Fantasy Football News: Ten for Tuesday

This is where Lucky Lester breaks down NFL news (usually from the week that was and usually 10 newsworthy happenings) and how it effects fantasy football owners going forward. Let the games begin… Now! We can’t wait until Thursday!

Matt Cassel was back at practice on Monday, going through all the drills and looking relatively healthy in doing so. If you’re starting the youngster, who is pitching pigskin for an offense that scored just two touchdowns this pre-season, on a team that is going up against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore – then you have more to worry about than Cassel’s kneesies…   LenDale White not only feels no regret from his terrible towel stomping escapades of yesteryear, he’d do it again, and he expects to. Luckily, we don’t have to wait too long for this to play out, as opening night sees Pittsburgh come to Tennessee for what promises to be a big one. On the matter of big and LenDale White, most would enter a fat joke here – but the young TD machine lost 20 pounds this off-season, and looks to have lost some of that baby fat that was holding his break-away speed back. He has looked better than Chris Johnson this pre-season – but that’s just the pre-season…   Speaking of the Titans, Kenny Britt might be a guy to stash away for this week’s game. He’s not owned in most leagues, but the kid is a beast, no doubt about that, and I’m pretty sure he’s starting. If he shows well against the Steelers, I don’t think he’ll go back to the back-up role, and at the very least you could have nice trade bait. If it doesn’t work out this Thursday, just drop him and pick up that other 16th guy on your roster instead…    This past weekend Tila Tequila (nice name for a tramp) called in a citizen’s arrest on Shawne Merriman for “choking her and holding her against her will”. Sounds bad, but the more I read the more I think this thing will blow-over, regardless of what actually happened. Now I’m almost always on the side of the accuser in these cases, usually to a fault, but this girl is a full blown gong show, and every poor ace-hole that accidentally ran across her stupid show, when they pushed the channel up button too fast, knows it. I’m not saying Shawne’s guilty or innocent, but he is guilty of dating one of the crazier funny-looking fake chicks in the universe. Miss Tequila had more than a couple Tequila shots prior to the incident and Merriman claims to have been “just keeping a friend safe…” All that being said, I would hate to be the Raiders’ offense this weekend. Shawne’s one bad-bad football man, and having charges brought against him by a crazy reality TV star probably won’t cool him off for Sunday’s action. I wouldn’t even want to practice against the guy this week… I’ve always been a huge fan of Sammie Stroughter since his early years at Oregon State. The former Beaver has gone through some tough times, and emerged as a stronger guy because of it. After getting picked late on day 2 of they ’09 NFl Draft, Stroughter has been strong in Bucs’ Camp, and has been recently named the #3 receiver in Tampa. Now I don’t think Tampa will throw much more than 45% of their offensive snaps, but for those deep dynasty league owners, this kid is legit…   Matthew Stafford was named the starting quarterback, but I wouldn’t be stunned at all if Culpepper got the job back a few games into the season. Stafford has a strong arm, no doubt, and his touch isn’t bad, but I watch him play and I don’t think he’s ready. I’ll admit that he has a bright future, but after a couple weeks of struggling, and a couple weeks for Culpepper to be completely healthy, I think the job goes back to the ex-Viking…   That being said, Brandon Petitgrew was also named the starter for the Lions, and he’ll be a solid option regardless of who stays at QB. BP came in with Stafford this year, and I’m sure their relationship is strong because of it. Pep loves throwing to TEs, and you know defenses will be most focused on Calvin Johnson and then Kevin Smith. As a 3rd option for a team that expects to be playing from behind, I like Petitgrew’s upside…   Tim Hightower was named the starting RB in Arizona, and I don’t think that’s just a one-week gig. Many people will say that the Cardinals didn’t waste a 1st rounder on a RB to see him be a back-up, but that’s actually happened a lot. It’s not so long ago that the Cardinals were high on Hightower, and the guy put in work this off-season and looks faster and smarter with his cuts this pre-season. Beanie Wells will get touches, but he didn’t get drafted to take the starting job, he got drafted because he was the most talented player left on the board. No promises were given…. Eric Mangini is up to his old wiley ex-Patriot tricks again, not naming a starter to the public. Who cares, first of all – you shouldn’t. If you do, it must be because you are a Browns fan, or stuck with one of these guys as a back-up, and in that case you had to see some pre-season action, look at the way the team has reacted, the way the ball was moved with one guy or another, it’s pretty damn clear to me that Quinn is the guy in Cleveland….   Pierre Thomas didn’t practice Monday, and that means those that got Reggie Bush late have a very talented starting running back, that was amongst the league leaders before going down with an injury last season, going up against the vaunted Lions defense in Week 1. It has baffled me all summer/fall to see Bush going so late, especially in PPR leagues. Is he a chance? Sure, but a chance well worth taking. It seems his hype became too much to handle and the guy turned into fantasy owner poison. Put that on pizza and beer and your bound to cause a mass epidemic aimed toward fat guys 10x as deadly as swine flu.

Football this Thursday! See you next Tuesday!!

2009 NFL Mock Draft: #1

Updated on January 19, 2009

I’m dancing in the streets a little – it’s always nice to see something you never thought would happen, and until Ken Whisenhunt was tricked into coaching the Cardinals, I didn’t think I’d ever see that red jersey and helmet sporting that angry woodpecker in a Super Bowl game. But here we are, a Pittsburgh Steelers team that has won as many championships as any team ever, and an Arizona Cardinals team that looks for a ring for the first time. Awesome. But that pretty much locks up my first full mock draft. I’ll compile the draft as if the Cardinals pull off the huge upset, because, well, they’ve done it 3 times already and I’d be stunned if they did it again – so it will probably happen. The new mock draft is also coming out because the early entry list is locked in and the draft order is basically set. I’m done with my “If I’m making the picks” format because I can really do both predictions and analysis by suggesting what I think the Draft will look like- still, I agree with my ability to judge talent, and a couple teams definitely should call me up for some advice… Haha…  Here goes the goods…

1. Detroit Lions: Andre Smith, OT, Alabama – This pick is exactly what the Lions need, and that’s how I’m doing my first mock draft. This is a team that has gone kookoo over the skill positions and they have been brutal on offensive and defensive lines. I’m sold on the thought that Detroit will get a good football guy to make their personnel decisions and that will lead them away from 1st Round receivers, quarterbacks, or running backs. Andre Smith might not be the guy making the best decisions (getting hooked up with an agent a couple days before his team’s big bowl game) but he is a beast of a man that dominated at the college level. If the Lions want to properly use Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith, arguably their best players, they’ll have to get some time to throw and room to run. Matthew Stafford (the consensus pick here) has all the tools, but without a better offensive line the Lions will continue to get destroyed. Do the right thing Detroit, go big here, Smith is your guy.

