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NFL Week 10 Thoughts & Recap – Inside The Wheelhouse

November 13, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Let’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 10 in the National Football League!

– First off I’d like to thank Eric Gargiulo and the rest of the Camel Clutch Blog community for allowing me to have the last two weeks off due to Hurricane Sandy. I spent nearly the last two weeks responding and helping with recovery efforts due to the storm hitting my community (I am a volunteer firefighter). I appreciate the time away and look forward to getting back to “normal” with this week’s Week 10 thoughts blog!

– I really am enjoying what I am seeing from the Indianapolis Colts in recent weeks. They are 5-1 in their last 6 games and I really believe they are this season’s Cincinnati Bengals in the fact that no one thought they’d be where they are currently. This is a Wild Card playoff team in the making if the stars continue to align as they have in their last 6 games.

– So do you think the Jaguars will consider drafting USC Quarterback Matt Barkley in the 2013 NFL Draft?

- Cincinnati looked like the greatest team in Football on Sunday against the New York Football Giants. They dominated the defending Super Bowl Champions offensively and defensively throughout the game as they got their 4th win of the season on Sunday. If the Bengals can play like that on a consistent basis then good things could be coming the way of this young team, just an absolute incredible performance in Week 10 for the Bengals.

– What is going on with the New York Giants lately!? It’s really starting to make me wonder if there is truth to the “Eli Manning has a tired arm” rumor.

– Imagine if the Tennessee Titans played like this on a consistent basis where Chris Johnson was actually a determining factor in their victories? While this team isn’t “amazing” I certainly believe they have been playing below their potential all year long.

– Miami, seriously? They are another one of my favorite stories this season where they had a chance to further their playoff chances and they failed against a pretty bad team this season in the Titans, a very disappointing loss for the Miami Dolphins in Week 10.

– Great bounce back win for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10 against the Lions. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Vikings and many people, including myself, believed this was just all part of the “come down” that they were riding on to start the season. While I don’t believe this team to be a playoff contender you have to tip your cap to them for giving it a really good competitive shot.

– Detroit has been an extreme disappointment this season. They currently sit at 4-5 on the season and are last place in the NFC North. If things don’t improve I think the Lions should consider letting Jim Schwartz go at the end of the season as there would be a line of coaches waiting to coach this very talented team.

– For whatever reason the New England Patriots always seem to struggle against the Buffalo Bills. I don’t know if the Bills have the Patriots # or if the Pats just aren’t that dominant anymore but Buffalo always gives them a fight and we got such in Week 10. A win is a win but there are still looming questions regarding the dominance of the New England Patriots in 2012.

– The Bills always seem to give it a good shot in beating the Patriots lately but failed to do so in both opportunities this season. I really believe that this team could be a force in 2013 but with a different head coach. It would not shock me if this squad is able to beat the Patriots in both matchups next season should a head coaching change occur.

– Don’t sleep on the Saints yet! They are 4-5 on the season and 4-1 in their last 5 games. New Orleans is making this one-time doubter into a believer.

– People questioned how good Atlanta was due to their lack-of competitive opponents this season. When you are 8-0 and your combined opponents winning percentage is near .350 people will question how good you truly are. Now with the loss against the Saints that belief will continue to grow stronger until this team knocks off some big time heavy-hitters in the NFL.

– Tampa Bay continues to be one of my favorite teams to watch this season. Believe me when I say this: they are a better team then their 5-4 record shows. Don’t believe me? Look at their schedule and notice the margin of victory for their opponent.

– It’s time San Diego. Just fire Norv Turner already won’t you? Andy Reid is waiting for you in 2013.

– Quietly the Denver Broncos continue to have a good season and rumblings of Peyton Manning being an MVP candidate are starting to get louder. They will be a very interesting team to watch come the Postseason should they make it.

– So who is wondering if that Cam Newton rookie season was nothing more then a one-hit wonder now?

– What was the real reason the Baltimore Ravens put up 55 points against the Raiders in Week 10? Was it the Ray Lewis pre-game speech or did it have more to do with the Ravens just playing the Raiders?

– Oakland isn’t the worst team in the league, that honor goes to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they are certainly going to be a top-3 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft at this point. Could USC’s Matt Barkley stay in California when the 2013 NFL Draft rolls around?

– Seattle looked very strong yet again as they dismantled the New York Jets in Week 10. Russell Wilson is quietly emerging as another rookie-of-the-year candidate in the already crazy rookie-of-the-year race. Should Wilson lead this team to the playoffs or even the NFC West title would that automatically make him the favorite to win the award?

– I know everyone likes to jump on these “bandwagons” when a team is underperforming but Rex Ryan should not be fired nor should Mark Sanchez be traded from the New York Jets. Yes they are playing horribly at the current moment but lets face it, Mike Tannenbaum did not field a team that would give this squad the best chance to win. If anyone deserves to take blame for this terrible season it’s Tannenbaum and not Rex Ryan or Mark Sanchez.

– Congrats to the Dallas Cowboys on winning the Week 10 “toilet bowl” matchup that has resulted in at least one week of reprieve for Jason Garrett and Tony Romo. For the time being, their jobs are safe. Of course that’s until their next loss.

– There’s no way Andy Reid and/or Michael Vick return to the Philadelphia Eagles next season right? Either way the Eagles franchise needs to make a change now or this team will continue to spin their wheels. For whatever reason, it reminds me a lot of when the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball started to make their slide into a fledging franchise. This franchise is just too good to be playing this poorly on a consistent basis.

– How come in 2012 an NFL game can end in a TIE!? Seems to me that the NFL needs to really consider having the ability for a tie to end a game…absolutely ridiculous that the Rams/49ers game ended that way.

– The Houston Texans got a big victory in a potential Super Bowl 47 matchup on Sunday Night and they needed this victory pretty badly. It wasn’t because they have been struggling or anything but because they needed that victory to prove they belong to be at the top in the AFC. Houston got that victory as they went into Chicago and walked out with the “W.”

– On the other side of the coin we will now question how good Chicago is as they lost to Houston in a game they needed to win for a “statement game.” The Bears are similar to the Atlanta Falcons in the fact that people are questioning if they are as good as their record shows and after a tough loss to the Texans that’s where we will stand for yet another week. To make matters worse we will now have to wonder if Jay Cutler will be healthy to play in the near future.

– Pittsburgh won but did it really feel like a win on Monday Night? I mean you lose Big Ben to what we assume could be a pretty lengthy injury AND the Kansas City Chiefs took it to you for most of the game. A win is a win but it certainly didn’t feel like the Steelers won.

– Kansas City gave it a good shot on Monday Night and at least they had a lead for once. Add Kansas City to the list of the worst three teams in the NFL along with the Raiders and Jaguars.

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at 979espn.com!

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com

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Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 10

November 08, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Welcome back owners. Here we are back for Week 10 of the NFL season, and wow, what a wild week we had for Week 9. Explosive days by many stars like Doug Martin, Adrian Peterson, Brandon Marshall and yes that Bears defense made some owners numbers boom! However some of us had to be on the losing end of those numbers. How about the days turned in by the Eli Mannings or Jamaal Charles? Well I fell prey to some of it, where in one league my whopping 166 points was still not enough to out do my opponent who posted a cool 173, topped by DeSean Jackson and only his second TD of the year! Hey, it happens.

Well back to the really good news where your good friend, The Shark had a really nice week. I am 3-1 in my 4 leagues and a cool season overall record of 22-14. Now while I am not perfect I am playing strong ball, and am in the top 3 in points in all 4 of those leagues. Yes, you can ignore my information, or you can read it and gain some success. I am here to hand out some recommendations, help you on your journey and try and help you towards a playoff position. It is a dog eat dog world out there friends, so you can’t expect to ask your friends who are in the same league for help now can you?

As Election Day came and went we saw our president re-elected and the country can now go back to normal. All the hype and argument over government can now take a back seat. We are back to Fantasy Football, the time is here as we are into the double digit weeks and the playoffs are coming really soon! I will keep up with the new format and give you 5 recommendations, which is more than my usual 3. Many of my picks had big weeks last week, so let’s see what I got for Week 10. As always good luck, the season is closing in to its end.

