired, it almost always does. Week after week the Cardinals are now extending the division lead and the 49ers needed to do something to stay strong in the division. Harbaugh clearly saw that Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offensive line was being dismantled throughout the game and he wasn’t going to risk more unnecessary hits to his franchise Quarterback that still has the rest of the season to play. But as per the usual Harbaugh will be critically crucified by media throughout the week. Rumors are growing and growing now that Michigan has fired their AD and the next bulls eye is now on Brady Hoke. The 49ers would be out of their minds to lose Harbaugh but similar to my written frustrations in my blog a few weeks ago about the short and quick hooks for Quarterbacks, the NFL head coach is right behind them. Ultimately I see Harbaugh and the 49ers breaking up this off season unless they win the Lombardi.

Recap from last week:

Bold Prediction from Week 9: Texans over the Eagles – WRONG – This loss showed me a lot about the Texans. Even with the Eagles losing their starting QB to shoulder injury at a moment when the game was tied they couldn’t overcome Mark Sanchez’s best efforts as the backup to lose the game. This offseason the Texans need to invest something into a better QB.

Guaranteed Lock from Week 9: Patriots over the Broncos. –RIGHT – When picking this game it bottled down to basically the game being in New England and that ended up only being a minor part of the blowout victory. Peyton Manning never plays well in New England. I don’t know, must be that “dirty water.” Whatever it may be, the Broncos’ better hope the rematch is in Denver again this year in the playoffs.

Picks for Week 10:

Bold Predication for Week 10: Titans over the Ravens. Similar to the Pittsburgh Steelers (and actually the entire AFC North) the Ravens always have huge let down games rather constantly. Theoretically one week they would beat down the Denver Broncos but then lose the next to a winless team. Coming off a bye for the Titans that I expect the Mettenberger Instagram show to take over the game and lead the Titans to the upset.

Guaranteed Lock for Week 10: Saints over the 49ers. Very tough to pick against the Saints when they are in the dome. To me it’s more mythical than the Seahawks and their home turf. 49ers defense is still not whole, Saints coming in off a big divisional win last week, I like the Saints.

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NFL 2014-15 Mid-Season Report

October 30, 2014 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

After a week away from my computer, I am excited to be back and writing about the (gulp) midseason report for the NFL. Where has the time gone? Since the start of this season we have gone from the Seattle Seahawks being the start of a dynasty to being the NFL model for dysfunctional teams. We have seen fans in New England cry for Tom Brady’s head only to be met with a 6-2 record and a 9-1 touchdown vs interception ratio. The New Orleans Saints were big Superbowl favorites but haven’t won one game outside of New Orleans and are a below .500 team at the midway point. The AFC North is the tightest division in football with all 4 teams having records ABOVE .500. How’s this for perspective? The Cleveland Browns are LAST in the AFC North at 4-3. If they were in the NFC South they would be LEADING the division right now.

Before we dive into things let’s recap my predictions from 2 weeks ago and bring me up to date on for some mid-season standings.

My Guess: Colts go over on the Bengals. – RIGHT

Bold Prediction for Week 7: Chiefs over the Chargers. – RIGHT

Guaranteed Lock for Week 7: Pittsburgh over Houston. – RIGHT

Counting the Week 7 predictions that would bring my running total to 13-9 on all categories (guesses, Bold and Locks) and separately I am 5-1 in my bold predictions and 4-2 in my guaranteed locks. I hope you are using my predictions for more good than evil.

Bold Prediction for Week 9: Texans over the Eagles – Yes the Eagles do have a winning record (5-2) but they just aren’t clicking in all facets. LeSean McCoy has had 2 decent games this season and Jeremy Maclin makes everyone forget about DeSean Jackson but I don’t think this team is ready to handle a monster like JJ Watt. I like Foster to run wild over the Defense and lead the Texans to a win.

Guaranteed Lock for Week 9: Patriots over the Broncos. I will never get tired of Manning vs Brady as the games are almost always a toss-up for the winner. Basically this is coming down to that the game is in New England and not Denver. I like the Tom Brady and Brandon LaFell connection to dominate once again for the win.

My 1st Quarter broke down to these teams and players that I was most impressed with:

Best 1st Quarter Team: Cincinnati Bengals (3-0). (Honorable mention for best team – San Diego Chargers (3-1).