2. St. Louis Rams – Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia – The Rams have lots of problems, no doubt in my mind, they would happily take Smith if he were available here – but he’s not, and nobody wants to trade into the 2nd pick so it’s not like they’ll find a valuable trading partner for the pick. That being said, Matt Stafford is the guy with all the tools that Marc Bulger doesn’t have, end the Marc Bulger experiment…. please.  I personally like Mark Sanchez a little more than Stafford – but the tools Stafford has can’t be taught, and while the Rams need more than a QB in the waiting, the #2 pick is a place where immense talent needs to be selected.

3. Kansas City Chiefs:  Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forrest – I don’t think the Chiefs go quarterback here – it’s stupid, A, and B- Tyler Thigpen played great when he got a chance to do so. Just ride out this guy for a while and hope that you hit the lotto with the kid, weirder things have happened. Plus, with a 30th ranked rushing defense and a 28th ranked passing defense, they might consider getting some dynamic help on that side of the ball first. Still, with Bradford and Stafford on the board it’s tough for me to pass up a chance at a franchise QB, but I’m going to, because I’m smart. Thigpen is good enough right now, he’s got a little something that I like as the guy in charge of my roster, so I’m taking Aaron Curry to be a playmaker on my defense. This guy is one of the surest things in the draft, a football player through and through, and he bleeds intensity. The Chiefs have some speed in their linebacking corps, but they don’t have a guy like this and he’ll immediately come in and make everyone better. This may be a little high for a linebacker, and probably higher than Curry will go, but I’ll take him because I’m looking for the guy that will improve the Chiefs the most, and they need a guy like Aaron.

4. Seattle Seahawks: Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech  – The Hawks need offensive line help badly. I know Michael Crabtree is out there and every single Hawk fan in the world wants Seattle to go get the big stud receiver from Texas Tech – I love Crabtree, think he’ll be  a great one, but you can only win if you have a good offensive line. Monroe is the smart pick – or maybe Jason Smith, and both should be here for the Seahawks taking – but in the end I just can’t pass up on the chance to get an elite playmaker for the Hawks offense. People (like me) will say that Seattle never makes a pick like this, that they have a smart brass that knows how to pick right, that they wouldn’t go skill position at the top of the draft – but, in the end, history is just that – history. Right now is the now, and with that in mind, and the future in the eyes of the same guy that’s watching Crabtree work out, watching him torch defenses at will – watching him become a version of TO without the assish tendencies, I don’t think the Hawks can pass that up – not with the guys they have. Taking skill position guys at the top of the draft can be a recipe for losses to build. You spend too much money on a receiver and it will hurt you in the end if that player doesn’t become great. But I think the Hawks need to go for it.

5. Cleveland Browns:  Malcom Jenkins, CB, Ohio State – The Browns secondary and overall defense was brutal last season. Weird, they went and spent a bunch of money on high-priced free agents and they still got kicked around pretty good. A lot of that has to do with their offense going 3 and out a lot, and putting the defense in bad situations, but still – tackling and angles were tough to come by in Cleveland and I think Jenkins comes in and starts immediately for the Browns. He’s as sure as a corner back can be in helping the run. He’s got great understanding and recognition, things that plague the Browns secondary.

6. Cincinnati Bengals: Aaron Maybin, DE, Penn State – The Bengals need a lot of help in a lot of places, weird. But with Stacey Andrews struggling a bit and his knee giving him problem, and a visit with the doctor for re-constructive surgery in mid-January, it might be time to get a young stud to protect their biggest investment, Carson Palmer. Everyone watched what happened to the Bengals without Palmer – protecting him next season might be a good start. Eugene Monroe has proven he can start anywhere. He’s an athletic kid that held down left tackle for Virginia, and he could do the same in Cincinnati. Either way, I think Monroe would be a good pick this high, a need pick and a talent pick and a good use of their money – But lets just say (for the sake of good health and positive thinking) that the Bengals elect to re-sign Andrews (and they very well could because of his youth and possible good news on the diagnosis of his knee surgery) then they might elect to go for a pass rushing specialist like Everett Brown, Brian Orakpo, or Aaron Maybin – going for the health of the young right tackle, Aaron Maybin goes off the board here because his motor and upside are impressive.

7. Oakland Raiders: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri – Rey Maualuga is a machine. The Raiders need a guy like him just about as bad as anything – well, aside from a new coaching staff and a new owner and a guy to bring in talent on draft day that doesn’t base everything on some lifting and speed numbers – so they need a lot of things, but a sure tackler at linebacker, and big time playmaker, a special and California taught local kid like Maualuga – I think they’d have something going if they went here. However, I know the Raiders – and Jeremy Maclin or Crabtree (if he lasts) might get pushed to Oakland. I have this eery feeling that if Maclin is on the board for Oakland that he’ll be wearing black and silver come next season. It’s sad for Jeremy – but it’s probably true.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars: Eugene Monroe, OT, Virginia – While Michael Oher is a stud, he has shown a lack of focus at times. He’s been beat by lesser defensive ends, and while the talent is obviously there, Oher’s lack of consistency might hurt him in the draft. I have that happening here as Eugene Monroe will get ahead of Oher on draft boards and be the first off the board after Andre Smith. If Maclin is on the board here, the Jaguars might be tempted – they have shown a history of going and reaching for their biggest needs, and they definitely need a playmaker outside. But the Jaguars showed some offensive line (and defensive line for that matter) woes in 2008. Maurice Jones Drew is still phenomenal and David Garrard didn’t have as bad of a season as his numbers insisted, but this team needs some help on their respective lines. Monroe has the ability to get plugged in anywhere he’s needed, and he’ll immediately improve that position. That’s rare in the NFL these days, and even tougher to get in the draft. For a team that needs to reestablish their rushing identity, the Jags could make a great pick right here. Many people expect the Jaguars to go linebacker here, but there’s room to rummage through the next couple rounds to find a playmaker there. The top O-Tackles, while the position is deep, will be gone long before the Jags pick again.

