END OF SEASON AWARDS
Who Deserves It: Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)
Who I Think Will Get It: Justin Verlander (DET)
Who Deserves It: Justin Verlander (DET)
Who I Think Will Get It: Justin Verlander (DET)
Rookie Of The Year
Who Deserves It: Dustin Ackley (SEA)
Who I Think Will Get It: Eric Hosmer (KC)
Sophomore Of The Year
Who Deserves It: Alex Avila (DET)
Who Deserves It: Matt Kemp (LAD)
Who I Think Will Get It: Matt Kemp (LAD)
Who Deserves It: Roy Halladay (PHI)
Who I Think Will Get It: Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
Rookie Of The Year
Who Deserves It: Craig Kimbrel (ATL)
Who I Think Will Get It: Craig Kimbrel (ATL)
Sophomore Of The Year
Who Deserves It: Mike Stanton (FLA)
Detroit def. New York (AL) in 5
Texas def. Tampa Bay in 4
Texas def. Detroit in 6
Philadelphia def. St. Louis in 3
Milwaukee def. Arizona in 4
Milwaukee def. Philadelphia in 7
Milwaukee def. Texas in 6
Last Week: 78
Kansas City: 13
2) The 'Bright' One
Last Week: 79
3) Steven Anderson
Last Week: 41
San Francisco: 10
Last Week: 18
5) Dan Bennett
Last Week: 1
NY Jets: -9
I believe Jacoby Ellsbury does.
First, I'll give my arguments why I believe Ellsbury is the best player in the American League. Then, I will give reasons why Ellsbury is better than the two other leading AL MVP candidates: Jose Bautista and Justin Verlander.
The main reason why I believe Ellsbury deserves the MVP is because he has the best WAR (9.2) in the American League. He actually has the best WAR in all of baseball. No one else has a WAR above 9.0- except Ellsbury.
I think people think of Ellsbury as this speed guy who can steal 70 bases and is a pretty decent lead off man. But in 2011 he changed his entire game by adding power and a lot of it. Right now Jacoby Ellsbury has 31 home runs- which is tied for 5th in the AL. Ellsbury actually leads his team in home runs. He has more homers than Adrian Gonzalez (27), David Ortiz (29), and Dustin Pedroia (20). However, I believe this perception that Ellsbury still is this speed guy plus the fact that he plays with such offensive powerhouses overlooks just how good Ellsbury has been on offense.
Ellsbury's triple slash line is this: .322/.377/.551. Ellsbury is hitting the ball, hitting the ball with power, and getting on base. That's two of the five tools right there.
While Ellsbury is hitting for power he still has retained his speed stealing 38 bases (4th in the American League) and is the only American League player in the 30/30 club this year. That's three out of the five tools.
Despite how good Ellsbury has been on offense this year, the main reason he deserves to be the AL MVP is because of the fourth tool- his defense. There are absolutely at least five other AL offensive players that are better than Ellsbury, but they do not have the kind of defense that Ellsbury has. Ellsbury is 4th in the AL in defense according to the Fangraphs Fld stat, 5th in the AL in UZR/150, and 2nd in the AL in Revised Zone Rating. No matter what defensive metric you use, Ellsbury has been amazing at it.
Bill Simmons thinks (and frankly so does most baseball fans) that the MVP should go to the best offensive player. Simmons thinks one should vote on MVP candidates based on how fearful do pitchers feel pitching to a particular batter. I think this is faulty reasoning in today's day and age considering all we know and can measure about baseball players. While offense is obviously extremely important, it's ignorant to think that you should discount a players defense when half of every game a player plays he is also on defense. We can now measure (admittedly not with the great preciseness and efficiency that we can measure offense) how well a player plays on defense and how that contributes to how many wins they add to their team.
As DME posted in this article about how he believed Chase Utley deserved the 2009 NL MVP over Albert Pujols, defense matters- especially the defensive position you play. Ellsbury plays at a premium defensive position (CF) and is very good there.
I will note that Ellsbury is terrible at the last of the five tools- defensive arm- but to me that's the worst of the five tools, an overrated measure of any player's game, and is probably an archaic notion by now- especially if you have fantastic range.
Now let's talk about why Ellsbury deserves the MVP over Jose Bautista. The simple and easy answer is defense. While Jose Bautista is far and away the best offensive player in the American League (1st in wOBA, OBP, and SLG) he still is 0.8 points behind Ellsbury in WAR- because his defense actually helps lose games for Toronto. Bautista has a -4.5 Fld, -11.2 UZR/150, and a .922 RZR (good for only 15th in the AL). Plus, Bautista plays at a non-premium defensive position (RF).
DME argued with me that Baustita deserves the MVP more than Ellsbury because when two players are close in who deserves to be the MVP, you have to discount defense because you can't really measure it as well as offense so you have to use offense as the tiebreaker. I think this logic is flawed in two ways. First, the basic premise of this argument discounts everything baseball has done in the past five to ten years establishing defensive statistics. If you're going to discount the metrics we have available to us to determine MVP candidates then you need to discount them entirely. You either believe in them or you don't. You can not say you believe in them in one aspect but not in another. Next, he says that different sites and experts have different evaluations of how to measure defense which contributes to why defense should be discounted. How Fangraphs measures defense is much different than how The Hardball Times measures it. However, no matter if you're using an old school scout's eye or an advanced stats website, Ellsbury is far and away the better defender this year.
Lastly, I believe Ellsbury deserves the award over the great Justin Verlander. People seem to forget just how much pitching only 35 games out of the 162 game season limits how much you contribute to how many wins your team has. Currently Justin Verlander only has a 7.0 WAR. Ellsbury, Bautista, Dustin Pedroia, Curtis Granderson, and even Ian Kinsler have better WARs than Verlander. In fact, Verlander is tied for first in pitching WAR with C.C. Sabathia! Verlander's not even the clear cut #1 picther in his league (although he obviously is the AL Cy Young winner and the best pitcher in the AL in 2011).
The only way I'll give an MVP to a pitcher is if the pitcher has one of the greatest pitching seasons ever. While Verlander has having a very good season, this season doesn't come close to either of Pedro Martinez's 1999 or 2000 seasons (and both of those seasons even Pedro didn't win the MVP). As much as I like and respect Verlander and his amazing season, he doesn't play in enough games to deserve the MVP. That's why we have a Cy Young category to begin with.
In conclusion, GO ELLSBURY! I'm fine sitting on this island by myself. If you believe Verlander or Bautista deserves the MVP more than Ellsbury, that's fine and I won't vehemently diagree with you. If you believe anyone else like Granderson or AGon deserves the MVP then you're an idiot and I will vehemently disagree with you.
