Friday, October 31, 2008

Several Guest Appearence today!

First, I have a bunch of emails to get to tonight/tomorrow - it's been a crazy day but I will get to them as soon as I can after trick or treating with the kids.

Next -
Part of the delay in the emails was that I hit the pavement hard today - along with the usual appearance on ESPN 1230, I dropped by a new show on the BlogTalkRadio Fantasy Sports Channel called The Fantasy BrushUp with Greg Brosh and did my Pac-10 Insider thing on the College Football Insider Tailgate as well.

Find links to the genius below!

ESPN 1230 for October 31, 2008

College Football Insiders Tailgate Show


The Fantasy Brush Up


Am near the end of the CFI Tailgate Show and in the middle of the Brush Up. But I say listen to the whole things, as they are always sources of good info.

RB Rankings for Week 9

Brian Westbrook had 167 yards last week on the ground and added 42 via receptions. As tempting as Graham is, as good as Peterson is, I think Westy has a good day against a rush D that gives 121 yards per game on the ground and 6 TDs. Add to it the phenomenal matchup vs the pass D of the 'Hawks - know that Westbrook will be involved as always. He will have a tremendous opportunity in both phases of the game and I think he will top leagues again this week.

Speaking of Purple Jesus aka Adrian Peterson - the Texans have coughed up 11 ground TDs, second most in the league so far this season. They were better earlier in the season but the last three games have given up a total of 278 rushing yards top run games brought by the Bengals, Lions and Dolphins. Wait, those aren't Minny-like run offenses? Uh-oh! The Texans are getting lit up on the ground, and Peterson will be able to make plenty of plays against them this week. I think Frerrotte and Berrian will keep Houston honest and AP will tire them out all day.

How DOES one cram all that Graham? Well, you rank him third. Ok, bad joke (dated bad joke no less) but Earnest Graham is an excellent start this week. With Dunn banged up, Graham will get all the love in this run game this weekend against one of the worst defense in the league. On top of that, Gruden will not pull a Mangini and throw 40 times to 15 runs. Graham will get the ball often and do very well against the woeful Chiefs.

A terrible Lions defense will keep Matt Forte at the top of the rookie running back ranks this week - not only running the ball but catching it as well. Forte faces a defense ranked 31st, which can get run over by any back. Forte should have no problem running all over the Lions. Yes, they stumped Peterson - but that was pretty unusual. I don't expect a repeat, especially as Chicago is passing the ball well and Detroit will not be able to just focus on the run.

Finally is Michael Turner the Burner - perhaps not as high as some have him this week, I still like him as a play. Oakland has coughed up 556 rushing yards in their last 3 contests and have had plenty of bad games so far. Also, may I submit the 11 touchdowns they have allowed this season. I like Turner this week for both yardage and a TD - he's a guy you can start with confidence even if he has been a bit streaky this year.

Other thoughts -Willie Parker (34) may be playing, but I think he's no more than a light flex - Mewelde Moore (30) is pretty much the same. Until we sort out who is doing what, be careful.... Don't overthink the Leon Washington (28) stats from last week - only three carries is a flex back for a Fantasy team, not a RB2 unless you have to.... This may be the week Tim Hightower (17) takes the #1 gig over.... MJD (10) and Fred Taylor (23) both have valeu this week against a shoddy Bengals run D....

Running backs
  1. Brian Westbrook, Eagles at Seahawks
  2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Texans
  3. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers at Chiefs
  4. Matt Forté, Bears vs. Lions
  5. Michael Turner, Falcons at Raiders
  6. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins at Broncos
  7. Marion Barber, Cowboys at Giants
  8. Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Packers
  9. Clinton Portis, Redskins vs. Steelers
  10. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars at Bengals
  11. Marshawn Lynch, Bills vs. Jets
  12. Brandon Jacobs, Giants vs. Cowboys
  13. Steven Jackson, Rams vs. Cardinals
  14. Thomas Jones, Jets at Bills
  15. Willis McGahee, Ravens at Browns
  16. LenDale White, Titans vs. Packers
  17. Tim Hightower, Cardinals at Rams
  18. Ryan Grant, Packers at Titans
  19. Kevin Faulk, Patriots at Colts
  20. Steve Slaton, Texans at Vikings
  21. Edgerrin James, Cardinals at Rams
  22. Michael Pittman, Broncos vs. Dolphins
  23. Fred Taylor, Jaguars at Bengals
  24. Ricky Williams, Dolphins at Broncos
  25. Justin Fargas, Raiders vs. Falcons
  26. Jamal Lewis, Browns vs. Ravens
  27. Derrick Ward, Giants vs. Cowboys
  28. Leon Washington, Jets at Bills
  29. Dominic Rhodes, Colts vs. Patriots
  30. Mewelde Moore, Steelers at Redskins
  31. Kevin Smith, Lions at Bears
  32. Julius Jones, Seahawks vs. Eagles
  33. Cedric Benson, Bengals vs. Jaguars
  34. Willie Parker, Steelers vs Redskins
  35. Kolby Smith, Chiefs vs. Buccaneers

WR Rankings for Week 9

As I said on There It Is on ESPN 1230 I think Cutler has a tremendous day and Brandon Marshall will be the guy he goes to most often and most effectively. Marshall has had three weeks without a TD and hasn't broken 100 yards receieving in that span as well. That ends here - again, the Phins have given up 9 passing TDs so far this year and Marshall should be able to overmatch the corners pretty easily.

Larry Fitzgerald had the yards, Boldin got the TDs - I think Fitz will be seeing the end zone this week along with the yards. As I said in the QB rankings, this has shootout written all over it - a veritable fantasy buffet as it were. It could be a high scoring game and the Rams have the weapons and momentum to make Arizona work for it.

Matt Ryan truly showed just how much he belongs in the NFL last week with his performance in Philly. And as I said last week, Ryan has revealed just how good Roddy White is. He is the top target of a pretty darn good rookie quarterback against the 19th pass defense in the NFL which averages 218.4 ypg allowed, with 9 passing TDs allowed. Ryan may be under pressure as the Raydahs can bring the heat (16 sacks so far) but White has been his best, most consistent target and as many yards and TDs as Oakland can give, I think White will continue to excel and emerge as a top fantasy WR.

Andre Johnson is still looking for the endzone but will accrue yards at a torrid pace anyway. The Vikes' D gave up 386 passing yards in 2 games before the bye - they will try to turn it around but Matt Schaub is red hot right now and as hard as it is to run against the Vikings, they will need to throw the ball to even ease the pressure on Slaton and the run game. Johnson continues to play at a very high level and one only hopes that we see soem TDs soon.

The Jets have some good players in the secondary. But as good as Darrelle Revis is, you still have rookie Dwight Lowery, Justin Miller and Safeties Kerry Rhodes and Eric Smith can be erratic. On the News Stampede this morning I said Lee Evans was a decent start. Then I looked over how the Jets played last week. And again, allowing 250 net yards and 2 TDs with no interceptions to Tyler Thigpen. Really, Jets? Thigpen? I think Edwards and Lee Evans can blow past this secondary - all it will take is moving Evans around enough to avoid Revis and free him up for a few good plays. The Bills can do it and this is a huge game - they have to.

Anquan Boldin is my second guy from the Cards in the top 5 - reiterating what said with Fitz above and Warner in the QB ranks, I think this has the makings of a shootout. Boldin is a tough, hard nosed receiver who Warner targets in the redzone often. He may not ghet the yards Fitz will, but he will have a TD and enough targets to make him a very good start most weeks. Against this secodnary and in a game I think could be a very high scoring affair, Boldin has an excellent opportunity to have a huge day alongside Fitz's big time game as well.


Other thoughts - Bernard Berrian (7) will have some work to do against a shaky Texans secondary and will need to help loosen the run D up for Peterson..... Reggie Wayne's(9) injury has me concerned but he should play and do well.... Matt Jones(14) (KKKKKEE-YEAAAH) has a great matchup and as long as the NFL hasn't kicked him out, you shouldn't either.... Jerricho Cotchery (16) and Laveranues Coles(18) are ranked close together and if you look at their seasons, it mirrors that well - Favre will throw and they will have the opportunity to do well this week..... Notice Terrell Owens is barely top 20. Brad Johnson and maybe Witten being out hurts quite a bit..... Finally, if Tory Holt (30) is telling you he feels out of the offense and his stats show that as well... who am I to argue?

Wide receivers
  1. Brandon Marshall, Broncos vs. Dolphins
  2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals at Rams
  3. Roddy White, Falcons at Raiders
  4. Andre Johnson, Texans at Vikings
  5. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals at Rams
  6. Lee Evans, Bills vs. Jets
  7. Bernard Berrian, Vikings vs. Texans
  8. Plaxico Burress, Giants vs. Cowboys
  9. Randy Moss, Patriots at Colts
  10. Reggie Wayne, Colts vs. Patriots
  11. Greg Jennings, Packers at Titans
  12. Calvin Johnson, Lions at Bears
  13. Hines Ward, Steelers at Redskins
  14. Matt Jones, Jaguars at Bengals
  15. Donnie Avery, Rams vs. Cardinals
  16. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets at Bills
  17. Santana Moss, Redskins vs. Steelers
  18. Laveranues Coles, Jets at Bills
  19. Braylon Edwards, Browns vs. Ravens
  20. Terrell Owens, Cowboys at Giants
  21. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs vs. Buccaneers
  22. Kevin Walter, Texans at Vikings
  23. Derrick Mason, Ravens at Browns
  24. Kevin Curtis, Eagles at Seahawks
  25. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals vs. Jaguars
  26. Santonio Holmes, Steelers at Redskins
  27. Steve Breaston, Cardinals at Rams
  28. Wes Welker, Patriots at Colts
  29. Antonio Bryant, Buccaneers at Chiefs
  30. Torry Holt, Rams vs. Cardinals
  31. DeSean Jackson, Eagles at Seahawks
  32. Rashied Davis, Bears vs. Lions
  33. Antwaan Randle El, Redskins vs. Steelers
  34. Joey Galloway, Buccaneers at Chiefs
  35. Chad Ocho Cinco, Bengals vs. Jaguars
RBs in an hour or so.... KKKKKKKYEAH

QB Rankings for Week 9

Jay Cutler is facing a defense which ranks 25th allowing 233.3 net yards, yards per game and 9 TDs while only gathering 4 interceptions. They can get pressure (17 sacks) which is a concern given the Oline issues the Donkeys have. Over the past 3 weeks, Miami has allowed 808 yards passing. On top of that, Miami will probably score against a struggling defense and Cutler will have to throw to keep ahead. Cutler should be a good start this week and will come out big after his bye.

Kurt Warner is busy playing himself into a contract extention and you should continue to ride along with him. The matchup against a 26th ranked Rams pass defense is tasty - as is the fact that he may have to huck the ball repeteadly since Bulger & Co. will likely score against a suspect Cardinal secondary. Add to it the Cards run game is not playing exceptionally well, it falls to the passing offense to get the job done. Great matchup, great situation - should be a great day.

