Ten for Tuesday Week 10 Fantasy Football Review

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Yes, JaMarcus Russell is that bad. I don’t know what else there is to say. The guy keeps getting benched, but he keeps starting. It’s as if they watch half the game, figure out he has no chance to succeed with his work ethic and tunnel vision, only to forget that during practice the next week. Now, it has to be tough when the back-up comes in and manages a lower QB rating than your terrible starter, but Bruce Gradkowski managed to do it.  I can’t wait to see what happens next week on NFL-kind-of. Pretty soon there’s going to be defensive player side-bets picking the quarter and minute that Ja-Rus gets the hook….   Speaking of bad, hello Mr. Brady Quinn, come on down to the “at least we didn’t waste a #1 overall pick on your ace like the Raiders did with Ja-Rus” sweepstakes. Jeopardy’s going to have a section called, “worst 1st round quarterback class of all time” – there’s going to be one damn answer for all 5 questions if it keeps on keeping on….  Did you forget you were allowed to run the ball Cowboys, Seahawks, Eagles, Falcons, Broncos, and Bills? I don’t care, the games were close, and you needed to run it more. Some will give the Falcons a free-be here, they had their top two backs out midway through the 2nd quarter, but I don’t care, those were the Panthers you were playing. Dallas, really? Three good backs and you run fewer times than Warren Moon handed off for the freaking Oilers? Jim Mora, I hate you. Eagles, you know the story, stop it. Broncos, you were successful on the ground, the Redskins are #1 against the pass, I don’t care how you are. Bills, you suck at everything besides running. You have two good running backs, and two bad quarterbacks. I know, do a hurry-up. Clown noses on coaches make for bad game plans….

I haven’t heard much from the Jets Coach Ryan these days. Hard to be a loud-ass when you’re 4-5, I wonder how many interviews we’ll have of him talking about how they’re going to come in and beat up the Patriots this week? Right after that loss to the tough Jaguars? I’m guessing 0…..   Jay Culter, with your stupid pouty face and your arrant right arm, you are becoming my favorite player to watch. It’s between you and Ellie Manning right now (I hate watching Eli, but when he turns to Ellie – golden). I’m beginning to think you’re taking the crown away, 3 interceptions that were TERRIBLE throws? One on the last play of the game from 10 yards out, your receiver running toward the side line, you throw it to the safety in the middle – awesome!….. In a league full of freak athletes, amazing moves, and unbelievable speed, Chris Johnson, you are on another level. The way Chris makes everyone else look like they’re jogging is pure magic. I will watch Titan games just to see this kid run the ball. I used to think there were tons of good backs in the NFL, but the only two guys in CJ’s ballpark are Maurice Jones Drew and Adrian Peterson. Everyone thinks AP is running away with that title, but Chris might be at the top of my list…..

Jim Mora, do you have something to say for yourself? Two words buddy, Justin Forsett. And then one word you need to say, Sorry! How this kid hasn’t been a bigger part of your offense the last 10 weeks of the season is beyond me. He’s always been the best runner you have, he’s the best receiver out of the backfield you have, and his style is perfect for your offense, an offense that saw Warrick Dunn do work for years after people thought he was done. Even on Sunday, up 17-10 going into half, and the running back that is getting 7 yards per rush against one of the best run stuffing defenses in the NFL only gets 17 carries? At least Matt Hasselcrack threw 52 times, completing half his throws – that makes sense. I hate you, Jim, that’s twice in one article….. If Beanie Wells can stay healthy, and motivated, and Arizona commits to running the ball the kid is going to be special. Beanie has a mean stiff arm, he’s a big physical angry runner, and he’s faster than most backs in the league. Beanie has never been known for his hard work, but he looks like a beast right now…..   Bill Belichick, you have balls, big ones. Let me start by saying, my undercarriage couldn’t even think about going for it in that situation, and I wouldn’t ever do it unless I was coaching middle school football and the gong show that snapping the ball and punting is at that level. But when it comes right down to it, if you get two yards, you win the game. I would imagine that if you gave almost any team in the NFL that choice versus the Colts, “If you were playing the Colts, and had one chance at 2 yards to get the win, would you try for the W?” they would say, “yeah, shoot, sounds good to me.” Giving Peyton two minutes, two timeouts, needing 70 yards to score is about 50-50 anyway. Maybe 60-40 to the Pats advantage. But getting two yards wins you the game. My call? No, but the wrong call? I’m not going that far. Bill’s a pretty good coach, better than me, better than any of the guys that questioned him – I think I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt….

