Fantasy Focus: Week 15 Fantasy Football Preview

This is the 2nd Week of Fantasy Playoffs in some leagues, the first in others, regardless, who to play is a big deal. Last week Josh finished atop the charts for the 3rd time in the last 4 weeks, or something like that, and his picks have been on fire lately. I finished second, as some tough defensive picks and a goose egg from quarterbacks had the poo-fan pointed in my direction. Ryan and Papa are both trying to pick up some winners as the last few weeks wrap up, and you better believe I’ll be trying to hold onto the overall title. Doing work. This week I have some solid sleepers ready to wake up and give you a playoff win if you need some help, as I’ve placed an extra five guys in my “super sleeper” realm – guys that are waiver wire fodder right now, ready to spring into starter action for draft pick duds. It’s playoffs, nobody’s feelings will be hurt, just play the best guys out there! Here goes many things….

no banners

Elite Starters: Guys picked early that I love this week…

1. Wes Welker – Defenses can focus in on Randy, that’s fine, but Wes had 12 catches against Buffalo earlier this year, he will have a teen count this week.
2. Ray Rice –  I have to stick with Ray Rice, the Bears can’t keep up with the main man in Baltimore.
3. Adrian Peterson – Carolina’s pass D is actually decent, their run D, well, you’ll see.
4. Drew Brees – You know Drew has that fire wanting a win over Dallas, and you know he’s going to make that secondary cry.
5. Chris Johnson – I will not take CJ off this list, he’s a must play, at the top of the world right now.

Solid Starters: Guys picked in middle rounds that should outplay their ranking/draft position this week…

1. DeSean Jackson – Despite last week’s lockdown on Arizona, the 49ers secondary has some holes, DeSean will find them.
2. Jamal Charles – The kid is lightening quick, and given 20 touches, he’s as good as gold in this match-up.
3. Thomas Jones – I like Thomas a lot again, his match-up is just too good, and he’ll get his carries.
4. Cedric Benson –The Chargers can give up some yards on the ground, and I feel a 120+ yard day coming for Benson.
5. Brandon Jacobs – I like his style, and his punishing runs look to be back. Albert might be out, look for 18-20 carries and yards to match.

Sleeper Starters: Guys ranked low, drafted low or not at all, but I still like them this week…

1. Justin Forsett –Again, he’s the best back in Seattle, again, he’ll have the most fantasy points amongst them, and Tampa, nice match-up.
2. Quentin Ganther – The Giants D front doesn’t scare me like they used to, the Redskins O scares me more than ever. Deal.
3. Vince Young– I like him again, if he’s still out there, he’s a nice spot start for a 2nd straight week.
4. Laurence Maroney– LM has been consistent, at the very least, for the Patriots – I think he runs a lot again in Week 15.
5. Alex Smith– The thought of the Eagles secondary says no, but don’t get tricked, if you don’t have a top guy, need a starter, Smith is a solid play.
6. Steve Breaston – He might be on the Waivers after a few pooformances, but Larry Fitz might be out, and the match-up is good, I like starting Ta-Tas this week.

Super Sleepers for Playoff Push…

1. Brady Quinn – Everyone is saying no, the Chiefs D beat up the Bills passing attack last week, and Brady threw for under 100 yards – so what, I like the match-up. If you need him, don’t feel like you’re going to die. At least double digit fantasy points from Quinn.
2. Chris Jennings – He might not be on the waiver, but I picked him up in a couple leagues, so he’s out there in most. He plays the Chiefs D and looks like a solid option if you have nothing else.
3. Maurice Morris – He could very well be in for starter carries, and some grabs out of the backfield as well, you could do worse than MoMo.
4. Devin Aromashodu – Let me say this, Jay Cutler has been lobbying for him getting more playing time for weeks, he finally gets it and puts up 21 fantasy points. Like it.
5. Greg Camarillo – Last week’s performance isn’t that crazy, and while I don’t see 100 yards, 5+ catches and 50+ yards seems likely against the Titans.
6. Deon Butler – Call me crazy, and this would be a tough start, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it worked out. Burleson is out, and while Branch is #3, Butler is the big play guy left – I think he has a couple this week and has his best fantasy week of the year.

Sit ‘Em Son: I don’t care where they were drafted, I don’t like these guys starting this week…

1. Hines Ward– Great player, struggling team, tough D, tough start in my opinion.
2. Mario Manningham– After a great start, MM is back-up duty, and against one of the best secondaries in the league, not a good start.
3. Matt Forte – Weird, Matt’s here again, I think he’ll do more blocking than running against the Ravens.
4. LeSean McCoy –I like the rookie a lot, I just think the Niners shut him down, and the Eagles find quicker ways to gain yardage.
5. Kyle Orton– I like the Broncos to win, yes, but pass a lot? no. Orton might get close to 200 yards, but I doubt he gets over that mark. More than a touchdown through the air? No – sit him.

***Nate Burleson is out. Turner is still a bit risky. Don’t start JaMarcus Russell unless you are throwing your playoff game, and if you are starting Charlie “Brown” Frye, I’m sorry for your mixed luck, nothing like getting to the playoffs and having to start a peanuts character***

no banners


Looking Back: Over/Under 2009 AL Baseball Predictions

Well it’s hard to believe but the 2009 Major League Baseball regular season has come and gone.  If you are a regular LuckyLester reader you will remember that prior to the season I laid down 28 bold predictions to help you in your deliberations on draft day.  As this was the first time I had attempted an article of this sort, I limited myself to the American League and decided to choose one pitcher and one position player from each team and then tell you what I thought you could expect in terms of production.  To do this, I threw out a statline and then stated whether I thought that player would exceed or fall short of those expectations.  Now that the season has run it’s course, it’s time for me to take credit for the ones I knocked out of the park and own up to those predictions that were swung on and missed.