Quarterback

Start

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: In a game that may light up the skies like July 4th, you can expect Ryan to do plenty. He does great indoors and has plenty of weapons. His 17 TDs are 4th best in the league. Big money week expected here.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars: Although being compared to Peyton Manning is hardly fair for anyone, Luck has been shining of late. In his last 3 weeks he has passed for close to 1,000 yards and has accounted for 5 total TD’s. The Jaguars post a very appealing match up.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: The Steelers are finding a groove at the right time and this Monday Night match should favor them plenty. The Chiefs 17 TD passes allowed are the 4th most generous in the NFL, so get Ben out there, and watch offensive coordinator Todd Haley roast his former team.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Diego Chargers: Until further notice I am going to recommend Freeman. Last 4 weeks? Oh just 11 TDs to just 1 INT. The Chargers allow 238 yards per week and have surrendered 12 TDs. They also play the run decent, so we may not see another Doug Martin super show.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills: I know I hate to go obvious, but this one is too good. After roasting them in Buffalo a few weeks back he now gets them at home. Brady is a constant starter, but you don’t ignore starts this good to print.

Sit

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens: Despite a real nice week by Palmer last week, this is not the place to try him again. The Ravens give up the fewest pass TDs and also have been tough in yards allowed. Also with Darren McFadden out, they lose a top decoy. Scary match here.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks: The Hawks are 4-0 at home, and flat out hard to beat there. Head coach Pete Carroll must be extra excited to see his former college QB turned NFL enigma this week. The Jets offense is horrid right now. Aaron Rodgers is a better start and he is on a bye.

Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys: Marcus Vick will be busy again on Twitter this week as he watches a decent Cowboy pass rush face the terrible Eagles offensive line. The Cowboys have done well against the pass allowing just 7 TDs, including holding Matt Ryan to 1 in Atlanta. Get ready Philly boo-birds, you will be busy again this week.

Eli Manning, New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals: I hate to say it, but Manning has thrown just 2 TDs in 4 weeks! The man who they call the most clutch QB in the league is in trouble, then again find me a November when he isn’t. I know the Bengals aren’t great, but Eli is making me quiver right now.

Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers allow just 174 yards per game against the pass, so why trust one of the worst offenses here? You will be better served with guys like Russell Wilson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Alex Smith, all of which are most likely available.

Running Back

Start

Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders: The defense that allowed Doug Martin to scamper for 251 yards last week will now have to face an even better back in Ray Rice. Get your ice packs ready, it could be a long day. The pass offense has been cold lately for the Ravens, so Rice should be real active.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions: Yes the Lions are improved, but not as much as Peterson is. He usually runs well against them and is coming off of a stellar game last week in which he ran for 182 yards and 2 TDs against a very good Seahawks defense. His nickname is All Day, and you will see that this week.

Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans: The Titans are allowing 4.4 yards per carry, one of the highest totals in the league, and Reggie looked like the Bush of old last week with ankle breaking moves and a nice TD. Come on Dolphins, this guy is your most talented player, use him and stop making me look foolish.

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams: He usually handles them well, and is at home. Gore has had a better year than many expected and is in the top 10 in rushing, and has a whopping 5.5 yards per carry, against a Rams defense that allows 4.6 per. The Rams pass defense is actually decent, so expect some serious ground work here.

Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills: The numbers are terrifying. The Bills are dead last in yards allowed at a crazy 5.7 yards per carry. While Tom Brady should do a lot, expect Ridley to also get his share. The Bills probably couldn’t stop a kicker if he ran the ball right now.

Sit

Ryan Matthews, San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs remain stingy against the run, and Matthews is watching a bunch of wants was backs steal his carries. He is not near what many of us hoped when grabbing him within the first 3 rounds this year. Tough match up that you should avoid here.

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins: No, I am not living under a rock, and I saw that Johnson’s has improved greatly over the last 4 weeks. My problem here is 2 things: A) The Dolphins are second best in the NFL with just 3.6 yards per carry allowed and B) For some unknown reason the Titans are going back to Jake Locker at QB. Locker is not Hasselback, so defenses can focus more on the run. Johnson will have a tough road this week.

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears vs. Houston Texans: A bit of a stretch here but numbers say it all. The Texans have not allowed a rushing TD all year and just 84 yards per game. While Forte runs hard and can wear teams down, the Bears may look to throw more, and also share the load with Michael Bush to try and soften this tough defense. It could be a long day for both backs, and many of you may need Forte, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: I can’t see starting any Chief, even the best Chief. The Steelers defense has improved, and Peyton Hillis is stealing more and more time from Charles. Just not worth it here.

Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots: Despite 14 touches he could only get 36 yards last week, and the Patriots run defense has been tough. This Bills team will need to get more familiar with CJ Spiller if they hope to move forward. Jackson is always a decent option to catch some passes, but he looks to be slowing down of late.

Wide Receiver

Start

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Diego Chargers: You know he is begging for this game here. After years of turmoil and contract nonsense in San Diego, Jackson now gets a crack at his old mates. 4 TDs in the last 4 weeks is not bad either. He will need to be busier than his 4 catches in the last 2 weeks however, but I like his chances.

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: Jones is the Atlanta Falcons WR luggage because he travels so very well. While Roddy White owns home, Jones does the road. 5 TDs this year, all on the road, and can easily make that number 7 with a pair this week. Next home game however, well that’s Roddy’s turn to shine.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Giants: Some teams have that guy you play no matter what, and Green is one of them. Over his last 4 games he has 5 TDs on 24 catches, and is becoming one of the best WR in all the league. Bank on a good game here from him.

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans at Chicago Bears: Rumor has it that Charles Tillman may not play due to the birth of his child, and that means Johnson will face a lesser CB. He has come back, quietly over the last 3 weeks in which we saw him grab 26 passes. He needs to find the end zone more to pay dividends for fantasy, and this may be his week. Running will be tough, so QB Matt Schaub will have to prove he can be a Super Bowl caliper QB here.

Eric Decker, Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers: Once Peyton Manning starts to love a WR, you go with him. He’s got 6 TDs in the last 4 weeks with 22 catches for 261 yards. Decker is now the go to guy for TDs here, and he should be for you too.

Sit

Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers vs. St Louis Rams: Many think he is a guy you roll with now, but this defense plays tough against WRs. Crabtree has never been real consistent and he has too many people to try and compete with for the ball here.

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions: An ankle injury may force Harvin out of the week 10 game against the Lions, and even if it doesn’t he will be hard to trust.

Danny Amendola, St Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers: Yes he will be back, and he is a guy to go to down the stretch, but not here against a very tough 49ers defense. I know that someone will have to score here, but let Amendola get his legs back before you jump on his bandwagon.

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles: Although the Eagles have been had of late, Bryant and his bad hip are scary here. He still only has 2 TDs this year and they came in one game. His iffy hands also make him a tough bet here.

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: I just figured I would finish the Chiefs hat trick here, go about your business.

Tight End

Start

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles: Becoming more and more involved and Jimmy Graham roasted this defense last week.

Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots: Well the Bills will get some points at least, and Chandler got them for 2 TDs the last meeting.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos: If Cam Newton can remember how to complete some big time passes, this can be his go to guy. The Broncos defense has been decent but struggles against TEs of late. It’s a roll of the dice, but may pay off.

Sit

Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders: Remember when Pitta was good, and the Ravens passed a lot? Me either.

Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys: He looks slow and isn’t making big catches right now. Keep him on the bench.

Defenses I like this week:

Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills

San Francisco 49ers vs. St Louis Rams

Defenses I don’t like this week:

San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons

Waiver Wire: With some tough injuries and new faces coming in, here is your chance to grab a nice late season gem. Oh and cheers to the end of the bye week!

Marcel Reece, RB, Oakland Raiders: Although he has not carried the ball this year, he is very active in the passing game, and with Darren McFadden and Mike Goodsen expected to miss this week he is a nice flex play.

Taiwan Jones, RB, Oakland Raiders: Tough call as to who carries the load here, but Jones is the speed to Reece’s bull. He has barely played this season, but this guy may be in line for some playing time soon. What he does with it is any one’s guess.

Chris Ivory, RB, New Orleans Saints: A busy backfield but it lacks super talent. With Darren Sproles out with injury, Ivory finally got his shot and carried 10 times for 48 yards and a TD. He is a back with the best mix of speed, hands and power the Saints have.

Danario Alexander, WR, San Diego Chargers: Any option is needed here. He has more speed than Malcolm Floyd, and showed nice flashes in his first action last week.

Dallas Cowboys Defense: Not sure if they are free in your league, but if they are grab them against a generous Eagles offense.

Well here is Week 10 folks, go out there and make me proud!

