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Tag:Peyton Manning
Posted on: August 11, 2010 8:21 am
 

Fantasy QB Ratings by DC

FFB a few years ago wasn’t the same as it is now. People would never think of drafting a QB in the first round. In most 12 team drafts, 4 or 5 QBs will be off the board by the end of the 2nd round. They outscore every position player in leagues where passing TDs are worth 6 pts and you they get 1 pt for every 20 passing yards. It is very important to have a QB that you can leave in every week and know that he is going to get you about 15 to 20 pts. This is how I see the fantasy QB rankings playing out...

1. Drew Brees, NO: With all the hype surrounding Rodgers people want to bypass the man who has dominated the fantasy landscape for the last 3 years at the position. Not me, Madden curse and all... Bye Week: 10

2. Peyton Manning, Ind: This is the best QB in the league in reality and the second best for fantasy. Grab him next. Bye Week: 7

3. Aaron Rodgers, GB: Last year he scored more fantasy points than any other QB. I expect a nice season for Rodgers. Bye Week: 10

4. Matt Schaub, Hou: Really stepped up last year as he led the league in passing yards. He has the best WR, Andre Johnson, in the game so as long as he is healthy he should continue to wreck shit. Bye Week: 7

5. Tom Brady, NE: Say what you want about the man but when it comes to fantasy he produces. I don't think he will miss a beat with Welker possibly missing a portion of the season as Edelman proved to be capable in the same role. If Welker is ready by week one, Tom Brady could be a top 3 fantasy QB. Bye Week: 5

6. Tony Romo, Dal: I hope this ranking is way off but sadly the guy does perform well during the season. If you can swallow your pride he might just win you a fantasy championship. Take solace in the knowledge he won't ever win a real one. Bye Week: 4

7. Brett Favre, Min: John Madden's player of the game every game. The old man still performs like a monster and when he comes back will continue to rack up the points. The ankle is fine. Bye Week: 4

8. Philip Rivers, SD: Jackson holding out/being suspended for 3 games might hurt his value a little but I don't think enough to drop him any lower this spot. He has plenty of weapons and should continue airing it out. Bye Week: 10

9. Jay Cutler, Chi: Yes he is going to throw a lot of INTS, but he will throw a bunch of TD's too and with Mike Martz there Chicago will become a pass first offense. The report out of camp is that Hester is really starting to click with Cutler. Bye Week: 8

10. Joe Flacco, Bal: Yes I know Baltimore likes to run except if you have one of the best pass catching RB's, a new top tier WR, a WR 2 that has surpassed 1000 yards in 4 out of the last 5 years, invested heavily in a couple of young pass catching TE's, and have an aging defense that is solid but no longer shut down, you might pass a bit more. Flacco is a great value pick that you can snatch up in the 5th or 6th round! Bye Week: 8

11. Eli Manning, NYG: Their run game is not the same and the penchant to throw more will probably remain since they have a young but dynamic receiving corp.You could do a lot worse than having Manning as your #1 QB...and you can get him in the middle rounds. Bye Week: 8

12. Kevin Kolb, Phi: They love to throw in the great city of Philly and with a receiving corp that is one of the best 1,2,3 combos in the entire league plus a top tier TE, Kolb's transition to greatness should go smoothly with his first full year starting. There will probably be a few bumps in the road, but I expect big things out of Kolb...not just because I’m an eagles fan. Bye Week: 8

13. Matt Ryan, Atl: A weak and injured running game and a few injuries to himself left Ryan as somewhat of a disappointment last year. Everybody is back and healthy for 2010 so here's to a bounce back. Bye Week: 8

14. Donovan McNabb, Was: The man can still make some plays and even though his receiving options leave a foul taste in the mouth, he will have enough to earn this spot. Bye Week: 9

15. Chad Henne, Mia: Somebody's got a target to throw too. I am high on this guy and think with the addition of Brandon Marshall he's got a shot to be very good over the next few seasons. Marshall made Orton look decent last year... Bye Week: 5

16. Ben Rothliesberger, Pit: The only reason he is this low is because of the fact he will be missing 4 games. His absence will also hurt Ward's, Wallace's, and Miller's overall worth but when he comes back, expect fire like he  showed last season. (His projected points per game,15.54 points, is what ranks him this high) Bye Week: 1,2,3,4,5

17. Matt Stafford, Det: This kid is throwing to a damn Decepticon how can you not like that? They added talent for him to throw to (see Burleson and Best) and he should take a nice step forward this year. Bye Week: 7

18. Carson Palmer, Cin: He has TO and Ochocinco. And he has a legitimate TE for the first time in his tenor as Benglas QB, but these guys have transitioned to a run first team so his bottom line will be limited. (potential sleeper now with the probable suspension of Cederic Benson. They will perhaps air it out a tad more.) Bye Week: 6

19. David Garrard, Jac: This is MJD's team so he is more of a manager then anything. Servicable QB 2. Bye Week: 9

20. Jason Campbell, Oak: Normally going to the blackhole will suck all your fantasy value down but he has worked decently enough with very little before so he will probably remain about the same. The only guy who might get a bump is Zach Miller. Bye Week: 10

21. Matt Cassel, KC: I personally consider this guy a sleeper. He has some receiving talent over in KC and I think with Weis taking over offensive duties we will see him perform a lot better. That being said I will temper my expectations. Bye Week: 4

22. Alex Smith, SF: I don't know what Singletary see's in this guy but he is the starter over in San Fran. I am thinking Gore will be used a ton and break down at some point so Smith might have some late season value. Bye Week: 9

