Friday, July 31, 2009

Fantasy Rankings: Defensive Players

This will be the first year that my friends and I draft defensive players in our fantasy league. Points are given for interceptions, sacks, forced fumbles, fumble recoveries, safeties, TDs, and even tackles. Here is the list I'll be using: (BTW, I've only got 12 on the list because there are 12 people in our league, and I know I'll just take one defensive player at the draft this year)

1. Patrick Willis (SF) - LB
2. Jon Beason (Car) - LB
3. DeMarcus Ware (Dal) - LB
4. Barret Ruud (TB) - LB
5. Jonathan Vilma (NO) - LB
6. Lance Briggs (Chi) - LB
7. Eric Weddle (SD) - S
8. James Harrison (Pit) - LB
9. D'Qwell Jackson (Cle) - LB
10. Antoine Winfield (Min) - CB
11. Jerod Mayo (NE) - LB
12. Gibril Wilson (Mia) - S

Others in consideration were Kirk Morrison (Oak), Karlos Dansby (Ari), and London Fletcher (Was).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Tampa 2: No Longer in Tampa

Everyone knows that the Tampa 2 defensive scheme was made popular under Tony Dungy. Dungy made the system famous when he was the head coach for Tampa...though he developed the system by watching the original Steel Curtain in Pittsburgh.
The system has since followed him to Indianapolis, and even branched out to many other football stadiums across the country. All-the-while, the Tampa 2 remained a big part of the defensive side of the ball with the Bucs, as Monte Kiffin was still there.
Now, Kiffin and Dungy are both long-gone from Tampa...and so is the Tampa 2.
CB Ronde Barber was one of the few longtime Bucs who survived the housecleaning done by GM Mark Dominik this offseason, and the team is expecting him to play at a high level this season, despite a clear decline in his performance during 2008. The club hasn't expressed much apprehension about Barber, but observers are concerned about his ability to play in new defensive coordinator Jim Bates' scheme, which asks the corners to play bump-and-run. That coverage doesn't mesh with Barber's capabilities at this stage of his career, and sources say Bates may have to tinker with his system to allow Barber to play off the ball more often.

I'd imagine as far as Rhonde is concerned, he might be better suited (at his age) for a bump and run as opposed to the hard hitting coverage the Tampa 2 demands. Sounds kinda like they are designing a defense around an aging player as opposed to obtaining younger players with more speed. Well, at least for now it seems like that's what they're doing. Barber is the only old guy/veteran in the Bucs' secondary, so I could see his days in Tampa being numbered. I mean, if they'll let go of Derrick Brooks, who was a Tampa icon, they'll probably be okay to part with Rhonde too. Should be interesting to watch.
Sounds like a short term solution brought on by a new coaching staff to make the best out of what they have. We'll see if it works out or not.
I'll sure be pulling for them November 29th, and January 1st!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Best Breakthrough Athlete???

Surprisingly enough, the ESPY Awards continued to entertain again this year. Most of what ESPN puts out bugs me and comes across like they're trying too hard. However, when you put (Vol fan) Samuel L. Jackson behind the mic to intro sports highlights all night...I'm in!
A big category every year is the "Best Breakthrough Athlete" award. It has gone to some tremendous athletes over the years, like Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, and LeBron James. Then again, the award has also been a little too ambitious for some players as well. Like when Devin Hester won the award in 2007. I'm pretty sure he's not done anything too impressive in Chicago since winning the award.
This year, the list of nominees was very solid.
--Shawn Johnson (Olympic gymnast) - Silver medals in team AND individal all-around. She also won Dancing With the Stars this year.
--Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay Rays) - Unanimous pick for Rookie of the Year in MLB. He set the post season home run record for first year players.
--Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) - NBA Rookie of the Year
--Matt Ryan (Dirty Birds) - NFL Rookie of the Year. QBed (a running) team to the playoffs. He landing super-masuline endorsement deal with Axe Hair Spray.
After reading the write-ups on these nominees, who would you pick? I'd have a really tough time picking between Shawn Johnson and Evan Longoria. Rose and Ryan honestly wouldn't even come to mind as deserving winners. How do you take the freaking RAYS to the World Series, after winning that impossible division, and NOT win? How do you win major medals for your country in the olympics as a team and indidual "player" and NOT win?
Better yet, how do you get enough credit to win this award just by playing QB for a team that lost in the Wild-Card round of the NFL playoffs? Joe Flacco was a rookie too, but he sure didn't get the kind of credit Ryan is getting. Flacco even took his team to the AFC Championship Game.
Could it have anything to do with the fact that Matt Ryan isn't funny looking like Joe Flacco??? What...could I actually have a good point here?! Ryan endorses products that 15 year old guys use, and he goes on Carson Daily's show to flirt with the host. Flacco (who was more deserving) is funny-looking, and has little commercial he isn't going to even be mentioned. While we're at it, I'd like to see a defensive star get the nod for this award sometime. If the voters really looked at stats instead of popularity, Jerod Mayo could have been in the running too.
Congrats Matt Ryan. You just won the "Most Popular New Guy" Award!!! Your franchise has been in existence for 43 years, and NEVER have back-to-back winning seasons. You're not going to have another year like 2008 for a while.
BTW, I got this story added to a great website...Bleacher Report. Here's the link