Over/Under 25 HR 115 RBI and 15 SB for Nick Markakis: Over – The Greek god of production, Markakis does it all. With Brian Roberts and an improving Adam Jones setting the table, this is a guy you want on your team.

Actual Statline: 18 HR, 101 RBI, 6 SB … Markakis fell under my prediction for all three categories.  Those that drafted him were rewarded with decent all-around production, but Markakis still hasn’t put together that Top-5 season that many have anticipated.  Flyball to the warning track (0-1)

Over/Under 10 wins and 120 Ks for Jeremy Guthrie: Under – The Baltimore ace by default, Guthrie has movement on all his pitches and pounds the strikezone, but in a brutal division he will struggle to match last year’s production.

Actual Statline: 10 wins and 110 Ks … Guthrie finished up 10-17 with a 5.04 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.  He made all of his starts and notched 200 IP for the Orioles, but true to my prediction a killer division took it’s toll.  Hopefully you took my advice and avoided him on draft day.  Groundball single up the middle (1-2)

Over/Under 60 SB and 105 R for Jacoby Ellsbury: Over – If you’re fishing for batting average and power you will be disappointed, but Ellsbury can fly and a (mostly) healthy David Ortiz helps everybody in this lineup.

Actual Statline: 70 SB and 94 R … Wow what a season for the speedster from Oregon State.  Ellsbury exceeded expectations with a .301 BA and swiped enough bases to make up for a shortage of runs scored early in the year.  Bunt basehit down the third baseline (2-3)

Over/Under 200 IP and 15 wins for Josh Beckett: Over – As always, if he pitches his production will be there. I think Beckett has something to prove this year and there there is no nastier pitcher when he has a chip on his shoulder.

Actual Statline: 212.1 IP and 17 wins … A healthy season resulted in good things for the hard throwing righty with the nasty streak.  Beckett not only made 32 starts, he also posted a respectable 3.86 ERA and 1.19 WHIP to go along with 199 Ks.  Line drive double in the gap (3-4)

Over/Under .325 BA and 20 HR for Robinson Cano: Over – It seems like Cano has been around forever though he is only 26.  I think this is the year he puts it all together and becomes a force in the middle of that Yankee lineup.

Actual Statline: .320 BA and 25 HR … Owner that took the chance on Cano were rewarded with a top 2nd baseman in the Utley-Kinsler-Pedroia conversation.  In addition, Cano’s production was extremely consistent, helping those in weekly matchup leagues as well.  Line drive through the 4-hole (4-5)

Over/Under 175 IP and 12 wins for AJ Burnett: Under – When he’s on he’s filthy, but career highs in starts, innings, strikeouts and wins last season have me concerned.  A hot start to the season wouldn’t surprise me … 30 starts would.

Actual Statline: 207 IP and 13 wins … Good for Burnett, he stayed healthy for the full season and put up another strong year complete with 195 Ks.  A higher walk rate resulted in a 1.40 WHIP and 4.04 ERA, but I was wrong to sell AJ short because of his career year in 2008.  Groundout to the third baseman (4-6)

Over/Under 15 HR and 50 SB for Carl Crawford: Over – How quickly we forget … a season removed from All-Star production, the unquestioned leader of the Rays is due for a major bounce-back season in 2009.

Actual Statline: 15 HR and 60 SB … What a year for the All Star MVP.  Crawford stayed healthy and posted a .305 BA and 68 RBI to go along with his huge stolen base numbers and a return to form in the power department.  I took a shot on Crawford and it really paid off.  407 ft. homerun to right-center (5-7)

Over/Under 20 starts for David Price: Over – This is becoming a yearly occurance for the Rays.  Look for them to bring Price along sometime soon ala Evan Longoria last season.  10 wins is not out of the question for the young lefty.

Actual Statline: 23 starts (and 10 wins) … Price’s season unfolded exactly as I predicted it would.  The Rays brought him along in late May and the big lefty was able to take the ball every fifth day the rest of the way.  He finished 10-7 despite a higher ERA (4.42) than I expected.  Line drive over the shortstop’s head (6-8)

Over/Under 20 HR and 80 RBI for Travis Snider: Over – With a depleted pitching staff, the Jays will need to outscore teams with their talented young lineup.  This 21-year-old phenom is one of the few brights spots in Toronto.

Actual Statline: 9 HR and 29 RBI … Ouch, no way to sugar-coat this one.  Snider struggled out of the gates, got sent down, and struggled with is contact rate when he rejoined the big club late in the year.  The power numbers project out, but Snider needs to find more consistency.  Stuck out looking (6-9)

Over/Under 10 wins and 125 Ks for David Purcey: Under – There are a lot of believers in the big lefty in the middle of the Blue Jay rotation.  I am not one of them.  A shaky bullpen situation only hurts Purcey’s value in 2009 … avoid.

Actual Statline: 1 win and 39 Ks … Gross.  I hope you were able to take my advice and steer clear of Purcey on draft day.  The big lefty was ineffective early in the year and was sent down to work on his command.  He finished the season with a 6.19 ERA and 1.75 WHIP.  Triple into the right field corner (7-10)

Over/Under 25 HR and 90 RBI for Alexei Ramirez: Under – The Cuban-born Ramirez won’t sneak up on big league pitchers this season.  That isn’t to say he won’t be a productive player, but temper your expectations.