23. Matt Leinart, Ari: I understand that he has the 2nd best WR in the league at his disposal, but he couldn't do anything with him before and I don't think he will be able to do anything with him this time. I expect Derek Anderson to take over at some point but if he doesn't I can't see Leinart finishing better then here. He can’t throw a deep ball...period. Bye Week: 6

24. Vince Young, Ten: Every year the fantasy magazines overrate him and every year he ends up messing up some poor fools entire draft. I won't do that. Tennessee is the Chris Johnson show. Young's just along for the ride. Bye Week: 9

25. Matt Hasslebeck, Sea: We don't even know if he is going to start. He has some slight talent around him but even so he just isn't very good. Expect injuries as well. Bye Week: 5

26.Mark Sanchez, NYJ: I'm not buying him being any more of an impact even with the addtion of Santonio Holmes. if there was a stat for handing off he would be the first guy on this list. Bye Week: 7

27. Kyle Orton, Den:How to install confidence in your QB. Trade up into the first round to grab the most hyped QB in the 2010 draft, trade away your best WR, and draft a WR that wasn't even the best one on the board. Sorry Kyle. He wasn't very good anyway. He would make a great backup QB though! Bye Week: 9

28. Josh Freeman, TB: This kid has some talent. Too bad his team doesn't. Another year to struggle. Bye Week: 4

29. Matt Moore, Car: How to install confidence in your QB, part 2: Tell him and the media for months that he is the man for the job and then draft what many "experts" had as the 2nd best QB in the draft followed by picking another pretty good prospect at QB. Bye Week: 6

30. Jake Delhomme, Cle: I am thinking he will be benched by week 4 in favor of Seneca Wallace but if not here is his bottom line. Bye Week: 8

31. Sam Bradford, STL: Rookie QB with nothing but a dump off back. Steven Jackson could have 300 catches this year. Bye Week: 9

32. Trent Edwards, Buf: He sucks. If you're drafting him you are either in the deepest league ever or you are purposefully trying to tank your team. Bye Week: 6

Posted on: April 1, 2010 1:09 pm
 

April = Draft Talks and a trip down memory lane

Here in Philadelphia, April is the start of the warm weather, as well as the NFL season. It is an awesome time of the year. Oh yea...it's the start of baseball season, too, but I'm not here to talk about the back to back NL Champions (#3 coming right up, by the way). The purpose of this post is to discuss the NFL draft.

As we approach NFL draft season, it’s fun to look back at those great draft prospects of yore, the workout warriors and combine heroes who titillated coordinators, coaches, and fans leading up to the big selection day in New York. Instead of speculating about the upcoming draft, I would like to focus on a few diamonds in the rough... One of the biggest draft debates of all time involved a pair of quarterbacks — one a Tennessee prodigy with NFL bloodlines named Peyton Manning, and the other a rocket-armed gunslinger from Washington State named Ryan Leaf.

One of those quarterbacks was cerebral, disciplined, cheerful, and a great locker-room presence. The other was the biggest douchebag in recent sports history, dating back at least to Bobby Riggs, and maybe all the way back to Ty Cobb. The two teams at the top of the draft were the Indianapolis Colts and the San Diego Chargers. The Colts — and this is amazing to think about, in retrospect — gave serious consideration to Leaf over Manning. Colts owner Jim Irsay almost pulled the trigger on Leaf...

The Colts were lucky.

You know the rest. The Colts picked Manning, and Leaf immediately busted, posting some of the worst quarterback performances of all time. The lowlight had to be a game against the Chiefs in which he completed one pass out of 15 attempts, for a total of four yards. His passer rating for that game was said to be a mathematically inexpressible negative number.

He made things worse by routinely exploding at reporters, including one amazing incident in which he screamed at San Diego Union-Tribune beat guy Jay Posner, “Just don’t fucking talk to me, okay? Knock it off!” The resulting oft-played YouTube clip of Junior Seau trying to calm him down is probably the highlight of Junior’s TV career, his new show notwithstanding.

Leaf quickly bounced out of the league and disappeared down the failed-quarterback-prospect rabbit hole, joining such luminaries as Todd Marinovich, Akili Smith, Tim Crouch, and Heath Shuler. But while Shuler resurfaced to become an elected official on Capitol Hill, Leaf ended up with little more than an addiction to painkillers.

He had managed to score himself a job as a quarterbacks coach at West Texas A&M, but last year got busted on various charges of acquiring opioid painkillers illegally. In 2008, Leaf misled several doctors in order to get prescriptions, before breaking into the home of a player who had been prescribed the drugs for an injury, adding burglary to the mix.

Last week, Leaf’s case was finally resolved. He got 10 years of probation, and must complete a lengthy counseling and treatment course in order to stay out of jail. He has since left coaching and is apparently selling vacation packages to corporate clients at a resort somewhere. Give him 17 points on our list.

Ronnie Brown = Moron
Last week, another number-two overall pick was arrested — this time the 2005 version, Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown — for a DUI.

Not much to report here, except that Brown was driving erratically in Atlanta and blew a .158, which meets the legal definition of “shitfaced” in the state of Georgia (the limit there is .08).

He should have talked to Donte Stallworth about what happens when you drive around wasted...

Posted on: December 28, 2009 10:12 am
 

Who can we trust?

The holidays are great, because you get to exchange gifts and get some time off from work. With that being said, the best part about this holiday was that I won the championship in both of my fantasy (money) leagues. Nothing is more satisfying that taking money from your friends.