1) Dan Bennett
Last Week: 13-3
Clutch Games: New Orleans over Chicago
WTF Games: N/A
Last Week: 13-3
Clutch Games: N/A
WTF Games: Chicago over New Orleans
3) Sexy Rexy
Last Week: 11-5
Clutch Games: N/A
WTF Games: Chicago over New Orleans
4) The 'Bright' One
Last Week: 11-5
Clutch Games: N/A
WTF Games: Chicago over New Orleans, Arizona over Washington
Game of Inches Fantasy Football League
1) David "MVP" Eckstein (W) 2-0
2) Sexy Rexy (L) 1-1
3) Cubsfan4evr1 (W) 1-1
4) The 'Bright' One (L) 0-2
- DME is 1st in the Michelle Beadle Division and 1st overall in the league
- Sexy Rexy is 3rd in the Michelle Beadle Division and 4th overall in the league
- Cibsfan4evr1 is 5th in the Erin Andrews division and 11th overall
- TBO is 6th in the Erin Andrews division and 12th overall
- The Michelle Beadle division is shaping up like the hardest division. If the playoffs started today, FIVE teams from this division would make the playoffs and only one (the mandated division winner) from the Erin Andrews division would make it.
- DME scored the most points in Week Two and defeated Sexy Rexy who finished fourth in Week Two
- The 'Bright' One scored the third amount of points for the week and lost by two points to the team who scored the second highest points for the week.
- In terms of points the league is 1. DME (323), 2. Sexy Rexy (308), 3. The 'Bright' One (274).
Last Week: 198
Kansas City: 93
2) The 'Bright' One
Last Week: 80
3) Steven Anderson
Last Week: 46
San Francisco: 11
Last Week: 16
5) Dan Bennett
Last Week: 24
NY Jets: 16
Can you guess the 12 major league teams with the least fans?
According to this article they are:
1. Cleveland Indians
Decrease in attendance: 56.08 percent
2. Baltimore Orioles
Decrease in attendance: 44.00 percent
3. Seattle Mariners
Decrease in attendance: 40.54 percent
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
Decrease in attendance: 33.78 percent
5. Oakland Athletics
Decrease in attendance: 33.51 percent
6. Detroit Lions
Decrease in attendance: 25.18 percent
7. Arizona Diamondbacks
Decrease in attendance: 25.05 percent
8. Philadelphia 76ers
Decrease in attendance: 24.94 percent
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Decrease in attendance: 24.78 percent
10. Indiana Pacers
Decrease in attendance: 24.32 percent
11. Columbus Blue Jackets
Decrease in attendance: 21.76 percent
12. Oakland Raiders
Decrease in attendance: 21.32 percent
Some of the teams on this list were bad for many years, but are finally on the way up like Detroit Lions, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The rest have been bad for years and may continute to be bad for years so you can't blame there fans for not spending their money on a bad product. Hopefully they will turn things around, but sadly for many of the teams on this list, they could be mediocre at best for years.
1. Michael Vick
2. Aaron Rodgers
3. Tony Romo
4. Tom Brady
5. Phillip Rivers
6. Matthew Stafford
7. Matt Schaub
8. Ben Roethlisberger
9. Drew Brees
10. Joe Flacco
11. Josh Freeman
12. Rex Grossman
13. Eli Manning
14. Jay Cutler
15. Chad Henne
16. Kevin Kolb
17. Colt McCoy
18. Sam Bradford
19. Ryan Fitzpatrick
20. Matt Ryan
21. Kyle Orton
22. Mark Sanchez
23. Cam Newton
24. Matt Cassel
1. Ray Rice
2. Rashard Mendenhall
3. Adrian Peterson
4. LeSean McCoy
5. Darren McFadden
6. Jamaal Charles
7. Matt Forte
8. Peyton Hillis
9. Michael Turner
10. Cedric Benson
11. Felix Jones
12. Tim Hightower
13. Shonn Greene
14. Arian Foster
15. Fred Jackson
16. LeGarrette Blount
17. Jahvid Best
18. Ahmad Bradshaw
19. James Starks
20. Frank Gore
21. Mike Tolbert
22. Maurice Jones-Drew
23. Reggie Bush
24. Cadillac Williams
25. Chris Johnson
26. Beanie Wells
27. Mark Ingram
28. DeAngelo Williams
29. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
30. Ryan Mathews
31. Knowshon Moreno
32. Joseph Addai
33. Willis McGahee
34. Ben Tate
35. Brandon Jacobs
1. Calvin Johnson
2. Andre Johnson
3. Miles Austin
4. Mike Wallace
5. DeSean Jackson
6. Greg Jennings
7. Vincent Jackson
8. Mike Williams
9. Roddy White
10. Brandon Marshall
11. Larry Fitzgerald
12. Anquan Boldin
13. Reggie Wayne
14. Mario Manningham
15. Steve Johnson
16. Kenny Britt
17. Mike Sims-Walker
18. Jeremy Maclin
19. Julio Jones
20. Johnny Knox
21. Lee Evans
22. Nate Burleson
23. Deion Branch
24. Robert Meachem
25. Percy Harvin
26. Steve Smith
27. Brandon Lloyd
28. Jacoby Ford
29. Hakeem Nicks
30. Davone Bess
1. Jason Witten
2. Antonio Gates
3. Aaron Hernandez
4. Jimmy Graham
5. Jermichael Finley
6. Vernon Davis
7. Owen Daniels
8. Greg Olsen
9. Dallas Clark
10. Brandon Pettigrew
11. Rob Gronkowski
12. Tony Gonzalez
13. Jermaine Gresham
14. Ed Dickson
15. Dustin Keller
16. Jared Cook
17. Marcedes Lewis
18. Evan Moore
19. Fred Davis
20. Benjamin Watson
It seems like the Ricketts were trying to send a message to all Cubs fans by firing Hendry when they did instead of waiting until after the season, but like some of the other decisions they have made, or lack their of since they over the team, has it helped the team more than it hurt?
1) Sexy Rexy
Total: 79 points
Last Week: 79 points
Kansas City: 27
2) Steven Anderson
Total: 62 points
Last Week: 62 points
San Francisco: 14
Total: 56 points
Last Week: 56 points
4) The 'Bright' One
Total: 39 points
Last Week: 39 points
5) Dan Bennett
Last Week: 17
NY Jets: 6
1) Sexy Rexy
Last Week: 9-7
Clutch Game: Washington over Giants, Chicago over Atlanta
WTF Games: St. Louis over Philly
1) Dan Bennett
Last Week: 9-7
Clutch Games: Detroit over Tampa Bay, Jacksonville over Tennessee
WTF Games: Seattle over San Fran
3) The 'Bright' One
Last Week: 8-8
Clutch Games: Chicago over Atlanta
WTF Games: New Orleans over Green Bay
Last Week: 8-8
Clutch Games: Oakland over Denver
WTF Games: Dallas over Jets
Game of Inches Fantasy Football League
1) Sexy Rexy (W) 1-0
2) David "MVP" Eckstein (W) 1-0
3) The 'Bright' One (L) 0-1
4) Cubsfan4evr1 (L) 0-1
- Sexy Rexy is 1st in the Michelle Beadle division and 1st overall in the league
- DME is 2nd in the Michelle Beadle division and 2nd overall in the league
- TBO is 4th in the Erin Andrews division and 9th overall in the league
- Cubsfan is 7th in the Erin Andrews division and l4th overall in the league
- After one week Sexy Rexy is 1st in this league and Cubsfan is last
- DME and Sexy Rexy face off next week in a battle for first place
As always we'll begin with the Chicago Bears
- Fuck of y'all. Bears destroy the Atlanta Falcons 30-12 at Soldier.
