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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

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 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.

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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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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

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Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 3

September 20, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

cam newtonIt can always come down to 1 point. Yes just one point. A reception or a thrust forward for a few more yards, yes you can turn a win into a loss so very easily and all you can do is sit back and watch. I came in last week bragging about my 4-0 start, and this week was all set to come back at 8-0, until a useless catch on Monday night. Oh well, still riding high at 7-1 and still top points guy in 3 of 4 leagues gives me a warm feeling.

In today’s game of Fantasy Football there seems to be so more close games and it seems that every week a lead turns into a thrilling hang on as the Monday night game concludes. Owners have gotten smarter and better as the players get more stats. It is hard for one to call themselves a “guru” or “genius” after two weeks, but heck I am game! Sure my brother sat on the couch and said “Damn, I should have started Dwayne Bowe” After I told him numerous times to do so, and he even said “I saw it in your article” Hey, I write for all of you, not just myself, pay attention sometimes. I already know who I want to start and sit, but this is for some of you who may not. Remember 1 point in today’s game can make such a difference. A win is a win, a loss is still a loss. As we all know the word “money league” gets thrown around a lot, so consider this your part-time job! You are an owner, act like it! Now someone clean my glasses!

It is time for another dose of Start Em’ and Sit Em’ for Fantasy Football fans, and I am here again for more medicine. You won’t hear JaMarcus Russell no matter how hard you beg. Also despite the word “Fantasy” we also won’t be seeing any photos of Michelle Trachtenberg. ( Well not this week anyway ) So read along and get ready for another wild week! Good luck everyone!

Quarterback

Start

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers vs. New York Giants:After a poor week 1, Newton came back and looked better against a poor Saints defense. Up for him next is a Giants team that has been pounded by Tony Romo and week 1 and didn’t look all that great last week against an average Josh Freeman. Newton will be busy and he should be on point in a Thursday game at home. He runs and passes for TDs so he can rack them up! Go with it.

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Is there any problem in trying Romo again? Yep last week was a pure clunker, but the remedy may be in town. The Bucs defense was torched last week for 510 yards by Eli Manning in New York so I feel pretty good about the chances of Romo getting at least 300 and a few TDs.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: I officially have no problem leaning towards rookie QBs. Last week Brandon Weeden, RG3 and Luck all had pretty good fantasy days, actually better than second year starters like Blaine Gabbart, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder. Luck and the Colts like to pass, and the run game is average at best. Against this Jags team, Luck can get over 300 yards and at least 2 TDs. No reason to not trust him if you need him here.

Sit

Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals vs Philadelphia Eagles: Even though he is at home, coming off a huge win and probably getting his first shot at his former team, the match up does not look good for Kolb. Joe Flacco could not do much with this Eagles defense, and that offense is way better than this one. The Eagles will challenge the Cardinals to run, and that isn’t showing much so far. Kolb will have to play from behind, and I don’t trust that at all.

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders vs Pittsburgh Steelers: This is becoming easy. If you couldn’t get juice from Palmer against the Dolphins, what makes us think different here? Yes he is at home, but that is still on this planet. Mark Sanchez looked lost last week, and he has a better feel that Palmer. Wait did I say earlier I wasn’t going to say JaMarcus Russell?

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets at Miami Dolphins: I just smell an upset, and that other Sanchez. One week he can look good, then suddenly he looks lost. I have an impossible time every getting giddy about Sanchez, and I beg of you all not to start him. It’s going to be a ground game for sure, and a long one for sure.

Running Back

Start

Michael Bush, Chicago Bears vs. St Louis Rams:With Matt Forte down and Jay Cutler, well being Jay Cutler again, the Bears will need to lean heavily on Bush. Last season while in Oakland, Bush carried the load when Darren McFadden went down, so he can handle it for sure. Also to be noted he was the goal line guy before Forte was hurt, now he really can get all that juice. A big week is in the cards for Bush.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints: The most popular question I have been asked this week is “What do I do with Jamaal Charles?” Well this should be his week, and a chance to make some big plays. The Saints are last in the league against the run, and are just terrible on defense. While the Saints should get win number 1 this week, it won’t be due to a lack of Charles doing lots of good things.

Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots: Rice is possibly the most talented back in the league, and the Ravens will have to go to him more to keep balanced. Last week in trying to win big with the pass the Ravens fell flat, so Rice should be more involved and the Patriots are not all that tough against the run. I expect a big bust out from Rice on prime time.

Sit

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers:The proof is in the putting and this 49ers defense may be better than last years. Now I love Peterson, and what he does on the field is hard not to love, however with a poor pass offense, and Peterson still dealing with a team hesitant to push him, this could be a long brutal day, all day.

Atlanta Falcons RBs at San Diego Chargers: Who is the best run defense in the NFL? Why that would be the Chargers. The Falcons have a great pass attack and are dealing with issues at RB. Michael Turner would love to get back at his old team here, but he has looked slow, and just got nailed on a DUI charge. Also Jaquizz Rodgers has not lived up to preseason hype yet. Stay with the aerial assault and avoid Falcon backs.

