Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Morning After Pill - Week 12

We can't be heading into week 13 already, can we? for many, this realization is a splash of ice cold water this morning that says, "Hey, you're going to miss the fantasy playoffs!" For me, it's a reminder that I wasted a good three months taking classes and trying to better my life when I could have been focusing on fantasy football.

But my classes are winding down, so I'm slowly getting my priorities straight. So here I am, the Pierre Thomas of blog writing, finally ready to contribute a few snaps, albeit this week I'll only be contributing at the Sidney Rice level until I shake the rust off.

So back to missing the playoffs. It happens. So does Matthew Stafford and the other S-word. You have two weeks (maybe only one) to get your excuses ready (since you are obviously not very good at getting your lineup ready).

So here you go:

The Top 10 Excuses for Missing the Fantasy Playoffs

10. I put my eggs in the Tony Romo, Ryan Matthews, Kenny Britt, Dallas Clark basket.

Yes, injuries happen, but that's what backups are for. Sadly, your backups were Vince Young, Beanie Wells, and Lee Evans.

9. Andre the Johnson snapped and went all “steel cage match” on my starters. Now they are on IR or suspended.

8. I was too busy to set my roster because UR MOM kept calling me.

I got that one from a 7th grader.

7. I forgot that for Redskins players, every week is a bye week.

6. I didn’t realize that no Kurt Warner meant no fantasy points for anyone in Arizona.

5. How many QB’s named “Smith” does San Fran have again?

I actually just won a game I shouldn't have because my opponent started Alex Smith. Neither of us noticed until it was too late. Who cares about the SF QB unless his name is Montana or Young?

4. I didn’t believe the hype about Arian Foster.

Consider that an, "IN YO Face!" to all the haters out there who are losing to me.

3. Yahoo kept making Wednesday stat corrections that turned my tight wins to losses. Plus, I scored the most points in my league, but every week my opponent had a career day. Now I’m 5-9.

True story. My excuse in one league. Not copyrighted. Use at your leisure.

2. I paid a fantasy site for its “season pass” insider info tips, and I believed things that Mike Shanahan said.

Short version: "I am a dumbass".

1. And the number one excuse... You know it's coming. Wait for it... Wait for it...

I tugged on Supermans cape.

I spit into the wind.

I something, blah, blah, yada yada

And I started my running backs against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

News and Notes

I have an inside source that tells me the reason Arizona's Derek Anderson was smiling on sidelines while losing big to the Niners was that his fantasy opponent in week 12 started .....Derek Anderson at QB.

The source of C.Finnegan's endless rage is a concern for the NFL. After the fight with Andre3000 reports outta Titans camp think it could be because he picked Vince Young number 1 in his fantasy draft.

Dwayne Bowe and Peyton Hillis - unreal what these guys are doing...hard to believe that you would have rather drafted these two over guys like Brandon Marshall and Stephen Jackson.

Injury Nightmares around the league:
Frank Gore is done...trying to figure out who the better handcuff is going forward...Westbrook or Dixon is a problem. Westbrook looked great last night...but you can't count on that kind of performance vs. a real defense. Dixon was awesome in the preseason.

Vincent Jackson - for all of you who waited on VJack...keep waiting..he is for sure out this week and could be out 2 after tweaking a calf in his return...figures.

Malcolm Floyd's hammy injury is very frustrating to owners after he emerged as a top 10 fantasy WR early on this season....no word on what his status is for week 13.

Adrian Peterson could miss this week or at the very least be limited....Toby Gerhart is a nice one week play if nothing else in week 13 because the Vikings will run the ball. You could easily get 100 yds and a touchdown outta TobyG this week.

Antonio Gates did not look good in that game vs the Colts...he is a tough guy and will play through pain, but he is not at full speed so temper your expectations going forward.

Every Sunday I dish out all the injury news on twitter at westheshow and on our facebook page showfantasysports check it out before you do your final lineup tweaks. Also look for a comprehensive Prep this week including full team capsules.

Friday, November 26, 2010


THE PREP is going to be short and sweet for week 12...here are a few players I like this week and a few that I do not. Join us on the facebook page this week(showfantasysports) as we chat from 9am up through game time with all the inactives and actives lists and all the info you need to tweak your lineup. The last few weeks I have put weekly thoughts in the discussions section of the site each morning up to gam etime...even if you don't have time to chat...check out the discussion boards. The last few weeks you would have found advice on sleepers and plays that were on the money...you can also hit me up on twitter at westheshow. Have a great weekend.

Start 'Em - Suit 'Em Up!
Browns DST - Jimmy Clausen has been terrible this year...guess who starts for the Panthers this week?
James Jones - WR, Packers - Bill called this week's ago when Finley went down...since then most weeks James is a big part of the PackAttack...this week I like his chances at Atlanta
Randy Moss WR Titans - Yeah I know...we should be benching him no matter what, right? Wrong, I think this week is the tell tale sign for us to see if Randy has mailed it in. Moss and his rookie QB will face the worst pass defense in the NFL this week...if Randy comes to play he will do some damage..."if" being the key word...if you are a gambler...say "hit me", just don't be afraid to bust.
Sidney Rice WR. Vikings - he may have more rust on him that the 49ers playoff bandwagon, but he got a whopping 13 targets last week...it's just a matter of time...don't be the one sitting him when he makes his come back to fantasy relevance.
Mike Tolbert RB Bolts- another nice match up for him with no Ryan Matthews to get in the way.
Matt Hasselback QB Seahawks - At home this team is a handful and KC's inexperienced corners will pay the price this week. KC is still overrated.
D.McFadden RB Raiders - this is one of those weeks you will want Darren in your backfield.
Knowshon Moreno RB Broncos - a tasty matchup hosting the Rams this week. Look for Moreno to have a nice day on the ground and catching the ball and expect at least one score.
Jabar Gaffney WR Broncos - look for him to score this week...play him.
Donald Brown RB Colts - with J.James and Addai and Hart ailing the opportunity is there vs SD at home this week...run him out...you could do worse.
Derek Hagan and Mario Manningham WRs NYG - both looking to feast on the Jags this week.
No Country For Old Men Starts of the week - I like McNabb and Farve this week...run the old geezers out and expect some points as they face each other this week.
K.Williams RB Skins - the Redskins backfield has been decimated by injuries...Williams is healthy and not a bad player...good plug in play this week.