9.  Green Bay Packers: Everett Brown, DE, Florida State – The Packers need to revamp their defensive front. I think Aaron Kampman is a stud, but he needs some help and I think Everett Brown can be a special contributor up front for the Packers. They need help getting to the quarterback and stopping the run. Basically they were a liability on defense. They have plenty of weapons on offense, and while every team could always use help on the line, this pick seems like a no brainer for the Pack – but it could be one of the many defensive end prospects in the draft. I also think that this spot, and this mock, would have the Packers being in a great position with someone who wanted to trade down to get Mark Sanchez – ie the Minnesota Vikings. No trades in my mock though, too tough to figure, so I’ll go with one of the more talent kids out there.

10. San Francisco 49ers:  Mark Sanchez, QB, USC – I like Shaun Hill, like I said in my first mock, but Sanchez is a stud – he has a lightning quick release, great leadership qualities, and a passion for the game that fits perfectly with Mike Singletary’s system. Could the 49ers go in about a million different directions? You bet… Could one of those directions be not re-signing Takeo Spikes and maybe going with Rey Maualuga to form one of the best middle linebacker duos in all of football? Possibly, Rey seems like a Mike kind of guy, but he also seems a lot like Patrick Willis (but could it be bad to have two of him?). Shaun Hill is a solid guy right now, he does enough to keep San Francisco in the game, but Sanchez has tools to be a top pick, and very well could be, but right now I like him going to SF at 10 because that’s a great place to get your future signal caller and not have to play him right off the bat. If Sanchez isn’t their guy, and they love Orakpo, Michael Johnson of Georgia Tech, Maybin or Brown if they are there, don’t be surprised if the Niners snag a pass rusher.

11. Buffalo Bills: Brian Orakpo, DE, Texas – The Bills need more help on the defensive line. They started off the year okay, but they don’t make enough plays and they don’t have any one player that poses an elite pass rushing skill set. Okay, Aaron Schobel is a guy that has some good career numbers, but he spent much of 2008 hurt and is on the wrong side of 30 and the small side of 250lbs. I really like Micheal Johnson of Georgia Tech, but Orakpo is probably the more complete of the two, and the Bills could use that.

12. Denver Broncos: B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College – The Broncos have been brutal at stopping the run for sometime, and it’s very likely that Mike Shannahan’s insistence on grabbing opposing teams leftovers instead of drafting some help up front is what got him fired in the first place. I expect new HC Josh McDaniels to do his damnedest to strengthen the defensive front, and starting with a massive defensive lineman that will free up linebackers while putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks is probably a good start. McDaniels is and offensive mind, no doubt about that, but he’s also a smart guy and while assessing team needs he’ll vouch for the teams offensive firepower and express some worry about that line…  Raji’s 6.5 sacks and numerous runs stuffed will certainly help Denver’s front – character issues might hurt Raji’s stock, but in Denver’s move to the 3-4 they’ll need a player of Raji’s strength to hold down the middle.

13. Washington Redskins: Jason Smith, OT, Baylor – The Redskins will be lucky if they get an offensive line prospect like Jason Smith. The kid knows how to play the game and he really does it right. I think he’s a better pass blocker than Andre Smith, and his athleticism is second to none. At 6’5 305lbs, he’s got room to grow into his body a little bit. He’s not super strong, but that will come – his feet are great and his energy and ability to stay on blocks long are two things that he has over any other elite tackle prospect in the draft. A steal at 13.

14. New Orleans Saints: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois – Defense, defense, defense. As much as Jeremy Maclin’s speed has to excite this offensive minded freak of a coach in New Orleans, it’s not offensive deficiencies that keep the Saints from getting into the playoffs. Defensively they are brutal, they don’t have much of an identity except that of a team that allows opposing offenses to do anything they damn well please. That’s not a good thing. Right now, the Saints don’t have corners that get the job done. They don’t tackle all that well, and find themselves in positions to make tackles far too often. As far as talent and confidence go, Davis is a corner that comes second to none. He’s a physical kid that likes to get into opposing receivers. He hasn’t had a ton of interceptions at the college level, but I’m going to go ahead and say that’s because opposing offenses don’t throw his way. He may have been too aggressive in college, being allowed to do too much on the field. He’ll get the little things down, but I like what he does have and think he would start immediately for New Orleans.

15. Houston Texans: Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech – How can you play an entire season on the other side of Mario Williams and have absolutely zero sacks to show for it? Weaver is a better run defensive end than a pass rusher, but 0 sacks? Yikes. Johnson might be a little bit of a reach here – but the kid is a freakish pass rusher that could start out helping right away as a pass rush specialist and he has the body to add weight and become a full time guy over time.  The Texans could really use a pass rush option opposite their big dog. With much attention played to their former 1st overall pick, Johnson could find a lot of room to be the playmaker that he is. This would do wonders for the other half of Houston’s defensive line.

16. San Diego Chargers: Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB, Ohio State – If the Chargers are indeed getting rid of LaDainian Tomlinson, for age and contract reasons, I think Wells would be a perfect fit to get half of the carries in a time share with Darren Sproles. I, personally, would just keep Tomlinson for another year, go for some offensive line or defensive help here, and grab a running back in next season’s draft or in the later rounds, but I’m taking the plunge here because of Wells ability. Basically, I don’t like taking skill guys early, but Wells has special size, explosion, and speed – and while Sproles has shown a knack for the big play, there is no way he holds up through a season getting 15-20 carries per game. I make exceptions for special players, and while Wells’ injury problems might scare some teams off, I happen to believe that you go for the talent and if freak injuries happen you just got unlucky. If LT is re-signed, I think the Chargers should make a play on

17. New York Jets: Rey Maualuga, LB, USC- To get a guy that can make a difference like Maualuga is always a draft day blessing. To get him in the middle of the 1st round is even more impressive. Can he be Rex Ryan’s New York Jet version of Ray Lewis? It’s possible. I’m not sure anyone this side of William Wallace has ever had as much passion, toughness, and straight super-hero ability like Ray Lewis, but if there’s a guy in this draft that looks anything like Ray, it’s Rey – and not just for names sake. The Jets need to get better defensively – but they could also make a play on a young running back if their top choice sits here. I think Thomas Jones and Leon Washington are good for now, and I think Ryan will be ready to get a defensive stopper right off the bat.

18. Chicago Bears: Michael Oher, OT, Mississippi – Nate Davis? Oh, I think this kid could surprise. But I’m not ready to make that jump quite yet – plus, the Bears “are happy with their quarterback situation” – right. The Bears look to be aging a little bit, and that means they could use all types of players. But if the super-talented Oher is still on the board at 18, the Bears snag him up without thinking twice.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  Sen’Derrick Marks, DT, Auburn – Marks is a freak. He’s a superior athlete in the body of a defensive tackle. He’s not enormous, but his tenacity and elite quickness and coordination make him a great prospect and could very well allow him to be great at rushing the passer and making plays against the run. If the Bucs have shown me anything during their late slide that saw them go from 9-3 to 9-7 and missing the playoffs, it’s that they need help on the defensive line. Marks might be the best of the bunch and at 19th overall, he’s worth that risk.

