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Fantasy Football Championship Week Dos and Don’ts

December 18, 2013 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

It is finally here for some of you, your fantasy football championship week. Fourteen weeks and endless hours of draft preparation have brought you to this point. Unfortunately with big games comes big pressure, and the wrong decision can result in an early exit and an offseason of depression.

Don’t over-analyze - There is a reason you have gotten this far in the fantasy football playoffs. Stick with what got you here. The most common mistake for first-time championship players is to over-think your game. For example, you own Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks are playing the Arizona Cardinals this week. You start Lynch no matter what. Especially this season as no defense has been consistent for fifteen games.

The worst words you want to hear before you play your running back are Cardinals. Yes, the Cardinals have shutdown the run for most of the season and are first against the run in fantasy football. Yes the Cardinals have given up only 4 rushing TDs all season.  However, are you really going to shut down someone as hot as Marshawn Lynch in your championship week for someone off the waiver wire? Are you going to sit down Drew Brees just because he is playing the Carolina Panthers? Now if you are sitting there with comparable backups on your bench you may and I stress may want to consider it. However, the moral here is not to panic. Stick with the money guys who brought you to the dance, especially if you don’t have any suitable backups on your bench. Strange things can happen, just ask anyone who played against Jamaal Charles last week.

Skip the waiver wire - There is no reason you should even think of playing the waiver wire game.  Yes Matt Cassel is tempting, but can you really trust an offense like the Vikings at this point? I look at it this way when it comes to playing guys in fantasy football at this point in the season. It comes down to, who do you trust? If there is a gem flying around your waiver wire, I’d grab him only to keep him away from your opponent. But I’d have a hard time resting my championship hopes on someone that has been hanging around for most of the year on the wire.

Go with a running back in your flex position - I have always had a rule which has cost me on some weeks, but has won me more games in the long haul. My rule of thumb is always start a running back in the flex position over a wide receiver. I don’t care if you have three great receivers. One of them has to sit for the running back. Remember what time of year we are in. It is the winter time, and this is the time of the year where most teams will be running over passing in outdoor weather.

Of course this is subject to change if you have no true starting running back to start in the flex while you have a great receiver sitting on your bench. At the same time, you know a running back is going to get his carries. Whether he scores or not, he is going to get double digit carries depending upon the offense. The wide receiver you want to play could be easily shut out. I’d rather take 7 points from a bad running back than 0 from a wide receiver.

Beware of fuzzy fantasy football statistics - This is something that could get you into big trouble if you don’t do your homework. There are a lot of writers and websites that give you fantasy stats such as average points a team gives up to tight ends, quarterbacks, etc. Read the stats closely.

Most of these websites are giving you seasonal stats. My rule of thumb is to look at a team’s last four-five games. For example, the Minnesota Vikings are ranked as one of the best bets for running backs by most fantasy sites. Those same “experts” will yell and scream to play your running backs against the Vikings. What they don’t tell you is that over the last four games, the Vikings have only given up one touchdown to opposing running backs. A lot of those fantasy football sites use seasonal stats and while the Vikings  may have been shredded a few times, they aren’t the “give me” that most fantasy experts would lead you to believe they are. The same can be said for the Jaguars, who have greatly improved their defense over the last few weeks. These fantasy websites can be a great guide, but do your own homework. Remember this is the championship game and chances are your opponent is up to his neck in stats. Be prepared and you’ll be fine.

Go with your gut - This goes for the playoffs and regular season. I have been there. Your gut is telling you one thing but all of the “experts” or bloggers are telling you another. At the end of the day this is purely a guessing game for all of us. Nothing is ever a sure thing. Strange things happen in December whether it is weather, injuries, or coaches on the hot seat, or just flukes. Your gut is what got you to the championship game in the first place. It is okay to accumulate as much information as possible and use that towards making your decision. I just wouldn’t make a decision purely based off of something you hear or read that completely goes against your instincts. The only one who has accountability this week is you. Remember that.

So there they are, a few dos and don’ts for fantasy football championship players. Hopefully you followed some of my advice this season and had some luck in your league (and better luck than I had in some of my others). Good luck in your championship, and welcome to the big dance.

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Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 15

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

For every negative there is a positive. The age old question ” do you want the good news or the bad news? ” Is alive and kicking, especially when it comes to crucial fantasy decisions. Yes I got plenty of heat for telling all of you to go against Cam Newton last week. I honestly thought this Atlanta Falcons team was actually good enough, but instead Newton slammed them, and there in made me look quite awful.

However, I was also the guy getting the big thumbs up for telling all of you to bench Eagles RB Bryce Brown. Brown was man-handled by the Bucs excellent run defense. Sure, I always want to be perfect, but even perfect takes a day off, I mean we all need a day off, right?

As for me and my personal work I managed to get all 4 of my teams into the playoffs. 1 big playoff win already pulled off, and now time to do more damage with 2 big money league playoff games this week. There is no better feeling as an owner then to watch your Stat Tracker explode through the day. Mine started with Adrian Peterson and his 51 yard run at the same exact time Alfred Morris rambled for 29 yards. It’s moments like that when you know a good day is ahead. Some guys like Josh Freeman took a little longer to join in, but all in all a great day for ownership. Heck, without the trophy I have nothing, so stay tuned!

Well this is a biggie for Start/Sit as many of you will have your season come to a close, be it by championship, elimination or just the end. I hope all of you still have faith in The Shark to try and bring it home with a bang! I give it my all, and as I always say, these moves I give to you are the same I would give to myself. Would I steer you wrong? Well, if you were my opponent maybe, yes! Hey, more good news, I made it through this whole article without referring to Jim Mora and his “playoffs?” speech. Aren’t you proud of me! Alright enough fun, let’s get down to business.

Quarterback

Start

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints: The hot and cold Freeman is back on my start sheet, and heck I need him too. 420 yards and 3 TDs against them earlier this year is a nice point to base it on. The Saints play better at home, but this should be a busy passing day.

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: In this same game Brees should bounce back. He was banged up by the Giants defense last week, but the Bucs defense he faces was shredded by Nick Foles and Philly last week, and remain one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Stick with Brees.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers at San Diego Chargers: What has 2 thumbs and will never tell you to bench Cam Newton again this year? This guy! Even though it is December in San Diego, which is when the Chargers usually play their best football, it’s still worth starting Newton.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears: The Bears defense looks different without Brian Urlacher, and Rodgers needs to be a leader as his team can pretty much lock up another division title with a win here.

Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens: In the past I used to be worried about Manning against the Ravens, but this year we have a depleted Ravens defense against a red hot Manning. Plus who is sitting him anyway? Not you!

Sit

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Last weeks struggles reminded me of why I backed off of Romeo, and this week it looks like he may be without his top target Dez Bryant. Pittsburgh can still bring the blitz despite being banged up in the secondary. I advise against it.

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers: I hate to do this knowing how badly I need Brandon Marshall to be, well himself, but Cutler has been brutal in his last few outings against the Pack. Green Bay is hurting on defense, but they seem to have a thing with handling Cutler, who has 0 TDs in his last 2 against the cheeseheads.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills: The December chill of Buffalo, New York tends to change trends in even the hottest of fantasy players. Wilson had a slow week last week, but of course the defense did all the work. Plus this game here has a Marshawn Lynch “remember me Bills” revenge game written all over it. Wilson can handle the team, but most likely won’t be huge here.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos: Despite 3 TDs last week, the Ravens still did a head scratcher and fired Flacco’s play caller in Cam Cameron. How that solves a sinking offense coming into week 15 is beyond me? Enter with caution, or actually don’t enter at all.

Eli Manning, New York Giants at Atlanta Falcons: Manning’s trends has been cold, hot, cold, and now he is hot. I believe it is cold turn, and Atlanta is a tough place for visiting QB. Eli can just ask his brother that. He is too shaky to lock your hopes on.

Running Back

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills: The Bills not only have a weak run defense, but this guy was the one they let get away. Seattle is on a roll, and so is Lynch. Hey T.O. forget getting that popcorn ready, better get the skittles ready!

Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: How sick of me to even think it, but last week he took 43 snaps to just 13 for David Thomas. He is also averaging 4.4 yards per carry in his last 4 games. He has improved, and is always an explosion waiting to happen. If you have him and are in a pinch, you have to go with him.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders: If Knowshon Moreno’s performance last week taught us anything it’s that the Raiders can be run on almost at will. Charles had a big 80 yard TD run and was red hot until the Chiefs decided they were afraid of not playing Peyton Hillis? It should be a nice week for Charles.

Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams vs. Minnesota Vikings: The possible Steven Jackson farewell tour from St. Louis makes a stop in playoff elimination town. Yes, the Rams are still in a playoff hunt, and a win over the Vikings will better their chances. Also the Vikings did little to slow down the run last week. Jackson can give the Rams one last mighty push, so try it if you need it.

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns: In the last 3 weeks he has pushed for over 360 yards. While everyone talks Griffin, Luck and Wilson for Rookie Of The Year, everyone ignores a huge rookie campaign by Morris. If Griffin has problems with that injured knee, they will need him more than ever, and that’s big news for his owners.

Sit

Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns at Washington Redskins: Doing decent, but it takes a lot to get digits from him. His yards per carry is down to 3.1, and it takes 25-30 touches per week to get him to about 15 points. He can get some, but eventually this overload may slow him.

Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers: He has had a nice season, but this defense is quite a challenge. Usually against big time defenses, mastermind Bill Belichick likes to use lots of different looks and packages, maybe to many to promise any Pats RB to have a huge day.

Mikel LeShoure, Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals: He is getting less touches as Joique Bell continues to run well. The Cards are still a decent front 7 on defense so it should be a heavy time share between these 2 backs. Don’t risk it this week.

Montell Owens, Jacksonville Jaguars at Miami Dolphins: He did nice work and is the last option the Jags have, but that is no reason to try and get fancy with your season on the line. Only if you are very desperate as the Dolphins play the run well.

Carolina Panthers RB at San Diego Chargers: Is there any backfield I hate more than this one? No! Is there any reason I can find to try them against this decent run defense? No! The end.

Wide Receiver

Start

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints: When he is on, he is really tough, and looks like a Mack truck out there. Killed the Saints for 7 catches and 216 yards plus a TD last meeting, and this one is a game that is meaning little for both. Expect loads of passing and a nice day for V Jax!

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Giants: Had 11 targets last week, and scored a TD. His WR mate Roddy White is slowed by a knee injury so it is time for Jones to pick up the pace and earn his high draft stature. Yes, he is usually not as big at home, but it’s time to buck that trend. He could break out here.

Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals: After a brutal defeat last week, what makes us think the Cardinals have any desire left? So go with the monster against the weak! Mega is chasing history, so the ball will come his way plenty.

Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Although I am not big on his QB, Austin could stand to be busy if Dez Bryant is in fact out. He did get 10 targets last week and the Cowboys seem to be united by the loss of a teammate. This could be Miles big week here, give it a look.

Danario Alexander, San Diego Chargers vs. Carolina Panthers: This big 6 foot 5 inch target continues to get his looks, and get good work done. He had 2 TDs last week and another 11 targets is great news for D Alex owners. Roll with him.

Sit

Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Forget the big week he had last week, the Bengals play much better defense than the Bucs. It was nice to see this guy get some glory last week though.

Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots vs. San Francisco 49ers: What? Did I tell you to sit 2 Patriots this week? Yep but they have so many weapons to choose from. Lloyd owners must have done a dance with his 7 catch, 98 yard and a TD performance last week, but that was the same as his output the previous 3 weeks combined. Minus the TD of course! Don’t be sucked in.

Eric Decker, Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens: Flip a coin. Heads is Thomas, tails is Decker. It’s heads, so go with Thomas I guess. Decker had his best week last week out of his last 4, but still just 1 TD in that time.

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals vs. Detroit Lions: Why? Because it’s easy that is why. If you’re using him, you probably aren’t in the playoffs anyway.

Tight End

As for TEs, if needed you play Jimmy Graham all day. Also roll with Aaron Hernandez, Martellus Bennett and in a sneak the Eagles Clay Harbor in place of Brent Celek.

Defenses I like this week:

Wow, come playoff time, not too many. I mean how many times can you get 41 points out of Seattle? Choose yours to the match up.

Well here we go owners. Remember that my annual award special, The Sharky’s is coming up soon. It has been a great year, and here is hoping for you to grab your glory! Best of luck all!

