Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Dead Man Walking - Kiffin OUT This Afternoon?

NFLN's Adam Shefter is reporting that the Raiders have called a news conference for this afternoon. ESPN's Chris Mortenson is reporting that Lane Kiffin will be fired there. When I return from my work out of the office today I am sure this will all be clear and make sense. Cause Mort's been right every week on this, right?

In all seriousness the writing has been o nthe wall for weeks and interviewing folks while the guy you are replacing is still there is a sign that ESPN will be proven right on this. But with Crazy Al Davis, who knows?

Somehow Al will claim 'insubordination' and not pay Kiff and I hope Kiffin sues him because Davis has been about as classy as a fifty cent hooker on this one.

Fire the man or don't but enough with making up lame lies to not have to pay him. Anyone who works for this franchise has been warned what a badly managed, run and cheap franchise it is. Good luck to the next sucker - I mean coach.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Extra News and Notes

Hey guys - a few notes I didn't get to during the Thundering Blurb News Stampede but wanted to touch on here:

Bye Weeks: Cleveland Browns, NY Jets, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams

Cleveland Browns
Romeo Crennel has said he nearly yanked Derek Anderson during the third quarter against the Bengals. Anderson probably bought himself a little more time - at least until after the bye - but just know that if you have Anderson as your guy, the clock is not just ticking. Sounds like it's about to strike midnight for DA.

New England Patriots
The Boston Globe is reporting that Kevin O'Connell could get some playing time in Week 5 - or beyond. It's not like Cassell is playing all that well, so it's not a shock. I doubt many people are using Cassell as anything more than an emergency QB, but something to keep an eye on especially as it affects the rest of the the fantasy players on the team. Cassell does seem to be clicking more with Moss and Welker. More of a change now could throw that off.

Cincinnati Bengals
There is some speculation coming from the Cincinnati Enquirer that Carson Palmer's elbow injury could be worse than the fatigue or mild inflammation we have thought it is. There are completely uncomfirmed reports via ProFootballTalk that it's potentially surgery-requiring but until I hear that from someone else, all I will say is that this is something to watch out for. Without Palmer there, the fantasy value of this team dips even lower.

That's all for now - catch you later with more news and injury updates!

Top Fantasy Studs of Week 4

Howdy - seems I made it back from the trip in one piece more or less. Of course, traveling on Sunday means catching up on Monday so that is what a lot of today will be. I have to wrap the Pac-10 up and process a ton of football I had to read about over the weekend. Also have multiple games recorded so I guess football Saturday and Sunday becomes football Monday. No complaints here!

I'll touch on this during the Thundering Blurb News Stampede in a couple of hours, but Rams Head Coach Scott Linehan has been fired. No real shock there. Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett will be interim coach. Kiffinwatch continues in Oakland. Will Al remember to fire him this week (the rumor being he wanted to last week and 'never ot around to it').

Here's the top fantasy studs this week - as is often the case, some real surprises here and this week, lots of quarterbacks did exceptionally well. As that's the case, I am breaking it out into positions this week. Top QB, WR, RB - you get the idea.

Quarterbacks:
Seems Brett Favre and his receivers got on the same page this week against a banged up Cards D. Warner was a heckuva play too, huh? Unless you get hurt by turnovers. Thatm he cost you a bit. Matt Schaub saved his job this week as well.

Brett Favre - 289 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT
Matt Schaub - 307 yards, 3 TDs, 24 rushing yards
Drew Brees - 363 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Tony Romo - 300 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INt, 7 rushing yards
Kurt Warner - 472 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 3 fumbles

David Garrard, Jay Cutler, Jake Delhomme, Kyle Orton and Jason Campbell get honorable mention.

Wide Receivers
Again, some pretty random names near the top here. Will Lance Moore repeat? Is Coles surging (he did lobby for more targets with the Jets staff)?

Laveranues Coles - 8/105 /3
Lance Moore - 7/101/2
Greg Jennings - 6/109/2
Muhsin Muhammad - 8/147/1
Anquan Boldin - 10/119/1 - 1 fumble

Boldin left the game near the end on a stretcher and was taken to a local hospital after a vicious collision with Jets Safety Kerry Rhodes. He had movement in his extremities and all tests were negative - he was released to go home with the team.

Kevin Walter, Santana Moss, DeSean Jackson and fellow Cards receievers Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston were also in the top 10.

Running Backs
Here's where you will see more consistency as the RBs seem a little more familiar. Steve Slaton is becoming a pretty good weekly play right now as well.

Larry Johnson - 198 yards, 2 TDs, 5 catches, 1 Fumble
Steven Jackson - 188 yards, 1 TYD, 5 catches
Steve Slaton - 116 yards, 1 TD, 8 catches
LaDainian Tomlinson - 115 yards, 2 TDs, 2 catches
Adrian Peterson - 101 yards, 2 TDs, 4 catches, 1 fumble

Edgerrin James, Michael Bush, Chris Johnson, Earnest Graham and Clinton Portis danced to the top ten overall at the RB position.

As you can see, RB seems to be the most consistent position. Portis, Jackson, Peterson and Tomlinson (back again!) are all guysy ou can count on most weeks. The other positions seem much more fluid in terms of top performers. These RBs, you can start each week.

Will be back in a couple of hours with the news.

Friday, September 26, 2008

WR Rankings for Week 4

I fully expect the Jets to play tough in the secondary - and I fully expect Warner to light them up anyway. Warner - and with him, Boldin and Fitzgerald - will have very gooddays Sunday, much to my chagrin as a Jets fan. There is more than enough love to go around from Warner and I expect Fitz to get both the yards and TDs needed to be the top Fantasy Wideout this week. Fitz has been playing very well and this week he will be at his best.

Brandon Marshall may only be limited by how easy it is to run against the Chiefs. And run they will, but Marshall will get his targets and do what he has been doing every week - dominating. Did you know that he is 4th in the league in targets with 31 to Bush and Calvin Johnson's 32 and Dwayne Bowe's 34? Stunning when you realize he is catching many of them and he did it with one less game than they did.

Steve Smith is back to being active now and is facing a middle of the road pass defense in the Falcons. Remember Detroit torched them eventially in week one and they are still learning as they go to be a cohesive unit. Carolina's line faltered last week both by allowing sacks and pressure and getting flagged often. They should step back up this week and Smith should find the end zone for his first TD against them. Expect better yards than last week as well.

Jake Steven asked me this morning on his 1230 ESPN show what I thought about TO's non-involvement last weekend and whether I think it will affect him and the Cowboys long term. I think he has matured and like Randy Moss last year, he can smell that Super Bowl. He will play the team player and not make whining noises as long as they play well and win. I think Romo will look back his way this week and TO will get the targets he needs and be very productive against a team that can give the big play up, and being at home only fuels the Dallas offense (and TO) more.

Two Cardinals in the top five? Madness or brilliance? We'll find out on Sunday but as I have preached for weeks, there are more than enough passes to go around. Boldin has played incredibly well - ever the professional despite his contract woes. He was very quiet last week (3/25/1) but I think Warner will throw a ton in this one and we'll see both WRs do very well.

Dwayne Bowe (12) is a guy to watch - the most targeted receiver in the NFL, he just needs to hang onto the ball. I think he does this week with Damon Huard in charge and I think people are overlooking him. How banged up is Big Ben Roethlisberger? Banged up enough to downgrade Hines Ward (23) and keep Santonio Holmes (18) struggling. Especially against a tough Ravens D. I have Houshmandzadeh ranked 8th right now and Ocho-Cinco 21st. I know, he CAN break out but he's a #3WR until he does. On of these guys go off this weekend - my bet is Housh. 85 will play well enough to be a value for you, but he won't be back to top dog status yet. Chansi Stuckey sneaks in at 33 - a TD each week? Constant targets by Favre? I like him this week in a shootout.....


Wide receivers
  1. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals at Jets
  2. Brandon Marshall, Broncos at Chiefs
  3. Steve Smith, Panthers vs. Falcons
  4. Terrell Owens, Cowboys vs. Redskins
  5. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals at Jets
  6. Lee Evans, Bills at Rams
  7. Greg Jennings, Packers at Buccaneers
  8. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals vs. Browns
  9. Chris Chambers, Chargers at Raiders
  10. Braylon Edwards, Browns at Bengals
  11. Andre Johnson, Texans at Jaguars
  12. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs vs. Broncos
  13. Santana Moss, Redskins at Cowboys
  14. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets vs. Cardinals
  15. Donald Driver, Packers at Buccaneers
  16. Vincent Jackson, Chargers at Raiders
  17. Roddy White, Falcons at Panthers
  18. Santonio Holmes, Steelers vs. Ravens
  19. Torry Holt, Rams vs. Bills
  20. Laveranues Coles, Jets vs. Cardinals
  21. Chad Johnson, Bengals vs. Browns
  22. Isaac Bruce, 49ers at Saints
  23. Hines Ward, Steelers vs. Ravens
  24. DeSean Jackson, Eagles at Bears
  25. Eddie Royal, Broncos at Chiefs
  26. Bryant Johnson, 49ers at Saints
  27. Antonio Bryant, Buccaneers vs. Packers
  28. Bernard Berrian, Vikings at Titans
  29. Arnaz Battle, 49ers at Saints
  30. Patrick Crayton, Cowboys vs. Redskins
  31. Matt Jones, Jaguars vs. Texans
  32. Muhsin Muhammad, Panthers vs. Falcons
  33. Chansi Stuckey, Jets vs. Cardinals
  34. Robert Meachem, Saints vs. 49ers
  35. Antwaan Randle El, Redskins at Cowboys

Don't Bench Peterson - RB Rankings for Week 4

I mentioned on the Daily News Stampede that we would talk about Adrian 'Purple Jesus' Peterson and then forgot with all the other news. I know the matchup is tough but -
DON'T. BENCH. PETERSON. Houston ran well against them last week (Slaton topped 100yds), Peterson is healthy and he can bust a huge run at any time. Don't bench him UNLESS you have any of the six guys ahead of him - and even then run him as your #2. And just how the heck did you get one of those other backs anyway? (well, Reggie Bush I can see....)

Onto the rankings --

In many leagues, Reggie Bush has topped their rankings so far this year. PPR or not, the yardage totals he has put up have been impressive. This week he is the offense and Brees will throw to him a ton. Bush's value is not as a between the tackles RB - in part because the Saints have not blocked for the run very well. The 49r defense is better than you think - but Bush is a threat to bust a long run on a screen pass and I think he will put up very good numbers as the Saints put up a lot of yards to try and win with a shaky defense.