Buffalo, your 4th quarters are like a bad Ben Stiller movie. It makes my eyes sting to watch you piss it away. I’m embarrassed for you. I hurt for you. I don’t even like you and I feel sorry for you. You keep saying (doing) the wrong thing at every turn. You drop passes, offend each other, and basically practice bad humor to get people to watch you. It’s not working. Stop.

Fantasy Focus REVIEW: Week 1

This is where I review everything I predicted from my fantasy focus article every week. It’s pretty easy to follow, always feel free to write in if you have any questions. As for my fantasy predictions in Week 1, some good, some bad, just like my fantasy teams. I’ve graded out each fantasy pick, and as you’ll see, I killed my sleeper picks for Week 1.

See how everyone did with Week 1’s overall positional rankings (PPR) listed next to each player’s name from Team Lucky Lester’s Week 1 projections below. Some hits and misses for all, no doubt, but naturally, I came out ahead of the group…

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

1. DeAngelo Williams – He finished 10th prior to Monday Night’s action, 17 fantasy points, they got way down early…. B-
2. Tom Brady – Tom started slow but ended up with 376 yards and 2 TDs. The guy is a sniper. A
3. Larry Fitzgerald – 6 catches for 71 yards and a TD: Not terrible, but worst than I expected, that offense was bad on Sunday. B
4. Randy Moss – Randy may have not caught any TDs, but his 12 catches for 141 yards totaled 26 fantasy points. Not bad. A
5. Brian Westbrook – Westy had just 15 fantasy points in a decent amount of action. The Eagles D was scoring too much for Eagle offensive players to light up the fantasy boards. B-

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

1. Eddie Royal – I thought he’d grab 10, he grabbed 2. F
2. Reggie Bush –Reggie had 7 fantasy points, not getting into the scoring fun against the Lions. F
3. Ray Rice – Ray didn’t get involved in the passing game too much, but still had 13 fantasy points after rushing for over 100. B
4. Joseph Addai – He wasn’t too efficient, but scored and had just under 80 total yards. 5 catches were nice to see. 16 pts. B+
5. Matt Hasselbeck – Matt was #4 overall going into Monday, tossing for 279 yards and 3 TDs (2 ints as well). 22 pts. A

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

1. Donnie Avery – Donnie had 6 receptions for 46 yards, but lost a fumble too, finishing with 8 fantasy points. C-
2. Julius Jones – Jones was huge today (117 rushing yards and a score to go with 2 catches for 19 yards), most of it came on one huge run, but you can’t really take that away from him. A
3. Tim Hightower – I’m glad I got my hands on Hightower in some leagues, he caught 12 balls for 121 yards – 25 pts. A
4. Mark Sanchez – 272 yards, a TD and an INT – nice game for the rookie in a big win. Decent fantasy day. B
5. Nate Burleson – 2 fantasy points like ESPN projected? Ha. 7 grabs for 74 yards and a TD. Nate posted 20 pts for my team. A

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

1. Carson Palmer – 247 yards, 0 TDs, 2 ints… You’re welcome for this sit. A
2. Clinton Portis – 16 rushes for 60 yards. 1 catch for 10 yards. Could have been worse, but are you angry I told you to sit him? B
3. Willie Parker – 13 rushes for 19 yards. 1 catch for 5 yards. You’re welcome for this one too. A
4. Devin Hester – 4 catches for 90 yards and a nice long touchdown. Yeah, I was dead wrong about Devin. F
5. Hines Ward – 8 grabs for 103 yards was a good day, and even with the fumble he still put up 16 pts. Solid day. Sorry. F+

PS – I hope you didn’t start Marshawn Lynch like 33% of ESPN Leagues….