Against the Seahawks, you have to love Donavan McNabb. The Hawks have allowed over 769 passing yards in the last three games. Westbrook is on his game again, DeSean Jackson continues to excel and Kevin Curtis looked ok in his first game back. McNabb didn't hit the end zoen last week as it was the Westy show, but I expect him to throw more in this matchup.

What's that? You still doubt Kyle Orton? Well, even if you do, this week against the Lions would be the one matchup you really can't argue against. Ranked 31st against the pass, with 258 ypg and 12 TDs given up. Forte will be heavily involved and probably catch some passes. You don't know (aside from Forte) who will get passes thrown their way but they will get thrown, effectively and accurately and Orton will have quite a day against the Lambs, er, Lions.

Manning: The Peyton had an off game for Peyton against the Titans - but a good game for anyone else. The guy who struggled a bit last week will be just fine this week against a mediocre pass defense averaging 206.3 net yards allowed per game, with 11 passing TDs thrown in for good measure. Wayne is banged up which worries me a tad, but he should be fine. I believe Manning - who has been inconsistent, I'll admit - is getting back to where he needs to be to be an effective fantasy Qb. While he will not crack the top 5, he'll be much more consistent, reliable and probably finish close to it.

Other thoughts - I think Marc Bulger has a very good day. Am not completely confident enough to put him in the top 10 but frankly this week he is very close.... I also wouldn't be shocked if Aaron Rodgers has a below par game but he's good enough even in bad matchups to crack the 10..... I am still tempted to start Bulger over Rodgers in at least one league..... Usually a consistent but not blockbuster play, David Garrard could blow up completely against the hapless Bungles and yes they deserve that name again.... Jason Campbell is a good QB in a bad matchup - I'd love to see him transcend the ranking but don't quite have faith about it.....

Quarterbacks
  1. Jay Cutler, Broncos vs. Dolphins
  2. Kurt Warner, Cardinals at Rams
  3. Donovan McNabb, Eagles at Seahawks
  4. Kyle Orton, Bears vs. Lions
  5. Peyton Manning, Colts vs. Patriots
  6. Matt Schaub, Texans at Vikings
  7. Eli Manning, Giants vs. Cowboys
  8. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Redskins
  9. Aaron Rodgers, Packers at Titans
  10. David Garrard, Jaguars at Bengals
  11. Marc Bulger, Rams vs. Cardinals
  12. Chad Pennington, Dolphins at Broncos
  13. Matt Ryan, Falcons at Raiders
  14. Jeff Garcia, Buccaneers at Chiefs
  15. Trent Edwards, Bills vs. Jets
  16. Brett Favre, Jets at Bills
  17. Jason Campbell, Redskins vs. Steelers
  18. Gus Frerotte, Vikings vs. Texans
  19. Derek Anderson, Browns vs. Ravens
  20. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders vs. Falcons
  21. Kerry Collins, Titans vs. Packers
  22. Matt Cassel, Patriots at Colts
  23. Dan Orlovsky, Lions vs. Bears
  24. Brad Johnson, Cowboys at Giants
  25. Joe Flacco, Ravens at Browns
  26. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bengals vs. Jaguars
  27. Tyler Thigpen, Chiefs vs. Buccaneers
  28. Seneca Wallace, Seahawks vs. Eagles
WRs in a little while....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Thundering Blurb & Fantasy Sports Channel on ITunes Radio!

Hey folks - just reiterating what was on the Stampede today - but BTR's Fantasy Sports Channel (and of course The Thundering Blurb Fantasy Show) is now part of iTunes Radio. If you have the iTunes application, you can find their radio programming under "LIBRARY" in the top left corner. Click on that and look for "Sports Radio". BTR Fantasy Sports feed is like second.

So yet another way to listen to us all yammer!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Top RB Performances for Week 8

Brian Westbrook -209 total yards, 6 catches, 2TDs - It's not that I didn't think Westy was a good start - but there were so many great matchups, I didn't expect him to have the day he did. yet here he is, proving once again that you cannot bench him. Amazingly 167 was on the ground. People write him off as a guy who catches more than runs, but folks, those people are wrong. Another great matchup against Seattle this week.

LaDainian Tomlinson - 170 total yards, 5 catches, 1 rec TD - Guess who's back? LT is healthy and I fully expected him to go off on the Saints. He did most of his damage (about 90 yards of it) in the first half - imagine if the Chargers hadn't once again dug themselves a hole again and started passing to keep up? LT is back folks and now has two weeks off to get even healthier. He looked like his old self, with burst and crisp cuts. As a LT owner, you should be excited for the rest of the season.

Leon Washington - 101 total yards, 1 TD, 3 catches, 1 rec TD -I had a Jets RB ranked highly. Just not this one. And it only makes the Jets bizarre play calling more painful. Because I thought Washington might be a good play (ranked him 21st) but how can you run just 24 times against the worst run defense in the league? And throw 40 times! it's almost as if Mangini And Schottenheimer were like 'hey they'll NEVER expect this!'. It was Monty Pythonesque - 'NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition - I mean 40 passes!'. Poor playcalling aside, this is what Washington brings to the table folks - shifty moves, a dangerous runner in the open field and a good pass catcher. You can't rely on this every week - especially with such counter-intuitive playcalling. But he's a decent flex when the matcup is right. Don't know why Thomas Jones couldn't get more done (14 carries, 60 total yards, 1 TD) but maybe he just never had a chance to get a rhythm going.....

Frank Gore - 159 total yards, 7 catches - Preseason, many people (experts included) were blowing Gore off as a guy who would disappear with Martz and a woeful Oline. I was not one of those - in fact I said he would get it done regardless. Martz is no dummy (well, ok, maybe) and Nolan - and now Singletary - know who the engine of this offense is. Gore is a factor both on the ground and in the pass game. He is a first rate stud and can get it done almost regardless of the weapons around him. He'll have some rough patches but wire to wire, he's worth the draft pick.

Kevin Faulk - 107 total yards, 4 catches, 1 rec TD - Where did BenJarvus go? He was running the ball and then just stopped. He wasn't cutting all that well and I think eventually they just went with the proven guy, Kevin Faulk. The Pats didn't run a ton and they threw some passes Faulk's way - again, he's the Vet and even if BJGE can catch, Faulk will get the work as he is proven and they already have one unproven starter in a key slot. Will this continue? Not sure, but Faulk, as long as everyone else is hurt, is a good flex play depending upon matchup. Even better in a PPR league.

Honorable Mention - Leonard Weaver - Honorable Mention for his 129 yds on 4 catches and 2 TDs. More WR than RB though - don't get suckered into it. His TDs were long receptions and against a better playing D, never would have gone the distance. The Seattle run game was atrocious and I don't know that they will keep throwing to Weaver. Shaky waiver wire prospect.

Also -
DeAngelo Williams (123 total yards, 2 catches 1 TD) continues to hold off J Stewart. I feel like I have read this book before..... Chris Johnson (96 total yards, 1 TD) and LenDale White (14 total yards, 2 TDs) didn't blow up Indy, but they were good plays. Yes, you read that right - 14 total yards for White. And that's why I said during the Stampede you might want to sell him high.... By the way - Chris Johnson is amazing to watch - he looks good out there...... Jamal Lewis (88 total yards, 1 TD) continues to get it done regardless of help from the supporting cast. He's the most reliable guy in the whole offense - fantasywise or not..... Dis Mah Son aka Marshawn Lych (95 total yards, 5 catches, 1 TD) finally got some use in the passing game. I don't know about you, but I was wondering if the Bills had too much Fred Jackson in their eyes and forgot Lynch can catch the ball....

Top WR Performances for Week 8

Roddy White - 8 catches, 113 yards, 2 TDs - I think you can say Matt Ryan has arrived and with him, Roddy White. White is proving that he has the ability to get separation and can make the big catches when he needs to. An excellent play week to week.

Santana Moss - 9 catches, 140 yards, 1 TDs - An outstanding day, as I expected. Moss is looking like he did a few years ago, when he was dynamic and consistent. Campbell clearly favors him and he continues to put on a show near every week.

Donnie Avery - 6 catches, 162 yards, 1 TDs - Donnie WHO? Avery far exceeded expectations and given the last two weeks, might he be supplanting Tory Holt? Avery has definitely caught my attention and is looking more and more like the third big WR surprise amongst a rookie class we all thought was meh at best.

Steve Smith - 5 catches, 111 yards, 2 TDs - I expected Smith to mount up and regulate this week, and he did. Delhomme knows who to go to when he needs things done and it was only a matter of time before 1) the run game faltered and they had to throw and 2) Smith remembered where the end zone was.

Anquan Boldin - 9 catches, 93 yards, 2 TDs - Not a bad return, huh? Both Fitz and Breaston had more yards but when it counted, there was Boldin. To quote the graphic novel Dark Knight Returns, the man's balls nasty Don. Boldin will continue to be a good start even on one leg. Boldin did not shy from contact nor did he suddenly get alligator arms, worrying about who might hit him. Great game for a man just back from injury.

Other notables - Dr. Rockso er, Matt Jones played like a man about to go to jail (8 catches, 117 yards and a TD) and as long as the NFL Feds can't catch him, will continue his crime spree against Cinci in week 9... Andre Johnson (11 catches, 143 yards) is still looking for the end zone on a consistent basis, but is good to start regardless of matchup and in fact will probably see the endzone with Minny shutting Slaton and whatever injured castoff he gets paired with this week..... It pains me to admit it but Tedd Ginn Jr (7 catches, 175 yards) is beginning to look consistent and solid at the Wr position. I think I threw up in my mouth a bit...... OK, that might have been harsher than I needed it to be...... Usually Kevin Walter (5 catches, 70 yards, 2 TDs) is a better play in return-yardage leagues but he put up some fine points for his owners this weekend against a struggling Bengals team.... Jerricho Cotchery (9 catches, 102 yards) was a safety blanket for Favre today and it shows you how much the two jell. Too bad they should have been running the ball all game. I suspect Schottenheimer and Mangini got a little too cute. Critical game for the Jets vs the Bills this week - I think Cotchery will be very involved if his shoulder holds up......

RBs a little later.

Top Fantasy QBs of Week 8

Drew Brees - 339 yards, 3 TDs - No weather problems. No Chargers secondary. No Shawne Merriman. Drew Brees is just amazing. Never hesitate to line him up. Ever. EVER. Colston isn't even 100%. Bush is out. Shockey banged up. Brees could have the forwards from Arsenal out there and he'd still be throwing TDs.

Phillip Rivers - 341 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT - I didn't figure that Rivers would rank this high - especially when you consider Tomlinson had a darn fine game as well. But remember two things against the Saints - first, the secondary ain't very good. Secondly, people fall behind New Orleans - far behind. Which means the opposing QB throws. If he has talent (like Rivers) he should do well. Amazing that both the former Chargers QB and his replacement both top this list this week.

Kurt Warner - 381 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT - A disappointing loss for Warner and the Cards, but still an amazing amount of yards and no sign of Matt 'Keg Stand' Leinart. As I always say, there is plenty of love to go round in that offense. Was surprised Breaston still got so many targets - but with those three, Warner has many, many weapons to throw to. While he will turn the ball over, near 400 yards and a pair of TDs is pretty darn good.

