Sunday, August 29, 2010

Movers and Shakers

Like many of you I started drafting Fantasy Football Leagues mid-summer and if you weren't doing actual drafts you were doing mocks...if you say you weren't...you lie. The following are some current players that are seeing a boost in their draft position and others that are falling because of one reason or the other.

Jabar Gaffney - WR Denver Broncos - This cagey veteran was going undrafted in many leagues early on in the summer, but things have changed as owners are finding out about his new found connection with Kyle Orton. So far this season Orton has looked to Gaffney more than any other Broncos wide outs. You will see Gaffney going as high as the 12th round and as low as the 15th in standard 12 man leagues. I have seen him taken in quite a few 10 man formats as well...they are going to throw the ball up there in Denver and they gotta throw it someone.

Mike Williams - WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The biggest surprise at Bucs camp this year is the kid outta Syracuse. Being down here near the Tampa market I heard about him early and I added this kid in a few leagues early on and drafted him last in a few others but on the main scene the kid was no where to be found even in 14-16 man formats. Now the secret by the Bay is out and drafters are taking notice. This kid may "Buc" the rookie trend and make a nice impact this season. Sure, this offense is less than prolific, but drafters aren't afraid to target this guy anywhere in their last 3-4 picks in the draft depending on roster size. Draft him with confidence especially in keeper league formats. If you want to make sure you get him you may want to look at the 10th or 11th round to make this pick.

Greg Camarillo and Bernard Berrian - WRs Vikings - The news on ESPN on the heels of the Sidney Rice injury was all about the signing of Javon Walker. The real draft and wire find may be Greg Camarillo. The sure handed WR spent the last couple years in Miami and actually caught 50 balls on that terrible 1 win Dolphins squad. If you catch the ball and just do what you are suppose to do Brett Favre will get you the ball. What's not to love about this hard working kid in his 5th season out of Stanford...draft him in your later rounds and reap the reward out of a possession guy with dependable hands. I threw Berrian in here as well because he is being drafted as high as the 10th round in many cases and sometimes earlier. Drafters are all over Berrian since the Rice injury. Sure, Berrian is gonna see more balls without Rice in play but a possession WR he is not. He will have his big games now and then and he'll also have his clunkers...Berrian is definitely a better play now, just don't be too surprised if he still disappoints more than anything else. Get Berrian if you can, but don't reach for him.

RAMS WRs - Donnie Avery, Done. Now what? Now what, is what I have been asking for years as a Rams fan. This probably shouldn't surprise me because Avery has been milk carton material since he came into the league. One second, hey look at that catch and run! The next couple week's....have you seen number 17??? Call rams place for a reward for any information on this imposter of a #1 WR. Ok, enough Avery bashing, get well kid. The question now is are any of the rams WR's in camp worth a look in very deep leagues. 50 million dollar man Sam Bradford can throw the rock, but who's he gonna throw it to??? Laurent Robinson is worth a look and so is Amendola. If you need help at TE in deep leagues give Michael Hoomanwanui (yeah i looked up the spelling) a look. Brandon Gibson aquired from the eagles last year will get time at the No.2 spot and we may see some of Mardy Gilyard down the road. Draft Amendola in leagues with KR yardage cause the rams are gonna give up alot of pts this year and keep an eye on Gilyard if he assumes this role. Keep and eye on Robinson and Gibson's targets for later wire plays or reach out and grab one and hope for the best in 12 team and larger leagues.

Brian Westbrook RB Forty-Niners- Westbrook showed up late in draft rooms when it was announced that he had signed with the niners to back up Gore. Thing is somebody forgot to tell Anthony Dixon that he wasn't the best backup on the roster. Dixon has looked strong and fast in preseason and is, for right now your best backup option in niners camp. This could be SF babying Westbrook and his propensity for concussions...keep and eye on this, but I would say don't bother looking at Westbrook until you see him do something on the field. If you have to handcuff, take Dixon with your last pick.

Sidney Rice WR Vikings - Yes everyone knows he is hurt...he is out at least half the season...this is not news to fantasy owners. But should you draft him at all? The hip is a concern...he could be done for the year very easily or he could come back and not be effective at all. Then again he could be a guy that you could use approaching the fantasy playoffs. I say if you are out of options and don't see any of your sleepers on the board grab this guy. If you have solid depth you can afford to wait on what could be a late season treat. Maybe around Thanksgiving you can look forward to having some Rice with your Turkey. mmm mmm good.

Santonio Holmes WR Jets - It's almost like we forgot about this guy. He was missing like a Reggie Bush Heisman early in the draft season and now is being taken in the mid teens in recent drafts. Sure he's not gonna play the first 4 games of the year due to a suspension, but flashes of his athleticism have reminded fantasy owners that this guy could be worth a look once he gets back to the Meadowlands. If you are not a deep team I would go with guys that are actually playing wks 1-4 rather than Holmes. If you have depth, and you have the room, we are talkin' about a former SB MVP with all kinds of talent.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mountain Elite Draft Breakdown

I was asked by a friend to breakdown and grade this leagues draft. This was a 10 man draft with most of the managers present in one place to do a true LIVE draft.

Davistators grade A Davistators starts out with the no brainer C.Johnson. Great turn here with Ryan Matthews and Calvin Johnson poised for a monster season. I think the pick here shoulda been Lesean McCoy which would have pretty much set you at running back, maybe the best set of backs in the league. The Boldin pick confirms that the McCoy pick may have been the right call previously. I do really like the Spiller pick. Spiller may be better than Mccoy by the end of this season. Wayne's starting lineup is gonna be a monster...what the rooks Matthews and spiller do will go along way in determining whether this league is his for the taking. QB's Kolb and Ryan will be effective enough as spot starters.

Weevils grade C+ AP in the first is gold. Larry Fitz is a decent pick here...I tried to call and get a comment from him on his new team, but he was reportedly camping outside of Kurt Warner's house. Roddy White is a really nice 3rd rounder followed by Forte who is set for a rebound season. WR depth is hurt with the S.Rice pick. Gambling abit on Carson Palmer and D.McNabb to take you home at QB, but one of them should work out for you. Decent depth here, but if AP is not huge for you this team is going to struggle to stay .500

Cabin Creek B- Love the balance at the top 4 spots here in Rice, Austin, Charles and the remix version of Steve Smith (nyg) . The only question I have with this team is at QB. Cutler will need to perform early and Stafford will need to mature to provide enough top end power to get you a title this year. Spot start them...study tendencies and matchups closely and you'll have a shot. A better, veteran backup or starter would have earned you a higher grade. Lastly in a 10 man draft Donnie Avery and Anthony Gonzalez are very borderline picks and could just as well stayed on the wire...at least one of them anyway.