20. Detroit Lions (via Dallas Cowboys):  James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State – The Lions need guys like this to do things like win a football game. James is a sure thing. You know what you’re getting, a great tackler, great team guy with the ability to stop the run, read blocks, get his teammates behind him and make everyone better. A great offensive lineman and a great linebacker to be a team leader on defense, that would be a great draft for a team that doesn’t know much about great drafts. The Lions need to stop taking chances and picking skill position players – teams are built on  guys that can block up front and get off blocks and tackle on defense – Andre and James are a good start.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia – Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia – Brian Westbrook #2? After seeing what Brian Westbrook has become since the Eagles drafted the undersized back in the 3rd round years ago, I wouldn’t be stunned if they tried to get him. I know they aren’t a team that usually guns for the skill positions early, but Moreno is special and despite being a little undersized, could be a great option in making the transition to the days without Mr. Westbrook. The Eagles have seen Westy have injury troubles, day to day issues just about every other week, and his age is becoming a little bit of an issue. The Eagles have a bevy of vets, and they surely need to get younger on the offensive line and all over on defense, but this kid is an elite playmaker that you aren’t able to snag in Round 2.

22. Minnesota Vikings: Sean Smith, CB, Utah – Sean Smith played a little under the radar at Utah, but he was a great part of one of the best defenses in college football. He helped shut down the Alabama passing attack, and played good football against the run as well. Smith is an elite player from a small school. The Vikings would help improve their semi-shaky pass defense by adding the Utes ball hawk. Smith has unreal size for a corner, and has shown a knack for making big plays by either intercepting 5 passes or leading his team in passes broken up. Smith could shoot up draft boards after the combine.

23. New England Patriots: Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest – The Patriots find themselves in an interesting place here, and free agency will definitely help decide where they go here. I know Smith is a great playmaker with lots of upside and the personality it takes to be good at the next level. I’m not sure if he fits perfectly into the Patriots system, but he definitely fits a need as almost every corner in New England will see free agency over the off-season. Smith does lots of good things, he’s got solid speed and breaks well on the ball.

24. Atlanta Falcons: Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State – The Falcons might not need Brandon Pettigrew to make life easier on Matt Ryan, but they could sure use him. He’s a good blocker and an even better pass catcher, but the bottom line is he does it all. He may not be a big play guy like Kellen Winslow or Jason Witten, but he’s a great blocker, probably the best blocking tight end in the class. He also has great hands and very good ball skills. He does it all. This guy is just the type of guy Atlanta (or any team in the league) needs.

25. Miami Dolphins: D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt – The Dolphins need help in the secondary, and maybe all over their defense to be honest. They played better than they were early in the year in ’08, but fell apart a little toward the end and, in my opinion, better exemplified exactly what their biggest problems are. In an offensive heavy draft class, the Dolphins need to build defensively. Moore is a very talented player that shut down #1 receivers all season for Vanderbilt. He’s an opportunistic player with a playmaking ability that could help the Dolphins create turnovers defensively.

26. Baltimore Ravens: Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland – While many people would like to point to Bey as being inconsistent and an underachiever in college, I would like to point to the poor quarterbacking in Maryland this last season. Bey is super talented and could definitely turn into a great pro. I like him more than most. I think he’d fit in in Baltimore, and be a big target that the Ravens need to pit with Mark Clayton and the aging Derrick Mason.

27. Philadelphia Eagles (via Carolina): Ebbin Britton, OT, Arizona – The Eagles need to get younger at lots of different places. Arizona’s offense was underrated this season, being stuck in the Pac-10, where even I admit was underrated. Britton has been road-grading paths for running backs over the last two seasons, and the Wildcats have been better than you’d think in that area. Britton is a big boy with some good quickness and a very football savvy demeanor. I think the Eagels would be bright to grab him before they really need an offensive tackle. Prep him for next season when age finally catches up with the green machine.

28. Indianapolis Colts: Peria Jerry, DT, Mississippi – The Colts really struggled to stop the run, with or without Bob Sanders, and if you can’t stop the run with that heat seeking missile aimed right at the hearts of running backs, then you have to do something a little different. Peria Jerry is a very good defensive tackle that plays with the intensity and knowhow needed to excel in the Colts system. They need to start filling holes if they want to return to the Super Bowl.

29. New York Giants: Percy Harvin, WR/RB, Florida – The Giants need more playmakers. Percy Harvin might be the shiniest playmaker in this draft of offensive firepower. Getting him at 29 would be great. The Giants need them some Percy Harvin just like Flordia does.

30. Tennessee Titans: Hakeem Nicks, WR, North Carolina – He doesn’t have as much upside as Darrius Heyward-Bey, but Nicks might be the better receiver in the NFL. Nicks runs solid routes, his hands or enforced with a special unique stick-em produced only by his body. That catch that everyone saw during the bowl season, that was amazing, but no way was that his only amazing catch. This kid is always open, and I think his game translates well to the next level. He would also make the 5th receiver selected in the first round, which seems like an unreal ammount – but with the lack of underclassmen coming out, and the overall mediocre feeling of this talent pool, matched with the heavy set of receivers and apt running backs, this could be a weird first round with receivers off early.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tyson Jackson, DE, LSU – Beast. He may not be the “new” defensive end with the pass rushing forte and the speed and the basketball body, but Tyson is a run-stuffing fiend. A kid that is nearly 6’5″ and 300+ – he’s a beast. The Steelers could use a guy like that inside in their 3-4. They have pass rushers galore, and Tyson has above average talent for his size – that’s digable planet business right there.

32. Arizona Cardinals: Brian Cushing, LB, USC – This kid didn’t have great numbers on an impressive USC defense, but he is damn good at just about everything. He can turn in run in coverage, as he was often asked to do, and he can make big plays all over the field. He’s had some durability issues, but the Cardinals would make a good move grabbing a kid with Cushing’s upside – winning the Super Bowl gives you a chance to go with upside like Brian’s.

Sam Bradford's PERFECT Choice

Sam Bradford just made the best decision of his career – unless of course lightening strikes (or some enormous defensive tackle, either or) and his knee takes a Carson Palmer blast – but lets ignore lightening and freak accidents and lets just look at this strictly from a football point of view.