On the other side of the field is Frank Gore - Gore has flourished again and reminded people just how good he is. The Saints are bad against the pass which means JT O'Sullivan & company will throw more than run BUT Gore, like Bush, can bust a big play at any time and Gore has been used in the pass game enough to give him good value even when they are not running as much. The Saints run D is also shaky (22nd in the league) so Gore is a great bet to play well this weekend.

Tomlinson looks healthy and that's a good thing for his owners. The Raiders are middling against the run but have given up five ground TDs so far. Tomlinson was shaky last week save for the TD looks but will be closer to 100% and will put up good numbers and at least a TD against the Raiders. The Chargers will grab them by the throat and not let go - so even if Rivers throws effectively - and he will - LT will get his.

'Dis Mah Son' as Cecil calls him, has a prime matchup against the Rams this weekend and Lynch will take advantage of it. St Louis is dead last in defense and gives up 180+ yards a game on the ground. The only thing keeping him from maybe being first or second on this list is the insistence of Dick Jauron in using Fred Jackson to the extent he does. I expect great things from Lynch this week - or if you are a Rams fan - great and terrible things as he runs your team into the ground.

Felix Jones has been great so far - everything the Cowboys have hoped for. Marion Barber has been even better. Barber has compiled very good totals his first three weeks and against a Redskins defense that is middle of the road vs the run and give over 100yds per game on the ground, Barber will continue his winning ways. Despite the fact that Washington has only given up a pair of touchdowns on the ground, I think Barber will find the end zone again this week. It will be a dogfight game - always is with NFC East teams - and Barber will step up to bat.

You will notice that #15 is a combined ranking for Westbrook and Buckhalter - as it's a GTD I split the difference and ranked the position for the team. I think Buck will probably put up at the 15 rankings here - whereas Westy will probably do better if he gets the start. But with the doubt, I placed them a little farther back - also the run D in Chicago is tough, though in part because you can throw on them all day and that's what McNabb will do. It may limit Buck a bit as Westbrook sees more passes than Buckhalter usually does. (Despite the nice catch and run last week)

Chris Johnson (16) is a tough play that I still say you might have to go with him due to upside and big play ability. Ryan Grant (14) is healthy and that's great - should be very productive going forward as the oline is finally getting it's game on. McFadden (26) has a toe owie still and that is worrying me since Kiffin says it is bothering him VERY much. I would rather be cautious if possible than see Mike Bush steal all my carries.

Running Backs
  1. Reggie Bush, Saints vs. 49ers
  2. Frank Gore, 49ers at Saints
  3. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers at Raiders
  4. Marshawn Lynch, Bills at Rams
  5. Marion Barber, Cowboys vs. Redskins
  6. Clinton Portis, Redskins at Cowboys
  7. Adrian Peterson, Vikings at Titans
  8. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars vs. Texans
  9. Steven Jackson, Rams vs. Bills
  10. Matt Forte, Bears vs. Eagles
  11. Michael Turner, Falcons at Panthers
  12. Jamal Lewis, Browns at Bengals
  13. Larry Johnson, Chiefs vs. Broncos
  14. Ryan Grant, Packers at Buccaneers
  15. Brian Westbrook/Correll Buckhalter, Eagles at Bears
  16. Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Vikings
  17. Chris Perry, Bengals vs. Browns
  18. Felix Jones, Cowboys vs. Redskins
  19. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers vs. Packers
  20. Fred Taylor, Jaguars vs. Texans
  21. Thomas Jones, Jets vs. Cardinals
  22. Steve Slaton, Texans at Jaguars
  23. Edgerrin James, Cardinals at Jets
  24. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. Falcons
  25. Selvin Young, Broncos at Chiefs
  26. Darren McFadden, Raiders vs. Chargers
  27. Pierre Thomas, Saints vs. 49ers
  28. Michael Pittman, Broncos at Chiefs
  29. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers vs. Ravens
  30. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs. Falcons
  31. LenDale White, Titans vs. Vikings
  32. Fred Jackson, Bills at Rams
  33. Willis McGahee, Ravens at Steelers
  34. Tim Hightower, Cardinals at Jets
  35. Le’Ron McClain, Ravens at Steelers

QB Rankings for Week 4

Rodgers is on fire and Tampa Bay's defense is giving up 230+ yards through the air and five touchdowns. They are pressuring the quarterback however, so Rodgers may get hit, But the Oline is playing relatively well and I think Green Bay's depleted and banged up secondary will allow Tampa Bay to move the ball, and force Rodgers to do the same to stay ahead.

Romo is playing excellent ball, though he has one brain freeze a week. Still that won't kill him - nor you - this week as he will continue to be be on fire this week. The 'Skins are coughing up just under 200 yards a game through the air - expect Tony Romo to surpass that as the Cowboys don't match averages - they surpass them. Washington has been good at pressuring the QB, but Dallas' Oline is outstanding, so Romo will have plenty of time to toss the rock this week

I have been ranking Cutler high all year - mostly the #1 spot - and this week is no different. The Chiefs' pass rush is almost nonexistant and so is there rush defense. In fact, here's a case where the pass defense looks better statistically than it is. People don't throw a lot because they can run all day - thus the Chiefs have decent pass defense numbers. Cutler will throw and hit Marshall and Sheffler (and Royal) for some yards. He'll tear the D up through the air and I just don't have him ranked higher as he won't have to. Theonly limit on his yards is the fact that Shanny will run the ball as often as he can and grind the clock out.

Phillip Rivers is heading to Oakland to visit a Raiders team that is just a huge mess, organizationally speaking. And don't think that doesn't affect performance on the field. They played better the last two weeks than they did against Denver in week 1, but still give up 200+ yards per game and have allowed four TDs so far. Like Cutler and Rodgers, Rivers has gone off the last few weeks and the Chargers need to beat the Raiders to stay afloat in the division. They will come out hard and while the corners in Oakland can play tough, they can be beat - especially DeAngelo Hall, who has had more than one lapse this season. Rivers could be limited by a big game from LaDainian Tomlinson, but wil lstill put up very good points.

Drew Brees is losing weapons by the bucketload - first Colston, now Shockey and perhaps David Patten. And yet, the ball gets moved through the air. If they could run block, he'd have a ceiling, but since they struggle there, Brees will air it out. The Saints are tough against the pass - only an average of 160 yards a game through the air. But Bush always breaks a long one on a screen and I think they will have problems containing him. Finally, the Saints secondary can be thrown on - at some point Brees may find himself playing catchup and this may degenerate into a shootout.

On the short end of the scale - Derek Anderson (19) may have a better than average game but one mistake and he could be yanked. Matt Schaub (18) is facing a resurgent Jags defense and is himself under scrutiny and could get the hook. Damon Huard (14) may only be a game manager but he can move the ball well and will make Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez owners happy. Avoid Trent Green (23) this week - the oline is the problem there and I worry Green may not make it out of the game. Injury woes and a bad team equals a nonstart in my world.


Quarterbacks
  1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers at Buccaneers
  2. Tony Romo, Cowboys vs. Redskins
  3. Jay Cutler, Broncos at Chiefs
  4. Philip Rivers, Chargers at Raiders
  5. Drew Brees, Saints vs. 49ers
  6. Kurt Warner, Cardinals at Jets
  7. Donovan McNabb, Eagles at Bears
  8. J.T. O’Sullivan, 49ers at Saints
  9. Carson Palmer, Bengals vs. Browns
  10. Trent Edwards, Bills at Rams
  11. Jason Campbell, Redskins at Cowboys
  12. Jake Delhomme, Panthers vs. Falcons
  13. David Garrard, Jaguars vs. Texans
  14. Damon Huard, Chiefs vs. Broncos
  15. Brett Favre, Jets vs. Cardinals
  16. Brian Griese, Buccaneers vs. Packers
  17. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Ravens
  18. Matt Schaub, Texans at Jaguars
  19. Derek Anderson, Browns at Bengals
  20. Kerry Collins, Titans vs. Vikings
  21. Matt Ryan, Falcons at Panthers
  22. Gus Frerotte, Vikings at Titans
  23. Trent Green, Rams vs. Bills
  24. Kyle Orton, Bears vs. Eagles
  25. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders vs. Chargers
  26. Joe Flacco, Ravens at Steelers

Thursday, September 25, 2008

TE Rankings Week 4

Witten has not scored TDs this season, but is getting both targets and catches. I think he breaks through to the end zone this week and continues his solid play otherwise. Antonio Gates is finally his old self and I think he gets his groove going against a Raiders team which will keep Rivers hopping, but not enough to shut the offense down. Winslow Jr will see a ton of action whether Anderson gets yanked or not and he is a good bet to get red zone looks as well. Damon Huard + starting Qb = Happy Gonzo. Gonzalez gets a godo Qb who can throw the ball and will look to the vet a lot this weekend. Finally, I think this will be a Sheffler UP game - streaky though he is, he hooks up often with Cutler on the road (they are road roomies) and they are away this week.

Tight ends
  1. Jason Witten, Cowboys vs. Redskins
  2. Antonio Gates, Chargers at Raiders
  3. Kellen Winslow, Browns at Bengals
  4. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs vs. Broncos
  5. Tony Scheffler, Broncos at Chiefs
  6. Chris Cooley, Redskins at Cowboys
  7. Owen Daniels, Texans at Jaguars
  8. Desmond Clark, Bears vs. Eagles
  9. Randy McMichael, Rams vs. Bills
  10. L.J. Smith, Eagles at Bears
  11. Jerramy Stevens, Buccaneers vs. Packers
  12. Heath Miller, Steelers vs. Ravens
  13. Greg Olsen, Bears vs. Eagles
  14. Bo Scaife, Titans vs. Vikings
  15. Alge Crumpler, Titans vs. Vikings
  16. Donald Lee, Packers at Buccaneers
  17. Billy Miller, Saints vs. 49ers
  18. Vernon Davis, 49ers at Saints
  19. Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings at Titans
  20. Dante Rosario, Panthers vs. Falcons
  21. Robert Royal, Bills at Rams
  22. Dustin Keller, Jets vs. Cardinals
  23. Zach Miller, Raiders vs. Chargers
  24. Todd Heap, Ravens at Steelers
  25. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars vs. Texans

USC - Oregon State Preview & more!

Just had another article posted at NFLDraftbible which should also post at CollegeFootballInsiders.com sometime today. It breaks down the USC - Oregon State game tonight on ESPN. The Pac-10 preview will be submitted and post today/tomorrow - am editing it right now.