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Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 12

November 24, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Welcome to Fantasy Football Week 12 all of you turkey eaters, and holiday celebrating people. Yes, we come to you a little later than usual this week, so you missed me telling you to start the Patriots defense, and Matt Stafford etc. Okay, that didn’t really happen, I took an extra day off to celebrate some holiday and be thankful for what I have and those around me. I also took the day to be thankful for some good and bad in Fantasy Football this year.

After last week, with my terrible 1-3 performance, I needed to be thankful for still having good teams and high point totals and still be in the playoff mix in every league. It has been a tough year, as usual predicting who would be hot or not has been as easy as finding a needle in a haystack. Yet I forge ahead, still bring you my genius and attempt to sort out the mess of NFL football, and our Fantasy teams. It is almost playoff time, so this is where every point is big. Despite Tony Romo playing a really cute game of “play me and I will flop, sit me and I will go off” I still have to work.

So for Week 12 we will still have 13 games for Sunday and Monday to choose from, and I am sure we can find you some good choices, obvious, sneaky or just bad. So get ready to count a few more blessings, read and learn the scoop from the Fantasy Boss! If you don’t read from The Shark, you may as well start players from the IR List. This is the goods baby! Put down the leftovers, get away from the Black Friday sales, and let’s get down to business.

Quarterback

Start

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Oakland Raiders: Some Dalton owners still aren’t satisfied, and get in doubt as if to play him. This week you play him all day against the Raiders weak pass defense. In the last 2 weeks Dalton has thrown 6 TDs and 0 INTs. That right there is good work. No more doubt, start him.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: People please stop telling me how scared you are of him. His last 4 weeks: 3 TDs, 0 TDs, 3 TDs, 0 TDs. If you read the pattern, you know what’s next. Yes, he threw 5 INTs last week, but he has still got the yardage, and it is a lot easier to pass on Tampa than run.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles: I may be from Philadelphia, but I’m no fool. This Eagles team is terrible right now, so if you are in a pinch, play Cam Newton. He will get you a few TDs at least.

Sit

Eli Manning, New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers: Talk about putting the No in November! Manning still has not tossed a TD this month, in fact 0 in his last 3 games. While the Packers are banged up and not great in pass defense, this month has a spell over Eli.

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints: Let’s not get all nuts over last week’s performance. He is no longer a big surprise, and it is tough to play in New Orleans, no matter how bad this defense is. They have showed a little sign of life since Vilma’s return, and you can expect them to come hard all game after the young QB, it has me worried.

Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals: I don’t know, he hasn’t been too bad of late, but I just got a gut feeling about his return to Cincy. It ended so ugly there for him that he may just have a flashback and fall apart. Maybe.

Running Back

Start

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints: While I don’t like the QB play this week, I love running against the Saints, and Gore is a hard-nosed running back. Sadly I think Jim Harbaugh has Kendall Hunter on his Fantasy team because Gore should be getting much more play in the red zone. You can’t sit a guy that can run like this against this defense, sorry you can’t.

CJ Spiller, Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts: Still averaging 6.6 yards per carry, and is averaging about 4 catches per week. An explosive guy against a very uneventful run defense should be prime. I know Fred Jackson will be back, but this is the bread and butter start.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins: An amazing 458 yards in 4 weeks, and scoring plenty, Lynch is an absolute must against a Dolphins team quickly falling apart. He may carry it 40 times this week as QB Russell Wilson struggles on the road.

Sit

Reggie Bush/Daniel Thomas, Miami Dolphins vs. Seattle Seahawks: Only Kim Kardashian wants less to do with Reggie Bush than me right now. This run game has been terrible the last few weeks, so avoid it against a good defense like Seattle’s.

Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers: Wow, his campaign for Bust of the Year is going strong. In 3 of his last 4 games he has failed to reach 50 yards, and in those games he has come up with yards per carry numbers like 3.7, 2.9 and a shocking 2.0. A good run defense like the Chargers is not a big help to that either. Scary right now.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos: The Broncos victory tour will continue in KC this week, and that rough and tough defense should be able to handle business here. It looks like no Chief player wants to play right now, and just leave them alone from a Fantasy point.

Wide Receiver

Start

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons: Plays big in the big games, and is still rocking a lusty 20.5 yards per catch. This should be a passing expo this Sunday, and after 11 targets last week, he may see plenty here.

Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Tennessee Titans: Hold everything people! Blackmon may have found a QB that can throw, and this match up is no toughie. The rookie went off for 236 yards and a TD last week, and sometimes a rookie just needs to know he can, and then he will continue too. The Jaguars may have finally found a go to WR.

Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings: I know this should be easy, but with or without Jay Cutler becomes the problem. I am going to tell you, no fear and go no matter what. Yes, San Fran has a super defense and got on them, but he still got a TD and is just to good to sit. The Vikes have a decent pass rush, but no player on the back end to shut him down all day.

Sit

Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints vs. San Francisco 49ers: Trust the Colston Heart Break Police here. At the moment Colston is on the down-slide and this match up will be tough for him too. Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham handle the TDs here, thank you very much.

Eagles WRs vs. Carolina Panthers: A rookie QB, an awful offensive line and a back up RB are just some of the many bad things happening to the Eagles right now. They can’t keep a QB standing long enough to throw for WRs to explode, so bench any Eagles option you have at WR.

Eric Decker, Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs: After a few red hot weeks Decker has vanished. In his last 2 weeks just 9 targets and 4 catches, with just 38 total yards. Yes he had a TD in that mix, but I think he ticked off Peyton Manning. He is on a cold slide right now.

Tight Ends

Start

Jimmy Graham

Vernon Davis

Sit

Any that aren’t Davis or Graham is pretty much pot luck.

Defenses I like this week

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns

Arizona Cardinals vs. St. Louis Rams

Defenses I don’t like

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Carolina Panthers

Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals

Buffalo Bills at Indianapolis Colts

Waiver Wire Pick Ups

Bryce Brown, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Showed some nice promise, and will get the start here. Not a terrible option.

James Starks, RB, Green Bay Packers: It’s his job to lose, which may not mean much in Green Bay at RB, but a starter at least.

Ryan Broyles, WR, Detroit Lions: Had a nice game on Thanksgiving, and without Titus Young playing he becomes an important target.

Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay Packers: Free in many leagues and may be ready to come back soon. Could be that guy this year to help a team steal a title. Always a great threat to score.

Alright here is my juice for Week 12! Let’s get it on Fantasy people, and see you all in Week 13!

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.

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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 Start Em Sit Em Week 5

October 04, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Andy DaltonWell, some things just happen to Fantasy owners and there is not much anyone can do about it. How many of you got burned by Brandon Marshall’s meaningless TD Monday night that Dallas clearly quit on? (Me? No it sealed a win for me!) How many of you watched sadly as Tony Romo became an owners worst nightmare, or watched Dez Bryant give it the ol’ “who cares” try all night long? Well owners, we live and we learn, and we have the right to bench players accordingly, believe me Romo has already been benched and there will be more of that if I stay unhappy!

So after a 2-2 week for me in my leagues I now stand at 10-6 for the season. If this was the NFL I would probably have a playoff birth right? Well even though it is NFL players, Fantasy leagues are not that simple. I don’t have a losing record in any league yet, that’s good news, but it is also time to step up my game. There is money and pride as well as trophies involved, what person doesn’t like trophies!? (No Jenny McCarthy, you are not a trophy).

Well here we go with Week 5 and the segment where I tell you what to do with your line up. Some people complain and say “hey Shark, how come you never use my players?” Well there is a chance that either A) You have players that even a 2 year old would know to start or B) Your players are so bad, I can’t even bring them to a front here! Nah I kid, because I can. After all I am a cocky, arrogant Fantasy writer, I have nothing better to do (Twitter reference/mocking). Alright, alright, enough poking fun at people (Facebook reference, be kind to social media). Fantasy Football is no room for drama (MySpace reference, now I know I am done!). Wait, where was I now? Oh yes Start Em/ Sit Em for Week 5. As always, enjoy and good luck!

Quarterbacks

Start

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons at Washington Redskins: Yes I always say I hate doing the obvious, and Ryan is possibly the best fantasy QB going right now. Despite the obvious nature, this one gets extra special attention due to this stat: The Falcons are 14-0 when Ryan throws for 3 or more touchdowns. That’s important because Washington has one of the worst pass defenses in the league, so that stat should get to 15-0. Ryan should have a field day here.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Miami Dolphins: This should be an interesting game. Is Miami better than we thought or can Cincy handle their business? Well either way you should use Andy Dalton here. The Dolphins actually have a very good run defense, but if we all expect Cincy to win, this is how they will do it. Dalton has become a very reliable QB and guys like AJ Green are making his job easy.

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars: Yes, that Jay Cutler. Call him arrogant or rude, that’s fine by him. It always seems like when people are ready to toss him aside he plays well, and he, along with some good defense looked good Monday night in Dallas. The Jags are not very special on defense, so Cutler may be showing us more of good Jay. Bad Jay? Well he’s never too far behind.

Sit

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers: If you are like me chances are you made the move for one of the top TD guys in the league so far this year. However this is not the time or place for Fitzpatrick. Despite improved play, he did throw 4 INTs last week against the Pats, and the 49ers defense is much better than that. He is good, but not this week.

Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams: Quick quiz kids! Who is 10th in the league in pass yards allowed? Who has allowed the least amount of passing TDs? Who is second in the league in INTs? If you answered the Rams defense to all 3 of these you would first be shocked, then be correct. The Rams under Jeff Fisher are quietly becoming a decent football team, especially at home. While Kolb has been real good, he is in for a challenge here. Not only do I love the Rams to win, I love the defense to do nice things.

Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu figures to be back and this unit is fresh after a bye week. Philly is still winning with small miracles, so while Vick may have a decent day, I would choose another option for your team this week.

Running Back

Start

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers: You start the league’s leading rusher each week now. He has become a guy that does not sit, especially against a poor Panthers defense.

Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins vs Atlanta Falcons: Another guy who has to go every week. Atlanta is not very special on run defense, and Morris is scoring every week. Wow! Mike Shanahan may have to admit he has a true number 1 RB. Imagine that!

Jackie Battle, San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints: Is it true that he is not the starter? It would appear that way, and Battle is a brute force coming out of a backfield. Last week he was excellent, and despite all the media hype that will surround Sunday night’s game in New Orleans, it still is not enough for this awful Saints defense to slow him down. Ryan Matthews will play, but Battle will get the goods!

Sit

BenJarvis Green Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals vs Miami Dolphins: Much like the Rams, you would be surprised to know the Dolphins have the best run defense in football. You won’t be surprised however to know I am never real big on the guy they call “The Law Firm”. It’s a passing team in Cincy, so stay away.

Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos at New England Patriots: It’s Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady once again, and that will be the focus here. McGahee had an excellent week last week, but this is a much better run defense, and when these 2 QBs meet, it’s usually about the passing game. He may do decent, but not for my taste.

Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers vs Philadelphia Eagles: If you are one of those people thinking “Yes, I save Mendenhall all year and now he is ready so I am starting him” you will be in trouble. Philly plays the run much better than they did last year, and Mendenhall should have some rust. Plus the Steelers have, what 10 RBs?

Wide Receiver

Start

James Jones, Green Bay Packers at Indianapolis Colts: This is his big chance to shine. Greg Jennings is banged up, Donald Driver is rarely on the field and Jones will get a prime chance here this week. What will he do? Make the most of it. The Colts will be playing with heavy hearts for their coach Chuck Pagano who is battling Leukemia, but that won’t be enough to stop Jones and the Packers.

Victor Cruz, New York Giants vs Cleveland Browns: Get on your Salsa dancing shoes. Cruz seems to be active again, and the Browns will be watching him do some serious dancing this week. It just feels like an “on” week for Eli.

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings vs Tennessee Titans: The Titans defense look like they don’t even want to play at times and Harvin is electric. Yes Jerome Simpson will steal some targets, and Adrian Peterson will be running wild, but this is a match up hard to pass on.

Sit

New York Jets WR vs. Houston Texans: With Santonio Holmes out, this group is in trouble. Not like it’s a great squad anyway, but against a tough Texans defense, and a QB in trouble in Mark Sanchez, just avoid this, please!

Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos: Tom Brady is no dummy. He sees that his team can run better, and when he goes to Gronkowski and Welker he does so much better. Lloyd is a very good WR, but going vertical down after down is not really Brady like it was back in the Randy Moss days. The Broncos has a good secondary deep, so they will test the Linebackers most of the day.

Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals: I am crushing the Hartline hype right here! This season he has had 2 pretty good weeks, and 2 awful weeks. Those weeks were in sequence, bad, good, bad, good. Okay so now it is an odd week, so it is time to vanish. Hartline has always been a good number 2 or 3, but all of a sudden, 1 huge week and they make him out to be Jerry Rice? I’m not buying it.

Tight End

Start

Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots vs Denver Broncos: He was back last week to his old form, and it should continue here

Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings vs Tennessee Titans: I liked Harvin, but also Rudolph as the Titans have been beaten badly by TEs this year.

Sit

Martellus Bennett, New York Giants vs Cleveland Browns: Just a hunch, but Dennis Pita did zero against them last week. Maybe the Browns have found a niche on defense?

Owen Daniels, Houston Texans at New York Jets: The Jets can do very little to stop the run right now, so we expect a ground game here. The Texans have plenty to use through the air anyway.

Defenses I like:

Houston Texans at New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers vs. Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars

Defenses I don’t like:

Indianapolis Colts vs. Green Bay Packers

New Orleans Saints vs. San Diego Chargers

Washington Redskins vs. Atlanta Falcons

Waiver Wire: Come get a sampling of the free agents at the player buffet!

Jackie Battle, RB, San Diego Chargers: Getting the starting job and is actually a good start this week. He is a big tough runner with good hands. Ryan Matthews may be out of town if he stays fragile and guys like Battle step up.

Andre Roberts, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Could use more targets, but playing the opposite side of Larry Fitzgerald sure will get him some nice plays.

St Louis Rams Defense: Playing well, especially at home. Pass defense has done a solid job this year.

Bryce Brown, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: McCoy is one of the best in the league, however this guy is getting busier, and is very much fitting the Eagles mold. A “Shady” injury could be a nice coming out party for Brown.

Kevin Kolb, QB, Arizona Cardinals: I know I said to sit him this week, but he is getting good digits when he plays. Not a bad bench option right now.

Greg Zuerlein, K, St Louis Rams: A kicker? Yep! Get him if you can. Last week he buried kicks from 59 and 60 yards. He looks awfully good, and even if kickers don’t make a huge difference, it’s nice to have the few points.

I know you are all puzzled that my wire list has no Brian Hartline, and no Brandon Bolden. Yep, I am not sold on it. Bolden is in a system that passes and has plenty of runners keeping time there. Hartline, well you saw that earlier. Good luck in week 5 everybody, let’s grab some wins here.

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 4.

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 4

September 27, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Maurice Jones-Drew Fantasy StartWell, what comes around usually goes around. Just ask Reggie Bush as he will tell you about Darrelle Revis and his knee injury or you can ask The Shark about the ups and downs of Fantasy Football. The game that lives and breathes on being only as good as your last week has begun its downward spiral on me. Yes, injuries and poor performances have turned me from a 7-1 giant in 4 leagues, down to a 8-4 regular guy. Genius no more? Nah, I’ll be back, and luckily for all of you will continue to give you my top notch advice.

So the injury bug was striking many players last week, but these are the things we have to overcome. You get your shot at free agents, get a bench. and sometimes you just have to suck up a loss and regroup. Oh and not to mention the sudden countless thousands of people who claim that Golden Tate’s TD on Monday night cost them their game. Come on people, not that many teams have Tate, and if your games come down to 3 defensive points, you may not have deserved that win anyway. Again, suck it up Nancy, it’s time to be a big boy, and pull up your big boy pants. You and everyone you play are all in the same boat. Grab your oar and let’s go!

We now look ahead into Fantasy Football week 4. The regular referees are striking a deal and will return soon, so it may or may not help the offensive side of the ball. The league is full of parody and teams led by Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are all 1-2, and the Arizona Cardinals are 3-0. Yes it is hard to predict what you might get, but the beauty of Fantasy Football is that if you have the right players and follow the right match-ups, big things can still happen. So with that lead in we will look at my Start Ems and Sit Ems for week 4. Yes even though I said to sit Andre Brown last week, you have to admit I have been pretty sharp so far this season. You can thank me later!

Quarterback

Start

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints: This used to be elementary, but not so far this year. Rodgers has struggled and his numbers show it. While many were complaining about the TD that was or wasn’t Monday night, you have to realize that Rodgers should really have not had his team in that spot. Last year’s would not have at least. So why go with him here? Well he returns home, angry off that loss, and the perfect remedy to what ails him will be in town, the New Orleans Saints. The Saints defense is so bad it is as if they put out a new bounty that anyone who makes a tackle will be fined. Last week I guaranteed that Jamaal Charles would make a huge splash against them and I nailed it, so trust me here again. Rodgers will demolish this weak defense.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns: This was a tough call, but not because Flacco isn’t capable, but that this could be a big game for Ray Rice. Flacco is putting up real good numbers, and came off a huge Sunday night win against New England. The Browns defense looks pretty much like its old self so TDs should be no problem. Even if they can run well, Flacco still stands to put up 250 and a few TDs.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. Carolina Panthers: Matt Ryan at home is just a whole amazing thing all his own, so the weak Panthers defense won’t do much to slow him down. Last week Eli Manning had his way with yards against them, but most of the TD’s were rushing. Ryan and the Falcons are a passing team, so they will move the ball well and he can easily throw 3 TDs. So far at home this year: 299 yards and 3 TD’s against a decent Denver defense. It should be smooth sailing.

Sit

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys: As an avid Brandon Marshall owner, this hurts me to say, but Cutler is falling apart. The Cowboys have the second best pass rush in football, and are home and a big win can help them with the Eagles and Giants playing each other. Cutler is slipping despite having Brandon Marshall back and will need Matt Forte back soon to get back to normal. Until then, don’t get geeked about “slick”.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons: As I said earlier about Ryan goes the same for this defense. The Falcons are tough at home, and outside of doing decent against a bad Saints defense, Newton is struggling. Some say his heads not in it or his ego may have gotten the best of him. Either way the Falcons have managed to handle Phillip Rivers and Peyton Manning quite well over the last 2 weeks. That makes me worry here Newton owners.

Eli Manning, New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles: Despite an easy win last week, Manning had just one passing TD and 288 yards. The Eagles have played well against the Giants over the last few years, and despite last week’s beat-down still have a top 5 pass defense. Manning will get his and manage his team well, but huge stats don’t look all that easy. He has only 5 passing TD’s this year, although a return of Hakeem Nicks sure can help.

Running Back

Start

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Cincinnati Bengals: Jones-Drew showed last week that he is back and that his off-season holdout has not slowed him down. This team goes as well as Jones-Drew can and with the Bengals struggling against the run they should look to load him up on touches this week. He may bust for a few TDs this week.

Mikel LeShoure, Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings: Oh how happy were the Lions last week. After a year off with an injury in 2011 and a 2 game suspension in 2012, LeShoure finally got on the field and it worked out real nice to the tune of 100 yards and a TD. The Vikings are better than most thought, but they are not a super team against the run. With QB Matthew Stafford hobbled, we may see more running from the Lions, which means big things here.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams: Skittles has been pretty solid so far this year rushing for over 300 yards, and now he gets a fairly good match here with the Rams. Although QB Russell Wilson had 2 (or some will tell you 1 ) TD last week, this offense is really only as strong as Lynch. Teams have run well against the Rams, who actually play the pass much better. Expect Lynch to be very busy Sunday.

Sit

Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens: Sure, he had a huge week in week 2 and also found the end zone last week, but Richardson isn’t getting huge numbers yet. The Ravens still play tough on defense mixed in with a road Thursday game and it can be tough on the rookie. Yes he is improving and may get a little action here, but I think you can do better.

Ryan Williams, Arizona Cardinals vs. Miami Dolphins: Let’s not get all excited over what we saw last week. Sure Beanie Wells is out and that means Williams will carry the load, but the Dolphins have been tough against the run, and the Cardinals are more of a pass team. The Dolphins will run it plenty to try and slow the game down, so it will be to the Cardinals advantage to go air here.

Shonn Greene, New York Jets vs. San Francisco 49ers: He is about to lose his starting job to Bilal Powell, and a visit from the 49ers won’t help his cause. He just isn’t making big plays and does very little in the passing game. There are so many better options to have than Greene, so find them and use them.

Wide Receiver

Start

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions: He will get his points and the Lions defense has been brutal so far this year. After being lit up last week by the Titans anything is a go, and the Vikings do have a few weapons to throw at them. Harvin gets carries, catches and returns so every week he is active and valuable. Use him here.

Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears: While I am nervous about trusting Tony Romo, I have to say that when he does get anything done it has been with Austin. He looks to be back to form of getting 100 yard games and is finding the end zone again. With Jason Witten slowed and Dez Bryant not getting much done, it is becoming clear who the number 1 guy is here again.

Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Washington Redskins: The on again/off again love of Jackson is about to go back to love, at least I think so. Washington has struggled against the pass, and last week A.J. Green made mince meat out of them. Jackson will be home, and ready to get back into the groove. It is hard to trust QB Josh Freeman, but you almost have to give it a go here.

Sit

Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers: If you are still playing him you probably know this already, but let me give it to you again. Colston is slow with a foot injury, and the Packers come in with the best pass defense by the numbers in the league. Colston has become forgotten in this offense as his 10 catches so far and 0 TD’s will tell you. Not only sit him, it may be time to cut him loose.

Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos: He is the top target now with injuries riddling this WR corps, but that also means he will see lots of Champ Bailey, and that still means something. Oakland has improved on offense, but they seem to do it with short plays that explode into big ones, not straight up big ones. Moore is a decent WR, but I am not crazy about his matchup here.

Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans: The Texans rough and tough pass defense will be in action against an enigma in Jake Locker and his top WR Britt. Locker is finding success with his TE’s and has a few WRs to try and use. Keep him out of your lineup for this week anyway.

Tight End

Start

Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets: The Jets defense is hurting and Davis is a beast. While the 49ers have loads of weapons, this seems to be their most active TD option. “Can’t play with them, can’t win with them” seems pretty far behind him, ay Mike Singletary?

Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars: He scored last week and the passing game is getting more active. I liked Gresham coming into this season and he is healthy. His score last week should lead to plenty more.

Sit

Fred Davis, Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: For some reason he is just really inactive in this offense. Davis can’t be trusted, even if by chance you would be in a league that started 2 TE’s or heck even 3.

Martellus Bennett, New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles have gotten faster and more athletic at Linebacker, so I believe that Bennett’s TD streak will end at 3. He does not get lots of passes, just big passes when they count, so you can’t rely on big time totals here.

Defenses I like:

Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans

Arizona Cardinals vs. Miami Dolphins

Defenses I don’t like:

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers

Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Waiver Wire: It is time to start repairing your banged up roster and also take advantage of brutal match ups this week

David Thomas, RB, Miami Dolphins: With Reggie Bush uncertain with a bruised knee, Thomas will be the next option. He scored last week, and had 69 rush yards. He will need to protect the ball better.

Tashard Choice, RB, Buffalo Bills: CJ Spiller will most likely be out this week and maybe next, and Fred Jackson still isn’t at 100 percent. Even when Spiller was healthy, Choice was getting goal line tries. Not a bad play if he is the only healthy option.

Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sneaky play this week against a bad Redskins defense. If you need a bye week filler, this can be a good pick up. He is free in many leagues. You could do a lot worse.

Ryan Grant, RB, Washington Redskins. It’s a Mike Shanahan team, so anything can happen at RB. Roy Helu is out and Evan Royster will be down too. He will be thrown into action soon, and any Shanahan RB is always one play away from vanishing. Get that Alfred Morris?

Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: How many 80 yard, game winning TDs can he catch without become more of a player? We will know soon.

Kevin Walter, WR, Houston Texans: The Wire looks light at WR, but Walter is a decent reach. With teams piling up coverage on Andre Johnson, Walter is the best option as an alterante, and his targets have improved each week, including a TD last week.

Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets: As I mentioned earlier, Greene just is not getting it done, and Powell, although rough, can get yards and he is a better option in the pass game. He played well last week against a good Dolphins run defense.

LaRod Stephens Howling, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Williams gets the lead role, but Howling catches passes well and plays in the return game. If Williams goes down, he is the main man suddenly, and I think that can bode well for him.

