Archive for October, 2005

Week Eight Selections

Sunday, 30 October, 2005

Week Eight Picks

Cincinnati over Green Bay
Dallas over Arizona
Washington over NY Giants
New England over Buffalo
Pittsburgh over Baltimore
Miami over New Orleans
Detroit over Chicago
Houston over Cleveland
Oakland over Tennessee
Tampa Bay over San Francisco
Jacksonville over St. Louis
Carolina over Minnesota
San Diego over Kansas City
Philadelphia over Denver

Post Week Seven: Waiver Wire

Thursday, 27 October, 2005

It’s crunch time. If you’re hovering around the .500 mark, it’s make or break. A nice winning streak now could catapult you to the playoffs. An average or slump will leave you questioning your managing skills all season long. If you need that extra boost to your team, here are some athletes to look at on the waiver wire.

Quarterbacks

Jeff Garcia
He didn’t show much in his first start stat wise to be a fantasy football starter. Garcia can only get better as he was rushed a bit early to comeback. His body will get back to 100 percent along with his mental and conditioning strengths. Once that happens he should have some of his receivers back. Garcia may not look like a fantasy starter for the next month, but he could be one of the hottest quarterbacks come fantasy playoff time.

Daunte Culpepper
Yes, there were many owners that were too distraught to keep Culpepper on their team. They wasted a first round pick on him, and saw him put up one decent game. He still has a long ways to go (6 td’s to 12 int’s), but the chance of him revitalizing his season is higher than a continued downfall. A collapsing hole can only collapse so much. Culpepper brought his team back from the dead last week, and can now get them on a roll. As long as he stays patient and the Vikings use Mewelde Moore, Culpepper’s numbers should get back to a equal level.

Brooks Bollinger
The Jets had a win in their back pockets if they would have started Bollinger against the Falcons. He was a totally different quarterback off the bench, and maybe that was the reason for his solid fourth quarter. The Jets need to let go of their love affair with Vinny Testaverde. He may be keeping himself in shape all the time by lifting weights, but his legs and body can’t keep up. Nor can his arm as he left if flailing on many hits that caused the football to be jarred out with ease. Any other quarterback would have been benched, but the Jets still feel like Testaverde gives them a better chance to win. It looks like their in disbelief that Testaverde can have a duplicating type of performance. Well, maybe they never watched Testaverde last year with the Dallas Cowboys.

Kurt Warner
Dennis Green was a second away from yanking Josh McCown last week for Kurt Warner. Green is in a tussle on who to start, and only went with McCown because he had the hot hand. The hand went cold against the Titans last week, and almost froze. Green already has a trigger mind for pulling McCown, and the Cardinals didn’t pay Kurt Warner three million for nothing. In all likelihood the Cardinals are going to test both quarterbacks out for he remaining games. Both have one year deals. Either one will be retained or both will be let go.

Running Backs

JJ Arrington or Marcel Shipp
It’s strange to see an entire squad of running backs that get carries not on a fantasy roster. Well, Shipp and Arrington have made a new exception to that. It hasn’t been their fault though. Arizona gives the running game a try like the snow does falling in the valley of the sun. Add to that the offensive line is still trying to come together. Those pieces could be missing all year, or could come together on any week. If you have room, adding Arrington or Shipp would be smart. Just like Garcia, both will have high value around fantasy playoff time.

Artose Pinner
Both Pinner and Shawn Bryson have been getting a fair amount of carries suddenly. The Lions are either saving Kevin Jones for a late season run, or just want to have more of a crop of backs carrying the load. Both Pinner and Bryson have been fairly impressive, but Pinner would likely get more carries if Jones went down. Basically adding Pinner or Bryson would be looking hypothetically into an injury of Kevin Jones.

Tony Fisher

With Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport out for the season, Fisher will get the opportunity of a third string running back’s dream. The same dream that Nick Goings had a chance with last season and capitalized on. Fisher isn’t a back that doesn’t have much experience. He has been part of the Packers system for awhile, and should fill in with decent numbers.

Wide Receivers

Amani Toomer
For the first time in awhile, Toomer had a fantasy impact on Sunday. With Eli throwing more and with more confidence, Toomer’s last week shouldn’t be a fluke. Especially with the way Plaxico Burress is starting to draw double teams. Toomer is a veteran that still has the talent to warrant starting as a third wide receiver in fantasy leagues.

Az Hakim
Hakim is becoming Aaron Brooks favorite weapon with Joe Horn injured. He has had a fabulous month, and has done so quietly. For the second year in a row he has put up decent numbers when the opportunity has presented itself. Maybe the Saints will look into using more three wide receiver sets with Horn back. Hakim deserves to be on the field, as he is a hard receiver to cover.