Andre Brown, New York Giants at Carolina Panthers: Why are we all so in love with him? No he won’t make my waiver wire segment this week. The Giants rushing game is far from great no matter who is in it, and they have more backs to use than just Brown. Also they are a team that passes well, even without Hakeem Nicks in the lineup. I will have to see him do something spectacular before I can put all my faith in him.

Wide Receiver

Start

Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers:You could have rolled with either Giants WR and hit pay dirt last week, and Austin seems to be healthy and back to form. He had a TD last week, and can easily post one here at home. I like Austin for over 100 yards and at least 1 TD here. Even if Dez Bryant takes catches, he should be just fine.

AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins: He had a nice week last week, and is turning into an elite NFL WR. Now as for the Redskins, well they had no answer for Danny Amendola last week, and Green is targeted as much as D.A. so he should be plenty busy. The Redskins also took some big blows on defense losing DT Adam Carriker and LB Brian Orakpo for the season which will crush their pass rush. If Andy Dalton has time he can find Green plenty.

Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos vs Houston Texans: Even though I think the Texans bring it better than the Falcons who gave Peyton Manning fits last week, Thomas is still his big time weapon. A TD in each week so far is nice, and they love to use him in the screen game as well as down field. Eric Decker seems to be the possession guy, but the end zone and deep guy is Thomas and he is doing it well right now.

Sit

Marquis Colston, New Orleans Saints vs Kansas City Chiefs:For some reason they have forgotten all about him, and even though the Chief secondary is weak right now, he still can’t be trusted. Jimmy Graham, Lance Moore and even Darren Sproles are getting way more action, and until Colston goes wild, you have to sit him.

Danny Amendola, St Louis Rams at Chicago Bears: I know he had a good week last week, but that was home, and the Redskins defense was all banged up. The Bears are coming back home after getting laid out by the Packers and are an angry team on a mission. The Rams pass attack is improved, but this is not the week to be proud with it.

Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks vs Green Bay Packers: The Packers have some decent players in that secondary and Rice was weak last week against Dallas, despite a big Hawks win. Rice is a true enigma, and well with my luck could go off here. However I would like to see him play more consistently before I buy into him.

Tight End

Start

Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals:Last week’s 8 catch, 157 yard game is nothing new to Celek. He can put up big numbers, and the Eagles are once again faced with the possibility of not having WR Jeremy Maclin. As always, the Eagles offense will be busy, and Celek could very well have another big day and even see the end zone here.

Martellus Bennett, New York Giants at Carolina Panthers: WR Hakeem Nicks will miss the game, and Bennett is doing nice things. He has a TD in each week and is proving to be a good pass catcher and not just a blocker. As of now he is Manning’s second choice on most downs.

Sit

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings vs. San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have good linebackers when it comes to pass protection, and although Rudolph has good hands, he does not have big time speed to get away. Last week they did let up a TE TD but that can be very random.

Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers vs. Atlanta Falcons: It is not certain he will play, and if he does he goes up against a Falcons defense with aggressive backs and linebackers. Last week Jacob Tamme did very little and he is a guy Peyton Manning always looks for. The Falcon defense is improving and QB Philip Rivers is working well with what he has besides Gates.

Defenses I like:

San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders

Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans

Defenses I don’t like:

Arizona Cardinals vs Philadelphia Eagles

Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots

Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints

Waiver Wire

Come and get some hot, fresh new players. It is never too early to do some patch work! Check these players out:

Daryl Richardson, RB, St. Louis Rams: While we all had no clue why Stephen Jackson was actually pulled from the game Sunday we did see that Richardson can carry the rock in the NFL. He looks really fast in space, and showed he can take a lick and keep coming. Jackson has a history of getting hurt, so if you have roster room, grab and hold onto this kid.

Jason Snelling, RB, Atlanta Falcons: Michael Turners DUI and lack of breaking speed may mean less carries for him and more for Snelling. The Falcons pass a lot, but if the running game can find itself, it may include more Snelling.

Andrew Hawkins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: He has been busy the first 2 weeks of the season and right now is option 2 in the Bengals passing game. He came a long way, but seems to be fitting in well and if you are looking for help, could be a nice plug in.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB Buffalo Bills: The yardage numbers may not be big, but he does have 5 TDs in 2 weeks. With the rushing game improving with CJ Spiller on board, Fitz has room to work, and does not have to be the most important part of the offense right now. A more relaxed Fitzpatrick is a better Fitzpatrick.

Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns: Rookie QB Brandon Weeden showed signs of improvement last week and Little is by far the most talented WR on the team. They are also running the ball well which can lead to more time and room to throw. He ended 2011 strong, so he can be a guy worth trying here.

Andre Roberts, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Teams are coming down hard on teammate Larry Fitzgerald which has led to 2 TDs in 2 weeks so far for Roberts. He may not be all of what Early Doucet or Michale Floyd should be, but he is getting the numbers.

Now let’s get out there name make me proud. Bring the heat in week 3 and as always good luck! See you all in week 4.

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.

Thanks again all for reading and good luck in week 3.

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 3 Waiver Wire Pickups

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

Matt CasselThere are some intriguing names available on the waiver wire this week. The key word is intriguing because none of these players are going to turn your season around. However, there are some nice grab and stash options that could pay dividends later in the season.

These recommendations are based on non-PPR, 10 team leagues. I tried to stick with the average because you will have different priorities in different scoring systems. Most of these guys will be available in an 8-10 team league while you may have to dig a little deeper in 12-up team fantasy football leagues.

