Posted Sep 23, 2008 09:03 PM
Another week in the books. While I do my best to remain impartial when doing my fantasy writing, I do have to take one moment to comment on something from this past week.
Ha ha ha! Miami! Miami beat New England! They didn’t just beat them, they destroyed them. Humiliated them on New England home turf! The “genius” that is the New England head coach was unable to stop a college play that Miami ran over and over and over! Oh, New England can just plug in any player and make it work, Bill is THAT much of a genius, he just plucks players off of the street, puts them into his system and it’s as simple as that! :: wiping eyes :: please, please, whatever football gods exist out there in the universe, please give me a couple more of these gems during the season. Oh, and no more Steelers losses would also be good.
Ahem, anyway, let’s see what else happened in the NFL this past week. Larry Johnson made an appearance, Steven Jackson is still MIA, Brian Westbrook twisted his ankle but appears to be OK, big Brother Manning is now becoming a concern for everyone who drafted him high, the entire Cleveland/Michigan area remains winless with Cleveland, Cincinnati and Detroit enjoying a combined 0-9 record, St. Louis looks like they might have a difficult time winning a single game this season and Philip Rivers/ Jay Cutler are the two best quarterbacks in the NFL. Do I have all of that straight? You just have to love fantasy football. Well, love it or scratch your own eyes out, crying to the heavens “why?! Why I ask you, why!” while either every one of your top three draft choices gets injured or every forecast you made/read now looks like the scribbling of a three-year-old. I love it.
Let’s recap some of my suggestions from last week and see how I did.
I said Jay Cutler would be a good play. 21 out of 34, 264 yd., two touchdowns against one interception, not outstanding but still a good call. I also suggested… Derek Anderson? You are sure? Really? Derek Anderson? Well, I did say I didn’t like the guy, I did say I didn’t think he would be the quarterback much longer, and I said that if Derek Anderson was going to have any good games while he was still on your fantasy roster, it was going to be last week. Looks like Derek Anderson will not have any good games what he is still on your fantasy roster. That was clearly a bad call, so bad I’m going to give myself a double penalty and say that was worth two bad calls.
I warned against Carson Palmer and Matt Hassleback, even though he was going against St. Louis. Palmer played admirably against the Giants throwing for almost 300 yd. one touchdown and no interceptions. That’s not exactly an outstanding performance, but it isn’t terrible either, going with a push on this one. Matt on the other hand only managed one touchdown and couldn’t even get to 200 yd., again, this was against St. Louis! I have to say that was a good call
In running backs I said Brandon Jacobs would be a good play. This is a tricky one, because all that I said was I was betting he got his first touchdown against Cincinnati. He got the touchdown, but couldn’t even manage 50 yd. I have to go with a push even though the actual prediction was right. I also said I liked Frank Gore, saying I would not be surprised if he got around 150 yd. and two scores. He went over 150 combined yards and got one touchdown, that’s close enough for a good call.
I once again went out on a limb, saying Brian Westbrook owners might be in for a disappointment. One thing you see happening a lot when teams come off a short week is injuries, and Westbrook went out early against Pittsburgh without getting much yards and never returned. Major good call. I also said I would be surprised if Matt Forte had a good game. Well, color me surprised. He got a touchdown catch and over 150 yd. combined yardage. That’s another bad call.
In wide receivers, I liked Reggie Wayne and Randy Moss. I said a while ago, wide receiver can be the most erratic of the major fantasy scoring positions and that is definitely proving true. Neither of them scored a touchdown or really made any kind of impact, two bad calls.
In receivers that I warned against, I went with Anquan Boldin and although he had a touchdown, the warning was against expecting the same thing as two weeks ago, and he only had three catches total for minimal yards, so that’s a good call. I also gave the same warning against Santana Moss. He had a decent game, just under 80 yd. and a touchdown. Again, the warning was against expecting the same kind of thing he had done the week before, but for a receiver I think that was good enough to go with a push.
So, accounting for the double bad penalty, the results are five good, five bad and three push. Overall for the season, 12 good calls, 7 bad and 6 push. Considering that I am going with at least one risky call each week so far, I’m pretty happy with those numbers. Let’s see what I can do this week.
Quarterbacks who will resemble Bart Starr
I’m imposing the following restriction on myself. I am not going to go in favor or against the same player in back-to-back weeks. If not, it would get too easy to start suggesting the same players every week, such as J. Cutler again this week.