Actual Statline: 15 HR and 68 RBI … Again I was right on the money with Ramirez.  The 28-year-old second baseman was a trendy sleeper pick coming into 2009 but a strong second half last season didn’t translate into elite production this year as many thought it would.  Line drive up the middle (8-11)

Over/Under 15 wins and a 3.50 ERA for John Danks: Over – The 23-year-old lefty improved his command in his sophomore season.  If the ChiSox can get him some run support the wins will follow, even if his ERA creeps up a bit.

Actual Statline: 13 wins and 3.77 ERA … The young lefty didn’t miss my prediction by much and had several leads blown by a bullpen that was inconsistent at times.  He posted a respectable 13-11 record with a 2-1 K:BB ratio and 1.28 WHIP.  Backhand stab by the shortstop and a great throw for the putout (8-12)

Over/Under 20 HR and 100 RBI for Victor Martinez: Over – Look for the outlier in Martinez’s past five seasons then consider that he is only 30 years old.  Don’t be scared off by his injury-plagued 2008, he will rebound in a big way.

Actual Statline: 23 HR and 108 RBI … Martinez is the type of player that wins fantasy leagues.  An injury-plagued 2008 dropped him off the radar but he rebounded huge in 2009 and contributed a .303 BA to go along with the power numbers.  He also walked more than he struck out.  Opposite field homerun (9-13)

Over/Under 12 wins and 185 IP for Fausto Carmona: Under – Speaking of outliers, Carmona had his in 2007 with his 3.06 ERA.  He simply walks too many batters to be a reliable fantasy pitcher, especially with his lack of strikeouts.

Actual Statline: 5 wins and 125.1 IP … Inflated ERA, awful WHIP, 5-12 record.  All you really need to know about Carmona is that he struck out 79 batters in 2009 and walked 70.  If I was looking for positives, his August and September were slightly better (42 Ks and 25 BBs).  Single through the 6-hole (10-14)

Over/Under 20 HR and 20 SB for Curtis Granderson: Over – The perfect table-setter for this Tiger lineup, look for Granderson to get off to a hot start.  Jimmy Leyland wants Granderson to run more this season as well.

Actual Statline: 30 HR and 20 SB … Granderson is a very good baseball player.  If we’re picking nits his .249 BA was well below his career mark and doesn’t post huge RBI numbers hitting at the top of the order.  That said, his power/speed comination is hard to beat.  Opposite field double in the gap (11-15)

Over/Under 200 IP and 17 wins for Armando Galaraga: Over – He isn’t flashy, but this Venezuelan righty knows how to win ballgames.  With the Tiger’s potent lineup, I think 20 wins is within reach as early as this season.

Actual Statline: 143.2 IP and 6 wins … Thud.  I had high hopes for Galarraga and the Tigers this year but both failed to live up to lofty expectations.  Galarraga’s season got off to a rocky start and he never really recovered and proved to be very hittable in 2009.  Struck out swinging (11-16)

Over/Under 20 HR and a .275 BA for Alex Gordon: Over – Gordon has very quietly made improvements in each of his first two seasons.  He’s not a true breakout candidate yet, but look for the positive trend to continue this season.

Actual Statline: 6 HR and a .232 BA … Injuries derailed Gordon’s 2009 season and ruined any chance he had to take the next step in his development.  Fool me once, shame on you … fool me twice, shame on me.  Fool me a third time? … you must be Alex Gordon.  Dribbler back to the pitcher (11-17)

Over/Under 3.45 ERA and 1.20 WHIP for Zack Greinke: Under – If Greinke can continue to improve his ground ball rate, he could see big returns in the win column this season.  The Royals may surprise some people this year.

Actual Statline: 2.16 ERA and 1.07 WHIP … An amazing season by Greinke could have been even better had he not been spinning it in Kansas City.  The fireballer was still able to post a 16-8 record and strike out 242 to go along with only 51 BB.  The kid deserves the Cy Young and I think he’ll get it.  Inside the park homerun (12-18)

Over/Under 10 HR and 30 SB for Denard Span: Over – Delmon Young gets all the pub, but Span is the Twins OF you want to own.  Another season under his belt and we could be looking at a poor man’s Carl Crawford.

Actual Statline: 8 HR and 23 SB … Span falling short of my predictions does nothing to diminish my opinion of him.  He is the sparkplug of a very good lineup and he does all the little things exceptionally well.  Look for him to fly under the radar next season and remain a very good value pick.  Diving catch by the centerfielder (12-19)

Over/Under 3.75 ERA and 35 BB for Kevin Slowey: Under – This kid isn’t overpowering, but he is an assassin with his command.  Limiting free passes means fewer big innings and more talleys in the win column at seasons end.

Actual Statline: 4.86 ERA and 15 BB … 2009 was a real mixed bag for Slowey.  He started the season on fire despite a higher than average ERA and WHIP.  When a wrist injury brought his season to a close just before the All Star break, Slowey was 10-3 and on pace for just over 30 BB on the season.  Flyout to left (12-20)

Over/Under 500 AB and a .325 BA for Howie Kendrick: Over – Once in a while you just have to go out on a limb.  Sadly for this 25-year-old second baseman, staying healthy for a full season hasn’t happened yet … until now.

Actual Statline: 374 AB and a .291 BA … Kendrick rebounded from a horrendous start to salvage a respectable batting average but still missed a lot of time in small chunks throughout the year.  Sorry, folks … Howie has loads of talent but is not to be trusted.  Grounded into 4-6-3 double play (12-21)

Over/Under 50 starts for Kelvim Escobar, John Lackey and Ervin Santana: Under – The Angels may have their work cut out for them if Joe Saunders remains near the top of their rotation.  As these three go, the halo’s season goes.