Keep in mind a few things with these waiver wire recommendations. Not all of these guys are players I’d recommend starting in your lineup this week or even next week. Some of these recommendations are based purely on Week 3 matchups. The idea here is to grab a player now in the early weeks of the fantasy season that you can hold on your bench and use when you are starters have bye weeks or when you have injury concerns.

Once again I encourage you to take a wait and see approach this week on the wire. Players in your league will have to drop someone in order to grab one of these flavors of the week. I picked up plenty of great players over the years whose owners gave up on them a week or two too early. You may be surprised at what kind of illogical moves fantasy players who are 0-2 will make in desperate times.

Quarterbacks

Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs – Matt Cassel! You probably think I am kidding you right? Nope! Cassel has had double digit games in the first two weeks and may be the best start of this coming week! Cassel and the Chiefs will get the New Orleans Saints, who may be the worst defense in the NFL. He has quietly put up nice numbers the last two weeks and will likely continue to do so throughout the season. He has some tough games in the upcoming weeks, but that matchup against the Saints is juicy enough for me to grab Cassel if I need to shake things up this week at QB.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals – Andy Dalton is one of those quarterbacks that fantasy players continue to overlook, yet he gets it done. He had a rough week in the opener but he was playing a division game against the Baltimore Ravens. On Sunday he put up more points in standard scoring leagues than Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford, and Aaron Rodgers. He plays a Washington defense this week that have allowed over thirty points in each of their first two games. The Redskins are stingy on touchdowns but Dalton will get the yards if you need someone for this week and/or your bye weeks.

Running Backs

Andre Brown, New York Giants – Ahmad Bradshaw went down with his annual injury and it was Andre Brown, not David Wilson who came in and got the carries for the Giants. Brown got 13 carries and managed 71 yards, a touchdown, a two-point conversion, and a couple of receptions. The Giants have a short week and play a Carolina Panthers who gave up over 150 yards on the ground to the Saints on Sunday. My hunch is that Bradshaw doesn’t go on a short week. That makes Brown a fantastic pickup this week and going forward with Bradshaw’s injury history.

Mikel Leshoure, Detroit Lions – The Detroit running back is off suspension this week and is returning to work. Reports out of Detroit suggest that Leshoure will be the starting back before long in Detroit. The Lions want to establish a running game. So far they haven’t had much luck with Kevin Smith. You could grab the starting running back from one of the most explosive offenses in the league right off waivers this week.

Daryl Richardson, St. Louis Rams – Was Steven Jackson hurt or benched? According to reports it may be a little bit of both, although Jeff Fisher denies it. Richardson racked up 102 yards on Sunday but really hurt his chances moving forward with a late game fumble. Groin injuries are tough to recover from, especially for a running back. Even if Jackson plays, he is an older and brittle player. Keep in mind that the Rams play the Chicago Bears this week, so this wouldn’t be the week to get cute with your new waiver wire pickup if Richardson does get the start.

Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins - Miller is a grab and stash kind of player to me. Miller had a score and 65 yards last week and looked great with his 10 carries. Reggie Bush is the workhorse here but Bush is a very brittle player. Bush is a free agent next season so the Dolphins will run him until he breaks and chances are pretty good he will break. I know Daniel Thomas is ahead of him on the depth chart, but Miller was drafted by this new regime. He is there guy. If the Dolphins are out of it or Bush gets hurt, Miller could be a sneaky play down the stretch in the playoffs.

Wide Receivers

Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams – Amendola is the man in St. Louis and is probably available on your waiver wire. Amendola got a whopping 16 targets on Sunday and has developed some nice chemistry with Sam Bradford. He is what many are calling a “poor man’s Wes Welker”, although he has greatly out-produced Welker thus far. A lot of teams are going to be sleeping on the Rams and they will be putting up points all season. Keep in mind that the Rams play the Bears this week so you may want to wait a week before you start him. Otherwise, grab him now while you still can!

Donnie Avery, Indianapolis Colts – Savvy fantasy football experts have called Avery a sleeper play over the next two weeks. Avery has now produced in back to back weeks. Granted, this could change when Austin Collie comes back but so far I like what I am seeing. Avery led the team with 11 targets Sunday and has some big potential moving forward with Andrew Luck. He is certainly worth a grab if you have room or need some wide receiver help.

Tight Ends

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings – I am really surprised that Rudolph is still on most waiver wires. He continues to be the leader among targets for Christian Ponder in Minnesota. Rudolph had a TD this past week and will probably have many more in the near future. I certainly wouldn’t play him against San Francisco this week, but he has Detroit and Tennessee the following weeks in games which could bring him back to back scores.

Dennis Pitta,  Baltimore Ravens - Did you know that Dennis Pitta is tied with Jimmy Graham for the most targets among tight ends? Did you know that Joe Flacco is looking at Pitta often in the red zone? Did you know that the 2012 Baltimore Ravens offense has enormous potential? If the Ravens wind up in a shootout with the Patriots in Week 3, you could see Pitta with a lot of targets and points.

Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles - Celek is a fantastic pickup if you are in need at tight end. He and Vick have great chemistry as Vick looks to Celek quite a bit during games. The problem is that if Vick gets hurt, Celek’s value plummets to zero and what are the chances of Vick getting hurt? Right! In the meantime, Celek could be a great replacement for you unlucky Aaron Hernandez owners over the next several weeks.

Dante Rosario, San Diego Chargers –
Dante Rosario was the leading scoring tight end in standard scoring leagues this week. Not Jimmy Graham, Not Rob Gronkowski, but Dante freaking Rosario! Antonio Gates was a surprising scratch and Rosario made the most of his opportunity with three touchdowns. Gates is expected back next week, but for how long? If you have the room, Rosario is a great grab and stash tight end this week on the wire.

Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide

Madden 13 video game on all consoles

NFL Jerseys on Amazon.com

Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft

Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 2

September 13, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

cj spillerThe time has come to call out all the big shots who actually get paid to do this stuff! Matthew Berry of ESPN, you think you want some of this? Yahoo Sports guys like Andy Behrens and Brandon Funston, you really think you can handle this? Fantasy Guru’s, RotoWorld, and on and on, you all want a piece of me? I am here to call all of you out.

Yes me, just a lone guy with no errand boys to do my research, no mega-million dollar studio or financial backing, just a man, a computer, and a little football knowledge, especially fantasy football. The Shark should be the buzz right now in the fantasy world and now you all have your chance to jump on the bandwagon!

“Who is this guy?”, “Why is this guy all into himself?”, you may all be asking. Well I will get right down to it. Week 1 of the NFL season saw me go a lusty 4-0 in my fantasy leagues, but not only that, I was the point leader in every league, including our league here at CamelClutchBlog.com. The pre-season promises I made all were falling into place. I told the world that Matt Ryan was going to be amazing, and he was.

I drafted Brandon Marshall in every league, and he was back to form. Reggie Bush? Yep I have lots of Reggie, and despite no TD’s, he was solid. You don’t trust Tony Romo? I sure did! Kevin Smith can’t get the job done? That’s fine I’ll give him a try. Stevan Ridley made an appearance, so did Malcolm Floyd. Ravens defense is too old? All is good, I rolled those dice. Oh everything went right, a sheer perfect week. All that was missing in “fantasy” was Sofia Vergara serving me dinner in a French Maid uniform. (A man can dream). The beauty or beast of it all is that you are only as good as the next week. As much as I’d like to think my bragging and confidence is a good thing, it can easily explode. No problem, it’s a long season.

Week 2 comes at us very fast, as we have a Thursday night game to deal with, so I have to come at you faster and more furious this week with Starts/Sits for your fantasy team. Injuries will have to be watched closer, and moves made faster. My advice to you as they say in the movies is to “stick with me kid”. The Shark is here with his Week 2 advice. Read, enjoy, and good luck in week 2. P.S. I contacted Berry and RotoWorld via Twitter, and have gotten no response on my challenge, no surprise there, I’d be scared of me too! Let’s look at the picks for this week:

Quarterback

Start

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons: Don’t think he’s back? Thomas, Decker and the gang think he is after carving up the rough and tough Steelers defense, plus he gets to play this week in a dome, as he has for years. Also the loss of CB Grimes is huge for the Falcons defense. Manning and Ryan will have a big shootout here, so if you own Manning, you roll with him here.

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers: It’s easy to say Aaron Rodgers every week isn’t it? Cutler and his Bears have a huge chance on Thursday night to go up 2 games on the Pack if they can pull off this mild upset. The return of Brandon Marshall mixed with his trust in Earl Bennett has Cutler looking sharp and he could be looking at a great year. If you remember last week, Alex Smith and the 49ers had their way with this defense, so no reason not to trust Cutler for 2-3 TD’s and maybe as much as 300 yards.

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks: Do you believe in paybacks? Karma? Second Chances? If you do then you have to believe in Romo this week. Seattle is after all the scene of the crime where Romo botched that snap on a 19 yard field goal attempt in 2007 that cost Dallas a playoff game. He comes back to town with a loaded group of weapons, and confidence. The Seahawks defense was pegged as a tough defense, but not much of that was there against a pour Arizona team last week. I like Dallas’ pass game much better than its run game, so go with Romo.

Sit

Blane Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars vs Houston Texans: Yep, even I can be wrong, and I trashed Gabbert often, but last week he had good numbers and hung tough in Minnesota. This week he is home which can prove even better, but he will face a much better defense and a better team. Jacksonville will be a better team soon enough, but nothing about this match up looks all that enticing. If you just added him, that’s a fine move, but use it at the proper time.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers: Another guy that I bashed but yet had a huge week last week. However this is not the Bills defense and he is not at home. The Steelers got roughed up by Peyton Manning last week, and that happens, but no way does Sanchez come back with the same performance. Also on that Jets sideline will be Tim Tebow. Why does that matter? Last time the Steelers saw Tebow, he was knocking them out of the playoffs, once again, paybacks baby!

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins: Serious? Yep! I know the Dolphins don’t have much, but neither does this Raiders offense. This team is only as good as Darren McFadden makes it, and with a bunch of “who’s” at WR and no solid TE’s the Raiders are in total disarray already. Their only TD last week came as time ran out, by an undrafted WR. Oakland used a lot of draft picks on Palmer, he needs to prove to be something and quick!