Philip Rivers. With LT having been limited, Philip has been picking up the slack. Even though they are only 1-2 as a team, Rivers seems to be scoring every week and I would expect another 2-3 touchdowns and plenty of yards against Oakland.
Brian Griese. Not a lot of people have him as their main quarterback. He threw for over 400 yd. last week, but was very erratic getting two touchdowns against three interceptions. He is going against Green Bay and Al Harris, who is a starter in the Green Bay secondary, has a ruptured spleen. Remember that thing I said a couple of weeks ago about you have to get concerned when the body part next to the injury reads “head”? The same thing goes for the word “ruptured” before any body part. Bottom line, Green Bay is going to be a little thin in the secondary and I think Brian will take advantage of it.
Quarterbacks who will resemble Bart Simpson
Gus Frerotte. He is the new starting quarterback in Minnesota and won his first game of the year last week. I’m thinking he faces a really tough week against what has been a dominating defense in Tennessee
Jason Campbell. That kid has been playing really decent football in Washington, I would almost classify him as being a steal for anybody who got him late. This week I think he is going to struggle against Dallas as they look to solidify their hold over the NFC East.
Running backs who will resemble Barry Sanders
Marshawn Lynch. Just because I warned against Matt Hassleback against St. Louis last week doesn’t mean I have abandoned my “start anybody against St. Louis” credo. I am betting Lynch has his biggest outing of the season so far.
Selvin Young. He has been having a good year for yardage, not outstanding though. But, he has been the best performer overall out of the Denver backfield and I’m betting he either gets in the end zone, tops 100 yd. or both against Kansas City this week.
Running backs who will resemble Barry Manilow
Steven Jackson. Why would anything change this week?.
Marion Barber. Another big-name running back. He has been running hard, relatively healthy and it’s a big game against Washington. So, taking a huge risk, but I think Felix Jones is going to get a chance to spell Barber a little this week and we will see Barber’s numbers go down.
Wide receivers who will resemble Cris Carter (the retired wide receiver from Philadelphia and Minnesota)
The easy choice would be Brandon Marshall, so I am going to bypass that and stretch on a couple
Steve Smith. He certainly looked a little rusty in his first game back this past week, but I’m betting he gets on the scoreboard against Atlanta at home.
Chad Ocho- Cinco. Here is a guy who has totally disappeared this season. His team is 0-3 but showed some signs of life against the Giants. They are playing Cleveland and the odds of this game being a tie game are probably higher than most games, but I still expect somebody to win and I think Chad gets to do some form of celebration this week.
Wide receivers who will resemble Chris Carter (the creator/writer of the X-Files)
Anybody from Baltimore. I really hope you have not been starting any receivers from Baltimore to begin with, but my prediction is nobody will score any touchdowns through the air for Baltimore this week… again.
Dwayne Bowe. Considering he plays for Kansas City, he has been having an okay year. I expect the Denver secondary to shut him down this week.
Now, let’s see how the power rankings shake out!
1. size7 poopShooters. (1) they had their own version of Miami versus New England this week as the number one ranked team loses to the number 12 ranked team. Still, they hold onto their number one ranking as they continue to score solid points and when I look at their lineup, I just see fewer weaknesses than any other team. The Westbrook injury could be a concern, but the early Word is that he’s going to be OK and they have Felix Jones ready to fill in for a week or two if necessary. It is still only three weeks into the season, but next week is the one quarter mark and right now I believe they are the team everybody is chasing.
2. Damaged Denial.(3) they continue moving up the rankings, settling at number two this week, but I’m not 100% certain how tight their grasp on the position is. They are gaining an awful lot of points out of the defensive team, and that’s not the kind of thing that you can sustain all year. Baby boy Manning and Frank Gore are extremely solid and Burress hasn’t quite exploded like he did last season, but there is still enough time and there’s no reason to think he won’t wind up carrying this team a couple of weeks. Right now though, they’ve moved up to number two in large part due to their defense
3. Dreaded Mercenaries. (4) they climb another spot in the rankings, but again a lot of it is based on their defensive points. There’s no doubt that they are a solid team. Romo at quarterback, AP at running back, Fitzgerald leading the way at wide receiver and a fairly strong supporting cast all the way around. It looks to me like every team from number two through number six is really close right now
4. The Flood. (2) is this the start of a major slide for the defending champs? They have lost two in a row, finished dead last in points this week and now there is word that Willie Parker is out indefinitely. They have what should be a great 1-2 punch at wide receiver, but neither Wayne nor Holmes are performing up to expectations. They have a decent combo at running back, but right now they are not looking as strong as they did at this time last week.