Sit them down:
Brandon Marshall WR Dolphins - Doubtful this week...he's been awful so I am not sure I would play him even if he was completely healthy. (1 td this year, unreal)
Steve Smith WR Carolina - cannot trust Clausen to get him the ball.
M.Williams WR Bucs - I don't love the Ravens corners...in fact they aren't all that good in my opinion...but history says Tampa doesn't play well in the cold and Baltimore should slow the Tampa offense to a slow crawl. This also means Sit Josh Freeman.
Sit Ronnie Brown RB Dolphins - Brown has been a huge disappointment for owners this year...I have dropped him in a few leagues and just don't see how any owner can trust him going into your fantasy playoffs. I'd like to see more of Ricky Williams if I am a Dolphins fan.
Fred Jackson RB Bills - I have been enjoying Fred's mini run of late as i held onto him in many leagues and have got my payback the past two week's as FJax has ran wild. This week he faces a Steelers Defense in what could be an ugly game.
Dwane Bowe WR Chiefs - Kinda hard to sit this guy with the roll he has been on, but this game worries me for some reason. I think Cassell is really going to struggle up there in the Seattle and that won't be good for Bowe so temper your expectations on him.

Good luck in week 12. Team capsules return next week for week 13.
Wes / theShow

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thursday Night Throwdown - Turkey Day Special

Thanksgiving Special Edition of the Thursday "Night" Throwdown -

Well you will have to pardon me up front as because of the fact that I am handling 3 games this week, I will merely be writing a game prediction summary for each game as I to do have a family and plan to spend the weekend with my wife curled up on the sofa watching football and pulling out the Christmas decorations. 

1st Up : Lions hosting the Patriots.  Is this a trap game for Tom Brady and the boys?  I don't think so.  Detroit is starting to put together quite the nucleus of young talented players but they aren't there yet.  They play with alot of heart and I don't expect them to get blown out, but I am also not expecting them to be able to control the Pats offense now that they finally have somewhat of a running game with Woodhead and B.E.G.  I like the Pats to cover the spread. 
Tur-duck-en winner of the game :  Tom Brady - 272 Yards and 3 TDs

In the afternoon matchup, most of America will have now finished stuffing our faces and be slumping into whatever comfortable seat we can find wherever we are to watch Jerry's new house host the T-Day classic.  New Orleans comes in on a short week looking to stop the roll that Jason Garrett has the 'Boys on.  The Cowboys aren't as bad as their record appears but they aren't ready to knock off a team as good as New Orleans.  The Saints win by more than a touchdown.
Tur-duck-en winner of the game : Marques Colston - 8 catches for 121 yards and 2 TDs

By this time of the evening, most of America has seen all their family and is getting settled back at their own houses or hotel or wherever they are laying their heads for the night.  And what does the NFL give us?  The biggest tryptophan related team in the NFL (ie. team most likely to put you to sleep) - the Bengals.  Also to compound the pain, they face the Jets.  Not exactly the most exciting matchup in my opinion.  I am not a fan of Mark Sanchez.  I have said that on numerous occasions.  He is horribly inaccurate (only 2 QBs have a lower completion % in the NFL, Derek Anderson and Jason Campbell - WOW!).  As for his recent 3 game success of solid games?  Let's look at the competition, it was Cleveland, Houston and Detroit.  Cincinnati is no defensive jugganot either.  However, I think this is the game where the Jets go back to what they do best to win games.  Run the ball and run the clock as fast as possible.  With that and solid D, that's all they need to win against lesser teams (doesn't cut it against the good teams - Green Bay and Baltimore).  Don't read too much into the Jets record without looking at their opponents.  They have beat 1 team thus far with a winning record (N.E.)  The Jets probably win this one, but only because Cinci is that bad, not because the Jets are that good. 
Tur-duck-en winner of the game :  Jets running attack - 175 yards rushing and 2 TDs.


Week 12 is coming quickly and it's time for another edition of the writer's sleeper challenge. We have a new leader in DeadheadBill (scores will follow on Tuesday), Ryan is in second and I am somewhere back there somewhere in 3rd. We'll see after the weekend who is going to be thankful for these holiday sleepers. Now we go to the pick's accompanied by a comment or two by the writers who made the picks.

Ryan's Picks

My Picks this week : It always seems the best week to grab the next up breakout guy I get last choice, and again that pattern continues this week with 3 of my top choices being picked by Bill or Wes. So here I roll with the backup squad -

So I am going to keep the pattern alive of picking guys that I can't spell or pronounce their names alive.

Michael Hoomanawanui - TE - STL - Standout young TE is quickly becoming both a fan favorite because of his name and his QBs favorite check down target. Bradford is the real deal and as he grows as a QB, Hooman is going to grow as a go to TE. He has the skills to pull in 6 passes for 87 yards and a score.

Jason Snelling - RB - ATL - Probably stretching here, but I am hoping he can do something against the vaunted Packers defense. Basically hoping he can sneak a few catches in the 2nd half when I expect the Falcons to have to throw the ball more to play catch up - 23 yards rushing - 52 yards receiving - 1 TD.

Bill's Picks

My 1st sleeper this week is Emmanuel Sanders, WR Pittsburgh(owned in 2% of leagues)--sure it's always a risk playing a teams #3 WR in a game they could go ahead early and run alot late, but Ben has been looking his way a few times a game, so in deeper leagues you could do worse. I like Sanders for a solid 50-60 yards and a possible score.

I'm going with 2 WRs this week--Seattle playing at home against the Chiefs should have plenty of reasons to throw and Hasselback seems to have good chemistry with Ben Obomanu, WR(owned in 1% of leagues). He's not gonna be the most consistent guy out there, but as long as he sees 5 or 6 targets each game he'll have a chance to justify starting him. I think 70 yards is a pretty good estimate with a trip to the endzone being the ultimate goal.

Show's Pick's

Derek Hagan WR Giants (owned in 13% of leagues)

The former QB out of Virginia has burst onto the fantasy scene due to a rash of WR injuries. Derek should get the start this week vs a suspect Jags secondary and is a good bet to be in the scoring mix.