After watching a few of the worst games over one weekend that I can remember in some time, and how it affected the fantasy football world, one thing kept coming to mind: who can we trust in fantasy? I pulled out a win in both of my championship games, but some of my money players weren’t so “money.” Seriously, no one should expect a professional in any vocation to work at peak efficiency 100% of the time, but for a league in which so many "pros" are making more money in one season than many of us will make over the 25-30 years, it would seem that consistency would not be so hard to find. Granted, most of us do not have to: worry about RBBC at our jobs (imagine for a second if lawyers or doctors "shared the load" at their jobs, for example, one lawyer was the opening argument and cross-examination specialist while another one strictly handled closing arguments), face the prospect of the media trying to pull apart your co-workers at every turn or concern ourselves with people at work whose sole purpose is to stop us from doing what we want to do, even if sometimes seems that way.

But getting back to the issue of trust, who makes your list of "trustworthy" players? I decided to investigate this a bit further. Just as in school where 70% is a passing score, winning about 70% of your games during a 13-week fantasy regular season will leave you with a 9-4 record (.692 winning %), which will almost always get you a playoff berth, if not a division title and first-round bye. Using that same rationale, I'm setting the bar at 70% consistency for all fantasy players (or players who are subpar less than 30% of the time) across the board.

This analysis is only for the last two seasons and is simply looking for fantasy players who were subpar less than 30% of the time they took the field. Since the measuring sticks change each year, I cannot give a firm fantasy point average for each position, but rather the "subpar level" that each position recorded that season. I think you'll be surprised by the results.

1.      Aaron Rodgers

2.      Larry Fitzgerald

3.      Wes Welker

4.      Andre Johnson

5.      Dwayne Bowe

6.      Antonio Gates

7.      Tony Gonzalez

Meet your fantasy best friends, the players who over the last two seasons were there for you more often than anyone else. Consider the magnitude of this list for a minute if you would. At QB, you need your fantasy signal-caller to average 200 yards passing and two scores in seven of every 10 games. At RB, the averages are 60 yards and a score. At WR, five catches for 70 yards will do the trick and, at TE, five catches for 50 yards is just about enough. Further consider this list could have been reduced to five if you want to get technical and hold injuries or suspensions against a player. For example, Welker missed a few early games due to injury and Bowe just got done serving a four-game suspension. What's most surprising to me is the fact that not a single RB made the list. Believe it or not, last year's qualifiers were Matt Forte, LaDainian Tomlinson, Steve Slaton, Thomas Jones and Peyton Hillis. (Peyton Hillis, really?!?!?)

Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair at setting the cutoff at 30%. For those of you wanting to know, here is the list of additional players that would make the cut if I raised the bar to 35%:

1.      Drew Brees

2.      Peyton Manning

3.      LaDainian Tomlinson

4.      Adrian Peterson

5.      Chris Johnson

6.      Frank Gore

7.      Steve Smith (CAR)

8.      Vincent Jackson

9.      Brandon Marshall

10.  Dallas Clark

However, if we were to make the cutoff at 40%, we'd also be assuming that 8-5 (.615 winning %) always gets fantasy owners into the playoffs, which it does not. And we all know that somewhere along the way, at least of our opponents will make you their Super Bowl, which shrinks the margin of error even further. Granted, not all of your consistent players are going to hit rock bottom in the same week, so I understand this analysis is a bit lacking in some areas. With that said, it's becoming easier to see why the gap between the #1 team and #10 team is about three games in competitive leagues. We are dealing with a lot of mediocre fantasy players, some much more so than others.

How is this possible? After all, I'm certainly not calling Manning or Chris Johnson mediocre, am I? The answer is no. In psychology, students are often taught that “people are a product of their environment". The same statement applies here as well. Manning, for instance, can blame his knee rehab in 2008 and young WR corps in 2009 for being left off the first list. Johnson was being eased in last year during his rookie season and dealt with a more pass-heavy offensive approach from his offense before the bye in 2009. Steven Jackson's lack of a credible supporting cast recently has made him less consistent than he is capable of while players like Maurice Jones-Drew and Ray Rice are off both lists entirely due to their respective delays to "feature-back" status.

Looking ahead to 2010, you're going to see roughly 10-12 of the 17 aforementioned players go in the first two rounds of fantasy drafts next summer and rightfully so, barring the unforeseen. But some of these players (in particular Bowe, LT, Smith, Gates and Gonzalez) will all be seen as players coming off disappointing seasons and thus will see their stock drop. But should it?

Due to his age and shaky future with his current employer, LT will be a hard sell as anything more than a low-end RB2 next season. Outside of him, I think the other 16 names listed above are players that you definitely can "trust".  I'll project now that if you can kick off your draft with Gore (Round 1), Manning (Round 2), Welker (Round 3), Smith or Bowe (Round 4) and Gonzalez (Round 5) next summer, you will find that you have yourself an incredibly consistent and competent team. The point I want to make here is that in a game like fantasy football that has so many variables contributing to its outcome each week, the goal should be to land as many constants as possible. With 4-5 "constants" making up your nine-man starting lineup, you increase your margin for error significantly, which is a very good thing. Ultimately, the draft only puts you in position to succeed; in-season management takes your team to the playoffs and wins championships. But the path to fantasy success begins by locking up as many constants as you can early on, so you don't leave early-season points (and thus, wins) on the bench and easily identify your team's weaknesses before your competition takes advantage. When an owner can use the waiver wire as a way to supplement their bench as opposed to their starting lineup, then it is quite likely their team is in very good shape.

