Thursday, October 7, 2010

A blogger says goodbye

Well readers, this is goodbye.

I'm leaving the Herald after 5 years as an editor, page designer, and self-proclaimed fantasy expert.

It's been a pleasure to serve the community of Bradenton and everyone else out there in cyberspace with what I hope were entertaining and informative fantasy sports musings over the years.

In that time I've had a lot of ups (winning the Herald Newsroom Fantasy Football League championship last season!) and a lot of downs (multiple finishes in the bottom half of the fantasy baseball standings), but hopefully I've helped some of your teams along the way.

I'll still be out there in the Bradenton area, and still competing with my ex-Herald colleagues as long as they'll have me. And I'll still love dispensing fantasy advice and offering my two cents, so don't hesitate to ask me a question if you see me out and about. Maybe someday I'll be back out there on the World Wide Web to reclaim my fantasy guru status, but until then I bid you farewell. It's been fun.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Week 3 Sit 'Em: Eli, Greene, Wallace

- ELI MANNING vs. Tennessee: The Giants' offense is predicated on establishing the run, but it hasn't really worked so far. Even though Eli's got 5 TD passes in two games, figure on New York sticking to the ground game against a Titans secondary that's allowed just one passing TD and one play over 20 yards.

- SHONN GREENE at Miami: It was good to see Shonn getting more involved (15 carries) and being more productive (52 yards) in Week 2 after Week 1's bomb. Unfortunately, he hasn't been good enough, and LaDainian Tomlinson is still lurking in the Jets backfield.

- MIKE WALLACE at Tampa Bay: It sure looks like any value Wallace will have in 2010 will have to wait until Ben Roethlisberger's return - he has just 4 catches through 2 Big Ben-less games. The Steelers spun the wheel and came up with Charlie Batch at QB this week, and the Bucs' defenders haven't been pushovers this year.

Last week's picks

- Vince Young's stat line against the Steelers: 7-for-10, 66 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, one benching. Nailed it.

- Michael Crabtree's stat line against the Saints: One catch for 32 yards. Nailed it.

- Jahvid Best's stat line against the Eagles: 78 rushing yards, 154 receiving yards, 3 total TDs. Little off. I still stand by my prediction - the kid ran for 20 yards on 14 carries a week earlier in his debut! - but clearly I underestimated him.

The Associated Press

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Week 3 Start 'Em: McFadden, Moss, Favre

RB DARREN McFADDEN at Arizona: It’s time to take this guy seriously again after 145 rushing yards on 30 carries last week against St. Louis. He’s the NFL’s second-leading rusher, and the this week's opponents, the Cardinals, are second-worst against the run (153.0 a game).

WR SANTANA MOSS at St. Louis: The veteran has hit it off with new QB Donovan McNabb, catching 16 passes so far. The Redskins will look to pound the ball against a soft Rams run defense, but I still see Moss doing some damage through the air.

BRETT FAVRE vs. Detroit: Favre’s thrown 51 TDs in 30 career games against the Lions. Only his own Vikings (52 TDs) and the Bears (53 TDs) have been victimized more by the man that Father Time forgot. It’s been a rough 2010 for Brett, but he returns to form this week against the Lions.

Last week’s picks

- Ahmad Bradshaw had a commendable 89 yards on 17 carries against the Colts. Not exactly Arian Foster-level production, but solid, and the good news for Bradshaw’s long-term value is teammate Brandon Jacobs carried the ball only four times and suffered a helmet-tossing, possibly trade-demanding meltdown.

- Dwayne Bowe’s 4 catches for 45 yards against the Browns weren’t quite what I had in mind but are a step in the right direction.

- Dez Bryant recorded only 2 catches against Chicago, but he made them count (52 yards) and he added a 62-yard punt return for a TD to boot.

Photo by The Associated Press

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Week 3 Hot Pickups: Snelling, Thomas, Murphy


Michael Turner
(groin) says he’ll be fine for Week 3, but Snelling (186 total yards, 3 TDs) looked great in his absence and is an obvious handcuff with big-time upside.


The rookie made his presence felt (8 catches, 97 yards, TD) in his first pro game last week and will be an important part of the Broncos’ air attack again this week vs. Indy.


Murphy looks like the best wideout in Silver & Black, catching 6 balls for 91 yards and a TD vs. St. Louis. He should benefit if Bruce Gradkowski takes over at QB, as the two have some chemistry.

Week 2 Recap, Part II: Bucs worth owning

-Is Josh Freeman a fantasy star? Not yet, but he and WR Mike Williams (2 TDs in first two games) are on their way. Williams has to be owned at this point, and Freeman might be a darkhorse No. 2 QB worth a spot start somewhere down the road. He's got some mouth-watering matchups with St. Louis and Arizona during bye-week time.