Maurice Morris - RB - Lions (owned in 6% of leagues)
Morris won't start on Thanksgiving day vs the Patriots, but he should get plenty of playing time with Jahvid Best clearly being hampered by his turf toe injury. Morris should get quite a few garbage time catches in this one and hopefully a trip to the painted ends of the field.

Place Your Bets Week 12 Thanksgiving Edition

First off, happy Thanksgiving to all of you, make sure you spend lots of time with those you love this extended weekend!

In case you get bored, the NFL has given us 3 games now on Thanksgiving in recent years, I will pick all three of those games as well as a few other tips.

Last week I was 2-1 missing the New England game by half a point...not a bad start! I hit my lock of the year (Balt -10 over Car) and lock of the week (Atl -3 @ STL).

Here we go starting with some more winners: On Turkey Day I will give you my choice for all three games since they are played tomorrow.
New England -6.5 @ Detroit: This game looks like a sucker bet for The Patriots, but the number has gotten smaller this week, indicating that people like Detroit. However, I don't see that trend as it looks to me that New England is the choice of most. If you can get 6.5 for New England, take it. I like New England by at least a TD in this one, as Detroit is historically bad on Turkey Day and New England loves to shine brightest when the lights are shining.


New Orleans @ Dallas: Both teams are surging of late and Dallas is the polar opposite of Detroit on Turkey day. They have dominated lately. However the Saints have had one of the quietest Super Bowl defending seasons ever this year, in large measure to there porous record against the number early on this year. However, they have been great of late and have pulled those statistics close to even for the season. Dallas is rejuvenated, but New Orleans is still superior because of Drew Brees. Take New Orleans, give the points.

Cincinnati @ New York Jets- If you can get this game for under 10 points it is a no-brainer for the Jets. Most places are giving -9 in favor of the team in green. This is easy money as the game is at New York and The Bengals are one of the NFL's worst 5 teams. Carson Palmer is hurt. No doubt. Watch him and how he treats his shoulder during this game and you will see. Jets want a statement game especially against two mouthy wide outs on national television. Jets will roll by two TD's. This is my lock of the week.

TAKE JETS -9 for 5 stars.

One last big play is Houston vs Tennessee. It is an even play or -1 play most places. Lock in the even or -1 now! Houston will demolish the Titans. Houston offense is still formidable and their D is facing Rusty Smith in his first start. That means a heavy dose of Chris Johnson, which is normally bad, but when he is the only threat, no RB can stop 8 in the box. Johnson will get his yards, and is still a nice fantasy play, but this will be a trouncing by the Texans.

Take the Texans now while most still have it as even...

GAMES to ignore:

Minnesota @ Washington: Skins have been like a roller coaster and are severely banged up, Minnesota has a new coach, and we saw what Jason Garrett did for the Cowboys. Hard to figure this game out, so leave it alone.

Pittsburgh- Buffalo: Buffalo has been scoring and playing as a cohesive unit, Pittsburgh has looked good lately, but the 6.5 points makes this one too tough to call at Buffalo.

Carolina @ Cleveland: This was even but in one day went to -11 Cleveland. At that number its dangerous to play. Baltimore needed all four quarters to pull away last week with a similar spread, Cleveland is not Baltimore. Don't play this unless you get it for single digits.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner - Keep it Simple

Let me preface this by saying this has absolutely nothing to do with fantasy football but has everything to do with Thanksgiving and the food we all love so much.

I am going over to my wife's sisters house for Thanksgiving this year and they are having a ton of family over for dinner....I have no idea how many people are coming, but it's gonna look like a food drive outside trailor park. There is going to be so much food there the garbage truck is going to have to make a separate run just for this one house. There's one thing you can guarantee about this gathering...that there will be way too many different kinds of food. The kinds of food only scientists in yellow suits should be experimenting with. All I need is some juicy turkey with some good old fashioned dressing and some delicious gravy and a roll to sop up the gravy with. What I will undoubtedly find is a variety of food combinations ...foods that were never meant to go together. For example, one year I went to a friends house for Thanksgiving and there were prunes and nuts in the dressing and vegetables inside the rolls. Maybe they put the prunes in the dressing to make the family more regular after dinner? It's like this every year...some relative has to make a few dishes that has green beans and peanut butter and yogurt and pumpkin in it. And you know who made it because they are the first one to say, "Wes did you try the marshmallow, chip pea gravy, with the fresh shrimp garnish?" and what I want to say is....No, that's why the pan is still full !!! Why do relatives do this to us?....All we guys want are the staples and maybe one special dish we may get once or twice a year, everyone has their favorites...but why do we need like 5 extra dishes...do we want our plates covered in all these small spoon sized portions of different recipe's that would make that guy from Bizarre Foods gag? Let me break this down for you Thanksgiving hosts out there...Turkey, Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy and a roll...add in a special dish...maybe green bean casserole if you like that kinda thing or some special salad...but leave it at that. This will lesson the awkward moment of asking us if we tried something we were trying to avoid...it will shorten the bathroom line after dinner and allow all us guys to grub on the things we love the most and hit desert table without wondering how long it will take til we get the runs from grandma's peach spice pheasant livers...just because you can doctor it enough so you can stomach it...doesn't mean you should eat it.


They are not who we thought they were.

Dennis Green has a famous line that he used in a press conference a few years back when he said "They were who we thought they were, and we let 'em off the hook". In this article we turn that around and talk about some players who are most definitely not who we thought they were in 2010.

Jahvid Best
- As LT can vouch for a turf toe injury can disable a running back from being able to change direction and pretty much ruin a season. Best had a great debut, but has become a dropable player in most formats that aren't keepers. With Kevin Smith out of the year this would seem to be the time that Best could give us his best and help owners make the playoffs and/or win a championship. Now owners are benching and dropping the rook out of Cali and going with other options. I do think that Best will have a great sophomore season much in the same way that LeSean McCoy has really done well for the Eagles after having a year to digest the offense and adjust to the speed of the NFL. I would gladly keep him, but this year is already lost.

Ryan Matthews
- I hate to say I told you so...but I told you so. You simply cannot draft a rookie as your number 1 RB despite that players skill set. Countless managers who cling to experts predictions like a teddy bear on a cold night have learned a hard lesson this year. No one can predict how a rook will adjust to the NFL's speed, complexity and in this case the physical nature of the game. This isn't college where you are going to be bigger and faster than everyone else on the field. You don't have Ray Lewis types hitting you in college. Durability issues have made Ryan a huge first year bust, but like Best I do like him as a keeper because he is a great fit for the SD offense...if he can stay on the field.