Jacoby Jones, WR, Baltimore Ravens: Anquan Boldin has become a slower possession WR and Torrey Smith is the vertical guy. Jones is getting busier and also returns punts. He may have finally found a home where he can get more snaps and make them pay off.

Alright, here are the goods for week 4. I wish all of you luck and look forward to coming back with week 5 news. Don’t forget that I will have my bi-weekly “Stock Report” coming up as well. Thanks!

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 4.

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 Sleepers and Busts 2012

September 03, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

sidney riceThe 2012 Fantasy Football season is just days away and many of you are finishing up your drafts. As most of you know the key to a great season is locking in on those sleepers and avoiding the busts. Here are just a few players to target and avoid in your upcoming draft.

I am a certified fantasy football nut. I start my research for next season a year before by honing in on college prospects, NFL coaching and personnel changes, and watching players and teams evolve throughout the season. Unfortunately in this era of fantasy football, that is the only real way to give yourself an advantage over your opponents. Or you could just let fantasy bloggers and writers like me do the research and bring our information into your process.

Before I get into the meat of the blog, you may be asking yourself what makes me such an expert. That is a fair question. In 2011-12 I went to the title game in every league I played and won all but one championship. How did I do it? I am hardly some kind of fantasy genius. I just happened to put in the hard work, go into draft day with my targets, and get the best value for my picks. You can do it too by grabbing these sleepers and at the same time, avoiding these tempting busts.

2011 Sleepers
Jonathon Baldwin, Kansas City Chiefs – Baldwin had a disappointing 2011-12 season due to his immaturity and personnel issues that were out of his control. Baldwin is an explosive player, drafted by the Chiefs to be the number-one target going forward. A backfield of Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis will undoubtedly open up passing opportunities for Cassel and Baldwin. In addition, the offensive line was greatly improved in the offseason with the addition of Eric Winston. At an ADP of 151 you are getting a potential steal with this sleeper.

Sidney Rice, Seattle Seahawks – Remember when Sidney Rice was a waiver wire champion a few years back? Unfortunately a plethora of injuries have turned Rice from sleeper to bust over the last couple of seasons. I won’t kid you. Rice is an injury risk. But at his ADP, he is an injury risk worth taking. Now that the Seahawks have given the nod to Russell Wilson, the sky is the limit for this tandem. Compound that with defenses preparing to stop Marshawn Lynch and you have a lot of opportunities for big plays coming Rice and Wilson’s way. Without the injury risk Rice would be go a lot sooner in fantasy drafts. With the risk, he is an absolute steal late in the draft if he stays healthy for even half of a season.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks – There is nothing not to like about Wilson starting with the Seahawks. He is an explosive quarterback with a solid offensive line and one of the best running games in the NFL. Pete Carroll is going to give Wilson the opportunity to use his legs which could be big points in your league depending upon the scoring. Your casual fantasy players aren’t even aware that Wilson is the starter! This means you can grab a potential top 10 QB late in your draft. That’s right, I said potential top 10. I would not be shocked to see him crack the top 10, or even 8 if he has a full season behind center.

Peyton Hillis, Kansas City Chiefs – Welcome back to relevance Peyton Hillis. I love his situation in Kansas City. Hillis comes in as part of a 1-2 punch with one of the best running backs in the NFL. I have already written about the improved offensive line in Kansas City. The buzz is that the Chiefs want to give Hillis and Charles 500-plus carries. As the goal line back, Hillis could have gigantic value before the year is said and done.

Martellus Bennett, New York Giants – Bennett was a beast on college yet he never seemed to gel with Tony Romo in Dallas. Eli Manning is a quarterback that loves his tight end. Manning has made tight ends with a lot less talent into fantasy relevant players in the Giants’ offense. He is one of the most athletic tight ends in football. Unfortunately his immaturity makes him a big risk in the eyes of fantasy owners. While that is a valid concern, I have grabbed him in some drafts with my last pick. At that kind of ADP, he could turn into one of the best values of the season.

Busts
Brandon Lloyd, New England Patriots – Brandon Lloyd has become the flavor of the year this season in fantasy. Everyone assumes that in the New England offense, reunited with Josh McDaniels, that Lloyd will become a top 10 wide receiver. Unfortunately that will take time. Reports out of New England are that the timing is just not there with Lloyd and Tom Brady. This is an offense that features tight ends first and wide receivers second. I’d feel a lot more excited about Lloyd if he wasn’t competing with Gronk and Aaron Hernandez. I actually look for Lloyd to become a 2013 sleeper with one season under his belt and a disappointing 2012.

Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks – It is hard to trust a guy that has his first breakout season in a contract year. It is even harder to trust that guy when he is Marshawn Lynch. I had Lynch last year and he was a big reason I won titles. I just find it hard to believe that he can repeat that same kind of productivity in back to back seasons. Oh and speaking of back, he has already had back issues in the preseason. There is also that little tidbit about a possible suspension. Hey I like the guy and I think he will have a nice season. But I would steer clear of taking anyone in the first or second round with this many question marks off the field.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Fantasy writers and talk show hosts have developed a serious fantasy crush on the rookie in Tampa Bay. I like the kid but the hype machine has gotten way out of control for Martin. Right now I have seen him go as high as the second round which is why I am calling him a bust. Are the Bucs all of the suddenly going to be that good where they can sit on leads and run the ball all day long? I don’t think so. There is a great chance that Blount gets all of the goal line carries as well. I’d love to grab him in the fifth round of my fantasy draft, but your expectations are way too high to take him where he is falling. You don’t like what I am saying? Take a look at NFL history. The only rookie running back in recent years to produce was Adrian Peterson. Unless you think Doug Martin is a better back than Peterson was in his rookie year, you’re best advised to stay clear of him.

Mike Wallace, Pittsburgh Steelers – Wallace has bust written all over him. He has shown up late to camp in a season with a brand new offense. Wallace is also playing on the franchise tag and we all saw how hard DeSean Jackson played last season when he didn’t have a long term deal. Plus, if the Steelers have no plans to keep him I’d expect them to decrease his role in the offense. Keep in mind that Wallace’s production declined last season down the stretch. Personally, I’d much rather take Antonio Brown later in the draft if you want a Steelers WR with value. At Wallace’s ADP, he will wind up with a bust season.

DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys – I continue to scratch my head about Murray. What am I missing? Why are fantasy writers and podcasters so high on this guy? I am looking at a guy coming into a season with one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL, a major weapon (Jason Witten) on the sideline, and potential injury issues at the wide receiver spot. I am also looking at a guy that racked up most of his big games against terrible defenses, while playing pretty average ball against good to great teams. Again I ask you, what am I missing here? Once he snagged the starting job, he only broke two 100 yard games after Week 8 and he has Felix Jones sharing time with him. He’ll have his moments but over the course of a full season he has bust written all over him. There is no way I am investing a first or second round spot in this guy.

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Top 20 NFL Fantasy Football Running Backs: Preseason Edition

August 14, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Arian Foster fantasy footballWelcome back friends and family and advice seekers, another season of Fantasy Football is upon us. The last hot days of August are where we are torn between trips to the shore and watching preseason games and doing football homework. We stop at the store not only just for milk and bread, but also for that magazine full of player stats and information that will help put us over the top this year. Last year is far behind, the past is the past, and it is redemption time!

I am proud to be back here again this season at CamelClutchBlog.com as a fantasy writer, bringing my savvy and smarts to all of our followers. I play this game like it is my life sometimes, and I have good results and some trophies and rewards to show for the hard work. It’s a thrill, a joy and an all-out way of living for me from August until January. I watch NFL drafts, preseason games, do several mock drafts and it’s never enough.

I will let you in on this secret though: No one can predict injury, demotion, fumbles etc., so remember we are all only as smart as the end result. I bring you my best possible predictions, but nothing is concrete. So go in with your mind wide open, and leave your heart at the door. Hometown love gets you very little, and hate for a division rival of your team does not help much either. Dog eat dog is the theme, and to be the man, you have to beat the man! In other words here is my first pre-draft piece, the Top 20 NFL Running Backs, Enjoy!

20. Roy Helu, Washington Redskins: In a busy backfield this guy is my favorite, and an excellent all-around back. Last season, in limited action he went over 1,000 total yards and caught 49 passes. A 4.2 yards per carry doesn’t hurt matters either. The knock from his coach is that he is not a great pass blocker, but we don’t get points for that here. He will go later in most drafts only because of his spot on the Redskin depth chart, but as a whole, he may be one of the best options to have. Having a rookie at QB can mean more passes as a safety valve, and Helu makes the most out of his touches. If you wait and miss him, you will be tortured by him, I promise!

19. Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants: In August of 2011 Bradshaw was one of the hottest names in the NFL after a terrific 2010 season. Then it all came crashing down. Injuries, a rebirth for Brandon Jacobs, and a loss for the holes had Bradshaw owners in tears. 2012 is here and he may be down on some peoples list but he still will be the main carrier here. If he can find his way back to 2010 when he rushed for over 1,200 yards and 47 receptions he will be a steal this late. Brandon Jacobs is gone and there is a rookie as his back up. It is clearly his job to lose, and worth the gamble here.

18. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons: He may not be “The Burner” as much now, but every year Turner brings the heat. He has had back-to-back 1,300+ yard seasons, double-digit TD’s, and yes even finding himself more involved in the passing game each year. The fear is all the hype surrounding teammate Jacquizz Rodgers and how he will steal touches. Rodgers is a Darren Sproles-type player with speed and skills, but Turner is the veteran and the leader here. Yes, he comes in at number 18 here, but you would be lucky to get him this late if he can continue his regular production.

17. Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins: At one point early in his career he was the guy we loved to hate. Come on let’s face it, big money contract, dating Kim Kardashian, waving his finger at Brian Urlacher in the playoffs, who liked Reggie Bush outside of New Orleans? Now we fast forward: No longer lost in the shuffle in New Orleans, and now a bigger, stronger lead back in Miami, and it paid off for owners last year. Very few backs were as good as Bush near the end of the season, and over the last 4 games he averaged 130 rush yards, including over 200 in week 11, 8 catches and 2 TD’s. If Bush stays healthy he can easily do this again as Miami looks to rebuild its offense. He will need to earn touches, but if he does them like this, he will be just fine.

16. Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints: Who kicked themselves more in 2011? The San Diego Chargers or fantasy owners who passed on Sproles? Clearly a tie, am I right? Yes, he was a share-time player and was on the filed less than a lot of players, but he so paid off. Over 1,300 yards of offense, a whopping 86 catches, 6.9 yards per carry, and 9 TD’s are amazing numbers, so you can imagine how big he can be if he plays more! The Saints are probably well aware of what they have here, and despite having a lot of weapons to use, he will be the busiest again this year.

15. DeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys: Bursting on to the scene in 2011, Murray proved valuable when he was healthy. 5.5 yards per carry is nothing to sneeze at, and he also hauled in 26 catches, so we know he has the hands. The big drawback was his lack of TD’s. The fear is that Felix Jones is still in Dallas, and was a guy handpicked by owner Jerry Jones, also they have a lot of guys who deserve touches all over the field. I find Murray to be the most talented RB in Dallas, but we have to wait and see how that plays on the field. If you take Murray, you may also have to try and grab Jones.

14. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers: His name is never the sexiest pick, and you rarely hear owners moaning and groaning when someone slaps Gore’s name up on the draft board. Truth be told though, Gore can handle his own, as in 2011 when he gained over 1,200 rush yards, and scored 8 TD’s. People question his health, yet he played all 16 games last season. The one problem, his catches went down drastically to just 17 in 2011. The 49ers loaded up with WR’s this off-season, but that could make things more open on the ground for Gore. You can’t beat the possible outlook at getting him in the 4th round based on history, can you?

13. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns: As long as his knee is healthy, he will be the load-carrying back for the Browns. It seems like Cleveland is doing all they can to make him comfortable too, as they put the second best back, Chris Ogbonnaya, at number 4 on the depth chart. Richardson can follow up from what Ogbonnaya did last year, 4.6 yards per carry and 23 catches in limited play, which a guy like Richardson should be able to top. Yes, the usual fears apply: He is a rookie, he comes in banged up, has a rookie QB, and is a Brown. However if you remember, when Peyton Hillis had his huge break out year he was also a Brown, also dealing with a young QB and had a history of being banged up. Someone will take him early, now what can he do?

12. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams: What is it that owners dislike about Jackson? Why would they dislike his multiple 1,000+ yard seasons? His 40+ catches every year? Perhaps it is his improved 4.4 yards per carry in 2011? Every year Jackson gets less and less respect, but he always finds his way to get good numbers. More TD’s would be nice, and as the Rams offense improves, so should Jackson’s already good numbers. He is the king of the second-tier backs, but we all need them too don’t we? For a fantasy team that will pile up WR’s early, he is a prime top back.

11. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs: K.C. seems to do all it can to make us afraid of this guy. The Thomas Jones thing, the 3 back committee, and now Peyton Hillis is in the fold. Charles of course needs to prove he is back from his 2011 knee injury, and if he can you can’t bet against his numbers. 6 yards per carry, 8 TD’s per season, and a career high 1,467 rushing yards in 2010 are awesome stats. They like to imply a hammer and nails type running attack in K.C. The big back hammers the defense then the speed back nails it shut. Charles is that ultimate speed back and has great hands. If he is healthy he can easily return to Top 5 status!

10. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers: Before his clavicle snapped, Mathews was considered a Top 5 pick by any draft “expert” you would ask. The Chargers ditched Mike Tolbert, and added some veterans to fill that spot, but none are a big threat to Mathews. Head coach Norv Turner said he will touch the ball even more than last year, when he rushed for close to 1,100 yards at 4.9 per carry and caught 50 passes. He will heal and is expected back close to the beginning of the year, so while you can no longer take him in round 1, he will be gone by round 3 by a patient owner with a good bench. Be that owner!

9. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks: Raise your hand if you had “Skittles” as a top 10 back last year. Okay liars, but your hands down and listen up. Lynch found his game again last year with over 1,200 yards rushing, 12 TD’s, 28 receptions and at 4.2 yards per carry average. He showed big play skills, power running, and a team attitude that made him a model player for the Seahawks. Now he has to clean up his act off the field so he can be fully trusted. He is probably the only certain thing going into this season for Seattle, and if he can follow 2011’s performance up, will be a Top 5 player!

8. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings: The nickname “All Day” has become more and more fitting for Peterson, because all day, every day I wonder about him and his value. Yes, the man runs like a bull, and has done little to make us believe he is not an excellent back. Now though in 2012 he needs to come back from a big injury, a rumored police incident, and a bad offense. I would be lying if I said I don’t trust him, come on the guy had 12 TD’s last year despite missing time, but also got less catches. Peterson is an enigma, and he needs to be solved. However if he solves himself like usual, he will post numbers that can lead a team a long way, um a fantasy team that is!

7. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders: The make or break season for McFadden is here, and at just 25 years old. You can’t argue his talent, 5.4 yards per carry, 3 catches per game and 5 TD’s in just 7 games last year, but it is his injuries that make owners suffer. Last season he missed 9 games, 3 the year before, and 2 the year before that. His main backup, Michael Bush is now in Chicago, which means more action for “Run DMC”, and if he can prove he can carry that load he may be the best fantasy back in the league. However another DMC year injury wise like last year, and people will quit on him quickly. I for one love this guy, but even the best of love comes with the highest of caution.

6. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars: Production of the highest caliper is what you get from MJD. 1,600 yards last year, 11 TD’s and 4.7 yards per carry in 2011 is just another year in the life for Drew, but he has issues this year that scare some. He did not get his new contract he wanted, and contracts hurt players ( see Chris Johnson ), and has a young and uncertain QB to deal with this year. It is easy to love MJD, his power running style, his great hands and his nose for the end zone, but it is also easy to fall into the trap of fear that is the Jags mess. You still can’t pass him up in the late first round or early second, and why should you?

5. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears: I chuckle at everyone who knocks him. I chuckle at the Bears for trying to take touches from him, and I will laugh at owners who pass him by at the appropriate time. Before his injury last year, Forte was piling up the fantasy points with his usual style of catches and yards, 4.9 per carry to be exact. And as always, expect over 50 catches. He is an open-field nightmare for defenses, and makes the most out of his plays. Yeah, we all know Michael Bush can play, and may hurt his TD’s, but heck he has never been a huge TD guy and still gets the digits. Some players play better with something to prove, Forte did it last year when wanting a contract, and will give it his best this season to prove that he belongs well ahead of Bush. I for one like Forte.

4. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans: On a hunch, I am getting myself back in the CJ2K business. In 2009, Johnson was being dubbed “The next L.T.” and was seen by many as the best player in the NFL. A contract holdout, new QB’s, and a lack of training camps and dedication led to a tough last few years for Johnson. The fact is he can still run like the wind, he catches 50+ balls every year, and despite his slow start in 2011, still found his way over 1,000 yards. Taking him this early is a risk, no doubt, but I love the way he plays, and he is back to his comfort zone. The Titans are the prime example of the run setting up the pass, so they will need him, they will trust him, and he very well should produce. He has proven he can go over 2,000 rush yards, not many backs can say that, and now lots of owners want to say that again.

3. LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles: Much like the man he replaced, Brian Westbrook, McCoy snuck up on the fantasy world and has become a superstar. 20 total TD’s last year along with over 1,300 rushing yards at a 4.8 per carry clip are excellent stats, now imagine if he goes back to the guy who caught 78 passes in 2010 over the 48 in 2011. McCoy is high on everyone’s charts, and he should be, as the Eagles will need to run the ball to help protect QB Mike Vick. The scary thing is, McCoy can only get better, and this season he may be the best. Take that chance, even possibly as early as first overall.

2. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens: His off year of 2010 was a distant memory in 2011 when Rice hammered defenses for over 2,000 total yards, also catching 76 passes and scoring 12 TD’s. The Ravens rewarded him with a new contract and the assurance that he is the leader of that offense. Where he differs from McCoy is that around the goal line he is the main choice, and does not have a running QB that may look to create more. Rice runs with the power of a big back, the speed of a fleet back and the smarts of a hall of fame back. If not for the talent of the only guy ahead of him, Rice would be number 1, and in some people’s eyes, he is!

1. Arian Foster, Houston Texans: Numbers, they rarely lie. Over 3,000 rushing yards, 30 TD’s and 119 catches over the last 2 years by a guy who was an undrafted free agent has to sell everyone on the fact that Foster is the fantasy leader at RB. Yes, he missed a few games last year, and shared carries with Ben Tate, but yet still was a top 5 producer, and helped Houston become a serious contender in the league. He now has his starting QB back, a good offensive line, and the out and out will to be a winner. He is number 1, maybe not as clear as last year, but this guy is still number 1. This is our new L.T., so use it as a measuring stick, get that top pick, and make it Foster.

So here are my top fantasy football RB’s going into 2012. There are many familiar names, but all the guys who should be counted on to put up the numbers. We will look at QB’s and WR’s coming up in the near future, until then sit down and do your homework!

If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected]

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NFL Free Agent Frenzy 2012

February 28, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Arian FosterWell, it seems like only a day or so ago that the New York Giants finished their miracle run and won the Super Bowl over the New England Patriots. The NFL off-season moves really fast though, and it is time for owners and GMs to get ready for Free Agency in a few short days, and the NFL Draft in late April.

After last season’s delay with the lockout, some teams failed to lock up some of their big time players, which makes this a pretty good bunch of talent that can be had this season. Yes free agency is filled with tons of names, and today I will be showing you some of the top names and what fate may await them on the market.

Let’s face it, from 32-1 every team in the league could use better talent at certain spots, or lock up a key role player that may have eluded them this past season. Teams can even change their entire look with the types of players available at QB, RB and on defense.

So let’s get down to it and take a look at the 2012 NFL Free Agents!

Quarterback:

Drew Brees, Saints: The last time Brees was a free agent it came down to the Saints and the Dolphins. Miami had decided that they were not pleased with the results of his physical, and the rest is history. Brees brought life to a dying franchise, won a Super Bowl, broke NFL passing records and has become the face of the city of New Orleans. Yes, he will get paid heavily somewhere, but it would be hard to imagine him leaving the Saints. They have lots of signing to do with other free agents, but Brees should be top priority. If not New Orleans, there will be plenty of teams knocking at his door.

Alex Smith, 49ers: A former overall number 1 pick who seemed to be at the end of his line, Smith was the leader of a 49er team that made it to the conference championship last year. Yes, they did use a second-round pick last season on QB Colin Kaepernick, but after Smith’s season and playoff performances, we would think that head coach Jim Harbaugh would want him back, and given his past he may not be looking to break the bank.

Matt Flynn, Packers: Can one game really make a star? Flynn played in the season finale for the Packers last year and well, threw only 6 TDs! We have seen similar success stories in the past with guys like Matt Hasselbeck and Matt Schaub (hmm, more guys named Matt), so it is very possible. If you want to get even more technical, Brett Favre was once a back-up QB in Atlanta. Flynn does have some skill, and a team like Washington could look to pin their hopes on him. The question is just how much does anyone trust him, and what can he be worth financially? Watching and learning behind Aaron Rodgers, much like Rodgers did with Favre can’t hurt either.

Kyle Orton, Chiefs: He went from a mere back-up in Chicago that nobody trusted to the starter, then off to Denver where he had a few decent seasons, then off to Kansas City. Orton may not be a Super Bowl QB, and his arm strength always raises questions, but he has shown the ability to be a good leader, and when healthy, can throw a ton every week. A team like Miami may look for his veteran leadership, and it would reunite him with WR Brandon Marshall.

David Garrard, Free Agent: Garrard passed on a chance to play in 2011 after being released from Jacksonville to have surgery and heal. Now in 2012 he finds himself in a busy market, and looking for another chance at a starting job. In the past he has shown great poise, leadership, and a nice touch on his passes in leading a Jaguar team limited in WR talent. Now he can look around and try to find a good home filled with more talent. It will be interesting to see what he has left, but outside of Brees and potentially Peyton Manning, Garrard may be the best choice on the free agent market if proven healthy.

Jason Campbell, Raiders: Washington was not the answer and apparently Oakland was not the answer either. So what is in store for Jason Campbell? It’s hard to imagine a team that is banking on Campbell to be the answer and from here on his career may be that of a good back-up instead of a starter. As we saw last year, a proven QB is big on a roster, and teams like Kansas City and Chicago certainly would have had a better chance with a QB like Campbell on their roster. How much he can get paid, and what role remains to be seen, but Campbell should realize he is clearly landing somewhere as a back-up.

Chad Henne, Dolphins: Miami as a whole was going nowhere fast last year until Henne went down with an injury and QB Mat Moore took over. Henne will make a good back up somewhere in the league, but his days as a starter could be gone. He is not a big arm, or a savvy scrambler, but he will get a job and be useful for sure.

Dan Orlovsky, Colts: It’s not saying much, but he was the best healthy QB on the Colts roster last year. After going winless behind Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter, Orlovsky made the most of his chance and got the Colts a win. He has always been trapped behind starters in which the team had a lot invested, so he rarely got a chance, but shows when he plays he can be a decent passer. He will once again be getting a back-up gig, but more teams should be looking his way.

Shaun Hill, Lions: Hard to think that the Lions will lose both of their back-ups this off-season given the injury history of Matthew Stafford. Hill has shown that he can air it out and deliver numbers similar to Stafford in this offense, and had some decent showings back when he was with the 49ers. He is loose with the ball however which had always prevented him from being a full time starter. Hill should be on many teams wish list though as he can fill in easily.

Other names: Donovan McNabb, Drew Stanton, Trent Edwards

Running Back:

Ray Rice, Ravens: If Rice signs elsewhere, it will easily be considered the best signing of the off-season. A back with great speed, strength, hands, and elusive moves, Rice is one of the very best backs in the NFL. He has shown that not only can he go over 1,000 yards, but also haul serious reception numbers and turn even a tiny screen pass into a huge play. Rice has expressed interest in returning to Baltimore, even if he has to sign a franchise tag contract, but many will come make offers, and those offers will be filled with big dollars. With QB Joe Flacco also looking for a huge deal, it will be interesting to see what the Ravens do with Rice.