Actual Statline: 51 starts … The heavy lifters here were obviously Lackey and Santana.  Escobar made only one start and was a non-factor in the Angels success.  Lackey and Santana stayed healthy and although Santana’s season was very average Lackey had a terrific season.  Barehand play by the third baseman (12-22)

Over/Under 30 HR and 120 RBI for Matt Holliday: Over – The power numbers will be there, but the 28 stolen bases are sure to decrease in Oakland.  No matter, Holliday rakes and in an improved A’s lineup he will have a huge year.

Actual Statline: 24 HR and 109 RBI … This is a tough one as Holliday used a mid-season exodus from Oakland to turn around a season that saw him scuffling out of the gates.  His second half in St. Louis was phenomenal but he still didn’t hit my lofty goals for him this season.  Line drive back to the pitcher (12-23)

Over/Under 20 wins between Brett Anderson and Trevor Cahill: Over – They aren’t Hudson, Zito or Mulder, but this pair of youngsters will be called upon this year to bolster the Oakland staff.  I think they will answer the bell.

Actual Statline: 21 wins combined … These two diaper dandies really came on strong in the second half (especially Anderson).  I can’t overstate how hard it is to learn your craft at the major league level but these two both made the jump from AA and will give the A’s something to build around.  Basehit over the first baseman (13-24)

Over/Under 30 HR and 100 RBI for Adrian Beltre: Over – The last time Beltre was in a contract year he exploded.  I wouldn’t expect another 48 homeruns but this rock-solid defensive third baseman can handle the stick as well.

Actual Statline: 8 HR and 44 RBI … Yikes, I really dropped the ball on this one.  Beltre is an easy player to love if you watch him play every day (especially in the field) but this was a lost season before the injuries hit.  Beltre is no longer a reliable fantasy 3-sacker.  Dropped third strike, thrown out at first (13-25)

Over/Under 30 saves for Brandon Morrow: Under – Concerns over his arm landed Morrow back in the bullpen, concerns over his ability to throw strikes has me thinking he may not keep this role once Chad Cordero is healthy.

Actual Statline: 6 saves … Morrow did lose his closer job but it went to David Aardsma rather than Cordero.  After several months toiling in the minors Morrow was transitioned back to the starting rotation with mixed results.  He will be hard to trust until he proves he can be consistent in the strike zone.  Double down the line (14-26)

Over/Under 20 HR and 85 RBI for Hank Blalock: Over – With Michael Young shifting over to third base, Blalock will assume the full-time DH role for the Rangers.  If he stays healthy (and I think he can), his numbers will be there.

Actual Statline: 25 HR and 66 RBI … The power was there for Blalock and he stayed healthy for the most part.  His average (.234) left something to be desired and his RBI opportunities were limited hitting lower in the Ranger’s lineup.  Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.  Popout to the catcher (14-27)

Over/Under 15 wins and 135 Ks for Kevin Millwood: Under – Millwood eats innings, but the durable righty surrenders too many hits to be counted on for big win production.  Double-digit wins should be within reach, but just barely.

Actual Statline: 13 wins and 123 Ks … Millwood put together a very decent season and produced better than I thought he would.  His 3.67 ERA was evidence that Millwood was less hittable in 2009 than in years past and was a big part of the Ranger’s hot start.  Texas leaguer (of course) into right field (15-28)

So there you have it.  I apologize for big misses on Beltre, Gordon, Galarraga, Snider and Kendrick but five busts out of 28 predictions is pretty damn solid.  Overall I hit on 15-28, good for a .536 batting average and a ticket to the hall of fame.  Owners that trusted my advice hit it big on guys like Ellsbury, Crawford, Beckett, Greinke, Granderson, Price, Cahill/Anderson and Victor Martinez.  I was also very close on several of my misses along the way, including Blalock, Lackey/Santana/Escobar, Holliday, Span, Danks and Markakis.  In general I was very pleased with my first attempt at predicting statistical goodness (and badness) over 162 games but don’t let me have the final word.  Please feel free to leave a comment if you agree or disagree with anything I had to say … I am a man of the people after all.  Thanks for reading, enjoy the playoffs, and look for my AL and NL predictions for the upcoming 2010 season sometime in late February or early March.

Fantasy Focus: Week 4

Sorry for the late start on Week 4’s Fantasy Focus – lets just say I was under the weather for I’m sure you don’t have as much interest in hearing about my  2 day battle as I have sharing it. Us writers, what can you say, we like to describe things. All in all, it’s been a tough week, but better ones will come, and at least Sunday is just around the corner. Last week, for the 3rd straight, I pulled off the top spot in the fantasy picks ranking system. This week, Red Red Ryan, Josh Arsenault, and Papa Weimer will once again try to do their best to dethrone the fantasy king. Rankings below, my 20 guys to watch at the top. Enjoy!

Elite Starters: Guys picked early that I love this week…

1. Phillip Rivers – The Steelers kill the run and can’t stop the pass. Phillip can toss the ball around. I like it.
2. Adrian Peterson – I think the Packers are a great match-up for AP, they’ll score, he’ll score… a lot.
3. Brandon Jacobs – With Bradshaw spending time in a boot, and the Chiefs up next, Jacobs will be huge.
4. Tom Brady – The Ravens D struggles against prolific passers, I’m still one that thinks Tom can do it.
5. Reggie Wayne – I think Reggie is the surest thing WR this week in fantasy, not as much upside as Moss, but definite.

Solid Starters: Guys picked in middle rounds that should outplay their ranking/draft position this week…

1. Julius Jones– I think the Hawks keep it close, how? by running the ball a lot with Julius.
2. Devin Hester – He’s the #1 receiver against the worst pass defense in the league, should be good this week.
3. Darren McFadden– Houston is just one of those defenses, McFadden’s talent and homerun ability is there.
4. Carson Palmer – Against Cleveland, I like his chances. He’s getting better every week.
5. Hines Ward –Steelers should find plenty of passing room against the Chargers this weekend.