Worst 1st Quarter Team: Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4). (Honorable mention for worst team– Oakland Raiders (0-4)

Surprise 1st Quarter team: Minnesota Vikings (2-2). (Honorable mention for surprise team: New Orleans Saints (1-3)

Mid-Season Award for Best team: Arizona Cardinals (6-1). The Cardinals get my top spot for two reasons. #1 – who they have defeated. The Cardinals have beat the 49ers, Chargers, Giants and Eagles as their most impressive wins to start this season. Their only loss has come against the Broncos. #2 – The Cardinals won most of those games with a scrap heap that they have the nerve to call NFL Quarterbacks. Now that Carson Palmer is back they are a legit contender for the NFC crown. (Honorable mention for best mid-season team: Denver Broncos (6-1)

Mid-Season Award for Worst Team: New York Jets (1-7). The Jets are so horrendous at their day jobs that I had to put them on the list ahead of winless team! The Jets have no answer at Quarterback or Wide Receiver. Their Running Backs and Defensive Line are the only seemingly bright spots for this team. From week to week the Raiders are at least entertaining with Rookie Studs like Derek Carr and Khalil Mack. Shame on you Jets for making me watch your games and highlights this season. (Honorable Mention: Tennessee Titans (2-6).

Surprise Mid-Season Award for a team: Atlanta Falcons (2-6). The Falcons have surged into my personal Mid-Surprise award after blowing a 21 point lead over the pond to the Detroit Lions. Many people claimed that their problems last year were all tied to a “shotty” defense and injuries to superstar players. What’s the excuse this season? This team as a whole just isn’t producing at the level they should be. Whatever “changes” they made this past off season have not worked and will not work for the rest of the year. Folks seemingly assumed that they were gifted the high draft pick they had last year and would be an elite team once again but maybe the Falcons were just trying to tell us something a year early. This team is done and will surely go through a coaching overall in the off season.

First Quarter Individual Award Recap:

1st Quarter League MVP: DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Runner-up: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts

3rd: Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

1st Quarter Defensive MVP: JJ Watt, DE, Houston Texans –

Runner up: Andre Branch, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars

3rd: Kyle Fuller, DB, Chicago Bears

Mid-Season NFL MVP: DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys – Leads league in rushing…still (913), tied for league lead in Rush TD’s (7) and the league leader in yards rushed per game (130). In my opinion, Murray is the sole reason why the Cowboys are at the top of the NFL right now. With him on the field he takes away from Romo’s potential mistakes and a poor defensive lineup.

Runner-up: Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers – 2nd in the League in Receiving yards (852), Tied for 2nd in the League in Receiving TD’s (7), a passing TD, and 1 of only 4 receivers who average over 100 yards receiving per game.

3rd: TIE: Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos and Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

Mid-Season Defensive MVP: JJ Watt, DE, Houston Texans – Tied for 4th in the League in Sacks (7), 2 defensive TD’s this season, 1 offensive TD, 1 forced fumble and 3 fumble recoveries

Runner-up: Perrish Cox, CB, San Francisco 49ers – Tied for the League lead in passes defensed (12), 3 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries on the season

3rd: Justin Houston, LB, Kansas City Chiefs – League leader in Sacks (10), he has a passed defensed and a forced fumble on the season.

What to expect for the 2nd half of the season:

I expect the coaching guillotine to come out in full force within the next few weeks. A while ago I predicted that Rex Ryan would be the first mid-season termination (and I stand by that) but not so far behind is going to be Mike Smith (Falcons) and Dennis Allen (Raiders). Whenever a coach has to come out on record and comment on their job status (Smith), you know that’s not a good sign. It never fails that you can also always bet on that one surprise coach to get the axe as well. You know who my money is on if they don’t make the playoffs? Sean Payton.

Speaking of the playoff picture, it’s an absolute mess. The only 4 teams that I can certainly say that are making the playoffs are the Broncos, Patriots, Colts and Cardinals. Every other division is so close that (as mentioned earlier) the Cleveland Browns can fly from the bottom of the North all the way to the top with some help. In the end I like the Bengals, Chargers and Steelers to round out the AFC in the playoffs. Over in the NFC I will take the Packers, Lions, 49ers, Saints and Eagles to finish the NFC. Sorry Seattle, it seems that you suffer the same guaranteed fate of all Superbowl teams in recent memory which is no playoffs the year after winning.

