Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bob's Midseason Rankings

Bob is back for more, this time with his midseason rankings.  Please send all hate to him, not me.  Just note, some of the recent trades were not accounted for as this took him a little while to write up.



LANE-O -     
            The Good:  Jerry, you have great RBs in Foster, Mathews, and T-rich (even if it cost you hometown favorite Tom Terrific and the best WR over the last month in Colston).  I also think you have 2 top WRs in AJ Green and Jordy Nelson that should keep this team in the hunt.

The Bad:  You are very weak at QB (Luck & Dalton) and this could prove to be a huge difference maker.  Most weeks you will be getting outscored by 10+ points just in the 1 position.  Your bench is another area of concern.  They are not scaring anyone so you better hope your starters stay healthy.  The Black Unicorn (Martellus Bennett) is good, just not that good where he would be considered a strength on your team. 

Best move:  Your best plan of attack is to ship one of your RBs off for a QB upgrade. 

Mid-Season Grade – B+

Skinny –
            The Good:  Since I own him in my major league, let’s just quickly talk about how good Aaron is.  After the first 3 games of the season, I have to admit I was a little scared as Rodgers only had a 3:2 TD/Int ratio.  It didn’t matter to the Fantasy world that he played 3 of the toughest defense’s in football as everyone seemed to question if he was still elite.  Well that was 4 weeks & 16TD’s ago and since Week 3, he has been the epitome of perfection by averaging over 300 yards and 3tds a game.  Can you say WINNING?  Also, having 3 WRs (Cruz, Fitz, & Thomas) that could score 30 points in any given week (Ex. Cruz having 6 TD’s over 4 games).  Add to this that you have the #1 ranked TE and a defense that probably outscores your RBs in most weeks….Very good team.

The Bad:  Lynch and Bush are 2 very good real life RBs, the only problem is they are on bad offenses that don’t score a ton of TDs.  Not good for Fantasy.  But that’s about it Skinny, good luck.

Best Move:  I would try flipping Witten and an RB for a better RB that scores TDs.

Mid-Season Grade – A


Mike V -        
            The Good:  “My husband cannot f--king throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time” Very true Gisele, but your husband hasn’t been that good so far this year.  Sure he has 4 300 yard games, but when you throw it 50 times a game, even Weeden can do that.  However, he is in the good section because I do think that he turns it on soon since Hernandez is close to 100% and he is a huge part of what they do on offense to help Tom identify the defense.  From here on out, I think AP only gets better and still could push for most TD’s. 

The Bad:  You have 3 WRs that are probably Strong WR2’s but no absolute Stud (Austin, Colston, Money-Sandwiches).  Yes, Colston has been on a tear as of late, but will it continue when Jimmer comes back?  Colston’s targets in the 1st 3 games with Jimmer are 4, 4, & 13.  His targets in the 2 games without him are 18 & 10.  Now the worst of all, your 2nd RB is a choice between (Pierre Thomas, Vick Ballard, and Hyphen).  I know I wouldn’t feel good about those options.

Best move: Ship off either Brady or Peyton for an upgrade on your 2nd RB.



Mid-Season Grade – C-

Orrico –
            The Good:  You still have 3 good RB’s (Rice, Gore, Run DMC) even if Mcfadden has been awful.  He has the easiest schedule coming and a workload of 20+ touches a game.  It has to get better.  I love Cobb, especially since he is becoming Percy-like on a way better offense.  He will have some down weeks but as long as Jennings is not playing, the sky is the limit. 

            The Bad:  Flacco? Rivers?  And you haven’t tried to trade for an upgrade?  Bad bad bad.  Rivers throws like an 8 year old girl and getting worse and Flacco can’t hit a barn.  Also, outside of Cobb your WRs are mediocre at best.  Smith was a beast last year, but since Cam Newton is playing worse than Jamarcus Russell he really can’t do much.  (Editor’s Note: Mind your tongue.) Brown is a possession WR and Smith is a Boom or Bust.

            Best Move:  Trade for a QB and do it yesterday.  See above, Mike V has 2 goodies.

Mid-Season Grade – B-


Quinn –
           
            The Good:  Well this is going to be short, Drew Brees. Done.  Ok fine, I’ll give you Graham even though he hasn’t done all that much yet and Roddy.

The Bad:  You traded Roy Helu Jr. for Dez Bryant and your team still isn’t good.  Your RBs are terrible at best and once Bradshaw’s feet fail him again, which history has proven they will, it will get even worse.  Wallace needs to borrow some “Stickem” from the San Diego equipment team and you may have a chance.  Unfortunately, there is nothing to fix Dez from being an idiot and running wrong routes.  Trust me the Cowboys have even tried a life coach. 