If he had entered the draft the best case scenario for the ultra talented signal caller from Oklahoma would be that he wowed the scouts in tryouts (like I assume he would), jumped to the top of the quarterback rankings even though his arm strength is somewhere behind Matt Stafford (which I think he would do), and gets touted as the next star quarterback. That’s a best case scenario. Sure, the money is there, and sure, the Lions could go in another direction – but if all of those other ifs happened, the Lions would be stupid not to go for the gusto and add Bradford. A college kids dream; the returning Hesiman quarterback of one of the Nation’s best teams, with all his offensive weapons returning, with all the girls with cute accents falling all over him like he’s freaking Brad Pitt… Or the freaking Lions… The first 0-16 team ever. The team with more holes than a damned whiffle ball. The team that’s been run into the ground by donkeys and clowns alike.

Did Sam make the right choice? You bet. It’s not all about money – sometimes it’s about staying the hell away from Detroit. Sometimes it’s about happiness, having a good time, and spending another year with some of your best friends living it up and making another run at a National Championship. Some might say he’s stupid for “passing up millions of dollars” – and I’m not saying I’d be cool enough to make that decision – I’m just saying he made the right decision – a decision with his heart. If the majority of people could only be so right.

One for Wednesday

This is the last thing I say about Plaxico Burress; but it needs to be said, and honestly, it needs to be said on bigger more influential media sources than my site. Plaxico didn’t go pick up a gun from some chump on the streets, realize that, it was a gun that IS REGISTERED to HIM in Florida. Is he stupid for rocking it illegally in New York? You bet. But 3.5 years in prison for taking a gun that is registered to him from Florida to New York, shooting himself in the leg and never harming another individual? Come on. He’s not a gangster – he’s a guy that thought he’d be more protected with his registered gun. Do I agree? Nope. It probably just makes you more likely to get shot by someone trying to rob you to be honest. But he had his opinion and with the way people have been robbed and shot in the last few years, he might have a valid point. But I’m not talking about that, I’m talking now about the media and how they are making this guy out to be a serious criminal because he had an illegal firearm. It was his gun. Registered to him in Florida. If nobody else will say it, I’ll say it. There it is. Does that clear up the situation?

theRUNDOWN: Week 13

For those of you new to theRUNDOWN this is what I do. I pick my best team of the week, some nice plays with a few reasons to back up my picks. I’ll list a few sleepers and some guys I wouldn’t play for hopes of a better options – This is my lucky Week 13 extravaganza! Enjoy!

QB: Tony Romo vs. Seattle: I think the Hawks secondary is pretty soft, and I’m willing to bet that Tony throws the ball a lot. The Defensive front in Seattle is solid against the run, (well they were before Clinton Portis gashed them) so Dallas will be attacking through the air. Even dump downs to Marion Barber should be good for Tony. I like this pick a lot.

RB: Chris Johnson vs. Detroit: I know this rookie burner has fizzled out a little bit lately, but after LenDale White’s comments after last Sunday’s game, I don’t expect Chris to get anything less than almost every single carry again. Chris should be back on top of the running back lists this week against Detroit.

RB: Steve Slaton vs. Jacksonville: Steve should dominate the Jaguars pathetic run defense – now get this guy the ball in the air attack you play calling Texan donkeys!

FLEX: Thomas Jones vs. Denver: If he gets the ball 25 times, I’m willing to suggest 150 yards and at least 2 touchdowns. The Broncos are bad. The Raiders think the Broncos suck.

WR: Reggie Wayne vs. Cleveland: Reggie hasn’t been too impressive this season, therefor I’ll be attaching my fantasy hopes to his back this week. He’s too good to not blow up – ala TO last week.

WR: Brandon Marshall vs. New York Jets: I know this seems like a tough match-up, especially when Marshall hasn’t been in the end zone in what seems like forever – but the Broncos are nothing if not surprising, and thus I’ll go with Brandon this week.

TE: Antonio Gates vs. Atlanta: Antonio is bound for a good week in a game where the Chargers will have to score lots of points if they want to win.

K: Rod Bironas vs. Detroit: If the Titans kick 4 field goals then they basically auto-win this game. I think Rod will have 3-4 chances, and he’s basically a guarantee.

D: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati: The Ravens look to make lots of big plays against the Bengals – I look to benefit.


Tyler Thigpen: I like this kid. And he’ll be here until otherwise posted.

Kyle Orton: He’ll need to do some good things for the Bears against the Vikings – they’ll need to throw the rock against that defense – Kyle is good, so I think he’ll have a nice day doing so.

Warrick Dunn: I know the Saints have had a better run defense this season, but Dunn is still a nice start for the last week of the regular fantasy season.

Ronnie Brown: He’s been anything but a good starter for most of the season, but I’m willing to put my name on the line saying he’ll be better this week.

Kevin Walter: I know Sage likes to throw to his buddy Kevin, and I know Jacksonville’s secondary is sieved like. Add those things together and Kevin is a nice start this week.

Domenick Hixon: What can I say? I like this kid and think he has a shot to do some good things against the Redskins secondary.

Devin Hester: He didn’t have a great game against the Vikings last time out, but I think Devin will do good things against the Vikings this time around.

Zach Miller: He’s still a Raider, but JaMarcus Russell completed just one pass to a WR last week, and that shows you where his comfort zone is. It starts in the middle with this big sure-handed cat.

Miami Dolphins: They play the Rams. The Rams are a turnover machine. The Rams really stink. I’ll take the Dolphins to dominate defensively.

Papa’S Week 13 Splinter-Butts (bench him, son)

Kerry Collins: He may look like a good spot start this week against the Lions – I just don’t buy it. The Titans will be running the ball, and Kerry will go back to the beginning of the season numbers where he had 3 TDs and 3 picks in the first 7 or 8 games. If he doesn’t have to throw, the Titans won’t make him do it.

Timothy Hightower: If you haven’t learned to keep this guy out of your starting lineup – then you never will.

Clinton Portis: I’m going out on a limb here, but I don’t think the Giants will allow Clinton to do anything on the ground – they are too smart to allow that.

Lee Evans: I have a feeling that Nate Clements plays pissed off after getting big brothered by TO all day Sunday – that is bad news for Lee Evans owners.

Ask Papa Weimer: Week 10

Week double digits is back – I’m old, I’m white, I’m wealthy – and I still voted Obama – ha! Beat ya…. Alright, alright, in the light of our recent election that had Obama stealing red states, and it being about as lopsided a victory as I’ve seen since Clinton’s second term – I thought I’d print one normal response and a couple of my one liners that I’ve been replying with, some sure thing answers for a sure thing week. gObama!