5. Evil Midnight Bombers.(6) apparently when you are flying a squadron of evil midnight bombers, there are a lot of altitude changes which are required. In the first three weeks of the season, they have finished first in points, last in points and then first in points again. The question is, where is that yo-yo going to stop? When a team is this erratic, it’s almost impossible to tell if they are going to score over 100 points each week, or finish in last. They still have some problems at quarterback, although Jason Campbell has been over performing. If Willis McGahee really does start performing like he did when he was with Buffalo, then they have a great threesome at running back. It’s going to be intriguing to see where this team ends up. They are definitely a contender, but are they going to climb to the top of the heap or continue bouncing dangerously up and down?
6. Twittering Witty Wombats. (5) they slip a spot in the rankings, but they are only one player away from making a move up, and that player is Braylon Edwards. He was my pick as best value selection at the wide receiver position and he has done nothing but struggle all season. If he can start playing as expected, then he could be the missing piece for this team. If he doesn’t, then they might find themselves around the middle of the pack for quite awhile
7. Team Fenix. (8) They continue creeping up the standings. If Randy Moss would do just half of what he was doing last season, this team might be able to pull it together and start threatening the top teams. They still have plenty of issues to be sure, no other big-time receivers other than Randy and no outstanding running backs, other than Julius Jones who has really started taking the lead in Seattle. They’ve got Brett at quarterback and right now they are scoring good points as a team. If they keep it up, they might break into the top half next week
8. The Bloodsuckers. (9) they climbed one more spot, but Ronnie Brown is not going to get you 41 points every week. They desperately need to find another quarterback. If Ronnie can return to pre-injury form, there is still a chance this team can be competitive, but there is a decent chance that if they don’t pick up another quarterback soon, they will have two quarterbacks on their roster neither of which are starting for the NFL team on which they play
9. Team Jackie. (7) there are some pretty good players on this team, but management has to take some notice. Jackie, if you are reading this, for the sake of keeping your team competitive, please, please set down Bulger and start Warner. In fact, drop Bulger altogether and get another as backup..Plus, Jonathan Stewart should be starting. Right now this team is 2-1, but they are missing out on valuable overall points. A couple of simple roster adjustments and this team can be competitive all the way to the playoffs. But, they can also drop.to the very bottom if the wrong players are in the lineup
10. San Hosers. (11) as I go over the power rankings, this ranking might be a little low, but they did move up the rankings and might move a little higher next week as well. LT scored twice, but is obviously still struggling. Andre Johnson and Roy Williams are both disappointing, but if either of them can pick it up, there is still plenty of time for this team to climb the ranks. There are still a lot of problems, nobody stepping up as the second running back, the aforementioned concerns over LT and so on. Overall though, there are signs of hope
11. .Cowering Code Monkeys.(12) They get out of the basement with a hardfought victory over the top team in the league. Philip Rivers has been a savior for this team. Mojo showed some signs of life this past week, and if he returns to his form of two years ago this team could make some noise. I’m not sure that is going to happen, but every long journey begins with a couple of steps, and this team took those first steps out of the depths of the league, so we will see if it is the start of that long journey or just an aberration.
12. Pavlov’s Altoids. (10) they fall to the bottom of the league mostly because of an almost total lack of contribution from their wide receivers. Big Brother Manning is bound to start producing some time you would think, and Donovan McNabb has been more on than off. The main problem is you can’t play both of them. Lynch and McFadden are fine in the running back position, but nobody is doing anything at wide receiver. All four of the teams in the bottom third of the power rankings have a lot of issues to overcome, but it’s still too early to count any of them out.
So, one of the most intriguing NFL seasons in recent memory continues. You would have to be some kind of fool to try and predict what is going to happen next week. Wait, scratch that. You have to be some kind of brave and honorable individual! Yeah, that sounds better, brave and honorable!
Posted Sep 17, 2008 01:36 AM
The second week of the season is now past and things were just as crazy and exciting as the opening week. While it did not sport any of the obviously significant injuries of last week, there are some signs that have to have some people a little concerned.
Remember that pesky, meaningless little toe injury that the number one overall pick in almost every league Tomlinson was making a point to tell the media about how pesky and meaningless it was? Well, his back up gained almost 300 total yards in week two while LT was limited to only 10 carries.
Anybody hear the name Steven Jackson this week? Larry Johnson? Me neither.
