Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Playoff Picks

Going into the playoffs I thought I would quickly share some thoughts about who I think is going to have a big game this week.


Peyton Manning: Lots of you guys have been waiting for this game all year. There is nothing better in fantasy football than having your Quarterback face the Detroit Lions in the playoffs. Manning is going to have a great game on Sunday.

Kurt Warner and the Cardinals are playing the Minnesota Vikings this week. The Vikes are very strong against the run and not good at all against the pass. Warner will probably end up throwing the ball 40+ times and have a 300+ yard day.


Matt Hasselbeck is my sleeper pick at quarterback. HOMER ALERT! I live in Seattle and I’m biased. The Rams are bad on defense, but Seattle is worse. You could make an equally strong argument for Marc Bulger as a sleeper pick as well, but only if you live in St. Louis.

Running Backs

Brian Westbrook and the Eagles are hosting the Cleveland Browns. The Eagles need this game like they need air to breathe. If Westbrook doesn’t have a good game, look for the Eagles to get booed off the field, and for Andy Reid to be fired in the off season.

LaDanian Tomlinson travels to Kansas City to face one of the NFL’s worst defenses. I think he’s going to have a big game as he continues right where he left off in Oakland.

DeAngelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart: If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers couldn’t stop these guys I don’t see how Denver is going to do it…unless one of them pulls a Plaxico and shoots the other one in the foot these guys are going to run roughshod over the Broncos.


Tatum Bell is the last man standing in the Denver Broncos backfield. He should get a ton of touches and is a good plug and play option for this week. One thing the Bronco’s CAN do is run block. They could pull a kid from a local high school and he’s have 50 yards rushing and a touchdown behind this line. Maybe their offensive line should play both ways.

Wide Receivers

Dwayne Bowe and Vincent Jackson should be the primary beneficiaries of two awful pass defenses. This game is sort of the dumb and dumber of defense. I feel sorry for all the people who will be standing out in the cold witnessing these two defensive backfields not cover anybody.

Everybody who plays for the Colts should have a good receiving day. I’d start them all: Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Anthony Gonzalez. There’s only one ball but the Lions are that special kind of lousy that makes it look like there were three balls in play when you read the box score.


Deion Branch…HOMER ALERT! I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking the Seahawks will play well again…but I can’t. I’m a shameless homer who should be flogged for suggesting these things in public. Don’t listen to me on this one.


Washington Redskins: I’ve been waiting for this match up since week 12. Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Cincinnati Bungles aren’t going to stop making mistakes just because the Redskins showed up. They’re a lock for three turnovers.

New England gets to play Oakland this week. Lucky them, and lucky you if you start the Patriots against the hapless Raiders.


Indianapolis Colts. Yes the Colts. That’s how bad Detroit is. Start the Colt’s kicker too. The Lions are so bad that ARCHIE Manning might throw a touchdown in this game. Bob Sanders or no Bob Sanders the Lions are going to turn it over a lot, and the Colts are going to score 35. Maybe some of it will come from defense.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fantasy Football: A Look at Week Fifteen

At this point in the fantasy football season there are three types of owners. There are owners who know they will not make the playoffs, owners who know they will make the playoffs, and owners on the cusp.

It’s always good to take a peek into the future, so you can see what kinds of match ups are available in the week that matters most: week 15.

This article is of most use to the teams that know they are in the playoffs. You can start positioning your roster to take advantage of these match ups, as winning in weeks 13 and 14 for you is more about vanity than anything else.

The objective for the regular season is to make the playoffs, now that you’ve accomplished that goal you can start thinking championship.

Week 15 Games:

Thursday, December 11th

New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears.

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints take their number one ranked pass offense to Soldier field to kick off week 15. The Bears are currently ranked 30th against the pass, as Lovie Smith’s unit has only produced 17 sacks this season. Getting pressure will be key if the Chicago hopes to slow down the Saints.