Darnell Harris from his iPhone writes, “Of these listed wideouts, what three do you recommend starting? Drew Brees is my QB, RB’s are Jacobs, M. Turner, and Chris Johnson. WR’s to choose from are Colston, Jennings, Curtis, Coles, Matt Jones, Mason, and Gage. Big game this week! Any advice is greatly appreciated…”

Thanks for writing in. It looks like you have a solid lineup this week. While Jacobs is going up against a very tough Eagles defense, they seem to have a little trouble against power rushing attacks, and Jacobs is every bit of that. Mike Turner has a nice match-up against the Saints. New Orleans has been better against the run this year, but after Matt Ryan had the best of the Saints last time out, you’d think they try to make life a little tougher for him, Turner is a solid bet. Chicago is solid against the run, no doubt, but Chris and the Titans can run on anyone, and I actually think the Titans run game does alright on Sunday. Drew – great option. Colston and Jennings are sure things to me, both have great secondary match-ups and both are amazing talents that I would start against anyone. I have to believe Colston is back to full health. Your real question here is a 3rd wideout, and I think it’s between Coles (@ St. Louis), Jones (@ Detroit), and Mason (@ Houston) – Gage is alright, but I’m not so sure I’d start him over these three. St. Louis ranks 28th in pass defense but is second worse in yards given up per attempt with 8.7 – so their secondary is BAD. Detroit is 29th, but they give up more yards per pass attempt than anyone in the league, and Houston is actually middle of the pack in the secondary, and I think they’ve been better since Dunta Robinson joined the group. Based on that, I’m eliminating Mason from the wash. Between Jones and Coles, I think Coles is the better player and while Thomas Jones is sure to get lots of action on Sunday, so are the Jaguar running backs agaisnt Detroit’s 31st ranked run defense. The Jags have really struggled late, and you’d have to think they run the ball as much as possible on Sunday. So I guess my final word is Coles. He’s consistent, he seems to be Brett’s favorite target, and on play action pass he should have a couple big plays this weekend. Good luck my man.

Insane Bolt writes, “Have you ever seen a more explosive running back than Chris Johnson?”

Yes – Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, Walter Peyton, and Jim Brown – all four were more explosive in different ways – but I love me some Chris Johnson highlights, don’t get me wrong.

Chorizo Bill asks, “In a dynast league who would be your top 10 quarterbacks? I’m thinking the next 4-5 years… I’m not asking who is the best now, or the best value, or anything like that – I’m asking which guys you think will average the most fantasy points over the next 4 to 5…”

Pork Willy; fair enough. Here goes nothing… Tony Romo, Drew Brees, Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan, Jason Campbell – that’s 13 but I do what I want… This year I think this is my list for end of season… Brees, Cutler, Warner, McNabb, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Brett Favre, Jake Delhomme, Brett Favre, and Chad Pennington…. 11, I know.

Huey LOUIS from Kuai says, “My favorite player to watch these days is Marion Barber – he may not be the fastest but that guys goes all out – who’s your favorite player of all time?

Mike Singletary, pants down and all. That guy was a perfect player.
Too Tall Tim asks, “My kid is a big tall skinny kid, and I’m trying to get him to play football as well as hoops – he just wants to play pretty hoop ball. He says there’s nobody tall that has ever been good (and we’re talking position players here) – is there anybody in the 6’6 range that isn’t a lineman and is an example I could use?
Jason Campbell, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger – all 6’5 – and Joe Flacco is 6’6 – non lineman, non quarterback tall guys? Brandon Jacobs is 6’4 270, but I hardly believe he’s human… Brandon Marshall is 6’4, Matt Jones is 6’6 and he’s not having a bad year, hard to use a guy with coke habits as an example though – Calvin Johnson is 6’5 but like Jacobs he’s a freak of nature… Antonio Gates and Jason Witten, usually pass catching TE’s like those guys are legit examples. All linemen are tall, naturally.
Torrance asks, “If you could start your NFL football team with 5 players, who would they be?”
Mario Williams, Justin Tuck, Albert Haynesworth, Joe Thomas, DeMarcus Ware… I don’t know how I’d play those 4 linemen (and OLB Ware) together, but those four absolute beasts on defense would get me where I wanted to go, and Joe Thomas is a very young and solid cornerstone and offensive tackle. I’ll get skill players later, I almost took Nnamdi Asomugha over Ware but DeMarcus is basically the only guy offenses worry about when they play Dallas and he still ruins everything.
Jameson from Kentucky writes, “Why doesn’t the spread offense work in the NFL?”
Because offense aren’t faster than defenses in the NFL.

NFL Pre-Season Free Picks: Week 4

It’s the final week of the pre-season and the real stuff can’t come soon enough. Injuries are ruining more than a few seasons, including the super-bowl champs… This week we get a Super Bowl re-match, but don’t get ahead of yourself, it’s just the pre-season. A couple teams have been good and a few have been bad, lets see if I can’t pick the winners and shed the losers in my last week of pre-season picks…. As it seems I’m rootin’ hard for the underdog in 4 of 5 contests. Go dogs!

New York Jets @ Philadelphia Eagles (-3) (8-28): I like the Eagles to take this one. The Jets first team has looked solid this pre-season, but after that it’s more of a free-for-all. The defense isn’t stellar and 2nd year QB Kevin Kolb is a nice player that should take advantage of the Jets secondary. Wide open spaces, no doubt. I also like Ryan Moats, Tony Hunt, and Correll Buckhalter to find some running room against Jets 2nd teamers. Take the Eagles in this one.

Detroit Lions (+3) @ Buffalo Bills (8-28): Dan Orlovsky is a solid back-up that should have plenty of room to throw it around while visiting Buffalo. The Lions have had the attitude of a winning team all pre-season, and I’m sure coach Rod Marinelli doesn’t want to lose that momentum in their last exhibition game. I like the Lions young defense to get some big turnovers early while the offense will capitalize. It doesn’t hurt that Trent Edwards will likely be out again for the Bills.

Atlanta Falcons (+3) @ Baltimore Ravens (8-28): Look for Matt Ryan to outshine Joe Flacco in this one. It should be interesting, both rookies could easily be starting during Week 1 for their respective teams, yet both will likely play into the second half. That’s rare in Week 4 of the pre-season. I’ve decided to like the Falcons more than most, and Ryan has impressed me. I also love Jerious Norwood, Harry Douglas, and Laurent Robinson – all young playmakers that will see time on Thursday. Look for the Falcons to pass it around on a suspect Ravens secondary.