Matt Forte, Bears: It was the talk of the off-season last year about Forte and the Bears working on a new deal. He had expressed his interest in getting a long-term contract and the Bears held off and waited. In the beginning it looked as if it was a mistake that would cost the Bears millions upon millions of dollars as Forte was the putting up career numbers. Late in the season it looked a bit smarter after he suffered a season-ending injury. Now it becomes an interesting story of wills and who will give in here. Forte has tremendous hands and route running skills for a RB, and also a strong bruising type style. He will be chased after by many teams, but it’s the Bears that need him the most.

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks: He had a good rookie year in Buffalo, than some mistakes and injuries made way for others to take his job. However, to the surprise of many, Lynch found his way back to the top in Seattle. In the second half of 2011 Lynch was looking like the best back in the NFL. He was carrying defenders all over the filled, showing explosive burst of speed, and scoring at will. The Seahawks came to life behind Lynch and they should be the front-runner to sign him again. Lynch is young enough to merit a longer term deal, so Seattle will have their work cut out for them.

Peyton Hillis, Browns: In 2010 Hillis seemed unstoppable, and was the center of an improving Browns offense. In 2011 talks of a new contract, injuries, speaking badly about his team and the suspected “Madden Curse” led to a dreadful season for Hillis. So who is he? Is he the beast that ran for over 1,000 yards in Denver and Cleveland, or is he a complainer who will shy away from playing over small injuries and look out for number 1? You have to think the Browns would be happy to pony up the loot if they knew they would get the 2010 Hillis, as would many teams, but his work ethic will have to improve.

Mike Tolbert, Chargers: Tolbert started 2011 with a bang as he scored 3 TDs and was banging through defenders and catching passes. However in San Diego no offensive player is ever safe week to week, and the team went back to relying heavily on RB Ryan Mathews. Tolbert is built like a FB but runs like a RB, and is real good in the passing game. A leave from San Diego can prove to do similar things that it did for former teammate Darren Sproles who left for New Orleans. Tolbert deserves more playing time, and will find it. The only question is, where?

Michael Bush, Raiders: This may be Bush’s big break, finally. In his final year of college a leg injury kept him out all season and hurt his draft status. Then he was stuck behind the very talented Darren McFadden in Oakland. He showed this past season, after filling in for an injured McFadden, that he can be a lead back, catch passes and even be tough near the goal line. Bush should push hard to be a starter where ever he goes, and seems worth it. His story reminds me very much of Michael Turner, who has been an excellent back with the Atlanta Falcons after escaping San Diego.

Arian Foster, Texans: The only reason why less fuss is being made about Foster is because he is a restricted free agent who would cost a team at least a first-round pick should he sign elsewhere. However, there is a big situation in Houston where star DE Mario Williams is also up for free agency as is C Chris Myers. Foster may be the all around most talented back in the league and has been an essential part of this offense, but they do have youngster Ben Tate there and worked in Derrick Ward last year. No, I’m not saying Foster is expendable, but anything is possible. He is more than young enough to land a 6 or 7 year deal and is also good enough to earn big dollars. I doubt he is leaving, but it could be a huge signing if he does.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots: The man of many names had an excellent 2010, but fell off a bit in 2011. The Pats drafted 2 backs last year and still have the speedy Danny Woodhead on the roster as well, so many believe Green-Ellis could be on his way out. Is he a product of the system, or can Green-Ellis be a true lead back somewhere else? We will have to wait and see, but the Pats are well known for plugging in and staying successful.

Ryan Grant, Packers: He does get hurt often, but Grant is still a quality runner when healthy. He lost his lead role to James Starks who is much cheaper and they also have a youngster in the wings waiting for carries. Grant isn’t expected to come cheap enough for share-time, so the Packers may not look to resign him. He is not much for the passing game, but is a hard runner with good speed, and would be a good addition anywhere.

Wide Receiver:

Vincent Jackson, Chargers: It seems unlikely that Jackson will sign another franchise tag contract and the Chargers have been grooming players to fill his role. Yes he is tall and strong and can run fast enough to be a quality number 1 receiver in this league. His problem has become his lack of commitment, and he tends to disappear at times. Although his time in San Diego seems over, he will get looks, especially from a team like New England, who did wonders for Randy Moss’ career resurgence, and are badly in need of a deep threat. Jackson will have to prove to any team that he is ready to be the guy from a few years back and not the contract squabbling man of the last 2 seasons.

Wes Welker, Patriots: We need to forget about that tough non-catch in the Super Bowl and remember that we are talking about the guy with more receptions than anyone in the league over the last few seasons. Welker is the ultimate slot receiver, has great speed, and rarely misses time despite his lack of physical size. I can’t even imagine him in another uniform, and the Pats will certainly make the right offer, but keep in mind, this is a business, and at times some contracts can be too many dollars for any owner. Shall he move on they have his clone ready in Julian Edelman, but no one really is Welker.

Reggie Wayne, Colts: This is a real toughie! Should the Colts look to keep Wayne and have him help the probable new QB Andrew Luck? Will they keep him around in case they stick with Peyton Manning? All of this really comes down to Wayne. He still has the big play potential and is an excellent all-around receiver who can catch for possession, long balls, or in near the goal line for TDs. His age will keep him from multiple years, but he can certainly grab big cash if he decides to leave. Also keep in mind that the Colts also have youth at WR in Pierre Garcon also up for free agency. Indy will have a busy off-season, and Wayne may not benefit from it, well at least not in staying with Indy.

DeSean Jackson, Eagles: Explosive is a great way to describe Jackson for sure, but in 2011 it was more of an explosive personality than skills. After proving to be one of the most exciting players in the league the last few seasons, Jackson began a campaign for his new deal which included hiring mega-agent Drew Rosenhaus, showing uo late to team meetings which led to a suspension, and wandering alone on the sidelines to avoid talking to any teammates. Jackson seems best fit for the Eagles offense, but they don’t seem up for playing hardball with him after a 2011 season in which they missed the playoffs. Jackson can be mouthy and overly flashy, but when he’s on, he can be spectacular.

Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs: A bit of an enigma, but packed with skills, Bowe could use a change of scenery. Former Chiefs coach Todd Haley tried to bury him early on during his stint in KC, but Bowe got down and dirty, worked hard and showed he is a formidable WR in the league. He needs to be on a winner now, and the Chiefs don’t seem to have those pieces in place yet. Last years rookie James Baldwin may make Bowe expendable, and many teams will come calling.

Marques Colston, Saints: When healthy he is one of the best, but that’s when. Colston was a 7th round pick turned overnight success turned injury-prone question mark, but is a great weapon to have. Now the Saints will have to get crafty as they have plenty of players up for free agency, and Colston may not get maximum dollars if he stays, however it has been kind to him, and he will benefit best staying.

Stevie Johnson, Bills: As an unknown in 2010 Johnson burst onto the scene, caught 80+ passes and became a well thought of up and comer. Fast forward to 2011, and he became a mouthy, poorly imitating loud mouth WR, the diva type that many in the NFL can’t stand. Now is the time for him to grow up and use his playmaking ability to trump his mouth. Johnson can get as high as a 7 year deal due to his youth and play, but teams will want to know more about his personality. Buffalo could certainly use a more mature Johnson, but will suffer badly from the immature Johnson. Will he be T.O. or will he prove to be more of an Andre Johnson?

Mario Manningham, Giants: His game saving Super Bowl catch could keep him in New York, but the Giants have a lot to do. Victor Cruz is in the last year of his deal, Hakeem Nicks’ contract is taking up plenty of space and they have guys on defense to sure up. Manningham is a good WR, but suffered through injuries and just flat out getting lost in the shuffle last year. Hard to imagine one catch being enough to earn long term deals, but somewhere out there, CB Larry Allen continues to chuckle.

Brandon Lloyd, Rams: Never playing for a winner, Lloyd’s name has never been thought of as elite, but he has great playmaking skills and has made many highlight reel catches in his career. His trade to St. Louis last year seemed to breathe life into him, and he has showed plenty of interest in returning. He also had said that former coach Josh McDaniels had made him better, so perhaps a campaign to be the big gun in New England? We shall see.

Mike Wallace, Steelers: Much like Arian Foster, Wallace is a restricted free agent, but also a guy who may be worth the pick. Wallace is arguably the fastest player in the NFL and is an excellent long ball threat. He has stepped up and gotten better each season so many teams can benefit from having him aboard. Want an interesting twist here? The Patriots, who have been bucking for a true deep threat, have multiple first-round picks, and no one they can grab in this draft can possibly compare to what they would get from Wallace, and playing with Tom Brady could have many calling him the leagues best WR. Just a thought, but interesting at least!

Offensive Line:

Carl Nicks, Saints: Last year the Saints dished out 56 million dollars for guard Jahri Evans, and will have to come up close this season with Nicks. Combined they are possibly the best 1-2 punch at Guard in the league, and the Saints have had excellent success due to the protection they provide. Nicks will be sought after for sure, but it is well believed that he will give the Saints every chance to keep him around.

Ben Grubbs, Ravens: The busy off-season for the Ravens continues with Grubbs, an excellent run-blocking Guard who pulls out nicely and brings great strength to a talented offensive line. A guy with Pro-Bowl caliper skills, Grubbs is essential to keep here as the team may be shelling out big bucks at RB with Ray Rice and QB with Joe Flacco.

Scott Wells, Packers: Not the flashy name and big time position player we are used to talking about in Green Bay, but he has been a steady performer and a Pro Bowl Center with the Packers. He is a solid run blocker and pass blocker as well and had become a quiet leader on this team loaded with talent. Center is always a tough position in this league, and the less your name is heard, the better it is believed you are, and Wells is a guy that could land a big deal, even if he stays in Green Bay.

Chris Myers, Texans: Head Coach Gary Kubiack and his zone-scheme running attack needs a great center in the middle of it all, and Myers is certainly one of the better ones in the league. The Texans problem is they have to lock up both Mario Williams and Arian Foster, so it is hard to know how much money they will be able to throw at Myers. If they can’t retain him, he will have no problems getting a job anywhere in the league.

Jared Gaither, Chargers: Once seen as a promising star, Gaither found himself oft-injured and out of work after being released by Kansas City. In a stroke of luck many injuries to the Tackles in San Diego got him another chance, and he was excellent, and very steady in protecting Philip Rivers. In fact Rivers numbers got much better after the signing of Gaither, and he had more time to look downfield. After spending a ton for Marcus McNeil, they now have to make a choice, keep Gaither at a discount and dump McNeil, or let Gaither walk. A tough choice either way, but Gaither will get a nice deal somewhere.

Jeff Backus, Lions: Forget all the big flashy names they are getting, and look at Backus. Here is a steady, hard-working, Tackle who lets his play do the talking rather than his mouth. He has seen the worst of times here and now is poised and deserving of the best of times. The Lions will not win many fans if they let this veteran walk away, and despite the needs and players they need to sign, they need to make Backus first. He is a great name to be free, and can create a buzz if left to go.

Defensive End:

Mario Williams, Texans: “Super” Mario was moved to outside linebacker in the teams new 3-4 scheme last year, and was playing real well until an injury cut his season short. Williams is an excellent pass rusher, and has done plenty to make the fans forget about the Texans choosing him over both Reggie Bush and Vince Young. Now the question burns: Do they franchise him or Arian Foster, and who gets the big deal? Williams has told ESPN he would like to stay in Houston and it is not about a huge contract, but he wants to get a good deal. Yes, the Texans played well without him after his injury, but he is still very hard to replace in the long run. Losing him may hurt this team and this city more than one may think.

Robert Mathis, Colts: For years well known as the guy on the other side of Dwight Freeney, this may finally be the time for Mathis to move on and also cash in at the same time. The Colts have lots of players to work on this off-season, and Mathis may be very expendable. It will be a real tough loss, but most likely a move they will have to make, so we can expect Mathis to be changing uniforms in 2012.

Calais Campbell, Cardinals: You just don’t find a guy like this every day. 6 foot, 7 inches and over 300 pounds, but still an excellent skilled pass rusher and can also play the run well. Campbell has improved every year, and the Cards defense is getting better as well, so it may be essential for these 2 to stay together. He is a guy that can line up anywhere up front and is a rising star.

Cliff Avril, Lions: One of the bigger talkers so far leading up to free agency has been Avril. He told the Lions he will not sign a franchise tag, as is looking for a long term deal. He had an excellent 2011 season, but the Lions have some holes to fill, and that may be too much for them to also lock in Avril long term. He is a bit smaller than your typical defensive lineman but he has a hard working motor, and proved to have a knack for the ball. The Lions are in a tight spot here, and Avril can benefit from an active market.

