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Tag:LaDainian Tomlinson
Posted on: October 9, 2009 1:50 pm
 

Fantasy Football: Best and Worst from the Draft

A little while I looked over the results of my fantasy football team's draft, and boy were there some funny picks, a few from myself included.  It's funny how much time and energy I spent into putting together my team, only to see it completely changed after Week 4.

My original starting lineup (PPR league):

QB: Donovan McNabb
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson, Clinton Portis
(wow this looks bad so far)
WR: Reggie Wayne, Vincent Jackson
TE: Greg Olsen
K: Matt Bryant
DEF: San Diego

Now, I've traded away Portis, haven't started McNabb since Week 1, my backup QB Hasselbeck got injured, and I've used a different defense and kicker every week.  My WRs are my only saviors at 2-2.  Here's my lineup for Week 5:

QB: Donovan McNabb (he's back!)
RB: Brian Westbrook, Knowshon Moreno
WR: Reggie Wayne, Percy Harvin (Vjax has a bye)
TE: Todd Heap
K: I can't remember anymore
DEF: Buffalo (??!?)

But anyways, enough of my problems, I want to take a look at some huge busts and great picks in my draft, which is a 12 person PPR league:

Round 1 Steals: Drew Brees (1.12)
Round 1 Busts: LT (1.8)

Rd 2 Steals: Reggie Wayne (2.5), Peyton Manning (2.8)
Rd 2 Busts: Larry Johnson (2.1)

Rd 3 Steals: Aaron Rodgers (3.3), Phillip Rivers (3.7)
Rd 3 Busts: LenDale White (3.4), Clinton Portis (3.8), Dwayne Bowe (3.10)

Rd 4 Steals: Ronnie Brown (4.10)
Rd 4 Busts: Terrell Owens (4.3), Derrick Ward (4.6), Lance Moore (4.9)

Rd 5 Steals: Vincent Jackson (5.8), Chad Ochocinco (5.9), Dallas Clark (5.12)
Rd 5 Busts: Antonio Bryant (5.4), Braylon Edwards (5.6), Roy Williams (5.11)

Other Major Steals: Ben Roethlisberger (8.8), Eli Manning (9.6), Donald Driver (9.12), Cedric Benson (10.3), Joe Flacco (10.6), Ray Rice (11.11), LeSean McCoy (13.11)
Other Major MAJOR Busts: Michael Crabtree (6.1), Darren McFadden (6.2), Anthony Gonzalez (6.11), Eddie Royal (8.7), Chad Pennington (12.1), Jake Delhomme (13.3)

There are some funny ones in there.  Hope too many people didn't suffer this season like me, the LT/Portis disease caught me pretty bad.

Posted on: October 2, 2009 12:08 pm
 

Importance of the Tandem Rushing Attack

One thing that most people have noticed this year in the NFL, is that the passing game has become more prevalent, while the rushing game has diminished a bit.  With that said, it has only been 3 weeks.  One important factor in most passing games is the weather.  As it gets colder out, the rushing game becomes exponentially more important, and may decide who is built for the playoffs and who isn't.  Here are 6 teams that I sincerely believe will have a hard time later in the season due to a lack of a rushing tandem:

1) Cleveland Browns.  Though they may have more to worry about than their rushing game, come December, who are they going to turn to?  Jerome Harrison has to step up because clearly Jamal Lewis is at the end of his career.

2) Kansas City Chiefs.  Many people, including myself, thought that Larry Johnson would bounce back this season.  He hasn't.  Jamaal Charles hasn't gotten many touches yet, but he could be their answer soon if LJ continues to perform the way he has.

3) Arizona CardinalsEdgerrin James couldn't do it last year, and it doesn't look like Hightower will be either, though he catches more passes from Warner.  The Cards, however, were able to survive with this problem, leading them to the Superbowl.

4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Cadillac just can't stay healthy, and their run game was murdered by the Giants defense.  It'll help that they're in the South, but cold away games will be very difficult for them.