Antonio Chatman
Favre has gone his way on occasion before the injury bug hit the Packers receivers. Now that’ll rise with a field of receivers that looks ugly besides Donald Driver. One thing we all know, is that Green Bay will be throwing a lot. Chatman has to be the target and hopefully the receptor of some of those throws.

Koren Robinson
The best story of last week was Koren Robinson. Here is a guy that drove himself out of Seattle, and now is the return specialist for the Vikings. Every kickoff he ran he had stellar returns, and was one man away from having a touchdown. It’s only a matter of time, that Robinson will be worked in as a threat at wide receiver. Travis Taylor and Marcus Robinson can’t compare to Koren Robinson’s raw talents.

Eric Parker
He did fumble away the game for the Chargers, but over the past few weeks he has finally been sighted in the Chargers offense. Drew Brees use to look his way a handful of times, if that, during a game. Teams are gearing more and more attention towards shutting down Antonio Gates, and it’s starting to cause Drew Brees to finally look elsewhere to throw the ball.

Week Seven: You've Got To Be Kidding Me

Monday, 24 October, 2005

You have to feel bad for Bret Favre. Every week he gives it his all, and his team seems to always fold. The enormous weight of collapsing has to be taking it’s toll on Favre. His priceless expression as Paul Edinger nailed a 56 yard field goal, sealed his disgust of what has been a nightmare season. The superstar athletes around him keep dropping. As Ahman Green’s season has been declared over and Robert Ferguson’s knee will likely keep him out for an extended time. Out of all NFL players Brett Favre deserves to throw his arms in the air, and yell, You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me.

Quarterbacks

Michael Vick
Call it what you want, but his arm is going to be the Falcons downfall in the playoffs. Grabbing close games doesn’t happen in the playoffs if you have a one dimensional quarterback. The Jets were able to slow Vick down after the first quarter from scrambling. The medicine that has helped the Falcons all the time has been Warrick Dunn’s success to offset defenses from gearing down on Vick from the edges. He is truly the secret MVP of their team.

Josh McCown
He lucked out with the defensive support he received. They setup the majority of the Cardinals points, and made up for a horrible day from McCown. McCown only had one solid throw the entire game, and that was the game stretching touchdown throw to Larry Fitzgerald. Besides that McCown missed several open receivers (including twice with receivers in the end zone), and got a gift when a Tennessee linebacker dropped an interception that would have surely been returned for a touchdown. Dennis Green knows that McCown doesn’t deserved to be yanked yet. Another performance like Sunday’s though, and Green will have no choice but to give Warner his job back.

Drew Bledsoe
What was Bledsoe thinking? The drizzle of rain and slight fog couldn’t have caused that bad of a clouded vision to throw a misguided pass to Seattle. Boneheaded plays like that haven’t happened in a long time under circumstances like that. A performance like Bledsoe’s on Sunday could start a string of bad performances his way. Luckily he gets to play the Cardinals this week.

Running Backs

Ladainian Tomlinson
A bad game is inevitable, but the Chargers could have used something from him to break open the game against the Eagles. Credit the Eagles defense though for playing terrific. Often times when an all pro player like Tomlinson struggles, the finger is pointed on the individual. The good thing for Tomlinson is that he should never set a career low for rushing ever again.

Shaun Alexander
He piles up the yardage and touchdowns big time against average defenses. For some reason though he has never been able to show that ability against solid defenses. Dallas attacked him on every play and made Alexander look like a slow cautious back. Before any team decides to fork the mega contract to Alexander, they better look at the scale of yardage and touchdowns Alexander gets against the weaker defenses.

Brian Westbrook
Demanding a new contract can cause two things. A new contract from great play or the delay of an offer from poor play. Westbrook hasn’t been nearly as dominant as he thinks he is worth, and needs to step it up. His digression in play is why the Eagles are a shaky team right now. Shaky enough that they might not be able to compete with their division rivals in the Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants.

Wide Receivers

Anquan Boldin
It wasn’t his fault, but fantasy owners don’t care about that. McCown had a poor day and that affects great receivers. It was the first time in his short career that Boldin went without a catch. Expect a new streak to start, and not end for a long time.

Jerry Porter
He can’t even outperform Moss on a day where Moss played in a handful of snaps. Out of all athletes to sign a big contract, Porter looks to be taking the least advantage of a new deal. He dropped a touchdown on a bomb from Collins. Even though he was drilled on the play, there was no excuse. There have been receivers that have been hurt in mid air that catch passes like that. Doug Gabriel is the better receiver now, and may be for next season as well.

Shaun McDonald
It was his chance to shine without Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt playing. He failed to show he can be a dependable starter, as Kevin Curtis stole the show once again. McDonald has the talent to turn from a special teams returnee into a regular starter. Squandering chances like Sunday won’t help though.