I have now joined Twitter, so if you would like to ask any questions or need any advice feel free to reach out to my personal account, @JPshark71.

Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide

Madden 13 video game on all consoles

Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft

NFL Jerseys on Amazon.com

Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 9

November 01, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

A loud scream of fear came from out of nowhere! Do you hear the sounds of pure angst and fear, echoing through the air and piercing ears all around? It sounds as if the person was in pure terror and saw no end in sight. The shriek was heard all through the city, could it have been a monster? Could it be a damsel in distress? Children who were scared by something on a Halloween night? No, it was just me, crying about a rough Fantasy week after Frank Gore was kept quiet on Monday night. Yes a real bad week that watched me finish 1-3 in my 4 leagues. No Halloween needed for me that was as scary as it gets!

So to set the record straight and share a serious moment, I was just happy to survive with very little damage from Hurricane Sandy. While most of the East Coast was getting pounded with rain and wind and damage, Fantasy was on my mind, but on the back burner for sure. New York and New Jersey, and parts of my state Pennsylvania came out with bad results, electric lost, businesses closed, cars stranded etc. I want to hope and pray for all of you who have suffered and all of you who may have lost over the last few days. I found myself very blessed. Never lost power, no damage, and family and most friends safe and healthy! A sigh of relief for sure.

Now back to the games at hand. Sports are always a distraction from the every day world, and we need it to keep our minds busy. Well if you are an owner of a Fantasy team you know full well it is always about being busy, and your job never ends. So I am back with more advice to try and help you through week 9, which is the start of the second half of the NFL season.

Bye weeks are coming to an end soon, so this is the moment you can play your best possible line up. As far as pickups, well the wire is thin, so hopefully you can rely on the guys you have on your squad. With that it is time for another Start/Sit for week 9. Yep I heard the bash on Twitter how I said start Reggie Bush and not Doug Martin, but hey if anyone saw that coming from Martin, well then it is time for you to start writing articles, or maybe lottery number books? To help expand it this week, I will give more choices to Start or Sit and less of my chit chat as to why. Next week however, more chit chat. So for now enjoy this new format!

Quarterback

Start

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Oakland Raiders: He is a very hot hand right now. Over his last 4 starts, over 1,000 yards and 9 TDs. Good match up too.

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals: Averaging 3 TDs per week over his last 4. He is perfectly back to normal and a must start each week.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. Dallas Cowboys: Just too good all around, especially at home. The match up doesn’t matter right now.

Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Just a hunch, but it is the second half of the season, which is usually Charger time.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles: If this defense gets shredded at home, what can Brees do to them in New Orleans? Plenty!

Sit

Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks: Seattle at home is far different than the road team. Ponder looked awful last week against a real bad pass defense. He should struggle here.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts vs. Miami Dolphins: This defense is stepping up big time, and Luck has been decent at best the last 2 weeks.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions at Jacksonville Jaguars: Still only 8 TDs this year, and not the same on the road, despite the good match up.

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons: Prime time in Atlanta is usually QB disaster. They beat Peyton Manning, so Romo should be cake!

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills at Houston Texans: As good as Fitz can be against bad defenses, he is even worse against good ones. Look everywhere else.

Running Back

Start

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans: The Titans defense is Swiss cheese against the run, and Forte looks pretty healthy again. They need him.

LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints: This defense is so very bad, even Andy Reid can’t blow this one. Run McCoy early and often.

Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Heating up at the right time, and this defense can be had. DMC will get his share here.

Arian Foster, Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills: Fresh after a bye week and this brutal defense comes to town. Even Trick or Treat isn’t this easy.

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins vs. Carolina Panthers: Should bounce back after a rough one last week. The rookie is still a top yardage back, and should find the end zone here.

Sit

Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers defense is a bit banged up, but improving, and Bradshaw is getting beat up lately. Plus Andre Brown may steal goal line touches.

Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens: He’s been hurting, but decent. However, Ravens need this game badly and should be aggressive.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers: He is getting used less and less and Hillis is back to steal time. Chargers are decent against the run at home as well.

BenJarvis Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos: He is lost in this offense. The Broncos defense is improving every week, while Green-Ellis is averaging just 50 yards per week. Ouch!

Carolina Panthers RBs at Washington Redskins: As bad as a committee can be, this one is the worst. Use any of these guys out of 100% pure desperation.

Wide Receiver

Start

Victor Cruz, New York Giants vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: If you like Salsa dancing, then you must love Giants games. He is the top WR for this team now.

Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons vs. Dallas Cowboys: Roddy scores at home, Julio on the road. The Falcons are home. He’s had 4 TDs at Atlanta so far for White.

Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: While you were sleeping on him: 14 catches, 232 yards and 3 TDs the last 3 weeks. He is a nice flex or WR2 right now.

James Jones, Green Bay Packers vs, Arizona Cardinals: 7 more catches last week, but 0 TDs. Teams will work harder to stop Randall Cobb, which means he should see lots of Pat Peterson. Jones is still worth a play.

Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings: Call it a hunch, but I think Rice will try really hard to be active against his old team. He is the best WR they have right now, so expect something here. Again this is just a hunch.

Sit

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants: Just not getting much done right now, and there are at least 3 or 4 TD options ahead of him in this offense.

Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins: He has come around the last 2 weeks with catches and yards, but still 0 TDs this year. The decline of Smith has to be shocking after last year’s rebirth.

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers: This is just a bad offense right now, and the QB mess is no help either. I generally like Bowe, but not here.

Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns: Only 9 catches the last 3 weeks is part of the proof how bad this pass offense has gotten. Flacco has fallen asleep on Fantasy owners of late.

Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: As good as Cruz has been, Nicks is like the anti-Cruz. Zero TDs and only 12 catches since returning from injury. He is just a tough option right now.

Tight End

Start

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: Usually on national TV we get a lot from Gates. He is still plenty good when he gets hot.

Owen Daniels, Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills: TDs in 3 of his last 4 and averaging 5 catches per week as well. Buffalo’s defense is usually generous.

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Back from injury and right to the end zone last week. In the grand scheme of things he is their best option.

Sit

Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints: Just not doing anything special, even this bad match up makes me leery.

Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Detroit Lions: He has clearly vanished from this offense and catching only about 2 per week.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers at Washington Redskins: Just another victim of this poor offense. Only 9 catches in his last 3 so no need to rush him out there.

Defenses I like this week:

Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans

Defenses I don’t like this week:

Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints

Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons

Houston Texans vs. Buffalo Bills

Here is my input for NFL Week 9. Read up and enjoy owners, and good luck with the second half of your season!

I have now joined Twitter, so if you would like to ask any questions or need any advice feel free to reach out to my personal account, @JPshark71.

Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide

Madden 13 video game on all consoles

Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft

NFL Jerseys on Amazon.com

Fantasy Football Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups

October 30, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

The 2012 fantasy football season is slowly winding down. For some of you, playoffs are right around the corner. For others, you are on life support. Regardless, there are a few sneaky pickups on the waiver wire that could help your situation.

Week 9 presents one of the more interesting weeks on the waiver wire. There are some serious candidates out there that are worthy of a roster spot regardless of your situation. Even if you have clinched your spot, you never know what lies ahead over the next few weeks. That is why it is important to grab some depth while at the same time taking away a potential spoiler from your opponents.

Running Backs

Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts - I am not a big fan of Brown at all. I am done with all of the Colts running backs at this point. The situation there is just too unsettling to stick a Colts RB in your lineup at this point. However, Brown is the starter on paper and if you are absolutely desperate you may want to consider him. Deeper leaguers may not have a better choice.

Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams – Word on the street is that Steven Jackson is on the trading block and that there are several potential suitors. If S Jax is out, Richardson would become the starting RB in St. Louis. Keep in mind a few things though before you blow a spot on him. The offensive line stinks, the defense is suspect, and the Rams aren’t a good running team. In other words, Richardson is probably only worth a pickup in dynasty or keeper leagues.

Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals - Wells is on target to return in Week 12, just in time for the playoffs. I don’t know if people have given up on him or owners don’t know this because I see him floating around of waiver wires. He could be a sneaky pickup if you can get him now and stash him for the playoffs. Wells is streaky and if he returns with some fire, you could have yourself a heck of a starting RB at the most important time of the year.

Quarterbacks

Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles - The door is slowly closing on the Michael Vick era. Vick himself told reporters that he believes his days are numbered as the Philadelphia Eagles starter this season. If so, you could have yourself a heck of a QB in Foles. The talent is there and if Foles can come in and light a spark under this offense, he could put up some serious numbers. Even if you don’t need a QB I’d consider grabbing him just to make sure your opponents can’t get him.

Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins - The jury is still out on how long Ryan Tannehill will be out so be careful with Moore. If Tannehill misses time, Moore could be a great pickup. Joe Philbin would love to air it out and he may do just that with Moore. Moore was solid last year as the Dolphins starter and I can’t imagine that he’s regressed. I like Moore a lot, especially if Tannehill misses significant time, especially if he starts the Tennessee game in two weeks.

Wide Receivers

Titus Young, Detroit Lions - How many times have we been down this road before with Young? I am almost willing to go down the road again. Maybe it is a different situation now that Nate Burleson is gone? We all know that Megatron is going to get the brunt of the attention from defenses. Young had a breakout this week. I need to see more before I am convinced but he certainly did enough to land him on my radar.

Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars - Shorts has been on my radar but I just find it hard to buy into any wide receiver that is getting balls from Blaine Gabbert. Yet somehow Shorts has been able to put together some decent numbers the last few weeks. I look at Shorts as nothing more than a bye week or injury sub at this point. To be fair the guy has had back to back double digit weeks. Could this be due to MJD’s absence? Maybe and if so, he could find himself as a consistent part of the offense going forward.

Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams - I am surprised as to how available Amendola is. He was on his way to a solid fantasy season before he got hurt. Amendola is on his way back and could pick right up where he left off depending upon his health. Of all players on the wire this week, I like him the best for immediate impact in PPR leagues only if you can grab him.

Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide

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Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft

NFL Jerseys on Amazon.com

Fantasy Football Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups

October 23, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

If you are in trouble at this point in the fantasy football season, you probably aren’t going to turn it around on the waiver wire. However if you are fighting for a playoff spot and have a stud on bye this week, you may be able to find some short term relief on the wire.

Now that the wire blogs are starting to shrink, I thought it would be fun to add some accountability to the waiver wire. If there is one thing I hate it is when a fantasy writer or talk show host will brag about their selections, yet completely ignoring their busts. I don’t want to be that guy. So let’s take a look back at last week’s blog and see how my waiver picks did this week.

Quarterbacks

Josh Freeman 420 yards, 3 TDS

John Skelton 262 yards, 1 TD

Running Backs

Felix Jones – 44 yards on the ground, 30 yards receiving

Montario Hardesty – 28 yards rushing

Vick Ballard – 84 yards rushing, 19 yards receiving

A few things here. Freeman shows you that you should start anyone against the New Orleans Saints. Their defense is that bad. My suggestion regarding Hardesty was only if Trent Richardson missed the game, he didn’t so you wouldn’t have played him. Thus I wouldn’t necessarily call him a bust. Skelton put up 10 in standard scoring leagues but I expected much better so I’d put that as a bust. Felix Jones pulled a Felix Jones. I expected big things against the Panthers, so thats a bust. Vick Ballard, had okay numbers so I wouldn’t call him a bust or a hit. I thought he’d get more carries, I was wrong.

Note: I personally picked up Mike Williams in a few leagues off the wire last week specifically to play against the Saints. Sans a brief second at the end in which I thought I had a brilliant waiver pickup, he was a bust.

Biggest Hit – Freeman

Biggest Bust – Jones

Hopefully I can bounce back this week and give you some bigger hits than busts. I think there are some great opportunities on the wire this week. Grab them if you need them!

Running Backs

Rashad Jennings, Jacksonville Jaguars - This is an easy one. Maurice Jones-Drew is hurt and you can immediately grab a starting RB in a run-heavy offense. Jennings has the talent as we saw Sunday and will now get the production. They face an Oakland Raiders team that has been diced by running backs this season. He could turn out to be the waiver wire MVP if MJD misses the rest of the season.

LaRod Stephens Howling, Arizona Cardinals - Here is another case where every fantasy football “analyst” and “expert” got it wrong. Everyone said William Powell was the clear starter yet Stephens-Holwing went off on Sunday. The Cards face a stellar 49ers running defense on Monday night. The 49ers aren’t impossible to run on as they have been diced the last few weeks. Take a shot if you need a starter or have a RB on bye as the 49ers are not the must-sit RB defense they once were.

Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets - It’s really tough to get a handle on this Jets offense. The good news is that the wide receivers actually have a favorable schedule down the stretch. The bad news is that you can’t really figure out whether to go with Hill or Curley. I like Curley and he had a big game against the New England Patriots Sunday. Was it the poor Pats pass defense or is Curley breaking out? They face a pretty underrated Miami Dolphins defense Sunday so proceed with caution this week.

Jonathon Dwyer, Pittsburgh Steelers - The word out of Pittsburgh is that Mendenhall could miss another week. That is good enough of a reason to me to pick up Dwyer. Obviously you aren’t going to start him if Mendenhall plays. Dwyer gets a Washington Redskins team that just gave up two rushing TDs to the New York Giants. The Steelers want to run more and as long as Dwyer can produce, he’ll get the carries. I like him a lot if he gets the start next week.

Quarterbacks

Christian Ponder, Minnesota Vikings - Ponder probably isn’t available in larger leagues, but I see him on some wires in 10 team leagues. Ponder is another guy you pick up and play the matchup. If you’re QB is on a bye this week, I would highly recommend grabbing Ponder. I made the same recommendation last week about Josh Freeman and guess what? He went off. The Vikings face a Buccanners defense that has been carved up by QBs this season. It’s a great matchup and it could be a big night Thursday for Ponder.

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders - I had Palmer listed as a sleeper before the season and well he has been rather disappointing. He hasn’t been as horrible as some make him out to be, but he is definitely a matchup only guy right now and he has a great one this week. He has a Kansas City defense that has been shredded this season by QBs. If you have someone on a bye week or need some help, Palmer could be a nice pickup. If the Chiefs aren’t enticing enough he has the Buccaneers defense the week after.

Wide Receivers

Donnie Avery, Indianapolis Colts - Avery has been on and off the waiver wire list this season. I’ll put him back on this week and this week only. He has a great matchup this week against a Tennessee Titans that have been sliced and diced by less talented receivers this season. There are a lot of good receivers on a bye week this week so chances are, you have a need. I’d take a flyer on him and exploit the matchup.

Chris Givens, St. Louis Rams - I am not as hot on Givens as some but his last few week’s of production definitely deserves a look. He doesn’t catch many balls (seven in his last three games) but he puts up the yardage. He has had two straight weeks of 8 point games in standard scoring leagues. He’s not someone I’d start every week but he may be someone you pick up and stash or use for one week during a bye. He is playing against a New England Patriots defense this week that was just carved up by Mark Sanchez. You could do worse but I am not ready to give him a full endorsement.

Tight Ends

Dustin Keller, New York Jets – Keller is another rough one to get a handle on. He has always had the potential and fantasy experts have expected big things out of him up until this year. He had a TD Sunday but again was this a bad Pats defense or is something brewing with Keller and Sanchez? I would be real hesitant to pick him up and plug him in but he may be someone you keep on the bench and play against favorable TE matchups.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers - The Chicago Bears are generally a defense you sit your players against but not when you have tight ends. The Bears have been lit up by tight ends this season. Keep in mind that Cam Newton lit up the Bears last season, although Newton is a much different player this season. The bottom line here is it is all matchup and I would be surprised if the Panthers didn’t exploit it with Olsen.

Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide

Madden 13 video game on all consoles

Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft

NFL Jerseys on Amazon.com

Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 7

October 18, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Welcome to week 7 of the NFL season, or as we like to say in fantasy land, pure hell! Yes, for some unknown reason, or perhaps for one big joke, the NFL has decided to play with our minds and put a whopping 6 teams on a bye.

Remember the good ol’ days, when each week would have 4 teams on a bye, and they were spread out nice and even, you struggled through 2 tough weeks and went back to business? Those are gone, and somehow the NFL came up with some 2,4,4,6 and so on bye week plan. Now I know the argument is “we all have bye weeks”, but we all know some teams have 4 guys off at once, it happens and it’s rough. The waiver wire is as thin as a nice cut of salami at a good Italian deli.