Let's get back to what makes even the NFL's best players "untrustworthy". Sometimes, the biggest obstacle can be the one group of people that fantasy owners SHOULD be able to count on - coaching. For as much good as the great coaches do for their teams, isn't it amazing how often even they forget their team's identity? If I can say that about the great coaches, what does it say about the average or poor ones? The answer to these types of questions usually can be answered in one of two ways: 1) the GM "hints" who should play and the head coach or coordinators don't feel they has the authority to go against him or 2) the coaching staff, as a whole, are poor talent evaluators who can easily be swayed by a box score or the public. One of my biggest never-to-be-answered questions is: what exactly goes on during an NFL practice? Of course I'm being a bit sarcastic, but I ask because I find it amazing how often players just seem to burst on the scene. Let's examine a few pertinent examples:

  • How is it possible that Miles Austin goes from a part-timer to a player who must be double-teamed in less than a month? Are we to believe that Austin merely flashed in practice, only to become option #1 the same week Roy Williams was sidelined? Of course not.

  • How does Jamaal Charles go from Larry Johnson's part-time sidekick to a poor man's version of Chris Johnson in half a season? Apparently, Johnson had built up so much good will with the new coaching staff that Todd Haley & Co. saw fit to give LJ 132 carries to Charles' 23 prior to the bye (and LJ's subsequent suspension and release). It should also be noted that in standard scoring PPR leagues, Charles somehow still managed to outscore Johnson in three of the Chiefs' first seven games.

  • How does Jerome Harrison post the third-highest rushing total in NFL history one game after getting benched after seven carries? Was Jamal Lewis capable of putting up this kind of performance this year? Not a chance. James Davis may have had a chance if he could have stayed healthy, but Cleveland wasted valuable time - in what we all knew was a rebuilding year - giving Lewis carries when it should have been using that time to figure out if Harrison or Joshua Cribbs were part of the solution in the backfield.

  • Lastly, how is it that Michael Bush has the each of the Raiders' last three 100-yard rushing performances and is often the least used of the three backs? With all three Raiders' RBs - Bush, Justin Fargas and Darren McFadden - all having recorded at least 90 carries this season, isn't it a bit odd that Bush is sporting a healthy 5.0 YPC while the other two backs are each under 4.0 YPC?

 

Some of you may have a few players YTP, before the championship is decided, but now is the time to start thinking about next FFB season. I already cashed in on both of my leagues, by winning the championships. I won, because I prepared for the draft, starting in April. This is how I won:


League 1:

QB: Matt Schaub

RB: Ray Rice

RB: Knowshon Moreno / LeSean McCoy / Donald Brown / Darren McFadden

WR: Andre Johnson

WR: Chad Ochocinco / Calvin Johnson / Pierre Garcon

TE: Vernon Davis / John Carlson

K: Lawrence Tynes

DEF: Jets / Chargers


League 2:

QB: Matt Schaub

RB: Chris Johnson

RB: Knowshon Moreno / Jamaal Charles / Jonathan Stewart / Darren McFadden

WR: Andre Johnson

WR: Vincent Jackson / Jericho Cotchery

TE: Dallas Clark

K: Nate Kaeding

DEF: Eagles / Saints


Most of the players on my roster were drafted. Some were FA pickups, but most were through the draft. The only trade that I made was in League 1: Hines Ward and Willis McGahee for Knowshon Moreno (in week 6). The main point that I’m trying to make is that you have to study the players and draft guys whom are consistent. Fantasy football doesn’t normally reward risky moves. Doing your homework should prevent you from drafting busts (like Darren McFadden). If you take a couple of busts in your draft, the other reliable players should be able to make up for the few stinkers.


Good luck in 2010, boys.  

 

 

Posted on: December 17, 2009 9:29 am
 

Perfection can't lose...Colts vs Jags

Some people are picking the Jaguars to take out the Colts, but I haven’t seen any evidence to support that claim. The Jaguars need the game more, but the Colts are a better team. I can’t see Peyton Manning sitting down at any point in this game, if it is still close.  

Passing Attack: The Colts top rated passing offense will square off against the Jaguars in Jacksonville. The question on everyone’s mind concerning Indianapolis is which of their players will play, and how many minutes will they get now that they’ve secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs in the AFC. With three games remaining on the schedule, and with their undefeated record still on the line, it would seem to be a fair assumption that the Colts stars will play a full sixty minutes this week as long as the game remains competitive.

If they happen to hold a two to three score advantage midway through the third quarter or at the start of the fourth, we may see the likes of Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne then head to the sidelines. For the most part however, expect these guys to remain in the game long enough to make a meaningful contribution to your fantasy squad.

The Jaguars allow an average of 239.5 passing yards per game to opponents, which ranks 26th in the league. They’ve also allowed 20 touchdown passes this season, which is among the higher figures in that category. With the Colts offense averaging nearly 300 passing yards per outing expect Manning to have another productive day even should he get pulled early. In fact, the only reason to doubt he’d have a 300 yard performance is if he went to the sidelines early. Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon should also have strong outings against the Jaguars suspect secondary.

Running Attack: Although the Colts have produced 13 rushing touchdowns this season they’ve failed to manufacture much in the way of yardage on the ground. Their 88.0 rushing yards per game ranks 30th in the league, and of all the Colts regular starters Joseph Addai seems the most likely to see reduced playing time throughout the remaining weeks due to his past track record with injuries. He’s also battling a sore knee heading into Thursday night, which gives more reason for caution with him. He’ll remain a threat to score a touchdown in the early goings, but don’t expect too big of a day from as his number of snaps could be more limited than the other Colts starters.

On to the Jaguars…

Passing Attack: The Colts defense may allow 227 passing yards per game, but the Jaguars air attack has been a bit of a roller coaster ride this season. For every strong outing had by Garrard, like his Week 13 performance against the Texans in which he threw for 2 touchdowns and 238 yards without any turnovers, he’s had as equally disappointing ones…like his performance last Sunday against the Dolphins in which he completed just 42.3% of his passes while throwing for 139 yards with no scores.