Shonn Greene
- The second year back finished the 2009 season like a monster. His hard running style had owners drooling over his 2010 prospects for the Jets to are committed to the running game and have a great O-line to boot. Along comes LT free of the injuries that had stolen his value in past years. LT has had a great 3/4 of the season which has hurt Shonn's value big time. The problem now is Shonn is getting alot more carries but simply isn't putting up the TD's or numbers that was last year....I for one am majorly disappointed with him and feel that drafting him was a mistake. Hopefully he will put up a few nice games down the stretch to justify his draft status.

Pierre Thomas RB Saints
- I am starting to think that Pierre Thomas should have tried out for cheerleader instead of running back. Pierre has frustrated the Saints brass with his slow healing injuries. Again this year the PT Cruiser has teased us with great performances one Sunday only to be parked in the garage for weeks. I traded this guy in the one keeper league where I owned him before the season, because even while healthy last year he showed a propensity for going from stud one week to dud the next. No one can bring their A game every week, but more often than not over the past few seasons the Cruiser has been broken down. This year puts the nail in the coffin for me as an owner...there are a few guys in the league that I refuse to draft or own...PT is now on that list. PT, in this case, you are exactly who I thought you were.

Ok we have picked on the RB's enough in this article it's time to hit up some other players.
I nicknamed this guy the Magician for his ability to disappear at will...I have another one for him now...The Roller Coaster. There is no other player at the WR position that will take you on an up and down ride like Mike Sims-Walker WR, Jaguars. Mike has loads of talent and the ability to strike with a huge game while the next week he is bound to take a dump on your team to the tune of 0-2 catches and no TD's. Either that or the guy will tweak something gameday morning while eating breakfast and either not play or show up on the injury report out of the blue. Owning Mike Sims-Walker can give you grey hairs, fantasy losses and the occasion fantasy boom to your lineup...knowing when to start him is the key...if anyone figures that out...please email me.

The most overrated player in the league has to be Ocho-Cinco(85)(Chad Johnson). With a ton of talent 85 will tease us from time to time with great games...he's been this way for years. Last year I traded him for practically nothing and he had a nice year making me regret the move. This year I grabbed him in a few leagues and have been paid back with long stretches of terrible games...while TO continues to impress while playing for a contract Chad continues to show us that no one matters to him, but himself...I will never draft this guy again and neither should you. Winning fantasy matchups is all about having consistent lineups...it's the same reasoning for using safeties and LB's when rostering defensive players...consistency...85 is inconsistency personified. I was wrong about him this year...he is not who I thought he was.

I want to end this article on a positive note. Peyton HIlis RB, Cleveland Browns is most definitely not who I thought he was. The powerhouse back is rolling in Cleveland even with teams keying on him every matchup. The Browns have no playmakers at WR, and they have a rookie QB. Hillis has went from backup vulture RB in Denver to fantasy super star this season. Scoring virtually every week and adding plenty of catches along the way owners are thanking their lucky stars they got this guy off the wire. Peyton is an every week start now no matter the size of your league and is one of my fantasy surprises of the year along with Brandon Lloyd and a few others. Mostly undrafted Peyton has many owners thinking championship. 11 weeks ago we thought that Jerome Harrison was the man in Cleveland and the future was Monterio Hardesty...this is another example of how fast the fantasy landscape can change.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Night Madness - Week 11



Hello, hello, hello.  Monday Night Madness is back from a short hiatus.  Sorry so late, but better late than never.  My quick and easy prediction for this game, it’s going to basically be a real life game of EA sports Madden NFL Football.  First to 50 points wins.  Basically what I am trying to say, is expect A LOT of offense and not much defense in this weeks game (a lot like last weeks Philly – Washington matchup).  Both teams have offenses that in any given week can put up over 400 yards but somehow are both under .500 and are trailing the Raiders and Chiefs in the AFC West. 

No Brainer Starts –

Phillip Rivers : If you have to ask us “experts” if you need to start Rivers with the season he is having, please email me your contact information as I would like to extend you an invite to a league or two next season.  Denver is the 3rd worst scoring defense in the NFL and  7th worst in Total yardage allowed.  Yes they are middle of the pack against the pass, but Phillip is at home and looking to run up the score.  Expect 351 yards, 3 TDs tonight from Rivers.

Kyle Orton : Leaving fans to ask Brady who?  Orton has seen the writing on the wall with the team going out and getting Brady Quinn and then drafting Tim Tebow in the first round, Orton knew that if he wanted to secure his job, it was this year or never in Denver.  What has he done to respond?  Only throw for almost as many yards already as he had during the entire season in 2008 with Chicago, averaging over 300 yards a game with a 16:5 touchdown to interception ratio.  How do you read that?  He is playing smart, making plays and not turning it over.  Expect 324 Yards, 3 TDs tonight from Orton.

Brandon Lloyd : How “Who the heck are you?” player of the year award.  Lloyd will break the 1000 yard receiving mark sometime during this game and in doing so will reach the mark probably some 25+ catches faster than the other 1000 yard WR this year thus far (Roddy White).  He has nearly 50 catches and is averaging over 20 yards a catch – pretty amazing.  Only Mike Wallace and DeSean Jackson have come even close to that average and they are hundreds of yards short of what he is doing.  Lloyd is Orton’s go to guy and is making plays game after game.  7 Catches for 113 yards and 1 TD.

Solid Starts –

Jabar Gaffney – As the clear cut #2 guy in a pass happy offense, Gaffney is a solid WR2 or WR3 in pretty much all leagues.  His numbers are far from amazing and he doesn’t find the endzone a lot, but given that he is averaging 5+ catches a game, you have to like that kind of production coming from a WR2 or WR3.  I like Jabar to get 5 Catches for 71 yards.

San Diego WRs – Its tough to call this one.  Floyd should play but with that hamstring it’s tough to put too much faith in him.  Legedu Naanee has also been hampered with leg injuries.  Seyi Ajirotutu has been playing very solid football as has Patrick Crayton.  We pretty much know Gates is out, so Rivers is going to be throwing the ball to someone.  The trick is… who?