Yes, let’s go with that theory, a deli, so many different types of meat, but all trying to become just a sandwich. We have our running back meat, our wide receiver meat, and quarterbacks, and our goal is to make that perfect sandwich. Come on now, how many times do you go out and get the perfect sandwich though? There is always a fatty piece of meat, or some out of proportioned produce, but in the end it does the job, it fills you up, and for the most part you are satisfied. Treat your fantasy team like this too. Realize that we may have some rough patches, and a bad week, but stick with what you like if it works, don’t go and try and get fancy to be stuck with something you don’t enjoy! Make sense? Yeah it’s a ramble of a fantasy football owner, get used to it.

So after a tricky week I found myself finishing 2-2, which gives me an overall season record of 16-8, and if the season ended today, would have plenty of playoff games to play. Sometimes it’s not about being perfect, but to be a little lucky. Seriously how many of you lost to a guy who started Shonn Greene? For that matter, how many of you benched him? Oh and Vincent Jackson? Yep I started him clearly because I had too, but how many of us start him every week? This is one of the stranger seasons I have ever been a part of, so some patience and creativity is needed. Don’t base every week on a bizarro world of huge Dez Bryant and Shonn Green games, go with your gut, and stick with your stud.

With all that behind us, it is time for Week 7’s edition of Start Em/Sit Em, my little advice column where I try and help with those burning questions. Yeah last week I said don’t dare play Shonn Greene, and I looked pretty silly, but my advice is normally better than worse. It is with this that I invite you to read along and adjust as needed, and as always, enjoy and good luck!

Quarterback

Start

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers: I trash Romo, than I like him again. He does crazy things to me mentally. Last week he outplayed Joe Flacco, who I started in his place. Romo has good streaks, and also he has a showdown with the Giants to look forward too, and he always gets numbers there. So Romo looks like he is ready for that hot streak and this poor defense should help.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, vs. New Orleans Saints: Yes, I am endorsing Freeman, but with a few reasons. There is a lot of QBs on a bye this week, and last week Freeman passed for over 370 yards and had 3 TDs. What that shows is that he can get it done if trusted, and this week the Saints and their Swiss cheese secondary come to town. If the Freeman of 2010 is coming back, you will want to go with him. Here is the decider this week.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts vs. Cleveland Browns: Happy days finally came for the Browns after their first win last week, but now they travel to Indy, where the Colts are pretty good. Luck has found a nice comfort zone in Indy, and the Browns defense isn’t that tough that they can keep him down. Luck shows he can toss 2-3 TDs per game, so try him here in a bye week chance.

*Note I know you are all asking about the obvious, but you know you have to start Brady, Rodgers and Brees every week at this point. This is to help with those tougher decisions, don’t make me hold your hand!

Sit

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans: Flacco has come back to Earth, and his numbers over the last 3 weeks have been pedestrian at best. The Texans took a pounding last week at the hands of the Packers, and now the anger is running high. The Ravens are missing lots of key pieces on defense too, so there is a chance Houston grabs early momentum and makes this a game they control. Either way I am tired of trusting Flacco.

Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks: This is a tough choice, but Seattle’s defense has been tough of late, and coming off of a win over Tom Brady has to help boost confidence. Last week Smith was held in check by the Giants, and the Seahawks being similar pressure and actually have a better secondary. The 49ers may result to more trick plays and more Colin Kaepernick, which is slowly going to effect Smith, and maybe bring us that Smith of old, yikes!

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears: The last time we saw the Bears defense on a Monday night they were pounding on Dallas. Stafford finally broke out with a decent week last week, but that was against a Philly defense that is falling apart. The Bears are 4-1, and have a chance to make a real statement at home against the Lions, which could fare poorly for Stafford. He may play decent, but something huge is questionable.

Running Back

Start

Fred Jackson/CJ Spiller Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans: If you have both, no don’t start both, but if you have one or the other, you can still profit. Yes, they share carries, but both of them catch passes, and can make big plays. Last week in PPR leagues, Jackson posted about 16 points and Spiller 19. Those are good numbers for flex guys and/or RB2 and 3’s. Some day one of these guys will become the leader, but until then use a moment against a poor defense to use either.

Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Slowly but surely we are getting more McFadden, and last week he caught some passes and rushed for 70 yards. The Raiders will have to get better through the air for him to be huge again, but his numbers are good enough to trust again. The Jaguars can be run on, so roll with McFadden this week.

Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins: When healthy, he has the skills to be special, and he has looked real good the last few weeks. This is always a good match-up but the teams don’t discriminate against how they move the ball. Both run pretty good against each other, so Bradshaw should be busy again this week.

Sit

Shonn Greene, New York Jets at New England Patriots: Well, even Marshawn Lynch was kept in check by this defense, so let’s not get all geeked about Greene’s break out game last week. He still does very little in the pass game, and lacks that big explosive step. The Pats run defense should bring him back to Earth, in what should be a passing duel.

Pittsburgh’s RBs at Cincinnati Bengals: They all have an injury, they all can disappear at any second, and none of them are doing anything great. Who starts? Heck who knows. You can’t trust any of the 4 guys that carry the rock here, so wait until it figures itself out.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers defense may have struggled last week, but this week is different and they will let Russell Wilson try and beat them. Expect the 49ers to stack the line and focus on shutting down Lynch to make things hard on the Seahawks offense. Lynch is a beast, but with the box being stacked often here, he may have a real tough night.

Wide Receiver

Start

Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions: Marshall had enough of the nonsense and is looking like a Pro Bowl WR again. He and QB Jay Cutler are getting that magic back, and Cutler even admitted that he is the kind of guy you just throw the ball at and trust. The Lions secondary will be very overmatched here, and Marshall should punch one in as well as possibly 100 and double-digit catches. I expect a huge one from him here.

James Jones, Green Bay Packers at St. Louis Rams: 6 TDs in 3 weeks? Is this the same James Jones? Well, yes it is, and he is doing a great job with Greg Jennings out. The Rams are stingy in pass TDs allowed, but there will be lots of focus on Jordy Nelson, and that should open some holes for Jones. Keep going with him until he fails.

AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: In a few weeks you may not see Green’s name on here, because it is just to obvious. He is one of the best in the game, and not even a match up can scare me anymore. Next year’s draft will be filled with Green lovers, as this season should be set with Green starters.

Sit

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens: It has nothing to do with who he is playing, he just is not special right now. They try him early, can’t get him then they forget. Johnson has the talent, but his numbers are very humble lately. Enter with caution.

Brandon Gibson, St. Louis Rams vs. Green Bay Packers: Loads of people have been grabbing him from the waiver wire but he is still a tough sell. He still has not had a game over 100 yards in his career, and he rarely finds the end zone. He did have a good week last week, but the Packers defense is finding its way, so I can’t trust Gibson here.

Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers vs. Dallas Cowboys: Smith is having a season not like his normal, and the Cowboys are playing better at the corners. Cam Newton looks lost and confused at times this year, so Smith has become a tough start. Look elsewhere if you can.

Tight End

Start

Owen Daniels, Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens: While Andre Johnson has been slowed, Daniels has been busy, and against the banged up Ravens he should have a good game.

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals: With the running game struggling, Miller looks like the best bet from inside the red zone. Miller does know how to get TDs so he may even get 2 here.

Sit

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Slowed by injury that may have him out this week scares me, especially with Marquis Colston becoming big in this offense again.

Martellus Bennett, New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins: Looks as if he is doing more blocking than making big catches over the last few weeks. With Bradshaw running well and all the WRs coming back, he is becoming lost here.

Defenses I like:

Minnesota Vikings vs. Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills vs. Tennessee Titans

New England Patriots vs. New York Jets

Defenses I don’t like:

Washington Redskins at New York Giants

St. Louis Rams vs. Green Bay Packers

Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts

Waiver Wire: Time to fill your line up with some bye week specials, some potential up and comers and some fillers.

Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys: A foot strain is never anything simple, so DeMarco Murray could be gone for a while. All Jones has to do is stay healthy, sounds easy doesn’t it? We shall see. If not there is always,

Patrick Tanner, RB, Dallas Cowboys: See above. Take a chance if you have the bench space.

Brandon Weeden, QB, Cleveland Browns: Really, when your team is struggling sometimes you have to take a “oh what the heck” approach. Cleveland is with Weeden, and he has averaged 250 yards and 2 TDs over the last 2 weeks. Bye week problem solved? Perhaps.

Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Should be more active with his ability to make huge plays. He has 2 very big TD catches this season, and can be a guy that will emerge here. A long shot, but if you need a WR he is as good as you may find available.

Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland Browns: He is busier each week, and can score long TDs. Fun guy to watch and a good kid to root for.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals: I see him on lots of free agent lists, but he seems to be doing good things again. You can do worse at TE, or even worse at WR3 if you can use either or.

Here is the scoop for Week 7, get in on it and go out there and show your opposition who’s boss! Speaking of, get well Kevin Boss, and I use that reference because Boss’ day just past. Sue me, I was in a pinch.

I have now joined Twitter, so if you would like to ask any questions or need any advice feel free to reach out to my personal account, @JPshark71.

Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide

Madden 13 video game on all consoles

Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft

NFL Jerseys on Amazon.com

Fantasy Football Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups

October 16, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

felix jonesIf you are still actively looking for fantasy football help off of the waiver wire at this point in the season you may be in luck. Unfortunate injuries have opened up a few starting opportunities for players that can be plucked right off of the wire and inserted into your lineup.

The waiver wire has been fairly disappointing this season. The pickups that have turned into fantasy weekly studs have been very few and far between. Then again if you were lucky enough to get players like James Jones or CJ Spiller would probably argue that point.

Here are a few options this week if you are either hurting in your weekly lineup or want to gamble on a bye week fill-in if your regular starter has the week off.

Running Backs

Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys – Fool me once, shame on you Felix Jones, fool me twice shame on me. It appears that the former Razorback will likely get the start this week when the Cowboys play the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers are horrendous against the run so the opportunity for Jones couldn’t have come at a better time. The matchup looks fantastic on paper although I am always leery of putting Felix Jones in my fantasy lineup. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Montario Hardesty, Cleveland Browns – This is a case of taking a guy simply because he is the starter. I don’t expect big things out of Hardesty but it would appear that he will get the start for the injured Trent Richardson this week. Hardesty does have a fantastic matchup on Sunday against an Indianapolis Colts defense that was just shredded by Shonn freaking Greene! That alone makes Hardesty a recommended pickup and start in Week 7.

Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts – Ballard hit the wire last week when news broke that Donald Brown would miss up to six weeks with an injury. I grabbed him salivating over the matchup with the Jets, started him, and was rewarded with a whopping three points in my standard scoring league. What a joke! So why would I recommend him? It wasn’t all of his fault as the Colts were down and needed to throw. It was just one of those kinds of games. I don’t think his three points were indicative of talent, I think it was more the situation. One of the worst mistakes I made this season was dropping Kyle Rudolph after one bad game. You don’t want to do that with Ballard. I am willing to take a shot on him on a Cleveland Browns defense that is weak against the run.

Quarterbacks

John Skelton, Arizona Cardinals – I am putting Skelton here not because I am a big believer, but because I have to. Skelton is a starter on a team that has Larry Fitzgerald at wide receiver, thus he is due to put up some numbers. Skelton and Fitz actually have had pretty decent chemistry in the past so I am willing to take a shot if I am desperate here. Skelton does have some terrible matchups coming up but you never know. You could have said the same thing about Robert Griffin III last week and he lit up the Minnesota Vikings. Would I pick him up and start him? No, but you may need him in 14-16 team leagues.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Am I losing my mind over a good game? No, but what I am doing is sniffing out a tremendous matchup for Josh Freeman. Freeman gets the New Orleans Saints who are giving up mega points to everyone and anyone. He will get his chances with Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams and could put up one of the week’s bigger numbers on Sunday. If you have a QB on bye or are facing a bad defensive matchup, you may want to take a shot for one-week only on Josh Freeman.

Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide

Madden 13 video game on all consoles

Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft

NFL Jerseys on Amazon.com

NFL Week 6 Thoughts & Recap – Inside The Wheelhouse

October 16, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Tom BradyLet’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 6 in the National Football League!

– Hey how about the Tennessee Titans shocking the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night in the closing seconds of the game? On “any given Sunday” anyone could win in the NFL and the Titans certainly proved that as they were the underdogs against the Steelers. In my opinion Matt Hasselbeck earned at least one more week as this team’s starting QB until Jake Locker is fully healthy.

– Pittsburgh…seriously? Every time I think the window isn’t closing on this team they go and do something like that on Thursday Night. This may be at best an 8-8 team if they continue to get hit with the injury bug.

- The Atlanta Falcons are on this incredible rollercoaster this season where they simply cannot lose. How many times have we watched their opponent drive down the field to take the lead or tie the game this season only for Atlanta to win the game in the end? This finally may be this team’s season after all.

– Oakland gave it a good shot but it just wasn’t meant to be. Many things still need to be fixed in Raider Nation but getting the big “W” this Sunday would’ve prevented that discussion at least for one week.

– Nice to see this current crop of Cleveland Browns getting their first win of the season. I’ll say it now and I’ll say it again; I really like the direction the Browns are headed in.

– Cincy, what are you doing to yourselves lately? They have a great opportunity to go under their radar again in the NFL and sneak into the playoffs only to botch it up in consecutive weeks. Maybe all that luck has finally run out for the Bengals.

– Speaking of teams going under the radar this season how about the Miami Dolphins? They get a pretty nice win over a young and hungry St. Louis Rams team to improve to 3-3 where they are now tied in the AFC East.

– I really believe the Rams are a better team then the one we saw play against the Dolphins on Sunday but that’s how the NFL rolls. I still like this team as a sleeper in the NFC playoffs at the season’s ends.

– Congrats to the New York Jets on prolonging another week of media craziness. Wait, what? They are playing New England next week? Oh, nevermind.

– While they played with a ton of emotion last week we learned that this week the Colts still have a lot to learn. Will be a good team soon enough but still lots to grow on in Indy.

– Detroit got their first loss in Week 6 last season and appeared to have finally woken up in Week 6 of this season. I’m still concerned by the way their offense played overall in the game but it’s a step in the right direction for a very underachieving team at the moment.

– What is going on with the Philadelphia Eagles!? Talk about inconsistency so far this season! Imagine if those one or two point wins were actually losses now…

– Baltimore is winning games against teams they should be heavily competing with like the Dallas Cowboys but it appears they may have lost their defensive captain and leader in the process in Ray Lewis. Great win but a bigger loss for the defensive unit.

– Remember when Dallas won that Week 1 kick-off game against the New York Football Giants?

– Still not really sure what to think of this Tampa Bay Buccaneers team. I’m under the impression that they are better then their record shows and help me agree with that theory after a nice win over the Chiefs in Week 6.

– Maybe the Kansas City Chiefs fans shouldn’t be cheering for Brady Quinn over Matt Cassel after all?

– Everyone’s favorite sleeper pick entering the 2012 season (except me) was the Buffalo Bills and now they are tied for 1st in the AFC East in Week 6…along with every other team in their division. They still got a good shot at that playoff berth but I believe still have an uphill climb this season to compete with the other AFC East teams.

– What has happened to the Arizona Cardinals? Were they just pretending to be that good the first four weeks of the season? Based off of their schedule they could’ve/should’ve been pulling away from the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West.

– If there was an “upset special” game that I liked going into this Week it would’ve been the Seahawks over the Patriots. Well I didn’t go with that instinct, simply because you don’t bet against the Patriots but the Seahawks still pulled it off. This team seems to play really well against good teams and really bad against bad teams. I wonder which Seahawks team shows up against San Francisco next week.

– The fact that New England has 3 losses at this point in the season is pretty alarming. They haven’t looked like that dominating Patriots team we are used to seeing but I’m not counting them out at all. I look for them to bounce back perfectly fine next week against the Jets; if not then the panic alarm shall be sounded.

– Where has this New York Football Giants team been this season? The defending Super Bowl Champions looked dominant in Week 6 against the San Francisco 49ers and the win should strike fear into many top NFC teams. That Week 15 matchup vs. the Falcons is starting to look pretty interesting…

– One of the best things for the 49ers last season was that they were the underdogs and that no one believed in them. Now they are the favorites and everyone believes in them as it makes it very hard for them to have that mindset that carried them last season. I’m very intrigued with their Thursday Night game against the Seattle Seahawks now.

– Would it be shocking if I told you that I’m starting to like the Washington Redskins as a Wild Card playoff team this season?

– The Vikings had the opportunity to go 5-1 on the season and failed to do so in a game that should’ve proven them to be for real. Instead we are left to the belief that the Vikings may be heading back down to the basement in the NFC North as the balance of power is starting shift back to where we are used to seeing it.

– Lets welcome back the Green Bay Packers to the NFL! It took them 6 weeks but the offense we are used to seeing from the Packers torched the very good Houston Texans defense this week. Aaron Rodgers threw for 6 touchdowns and Jordy Nelson finally broke out as the lead receiver the Packers needed. But it still begs the question, are the Pack really back?