Another thing that could slow down the Saints is bad weather. December 11th in Chicago is going to be a cold day. If snow or high winds come in off of Lake Michigan the conditions may do a better job of grounding the Saints passing game than the Bears secondary ever could on their own.

If the weather conditions force New Orleans to run against the sixth best run defense in the league it could be a long day for the Saints’ offense.

Sunday, December 14th

New England Patriots vs. Oakland Raiders

The Patriots visit the Oakland Raiders who are ranked 30th in the NFL against the run. The Raiders have allowed 164.5 yards per game on the ground.

The Patriots running backs should have a good day collectively, but as always with the Pats it’s hard to say if Kevin Faulk or Sammy Morris will get the bulk of the carries.

Weather should not bee too much of a factor in Oakland, but we may see some early season rain. If it is rainy that bodes even better for Morris and Faulk.

Detroit Lions vs. Indianapolis Colts

Peyton Manning and Joseph Addai should both have great games against the hopeless Detroit Lions. The Lions, the worst team in the NFL, are allowing over 170 yards per game rushing. They’ve allowed eight passing plays over forty yards, only Seattle and Jacksonville have allowed more big passing plays this season.

For owners who have suffered with the Colts all year, this is a nice little bonus. If you’ve managed to make the playoffs first round picks Manning and Addai could carry your team into the championship game in week 16.

San Diego Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Tyler Thigpen has had an interesting season. Early in the year fantasy owners picked on Thigpen, as he struggled executing his offense correctly. More recently he’s settled down is throwing far fewer interceptions.

The Chiefs are ranked 27th against the pass and 31st against the run this season. Phillip Rivers leads a Chargers team that is the 7th best passing offense in the league. Both Rivers and LT should do well for owners in this game. Vincent Jackson could have a big day as well.

Kansas City should be cold on this weekend and if there is any snow that could slow down the passing game for both teams.

Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams

This is an interesting match up. The last time Matt Hasselbeck and the Seahawks looked good at all on offense it was week three against the Rams.

The Seahawks defense is ranked 31st against the pass, so Mark Bulger/Trent Green should have plenty of opportunities to make big plays. Donnie Avery would be a fun start for this week’s game.

The Rams are ranked 27th against the run and 25th against the pass. Julius Jones could finally have another big day, and there’s a good chance TJ Duckett could steal a touchdown.

The story of this game is the quite resistible force meeting the easily moveable object. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of points came out of this match up. Guys you’ve wanted to avoid on your roster just might get big points in the playoffs.

Tennessee Titans vs. Houston Texans

The Titans are allowing 13.1 points per game, their tough defense should neutralize Houston stars Steve Slaton and Andre Johnson.

The Houston Texans are ranked 24th against the pass, and 17th against the run. We should see slightly more Kerry Collins and slightly less Chris Johnson and Lendale White.

The Titans may have nothing to play for by week 15, so be on the lookout for key players being rested.

Buffalo Bills vs. New York Jets

The Jets defense is a tale of two units. They are 4th in the NFL against the run, while they are 28th against the pass. Trent Edwards is going to have to play like he did today against the Chiefs if the Bills hope to win this game. Marshawn Lynch should have his share of troubles.

On the other side of the ball the Bills defense is very mediocre. Ranked 18th against the run and 13th against the pass, it’s safe for fantasy owners to start Brett Favre and Thomas Jones in this game. They should have average days, for those two guys average is pretty darned good.

The Jets are among the hottest teams in the NFL right now, having won five in a row including their victory today against the formerly undefeated Tennessee Titans.

Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers

The Broncos are having a very hard time stopping the run this year. Ranked 29th in the NFL their inability to stop the run could end up being the reason they miss the playoffs this season.

The Panthers with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams are the sixth best rushing team in the NFL. Look for both of these guys to have good days against Denver.

The Panthers are ranked fifth in the NFL against the pass, so Bronco’s quarterback Jay Cutler may have some problems scoring points on this unit.