Holy Molars grade B Well it looks like the auto-pilot was on for this team taking 27 running backs before other positions were addressed. Actually the computer picked very efficiently and got great value with picks 1-5....Romo was an excellent grab where he was taken. This owner should have no problem trading 2 of these solid RB's for serviceable WR's. If you cannot aquire a number one type WR a couple good second tier guys in the mold of Hakeem Nicks will do nicely and should give you a shot at a mid-level playoff seed. Sorry for giving a guy who didn't pick his team a better grade than some of the rest of you...but I took that in consideration when grading the team. Many times in 10 man leagues guys reach and get too cute with their picks rather than simply drafting a balanced team...autodraft may screw your team up abit but it will most always get you value and it did here until the later rounds. The autopick feature did a nice job with the Harvin and Vjax picks as well. If deals get done to improve WR depth this team will be very solid.

Wide Right A This guy did an excellent job throughout his draft. Loaded at the top with Gore, Manning, Grant and Djax and bolstered by veterans in the later rounds this team doesn't have alot of flaws. This dog will hunt. Nice work.

Vandelay Ind. C or "Team Upside" as I like to call it. This is one of those teams with a bunch of..."man if this guys busts out this year my team is gonna be awesome!" type of squads. There is always one guy who gets Andre Johnson in the first...in a 10 man league any WR in the first is very borderline. Love pick 2 in Shonn Greene, then another can't miss at 3 in Tom Brady...from here on out though the question marks arise. I don't like Gates at 4...just too early considering Celek went in the 8th round. the upside kicks in here with Jahvid Best which I really like this year and Garcon soon follows and I also like his athletic style of play in this offense, but when you package Welker and his knee, Jerome Harrison and a potential rookie RB threat(Hardesty) and Donald Brown...hey he could be good. Why not draft Hardesty here if he is on the board...not sure if he was or not...but if you are going to have Jerome...try to handcuff him with Hardesty. Maybe you are a Lebron James fan and too much Cleveland is just a bad thing. By the way if you get the upside you are looking for you are looking at an A- team at least.

L4TD grade C (team Murphy's Law)Good veteran squad here....but on the other hand there are alot of things that could and probably will go wrong with this team. Turner worries me that his best fantasy days are behind him...Wayne should be good for you though he didn't look real quick in that Super Bowl. Still, he is a lock for 1000 yds and 8-9 tds.
Schaub, Ronnie Brown, LT and Berrian have all had injury problems in recent years. Don't like the Gonzo pick in the 6th...way too early in my opinion for what you will get from him this year. I don't like Tony this year at all. Zach Miller or Celek was the TE pick here. I do like your team if healthy..it can be a playoff team...just don't put any money on it.

WWBD grade A Stephen Jackson and Drew Brees at the first round turn is just money in the bank. If i got those two I probably woulda broke out in a dance or something...maybe cued up some electric slide on the juke box...or if you were at mark's house maybe broke out your favorite guitar hero jam and shredded like it was 1988. Solid veteran players across the board here with Colston, Ward, and Cedric Benson and young players on their way to being great fantasy players include Hakeem Nicks, Micheal Bush and B.Celek(who was a steal in the 8th) A.Gates was taken in the 4th, so was Dallas Clark...will they be that much better than Celek taken 4 rounds later??? I'd say it will be minimal if any difference at all. Like the late adds of Shiancoe who's value took an uptick today with the Rice news and the backup QB Henne who is just rolling so far this preseason. This team is one of the teams to beat. Dust off that mantle just in case and get ready to move that Mathlete of the year trophy you got in high school and make room for some recent hardware.

Mooners grade C I tried really hard not to yawn too much while looking over this team. There was an attempt at balance here. I like the Rivers and Moss picks and I like the later gambles on Jacobs and Thomas Jones who has been a fantasy warrior for years now...one of those guys should take care of you this year. Drop Shockey and get some more depth in other areas. You need a big year out of Deangelo Williams (who is in a contract year) and Moreno to have any playoff shot. Best of luck to you, but it's gonna be an uphill value. Watch the wire closely the first couple weeks and drop guys like Shockey and Jason Campbell(you do not need 3 QB's) for that hot WR or RB. A couple early moves can do wonders for your team.

Mounties B- Mark passes on Shonn Greene and Stephen Jackson for Rodgers here looking for maximum stat power at QB. Can't argue with his logic here because Rodgers is projected to the the number one fantasy QB in almost every format I have seen. With his next pick he got one of my 2010 must have players in Brandon Marshall (again, have you seen Henne slinging it this preseason?) Finally mark goes RB with PT Cruiser, but fails to follow up with another in round 4 as he reaches abit for Dallas Clark, most likely factoring in the .50 ppr. An RB here would have been my pick with so many TE's still on the board, but at least he has the top TE on the board. Mark had some nice late picks with Mr. I love me some me, Terrell Owens. Arian Foster could make up for the early neglecting of the RB position. Other good picks in later rounds include Reggie Bush and Cadillac Williams and the Cowboys defense. One pick I'd throw back is Olsen....Martz is notorious for neglecting TE's in his offense. Plenty of guys on the wire to grab to improve any number of areas...i'd suggest grabbing another RB. This is a good squad and with alittle tweaking could be very good...then again with alittle neglect it could be very avg. I'd say a top 4 seed is a real possibility.

Looks like the league is up for grabs...goodluck fellaz. Thanks for checking out the blog...check back as the season nears for all sorts of fantasy goodies. Follow me on twitter at
www.twitter.com/westheshow for gameday injury updates and news as the 2010 gears up.