– This was the test the Houston Texans needed to pass. While they were 5-0 on the season many people questioned how they would play against an elite team. They didn’t fair too well and now this team will have to live with that burden until they beat an elite NFL team this season.

– Are Eli and Peyton having some sort of “family rivalry” or something? The Broncos were struggling in the 1st half only to have that “Manning-like comeback” in the 2nd half to win the game. Great win for the Broncos and hopefully a step in the right direction for this great squad.

– The San Diego Chargers are without a doubt one of the most frustrating teams to watch this season. They could easily be either 6-0 or 0-6 on the season; they are very inconsistent as a team. I really wonder if Philip Rivers will ever be “that guy” we believe he could be in the NFL.

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at 979espn.com!

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com

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Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 6

October 11, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

reggie wayne fantasy footballWebster’s dictionary defines the word comeback as “return by a celebrity to some previously successful activity“. Rapper L.L. Cool J once sang to us ” Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years”. At times you will hear the word “comeback” described with words like miraculous or amazing. Comebacks, it’s what separates average from outstanding. Some are even filled with a little luck, or make that Andrew Luck ( sorry Packers fans ). It is one of the defining moments in a lifetime or sports career. We all root for a big comeback.

So let me get all of this straight for you. No, I am not a (huge) celebrity, I have been here for years, yes I may be amazing, and I am not Andrew Luck. However my comeback this week to go 4-0 in my 4 fantasy leagues was in fact outstanding. The universe was back in order, and I was beating opponents all over the fields of Yahoo and ESPN fantasy fields. 100 point wins, decisive blow outs and big days by many of my stars was quite the norm this past week. For the season, I now have a nice 14-6 record in my 4 leagues, and sitting pretty in all of them. I even became the top point guy in 2 of them. I even got props from my girlfriend on Twitter thanking me for helping her team to a 4-1 start. Do I get credit for her record too? Nah let’s not get too greedy here, it’s enough reward to just be great!

So here I am again, Week 6 and more Start Ems and Sit Ems from your beloved Shark. This week is going to be tough for many as big names like Drew Brees will be on a bye, and several starting RBs went down with injuries last week. Many teams are filled with red asterisks next to their players, which is the fantasy way of saying “this guy is in trouble”. I am here to try and shed some light on who you can rely on this week, and who to stay clear of. I also have added a twist. Instead of my usual Waiver Wire adds recommendations, I will take you to my “Recovery Room” and give you the scoop on the injured backs, and who could replace them and who will be your best bet to add. So as always read and enjoy, and good luck with Week 6, it is going to be a tough one, but you can do it! Make sure you “come back” for Week 7.

Quarterback

Start

Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals vs. Buffalo Bills: In sports you need to have a short memory, and if Kolb does he can be good here. We know his offensive line is in shambles, but it can’t be much worse than a Bills defense that has been roasted for 97 points in its last 2 games. Kolb has been decent and with Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Roberts stepping up he has weapons. Plus this team does very little in the run game, and injuries are making that worse. If you have a bye week QB, you could probably trust Kolb here.

Eli Manning, New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers: What? No I did not lose my mind. Last time Mr. Manning visited San Fran it was to drop 316 yards of passing and 2 TDs on a very good defense. He comes back off of a huge week and seems to be warming up again. You may want to think the 49ers are impossible to score against, but come on! Shutting out the Jets and holding the Bills to 3 points is not like moving mountains. In a week that is tough for QBs, take Manning here and go with it.

Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Detroit Lions: Again I test your faith, and again a guy with an iffy season so far gets the nod. The Eagles come back home where they are 2-0, and Reid has always coached well against the Lions. The Detroit defense is not doing much to stop anyone, and even watched the Titans nail them for 44 points. Vick has been sluggish this year, but this poor secondary and pass rush so far can be his remedy. I think Vick between running and passing can get you 3 TDs here.

Sit

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens: This guy loves to burn me, and coming off of a bye week he may have it a bit more together, but he is really hard to trust right now. His WRs are running bad routes, his run game has been off, and this blitz-happy Ravens defense should be able to get to him enough to make it a long day. Heck I benched him, so you should too, although he loves to make a fool out of me.

Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This one should be easy. However with the bye weeks, and people in fantasy always trying to be smart, some will try this. Do not dare! I realize the Bucs pass defense is awful, but really, what is Quinn going to give you? This is his third team in 4 years and that is not an accident.

Robert Griffin 3rd, Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings: He may not play after suffering a concussion and if he does it is against a revamped Vikings defense that has been pretty good this year. Before his injury last week, Griffin was not lighting it up anyway, and he has come a bit back to Earth lately. If you need him I am sure you will play him, but I don’t like the idea of him trying to play nor what he can do here.

Running Back

Start

Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals: I have become a believer of this kid, and he made me look bad the 2 times I said to sit him. Trent has been finding the end zone and the Bengals have not been very special on rush defense, including 2 rush TDs allowed last week against the Dolphins. Richardson should get 100 plus a TD here, and he even gets active in the pass game. Use him!

Ryan Matthews, San Diego Chargers vs. Denver Broncos: Fine, I have to clean some egg off of my face after bashing him last week, but Matthews is looking pretty good. The Broncos run defense had a hard time last week solving what the Patriots brought, and I like the Chargers attack better on the ground. Matthews appears to be back from his injury and finding the end zone as well as getting passes. Roll with it.

CJ Spiller, Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals: The split carry thing is getting boring, and yes the Bills have played a few tough run defenses, but now is the time for them to get it back. Not many have faith in Spiller or this offense in general right now, but it is my gut feeling that they will realize he needs the ball more for them to be successful. Both teams are desperate for big time plays, and I think Spiller turns in some of those juicy ones fantasy owners loved the first few weeks.

Sit

BenJarvis Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns: He is just not doing anything great, and last week was banged up and was sitting down when Bernard Scott inured his knee. They threw him back in, and he clearly bored owners to sleep. He is what I expected, doing very little, and his team is much better throwing the ball. Speaking of which, did anyone see how badly the Browns secondary got roughed up last week? In other words, it will be passing time.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: At the beginning of the year, many including myself were big fans of Martin. Since then we have seen him get just 247 yards in 4 games, score just 1 TD and do less in the pass game than many had hoped. Last years big back LaGarrette Blount has been seeing some goal line action too, so Martin is starting to lose value.

Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks: I am a fan of what the Patriots are doing this year mixing running and passing and getting it done well. The thing I don’t like is visiting teams in Seattle. The Seahawks play good defense, and if New England gets it done on the ground it will be with all 4 options and it is hard to gauge which one can or will go off. Woodhead? Vereen? Bolden? Take your pick, it is pot luck right now.

Wide Receiver

Start

Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans: Last time Brown played on a Thursday night he went off, and teammate Mike Wallace looked off last week. Brown is quick and has good hands, and has been active the last few weeks in this offense. I expect a big night from him as the Titans try and do what they can to slow down Wallace and the running game.

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets: I am not worried about the chants of “no way they repeat this week” with Wayne. He has always been an excellent WR, and despite what Antonio Cromartie did last week to Andre Johnson, he won’t do it to Wayne. He has found a good comfort with QB Andrew Luck, and is one of the hottest pass catchers right now. You have to stick with him.

James Jones, Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans: Enough knocking Jones. Yes he caught only 4 passes last week, but 2 of those were for TDs and he has 4 in 2 weeks. The Texans showed last week they can be had a bit in the air, and the Packers should be throwing plenty this week to try and take this one. Even if Greg Jennings considers playing, Jones should be active. He has more stuff than Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb in my opinion.

Sit

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Has been absent from the end zone a lot this year, and the change in QB is not in his favor. He is one of those guys you hate not to use, but I would wait and see how this plays out,

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens: I have a really hard time trusting anyone in Dallas right now, and this guy leads the pack. He looks lost in his patterns, seems to be making poor efforts and is not getting big numbers. Miles Austin is the only trusting Cowboy right now, and soon enough Bryant may be a guy on the free agent wire in many leagues if this routine continues.

Oakland Raiders WRs at Atlanta Falcons: This corps has no one that stands out and this game in Atlanta won’t bring much either. Right now you have to stay away from this entire situation, including the QB.

Tight End

Start

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants: He is back in the mix and had 100+ yards last week. Still one of the most skilled TEs in the game so go with him in what should be a high scoring affair here.