Green Bay Packers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are a slightly below average defensive team. Ranked 18th against the pass and 21st against the run, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers should have no problem moving the ball against this unit.

The Packers defense still can’t stop the run. The leagues 27th ranked run defense should have their hands more than full with Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor.

Weather should not play much of a factor in this game. Jacksonville is pretty mild in the winter.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Baltimore Ravens

Fantasy owners should stay away from this game. Both these defenses are so good there should be very few fantasy points available for the taking in this contest.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Miami Dolphins

The 49ers are boasting the leagues 25th ranked pass defense. Terrell Owens went nuts on them today, and I don’t think Mike Singletary is going to be able to change this unit in two weeks.

Ted Ginn Jr. and Chad Pennington could have very nice days as the Niners make the very long flight down to Raymond James stadium.

West coast teams historically have big problems when playing on the east coast at 1:00. That is exactly what is happening here. Between the weak unit and the jet lag effect there should be fantasy points available for the taking for Miami players in this game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Atlanta Falcons

John Gruden’s squad travels to Atlanta to meet the league’s second ranked rushing offense. The Falcons are one of this year’s most surprising teams. Rookie Matt Ryan has played very well, and Michael Turner has proved that he’s nobody’s understudy.

In their first match up this season, Tampa Bay was able to contain Turner and confuse the rookie. It will be interesting to see what Matt Ryan has learned if the Buccaneers choose to stack the line again in this game.

I’d avoid Turner if you have better options, but Roddy White could explode if Ryan is able to read the defense and call effective audibles.

Washington Redskins vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have not been able to move the football at all this year. What’s in a name? The receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson hasn’t been very worried about what his jersey says. His team is ranked 30th throwing the ball and 31st running it.

The Redskins are a great defense to start in week fifteen.

On defense the Bengals are ranked 22nd against the run, so Clinton Portis should have a fine day as well.

Minnesota Vikings vs. Arizona Cardinals

Kurt Warner and the Cardinals are running the “Greatest Show on Turf” chipotle style. Warner is a solid candidate for his third MVP award, and has gone from has been to hall of famer in one great year.

The Vikings have the second ranked defense against the run, and are 20th against the pass. This plays right into the Cardinals hands, who wanted to throw all day anyway.

Tim Hightower should have problems, but Boldin and Fitzgerald should continue their standout seasons. The red birds should be playing for playoff seeding, so we should see the full compliment of offensive players in this game.

Adrian Peterson will face the seventh raked defense against the run. He could have some real problems if the Cardinals get ahead early in the game. The Vikings could be forced to abandon the run completely, and try to take advantage of the Cardinals passing defense.

New York Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys

John Spagnolo’s Giants are one of the best defenses in the NFL. Ranked second against the pass, and eighth against the run they’ve produced 31 sacks this season.

They could give Tony Romo and the Cowboys real problems in the game. The Cowboys have been playing better since Romo’s return, but the last time these two teams got together the Cowboys got smoked.

The Cowboys are average against the run, while the Giants are the leagues best on the ground. The Giants are averaging over 170 rushing yards per game, and their three-headed monster of Jacobs, Bradshaw, and Ward are enjoying the protection of a huge offensive line.

Monday, December 15th

Cleveland Browns vs. Philadelphia Eagles

You know Andy Reid lost his mind when he benched Donovan McNabb today. Despite the quarterback’s tendency to hit wide-open guys in the foot with the ball, McNabb playing well is the Eagles’ only chance for victory.

Did he not remember what happened during all those games last year (and the year before that) when he didn’t have the Syracuse standout? Was it really necessary to run Terrell Owens out of town if you were going to bench the guy you were defending?

Perhaps Reid would like to suit up himself? If you can’t effectively manage the talent you’re nowhere in this league.

The Browns are ranked 29th against the run, so whomever is handing off to Brian Westbrook on this particular day, #36 should do very well.