Carolina Panthers (+3.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (8-28): I expect the Steel-show to sit Big Ben for this entire game, and that leaves Byron Leftwich to get major playing time. I’ve always liked Byron, but he’s looked bad lately. Look for the Panthers to run the ball well against the Steelers – that will kill Pittsburgh and give the Panthers a nice 1st half lead. Carolina’s rushing attack has been very efficient this pre-season.

Minnesota Vikings (+3) @ Dallas Cowboys (8-28): The Cowboys 2nd team, offensively and defensively, is brutal. I like the Vikings – they have some nice youngsters that will get time in this one. Gus Frerotte is a good back-up that will get some meaningful snaps and Booty isn’t a bad option at #3. Dallas is the better team in this one, no doubt, but after a couple series it’s who has the better 2nd and 3rd team, and that’s surely the Vikings. Take Minnesota to beat the Boys.

Fantasy Football: Tiered Receiver Rankings

Here are my *TOP 60 Wide Receivers. Naturally, I’m not giving you a cookie cutter rankings list, but I do have some reasoning behind the sanity, and if it’s good enough for the girl you go with, it should do for you too. Enjoy my tiered rankings. I’ve written a few words about the first 5 tiers – the rest are just listed without all the verbiage.


  1. Randy Moss
  2. Terrell Owens

Yes – despite the hype and the excitement of youth, these two touchdown driven pass catching personalities are bound to be at the top come December. Randy and Owens are certainly in a league of their own. Reggie Wayne is close and Fitzgerald might be getting there, but right now there are two guys in the 1st tier. Randy is definitely #1, and while I don’t expect a repeat of last years’ numbers, I still believe him to be the best receiving option in the game.


  1. Reggie Wayne
  2. Chad Johnson
  3. Larry Fitzgerald
  4. Marques Colston
  5. Braylon Edwards
  6. Steve Smith
  7. Andre Johnson
  8. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
  9. Torry Holt

This is a tier in which all receivers have been absolute studs before, and should be studs again. Last season Reggie, Larry Fitz, T.J., Edwards, Chad Johnson, and Colston all finished within 20 points of each other, and ranked between 2nd and 9th overall amongst WRs in point per reception leagues. Braylon really broke out in 2007, and while there’s a chance he’s just a one-year wonder, I’ll take my chances on the super-athletic touchdown scoring monster of a receiver. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, after a couple of years falling just short of 1000 yards, has back to back 1000+ campaigns and is coming off his best season yet. Marques Colston has two very successful years under his belt, and while many thought he struggled to start the ’07 season, Colston came on fast and managed 98 catches for 1200 yards and 11 scores. He’s a beast. This is his 3rd year in the league and you all know what that means. Chad Johnson is the least consistent of these guys, on a game to game basis, but he is dynamite consistent on a year to year basis. 87+ catches, 1270+ yards, and 7+ TD’s in 5 straight seasons. He is getting a bad rap this year, but that just means he’s a better value for you. Torry Holt is the only one in this group that is quite possibly over the hill, but watch him play, he’s always wide open. Plus, the Rams offense has to be better this season, and he’ll be a large part of that upgrade. Steve Smith is the most dynamic of this group, but he’s missing 2 games to start the season and he got busted up with a concussion in pre-season game 1. Still, with Delhomme tossing the ball and a nice running game building in Carolina, Steve Smith should be one of the best receivers in the game. Get him at a nice value and bring in the money. Anybody in this field is good, so don’t break your bank to grab your favorite of the bunch – there’s a lot of depth at the top of the receiver rankings. As for Andre Johnson, well what can I say except that I dig this cat. He’s got all the ability to be one of the game’s best. He’s fast and he’s a beast. However, he might be prone to injuries because he’s so much of a physical freak. Still, in 10 games alone he’s probably worth a pick in this tier. If he’s healthy, you hit the jackpot!


  1. Anquan Boldin
  2. Roy Williams
  3. Wes Welker
  4. Brandon Marshall
  5. Plaxico Burress
  6. Calvin Johnson
  7. Santonio Holmes
  8. Greg Jennings

Boldin is a beast, and while he has a bit of Donovan McNabb disease (great production when he plays, but he isn’t always playing) he’s still a nice grab. He’s a quarterback’s best friend because he’s tough and holds onto the ball in the middle. Roy Williams, believe it or not, was on pace to nearly match his impressive 2006 numbers before he got knocked out in the teams 12th game of the season. He won’t lose touches with Martz gone, McDonald will, Furrey will, Calving and Roy won’t. I expect big things from him. Wes Welker was given a huge contract by the Patriots before any of this amazing season stuff. That means they knew what they were getting. Many don’t expect a repeat from Welker. Me neither… I expect better numbers this season. Marshall is a little immature and hot-headed, is that weird? Not for receivers. He’s still a stud. He’ll be gone for what looks like 2 games, but I expect great things from Cutler this year, and Marshall will be a huge part of that. Plaxico – I don’t know, he’ll probably get hurt or ride out his ankle problems. I don’t like Giants this season, but Plax is a touchdown machine. He’s big, fast, and has good hands. He’ll produce if healthy. I love Calvin Johnson, and would put him higher, but he hasn’t done much to deserve a better ranking. Still, his upside is amazing, and I still say he’s the best receiving prospect ever. A lot of people are sky high on Holmes, but I still think he’s too streaky. I think the Steelers will run a lot more this year, and the ball will spread out a little more. Holmes is a nice pick, and he fits in this tier, but those that have him in the Top 10 are ranking him too high. Greg Jennings is a touchdown scoring machine. With Favre out of GB, I still expect big things from this tough runner. His hands are soft and he can really take some contact and stay on his feet. I like him to match last years’ numbers.