-Only six QBs have thrown for more than 600 yards so far this season. The first five? Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub. Ho hum. No. 6? Kyle Orton, who’s also got 3 TDs to 1 INT. Unfortunately, he’s about to run a gauntlet of Indy, Tennessee, Baltimore and the Jets in the next four weeks.

-Only two catches for Rams WR Mark Clayton, one of last week’s Hot Pickups, but both of them went for TDs. Clayton had only one other two-TD game in his career, back in 2006 with the Ravens.

-Rookie TE Aaron Hernandez (6 catches, 101 yards, TD) continues to be a big-play threat for the Patriots. The Florida product had a 45-yard catch in Week 1 and a 46-yarder in Week 2 vs. the Jets. How about a 47-yarder this week against Buffalo?

-It’s been a rocky road for rookie RB Ryan Matthews of San Diego – 25 carries for 104 yards (4.2 average) but also 2 fumbles and 1 protective boot after Sunday’s ankle injury. Mike Tolbert stepped in to carry the ball 16 times for 82 yards and 2 TDs against the Jags in Week 2 and figures to hurt Matthews’ value even more, at least in the short term.

-Arian Foster goes from 231 yards rushing in Week 1 to 69 in Week 2. Matt Schaub goes from 107 yards passing in Week 1 to 497 in Week 2. What’s the real deal for these two Texans? Probably somewhere in the middle.

-Brandon Jacobs owners would like to toss their helmets or demand a trade too after their guy’s performance (4 attempts, 8 yards) against the Colts. He’s clearly benchable this week against Tennessee and until further notice.

-I’m loving what I’m seeing out of how the Saints are using Pierre Thomas so far. He touched the ball 26 total times on Monday night, and with Reggie Bush gone for the next six weeks with a broken fibula, Thomas should have even more opportunities.

Photo by The Associated Press

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Week 2 Recap, Part I: How 'bout them Cowboys?

- The Cowboys are a mess. The only ones who should undoubtedly be in your lineup each week right now are Miles Austin and probably Jason WittenTony Romo's got just 2 TDs in two weeks, and Marion Barber and Felix Jones are afterthoughts behind a shaky offensive line.

- Michael Turner was off to a fine start against Arizona (75 yards on 8 carries) before exiting against with a groin injury. Jason Snelling (129 rushing yards, 57 receiving yards, 2 TDs) got to reap the benefits of injuries to turner and second-stringer Jerious Norwood - but I'll give you a dollar if you actually started him.

- Two games and we're still waiting for top-five pick Ray Rice to find the end zone. Problem is, the Ravens have faced two very good Ds in the Jets and Bengals. Figure Rice will have his best day so far in Week 3 vs. Cleveland.

- Todd Haley is messing with us. The Chiefs coach gave Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles an equal number of carries in Week 1, then Jones gets twice as many (22 to Charles' 11) in Week 2. That makes both of those guys a questionable play this week against San Francisco, unfortunately.

- Michael Vick bailed out those who picked him up this week with 284 yards passing and 2 TDs. Unfortunately it's now back to the bench with Kevin Kolb returning to starting duty for the Eagles. You may want to keep Vick on your bench, too, if Kolb should falter.

- Packers TE Jermichael Finley is a big play waiting to happen. Four catches for 103 yards for the big fella on Sunday, and he had one more target than both Greg Jennings and Donald Driver.

- You may want to think twice about starting your RBs against the Steelers defense after they limited both Turner (42 yards) and Chris Johnson (34 yards) in consecutive weeks. The Bucs' Cadillac Williams is up next - good luck with that.

- Just when you were about to declare Brett Favre (1 TD, 4 INTs in 2010) a bust, he gets a crack at the Lions in Week 3.

Photo by The Associated Press

Friday, September 17, 2010

Week 2 Sit 'Em: Young, Crabtree, Best

QB VINCE YOUNG vs. Pittsburgh: VY gets no Heisman Trophy, and he gets no fantasy love here in Week 2. Yes the Titans QB looked good in Week 1, tossing 2 TDs, but he also attempted a mere 17 passes and finished with 154 yards. And Pittsburgh ain’t Oakland.

WR MICHAEL CRABTREE vs. New Orleans: Thought this guy was supposed to be the truth – last week’s stats (2 catches, 12 yards) must have been a misprint then. Seriously though, I still like Crabtree’s long-term potential this year, but you have to avoid him if possible this week, especially against a Saints defense that bottled up Brett Favre and the Vikings’ passing game in the opener.

RB JAHVID BEST vs. Philadelphia: Hey, Best’s 2 TDs in his first-ever NFL game were great, but if you’re expecting the same in Week 2 you’re a sucker. If you were paying attention you noticed he rushed for just 20 yards on 14 carries, a miniscule 1.4 yard average, against the Bears. There’s considerable risk here with Best if the Shaun Hill-led Lions can’t get near the goal line against a usually stout Eagles run D.