Waiver Wire: Post Week Six

Thursday, 20 October, 2005

Who has the scooper ready? It’s time to put it to work.

Quarterbacks

Chris Simms
Don’t get jumpy on Tim Rattay, yet. He is just insurance in case the unexpected happens to Simms. Simms came in against Miami and delivered some nice throws and kept drives a live when needed. He’ll go through his normal struggles, but being a lefty usually helps out quarterbacks. Simms needs to learn quick, as the Buccaneers are poised for the playoffs.

Jeff Garcia
Watch Harrington finally have a nice game, now that Garcia is about ready to return. It’s just a matter of time before Garcia snatches the job away from Harrington. He has played horrible in every game this season, which is unheard of for an NFL starting quarterback.

Mark Brunell
Brunell is turning into his old school self, with monster passing games. He has developed a nice connection with Santana Moss, and is doing what was expected of him last season. The veteran will need to stay away from injury to lead this team for an entire year.

Jamie Martin
With Bulger out three weeks, this is a great chance to get some productive points for a few weeks from a no name. It depends how bad you’re hurting with your quarterbacks, but Martin should do fine. He was 17 of 21 on MNF with two bad picks. He seemed to never click in the second half like he did in the remaining of the first. Martin’s been in the system for quite awhile and just wasn’t ready to step on the field last Monday.

Running Backs

Chris Brown
A few weeks ago Brown had drifted to waiver wire lists. Now he is worthy of being picked back up after two solid weeks. Before that Brown was playing poorly and looked like he was having second year woes. Travis Henry is due back, so the tandem will be rolling once again. Still, Brown is a straight up runner that can get the job done.

Chester Taylor
Every week his limited carries seem to out do Jamal Lewis. It can’t be a coincidence every week. Either Jamal Lewis is playing hurt, or someone has stepped over him. Taylor is looking more and more like he’ll be the Ravens starting running back next season.

Greg Jones
James Stewart filled in Fred Taylor’s role on more than one occasion when in Jacksonville, and now it’s Jones turn. When Fred Taylor is out for a length of time it can turn into weeks on top of weeks. Jones is a hard runner that will get in the end zone. One thing about Jacksonville is they always run the ball steadily.

Wide Receivers

Doug Gabriel
Moss’s groin injury may turn to be a nagging problem, even if he tries to play this week. Gabriel seems to always be one break away from showing his talents. He played fantastic in preseason in a bigger role, and has done well during spot chances this year.

Az Hakim
One second he is gone and then he’ll show up. He fills the third receiver role nicely. He had a few monster games when he was a Ram in that role. With Deuce out for the year, Brooks’s arm is likely to be throwing an extra five to ten passes a game. That’s enough balls for Joe Horn, Stallworth, and Hakim to get catches.

Peerless Price
The Cowboys lost a big time young receiver in Patrick Crayton. Price now will try to fill in and up the value of the third receiver spot. No one really knows where Price is at in his career, as far as talent left. He was a potential super star a few years ago, and has battled some injuries since being cut by the Falcons. If he can return to form, he will thrive in the third wide receiver role.

Week Six: You've Got To Be Kidding Me

Sunday, 16 October, 2005

If there were fantasy football police, the lineup of athletes would be ridiculous. Week Six involved a gargantuan overflow of athletes that had you screaming, YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!

Quarterbacks

Jake Delhomme
We’re starting to think there was a reason he was a backup for as long as he was. Delhomme has fallen into a zone of making horrible passes. Instead of handing the football off to Stephen Davis, he was handing the game to the Detroit Lions. He took an unfortunate hit late in the game, but for Panther fans that may have been a good thing. If he would have stayed in, he likely would have made yet another game ending interception to the other team.

Vinny Testaverde
He should force the Jets to go out and find a quarterback. To do that he would have to end his career, but it’s a decision he should make. Every time he steps out he adds a more of a darkening look to his career. The Jets try to use him more as a shield, knowing that he knows the game and not to make mistakes. The problem is that the NFL can’t revolve every week with a quarterback being safe guarded. Vinny tried to get the Jets back in the game against the Bills, but didn’t have the tools. He threw a disastrous interception that would have positioned the Jets back to their game plan. Instead it ended it.

Tommy Maddox
Oh, did he make Bill Cowher and the entire Steelers team pissed. Vince McMahon may want to try to recruit him for the XFL2, because that’s Maddox level of play right now.

Running Backs

Lamont Jordan
The plus was that he got your fantasy team two scores. The negatives though continue to outweigh the sleeper expectations of Jordan. He doesn’t get enough carries to know if his yards per carry are truthful. The image we get will continue until he gets twenty plus carries in one game. Knowing the Raiders that’ll never happen.