5) San Diego Chargers.  Without LT, they virtually have 0 rushing game.  Sproles is great for check-downs, but can't carry the load.  If LT comes back at 90% or better, they'll be fine.  Otherwise, they better pray they can dump the entire load on Rivers... and maybe they can!

6) Houston Texans.  What bothers me most is Slaton and Chris Brown's YPC, both under 3.5.  Once again, they benefit from warm weather, but down the stretch they won't have a chance up North.

Others to consider: Oakland and Washington

On the other end of the spectrum, these teams will have what it takes to win in cold weather, and be able to control the games themselves:

1) Denver Broncos.  What a great way to take the pressure off of Josh McDaniels and Kyle OrtonKnowshon Moreno isn't even at 100% and is making a large impact.  Buckhalter has been stellar.

2) Miami Dolphins.  If any team can withstand the loss of their QB, it would be Miami and only a few others.  Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams have amassed 417 rushing yards combined, and will take even more now that Pennington is gone.

3) Baltimore Ravens.  Quite possibly the best 3-way rushing tandem so far.  With McGahee and Rice averaging over 5 YPC, they'll be a conference favorite in December.

4) New York Giants.  Though not as good as last year, the combination of Jacobs and Bradshaw is hard to contain.  The Giants are a clock-management team, and will keep the ball away from opposing offenses.

5) Buffalo Bills.  Marshawn is back.  They'll need Lynch and Jackson to play out of their minds if they want a shot at the playoffs.

6) New York Jets.  Both Leon Washington and Thomas Jones are capable of Pro Bowl seasons, so nothing should get in their way.  This is exactly what Sanchez needs as a rookie.

Others to consider: New Orleans, Indianapolis, Dallas

Posted on: September 16, 2009 3:11 pm
 

The Value of Portis

My fantasy football team severely underperformed this week, mostly due to my running backs.  The combination of LT and Portis almost did nothing for me.  My two biggest scorers were Reggie Wayne (extremely valuable in a PPR league) and Donovan McNabb, though McNabb is now hurt.  Luckily, Hasselbeck is looking fairly solid.  Vincent Jackson performed fairly well and I expect him to do better as the season rolls on.

Clinton Portis will be very important in the upcoming weeks.  Look at the Redskins upcoming schedule: St. Louis, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Kansas City.  That's five weeks straight where he should run for at least 100 yards (except for maybe Carolina).  He will be fantasy gold right before they face Philadelphia before their bye week.  After these stats are inflated, it would be a great time to trade him.

Here's his remaining schedule: Philadelphia, Bye, Atlanta, Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Oakland, New York Giants, Dallas, San Diego.  With the exceptions of Denver and New Orleans, that's a pretty rough schedule.

So don't get frustrated by Portis' poor performance against the Giants.  He will outperform is expectations over the next five weeks, which will be the perfect time to trade him for another solid running back.
Posted on: September 15, 2009 8:43 pm
 

Week 2 Power Rankings

Though it's hard to gauge how good teams really are after one week, I've drafted my Power Rankings for the upcoming Week 2.  Enjoy!

32) St. Louis Rams (28).  They could give the 2008 Lions a run for their money.  The only shining light is that their defense was only slightly below average.

31) Detriot Lions (30).  I don't care if they put up 27 points, they were playing a terrible Saints defense.  Stafford didn't play well either.

30) Kansas City Chiefs (32).  They gain two spots only because they put up 24 points against a great Baltimore team.  It will be interesting to see how Cassel does in his return.

29) Cleveland Browns (31).  AP ran all over them, but they managed to initially make a game out of it.  Quinn will only get better, hopefully.

28) Cincinnati Bengals (23).  The Broncos defense is supposed to be bad, yet they only score 7 points.  They should have won, but even if they did they would still be down here.

27) Denver Broncos (29).  Though they barely won, they still need to vastly improve in order to challenge the Chargers for the division.

26) Houston Texans (16).  Boy was I wrong last week.  They looked terrible against the Jets, and Andre Johnson almost had no effect.  They have to bounce back next week.

