Posts Tagged ‘football’

1 Game down, 240 to Go

Friday, September 9th, 2011

There are actually 255 games remaining in the NFL season, but obviously I’m referring to the FTH season (we don’t play week 17). I am fully aware that no one cares about my fantasy football team, but dammit, the players deserve some recognition…and I think I drafted well.

I was unable to land any Arian-Foster-at-pick-#55-caliber deals this time around (could a reverse jinx apply here?), but I am confident that we have a contender on our hands. With the Packers-Saints kickoff game in the books, here is the squadron as we embark upon another championship journey [draft pick # in brackets]:


QB: Tom Brady [15]; Donovan McNabb [95]; Jason Campbell [115]; Alex Smith (dropped Colin Kaepernick [215])
RB: Felix Jones [46]; Marshawn Lynch [75]; Michael Bush [135]; Delone Carter [175]
WR: Calvin Johnson [6]; Miles Austin [26]; Dez Bryant [35]; Percy Harvin [66]; Lance Moore [106]; Robert Meachem [126]
TE: Jermichael Finley [55]; Jimmy Graham [86]; Jared Cook [155]
K: Alex Henery [195]
DEF/ST: NE [166]
DL: Justin Tuck [186]
LB: yet to be signed (dropped Rashad Jennings [145])
DB: Eric Berry (dropped Javon Ringer [206])

Time to grade out

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Every year I like to pinpoint a week, which is before the midpoint of the season but also not too early, that is appropriate for assessing my fantasy football team at each position.

This year that time is right about now (the onset of week 7). The upcoming week easily presents the most bye issues (due chiefly to the Texans) on my schedule and I believe we have had ample time to sort through early-season waiver wire transactions and come to grips with what we’re working with.

To recap the starting positions: QB, QB, WR, WR, WR, RB, RB, TE, WR/RB, WR/TE, K, DEF, DL, LB, DB. The report card is below.

QB: Kevin Kolb, Sam Bradford, Matt Cassel, Michael Vick
Grade: 80

No matter what happens from here on out it appears we have the Philadelphia QB position covered so that is reassuring. Sam Bradford has shown flashes of QB2 viability, and Matt Cassel is under center for a team with weapons and some soft spots on the schedule, but neither one of them is truly rock-solid.

WR: Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe, Danario Alexander
Grade: 95

Nothing to be concerned about here unless serious injuries strike. Despite low early returns, Colston will never go away in the Saints’ offense. And if he’s barely even starting for you than you don’t have much to address in the wide receiver market.

RB: Arian Foster, Ahmad Bradshaw, Marshawn Lynch, Ryan Torain, Pierre Thomas
Grade: 90

Haven’t been able to utilize the PT Cruiser since acquiring him and Sam Bradford in a trade, but nevertheless his potential impact upon return really assuages any concerns about the injury risks inherent in those currently above him on the depth chart.

TE: Owen Daniels, Heath Miller
Grade: 82.5

Heath Miller may or may not be waiver wire fodder once the Texans’ bye has passed, but Daniels’ inspiring performance in week six really took some of the sting out of last week’s unfortunate loss of Jermichael Finley.

K: Olindo Mare
Grade: 85

Just signed Seattle’s Olindo Mare for this week’s home match-up with Arizona in place of the on-vacation Neil Rackers. Rackers’ performance has been solid but nothing to worry about losing.

DEF: Philadelphia San Francisco
Grade: 85

Philadelphia’s defense has allowed too many points but has put on a solid showing in terms of sacks and interceptions. In fact, I guess this is the one area of the team I’m gonna say I’m not satisfied with. Team defense is an important slot and capable of big points, so I think I’m going to see what a crawling-out-of-the-ashes 49ers team can do against the disjointed Panthers. I’d love to lock in a unit with the potential for those 30-3 drubbings that net some serious points.