- Jay Cutler's passing rating: 107.8. Matt Ryan's: 76.5. Take that QBR ESPN and shove it up your ass!
- Matt Forte did not look to have the greatest day (16 carries for 68 yards) but he had a solid 4.3 YPC. Where he went off receiving (5/6, 90 yards, TD) thanks to a 56 yards TD screen pass
- After Forte the Bears receiving is pretty murky. Johnny Knox and Devin Hester both had 3 catches for 60 yards.
- I said in my Bears Training Camp article that on the goal line the TE are going to get a bulk of the work. Matt Speath got an easy goal line receiving TD and Kellen Davis was targeted for another one.
- The Bears defense was just amazing and this supposed "explosive" Falcons offense looked bland and vanilla and was very run focused.
- Michael Turner can catch passes as he caught three today because that's just what the Bears defense was giving him. He had 100 yards on 10 carries. No TD for him today but expect many more to come.
- Roddy White: 8/13 for 61 yards, Julio Jones: 5/6 for 71 yards, Tony Gonzalez: 5/7 for 72 yards.
- I'm starting the Julius Peppers for Defensive Player Of The Year Campaign right now as he was just a great force and proven too much for Matt Ryan and the Falcons O-line to handle
- I thought Buffalo wasn't going to be able to go into Aarowhead and defeat the Chiefs even though I thought the Bills were the better team. Ryan Fitzpatrick throws four TD passes to help rape the Chiefs 41-7
- Stevie Johnson caught a TD pass but tight end Scott Chandler caught 2 of them along with 63 yards and only 3 less yards and one more catch than Johnson. I would monitor Chandler for fantasy but don't overreact to this one game.
- Fred Jackson was clearly the starter and the full time guy as he got 20 carries for 112 yards but CJ Spiller got the rushing TD (9 yards TD) along with his 5 carries. Fred Jackson was always the guy and this game did nothing to help prove otherwise.
- Matt Cassel was injured and didn't have his safety net TE Tony Moaki in his game. Plus he's not good as shown by his 64.5 passer rating in this game.
- Steve Breaston led all Chiefs wide outs with 26 yards. Hooray!
- Jamaal Charles continues with his awesome YPC with 5.6, but he only gets 10 carries (for those of you at home that's 56 rushing yards). However he saved his fantasy day but receiving Cassel's lone TD pass (and Kansas City's only score of the game)
- In an upset (because Andy Dalton won a game) the Cincinnati Bengals defeat the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland.
- I don't know why but Bruce Gradkowski finished this game. He had 12 passing attempts. Dalton had 15. Dalton's PR: 102.4. Gradkowski's PR: 96.5.
- Cedric Benson had a good game. Whodathunk it. He got 121 rushing yards on 25 carries plus a rushing TD.
- Jermaine Greshman led all Cincy receivers in yards (58). Both him and A.J. Green had a receiving touchdown.
- My boy Colt McCoy only had a 70.1 passer rating because he only completed 19 passes out of his 40 attempts.
- Peyton Hillis succumbs to the Madden Curse! He only has 57 rushing yards on 17 attempts with no rushing TDs. Although he did have 6 catches but only for 30 yards.
- Tight ends Evan Moore and Ben Watson get McCoy's two touchdown passes. Trendy sleeper Greg Little only gets one catch for 17 yards and three targets.
- For some reason I thought the Rams were good enough to defeat the Eagles at home. Boy am I dumb. The Philadelphia Eagles defeat the St. Louis Rams 31-13.
- For fantasy you're always starting all your Eagles. Most notably my boy LeSean McCoy goes off. He had 122 rushing yards on 15 carries and a rushing TD along with 2 catches for 15 yards and a receiving TD.
- Jason Avant (40) had more receiving yards than Jeremy Maclin (20)
- Steven Jackson leaves this game after only two carries. Luckily for fantasy owners he had a 47 yard TD run. Cadallic Williams gets 91 yards off of 19 carries.
- As you'd expect the receiving situation in St. Louis is a clusterfuck. Brandon Gibson (3/5 for 50 yards), Danny Amendola (5/6 for 45 yards), Lance Kendricks (1/5 for 18 yards) and Mike Sims-Walker (1/4 for 5 yards).
- I would just like to note that I was never on the Mike Sims-Walker bandwagon to begin with. He was inconsistent and streaky at best while being the main guy in Jacksonville and now he's in competition with like five other guys.
- My boy Sam Bradford has a stinker: 17/30, 188 passing yards, no TDs, no INTs.
- Baltimore defeats Steelers at home 35-7
- Ray Rice is a beast. He had 107 rushing yards and a TD on 19 carries and had 42 receiving yards and a receiving TD on four catches.
- Anquan Boldin had a receiving TD and 74 receiving yards on 4 catches (7 targets)
- I think Ed Dickson is an under-the-radar TE as he replaces Todd Heap. He caught all of his 5 targets, had 59 receiving yards and a TD.
- Just as a get on the Big Ben bandwagon he has a game like this, 280 passing yards on 41 attempts, 3 INT, 1 TD
- My boy from Illinois (I love these "my boy" rhymes I keep coming up with!) Rashard Mendenhall also has a stinker- 12 carries, 45 yards, 3.8 YPC.
- Fuck all of you who doubted my boy Mike Wallace in a PPR league. He had 107 receiving yards and 8 catches (11 targets). Admittedly he will not have that many catches consistently week to week, but I've been preaching his awesomeness in all formats
OK, because there are no bye weeks I'm getting tired of writing. I'll pick this up when I get more time on my hands and sorry for all the grammatical and spelling errors.
While I am not the biggest fan of Grantland.com, I love the fake fantasy games the site sets up. Bill Simmons has been talking for years about different fantasy leagues besides fantasy sports. I think his number one league he wants to set up is a fantasy tits league just so he can draft Mad Men's Christina Hendricks number one. The recent fantasy league he proposed was Worst Quarterback League. This is a league where you get points for having a quarterback be so terrible. Simmons also added points for off-the-field issues as well such as "150 points for having a quarterback's penis show up on a blog" and "Arrested 50 points". You can see exactly how the points are dispersed here.
I saw this article and thought it was genius, so I enlisted the help of fellow GOI authors Cubsfan4evr1 and The 'Bright' One along with practically-a-GOI-author and friend-of-the-blog Dan Bennett and the winner of the GOI fantasy football league last year Steve Anderson and set this league up!