  1. Jericho Cotchery
  2. Roddy White
  3. Dwayne Bowe
  4. Marvin Harrison
  5. Lee Evans
  6. Laveranues Coles
  7. Santana Moss
  8. Donald Driver
  9. Bernard Berrian
  10. Chris Chambers
  11. Nate Burleson

Cotchery will have a very nice season with Brett throwing him the ball. Jericho catches everything thrown his way, and it’ll be nice for him to get some down field chances. I think he’ll become Brett’s favorite target. Roddy White was not a fluke. I watch him play and I see a big strong target with all the speed you need. The Falcons will be better and White won’t disappoint. Bowe is a great young receiver, but I can’t rank him much higher than this in that KC offense with question marks at quarterback. Still, he’ll be a nice starting option. Marvin Harrison could be back to his old self, in which case he’ll be a steal. Still, Manning is fighting knee troubles and Wayne is the man in Indy. I wouldn’t mind getting a hold of Marvin, but only at the right price. Lee Evans has as much talent as anyone. He can turn any play into a touchdown, and you have to like that. Still, Trent Edwards is just a 2nd year guy, and that Buffalo offense is young. He’ll be better this season than he was last, but I don’t know if he’ll meet last year’s hype. I love Coles. If him and Brett can get on the right page, he’ll do big things. He’s a do everything receiver. I look for him to have a nice season. Santana Moss is very explosive. Look at his history and see what he can do in a season. I think Jason Campbell will be improved and Moss will help him take that next step. Drive is always solid and he looks tough right off the bat. He never gets credit, but I bet his production stays very similar to last seasons. I originally though that Berrian would struggle in Minnesota. Then I realized that he came from Chicago. Can’t get much worse than that passing offense. If Jackson figures it out, Berrian will put up his best numbers ever. If not, I stil think he gets close to last year’s figures. Chris Chambers will do solid things in San Diego. I don’t know if he’ll ever be a super-star, in fact I just don’t see it. He’s had some nice half-years. I think he’ll be more consistent this season, but SD isn’t the place for receivers to go off. Nate Burleson might be the steal of this group. He’ll be what looks like the surefire #1 option in Seattle, and he’s got touchdown making ability. He’ll be picked behind almost every single guy in this tier, and some from the next tier down, but I like his upside a lot.


  1. Anthony Gonzalez
  2. Kevin Curtis
  3. Joey Galloway
  4. Derrick Mason
  5. Hines Ward
  6. Reggie Brown
  7. D.J. Hackett
  8. Deion Branch
  9. Javon Walker
  10. Devin Hester

I love Anthony Gonzalez as a player, but his value could very well depend on Marvin’s comeback. If Harrison has troubles, Gonzo is a steal. If not, I still think you get a guy that should produce like Brandon Stokely did as the #3 receiver in Indy a few years ago. Over 1000 yards and 6 touchdowns – you bet. Kevin Curtis has one great week and that week terribly inflated his numbers. Still, I think he’s a solid receiver. I don’t think you’ll ever see an 80 catch 1200 yard 10 TD season from this kid, but he’s a nice option if McNabb and company get #1 production from an unknown receiving source this season. I don’t think Curtis plays as well as the scariest option. Joey Galloway is still one of the fastest receivers in the game, and Jeff Garcia is a solid quarterback. If both stay healthy, Galloway will outperform this ranking. I don’t think they’ll both stay healthy all season. Derrick Mason is another old guy that was caught outperforming his expectations last season. There are too many quarterback questions in Baltimore for him to repeat last seasons’ surprises, right? I don’t know, he’s a safe bet to produce so he fits in this tier. Hines Ward had a down year, dealt with injuries, and became a 2nd option to Santonio Holmes. Still, he’s a very good player that, if healthy, will continue to produce at a high level. He’ll be underrated on draft day. Reggie Brown had a tough season in Philly last year, but I still like his upside. You can get him late and he might just be the #1 Philly wanted him to be. Hackett has as much talent as anyone on this list. He can never stay healthy, but if he does, he’ll do good things in Carolina. This kid can really run and catch the ball. Deion Branch would be higher if he was a sure thing to be healthy by the get-go. Right now, he’s way ahead of schedule on his ACL, but that often worries me. He’s a good player though, consistently scoring fantasy points. Javon Walker could be a great pick, but, like everyone else, I’m worried about this guy. Proceed with caution, I don’t know if we’ll ever see the Walker that played great in Green Bay. Devin Hester gets the last spot in this tier, but he’s as much of a question mark as any. He may have more upside as well. He’s a risk, sure, but Chicago is putting him down as a starting WR, and if he can get 60-70 touches this year, I think 10-12 touchdowns could be obtained. That would make him a steal!


  1. Reggie Williams
  2. Bryant Johnson
  3. Isaac Bruce
  4. Vincent Jackson
  5. Bobby Engram
  6. Justin Gage
  7. Patrick Crayton


  1. Derek Hagan
  2. Steve Smith (NYG)
  3. Eddie Royal
  4. Sidney Rice
  5. James Hardy
  6. Ronald Curry
  7. Donte Stallworth
  8. Drew Bennett
  9. Jabar Gaffney


  1. Ted Ginn Jr.
  2. Devery Henderson
  3. Mushin Muhammad
  4. James Jones
  5. Kevin Walter
  6. Jacoby Jones
  7. Robert Meachem
  8. Mark Clayton
  9. Davard Darling
  10. Antwan Randel El

Pre-Season Free Picks Review: 1-0-1 to start!

Well… So far, so flawless. No losses anyway. 2 Free Picks and I’m on my way. The Giants came back and pushed after looking pretty mediocre. The Ravens tried to lose it late, but it’s the pre-season and last minute comebacks are few and far between. So I tie won and win another and yes, so far we are looking good. Here is my review of the two Thursday Games I picked. 

New York Giants @ Detroit Lions (-3): PUSH

The Giants didn’t do anything offensively until the 4th quarter where David Carr, of all people, decided he was going to be productive and tossed a touchdown pass to tie up the game. At that point, I was hoping for a field goal to push or to get really lucky and watch Detroit score a late touchdown to win it. An Eddie Johnson (back-up kicker) field goal with 2:47 left put the Lions up 3 for good, and I got a push. The game was pretty even across the board, yards and everything, but the home team took it. Eli Manning looked bad while Kitna and crew looked polished.

Baltimore Ravens (+5) @ New England Patriots: WIN

The Ravens came out just like I thought they would, handling the Patriots back-ups for much of the first half. Up 16-3 in the 2nd half, I thought this one was going to be a blow-out. Of course I was wrong and it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. The Patriots scored 12 unanswered points and went for a 2-point conversion to win it. It was unsuccessful and the Ravens came out of New England with a win to open the pre-season. Covering seemed safe throughout, but you never know what Bellichick is going to pull.  None of the 3 Raven quarterbacks were all that successful. Boller had the best passing numbers but turned the ball over twice. Troy Smith did alright, but was just 5-12 passing the ball. And rookie 1st Rounder Joe Flacco was 0-3. The Patriots got most of their yards on the ground. Both defenses played well. My first win of the year felt good, even if it was the pre-season.