Sleeper Starters: Guys ranked low, drafted low or not at all, but I still like them this week…

1. Tashard Choice – Even as Barber’s back up, which I think he will be, the Cowboys can run on anyone – he should be good.
2. Mike Sims-Walker – Should be owned in every single league, but isn’t owned in half, great option against Tennessee.
3. Mario Manningham –He’ll have a couple chances this week, here’s thinking he makes the most of them against KC.
4. Rashard Mendenhall– If you are looking deep, Mendenhall could be there, Willie might not play, SD has no run D…
5. Eddie Royal – Got dropped in a lot of leagues this week, bet he makes those people even more upset with a big day.

Sit ‘Em Son: I don’t care where they were drafted, I don’t like these guys starting this week…

1. Matt Cassel – This one seems easy, but not right now, and not against the Giants D – stay away from Cassel.
2. Steven Jackson – If in a PPR, not too shabby cuz he catches balls, but running room will be limited by 49ers.
3. Nate Burleson – A lot of people like Nate this week, against the Colts I do not. A few catches, less than 50 yards.
4. Bernard Berrien or Percy Harvin –If I had to choose, would start Percy over BB, but both can be sat against GB’s CBs.
5. Reggie Bush – I think the Jets are too fast in the linebacking and secondary for a less than 100% Bush.

PS – Bye weeks are back, and here for some time, recognize! Mind the gap!

Week 4 Fantasy Rankings

Ryan Kauffman	        Josh Arsenault		Papa Weimer		Lucky Lester


1.Peyton Manning   	1.Peyton Manning	1.Peyton Manning	1.Phillip Rivers
2.Ben Roethlisberger	2.Carson Palmer 	2.Tom Brady     	2.Matt Schaub
3.Jason Campbell 	3.Jay Cutler     	3.Jay Cutler     	3.Tom Brady
4.Jay Cutler     	4.Tom Brady     	4.David Garrard 	4.Peyton Manning
5.Eli Manning   	5.Aaron Rodgers   	5.Aaron Rodgers		5.Drew Brees

1.Adrian Peterson	1.Cedric Benson 	1.Adrian Peterson	1.Adrian Peterson
2.Chris Johnson 	2.Adrian Peterson 	2.Steve Slaton  	2.Brandon Jacobs
3.Brandon Jacobs	3.Chris Johnson  	3.Maurice Jones-Drew	3.Chris Johnson
4.Maurice Jones-Drew	4.Brandon Jacobs    	4.Fred Jackson  	4.Matt Forte
5.Cedric Benson 	5.Glen Coffee   	5.Clinton Portis  	5.Julius Jones


1.Reggie Wayne	        1.Reggie Wayne          1.Steve Smith (NY) 	1.Reggie Wayne
2.Santonio Holmes	2.Calvin Johnson   	2.Reggie Wayne		2.Randy Moss
3.Terrell Owens  	3.Jericho Cotchery	3.Randy Moss    	3.Chad Ochocinco
4.Johnny Knox    	4.Nate Burleson 	4.Andre Johnson 	4.Vincent Jackson
5.Mike Sims-Walker  	5.Braylon Edwards	5.Devin Hester  	5.Terrell Owens


1.Jason Witten  	1.Jason Witten  	1.Dallas Clark  	1.Antonio Gates
2.Owen Daniels		2.Chris Cooley		2.Dustin Keller 	2.Chris Cooley
3.Dallas Clark		3.Owen Daniels		3.Vernon Davis  	3.Jason Witten
4.Chris Cooley   	4.Dustin Keller  	4.Chris Cooley		4.Dallas Clark
5.John Carlson   	5.Dallas Clark   	5.Jason Witten		5.Greg Olsen


1.49ers 		1.Giants		1.Bears 		1.Giants
2.Redskins		2.Vikings       	2.Steelers		2.Bengals
3.Bears 		3.Cowboys		3.Titans		3.Bears
4.Giants		4.Titans  		4.Texans		4.49ers
5.Bengals		5.49ers 		5.Giants		5.Redskins


Papa Weimer says, "I'll take Reggie Roby every time!" As for the rest of us, we won't even go
that far, we don't rank no stinking kickers man! (But we are all rooting for Michael Koenen to
get in for a 63 yard game winner)

Free Fantasy Football Picks: Papas Predictions

My Nephew has me back giving some fantasy advice, he was nice enough to pay me nothing to work for another year, what a guy. But hey, I have fun doing it right? Shit, I only have to wear two pairs of glasses to see the damn screen, make 100 errors while hunting and pecking my way into oblivion, all the while trying not to listen to this voice in my head that keeps telling me to pick Barry Sanders in my upcoming draft – (I still do that with my last pick, what can I say, I’m hopeful for a comeback). So these are my predictions, I hope that’s not too quick of a transition for you, if it is just deal with it I guess. I’m old, but I’ve probably been playing fantasy football since you were an idea that your parents couldn’t even fathom – you know, when they still wore condoms and took birth control. So, I’ve been around for a while, won lots of fantasy championships, and learned from my mistakes as well. What has that taught me? That these predictions are more likely to be true than my nephews. That’s what. Why? Because I’ve only been wrong once, and that was when I thought I was wrong and was actually right. Here goes…

1. Matt Hasselbeck will be a Top 7 quarterback in 2009.

2. Either Chester Taylor or Jerious Norwood will be a Top 20 fantasy back this season. Choose wisely.

3. Matt Schaub will not play more than 12 games, but that’s okay, he’ll still throw 20 touchdowns.

4. The J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets will be a Top 5 fantasy defense.

5. Tom Brady will be the #1 fantasy quarterback.

6. Donovan McNabb will be Top 5.

7. Who will round out my QB top 7? Drew Brees and Philip Rivers and Tony Romo will be in there too. That leaves one spot left over, gotta have a flier in there somewhere – but I’m not going to predict that, 6 out of 7 ain’t bad.