IDP: DL-Osi Umenyiora; LB-James Harrison; DB-Bernard Pollard
Grade: 92.5

Pollard has been with us since the 18th round of the draft, and I’m hoping we can pull it out this week without having to drop anybody to cover for Houston’s bye. The other two marauders up front are looking like nice pick-ups.

Composite Score: 89.1
Prediction: Super Bowl Champions ­čÖé

Fifty Hours from Football

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

It is probably unhealthy the degree to which this time of year brings a spring to my step. Nonetheless, we are officially less than fifty hours away from NFL football. And with that reality on tap, I can begin (shamelessly at least) thinking about fantasy and tweaking my roster more than anything else. No wonder I’m broke.

Enough of that self-pity crap and on to my roster. And yes, I said roster. I made a commitment to myself to field only one team this year. While it is certainly enjoyable to stockpile tons of great players across multiple teams, where is the authenticity in that? I’m sure any NFL owner would love to have numerous top-five talents at each position distributed amongst several squads, and then actively pimp the team that finds the most success. But even if this is fantasy, it just doesn’t work that way.

Thus I stuck with my favorite league and said “good-bye” to all the others. I don’t even have any throwaway teams in free public leagues on sites such as F*ck You Manu* is in its fifth year of operation, and all of my rival owners are active in the league as well as personal friends. For the sake of full disclosure, I am both the Commissioner and reigning champion. Based on what I’ve gathered following the draft, though, I wouldn’t call myself the favorite to repeat in 2010, at least not before I pull off a mid-season trade for an upgrade at QB. But I am certainly ready to roll with my guys. You be the judge.


QB: Matt Cassel; Derek Anderson; Jason Campbell; Matt Moore
RB: Arian Foster; Ahmad Bradshaw; Carnell Williams; Leon Washington
WR: Andre Johnson; Calvin Johnson; Brandon Marshall; Marques Colston; Dwayne Bowe; Johnny Knox; Joshua Cribbs
TE: Jermichael Finley; Owen Daniels; Jermaine Gresham
K: David Buehler
DEF/ST: Philadelphia Eagles
DL: Julius Peppers
LB: [yet to be signed]
DB: Bernard Pollard

*Despite the enjoyment our league has provided to all its former and current members, unfortunately its nomenclature has a more troubled history that may only be cured by a Dallas Mavericks NBA Championship. F*ck You Manu was preceded in title by F*ck Tha Birdman (2009), F*ck David West (2008), F*ck Matt Barnes (2007), & F*ck Dwyane Wade (2006) – chilling references to figures who played notable roles in ousting the Mavs from their perennial championship quest.

More about the league:
-We maintain a cap of ten franchises in the league due to the use of two starting quarterbacks per team and the complications presented therein during bye weeks.
-On that note, the starting roster slots are as follows: QB, QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, RB/WR, WR/TE, K, D/ST, DL, LB, DB.
-Scoring settings have been tweaked through the years and we believe they are the best in the business. Here is the rundown:
Offensive Players
Passing Yards 1 point per 30 yards
Passing Touchdowns 6
Interceptions -3
Rushing Yards 1 point per 10 yards
Rushing Touchdowns 6
Reception Yards 1 point per 10 yards
Reception Touchdowns 6
Kickoff and Punt Return Touchdowns 10
2-Point Conversions 2
Fumbles Lost -2
Offensive Fumble Return TD 6
Field Goals 0-19 Yards 3
Field Goals 20-29 Yards 3
Field Goals 30-39 Yards 4
Field Goals 40-49 Yards 5
Field Goals 50+ Yards 10
Point After Attempt Made 1
Point After Attempt Missed -2
Defense+Special Teams Unit
Sack 1.5
Interception 3
Fumble Recovery 3
Defensive Touchdown 6
Safety 4
Block Kick 4
Kickoff and Punt Return Touchdowns 6
Points Allowed 0 points 20
Points Allowed 1-6 points 13
Points Allowed 7-13 points 7
Points Allowed 14-20 points 3
Points Allowed 21-27 points 0
Points Allowed 28-34 points -2
Points Allowed 35+ points -6
Individual Defensive Players
Tackle Solo 1.25
Tackle Assist 0.75
Sack 3
Interception 5
Fumble Force 4
Fumble Recovery 4
Defensive Touchdown 10
Safety 7
Pass Defended 1.75
Block Kick 6

-And finally, what about the moolah? $35 is the entry fee. $250 goes to the victor. $65 for losing in the Super Bowl. And winning the 3rd place consolation game boomerangs your original $35 back to you.