Best move:  Stop playing Fantasy Football?  Or trade Jimmer and an RB for an upgrade.

Mid-Season Grade – Z-

Scaf –
            The Good:  This owner’s feeling everytime he looks at his team. 

            The Bad:  Deciding which studs to play has to be brutal.  Your RBs are top notch and your WRs are no slouches either.  Marshall and Wes certainly would find a spot on my team.  The only problem I have with your team is your TE situation.  Scott Chandler barely is a starter in my 18 team league. 

            Best move:  Go trade for an upgrade at TE, and with your roster, it shouldn’t be hard.

Mid-Season Grade – A+ 

Mike R –

            The Good:  Well I may have not given Matty Ice the credit he deserves in my Pre-season rankings but he is starting to be considered with the “elite” group of QBs now.  I also love Owen Daniels this year.  They are a run based team and leak Daniels out a lot for quick hitting throws.  He will probably outscore Andre if they keep winning games and aren’t playing from behind.

            The Bad:  The rest of your team.  Sure you have Calvin, but someone still needs to throw him the ball and Stafford obviously can’t.  Also, I am pretty sure that anyone playing Indy has figured out if you shut down Reggie Wayne, then they will have problems passing.  Turner has to slow down in the 2nd half of the season as well, I mean carrying that much weight around can not be easy. 

            Best Move:  Pray to the Fantasy God’s.

Mid-Season Grade – F+


Dan-o –

            The Good:  As a former owner of ALF, I have to say he is the most consistent RB I’ve had in quite sometime.  Did you know he can squat 700 pounds?  Well, he can and I see him being solid all year because of RG3 and their system.  Also, CJ?K and Morris have their best days ahead of them, don’t sell either.

            The Bad:  Stafford.  What a disappointment this bum is.  How long before the Lions give Hill the starting job?  He at least understands that throwing to Calvin is a must.  You have a bunch of RBs on your bench, none of them any good, but you should have WR depth on the bench because that is where you need the most help.  Julio is great, but the options of Crabtree and James Jones for spot #2, would make me want to punch my computer screen every time I looked at it. 

            Best move: Try to trade your entire bench of RBs for a WR.  I say try because they are that bad.

Mid-Season Grade – C-

Matty V –

            The Good:  You have a couple of MVP caliber players in Percy and RG3.  I mean RG3 is the 8th leading rusher in the league right now.  Not bad for a QB.  Nicks and Andre form a nice Trio of WRs that is the strength of your team.  And even though Gronk isn’t having the year he was last year, he still gives you quite the advantage in the TE spot. 
            The Bad:  I hate being right about Cam Newton sucking this year as I predicted in my Pre-Season rankings.  Oh wait, no I don’t.  He’s terrible but probably because he was a War Eagle at one time (Editor’s note: you are treading on a thin line Bob).  The only RB you have that will be consistently good for you is a 31 year old McGahee.  Yup, I kind of want to throw up too.

            Best move:  Try to trade Cam for a bag of Doritos.  Even a half eaten bag.

Mid-Season Grade – D-

Jon –
            The Good:  ………….. Ummmm Vincent Jackson’s pretty good I guess. 

            The Bad:  Keeping this short may be difficult.  Didn’t I say every MJD owner should have Rashad?  Well there was a reason.  Bingo, bango, bongo.  Onto the rest of this stud filled line-up.  Sproles is a Flex at best, Woodhead should be on waivers and you have him starting, ditto with Santana Moss.  Jennings is probably done for the year, Blount is awful, and Lance Moore will go back to doing nothing once Jimmy Graham comes back.  Oh yeah, and Green Bay’s D is looking good and worth a 5th round pick.  HAHAHA.

            Best move:  Probably drop half your team and go get better on waivers.

Draft Grade - F

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My Preseason All American Teams

So we are now less than a week away from my favorite time of year, the start of college basketball.  This especially needs to happen because of my dysfunctional Auburn Tiger football team.  Friday night is the start of it all with midnight madness getting things underway.  With that, I am going to give my previews this week.  I am going to first start with a very debatable topic, Preseason All American teams.  With the constant influx of freshmen talent, it is a tough prediction to make as we saw last year with Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist making the 1st team.  This year you hear freshman names such as Shabazz Muhammad (if he even plays) and Nerlens Noel (aka the Flat Top from Everett, MA).  This year, I am going to go against the recent trend and predict no freshman will be on the 1st team.  Without further ado I present my 1st,  2nd, and 3rd Teams as well as Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.