8. The highest paid QB in the NFL finishes out of the Top 20 in fantasy QB rankings.

9. Even though I’ve had poops bigger than Darren Sproles and Leon Washington, both will finish amongst the Top 30 running backs in PPR leagues.

10. Thomas Jones won’t, Jamal Lewis won’t, Jonathan Stewart won’t either.

11. Knowshon Moreno will have at least five 100-yard games this season.

12. That will be more than Marion Barber.

13. This year’s DeAngelo Williams (surprise, out of nowhere back that is seemingly left for dead because of a high draft pick or “new” back taking his place? That would be Joseph Addai. He won’t be the #1 fantasy back like Williams was last year, but he’s getting drafted around 20 in most of my leagues, he’ll be a Top 10 guy.

14. Marshawn Lynch will be a Top 10 guy from Week 4 until Week 16 – do those week’s matter to anybody?

15. Not much of a stunner, but Adrian Peterson will lead the league in rushing yards, by a lot.

16. I’d rather have Ronnie Brown than Chris Johnson. Why? Ready… He’s going to have more fantasy points. But I like both guys.

17. Kevin Smith will be a top 10 fantasy running back.

18. Randy Moss will score more fantasy points that Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson.

19. T.J. Houshmandzadeh will catch more passes than anybody in the NFL.

20. Chad Johnson will show everybody that last year was a fluke, and that he’s still very inconsistent, but will be a Top 10 WR in the fantasy world.

21. If Terrell Owens is healthy for all 16 games, he will be a Top 5 fantasy receiver. I will guarantee he’s a top 10 guy regardless.

22. Anthony Gonzalez will have more fantasy points than Roy Williams.

23. Lance Moore will have at least 70 catches for 900 yards and 8 touchdowns. That might not be last years’ totals, but that’s still pretty damn good considering where you draft the guy.

24. John Carlson will be a Top 6 Tight End.

25. Joseph Addai > Darren McFadden > Pierre Thomas… That would be opposite of their draft rankings.

26. Felix Jones scores more fantasy points than Ray Rice.

27. Donnie Avery scores more fantasy points than Donald Driver.

28. The highest scoring rookie receiver this season? Hakeem Nicks.

29. Brandon Jacobs will score more fantasy points, in non PPR leagues, than any other RB in the NFL not named Adrian Peterson. He’s number one, or maybe number two….

30. In the games that Reggie Bush plays in (I’m guessing 12-14) he’ll be a Top 10 PPR RB. So he has GREAT draft value right now. *Currently ranked 31 by Espin the Magazine.

Done and Done. It only took my a million hunts and pecks to find the right keys to right this damn thing, and if you count my hourly wage, I’m going to have to win the lottery to get out of the red… blast. But at least I’ll get to rub it in when these are all right.

Lucky Lester's Predictions: YEAR IN REVIEW

Well, they didn’t all come true, not even most of them – here’s a look back at the crazy predictions section from before the season started. That’s right, I’ve got tabs – check them out.