We just had our draft today (1. Because stupid Grantland couldn't have made an article about this league, I dunno, for that entire five week stretch where football hadn't started yet and 2. Nobody was ever going to take Green Bay or New Orleans anyways). Here is how the draft shook out
1. Carolina Panthers
2. Minnesota Vikings
3. Tennessee Titans
4. Detroit Lions
This past weekend I was out of town for my Cousin’s wedding and I checked my phone around 12:30 on Saturday to see a text from Sexy Rexy saying him and TBO want to do the Worst QB League today so they’re going to have a virtual draft via Google docs and that he knew I was out of town so I should just text him my picks. Well I never actually had a chance to read over the rules for the league from the article on Grantland.com he sent me with me being busy with work and stuff. I thought we were drafting players, it turns out we're drafting teams! Finally, I call TBO and he gives me the cliff note version in my little down time which he got the unfortunate experience to hear me debate about to take with my first pick, Cincinnati or Carolina. I was leaning towards Andy Dalton, but when I heard that rushing yards don’t count for that many positive points and if you don’t throw for enough receiving yards, you receive more negative yards I had to take Cam Newton and Jimmy Clausen. I was shocked to see that Newton through for over 400 yards when I got home Sunday night! Talk about a terrible first round pick in this type of league.
For my second and third pick I was debating between taking the Tennessee Titians with Matt Hasslebeck and the Minnesota Vikings with Donovan Mcnabb. Both QB's are average at best in this stage of their career and the question is which team if either would consider sitting one of them down for the rookie behind them if the team is going nowhere towards the end of the season to develop the young QB in the wings. If that is the case, the rookie QB would have some growing pains which would be good for this league. Then I found out I had two picks, so that made my decision easy and I took both teams! With my final pick (which turned out to be the final pick in the draft) all the good teams were left- so it was either Detroit or the Giants. I took Detroit because I don’t know if Stafford will be healthy. If he stays healthy for the entire season than I think Eli is the better pick, but that hasn’t happened that last two years, so I couldn’t take Eli even though he throws a lot of interceptions. We will see how these 4 teams do with me deciding on the fly..
1. Miami Dolphins
2. Oakland Raiders
3. Buffalo Bills
4. New York Jets
When I first told him about this league he originally wanted the San Francisco 49ers but considering their quarterback is from Michigan (Bennett's from Michigan State) and a terrible professional quarterback, I guess D.B. couldn't resist.
The 'Bright' One
1. Washington Redskins
2. Indianapolis Colts
3. Denver Broncos
4. Philadelphia Eagles
Considering he actually helped me set this league up today, sat in for the entire draft, and even wrote a post already on this league he can write his own write up!
But real quick here is the reason he gave for drafting the Philadelphia Eagles
look at the scoring system and look at vicks history. turnover machine, with a criminal past. i love vick, but this competition suites him too well. Also he will get destroyed at least once and have to miss 4 gamesI personally would have taken either New York team, but that's just me. And considering TBO is the one advocating for starting all four of our teams every week (as he put it "if vick rapes a dog or something and it doesnt count, i would be quite pissed cause i benched him") let him because he'll lose so many points most weeks when Vick just goes off like he did versus the Redskins last year on Monday Night Football.
1. Seattle Seahawks
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Cleveland Browns
4. Arizona Cardinals
I'm not going to put any words in Mr. Anderson's mouth, so no comment on this one
1. Jacksonville Jaguars
2. Cincinnati Bengals
3. Chicago Bears
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Let me start off by justifying my Chicago Bears pick. As a Bears fan I love Jay Cutler and want him to succeed so bad. But he's still a turn over machine, this line is terrible (you get points for criticizing your O-line and I hope he does that this year) and he's coming off of an off-season where half of the NFL called him a pussy. Plus, look at the last round of players. With Kansas City taken with my wrap around with Chicago so I essentially took those two teams together, there was really no one else to take except for Chicago.
Jacksonville was my number one team on my board and Cincy was up there so I'm excited I got those two teams with my first pick. Andy Dalton and Cincy have a bottom three receiving corps along with a rookie quarterback (and the #1 team drafted in the Grantland league). Jacksonville was #1 on my board for many reasons a) Luke McCown wouldn't be a #3 QB on most teams depth charts b) With the release of David Garrard right before the season there's no way in hell any Jacksonville receiver had time to build chemistry and rapport with any quarterback and c) I can't wait to have Blaine Gabbert start games once Week 5 rolls around.
Lastly, I chose Kansas City with my last pick because a) let's be honest there really was nobody else b) Matt Cassel is already hurt and c) I think Cassel will have a bad year now that his schedule got really hard for him this season.
We will keep you posted throughout the year on how the league is shaping out!
We at GOI do whatever Bill Simmons tells us to do, so when he told us to start a Bad QB League, well that is exactly what we did. 5 players, 4 teams per player. Rules are in the article. Here is how the draft went down
For those of you who don't know and/or forgot, I/we here at GOI (but mainly me) try to go over the Box Scores for every single NFL football game. What ended up happening last year was that the BST's (Box Score Tonight) started to get gradually worse and less helpful as law school started progressing. However, I am semi-buzzed from spending a night of watching football with friends at B-Dubs and I am fully prepared to talk about this first game of the season.
- I don't know if you've heard of these kids named Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees, but they're really good.
- I really thought Ryan Grant was going to get more carries than James Starks this game. While Grant started on the Packers first two drives and actually ended up with the better YPC, this game was all James Starks. He ended up with more carries (12 to 9), rushing yards (57 to 40) and TDs (1 to 0). I wouldn't put Grant in my starting fantasy line up unless a) He gets traded, b) Starks gets injured, or c) I'm super desperate.
- Even though Pierre Thomas is healthy, rookie RB Mark Ingram got more carries (13 to 5) and rushing yards (40 to 31) even though Thomas had double the YPC as Ingram (6.2 to 3.1). Even on the last play of the game to potentially tie it the Saints used Ingram over Thomas which prompted TBO to text me "Man they really hate pierre thomas". Like Grant, I'm weary to put Thomas in my starting line up, even when healthy.
- Darren Sproles played like I thought he would- as the third down back and catching a shit ton of passes. While he got a TD off of a punt return (chances are those points didn't count for you) I would only play Sproles in super deep leagues.
- Two things popped out to me from the wide out positions: 1) Jordy Nelson is a legit fantasy starter in deeper to semi-deep leagues- over both Donald Driver and James Jones and 2) There's a damn good reason I didn't draft Marques Colston in any leagues.
- Jordy Nelson just looked like he was in way more drives than Driver- who the Packers claim to be the starter. Nelson caught 6 out of his 8 targets for 77 yards and a TD.
- Colston looked terrible in this game. He's always been streaky on a per game basis and he's now coming off of microfracture surgery. I'd be weary to also start him but a) chances you don't have any better options and b) Colston always has the potential to get 100+ yards and a TD every single game. However, he's also prone to stinker games like this one.
- I predicted the Saints to finish 3rd in the NFC South for many reasons: a) I have a man crush on Tampa Bay, b) historically in recent years the NFC South never turns out like what you thought it would and it's always topsy turvy year after year, and c) I think the Saints defense is going to blow. New Orleans' D looked terrible and that's why we saw Drew Brees throw 49 times for 419 yards and 3 TDs. I think the Saints are going to be in a lot of shoot outs which just means a lot of fantasy points for Brees and that offense.