1st Team
F: Cody Zeller                        One of two consensus 1st Team members (Doug McDermott being the other) has put Indiana back on the basketball map.  The younger brother of Tyler leads this title contending team in points, rebounds, blocked shots while being able to pass and run the floor well.  Player of the Year contender will be on everyone’s ballot for the 1st Team.

F: Doug McDermott               The other shoo in, McDermott is the leader of the lesser known Creighton Blue Jays.  He may never be a great NBA player, but the junior is one of the most complete college basketball players out there.  He gave a much more talented UNC bunch everything it could handle by himself.  This Creighton team is better than last year, so get used to hearing a lot about McDermott.

G: Isaiah Canaan                    This Racer (pun alert) from Murray State is a lot like Chauncey “Big Shot” Billups.  Canaan comes up big when it matters most.  Canaan may be the best college player in Kentucky this year.  Canaan led the Racers to an awesome 23-0 start last year and expect similar results this year as Murray State will be a force again led by the feisty guard.

G: CJ McCollum                     Just ask Duke and Xavier how good CJ is as Lehigh knocked off Duke and put a huge scare into Xavier last March.  I have been watching McCollum since he was a freshman at Lehigh (the perks of Patriot League basketball) and the growth he has made has been tremendous.  Always a great scorer, he has developed into the best rebounding guard in the country and has such quick hands on the defensive side of the ball.  His scoring will get him on this list, but it’s the other things that make CJ McCollum great.

G: Trey Burke                         As a freshman Burke exploded last year for the Michigan Wolverines.  He is back, with a better squad this year and could be a sleeper to win Player of the Year.  Michigan hasn’t been this excited about its team since the Fab 5 days, and Burke is the reason why.  A great playmaker that can also score the basketball, Burke should be a first round pick in June too.

2nd Team

F: Shabazz Muhammad          What a name – Shabazz is about as talented as it gets.  The only reason he is not on the first team, he might not play this year.  Faced with charges of illegal benefits in high school, he may not suit up until January.  But, if he does play, he will lead the UCLA Bruins back to where Bruins fans are used to – the Final Four.  Muhammad can score from anywhere and is extremely athletic.

F: Tony Mitchell                     The Missouri recruit ended up committing to North Texas because of academics, Mitchell is as talented as anyone in the country.  He also could be the most risky pick here as he doesn’t exactly have the best motor out there.  North Texas doesn’t exactly have the most talent around him, so Mitchell will have to lead them to the tourney to be included in this list, but man can he play.

C: Jeff Withey                        Everyone likes to make fun of Withey – they even made a website about his goofy faces he makes.  But what people don’t always talk about his how good of a defender Withey truly is.  He is a legit 7 footer that has shut down some of the best low post players – ask Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller what its like facing him.  Without Thomas Robinson or Tyshawn Taylor in the mix, look for Withey to expand his offensive role this year.

G: Elijah Johnson                    Back to back Jayhawks, does it get any better?  Elijah proved last year he certainly loves the big stage as Kansas wouldn’t have made it to the Championship without him.  No more Tyshawn Taylor, which means Elijah will now be handling the point guard duties.  He is a better decision making than Tyshawn with a much better shot.  Look for Elijah to shoot up everyone’s list this winter.

G: Phil Pressey                        Maybe the best pure point guard in the country (a lot easier without Scott Machado and Kendall Marshall around), Pressey can play.  Without a lot of the seniors from last year’s veteran squad, Pressey is looking to the take the SEC by storm this year.  Look for 8-10 assists per game from this little playmaker.

3rd Team

F: Nerlens Noel                      In Lexington the Unibrow is gone and the Flat Top is in.  Big shoes to fill for Noel, but the Everett native has been blocking shots everywhere he has played already.  Look for that to continue as he looks to lead a very, very, very young Wildcats team with high expectations.  Noel has an extremely high ceiling and may end up making the 1st Team by season’s end.

F: James Michael McAdoo     Zeller, Henson, Barnes, Marshall – all gone.  McAdoo looks to step up in a similar role to Thomas Robinson did last year.  The thing that separates McAdoo and T-Rob is the motor.  That is why T-Rob was 1st Team and McAdoo is 3rd Team.  UNC will lean heavily on this highly regarded sophomore.  He has an NBA ready body but is still raw on the offensive end.  If he gets a little help from his Tar Heel teammates I could see him as a 2nd Teamer.

C: Mike Muscala                    Wow, another Patriot League player on this list.  Has this ever happened?  People forget that Muscala’s Bucknell Bison were the favorites in the Patriot League before CJ McCollum and Lehigh upset them in the Patriot League final.  Muscala played well against Arizona in the NIT last year and will continue to improve this year.  Muscala is a future NBA player who can rebound as well as anyone.  Look for a potential two bid league from the Patriot League this year from Lehigh and Bucknell and just enjoy Muscala and McCollum.