The team I would keep an eye on for an unexpected surge for the rest of the year is going to be the New York Giants. The team has had ups and downs this season but they can win ugly and that’s what matters the most in the late season months. I don’t expect them to make the playoffs but I can easily see them making things a nightmare for other teams until the end. As for a team on top that’s going to fall? That would be our favorite team to bash week after week….the Dallas Cowboys. This entire team is running (no pun intended) solely on DeMarco Murray’s back. If something would happen to Murray this team would be done. Look at the panic they went through Monday in the loss to the Redskins when Romo was out for a little bit. Dallas has proven that their pass offense isn’t enough to win games and if Murray would miss time I expect issues to arise.

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NFL 2014-15 Q2 Report and Review

October 30, 2014 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

It is that point in the 2014-15 NFL season, where the first eight weeks of the season are gone. It seems like September is a distant memory. We’re at the point where teams are starting to show what kind of teams they are. Fans and media types get a better picture of how teams will be, as far as a playoff run, and will also get to re-evaluate their earlier evaluation of teams and players, as perhaps some teams were not as good or as bad as first thought. So much has gone on this season on different teams, that it’s amazing that half the 2014-15 NFL Season is gone. As the band Bon Jovi would sing, “Whoooaaaaa. We’re halfway there, and there are some teams that are already, as the song continues, “living on a prayer.” ( http://youtu.be/lDK9QqIzhwk)

During the first half of the 2014-15 NFL season, we saw teams being buried and resurrected (New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers) by the experts. Teams are being crowned Super Bowl Champion(s) prematurely (defending champion Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos ). Some teams have their seasons by a thread, and will need a prayer (New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints). The 32 teams are at the half mile pole, and there are teams in big trouble already. The NFL is still working through the issues of domestic violence and child abuse. The so-called “independent” report has yet to come out. This season is just crazy.

In this blog, I will discuss the events of the first half of the 2014-15 NFL Season. In my previous blog, I did discuss the first quarter of the season. What I aim to do is to talk about more recent events, but I will discuss the entire first half. Again, I will discuss both the on and off the field activities, and the media coverage. I also will use the “Thumbs Up ” and ” Thumbs Down” literary device, like I used the last time. I hope my readers will enjoy the blog.

THUMBS UP:

The AFC NORTH:

Before the season began, all the prognosticators were slamming the AFC North. I heard it from both ESPN and the NFL Network on how the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to be terrible. The experts said the Cincinnati Bengals were the only good team. I also heard about a guy named Johnny Manziel. I am sure my readers have also.

I hate to go Oprah Winfrey on my readers, but the Cincinnati Bengals have a winning record. The Baltimore Ravens have a winning record. The “old and slow” Pittsburgh Steelers have a winning record. The Cleveland Browns have a winning record. Everyone in the AFC North has a winning record.

Each team is within a game of one another. I have always loved this division. It’s the hardest hitting division in the NFL. Each team has had their troubles, but it looks like they’re starting to come to form.

Great performance by Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger against the Indianapolis Colts. He threw for 6 TDs and 522 yards. He won AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 8. The Steelers were pretty shaky in the beginning. How do you lose to the hapless Tampa Bay Bucanners? However, despite all the attacks from the media, it looks like the team has righted the ship.

Browns QB Brian Hoyer has been doing a very good job. The team is 4-3. So far, there’s no need for Manziel. The Ravens started out a little shaky, and even though they just lost a heartbreaker to the Bengals, they’ve looked better. The Bengals concern me a little. They looked like world beaters for the first three weeks, and got killed by New England, and have been Jekyll and Hyde since. That’s a concern.

Tom Brady and The New England Patriots:

I said in my blog, “Defending Tom Brady,” that I had faith that he and the Patriots would get the team going in the right direction. I didn’t buy all the nonsense that was being said about him (washed up, no longer elite, put in Jimmy Garropolo (the backup), trade Brady) after that horrible loss at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs. I didn’t buy it from the experts at either networks. I didn’t buy it from fans, both non-fans and Patriot fans.

Well, I hate to say that I told you so, but I told you so. Brady has been playing out of his mind. It started with the Sunday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, when he threw 2 touchdowns. He hasn’t stopped since. What has also been helping Brady and the Patriots is star TE Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski is finally becoming healthy. He is becoming the red zone threat. TE Tim Wright is becoming a good target. He arrived very late into training camp as part of the trade for guard Logan Mankins. WR Brandon LaFell is becoming a viable target for Brady. On the other side of the ball, the defense has taken some hits. They lost LB Jerod Mayo for the season with a knee injury, and now DE Chandler Jones for 6 weeks, maybe longer, with a hip injury. However, CB Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner are doing well, as is Vince Wilfork. The team is 6-2.

Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers having MVP-like seasons.

I don’t have to say it, but everyone knows that Denver Broncos Peyton Manning is always in the running for the NFL MVP. Manning’s always had fantastic numbers, with the exception of his rookie season in 1998. He’s had great players during his illustrious career. He’s playing with amazing players now. Manning is playing at an awesome level, worthy of an MVP. He broke Brett Favre’s previous touchdown record of 509 on October 19, 2014 at home in Denver. Every touchdown Manning throws will just add to his total.

While I am not a huge fan of his, San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is having an amazing year. For the first half of the season, Rivers is having an MVP type of season. He has 20 TDs to 5 interceptions. He has a 68.3 completion percentage. The team has virtually no running game, as several of their running backs are injured. Rivers is pretty much carrying the team on his shoulders.

THUMBS DOWN:

The NFC SOUTH : Anyone want it?

The pundits, including me, thought the AFC EAST, was going to be horrible. Well, it’s looking like the NFC South will be walking away with the prize. Does anyone want the division? No one in that division has a winning record. No one looks like they’re even competitive.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a hodgepodge of players. They try hard, but have only been victorious once. That sole victory came against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were asleep at the switch. The Atlanta Falcons can’t protect their QB. They can’t hold a lead, not even in London. The New Orleans Saints can’t bring their dome with them on the road. The Carolina Panthers have turned into Kitties lately. What a mess.

Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones:

This is more of a plea. I wish that Jerry Jones would not meddle so much. I understand that he would do anything to help his team win the Super Bowl. He just needs to chill. He needs to hire a GM. Now that QB Tony Romo is hurt, Jones had to jump in and be Superman. The Cowboys would be better off if their owner would let the people he hired do their jobs. I mean, he’s paying these people to coach and all.

The New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders :

Where do I begin with the hapless New York Jets? They’re 1-7. That’s not a typo. How does a team get this bad? They should have beaten the Green Bay Packers and the New England. I know that there is the belief that head coach Rex Ryan eventually will be fired. I don’t blame him so much as I blame GM John Idzik. I mean, drafting Geno Smith as QB, and signing the overrated Eric Decker? The secondary is a mess as well. The team has a money left as far as the salary cap, but it is hard to blame the team’s failure all on Rex Ryan, when the GM hasn’t given the man much to work with.

I also don’t know what to do about the Oakland Raiders. What on earth happened to the team that would give the Pittsburgh Steelers fits? Their motto is “Commitment to Excellence.” From watching this team play, I am wondering if these players should be committed. I am seriously wondering if this season’s Raiders will be a 0-16 team.

The Media:

Sometimes, I wish I would not watch either ESPN or NFL Network, even after my teams win. Some of what these prognosticators say just stun me. Before the game, they’ll say one thing, and after, they’ll say another. Sometimes, they’ll ignore a team, because the team is not one of the teams that is popular.

Why aren’t the Arizona Cardinals getting any attention? They’re leading the NFC West. I realize that QB Carson Palmer isn’t the man he used to be, but does it matter? They’re banged up defensively, and all, but they’ve been a good team, and they still have WR Larry Fitzgerald. I hardly ever hear a peep about this team.

It also sounds like certain members of the media have it out for certain players. I also feel that certain people in the media are going to say the predictable stuff they always say. On ESPN’ s PTI, this past week, Michael Wilbon was denouncing the Week 8 numbers that Saints QB Drew Brees, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, and Patriot QB Tom Brady as “fake” and ” artificial,” because of the new rules (can’t his the QB and the WRs).

On the Monday after Peyton Manning broke Favre’s record, Mr. Wilbon spoke about how great Peyton Manning was, etc. Wilbon didn’t comment on how Manning’s numbers were “fake.” Manning is playing under the same rules as the aforementioned Brady, Brees and Roethlisberger. While Wilbon said that Brady, Brees and Roethlisberger were Hall of Famers, I didn’t see it necessary to call their numbers fake, and not Manning’s. Wilbon must have forgotten that it was his now ESPN colleague, Bill Pollian, who is responsible for these rules. Polian, while he was on the Competition Committee and was the GM of the Indianapolis Colts (Peyton Manning was the QB) , called for tightening rules on contact with wide receivers.