Wanted to also thank everyone for stopping in at the Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Podcast and contributing to a great chat room once again. Very much enjoy the back and forth with you guys - if you haven't come by the chat room give it a try. Great bunch of folks there. On the other hand, let me know if there is too much of it and you need something else on the show - I am here to serve and take the lead from what you guys need.

Also wanted to thank Jeff Ellis from NFLRants and Raves for stopping by. Always enjoyable to talk football with him and I am sure we'll do it again some time.

Rankings will start tonight - probably with tight ends, then QBs. RBs and WRs I will try to hold off until tomorrow as there is a lot of news to track and I want to drop them as close to my departure tomorrow afternoon as possible.

Also will be working on the Top 5 RB forward article, based on strength of schedule. Probably will appear next week. That's a chatroom suggested article - if you have something you want my take on, you can always ask eithe rduring a show or email me at thunderingblurb(a)gmail.com and I'll see what I can do.

Like I said - I am here to serve. Just let me know what you need to know.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Friday through Monday Scheduling Change

Hi folks!

Just a little heads up - this weekend will be a little odd for the Blurb. I will be traveling for a family function so the schedule for the weekend - which admittedly is always fairly loose - will be very different.

The Daily Stampede and my appearance on 1230 ESPN will go as normal. But I will try to frontload a ton of the rankings Thursday night and Friday morning as I will be traveling all Friday afternoon.

The College Top 25 review will more than likely happen very late Sunday, possibly Monday after I return. In all likelyhood, my ability to be updating prior to gametime for Sunday will also be hampered. I will do what I can for game time decisions, but unfortunately my access to internet could be very limited.

So all the college stuff will get done Monday - if I can do it at all. I will be unable to watch most of the games so I will just do my best to cover it.

Any lineup questions you have would be better served if they came to me early - before Friday afternoon. Again I just don't know how bad my access will be this weekend. I will endeavor to update as I can and return emails, but while my trip will be brief, it will be very busy as well.

Just a little heads up this morning as I begin to prepare to be gone. It was pretty unavoidable and I hope that you guys will bear with me for this. I have one other trip in October, but that will be longer and my ability to continue this work in our normal manner will be much easier.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

FYI Bye Week Teams

Forgot to post this earlier - so keep these guys in mind - TON of teams off this week...

Week 4 - Detroit, Indy, Miami, New England, NY Giants, Seattle

Raiders Official John Herrera Gets Jumpy

I'll have a follow up post in a mintue but this is brialliant TV.


So yesterday when NFLN interrupted it's loop of the NFL Sunday postgame show for the Kiffin Raiders conference I stopped what I was doing to watch. I'll admit it - I was rubbernecking. How could I not? It was an awkward presser - Kiffin looked like he didn't expect to have been there and might not be any moment. I half expected Davis to come rocketing into frame, fist extended (and bouncing off Kiffin's chin cause let's face it, Davis isn't decking anyone) colliding with Kiffin yelling 'YOU'RE FIRED BIATCH'.

But it didn't happen and my fantasies go unfulfilled.

What happened after the cameras were off - or at least network coverage - is almist as good though.

Read here and here for accounts from writers involved and watching. But this is what Oakland has come to. Verbally assaulting (not so innocent) writers?

Tim Kawakami asked Kiff near the end of the press conference if he felt isolated in the franchise, citing the alleged memo of an ESPN article critical of Kiffin (a rumor from last week during THAT 'Kiff will be fired soon' period).

The best part? Rumor has it Herrera is the one who leaked the ESPN article Kawakami asked Kiffin about. Interesting he took such umbridge no? Anyone here a Telltale Heart?

Willie Parker out Week 4 vs Baltimore

In what has become a theme this season - players being out after having not looked injured on the Sunday before - the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Willie Parker will miss the matchup Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

Rookie Rashard Mendenhall will get the start - but before you murder people in front of you on the waiver wire list keep in mind a) is a bad matchup and b) he couldn't hold onto the ball in the preseason. Mendy will be a borderline #2 Rb or flex - startable if you have players off one of the 6(!) teams on bye this week, but don't go nuts and plug him in your #1 slot.

Mewelde Moore will probably see an uptick in carries as well. His value is even less, but someone to watch as well. Carey Davis and Gary Russell are guys to watch too.

We have no idea how long Parker will be out but when he comes back things could be very different depending on Mendy. But I think at worst it will be a split. Parker looked good before the mysterious injury - he will come back and play well from here on out if the injury isn't too serious.

Chargers leave no doubt against the Jets

The Chargers looked like the team we expected them to be last night. With the exception of a pick-six early, Rivers looks like he is taking a big step forward. The defense played better than it has in the past two weeks - Antonio Cromartie especially looked good. And while LT looked ok but not great, his 2 TDs saved his fantasy value. I still stand by the call to bench him as risky. If Sproles had stayed in o nthe first TD or Jackson had been able to make two more steps we'd be feeling differently about LT's performance. But if you had him in, you're happy. Sproles put up ok points. Cotchery had a huge night PPR wise, otherwise ok. And Brett Favre is who we thought he was - a gunslinger who can get you the huge play but also turn over the ball a whole lot. Was glad to see the Jets air it out more though dissappointed to see the receivers and Favre are not remotely one the same page at times.

As I said just after the trade, this team was not a 'Brett Favre' away. It' an 8-8 team and they will get there. But nights like last night are not surprising.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tomlinson Update

ESPN has reported that - according to Norv Turner - LT cannot make hard cuts effectively.

So - if it wasn't clear earlier - Sproles is the play. If you have a choice between LT and any of the following:
Sproles
Cotchery
Coles
V Jackson
C Chambers
Thomas Jones

- you may want to bench him. Jacob Hester and Leon Washington would be a little more dicey to bench him for.

Bench LT - what is the world coming to?

Shockey OUT 3-6 weeks

After playing well yesterday and seemingly being 100%, the Saints have announced TE Jeremy Shockey will undergo sports hernia surgery and miss at least the next 3-6 weeks, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

I don't know if that's a short time or a long time for hernia surgery (thankfully) but it cuts the Saints weapons down further. You have to be worried about Drew Brees & Co. with two of it's main weapons out. Who will get the targets is hard to know - I had been talking up Billy Miller prior to the season based on some talks he had with HC Payton before the Shockey trade happened. But it's hard to say if they will be utilizing him the way they were going to back then. Still, the Saints will need to find more ways to get the ball moving with Shockey out. we'll have to watch and wait for some indication as to where they will go. Patten was a hot pick for a while, though dissappeared last game. Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem? A ton of very mediocre players at the wide receiver position. Someone will have to step up but it might change week to week.

Best bets in the offense for receptions will be Bush - I think Miller will see enough to be a decent bye week or TEBC choice. Beyond that, we won't know for a while.

Tomlinson Update - Not Much

NFLN is reporting that LT's injury is 'the same injury he had in 2003' but much worse. The feeling in Culver City (NFLN's offices) seems to be he needs a few weeks off to get up to 100%.

Now, it's early yet BUT if this is the case, the Chargers may use Sproles more heavily in the game. Assuming his hammy doesn't act up.

LT continues to be a shaky bet for tonight, while Sproles is slightly more sure. It's hard to bench LT but you may be better off doing so if you need to come from behind, especially if you need to come from behind ina big way. In all likelyhood, Tomlinson will not be a good play tonight which is no different than I have preached since last week.

Will keep you posted.

Top Fantasy Studs of Week 3

Here are some of the guys who performed exceptionally well yesterday - and the list has very few of he usual suspects on it. Marion Barber just missed the top 15, but ends up being the top 15 as does Steve Slaton and Rudi Johnson. Brandon Lloyd makes an appearence, but where is Steve Smith?

Things are topsy turvy today on the list - but don't go nuts trying to pick up Lloyd, Griese and Bryant as anything but matchup guys. Likely they will be off the list next week and inconsistent as starters most of the time.

  1. Ronnie Brown - 122 combined yards, 4 TDs, 1 passing TD, 1 catch
  2. Reggie Bush - 148 combined yards, 11 catches, 1 TD
  3. TJ Houshmandzadeh - 12 catches, 146 yards, 1 TD
  4. Brian Griese - 407 yards, 2 TDs (3 INTs)
  5. Drew Brees - 421 yards, 1 TD
  6. Matt Forte - 155 combined yards, 7 catches, 1 TD
  7. Michael Turner - 104 combined yards, 3 TDs
  8. Brandon Marshall - 155 yards, 6 catches, 1 TD
  9. Marshawn Lynch - 144 combined yards, 4 catches, 2 TDs
  10. Maurice Jones-Drew - 166 combined yards, 1 TD, 4 catches
  11. Frank Gore - 162 combined yards, 1 TD, 4 catches
  12. Brandon Lloyd - 124 yards, 6 catches, 1TD, 1 2 pt conversion
  13. Kyle Orton - 268 yards, 2 TDs, 21 rush yards, 1 two pt conversion (2 INTs)
  14. Larry Fitzgerald - 109 yards, 7 catches, 1 TD
  15. Antonio Bryant - 138 yards, 10 catches

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Maroney OUT

Title says it all - Laurence Maroney is officially OUT.

Morning Update

Darren McFadden says (per NFLN) he doesn't know if he can start and whether he will need a shot for pain in that foot..... Adrian Peterson came out for warmups, not sure if he will start but he will play - they may keep him on a short leash because the way he is, he'll play way beyond when his body should..... Sidney Rice will NOT play...... Laurence Maroney is always a question mark and now I am hearing conflicting reports as to whether he plays or not - paging Sammy Morris, to the white courtesy phone..... Joey Galloway, Devin Hester are out making the Tampa/Chicago game a little less interesting....

More as I hear it....

Saturday, September 20, 2008

College Football Top 25 review - Week 3

#3 Georgia @ Arizona State
Georgia left no doubt that they were a contender today, beating Arizona State soundly, 27-10. A complete turnaround compared to last week’s squeaker against South Carolina, the Bulldogs ran out to a 21-3 lead in the second quarter and did not relinquish it. Georgia kept tremendous pressure on ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter, sacking him 4 times. They also absolutely locked down the Sun Devil run game. The ASU backs compiled a stunning 4 yards total. Without having to worry about the run, the Georgia secondary was free to roam the field, locking down Carpenter’s receivers and the linebackers blitzing at will. Carpenter found himself scrambling on most plays, trying to keep the play alive long enough to find an open target, often to no avail. Defensively, the Sun Devils stifled Bulldog running back Knowshon Moreno for part of the game but in the end could not fully contain him, as he scored twice and totaled 149 yards. Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford also had a very effective day, compiling 185 yards and one touchdown through the air.