25) Jacksonville Jaguars (24).  I don't know what to make of this game to be honest.  Their defense heldn the Colts to 14 points, but their offense looks very bad.

24) Oakland Raiders (27).  Great showing against San Diego.  I'm still not convinced they're an above average team, but I could very well be proved wrong in the next few weeks.

23) Miami Dolphins (20).  Turnovers killed them, which is something they avoided last year.  I don't see them repeating as division champs.

22) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26).  Just like the Jaguars, I don't know where to place this team.  Dallas passed all over their defense, but they're offense looked better than anticipated.  Cadillac Williams looked amazing.

21) Arizona Cardinals (18).  Warner looked old.  They could easily lose 3-4 division games this year if they continue to play like that.

20) Buffalo Bills (22).  They were a fumble away from winning, and showed that their offense exists.  They should bounce back from that agonizing defeat next week against the Bucs.

19) Chicago Bears (15).  There's not a heck of a lot going for them after losing Urlacher and Cutler's terrible performance.  Less turnovers, more wins.

18) San Francisco 49ers (25).  Great win against the former division champs.  It may be them and the Seahawks contending for the top spot this year.

17) Washington Redskins (14).  They didn't show up offensively.  Campbell looked good at times, but their running game struggled.

16) Seattle Seahawks (19).  Hasselbeck is back.  Their defense really showed the Rams who's boss, but they'll face a tougher 49er defense next weekend.

15) Dallas Cowboys (21).  Tony Romo and Roy Williams showed that they meant business.  With a win next week they could be the team to beat in the NFC.

14) Carolina Panthers (6).  Wow, Jake Delhomme was bad.  If he plays poorly next weekend, they'll be looking for someone else to step up.

13) New Orleans Saints (13).  Same story as last year: their offense looked great, their defense looked bad.  They should not have let the Lions score that many points.

12) New York Jets (17).  Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan may save this team.  If they can win against the Pats next week, they could legitimately make a run at the playoffs.

11) Tennessee Titans (9).  Chris Johnson was held to minimal yardage, which hurt them.  The defense did look good, especially against the run.

10) Philadelphia Eagles (12).  What a blowout.  Their defense proved me wrong and make have taken Delhomme's starting job from him.

9) Minnesota Vikings (10).  It was close early on, but Peterson showed why he was ranked the best running back in the game.  Statistically, Favre played very efficiently.

8) Baltimore Ravens (11).  Although they played the Chiefs, Flacco seems to be avoiding the sophmore slump.  Ray Rice was stellar.

7) Atlanta Falcons (7).  Great win.  Matt Ryan looked solid, and the Gonzalez acquisition paid off.

6) Green Bay Packers (8).  Their offense should have scored more, but Rodgers clicked when he needed to.  How about that defense!

5) San Diego Chargers (4).  Though it was a close game, that will be the toughest division battle they face all year.  Hopefully LT will show up next week.

4) Indianapolis Colts (2).  I'll give them a mulligan for that close victory.  Their defense played well against MJD, but their offense needs to be more consistent.

3) New York Giants (5).  The score didn't indicate how well the Giants played against the Redskins.  They've got to improve their pass defense within the two-minute warning.

2) New England Patriots (3).  This may very well be more than they deserve, but we'll see how they fare against the Jets.

1) Pittsburgh Steelers (1).  Ben Roethlisberger was poised with no running game and constant pressure.  No matter who is injured on their defense, they have the depth to recover.

Posted on: September 2, 2009 10:43 pm
 

Preseason Power Rankings

Since the large majority of starters will not be playing in the fourth preseason game, I figure that now is as good a time as any to make my first power rankings of the 2009 NFL season.  They may slightly contradict earlier posts because of recent developments (Flacco being a stud, the Brandon Marshall saga, Favre, etc).  Anyways, here we go:

32) Kansas City Chiefs.  You know it's not looking good when you're starting QB may be out for a month and your offensive coordinator gets fired two weeks before the season.  Can we really expect too much from Larry Johnson?