50 Predictions that Have a GOOD Chance of Coming True

Ricky Williams will have more fantasy points than Ronnie Brown. – Well, I was wrong, Ricky had about 50 less fantasy points than Ronnie.
Ronnie Brown will still have 1000+ total yards from scrimmage. – This is true, headed into the final week, Ronnie had 859 rushing and 239 receiving.
Brett Favre will throw multiple touchdowns in each of his first three games. – Wrong, he had 1 TD in Week 2, but he did throw 2 in Week 1, 3 in Week 3, and 6 in Week 4. Give me a little leniency here, what I was saying is he’d start hot, and he did.
Shaunna Alexander and Michael Strahan will start a boy-band named, “The Gap-Tooth Goons” – What, nobody went to see them perform?
Darren McFadden will rush for over 1100 yards and be a top 15 fantasy running back. – GONG!!! Dead Wrong. Maybe next year!
Rashard Mendenhall will rack up more fantasy points than Willie Parker – neither will be Top 15 backs. – Half and half, neither were top 15 backs, but Willie had more points than Rashard. But you have to see what I’m saying, Mewelde Moore, the #3 ended up with more points than Willie- injuries are tough to predict I guess. But this is a statement that helped you if you were drafting.
Josh Morgan will finish the season with more fantasy points than Shaun McDonald and Mike Furrey put together – thank you Mike Martz. – A couple injuries made this a tough one, all guys went through injuries and McDonald was leading headed into Week 17.
Despite the recent DeSean Jackson hype, Eddie Royal will lead all rookie receivers in the fantasy realm. – True. Eddie was a Top 20 WR in the league. And he had DeSean by 30+ fantasy points.
If they play the same amount of games (no injuries), Michael Turner will have more rushing yards than LaDainian Tomlinson in 2008. – Many people laughed, but how ridiculous does this statement seem now that I’m right?
Tom Brady won’t throw more than 35 touchdowns this season. – Well injuries kind of helped my cause here, but I thought he’d miss more than a few games, just not the entire freaking season. Anyway, if he was healthy he would have crushed me. But I might as well be right here.
Calvin Johnson will eclipse these numbers, 80 catches – 1200 yards – 10 touchdowns (ps: pick him). – He had just 69 catches but 1200+ yards and 10 TDs headed into the final week. Your welcome. I’m right where the numbers count most, I’ll take the credit here.
Chris Simms will be a starter before the season is over – somewhere not in Tampa. – Got me here, it could have been Tennessee – I’m beginning to wonder if Simms will ever get a chance?
Devin Hester will score double digit touchdowns for the Bears. – Just 3 TDs for Hester, he let me down, but I still think he’ll be a good one. Maybe next year.
Kyle Orton will be a Top 10 fantasy quarterback in Week 1 against the Colts. I didn’t take into account how bad the Colts run defense would be right off the bat, or how solid their secondary would be. Missed this one.
Marion Barber will be a Top 3 fantasy running back. – Barber basically missed the last four games with an injury. Kind of derailed his run at the top. When he was healthy, he was one of the best around, and those who had him know that.
Steve Smith will have at least 3 multi-touchdown games, eclipse 1100 yards, and easily get into the double digit touchdown category. – Only 6 TDs headed into the final week, but he does have 1287 yards in his 13 games. Not too shabby, but I missed by a few touchdowns. I guess I didn’t think this running game would be so great.
Deion Branch will play in at least 12 games and finish in the Top 30 amongst fantasy receivers. – Whoops. The Seahawks receivers were cursed!
Chris Perry (if you can risk picking the walking wounded) is a great late round pick. He’ll have 1300+ yards from scrimmage and score 7+ touchdowns. – I considered just deleting this one and pretending it never happened. I wish I would have done that when I originally thought of this prediction.
Drew Brees will lead the league in touchdown passes. – Drew has a chance, just 2 behind Philip Rivers going into Week 17. Drew is the top fantasy quarterback though, something to be said for that.
(Two of Three) Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady will miss at least one football game due to injuries. – Peyton got hit more than ever, and Brett had shoulder issues over the last half of the season, but neither followed Tom’s fate, making this statement incorrect. And I’m glad for that.
Thomas Jones will prove to be a better fantasy player than Willie Parker, Reggie Bush, Willis McGahee, and Brandon Jacobs. – There you have it, hopefully you were like me and owned this guy in many a league. Think, if Eric Mangini wasn’t such a genius, not only would Thomas be closer to the Top 2, but his Jets would be in the playoffs. I’ll take being right though, Thomas had one hell of a year.
Jericho Cotchery will be a Top 14 fantasy receiver. – Nope 25th headed into the Final week, I doubt he gets up to 14.
Antonio Gates will be the top scoring fantasy tight end – don’t believe the bad hype. Nope, he was #4 headed into Week 17 with absolutely no chance of catching one of the best tight ends ever, Tony Gonzalez, who leads the TEs by more than 50 fantasy points. 91 grabs, 1000+ yards, and 9 TDs heading into Week 17, amazing.
Phillip Rivers will throw more touchdown passes than Eli Manning (less interceptions too). – One more interception heading into Week 17, but Rivers leads the league with 32 TD passes while Manning has 21. Eli has been solid. Philip has been unreal.
Chris Johnson will lead the Titans in yards (receiving and rushing combined). – 1488 headed into the final week, he ran away with this title.
Chris Johnson is the NFL’s version of Usain Bolt.– Chris has been amazing. He’s as fast as they get.
One of the following 6 teams will make the playoffs – Dolphins, Raiders, Bears, Falcons, Cardinals, Rams. – Goodness, it looks like four of them could find themselves in the playoffs, the Falcons and Cardinals are already in it to win it.
Frank Gore will eclipse 1,500 total yards, 70 receptions, and score 10+ touchdowns. – Gore has just 1340 yards headed into Week 17, but the last 2 weeks with an ankle injury. He has 8 total touchdowns. I think he would have gotten everything except the 70 receptions. He was on pace to get just over 50 catches, but easily pass those other two marks. With a 160 total yard 2 TD final game performance, he still gets both of those totals. However, I was wrong.
Kurt Warner will be a Top 10 fantasy quarterback. – You bet. Before a late season lull, there was MVP talk about the former Super Ram. He had a great year.
Maurice Morris will be a better fantasy back than Julius Jones. – Well, neither was that exciting, but Maurice will pass Julius with a decent game against the Cardinals on Sunday. All he needs is 60 more yards and a catch and he gets Julius. He’s the starter now. If he didn’t miss a good portion of 6 games I think he’d have it locked up by now. But I’ll take a chance and be pretty sure that Mo gets it.
Larry Johnson will rush for 1,300+ yards and score 12+ touchdowns. – Well, that blew up in my face. He missed four games and never really was the workhorse I expected him to be. He is averaging 4.7 yards per carry with 856 rushing yards and 5 scores, but that whole woman beating incident and the benching, and all that stuff didn’t help his cause. Sorry about this one.
Plaxico Burress will play in less than 11 games. – 9 – kind of crazy, I hope he doesn’t get put in jail – that’s ridiculous, mandatory minimums are as stupid as they sound, but he wasn’t going to play 11 games anyway.
The Giants will finish the season under .500. – Hahaha – probably my worst call of 2008-09 season.
Chris Taylor will lead the Houston Texans in rushing yards and scores. – Chris, meet Steven Slaton. Wrong.
Anthony Gonzalez will have a similar year (give or take a few fantasy points) to Brandon Stokely a few years ago when he played with the Colts – 1077 yards, 68 catches, 10 touchdowns. – No sir! Try 56 for 652 and 4 touchdowns heading into Week 17.
During the fantasy playoffs (week’s 14-16) Adrian Peterson (Vikings) will have more yards and touchdowns than any other running back. – Yards? Maybe – Touchdowns, no way. Either way, I was wrong about this one.
The Patriots will win 13 games during the regular season. – They might get 11, but tough call without Brady in there, wish I knew that.
Ryan Torrain will start at least 5 games for the Broncos later this season. He would have started them all down the stretch, but like all the other Bronco backs, Ryan went down with an injury. In his first game starting, too.
Chad Johnson will lead the NFL in receiving yards despite his shoulder ouchy. – Carson Palmer didn’t play after the first couple weeks – Chad had his worst year as a pro.
Vince Young will throw more touchdowns than interceptions. Even in his one game, this was a false statement.
Lee Evans will score 10+ touchdowns. – 3 TDs. Ha.
Bernard Berrien will have his best receiving totals of his career – yards, catches, and touchdowns. – If BB gets 70 yards and a score in Week 17, he has the most TDs and yards in a single season for his career. He only has 44 catches though, he won’t catch that mark.
Wes Welker won’t match last season’s totals, he’ll eclipse them – (yards and touchdowns for sure). – He will have more yards and catches with a 4 grab 40 yard performance against the Bills, basically a lock, but Tom’s absence hurt his TD total, as Wes only has 3 this year.
Ben Watson will be a Top 12 tight end. – Nope.
Four rookie running backs will rush for over 1000 yards (I’m thinking Darren McFadden, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, and Kevin Smith – but keep your eye on Ryan Torrain, Jonathan Stewart, and Rashard Mendenhall. – Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, Steve Slaton all have eclipsed 1000. Kevin Smith needs 120 to get it, and you know what, I think he does. Teh biggest surprise? Try Slaton. His stock dropped, and it’s beginning to look like there was no reason for it.
The Eagles will not have a 1000 yard receiver – but they’ll still win 10 games. – Right and wrong. Even if the Eagles win against the Boys, they still don’t win 10, they go 9-5-1. Nice tie folks. Unless DeSean Jackson goes off for 136+, they won’t have a 1000 yard rusher.
Donovan McNabb will be a Top 5 fantasy quarterback. – 8th overall, 29 points behind 5th…
Jake Delhomme will finish in the Top 8 amongst QBs. – 19th headed into Week 17, not gonna do it.
Leon Washington will score at least 6 touchdowns while having at least 3 games with 100+ yards (receiving and rushing combined) – 7 touchdown (5 rushing and 2 receiving – and then you add in return scores and you get even more. But he only had one 100+ yard game. Not used enough. Thanks again Man-Jina!
Barrack Obama will become president in one of the most lopsided elections in recent history. Lopsided in electoral votes anyway. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