Cowboy Artillery

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Explosive players on the football field are often referred to as weapons. The boys’ trio of great running backs is no different. We thought it was about high time to officially align the members of Dallas’ heralded backfield with the firearms they most resemble.

Tashard Choice, #23: 9mm pistol

Before it’s discharged, this compact piece may lack the visual oomph to make the fiercest foes tremble. But heads start to turn once Red Jesus begins unloading its heavier-than-expected munitions. Consistent, reliable, and powerful, it is a grave mistake to confuse these shots with a .22 (although a famous #22 might be a more apt comparison). Able to pack a heavy workload in a single clip, precision use of this choice may be the most surefire way to slay opponents.

Marion Barber, #24: shotgun

Entering a gunfight only to be confronted by this intimidating unit is never an enviable scenario. Sure, it may not be the quickest instrument to get a shot off, but if it connects, the recipient of the blow is sure to fall as the shell continues flying along its path of destruction. One blow is surely more painful than a hollow-point from the nine, but due to the violent force behind each pump and ejection, this fine piece of weaponry must be handled with care and often needs to take a game or two off to cool down after heavy use. Ideally suited to finish off a wounded foe who is struggling to stay on his feet.

Felix Jones, #28: rocket launcher

Weapon of mass destruction. A sure sign of the coming apocalypse. How could man have taken it this far and developed such a lethal instrument? This unparalleled feat of engineering is highly dangerous in the wrong hands and even transporting it to the launching pad without accidental discharge or a break down of one of its fragile components is a monumental feat. The projectiles offered up by this juggernaut are sure to annihilate their targets, but the drawback is they only can be fired so often. Each unleashing of this spectacle of modern warfare requires a crew of technicians to rush in immediately afterwards to tend to repairs. When operated under the strategy of a master general, timely use of this golden gun can lead to the demise of an entire nation. It is simply indefensible.

Fantasy Football Tiers

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Yet to Draft? Take a look at the exclusive fantasy football tiers list. I know a lot of leagues drafted this weekend, but I couldn’t post these until now or else my friends would always know who I was going to take! These tiers are geared toward non-PPR leagues, so adjust accordingly if receptions earn you extra points. They are meant to balance all circumstances, however. Brandon Marshall, for example, is a Tier 2 or 3 player with a Tier 17 maturity level, so this list takes the risk of him missing the season for some reason into consideration. Regardless, this list should serve as an interesting time capsule to review for accuracy after the season. Enjoy.


Tier One: Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady
Tier Two: Kurt Warner, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Matt Schaub, Philip Rivers
Tier Three: Donovan McNabb, Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer
Tier Four: David Garrard, Matt Ryan, Trent Edwards, Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Cassel
Tier Five: Brett Favre, Jason Campbell, Ben Roethlisberger, Kyle Orton, Eli Manning, Shaun Hill, Jake Delhomme, Kerry Collins, Joe Flacco, Byron Leftwich
Tier Six: Mark Sanchez, Chad Pennington, Matthew Stafford, Brady Quinn, Marc Bulger, JaMarcus Russell