- Devery Henderson led all receivers with 100 yards and had a touchdown. Henderson, Colston, and Sproles all had 9 targets which led the Saints. As good of a fantasy day as Robert Meachum had (5/8, 70 yards, TD) it doesn't surprise me Henderson, the deep threat (16.7 YPR this game), had the better one. Henderson is a real sneaky play but I trust Meachum more week in and week out. Lance Moore didn't get a target (Did he even play? I think he might be injured).
- Two top TE's played in this game: Jimmy Graham and Jermichael Finley. Graham (4/7, 56 yards, TD) had the better fantasy day than Finley (3/4, 53 yards, 0 TDs), mainly because of the TD Jimmy had. There's still no reason to think Finley won't be better than Graham the rest of the year.
Well, I already wrote too much about this game. I hope you enjoy Box Score Tonight for the upcoming season. And we... are... OUT!
games they will be playing their final home game at the football stadium they have called home since their existence since 1993. They are inviting former players from their short history including:
"Among others expected to attend are Charlie Hough, who threw the team’s first
pitch; Gary Sheffield(notes), Livan Hernandez(notes), Kevin Brown and Bobby
Bonilla, who played on the 1997 World Series championship team; and Luis
Castillo(notes), Mike Lowell(notes) and Ivan Rodriguez(notes), who played on the
2003 title team".
From the article I learned Mike Piazza played 5 games with the Marlins in 1998. This I did not know.
When I think of Marlin Greats I think of Hanley Ramirz, Dan Uggla, Miguel Cabera, Edgar Rentaria, all still playing. There are a few retired Marlins whom I was surprised are not mentioned as being invited. Even though Mike Lowell, Luis Castillo, Gary Sheffield, and Bobby Bonilla would be the best performers.
The face of the franchise (not of any current Marlins) has to be fan favorite Jeff Conine. He had two tours of duty with the team being one of the first players in franchise history playing from 1993-1997 and again from 2003-2005. He won a World Series rings with both Marlins' championship teams, and is the only player top be on both teams.
Other players they could have invited are Cliff Floyd, Preston Wilson, and Charles Johnson. He may not be a player, but they owe a lot to some guy name Steve Bartmen.
Now make sure you check out the Football Board Bets (2011) and let us know who you think made the better deals!
You can listen to the first podcast here
You can listen to the second podcast here
NOTE: If you want to download these or any of GOI's podcast's via iTunes just follow these instructions. Go to the iTunes store and type "Game Of Inches" into it. If you don't see the GOI logo (the one with the fuzzy black background and bright "GOI" lettering on it) then go to the left where it says "Filter By Media Type" and click on "Podcasts". You should see two logos. The second one has the newer podcasts.
When we got to catcher and especially to Geovany Soto, TBO and myself disagreed. I like Soto, and think he is valuable compared to catchers around the league, but don't think he is consistent or reliable. I don't know if he is the answer as one of the building blocks for this team, but TBO thought he was. I don't think as highly as TBO does of him, but I do think he is the best catcher the Cubs will be able to get for the position, just not necessarily a building block for the team.
This article did a great job of breaking down the inconsistency’s of Geovany Soto.
Then Tom Rickets met with all of the short candidates finalized by Jim Hendry including Ryne Sandberg and Mike Quade. After this interview the Cubs chairmen from input from his trusted GM choose the experienced Mike Quade over Sandberg. Quade was Rickets choice, but with that said, Quade probably isn’t even on the hot seat anymore, he is probably a goner………………..after his disappointing season on the field the next GM will push him out the door.
Mike Quade became the Manager of the Chicago Cubs because of two things he did. The first was of the way he managed the Cubs at the end of last season when he took over for the great Lou Piniella. He was a guy with nothing to lose with a short audition and he managed like it. The other was his interview with Tom Rickets which supposedly went really well. His interview obviously went better than fan favorite Ryne Sandberg because Quade was able to come across more personal and that got him the edge. They wanted a manager that seemed to be the opposite of outgoing manager Lou and Quade came across that way being more personable and able to relate to the players.
Last season when Quade had nothing to lose he managed the Cubs differently than he has this season. That is why I think Quade has been on the hot seat and when Hendry was fired his days got numbered quickly. Even though Rickets selected him, it was from a short list compiled from Jim Hendry. Now that Hendry is gone so will Quade. The new GM will come in and want to hire his manager that is qualified to manage this club and make good in game decisions, unlike Quade even though he Rickets had the final say. Rickets doesn’t have a baseball background. Now the baseball guy that Rickets hires to handle baseball operations will want to hire a competent manager as he should so the Cubs can win as many games as they can. Quade has costed the Cubs games this season by making rookie mistakes, even though he has managed for years in the minors. One such mistake is having Pena hold on a runner in the 9th inning of a game. I talked about this with TBO and we both noted how Len and Bob on the telecast commented about there was no reason to hold the runner on.
Quade signed a two year deal not worth much money for his first chance to manage in the big leagues. So if the Cubs fire him with one year left on the deal it won’t cost them much. I think Quade makes around the same amount as the Cubs hitting coach Rudy Jarmillio. With Quade making rookie mistakes after coaching for may years, not making much money, and a new regime change starting over in Chicago this offseason look for Quade and the entire coaching staff to be out of town, except the highest paid coach in the league of course, Rudy Jarmillio.
The next general manager will have his work cut out for him starting with finding the talent, but then finding a whole new coaching staff besides for a hitting coach. Once the Cubs hire a new GM then we will have to see the type of manager he will hire.
Now in 2011 with Mark prior at 30 years old, he is still trying to get his career back on path, and back in the major leagues since 2006. Interesting that now he is changing his grip, an idea from Roy Halladay because he realized what he has been doing wasn't working for him.
Will Mark prior ever be back in the majors?
This is a 14 team, PPR, auction league. The rosters look like this: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 RB/WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 1 DEF, 6 BN.
My goal in the draft was to get a top 3 RB, a top 5 QB, two top 15 WR, a one dollar TE, K, and DEF, and two middle of the pack guys for my RB and flex with a bunch of scrubs and nothings and dollar bids for my bench. Like all my drafts, I have a sheet of how much I wanted to spend per position. But after a half an hour into the draft, after I had not picked up anybody yet, and after the one RB left that I wanted- Philly’s LeSean McCoy- went for WAY too much money (DME and I got into a bidding war where he paid $68 for McCoy and as much as I love McCoy and needed a #1 RB there was in way in hell I was going to spend at least $69 on him, McCoy ended up being the second highest paid player in the draft behind AD). At that point I literally crumpled up my draft prep sheet and threw it out the window (OK, I didn’t throw it out the window but I did throw it behind me and just started paying for talent and value as opposed to my original plan). While I always recommend having a plan going into an auction drafts, this is just a perfect example of how you need to do your homework in order to be able to adapt to your draft.