There you have it, dig it, disagree with it, recognize it – just get ready for me to gloat when prediction becomes truth – I’ll keep tabs so you don’t have to!

One for Wednesday

I got lost in a maze and couldn’t write “10 for Tuesday” so I’ll just give you this one piece of free fantasy advice and hope it will suffice. I do love my readers though, so it should be a nice little tidbit of information. 

There are some teams that have tough endings to the season, and now is the time to prepare yourself for a big finish and maybe even playoff match-ups. That’s right folks, teams like New England, who started the season with the Chiefs, Jets, Dolphins, 49ers, Chargers, Broncos, and Rams – now have to play the Bills twice, teh Dolphins D, the Steelers, and Cardinals as well. Even the Jets have a tough run defense. If you are holding on to Sammy Morris hoping for solid days, I would just about try to get any value for him as soon as now, or if he has one good game. But tough schedules aren’t what I’m here to talk to you about, I’m here to give you three players that have underachieved (aka they can be had for CHEAP) that have happy go lucky match-ups for the rest of the season (or most of the season). Here goes nothing.

Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown: Alright, Ronnie has really struggled the last couple weeks, and his value might be down right as low as it’s going to get. The thing is, this Dolphin team has a runner’s dream schedule going down the line. Broncos this week, then Seahawks, Raiders, Patriots, Rams, (Bills are tough), 49ers, Chiefs, and (Jets are tough in week 17, but nobody rocks Week 17). Also, Ricky is supposed to get a few more touches, which might make him a nice waiver wire addition. Big playoff bonus for Ronnie, and maybe Ricky too, the 49ers and Chiefs during playoff time when they’ll still be trying to win games – you have to like that.

DeAngelo Williams: I love Jonathan Stewart’s game, but it looks like Williams is going to be the main man in Carolina, and he’s been playing like a former first round pick, so why shouldn’t he? That being said, look at the Panther’s schedule and get even more excited for this easy pick-up. Williams has been pretty solid and he still doesn’t hold much value. But like I said, he plays the Raiders, Lions, Falcons, and Packers coming off Week 9’s bye. That should give him plenty of solid numbers, and being that he’s in a bye this week there’s likely no better time to get him. He has two tough games left on the schedule, but also plays Denver in Week 15, and you all know what running backs do to Denver.

Colts: Nobody can argue with me here, the Colts have their lowest value in years – but there’s an answer to those slow numbers on the way. Indy has New England this week, then Pittsburgh – but they it looks like an offensive explosion after that. Houston, San Diego, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Jacksonville – and Week 17 Tennessee, but the Titans are probably done playing starters before that and Week 17 rarely matters anyway. It might be a good time to grab Peyton, Wayne, Addai, and maybe even Anthony Gonzalez (I like him more than Marvin heading forward) – those guys should all have brighter fantasy dreams in the 2nd half.  

Lastly, let me say this, go for the Cardinals if you can. I know they’ve all played pretty well, but if you can still get Kurt Warner or Boldin or Fitz, or if someone is trying to get them from you, laugh a sinister cackle, because the Cardinals play two tough secondary’s the rest of the way (Eagles and Giants) and after that they have favorable match-ups. Go Captain Kurt!