G: Kyle Anderson                  The people of Los Angeles sure are excited about this young prospect Kyle Anderson.  There are already people throwing around Magic Johnson comparisons.  I am not ready to put him in the NBA Hall of Fame yet, but the 6’9 point guard is a matchup nightmare for anyone in the Pac 12.  He has an NBA ready body with outstanding skills.  Will he put it all together?  I can’t wait to find out.

G: Ben McLemore                  Head Coach Bill Self doesn’t go raving about many of his own players as much as he has with McLemore.  Ben is a freshman for the Jayhawks this year, but was in the program last year as he was a partial qualifier.  Well, he is ready to step into the starting lineup.  Think Xavier Henry with more explosion.  Rock Chalk Jayhawk indeed.


Player of the Year:                Doug McDermott
This is really a toss up between McDemott and Cody Zeller.  Both players should be great this year for their respective teams.  Look for McDermott to win the award because he will have to do more for Creighton to be successful than Zeller will for Indiana.

Freshman of the Year:         Shabazz Muhammad/Kyle Anderson
Can you believe this award isn’t going to a Kentucky Wildcat?  Well UCLA’s freshmen class is loaded this year.  If Shabazz plays before January you can lock this award up for him.  If not, I look for his teammate Kyle Anderson to win the award.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Is Patrick Chung Overrated?

When people hear the name Patrick Chung they probably think great New England Patriots safety.  I think overrated.  To me, Chung is no different than Patriot cast-off Brandon Meriweather.  In fact, I think Meriweather was a better player than Chung is.  When people think of Meriweather, they think of bad routes and big hits.  What is different about Chung?  He doesn’t have the reputation of bad routes, but he always seems to be a step slow on everything.  Primarily, tight ends get covered by safeties, and like usual Scott Chandler lit the Pats D up yesterday for two easy scores.

Let’s put up the stats of the two recent safeties for the Pats.

Player A:







Player B:






Just looking at those stats alone, don’t you want Player A every time.  Well, player A is Meriweather.  When you think of great safeties, you think of playmakers that can cause turnovers.  That’s what Ed Reed does, that’s what Rodney Harrison used to do.  Let’s face it - that is also what Meriweather did better than Chung.  Chung also has a knack for getting hurt (has played in one full season so far) while Meriweather never missed a game for the Pats.  The tackle numbers are pretty equal, and any advantage Chung has in that department over Meriweather is strictly due to being on a worse defense and being on the field longer.

I know it’s not a popular opinion in New England, but Patrick Chung isn’t very good.  Maybe the young safety will figure it out this year, but if yesterday was any indication with Scott Chandler, it may be time to go a different route next year.

What to Think About This 2012 Pats Team

This might be the most confused I have ever been about a Patriots team since the Matt Cassell days.  Are they a power running team with good defense?  Are they a fast paced team with a porous pass defense?  So far, we have seen both.  Yesterday, they actually showed both of those teams off.  The first half the Pats made Ryan Fitzpatrick (and his Aaron Rodgers celebrations) look like Joe Montana.  Brady wasn’t the Tom Brady we are accustomed to (has he really looked like Tom Brady this year yet).  Even Bill was being a lot more conservative than he had in the past.  Since when do the Patriots not go for it on 4th and inches at the opponent’s 30 yard line?

But then the second half rolled around yesterday and boy did they look good.  It all started in the trenches.  The O-line started opening holes that I could have ran through.  Bolden and Ridley were awesome.  Then the d-line and linebackers started punishing every Bills ball carrier (even an unlucky Donald Jones).  Brandon Spikes started popping balls out of everyone and the lethargic first half was gone.  The offense started clicking when believe it or not; they got Wes Welker the ball.  Tell me why anyone thought Edleman was a better choice please?  Gronk was back to himself too, with over 100 yards and a TD.  Order was restored again in the AFC East.  No more Aaron Rodgers imitators, just “F*** you b******”.

Is this the Pats team we are going to see the rest of the way?  It’s hard to say.  If the offense continues to use Woodhead less in goal line situations and decides Welker is a good choice to throw the ball to, then the offense will be the same.  But what about that defense?  I think some weeks, you will get what you got against the Ravens, and some weeks you will see that 3-INT performance from yesterday (yes – Devin McCourtey can catch the ball sometimes).  You will see plays like Scott Chandler going up the middle for 6 without anyone near him, but you will also see shut down rush defenses like yesterday – shutting down the NFL’s leading rusher and a stud from last year (yes, two different guys).