#4 Florida @Tennessee
Gator quarterback Tim Tebow didn’t throw for very many yards but did throw for a pair of touchdowns as Florida left Tennessee with a 30-6 victory. The Vols out-gained the Gators 258 yards to 243 but turned the ball over three times, and that was three times too many against the efficient Florida offense. Even worse, two of the turnovers were in key areas of the field: a fumble at the two-yard line and an interception in the end zone. And even though the Vols ruled the overall offensive yardage totals, the Gators out-rushed them 147 yards to 96, controlling the pace of the game. Tennessee has struggled to start seasons before and rebounded, but will have to stop the mistakes if they hope to repeat that. Aside from the key turnovers, the Vols were called for nine penalties totaling 95 yards. The Gators were penalized for nine themselves and the teams sparred and fought numerous times, but when added to the other mental mistakes, the Vols were clearly hurt more than Florida.

Buffalo @ #5 Missouri
Tiger quarterback Chase Daniel’s career-best 439 yards and two touchdowns helped overcome three turnovers and allow Mizzou to remain undefeated. Daniel also set a Big 12 record for consecutive completions with 20. Buffalo kept it close for three quarters but it was death by inches as for every touchdown they scored, Missouri duplicated and added a field goal to boot. Buffalo wide receiver Ernest Jackson was the center of the Bulls’ offense, scoring all three of the team’s touchdowns; two by receptions of 32 and 3, and one on a spectacular 97 yard kick return. That return, as well as the two fumbles and a bad roughing the kicker penalty were huge reasons Buffalo hung around so long in the first half. But in the end, the 590 total yards Mizzou rolled up on Buffalo was too much and they eventually separated themselves for good from the Bulls.

#6 LSU @#10 Auburn
Auburn gave LSU everything it could handle – and almost more – but the LSU Tigers staged a second half surge and sealed the deal with a Jarrett Lee touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell with just over a minute left. Lee came in for starter Andrew Hatch and started off badly going 0-5 on his first series including an interception returned for a touchdown before turning things around in the second half.

Rice @ #7 Texas
The Longhorns scored 17 points in the second quarter and never looked back, whipping Rice to the tune of 52-10. Texas was lead by quarterback Colt McCoy who threw for 329 yards and four touchdowns, bringing his career total to 62, breaking Major Applewhite’s previous record of 60.


#9Alabama @ Arkansas
A pair of interception returns for touchdowns sparked a 49-14 domination of the Arkansas Razorbacks by the Tide, who had six of their seven touchdowns on plays of longer than 25 yards.

Massachusetts @#11 Texas Tech
Texas Tech ran away and hid from Massachusetts, hammering the visiting Minutemen 56-14. Quarterback Graham Harrell threw for 322 yards and four touchdowns while running back Shannon Woods added three on the ground.

#12 South Florida @ Florida International
South Florida took down the Panthers in their own house totaling 322 total yards in a 17-9 victory. SFLA linebacker Brouce Mompremier was airlifted to a hospital after colliding with teammate Carlton Williams during a tackle in the third quarter. Mompremier was seen slowly moving his arms, and was believed to be regaining some movement in his legs before they loaded him onto the helicopter. No other details are available at this time.

Troy @ #13 Ohio State
The Buckeyes made a change to bounce back from their devastating loss to USC by giving the start and nearly all the snaps to true freshman Terrelle Pryor, who led Ohio State with four touchdown passes to a 28-10 win over Troy.

Wyoming @ #14 BYU
BYU is on a mission to show the nation that they deserve every win, this time stomping Wyoming to the tune of 44-0. Quarterback Max Hall threw for 189 yards and three touchdowns in the Cougar’s 14th straight win, longest in the nation.

#15 East Carolina @ NC State
ECU became the latest ranked team to fall to an unranked school when they were stunned in overtime by the Wolfpack, 30-24. ECU Quarterback Patrick Pinkney’s fumble set up an Andre Brown touchdown for the NC State victory.

Temple @ #16 Penn State
Penn State leapt out to an early second quarter lead and never looked back as they trounced visiting Temple, 45-3. Running back Stephfon Green led the offense with 132 yards and one touchdown on the ground.

Boise @ #17 Oregon
I said in my Pac 10 preview on College Football Insider and NFLDraftbible that the Ducks needed to limit mistakes and not fall behind – neither was a goal they met as Oregon quarterbacks threw three interceptions and Boise State ran out to a 24 to 6 lead in the first half and never looked back. A late surge by Oregon was not enough this time as Boise quarterback Kellen Moore threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns in the 37-32 upset.

#18 Wake Forest @ #24 Florida State
The teams combined for five field goals as Wake Forest edged the Seminoles 12-3.

Sam Houston St @ #19 Kansas
The quarterbacks combined for 696 total yards passing but the Jayhawks’ were able to put the ball in the end zone more times as they defeated Sam Houston State, 38-14.

#20 Utah @ Air Force
Air Force put a scare into the Utes, but three second half touchdowns by running back Darrell Mack lead a come back victory to the tune of 30-23.

#21 West Virginia @ Colorado (Thursday)
West Virginia quarterback Pat White and his main running back Noel Devine ran up a total of 281 yards but it wasn’t enough as Buffalo’s Rodney Stewart ran for 166 yards and kicker Aric Goodman kicked a game winning field goal in overtime, sending West Virginia home with a heartbreaking 17-14 loss.

South Carolina St. @ #23 Clemson
Clemson running back James Davis ran for three touchdowns as the Tigers blanked the Bulldogs 54-0.

#25 Fresno State @Toledo
Fresno State held onto the win, 55-54, but may not hold onto their ranking as it took a knocked down 2-point conversion pass to get the win in the second overtime.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pac 10 Preview at College Football Insider and NFLDraftbible

My thoughts on the relatively light schedule this weekend in the Pac 10. HUGE game for the Sun Devils and Rudy Carpenter against Georgia. HUGE.


Did I say HUGE?

Read the details HERE and HERE.

More RB Woes - McFadden at 70%

I may start putting rankings for RBs out Friday night - I mean seriously. How can you keep up?

According to ESPN and John Clayton, McFadden is only at 70% of full ability right now. If that's the case, he'll definitely see split carries and that thought I had during the News Stampede - about Michael Bush being the last man standing? Could be closer to happening that we thought.

McFadden looked good for a couple of games but we all know how a toe injury can linger all season. Rest is what is needed and even if he plays, they won't overdo it. So look elsewhere for a more stable start - and if you are desperate? Check out M. Bush.

RB Rankings for Week 3

So to lead, let's catch up - as I reported earlier, Adrian Peterson is Questionable for Sunday and likely a Game Time Decision (cue creepy music).

Tomlinson isn't much better - in fact it's worse. Tomlinson practiced today but will likely be Questionable as well, as it was a limited practice. He reportedly looked good in individual drills during the early portion of practice. Meanwhile Chargers beat writer said on NFLN that Darren Sproles will get most of the carries Monday night - LT may only get as little as 10.

Based on that, LT is dropping tremendously in my rankings and in many cases, you will be in a spot where you have to start someone else and bench Tomlinson. I'll keep you posted but it's grim. He's very far down - for him - at 18. Sproles has leapt up to 19 - and he may be worth more. The Jets D isn't easy money but it's not exactly stout. But as I don't know how the split really will go, I'm not expecting huge numbers.

Frank Gore faces an awful Lions defense and will catch a bunch of passes as well. He should put up tremendous numbers and look like the feature back many of us have been saying he is.

Brian Westbrook faces a tough defense, but Westy will get his, both through the air and on the ground. In fact, with rookie DeSean Jackson playing as well as he is, some pressure will be taken of Westbrook and he might start finding more room to work. Despite a tough D, Westbrook will still put up his points.

The Bengals run defense is awful and Brandon Jacobs will feast upon a run defense that has allowed an average of 203 rushing yards per game, with 3 rushing scores allowed. The Titans went and ran all over them last week, compiling 177 and a TD on the ground last week. Should be a good day for Jacobs - and Bradshaw and Ward will get some love as well, though they may be riskier starts.

Marion Barber sees a defense that has allowed an average of 118 yards per game so far, though they are not surrendering touchdowns. Barber will be a huge portion of this offense though and that includes receptions. With him catching the ball well, his total points will be top notch, even if not all of them come on the ground.

Finally, Clinton Portis (after a war of words on a Washington Radio program) will take his frustration out on an Arizona defense which is ok but not great. They were beaten up by Frank Gore (108 yards, 1TD) but stifled Ricky Williams (72, 1TD). Still the pair of touchdowns feels like a good sign that Portis will see the end zone and continue his good work on the field. Washington's offense seems to be gaining steam and Portis is the engine that makes it go. And he'll have it hitting on all cylinders as the Redskins work to kill the clock and keep the vaunted Cardinal pass attack off the field.

Running backs
  1. Frank Gore, 49ers vs. Lions
  2. Brian Westbrook, Eagles vs. Steelers
  3. Brandon Jacobs, Giants vs. Bengals
  4. Marion Barber, Cowboys at Packers
  5. Clinton Portis, Redskins vs. Cardinals
  6. Marshawn Lynch, Bills vs. Raiders
  7. Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Panthers
  8. Steven Jackson, Rams at Seahawks
  9. Michael Turner, Falcons vs. Chiefs
  10. Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Texans
  11. Reggie Bush, Saints at Bronco
  12. Julius Jones, Seahawks vs. Rams
  13. Willie Parker, Steelers at Eagles
  14. Ernest Graham, Buccaneers at Bears
  15. Darren McFadden, Raiders at Bills
  16. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars at Colts
  17. Matt Forté, Bears vs. Buccaneers
  18. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers vs. Jets
  19. Darren Sproles, Chargers vs. Jets
  20. Joseph Addai, Colts vs. Jaguars
  21. Edgerrin James, Cardinals at Redskins
  22. Larry Johnson, Chiefs at Falcons
  23. Thomas Jones, Jets at Chargers
  24. LenDale White, Titans vs. Texans
  25. Jamal Lewis, Browns at Ravens
  26. Ryan Grant, Packers vs. Cowboys
  27. Derrick Ward, Giants vs. Bengals
  28. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers at Vikings
  29. Fred Taylor, Jaguars at Colts
  30. Kevin Smith, Lions at 49ers
  31. Chester Taylor, Vikings vs. Panthers
  32. Chris Perry, Bengals at Giants
  33. Derrick Ward, Giants vs. Bengals
  34. Laurence Maroney, Patriots vs. Dolphins
  35. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers at Vikings

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Adrian Peterson - Game Time Decision

NFLN is reporting that Adrian Peterson will be the dreaded 'GAME TIME DECISION', meaning that even though he practiced he is still feeling the affects of his hamstring injury.