Running Back

Start

CJ Spiller, Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs: The injury to Fred Jackson opens the door for a guy who has the stuff to be a fantasy stud. 161 yards rushing last week and a TD, mixed in with being one of the best fantasy backs in the last 4 weeks of last season is a lot to get excited about. The Chiefs are banged up on defense as well. Spiller makes the Bills offense better, and it should show this week.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts: Every expert, fantasy owner, heck even his own coach had little faith in Peterson last week, but I am here to tell you, he is the real deal again. 2 big TD’s last week against the Jags and he was able to handle 17 carries. This week he will be indoors, and the Colts run defense is usually nothing special. Peterson is showing that the knee is not about to slow him down, and it should not be a concern for fantasy owners as long as he stays healthy in the weekly injury reports.

Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins: Not crazy about Oakland’s QB situation, but that has nothing to do with McFadden. He was plenty busy last week, and that should continue to be the case as long as he is healthy. The Dolphins gave up a pair of rushing TD’s last week, and if the Raiders are going to hang in this game DMC will have to front the load. Do it!

Sit

Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It may have been the bad weather, or the start of something special as the Bucs defense was brilliant last week against Carolina, especially on the ground. DT Gerald McCoy is suddenly coming into his own and they look tough up front. Bradshaw had a nice week 1 against Dallas, but I feel the passing game will need to do more to get the Giants back on track. Bradshaw may be able to punch one in here, but I don’t expect him to be huge.

Kevin Smith, Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers: Another guy who had a big week last week, but I have a hard time trusting running backs against the 49ers. The defense in San Fran looked tough last week in Green Bay, and Detroit will have to use the air to come out in this one. I like Smith, and if he is healthy you go with him, with the right match up. This is not that match up!

The San Diego Chargers backfield vs. Tennessee Titans: I know they got ripped up by Stevan Ridley last week, but it is hard to know how to measure what can happen against the Patriots offense. The Chargers have 4 different guys carrying the load, and none look all that special. Until Ryan Matthews comes back and gets into the groove I advise you avoid this mess at all cost. Hey, here is an idea, try playing Chris Johnson, what too soon?

Wide Receiver

Start

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos: I like the new Broncos defense with Champ Bailey and Tracy Porter, but this week they will have their hands full. The Falcons have the weapons, and Jones is many people’s option to be the next great WR. What better way for him to really come out than on a Monday night? Roddy White still draws the attention, Gonzalez can still get it done, and they are creative in the backfield. It is hard to know who to focus on if you are a defense, so if you give this guy room, he can/will kill you! He had 2 TD’s last week and possibly 2 more this week.

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills: The Bills secondary was toasted last week by a rookie WR and a “who is that guy” WR led by Mark Sanchez. This week a real big time WR comes to town in Dwayne Bowe, so the young Bills secondary may have its hands full. Matt Cassel is not a top fantasy QB, but even he can find an upside here. Bowe needs to prove his worth with a new contract looming next year.

Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts vs. Minnesota Vikings: New QB same Reggie Wayne it would seem. After a slow start he had a big week last week, and now Wayne and Indy face a Vikings defense who at home last week had a hard time with an average Jags pass offense. Luck will have some growing pains, but he has to get 2 TD’s here I would think, and Wayne is due for one, and some more big yards. Wayne remains a factor as a WR2 or an emergency flex option.

Sit

DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Baltimore Ravens: If you ask me, the Eagles most reliable WR is Jeremy Maclin, and there is a good chance he won’t play this Sunday. I know Jackson is explosive and can do lots of good things, but to have him as the one main guy against a quality defense and CB Webb does not look great on paper. The Ravens will throw everything at Michael Vick, so he will have a hard time making the plays. Jackson is hard to trust right now.

Pierre Garcon, Washington Redskins at St Louis Rams: Alright, it’s hunch time. With Cortland Finnegan being the main CB in St. Louis I think Garcon will have his hands full, not to mention that the Rams for some reason usually play the Redskins tough. RG3 showed he has QB skills, but Garcon did get banged up so he may be slowed, and there is at least a bit of game film now for the Rams to watch. Also the Redskins showed they can run the ball, so and all out air attack may not be needed.

Kevin Ogletree, Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks: I can’t believe I have to write this, but after seeing how many people bought into that week 1 effort I feel it is my duty. This team does still have Miles Austin and Dez Bryant and Jason Witten as well as DeMarco Murray. Ogletree is a nice number 3 WR for the Cowboys, and Romo likes his 3’s, but this guy won’t have 2 TD, 100+ yard games often, so you should not be relying on him as a WR1 or even WR2 in your leagues. If he does it a few more times, well then paint me red!

Tight End

Start

Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers: Sound easy? Well it should. Graham may be the best TE in football and is also the busiest target in a very pass happy offense. The Panthers have good linebackers who may slow him down, but you can’t really keep Graham down.

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions: Still the most talented of the bunch here in San Fran, and he made good things happen last week. The Lions defense is a little tougher than Green Bay’s but Davis is a guy to be dealt with.

Sit

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets: The Jets have good play at linebacker so Miller is not a sure bet even though they like him in close.

Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns: He looked sluggish Monday night after missing most of the preseason. I would like to see him have a big game or 2 before I trust him.