There’s a whole slew of first-round fantasy draft choices who are pulling the proverbial disappearing act in the first two weeks. Some of them, like Tomlinson, are still most likely going to come around and have a decent performance when you look at the overall numbers. However others, like Jackson and Johnson, find themselves mired in situations that look increasingly hopeless each week. Both St. Louis and Kansas City showed no signs of improving. Even Detroit, who has been blown out both of the first two weeks, played Green Bay tough for the first three quarters. And, their offensive players are scoring points. Nobody is gettin nothin outta St. Louis or KC.
Now, let’s take a quick look back at some of my advice from the first week and see how I did, then we’ll move on to predictions and power rankings for the upcoming week.
For quarterbacks I liked, I suggested Eli Manning, saying I expected him to get at least three touchdowns. He got those three touchdowns, so I’m going to say this one is a good call. I also said that I liked Ben Roechlisberger, expecting two more touchdowns and more yardage. What I was not expecting was the remnants of a hurricane to make their way through the Ohio Valley during game time. I’m going to give myself a push on this one since I write this so early in the week there would have been no way to predict the weather on that
Quarterbacks that I did not like, I had Matt Ryan , 13-33, 158 yd. and no touchdowns. That’s a good call. I also took a little bit of a risk by putting a top five quarterback here as well in Drew Brees.22-33, only 216 yd. with one touchdown and two interceptions. That’s another good call.
Onto running backs I liked I had Ryan Grant. This was a bad call as Grant did not get anywhere near 100 yd. nor did he find the end zone. There was a leg injury that was revealed later in the week which supposedly hampered him, but unlike Rogue hurricanes that take a hard right turn after Texas and refuse to diminish there wind strength as they pass overland, injuries are a part of the game that everyone needs to be aware of. I also included Clinton Portis, saying I would not be surprised if he topped 100 and crossed the goal line twice. Well, he got 96 and crossed the goal line twice, that’s close enough for a good call
Running backs who I thought might fall short were Fred Taylor and Mojo who gained a COMBINED 66 yd. on 21 attempts and one touchdown (with another 30 yd. combined receiving), that’s a good call. I also put stud running back Joseph Addai in this section, he wound up with just 20 yd. on 15 carries and one touchdown.
In wide receivers that I liked I put Burress, 5 catches for 81 yd. and a touchdown, and Holmes, five catches 94 yd. and no touchdowns. Wide receiver is the most erratic of the big three scoring positions, so while neither of these were huge games, they were not terrible for the position either so I’m going to go with push on both of them.
Finally, in wide receivers that I did not like, I went with Hank Baskett, 2 catches for only 10 yd., that’s more in line with what I expect. I also put Eddie Royal, who was almost invisible all day but did get that big touchdown and a two-point conversion, so I’m calling this one a bad call.
So overall, out of 12 predictions, seven of them were good, two bad and three were middle of the road. Now, what about week three?
Quarterbacks who will make you happy
Jay Cutler. It looks like last week was the official welcoming party for Cutler to join the ranks of top-level quarterbacks. He has New Orleans at home this week and should have another good one.
Derek Anderson. I don’t like this guy, I don’t think he’s going to be the quarterback much longer, and I do believe that last year was mostly a fluke. However, Cleveland is against the wall and if they lose to Baltimore, their season is basically over three weeks in. If Derek Anderson is going to have any decent games this season when he is still on your roster, it is going to be this week.
Quarterbacks who will make you sad
Carson Palmer. No surprise here, he went high in many drafts. Like I said in my power rankings last week, he has all the talent and is surrounded by talent in all of the skill positions, but his team is a disaster and they are playing the Giants in New York.
Matt Hassleback. I know, I know, just last week I said until further notice, if you have anybody playing St. Louis, start them. The thing is, there are zero, and I mean zero as in absolute, receivers remaining in Seattle. Your quarterback is not going to get touchdown passes if nobody is there to catch them.
Running backs who will make you glad
Brandon Jacobs. The big guy has been running well so far, but he is yet to find the end zone. I am betting that changes this week at home against Cincinnati.
Frank Gore. At home, against Detroit, coming off a big win against Seattle, I would not be surprised if Frank gets close to 150 yd. and a couple of scores.
Running backs who will make you mad
Brian Westbrook. Yes, he is leading the league in touchdowns right now. He just scored three in primetime, so there is really no way you can set him down. However, he has a short week and is playing a tough run defense in Pittsburgh. Don’t be surprised if you’re disappointed this week.
Matt Forte. The rookie has been running all over the place so far, but Tampa Bay looks to have a really stout defense, especially against the run. I would be surprised if the young running back does well this week.