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

THE FINALS!!! QB Fighting Tournamet (UFC meets NFL)

After some tough battles, I believe this is what the final four would look like in a UFC-style tournament with NFL QBs.

AFC Final:
--Roethlisberger vs. Rivers - Rivers pulled off the greatest defeat of this tournament when he defeated JaMarcus Russell a few rounds ago. Though I do believe he's a crazy man, who could be a solid UFC-style fighter...I just don't see him pulling one out against Big Ben. Roethelisberger is a winner.

NFC Final:
--Rodgers vs. McNabb - In this one, I really see Rodgers giving it his all, and barely falling short to an older, bigger, more determined Donovan McNabb.


--Ben Roethlisberger vs. Donovan McNabb - This would be one heck of a final match. I'd honestly love to see it. I actually might see what I can do to really pull this off. If anyone reading this has any connections...please, make it happen!
Here's how I think it would shake-out...Big Ben wins it all. Whenever McNabb seems to be faced with a tough situation, he likes to gripe and bitch about it. Whenever Roethlisberger faces an injury (or even a freaking motorcycle accident), he just gets right back up, and continues winning.

Tournament Champion: BEN ROETHLISBERGER

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rounds Two & Three - QB FIGHTING TOURNAMENT (UFC meets NFL)

This is the second (and third) round of the QB Fighting Tournament, where we look at who might win a UFC style tournament among NFC QBs. The second round will determine division champions. The third will feature matchups that will set up the overall final four.

AFC North
--Roethlisberger vs. Flacco - Flacco has a chance at doing well for himself. There's just no way he beats Big Ben.

AFC South
--Collins vs. Schaub - Again, Schaub is very used to getting knocked on his can and then getting right back up. I see Collins eventually wearing out and losing in a rope-a-dope style match.

AFC East
--Edwards vs. Brady - "That's my quarterback (tear)!" T.O. has emotionally got the back of Trent Edwards. Close match, but Brady goes down.

AFC West
--Rivers vs. Russell - This is the absolute toughest match to call in the whole tournament. Rivers is crazy, while Russell is lazy. Still, Russell is huge. I've flipped a coin...and the crazy one has it!

NFC North
--Favre vs. Rodgers - Most anticipated bout in the NFC. I believe Rodgers might have more anger held back towards Favre than he lets-on. Favre goes down in an upset!

NFC South
--Delhomme vs. McCown - Delhomme is one of the only athletes to ever come back and succeed after Tommy John surgery. He's tough and cajun. He moves on.

NFC East
--Campbell vs. McNabb - Donovan McNabb eats Campbell for dinner! Campbell's Chunky Soup...that is.

NFC West
--Warner vs. Hill - Are you kidding? No way Warner loses to this joker.

Round Three

--Roethlisberger vs. Schaub - I've got a feeling Matt Schaub will have a few Super Bowl ring implants on his face...Ace Ventura style.
--Edwards vs. Rivers - I'm just hoping Rivers doesn't eat him.
--Rodgers vs. Delhomme - Could be a solid fight. Rodgers is younger, and much quicker. Delhomme goes down.
--McNabb vs. Warner - I'd love to see this one. McNabb wins in a bloody fight where they both end up with cauliflower ear.