The little engine that could award goes to Darren Sproles.  As one of the most underutilized and under appreciated players in the game, Sproles has been the model citizen in San Diego.  When L.T. left, a lot of people thought it was finally Darren’s time to shine as the feature back though many never expected him to get 25 carries a game, but most thought he could handle 10-15 touches a game and has always been an explosive receiving target out of the backfield.  This year, its been primarily return duty for the pocket sized warrior.  But I am going out on a limb saying he is going to have one of those breakthrough performances that make you wanna say Hmmmmmmmmm on the national stage of Monday Night Football.  Denver isn’t good against the run and I would guess after Matthews or Tolbert pounds on their defense some, there will be some holes for Darren to run through.  I am expecting 7 Carries for 72 yards, 1 TD, 4 catches for 52 yards and 145 return yards.  They might be big expectations, but I think he can handle it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010




I was thinking back to my Tecmo Bowl days when things were easy....ya run a sweep with Bo Jackson (pictured in the upper right, see the similarities) and you run for the end zone...TOUCHDOWN! Now the games are so much more complicated...do I want to set my audibles. run the hot route...should I just run off tackle or run the QB and pitch it??? Just as the video football games have gotten more complicated so has the world of fantasy football. Remember the good old days of 10 man leagues with stacked rosters when hardly anyone was doing keeper leagues. Now, we have keepers, dynasties, redrafts, nfc vs afc with every imaginable roster structure that any mad fantasy football genius can come up with. Approaching Week 11 things get no easier...playoff berths are on the line...keeper rosters are being formed and the contenders and pretenders are being sorted out. It's time for another Prep for your roster setting pleasure. Again this week we are not going to tell you to start Philip Rivers, Adrian Peterson or Roddy White, but we will let you know what you should do with guys like Mike Tolbert and Felix Jones....let's hit the Sit / Starts for this week.

Baltimore at Carolina
This game has blowout written all over it.
Carolina starts - Steve Smith(God knows who will be throwing it to him), Mike Goodson who can catch the ball and be explosive at times and he will get the majority of RB touches this week.
Sits - Any Carolina QB, WR's Gettis and LaFell. J.Stewart (concussion).
Ravens starts - Flacco, not a road warrior but how can he not play well in this one? Boldin and Mason and Heap(Panthers are garbage vs opponents TE's).
Sit - Houshmanzadeh and Stallworth and McGahee.

Buffalo at Cincy
Bill's starts - Fred Jackson -Buffalo seems to be committing more to the run of late giving FreddyJax the carries and catches he needs to once again be a viable fantasy RB.
Also start Steve Johnson at WR. Don't let one avg game scare ya...this guy knows how to find the Paint at the end of the field.
Sit - Fitzpatrick and Lee Evans(CJ Spiller is out with an injury)

Cincy Starts - T.Owens - I like Owens abit more than 85 this week...Carson is not a bad play this week though he has not done much to thrill fantasy owners even in good match ups so far this year...his arm or shoulder just isn't right. Cedric Benson has been quiet of late...this could be the week he gets it going. Benson had two TDs last time out vs the Bills. Gresham is not a bad fill in TE start if you need someone in deeper leagues. No real obvious Sits for the Cincy offense this week.

Dallas at Detroit
Let's see if the Dallas offense can stay awake two weeks straight.
Dallas Starts - Felix Jones, J.Kitna, Dez Bryant, now starting at WR (how good is this kid? becoming one of my favorite players to watch).
Sit - Roy Williams
Detroit Starts = WR Nate Burleson and TE B.Pettigrew.
Sit - Jahvid Best - has not been right since his turf toe injury early in the year.
note - backup RB Kevin Smith is out for the year...Maurice Morris is not the no.2.

Cleveland at Jax
Browns Starts - I don't have to tell you to start P.Hillis do I? He's an every week starter.
Ben Watson.
Fringe 2 QB league start - Colt McCoy.
Sit - J.Cribbs(is out), Massaquoi and Chansi Stuckey. The Jags have a bad secondary but I simply cannot trust this WR corp.
Deep League play - TE Evan Moore.
Jags Starts - David Garrard - Starting this guy is hard to do because he will occasionally leave you with a real stinker, but the guys is putting up numbers this season and has been serviceable, especially at home. I also like Mike Sims Walker in this game if healthy. Mercedes Lewis is a fringe start this week in deeper leagues. Sit Mike Thomas unless Sims Walker sits out.

Cards at KC
Cardinals Starts - Larry Fitzgerald...yeah he is a stud and this should go unsaid, but I want to put you Fitz owners at ease by telling you he is being targeted very heavily by Derek Anderson so keep running him out there in all formats in any match up.
Sit Cards RB's and Derek Anderson
Fringe Start - Steve Breaston.
Chief Starters - Start KC RB's and D.Bowe who should have a really nice day.
Sit - TE Moeki - has been useless since early in the year.
Start if you are brave - Matt Cassell - in matchups like this he can light it up...but he is way to risky for me and I refuse to play this guy, but if you are a gambler this is a good week to plug him in and hold your breath if you main guy has an ugly start.

GBay at Minnesota
Packers Starts - B.Jennings and B.Jackson and D.Driver if he plays (Quad)
Packers Sits - TE's and James Jones unless Driver sits.
Vikes Starts - Farve(last round up vs the Packers), P.Harvin(don't worry about the anke...Percy plays hurt practically every week) Shiancoe.
Sit - Gerhardt, Berrian, G.Lewis, Camarillo and I would not touch Sidney Rice this week though he has been activated...wait and see.

Houston at NYJ
Texans Starts - A.Foster and Andre3000 - can't sit these guys no matter who they are facing.
Fringe - Matt Schaub - this is a scary start for Schaub owners...I can't give a guy with this many weapons a straight sit but ya may wanna find a steadier option.
Sit - K.Walter, J.Dreesen and Jacoby(where have you been) Jones.
Jets Starts - Mark Sanchez - I have been burned by Sanchez a few times this year...this is his last mulligan..I expect a nice day. Santonio Holmes has had upside and Braylon Edwards is a great play. I like Shonn Greene alittle more than LT this week...but i'd probably start them both.
Sneaky Deep League Play of the Week - Brad Smith - WR Jets.
Sit - Cotchery(out groin inj) D.Keller - too unpredictable.