All I know, this year’s team will be fun and frustrating at the same time.  But for at least the time being, order was restored in the AFC East.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Bob's Preseason Rankings of WWFL




Team Hate –
                The good:  You did not pass on Andre Johnson and because of that you have 2 stud receivers (we won’t get into how you got 1 of them) and an OK to good QB (Rivers), which is a good start for 18 teams.  You also have a great back up QB (Locker, but anyone but Tebow really).  Great TE (Olsen) too, so underutilized in his career so far but I think that changes this year in a big way.
                The bad:  Well you took a shot at Ridley in the 4th and I don’t mind that, but wasting the next 4 picks I do.  You picked back to back TE’s (Olsen & Davis) who after Gronk and Jimmer not much of an advantage, a back-up level talent RB (Royster) and ANOTHER RB (Vereen) on a proven team to lead the league is passing attempts, not rushing.  And I have Indy’s future starting RB, not you.(Ballard)
 Draft Grade – D
My Dixie’s Wrecked –
                The good:  Very strong at WR, (Lane-o edit: but isn’t everyone?)  Marshall/Nelson/Garcon will all be top 25 wr’s and I like Steve Smith West - because who knows who is starting in St. Louis.  Jay Cutler should prove a good value in that spot (Lane-o edit: unless he throws another 55 picks) and if Rudolph meets any of the hype, you could be alright.
                The bad:  We all know McFadden is not playing a full season and you don’t have any good back- ups.  Ringer has practice squad talent and Mendenhall isn’t doing much until after playoffs are figured out.  Oh and Collie has a soft head and won’t play much.
Draft Grade – C-
Yes I CAM
                The good:  Love the stealing of Dez from My Dixie’s Wrecked.  He is what they consider a special talent.  Also really like Welker once Lloyd starts opening up the middle and he’s playing for a new contract.  Andddd stud kicker (my best player last year) (Lane-o edit: I think that sentence is an oxymoron).
                The bad:  The important thing when drafting Cardinals on your fantasy team, make sure it’s only 1 (and try like hell to make it Fitzy).  You blew 3 picks on them!! (Beanie, Williams, and Floyd) THREE.  Anyway, DeAngelo is getting shipped out after this year and will be worked out of the offense so don’t like that either.  And you waited too long to get a TE (Chandler), which is proving to be a big difference maker.   
Draft Grade – F+
Burnt Ham -
                The good:  Gronk. Gronk. Gronk.  Your 2 young WR’s (Torrey and Titus) should both have breakout seasons with only aging vets in front of them.  Since you have Vick, I think its genius to back him up with Luck.  He should have a really solid year or better if you needed him.  This may sound crazy, but I think Fasano has a breakout season under Philbin.  Great pick. 
                The bad:  RB’s are extremely weak.  I mean BenJarvus made his fantasy living on TD’s, which don’t come around to often in Cincy.  And Turner may have the biggest lower half of all football players, besides maybe Gates.  The Burner?!?!  The only thing he burns through is fast food.  Robinson is an overpaid deep threat and the rest of your team isn’t that good.  I think this may be the first time “best available” may have failed you.  But I am sure you will find someone on waivers from your insider.
Draft Grade – D-
Team POWERS -
                The good:  Doug Martin could be the next Ray Rice, but you better hope so cause you reached badly to get him.  I also like the Antonio Brown and David Wilson pickups.  Getting Brown late in the 3rd is a steal and Wilson should prove too explosive for the Giants to keep him on the bench.   
                The bad:  You want to know how bad picking Eli Manning with the 2nd pick in the 2nd round was?  Well it was so bad that it made my wife go “Eli Manning in the 2nd?  Eww”.  Well said babe.  Meachem isn’t doing anything this year because Rivers can’t throw the deep ball anymore.  And you picked Tebow.
Draft Grade –B-
Team Defibrillators -
                The good:  Well, ummm……. Maclin is a good pick in the 3rd I guess and backing up Trent was smart.  Also, like your last 2 picks and the fact that RG3 will get a lot of rushing points.
                The bad:  Oh boy here we go again.  I feel like Defib’s has an infatuation for old fantasy players and defenses like Al Davis did with players running a 4.3 forty.  I mean I really think you could drop every person on your roster after San Fran’s D and get better players on waivers.  Mark Sanchez should have gone undrafted or at least in the last 2 rounds, and Felix and Hightower were both wastes.  Boom Roasted.
Draft Grade – F-
Owner of the Year –