John Abraham, Falcons: It seems like decades since he left the Jets for the Falcons and big free agent dollars. He has been a good pass rusher for years, but the Falcons have younger guys to sign, and it may be a new team for Abraham. He is aging so may not get a lot of years, but the time may be here for him to look for a new destination. The Falcons however may try and get him back on the cheap, if he chooses to go that way.

Jovan Haye, Bucs: This way the guy that was being labeled as the “Next Freak” in Tennessee a few years back, then he became an injury-plagued forgotten guy. Haye may still have a little something left and could be a steal to a team in need of a rotation guy on the defensive line. Yes, he may very well be a once was, but he is worth a chance on the cheap. His size at 6 foot 2 inches and 277 pounds is nice for a pass rushing end, so maybe a rebirth? We shall see.

Defensive Tackle:

Sione Pouha, Jets: In a position rarely filled with big names or lusty free agents, this guy is the best of the bunch. A good run stuffer in a 3-4 scheme, he can wreck havoc to opponents running attack. The Jets looked very human late last year against the run, so this hole-plugger is a must sign for them. The 3-4 is becoming a popular scheme again, so his talents will be gobbled up if he is not kept in New York.

Shaun Rogers, Saints: The big man is still around, and still one of the more agile big men in the league. He may not be the superstar that he was expected to be, but he is still a good front-line stuff for the run and a decent pass rusher too. Not sure how much a team will be willing to shell out, but the Saints have so much signing to do, he is most likely to slip through the cracks, yes even Rogers can slip through this kind of crack.

Amobi Okoye, Bears: One of the youngest guys to ever enter the league, he is still young enough to make a comeback. A former first-round pick of the Texans, Okoye never hit that star level, but in a league starving for big men up the middle, he may be worth a decent look and a half decent deal.

Jason Jones, Titans: Albert Haynesworth, “The Freak”, and Jovan Haye are all long gone, but Jones has been a steady front line guy before his injury last season. The Titans decided to move him to end, which seemed to hurt his game, and it is expected that if he stays, or chooses to sign elsewhere, it’ll be back at D-tackle, where his skills are best used.

Linebacker:

Curtis Lofton, Falcons: A tough hitter, and a good guy in pursuit of the ball, Lofton started to step up and be a big leader on this Falcons defense. In 2011 he was one of the top tacklers in the league by the numbers, but may fall victim of a team strapped in having to sign too many players this off-season. Lofton can play the middle in a 4-3 defense, so he is worth a good contract, and in the right defense can only improve.

Stephen Tulloch, Lions: Yet another Lion on the fence here. Tulloch left the Titans and found instant success in Detroit, where he became a leader on a much improved defense. At just 5’11” he is short, but it makes for him to decoy and hide himself nicely behind a big line and sneak up on QBs and RBs. Tulloch may not take huge dollars to keep, but he will be looking for long terms.

London Fletcher, Redskins: One of the very best, and unsung heroes of the NFL over the years, Fletcher, even at 37 years old, is worth a look. He is an excellent leader, a big tackle guy and makes the big plays in the clutch. He is also very valuable if he finds himself going to a team with a younger bunch that can learn plenty from him. He may not be near as fast as he once was, but he is a solid asset worth signing for 2 years.

E.J. Henderson, Vikings: The Vikings once excellent defense is getting old, and was not all that spectacular last year, so it may be time to move on with some names. Henderson has suffered some tough injuries, but he is a great ball player in pursuit and is a good tackler. He may not be an every down guy, but a guy that is an excellent compliment on any team. Remains to be seen what he can gather on the open market.

Brady Poppinga, Rams: Poppinga has improved, and is a solid linebacker in the league. He won’t get huge dollars, but in this market which is light on LBs he will be looked at by a few teams.

Cornerback:

Carlos Rogers, 49ers: After being a high draft pick of the Redskins, Rogers found himself being very mediocre, until a move to the 49ers proved profitable and Rogers became a Pro Bowl caliper player in 2011. As it seems to be with many corners, a change of scene usually does them good, but Rogers has expressed how much he’d love to stay in San Fran. He can get a big contract somewhere for sure, as corners are always in demand, but San Fran will try hard to keep him.

Brent Grimes, Falcons: Grimes had a good season in 2011, but the problem is the fact that Atlanta just got done last year shelling out huge dollars for then free agent Dunta Robinson. Grimes will be 29 so he has some game left in him, but the Falcons have lots of guys to try and lock up this off-season. Grimes will get a good deal in 2012, that is for sure and plenty of teams would love his services.

Cortland Finnegan, Titans: A hard-nosed, and often seen as a dirty player, Finnegan certainly does bring it every week. Not too many players will go punch for punch with Andre Johnson and chase him around and call him out all game long, but Finnegan has done such. He is a good cover corner, but also has the pop of a safety. Her plays the run well for a corner, which is a big plus to many defensive coordinators. Finnegan could probably benefit from a change of scene and the hunt for him will involve quite a few teams.

Brandon Carr, Chiefs: Carr, still just 25 years old, can very well be this year’s James Joseph. Joseph walked away from a good secondary with the Bengals and landed a big deal with the Texans, and had an excellent season. Carr, much like Joseph, was teamed with a good partner in Brandon Flowers, but lacked a bit this past season. A new team could do Carr some good, and use his good speed and cover skills better. The Chiefs have built a good defense, and need to keep as many keep key pieces as possible.

Rashean Mathis, Jaguars: One of the better cover corners over the last few years, he was struck by injury last year. He may be a step slower, but if he is brought in as a number 2 corner he can still be a great asset. The Jags have said they would like to see how he can move and pivot etc. before locking him into a new deal, but in today’s game you rarely get that chance before someone else swoops in.

Terrell Thomas, Giants: An injury forced him to miss most of the 2011 season, and the Giants found talent around them that could make him expendable. Thomas brings great pop to the corner position and is becoming a better cover corner. It remains to be seen how well he comes back from his injury, but he is a young talent, and could be a solid number 2 corner in most schemes. The Giants have plenty to do this off-season, so unless Thomas comes very cheap, he will move on.

Safety:

Dashon Goldson, 49ers: It will come down to whether he or Carlos Rogers most likely for the 49ers and who they will resign. Goldson had a Pro Bowl type season, and is an excellent hitter as well as cover guy for a safety. He became one of the unsung leaders of an excellent 49ers defense, and is expected to only get better. San Francisco will most likely sign him, and do it quickly.

LaRon Landry, Redskins: A top 10 pick a few years ago, Landry was moving along nicely until suffering an injury last season. The Redskins have had some tough luck with safeties over the last few years, but should still make the effort to sign him and see how he can progress. Landry, much like Goldson can hit and also cover, and has good coverage speed downfield. A well rounded player that can get many offers if Washington does not bring him back.

Michael Griffin, Titans: An enigma who at times looks lost, and at others looks excellent, Griffin is one of many Titans secondary players who are free in 2012. He runs well, and covers despite not being a huge hitter, and once again, could use the change of scene. Griffin is tall, and can cover ground, and is a guy who can be locked up for 5 years.

Chris Hope, Titans: Another Titan that could be on the move, Hope had been a tackling machine in years past. A good safety and a decent leader, he can be a good plug in guy in many schemes. The Titans may choose to clean house, so throwing heavy dollars at a guy like Hope would make very little sense for them.

Jim Leonhard, Jets: A punt returner and a guy who can hit with big force, Leonhard is a bit of an under-rated talent that the Jets may not be able to afford to part with. He does not have great covering speed, but plays the position well, and is a nice asset in the running game for the Jets defense. An injury to him last year was a big hit to the Jets, but Rex Ryan’s defense seems to be a nice fit for him.

So here is some names worth looking at. No, I didn’t bring up a Randy Moss, or a T.O. but these are the guys that will be movers and shakers this off-season. A lot of excitement is yet to come, so stay tuned NFL fans! As always, thanks for reading!

If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected]

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Fantasy Football Defense Matters During Championship Week

December 22, 2011 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

San Francisco 49ers defense Defense wins Championships is not only true for the NFL, but also for Fantasy Football. I hear all these experts say that whatever defense you play does not matter well I beg to differ. I believe that playing a good defense is another great way to get extra points.

A good Defense with a good Special Teams is great to have on your Fantasy team. The perks to having a good all around Defenses are extra points with return yards, defensive touch downs/special teams touch downs, interceptions, sacks and fumbles.

I feel the best defenses to play this week are the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers. The Texans play the Colts Thursday night. The Texans are the second best defensive team against the run in Fantasy Football, so don’t expect Donald Brown to have the kind of game he had last week. The Colts have given up the third most Fantasy Football points to the other teams Defense. The San Francisco 49ers are also a must start against the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers are the number one team against the run. As good as Marshawn Lynch has been the past few weeks you still need to sit him if you want to win this week and have suitable options.

Here are a few guys everyone should think about starting in your Fantasy Championship game if you need another option. Matt Moore is a guy I really like this week. The Patriots are horrible against the pass and have given up Hugh Fantasy points to lesser Quarter backs then Matt Moore. Look for Matt Moore to put up close to 20 plus points this week.

Malcolm Floyd has emerged as Philip Rivers number two Receiver. Last week versus Baltimore Floyd had 9 points. This week the Chargers play the Detroit Lions. We all saw what the Raiders where able to do to the Lions secondary. Imagine what Philip Rivers will do to the Lions. I expect Malcolm Floyd to have a big game because I feel the Lions will focus more on Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson and Ryan Matthews so that leaves Malcolm Floyd one on one all day and I for one will take that all day.

Brent Celek is someone else I am high on this week. Brent Celek is finally getting the ball after being wasted last year and mot of this year. Mike Vick is finally looking for Celek so that gives the Eagles another weapon. The Eagles offense has been rolling the past few weeks. If you have a hole at tight end this week the Brent Celek would be a great pick up.

The last guy I am high on this week is Kahlil Bell the former UCLA running back. As I said last week don’t be surprised if Bell gets more playing time then Merion Barber, Well Kahlil Bell did get more playing time then Marion Barber because Bell is a better fit in Mike Martz offensive scheme. Bell had 11 points last week and out preformed Marion Barber. I would not be surprised if Bell got the start this week versus the Green bay Packers. Bell is a great flex start this weekend.

Here are a few guys I would not play this weekend. Big Ben is working with a bum ankle that is limiting his mobility in and out of the pocket. The Steelers offensive line is horrible and will not be able to protect Big Ben at all, plus if been can’t escape the run he will just be a sitting duck out there.

Marshawn Lynch is another guy I will be sitting the week because the match up with the 49ers this weekend is a losing one for Lynch. The 49ers do not allow 100 yard rushers and have allowed the fewest rushing Touch downs to apposing running backs.

I wish all of you the best on this Championship weekend unless your playing me cause I want that Money!

Jerry Siordia
[email protected]
Bilofootball.blogspot.com
Go Bruins!!!

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The Shark’s Fantasy Football Week 14 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em

December 08, 2011 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Maurice Jones-DrewHey Jeff, I was thinking hard about taking Jamaal Charles this year, what do you think?

Oh I love Charles, and he does lots of good things, but I would take LeSean McCoy before him. I’d also grab Arian Foster, Ray Rice, heck even Aaron Rodgers before Charles, it just feels scary to me” It all seems so easy to say after the thought, but this was some advice I gave to some good friends of mine before the season started. Why go back to it now? Well, we can’t always be right, but heck I like to think I try my best. So even though I fell victim to Charles in one of my leagues, my advice to take Foster worked for me in another. It is the beautiful guessing game we play from August until December known as Fantasy Football.

All of the guessing and trying to be cute or smart are gone. This is it owners, either your playoffs start here (like in our own CCB League, with my squad taking on the blogmaster in round 1), or the week to decide if you even make the playoffs ( one league scenario of mine? Win by a certain amount of points, or win and hope for one loss ).

Yes owners, dance with who you brought, go big or go home, and all those other cute quotes are full steam ahead. Can you trust Marion Barber in place of your meal ticket, Matt Forte? Which C. J. Spiller shows up, 2 weeks ago dud, or last week’s good guy? Many a question, so many hard answers, and I am here to give you any help I can.

This week I have expanded my fields, trying to get the most of every position. I have taken it easy on all the crazy stats in exchange for a larger field of Starts and Sits to choose from. Keep in mind of course I can’t predict injuries or flat out quitters, but it is what I like, and I have been doing this thing long enough to know anything can happen on a given Sunday. So I reach out to all of my friends, owners and fantasy players, believe in the power of your team, believe in the man giving you the advice, but most of all feel free to believe in your superstitions Wear that lucky shirt, drink from that lucky cup, and for all that is holy, do not answer phone calls from your opponent! Good luck everyone, read and enjoy and talk about “playoffs?” (Sorry Jim Mora, it truly never gets old)!

Quarterback

Start

Tom Brady, Patriots at Redskins:You don’t pull on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit in the wind, and you never bench Tom Brady!

Matthew Stafford, Lions vs. Vikings: Do or die time for the Lions, and the Viking defense is playing really bad right now.

Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Bills: It’s December after all. The return of Malcolm Floyd and a beatable schedule helps.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Raiders: Only Chuck Norris can out-play Aaron Rodgers, maybe?

Tony Romo, Cowboys vs. Giants: Last week’s mess can only lead to better things you would think, plus this is usually a shootout. ‘Boys are 5-1 at home.

Sit

Michael Vick, Eagles at Dolphins: Somehow I see the Eagles winning this game too, but I don’t have faith in Vick finishing, Dolphins have gotten tough.

Dan Orlovsky, Colts at Ravens: Don’t laugh, some people thought his stats from last week were about to start a trend, they won’t!

Tim Tebow, Broncos vs. Bears: This is the most talented front 7 that he may have faced yet. Peppers, Urlacher and Briggs are a good showdown for Timmy.

Kevin Kolb, Cardinals vs. 49ers: Unless LaRod Stephens-Howling can do 70 yard screens all day, he is not worth it. 49ers have home field to play for still.

Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Texans: Something else I’m sure I said this pre-season: “The Texans will actually have a good defense this year” If only I was always this smart!

Running Back

Start

Roy Helu, Redskins vs. Patriots: He did it against the Jets, so he proves he can bring it. Even Mike Shanahan can’t screw up this depth chart.

Ray Rice, Ravens vs. Colts: So does 200 yards vs. the Browns translate to 300 vs. the Colts? It just might, and he is the guy to do it.

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks vs. Rams: Lynch vs. the 32nd ranked run defense? Even I believe in him now! Since when did he become the human highlight reel?

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars vs. Buccaneers: How do you say ” MJD ” in Pakistan? The new owner has to love this super stud. Defenders bounce off of him.

Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers vs. Browns: Ray Rice got them for over 200, so Rashard is good for at least 100 and a TD, right?

Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Saints: Yep, I went with 6 here. CJ2K is back, but maybe too late? Play him now and dazzle your friends!

Sit

Cedric Benson, Bengals vs. Texans: The Falcons ground game had nothing for them, so could the Bengals? Way too risky, unless you have to play him.

Kevin Smith, Lions vs. Vikings: As good as he can be, he just can’t stay on the field, and at this time of the year, that’s crucial.

Beanie Wells, Cardinals vs. 49ers: He has been playing better, but this is a dangerous match-up.

Marion Barber, Bears at Broncos: With the passing game struggling so badly, teams know to focus on the run, and Barber tends to break down.

DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs. Falcons: I knew last week he was a bad idea, seems like he always is when people get high on him.

Wide Receiver/ Tight End

Start

Vincent Jackson, Chargers vs. Bills: He is just a huge target, and his QB is doing his usual December thing. This match-up is not scary.

Brandon Marshall, Dolphins vs. Eagles: Every week, one WR goes big against Philly, so why not Marshall?

Roddy White, Falcons at Panthers: Still a great WR, and he is coming on of late. “Rowdy” could go for a couple of TDs here.

Antonio Brown, Steelers vs. Browns: In a “Brown vs. Brown” match-up I choose Brown. Alright, enough of being clever, Haden will be busy with Wallace, so Brown should be active.

Michael Crabtree, 49ers at Cardinals: QB Alex Smith seems to trust him more lately, and if the Niners go far in these playoffs, they need a vertical pass game.

Sit

DeSean Jackson, Eagles at Dolphins: Let’s face it, if you are still using Jackson every week, you probably don’t need this article anymore.

Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs at Jets: The Jets are much better at home, and the QB play is still up in the air for the Chiefs.

Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals vs. 49ers: If I don’t like the QB, how can I like the WR? Even if it is Fitz.

Miles Austin, Cowboys vs. Giants: If he finally does play, they will work him back slowly. The Cowboys have enough options still.

Lance Moore, Saints at Titans: 3 TDs in the last 2 games? This is typical Moore, who also trends with big let-downs. I think it’s let down time.

Well here it is friends. Good luck to everyone who is still alive or is going into the playoffs this week. If this is the end of your season, thank you so very much for joining me this season. I will have my year ending “Sharky Awards” coming up soon, so please continue to check my stuff out, and keep up with us here at www.CamelClutchBlog.com!

The Shark!

If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected]

Fantasy Football Almanac 2011: The Essential Fantasy Football Refererence Guide

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NFL Week 13 Thoughts – Inside The Wheelhouse

December 06, 2011 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Andy Reid, DeSean JacksonLet’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 13 in the National Football League!

– R.I.P. to the Dream Team and farewell to Andy Reid & DeSean Jackson from Philadelphia. It’s time for a change of scenery for Philadelphia when it comes to their head coaching position and Andy Reid will easily find a job pretty quickly next season once this marriage comes to an end. As for DeSean Jackson the Eagles will be better without this prima donna of a player who hasn’t really completed ANYTHING.

– Marshawn Lynch has been an absolute beast the last couple of weeks for the Seahawks. He has been a great Fantasy player for anyone who took a chance on him for their fantasy team. I’ll be interested to watch if this is a fluke or if he is for real against some pretty hard rush defenses.

– The Titans continue to make things interesting in a very tight AFC Wild Card battle and Chris Johnson continues to play as if the season just started two weeks ago. I like the Titans chances in their division since the Texans really don’t appear to be that much of a powerhouse as they would be with a healthy Matt Schaub AND Andre Johnson. They could shock the world by season’s end.

– I’m starting to question if Ryan Fitzpatrick is a good quarterback and something the Bills could build their franchise around. Once the midway point of the season hit so did Ryan Fitzpatrick’s inaccuracy.

– I cannot get over the Kansas City Chiefs won in Week 13 thanks to Brian Urlacher tipping the Hail Mary pass to Dexter McCluster. That’s the only reason why the Chiefs scored a TD…unbelievable.

- Put a fork in Chicago and the 2011 season, you can’t lose your star QB & RB and still make the playoffs. But wackier things have happened…

– Miami is the team nobody wants to face now; they are playing with house money and seriously dangerous to face for ANY team in the NFL. I actually wouldn’t be shocked if they played the Green Bay Packers at this point and beat them.

– Oakland is not in Chicago Bears territory yet but they needed to be the Dolphins as they play Green Bay next week. They are not completely out of it yet but I do not like their chances especially with the way Tim Tebow has been playing lately.

– Speaking of which, Tim Tebow is 6-1 as a starter this season and the Broncos are leading the AFC west & currently the four seed in the AFC playoffs if the season ended today. Holy s***…

– With nothing much left to play for I would not be shocked if Adrian Peterson’s season is over. That’s not good for Fantasy owners but great for Vikings fans. Take the bad draft pick, rest up your franchise running back so nothing else happens to him and play for 2012 or at least mediocrity.

– We know New England’s offense is good but their defense suffers from the same thing the Packers currently suffer from and that’s just not being good. Had the Colts defense played slightly well we might have seen them win their first game of the season.

– Oh and for Jim Caldwell, there is no way he is brought back next season, unless they win their final games of the season from here on out of course.

– Pittsburgh is playing well but still inconsistent. I really don’t think they are the AFC powerhouse that their record shows. Still plenty of question marks with this team as we get closer to the season’s end but then again the same could be said for the other top AFC teams (New England, Baltimore and Houston).

– C’mon Cincy! You couldn’t have kept the dream alive for at least another week? Job well done this season but I was hoping you’d make things interesting in the playoffs. There is still hope but it appears there isn’t a lot of steam left in this team.

– Congrats to Cam Newton on breaking the single season recording for rushing touchdown’s by a Quarterback. Who saw this production coming at all from the rookie? If he keeps his ego in check he will be a future megastar for this league, but I still believe that ego check is a huge IF.

– There is nothing good to say about the Bucs right now. They are digressing as I expected but not as bad as they have this season. They needed this bump in the road to grow as a team, I’ll be keeping a close on their progress in 2012 and if this is a team still with potential for success.

– The New York Jets are the worst team currently making a run at the playoffs so far this season. The score doesn’t show it but they did not play well against the Washington Redskins at all. I still believe they make the playoffs but not sure if they can find that same magic from the last two seasons.

– I don’t know what to write about Washington. They are a team that continues to disappoint despite the amount of money the ownership continues to dump into it. When do you reach the point of just saying “maybe it’s time to reboot and start from scratch?” They might have to do that to save the Redskins.

– Houston goes into Week 13 with their 3rd string quarterback leading them the way for the rest of the year and wins against the team who had the best record in the NFC last season. Unbelievable for this team and their defense looked tremendous against a very good offense. I don’t know how much longer this will last with Andre Johnson hurt again but it’s a miracle run right now.

– I really am starting to believe that the Atlanta Falcons don’t make the playoffs. So much talent and not much to show for it, very shocked by their lack of success this year; this is not like the Philadelphia Eagles who rebuilt in free agency. This is a team that had talent and got better in the off-season, very disappointing for the ATL so far this season.

– Baltimore is still my pick to win the AFC Championship and be the Super Bowl representation. They are starting to click the last couple of weeks and proving to be a powerhouse of a team. They may be the only consistent team in the AFC alongside the Patriots right now.

– You know you are having a bad day when your top rusher is also your top receiver. The only problem was Peyton Hillis only had one reception for 52 yards. Ouch.

– Who would’ve ever thought a head coach would lose a game for his team by icing his OWN kicker. Terrible job by Jason Garrett and it cost the Cowboys a victory & what would lead to a commanding lead in the NFC East with just weeks to go and playing the Giants, bad job by the Cowboys in Week 13.

– Hey look, Kevin Kolb does know how to win!

– San Francisco blows out the Rams and in the process captures the NFC West Division Championship and playoff spot all in the same game. The Niners are back in the playoffs and all seems right (for now) for San Francisco. I’m still not sold on them being an NFC powerhouse right now, they are very similar to the success the Houston Texans have had this year. They don’t scare you offensively, they have a great defense and they get the win on Sunday & that’s all that matters.

– Where do you go from here to improve this St. Louis Rams team? Just a horrible season and things continue to not look so bright for the Rams.

– Green Bay and the New York Football Giants had the game of the week & possibly the game of the season in Week 13. It had a playoff type feel and was a great game played by two great teams. Green Bay proved they can play against great teams & get the “W” while the Giants proved they can hang with the “big dogs.” I’ll be interested to see where the Giants go from here and if they can really take it to Dallas next week.

– Aaron Rodgers will hands down be the NFL MVP. The victory in Week 13 also clinched the NFC North Division and of course a playoff spot. 12-0 is pretty big and it’s only a matter of time when the whispers of an undefeated season get louder. I wonder how well Green Bay can take this heat.

- New Orleans is looking very dangerous as the season closes out. Two great convincing wins over the Giants and Lions is proving that the Saints will be the #1 foe for the Packers in the NFC this season. The Saints are for real and can very easily knock the Packers off their current pedestal.

– I’m starting to think the Lions don’t make the playoffs this season; they have hit a real rough patch the last couple of weeks and look like they are hitting a learning curve. If they don’t get it done this season they will be an interesting team to watch next season. Real rough times for Detroit after starting the season 5-0 and going 2-5 since.

– Join me in welcoming back the San Diego Chargers to the NFL. Granted it was the Jacksonville Jaguars but lets face it, if the Chargers played this season like they did on Monday Night it might be a different story for the Chargers & for Norv Turner. It was if the Chargers stepped back into time to play like we are used to seeing them.

Join Bower, “The Sweet Nasty” Chris Cause & myself every Sunday for more NFL & Fantasy Football talk over at www.wheelhouseradio.com!

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday at www.wheelhouseradio.com.

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site.

You can follow “The Champ Jeff Peck” on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck you can also follow Wheelhouse Radio on twitter at www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse and you can e-mail them @ [email protected]

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