31) Cleveland Browns.  This team just bothers me.  Dropped passes, inconsistent run game, and a Swiss cheese defense won't help Brady Quinn if he gets the nod.

30) Detroit Lions.  Sadly, this is a compliment.  They're making strides towards bolstering their offensive line, and not drafting another wide receiver.  Hopefully Stafford will be the bright light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

29) Denver Broncos.  What a mess.  Without Cutler, their passing attack is less intimidating.  Now, Brandon Marshall may not even be in a Bronco uniform.  These players just don't seem to like Josh McDaniels.

28) St. Louis Rams.  There is potential in St. Louis if three things happen: Jackson stays healthy, Bulger stays healthy, and Spagnuolo is able to motivate the defense.  If one of these things goes wrong, however, it'll be another disappointing season.

27) Oakland Raiders.  They are a very young team that, if healthy, could challenge the Chargers.  Russell needs to step it up and McFadden needs to complete 16 games.  Their organization is holding them back.

26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  This depends completely on quarterback play.  If Leftwich is able to lead their offense down the stretch, they might find themselves in the playoffs.  Facing them is a tough division, a below average defense, and uncertainty at running back.

25) San Francisco 49ers.  Too many question marks will keep them out of the playoffs this year.  Given a few more years, Mike Singletary may restore 49er glory.

24) Jacksonville Jaguars.  Though he wasn't the starter, the loss of Fred Jackson will force Maurice Jones-Drew to carry the ball more.  They also don't seem to have the all-around consistency to be a major threat.

23) Cincinnati Bengals.  Just like the Rams, they need three things to happen: Carson Palmer must play 16 games, Chad Ocho Cinco has to mature, and Cedric Benson must earn his paycheck.  Oh, and the defense needs to show up.  Four things.

22) Buffalo Bills.  The absence of Marshawn Lynch will cripple them early on, and having TO may not make up for it.  If they can get better in November and December, they could make a run for a Wild Card.

21) Dallas Cowboys.  If Roy Williams is plagued with injury throughout the season, the Cowboys can kiss their playoff hopes good-bye.

20) Miami Dolphins.  Though they had success last year with the wildcat, most teams have begun to figure out how to dismantle it.  They also won't have the luck they had last year with no injuries to their starters.

19) Seattle Seahawks.  This could be a surprise team out of the dismal NFC West.  Hasselbeck looks healthy, and T.J. Houshmanzedah will help.

18) Arizona Cardinals.  Despite them making the Superbowl last year, many doubt this team (including me).  Warner is a risk at his age, and their running game is rarely utilized.  Plus, their defense is abysmal. 

17) New York Jets.  Their defense looks great, and their running game will get better if Leon Washington gets more touches.  Sanchez may not have an immediate impact, especially with the lack of a star receiver to help him out.

16) Houston Texans.  They're one year away from making it into the playoffs for the first time ever.  If Shaub stays healthy, that may come a year earlier.

15) Chicago BearsJay Cutler will give this team what the Bears franchise has always needed: consistency at quarterback.  Forte, Hester, and Olsen will see huge returns.

14) Washington Redskins.  Campbell looks much better, and Haynesworth on defense will have a large effect on the NFC East.  They just may not have enough to get the Wild Card spot with such a tough division.

13) New Orleans Saints.  Their offense ranks in the top 3, while their defense ranks in the 15-25 range.  Improve the defense, improve the record.

12) Philadelphia Eagles.  Most people have them ranked higher, but they've lost so much on defense.  Outside of Vick, they have had quite a few valuable pickups on offense.  Vick won't make an impact until his second year back.

11) Baltimore Ravens.  I thought Flacco would have a sophmore slump, but he's looked great in preseason.  Their biggest setback is their loss of Rex Ryan on defense.

10) Minnesota Vikings.  Put aside Favre, and you still have one of the best runningbacks and defenses in the league.  Throw in a veteran that knows the system, and you may have at least a division title.