Further detracting from Garrard’s value is the injury status of his lead receiver, Mike Sims-Walker. Walker had been battling a knee injury, and more recently a calf injury, that has limited his production over the last 3 weeks to a total of 6 receptions for 64 yards without any touchdowns. The third year wide-out who had been enjoying a breakout campaign throughout much of the season is expected to play on Thursday, but the short week doesn’t bode well for him after he made a surprise start last Sunday despite being listed as doubtful heading into that contest against the Dolphins.

With Walker likely to again be at less than 100%, and with Jacksonville wise to keep the ball out of Manning’s hands by controlling the clock with Maurice Jones-Drew, it’d be a bit of a risk to start any members of the Jaguars passing regime and expect meaningful results.

Running Attack: The Jaguars are among the better rushing teams in the league, averaging 4.6 yards per carry and 127.8 yards per game on the ground. The Colts defense meanwhile ranks 17th in the NFL against the run, yielding just over 110 rushing yards per game. While the Jaguars will likely have to take to the air more often than they’d care to against the high octane offense of the Colts, Jones-Drew should still remain the focal point of their offense and manage to come away with at least one score and 100-125 total yards of offense.

Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Jacksonville 17

(that’s right…another win for the Colts)

Posted on: December 4, 2009 8:36 am
 

Safe bets by DC

With 12 weeks in the books, it is becoming exponentially more difficult to find games that I like each week, especially because this year a lot of teams have played Jekyll and Hyde with us (looking dominant one week—and losing to Oakland or Kansas City the next). Parity is obviously important to the NFL, but this season has made sports betting feel like Russian roulette, thanks in large part to the inconsistency of teams such as the Steelers, Packers, Eagles, Bengals, Cardinals, Ravens, Broncos, Texans, and the New York Giants. Wildly erratic play makes this part of the season very difficult. Good luck to you; I know I’ll need it!

The games are listed in order from 1 to 3. 1 is my most confident pick.

(bet? beware): Tennessee over Indianapolis

I liked Houston as a trap game pick last week, but ultimately thought that Indianapolis was too good to lose to them. Most people suspected that Peyton Manning would find a way to score a bunch of points at will in the second half and win the game. Well, that’s more or less what happened, with one small difference: Peyton didn’t beat Houston; Houston beat Houston with terrible defense, bad penalties, and offensive ineptitude in the second half.

This week, things will be different. The Titans are as hot as ever, as I mentioned when I picked them two weeks ago to beat Houston, and they are really playing some inspired ball behind Vince Young. I never thought he would be a great NFL quarterback, but he sure is running that team well recently. It helps to have an unstoppable running back like Chris Johnson. He is part of the reason why my fantasy team is in first place…not like anyone cares about that, though.

The other thing going for Tennessee this week is that the Colts have been struggling, despite their spotless record. Peyton has faltered of late, matching his career high for consecutive games with 2 interceptions. The last time that happened was 2001. He sometimes looks uncomfortable in the pocket and is doing things that are generally beneath his caliber of play. For example, against Houston for most of the game he had tunnel vision for Pierre Garcon, at one point throwing 5 or 6 consecutive passes to him, multiple times into double coverage. At his best, Peyton never does that; he usually spreads the ball around.

If the Colts don’t clean up their act, they very well could see their first loss of the season on Sunday.

3. Chicago over Saint Louis

I have more confidence in this game than its #3 spot suggests. I am convinced that it would just be too much for Saint Louis to head into Chicago and win a game. Jay Cutler is an interception machine, but the Rams don’t have a good secondary. I expect Cutler to have a decent game.

As usual, Chicago can only hope to contain Steven Jackson. Luckily for the Bears, however, the Rams don’t have a single offensive weapon other than Jackson; don’t give me Donny Avery. Even though the Chicago defense is uncharacteristically weak this season, and the offense is inconsistent, the Bears should be able to move the ball at will against the Rams. This pick isn’t as safe as it normally would be, but there’s just no way that the Rams keep up with Cutler & company in a scoring race, and no way Chicago fans could stomach losing at home to a St. Louis team that obviously needs to be rebuilt.

2. San Diego over Cleveland

I have less confidence in this selection than its #2 designation might suggest. San Diego is traveling into Cleveland, and away games always seem to give the Chargers trouble. Perhaps they have grown accustomed to the beautiful weather out in SoCal, but whatever the reason for their missteps, I try not to pick them for away games, but the Browns make it very tempting.

That said, the Browns are playing such consistently terrible football recently that even if their opponent is no better than mediocre, one cannot afford not to select the team playing against them. They have no offense, a defense riddled with injuries, and very little hope of winning this game. I don’t wholly trust the Chargers, but I trust they can stomp on one of the worst teams in the NFL.

1. Cincinnati over Detroit

I was on the Detroit bandwagon for a while this season, but the injuries to Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson have proven too costly for the Detroit offense to overcome. When you can assume your defense will allow 28+ points per game and your two most talented offensive players are injured, it’s pretty difficult to win games.

Cincinnati, though sometimes Jekyll (sweeping Pittsburgh) and sometimes Hyde (losing to Oakland), should manage to win this one handily. Their defense has drastically improved over the last couple of years, with a young, talented secondary allowing the front seven to get very aggressive and go after opposing quarterbacks. Cedrick Benson has resurrected his career and is leading a reinvigorated Bengals offense; even if he doesn’t play, Bernard Scott should have no trouble topping the century mark against the Lions. Pick the Bengals this week with confidence. This game is my lock of the week.