The running backs I did end up getting were Michael Turner ($51) and Matt Forte ($33). Before I got these two guys I had no backs and Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles, Rashard Mendenhall, Arian Foster, Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, and now LeSean McCoy were all off the board. I had both Forte and Turner in my top ten- not necessarily because I think they will end up being top guys but because I think they come with significantly less risk that about half the guys mentioned in the previous sentence. My quarterback, and actually my first pick in this draft was Tom Brady ($23). I think this was the best value in the draft and I have no idea how Brady came to me for this low. Brady came cheaper than both Matt Ryan ($26) and Philip Rivers ($28). I originally allocated $33 for a quarterback and I was targeting my man crush Rivers but I have Brady higher on my draft board and come on, for that price, how could I pass it up? My main wide receivers are Mike Wallace ($34) and Santonio Holmes ($21). I never really had a plan for my wide outs but I love Wallace and I don’t care that this is a PPR league. I was originally targeting Mario Manningham as my second receiver but when Santonio Holmes got thrown out there were plenty of other teams who still needed a second wide out, I knew people liked Manningham, I didn’t want to get into another bidding war and I felt like $21 was a really good price for Holmes. Manningham ended up going for $18 but what are you going to do. My other main starters are Reggie Bush ($8) and Ryan Grant ($16). I really like Bush and I think he’ll be this year’s Darren McFadden (this is based off of nothing but a gut feeling) and I like Grant. Truthfully, I drafted Grant before I realized Green Bay thought he was herpes but this guy had been too good in the league for too long that I refuse he won’t exceed the sixteen bucks I paid for him.
I spent most of my money at this point and that’s fine with me. Out of the 14 teams in this league only four had no money left over (three being GOI authors and one of them was not Cubsfan) and I prefer to use up all my money- that means I spent efficiently. My view of the bench is that you don’t need them until a bye- and even then chances are there’s a better guy that week to play on the waiver wire than the guy on your team. For me, I probably should have cared because three out of my four running backs (Forte, Turner, and Grant) and one of my receivers (Holmes) have a bye on Wee8 but whatever. I’ll lose one week and win every other. The rest of my team that I drafted was Colt McCoy ($2), Stevan Ridley ($1), Randy Moss ($1), Denario Alexander ($1), Alex Hendry ($1), and San Diego Defense ($1). I have already drooped Ridley, Moss, and Alexander for Isaac Redman, Greg Little, and Mark Clayton. The depth for wide receiver was barren and all the trendy sleepers like Emmanuel Sanders and Deion Branch went for more than a dollar because the rest of the league was dumb and didn’t spend their money at the front end of their draft like you should. That’s fine with me. I’ll sacrifice getting good starters than getting trendy sleepers.
Lastly, we get to my tight ends. I drafted Aaron Hernandez ($6) and Dustin Keller ($1). My philosophy was that I was only going to spend a dollar on a TE. I threw out my boy Rob Gronkowski early hoping no one else liked him. A team bid two dollars in him and I stupidly didn’t go three. In hindsight I really should have. Two hours later Aaron Hernandez got thrown out and even though I like Gronk better I started bidding up Hernandez just to price enforce. I also stupidly didn’t realize how little money my price opponent had. The max amount he could have spend was five dollars so once I went six I was stuck with him because he wasn’t able to bid seven. This was my biggest mistake of the draft because after this I was relegated to one dollar players. If I didn’t spend that much on a TE like I wanted maybe I could have gotten my wide out sleepers like Sanders and Branch. Oh well. C’est Le Vie. I still am super pumped at the way my team turned out and if my TE and bench guys are the worst part of my team then so be it.
Here are a few notes I have on this draft as a whole:
- Quarterbacks went severely undervalued. I have no idea why considering this is a 14 team league where having a quarterback is extremely important. Friend-of-the-site D.B. originally bought Matt Ryan early and then spent $21 on Matt Schaub just because he saw Schaub for $20 and couldn’t let that stand. My friend Ted, another person I was drafting with, bought Tony Romo ($14), Kevin Kolb ($7), and Ben Roethlisberger ($17) just because the prices were too good. This means that the top 10 quarterbacks are on eight teams.
- The one quarterback that apparently everyone wanted was Josh Freeman as two owners got in a bidding war for him. He went for $16. One less than Peyton Manning. Two dollars more than Tony Romo.
- Even though I wanted McCoy, the fact that he went for $68, the second highest drafted player, was the worst value in the draft. I’m super pumped I didn’t end up getting him.
- Arian Foster went for $58 and was the second person drafted behind Michael Vick. I was so dumb. I knew he would be a great value and I was willing to spend $65+ on him yet I have no idea why I didn’t. Even knowing what I know now I think that’s the best value in the draft. (Well, behind Tom Brady).
- One team spent $71 on Adrian Peterson and $63 on Jamaal Charles. I’m sure he spent the rest of the draft bored out of his mind. His QB is Sam Bradford and TE is Gronk . That’s a damn fine core. Now his wide receivers are pretty bad (Danny Amendola, Mike Thomas, Davone Bess, Jacoby Jones, and AJ Green) but with Peterson and Charles he might win every week. He also drafted James Starks. Drafting two top 3 running backs is not a strategy I recommend or would ever do, but it’s very interesting.
Going into the Game of Inches fantasy football draft I had a strategy that I was going to follow to the T; I thought I was going to be golden. It was the same strategy I used last year which would have been dominating if two of my key players would have played the entire season and I didn’t have a really bad week in the first week of the playoffs, which was just really bad luck. So I believed in this strategy as long as I could follow it………………………………
My original plan was to draft a top 5 running back, two mid tier wide receivers (from my target list), two mid tier running backs, and an average quarterback. As you will learn I did not follow this strategy at all and altered my strategy completely during the draft that TBO could see from the frustration on my face. I was not going to give into the over valuing of these elite RB though!
My plan was to draft a marquee running back to anchor my team. My first choice was Jamaal Charles who I think is going to have a monster season and could be the number one running back at the end of the season. I was willing to pay $60 for Charles and he went for $63. I was also willing to pay $60 for Rice and he went for $65. Those were the only top two running backs from the top tier that I liked enough to pay the big bucks for. I obviously like Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster, but did not want to pay $72 for Adrian Peterson.
After missing out on Rice and Charles and passing on the rest of the elite running backs I was targeting LeSean McCoy who is a great PPR player, but so was everyone for that reason. I was hoping to get him for under $40 but there was a bidding war for him and he ended up going at a ridiculous $68. That is more than Rice and as much as Charles who are both better. So I stopped bidding around 40 and turned my attention to Shonn Green who I actually won for won and over paid for at 37 dollar in a PPR league. He doesn’t catch at all, but I needed a good running back, and most of the good ones were going off the board in a hurry at values I didn’t want to pay. Another guy I wanted was LeGarrette Blount but he went for $31 which I thought was way too high in a PPR league. I bought Felix Jones at $24 who is a good PPR player and in a good offense. I also took a gamble on Ingram for $13 who could pay off. My goal was to buy a top RB in the 50 dollar range, but unfortunately this did not happen. Instead I ended up getting value running backs to fit PPR leagues such as Felix Jones, Ingram, and settling on Green if I needed a good running back. If this wasn’t a PPR league LeGarrette Blount is someone I would have paid more for.