Wide receivers who will do well
Reggie Wayne. He has been having a fairly decent season so far, but I’m looking for him and big Brother Manning to really start clicking against division rival Jacksonville
Randy Moss. Obviously, you are starting him no matter what. But, at home, against Miami? Could see a record of some sort.
Wide receivers who will do bad
Anquan Boldin. This one is more based on last week. I think there is a decent chance he might get into the end zone again, maybe put up 70 or so yards, but he is placed here as more of a warning against expecting a performance similar to last week
Santana Moss. See Anquan Boldin, and they are playing each other!
Now, onto the all-important power rankings, (previous weeks rankings are in parentheses)
1. size7 poopShooters. (1) This team is for real. They are still having some problems with the third wide receiver, but who needs a third wide receiver when you have Cutler, Westbrook, Marshall, Calvin Johnson with Jacobs and Hines providing solid support? The Shooters solidified their hold on the number one spot this week
2. The Flood. (2) They lost their game, but still did fairly well in points and that was without a breakout performance by any player. They are extraordinarily weak at the tight end position, but that’s just tight end, which is about as irrelevant as it gets. Overall, I think this is still a very solid team who should hang around the top of the power rankings into next week. They barely hang onto number 2
3. Damaged Denial.(4) If you take away the 35 points for the defense, they still had a pretty good week scoring. Baby boy Manning carried them, and even though Ryan Grant let them down, Chris Chambers stepped up. The league is still shaking out, but I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that Denial is solidly in the top five
4. Dreaded Mercenaries. (6) The second week and this team is looking more and more like a contender and here is why. They scored one total touchdown from their three starting running backs and three starting wide receivers combined and they still scored 130 points without their quarterback, defensive team or kicker going extraordinarily insane. How? Even though a lot of their players did not score this week, they got tons of yardage. If you have players that can carry you through the Times when they are not scoring touchdowns, and you know some of them are going to be scoring touchdowns, then you are going to have a very competitive team.
5. Twittering Witty Wombats. (5) They make a decent pick up in Chris Johnson, the running back from Tennessee. Even though they lost this game, I still think this team is fairly solid. I predicted Brees would have a bad game, but he’s got plenty of good ones ahead of him this season. Barber played a strong game, looks like his ribs are not bothering him too much. The loss of Colston definitely hurts them, and the way Edwards is playing they have to be pulling their hair out. But, assuming Edwards eventually starts playing better and Colston is actually back in five or six weeks, this team should be there come playoff time.
6. Evil Midnight Bombers.(3) After bursting out of the starting blocks in week one, the Bombers fall back to Earth, finishing dead last in points this week. Quarterback continues to be a problem, Michael Turner did not explode, the wide receivers did not blow anybody away, although they did make a nice pickup in Eddie Royal, and the owner made a crucial error by starting a defensive team who did not play this week. Those are the kinds of mistakes that make or break a fantasy season.
7. Team Jackie. (7) They got a big win over the Flood this week, but they should have scored a good deal more points. Santana did have a great week, and they’re going to need more of that if they want to keep on winning. However, despite my comment that Warner was a better way to go, they stuck with Bulger who got them 11 points rather than 32 from Warner. This team has a chance to climb out of the middle, but they need to keep an eye on their personnel and make sure they are starting the right players on a week to week basis
8. Team Fenix. (9) They score some decent points this week. Even though more than 25% of their total points was from their defense, they only got a couple out of Randy Moss and still managed to score almost 90 nondefensive points. I’m not sure that is something that they can sustain, but it is still early in the season and as I said previously, this league is still shaking out.
9. The Bloodsuckers. (10) They are the first team to register a negative score from one of their players this season, and that is never a good sign. Even though they scored 93 points, 58 of them were from their defense and Boldin, leaving only 35 points for the rest of the team, and that’s not good. There is really nobody on the bench who can come in as a savior, so I think they are going to have to watch the waiver wire and hope that they can pick somebody up before this season slips away
10. Pavlov’s Altoids. (11) Did you watch the game on Monday night? Didn’t it seem like Donovan McNabb should have 1000 points? Somehow, with all of those points, he only wound up with three more than big Brother Manning, only 17. However, McFadden certainly showed that he belongs in the NFL. But, this team still has a lot of issues (they had to start Limas Sweed, the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t even start Limas Sweed). Right now, they have a long road before they can get out of the bottom half
11. San Hosers. (8) OK, that thing about this team having a good chance to move up is looking less and less likely as long as Palmer is the quarterback. They really have to be worried about LT as well. It looks like Shanahan is messing with fantasy owners like only he can by having Michael Pittman be the go to guy when they get close to the end zone. Overall, the potential is still there for this team, but it is starting to look dangerously like a collapse is right around the corner.