Oakland at Pitt
Oakland Starts - Not loving Oakland at a pissed off Pittsburgh this week. Only players I would look at maybe starting are McFadden, Z.Miller and maybe Jacoby Ford in deeper leagues.
Pittsburgh - Like the DST this week, Wallace, Big Ben and H.Miller.
Sit - Randle El, Sanders and maybe Hines Ward coming off a concussion...check the active list Sunday morning.

Washington at Tennessee
Skins Starts - McNabb - not hating McNabb this week. S.Moss - he's been awful of late...he's due for a nice game. C.Cooley is never a bad start if you are not deep at TE.
Sit - Armstrong, K.Williams and Torain and Portis - the Skins running game is a wreck right now for fantasy owners. If you have to play one I would go Williams.
Titans starts - R.Moss(should be more active) and Nate Washington should both have nice games here...and Vince Young could be serviceable today.
Sit - Titan TE's, J.Gage

Seattle at New Orleans
I look for some points to be scored in this one for both teams.
Seahawk Starts - the other Mike Williams, M.Lynch and Deon Butler is not a terrible play in deep leagues. Sit John Carlson.
Fringe Start - M.Hasselback - should have a couple TD's, but he is a borderline starter because of the negative points he'll likely get you in the dome.
Saints starts - Lance Moore, M.Coleston, R.Bush(if he plays - can't wait to get this guy back on the field to open up this offense for everyone).
Sit - D.Henderson and R.Meachum - did these guys run off to Cancun cause they have certainly taken a vacation from our fantasy stat sheets. Sit Ivory, J.Jones, Shockey and D.Thomas.

Tampa Bay at SF
Tampa Starts - L.Blount, Mike Williams
Sit - K.Winslow(only play in pprs), sit Freeman, I think he will be efficient but his stats are not going to be fantasy worthy. Sit Caddy....that long run he had last week...flukish.
Niners Starts - F.Gore should have a monster day today vs a soft Bucs run defense
also start Crabtree who has found his groove with Smith at QB...Smith is still not a QB I would use unless you are handcuffed at the QB position. Start V.Davis
Sit Josh Morgan, T. Smith

theATL starts - Matty Ice - I think this guy may be at the stage where he is an every week start...an emerging star. M.Turner should run all over the rams this week and Snelling is not a bad start in deeper leagues because he does alot with the little touches he gets.
Sit - Jenkins, Tony G, Harry Douglas and B.Finneran
STL starts - Sjax is gonna have a nice game today because the ATL DST has been ok but not great. D.Amendola is a nice play having scored in 3 straight and in pprs a sneaky play would be WR B.Gibson who is getting 5-6 catches per game.
Sit Rams TE's - L.Robinson, Gilyard, D.Alexander
Fringe Start - Sam Bradford - Much like Josh Freeman this week I expect an efficient but not fantasy worthy game this week. No doubt Bradford is gonna be great...but even Rams fans need to remember he is a rook.

Indy at NE
Indy Starts - A.Collie made the trip and may play...check the injury report alittle later this morning...I'll have word on it by noon or so on the twitter feed and facebook page. Start J.Tamme who isn't Dallas Clark but is being targeted just as much. At running back D.Brown gets the start here but is hardly worth a look in my opinion and neither is vulture back J.James except in TD only leagues. Addai is out, LB Session is out and Brackett is also out again.

Pats Plays - With the Indy team decimated by injuries this could be blowout city for the boys in New England. Wes Welker has been brutal for the most part after a great start...but I would roll him out along with D.Branch. The Law Firm, BJ-Green Ellis is going to have a really nice day if given the touches because the Colts are having a hard time stopping the run with 2 of their 3 best LB's out recently.
Fringe Start - Chances are one of these guys will score, but who do you play? Hernandez or Gronkowski(scored 3 x's last week) I try to stay away from both of these guys if possible unless we are talking deeper leagues then they are both decent plays.
I'd Sit Woodhead today, Edleman and Tate who is too inconsistent for my taste.

The Game of the Week
NYG hosting Philly
Giants Starts - H.Nicks(every week start for me) and Mario Manningham are must starts with S.Smith most likely on the shelf again today with the Pectoral Injury. Also play Bradshaw who does nothing but produce most every week. I'd play Jacobs as well, because if the Gmen are smart they will hammer Philly inside to keep Vick off the field and keep the scoring down, but he is abit of a risk because his touches seem to vary(i'd use him at the flex in most 12 team and larger leagues).
Sit K.Boss and other Giants WR's
Fringe -Eli Manning is either going to be a hero or a goat today. The Philly DST makes plays and Eli will throw the crazy pick or two now and then so this is a scary start for Eli and his owners. I do think the Gmen can win this game with their defense...but ya need to think long and hard about using Eli if you have a good matchup with your alternate QB.

Philly Starts - Of course you have to Start Mike Vick....this guy keeps playing like this and he's gonna get a puppy for Christmas. Djax and Maclin should be good plays today...I think Maclin will get the numbers today as the Giants cannot let Djax beat them. The real star of this game for the Eagles is gonna be LeSean McCoy. McCoy can do it all and is a ppr powerhouse and with all the attention being on containing Vick inside the pocket McCoy is going to find running lanes and wide open space off screens...he is one of my favorite running back starts today.
Sit - Avant and B.Celek who is being used alot more as a blocker with Vick at the controls.

Ryan will preview the Monday Night Match Up soon...stay tuned for that. Alot of injury concerns in that game...I will say one thing about Malcolm Floyd...sit this guy and make sure that hammy is healthy...one tweak and you get nothing. Sure he could go off vs. Denver, but it he does play...Champ Bailey will be covering him so a huge game is not a layup for him this week. Gates is 50-50 so plan to be without him as well and don't expect Randy McMicheal to break off 2 td's like he did in his last start. The injuries are the Monday Night Story...I am looking forward to Ryan's trademark projections for SD vs Denver.


Friday, November 19, 2010


Here we are at week 11 of our sleeper challenge and it's looking like a two man race between Ryan and Bill with yours truly hanging back in 3rd place...Not sure what the exact standings are but they are very close between Ryan and Bill. Again we encourage you to add your picks in the comments section. Below are each writer's picks with some added comments.