David Garrard - 283 yards, 2 TDs, 59 rushing yards - Sigmund Bloom made a good point in that despite the way the Jags usually function (no primary WR, spread the wealth) Matt Jones has given Garrard a consistent target. Moore will ride pine soon but we don't know quite when, but until then, Garrard is going nuts. Not a consistent top start, but certainly a consistent QB2 with upside. Against Cinci he may be back on the bench as the Jags might go crazy on the ground.

Matt Schaub - 280 yards, 3 TDs - Schaub is finally playing where I thought he would before the season. Could be tough going against Minny this coming week, although you can certainly paste them via the pass. Schaub will need to throw and Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels will be good targets for him. Schaub is hot - ride him while you can.

Close but no cigar - Tyler Thigpen (280 yds and 2 TDs) - really Jets? Really?...... Manning: The Peyton (223 yards, 2 TDs, 1 rush TD, 2 INTs) is looking less consistent than Manning: The Eli...... Chad Pennington (314yds, 1TD) has to be looking at the Jets and thinking 'wait, do they think I'm still there with that playcalling?' - the Dolphins fit him like a glove.... Jason Campbell (328 yds, 1TD, 1INT) continues to look pretty good in Zorn's offense and has become a very good member of your QBBC..... Marc Bulger (301 yards, 1 TD, 1INT) is back BABY - Donnie Avery has stepped up and given the Bulger a reason to hang in the pocket despite no real protection.....

I refus to acknowledge Joe Flacco's production - anytime you outscore yourself at QB as a WR, it's not worthy of really noting.....

Late News Note - Witten with cracked rib

Hey folks - of course saw this RIGHT after the show.

From Rotoworld:
The Dallas Morning News reports that Jason Witten has been diagnosed with a broken rib, but wants to play through the injury Sunday against the Giants.
Witten doesn't miss games, so he'll play but let's see how he practices before we get too excited. He's one of the - if not THE - top TEs in Fantasy so this is one to watch close.

Monday, October 27, 2008

PAc 10 Review Week 9 & Site Note

Hey folks

Catch my Pac 10 Review on College Football Insider today.

Also I have moved the day I post the top Fantasy Players from Monday to Tuesday - I have more time on Tuesdays to do it right and I would rather include Monday's performers as well.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

College football Top 25 review - Week 9

#1 Texas vs #6 Oklahoma
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy turned the ball over twice late, but the Longhorn defense stood up and held the Cowboys off, 28-24. McCoy, a Heisman candidate, fumbled late in the 4th and threw a 3rd quarter interception, but will likely lose little momentum as he totaled 391 yards and a pair of touchdowns as well. More of a concern for Texas would be that Oklahoma made them look beatable, with running back Kendall Hunter totaling 161 yards and a TD on the ground and leading a unit that put up 416 total yards on the usually stout Longhorn defense.

#2 Alabama @ Tennessee
The Crimson Tide continued to roll against the overmatched Volunteers, 29-9. Alabama continued to make a case to be in the National Championship game, slapping 366 total yards on the reeling Tennessee squad. Roy Upchurch and Glen Coffee put together 164 yards on the ground and 2 TDs as Alabama played more than well enough to retain their #2 ranking.

#3 Penn State @ #9 Ohio State
Worried about another Buckeye meltdown in a National Championship game? Worry no more as they have stepped out of the competition with a 13-6 loss to the Nittany Lions. Ohio State turned the ball over twice and it was more than enough for a game which had been ruled by sharp defensive play. Freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor fumbled in the fourth quarter with a three point lead. Penn State recovered, but found themselves without their quarterback as Daryll Clark had been injured. However, backup Pat Devlin came in and led a seven-play, 38-yard drive that took 4:13 and ended with him scoring a touchdown and giving Penn State the win.

#4 Oklahoma @ Kansas State
Sophomore DeMarco Murray had 167 and 4 touchdowns and fellow Sooner running back Chris Brown added 142 yards and a pair of TDs as Oklahoma State overwhelmed a game Wildcats team, 58-35. Sam Bradford’s solid play was overshadowed by the numbers put up by Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman’s career high 478 yards and 3 touchdowns. Unfortunately those stats came with three of the Wildcats’ five turnovers and the Sooners took off ran out to a big first half lead and then just bled the rest of the game away.

#5 USC @ Arizona
For most of the game, the Trojans’ offense couldn’t get the job done, so it was up to Rey Maualuga and the USC defense to hold the fort in USC’s 17-10 victory in the desert. USC kept normally solid Wildcat quarterback Willie Tuitama to a mere 88 yards with an interception thrown in for good measure. Trojan quarterback Mark Sanchez moved the ball between the 20s and compiled 216 yards, but just one touchdown to go with an interception. But it was USC’s defense which was the story, stopping the Wildcats several times late in the game. Maualuga knew it was big, telling ESPN - "Guys were out there saying, 'This will determine who we are,' " Maualuga said. While the offense didn’t seem sure, the defense made sure people knew who they were loud and clear….

The rest of the active top 25 –

#7 Georgia finished #13 LSU’s hunt for another National Title 52-38, lead by Knowshon Moreno’s standout performance of 163 yards and a touchdown…… Red Raider Quarterback Graham Harrell threw for 386 yards and five touchdowns as #8 Texas Tech trounced #23 Kansas 63-21…… #10 Florida blew Kentucky out 63-5, led by quarterback Tim Tebow’s four touchdowns (2 through the air, two on the ground)…..

Led by a school record 226 receiving yards and three touchdowns by Jimmy Young, #14 TCU thumped visiting Wyoming, 54-7……. Chase Daniel continued his exceptional play at quarterback (302 yds, 5TDs) for the #15 Missouri Tigers as they shut out visiting Colorado out, 58-0…..

Louisville’s solid and stout rush defense throttled #16 South Florida’s run game and the offense did enough for a 24-20 upset …. #17 Pittsburgh did no better as Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel threw for six touchdowns (five in the first half) and led the team through a porous Panther defense for a 54-34 win…. Running back Cedric Peerman rushed for 118 yards and the winning touchdown as Virginia upset #18 Georgia Tech 24-17 and secured the top spot in the ACC Coastal Division…. #20 Ball State avoided being fourth team in this group to lose their game as they beat Eastern Michigan, 38-16. Quarterback Nate Davis not only threw a pair of touchdowns but caught one as well…..

#21 BYU had to rally late against UNLV to squeak out a win, 42-35. Quarterback Max Hall threw for 245 yards and four touchdowns…. Not only did Indiana surprise the #22 Northwestern Wildcats 21-19, but ended a five game losing streak….. #24 Minnesota continued Purdue’s disappointing season, beating them 17-6, forcing 4 turnovers…. #25 Florida State beat Virginia Tech 30-20, led by receiver Greg Carr’s 100 yards on just three catches…..

Who will slip into the top 25 with so many teams at the tail end losing? Will we see some Pac-10 teams slip back in? Can there possibly be more SEC teams? Will be interesting to watch…..

BURRESS OUT/LIMITED SOMETHING

FOXSports' Jay Glazer reports that Plaxico Burress will not start Sunday's afternoon tilt against the Steelers or WORSE may not even play at all.

You may have to decide whether to bench him ahead of time since it is the late game.

MCFADDEN OUT

Darren McFadden is out for the RAHDERS today.

Other notes -
Coles is in for the Jets - no word on Cotchery.

Edited to add - Cotchery will play. If it wasn't for the atrocious run D, the Jets pass offense would go off.

ANQUAN BOLDIN IN

Finally, the tough as nails Cards WR is in - should be good to go. I usually avoid players coming off injuries but Boldin is the exception to the rule.

STEVEN JACKSON OUT

Adam Shefter just reported Steven Jackson is OUT today.

Pittman gets the start.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pac 10 Preview for Week 9

Check out my take on this week's matchups at either the College Football Insider or NFLDraftbible.com.

RB Rankings for Week 8

Clinton Portis has been having a monster season and somehow people still expect the wheels to come off at any minute. They won't, especially not this week. As bad as I said in the first two posts that Detroit's pass defense is, the run defense is just as bad if not worse. Portis should see as much success as Steve Slaton and Ahman did combined.

Yes, Frank Gore and the 49rs struggled against the Giants last week. But I don't think I need to point out that Seattle is nowhere near the Giants' league. While Seattle had a better week defensively than they have had of late, it's not the norm and Gore should bounce back. In the plus column will also be new couch Mike Singletary who I believe will work hard to make sure Gore - the marquee piece of the offense - gets his carries and that offensive line opens lanes for him and protects JT O'Sullivan. Just because he has kept Martz, don't think he'll let Martz let the QB get killed or the running back get stuffed again.

Steven Jackson is hampered a bit by a quadriceps injury and is listed as 'questionable' but I think he'll play and if he does, the Patriots will have a hard time containing him. While they have played well against the run, I think Jackson is playing too well to be contained and it seems as though the Rams have turned things around. If that's the case, Jackson is the key to keeping it going.

It's hard to know what LaDainian Tomlinson will do week to week, but reports are that his toe feels back to normal. Sure, the Saints can air it out, but the weather and the lousy pitch in London might make that tough so they won't just run away with the game. If Tomlinson is healthy, the Chargers need to get him back on track. The Saints are a middle of the pack rush defense and got beat up by the Panthers last week for 143 yards and a TD. I think the Chargers will run LT hard and Tomlinson will rise to the challenge.

I expected Thomas Jones to have a good season and it may be that he has finally started that process. Three TDs two weeks ago and a 159 yards last week. He can combien the tow (to some extent) against the team that is 32nd against the run and has allowed more yards and more TDs on the ground than any other franchise this year. The Jets might try to air the ball out a bit and get Favre's groove back, but they will definitely pound Thomas early and often. Kansas City is a phenomenal matchup for nearly any back and has the potential to vault them to the #1 fantasy RB spot for that week. I don't think Jones will do that but he will certainly do well in a game the Jets have to win after last week's debacle in Oakland.


Other thoughts - Is this Deuce McAllister's last hurrah for a while? That steroid rumor is bizarre. Still he should have a good game in the mud at Wembly this week with Bush out..... Brandon Jacobs is a stud sure, but I really, really hate this matchup.... LenDale White should benefit from a great matchup this week, but don't expect last week to happen again.... Benjarvus Green-Ellis is a guy I want to rank higher but we just have no read on him yet, though I have liked him since we profiled him on Draftguys.TV. Big weekend for him and potentially a great dark horse for the rest of the season.... Le’Ron McClain is another guy who feels like he should be higher, but has had a couple of dud games. If he shines this week and you can do it, you might want to move him.....


Running backs
  1. Clinton Portis, Redskins at Lions
  2. Frank Gore, 49ers vs. Seahawks
  3. Steven Jackson, Rams at Patriots
  4. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers vs. Saints
  5. Thomas Jones, Jets vs. Chiefs
  6. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars vs. Browns
  7. Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Colts
  8. Brian Westbrook, Eagles vs. Falcons
  9. Marshawn Lynch, Bills at Dolphins
  10. Steve Slaton, Texans vs. Bengals
  11. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers at Cowboys
  12. Marion Barber, Cowboys vs. Buccaneers
  13. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Bills
  14. Willis McGahee, Ravens vs. Raiders
  15. Michael Turner, Falcons at Eagles
  16. Deuce McAllister, Saints vs. Chargers
  17. Brandon Jacobs, Giants at Steelers
  18. Jamal Lewis, Browns at Jaguars
  19. LenDale White, Titans vs. Colts
  20. Mewelde Moore, Steelers vs. Giants
  21. Leon Washington, Jets vs. Chiefs
  22. Edgerrin James, Cardinals at Panthers
  23. Tim Hightower, Cardinals at Panthers
  24. Julius Jones, Seahawks at 49ers
  25. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots vs. Rams
  26. Dominic Rhodes, Colts at Titans
  27. Fred Taylor, Jaguars vs. Browns
  28. Cedric Benson, Bengals at Texans
  29. Jerious Norwood, Falcons at Eagles
  30. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. Cardinals
  31. Maurice Morris, Seahawks at 49ers
  32. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs. Cardinals
  33. Le’Ron McClain, Ravens vs. Raiders
  34. Ahman Green, Texans vs. Bengals
  35. Justin Fargas, Raiders at Ravens

WR Rankings for Week 8

Am listening to the Fantasy Sports Channel on BlogTalkRadio.com as I type this, something I don't get a ton of time to do lately. Do like to listen to the other folks on the channel and see what else folks are thinking out there.

Again, as I said on There It Is this morning (ESPN 1230 on your Bakersfield AM dial) Andre Johnson is a no-brainer here. Yes, I know he can't find the end zone right now, but I think we're looking at a change this week. The Bengals are tied with 10 TDs given up against the pass so far. While they are not awful against the pass, they do give up the scores. And it will be all they can do to stop the run game, thereby opening things up for the pass. Johnson will have a good game here, even if the run is going off.

Yes, Anquan Boldin appears poised to re-emerge and yes Carolina is very good versus the pass, but I still believe Larry Fitzgerald will play well this weekend - in fact, Boldin may make life better for Fitzgerald. He's enough of a threat to draw coverage from Fitz regardless of health. And as much as I think Breaston will not be as much of a factor as he has been, he will be a threat as well. You can't cover them all and I think Fitz will find plenty of room to move.

Steve Smith is the flipside of this matchup between the Cards and Panthers and while I think the Cards will keep Delhomme hopping (one of the teams with the most sacks vs one of the teams who doesn't give them up) Smith will get open against Arizona's questionable secondary.

Clinton Portis will get the ball a lot sure, but expect Santana Moss to see the ball a lot too. The Lions are poor in both aspects of the defense - in every way. They have given up the second most TDs (11) and have only 1 INT this year. Moss might get held back by Portis' success but frankly I think they use the pass early then burn clock with the run the rest of the game. That's good for Santana. And as I said in the QB post - if Orlovsky finds Furrey and Calvin Johnson, you might see the Skins throw more than we expect.

Finally we have Lee Evans. Like I have said a few times this week, Lee Evans and Calvin Johnson have similiar issues - neither is getting the ball enough. Difference is, Evans has a decent Qb and a good team around him. Miami is 27th against the pass and also loves to give TDs up. Evans will get yards and a TD - but how many passes will he get? I think more than average. They HAVE to get him the ball. Regardless, I think he can break one long even if it's out of two catches.

Jets update - Coles is probable and Cotchery is questionable and a GTD. At this point you have to be a little worried if you are a Cotchery owner as you have to know they can win this without him. They may rest him or play him and then not use him much - they can just run Thomas Jones and Leon Washington all day against a pathetic run D. It's too good a matchup to bench either one - they could very well go off. I'm just saying I am worried.

I extended the usual top 35 or so, because we have so many injury issues and question marks. Guys like Camirillo, Stuckey and a reminder that Steve Breaston exists seemed to be necessary this week.

Wide receivers

  1. Andre Johnson, Texans vs. Bengals
  2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals at Panthers
  3. Steve Smith, Panthers vs. Cardinals
  4. Santana Moss, Redskins at Lions
  5. Lee Evans, Bills at Dolphins
  6. Reggie Wayne, Colts at Titans
  7. Randy Moss, Patriots vs. Rams
  8. Calvin Johnson, Lions vs. Redskins
  9. Plaxico Burress, Giants at Steelers
  10. Hines Ward, Steelers vs. Giants
  11. Terrell Owens, Cowboys vs. Buccaneers
  12. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals at Panthers
  13. Braylon Edwards, Browns at Jaguars
  14. Wes Welker, Patriots vs. Rams
  15. Roddy White, Falcons at Eagles
  16. Antwaan Randle El, Redskins at Lions
  17. Matt Jones, Jaguars vs. Browns
  18. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals at Texans
  19. Vincent Jackson, Chargers at Saints
  20. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets vs. Chiefs (QUESTIONABLE)
  21. Laveranues Coles, Jets vs. Chiefs (PROBABLE)
  22. Antonio Bryant, Buccaneers at Cowboys
  23. Marques Colston, Saints vs. Chargers
  24. Devery Henderson, Saints vs. Chargers
  25. Muhsin Muhammad, Panthers vs. Cardinals
  26. DeSean Jackson, Eagles vs. Falcons
  27. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs at Jets
  28. Derrick Mason, Ravens vs. Raiders
  29. Chris Chambers, Chargers vs. Saints
  30. Kevin Curtis, Eagles vs. Falcons
  31. Torry Holt, Rams at Patriots
  32. Kevin Walter, Texans vs. Bengals
  33. Lance Moore, Saints vs. Chargers
  34. Josh Morgan, 49ers vs. Seahawks
  35. Marvin Harrison, Colts at Titans
  36. Isaac Bruce, 49ers vs. Seahawks
  37. Roy Williams, Cowboys vs. Buccaneers
  38. Amani Toomer, Giants at Steelers
  39. Donnie Avery, Rams at Patriots
  40. Mike Furrey, Lions vs. Redskins
  41. Greg Camarillo, Dolphins vs. Bills
  42. Anthony Gonzalez, Colts at Titans
  43. Chad Ocho Cinco, Bengals at Texans
  44. Chansi Stuckey, Jets vs. Chiefs
  45. Steve Breaston, Cardinals at Panthers

QB Rankings for Week 8

Hey folks - was hard to choose the top 5 order. Theer are a bunch of great matchups and some top 10 guys who could also have jumped up a few spots.

As I said on There It Is - The Jake Stevens Show on ESPN 1230 this morning (see the link to the right) I expect a very good game by the OG DMac (I call McFadden a pretender while Donovan is the contender so he gets the nickname). The Falcons like to give TDs away through the air and McNabb gets Westbrook and Curtis back. Looks good to me.

I almost went with Matt Schaub as #1. Love Schaub this week and am starting him in as many leagues as I own him. He's against a pretty unfortunate Bengals team - what could kibosh it, and what kept me from putting him first is, as bad as they are against the pass? They are worse vs the rush. So Steve Slaton could have a fine day as well and maybe they don't need to air it out as much and Schaub's numbers might be less than they could be.

Jason Campbell is also a great start with a great matchup. The Lions are just not good. Campbell may see a lot of Clinton Portis running between the tackles, but he should have plenty of time to get the ball to Moss, Cooley and Randel-El and compile some very good stats. There is always the chance that Orlovsky finds Furrey and Calvin Johnson and maybe the Redskins could find themselves passing more than we expect.

Now you will ask yourselves - JT O'Sullivan? Is Santonio Holmes the one on dope, or is it Andrew? Ah, my friends, once again the answer is probably both. But O'Sullivan has a lot going for him. A bad defense across from him (29th vs the pass, 10 TDs so far to 1 INT). A new coach. A (potentially) unshackled Martz. A heckuva running back. Ike Bruce and Josh Morgan on the prowl. I love this matchup. If you were waiting for an excuse to start JT, this is the matchup to do it. Again the biggest negative is Gore might just go cukoo against an equally sad run D.

Finally I close with Kurt Warner. Yes, his matchup is not as tasty as some behind him - in fact it is pretty darned bad. But getting Boldin back (and I do believe he will play) to pair with Larry Fitz will make some hay against Carolina. Do I think he'll throw 6 TDs? No. But I think this will be a game where his explosive offense will make some ground against a stallwart defense. Sometimes you need to go with your gut, even in the face of numbers. Warner has been able to get yards against some good defenses. I think he can again in Carolina.

Close but no top 5 ranking - I worry Drew Brees will not be able to fight the weather and that the absence of Bush could make it a tougher day than it otherwise should be..... Manning: The Peyton will have to throw - a lot - against a tough Tennessee run D and his numbers will be good because of it.... The Cowboys secondary is pretty shaky (although maybe improved without Roy Williams the Safety) and Jeff Garcia is startingto roll..... Big Ben Roethlisberger (even if VP candidates mangle his name like I used to) should attack the Giants at the weaker secondary (compared to the rush D of course - it's all ugly in NY) and is on a hot streak right now. Holmes being out will hurt a bit though........ Trent Edwards will have a good time against the 27th ranked pass Defense as well......

Quarterbacks
  1. Donovan McNabb, Eagles vs. Falcons
  2. Matt Schaub, Texans vs. Bengals
  3. Jason Campbell, Redskins at Lions
  4. J.T. O’Sullivan, 49ers vs. Seahawks
  5. Kurt Warner, Cardinals at Panthers
  6. Drew Brees, Saints vs. Chargers
  7. Peyton Manning, Colts at Titans
  8. Jeff Garcia, Buccaneers at Cowboys
  9. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers vs. Giants
  10. Trent Edwards, Bills at Dolphins
  11. Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Saints
  12. Jake Delhomme, Panthers vs. Cardinals
  13. Eli Manning, Giants at Steelers
  14. Brett Favre, Jets vs. Chiefs
  15. Matt Cassel, Patriots vs. Rams
  16. David Garrard, Jaguars vs. Browns
  17. Chad Pennington, Dolphins vs. Bills
  18. Derek Anderson, Browns at Jaguars
  19. Kerry Collins, Titans vs. Colts
  20. Matt Ryan, Falcons at Eagles
  21. Brad Johnson, Cowboys vs. Buccaneers
  22. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bengals at Texans
  23. Marc Bulger, Rams at Patriots
  24. Joe Flacco, Ravens vs. Raiders
  25. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders at Ravens
  26. Dan Orlovsky, Lions vs. Redskins
  27. Seneca Wallace, Seahawks at 49ers
  28. Tyler Thigpen, Chiefs at Jets
WRs soonish.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Top Fantasy Performers - Week 7

One single list this week due to time constraints (been doing that a bunch this trip). Will be back to the full position break down next week - I think this will move to Tuesdays permanantly though, so I have a day to sort through stats and include MNF performances.

  1. Steven Jackson - 176 total yards, 3 TDs, 2 catches - If the Rams start rolling -WATCH OUT!
  2. Mewelde Moore - 134 total yards, 2 TDs, 5 catches, 1 rec TD - How bad is Parker's knee?
  3. LenDale White - 156 total yards, 3 TDs, 1 catch - We always knew he had talent, but probably the top of his production for the year.
  4. Dominic Rhodes - 114 total yards, 2 TDs, 4 catches - Good performance - Addai might practice this week, so what will his value be?
  5. Adrian Peterson - 130 total yards, 2TDs, 1 catch - Finally the big performance we were looking for. Just in time for his Bye week.
  6. Chris Johnson - 172 total yards, 1 TD, 2 catches - White and Johnson on the same list? Tenn's run game is going off and the team looks solid. If only they could throw the ball.
  7. Andre Johnson - 11 catches, 141 yards - Just needs to find the end zone.
  8. Matt Cassel - 185 yards passing, 3 TDs - Outstanding night. Did Cassel put all doubt aside? No, Denver's defense is that bad. Still, huge step forward for him.
  9. Jeff Garcia - 310 passing yards, 1 TD - In the doghouse or not, the old dog still has some tricks. Looked solid this weekend and is an ok play in a QBBC.
  10. Clinton Portis - 183 total yards, 1TD, 1 catch, 1 fumble - Just missed a top 5 fantasy RB perfromance but continues a trend of solid numbers and reliability in yet another year where the top RBs have been a mess.

That's all for now - remember, tomorrow the site will be pretty light as I am traveling - we're back on the normal schedule Thursday.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Early Stampede tomorrow

Howdy

Been kinda crazy here - so am hoping to get my top performers out today but had some interweb issues.

So as long as I have an open computer, am writing to let you know I bumped the STAMPEDE tomorrow morning to do it earlier. So it's going to be tough for you West Coasters to listen as it will be on at 5am your time. Luckily for me, that's 8am eastern.

So your best bet is to just catch it on ITunes or in the archives which is how most of you roll anyway.

So big news tonight that I'll touch on tomorrow. Coaching change in San Fran and another IRd player.

Ok - so The Thundering Blurb Daily Stampede will be on Blogtalkradio at 5am PST/8am EST.

Sorry for the change but I am sure ya'll will survive.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Stampede Cancelled Today

Hey folks


Due to some last minute 'emergency' I will not be able to do today's Stampede. We'll be back on Monday and I hope to do a minor news post tonight BUT no promises.

I am sorry for any inconvenience this might cause. Along with my rankings, please chack out the linked sites like the footballguys message board and Fantasy Football Journal for any other opinions you might want.

Best of luck and thanks for your understanding.


Andrew

RB Rankings for Week 7

Here are the last of the rankings - time permitting I will have the TEs done later but a last minute emergency has kinda made it possible that won't happen.

As I said with the other rankings - time permitting, I will be doing a synopsis of these rankings later.

Running backs

  1. Marion Barber, Cowboys at Rams
  2. Clinton Portis, Redskins vs. Browns
  3. Steve Slaton, Texans vs. Lions
  4. Chris Johnson, Titans at Chiefs
  5. Frank Gore, 49ers at Giants
  6. Marshawn Lynch, Bills vs. Chargers
  7. Brandon Jacobs, Giants vs. 49ers
  8. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers at Bills
  9. Steven Jackson, Rams vs. Cowboys
  10. Adrian Peterson, Vikings at Bears
  11. Thomas Jones, Jets at Raiders
  12. Ryan Grant, Packers vs. Colts
  13. Reggie Bush, Saints at Panthers
  14. Mewelde Moore, Steelers at Bengals
  15. LenDale White, Titans at Chiefs
  16. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers vs. Seahawks
  17. Matt Forte, Bears vs. Vikings
  18. Larry Johnson, Chiefs vs. Titans
  19. Dominic Rhodes, Colts at Packers
  20. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Ravens
  21. Jamal Lewis, Browns at Redskins
  22. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs. Saints
  23. Michael Pittman, Broncos at Patriots
  24. Warrick Dunn, Buccaneers vs. Seahawks
  25. Rudi Johnson, Lions at Texans
  26. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. Saints
  27. Julius Jones, Seahawks at Buccaneers
  28. Kevin Faulk, Patriots vs. Broncos
  29. Le’Ron McClain, Ravens at Dolphins
  30. Justin Fargas, Raiders vs. Jets
  31. Cedric Benson, Bengals vs. Steelers
  32. Ahman Green, Texans vs. Lions
  33. Willis McGahee, Ravens at Dolphins
  34. Derrick Ward, Giants vs. 49ers
  35. Justin Fargas, Raiders at Jets

WR Rankings for Week 7

Like I said for the QBs - we're very pressed for time today as a few last minute things came up - so today there is no ranking explanation, just the rankings themselves. Sorry about that but weddings=chaos. If I get the chance this afternoon/evening will follow up these with a brief synopsis of each position but I can't count on having the time.

Wide receivers
  1. Andre Johnson, Texans vs. Lions
  2. Reggie Wayne, Colts at Packers
  3. Brandon Marshall, Broncos at Patriots
  4. Steve Smith, Panthers vs. Saints
  5. Greg Jennings, Packers vs. Colts
  6. Plaxico Burress, Giants vs. 49ers
  7. Terrell Owens, Cowboys at Rams
  8. Randy Moss, Patriots vs. Broncos
  9. Lee Evans, Bills vs. Chargers
  10. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets at Raiders
  11. Hines Ward, Steelers at Bengals
  12. Santana Moss, Redskins vs. Browns
  13. Braylon Edwards, Browns vs. Redskins
  14. Calvin Johnson, Lions at Texans
  15. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals vs. Steelers
  16. Bernard Berrian, Vikings at Bears
  17. Laveranues Coles, Jets at Raiders
  18. Marques Colston, Saints at Panthers
  19. Vincent Jackson, Chargers at Bills
  20. Marvin Harrison, Colts at Packers
  21. Kevin Walter, Texans vs. Lions
  22. Santonio Holmes, Steelers at Bengals
  23. Chris Chambers, Chargers at Bills
  24. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs vs. Titans
  25. Devin Hester, Bears vs. Vikings
  26. Torry Holt, Rams vs. Cowboys
  27. Wes Welker, Patriots vs. Broncos
  28. Anthony Gonzalez, Colts at Packers
  29. Antwaan Randle El, Redskins vs. Browns
  30. Chad Johnson, Bengals vs. Steelers
  31. Isaac Bruce, 49ers at Giants
  32. Lance Moore, Saints at Panthers
  33. Donald Driver, Packers vs. Colts
  34. Muhsin Muhammad, Panthers vs. Saints
  35. Roy Williams, Cowboys at Rams

QB Rankings for Week 7

We're very pressed for time today as a few last minute things came up - so today there is no ranking explanation, just the rankings themselves. Sorry about that but weddings=chaos. If I get the chance this afternoon/evening will follow up these with a brief synopsis of each position but I can't count on having the time.

Quarterback rankings

  1. Drew Brees, Saints at Panthers
  2. Jay Cutler, Broncos at Patriots
  3. Peyton Manning, Colts at Packers
  4. Brett Favre, Jets at Raiders
  5. Matt Schaub, Texans vs. Lions
  6. Eli Manning, Giants vs. 49ers
  7. Philip Rivers, Chargers at Bills
  8. Kyle Orton, Bears vs. Vikings
  9. Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Colts
  10. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers at Bengals
  11. Jake Delhomme, Panthers vs. Saints
  12. Trent Edwards, Bills vs. Chargers
  13. Jason Campbell, Redskins vs. Browns
  14. Matt Cassel, Patriots vs. Broncos
  15. Brad Johnson, Cowboys at Rams
  16. Kerry Collins, Titans at Chiefs
  17. Derek Anderson, Browns at Redskins
  18. Jeff Garcia, Buccaneers vs. Seahawks
  19. J.T. O’Sullivan, 49ers at Giants
  20. Gus Frerotte, Vikings at Bears
  21. Mark Bulger, Rams vs. Cowboys
  22. Chad Pennington, Dolphins vs. Ravens
  23. Dan Orlovsky, Lions at Texans
  24. Charlie Frye/Seneca Wallace, Seahawks at Buccaneers
  25. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders vs. Jets
  26. Joe Flacco, Ravens at Dolphins
  27. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bengals vs. Steelers
  28. Brodie Croyle, Chiefs vs. Titans

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dallas Now Flush with Roy Williamses but short a Pac Man

Howdy

Sorry this is a later article than expected - of course I was out on an errand when this got announced. Better late than never.....

From Adam Shefter (and just about every other news outlet now) the Cowboys have acquired Roy Williams from the Lions for a first, third, and sixth-round draft pick.

Frankly, Dallas wildly overpaid. I think Williams can be a great wide receiver and agree he may be a guy they can look to to take over for TO when Owens rides off into the sunset. But those are a lot of picks for a guy who has not lived up to expectations consistently. One might argue at all.

Williams might be happier when Tony Romo comes back from his injury but for now he is stuck with Brad Johnson. Johnson can throw the ball well so Williams will have the opportunity for some long receptions but we can't go crazy. Even when Romo comes back, he's #3 in the pecking order behond Owens and Witten. But I will say I have NEVER believed in Patrick Crayton as a realistic #2 option. Williams can be more consistent than Crayton and for now that's all the Cowboys need.

Overall, this is good (though overly expensive) for the Dallas offense, an uptick in Williams' fantasy value (from about 0 to 5 out of 10 but still) and a slight ding in TO and Witten's value as they will lose some targets. Honestly though Williams is a more credible threat than Crayton in my opinion, so maybe Owens will see less double teams. Crayton just became a footnote so go ahead and drop him like he's on fire.

I can't help but wonder what Owens' reaction will be. I mean, he was already complaining about his involvement. Now he has to share with another guy - who frankly has mouthed off on the same subject before.

I feel implosions coming.

Oh, and as to the second news item? The NFL has suspended Cowboys CB Adam Jones indefinitely for violating the personal conduct policy. Jones will miss at least four games. Yeah, didn't see that one coming way back when the trade happened did you?

If he keeps his nose clean and stops fighting his own bodyguards, he might be able to come back based on a re-evaluation around week 11. But the 'Boys may have to figure out a solution before then and his antics off the field and mediocre play on it could mean he gets shown the door.

I wish I had a sound bite from the old Pac-Man game of him getting eaten by ghosts. That would sound about right.

Chiefs push back presser - trade in the works?

I really miss being home - and not just because my family has not joined me here in New York yet. But I miss my Direct TV and NFLN.

For without my NFLN, I found out second hand that Adam Shefter is reporting the Chiefs have pushed their usual press conference back until after the 4:00 EST trade deadline.

As I said this morning on the Stampede, it's usually very quiet at the trade deadline though this year feels different. Certainly there are teams that could use a Tony Gonzalez, Donnie Edwards or - dare I say it? - Larry Johnson. And a team like the Chiefs must recognize they are playing for the future and likely NOT this season. Detroit fits that category too, though who wants busted up Jon Kitna would be beyond me.

But a trade - or more than one - could happen. The wind certainly feels like it is blowing in that direction.

More as it occurs.

Pac 10 Review

Hey folks

NFLDraftbible has posted the Pac 10 review for this past weekend - check it out here!

While you're there, check out some of the other content at NFLDraftbible.com - if you're a football fan, college fan or a dynasty fantasy owner, there's good stuff there for you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Top WRs for Week 6

Here's the WR list for this week - sorry it took so long to get out. Family, what can ya do? But at least I got to add in Braylon Edwards - he hasn't had a lot of stuff to celebrate and I know he will sleep better seeing his name here. Or maybe not, but I feel better..... :)

Andre Johnson - 178 yds combined, 1 TD, 10 catches, 1 fumble - A companion break-out game to last week's against the colts, Johnson is feeding off Matt Schaub's resurgence as aviable fantasy QB. It's been a shaky year so far but the next two matchups (against Detroit and Cinci) look good. Detroit shit Peterson down and Berrian (see below) blew up in their faces. Johnson should do the same if not better.



Braylon Edwards - 154 yds combined, 1 TD, 1 2pt conv, 5 catches - The good thing about doing this so late Monday night (unless you count the fact that my brain thinks it's 11:17pm and the clock says 2:17am) is I get to sneak in Edwards who finally held on to the ball for a game more in line with what he have hoped for all season long. I am interested to see what his targets to catches percentage is but except for a catch that went through his hands and off his helmet (drops stil lplagued Anderson - his receivers all did it) he looked focused and good. Skins, Jags and Ravens are much tougher foes so we'll see if he can still continue his streak of two good games.



Roddy White - 112 yds combined, 1 TD, 9 catches - Been a long time coming but White finally has a good QB and is making his mark as a top fantasy WR. Three very good games this season, two fair ones and donuts is a nice streak for White. In some leagues this guy is a top five WR - in just about every league he's got to be in the top ten. As long as Ryan continues to play at a good clip, White will be a fair source of fantasy income for owners.



Reggie Wayne - 118 yds combined, 1 TD, 8 catches - Wayne got plenty of points, even though Marvin Harrison got two TDs. Wayne looked good as the Colts woke up and spanked the Ravens senseless and he will be a top option from here on out. If you were able to prey upon a worried Wayne owner - or if you are one - you will probably have nothing to worry about going forward. Even when Manning stunk, Wayne was still a top option most weeks. Guess what? Manning looks like he's back.



Bernard Berrian - 134 yds combined, 1 TD, 5 catches - Is Berrian the real deal? Can he stay healthy? Will Frerrotte be able to find him and reach him regularly? What the hell is up with Peterson? Well, if the answer to the first three ends up beaing yes, the fourth answer will be 'he's about to bounce back'. I still say Peterson could be one of the - if not THE - top fantasy back going forward but Berrian is a huge factor in that. Berrian looked good on Sunday, got the seperation he hasn't been able to get so far and made some big catches. He wasn't perfect but if Frerrotte keeps hitting him, Ds will have to stop selling out to stop Peterson and both Berrian and AP will benefit. I like Berrian and I think he will be a good WR2 most weeks but I need a couple more consistent games (injury-free I might add) before I crown him a consistent play.



Just missed - Vincent Jackson (5-134-1) who will be better than good until Chambers is back, Steve Breaston (8-102-1) who may have had his swan song as Boldin may be back, the aforementioned Marvin Harrison (3-83-2) whose numbers look less impressive without those TDs, Steve Smith (6-112) who I am still waiting to pop and Greg Jennings (5-84-1) who looked pretty good even without big numbers and will have more big games than not.



That's it for Monday - see ya'll on the Stampede tomorrow at 9am PST/noon EST.

Hasselbeck OUT/Palmer OUT Week 7

According to the Tacoma News Tribue - Matt Hasselbeck is out due to a bulging disc in his back. The hyperextended knee is not a huge factor - though it is a worry. Still, this was not on anyone's radar and is bad news. They have sent him to a specialist in Los Angeles where he will rehab and try to get back for week 8.

Not good news for folks though Seneca Wallace will probably take over for Charlie Frye.

Remember when Frye was the starter in Cleveland? Ugh.

Carson Palmer has not talked to Marvin Lewis since he met with the Mets' doctor (as I mentioned on the morning Stampede) but has already ruled him out. Apparently the doctors recommended a conservative approach with Carson's elbow. Which leaves Ryan Fitzpatrick in charge against the Steelers..... him and his not-strong-enough-to-air-it-out arm.

Yeeeaaaaaahh........... Do I need to warn you off about everyone on Cinci this week?

More as it comes in - WR performers tonight during the game.

Last minute show on Blogtalk

Hey -

Doing a last mintue show here in 2 minutes on Blogtalkradio - the usual place OR catch it on ITUNES.

Top RBs for Week 6

Here are the Rbs -

Marion Barber - 173 combined yards, 1 TD, 11 catches - I knew Barber would be a great top five play this week, but the receptions really put him over the top. Only 45 of his yards came on the ground and even the TD came through the air. We often forget that Barber is a very good pass catching back. He can do it however they need him to - and they will need him to badly with Brian Johnson at QB and Romo out.

Correll Buckhalter - 178 combined yards, 1 TD, 7 catches - For all the knee surgeries and being behind Westbrook, turns out Buckhalter can produce when he needs to. Sitting Westy was the right thing to do and when he comes back from bye week, Buckhalter will likely take a back seat again. But given Westbrook's injury history and the fact he is fighting a rib injury that will probably linger, CB is a good guy to have on your bench from here on out.

Patrick Cobbs - 138 combined yards, 2 TDs, 3 catches - Who the hell is Cobbs? Well a fullback you will probably not see on a top anything list again all season. He had NO yards on the ground. He had two long passes. And he will likely just go back to blocking next week. But it's the Dolphins, so who knows? I wouldn't waste the roster spot.

Maurice Jones-Drew - 148 combined yards, 2 TDs, 2 catches - Here's the game I was waiting for. I had him as the #10 back this week and he more than fulfilled that promise. With Fred Taylor getting his bell rung, MJD had his chance to shine and produced better than he might have in the usual split. Taylor has the bye week to get right, so things should be back to split in week 8, but that matchup is tasty too - Cleveland.

Clinton Portis - 143 combined yards, 2 TDs, 1 catch - In many formats, Portis is at or near the top ranked running back over the course of the season so far. Not bad for a guy who is consistently undervalued in every draft I have ever done. Portis is a workhorse and even when his team struggles (see: Rams, St, Louis) he continues to churn forward. As the season goes on, his schedule looks harder and harder but the next two games (Cleveland and Detroit) look like fantasy heaven.

Just missed: Thomas Jones (78 yards, 2 TDs, 1 rec TD, 3 catches), Matt Forte (110 yards, 1 TD, 5 catches), Frank Gore (117 yards, 1 TD, 3 catches), Reggie Bush (67 yards, 1 TD, 1 rec TD, 3 catches) Warrick Dunn (133 yards).

Where are LT and AP? LT had 118 combined yards and three catches while Peterson got 106 yards total and a catch - and then fumbled twice. Not quite the Lions matchup we envisioned, huh?

WRs coming a little later.

Top QBs for Week 6

Hey folks - as late as this is, I will be a tad brief (yes it is possible). The list of the top five at each position with my thoughts in a sentance.

Traveling on Sunday worked well in theory but it put me behind for the college stuff I normally do on Sundays, which made today long..... blah. blah, blah......

Drew Brees - 320 yards, 3 TDs - I had Brees as my second ranked QB this week (we'll ignore my first ranked guy) and he didn't dissappoint against the woeful Raiders. The Panthers should be a good matchup for him as well - especially if colston comes back.


Phillip Rivers - 306 yards, 3 TDs - While I thought Rivers would be a good start this week, I think I underestimated how much the Pats are struggling. Can he repeat it against the Bills? It won't be easy. He's a little streaky and I expect more and more LT as the season progresses.

Tony Romo - 321 yards, 3 TDs, 1 fumble - Well, we won't this name for four weeks, huh? In a losing cause, Romor played well, though he had his usual miscue and nearly had a second i nthe end zone that was ruled an incomplete pass. Romo is a good qb, but what makes him pull these menatal burps I don't know. Regardless he' s got a broken pinkie and will not be back for a month.


Matt Schaub - 379 yards, 1 pass TD, 1 rush TD, 2 INTs - Maybe he should be higher on the list based on yardage alone, but those INTs must have hurt. With Rosenfels coming in and imploding last week, then Schaub leading his team on a drive to beat the Dolphins this week, I think he's got the job locked up. Aside from the INTs I thought he looked good in the parts I saw on the plane. I've always liked Schaub. Unfortunatley like many of you, I didn't start him this week in the one league I have him in. He is very startable this coming week against Detroit.

Peyton Manning - 271 yards, 3 TDs - Is he back? I think he is and he did this against what was at the time the top defense in the league. He found various receivers including Marvin Harrison twice. He kept the chains moving, looked accurate and poised and had time to throw against a D that we expected to give him some trouble. And this is why I told the folks on ESPN 1230 that while The Manning: Eli was playing better so far, The Manning: Peyton would reclaim his crown.

Near misses: Aaron Rodgers (208, 2 TDs, 1 rush TD, 1 fumble), Matt Ryan (301, 1 TD, 1 rush TD), Donavan McNabb (278, 2Tds, 1 INT), Kurt Warner (236, 2TDs but 1 fumble and 1 INT)
Back with RBs shortly.....

Friday, October 10, 2008

ESPN Segment and USA Today Blog appearence

Hey Folks

Now that most of the rankings are done, I wanted to post two things I did today that I didn't want buried under the other posts...

Of course, one is my usual appearance on ESPN 1230 for the guys on the show 'There It Is'. You can stream the whole show if you want at the Jake Stevens site OR you can listen or download here. We cover the Chargers Defense, Ryan Grant, The Manning Bros - who is better, Mike Turner and my top position picks for the week. Good ten minutes, listen in....

Also, Brian Moore (a frequent and great chatroom fellow for both the Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Show and The Drive Block) asked me to help him out by being a guest interview on his USA Today Fantasy Blog. You can check my answers out here - we chatted about my recent Kyle Orton love, who is dissappointing and who is impressing and how the returns and injuries of Kevin Curtis, Tony Scheffler and Eddie Royal might impact teams and owners - and that's only the tip of the iceberg.

You can also check out Bri's work at his site, FootballHangout.com.

Enjoy!
USA TODAY INTERVIEW

ESPN 1230 APPEARENCE

WR Rankings for Week 6

I like Roddy White this week - if he plays. He may not, suffering from a concussion. So he isn't listed but figure he would be somewhere in the 15-20 range.

Brandon Marshall disappointed me last week, but the Jags are vulnerable in the secondary and Cutler will find his favorite target and more than once at that.... Larry Fitzgerald faces a similarly challenged Cowboys secondary and has the added bonus of there being a distinct likelyhood of a shootout if the Cards want to stay in this game.... The Bus are not a bad defense but they can be thrown on and I expect Jake Delhomme to find Steve Smith for some good yards and maybe a touchdown...... As I mentioned with Larry Fitz, the Cards secondary is more than a little suspect and while Terrell Owens seems to be in an occasional funk yardage-wise, expect some good yards for TO without the tears...... As Aaron Rodgers proved last week, you cannot count him out and that's great news for Greg Jennings as he continues to prove his worth as a top fantasy wide receiver.....

I added Marques Colston and would love to have him higher on the list, but let's not overthink it - would rather rank him too low and see him overproduce than get over-excited and have him see too few snaps..... With Dan Orlovsky throwing the ball, Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson take a hit - there may be garbage yards, but Minny is going to make things miserable for the Detroit offense as Peterson grinds the clock against the sorry Lions D.....

Wide receivers
  1. Brandon Marshall, Broncos vs. Jaguars
  2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals vs. Cowboys
  3. Steve Smith, Panthers at Buccaneers
  4. Terrell Owens, Cowboys at Cardinals
  5. Greg Jennings, Packers at Seahawks
  6. Randy Moss, Patriots at Chargers
  7. Andre Johnson, Texans vs. Dolphins
  8. Plaxico Burress, Giants at Brown
  9. Santana Moss, Redskins vs. Rams
  10. Reggie Wayne, Colts vs. Ravens
  11. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets vs. Bengals
  12. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals at Jets
  13. Bernard Berrian, Vikings vs. Lions
  14. Braylon Edwards, Browns vs. Giants
  15. DeSean Jackson, Eagles at 49ers
  16. Donald Driver, Packers at Seahawks
  17. Bobby Engram, Seahawks vs. Packers
  18. Vincent Jackson, Chargers vs. Patriots
  19. Steve Breaston, Cardinals vs. Cowboys
  20. Marques Colston, Saints vs. Raiders
  21. Calvin Johnson, Lions at Vikings
  22. Matt Jones, Jaguars at Broncos
  23. Muhsin Muhammad, Panthers at Buccaneers
  24. Torry Holt, Rams at Redskins
  25. Derrick Mason, Ravens at Colts
  26. Amani Toomer, Giants at Browns
  27. Laveranues Coles, Jets vs. Bengals
  28. Isaac Bruce, 49ers vs. Eagles
  29. Wes Welker, Patriots at Chargers
  30. Kevin Walter, Texans vs. Dolphins
  31. Roy Williams, Lions at Vikings
  32. Chad Johnson, Bengals at Jets
  33. Lance Moore, Saints vs. Raiders
  34. Marvin Harrison, Colts vs. Ravens
  35. Patrick Crayton, Cowboys at Cardinals

RB Rankings for Week 6

You might notice Adrian Peterson tops two lists of mine this week - I expect great things from you AP! Terrible things (for Lions fans) to be sure - but great!..... Clinton Portis will finally see both good yards and end zone celebrations in this game, even if it develops into the shootout some are predicting, Portis will get a ton of looks......Ronnie Brown: Fact Or Fiction, and we'll get a good look at that against the Texans this week. Let's see if a) the Wildcat still works and b) he can run if it doesn't. Somebody has to stop it, right?.......Frank Gore - even against a tough D - is a must start. The Eagles aren't looking like they are as tough as their ranking is....Marion Barber worked hard against a surprisingly stout middle of the field run defense. The Cards stopped Thomas Jones in New York and thwarted Marshawn Lynch, but the Dallas offense will not be stopped through the air, so Barber will have plenty of carries as well and probably the lead to protect.....

Also take note of Matt Forté, Steve Slaton and LeRon McClain - all have good matchups and should produce. This should also be one of Maurice Jones-Drew's best games yet and I think the start of a much better season for him.

Running backs

  1. Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Lions
  2. Clinton Portis, Redskins vs. Rams
  3. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins at Texans
  4. Frank Gore, 49ers vs. Eagles
  5. Marion Barber, Cowboys at Cardinals
  6. Brandon Jacobs, Giants at Browns
  7. Reggie Bush, Saints vs. Raiders
  8. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers vs. Patriots
  9. Matt Forté, Bears at Falcons
  10. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars at Broncos
  11. Correll Buckhalter, Eagles at 49ers
  12. Steve Slaton, Texans vs. Dolphins
  13. Steven Jackson, Rams at Redskins
  14. Michael Turner, Falcons vs. Bears
  15. Thomas Jones, Jets vs. Bengals
  16. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers vs. Panthers
  17. Julius Jones, Seahawks vs. Packers
  18. Le’Ron McClain, Ravens at Colts
  19. Edgerrin James, Cardinals vs. Cowboys
  20. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers at Buccaneers
  21. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers at Buccaneers
  22. Ryan Grant, Packers at Seahawks
  23. Joseph Addai, Colts vs. Ravens
  24. Fred Taylor, Jaguars at Broncos
  25. Felix Jones, Cowboys at Cardinals
  26. Michael Pittman, Broncos vs. Jaguars
  27. Jamal Lewis, Browns vs. Giants
  28. Willis McGahee, Ravens at Colts
  29. Tim Hightower, Cardinals vs. Cowboys
  30. Justin Fargas, Raiders at Saints
  31. Michael Bush, Raiders at Saints
  32. Laurence Maroney, Patriots at Chargers
  33. Warrick Dunn, Buccaneers vs. Panthers
  34. Deuce McAllister, Saints vs. Raiders
  35. Darren McFadden, Raiders at Saints

QB Rankings for Week 6

We're a little pressed for time to get these out this week.

Kurt Warner may look like he has a poor matchup but the Cowboys' secondary is not that good right now - and expect Warner to have to throw a lot to keep up with the Dallas offense.... Drew Brees could get one of his weapons back if Marques Colston comes back, but even without him, Brees should approach and/or surpass 300 this week again...... Back to Dallas, I expect Tony Romo to have a pretty big field day this week against a questionable secondary with Arizona....... The Jags should keep some pressure up on Jay Cutler, but he, Brandon Marshall and Brandon Stokley should put up some good numbers as the Jags secondary is also middling....... Jason Campbell doesn't have a ton of huge games but I think he will this weekend against a sliding Rams team. Could even devolve into a shootout with Washington's injuries to their defense.......

On the flip side, Carson Palmer will not start against the Jets so expect them to pressure Ryan Fitzpatrick into some mistakes and watch Darrelle Revis and Dwight Lowery have good days..... Neither QB for the Lions are on the list in part because I have no clue who will be playing and frankly don't think it matters.....


Quarterbacks
  1. Kurt Warner, Cardinals vs. Cowboys
  2. Drew Brees, Saints vs. Raiders
  3. Tony Romo, Cowboys at Cardinals
  4. Jay Cutler, Broncos vs. Jaguars
  5. Jason Campbell, Redskins vs. Rams
  6. Donovan McNabb, Eagles at 49ers
  7. Brett Favre, Jets vs. Bengals
  8. Aaron Rodgers, Packers at Seahawks
  9. Eli Manning, Giants at Browns
  10. Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Patriots
  11. Peyton Manning, Colts vs. Ravens
  12. David Garrard, Jaguars at Broncos
  13. Jake Delhomme, Panthers at Buccaneers
  14. Kyle Orton, Bears at Falcons
  15. Matt Schaub, Texans vs. Dolphins
  16. Gus Frerotte, Vikings vs. Lions
  17. Chad Pennington, Dolphins at Texans
  18. Marc Bulger, Rams at Redskins
  19. J.T. O’Sullivan, 49ers vs. Eagles
  20. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks vs. Packers
  21. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders at Saints
  22. Matt Cassel, Patriots at Chargers
  23. Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Bears
  24. Jeff Garcia, Buccaneers vs. Panthers
  25. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bengals at Jets
  26. Derek Anderson, Browns vs. Giants
  27. Joe Flacco, Ravens at Colts

Top 20 RBs Forward (1-4)

Previously on Lost - I mean, here are the links to the first three segments of the article:
Top 20 RBs Forward (5-9)
Top 20 RBs Forward (10-14)
Top 20 RBs Forward (15-20)

We come to the last bit of our experiment here - one I will probably come back to several times and re-rank. As I have said before, this is not a list of absolutes and as teams play more and things change, so might this list. And as always, comments are welcome. This article is definitely the type that makes me wish I had web savvy and could design a proper site. It would be nice to front page it all season long. Alas, I will just have to link to it when I refer to it.

Remember that the breakdown goes like this:

Remaining Schedule:Wk6, Wk7, Wk8,Wk9, Wk10, Wk11, Wk12, Wk13, Wk14, Wk15, Wk16 (bold is common fantasy playoff sched)
Analysis: This dude is good/bad and here is why....
Synopsis: example opportunity + good sched - injury worry - receptions = B+

1) Adrian Peterson
Remaining Schedule:DET, @CHI,BYE, HOU, GB, @TB, @JAX, CHI, @DET, @AZ, ATL (great playoff sched)
Analysis: Yes, Peterson has occasionally struggled this season, most notably (and to great lamenting on my part) this past weekend against the Saints. Well, Gus Frerrotte showed the Saints - and the NFL - you cannot just stack the box against Peterson. He will beat your secondary. Frerotte is no Manning (either The Peyton or The Eli) but he has some receivers getting healthy and can air it out enough to where defenses will need to respect him.

As far as matchups go, Peterson has a very good schedule the rest of the way. Yes, CHI twice is tough but a good deal of the rest of his schedule is very tasty. And we know he has big game ability - before this rough patch (if you can call 2 touchdowns against a stout TENN D rough) - he lit the Colts and Packers up and while neither resembles a shutdown run defense, neither are most of the rest of his matchups. And we've seen him perform against good defense before and put up points. He's healthy too, which few of his fellow first round picks can claim. Peterson is my pick for top RB going forward - his mix of ability and schedule are too good to overlook.
Synopsis: Ability + opportunity + schedule =A

2) Ronnie Brown
Remaining Schedule:@HOU, BAL, BUF, @DEN, SEA, OAK, NE, @STL, @BUF, SF, @KC (good playoff sched)
Analysis: You might ask yourself how I can be unsure about the defense in Miami and sure about Brown. Fair question. My response is: look at 2007. I nseven games he was one of the top backs. In just seven games he compiled 600+ yards in the ground and another 389 yards in receptions. Simply put he was a stud. Had he not gotten hurt, he very well might have been the top Rb in fantasy football in 2007.

But ah, there's the rub. He gets hurt. At least that's the perception. Brown is coming off a significant injury to be sure, but he has lost none of the ability that made us so impressed with him last year. In fact, he's got new tricks like that maddening Wildcat formation - which revealed he can throw pretty well. Even if the 'Cat gets shut down - and I have a hard time imagining it will not - Brown is playing very well. He only really has one proven tough matchup in Baltimore. And while New England won't be fooled again (right?), they are not what they once were defensively.

If Brown can stay healthy, he has every chance to suceed in a big way going forward.
Synopsis: opportunity + great schedule - injury worry = A-

3) Marshawn Lynch
Remaining Schedule:SD, @MIA, NYJ, @NE, CLE, @KC, SF, MIA, @NYJ, @DEN (middling/good playoff schedule)
Analysis: Lynch's schedule ranking could fluctuate greatly - as of now, both Miami and the Jets are top 10 ranked run defenses. I don't know I buy that. The Jets are not giving up yards (75ypg) but do like to give touchdowns up (6 so far). The touchdowns indicate the defense might not be as stout against the run as they appear. They also are ranked 31st against the pass - that might have something to do with it too. Miami is an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, shrouded in a Wildcat formation - they are Ok against the pass, apparently stout against the run and befuddling to watch. I don't buy them but I cannot point out why right now. I think they have played some teams on their heels the last few games and I think we'll know more after Houston.