Rice Injury a Sticky Situation for Fantasy Owners

News floating out of vikings camp this morning has Sidney Rice missing half the the 2010 season after undergoing hip surgery. Many of you Rice owners breathed a sigh of relief at the news that Brett Favre was back on the scene. Now, suddenly, you are left without Rice for more than half of the fantasy football regular season (most leagues) if the 8 game forecast is true. Obviously, Harvin and Berrian and Shiancoe all get an uptick in value, but none of them outside of Harvin is the dynamic athlete that Rice is and Harvin is not going to give you that leaping end zone grab that you get with Sidney. Berrian is going to be available in some leagues so if you can get him which will be some compensation for you, but again Berrian is not gonna put up Sidney Rice numbers. I wouldn't get too excited about Javon Walker who could replace Rice on the roster. Another guy you can look at is Jabar Gaffney (Denver)who has been Orton's favorite target so far in the preseason and is available in a ton of leagues right now. If you own Rice I would not drop him unless you are in a 10 man league with a reasonably small roster, because he is young and he could heal faster than the projection. I also would not panic and drop someone from your bench and hurt your depth just to get another WR on your team. Be patient. Rice owners should study the WR targets over the first few weeks and find productive guy to get you through. Going into last year no one thought Sidney Rice was going to be a star and that goes the same for guys like Miles Austin. I grabbed both these guys off the wire in several leagues early on last season. Keep your eyes open...the breakout WR's come around every season. Keep your eyes open and shop like a it's black Friday til' you find that diamond in the rough. Good Luck.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

I sat down and watched the ESPN Fantasy Football Special this past Wednesday evening. Here is a list of incredible predictions that ESPN made for this upcoming season.



1. "Brett Favre will not repeat the numbers he put up last year". (Boy that was a bold prediction from the guys there in the studio) 33 td's and 7 int's, those are ridiculous numbers...Brett was playing like Tim Tebow in college last year. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that he's gonna throw more than 10 int's this season if he is healthy enough to stay out there. The real question is how many more will he throw. I told a friend of mine today that I think he will throw between 16-21 int's if he plays a full slate of games. I do think he will throw alot of td's as well...I mean we are talking Brett Favre here...the guy is a stat machine and a blast to watch play. He makes those plays that you actually see on the Madden football game...roll out, heave it deep and the ball somehow goes through two players into the WR's hands....Touchdown!!! ya know the plays where your friend (and opponent) spends the whole extra point and ensuing kickoff telling you how that that's not real football....while you think to yourself, you idiot, this is a computer game and I have Brett Farve, what did you think was gonna to happen?! Now, How does this affect your fantasy drafts this year? Well, if you don't have negative settings draft away and enjoy the fruits. If you do have negative settings you need to take the increase of int's into account. No matter the settings in your league you must have another QB on your team capable of taking your team into the playoffs that will give you a chance to win. Someone like a Kyle Orton comes to mind. Not sexy...well the mustache is kinda sexy...I am alittle jealous cause the only hairs I can seem to grow these days come out of my nose. Others to consider, C.Palmer, M.Stafford, J.Campbell, Jay Cutler.

2. ESPN's next bold statement was that, "If you have one of the top 6-7 QB's don't worry about drafting a backup QB". Let me get this straight guru's you want me to draft Matt Schaub who in every season except last year has went down so consistently Houston scheduled backup QB bobble-head day somewhere close to mid-season? What about if you have Tony Romo? Is ESPN telling me that Tony is an must start every week? Let's just say you went crazy and drafted Carson Palmer in the 10th-11th round of a 10 man draft or maybe around the 7th round in a 12 man draft...You have Carson facing any number of teams (Carolina, Tampa, Cleveland, Rams, Detroit..etc) and you have Tony on the road at the Vikings, Jets, Baltimore, Cincinnati...ESPN is telling me they wouldn't grab Carson and start him over Tony...of course they would because matchups trump the big name player at least 75% of the time. I am not gonna sit Peyton Manning in this instance, but I also have never seen him have the implodes that we have all seen Tony have. So the lesson here, get a backup QB no matter who you have as your main guy in any size league. I think ESPN's original reasoning was good because they are probably considering in a 10 man format you can go to the wire and get a Jason Campbell type of player and start him during your stud's bye week, but the thing is...most good fantasy players aren't playing in solely 10 man leagues and the one's that I know of that are...still backup their QB's cause brotha...it's a passing league and everyone knows it.



I will give ESPN some cred...they did agree with me that D.McNabb would go all Obama on Washington, D.C. this fall. (meaning that he will come in like New Coke, but when people get a taste of it ...well, ya know). If you are too young to get the New Coke reference, substiture Windows Vista in there and it will work all the same.



3. The last and probably most ridiculous thing ESPN's panel said during the special was to draft alot of running backs early and throughout your draft. One guy said to take as many as possible knowing that a few of them will work out and get you to the promise land. This had me going all Joe Pesci studdering to myself ok ok ok ok k k k ....Have these clowns actually done any 2010 drafts...the top tier of WR's go so quickly and soon after that the next level of guys start coming off the board as well and are probably gone by the end of the 3rd round...you may get TO or Ocho-cinco in the 4th if you are lucky, but you are probably looking at a P.Garcon or Donald Driver type as one your WR 1-2 punch while someone like me will be sitting there with a top 6-7 QB, a top 12 rb and a top 5 WR. RB on the other hand is deep as it's ever been. If you cannot get one of the top 5 RB's is there really that much difference in the next 10 running backs?...who knows if Ryan Grant, DeAngelo Williams, Shonn Greene, Ryan Matthews, or even Joseph Addai who is falling like a rock this year are going to have any difference at all in their final pt totals. There are so many splits out there this year (unlike 5-6 years ago when it was all features and handcuffs) you can, and you better draft 1 good RB along with top WR and QB in the first 3 rounds or you aren't gettting any of the top players at those positions. How can we get in these expert's leagues? Don't get me wrong, I watch espn more than my kids, but I do get tired of the tabloid mess and the obvious fantasy advice...breaking news...draft Chris Johnson...he is good.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Steroids for your Stretch Run pt2

For the second part of my Stretch Run segment, I'll be focusing on pitching. Whether it's because of poor performance or a DL stay, there comes a time when a move must be made to stay competitive. However, this late in a fantasy season finding talent in free agency can be a daunting proposition at best. Here are some arms that you can get some mileage out of, or maybe more. These players are owned in LESS then 50% of Yahoo leagues.