                The good:  Your keeper was not Ryan Grant.  Good start.  Stafford I think is a very safe pick because no Lions RB’s are going to do anything again, so he will probably throw another 700 times this year.  If Colston stays healthy, he should get more targets with Graham taking focus as top target with Meachem in Cali.  Really like Jared Cook too because Locker loves him and Kendall Wright (spoiler alert, I have him). 
                The bad:  I am up in the air on Gore.  Extremely talented and they love to run, butttt he’s getting old and they added a ton of RB’s this offseason for a reason I’m guessing.  I liked the Denarius Moore pick before his hammy’s started acting up again.  He needs to be healthy because Washington is going to the bench once Britt is done with his suspension and that leaves you only 1 good WR.
Draft Grade – C+
Team Dan Mac-
                 The good:  You missed the draft, so anything I say you can blame on your bro.  You have 2 great starting Wide-outs in Steve Smith East and Bowe.  I am not huge on either 1 of your QB’s (Freeman & Bradford) but with the pair you should be able to play matchups and be OK.  Also, love the Martellus Bennet and Kendall Hunter picks.  Eli loves TE’s and Kendall Hunter might end up as the best RB on San Fran this year.
                The bad:  MJD and AP look great on paper but they are both huge question marks right now.  Best case scenario is that MJD gets traded to the Colts and AP proves he is a freak by coming back strong after ACL, MCL and meniscus tears.  I think Redman will prove to be a wasted pick and TO may be the earliest pick on a person who gets cut.  However, if you biggest problem is AP and MJD in an 18 man league, you came out alright.
Draft Grade – B+
Team Predators-
                The good:  Love Fred Jackson falling to you in the first.  He is still so undervalued after leading the NFL in most categories before his injury last year and Buff loves to run.  Mike Wallace is good value in the 2nd as long as he reports soon and you have solid starters in (Bush, Money Sandwiches, and Lance Moore).  Very good starters.
                The bad:  Ronnie Brown.  He is just not good anymore (not like he ever was that good and once Mathews comes back, he won’t see the field beyond practices) (Lane-o edit: HEY! Watch what you say about my Auburn Boys).  Other than that though, I really like this draft.
Draft Grade – A-
COME GET SOME –
                 The good:  2 Stud WR’s (Fitz & Roddy), even if Roddy is playing second fiddle to JULIOOOO (another spoiler alert, my team).  Love your RB’s as well (McGahee, Ingram, Benson).  They all play on what should be high scoring offenses (DEN, NO, GB) and all seem to be the goal-line options on those teams.  Also, really like the upside on the bench with Leshoure and Sidney Rice for later picks.  It’s almost like you did 20 mock drafts at work of something.
                The bad:  Another team that waited too long on the TE position.  Not like you aren’t going to trade for one, but after the draft it’s not looking too good.  And Sidney Rice may have upside, but if he gets injured AGAIN, you have no back up WR’s.
Draft Grade – A-
4th and 20 –
                The good:  You actually have running back’s this year, and plenty of them.   I really like Lynch this year as he has looked faster and quicker so far.  I like Stewart a lot (Lane-o edit: We differ here, I hate anyone in Carolina’s backfield not named Cam), but a little too early for me considering Carolina has the most talented backfield in the NFL.  Blackmon is your best value and will be a target monster.  Think a younger Brandon Marshall.  He just needs to stay out of jail (seems simple enough, but not for NFL players).
                The bad:  Outside of Blackmon, your next best WR was your last pick (Stokley).  Not good, especially with the NFL becoming so pass heavy.  Then you not only picked a kicker in round 9, but you picked another in round 15.  And even though you picked a TE in the 3rd and 7th rounds, I am not a fan of either one this year. (Witten & Winslow)
Draft Grade – C+
Pull N’ Pray –
                The good:  CJ2K and Murray create a very talented duo for you.  I would have liked Malcolm Floyd more if you waited another round or 2 but with Brown going down, he should act as their #1(besides Tubby TE).  Carson Palmer was a great pick in the 7th and I like Golden Tate and Chris Rainey as late picks. 
                The bad:  Vernon was a reach but ALEX SMITH in the 5th is just absurd.  If I didn’t know better, I would think you have never played fantasy football before.  I mean, you picked a much better QB  (Palmer) 2 rounds later so that should tell you how bad it was.  Then you picked Santonio Holmes, who I don’t know if you knew, still needs someone to throw him the ball (which you or I could do better than what they have currently).  A lot of mid to higher picks wasted.
Draft Grade – D-
Doin’ Thangs –
                The good:  Welp, your 1st year in the league and you get to keep the best RB in football (McCoy) and get the 5th pick (Jimmy Graham).  Good start.  It went downhill quick after that though so onto the bad.