I followed up on some of the beat writer blogs in Minny and yeah it looks like ADP is not so much 'All Day' as we'd like to see. I will be downgrading him on the RB rankings (out in about an hour, maybe less). He will be listed as Questionable on today's Injury Report in all likelyhood.

At least it's an early game - make sure you check in here and watch the news pre-game to make sure you are ok to start him. Unlike LT, who played hurt and ultimately had to come out, the matchup and ADP's ability make me confident that if he does play, he will be a good start.

RB and TE rankings a little later. Just wanted to catch you up on Peterson.

WR Rankings Week 3

I love me some Brandon Marshall. Will he get 18 catches again. Probably not, but the Saints secondary is still shaky and the D has let up 256 yards and a pair of TDs. Against Denver - THAT'S the FLOOR. Marshall will continue his great work this week.

TO has a matchup that isn't quite as tasty, but Owens still will be in a situation where Romo and the offense will throw a lot and TO will get his. Why they stopped throwing to him much if at all in the second half against Philly is beyond me. He'll be good for yards and TDs this week.

Reggie Wayne is flourishing in the #1 spot and while Manning is still not 100% Manning, the Jags coughed up 210 yds and a TD to Trent Edwards who, while I like, is no Peyton Manning. Wayne will have a significant day this Sunday.


Steve Smith returns and faces a Vikes secondary which is vulnerable . Unable to cause turnovers or pressure and sack the QB, Delhomme will have time to work and get his top WR up to speed and into the game plan. Smith will have a lot to prove and should get near - if not more than - 100 yards and a TD.

Why isn't Randy Moss higher? Cassel is still not looking for him enough or being allowed to air the ball out. Why isn't he lower then? He's Randy Moss. The Pats will get him more involved, Cassel will be allowed to throw more and the Phins are giving up 272 passing yards per game and a total of 5 passing TDs so far this season.

On the low side, I am tempted to have Vincent Jackson (28) a little higher as I think Chambers will get a lot of attention against a tough secondary pairing in Darrell Revis and rookie Dwight Lowrey. Jerricho Cotchery (25) could be higher if his targets tick up more. The Chargers secondary is vulnerable and Cotchery could be the benificiery. Muhsin Muhammad (33) and DJ Hackett (not listed) will see a big drop in targets and catches with Smith back.

More rankings and ADP/LT news later!

Wide receivers
  1. Brandon Marshall, Broncos vs. Saints
  2. Terrell Owens, Cowboys at Packers
  3. Plaxico Burress, Giants vs. Bengals
  4. Reggie Wayne, Colts vs. Jaguars
  5. Steve Smith, Panthers at Vikings
  6. Randy Moss, Patriots vs. Dolphins
  7. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals at Redskins
  8. Calvin Johnson, Lions at 49ers
  9. Andre Johnson, Texans at Titans
  10. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals at Redskins
  11. Lee Evans, Bills vs. Raiders
  12. Greg Jennings, Packers vs. Cowboys
  13. Eddie Royal, Broncos vs. Saints
  14. Santonio Holmes, Steelers at Eagles
  15. Braylon Edwards, Browns at Ravens
  16. Hines Ward, Steelers at Eagles
  17. Donald Driver, Packers vs. Cowboys
  18. Anthony Gonzalez, Colts vs. Jaguars
  19. Roy Williams, Lions at 49ers
  20. Chris Chambers, Chargers vs. Jets
  21. Torry Holt, Rams at Seahawks
  22. Wes Welker, Patriots vs. Dolphins
  23. Santana Moss, Redskins vs. Cardinals
  24. DeSean Jackson, Eagles vs. Steelers
  25. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets at Chargers
  26. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs at Falcons
  27. Roddy White, Falcons vs. Chiefs
  28. Vincent Jackson, Chargers vs. Jets
  29. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals at Giants
  30. Isaac Bruce, 49ers vs. Lions
  31. Chad Ocho Cinco, Bengals at Giants
  32. Amani Toomer, Giants vs. Bengals
  33. Muhsin Muhammad, Panthers at Vikings
  34. David Patten, Saints at Broncos
  35. Laveranues Coles, Jets at Chargers

Adrian Peterson Practicing

According to St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that Adrian Peterson and his hamstring was stretching and performing individual drills though no word on whether he was doing any 11 on 11 drills. Assume he will be probable for the weekend and this seems a good sign he will start this weekend.

We'll keep you posted and see if there are any after effects from practice - swelling, pain, ecetera. But this is a good thing right now.

QB Rankings for Week 3

Cutler is the real deal kids - and since the Bronc's D is shaky, he will not only be able to throw all day long - he might have too. On the other hand, the Saints secondary is still suspect so he will have success as he throws.

On the other hand, the Broncs D is not great right now. Drew Brees will find success even with Marques Colston still on the shelf. Between David Patten, Reggie Bush and Jeremy Shockey, Brees has plenty of targets. In a shootout, I like what he is capable of.

Tony Romo is likely in a shootout of his own against the Packers. We know he can throw effectively and his O-line gives him the time to wait for receivers come open. And he's got the weapons in TO and Witten. I think a tougher D limits him a little - but Romo will produce well and will be one of the better starts this week.

Again, the other half of this pair gets a nod at the top of my list. Aaron Rodgers is playing great and while Dallas is a better class at D than Rodgers has faced, Philly blew them up on Monday night and they are vulnerable. Also, Rodgers has a great bunch of weapons and the arm to utilize them. He will often on Sunday.

Meanwhile on the downside of things - Marc Bulger (19), Derek Anderson (18), and Carson Palmer (17) are all struggling due to O-line issues and receivers dropping balls like they are on fire. I also downgraded Jon Kitna (14) as he seems to be on an ever-shortening leash.

And let's just not mention Kansas City. *shiver*

Quarterbacks
  1. Jay Cutler, Broncos vs. Saints
  2. Drew Brees, Saints at Broncos
  3. Tony Romo, Cowboys at Packers
  4. Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Cowboys
  5. Peyton Manning, Colts vs. Jaguars
  6. Donovan McNabb, Eagles vs. Steelers
  7. J.T. O’Sullivan, 49ers vs. Lions
  8. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Eagles
  9. Kurt Warner, Cardinals at Redskins
  10. Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Jets
  11. Eli Manning, Giants vs. Bengals
  12. Jake Delhomme, Panthers at Vikings
  13. Jon Kitna, Lions at 49ers
  14. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks vs. Rams
  15. Matt Schaub, Texans at Titans
  16. Carson Palmer, Bengals at Giants
  17. Derek Anderson, Browns at Ravens
  18. Marc Bulger, Rams at Seahawks
  19. Trent Edwards, Bills vs. Raiders
  20. Brett Favre, Jets at Chargers
  21. Kerry Collins, Titans vs. Texans
  22. Matt Cassel, Patriots vs. Dolphins
  23. David Garrard, Jaguars at Colts
  24. Jason Campbell, Redskins vs. Cardinals
  25. Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Chiefs
  26. Chad Pennington, Dolphins at Patriots
  27. Gus Frerotte, Vikings vs. Panthers
  28. Kyle Orton, Bears vs. Buccaneers
  29. Brian Griese, Buccaneers at Bears
  30. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders at Bills
  31. Joe Flacco, Ravens vs. Browns
  32. Tyler Thigpen/Damon Huard, Chiefs at Falcons

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tarvarais Jackson out - GusFrerotte IN

In a move that is a surprise but not really, Brad Childress has opted to end the Jackson experiment (for now) and named Frerotte the starter for the foreseeable future or what is better known as 'until he goes down with an injury'. Frerotte has a strong arm, cannot move worth a damn outside of the pocket and is prone to awful decisions.

All that said, he will allow the Vikes to open the playbook more and it's a bump up for the receivers (most notably Bernard Berrian, though my mancrush Sidney Rice might take a few weeks to be 100% after straining his PCL). Now if they can hold onto the ball, that would be something.

Frerotte is a start only as a bye week filler and maybe in a 2 QB league. The real question I have is - if he goes down (dare I say WHEN?) and if Jackson continues to struggle in relief - when do we see John David Booty?

And would that be a good thing?

The return of --- CEDRIC BENSON??!?!?

Have gotten a few questions about Cedric Benson and whether or not he is worth a pickup and I just wanted to remind you guys that NOTHING is confirmed yet.

Whereas a news station in Austin is saying 'Done Deal', the Detroit Free Press is saying negotiations haven't even started yet.

Benson would be an intriguing pickup for the Lions who don't seem thrilled with Rudi Johnson but also don't have a lot of quality RB depth anyway. He might be worth a spot on your bench if you aren't cutting a performer - someone who is putting some points up. I believe his upside is limited due to attitude and work ethic, but let's face it - Kevin Smith is a rookie and at some point they will want to spell him.

I have argued Smith might be better prepared for the length of the NFL season due to that huge number of carries last year at Central Florida. But the rookie is doing well, but not great (26 carries for 88 yards, 8 catches for 53 yards - and just 1 TD on the ground) and at some point they may want to chaneg things up a bit. I don't think Smith is bad - and I KNOW Benson is no long term solution - but he may get carries.

But the fact is, this has NOT happened yet. I'll let you know when I hear something different, but don't jump the gun. If your waivers need to go in today, you may hesitate and that's fine. It is unlikely Benson will be teh missing link in your Championship. The guy is bench depth, that's pretty much it.

As far as the Lions (and Rudi Johnson are concerned) at least he's not stealing stuff out of the locker room. Right Tatum?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

0-2 - What to Do?

Good morning everybody. Part of this Wednesday's Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Podcast (9pm PST/6pm PST) will be dealing with how to get yourself out of a 0-2 hole. We'll also be dealing with continuing your winning ways and solidifying a 1-1 team but I thought as Tuesday morning cal be a brutal one in fantasy football, maybe a little early reassurance that it isn't all over might be a good thing.

First of all, as always, don't panic. You can turn a losing team into a winner - and depending upon who you have on your team (or in the case of Tom Brady owners - HAD) you may have a decent team that is battling injuries. I, like many of you, had Marques Colston go down, which has shattered my wide receiver core in a Dynasty league. I, like many of you, had Tomlinson biff it this weekend, which hurt me not once but twice in an Auction/Dynasty hybrid since we played a double-header this week.

So, I feel your pain. But you cannot panic. No hurried trade offers to send half your team for that ONE stud. No jettisoning your whole team for fresh faces like a bad hand in a poker game.