--Roethlisberger vs. Rivers
--Rodgers vs. McNabb

Monday, July 13, 2009


NFC North
--Favre vs. Culpepper - Good thing these matches don't go 16 rounds, or Favre wouldn't make it. He's tough. He wears Wranglers. Favre wins.
--Cutler vs. Rodgers - I fully expect Cutler to even whine about having to fight.

NFC South
--Delhomme vs. Brees - Delhomme is from Louisiana originally, where they wrestle gators in the bayou. He could destroy mole-face.
--Ryan vs. McCown - Ryan's hair gel will likely be a distraction. McCown beats him like the woman he is.

NFC East
--Manning vs. Campbell - No contest. The Mannings need to stick to Oreo-licking...and well, I guess they are good at football too.
--McNabb vs. Romo - Ha!! McNabb would make him cry.
NFC West
--Warner vs. Bulger - Warner is a fighter...figuratively and literally in this case.
--Hill vs. Hasselbeck - Boring fight! Hill wins just because Hasselbeck can't.

Next round matchups:
Favre vs. Rodgers
Delhomme vs. McCown
Campbell vs. McNabb
Warner vs. Hill


The seeding for each division is based on how a QBs team finished last season. I'll break down each division before moving on to the next rounds.

AFC North
--Roethlisberger vs. Quinn - No question. Big Ben looks like Frank Dux in this fastest knockout ever.
--Flacco vs. Palmer - Flacco's a big dude. Plus, he played for the Fighting Blue Hens. He wins.

AFC South
--Collins vs. Garrard - Collins is the comeback kid. No way he's losing unless it's a real fighter.
--Manning vs. Schaub - I'm still disturbed from the time when Peyton took his shirt off on SNL. I say he goes down in this one. Plus, Schaub is used to getting knocked around.

AFC East
--Pennington vs. Edwards - Edwards wins this one.
--Brady vs. Sanchez - Brady may be a pretty-boy softie, but there's no way he's losing to this kid.

AFC West
--Rivers vs. Cassel - Paramedics will be on-hand. Rivers wins quickly.
--Orton vs. Russell - Russell is lazy, but he has the potential to go all-the-way in this tourney.

Next Round matchups:

Roethlisberger vs. Flacco
Collins vs. Schaub
Edwards vs. Brady
Rivers vs. Russell

Coming tomorrow...NFC QBs get in the ring.


So, I watched the UFC fights this weekend and they were great. Now, today I've found a cool web article where someone has ranked the 12 starting QBs of the SEC, and how they'd fare in physical combat.
Great idea!! BTW, that site is

What we are going to do now, is set up a list for the 32 NFL starting QBs. It will be more easily ranked as a tournament. I'll do a run-down of each division, and then go from there.

This is gonna be fun.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fantasy Tip: RBs

That first pick in your fantasy draft is always the toughest. Do you pick Jones-Drew or Frank Gore? Do you take a QB over a RB? Do you consider a WR with a late first-round pick? Questions like these are usually pretty difficult to make when you are on-the-clock, and your drunk friends are screaming at you to hurry. This year, I say throw out the popular belief that you've got to pick up a RB with that first pick. Unless it really is one of the top guys, I'd recommend grabbing a top-flight QB.
I say this because even the best RBs last year will likely see a drop off this year in numbers, and they share more snaps with very capable counterparts. DeAngelo Williams and Michael Turner were (by far) the best backs in the NFL last year...fantasy-wise. But this year, Jonathan Stewart and Jerious Norwood will likely see a lot more time on the field. Even last year, Stewart scored as many TDs as Adrian he's got a great chance at getting in even more this year. Plus, he's a little bowling ball down in the red-zone. I really wouldn't be surprised to see him get more TDs than Williams in 2009.