Bud Norris, SP HOU: The Astros patience with their second year fireballer is starting to pay dividends big time. After a ho-hum April & May, Norris found his stuff and his starting spot again in July. Over the last month playing for the offensively challenged Astros, Norris has recorded 39 Ks in just over 38 innings to go along with 4 wins & 3 quality starts. Those in need of K's should grab him fast, but the wins might not be as plentiful.

Anibal Sanchez, SP FLA: Some of you no doubt remember Sanchez from the improbable no-no he hurled against the Diamondbacks his rookie year, but since then it's been a rocky road for the 26 year old. After his 10-3 rookie campaign he proceeded to go 8-14 over parts of the next 3 seasons with Florida. Fast forward to 2010 and things are looking up. His 3.31 ERA and 140 hits allowed over 141+ innings this season show his stuff is as good as it's been since 2006. And his 4 quality starts & 36 K's over his last 32 innings demostrate Anibal the Canibal could be headed to a strong finish.

Jeremy Guthrie, SP BAL: After averaging 180 IP over the last 3 seasons in Baltimore, Guthrie is at the very least the main innings eater for the O's. But a closer look shows a guy that can help out in fantasy leagues when things are going right, and anyone who's witnessed the Buck Showalter era in Baltimore can attest that things ARE going pretty well! And Guthrie is a big part of that turn around. Over the last month he's thrown 5 quality starts and won four of them, allowing only 33 base hits in those 43 innings. I know he isn't the sexiest option out there, but you could do worse if your looking for a guy to round out your rotation.

Gio Gonzalez, SP OAK: Seems Oakland's had alot of really good young SPs go through their franchise in the last decade and Gio has the upside to be one of their best. With a 3.49 era, 10 wins & 121 Ks so far in his first full season with the big club, he's already turned alot of heads. Considering his August numbers(35 K's, 2.70 ERA, 1.07 WHIP & 4 quality starts)it looks like Gonzalez keeps heating up with the weather. A big heads up here to keeper league owners, Gio has top of the rotation written all over him!!

Honerable mention: I gotta send some love to Ted Lilly & Ryan Madson, two guys who've missed time in 2010, but have come back with a vengeance. Although he is owned in slightly more then 50% of leagues,
Lilly's been absolutely unhittable since his relocation to Chaves Ravine. Considering how bad he looked in extended spring training, it's a treat to see him mow through a lineup like he did to the Rockies Wednesday night. And for those of you in leagues that reward holds, Madson is back where he belongs--the 8th inning. And he's thrived their since his return from the DL. If they're available, get these guys into your lineup!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hey Network! Got NFL?

Can someone please explain to me the purpose of the NFL Network when every time I click it during the preseason they are showing "Football Follies" reruns? Does anyone else remember the advertising for full preseason coverage, tape delayed broadcasts of preseason games, "Call your cable service provider NOW!"?

Seriously. This is getting ridiculous. What if every time you turned on the Food Network, you got nothing but top 100 lists of commercials in the vein of "Where's the Beef?" and "Mickey Likes Life"? What if every time you turned to the Discovery Channel... Oh, never mind. I almost forgot about "We jumped the shark week." Poor (or perhaps perfect) analogy.

What's worse, is that with typically convoluted NFL broadcast politics, I don't know who to blame. Goodell? Maybe DeMaurice Smith and the Player's Association are conspiring to black out my research of the top sleeper wide receiver vs. third string secondary highlights? Too bad Arlen Specter is out of office. He might have called a Congressional hearing to address my concern.

What I do know, is that I haven't felt this ripped off since The Planet of the Apes remake. Damn you! Damn you all to Hell, NFL Network!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Doubting Thomas

Listed as the 3rd WR in Redskins camp this year Devin Thomas is not getting much attention from writers outside of Washington D.C. nor in most fantasy draft rooms outside of very deep leagues. I have been on record this summer that this kid outta Michigan State was going to be the best WR the Skins have this year. Thursday night Thomas caught 3 balls for 64 yards and a TD. Sure, that doesn't make him the second coming of Randy Moss but it does show that the kid is on Mcnabbs radar. Defenses are going to emulate fantasy drafters and put their main cover corner guy probably safety help as well on Santana Moss' side of the field. The same Santana Moss that has done nothing but tease fantasy owners and Skins fans for that matter for years now. The same Santana Moss that amassed a whopping 3 TD's last year(Devin also had 3 on about 45 less catches). I guess that was all Jason Campbell's fault? To up Devin's value right now he is listed as the Skins #1 kick returner. Devin Thomas is owned in 22% of Yahoo leagues at the time this is being posted...something tells me that is about to change. And for all of you with Santana Moss posters on your wall (probably Miami Univ. fans or delusional Skins fans) I am not hatin' on Moss. In fact I did draft him on one team this year...can you guess who I took with my next pick?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mourning Coffee

Reason 4,536 we Fantasy Football junkies are complete nerds:

We care about Glen Coffee.

Perhaps this surprise retirement announcement is only a performance intended to increase his own stock in the buzz department, a strategy mastered by the great thespian Brett Favre (but originated by the legendary John Elway). Nonetheless, alas poor Glen, we hardly new you.

You waddled onto the scene as the 74th overall pick in the 2009 draft, sporting an impressive junior year season, Rolling Tide for 1383 rushing yards at 5.9 per attempt. Your training camp as a Forty-Niner looked promising, and you were the coveted Frank Gore handcuff, hoarded by millions of Gore owners and running back vultures in fantasy leagues everywhere.

You rode the pine in real life and in fantasy land. Yes, there was that game last year when you managed 74 yards against the impenetrable Rams, but beyond that, you were an afterthought.

But today! Oh today! Today I logged on to my favorite fantasy news site to see not less than six blurbs centering on your name! If you were a Steeler, you would have to play doctor with a cocktail waitress to pull that off! Don't get me started on what you could do as a Bengal. But you did it with class. You took the "Hey, I think I'm fixin' to retire," schtick to a whole new level. The priesthood! Slick, bro.

Now fantasy drafts from now until September will be tense with that 15th round question, "Dixon, or Robinson?" Oh, the beers and curses that will be pounded in your name! Well done, Father Coffee, well done.

WHAT IF? (part 1)

What if Ryan Matthews is not the stud the experts say he'll be? How many times have we all seen a rookie Rb look mediocre or bust alltogether. Sure the learning curve is alot less for a running back, but this guy is going in the top 10 in almost every draft I have been in. This guy maybe God in cleats for all I know...but what I do know is if the cornerstone of my teams RB's is a rookie...that's an uneasy feeling. Ryan repeatedly goes before Steven Jackson and Shonn Greene and DeAngelo Williams. I consider myself a man of faith, but if you take this guy that early then you have more faith than I do.