Show's Picks

Brad Smith WR - J-E-T-S..JETS JETS JETS! (owned in 3% of yahoo leagues)
The Jets are facing a terrible Texans defense and Smith will get plenty of touches out of the slot and in the Wildcat to make him a viable fantasy sleeper this week. He's not going to put up jaw dropping numbers, but he could give you a sneaky flex play in some deeper leagues because of his matchup.

Nate Burleson is a talented WR who is toiling away in Detroit opposite one of the most dynamic athletes in the NFL in Calvin Johnson. I like Nate Dog to shine this week vs a secondary that everyone has taken apart up to this point...yes we are talking about America's secondary, your Dallas Cowboys. Nate is only owned in 18% of leagues because he takes such a back seat to CJ. There's plenty to go around this week and though they may not win the game...the Lions will get points on the board and Burleson should be involved.

DeadheadBill's Picks

Jason Avant(owned in 3% of leagues)

Though Avant isnt one of the top few targets in Philly he's every bit as usable as any #3 WR in the NFL with Vick playing at the level he is. He could put up inconsistent numbers from week to week, but in a possible shootout with the Giants I like him as a deep league flex play.
Projections: 4-5 catches for 60-70 yards and a possible score

Brandon Gibson(owned in 2% of leagues)

In an attempt to troll a little deeper this week I decided to roll with Brandon Gibson over some surer options out there--but I do think he'll be a decent start at home. The fact that the Rams could find themselves playing from behind against a high powered Falcons offense bodes well for some decent garbage time numbers at least. Sam Bradford seems to trust him, so I will as well!
Prediction: 5-6 catches for 70-80 yards and a score

Ryan's Picks

Well I seem to have a man crush on TEs in this pickem thing. I'll start my picks this week by following that trend.

Ben Watson - TE - CLV - Well this is a 2 fold pick. Jacksonville LBs are terrible at covering TEs and Watson is Colt McCoys go to guy. Assuming that the Browns WRs play up to their abilities (and if their initials aren't M.M. or J.C. they don't have much ability) then I expect Colt to dump it down to Ben a bunch. Look for 6 catches for 72 yards and a TD.

Reaching deep again : Seyi Ajirotutu - Hell I can't pronounce his name or spell it, so thank god for copy and paste. However, he is a talented young WR who happens to play on the same team as a certain strong armed QB with the initials P.R. and I don't mean Patrick Ramsey. Look for Seyi to really step up and show he is a valued weapon and a reason not to over pay Mr. Holdout. I see 5 catches for 105 yards and a TD in his future.

Well there ya have it...for once this week I like my picks better than my fellow writer's, but knowing my luck the result will be the same. Goodluck fellaz

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday Night Throwdown

Chicago VS. Miami – So it’s time for our 2nd Thursday night game of the week.  Well last week we definitely got our moneys worth with the incredible QB matchup and fantastic finish (ie the PUSH seen around the NFL).  This week we get to see the exact opposite.  2 teams with QB issues.  Chicago has Cutler who for all the good he does and the athleticism we see on occasion, he tends to throw the ball to the other team as much as he does his own team.  The brain trusts in Miami decided that Chad “Rubber Arm” Pennington was their answer and oooooppps not even 1 quarter of football and now they turn to Tyler Thigpen, who as a start in KC was actually decent and he just never got another chance.  So we’ll see what Miami does this week against a tough Chicago D. 

Top Starters :
Unlike last week, neither of these QBs are a must start.  Bye weeks are over so it’s time to go back to only playing the top QBs week in and out.  So for this game, I have to say there are no MUST starts.

Solid Starts :

Ronnie Brown – Most weeks he is a must start.  He averages 15 or so touches a game and while his numbers are down this season, he is still a solid #2 RB solution.  He gets a tough matchup this week against a solid Bears run defense allowing barely 80 yards a game.  So temper your expectations, but maybe with the inexperienced QB under center, the ‘Phins bring back a big helping of Wildcat with Brown running the show.  17 Carries – 86 Yards – 1 TD, 3 Rec. – 23 Yards.

Jay Cutler – He has the talent to be a top tier QB, I am just not sure if he has the brain and decision making abilities to get there.  Of course it helps when his offensive line keeps me standing for most of the game.  I think he can really have a solid game this week, but it’s hard to put too much faith in him when you have steady every week production coming from the likes of Rodgers, either Manning, Rivers, Brady, Big Ben.  But with that said, if you drafted Cutler thinking he would finally break into the Top 5 QB tier , then you have no choice but to run him out there and take your chances on the roulette wheel of Cutler.  This week, we’ll bet on Red for Red Zone scoring.  265 Yards – 2 TDs – 1 INT, 5 rushes for 27 yards. 

That’s it this week really.  The Bears WR are really inconsistent and the ‘Phins WRs are hard to predict not knowing how much wildcat will be run and how Thigpen is going to step in.  I like Brandon Marshall but again until we see what kind of game plan Thigpen will be given, it’s hard to get too excited.

Oh – 1 last note for Tony Sparano – DO NOT KICK THE BALL TO HESTER!!!!!  Bad things happen to teams that ignore this warning. 

Place your Bets Week 11 NFL Picks

Big thanks to Wes for inviting me to write for Show Fantasy Sports Blog as a baseball writer and NFL handicapper! Thanks Wes!

Since I am in numerous pick em leagues I will not be giving all of my picks here, if you would like my complete list you can follow me on twitter @paul_craft or email me gobeyondthebox@gmail.com


I want to start this blog with a BANG as I release my 5 star LOCK of the YEAR right here on Show Fantasy Sports! Nothing like starting out high risk!

Before I get to that pick let me break down a couple of other games that I really like.

New England giving 3.5 to vs Indy.

Normally this is about who Indy has; Manning, Wayne, Freeney and Mathis. This week it is about who they don't have...which is ANYONE else! It is a team laced with injuries who might well be starting its 4th string RB and 4th on the depth chart WR and 3rd string TE. That worked against a few teams, but against a well coached and healthy New England squad, its a mess. New England is 4-0 at home and so is Indy...but the game is outdoors in chilly Foxborough. I love New England to throttle the Colts. The only thing that keeps this from a pounding is if Belicheck decides to run the one man law firm, Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis into the ground when the Pats get an early lead.