The first thing you need to do is hit the waiver wire. See who is being consistent the first two weeks and see who your leaguemates are not paying attention to. LJ Smith is out there in leagues. He's not setting the world on fire but if your TE is Kevin Boss and Zach Miller, he could be a step up. John Carlson in Seattle - I have spoken about him a ton - lots of targets there and some opportunity.

Have Bernard Berrian as your #2? Not working out too well, huh? Hit the wire - while Tarvaris Jackson figures out the forward pass, you might be able to find Vincent Jackson out of San Diego. Jackson only has a few targets less than Chris Chambers and almost as many yards. Both may be on your waiver wire though I prefer Jackson as Chambers can be inconsistent. But the tagerts will hold as Gates is hurt and frankly, I think Jackson will take a big step up this season.

Running Back is much tougher. In most leagues, even guys we weren't sure about like Julius Jones, Pierre Thomas And Darren Sproles are gone. You may need to dig deep and look for Le'ron McClain who might be on the wire still since Baltimore had a sudden bye this week.

This is where you may have to start looking for a trade. But not the home-run, everything in, sort of trade.

Now, honestly some of you might need that. I don't favor trading a ton of players for one stud as most of the time, you put yourself in a tougher position than you were in before. Very few teams have enough bench depth to make that trade and still have the supporting players to win consistently.

Also, the guys who look like studs now (Aaron Rodgers, Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Matt Forte) may not be in a few weeks or at least not coughing up 35 points a week for owners.

So I vote for looking long and hard at your team. How did you lose? By 5 points? By 50? Is it Braylon Edwards hurting you? Did you lose when LT was out for 2 quarters? Or did it all go wrong when Colston/Brady went out?

Once you examine your team and find the holes, you can patch them. And again, it will be very dangerous to sell the whole team for Tony Romo. He may get you top QB points, but if all you have around him is Berrian, David Patten, Laurence Maroney and Steve Slaton - it's just not enough.

But if you were to add a JT O'Sullivan and couple him with another good QB in a QBBC (say, Trent Edwards), that might be worth doing, be a heck of a lot cheaper and leave you with whatever other good players you have.

Remember you need to add more than you subtract. And while it's important to swing for the fences, you have to leave yourself with enough to play the game effectively and well.

So take a hard look at your team today. Take a long, hard look at the waiver wire. Take a very, very long look at the opposition. Who are they using? Who has been on the bench two weeks so far?

Start making moves. The time is now. But choose and act wisely.

If you have a question or want to bounce a trade, waiver move or implosion of a team off me, email me at thunderingblurb(a)gmail.com.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thundering Blurb Appearances/Columns/Whatnot

Just finished a spot for College Football Insiders on their College Football Insiders Weekly podcast, talking Pac 10 football of course. Check it out here.

I will be covering the Pac 10 for College Football Insider all season long and it will also be carried on NFLDraftbible.

Check out both sites thoroughly as they are chock full of college-footbally goodness. Check the podcasts out too, as they are a great source of info as well.

Top Fantasy Studs of Week 2

Some of the top Fantasy Football performances from the second week of NFL action - lots of outstanding QB performances this week:

  1. Jay Cutler - 350 yds passing, 4TDs
  2. Brandon Marshall - 18 catches, 166yds, TD
  3. Phillip Rivers - 377 yds passing, 3TDs
  4. Kurt Warner - 361 yds passing, 3TDs
  5. Anquan Boldin - 6 catches, 140 yds, 3TDs
  6. Aaron Rodgers - 328 yds passing, 3TDs, 25 yds rushing
  7. Santana Moss - 7 catches, 191 yds, 1TD
  8. Calvin Johnson - 6 catches, 129 yds, 2TDs
  9. Eli Manning - 260 yds, 3TDs
  10. JT O'Sullivan - 321 yds, 32 rushing yards, 1 TD
  11. Darren McFadden - 173 total yards, 1 TD, 1 catch
  12. Julius Jones - 141 total yards, 1TD, 3 catches
  13. Adrian Peterson - 180 yards, 4 catches
  14. Jason Campbell - 321 yds, 1 TD
  15. Greg Jennings - 6 catches, 167 yds
That's the top of the cream of the heap of the crop for this week. Of course, studs like Romo, McNabb, Westy, Barber, TO and Witten have yet to go and may change it up tonight.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

College Football Top 25 review - Week 2

#1 USC vs #5 OSU
The Trojans looked human for two drives – and then took the game over and never looked back. USC QB Marc Sanchez threw for 4 TDs and linebacker Rey Maualuaga had a pick he returned for a 48 yard TD as the Buckeyes looked overmatched in every aspect of the game. Once again OSU entered the spotlight only to come out blinded and slapped around and still waiting for that big non-conference win that eludes them. The two decisions that will be haunting Buckeye Coach Jim Tressel: Should running back Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells have been playing (and would it have mattered) and should he have handed the reigns more completely to freshman QB Terrelle Pryor as QB Todd Boekman looked awful throughout stretches of the game. One thing is for certain – it looks like the team with the best chance of beating USC is USC. If they stay focused, they have every chance of playing for a National Title come January.

#2 Georgia vs South Carolina
Georgia had all it could handle with a tough South Carolina team but in the end, a late turnover sealed the win for them. For most of the game, the SC Gamecocks kept the Bulldogs leashed and the score low, stifling the offense. But ultimately Georgia made something of the last turnover and and Knowshon Moreno capped his 79 yard day with the winning TD.

#3 Oklahoma vs Washington
Sooner QB Sam Bradford continues his Heisman Case with 304 yards and 5 TDs as Oklahoma continued Washington’s woes 55-14. Not only was Bradford on point, but the Sooner RB tandem of DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown were lights out. The pair rushed for 207 yards as Oklahoma outgained the Huskies in yards 591 to 336.

#6 Missouri vs Nevada
Tigers QB Chase Daniel threw for a monster 405 yards and 4 TDs as Missouri thumped Nevada 69-17. The offense scored on 11 drives, including their first 10 and 9 of them for TDs. Nevada never got going, and were frustrated on both sides of the ball. Unable to get things going on offense, they were also not getting pressure on the Tigers quarterbacks. The Tigers’ 69 points scored was a school record and Daniels became the All-Time Leading passer with his yard total from today.

#7 LSU vs North Texas
The defending National Champions ran away and hid as RB Charles Scott lead the team with 102 yards and 2 TDs – both of which was for more than 30 yards.

#8 Texas vs Arkansas – POSTPONED DUE TO HURRICANE IKE

#9 Auburn vs Mississippi St.
With a box score that looked more like a baseball game than a college football game, Auburn came out ahead when Mississippi State QB Wesley Carroll threw an interception with 2:28 left in the game.

#10 Wisconsin vs #21 Fresno State
The Badgers survived a scare today as the Fresno State Bulldogs took them the distance but ultimately could not finish as Wisconsin beat Fresno 13-10. PJ Hill lead Wisconsin’s rushing with 112 yards QB Allan Everidge left the game late but appeared back on the sidelines and should be ok for the Badgers’ next game.

#11 Alabama vs Western Kentucky
The Crimson Tide rolled all over poor Western Kentucky to the tune of 41-7. The Tide went 9-14 on 3rd downs and 3-3 on 4th downs, with QB John Parker Wilson leading the offense with 216 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

#12 Texas Tech vs Southern Methodist
TTU QB Graham Harrell threw for 5 TDs while his Mustang counterpart Bo Levi Mitchell threw 5 INTs as the Red Raiders blew out SMU 43-7. Of the 5 TDs from Graham, 3 went to wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

#13 Kansas vs #19 South Florida
It took a Field Goal as time expired but South Florida continued to hold onto it’s top 25 ranking for another week, making sure the BCS knows the small schools came to play. Jayhawk QB Todd Reesing threw for 373 and 3 TDs, 2 of which went to wide receiver Johnathan Wilson but it wasn’t enough as his one INT took place late in the 4th and was returned 40 yards to set up the winning kick.

#14 East Carolina vs Tulane
East Carolina made it’s BCS bones by upsetting two favored teams but almost became a karmic victim as they staved of the Green Wave with a late 4th quarter TD, overcoming 4 turnovers.

#15 ASU vs UNLV
Arizona State Rudy Carpenter and his ASU Sun Devils struggled early but ultimately got in gear to beat UNLV and, along with USC and Oregon, survive the drubbing the Pac 10 received almost across the board today.

#16 Oregon vs Purdue
It took two OTs, but Oregon avoided an upset as the Purdue Boilermakers stunned them in the first half. But LeGarrette Blount’s 3 yard TD capped a comeback that will keep the Ducks rolling for another week.

#17 Penn State vs Syracuse
The Nittany Lions left Syracuse in the dust early and never looked back as they destroyed the overwhelmed Orangeman 55-13.

#18 BYU vs UCLA
BYU left no doubt they belonged in the top 25 and washed the bad taste of a debated call by annihilating UCLA, led by QB Max Hall and his staggering 7 TDs.

#22 Utah vs Utah State
Utah beat their in-state rivals for the 11th time in a row, this time by the score of 58-10. Utah running back Matt Asiata scored three touchdowns.

#23 Cal vs Maryland
Cal arrived at their hotel at 1am and it took them into the 4th quarter before the offense fired up. But it was too little too late as the Terps stunned the Bears 35-27.

#24 Illinois vs Louisiana-Lafayette
While the Illini lead for more than three quarters, Juice Williams and the offense never distanced themselves from the Ragin’ Cajuns and eventually had to stave off a late surge from a team they expected to blow off the field.

Baltimore vs Houston Postponed again? UPDATED AND CONFIRMED

Hey folks -

This isn't official BUT both ESPN and the NFLN have reported that the game between the Texans and Ravens may be postponed again. According to the NFLN news blurb I just saw, a conference call between the teams and the NFL is scheduled for sometime this afternoon.

I will follow up with news as I hear it - may I suggest for commisioners to do the following:

1) Alert your league - don't let it to chance and run the risk that they don't know, aren;t following and get pissed later. Maybe the 'shark move' is to let them sink on their own but you are the Commish - keep them informed.

2) Either warn them off playing any players from those teams OR have them submit a sub list in case the game is canceled last minute. It probably won't - we will probably know by tonight what will happen. But again, keep yourself covered.

As always, thoughts and prayers for the affected region. I was in Los Angeles for both the riots and the Northridge Earthquake. Neither one was any fun and I can assume a Category 3 Hurricane ranks up there as well.

UPDATE
According to this article at NFL.com the game between the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens has been postponed. Here is what they are doing according to the article.

The Ravens-Texans game originally scheduled to be played Sunday, then rescheduled to be played Monday night due to Hurricane Ike, will now be played in Week 10. The originally scheduled Bengals-Texans game in Week 10 has been moved to Week 8 (game time 4:05 p.m. ET), and the Bengals' bye week moves to Week 10.
If you have seen the footage of Houston, you know this had to happen, although a move to another city would have been an option.

Again, thoughts and prayers to those in the region.

Pac 10 Breakdown at College Football Insiders

I will be looking after the Pac 10 for the College Football Insiders - check out this week's break down HERE.

So far looks like I underestimated Maryland - dang Cal what's going on with you?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ohio State @ USC –9/12/08 8pm EST

The biggest key to this game does not involve any one player. It involves them all. Especially on Ohio State’s side.

This is a big game – no THE big game. Big hype. Big press. Big spotlight.

Big Pressure.

Ohio State and USC have both been here before, in the big game. But while USC often succeeds on the big stage, OSU has dropped the ball in two straight National Championship games, getting completely blown out against Florida in 2007 and being soundly beaten by LSU last year.

Does that mean OSU cannot win? No, not by any means. In fact, this is a huge statement game for OSU. Coming into this season, many pundits believed OSU was coming of age. This was the year that their experience caught up with their talent – and they have tons of talent returning (19 starters returned). But after a perfect win against Youngstown State, they stumbled badly against the University of Ohio without Wells.

And as if things weren’t tough enough? OSU Coach Jim Tressel broke the news that Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells is out. Now considering how they did when Beanie-less against U of O, this could be very, very bad.

But if they can pull together – this could make their season.

Without Wells, the Buckeyes will need stellar play from several offensive players.

Ohio State quarterback Todd Boekman needs to step up at QB. He hasn’t thrown a ton in part because Wells played the first game and he didn’t have to. Last week Wells was out and the 16/26 for 110 yds and no TDs was nearly not enough. It won’t be enough against USC, and neither will the 187 yds vs Youngstown . No Wells means the QB needs to step up in a way he hasn’t this season.

Terelle Pryor is a combination quarterback/running back with exceptional size and speed who USC probably hasn’t seen all that much of. He’s an explosive player but only saw a little action last week. They will need more from him, as well as Maurice Wells and Brandon Saine. But Pryor brings a whole different dimension.

The defense will need to lock it down harder than they did last week. Against U of O, they allowed 9 of 17 3rd downs to be converted, and against USC that will hurt the team badly. They are an incredibly solid group of veterans and one assumes they will review the tape and make their adjustments. James Laurinaitis brings a huge amount of energy and excitement to the middle linebacker position and is the rock this defense is built on. He and Marcus Freeman at the weakside linebacker position will make USC earn every inch on the ground. Malcolm Jenkins is a big, athletic corner who will make the USC receivers work. But much of the rest of the secondary is mismatched in size and USC could take advantage of this to loosen the defense up for the run game. But overall it’s a very good veteran defensive squad that can play and play hard.

Problem is, where do they start with USC?

Trojan quarterback Mark Sanchez will need to continue his solid play and limit mistakes. OSU is not Virginia. They are a team with more experience and will make it harder on Sanchez, as well as wide receivers Ronald Johnson and Damian Williams. But even when flushed from the pocket, Sanchez showed great poise against Virginia and proved to be just as dangerous.

Unlike the perceived drop off on OSU from Wells to the #2 back, USC’s running backs roll deep. If CJ Gable and Joe McKnight don’t repeat their week 1 stats, Stafon Johnson or Allen Bradford will step up. But no one back seems to have that game changing WOW factor Wells has. The squad as a whole can be productive, but none of the backs have taken over a game the way a Wells or departed SC running back Reggie Bush could. In a pinch, there is no home run hitter to dig them out of a hole and automatically spark the offense.

The Buckeyes will have to tie down the run game and keep Sanchez pressured to keep things close.

The USC defense touts some fantastic players as well, like Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing. It will be up to them to contain the OSU run game and pressure Boekman into making mistakes. If he does – or if a running back breaks past the linebackers and defensive line, USC’s secondary will make them pay. Josh Pinkard has moved to Safety and joined Taylor Mays and Kevin Ellison to form a huge, intimidating corner group.

Ohio State will be hard pressed to make too much headway unless they can get both the run and pass games rolling and rolling strong.

Beanie Wells OUT says ESPN

Now I always say to take everything in a big game with a grain of salt. But ESPN is reporting that Chris 'Beanie' Wells is OUT for tomorrow's tilt against the University of Southern California.

Tressel broke the news Friday afternoon after the team went through a 40-minute walkthrough at the Coliseum.

From the article:

"He's been getting treatment 15 times a day," Tressel told the assembled media just minutes after he told his team of the decision. "I guess if looks could kill he fought me. I just told the team because it's important our guys know what we thought we should do."

"He worked so hard, but my job is to keep his best interests at heart," Tressel told ESPN's Joe Schad.

Huge blow to OSU. Can they overcome it? I think they can - but it just got REAL tough.

More on the OSU/USC tilt a little later.

TE Rankings Week 2

Huard will probably look at Gonzo a ton come Sunday and against a secondary that seemed gunshy about getting physical or giving tight coverage on the receivers. While the KC offense is, quite frankly, terrifying to consider as a whole with that O-line Huard is probably an upgrade over Croyle and Gonzo (as well as second year WR Dwayne Bowe) will probably be more productive. Jay Witten is a beast. I can't see any week where he isn't one of the top three on this list - mayeb even his bye week. Romo may have a down tick this week against a better D in Philly, Witten is still one of his favorite targets and he'll get his. One of the players on the wrong side of the Dallas beatdown last weekend was Kellen Winslow and despite the fact that the CLE offense imploded, Winslow got his to the tune of 47 yards and a TD. He'll be tested against a stout Pitt D, but will still get his numbers regardless of the matchup. Anderson looks for him often and whereas Braylon Edwards saw more targets, Winslow didn't have 4 drops and Anderson knows he can count on his premiere tight end. With Marques Colston down for a month and a half, Jeremy Shockey will be a huge factor in how well the Saints rebound from this huge loss. Expect them to rely on him heavily and for him to step up and frustrate the heck of the Redskins all game long. At #5, Antonio Gates might seem misplaced. But his continuing injury issues and the misfiring offense last week, I am a tad worried about how he might perform. Still, with the tough Broncos coming off a win against Oakland and sensing a shot to take a huge step forward in the division, Gates and the Charger offense know they need to produce big time. Gates will get his chances and given that, you know he'll perform.

Amongst the guys I dislike this week are #21 Todd Heap (injuries, rookie Qb, Hurricane), #22 Zack Miller (love the guy, hate the tired, misfiring, just plain bad offense) and #18 Heath Miller (too many other options and too little passing).

#25 Dante Rosario is a guy I want to point out is the last on the list - it's totally health related. I have ni idea if he will play. If he starts, move him to the middle of the list. He needs to produce a few times before I annoint him anything else than that but what I saw was pretty imrpessive. Also, #17 Kevin Boss I like but he got too few targets - that might change this week but I have to see it. And I keep pimping #16 John Carlson in Seattle - watch this week, it may be the last week he's on your free agent waiver wire.

Tight ends
  1. Tony Gonzalez, Chiefs vs. Raiders
  2. Jason Witten, Cowboys vs. Eagles
  3. Kellen Winslow, Browns vs. Steelers
  4. Jeremy Shockey, Saints at Redskins
  5. Antonio Gates, Chargers at Broncos
  6. Chris Cooley, Redskins vs. Saints
  7. L.J. Smith, Eagles at Cowboys
  8. Randy McMichael, Rams vs. Giants
  9. Vernon Davis, 49ers at Seahawks
  10. Greg Olsen, Bears at Panthers
  11. Alge Crumpler, Titans at Bengals
  12. Owen Daniels, Texans vs. Ravens
  13. Desmond Clark, Bears at Panthers
  14. Anthony Fasano, Dolphins at Cardinals
  15. Robert Royal, Bills at Jaguars
  16. John Carlson, Seahawks vs. 49ers
  17. Kevin Boss, Giants at Rams
  18. Heath Miller, Steelers at Browns
  19. Tony Scheffler, Broncos vs. Chargers
  20. Donald Lee, Packers at Lions
  21. Todd Heap, Ravens at Texans
  22. Zach Miller, Raiders at Chiefs
  23. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars vs. Bills
  24. Dustin Keller, Jets vs. Patriots
  25. Dante Rosario, Panthers vs. Bears
Soem OSU/USC thoughts late tonight. News and notes throughout the weekend including some thoughts on the injury report from Friday.

Filling In for Fantasy Football Roundtable on Sunday!

Hey guys - quick note that I will be hosting a special edition of the Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Show on Sunday at 8pm EST/5pm PST. Of course it's on BlogTalkRadio's Fantasy Sports Channel!

Good friend of the Blurb Jeff Hoffman asked me to fill in and so you'll get a bonus blurb on Sunday.

Stop by and chat or call in. Also it will post to ITunes like all the rest and be available for streaming at BlogTalkRadio.com!

Hope to see you there as we recap the day's events and help you prep for the second 'Double Header' Monday in a row!

WR Rankings for Week 2

I expect Plaxico Burress to have a pretty huge game against a Rams D that just isn't very good. Not as bad as last week, maybe but if they got blown up by Baskett, Lewis and rookie DeSean Jackson - Plax should make them look silly. TO is everyone's darling this week, but the matchup - while not horrid - isn't as good as what Plax faces. You won't be unhappy with TO, however, and if the Giants faced a competant D, he would likely top my list as well. Fitzgerald faces a Dolphins D that - while improved - didn't show me all that much last week and still has many problems. Only thing that could hold him back is Whisenhunt's clock control O. They are running the ball alot and that limited Ftiz's targets last week to just 4. I think they''ll air it out more against the Phins. Wayne - even with Manning at apparently 75% Manning Power, go 17 (!) targets, caught 10 for 86 yards and a TD. When Manning gets right, this dude will go off. Still, even with Manning struggling a tad, Wayne is a lock for top 5 stats. Finally, Randy Moss - reports were (early in the week) that Mopey Moss was back and wanting Daunte Culpepper to show up in New England. I don't think it will be the case, though one of my BIG QUESTIONS of the week would be how the Pats respond to Brady's injury. Moss will go as the team does because if the morale there dips, you know Randy's will too. Still, as you can see by the ranking, I think the Pats and Moss will be just fine - though that is not determination on who will win the game.

WRs I dislike this week are #28 Eddie Royal (I would prefer to see him against a D that plays.... at all though I think he will have tremendous value later on), #31 Patrick Crayton (3rd bannana in the recieving core in Dallas isn't very attractive) and #25 Tory Holt who will rebound, but probably not this week.