What if Jay Cutler is able to grasp the Mike Martz system? Martz, the once heralded Mad Martz for his St. Louis Rams video game-like offense is hangin' out in Chi-town these days trying to bring some fire-works the Bears offense. Martz has been here and there since his days at STL and his teams haven't done much. What martz has not had since his days with Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger is an intelligent QB with the patience and arm strength to make this offense work. Jay Cutler is a big strong armed QB that went to ....wait for it....Vanderbilt and he has a gun for an arm. I am not convinced that Cutler is gonna take the Bears to the SB year one, but I promise you the td's will come, along with plenty of interceptions as well and maybe a few too many sacks. If the bears do have patience in the Martz and Cutler experiment I think the bears offense could get ridiculous as early as 2011. What I am not sure about is if this offense can work in cold weather. Maybe the bears can work it out to play all their playoff games on the road in domes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NFL.COM T.JAM FTBALL DRAFT GRADES

As promised here are the grades from the 8/11/10 NFL.COM draft for T.Jam football. Now, considering this is a 10 man (2qb) league everyonei s gonna be loaded. That means I am going to have to be abit harsher than normal with these picks or give everyone very high grades.

Uncle Johns Band B- this team could be very very good or very mediocre. It depends on whether Ryan Matthews is all that and a bag of chips and if Mike Wallace and M.Crabtree end up being stars this year. Don't love either player and your no.1 WR Colston is in an offense that spreads it around abit so he is more of a 1b in my opinion. Like your bench, love Rodgers and the upside of Forsett, but too many things have to happen for you to win, therefore I don't think you will be more than a 7-5 team. Did I mention that you are a swell guy for letting me in the league?



AC A- This team is well built and has everything you need to win in a 2 qb league. You have the star QB, the QB that could be a fantasy beast and in a ppr setup the roster is loaded with quality wideouts and backs who can catch the ball. This team would've earned a straight up A but I am not sure about the bench..not saying they arent good players but I don't think they are the perfect compliment to this great set of starters. Other than driver can you really count on any of these other guys except for Winslow whom I assume you will start with Daniels healthy problems.



Go Vikes Go! Grade...wait a sec....holy cow this team is loaded...beast set of rb's with MJD, Mendenhall and Shonn Green and then these wrs with Rice, Jennings and S.Smith(nyg) how can this team lose??? Oh look, I just found a way...his QB's. First of all there are only two of them and they are Vince Young and M.Cassell. Isn't this a 2 QB league...don't you need one for your bye week on your bench? Is either Vince or Matt gonna do enough to help you win this league...the answer is, NO and the grade is a C. Yes this is a low grade considering Vikes team looks like a pro bowl roster, but overcoming this QB problem is gonna be too much. When one team's qb's are putting up 80 pts and yours is putting up 30...your roster being a bit better than mine is not gonna matter that much. If for some reason Cassell or Vince put a mark on this years fantasy map, then I don't want to be playing this team.



CrazyBaldHeads C Great RB's, Nice WR's as well. The problem here is with your QB's. Big Ben is out 4 games along with Vjax. That means you will be going with Stafford and Moore for the first 4 weeks and again, no Jackson. 10 man leagues usualy come down to the last week on who makes the playoffs...you could go 1-3 very easily to start out and if you do..you are probably done. even if you somehow go 2-2. Not sure even with Big Ben you have enough firepower at the position.



Berman's Whoops B this team is not the sexiest on the block, but it is well drafted from top to bottom. There is alot of balance here with enough QB play that this team will not be hurt by the QB play. Great WR's, AP to go with Spiller who I like alot in this format plus a nice bench This team should be a playoff team. You woulda got a B+ but there is no backup QB here.



Boise grade B

If Favre doesn't come back this season this team takes a major hit but let's assume #4 is coming back. This team looks very good...The rb 3-pack of Gore, Sjax and PThomas can stick with anyone else's in the league and I think Eli Manning is very underrated coming into the year. Good things are ahead for this squad.

*quick note here, if Favre comes back I think this team should drop one of his starting qb's...a max of 3 starters per team should be in play for the good of the league. of course you can carry any number of your own backups.



Voodoo B here is another team with a great set of RB's and they also have Andre Johnson (gold in a ppr setup) But this is another team I cannot give an A to because there is no backup QB. As far as offensive output goes though...this team should put up pts all year long cause it is not short on firepower, especially at the WR position. Hester may be a sneaky play with these settings as well, good draft VDoo.



Hooligans3 grade C+ - sorry man I am not loving this team. After Carson and Schaub and Roddy White there are too many question marks...too many of those, "hey if this guy gets off this year I am gonna roll" type of players. The upside is huge here, but in a 10 man L. you need to be loaded with more guarantees than this team. TO(headcase) R.Brown(comin off a major injury) Floyd, Bradshaw, Berrian...see where I am headed with this. Good luck man, you will do well, but probably not as well as you'd like. I think the keys for you are Turner returning to form and M.Bush emerging into a consistent factor.



Ice Man ...I don't think this team has much of a shot to do anything in this league without some bigtime tweaking. I am not grading this team because it looks like it was picked by the computer and I believe there was someone who could not get into the draft room. Seeing how the picks fell here with Tate being grabbed as a starter I would assume this team was not handpicked. All is not lost with a wire with this much talent on it. The right wire moves and this team could be in the playoffs mix. If J.Best emerges this team's fortunes could turn quickly. Get a backup QB when you hit the wire next time.



Last but not least Show's team. This team was drafted according to the settings. The QB 1-2 punch of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady was picked more out of where i was in the draft rather than wanting to go qb-qb, at 10-11 it just made sense. This duo is going to be a handful all year long for any opponent and the 1-4 WR corp is a beast in a ppr format. RB's are not real exciting but again, the ppr format should put up very good numbers and Forte may be the smartest pick here. The bench is solid with Evans, Barber handcuffed to Felix and Jacobs as rb 5 or 6 could be a monster steal. Cribbs will look really good as a spot play with the KR yardage as well. If you don't give this team an A, then what do I give it? I suppose you could drop it to a B+ because you could argue there are teams out there with 2 rbs better than any one of mine. I would agree with that.