There’s also been some petty nonsense from ESPN ‘s Stephen A Smith, Jemele Hill, and a few others. These people have been trying to act as if the Patriots’ recent wins at home don’t count. Well, these same folks go bonkers over the Seattle Seahawks’ home field wins. Denver wins at home.

I mean, the Bengals came into Foxborough as the big favorites. The Bengals turned into the Bungles. The New York Jets gave the Patriots fits, but crashed. Chicago Bears came into Foxborough and had 3-1 road record, and were sent into hibernation. I mean, what’s their point? Should the Patriots have all their games on the road to please these people?

What is going on with the “independent ” investigation into the Ray Rice case, anyway? I have a feeling that this is going to dragged out till after the Super Bowl. I mean, the NFL can’t possibly have any kind of controversy during the season. After all, the NFL’S image must come first.

I know that Ray Rice has appealed his suspension and filed a grievance against the Baltimore Ravens, his former team. The NFL is trying to prevent NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell from testifying. It’s my understanding that it is highly likely that Rice will be reinstated. Again, I find this very disappointing. This whole situation was bungled from the get go. If TMZ was able to get the tape, the NFL should have been able to get it. Whether a team will take a chance on Rice, that’s up to them.

That’s my wrap up for the first eight weeks of the 2014-15 NFL Season. I hope that my readers enjoyed it. I hope that the next four games will be just as much fun. That is when you will be hearing from me again. Comments and feedback are welcome.

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Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 9

October 28, 2014 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

For the second week in a row I have woken up Tuesday morning a loser by one point. By now I should be hitting my midseason stride instead of wondering whether or not I need to replace Vincent Jackson. I hope your weekend was better than mine. In the event that your weekend sucked as well, here are some options that might improve you position.

Quarterback:

Michael Vick, New York Jets – Hear me out. As a forgiving Falcons fan I am always excited to see Vick get a chance to succeed. Looks like the man who got a 2nd chance in Philly is getting a 3rd chance in NY. Yes, he turns the ball over and he isn’t going to stay healthy. However he does have Harvin, a receiver who should have a better grasp of the offense, he has a chip on his shoulder and wants to prove he can still start at this level and he did average over 10 yards per carry on Sunday. When facing the options of Austin, Hoyer, or Bortles maybe Vick gets another chance with you as well.

Kyle Orton, Buffalo Bills- We get a few of these guys on here every week. Why is he still available at all? Over the last 4 weeks (which is how long he has started) he is ranked 12th overall. However outside of Brady, Manning, and Luck he has been the most consistent. A few of those “top” guys had a few high individual games while Orton has been on cruise control. Here are his averages through his first 4 games. 282 yards, 2.3 touchdowns, .75 interceptions, .50 fumbles. That add up to an average of 17.5 points per game. Going by those numbers he is more accurately ranked around 6th. 1.7% owned? Yes, I know that he is going into the bye week but if you are going to need a back-up or even a starter the rest of the way, he needs to be on your team.

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals – Another guy who has me scratching my head wondering what is wrong with the world. Since coming back Palmer has averaged more than 18 fantasy point per game. He is leading one of the best teams in the NFL with a number of dangerous weapons. Carson Palmer should be in someone starting line-up. Maybe you are still waiting for Newton to take off or you think the Ryan is still going to blow up. Time to be realistic guys, bench the underachievers and get Palmer into the game. You won’t be sorry.

As you see this week, the QB position is deeper than ever before. Here we are at week #8 and we are still seeing QB’s on the waiver wire that could be starting in any league. If you are hurting for a QB don’t worry. As you can see there are plenty to choose from. This list is far from comprehensive as I am only making the case for the ones I think will have the biggest impact. Hoyer, Bridgewater, and Smith all have some value.

Running back:

Each week the running back wore also has me scratching my head because the pool for reliable starters is so shallow yet really good RB’s are still just sitting there. So if week in and week out this section feels like a scene out of Groundhogs Day it’s because the same names are still available. I find it hard to believe that most teams couldn’t use Ronnie Hillman.

Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos- Speak of the devil because there has to be some voodoo out there as Hillman is still available in almost 70% of all leagues. So let’s do the same song and dance one more time and see if people finally get it. If you take the averages from the 4 games that Hillman has started he is tied for 2nd in carries behind only Demarco Murray and he is 3rd in yards behind Murray and Foster. Basically what I am saying is that as long as he has been starting Hillman is a legit RB1. If those stats don’t do it for you take a second and look at his teammates. Peyton Manning is ranked 2nd overall for QB, Thomas and Sanders are both top 10 WR’s, and Julius Thomas is the 3rd ranked TE. He plays for an offensive juggernaut, defenses can’t stack the box because they have to cover the receivers. They are always going to be in the red zone and they are always going to score points. This guy is a sure thing!

Denard Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars- If Hillman is taken, Robinson is the next best thing. Through 2 games you get similar stats to Hillman but you are dealing with a Jacksonville team that isn’t very good offensively. Bad team or not if you need a RB to fill a slot and you are looking for consistency, this is where you go. Could be a good week as the Bengals have given up the 3rd most TD’s and the 8th most rushing yards this season.

Jonus Gray, New England Patriots- Who? You would think that the same logic that applies to the Broncos RB concerning a high powered offense would also apply to the Pats. However, it almost works in the opposite since there are no guarantees in NE. If you believe the reports, Gray has taken over the main RB duties that usually went to Ridley who is out for the season. All of the same rules apply, blah blah blah good offense creates red zone opportunities. He is most likely going to be hit or miss but if you are hurting for back its better than nothing.

Wide Receivers:

If you are not playing in a PPR league this has to be the most frustrating part of your week. Who is going to find the end zone? It’s really just a guessing game at this point, so put on your blind fold, grab dart and let’s see where it lands.

Brandon Lafell, New England Patriots- I am starting with Lafell simply because Brady is back to being Brady and he just doesn’t have many options. With 11 receptions on 11 targets he has shown he can be relied upon to carry an offense. They are going to need him this week if they are going to keep up with the high scoring Broncos. 11 catches for 124 yards and touchdown should catch you eye. If you believe in Brady you should pick up Lafell.

Andrew Hawkins, Cleveland Browns- I feel like I am repeating myself over and over again. Please pick this guy up this week, even if it’s for one week. He has scored double digits the last couple of weeks and they are going up against Tampa Bay. That should be enough to get him to your flex. Until Brown comes back in a few weeks Hawkins is the clear #1 option for this Browns team. He has almost twice as many targets as his runner up. If the running game gets on track this week, Hawkins will have another big game.

Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers- Adams is slowly becoming a regular target for Aaron Rodgers. Nelson, Cobb, and Boykins are still around but that didn’t stop Adams from leading the team in targets. Good players on good teams are always worth looking into. Adams will need to find the end zone to be a serious impact but he is a good choice for a quick fill-in and maybe more if something were to happen to any of the Packers top 3 receiving threats.

Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars- He is basically a more consistent Hawkins, in fact I may have grouped them together in a previous blog. Everyone is waiting for Shorts to be the man but Robinson keeps making a case for himself. Averaging almost 5 catches and 60 yards per game, there is some real constancy here. Only 2 touchdowns this season but for Jacksonville that is a lot, both of them coming in the last 2 weeks. The Bengals have not been the dominate team we thought they might be. They give up points and they give up yards.

Tight End:

This was a tough week for the TE position. Not too many players stuck out so we are going to have to go back in time to find that diamond in the rough.

Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts- It’s funny that so many of these guys are still out there but none of them are available in my league. We covered this last week, Allen is a must start each week. Once again he found the end zone for his 6th TD in 8 games. He is going against a Giants team that will probably allow ample opportunities for this high power offense to score. He is ranked #7 overall and there is a considerable gap between #7 and #8. About 40% of the teams in your league are starting someone less than Allen, is it you?

Larry Donnell, New York Giants- You all know that I don’t believe in Donnell but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a good game once in a while. 7 catches for 90 yards is a great stat, too bad we don’t see it very often. He actually had almost 50 more yards last week then he did the week he scored 3 touchdowns and causing a waiver frenzy.   Look, the Giants are going to have to score a lot if they want to beat the Colts and that means Eli will be throwing all over the place. Some of that is bound to get on Donnell.

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers- It felt like we were in a time machine on Sunday as we watched Miller catch 7 passes for 112 yards and touchdown. Not sure what to think about the Steelers offense but I know that Big Ben doesn’t mind throwing in Millers direction. He isn’t the Miller of old but he has proven there is some real value left. If you’re nostalgic and desperate it’s probably going to be Miller time anyway.

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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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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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