Arian Foster ended up only going for $58 so I don’t know what I was thinking, or everyone else was for that matter, and I should have bid up to $60. He wasn’t part of my strategy because I thought he was going to be too expensive, but he turned out to be less that Ray Rice and Jamal Charles which is crazy!
I don’t like paying for a top wide receiver; instead I like to find the value wide receivers. I was targeting Miles Austin who I was willing to pay $34 for and he went for $36 to TBO. If I lost out on Austin I settled for two wide receivers I like a lot in Anquan Boldin for a great price of 20 bucks and Brandon Marshall for 23. I think both will have great seasons and be good PPR players. If you don’t want to pay the price for Roddy White or Andre Johnson, these are two great alternatives who may not be as good, but will be for half the price.
I was going to target a average quarterback like Romo, Freeman, Ryan, but with my strategy changing in the middle of the draft and having more money because I didn’t buy an elite running back I decided to buy a top quarterback. Out of all of the top quarterbacks I really like Phillip Rivers this year so I invested $28 for him to anchor my team. A great QB can carry your team in a deep 14 team league like this; even though Romo went for a great value at 14 dollars and Freeman at 16 dollars.
Typically I don’t invest in defense or kickers, but I had extra money to burn so I may as well buy the Pittsburgh Steelers defense for $4. I also bought Nate Kaeding for $3. I think Jared Cook, a tight end for the Titans, will have a big year so I got him for $5. The biggest regret was not bidding more for Daniel Thomas who is in the doghouse now, but I think will have a good season. Miami loves to run the ball and Reggie Bush can’t stay healthy.
With me changing my strategy on the fly I can’t say I love my team not having any elite players besides Phillip Rivers, but I think I have a solid team with a lot of potential so I like my chances.
DAVID “MVP” ECKSTEIN
My team largely consists of players my two fantasy football expert friends recommended that did not seem overpriced (LeSean McCoy excepted), and players whose name I recognized from the TV show The League. I'd love to give more analysis than that, but there really was none. If I beat Sexy Rexy this year, I'll never let him live it down.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: DME is lucky in the sense that he is fully entrenched in the fantasy community because of fantasy baseball that he magically happen to come across fantasy football experts, like those from KFFL, who gave him a draft cheat sheet. And no way we experts at GOI were going to give him any advice. Also, while I kind of do like the player’s on DME’s team (McCoy, Kenny Britt, Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Tolbert). He did not actually draft players based on The League although his team’s name, The Fear Boners, is from the show. Also, he is not going to beat Sexy Rexy.)
Phillip Rivers-An elite quarterback who is in the prime of his career at only 29 years old. After Aaron Rodgers Michael Vick has only performed at this high level for one year and is a high injury risk with his game style. With Petyon’s neck injury and Brady (35) getting older look for Rivers to have a chance to be an top three quarterback and the safest consistent scorer every week.
Tony Romo- He has been on the verge of emerging from tier two to tier one for the last two years. With Roy Williams out of town and Dez Branzt in his second season with the explosive Miles Austin and Jason Witten he has many options that he can get the ball to.
Josh Freeman- A trendy sleeper who has tremendous skills. In addition to being able to throw the ball he can also run pretty well, which only him and Rodgers can do on this list. I like Tampa Bay’s young core in Freeman, Blount, and Mike Williams, but Freeman could use a second average receiver to take off the pressure.
Joe Flaco- Flaco and Kolb were my sleepers last year and I learned my lesson on Kolb by getting burned and not picking up his backup in Michael Vick. Even though Sexy Rexy told me to pick up Michael Vick. Flaco is getting more experience and has another year with Anquan Boldin who will have a better season now that he is the go to guy. Bring in lee Evans will also help by the deep threat Baltimore did not have last year to stretch the field. Flaco should only be drafted as a backup in standard leagues and a good option for two QB leagues.
Jamal Charles-Charles should be a top five running back unless he gets injured. He has too much talent and his carries will go up this season, even with Thomas Jones still there. He will find the end zone more so don’t worry and he could be the #1 RB in the game.
Ray Rice- Part of the reason I like Joe Flaco this season is because I think Ray Rice is going to have a great season. Last year Rice had a disappointing season for him. Because Rice struggled they had to thro more than they liked and not be as balanced. If they get back to a more balance attack Rice can have a monster season back like two seasons ago.
Lesean Mccoy-Meet Brian Westbrook 2.0 so what else do I have to say. With Michael Vick or Vince Young at QB they will have a balanced offense to keep the defenses guessing. In PPR leagues he is a top running back and one of the safest backs kin the league.
Shonn Green-The Jets love to run the ball and ran the ball the most in the NFL last year. With LT getting older and breaking down at the end of the season, look for the young, fresh Green to get the ball more. He is not a good PPR player, and doesn’t find the end zone much with is a cause for concern with LT still there, but it should go up and he is good value for where he is going.
LeGarrette Blount-I love Blount and the value you can get for him. Do not draft him in PPR leagues, but in standard leagues he will be a stud. He is going in the third round but I think he can be a 8-10 running back.
Felix Jones- The Dallas offense is electric with Romo, Austin, Bryant, Witten, and Felix Jones is at the center of it. With the passing game opening things up for the running game look for Jones to run like crazy with Marion Barber out of the picture.
Daniel Thomas- I know Thomas is in the dog out and backing up Reggie Bush, but Bush has never stayed healthy. Bush is not a every down back and never will be. Thomas can emerge as a number one back, and there is tremendous value here. My favorite sleeper at running back!
Mark Ingram- The Saints are going to try and run more and Ingram should be at the center of it. He is explosive and should see the end zone a lot.
Willis Macghee- In deep leagues this is a great handcuff. John Fox has a hostory of being a run first head coach and like I don’t believe in Reggie Bush being an every down back, I don’t believe in Knowshon Moreno. Macghee has been solid the last few years in Baltimore and will get a lot of goal line carries at best, but have the opportunity for even more when Moreno gets injured or is ineffective.
Jerome Harrison-I was a big fan of Jahvid Best last season because I loved the value for where he was being drafted for a starting running back with his potential. Now after seeing him play and a year of looking at his stats, I am disappointed and think he is just an big injury risk like he was in college. I was going to be very big on Mikel Leshoure this year like I was on Best last year until his season ending injury. Now Harrison is the backup and I think he will take over the job from best and be the effective back. Harrison was never really given a chance in Clevleand.
Montario Hardstey- I think Peyton Hillis is one of the biggest injury risk around with Michael Vick. Cleveland drafted Hardstey high to be their starter so when Hillis gets injured or is ineffective (he is built like a fullback) than I think Hardstey will run away with the job.
Miles Austin- I think Austin is going to rebound from last year now with Romo back and in his third year as a starting receiver show what he is made of.