*Note that grades are a reflection of what I think is your position right now. Moves and turnarounds are easy to make in a 10 man league because of the amount of players that will be coming off the wire week to week. That being said, If you guys prove me wrong I am more than willing to eat my words...preferably on some Honey Wheat bread if you can work that out for me with a side of hint of lime tostitos, if that can be arranged.

Thanks for checking out the blog...I think once all these drafts are done I am going to get with you guys and we are gonna grade the providers of these leagues. It can only help the improvement of the draft interfaces and game play throughout all the leagues to let these big companies know what we like in a league.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Heads Up!: Steroids for your Stretch Run pt1

Throughout the course of the fantasy baseball season I will try to keep our readers apprised of impact/up & coming players that should at the very least be put on your radar. My goal is to try to put that info out there while you still have a realistic chance of adding the players I target. These will be my Deadhead "Heads Up" picks--here are a few guys that could help you down the stretch, a time that can make or break any fantasy season(these players are owned in LESS then 50% of Yahoo leagues):

Jose Tabata(OF only): After toiling in the Yankees farm system for several seasons Tabata was sent to Pittsburg in the Xaviar Nady deadline deal of 2008. He found his path to the big leagues much easier in Pittsburg then he ever could have in New York, and after a mere 52 games in the outfield he's begun to make a name for himself. He's currently batting .310 with 12 steals and an impressive 32 runs scored. Plus, his 17/29 walk to strikout ratio isnt too bad for a first dip into the major league pool--a big Heads Up here, get him on your radar, if not in your lineup!!

Starlin Castro(SS only): Castro was called up in early May and made an immediate impact in just his first major league game by driving in a Cub rookie record six runs while tripling & belting his 1st career dinger. Now I'm sure nobody expected that kind of production to be the norm from young Starlin(cool baseball name BTW, isnt it?), but he's demostrated a steady bat and a pretty good knack at getting on base for a rookie. His .356 OBP isn't exactly lead off material yet, but his .310 BA, 36 RBI, 33 runs and 29 extra base hits thus far are nice peripherals for a player at a thin position like SS. Those of you in keeper leagues should take note, he has the raw talent to be a top tier shortstop in any format.

Pedro Alvarez(3rd base only): I wanted to try to keep this to no more then one player from any one team, but Alvarez demands that kind of respect, pure and simple! After being slected 2nd overall by Pittsburg in 2008 he proceeded to tear through the minors is just over a year & a half until he got the call to the big club on June 16th. After stiking out 22 times in his first 50 ML at bats he suddenly located his on switch to the tune of 10 HRs, 31 RBI and 20 runs scored--considering his slow start he did most of that damage in his last 30 games, which if you do the math, illustrates what kind of upside we're looking at here. You'll have to deal with the K's that accompany most young power hitters, but with 2 muti-home run games already under his belt, it goes w/out saying this is a BIG Heads Up!!

David Murphy(OF only): Murphy, who was a first round pick of the Red Sox back in 2003, has shown glimpses of his potential, but never seems to be able to hold onto a starting spot and run with it for any length of time. But the recent play of Julio Bourbon has opened up basically an every day spot in the lineup for Murphy and he has responded well. In the last few weeks playing nearly every day he's hit 5 HRs, driven in 14, but most impressively he boasted an 8/6 BB/K ratio. If you're in need of a power infusion you could do worse--he plays half his games in Arlington after all!

*If you're looking for help at any one postion feel free to comment/post any questions you might have--always happy to flex my baseball brain!

**Coming up next: Steroids for your Stretch Run pt2: I'll give you a few pitching options to help put your team over the top.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Showdown 2010 Draft Recap & Grades

Recap: (complete grades are after the recap)
Rd. 1 - Showdown 2010 began with the typical CJ, AP, MJD and Rice a Roni main course, but after that it was an anything but typical road all the way to the end. The first mini-reach of the draft came at pick 5 when Stewie Lives picked Andre Johnson(we'll have more on this owner later). More of the usual suspects came after as Turner and Gore flew off the board and the rook Matthews went to Bolt Action at pick 10. Masters got great value at pick #12 with last years second leading rusher (despite missing some games) in S.Jackson. Show grabbed the first QB A.Rodgers at pick 13.

Rd. 2 - The first pick in the 2nd round was a surprise in Desean Jackson which was the 2nd WR over all. Maybe he is an eagles fan? Maybe he figues the return yds Jax brings is enough to warrant this pick. It's not bad...just curious. After this pick the usual flow of top ranked wr's flew off the shelf like fresh Krispy Kreme's. Manning, Brady and Schaub also go here.

Rd. 3 - P.Rivers kicks off rd 3 and is followed by Romo (first draft I have been in, I believe, where Romo was not picked just ahead of Rivers. J.Charles comes at a bit of a surprise here, but it's hard to question the pick the way he finished last year. The Percy Harvin pick by Wind sorta blew me away(yeah i know that's bad). This was reach city. First of all, we don't know that Favre is coming back and second of all he is the 3rd option at best on that team. With both S.Smiths, Boldin, Beanie, Beanie and Dallas Clark on the board Percy just wasn't the pick here and could have easily been had 2 rounds later. Almost as bad was Brett Favre going to Hawkeye Woody in this round in pick 11 (better get a nice backup). D.Clark was the first TE picked by Mastermind. Javid Best(toonc) and L.McCoy(show) both stuck around til the last picks of this round so RB value for teams who picked QB and RB early was still to be had.

Rd. 4 - This round was highlighted by 2nd to 3rd tier backs coming off the board along with the other top TE's. Wind continued his questionable draft with a trendy young player in Dez Bryant. Wes Welker was taken last here by Hooligans in what could be the steal of the round.

Rd. 5 - This round bursts onto the scene with TO going before Ocho. The rest of the round goes pretty much according to the settings with #2 WR's and a few 3rd tier backs. P.Garcon' is a good value here at pick 11 by Hawkeye.

Rd. 6 - Mastermind goes defense here with the Jets (hey Steve, you better hope Revis signs). Don't like this pick here because in 14 man or larger leagues these middle rounds are crucial for the offensive depth of your team. Bolt Action grabs Santana Moss in yet another draft...you are banking big on this guy this year, hope he comes through for you..I still think Devin Thomas in his 3rd year is the Skins WR to watch in 2010. Alan grabs Bradshaw here adding another 3rd tier type of RB trying to recover from not picking an RB for the first 3 Rounds. Now loaded at WR and QB we will see how this strategy plays out down the line...took guts to try it, I give you that. Brandon Jacobs looks to be the beefy steal of this round. Not lovin' AC's pick of Gonzalez here...his name is a heckofalot better than his numbers are gonna be this season, but I do realize the pickin's were getting thin at TE.

Rd. 7 - 10. Alot of really solid picks in the 7th; Forsett (like this pick Alan), J.Harrison, Winslow, Fred Jackson, D.Mason, Wallace, Barber. Carson Palmer comes off the board in round 8! Remember Brett Farve in round 3? I am betting their numbers this years are very comparable...this is a really nice grab at the last pick of round 8 by Hooligans. Z.Miller (Bong hits) and A.Foster (Show) highlight round 9 and round 10 begins a title wave of DST's being taken ...best pick of that round was either D.Thomas(toot-toot) or Massaquoi (Delhomme has to throw to someone).

Rd 11-17. Here's where the depth/upside picks can make or break your team. These are the picks that the better players enjoy making. Where teams seperate themselves from the pack or doom their teams to mediocrity. This recap is getting abit drawn out so I am going to list the picks I liked the best in these rounds and the managers who took them. I may also comment on some picks I didn't like at all.
Rd.11 picks I liked: Cooley (AC), T.Hightower(Hooligans), C.Henne (Bolt), D.Avery(Tooc.)
and Big Ben (Wind)
Rd.12 Not much going on in this round.
Rd. 13 This is the "Hey remember 2008 when I was awesome" round.
Lance Moore(hooligans), Bernard Berrian(Stewie), Roy Williams(MM) good upside this late, he has all the incentive and every opportunity in the world to produce in BigD this year. And to complete our 2008 studs list Leon Washington end the round(toocinators).
Rd14. Rooks highlight this round with Toby "John Riggins" Gerhart going to (Bong Hits)
And yet again, why on earch is Snelling being taken by Bolt here. The pick is a good one for him, but why, why, why does M.Turner owners continue to ignore this guy. Snelling is a key handcuff this year people...How many times do I have to say it!
Rdds 15-17 complete a fun draft (congrats Bill on a good league)
Found it interesting that Plaxico Burress, who is on my all-work release team was drafted by Hooligans in the last round. My fav. pick in the last round was probably Josh Morgan by Dream Team or my man Sam Bradford going last in the draft (Toocinators)

Draft Grades
Bong Hits B- +'s good set of power backs. -'s Bench
Hooligans2 C- +'s Welker grab, -'s Depth at WR
Toocinators C+ +'s Djax, Best and Williams Combo - -'s late drafting decisions
81 + 85 Takeover B- +'s Very Solid Core, -'s QB depth
AC Express A- Balance across the board. Older Rb's have some wear and tear and could be a concern here.
Wind D. +'s are Drew Brees and Grant. -'s loaded up on #3 WR's and reached on too many young players.
AcHookers B. +'s include Beast wr corp with Rice. -'s, after Rice big ?'s at RB.
Bolt Action B+ +'s Wr corp could be a monster and I also like the Henne pick to backup Eli who'll be feast or famine this year. -'s depending too much on rookie rb's who are a 50/50 gamble. Top rook helps your chances. I woulda grabbed sproles to handcuff Matthews.
Mastermind C+ +'s Manning, Sjax and D.Clark / Veteran Stability. -'s V.jax suspension, depth ?'s. Key for this team is avoiding slow start.
Dream Team C+ +'s Schaub and good 1-2 punch at RB. -'s Odd mix of WR's here. no depth at all at RB.
Show A- +'s Depth all over/not sexy but efficient. -'s no big stud at RB to carry the load. Need lower rated backs to be all they can be.
Stewie B- +'s Brady paired with two Bigtime! WR's -'s ?'s at RB (will be the key to his season) No rb's drafted in the first 3 rds...risky strategy here, hope it pays off for ya.
Mounties B- +'s Solid WR's/RB 1 & 2. -'s Not sold on Mcnabb this year and the depth here is questionable.
Hawkeye D +'s Green and 1-2 WR. -'s Farve in the 3rd? and you back him up with Vince Young? This is a draft don't. Depth is very poor here, RB 2-3 are backups.

*Like I have said before, I don't have a crystal ball so every team has a chance going into this year...These rankings reflect who has the best teams starting out. Injuries, breakout players, and wire claims can change the landscape in a hurry. Goodluck to all.
**for game day updates this season on injuries and pickups of the week follow me on my new twitter account at www.twitter.com/westheshow
email: wes@showfantasysports.com

Sunday, August 8, 2010

2010 Draft Don'ts

I was talking to a friend of mine this morning and we were discussing how high Andre Johnson has been going in the drafts this year. I was doing a 14 team draft last week and watched him go #9 overall. This kind of top WR draft trend is what we were seeing last year with Larry Fitzgerald and in years past with Randy Moss. Now, I am all for opposite drafting. I was doing that back when you'd hear a gasp in the war room if you selected any WR in the early 2nd round, but back in those days it was cool...it was edgy...now it's either smartly done or it is flat reaching. In the case of a 14-16 man league you gotta buy the milk and bread before you head over to the Doritos aisle....they taste so good but they are not the staple you need with that early pick. I think taking Johnson in the top 10-12 picks in a 14-18 man draft is a big don't. If you pull this trigger you are gonna end up with Knowshon Moreno or someone along those lines as your top back and even a lesser RB filling that number 2 role. You probably have a better shot at starting yourself in the NFL than winning your league with a poor Rb situation in a deep league. Here are more don'ts for your 2010 draft.

1. Don't draft Brett Favre without a good backup plan. (seem obvious? look around your leagues and you will see that's managers are making this mistake)

2. New face in a new place ...hey a new lease on life under a new helmet you say? Look carefully, LT is just as broken down as he was last year. If you are not in a TD only league(where he is likely to do his Marcus Allen imitation for the next year or two cause the man can sniff the goal line) avoid him. And, for all you Donovan Mcnabb owners looking into his mind and seeing "I'll show those Eagles, I am a chunky soup eating, TD throwin' machine". Sorry Don, you are leaving a good system there in Philly so strike up the band, "Hail to the....Don't".

