Archive for October, 2010

Week Eight Spread Picks

Friday, 29 October, 2010

By Zack Cimini

notjustagame23@gmail.com

Last week we were red hot with our spread selections. Winning ten out of fourteen games. We stated we loved the road underdogs, and it turned out to be the pattern last week. We even provided a bonus selection with the over on Philadelphia/Tennessee during our pod cast. It should be another good week. Take a gander at who we have penned for this weekend.

 

Overall Record: 56-45-3

Last Week’s Record: 10-4

Denver- +1.5- As bad as the Broncos lost at home last week, before that game they were playing decent football. They had just not been able to pull wins out. San Francisco aims to give Troy Smith a chance. We think the Broncos will squeak this one out and get some solid run support from Knowshown Moreno.

Dallas -6.5- The Cowboys defense will finally set the tone in a game. Kitna will hand the football off to Felix Jones and build upon that. Everyone will be asking where was this team at the beginning of the season, and why wasn’t Felix more involved.

Detroit -2.5- Washington’s had their fair share of ugly wins. They’ll need more than 14-17 points to squeeze out this one. Detroit’s coming off their bye week and has their main quarterback ready. Torain’s had some fumbling issues and McNabb’s primary target, Chris Cooley, is dinged up.

NY Jets -6- One of our favorite picks this week. Green Bay’s still two weeks away from a bye week but is in dire need of one. They’re nicked up, but also their last three weeks they’ve had two overtime games and a hard fought victory. New York’s fresh and should roll.

Carolina +3- Matt Moore did make a costly mistake in the fourth quarter but regrouped. He held his composure and delivered a drive to tie the game, and then led a game winning field goal. Confidence is all it takes and he should be able to do enough to get his second victory. The Rams offense was extremely stagnant last week, and it looks like Bradford could finally be headed towards rookie woes.

Miami +1.5- Atlanta did a poor job last week on attacking Carson Palmer’s weaknesses. One of his worse is handling pressure. Miami gets after opposing quarterbacks and should force a few turnovers. Where the worries come in for Miami is their secondary, which has done a mediocre job all year. Chad Henne showed last week that he can carry Miami if the running game falters. They’ll have both the pass/run clicking this week.

Buffalo +7.5- Last week the Jacksonville and Kansas City game was a close battle until the second half. Bouman was doing exactly what Ryan Fitzpatrick’s asked and that is manage the game. Fitzpatrick’s done a solid job on making the right throws, and is one of the leading pass rated quarterbacks in the league. The Bills will have their hands full shutting down Kansas City’s triple threat backfield, but will cover the 7.5.

San Diego -3.5- If the Chargers play four full quarters of football than we could have a blowout on our hands. The problem is they never do. This team should finally wake up after not being mentally ready last week.

Tampa Bay+-3- The one victory Max Hall had against the Saints will be his only as a starter. Whisenhunt needs to keep dreaming on this idiotic move. Hall’s decision making is not up to par to NFL speed. If the first options not open he gets confused on his secondary reads.

Oakland -2.5- As long as Jason Campbell doesn’t go back to throwing interceptions at a high rate this should be another victory for the resurgent Raiders. Seattle’s had a fairly easy schedule to start of the year. Catching two of the most inconsistent teams (San Diego and Chicago) and divisional opponents (Cardinals and 49ers).

Minnesota +5- This is a test of this Vikings teams will. Not Brett Favre not Tavaris Jackson. Whoever steps on the field needs to lead this team. They were a play away from being in the Super Bowl a year ago. In order to even think of having a chance to make the playoffs, they have to pull together for this win. We believe they’ll get it done as a team, and use Favre’s warrior effort to carom them forward.

Pittsburgh +1- There’s no reason to talk about the Saints a year ago. That team is not even close to the product currently playing on the field. They’re lucky they have the record they do, as early in the year they pulled off some sloppy wins. Lately though they’ve just played sloppy. The way they’re playing doesn’t get figured out and fixed in one week. Especially when you go against the top team in the NFL.

Houston +5.5- A tough game to call here. Both our coming off bye weeks, and have the taste of week one still in their minds. Both know this game could have huge lasting affects on their seasons. Tennessee has just as much of a chance at winning the division, but even a wild card birth could be at risk from a tie breaker stand point. Houston just has the prime matchups on both sides of the ball to expose the Colts. Were not saying they’ll win, but they’ll hang close.

Week Eight: Automatic/Don’t Do It

Thursday, 28 October, 2010

By Vidur Malik

notjustagame23@gmail.com

Quarterbacks

Matt Cassel – Look for Cassel to have another big game after good performances against Houston and Jacksonville. The Kansas City Chiefs play the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, who do rank ninth in the NFL in passing defense, but Cassel has had back-to-back games with at least two touchdown passes and no interceptions, so he seems to be finding a rhythm.

Jason Campbell – If Campbell and the Oakland Raiders want to show that their week seven win over the Denver Broncos, in which they scored 59 points, wasn’t a fluke, they have a great opportunity to do so this weekend against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks give up over 260 passing yards per game, and rank 2nd in rush defense, so Campbell should have the opportunities to put up good numbers, like he did against Denver.

Don’t Do It: Mark Sanchez – After not throwing an interception in his first five games, Sanchez threw two in the New York Jets’ 24-20 win over Denver in week six. The Jets take on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, who picked off Brett Favre three times in their week seven win over the Minnesota Vikings. It will be tough for Sanchez to have a mistake-free game against the Pack.

Running Backs

Frank Gore – With the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback situation again going through changes, Gore will be an even bigger part of an offense in which he is already the main guy. The 49ers play the Denver Broncos, who rank 30th in rush defense, so look for Gore to have a good game on the ground, and a few receptions out of the backfield as well.

Arian Foster – In terms of yards, Foster has struggled in his past two games, but that should change against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The Colts give up over 130 rushing yards a game, so Foster should hit high marks in yards and yards per carry.

Steven Jackson – Jackson and the St. Louis Rams play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, whose defense is stingy through the air but generous on the ground. Look for Jackson to have a big day against a team that ranks fourth in pass defense and 24th in rush defense.

Receivers

Jordan Shipley – Shipley had his breakout game in the Cincinnati Bengals’ week seven loss to the Atlanta Falcons, with six catches for 131 yards and a touchdown. Wide receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco also had good games, and Shipley should be able to get plenty of opportunities to become another target for quarterback Carson Palmer.

Mike Williams – Williams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Arizona Cardinals, who give up over 220 passing yards per game. Williams has been a consistent target for the Buccaneers’ offense, and is second on the team in receptions, so look for him to have a good day.

Don’t Do It: Brandon Marshall – There’s no doubt that Marshall is a great receiver, but he hasn’t produced as much in terms of fantasy points as other receivers of his caliber. He’s only got one touchdown catch, which is surprising considering his size, which should make him a huge target in red zone and goal-line situations. It might be best to go for a receiver who is a bigger touchdown threat.

Flynn Ready

Wednesday, 27 October, 2010

By Zack Cimini
notjustagame23@gmail.com

Most rookies in the NBA undergo rough first seasons. That wasn’t expected to be the case for Jonny Flynn. He rose to prominence at Syracuse during the Big East tournament and NCAA tournament. His stock rose and to the curiosity of fans the Timberwolves selected Ricky Rubio and Flynn. They were to be the dynamic new guards to work off each other. Whispers were Flynn might play off guard while Rubio ran point. Confusion galore surrounded those picks. Then Rubio had his public relations team release that he would not be committing to the Timberwolves anytime soon. That left Flynn as the lone point guard to showcase his talents.

Summer league 2009 Flynn was out dueling everyone. He won an award for summer league player of the week, and many expected Flynn to be in the hunt for ROY. Reality of playing in Minnesota hit, as the team that had minute talent dealt with those players having injuries. Flynn had his ups and downs but still finished the year with an average of fourteen points per game and four assists a game. Yet around the league it was noticeable that many rookie point guards drafted lower than him flourished. Too make matters worse during the second to last game of the season Flynn injured his hip which required off-season surgery.

Focus could have drifted for Flynn as the Timberwolves brought in Luke Ridnour amid heavy rumors that Flynn would be dealt. Those rumors died down and Flynn is now ready to get back out onto the practice court. With him now healthy it’ll be interesting to see how he readjusts. He’ll likely miss the first four to seven games as they monitor him in practice, and let him get acclimated. For now Ridnour will start but expect the Timberwolves to not lower Flynn’s minutes.

Last year he averaged around 29 minutes a game. At times they would go with Ramon Sessions who left via free agency. The same sort of mixture in the backcourt should happen this year. Ridnour is a veteran. You know what you’re going to get from him each night. It’s not going to be stellar but he can run the program and ease back a bit on turnovers. Flynn on the other hand is still blossoming with a ton of room to grow.

We love the fact that the sixth and seventh men off the bench will likely be rookie Wesley Johnson and Jonny Flynn. They’ll come in together and provide instant energy with their camaraderie. They’ve known each other three years dating back to when Flynn was a sophomore and Johnson sitting out his transfer year at Syracuse. There’s going to be a lot of ugly losses for the Timberwolves, and we expect Johnson/Flynn to get plenty of meaningless minutes in the fourth quarter. Padding their stats will be no problem.

As long as Flynn can avoid Rambis’s dog house he should bolster and improve on his rookie season stats. Two key things he definitely needs to have improved on where his field goal percentage and turnovers. They both were killers for rotisserie league participants. Those worried that the Timberwolves still may want to trade Flynn, shouldn’t be. They’ll have to showcase him in order to garner trade interest. The only way to do that is get him on the court and show that he is an improved player and fully healthy from his hip surgery.

Flynn went in the late stages of most fantasy drafts, and most likely should be your fourth point guard/utility man in rotisserie leagues. Upside is there though unlike most third or fourth point guards on your roster.

Post Week Seven Team Rankings

Tuesday, 26 October, 2010

By Zack Cimini
notjustagame23@gmail.com

Cowboys fans were not going to sugar coat your team anymore. Everyone saw in front of a national Monday Night audience that there is no hope. Put your hopes in a basket with the San Francisco 49ers, cause the hopes now shift to landing a top draft pick. The NFL isn’t clearing up at all in the NFC, but the AFC is rounding into shape. Teams are continuing to win and create separation in their divisions. Will that last remains to be seen. Here is a look at our updated rankings.

1. Pittsburgh- Miami hurt themselves countless times by not capitalizing in the redzone. Pittsburgh did what they do best and that’s win close games.

2. New York Jets- No NY Jets got into trouble off the field during a bye week. Is Rex Ryan finally getting his team under control off the field?

3. New England- San Diego did what they typically do, and waited until the fourth quarter to decide to play. New England is winning now but needs to find a running game or a slip is inevitable.

4. Baltimore Ravens- The defense is going to need to play more disguised coverages with their weak cornerbacks. Fitzpatrick completely tore them apart and did it with total control. Joe Flacco needs to round back into form for the Ravens to be contenders playoff time.

5. Indianapolis Colts- Usually when teams have a bye week it allows players to recoup and rest from minor injuries. Too bad for the Colts they’ve been plagued and decimated by injuries that are season long.

6. NY Giants- Turning the ball over like a college football team and still winning decidedly. They’re becoming a lethal team more and more by the week.

7. Houston Texans- The almighty rematch against the Colts. On paper the Texans should be better. We’ll see what happens when they step onto the field Sunday.

8. Atlanta Falcons- Michael Turner and Roddy White are playing at a top five level in their respective positions. Squandering a three touchdown lead in less than a quarter was numbing. They did get the win though.

9. Tennessee Titans- The Titans were a handoff away from being down an insurmountable lead late in the third quarter. The turnover created by their defense sparked some energy into Kerry Collins and his arm. Once that happened the Kenny Britt show lasted for a quarter and a half. The air attack to setup Chris Johnson might be the new route to take.

10. Green Bay Packers- A gutsy performance and win on both sides of the ball. The team laid a lot on the field and you have to wonder how much in the tank is left. Two overtime losses and that game can take their toll. They still have two more games to play before their bye week.

11. New Orleans Saints- Like Eminem stated in his infamous song,. Saints fans are asking, “Can the real Drew Brees please stand up? It’s like he has been hit by the zapper in honey I shrunk the kids. We all knew he was a short quarterback. It just seems like more balls are being batted down, and that he is having a harder time recognizing disguised zone coverages.

12. Philadelphia Eagles- Time to switch quarterbacks again. Mike Vick was ready to go Sunday but Reid wanted to wait until after the bye week. He’ll make the announcement before this weekend on Vick. His deep ball and legs are too vital upsides over Kevin Kolb.

13. Kansas City Chiefs- Charles, Jones, and McCluster. It’s going to be rather difficult for teams to figure that tandem out. The defense did get roughed up a tad against the pass, especially in the first half against Jacksonville.

14. Oakland Raiders- Whew! Oakland’s back. As the Chargers and Broncos fade, it looks like the division will be in the hands of either Oakland or Kansas City.

15. Washington Redskins- Sunday’s display offensively by McNabb might have been one of his worst performances in some odd years. He needs to regroup and play to the talent around him. He may expect individuals to be able to do something he wants, but the talent just isn’t near what he had in Philadelphia. If they’re going to win it’s going to be from a ball control style of offense, and their defense holding teams in check.

Best of the Rest

16. Miami Dolphins
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Seattle Seahawks
20. Chicago Bears
21. San Diego Chargers
22. Dallas Cowboys
23. St. Louis Rams
24. Denver Broncos
25. Cincinnati Bengals
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
27. Cleveland Browns
28. Arizona Cardinals
29. Carolina Panthers
30. Detroit Lions
31. Buffalo Bills
32. San Francisco 49ers

Jacobs This Years McGahee/L. White

Tuesday, 26 October, 2010

By Zack Cimini
notjustagame23@gmail.com

Fantasy owners we already leery on where to take Brandon Jacobs after his dismal season a year ago. Yet he allegedly was healthy and ready to bounce back into his 2008 form. It didn’t take long for Tom Coughlin and the world to see that Jacobs can not be an every down back. Commend Tom Coughlin for pulling the plug early and shifting the weight of carries to Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw’s done a solid job gaining yardage for fantasy owners, but when it comes to touchdowns it’s one sided.

Over the last four games Jacobs has scored five touchdowns and is averaging a little over twelve fantasy points a game. His doing all of this while only garnering around eight carries a game. That tells you he and the Giants are making the most of his plays on the field. Now Jacobs is not taking too large of a load that he can’t handle. He is coming in and being that big bruising back we’ve come to expect, instead of stutter stepping and being hesitant.

Ahmad Bradshaw has done nothing but overachieve for fantasy owners. Basically having an equivocal year statistically to what he accomplished a year ago. As the season wears on a red flag has to start to be waved by the Giants and fantasy owners. For the Giants they want to protect Bradshaw from overexerting himself. They’ll need him to perform the way he is now deep into the season and playoffs.

He is not a back that’s had full time carries before in his career. Where that jumps out more than anywhere is his fumbling issues. Bradshaw already has four lost fumbles on the year. Talk about Tiki Barber all over again. He is fumbling the ball once every thirty three carries. Coughlin will not stand for that.

If it were not for Jacobs fumbling the ball in the second quarter, we believe the carry ratio would have expanded more evenly starting against the Cowboys. Jacobs has worked his way out of the doghouse, and we expect him to get between ten and twelve carries a game the rest of the season. The Giants offense is one of the top five in terms of scoring. Let downs offensively don’t seem to be in the picture. Manning has the top set of trio receivers in the league. Pouring it on and scoring 30 plus points a game may happen.

So if you’re a Brandon Jacobs owner he is an automatic flex starter from here on out. If you’re struggling at running back, he is even a viable starter. He is on a fantastic touchdown streak. Like backs in the past that gobble up touchdowns in the redzone, Jacobs could be due for a two to three touchdown game in the near future. Finishing with double digit touchdowns is an easily foreseeable goal. Who would of imagined Jacobs fitting in the Giants plans the way he was sobbing and looked after week one?

Waiver Wire Post Week Seven

Tuesday, 26 October, 2010

By Zack Cimini
notjustagame23@gmail.com

If you had a fantasy football team that didn’t have at least minus six or more points due to turnovers we applaud you. The amount of interceptions and fumbles lost on Sunday were staggering. That led to a lot of high scoring affairs which bodes well for fantasy teams.

If you had the over in Vegas on this week’s action than you cashed out without sweating. Fantasy football owners though are panicking. Again big play draftees are not performing up to par. It’s the second tier and third tier players carrying teams. Heck, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Carson Palmer, and Matt Moore were in the category of top fantasy quarterbacks. At running back it was Darren McFadden who outplayed backs two through seven combined in relevance of fantasy performance. At wide receiver, Kenny Britt, Steve Johnson, Lee Evans, Dwayne Bowe, and a cast of others shadowed over the elites.

Quarterbacks

Ryan Fitzpatrick- It’s crazy that I went to the same high school as Fitzpatrick. He went from being not recruited by any division one schools besides Harvard, to making the most of being a 7th round draft pick. Fitz has had his struggles as a backup forced to start in St. Louis and Cincinnati. Finding a home seems to be what Fitzpatrick has done in Buffalo. He’ll come back to Earth as teams stop taking Buffalo lightly, and prepare in normal fashion. At the end of the season though, Fitzpatrick can be a dynamite performer to get you top notch fantasy points.

Tavaris Jackson- Will Favre play or sit? If he does sit and Jackson steps in, we don’t know if Favre will come back. He said it would be his last year and if Jackson gets the Vikings rolling, maybe Favre will bow out. Jackson’s carried this team to a 10-6 record and has watched Favre for a year and a half. He has to of gained a few things to help him become a better quarterback.

Matt Moore- DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart continue to be shut down. Moore’s ability to shake off a fourth quarter pick six, and get his team a victory shows a lot. He had a decent game and should stave off Jimmy Clausen from reappearing as a starter the rest of the season.

Mike Vick- If he’s still available in leagues that owners got impatient snag him back. He’ll be back out as starter after the Eagles bye week. Kolb threw a lot of ducks against the Titans, who bottled him up inside the pocket. Those are two things that Vick has a substantial game changing ability to do. You won’t ever hear of Vick being bottled up in the pocket or not able to throw the ball deep.

Running Backs

LeGarrette Blount- We profiled Blount the past few weeks as we saw this coming. Hopefully everyone listened as he’ll know be the hot commodity on this weeks waiver wires.

Dexter McCluster- The Chiefs are mixing in plays weekly for McCluster. When he is on the field he is more of a legitimate threat than a decoy. Whether out of the backfield or as a receiver, McCluster is part of a backfield that’s going to be very scary if they make it to the playoffs.

Wide Receivers

Riley Cooper- Cooper is a buried special teams player, but if DeSean Jackson’s not able to return after the bye week than Cooper could be a deep fantasy waiver wire pickup. He made the bulk of his yardage on a deep duck by Kolb, but also scored a nice touchdown.

David Gettis/Brandon LaFell- These guys both could be one week wonders, but one is going to step in and fulfill the second receiver role. It was supposed to be LaFell’s but Moore’s favorite target Sunday was Gettis. Gettis made some solid moves and created separation to give Moore great spots to throw the football.

Bills Receivers- Chances are Lee Evans, Steve Johnson, and Roscoe Parrish are widely available in leagues. Johnson’s been a fantasy gem but owners were likely hesitant to pick him up due to Buffalo’s inability to move the ball. That’s changed as of late, and you have to take notice when they light up a defense like the Ravens.

Jordan Shipley- The Bengals seem to be abandoning the run more and more by the week. Palmer’s either killing them with interceptions or keeping them in the game with huge passing days. He is throwing a high amount of pass attempts, and all three Bengals receivers are becoming beneficiaries of this.

Davone Bess- Bess is becoming one of the better hot route receivers in the league. Miami nixed the wildcat and Bess has been there new quick dink/dunk recipient. In the red zone when teams are doubling up on Brandon Marshall, Bess is getting open looks to sneak in the end zone.

Patrick Crayton- Rivers may be throwing to receivers that are practice squad caliber, but Crayton is not. He has fit in well with the Chargers having dinged up receivers all across the board. It’ll be interesting to see where Crayton falls on the depth chart when Naanee and Floyd are both healthy.

Fred Davis- Chris Cooley did play against the Bears but probably had no business in doing so. He looked a few steps slow but was a factor in the game. Davis stepped in last year when Cooley went down. Cooley’s health is worth keeping an eye on, especially with all the other tight end injuries throughout the league.