12. .Cowering Code Monkeys.(12) They bounce back after losing Tom Brady and get a victory. There’s a chance that if LT continues to be hampered, Philip Rivers might take his game up a notch and really help this team out. I am not sold on that though and they are still facing lots of problems with Mojo, Lendale White and McAllister as their main running backs. They also have really nobody as a standout wide receiver, so even with this victory, I think they still have a way to go before they recover from the Tom Brady injury
I have to say that the first two weeks of this NFL season may have been the most enjoyable first two weeks of any NFL season I have ever seen. There has been major injuries, multiple comebacks, already had one overtime game, crazy weather, offensive battles, defensive struggles, some fantastically horrible calls by referees (especially for those in the San Diego area), only the third game in NFL history to be decided by a two-point conversion and one marquee name player talking about killing himself. I’m not sure who could possibly predict what is going to happen in week three, but I’m looking forward to watching it.
Posted Sep 11, 2008 09:36 PM
So, I was a little out of it this weekend. Watched a game here and there, caught a couple of highlights. Do any of you know if anybody of any significance got hurt this weekend?
What?! What did you say?? Nate Burleson is out for the season?? Well, there goes the fantasy season for all of those Burleson owners! You just can’t replace a Burleson by snapping your fingers.
The truth is, that while a lot of stuff happened this weekend (Marion Barber already has injured ribs, Jacksonville has absolutely nobody on the offensive line remaining which is bad news for Mojo and Fred Taylor owners, Vince Young is out at least a couple of weeks, Burleson really is done for this season and LT has a pesky little toe problem that he insists is no problem at all, besides, it’s just a toe, how bad could it be :: cough :: Jack Lambert :: cough:: ) all of it is like a walk in the park compared to the Tom Brady injury.
Now, I’m never one to throw in the towel after one week. And, I have experienced firsthand the kick-to-the-gut like sensation that seems to linger for most of the season when you have lost your first choice in your fantasy draft for the year because of injury. This is incidentally very similar to the sensation experienced by actually being kicked in the gut, only it somehow lasts longer. But this one is hard to get over for anyone who drafted Brady..
In every draft I have been involved in this season, Tom Brady went in the first-round. High in the first round. That means that everybody who drafted Brady bypassed a top-of-the-line running back or wide receiver. Now, you have what should be a number two running back as your number one and no Brady. It’s true that this is a long season and a lot can happen. Then again, there are long seasons and there are LOOONG seasons.
Anyway, I didn’t draft Tom Brady in any of my half a dozen fantasy leagues this year, so let’s move on to some suggestions for the upcoming week and the all-important power rankings!
Quarterbacks that I love this week
Eli Manning: he will most certainly get his first touchdown pass this week and I would expect it to be followed by at least two more
Ben Roethlisberger: he only had one incompletion last week, and that was a throwaway to avoid a sack. He also only had to throw the ball 14 times and still got two touchdowns. I’m looking for at least another two and more yards with the same kind of accuracy this week
Quarterbacks that I am significantly less enthusiastic about
Drew Brees: I think the Washington defense is going to be all fired up for their home opener. Still, Drew is a top-level quarterback and you have to start him.
Matt Ryan: I am not ready to jump on the Matt Ryan express yet. You should not be rushing to get him into your starting lineup (unless your quarterback last week was Tom Brady)
Running backs who are ready to run
Ryan Grant: did you see Turner and Norwood last week against Detroit? Well, Green Bay is playing Detroit this week and while I don’t necessarily expect Turner numbers, Green Bay is a more balanced team than Atlanta and Grant should put out very good numbers
Clinton Portis: I have some questions about the New Orleans rush defense after that first game and Clinton looked pretty good even though he did not get into the end zone on opening day. I wouldn’t be surprised if he tops 100 and crosses the goal line twice
Running backs who are not going anywhere
Fred Taylor/Mojo: I mentioned this up above, and the truth of the matter is you can be the best running back on the planet, if you don’t have at least a serviceable offensive line, you are not going anywhere. For those who don’t pay super close attention, Jacksonville lost three of their starting offensive lineman on opening day, one for the season, one for two months and another one for at least a couple of weeks. They are playing Buffalo and Buffalo looks hungry.