Defenses I like:

New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. New York Jets

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

Defenses I don’t like:

Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons

Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills

Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts

Waiver Wire:

I have some nice pickups for you this week. Come and get them while they last!

Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers: Greg Jennings may be out this week, and Cobb returns kicks and also has improved as a receiver. Cobb could stand to get busier in a high power offense like this.

Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins: Shanahan likes the hot hand, and Morris was very hot last week. He is a talented back, not blessed with speed but has shifty moves, good hands and runs strong. As long as he stays healthy, it is his job to lose.

Stephen Hill, WR, New York Jets: I said it back in my NFL Draft Preview, Hill has the skills to be the best rookie in this class and can be a factor in the NFL. He has good size and speed, and he put up 2 TD’s last week. He has plenty of upside so grab him and dump that guy you are clinging to that you grabbed in the 15th round.

Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars: A guy who was always on the brink of big things, Lewis was active last week and looks like a good target for young QB Blaine Gabbert. For TE leagues only, but a nice pick up/

Nate Kaeding, K, San Diego Chargers: Last year’s broken leg on the opening kickoff made many forget, but I am here to tell you to get Kaeding. He had a good game this past week, and is still one of the more accurate kickers in football.

So we are ready for week 2. I hope that my success can continue and I can help you all make your team a little better!

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.

Thanks again all for reading and good luck in week 2.

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

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NFL 2012-13 Week 1 Preview & Picks

September 08, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

aaron rodgers alex smithWell, to paraphrase former WWE Champion the Rock, FINALLY the 2012 NFL Season has begun. As an NFL fan for over 35 years, I always get excited, especially when the first week of the season arrives. I love seeing the pre-game shows, and seeing the “experts” argue over who they think will win. I love see video of fans tailgating, and hearing about injury reports, Super Bowl predictions, scandals, and the whole kit and caboodle. In my opinion, the NFL Season is the best season ever.

Well, since I have starting writing this blog, I have noticed that writers for this, and other blogs have posted their weekly picks for the NFL. Well, last season, I didn’t partake in doing a weekly blog, but I did do picks for the NFL playoffs, and the Super Bowl, and I had a good time doing, so for this season, I decided to take the plunge, and do weekly picks.

Now, so my readers understand, I do NOT go by the spread, or predict the score. I am going to list the teams, the stadiums, etc. I am going to mention any notable injuries, and do a little analysis, and just make my prediction of which team I think will win the game.

Sound Good? Well, here we go:

Before I start with Sunday’s Match ups, let me do a quick post-mortem on the Dallas Cowboys at the defending champion New York Giants that was played on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at Met Life Stadium. At first, it started out like neither team wanted to score, and it was going to be one of those boring defensive games. However, Dallas’ offense somehow got going, and put 24 points on the board, and New York’s Eli Manning could not quite make one of his miraculous fourth quarter comebacks, and was only able to get the Giants 17 points, and Dallas won.

Dallas’ Tony Romo was having a good night despite his offensive line’s inability to stay still as they drew offside penalties like crazy. Surprisingly, Romo’s main target was Kevin Olgletree. Dallas’ defense stifled the Giants’ receivers all night, and their running game. One the other hand, Giants defense started out good, but their secondary was falling apart. On offense, Victor Cruz was dropping balls as if they were hot potatoes.

Game was just OK overall. I didn’t go nuts like everyone does over Dallas. It is only Week 1. Let’s see how these guys are, especially Romo in December.

Now, for Sunday, and Monday Night:

All 1:00 P.M. Games:

Indianapolis Colts AT Chicago Bears
Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill
The main injury concerns for the Colts concern the availability of Austin Collie (WR). At first, he was declared likely, but now he is a game time decision. LB Pat Angerer is out. For the Bears, despite his saying the knee won’t be the same, MLB Brian Urlacher will play.

Final Analysis: This is the official NFL debut for the much touted rookie QB from Stanford, Andrew Luck who is the new Colts QB. He looked very much the part of a professional QB in the preseason, but before we put him in Canton, let’s remember he is a rookie. He will make rookie mistakes, and he is facing a good Bears Defense that will try to confuse him.

On the other side, it will be interesting to see how Bears QB Jay Cutler can rebound after the season ending injury he had last season. Now that he has his favorite target on offense, we will see if that offense improves. The running game should be good as well.

Pick: A lot of people are very high on Luck, and think he can win. With Urlacher not quite up to speed, and the fact that Luck, and his offense are apparently on the same page, I am going to gamble a bit, and go with the rookie. Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Philadelphia Eagles AT Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, OH
The injury report for the Eagles is interesting for the fact that Michael Vick is NOT on it. The Browns’ Trent Richardson is listed as questionable. I am hearing he is supposed to play though. Browns’ Scott Fujita is now available (for now) to the team thanks to the overturning of his Bounty related suspension.

I don’t mean to sound like a smart ass but I don’t really think it matters. I mean, seriously. The Eagles should beat the Browns like a drum. Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

St. Louis Rams AT Detroit Lions
Ford Field in Detroit, MI
The Rams will be without their First Round pick Michael Brockers due to an ankle injury. The Detroit Lions will be banged up in the secondary as CB Chris Houston is doubtful due to an ankle injury, and Safety Louis Delmas listed as doubtful due to a knee injury.