3. Don't draft Micheal Turner without getting Snelling later on. Don't be the fool that thinks MT is gonna put up 2008 numbers and Snelling is just going to disappear. Get him late and sleep better for it.

4. Don't draft V.Shiancoe unless you are absolutely sure Favre is coming back. If you do you will have half the fun by getting half his number in 2010.

*for quick game day updates on injuries and player pickups check out www.twitter.com/westheshow

Friday, August 6, 2010

Beantown Bummer!

Not since the Boston Massacre have we seen such carnage in Beantown. Injuries have hit the BoSox early and often, starting with Jacoby Ellsbury, and continuing with Josh Beckett and Victor Martinez. But no one injury this season has a chance to derail the Sox like this latest one does. The news that Kevin Youkilis will go under the knife today leaves no doubt that his 2010 has come to an abrupt end. The odds of the Sox catching either the Yanks or Rays just got considerably longer, but what's to come of the legions of fantasy owners who were counting on Youk to hold down one of their corner infield spots through the fantasy playoffs?? Here are five options for those of you in that sinking ship(since the majority of our leagues are played on Yahoo, I will be looking at CIs currently owned in LESS then 50% of Yahoo leagues):

1)Chris Johnson (3rd base only): Although not the huge power threat of some up and coming CIs, Johnson has shown an uncanny level of consistancy & poise for a rookie callup. With playing time assured & another young future stud Brett Wallace manning first base, are we seeing the changing of the guard in Houston??

2) Luke Scott(1st base & LF): Consistancy has been an issue for Scott in the past, but when he's hot he usually smolders. With 8 HRs and 17 RBIs over his last 67 at bats, I'd say it's safe to assume he's trending in the right direction.

3) Gaby Sanchez(1st base only): After patiently waiting for his chance over the last five seasons in the Marlins farm system, Sanchez was finally given the chance to prove himself, and the results have been one of the highpoints in an otherwise uneventful season in South Florida. He's seemed to avoid alot of the prolonged slumps that tend to affect most young players and he's become an intregal part of the Marlins infield. For the year his average sits at .294 with 12 long balls, 49 runs & 52RBI, all tantalizing numbers for a first full season.

4)Ike Davis(1st base only): Davis burst onto the seen in late April and played a big part in the Mets early season success. Of course he's had his ups and downs like all the Mets have, but his 15 HRs, 53 RBI & 50 runs scored in just over 90 games demonstrates the upside that's there. With 11 extra base hits & 14 RBIs over the last month, he's definately a servicable substitute, albeit a risky one at this early stage of his career. Keeper league owners take note of him & Gaby!

5)Jose Lopez(1st, 2nd & 3rd base): Ah, the conundrum that is Jose Lopez! After belting 40+ doubles in the last two seasons & 25 HRs in 2009, Lopez has seemed to fall off the fantasy map, but I'm a big believer in the law of averages. And after averaging 41 doubles, 21 HRs and 92 RBI over the last two seasons I'd have to say a correction is forthcoming. Even if he finishes the season with his numbers down 30% from 2008-09 he still would have 9 more HRs and 30+ RBIs & Runs left in the tank--but caveot emptor on this one!!

Pigskin and FL Heat Power Rankings for 2010

Pigskin Power Rankings
1. DC
2. Show
3. TCH
4. Rejects
5. Rollaz
6. Lynchers
7. Bolt
8. AC
9. Impact
10. Dreamin'
11. Imbeciles
12. Bama (sorry champ but you have work to do)
*no grades here because half the team was keeper players

Florida Heat Power Rankings
*there are so many teams so close here these rankings are tough to do before alot of position battles are done and the preseason injuries come into play so these will be ever changing.
1. Stewis
2. Strange
3. DC
4. Davistators
(these guys had the best drafts and get a strong B+ on the show ffb ranking index)
5. MM
6. AC
7. Show
8. MLM
9. Bolt (drafted well late)
10. Lassie
11. Storm
(this next tier is large..all get a B rating and are balanced)
12. 24
13. Wayne-o
14. Fury
(these guys get a B- rating and may need to make an early move)

If you would like an individual team breakdown I will be glad to do it. Post in the comment section exactly what you are looking for. Awards coming later.

Florida Heat and Pigksin Fallout

The Florida Heat FFB draft went off last night with 100% participation. It is always a tough draft with the class of managers we have in there and the depth of a 14 man league only makes it harder. The Pigskin Draft was held Wed. night. Later this morning I will post power rankings for both leagues and dish out a few draft awards for things like best sleeper pick, biggest reach and maybe best last pick in the draft.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fantasy Baseball: The Deadhead Perspective

First off I'd like to thank Wes & Mark for putting this blog together--I've always felt one of the best ways to prep for a fantasy league is to get as many different perspectives as possible, and it's my hope we'll be able to showcase many points of view while weeding out some of the fluff that you find in alot of the fantasy themed web sites. Even though I play fantasy all year long, I will mainly deal with Major League Baseball. Any questions, comments or ideas you may have are not only welcomed they are encouraged!! With two thirds of the baseball season in the books, I will mainly concentrate on aspects of the stretch run, possible playoff teams/impact players & the best way to prepare for 2011 & beyond in keeper or dynasty league formats.

So if you're ready to get off the pine & into the starting lineup, this will be an invaluable resource for all your fantasy quiries!! Not sure which of your four outfielders to bench?? Is it time to cut bait on that aging superstar?? Why does your team look so GOOD on paper but so BAD in the standings?? Maybe it's time you ask the Deadhead!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kicking Down the Door

As Brett Favre considers whether he should walk out the door of the NFL, Show Sports smashes onto the blog scene with a clinched fist ready to go to war for you and your fantasy teams. Armed with some of the most unique perspectives on real and fantasy sports our writers will give you an arnsenal of up to date information to compete for championships in all forums. Check back with us often as our writers keep a constant flow of knowledge aimed straight at you. If you have a question, a rant, something to share that involves sports in any way we want to hear it. In the coming days we will be bringing in readers and comments from across the country. Remember, everyone has an opinion...the difference is, we're right.

A special shout out to Mark Burdette for getting this all started. And props to DeadheadBill for all that he is bringin' to this party.