Joseph Addai:you have to start him regardless, but you always get worried when the body part next to injury reads “head”” and the Minnesota Vikings defense still looks really good against the run.
Wide receivers who will tattoo “death from above” upon their opponents
Santonio Holmes: he was exceptionally quiet in the opening week, and Hines Ward is still a viable threat, but I’m thinking NBC Sunday night is going to be the coming-out party for Mr. Holmes
Plaxico Burress: OK, let’s get this out-of-the-way now, that way I can maybe stretch a little more in future articles. Until further notice, if you have any wide receiver or quarterback… or running back or tight end or kicker or defense going against St. Louis, start them.
Wide receivers who will be grounded
Hank Baskett: I feel compelled to put Hank down just because I’ve heard some people talking about him as if he’s going to be the breakout player of the century. He’s not, it was a big catch and it was against St. Louis. It should be a different story against Dallas this week
Eddie Royal: the rookie had a fantastic game on Monday night… against Oakland… without Brandon Marshall playing opposite. I do believe he’s going to have a decent season, but I expect a big drop off this week
And now onto the first LiveWorld League power rankings of the season!
1. size7 poopShooters. I had no choice in this matter, as long as this team was in any way competitive, the universe decreed that they would have to be ranked number one after the first week. Any owner with the genius, ingenuity, self-assurance and sheer audacity to name their OWN team size7 poopShooters must know what they’re doing. I mean, what does it even mean?! Size seven? Poop shooters? The imagery is staggering! And beyond all that, they have a really good team. Very solid at quarterback with Kitna and Cutler. Excellent running backs in Westbrook and Jacobs, really good possibility of Felix Jones contributing as well. And wide receivers were good last week with Hines Ward. The third wide receiver spot was a little weak but they have Brandon Marshall coming back this week. I will say that I think they should have been an even stronger team, but they made in my opinion a bad trade offer to Yours truly, giving up Willie Parker and Lee Evans in exchange for Calvin Johnson and Ray Rice. Johnson might very well be a monster this year, but Ray Rice was already cut from the Shooters roster, Evans I believe is a very solid number two receiver and Willie Parker was one of my favorite value picks before the season started and that looked pretty good in the first week.
2. The Flood. Traditionally I rank my teams as pessimistically as possible. It is frequently very difficult for people to give fair and unbiased judgments of their own teams, but I think that number two is about right. Come to think of it, maybe I should have made poopShooters number two, but I digress. The Flood look really solid right now with Big Ben at quarterback, Clinton and fast Willie at running back with what looks to be a rising star in Matt Forte in the flexed position. Wayne and Holmes should be an outstanding duo at wide receiver, and if Evans or Vincent Jackson can contribute from the number three spot, this team could be tough to beat. It’s true that there are a lot of Steelers on the roster, something which normally doesn’t happen with my teams, even though I am a big Steelers fan. All too frequently, when you have too many players from the same NFL team on your roster, it doesn’t work out for you… unless you happen to pick the right team in the right year, only time will tell.
3. Evil Midnight Bombers. They scored the most points in our league in the first week, but they only get the number three spot. Why? Well first, Baltimore is not going to score you 20 + points every week. Second, while Michael Turner is probably in for a good year, he still plays on Atlanta and he is not going to get you 34 points week in and week out. They do have pretty solid running backs in the aforementioned Turner, plus Addai is right at the top of the running back food chain and Thomas Jones is going to contribute throughout. However, they are fairly weak at quarterback with Hassleback, who has absolutely no receivers left, and Jason Campbell. The receivers will rely entirely upon Steve Smith when he gets back. If Smith has a good season, then he will have to carry the rest of the receivers because Patrick Crayton, DJ Hackett and Dwayne Bowe are not going to blow anybody away.
4. Damaged Denial. I almost had this team ranked number three. They have a pretty solid core with baby boy Manning as the quarterback, Frank Gore and Ryan Grant the anchors at running back and then Plax, Chambers and a potentially rising Star in Cotchery at wide receiver. The main problem looks like no strong options for the flexed position. Still, the core could be strong enough to make this team a contender again this season.