Well, this game does not look all that exciting to me. Rams’ QB Sam Bradford has yet to show me that he is worthy of that #1 overall pick. It is true that he has hardly any receivers. The defense is just alright. The Lions have a fierce front seven with that Suh, Vanden Bosch, etc. Of course, their offense features Matt Stafford, and Megatron. Rams will be eaten by the Lions. Winner: Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins AT Houston Texans
Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX
The only person that is hurt for the Dolphins is Tony McDaniel. Their opponents, the Texans have of interest, LB Brooks Reed (hip), and star RB Arian Foster (knee) who are both game time decisions. Foster said he expects to play though.

Even though it is great that the Dolphins are coming into Houston healthy, I don’t think they are going to come out of there with a win. Houston is one of the top teams in the AFC, and I just think they are going to just crush Miami. Winner: Houston Texans

Atlanta Falcons AT Kansas City Chiefs
Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO
The Kansas City Chiefs’ defense has been bombard with injuries, and as many as six could be out for this game. DE Allen Bailey with an ankle injury, Safety Kendrick Lewis with a shoulder injury, DT Anthony Toribio with an ankle injury are all listed as doubtful. LB Jovan Belcher with a groin injury, CB Brandon Flowers with a foot injury, and LB Derrick Johnson with an ankle are listed as questionable.

It looks like Matt Ryan, and his group of receivers, and his Hall of Fame (surely) tight end, Tony Gonzalez may just have a field day at Arrowhead despite that stadium being one of the hardest places to play. I am not sold on Matt Cassel being a good QB, and I just don’t think the Chiefs are up to the task. Winner: Falcons

Jacksonville Jaguars AT Minnesota Vikings
Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota
The main injuries in this game are the Jaguars will be without Daryl Smith, their best LB who will miss the game with a groin injury, and Derek Cox, their top CB with a hamstring injury. Their rookie receiver Justin Blackmon is probable with an ankle injury. For the Vikings, the main injury of note is their top RB Adrian Peterson who is coming back from that ACL tear suffered on Dec 24, 2011. Listed as questionable, there will be a decision Saturday morning whether he plays or not.

Well, people will be watching this game to pretty much see (if he plays) how Peterson does. If he is allowed to play, it will be a great thing to see. As for who wins, with Maurice Jones-Drew just getting back to the team, and getting back into football shape, I am thinking that the Vikings will wind up winning it. It will be ugly though. Winner: Vikings

Washington Redskins AT New Orleans Saints
Super Dome in New Orleans, LA
Well, the news that NFL Commissioner Goodell got repelled (for now) by that three person panel, puts an interesting spin on notable injuries. Jonathan Vilma is now eligible to play, but he has an injury where he won’t be ready (not that he is anyway, football-wise) for a few weeks. Saints could put him on PUP for six weeks. Will Smith could play right away as he is healthy. The Saints, before all this has WR Marques Colston (foot), CB Jabari Greer (groin), LB David Hawthorne (knee), and LB Curtis Lofton (ankle) listed as questionable. All seem likely to be able to play.

Well, we have another rookie QB in the highly touted Robert Griffin III in his debut with the Washington Redskins. I prefer him to Andrew Luck, but in this game sadly, Griffin is making his debut against the wrong team at the wrong time. The Saints are at home with their crowd backing them up, and after the terrible offseason, and now with the latest news, they are going to be mad as hornets. Winner: New Orleans

Buffalo Bills AT New York Jets
Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Buffalo Bills WR Stevie Johnson is listed as questionable with a groin injury, and for the Jets, the significant injury is TE Dustin Keller who is questionable with a hamstring, but both are expected to play. The other injury for the Jets is LB Sione Pouha who’s also questionable with a back injury, but doesn’t look likely to play.

Well, I am going to be “from Missouri” so to speak with these two teams. They are going to have to show me they are worth the hype, especially ESPN’s favorite team, the Jets. The Bills, on paper have improved their defense with the addition of former Texans’ Mario Williams. Let’s see though if QB Fitzpatrick can play well for more than 5 games.

For the Jets, who I feel is the most over hyped team in the NFL, they better live up to the hype. I am reading that Tebow is going to play 10-20 percent of the game. Well, call me old school, but when you have two QBs, you don’t have any. Jets Owner Woody Johnson does not like the team being called a “circus?” Well, maybe his team better stop acting like clowns then.

I think from looking at the Jets’ O line, especially that right side, I think Buffalo could exploit it with their defense. Jets have no pass rush, and a pop gun offense. Winner: Buffalo

New England Patriots AT Tennessee Titans
LP Field in Nashville, TN
The only notable injury for the Patriots is RB Shane Vereen (foot). The injuries of note for the Titans are LB Sen’ Derrick Marks is doubtful with his knee, and CB Jurrell Casey questionable with his elbow.

This should be an interesting game. The Titans are giving the reins to second year QB Jake Locker while former starter Matt Hasselbeck is the backup, and mentor. Locker is going up against one of the most elite QBs in the NFL, and arguably one of the best QBs ever in Tom Brady. I’m looking forward to this game.