Atlanta -3 @ St.Louis

Holy cow! I don't gamble, but if I did I would kill this game. This is my lock of the week since I am also releasing my lock of the year later on...Atlanta, Atlanta, Atlanta. St.Louis is 4-1 at home yes I know that...they have also not played anyone with a record above .500 in those games. St.Louis is also 6-1-1 vs the number this year. It looks like Vegas has figured them out. If you factor in that the home field advantage is usually good for 3 points for odds-makers, that means they think Rams and Falcons is an even bet. WOW! The Rams have not won on the road despite playing at Oakland, Detroit, Tampa Bay and San Francisco. I don't think any of these teams will be making a long playoff run, in fact I don't think any of them even make the playoffs! Atlanta on the other hand has two losses, @ Philly and in OT @ Pittsburgh. They have beaten all common opponents as well as Baltimore and New Orleans. Atlanta will run the Rams out of the stadium. Give the points, take the Falcons.

I'm only giving three picks this week since it is my first blog for this site, but they are all huge plays. The third is the Lock of the year. Baltimore +10 over Carolina.
Its a big number for the NFL anytime it is double digits. This number is normally scary as it is a huge push possibility...BUT, it isn't a push possibility as the Ravens will be up by 21-28 points most of this game. Why? Two main reasons. Baltimore and Carolina! Baltimore is coming off a bye, good teams win off of byes, and Baltimore is a great team. Carolina is starting Tony Pike. He has lived his entire 10 game NFL career in the shadow of Jimmy Claussen and Matt Moore...that should tell you something. He managed to beat out Hunter Cantwell for the clipboard holding position only because he was a draftee this past April. Where is Cantwell now by the way? Baltimore. DeAngelo Williams is done for the year, Stewart is banged up and Carolina has only one WR that has played a snap before this season on its active list unless Devin Thomas is activated, but even he was cut by the receiver needy Redskins earlier this season.
Its a disaster waiting to happen in Charlotte this week. Take the Ravens for 5 stars.

Paul Craft

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Down the Stretch Strategies Part 1

As we roll into week 11 we hit the stretch run of the fantasy football season for 2011. I can't believe how fast the season is going and it's kinda like Christmas...you can't wait for it to get here but it goes so fast and it is so much fun that when it's over there is a huge let down. This goes for me more in the enjoying a real game over the fantasy game, but when the NFL season does end it is never a good thing and usually leads me to looking towards the draft way too early to keep myself from going into some kind of depression. Maybe College Football will keep stretching it's Bowl Season out to such a ridiculous point to where they'll play long enough to get me to March Madness.

Looking at the Fantasy Football aspect of things, these next 3-4 weeks will determine the fate of many teams and for others they will spend these weeks tweaking a really good team for their playoff starts and sit's. We are going to be really careful with our advice to you guys and gals in our Prep articles...I will be putting alot more studying on tendencies of teams and players in order to give you the best advice possible so you can get into the playoff mix or make your playoff lock of a team even better. The Prep for week 11 will be up in the next day or two so stay tuned for that. And keep a watch on the westheshow twitter feed for all your breaking NFL news and injury reports.

Right now you need to look at your teams and decide a few very important things:
1. Do I have injured players on my roster and if so are they worth waiting on?
To give you an example we will look at 2 players. Jonathan Stewart has been a massive buzzkill for fantasy owners this year...severely over drafted in most leagues I am JStew has done nothing but sit on the bench one minute and do absolutely nothing when finally given the chance to start just a week or two ago. Out with a concussion right now, alot of managers are cutting bait on him. With the announcement of DeAngelo Williams (fantasy bust) being out for the season Stewart is sure to get another chance at starting for the Panthers down the stretch and if you remember last year down the stretch sans Williams he was a fantasy monster. Now it's highly doubtful he will roll like he did last year because of the QB injury problems in Carolina, but a starting back with his combo of skills cannot be ignored...stash him away and wait for Stewart to hopefully prove that he is worth something this season. The second player I want to look at is Ryan Torain - Torain is like a good batch of chili...you can use it a time or two and warm it up maybe one more time than you actually should, but eventually you gotta chuck the leftovers out the backdoor or in the trash and look for something else to eat. Shanny likes Torain and it's not like he isn't going to get used, but Washington seems like they are on a downhill slide...K.Williams is now in the mix and can catch the ball much better than Torain and C.Portis will demand at least 10 touches a game or possibly more when he returns to action. So looking back you may want to actually drop Torain for Stewart if that is possible in your league. I would certainly take a guy like Ryan Matthews or Tolbert over a Torain right now simply because of the offense that those guys are in. There are alot of situations just like this across the league right now...use good judgement...look at who you need to win right now if you have a team at that .500 level and if you are locked into a playoff birth look at the guys on the wire and on your team that will take care of your team in the week's that will really count (13-16 and in some week 17, something I will hit on in part 2 of this series).

2. The second thing you need to look at concerning injured players is are you in a keeper league? If you are, what is the keeper structure in your league? Once you have checked that out, decide, am I going to keep this injured player? Another thing I like to do about this time of the season is look on the wire for other players people have cut bait on that may be of value to you. I know I have one team where I am pretty much already playing for next year and I dropped one young QB for another young QB who I think will be a better player going forward. There are teams out there looking to win a championship that may drop a player you could actually keep so just because you are out of it...don't stop looking through the wire because you never know when you may find some waiver wire gold someone else threw out in the trash. If you are not happy with your keeper structure don't be afraid to beat that trade deadline by offering up a hot player... maybe a player of a certain position that you may have a surplus of to a contender who may be able to get you a banged up player you may want to keep going into next year. Contenders are always going to want to go championship or bust so make an offer...If you need a QB to keep don't tell me a contender needing a WR wouldn't take a WR like M.Coleston for their 2nd QB who may be Matt Stafford or Josh Freeman (guys they may not use again this year because they have Rivers or somebody like that and/or they may not be able to keep a 2nd QB anyway in that structure so them dealing you that QB is no skin off their back but it could be a great move for the future of your team. In part 2 of this series we will look at playoff prep and a few other late season strategies.

Wes "theShow"