Thomas Jones
He wasn’t even expected to play, but did that and much more. Jones was underrated last year when he played, and continues to be. He has been a top ten fantasy back this year, and may be for years to come if he can land on a different team. The unclearness of his status against Minnesota, forced a lot of owners not to start him. His two touchdowns and decent yardage, sure made plenty of owners grumble more than the words, you’ve got to be kidding me.

Domanick Davis
He did get a touchdown reception, but owners didn’t draft him for that. They drafted him to be worthy of a first round fantasy football running back. The offense has sputtered all year. Furthermore their terrible offensive line has finally caught up with hurting the overall functioning of the team. Davis can no longer be looked as a top ten back until that gets resolved.

Wide Receivers

Randy Moss
Nothing is worse than getting hurt when the game has barely started. The seriousness of Moss’s injury is unknown, but we all know his prior histories with nagging injuries. At least Doug Gabriel and Joey Porter may finally step up in the statistical department.

Amani Toomer
The emergence and presence of Plaxico Burress along with Jeremy Shockey has not changed the tune for Toomer. Toomer will need to pick it up soon, or the Giants will be spending their first round pick on a receiver. People complained last year so much on Eli Manning, but maybe it was actually his cast of receivers starring Toomer and Ike Hilliard.

Lavernues Coles
Each week that Santana Moss blows out Coles statistically just points out how much the Redskins have won in their trade. Coles can’t catch a break this season, and needs to bring life to the Jets passing game.

Quarterbacking Turnovers

Sunday, 16 October, 2005

The constant switch of emotions on Sunday were escalated rapidly by the amount of turnovers. It didn’t matter which game you were watching on the dish. The trail of turnovers had a boomerang latitude swirl. For a change, the majority of the turnovers didn’t have to do with sloppy plays. Defenses were just forceful in pursuit as well as aggressive in the secondary.

Offenses are truly not as functional explosively as they’ve been in prior years. The versatility of defenses has caused a tremendous amount of lackluster performances from offenses. Performances that NFL fans aren’t use to. So what gives with the quarterbacks struggling? Are the defenses too much for them, or were NFL prognosticators getting ahead of themselves?

On Sunday there were plenty of quarterbacks that could have camouflaged with the world ugly. Ugly enough that their careers may be in jeopardy with the word buried. Let’s analyze where quarterbacks Jake Delhomme, Daunte Culpepper, Aaron Brooks, and Gus Frerotte.

Jake Delhomme
Critics can say Delhomme has cost the Panthers more than he has helped this season. He blew a game earlier this season to Miami, by throwing an interception when a game winning field goal was practically lined up. Sunday, he threw two gut wrenching touchdowns to the Detroit Lions. He seems to be way to lenient towards stud receiver Steve Smith. The magnetism of Smith is great, but sometimes you have to stray away to others. Delhomme took a serious lick and had to leave the Panthers last drive. It’s sad to say, but if he would have stayed in, we don’t think he would have done what Chris Weinke did. Delhomme is one of the worst quarterbacks in the league at keeping his composure for an entire drive. He is at the state that Jake Plummer use to be at.

Daunte Culpepper
Never again will fantasy owners look deep into one season. Blame Culpepper’s errors on a number of problems with Minnesota, but his own are prevalent. The team has went from Super Bowl aspirations to the worst of worst teams in the NFL. The nightmare he is in is going to continue. Minnesota needs a lot of changes, and Culpepper is going to have to stay through them. With all of the losing ahead for him, his play may become built in for a long time.

Aaron Brooks
Aaron is a display of a different quarterback every week. He can put up the performances that wow a crowd, and then others that will make them want to be reimbursed. He is still a young quarterback, but impatience is settling in with everyone in the Saints organization. Against Atlanta Sunday he did an amazing job in hitting receivers, and at times looked unstoppable. When his accuracy is on, he is one of the better quarterbacks in the league. The downside that has always stayed with Brooks, is that he is easy to get out of a groove. One hit, a dropped pass, or any type of negative play can throw him off for a length of time.

Gus Frerotte
The veteran hasn’t been getting enough credit. He placed the ball in the right spots against Tampa Bay but Miami couldn’t hang onto the ball. Either that or they were penalizing themselves. For the past two weeks that has been the story with Miami, and for Frerotte that can only boil over. The team is now 2-3 and in serious danger of being stuck in a bad losing streak. Turnovers are never a teams friend, and Miami is making that their own worst enemy.

The collaboration of quarterbacks being torn apart is strikingly high. Even Peyton Manning is being held in check. Call it what you want, but it’s just not a quarterback friendly year. It may be a trend that continues from season to season, or could be a one time thing. Surely, you’ll always need a reliable quarterback for your fantasy team. The key may be to just wait a duration of rounds before jumping on a starting quarterback. Daunte taught us all a valuable lesson.