5. Twittering Witty Wombats. The league starts to tighten up at this point.. They have a good starting quarterback with Drew Brees, solid wide receivers in Marvin Harrison and Colston backing up a top-of-the-line receiver in Braylon Edwards and Marion Barber is definitely a number one running back, provided he can stay healthy. After that you are left with Ricky Williams and DeAngelo Williams fighting for the number two spot and no outstanding choice to start as the flex (note: this written before it was found out that Colston is out for up to six weeks)
6. Dreaded Mercenaries. This is a team that I think could really shoot up the rankings pretty quickly. They have what many consider a top level quarterback in Tony Romo, an extremely solid running back squad with AP leading the way, Edge and Ernest Graham are both great backups, then at wide receiver they have a top five player at the position in Fitzgerald and a number two guy in Laveraneues Coles who could have a fairly decent season with their new Hall of Fame quarterback. The main weak spot is that there is no good option for the number three wide receiver.
7. Team Jackie. The team could be in trouble, St. Louis just looks terrible and this team has the quarterback and Steven Jackson, as well as the kicker. Personally, I think Kurt Warner is a better way to go at quarterback, so we will see who gets the start in the second week. After that you’ve got Owens as the only standout player. Reggie Bush might be OK, and if he is, this team might not need to make too many moves to be competitive. But, they need to upgrade their second running back/flex position and hope that Santana Moss has a really good year because Welker was my number one pick for bust of the year at receiver, and losing Brady doesn’t help that.
8. San Hosers. This is another one of those middle teams then I think could move up. Palmer at quarterback is a real tossup this season. He has the talent, and he is surrounded by talent at the skill positions, but the team as a whole is in disarray already and the offensive line is questionable at best. They do have LT and a couple of young running backs who could produce in Kevin Smith and Selvin Young. They also have Jamal Lewis who can be a top performer if he can get and stay healthy. The top two receivers are Andre Johnson and Roy Williams, both of which could have great years, or could underperform again because of the overall skill level of their teams. Then, there is no good option for a third wide receiver and no other depth.
9. Team Fenix. They grabbed Favre a little early, but one thing you definitely get with Brett is a consistent starter. He is going to throw his interceptions, but he’s going to throw more touchdowns and he always starts. They came back and were able to get Randy Moss who is probably still the number one overall receiver even without Brady, provided the team doesn’t run into trouble winning games and he just gives up on the season. .Julius Jones should be able to get yards if nothing else up in Seattle especially now that Maurice Morris is injured. However, the rest of the running backs and receivers are not going to help this team score too many points.
10. The Bloodsuckers. This team is in a pretty bad way early on. I don’t believe Derek Anderson is the real deal in Cleveland, and they have Vince Young backing him up. Word out of Tennessee is that Vince might not want to play anymore and has taken up driving around town with a gun in his car, bullets strewn around the front seats. Larry Johnson is on such a bad team that he is going to be facing 8 man fronts all season long. Holt is on a worse team than Larry Johnson, but Boldin might be OK. Ronnie Brown might be able to get some points, but overall there’s not enough here right now to make this team into a contender
11. Pavlov’s Altoids. Last season this team took the risk of drafting two top-level quarterbacks in big Brother Manning and Donovan McNabb. They then proceeded to go through most of the season consistently starting the wrong one on any given week. This season? They drafted big Brother Manning and Donovan McNabb, starting Manning in the opening week. They have a solid running back in Lynch from Buffalo, and the superstar rookie Darren McFadden who may or may not be productive this season. After that it gets bad. Chad Ocho- Cinco leads the receiving corps. He has always gotten lots of yards, but his touchdown production has dropped consistently and he is injured. There are no other players on the team who have much of a chance of contributing anything consistently this season
12. .Cowering Code Monkeys. Tom Brady, Chris Henry (from Cincinnati), Bobby Engram. On top of that pile Deuce McAllister, Reggie Williams, Mojo and Bernard Berrian. The best player on this team might be Jason Witten, their tight end, and that’s not good. They have already dropped Tom Brady and replaced him with Cassel, and if Cassel turns out to be another Brady, this team might be able to rebound. I will be forced to kill myself rather than listen to another whole season of sports reporters talking about the genius that must have been involved in selecting the unknown Cassel (who has as many professional and Collegiate starts as I do by the way) in the seventh round four years ago to back up Brady, but the Code Monkeys would be able to rebound, so it all balances out.
And there you have it, the first week is in the books and what an opening week it was. If the next 16 weeks are anything like that, it’s going to be a season to remember.
your take on Chad Ochocinco
the attempted "bribery" of an official for one dollar is the latest in a long history of Chad controversies. What is your take on the eccentric wide receiver?
(This poll has expired.)
he is a moron, a cancer, nothing but negative
he is just having fun, good for the team, love him
sometimes he crosses the line