Week 1 Fantasy Rankings

Josh Arsenault		Ryan Kauffman		Papa Weimer		Lucky Lester

QBs----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.Peyton Manning 9	1.Tom Brady 4		1.Drew Brees 1		1.Tom Brady 4
2.Drew Brees 1		2.Drew Brees 1		2.Peyton Manning 9	2.Drew Brees 1
3.Tom Brady 4		3.Matt Ryan 8		3.Chad Pennington 26	3.Peyton Manning 9
4.Jay Cutler 25		4.Aaron Rodgers	13	4.Donovan McNabb 7	4.Aaron Rodgers 13
5.Phillip Rivers 15	5.Peyton Manning 9	5.Kyle Orton 14 	5.Matt Schaub 31

RBs-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.Adrian Peterson 1	1.Adrian Peterson 1	1.Michael Turner 46	1.DeAngelo Williams 11
2.DeAngelo Williams 11	2.DeAngelo Williams 11	2.Adrian Peterson 1	2.Brian Westbrook 15
3.Steven Jackson 43	3.Matt Forte 48		3.LaD. Tomlinson 30	3.Maurice Jones Drew 6
4.Ray Rice 20		4.Reggie Bush 31	4.Frank Gore 10		4.Adrian Peterson 1
5.Willie Parker	65	5.Knowshon Moreno 69	5.Ryan Grant 19		5.Ronnie Brown 34

WRs-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.Andre Johnson	52	1.Calvin Johnson 35	1.Steve Smith 61	1.Randy Moss 3
2.Reggie Wayne 1	2.Terrell Owens	56	2.Reggie Wayne 1	2.Larry Fitzgerald 10
3.Randy Moss 3		3.Steve Smith 61	3.Marques Colston 33	3.Reggie Wayne 1
4.Vincent Jackson 18	4.Andre Johnson 52	4.Randy Moss 3		4.Andre Johnson 52
5.Calvin Johnson 35	5.Wes Welker 8		5.Eddie Royal 77	5.Greg Jennings 4

TEs-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.Antonio Gates	12	1.Jason Witten 13	1.Dallas Clark 21	1.Dallas Clark 21
2.Jason Witten 13	2.Antonio Gates	12	2.Tony Gonzalez	4	2.Antonio Gates 12
3.Dallas Clark 21	3.Dallas Clark 21	3.Antonio Gates	12	3.Jason Witten 13
4.Greg Olsen 40		4.John Carlson 1	4.Owen Daniels 16	4.Zach Miller 7
5.Dustin Keller	12	5.Brandon Petitgrew 00	5.Jason Witten 13	5.John Carlson 1

TEs-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.Ravens 21		1.Ravens 21		1.Giants 3		1.Vikings 8
2.Steelers 9		2.Cowboys 29		2.Ravens 21		2.Ravens 21
3.Giants 3		3.Seahawks 4		3.Chargers 16		3.Cowboys 29
4.Patriots 24		4.Redskins 26		4.Saints 13		4.Giants 3
5.Bengals 12		5.Patriots 24		5.Steelers 9		5.Bengals 12

Kickers-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We still don't care about kickers, but these guys were the Top 5 point producers...

