Archive for November, 2009

Automatic/Don't Do It Week Ten

Tuesday, 17 November, 2009

By Ted Cahill

Raise your hand if you predicted the Bengals to be a Super Bowl contender this year.

Alright, besides Carson Palmer, I’m pretty sure no one is on record with anything close to that. But here we are, nine weeks into the season and Cincinnati is perched on top of the AFC North and is drawing Super Bowl predictions.

I can’t say I saw this coming, though I thought they would be a little more competitive than a year ago. I’m also unwilling to toss their name in the Super Bowl picture, but if Ocho Cinco wants to toss some money my way, I’m down.

None of these players paid me to put them in here, but the Chiefs should have. Where else are they going to find all this ink not written about Larry Johnson?

Start

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Cincinnati
Roethlisberger will likely take advantage of a porous Bengals’ pass defense. Cincinnati is allowing 242 passing yards per game, and remember they play the Browns to help that average out. Big Ben already has a 276 passing yard day that came with a running and throwing touchdown.

Matt Cassel, Chiefs at Oakland
No Larry Johnson, likely means more passing. For all of you that drafted Cassel expecting him to do something, this might be the week for you. The Raiders give up 212 passing yards per game and Cassel will likely pass that.

Anquan Boldin, Cardinals vs. Seattle
Boldin is typically a must-start, but he has been nursing an injury and did not play last week. Boldin wasn’t happy with that decision and will likely go this week. He can do work against Seahawks, given the turnaround of Kurt Warner.

Laurence Maroney, Patriots at Indianapolis
The Colts will probably try and take Tom Brady out of the equation as much as possible this week. That should mean open holes for Maroney to run through. Maroney has scored three touchdowns in his last three games and has averaged 83 yards.

Sit

Carson Palmer, Bengals at Pittsburgh
Palmer didn’t throw for 200 yards in week three when these two teams met in Cincinnati. I don’t expect him to have a big game at Pittsburgh, who picked off Kyle Orton three times on Monday night.

Kyle Orton, Broncos at Washington
The good news for Orton is the Redskins have only four interceptions this season. However, they allow only 160 passing yards per game and Denver doesn’t throw much on the road. I’d look to avoid him.
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Greg Jennings, Packers vs. Dallas
The Cowboys do a good job taking away deep threats with a combination of good cornerbacks and a great pass rush. They give up yards underneath, which is where Aaron Rodgers is likely to be looking this week. Jennings will likely not hit any home runs for you this week.

Jamaal Charles, Chiefs at Oakland
Yes the Raiders allow a lot of rushing yards, just not to Charles. He’s coming into a bad situation and Oakland’s pass defense is even worse than their run defense

Week Nine Automatic/Don't Do It

Thursday, 5 November, 2009

By Ted Cahill

The World Series conclusion Wednesday was a bittersweet occurrence for me.

I was happy to see CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez win their first titles, but it means that baseball is gone for a few months. Football will attempt to fill its void, and probably do a poor job of it as usual.

College basketball and LeBron will help some, but I’ll still be waiting for the first time I get to see that green diamond again.

I’m sure that’s what Darren McFadden and Joe Thomas are thinking too.

But on to players that are actually fantasy relevant in Week Nine of the NFL season.

Start

Tim Hightower, Cardinals at Chicago
This isn’t the Bears’ defense of a few years ago. Instead its one that running backs can actually take advantage of. Hightower is getting the red zone touches instead of rookie Beanie Wells and taking advantage of them. That should continue this week.

Carson Palmer, Bengals vs. Baltimore
Coming off a bye, I expect the Bengals to be fully prepared for the Ravens. Palmer was hot headed into the week off and should be good to go again this week. In the team’s previous meeting this year, Palmer threw for 271 yards and a touchdown, a pretty good day.

Reggie Bush, Saints vs. Carolina
The Panthers have struggled to defend the run so far this year, while being stingy against the pass. That’s no problem for the Saints, who will rely heavily on Pierre Thomas. But Bush has scored in three straight games, and shouldn’t be counted out of this one either.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks vs. Lions
Houshmandzadeh has only caught eight passes for 58 yards in the past two games, as Nate Burleson has passed him in Matt Hasselbeck’s eyes. That shouldn’t be a problem this week against the anemic Lions.

Sit

Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Washington
Atlanta is likely to ride Michael Turner to victory this week. This isn’t to say that Ryan won’t have an alright day, but this isn’t a week that the Falcons will need him to be great. I’m not really sold on this matchup either; the Redskins allow only 165 passing yards a game.

LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers at New York
Don’t fool yourself on this one. Yes, Tomlinson has been pretty good the past few weeks and the Giants aren’t very good against the run. However, Tomlinson has only 3.3 yards per carry in the last three weeks, including meetings with Kansas City and Oakland.

Alex Smith, 49ers vs. Tennessee
No. two in the “Don’t fool yourself” department. Smith has played adequately in the last two games. The matchup looks good, but the matchup looks good for Frank Gore too. The 49ers will probably look to Gore to carry them through the Titans.

Torry Holt, Jaguars vs. Kansas City
No. three “Don’t fool yourself.” Yes the Chiefs give up 252 passing yards per game. But not to the Jaguars. Maurice Jones-Drew will rack up the big yards this week and David Garrard will throw the ball, but not enough for Holt to be in your fantasy lineup.

NBA Week 1: Favorites and Fizzle

Wednesday, 4 November, 2009

By Chris Burrows

Favorites:

Brandon Jennings (MIL) – The biggest standout of the NBA rookie class so far, Jennings is earning his minutes falling just short of a triple-double in his debut game with 17 points, 9 rebounds, and nine assists and a 24 point outing against the Pistons.

Gilbert Arenas (WASH) – His comeback looks like the real deal. Arenas’ numbers are already on pace to match his 06-07 days with a three game average of 28 ppg that includes a 32 point outing against the Nets.

Al Harrington (NYK) – 42 points against the Sixers. This vet is on pace to have his best season yet and help his team lots along the way.

Andrea Bargnani (TOR) – Chris Bosh wouldn’t be where he is without Bargnani who’s showing his worth in the paint this season and attacking inside. He’s a top producing center maintaining an uncommonly high 22 ppg for his position. And he’s 12 for 12 at the charity stripe which he is making his home.

Chris Kaman (LAC) – Another impressive Center so far, Kaman is stepping up his rebound totals (10.2) and point totals (22.6 ppg) with a 27 point, 11 rebound game against Dallas. He has recorded 3 double-doubles in five games.

Andrew Bynum (LAL) – Garnering lots of minutes and offensive stats, Bynum put up 26 points against the Clippers and has already had two other 21+ point games. His rebound totals are also on the rise.

Kevin Martin (SAC) – Martin is an offensive monster so far this season. He put together a 48 point game against Memphis with five rebounds, four assists, four steals, and one block. The guy is unstoppable.

Marreese Speights (PHI) – An off-the-bench option for fantasy owners, Speights has displayed a knack for sinking shots in Philadelphia with a .750 FG%. Though he doesn’t get as many minutes as the starters, he has already managed a 26 point, 5 rebound, 2 steal, 1 block game against Orlando and a 20 point, 10 rebound, 2 block game against the Knicks. If he gets more minutes, Speights might explode.

The Phoenix Suns – Besides leading all other teams in offense the Suns are getting it done in the rebounds too with a .512 total rebounding %. The Suns are just cranking out numbers.

Fizzles:

Stephen Curry (GSW) – The highly acclaimed first round draft pick out of Davidson started both of the Warrior’s first two outings but only lit up the boards for 14 points against Houston and 12 versus Phoenix. Curry hasn’t yet recorded his first official NBA block.

Russell Westbrook (OKC) – Westbrook has succeeded offensively in his first four starts including two double-doubles in a row but his downfall continues to be his turnovers which can quickly sink any fantasy team. Westbrook had nine turnovers in one game against Portland and has 22 so far.

Pau Gasol (LAL) – Can’t do much on a torn hamstring.