Dustin Keller, New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts: He is expected back this week, and was the Jets top pass catcher the last 2 seasons. With all the injuries at WR they will be happy to have him back and he can be quite busy. If he is inured look for his teammate John Cumberland to be a good play here.

Sit

Brandon Pettigrew, Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles have been decent against TEs so far this year, and Pettigrew has not lived up to expectations so far this year.

Anthony Fasano, Miami Dolphins vs. St. Louis Rams: The Rams defense has been pretty good against the pass this year, and they have good aggressive players at linebacker. Fasano does show up at times and does nice things when he does, but this won’t be that game.

Defenses I like:

Baltimore Ravens vs. Dallas Cowboys

Atlanta Falcons vs. Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans

Defense I don’t like:

Seattle Seahawks vs. New England Patriots

Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles

Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals

The Recovery Room: Welcome fans, Doctor Shark is here to give you the scoop on injured RBs and who you can lean on to take their place.

Cedric Benson, Green Bay Packers: Benson has been placed on IR with a foot injury but may be able to return come week 13. Who could benefit:

Alex Green: Green came in last week and had 55 yards on 9 carries. He is pretty athletic and looks decent in catching passes, but his pass blocking could hurt him here.

James Starks: Expected back from a toe injury, the former starter could get some work right away here. Starks is a power runner, but a guy who fell out of favor. He can redeem that with good play while his team is desperate.

John Kuhn: Yes I will even mention Kuhn. In leagues where TDs are king, or very deep leagues, he is a guy that may get a flier. Of the three backs he is most likely to get the ball inside the 5 yard line.

The safe pick for your waiver pick up right now would be Alex Green.

Ryan Williams, Arizona Cardinals: Williams will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury.

William Powell: Powell has one carry this year, in which he gained 7 yards. He has not shown much, but people are running to him for help, in an offense that has been poor running the ball as it is.

LaRod Stephens-Howling: Coming back from an injury this week, he should see a lot of action. When he gets spot play he does a nice job and is good in pass catching as well as quick. He may not be a super RB, but as an all-around guy you could do worse.

Alfonso Smith: Has done little to impress, and is not a real fast back who can make his own holes. Stay away unless he grabs the lead and does something.

The safe pick for your waiver pick up right now would be LaRod Stephens-Howling

Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts: Brown is expected to miss 2-3 weeks

Vick Ballard: Ballard was expected to cut into and maybe unseed Brown as the starter, but Brown had a pretty good preseason and has been decent this season. Ballard has seen most of the backup duty, so he seems to be the guy in line.

Delone Carter: Pretty much has fallen off the face of the Earth. A guy who some thought last year could play his way in has done little to show much value. He would need an injury above him to help his case.

Mewelde Moore: A guy who never gets much credit, but is a great pass catcher. His lack of pure speed and size keeps him from playing much. He should be back from injury and will be splashed in here, but not enough to start for you.

The safe pick for your waiver pick up right now is Vick Ballard

Other RBs to keep watch on: Shaun Draughn, Kansas City, Jahvid Best, Detroit, Bryce Brown, Philadelphia

One more guy to watch is St. Louis Rams WR Brandon Gibson. With Danny Amendola missing time and not being known for how long, Gibson stands to be pretty busy in the upcoming weeks.

Well friends and fans week 6 is set up for you. Let’s make it a good one!

I have now joined Twitter, so if you would like to ask any questions or need any advice feel free to reach out to my personal account, @JPshark71.

Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide

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Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft

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NFL Week 5 Thoughts & Recap – Inside The Wheelhouse

October 09, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Andrew LuckLet’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 5 in the National Football League!

– The St. Louis Rams are an underrated team at the moment. That defense looked absolutely fantastic against the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night and they are starting to make me into a believer of what they can accomplish this season. At this moment I like this team to be competitive in 2012 and really competing for the NFC West division title next season.

– Arizona: what happened to you? For the last 4 weeks of the season you have made all of us into believers in what you are trying to accomplish this season and then you play like that? The Cardinals looked like the way they did in preseason and not the way they looked the last four weeks. This Cardinals team will only be as successful as their offensive line allows them to be and if they can’t stop the Rams defensive line then how will they stop the dominant 49ers defensive line?

- I really have liked the way Miami has played in the last couple of weeks, makes you wonder where this team would be if it wasn’t for a couple overtime losses…

– This really could have been a good “statement victory” for the Bengals at they continue to fly under the radar so far this NFL season but it wasn’t meant to be. I wonder if this is the start of the predicted “real” Bengals team to come out.

– What isn’t there to say that’s already been said about this victory for the Colts? Indianapolis played on emotion and had the heart of a champion to get the “W.” Indy could go winless for the rest of the season and still consider this season a success after the Week 5 win.

– Green Bay is in trouble. The offense has looked depleted without Greg Jennings all season and the injury to Cedric Benson didn’t make it any better. This is currently a 2-3 team taking on a very good Houston team in Week 6, a record of 2-4 on the season is a good possibility at the moment.

– I know its Postseason Baseball season but did the Orioles and Royals have a game on Sunday? Baltimore wins 9-6!? What happened to elite QB Joe Flacco playing as such? A win is a win but the Ravens are very lucky heading into Week 6.

– Shame on the Chiefs fans for cheering a knocked out Matt Cassell. Sometimes fans take things way too seriously…

– Atlanta is 5-0 on the season and while they are looking like the best team in the NFL at this moment I have to wonder if they are better served as the hunter rather then the hunted.

– No RGIII heroics in Week 5 like I predicted there may be. Washington kept the game tight and you’d have to wonder if it would be a different story if he was healthy.

– How many Giants fans are breathing a sigh of relief after the Browns jumped out to a 14-0 lead? I know many Giants fans were worried but c’mon this is the Browns we are talking about!

– Cleveland is 0-5 on the season, no real surprise there. The only shock about this team has been the heart they are still playing with. I know I say this every week but I really like the future of this franchise and where it’s going.

– Pittsburgh is healthy (for the most part) and played like the Steelers team we remembered when they are a healthy squad. Sure they won with a last second field goal but it must feel nice to get back on the right foot; looks like there is still some light peering through that window after all.

– Do you really think Michael Vick is going to stay as the starting QB for the Eagles this season? Philadelphia is a .500 record away from becoming the New York Jets of the NFC with all their QB issues.

– Congrats to the Seattle Seahawks on making it another week without us being concerned about this team and questioning their personnel. It’s nice when a win can by you sometime…

– While on the other hand we are once again questioning Cam Newton. I think it’s safe to say that he is currently in a “sophomore slump” now, right?

– So is Chicago benefiting from a good schedule or actually being a good team? I believe that to be a toss up at the moment.

– Jacksonville lost 41-3. This is why they are the worst team in the NFL.

– The Minnesota Vikings are 4-1 heading into Week 6! This has to be the most surprising story of the season right? Even more so then the Packers and Saints decline?

– Congrats Chris Johnson Fantasy Football owners, you can now put CJ2K back on your bench!

– New England is back in the driver seat after falling to 1-2 a couple weeks ago. No surprise that they are climbing back atop the AFC throne. While some may think it’s happening there is no window “closing” in New England anytime soon.

– Denver had way too many missed opportunities to make this game in Week 5. The Broncos could’ve tied or made the score closer had they jumped at the opportunities presented to them. Hopefully this is a loss Denver can learn from.

– Not only does San Francisco have an incredible defense but their offense has looked pretty good the last two weeks. Remember when I said them losing to Minnesota was the best thing that could happen to them?

– I thought the Bills were supposed to be competitive this season. Talk about disappointment. Maybe Chan Gailey just isn’t the right coach for this team…

– Congrats to Drew Brees on surpassing Johnny Unitas in the all-time consecutive games with a passing TD streak and congrats to the Saints on getting their first win of the season in Week 5. Who would’ve thought that!?

– Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve. That’s the story of the San Diego Chargers and will be until this monkey gets off their back. Every time I think they are bouncing back they pull off a game like this.

– Houston improves to 5-0 on the season but didn’t do so in convincing fashion against a hurting Jets team. A win is a win but you have to question if it could be a sign of things to come for the Texans. By the way, Arian Foster is an absolute beast.

– You can’t say the Jets didn’t try but trying isn’t what the Jets need right now. It’s amazing that this team was in the AFC Championship Game two straight seasons and considered one of the best teams in the NFL.

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at 979espn.com!

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com

You can follow Jeff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck

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