Before anyone calls me a “homer,” the Eagles should put up a double digit win over the Falcons. With Matt Ryan out, and Michael Turner and Roddy White fighting injuries, the Eagles should rout the Falcons. I would expect to see Michael Vick taking some snaps in the 4<sup>th</sup> quarter, after the game is in the bag. This game isn’t my lock of the week, but I’ll list this one as 1.A. I plan to take all 4 games in a nice little parlay: Bears, Chargers, Bengals, and Eagles.

Just remember, in betting you will win some and lose some. I’m hoping that these bets don’t lose money for me, because my fiancé is expecting xmas gifts…

Posted on: November 17, 2009 8:41 am
 

FFB week 10 review

49ers 10 – Bears 6

The 49ers rode the legs of Frank Gore to stop a four-game losing streak. Gore had 125 total yards (104 rushing) and scored his seventh TD of the season. After saying prior to the game that Chicago’s defense doesn’t impress him, Vernon Davis was held to 3 catches for 16 yards. However, he remains one of the best options at tight end this year. Michael Crabtree has been solid but unspectacular since joining the team, and he picked up a solid 48 receiving yards against the Bears. Alex Smith picked up his first win since September 2007 though he only had 118 yards on the day, with no touchdowns and an interception. But I’m sure he’s just glad he got a win.

Last year Kyle Orton threw 5 INTs while wearing a Bears uniform; Jay Cutler did the same on Thursday night. Those picks took away nearly all the fantasy points Cutler earned by throwing for 307 yards. Matt Forte also had a tough game on the ground at least. Forte ran for just 41 yards on 20 carries but made up for it by catching 8 passes for 120 yards. Devin Hester was targeted a game-high 14 times but only came down with half of those passes for 48 yards.

Titans 41 – Bills 17

If the Titans were 6-3 instead of 3-6, Chris Johnson would be right up there with Peyton Manning for MVP honors. Johnson was once again magnificent with 132 yards rushing, 100 yards receiving, and 2 touchdowns. Vince Young had his most passing yards (210) since December 2007 and also threw for a TD and ran for 29 yards. With Justin Gage out, Nate Washington became the #1 receiver, compiling 33 receiving yards and a score.

When Terrell Owens has a season-high of 85 receiving yards in Week 10, you know things are rough in Buffalo. Lee Evans had a nice game as well, as he caught 2 TD passes to go along with 50 receiving yards. Marshawn Lynch had 55 total yards and was outperformed by Fred Jackson who had 71 total yards and also threw a TD pass to Evans. For those of you who have Trent Edwards, it may be time to start looking elsewhere for a QB. Edwards was pulled in the fourth quarter after throwing a pick-six. He finished with 185 passing yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT, and Coach Jauron was noncommittal on who would be his starting QB next week.

Saints 28 - Rams 23

It wasn’t pretty, but the Saints got the job done. Drew Brees threw for 223 yards and 2 TDs but also threw 2 INTs and has thrown 7 INTs in the last four games. Reggie Bush had his best game of the season, by far, with 98 total yards (83 rushing) and 2 TDs. His versatility combined with his inconsistency make him a flex play each week, especially in PPR leagues. Pierre Thomas took a backseat to Bush in this game as Thomas only had 37 rushing yards. Marques Colston had another quiet game as he had only 17 receiving yards and also lost a fumble. On the other hand, Robert Meachem had his second straight good game with 68 total yards (27 receiving) and a touchdown. Coincidentally, both of these games have come with Lance Moore sitting out. If Moore, Colston, or Devery Henderson miss any time, Meachem is worth serious consideration in your starting lineup.

Steven Jackson continues to be options A, B, and C for the Rams as he had another great game. Jackson had 131 yards and a touchdown on the ground and also had 9 receptions for 45 yards through the air. It was his fifth straight game with over 100 yards from scrimmage. Marc Bulger turned back the clock and looked like the Bulger of 2006. He threw for 298 yards and 2 TDs while displaying his customary accuracy. Even though the bye weeks are over, Bulger is still worth a roster spot as insurance for your starting QB. Donnie Avery had 67 yards and 2 TDs as he remains Bulger’s favorite target. That alone gives him value as a WR3.

Dolphins 25 – Buccaneers 23

The Dolphins got the win but they may have lost their starting running back--at least for one week. Ronnie Brown left the game after hurting his ankle. With a game scheduled this Thursday, Brown may have to sit one out. Before leaving, he did have 82 rushing yards and a score. Ricky Williams led Miami with 102 rushing yards and, if you have him, he should be in your lineup regardless of whether Brown plays or not. Davone Bess appears to be Chad Henne’s favorite receiver but Bess has yet to get into the end zone this year. He had 4 receptions for 72 yards but should only be considered if you are in a PPR league.

Expect more games like this from Josh Freeman (196 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 1 lost fumble), rather than the 3 TD performance last week. Kellen Winslow continued to build on a good season, catching 7 balls for 102 yards on Sunday. Cadillac Williams has been inconsistent throughout the season but he did score a rushing touchdown to go along with 52 yards. He seems destined to be an RB3 for the remainder of the year.

Vikings 27 – Lions 10

This game played out pretty much as expected. Brett Favre threw for 344 yards and one touchdown and Adrian Peterson ran for 133 yards and 2 TDs. However, the star of the day was Sidney Rice who caught 7 passes for 201 yards. Though he only has two scores on the year, Rice is a legit WR2 and is on pace for nearly 1,400 receiving yards. Bernard Berrian continues to be a disappointment as he only had 22 receiving yards. Over the past three seasons, Berrian averaged about 900 receiving yards and 6 TDs. He may reach that TD average but is on pace for fewer than 600 receiving yards. Keep him on your roster, but don’t start him until he can gain some rapport with Favre.