Vincent Jackson- He will reestablish himself as one of the best receivers in the game if people seem to forget and doubt him after he sat out most of last year. He has one of the best quarterbacks in the game throwing to him and still in the prime of his career with a lot to prove.
Brandon Marshall-Very disappointing season, but now that he came out he has an personality order hopefully he will get help for those issues. Chad Henne still has to get him the ball, but Marshall is such an talent it can happen, especially for where he is going in drafts. Great value for where you can draft him.
Anquan Boldin – Another great value for a wide receiver who has the potential to be a top 10 receiver. Now in year two he has a relationship with Flaco, and he is the primary receiver in Baltimore.
Julio Jones-He looks like the real deal. Jones and White can be a scary combination and feed off each other.
Mike-sims Walker- Bradford finally has a real wide receiver and for that reason alone I like him.
Lee Evans- A fresh start and he will compliment Boldin well as he can stretch the field as a deep threat. Now with a contending team hopefully the drive will be there again.
Braylon Edwards- He has always had the talent, but never been consistent. This year he won’t have a good quarterback, but even last year he caught 904 yards with mark Sanchez. This year he could be the number one receiver and there is great value so worth the risk, because he can’t be worse than last year.
Jimmy Grahm- New Orleans doesn’t have a real number one receiver and Grahm is a good tight end who can be a good red zone target. Look for him to have a good number of touch downs, even if the yards aren’t there.
Jared Cook- A team that doesn’t have many receiving options. I like Britt if he can put it together, but we don’t know if he will be playing and he has so many issues that he is too risky. Cook is the only player on the Titans that has stepped it up and he could lead the team in receptions.
Jermaine Gresham-Cincinnati’s quarterback hasn’t looked the best, but neither have many of their wide receivers. He is more for deep league or if you want to draft a second TE, or for bye weeks.
These are players that I like this season and that I am targeting in my leagues.
- Philip Rivers (SD)
In my initial rankings I had Philip Rivers as my #3 quarterback. I have a man crush in him. Last year Rivers led the NFL in passing yards- and now he'll have a full season of Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd
- Colt McCoy (CLE)
I've always liked what he could do and has did last year from an efficiency stand point and now I'm drinking the preseason Kool-Aid; I believe what he's doing this preseason is legit.
- Sam Bradford (STL)
He's like Colt McCoy but infinitely better, has Josh McDaniels as his offensive coordinator, and NOT the worst receiving corps like McCoy has
- Matthew Stafford (DET)
Even though he's only played in like three games I've liked what I've seen from him. He could be a top 10 QB if he's healthy. He just won't be healthy. Sad trombone right there.
- LeSean McCoy (PHI)
For some reason I like him more than Ray Rice. I would never put that on The Board but I love him and I think he'll be a top 5 running back.
- Michael Turner (ATL)
In a year where I don't trust Rashard Mendenhall, Chris Johnson, and Maurice Jones-Drew and now that Arian Foster is having hamstring problems, I love the elite consistency of Turner
Drafted Middle Tier- Could Be Top Ten
- LaGarette Blount (TB)
I just love the core of Josh Freeman, Mike Williams, and Blount and I think Tampa Bay wins the division this year. You heard me.
- Mike Tolbert (SD)
I don't trust Ryan Matthews to stay healthy or be good
- Ryan Grant (GB)
This guy had been like a top 10 (or close to it) running back for his entire career. I know all the reports like, the newspapers in Wisconsin, say he was gong to be cut and that he sucks but I don't buy it. I'll say it right now, I think Grant will be a top 12 running back (assuming health), will be the starter for the Packers all season long, and will return back to his "glory days"
- Reggie Bush (MIA)
I've hated him his entire career and now he's my flex on my main team. I think he's this year's Darren McFadden. He was one of the greatest running backs ever in college, an elite prospect, he now has a fresh start where he's the starter, and reports are now he's finally running in between the tackles.
Starting On The Bench, Ending In Your Fantasy Line Up Because He's The Starter
Essentially this year's LaGarrette Blount
- Jerome Harrison (DET)
Jahvid Best was always injured in college (which caused his draft stock to drop) and was injured all of last year. Jerome Harrison has had good success when he was the starter and I feel confident as him as the starter when (not if) Best gets hurt. I like Harrison for the same reason I was big on Mikel LeShourse (except Harrison didn't go to U of I)
- Isaac Redman (PIT)
I believe the in the curse of 370 and including the playoffs my boy Rashard Mendehall had 385 carries.
- Mike Wallace (PIT)
LOVE HIM! (Boy, I wish you could read this in the same sing-songy tone as I'm saying this into my computer.) I think he'll be a top five wide out again and he's being drafted outside of it
- Vincent Jackson (SD)
He's probably being drafted appropriately but he's got my boy Philip Rivers throwing to him. Plus, he's not suspended.
Drafted Middle Tier- Could Be Top Ten
- Kenny Britt (TEN)
I love his talent but he's got injury issues and will-probably-get-arrested-on-the-field issues
- Mario Manningham (NYG)
This guy was the 17th best wide receiver last year and he only started 8 games. He's now the full time starter. Bold Prediction: Manningham will end up with more fantasy numbers at the end of the year than Hakeem Nicks.
- Brandon Lloyd (DEN)
I dunno, he could. He was THE BEST guy last year. Plus, he's only the bajillonith University of Illinois grad I've mentioned on this list.
They'll Rebound From Last Year
- Brandon Marshall (MIA)
Between 2007 and 2009 Marshall averaged 102.33 receptions, 1236.67 receiving yards, and 7.67 touchdowns. I refuse to believe a guy that good could have a fantasy season THAT bad. Even with Chad Henne throwing to him. Plus I think getting help for his Borderline Personality Disorder can only help him.
- Anquan Boldin (BAL)
I think both him and Marshall suffered from the fact that they were new to their system but now with another year under his belt (and for Boldin no Derrick Mason) he'll be better.
- Emmanuel Sanders (PIT)
Hey, I follow other fantasy sites as well. Fantasy Gold = Talent + Opportunity and Hines Ward sucks slash is older (and drunker) than Betty White.
- Mark Clayton (STL)
I know he only started fives last year but he was good at the beginning of fantasy. Despite that fact that your little brother is currently a wide receiver for the Rams I think now that Clayton just signed a one-year deal with the Rams I think he'll be good and better than everyone in St. Louis (except for maybe Danny Amendola). Yes, better than inconsistent Mike Sims-Walker.
- Deion Branch (NE)
1. I think he'll be better than Chad Ochocinco 2. I think, for the Patriots, it's all about chemistry and I don't think last year was a fluke.
- Rob Gronkowski (NE)
While I personally have Aaron Hernandez on my fantasy team and many people claim that because Hernandez is the better talent he'll be the better NE tight end, but last year Gronk was a top 5 TE in fantasy and according to Football Outsiders
- Jered Cook (TEN)
Outside of Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark, Jason Witten, Jermichael Finley, and Vernon Davis, all other tight ends are just crap shoots at best. Why not go for the guy with tremendous upside?