It will be interesting to see if the Patriots’ young, and hopefully improved defense can stop the star RB for the Titans in Chris Johnson. Seeing the McCourty twins is going to be really cool. The main question for the Patriots is can the offensive line which is still coming together (no Brian Waters, and Matt Light retired) protect Tom Brady? I think so. Winner: New England Patriots

4:25 pm NFL Games:

Seattle Seahawks AT Arizona Cardinals
University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
Injury of concern for the Cardinals is Beanie Wells who was listed as questionable with a hamstring. For the Seahawks, the injuries are tackle James Carpenter, and WR Golden Tate are out with knee injuries, and RB Marshawn Lynch is questionable with back spasms.

Well, it is obvious to me that despite having a beast of a WR in Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals, outside of Kurt Warner, can not find a QB to throw him the ball. I mean, it is just tragic. Now, I am not as high on Seattle as a lot of people, but let’s see what the rookie QB Russell Wilson can do. Winner: Seattle Seahawks

San Fransisco 49ers AT Green Bay Packers
Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI
The only injury of any importance is Ted Ginn being listed as questionable due to an ankle injury.

This game should be the best game of the week. Great QB match up in the sense that 49ers Alex Smith was the #1 overall pick in the 2005 Draft, and the first QB taken, and he is going up against Aaron Rodgers who sat in that green room for the longest time, before being taken at #25. In most experts’ eyes, this was supposed to be the NFC Championship game last post season, but it didn’t happen. Should be a good one.

For the game, even though the 49ers have an excellent defense, and the Packers defense hopefully have improved some, and I am not sure I have faith in them, I think Rodgers will put on a light show. Winner: Green Bay Packers

Carolina Panthers AT Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL
RB Jonathan Stewart for the Panthers is listed as questionable. He has not practiced all week, so it is not likely he will play. Arrelious Benn, WR for the Bucs is listed as questionable despite practicing all week.

The Bucs were awful last year, and this preseason, they didn’t look all that great. I am a Rutgers graduate, so in that sense I want new Bucs Head Coach Greg Schiano to do well, but it will take awhile to turn this around. The Panthers once again have Ron Rivera as their head coach, and Cam Newton as QB. Will he have the dreaded sophomore slump? Will he be even better? We will see. He should lead the team to a win though. Winner: Carolina Panthers

8:20 pm SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Pittsburgh Steelers AT Denver Broncos
Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, CO
Notable Injuries for the Steelers are Safety Ryan Clark will not be playing due to his sickle cell illness which is aggravated by playing in the high altitude. There are conflicting reports as to whether LB James Harrison (officially listed as questionable) will play or not. RBs are pretty banged up: Rashard Mendendall (knee) listed as doubtful. Issac Redman (ankle) is listed as probable, and Baron Batch is listed as questionable with a groin. The Broncos have no important injuries.

Well, this is a huge game for a one Peyton Manning. It is his first game back after losing a year of his career due to a fourth neck surgery. Most fans know about his parting with the Colts. It will be strange to see him in other than a Colts uniform, but life goes on. It will be interesting to see how healthy, and how back to 100% he REALLY is. He looked pretty decent in preseason.

The Steelers come to town to try to avenge the post season loss to the Broncos. Of course, this time they face a much superior QB. The Steelers come in a bit banged up, and they have Ben, their elite QB learning a new offense, and getting to know new Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley, but I think this game as a whole will be a good game.

Defensive guru Dick LeBeau turns 75 tomorrow, and I think the Steelers will give their Defensive Coordinator a birthday gift. I think it will be close though. Winner: Steelers

9/10/11 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

Game 1 at 7pm: Cincinnati Bengals AT Baltimore Ravens
M &T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland
No notable injuries for either team.

This game shows why, at least in my view, the AFCN is the best division in the NFL. You have four tough, hardnosed teams who are physical not only with opponents outside their division, but with each other. This should be a pretty good game. It will be interesting to see how Terrell Suggs (on PUP due to Achilles ) absence affects the defense, and if Flacco can be the elite QB he claims he is.

The Bengals need to prove they can continue to be a playoff contender, and if this game somehow becomes a scoring fest, QB Andrew Dalton has show he can keep up. Their defense has to get after Flacco, and hold down RB Ray Rice. However, since Flacco has an excellent record at home, I expect him to hold on to that. Winner: Baltimore Ravens

Game #2 at approximately 10:15pm San Diego Chargers AT Oakland Raiders
Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, CA
The only notable injury for both teams is RB Ryan Matthews for the Chargers being out due to the collar bone injury as he had no contact in practice.

Well, I think this year is do or die for both the Chargers, and their coach Norv Turner. If they don’t get in the playoffs, I think their “genius” of a GM has to see that Turner is not the answer. Rivers has to cut down on the turnovers. The entire Chargers team has to cool it with their brashness, and bravado, and not start out so late, and hope to be Silky Sullivan (he was a great racehorse in the ’50s who would start his run about 40 lengths back), and somehow get into the playoffs. They can get off to a great start by destroying the Raiders. The Raiders are what they are. It will take awhile to get that team turned around. Winner: Chargers

Well, those are my picks. Good luck to everyone, and I pray there are no serious injuries in Week 1.

Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/giopontifan

Fantasy Football Almanac 2012: The Essential Fantasy Football Reference Guide

Madden 13 video game on all consoles

NFL Jerseys on Amazon.com

Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft