So Long Joe

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Lets start this off with some real facts, Joe Torre was never a great strategic manager. He was terrible at managing a bullpen ( burned relievers out, Proctor, Sturtze etc…. ) rotation ( Wang, should of been set up on normal rest for game 1, shouldn’t of pitched game 4 on short rest, Mussina should of started game 4 and more ) and for all the talk about how good he is at playing to egos, he sure butchered just as many ( A-rod, really you think dropping the most fragile minded player in baseball to the eight spot in the playoffs would help ? Sheff sure wasn’t catered to like Jeter was but because Torre was always overly loyal to the people he broke in with and won 4 titles with ( Jeter, Posada, Rivera etc… ) people thought and acted like he treated all his players like that but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you broke in with him he was loyal to a fault, if you were new you had to prove yourself over and over again before he would even consider using you. Throughout the year Torre refused to rest his stars and give them proper time off, for fear of Jeter being bored during some random regular season games, instead we will just settle for him being tired and banged up during the playoffs and end of the year, burn out your only reliable bullpen options and then act scared to trust the young guys coming in to get the job done.

The thing Torre was best at was dealing with the pressure and the media, he was great at deflecting the blame & attention ( even though he deserved the blame most of the time ) on to himself and he always took the time to talk in detail with the media. He was always nice polite and classy ( everyone favorite word to describe Torre ) and never standoffish with the media and that is what he will be missed for the most. The media and the reporters will miss him, sure Jeter, Posada, Pettitte and Mariano ( if they come back ) would all miss him but thats it, the rest of the team will get over it real fast and if you think Joe Torre not being there will hurt Jeter you clearly haven’t been paying attention to his career so far. It’s the reporters who will suffer and complain that his replacement can’t stack up to him, but all that must be ignored. I’d be very much on favor of bringing in a Tony Larussa ( who is supposedly telling everyone who will listen that he wants the job ) but people say it won’t happen because he won’t be able to get along and deal with the media which leads me to ask what the hell that has to do with managing a baseball game ? When would a Manager and a reporter not liking each other have any effect of who is being brought out of the bullpen or if a hit and run or a sacrifice bunt should be put on ? ( all things Torre refused to take part in, instead he just sat back and waited for the home runs and each October they would disappear and he wouldn’t shake anything up or try to manufacture runs, no trying to force the issue or swing at all the first pitch strikes being thrown ) The answer obviously is never, the only problem is he might make the reporters job harder, o well who cares. Last time I checked we wanted the team to win I have never rooted for a reporter in my life I damn sure not gonna start now. Larussa is a great baseball mind on of the best managers in baseball, Larussa would of found ways to win ball games in the playoffs the last 3 years, he would of helped manufacture and create runs and would of applied pressure on the other teams pitching and forced the issue until something went their way, Torre just sit backs calm as ever and hopes and prays for a big home run. Everyone always said Torre was the best leader because of his calm demeanor but I disagree I think that hurts them just as much if not more. No matter what happens he had the same blank face on, and I just can’t see how that face could get anybody excited to go out there and win baseball games, maybe they need someone to make them uncomfortable, maybe they need someone who will light a fire under them and make them feel like they need to make plays instead of just feeling like just wait and everything will be ok.

If not Tony Larussa I say Joe Giradi. Giardi definitely has the respect of most that clubhouse and did a great job overachieving with the Marlins a couple years ago. Torre was at his best when he had a strong bench coach such as Don Zimmer or even Girardi. ( people forget this but when the Yankees were winning World Series year after year, it was Zimmer making all the tough in game decisions as bench coach. Torre looked for him for answers with baseball strategy and it worked until Zimmer couldn’t handle working for Steinbrener anymore ) If Torre had a strong bench coach the last couple years, they might of done some more winning but instead he had Joe Torre Lite as his bench coach, who was looking to learn from Joe as opposed to help and teach Joe, which leads to the next point that the next manager can not under any circumstances be Donnie Baseball. He is a younger version of Torre, why would you fire Torre just to hire a less polished and experienced version of him ? When Torre was hired he was hired cause he was the opposite of Buck Showalter, thats generally what happens with coaching changes. Coaching changes are made when things get stale and the team needs a change, they need things to get shaken up to remind them of their goals and what they need to do and that they need to prove themselves to this new manager all over again. If you know your manager isn’t gonna bench you cause of a couple bad games then you won’t be as worried about a couple possible bad games, if your job might possibly be on the line thats a whole nother story. Giradi would be that welcomed change as would Larussa and one of them is needed, we can’t leave this team to Mattingley, that will just set the team back a couple of years and put them in position to actually miss the playoffs. The Yankees front office and fans demand perfection, maybe it’s not realistic but it’s what we have come to expect and anything else is just simply not good enough. The Yankees have question marks all over their roster as to who is returning and who is not, forget about A-rod the Yankees built World Series caliber teams without him they can do it again, Posada and Mariano are keys they both need to come back especially Posada, but with the young studs they got moving into the rotation next year ( Chamberlain, Hughes and Kennedy ) all they need is a some bullpen help and a good strong minded strategic baseball manager like Joe Giradi or Tony Larussa, either of these people will have the fans ( not the media, but really like I said before who cares about the media ? ) forgetting about Torre as the Yankees march to the World Series for the next couple of years.

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Week 7 Picks

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So I’m a little late with my picks this week, normally I try and get them up by Friday but seeing as how I was sleeping the entire day that wasn’t exactly possible, but I made sure to get them done today so if anyone wants to check them out before tomorrows games they can.

Bengals – 6 1/2 @ Jets – Bengals

Honestly both these teams are terrible right now, but the Jets shouldn’t be able to keep up with the Bengals offense, of course that’s probably giving the Bengals D too much credit but someone has to win the game right ? Of course what will probably happen is Chad will throw 350 + 4 TD’s and lead the Jets to a win so that he holds onto his job for the remainder of the yea. The Jets need to see what the kid Clemens has so maybe Chad gets roughed up and needs to be pulled, maybe thats what Mangini needs to make the decision for him, either way if Chad stays in past half-time expect the Bengals to pull out a W.

Cardinals + 8 1/2 @ Redskins – Redskins

Normally I would run from an 8 1/2 pt. line but it still looks like Tim Rattay will be starting against the Skins D and I don’t expect him to have much success. Redskins o-line is banged up so the Cardinals D should cause them some problems but they should have no problems winning big this week and even if Warner does start as you saw last week it’s only a matter of time until he gets hurt, yet again.

Ravens – 3 @ Bills – Ravens

Ravens are banged up all over the team right now, it will probably show but the Bills are bad which will show even more.

Tampa Bay + 2 1/2 @ Detroit – Bucs

I might regret this one but I doubt it. The Lions have cooled off now that they are finally playing some tough teams and the Bucs are for real, at least as far as the NFC goes and actually giving Tampa the 2 points 1/2 is too much for me to pass up ( although this does have one of those it seems like Vegas wants you to pick Tampa for some reason we don’t know I still can’t resist )

Chiefs + 2 1/2 @ Raiders – Chiefs

I’m sold on the Chiefs I think they are for real. Sure they got issues with Damon Huard as their QB but LJ is coming around Bowe and Tony Gonzalez are catching everything and the Defense is playing great, meanwhile the Raiders are not playing so great, probably has something to do with them being the Raiders and all.

Steelers – 3 1/2 @ Denver – Steelers

I see no reason why the Broncos can win this game ( except for the fact that I just said that on record ) The Steelers are better then them in every way except for starting cornerbacks but it’s still questionable if Champ Bailey will play, if he doesn’t this game won’t even be close as the Steelers will be able to pass as well as run all over the field, either way look for Willie Parker to rack up close to if not over 200 yards and the Steelers to make this another boring Sunday Night game.

UPSET SPECIAL

Colts – 3 @ Jags – Jags

I know this may seem crazy, but honestly if this game was on Sunday @ 1:00 or 4:00 I’d say it was a lock for the Jags, I’m a little worried Peyton won’t let them lose a Monday Night game on national TV,  but the Colts have to lose sometime right ? Ok maybe it will be against the Patriots but I’m still sticking with the they got to lose some time theory as well so the only team who might beat the Pats is the Colts, who also won’t go undefeated meaning someone like the Jags or the Titans will be the ones to do it, my guess is it’s Jacksonville this week. Either way I still say the Jags are a top 5 team and with Marvin Harrison still banged up and MJD finally breaking loose the last couple weeks I say this is the week everyone sees it as they knock of the Colts.

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Week 6 In Review

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( You better be used to this sight by now, if your not get used to it or stop watching football cause the Patriots aren’t stopping for anyone anytime soon )

~ So I guess it’s official, the Jets are terrible or really Pennington is terrible, please Mangini bench him for the kid Clemens I can’t stomach to watch another hanging floater.

~ Adrian Peterson beat Devin Hester yesterday in the battle of the one man offense, seriously if both of these guys were hurt or missed the game these teams would still be held to a scoreless tie. * daps all other A.D. ( All Day ) owners, grabbing him with the second pick in my keeper league looks smarter and smarter every week, stops patting self on back *

~ The Rams = the worst team in the NFL and if that wasn’t enough they also have the most fantasy busts so far. ( Jackson, Bulger and Holt )

~ Tales of the demise of the Ravens D have been greatly exaggerated, with Rolle back at corner the D can get agressive with their blitzs again and cause all types of havoc for the opposing QB, their offense however is a joke, how can anyone not move the ball up and down the field against that awful Rams defense ?

~ Browns and Dolphins erupt into a shoot-out, really this speaks volumes about each teams D, but the Browns as a team are bordering on legit right now…. Did I really just type that……smh……

~ I’m still trying to figure out exactly how the Packers beat the Redskins, The Redskins D keeps impressing more and more, only 2 TD passes all year and not 1 pass play of over 20 yards unfortunitely for them Santana Moss was a little confused as to who he was playing for, his tipped pass that led to an interception and fumble that was returned for a TD was the difference in the game.