For just the second time this season, Matt Stafford went a full game without throwing a pick. He also threw for 224 yards and a TD. Still, Stafford is only a QB2. Kevin Smith continued his sophomore slump with only 65 total yards this week. He is averaging only 3.4 yards per carry after putting up 4.1 last season. Even so, he is still an RB2/RB3. Calvin Johnson rebounded from last week’s poor game with 8 receptions for 84 yards.

Jaguars 24 – Jets 22

Maurice Jones-Drew continues to prove that he can be an every-down back as he gained 145 total yards and scored a touchdown. MJD became the first RB this year to gain 100 rushing yards against the Jets. His QB, David Garrard, showed his versatility with 221 passing yards and one passing TD along with one rushing touchdown. Mike Sims-Walker found the end zone for the fifth time in his past seven games. He is the Jags’ #1 WR and a fantasy WR2. Not bad for a guy who went undrafted in most fantasy leagues.

Mark Sanchez’s up-and-down rookie season hit another down against the Jaguars. He did throw for 212 yards and a touchdown, but also threw 2 INTs. Since he is fringe fantasy material at this point, he shouldn’t be on your roster. Someone who definitely should be on your roster is Thomas Jones who took another drink from the fountain of youth Sunday before running for 77 yards and a score. I thought the loss of Favre would hurt him but he’s actually outperforming his 2008 numbers. Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery had 79 and 68 receiving yards, respectively. Cotchery also scored a TD. You never know which one is going to be Sanchez’s favorite target for a particular game so neither has more value than a WR3 at this point.

Bengals 18 – Steelers 12

Surprisingly, this game featured no offensive TDs. Carson Palmer had 178 yards passing while Chad Ochocinco had only 29 receiving yards. Cedric Benson only had 7 carries for 22 yards before leaving with a hip injury, which he doesn’t believe is serious. With Chris Henry done for the season, Laveranues Coles will get more looks, and he led the team this week with 5 receptions for 67 yards.

Ben Roethlisberger only completed 50% of his passes and threw an INT along with only 174 yards. Santonio Holmes, with 88 receiving yards, garnered more fantasy points than any other player. Heath Miller (26) and Hines Ward (24) combined for only 50 receiving yards as Roethlisberger struggled under constant pressure from the Bengals. Rashard Mendenhall couldn’t repeat last Monday night’s performance as he had only 36 rushing yards on just 13 carries.

Redskins 27 – Broncos 17

For the first time this year, the Redskins managed to break the 17-point threshold to pick up their third win of the year. Jason Campbell was serviceable, throwing for 193 yards and one touchdown while not turning the ball over. Ladell Betts, subbing for the concussed Clinton Portis, had 114 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Redskins are likely not in a rush to get Portis back on the field with such a serious injury as a concussion. If Betts is still available in your league for some reason, jump on him. He could make for a nice flex play in the coming weeks. Santana Moss had a measly 2 catches for 8 yards and should be benched until he can show some consistency. He’s in a similar situation to Carolina’s Steve Smith; they are great players, but the people around them are hurting their fantasy value.

Not only did the Broncos lose their third game in a row, but they may have also lost their QB for a couple of weeks. Kyle Orton threw for 193 yards and 2 TDs before leaving with an ankle injury that could keep him out of next week’s pivotal matchup with San Diego. His backup, Chris Simms, has barely played since 2006 and should not be picked up in free agency. Brandon Marshall caught two long TD passes and finished with 134 receiving yards. Eddie Royal’s (21 receiving yards) disappearing act extended another week and, unless you get points for return yards, he has virtually no value. Knowshon Moreno had 97 rushing yards to lead the Broncos and, maybe an even better sign for his owners, had 18 carries compared to Buckhalter’s 2 carries.

Panthers 28 - Falcons 19

Jake Delhomme actually looked like a pro QB against Atlanta as he threw for 2 TDs and 195 yards without turning the ball over. Steve Smith, who is managing to salvage this season despite his QB’s play, caught both Delhomme’s TD passes. DeAngelo Williams appears to have regained his 2008 form as he had 122 total yards, while backfield mate Jonathan Stewart had 82 rushing yards and 2 scores. Williams is a bona-fide RB1 and Stewart is a safe flex option.

If he wasn’t there before this game, Matt Ryan is officially in a sophomore slump. Actually, slump may be too nice a word, as he has thrown 11 INTs in his last six games. He did throw for 224 yards, but the points he got from his TD were negated by the turnovers. With a tough upcoming schedule (NYG, PHI, NO, NYJ), things are not going to get any easier. You may want to hit up the trade market to see what kind of value you can get for Ryan. To make matters worse for Atlanta, Michael Turner injured his ankle and will undergo additional tests on Monday. He had rushed for 111 yards before leaving and all Turner owners should immediately grab Jason Snelling (93 total yards, 1 TD) if he’s still available in free agency. Roddy White had 7 grabs for 98 yards and Tony Gonzalez had 6 for 67, but neither player was able to get into the end zone.

Chargers 31 - Eagles 23

With his 2 TDs on Sunday, LT jumped ahead of Marcus Allen to take third place in the record books for career TDs. He also ran for 96 yards which was his most in a home game since 2007. Philip Rivers tossed two scores of his own, along with 231 passing yards. Vincent Jackson was held to a single reception for 10 yards, but you shouldn’t even think about taking him out of your lineup. Antonio Gates had 7 catches for 78 yards and Malcolm Floyd had 3 catches for 45 yards. Floyd is worth a spot in deeper leagues as well as keeper leagues since it is clear that the Chargers are now a passing team, with Philip Rivers as their leader rather than LT.