The bad:  You picked a 38 year old QB with 4 neck surgeries (Lane-o edit: who can’t even throw to his right) before Matt Ryan?  Peyton is a huge upgrade for Denver, but that’s not saying much from what they had last year.  Then you picked Desean Jackson, who I like this year but not better than Maclin and followed that up with Shonn Greene.  Shonn Greene.  I don’t know if I should make a fat joke or an I suck at football joke (Lane-o edit: Definitely a fat joke – like can you tell the difference between Sexy Rexy and Shonn if you threw a jersey on both?).  Reggie Wayne is OK but belongs on Team Defibs and Gerhart is back to the bench by week 4 or 5 for good.  I will say, you drafted much better in the later rounds than early on.
Draft Grade – D-
Team Sillynannies –
                The good:  Steven Jackson.  Yes he is an old 29, but if the Rams improve their offense at all, he will be great value as an unquestioned starter who gets the ball 25 plus times a game.  Paired with Forte you have one of the best combo’s of a position becoming more and more diluted.  You also have potential with Jonathan Dwyer and Bernard Scott.  Dwyer will play a huge early season role with Pitt, which could lead to bigger things (think about undrafted Fast Willie Parker). 
                The bad:  Is this the year for Finley to finally break out?  Probably not.  I think you backed up Forte too early with Bush (never listen to Mac) and I don’t like any of your WR (Manningham, Mike William, James Jones) outside Lloyd really.  And I think besides the Def and K, you wasted your last 5 picks. 
Draft Grade – C
Team Screaming Emu’s –
                The great:  Arian Foster is the first pick after 18 keepers.  WOW.
The good:  Amazing running backs (Foster, R. Mathews).  They alone should carry (pun intended) you to the playoffs at the very least.  Love Matty Ice to have a monster season.  Great WR’s if Austin can get over his leg issue he’s had the past couple years (Lane-o edit: Is that a joke?).  Britt will be a beast once he’s back (Lane-o edit: if he’s not drinking and driving); you just have to hope his suspension isn’t long.  Great depth as well.  Pierre Thomas is such an effective football player when healthy and on a great offense.  Greg Little had 120 targets last year and now has a better QB to play with. 
                The bad:  I would have picked a lot of these guys. (I don’t have a good history of winning, but that has to be because of pure luck).
Draft Grade – A
Team Willie Beamen –
                The good:  Cruz and Jennings are 2 explosive WR and could score a TD on any given play.  Pettigrew will put up top 7 TE numbers, and if Mike Wallace reports soon then Big Ben should have plenty of weapons to perform well.  Add the fact that all of Pitts’ RBs are hurt and they could air it out more this year.
                The bad:  Darren Sproles will never live up to last year’s performance and therefore will be overdrafted.  Same with Helu, since Shanny loves to destroy fantasy teams by playing musical RBs.  You have OK starters but very weak bench that includes James Starks, Tolbert, and Snelling.  Oh and you drafted Plaxico Burress.
Draft Grade – D-
Team Air McNairicides –
                The good:  You got an absolute steal by snagging Hernandez in the 3rd.  And considering KC said they want to run it 500 times this year, Jamaal is looking like he is going to have a huge year (Lane-o Edit: Ya know, unless he gets hurt…).  I like Flacco to outperform this draft spot by a lot as well.
                The bad:  You picked Ben Tate before about 15 RB’s I would rather have.  He’s a great player, he just plays behind an even better player and will see his 5 – 7 carries a game.  Not good enough for 4th round.  Reaching for Randy was a huuuge mistake.  San Fran does not throw, and when they do it’s to Vernon or their running backs.  The rest of your team is very blah.  I could take them or leave them. 
Draft Grade – C- 
Team D-X –
                The good:  This is the perennial best drafting owner (Lane-o edit: so you must have missed the playoffs last year due to lousy trading??).  He has 3 top 20 WRs (that’s not including Kendall Wright, who is a spry young WR with loads of potential), the best QB in football (besides Tommy of course), and sooo much more.  Jaquizz is probably the biggest steal of the draft (could change to Rashard Jennings once MJD is traded or never reports) and we haven’t even got to the 10th round yet.  Giants D, Powell (eventual starter for Jets cause Greene is just plain bad) and Ballard just really put the icing on this team’s draft.
                The bad:  This game is mostly luck and the best team doesn’t always win.  (Lane-o edit: He conveniently leaves out his running back situation and the fact that Bilal Powell has a career rushing average of under 2 yard per carry…hmmm)
Draft Grade – A+ (Lane-o grade: C-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The NFL or NCAA – Who Has It Right?