Tier One: Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte
Tier Two: LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams, Steve Slaton, Brian Westbrook, Marion Barber, Frank Gore, Ronnie Brown, Brandon Jacobs, Steven Jackson
Tier Three: Pierre Thomas, Chris Johnson, Clinton Portis, Ryan Grant, Darren McFadden, Kevin Smith
Tier Four: Marshawn Lynch, Cedric Benson, Ray Rice, Willie Parker, Larry Johnson
Tier Five: Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Beanie Wells, Johnathan Stewart, Jamal Lewis, Felix Jones, Knowshon Moreno, Joseph Addai, Thomas Jones, Julius Jones, Derrick Ward
Tier Six: Darren Sproles, Leon Washington, Fred Jackson, Donald Brown, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Edgerrin James
Tier Seven: Earnest Graham/Cadillac Williams, Ladell Betts, Chester Taylor, Le’Ron McClain, Rashard Mendenhall, Laurence Maroney/Fred Taylor/Sammy Morris, James Davis, Michael Bush, Tim Hightower, Jerious Norwood, Glen Coffee, Tashard Choice, Shonn Greene, Ricky Williams, Willis McGahee


Tier One: Randy Moss, Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson
Tier Two: Reggie Wayne, Anquan Boldin, Marques Colston, Steve Smith (CAR), Greg Jennings, Roddy White
Tier Three: Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens, Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Roy E. Williams
Tier Four: Lee Evans, DeSean Jackson, Eddie Royal, Antonio Bryant, Santana Moss, Bernard Berrian, Brandon Marshall, Braylon Edwards, Chris Henry (CIN), Santonio Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery, Donnie Avery
Tier Five: Hines Ward, Donald Driver, Anthony Gonzalez, Torry Holt, Derrick Mason, Kevin Walter, Lance Moore, Steve Breaston, Chaz Schilens, Laveranues Coles
Tier Six: Josh Morgan, Earl Bennett/Devin Hester, Ted Ginn, Jr., Hakeem Nicks, Percy Harvin, Patrick Crayton, Steve Smith (NYG), Justin Gage/Kenny Britt/Nate Washington, Muhsin Muhammad, Domenik Hixon, Robert Meachem


Tier One: Jason Witten, Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark
Tier Two: Tony Gonzalez, Owen Daniels, Greg Olsen
Tier Three: Jeremy Shockey, Kellen Winslow, Chris Cooley, Visanthe Shiancoe, Dustin Keller, Vernon Davis
Tier Four: John Carlson, Anthony Fasano, Tony Scheffler, Kevin Boss, Martellus Bennett, Zach Miller
Tier Five: Heath Miller, Bo Scaife, Brandon Pettigrew

In case anybody out there cares, I mentioned my fantasy drafts took place this weekend. Here are my draft-day rosters heading into the season:

– 10-team $30 buy-in league:
Start: 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR, 1 WR/TE, 1 K, 1 DEF, 1 DL, 1 LB, 1 DB

QB: Kurt Warner, Matt Schaub, Byron Leftwich
RB: Adrian Peterson, Frank Gore, Ray Rice, Julius Jones, Laurence Maroney
WR: Calvin Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Bernard Berrian, Chris Henry, Torry Holt, Josh Morgan, Robert Meachem
TE: Antonio Gates, Kellen Winslow
K: Ryan Longwell (Minnesota)
DL: Mario Williams
LB: Patrick Willis
DB: Oshiomogho Atogwe

– 10-team $20 buy-in league (bonus points for each completion, reception, and rushing attempt):
Start: 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB/WR, 1 WR/TE, 1 K, 1 DEF

QB: Drew Brees, Trent Edwards, Brett Favre
RB: Clinton Portis, Larry Johnson, Cedric Benson, Knowshon Moreno, LenDale White, Ladell Betts, James Davis
WR: Reggie Wayne, Terrell Owens, Dwayne Bowe, Chris Henry, Torry Holt
TE: Martellus Bennett
K: Nick Folk (Dallas)

And finally, for what it’s worth, the three players I didn’t get in either league that I find myself coming out of draft weekend really wishing I had? Anquan Boldin, Kevin Smith, and Vernon Davis.