But back to Lynch - overall he has a pretty good schedule which could improve as NY and MIA come back to earth. And if that's the case, then the playoff schedule is very, very nice. Denver during most league's Championship Week is a great matchup.

Lynch needs to live up to these matchups. I think he is very talented and capable of great numbers but this season has been somewhat of a question mark. he has run hard and well, but his offensive line is not always opening things up for him - some of his numbers are a testement to his ability given what he was working with. Against Arizona it wasn't him so much as some bad turnovers and the team falling behind. Trent Edwards getting hurt didn't help matters. As long as Edwards is there, defenses are kept more honest as in my opinion Losman makes too many mistakes. Lynch is a hard runner with a good schedule down the stretch whose numbers will catch up with his ability soon.
Synopsis: opportunity + health + good sched = A-

4) Reggie Bush
Remaining Schedule:OAK, @CAR, SD, BYE, @ATL, @KC, GB, @TB, ATL, @CHI, @DET (middling/good playoff sched)
Analysis: You can debate if Reggie is a running back or a wide receiver masquerading as a running back but you cannot agrue this - he gets points. His value is in the totals, not the classic stud back carries and for the most part Bush has delivered. At times, like against San Fran, he throws up a stinker but usually he gets enough yards in the air and on the ground to total around 100 yards. The touchdowns are a little slow in coming, as they were even last year before his injury. And losing Colston and Shockey has hurt a bit - he gets more looks but also more defensive focus. Colston might be back this week and Shockey isn't terribly far off - guys like Billy Miller, Lance Moore and Devery Henderson have filled in well. But Bush will really excel when Colston and Shockey are back. While his targets may decrease, he will find more room to move. Part of his struggles have also been the offensive line - it is not blockign well for the run. While Deuce McAllister had one good game, it ended up being same old, same old for his next. The line is not blocking well for the running backs. Until that changes, it will always be more of a struggle to run between the tackles.

The schedule New Orleans faces is very nice. Chicago is a tough one, especially during fantasy playoffs, but other than that very few of these matchups should be too hard. They are all currently Middling to Good matchups and some are great. Carolina may be an issue, but there's a game I think he will do more in the air than the ground.

Bush isn't perfect. He still takes too many carries outside. He dances sometimes. He gets his touchdowns on returns. But on the whole will put up solid points and against many of the defenses he faces, he should do very well.
Synopsis: ability + dynamic offense + receptions + good schedule - oline issues - bad habits (stop taking it outside dammit!) = A-


So that's the 20. Some may agree, some may not. It will change due to injury, defensive play and other factors. Any thoughts, send me them at thunderingblurb(a)gmail.com - if I get enough reaction we can do a whole show around it. Or, dare I say it, another article.

Rankings late today. I need to give my fingers a break.

Buckhalter to start against SF


Correll Buckhalter will start for the Eagles at running back against San Francisco. As I said on the Stampede today and have said for days, gettign Westbrook the rest he needs is paramount to this team's long term success.

Thank God someone finally listened to me, right?

I think Buckhalter is a fair start against a 49rs D that cannot get off the field often enough. Getting a full load of carries with no fear of Westbrook edging in is good news for owners everywhere.

Last RB article coming, this was just more pressing.....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Top 20 RBs Forward (5-9)

I want to remind everyone that this is not a list of absolutes and as teams play more and things change, so might this list. However with what has been seen so far, this is a basis from which we can keep track of where guys are and how they are doing.

Again, I will invite people to post in the comments what they think or email me at thunderingblurb@gmail.com.

To catch you up, here are the previous posts:
Top 20 RBs 10-14
Top 20 RBs 15-20

Once again, remember that the breakdown goes like this:

Remaining Schedule:Wk6, Wk7, Wk8,Wk9, Wk10, Wk11, Wk12, Wk13, Wk14, Wk15, Wk16 (bold is common fantasy playoff sched)
Analysis: This dude is good/bad and here is why....
Synopsis: example opportunity + good sched - injury worry - receptions = B+

Onto the next crop:

Matt Forte
Remaining Schedule: @ATL, MINN, BYE, DET, TENN, @GB, @STL, @MINN, JAX, NO, GB (good playoff sched)
Analysis: Now this may cause a ruckus, but I'll stand by it. My biggest worry with Forte is rookie wall syndrome. Will he hold up over a whole season? Good question - many rookies don't. Heck, there are Vets who don't either, come to it. Maybe you also get worried about Orton and the offense. Well, in my opinion, Orton had some sort of bell go off, as he has taken a huge step forward this season. He and Forte excel in part because of the impact they have on the offense. Forte is running well, he catches the ball and makes something happen when he does. And he's scoring TDs both on the ground and through the air. So the defense cannot just sit back and make Orton beat them, they have to respect the run. They can't just try to shut down the run though because Orton is making something out of not much through the air. Right now, the offense is hitting on all cylinders and I just don't see a change coming.

There are some rough patches on the schedule (Minny 2x and Tenn) but Jacksonville isn't as stout vs the run as they used to be, the Saints can be run on and the rams and Lions? Cake. As I have said a few times before, Green Bay seems to be worrying people but right now they are coughing up 161 ypg and have allowed 5 TDs to date and the secondary is banged up. Two games agains them seem pretty good matchups. The only thing I worry about is that rookie wall. We'll have to see if Forte is the guy to bash it down or not, but I'd be willing to risk it. They may even spell him a little with Kevin Jones going forward and while it will affect his numbers somewhat it would be a good thing for the rookie to get soem rest.
Synopsis: opportunity + ability + good oline + good schedule - rookie burnout worry - Kevin Jones = B+

Joseph Addai
Remaining Schedule:BAL, @GB, @TENN, NE, @PITT, HOU, @SD, @CLE, CIN, DET, @JAX (good playoff sched)
Analysis: Some tough games early for Addai, as they have been for the Colts offense as a whole. But I believe they will be bouncing back soon. Maybe not this week against a resurgent Baltimore D, but I think the Colts will be rising again. Green Bay and a weakened New England squad are places to start Addai early on, but the key to his value will be week 11 onward where he stops being more a matchups guy and becomes a consistent starter. All those remaining games are at least decent starts as they now stand - even Jacksonville is (as I have said numerous times) not what it was defensively.

I think Addai will peak right as you surge for the playoffs. Problem may be that he was a high pick for you and he may have killed you in the early season. But if you can make adjustements and hang on, Addai will come through for you when it counts most. We know he has ability. we know Manning will get the offense moving. The offensive line is almost all the way back. I don't think we have seen the full 2008 Addai. He is coming though - and hell comes with him! (little Thundering Humor there.... )
Synopsis: opportunity + usually dynamic offense + great oline - team injuries - tough early sched + good finishing sched = B+

Chris Johnson
Remaining Schedule:BYE, @KC, IND, GB, @CHI, @JAX, NYJ, @DET, CLE, PITT, @IND (good playoff sched)
Analysis: Another rookie? What? Yup, Chris Johnson may be a rookie, but like Forte he has a good chance to be a top back from here on out. He has a few tough matchups (the Bears and Steelers) but so much of this schedule is cake that despite the fact that he is in a RBBC (I lied when I said MJD was the only one) he's going to put up very good points down the stretch. Like Forte though, will he hit the rookie wall? I expect him to get more and more work over his RBBC partner LenDale White but he's already averaging between 15-20 carries as it is.

He has struggled the last two weeks against top defenses (44 yds vs Baltimore, 61 yards against Minny - though 2 Tds against the Vikes). But he only sees a handful of them the whole rest of the year. He has good speed, vision and hangs onto the ball well. They aren't even using him as a receiver much yet, something I expected the Titans to do a lot this season. Johnson faces a great schedule, certainly has the ability to take advantage of it and will be a workhorse for many teams down the stretch. If he can stay healthy and energized and avoid rookie overload, he could be a real stud by season's end. The opportunity is there.

Wow - imagine the Titans had a top flight WR to really keep the defense honest?
Synopsis: great sched + ability + opportunity - sub-par pass game - rookie burnout worry = B+

Frank Gore
Remaining Schedule:PHI, @NYG, SEA, BYE, @AZ, STL,@DAL, @BUF, NYJ, @MIA, @STL (middling playoff sched)
Analysis: There was a lot of discussion preseason as to whether or not Gore could play well in Martz's offense and with a sub-par oline. The answer to both is yes - though I would argue the oline is not really all that subpar. Still, Gore is a stud and should be a top 10 RB every draft until something happens to say otherwise. He has skills, no denying it. What he also has right now is a hit and miss schedule the rest of the way. PHI is on it's heels, but still a decent defense I think. The Giants and Dallas are tough as nails and Buffalo at home in the winter will be no easy chore. We'll see what the Jets really can do vs the run well before this game and Miami as well. There are some question mark run defenses here that I am not sure will bear out as they have. But for now, the matchups look ok, not great and not consistently. Gore is a talent to be sure - part of his problem is the occasional big hole the team gets into. But Gore has been busy in pass game and looks pretty good doing it and that helps his value even when his ground yards are not sturdy. The reception yards will fill them out.
Synopsis: opportunity + health + receptions - potentially tough schedule = B

LaDainian Tomlinson
Remaining Schedule:
NE, @BUF, @NO, BYE, KC, @PITT, IND, ATL, OAK, @KC, @TB (good playoff schedule)
Analysis: When I started this, little did I think LT would be on the far end of the top 10. But here he is and there are some big reasons why. First of all, his toe. It was getting better, but got stomped on last week and now here we are again with the injury a concern again. Hey, getting your hurt toe stepped on is an occupational hazard for a running back. It could - probably will - happen again. LT has two games that might be good matchups - New England has struggled against the run and Buffalo is right there with them. But if LT is not healthy he might not be very effective. And on top of it, they might utilize Sproles more to let him get a breather. And assuming he 1) doesn't reinjure the toe or 2) lose a lot of carries to Sproles, the offense itself is banged up and streaky.

Rivers was hot the first three games but now is on a bad two game skid. He looked a little lost against Miami. Antonio Gates is still hurting and Chris Chambers is now out for a week or two. If the pass game is nonexistent, it makes it easier to stop the run. Now LT has faced that before and played well anyway. But he was healthy then. He isn't now and may not be until after the bye week. The Chargers have to play him - they are in dire straits in the division and can't afford to not have him. So he will likely not be 100% until week 10, if then. At that point he has some good matchups (the Steelers are the only decnt run D on the schedule right now). But a healthy LT would be in a better place on this list. If he can get healthy soon (how I don't know) he'll crawl up it. For now, despite a good schedule, he resides at 9 which I am sure some might think is too far back.

Based on some conversations I have overheard, others might think it's not far enough back.
Synopsis: opportunity + good sched - injury worries - offensive struggles = B

The last bit will be posted tomorrow. Maybe not early as I have the Stampede as well as the appearence on ESPN 1230 but before my lunch if not sooner. Rankings will come after probably.