It is late August, so that means only one thing when your baseball team is out of playoff contention – Football.  This always brings the interesting debate around the country, college or the NFL – what game is better.  Both sports are so different, which is why I love both.  Alright, enough of this intro, let’s get into what you came here for – the actual debate.

History

The NFL has teams such as the 49ers, Cowboys, Steelers and Packers who have tremendous history.  However, they can’t compete with USC, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame.  The first college game took place in 1875, which is almost 50 years before the NFL was founded in 1920.  There are hundreds of college teams to choose from and discover their history as opposed to the 32 in the NFL, which includes numerous expansion teams in recent memory.

Advantage: NCAA.

Stadiums

This point comes down to your preference rather than factual information.  Are you one that loves the history of a stadium or would you rather a corporate municipal type stadium.  The NFL stadiums have more comfortable seats, bigger aisles, HD monitors and are newer.  College stadiums have hard bleachers, skinny aisles and are less fan friendly.  However, the college stadiums are much more unique with tons of history.  You will not see that with NFL stadiums.

Advantage: NFL.  (NCAA would have huge advantage if stadium seats were stripped to be all chair backs).

Play Calling


Do you see this in the NFL?

The NFL is considered to be a copy cat league, while college football is constantly changing its play calling.  In the NFL you see mostly the same thing – an ace backfield, 3 wideouts, a tight end.  Sometimes you see this same variation in a shotgun.  There is absolutely no variation at all.  At the college level and you can see all kinds of variation.  Like running football?  There is the power option at Georgia Tech.  Like a fast paced spread option?  Look at Auburn and Oregon.  Like to see a lot of passing?  Go to Oklahoma St and Texas Tech.  Like an I-formation?  They run that at Alabama.  Like the pistol?  Arkansas runs that.  Like a balanced attack?  That is what Oklahoma runs.  College football is the total opposite of a copy cat league, teams are constantly thinking of new ways to attack.  The NFL is constantly stealing ideas from college – where do you think the Wildcat came from?

Huge Advantage: NCAA.

Fans

Uh oh NFL fans, we have another category here that is favoring the college game.  This one is a landslide.  NFL stadiums are filled with white collar corporate people who are afraid to make noise at a game.  At college games, half the stadium is filled with college students.  There are two, not just one, two stadiums with the nickname with Death Valley.  They have a stadium named for their “12th Man. Kansas City is the only city in the NFL that can come close to this, but there are multiple college stadiums like this.

Huge Advantage: NCAA.

Players

Finally, the NFL has a huge advantage.  The NFL boasts the best football players in the world and it’s pretty deep as there are only 32 teams.  Compare this with the 100+ teams in college football with a high turnover rate, the NFL wins this easily.  The only thing you can say about these future accountants, insurance salesmen, etc is they really play with a passion that is unparalleled in the NFL.

Huge Advantage: NFL.

Rivalries


The Iron Bowl is one of the
top rivalries in Sports

Top rivalries in NFL include Steelers-Ravens (Browns), Cowboys-Redskins.  These games have included some of the best players that have ever played and some of the best games ever played at the NFL level.  However, college boasts Auburn-Alabama (Iron Bowl), Texas-Oklahoma (Red River Rivalry), Florida-Georgia (World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party), etc.  These games not only have the history that the NFL games have, but most of these games are played with a National Championship or major bowl game on the line.  The NFL games never have that level of intensity unless they are in the playoffs.

Advantage: NCAA.

Playoffs

This is one we could look back on in a few years and flip the scripts here.  College football currently has one of the most corrupt and wrong ways to determine a national champion – a “computer”.  The best two teams based on these rankings play for the title game.  This can lead to controversy (see 2005: Auburn going undefeated and being left out).  However, in 2 years they will create a 4 team playoff, which I think eventually gets to be an 8 or 16 team playoff and watch out.  That would be runner up to March Madness in terms of a playoff system.  But anyways, right now the NFL has the best playoff system going.  12 teams make it, single elimination – win and move on.

Huge Advantage: NFL.

TV

Without ordering NFL Sunday ticket you can only watch possibly 4-5 games a week with the NFL.  This is totally not the case with college football.  Not only do you not need to order a special package but there are always 3-4 games on National TV at each time slot on Saturday.  One game is a blowout, no need to worry, just switch to the other.  You don’t have this luxury with the NFL as you are just stuck with whatever game CBS/Fox decides to air for you.  Oh, did I mention college football is literally on ESPN every day of the week besides Sunday and Monday.

Huge Advantage: NCAA.

Overall

I think its pretty clear to me what the better game is – NCAA.  5-3 in favor of the “amateurs”.  The passion, history, uniqueness make the college game a far better game.  See you on Saturday.  War Eagle all Day.

 
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