9) Tennessee Titans.  Losing Albert Hayensworth may not be too much of a detriment, the system made him good, not the other way around.  Kerry Collins is another year older, though.

8) Green Bay Packers.  They could be the sleeper pick to win the conference.  Rodgers is in MVP form, and their transition to the 3-4 defense went much smoother than expected.

7) Atlanta Falcons.  Most people focus on Matt Ryan, but their defense appears to be improving the most.  Injuries and holdouts at receiver could hurt them, but Gonzalez may cancel that out.

6) Carolina Panthers.  Their only real weakness is inconsistency at quarterback.  Despite Delhomme's poor playoff performance, however, he was solid during the season.  Their running attack is one of the best in the league, too.

5) New York Giants.  Their receivers will either be the end of them or bring them to the Superbowl, since Eli Manning needs a deep threat.  Canty, Bernard, and Boley will add tremendous depth to their already stellar defense.

4) San Diego Chargers.  With Merriman and Cromartie back from injury, their defense will take a major step forward.  Rivers, Gates, Tomlinson, Sproles, Jackson, Chambers... get ready.

3) New England Patriots.  While everyone is focusing on Tom Brady, they've quietly added key players to their defense.  The loss of their offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and a surgically-repaird knee could keep them out of the Superbowl this year, however.

2) Indianapolis Colts.  Most people forget they won their final 9 regular season games last year.  Manning comes into this season healthy, but without Tony Dungi they'll have to work under a new system.

1) Pittsburgh Steelers.  This is not just because they won the Superbowl.  20 of their 22 starters are back, plus the coaching staff remains intact.  A fairly easy schedule almost guarantees a playoff spot and division title.  Plus, their defense is nasty.
Posted on: August 24, 2009 4:49 pm
 

Draft Results

My PPR fantasy football league draft was last night, and here were the results:

Quarterbacks: Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck

Going into the draft I had wanted to grab Phillip Rivers or Aaron Rodgers in the third round.  Rivers was taken the pick before mine, and Rodgers much earlier, so I was forced to take McNabb.  As a Giants fan, this makes me a little unhappy, but he usually torments the Giants so it might pay off.  I love Hasselbeck as a backup.

Runningbacks: LaDainian Tomlinson, Clinton Portis, Knowshon Moreno, Chester Taylor, Ricky Williams

I had planned on taking LT regardless, but did not think I would end up with Portis.  He fell to the third round, so I had to.  I am concerned about both my RBs being older and more prone to injury, so I picked up Knowshon as my RB3 in case he is a breakout player.  The Chester Taylor pick was solely in case AP gets hurt, which would be a monumental plus for Taylor.  Likewise, if Ronnie Brown gets hurt, Ricky Williams will get a ton more carries.

Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne, Vincent Jackson, Devin Hester, Muhsin Muhammad, Miles Austin

I did not have a clue who I would pick as my WR1, so I just decided to pick the best on the board.  Wayne and Calvin Johnson fell to me at the fifth pick in the second round, so I chose Wayne.  I love how he has performed in preseason so far, and you don't get a more reliable quarterback than Peyton Manning.  Vincent Jackson is a player that I strongly believe will be a top 10 WR this year, and had wanted from the beginning of the draft.  Otherwise, I wasn't too thrilled with my other picks, especially Muhammad.

Tight Ends: Greg Olsen, Visanthe Shiancoe

I am extremely happy with these two guys, both have an extreme upside.  They both have new quarterbacks who love to throw to their tight ends.

Defense: San Diego Chargers

Their defense seems to be back to 2007 form, where they were in the top 5.  I'm really looking forward to their production.

Kicker: Matt Bryant.

I was the last person to pick a kicker, seeing as they're really not worth talking about.



I really don't know what to make of my team.  I'm mostly scared by the age of some of my players and their proneness to injury.  If they stay healthy, however, I think I can have a great year.  One thing I do have to look out for is Week 5, where Vincent Jackson, the Chargers defense, LT, and Greg Olsen are on their bye week.
 
 
 
 
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