The best RBs did stand out last year, but after them, the middle-of-the-road backs, fantasy-wise, really formed a big pack. I say, pick up a stud of a QB before getting into that RB pack. There will still be a few of them available in the second round of your draft. The best QBs will not!
Guys to take in the first round:
DeAngelo Williams - may see less time, but will still have a monster year
Adrian Peterson - as long as he stays healthy, he should have a better year
Michael Turner - not before pick #8. remember the curse!
Brandon Jacobs - late first round
Brian Westbrook - late first round

If you get the opportunity, definitely consider Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, or Tom Brady before any of these guys:
Marion Barber III
Thomas Jones
Matt Forte
Jonathan Stewart
Steve Slaton
Clinton Portis
Maurice Jones-Drew
Chris Johnson
These guys make up the pack of great RBs, who all just seem to stick around the same fantasy-points league. I don't expect any of these guys to have a legendary season. Be safe. Pick them up after you've already got a good QB, or one of the other stud RBs.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Woman Raped At a Falcon's Home

Don't you miss the good old days...when dog fighting was the heinous crime taking place that the homes of Atlanta Falcons players?
Though it's been (almost) a couple of months since the last crime against a woman at a Falcon's home, the delightful group of thugs is at it again.
Not long ago, a woman alleged that she was raped at the home of former Falcons defensive end Patrick Kerney.
According to FOX 5 in Atlanta, it's happened again. This time, the location of the alleged crime is the Gwinnett County home of Falcons receiver Harry Douglas. Douglas was acquired by the Falcons in the third round of the 2008 NFL draft.
The rape allegedly happened during a party at Douglas' home. Police are investigating. It appears Douglas is not the suspect.
Douglas was having a party at his house, and a woman is claiming she was raped by someone that night. Douglas may have had nothing to do with it, as it seems right now, but still...why even hang around that group of miscreants?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Draft Tip #2: Gonzalez May Block More

I know it is going to seem like I'm trying to pick on the Falcons with my "draft tips", but I'm really not. I promise I'll have others soon that involve information other than negative stuff about Atlanta players. Anyway, today's tip is about Tony Gonzalez.
Based on information coming out of Atlanta, it seems that he may be used more as a blocker than a receiving TE this year. "Tony will help our offense in a number of ways," offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey said at the close of June OTAs. "He's a productive blocker and that's important in our offense... As successful as he's been as a receiver, he's a good blocker too and he really doesn't get the credit that he should."
At 6-foot-5 and 251 pounds, Gonzalez has size to push people around, which could do more in the run game than any blocking along the line of scrimmage. As the Falcons seem to be very dedicated to their run game (Turner/Norwood), Gonzalez really may see less passes than he has in a while.

Glad to be out of Kansas City and now playing for a team that reached the playoffs last season, Gonzalez doesn't seem to mind that his personal statistics will likely decline in Atlanta. "Do I think I'll catch 100 balls? I don't have to," Gonzalez said. "This is something we're all going to work together on. I've been fortunate to have such a good career."
It is believed, however, that Tony will still see a healthy amount of balls off the field. When asked about the situation, QB Matt Ryan said, "I just hope he lets me catch once in a while."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fantasy Draft Tip: Michael Turner is Cursed

As fantasy draft time is right around the corner, I feel it necessary to warn you about Michael Turner. He's cursed! Yep. It's the Curse of 370.
The curse dictates that any player who exceeds 370 rush attempts in a single season suffers a significant drop-off in production the following year.
FYI, this is definitely not something I came up with. The curse has been discussed in the fantasy football industry for more than five years now, dating back at least to 2004, when it appeared on
Well, after looking at the historical data, let me say that I'm fully behind the existence of a curse. In the history of the NFL, 27 running backs have amassed 370 or more carries in a season … and all but one of them significantly declined in terms of total fantasy points the next year. (That one, LaDainian Tomlinson, somehow escaped the clutches of the curse despite 372 rushing attempts in 2002.) It seems a little too coincidental to assume that the next guy to pull this off would be Turner, who was LT's back up a few years ago.

In addition to the curse working against Michael Turner, he's also got to work against the fact that he plays for the Falcons. The Falcons Suck!
Okay, on a fair note, Atlanta did make some big moves this off-season. Its seems that they worked hard to provide Matt Ryan with more/better passing options. Don't forget about Tony Gonzalez now playing for the Dirty Birds, oh, and the fact that they really want to utilize Jerious Norwood more this season.
I've seen fantasy mock drafts that suggest taking Turner with a top five pick. I'd just like to say that I'm fine with long as you're playing in my league! I'd love to see one of my friends blow a top five pick on a cursed Falcon. That could be as funny to me as the guy (in my league) who picked Randy Moss with the #1 overall pick last year.