1. Neil Rackers 2. Lawrence Tynes 3. Nick Folk 4. Jason Hanson 5. Joe Nedney

Looking back at the week's action.. Drew Brees was the #1 overall QB if averaged
out amongst our picks. The #1 overall running back was Adrian Peterson. So, as a
group, we got two right on the button. The #1 overall receiver, Reggie Wayne, was a
Top 3 receiving options on 3 writer's lists, making him the highest pre-rated receiver
on our boards as well. So, while none of us picked everything right, our highest
averaged players at the 3 key positions all finished #1 for the week. Now that's good
work. TE was a little bit different as only one guy, Red-Red Ryan Kauffman even had
John Carlson, this week's #1 TE, on his board. As for defenses, we all missed out on
the Eagles, who just happened to put up one of the all time great defensive point
scoring shows of all time on the unsuspecting Panthers. At least we didn't expect it.
What about the worst picks on our lists? Papa Weimer's WR chart had some issues as #1
Steve Smith had a terrible day, almost as bad as his #5 Eddie Royal. Arse's picks of
Steven Jackson and Willie Parker hurt his RB respect, and Andre Johnson as his #1
busted him, and everyone besides Papa. Ronnie Brown sure looked average in my Top 5,
and Matt Schaub finished well out of the Top 15 as well. Papa, Arse and I took big
chances putting Orton, Pennington, and Schaub in our Top 5 lists, none of which pay
off, making us look bad with 9, 8, and 4 points a piece. Obviously I looked the worst
in that gong show. We all picked the Ravens to finish either 1 or 2, they finished 21.
Who did we miss? Tony Romo and Joe Flacco went 2 and 3 for QBs in Week 1. Both went
unpicked by our four fantasy writers. Hasselbeck and Trent Edwards finished 5th and
6th respectively. Nobody picked the top defense (Philadelphia) to finish in the Top 5.
Nobody picked the second ranked defense (Atlanta) either.

Keeping score for week 1! This is the positional breakdown based on Week 1's rankings:
Josh Arsenault		Ryan Kauffman		Papa Weimer		Lucky Lester

1.QBs 2         	1.QBs 1		        1.QBs 3  		1.QBs 4
2.RBs 3		        2.RBs 4	   	        2.RBs 2                 2.RBs 1
3.WRs 2		        3.WRs 4		        3.WRs 3         	3.WRs 1
4.TEs 4  		4.TEs 3          	4.TEs 2         	4.TEs 1
5.DST 2         	5.DST 4         	5.DST 1         	5.DST 3

Fantasy Football Facts: Undervalued NFL Players

The following 10 players have been very undervalued in fantasy formats so far this off-season. Mock drafts and ranking lists have been formed and these are some of the guys that I see getting the shaft. If you are being tricked into writing these players off, think again, and see if I can’t show you why.

  1. Roy Williams #11 Detroit Lions: After his third season, Roy was pegged a great pick and saw himself at the top of the receiver rankings all over fantasy football pre-season rankings. After a great start (20 catches, 335 yards, 3 TDs in his first 3 games) Roy struggled to find consistency. Then, in Week 13, Roy went down for the season with a sprained knee. At that point, Roy had hauled in 63 passes for 836 yards and 5 touchdowns. Little do people realize that he was basically on track to match most of his 2006 numbers. During his 3rd season, Roy snagged 82 balls for 1310 yards and 7 scores. He was on pace for 84 catches 1100+ yards and 7 scores before getting hurt last year. Shhh…. Don’t tell anyone, he’s still a great prospect with his elite speed, size, and hands. And while the uber passing attack of Mike Martz is out of town, that really shouldn’t hinder Roy and Calvin Johnson’s ability to find success in their opportunities. Teams don’t need to pass 35 times a game to be successful through the air – and in limited chances, you can bet the air attack will center around the two talented wideouts instead of getting spread around to Furrey and McDonald as much. He’s getting pick at the end of Round 4 or in Round 5, and right there, he’s going to be a steal.
  2. Michael Turner #33 Atlanta Falcons: There was a lot of hype surrounding Michael Turner’s move to a starting role, but that has seemingly found it’s way back under the radar, and in almost every draft I see 20 or more running backs are being taken ahead of Mike. I understand that the Falcons are not the offensive juggernaut you’d like your starting running back to play for, but they aren’t as bad as they are getting discredited for. I’m forgetting numbers with Turner, because I’ve seen him run and that’s good enough for me, and his numbers (as he’s always been a back-up) really can’t do him justice. He’s a damn good runner with lots of power and straight-ahead speed. He really attacks the hole. The Falcons passing game will be better this season because they have everybody back from last season. Matt Ryan could get the starting gig, but even so I expect better play in Atlanta now that Bobby Patrino’s gimmicky offense is back in college. Even with a 3.9 yard average per carry, the Falcons rushing attack showed promise. Jerious Norwood had a nice per-carry average when the Falcons gave him a chance. Warrick Dunn struggled but he’s small and old. Being behind as often as they were, Falcon runners didn’t get the chances that other backfields did (385 carries was 4th lowest in the NFL) and now that they have a real NFL staff in place, and a powerful runner, I see the Falcons having a lot more success on the ground. Mike will show a lot of people that his hype is real, and right now, I would feel comfortable taking Turner as a Top 15 running back.
  3. Darren McFadden #5? Oakland Raiders: Talk about a young player that has seen his fantasy value hit a snag. There were times when McFadden was being talked about as if he were Adrian Peterson with more speed, but that has quickly been squashed by his relatively fragile frame. As a tall running back at 6’2″ there are a lot of people that question if McFadden, just 210 pounds, can hold up in the NFL. Some drafts have McFadden dropping well past the 5th round, while there are rankings out there that put Darren at right around 40th in the running back rankings. Please. The Raiders have a solid rushing attack and Lane Kiffin is well versed in getting superior athletic running specimens in the right position to give defense hell. McFadden is a great runner with the “it” factor desired from a skill position player. He may not rush for 1500 yards right off the bat, especially playing in Oakland where it’s rare to find a lead in the 4th quarter, but those that think McFadden will just waste away because of his long and fit frame are crazy. Finishing with 1000+ rushing yards and 10+ total scores is close to a sure thing from my perspective. I would put McFadden in my Top 20 running backs, especially in a PPR league where McFadden should get plenty of screen passes and short routes against linebackers that he is much faster than.
  4. Nate Burleson #81 Seattle Seahawks: I am not going to guarantee you anything, but I guarantee Nasty Nate will outplay his draft position. Wait, yeah, I am guaranteeing something, because A- I’m going to be right and B- if I’m not right the worst thing that can happen is that someone writes me telling me how wrong I was. Nate had a great second half of the season, Deion Branch has some questions surrounding his health, and the Seahawks will continue to be a pass happy offense. Nate started just 11 games and produced 10 receiving touchdowns on the season. He scored 6 touchdowns over the Seahawks last 7 regular season games. He’s now a seasoned veteran in the Hawks offense and his speed is flashy. Without Shaunna Alexander around, the Hawks will find it easier to disguise their passing attack. Nate will likely be the #1 target in Seattle, and it hasn’t mattered if you are Bobby Engram, Darrell Jackson, or Deion Branch – that position has bread success in fantasy circles over the years. Take Nate late and celebrate.
  5. Chad Johnson #85 Cincinnati Bengals: 93 catches, 1440 yards, 8 touchdowns – I know numbers can mislead, and those digits would tell you that Chad was a consistent point producer, when in reality he climbed on the back of a couple very good games and was mediocre otherwise. Still, this guy has fallen out of the top 10 for some reason (personality?) and is being WAY undervalued headed into this season. If you are drafting early, feel safe in making him your top receiver and you won’t go wrong. Chad may have some craziness in him, and while that will almost certainly follow him around all season long, he will still be one hell of a player and the Bengals should be much better this season than they showed last year. If you get Chad as the 10th receiver taken, you pulled a nice little trick on the rest of your drafters.
  6. Ronnie Brown #23 Miami Dolphins: 991 total yards and 5 touchdowns in 7.5 football games – that’s absurd. He was on pace for 2000 yards from scrimmage and double digit touchdowns and he was really the only offensive threat on the team. I don’t think Miami will be successful (playoffs are obviously out of the question), but with a coach that the team respects and a guy in Bill Parcells that breathes confidence into a football team, I like the Dolphins chances of playing with a little more confidence offensively, and Ronnie Brown is the best player on that team, so he should be featured, ACL or not. Right now, this kid is being rated way below his value, FFToday’s Crank score has him out of startability – but even the experts aren’t always right, and grabbing Ronnie Brown to be your 3rd running back will quite possibly give you a 3rd runner that has a chance to outscore your first and second round picks. Some may call that a risk, but I call that one hell of a pick.
  7. Phillip Rivers #17 San Diego Chargers: There are some rankings that put Phillip at 20th overall. That’s a joke. Rivers may throw marshmallows all over the field, wobbly duck-mallows, but he’s been successful, and never more than late last season and into the playoffs. People are riding little brother Eli all the way to a Top 10 QB, but the young QB that really carried his team on his back during the playoffs was Phillip. Torn ACL and all, Rivers toughed it out and nearly finished off the Patriots before they were had by the Giants. Rivers has better numbers than Eli, two straight seasons with 20+ touchdowns, and just 9 and 15 interceptions respectively, not the high number of picks that Eli continues to toss. Counting the playoffs, Phillip went through an 8 game stretch where he tossed 14 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. Rivers is a very accurate passer and he knows that’s his strength. But that’s not what I’m excited about with this young hurler. What has me high on him is the way he became the leader of the Chargers during the playoffs. With a guy like LT on the team, there had always been people saying that this is a RBs team. Not anymore. Phillip played through a tough injury when LT couldn’t. He put it all on the line and he took down the Colts with a 3-touchdown performance to get to the Conference Championship. Rivers will have a better season than Eli and you can get him 3 or 4 rounds after the younger Manning. Do the math.
  8. Thomas Jones #20 New York Jets: Everyone’s favorite to be labeled “BUST” last season. Thomas Jones was supposed to come into a playoff locker room and take them to the next step with his tough inside running and overall ability. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. But I’m not so sure it was all his fault. Thomas still has a lot left in the tank, and the addition of Allen Faneca should prove to be the potion he needs to find his legs once again. He’ll never be a big touchdown guy, but with New York’s offensive line maturing and having Faneca added to the mix, Thomas Jones will be a fantasy rusher once again. He can be had late, so feel free to add him as a 3rd or even 4th running back with starter upside. You could also take a huge gamble on him and pick him late as one of your starters and load yourself at a couple other positions like WR and QB. I love getting high upside, sure-thing producers as back-up runners, so that’s where I’ll be going for Jones, but I have a feeling he’ll be starting on my squad sooner rather than later.
  9. Vince Young #10 Tennessee Titans: Yeah, I might be the first guy to ever say this, but Vince Young is being underrated this time around. I’ve been the guy saying don’t pick Vince, and I think I was right over the past two seasons – but this time around, feel free to go with the Titans signal caller. After a few seasons, I can only see Vince taking a huge step forward this time around. Less is expected from him, and the Titans’ new offensive system should fit his style better. Young still doesn’t have the passing prowess that he needs to be a Super Star Quarterback in this league, but it’s closer than many give him credit for. He had a tough season last year, but his rushing yards and the threat of his legs will only help him mature, as he gets more accurate. The Titans don’t have great receivers, but Algae Crumpler should help Vince grow. A sure handed monster of a tight end is a young quarterbacks best friend. This is going to be one of those years where you don’t have to blow an early pick to grab a solid quarterback late. Vince will be a good buy low win later candidate.
  10. Rudi Johnson #32 Cincinnati Bengals: Rudi has certainly fallen off the fantasy cliff because of one down season. Once known as the second sure thing behind Shaunna Alexander (maybe because of his 3 straight 1300+ 12TD seasons), Rudi had all of his value crushed by a terrible year in Cincinnati. He tried to play smaller last season, attempting to keep his knees healthy, but all that did was lose him the power confidence he had rushed with his entire career. One Santa sack of hustle and hard work in the off-season built his 20lbs of muscle back and even made him faster. Word is (word is doesn’t always mean all that much in this business) that he looks even faster than he did at his lesser weight last season. The reason I believe this word is because of confidence. If you don’t have the confidence to take a hit, or deliver one for that matter, then you won’t hit the hole with any sort of conviction whatsoever. Rudi, like Thomas Jones, is a guy that lost all his hype in one single go-around. There are times when forgetting last years numbers are the smart thing to do, and this is one of those times.