Wide receivers
  1. Plaxico Burress, Giants at Rams
  2. Terrell Owens, Cowboys vs. Eagles
  3. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals vs. Dolphins
  4. Reggie Wayne, Colts at Vikings
  5. Randy Moss, Patriots at Jets
  6. Brandon Marshall, Broncos vs. Chargers
  7. Andre Johnson, Texans vs. Ravens
  8. Braylon Edwards, Browns vs. Steelers
  9. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals vs. Dolphins
  10. Calvin Johnson, Lions vs. Packers
  11. Greg Jennings, Packers at Lions
  12. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets vs. Patriots
  13. Lee Evans, Bills at Jaguars
  14. Roy Williams, Lions vs. Packers
  15. Santonio Holmes, Steelers at Browns
  16. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs vs. Raiders
  17. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals vs. Titans
  18. Marvin Harrison, Colts at Vikings
  19. Donald Driver, Packers at Lions
  20. Hines Ward, Steelers at Browns
  21. Bernard Berrian, Vikings vs. Colts
  22. Joey Galloway, Buccaneers vs. Falcons
  23. Chad Ocho Cinco, Bengals vs. Titans
  24. Roddy White, Falcons at Buccaneers
  25. Torry Holt, Rams vs. Giants
  26. Santana Moss, Redskins vs. Saints
  27. Anthony Gonzalez, Colts at Vikings
  28. Eddie Royal, Broncos vs. Chargers
  29. Wes Welker, Patriots at Jets
  30. Laveranues Coles, Jets vs. Patriots
  31. Patrick Crayton, Cowboys vs. Eagles
  32. Sidney Rice, Vikings vs. Colts
  33. Amani Toomer, Giants at Rams
  34. Chris Chambers, Chargers at Broncos
  35. Ted Ginn Jr., Dolphins at Cardinals
Tight Ends a little later.

RB Rankings for Week 2

I am hard pressed to find a reason to not have Peterson on top of this list. Even if Indy makes adjustments based on last week's debacle where they made Matt Forte look like a Hall of Fame RB, Peterson and that O-line will probably tear them up anyway. Add to it that Manning looks shaky and is still (as of press time) without C Jeff Saturday and it's unlikely the Colts will run away and hide, keeping AP on the bench as Jackson needs to throw. AP should have a big day. Tomlinson's toe - as I said on EXPN 1230 today - is unlikley to keep him from playing and while it could hold him back, I don't think it will. The Chargers need him carrying the ball a lot to get the offense running this week. Westbrook will face more issues with Dallas than St. Louis, but he's going to be good for plenty of points as he always is when healthy. The only thing that worries me about the guy behind him - Jacobs - is if someoen else gets hot first he could see carries drop. But the matchup is phenomenal and based on last week, he's still the man. Expect a huge day. Rounding out the top 5 will be Frank Gore - Marshawn Lynch had 76 yards on the ground, a TD and another 18 yards in receptions as well. Gore blew up last week with 96 yards and a touch on the ground and another 55 through the air. And that was with Arizona controlling the clock like Scrooge McDuck does his Money Bank. Seattle is likely to let Gore go nuts, although he probably won't repeat last week's success as Seattle will have less problems with O'Sullivan and the still formign WR core of SF than they did with Trent Edwards and Company. Still, a great matchup for a great back.

Don't expect Matt Forte to blow up against Carolina like he did against Indy. Not a terrible start, but no more than a #2 or flex. Ditto Michael Turner - althoguh if Turner succeeds against the Bucs, he's a good bet to crack my top 10 very soon. Steven Jackson has slipped a bunch in my rankings - that O-line and Bulger look horrid and while he will get his, the Giants will make his day very tough and I expect his numbers to suffer. Joe Addai is super low - I think he will rebound soon but not this week. The offense in Indy needs Saturday back and Manning needs another week to get comfortable. Minnesota played worse D than expected last week, but I think they bounce back here. Addai normally is a top 10 back and will be again, but not this week. Please note the only Denver back on this list is Selvin Young. And even that's a crapshoot - as we were reminded last week, DEN RB is a confusing befuddling enigma wrapped in a headache. You can start any one of them and you might be pleasently surprised. More likely, you'll just throw things at the screen. I have replaced Young in multiple leagues with guys like Chris Johnson (#17), Thomas Jones (#16), Jamal Lewis (#23 in a tough matchup) and even undependible Laurence Maroney (#21).

I say save the Advil and find another back.

Running backs
  1. Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Colts
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers at Broncos
  3. Brian Westbrook, Eagles at Cowboys
  4. Brandon Jacobs, Giants at Rams
  5. Frank Gore, 49ers at Seahawks
  6. Marion Barber, Cowboys vs. Eagles
  7. Willie Parker, Steelers at Browns
  8. Clinton Portis, Redskins vs. Saints
  9. Edgerrin James, Cardinals vs. Dolphins
  10. Marshawn Lynch, Bills at Jaguars
  11. Steven Jackson, Rams vs. Giants
  12. Ryan Grant, Packers at Lions
  13. Reggie Bush, Saints at Redskins
  14. Matt Forte, Bears at Panthers
  15. Michael Turner, Falcons at Buccaneers
  16. Thomas Jones, Jets vs. Patriots
  17. Chris Johnson, Titans at Bengals
  18. Joseph Addai, Colts at Vikings
  19. Larry Johnson, Chiefs vs. Raiders
  20. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers vs. Falcons
  21. Laurence Maroney, Patriots at Jets
  22. Julius Jones, Seahawks vs. 49ers
  23. Jamal Lewis, Browns vs. Steelers
  24. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs. Bears
  25. LenDale White, Titans at Bengals
  26. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. Bears
  27. Justin Fargas, Raiders at Chiefs
  28. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars vs. Bills
  29. Chris Perry, Bengals vs. Titans
  30. Selvin Young, Broncos vs. Chargers
  31. Ricky Williams, Dolphins at Cardinals
  32. Chester Taylor, Vikings vs. Colts
  33. Kevin Smith, Lions vs. Packers
  34. Steve Slaton, Texans vs. Ravens
  35. Felix Jones, Cowboys vs. Eagles
WRs and TEs later. Questions or comments, feel free to send them to ThunderingBlurb@gmail.com.

QB Rankings

Welcome to Friday, our rankings day here at the Blurb. I have Romo on top this week despite a reasonably good Philly D - I just think he'll be the most consistent top end QB out there. TO and Witten plus that fantastic o-line will give him time to throw and lead the pack this week. Debated Eli - St. Louis could provide a huge day for him - but while the Rams are bad - I don't think they are as bad as theydid last week. Brees will keep his top shelf status even without Colston - he played well last week with Colston essentially a non-factor. I almost ranked Jay Cutler higher but the matchup could be tough - watch and see if Charger CB Antonio Cromartie plays - that could make a huge difference. I think Cutler is a top 10 Fantasy QB this week anyway, but no Cromartie might mean closer to a top 5 performance.

On the down side - Garrard is normally a good conservative choice but his o-line is a wreck and he's going to have a long day vs a solid Buffalo D. Matt Cassel could be good - but let's see what happens when a team has a week to plan for him (and Belichick has a week of practice with him). And Matt Schaub not only has the pressure of a mediocre performance and the Ravens D coming, but Hurrican Ike throwing the schedule off. Like I said on The Drive Block last night, he's got 2-3 games to prove himself again and then it could be time for Sage Rosenfels.

Quarterbacks
  1. Tony Romo, Cowboys vs. Eagles
  2. Eli Manning, Giants at Rams
  3. Drew Brees, Saints at Redskins
  4. Donovan McNabb, Eagles at Cowboys
  5. Peyton Manning, Colts at Vikings
  6. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Browns
  7. Kurt Warner, Cardinals vs. Dolphins
  8. Aaron Rodgers, Packers at Lions
  9. Jay Cutler, Broncos vs. Chargers
  10. Derek Anderson, Browns vs. Steelers
  11. Carson Palmer, Bengals vs. Titans
  12. Jake Delhomme, Panthers vs. Bears
  13. Brett Favre, Jets vs. Patriots
  14. Philip Rivers, Chargers at Broncos
  15. Jon Kitna, Lions vs. Packers
  16. Matt Schaub, Texans vs. Ravens
  17. Matt Cassel, Patriots at Jets
  18. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks vs. 49ers
  19. Marc Bulger, Rams vs. Giants
  20. David Garrard, Jaguars vs. Bills
  21. Jason Campbell, Redskins vs. Saints
  22. Kerry Collins, Titans at Bengals
  23. Trent Edwards, Bills at Jaguars
  24. Chad Pennington, Dolphins at Cardinals
  25. J.T. O’Sullivan, 49ers at Seahawks
  26. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders at Chiefs
  27. Brian Griese, Buccaneers vs. Falcons
  28. Joe Flacco, Ravens at Texans
  29. Tarvaris Jackson, Vikings vs. Colts
  30. Damon Huard, Chiefs vs. Raiders
  31. Matt Ryan, Falcons at Buccaneers
  32. Kyle Orton, Bears at Panthers
Back with more later - RBs, WRs anf TEs as the day progresses. And don't forget the ESPN 1230 appearence just after 7:30am PST/10:30am EST!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Houston/Baltimore game moved to Monday

From the NFL:


09/11/2008

BALTIMORE AT HOUSTON GAME RESCHEDULED

FOR MONDAY NIGHT DUE TO APPROACHING HURRICANE IKE

Due to the importance of allowing the Houston area to focus on its recovery from the expected arrival of Hurricane Ike on Friday, the Houston Texans' home game Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens has been re-scheduled for Monday night at Reliant Stadium at 7:30 PM Houston time (8:30 PM ET). The game originally was scheduled to be played on Sunday, September 14 at 3:15 PM Houston Time (4:15 PM ET).

The Texans-Ravens Monday night game will be televised on local CBS stations in the primary and secondary markets of the Texans (Houston, Beaumont-Port Arthur, and Bryan, Texas) and the Ravens (Baltimore; Washington, DC; Salisbury, MD; and Harrisburg, PA).


Makes a pain for Ravens/Texans owners but it's vital to settle this now rather than wait for something to happen. You'll just have to wait and see - we'll talk about this on The Drive Block tonight at 7pm PST (10pm EST) and probably on The Jake Stevens Show on ESPN1230 tomorrow at just after 7:30am PST (10:30am EST).

As always I am sure I join you in sending our thoughts and prayers to the affected region and one hopes everyone stays safe and well.