The most telling stat from this game is Donovan McNabb’s 450 passing yards compared to his team’s 29 total rushing yards. Brian Westbrook suffered another concussion and, in my humble opinion, he should sit the rest of the year. If you have Westbrook, make contingency plans as you may not see him for the remainder of the season. Jason Avant, of all people, led the Eagles in receiving with 156 yards while DeSean Jackson had 8 catches for 91 yards. Jeremy Maclin and Brent Celek each had 6 catches and a TD reception.

Packers 17 – Cowboys 7

When the Packers defense plays the way it did against Dallas, you can expect pedestrian offensive efforts as well. Aaron Rodgers threw for only 189 yards and 1 TD, though he did rush for a score. Ryan Grant ran for 79 yards but doesn’t appear to have the explosiveness that he displayed two years ago. Donald Driver and Greg Jennings had 50 and 45 receiving yards, respectively. The Packers are having trouble with the pass rush, so Driver’s intermediate routes are a much more viable option for Rodgers than Jennings’ deep routes. Driver should be rated higher than Jennings until the Packers O-line improves.

The Cowboys O was dominated by the Packers D in this game as both the running game and Miles Austin were shut down. None of the three Dallas running backs gained more than 26 yards, and Austin had only 20 yards on the day. Tony Romo threw for 251 yards and a late TD, but he also threw a pick and lost a fumble. The lone TD was scored by Roy Williams, who also managed 105 receiving yards on 5 receptions. From the looks of things over the past month, it appears that Austin and Williams can’t each have a big game in the same game. It’s either one or the other. I have more confidence in Austin than in Williams. Austin is still a WR1 while Williams is only a WR3. I really don’t know what to make of Jason Witten. It seems as though every week he’s catching 4-5 passes for around 45 yards. I still have faith in him--and you should, too--as he is still Romo’s favorite target in the red zone…even though he hasn’t scored a TD since Week 2.

Cardinals 31 – Seahawks 20

With his 2 TD passes on Sunday, Kurt Warner has now thrown for 200 TDs in his Hall-of-Fame career. He also threw for 340 yards as all three of his top receivers got into the action. Anquan Boldin had 8 for 105, Steve Breaston had 4 for 76, and Larry Fitzgerald had 7 for 73. Breaston and Fitzgerald also got into the end zone. Everyone knows Fitz is a WR1, but Breaston and even Boldin are WR3s. Boldin’s injuries are starting to catch up with him and he has almost no deep speed. Rookie Beanie Wells had the best game of his young career with 85 rushing yards and 2 TDs. Tim Hightower had 58 total yards, which included 5 receptions. Despite Wells’ two scores, Hightower still has a little more value due to the huge disparity in receptions between the two of them (Hightower has 45 on the season, Wells has 6).

The good news for Seattle this week is that they may have found their future running back. After Julius Jones left with an injury, Justin Forsett took over and ran for 123 yards and one score while catching five passes for 26 yards. It appears Jones will be out for some time, so grab Forsett while you can. Even when Jones returns, Forsett will still have value, especially in PPR leagues. Matt Hasselbeck threw for 315 yards and 1 TD with most of the yardage going to T.J. Houshmandzadeh (9 for 165). Housh hasn’t been quite what we expected him to be in Seattle, but this week’s game was a good sign that he and Hasselbeck are developing more of a rapport. The Seahawks’ leading receiver, Nate Burleson, went catchless for the first time this season. He was targeted five times, so Hasselbeck was definitely looking for him. Burleson remains a safe WR2 for next week.

Chiefs 16 – Raiders 10

As the score indicates, this was not an aesthetically-pleasing game. Jamaal Charles said, “Larry Who?” by rushing for 103 yards and a score. Todd Haley doesn’t like to run the ball all that much so don’t expect this type of performance too often, but Charles can be a serviceable RB3 for the remainder of the season. Matt Cassel did not throw a TD pass, but he did throw an INT and lost a fumble. The Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers tandem had 91 and 60 yards receiving, respectively.

The return of Darren McFadden (11 rushing yards) and Chaz Schilens (27 receiving yards) did not play out quite as anticipated. However, Michael Bush (119 rushing yards) and Justin Fargas (41 rushing yards, 1 TD) were able to provide some much-needed offensive punch. The RBBC all but eliminates any value for the Oakland backs, but Schilens is someone to keep an eye on. He is a big target and can actually catch--unlike Oakland’s other receivers. If you have an open roster spot it may be wise to take a chance on Schilens, who some see as a Vincent Jackson-clone.

Colts 35 - Patriots 34

Wow! That’s all I can say. I’m sure most of the people reading this saw the game last night so you pretty much know what happened. Peyton Manning did his thing with another 300+ yard, multi-TD game. Reggie Wayne caught 10 passes for 126 yards and 2 TDs, including the game winner. The Patriots held Dallas Clark in check as he “only” had 65 receiving yards. Despite a finger injury, Joseph Addai still managed to score 2 TDs and gain 68 total yards. The Colts are really struggling to run the ball, but Addai is a big factor in the passing game and receives lots of goal line carries. He can still be used as an RB2.

Tom Brady was Tom Terrific in throwing for 3 TDs and 375 yards (though I’m sure all of Boston thinks it should have been 376 yards). Randy Moss and Wes Welker each had 9 receptions. Welker went for 94 yards and Moss showed he still has 4.4 speed by going for 179 yards and 2 TDs. Laurence Maroney scored a rushing TD but also lost a fumble on the Colts’ one-yard line. Kevin Faulk had 79 rushing yards and caught 2 passes for 7 yards (though, again, Boston thinks it should have been 8 yards).

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com