~ What has happened to the Bengals, even the offense is struggling, the o-line just kept getting punished on Sunday, Housh however is not struggling as he stakes his claim as a top 5 receiver, but the rest of the team doesn’t look like they are on the same page, Palmer and Chad can’t seem to figure each other out, the running game has disappeared the D is terrible, fortunitely for the Bengals they get a cure this week as they get to play the Jets at home, and for some reason Mangini is staying with Pennington, have I mentioned I think thats a bad idea.

~ Tamp Bay beat the Titans on a late field goal, considering Kerry Collins was playing a chunk of the game at QB for the Titans, shouldn’t this go down as a loss for the Bucs and a win for the Titans, I mean it is Kerry Collins doesn’t his team deserve to be spotted some points ( Although I guess if Vinny Testerverde can get a win Kerry Collins should be able to as well )

~ Jacksonville is a top 5 team right now and the NFL’s Ommpa Loompa ( Maurice Jones-Drew ) is back.

~ So after Leinart went down I was telling everyone Warner would be a good fantasy pick up and would really boost Fitzgerald’s value since all he can do is throw it deep, some people stopped listening to me at that point and therefore missed the part where I said, of course don’t go making any drastic moves for either of them because it is only a matter of time before the pocket collapses on the statuesque QB and he breaks any and or every bone is his body, but even I thought he would last more than 1 quarter.

~ Vinny Testerverde came back at a ripe young age of 43 and with 3 days to learn the playbook somehow he started out 8 for 8 and somehow managed to have a decent game and pull out the W. * sees pig’s flying and hell freezing over * Vinny better thank his old schoolmate Jesus he has Steve Smith to chuck it to because he is the only thing saving that offense.

~ Can anyone think of any reasons the Patriots don’t go 16-0 if they can beat the Colts in Indy in a couple of weeks, cause besides death to Brady I can’t think of anything, if they beat the Colts in Indy those old school Dolphins better just go ahead and murk themselves because their existence will become meaningless.

~ L.T. is back to being L.T. ( no not smoking crack rocks, not that L.T. ) dominating fantasy player and carrying his offense to victories. The AFC West is theirs to lose, despite Norv Turner and his best attempts to destroy this team.

~ Brees and Bush looked impressive, but hold up it was against the inconsistent Seahawks D, and they are way overrated if you ask me. Yeah the numbers look good but every time I watch them I see teams have little trouble moving the ball up and down the field.

~ Everyone practically killing yourselves to jump on the Giants bandwagon, better be careful cause it’s not worth the risk, your only gonna be risking your life trying to jump off in a month or so. Yeah they won 4 in a row only 1 of them was against a decent team and I still can’t figure out how they won that game ( redskins ) then they beat the Eagles, Jets and Falcons and they really should of lost to the Jets, the Giants got very lucky the past couple weeks and have 2 more very easy games coming up next but after that prepare to see the real Giants team show up after their bye week, just remember be careful not to hurt yourself jumping off the bandwagon.

TOP 10 TEAMS

1) Patriots

2) Colts

3) Steelers

4) Cowboys

5) Jaguars

6) Chargers

7) Packers

8) Titans

9) Bucs

10) Chiefs ( yeah I said it )

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Week 6 Picks

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Bengals – 3 @ Kansas City – Chiefs

The Bengals should really be able to win this game but I don’t trust them. Their defense is terrible, theres no reason to expect anything but huge games from Larry Johnson, Dwayne Bowe ( who by the way should be owned in every fantasy league weeks ago ) and Tony Gonzalez, and as shocking as it may be to some Kansas City has a really solid defense especially a strong secondary, which could potentially cause Carson and company some problems. On top of all this Rudi Johnson still hasn’t been practicing and the game is in Kansas City where the Chiefs enjoy one of the loudest stadiums and most difficult for opposing teams to play in, and somehow the Bengals are still favored, go with the home underdog here.

Houston + 6 1/2 @  Jacksonville – Jaguars

Now this is starting to look like the defense I expected the Jag’s to have. I was floored by their poor performance against the Titans in week 1 giving up 170 + yards on the ground, I thought they were back to being the classic under achievers, or the Panhers of the AFC as I call them, but it seems like they finally got this figured out, plus now David Garrard is making Jack Del Rio look both genius and stupid ( genius for making the move to Garrard, stupid for waiting so long to make it final ) Dennins Northcutt has been rejuvenated, MJD finally got on track last week and Houston is banged up still missing Andre Johnson and Schaub has to face the toughest secondary he has faced all year, Kris Brown won’t be able to save them this week, Jag’s win this easy.

Miami + 4 1/2 @ Cleveland – Browns ( yeah I said it )

Ok there were a couple teams I was real hard on at the beginning of the year that I turned out to be way wrong about, like the Titans and the Redskins, but I must say the biggest surprise is the Browns. They keep playing decent to good football and I keep brushing it off and ignoring it cause well, they are the Browns. However they have looked pretty good, mostly against bad teams granted but what do they have this week ? Possibly the worst team in the league, and with Cleo Lemon as the starting QB. Listen if you have to bet on a game in which one of the starting QB’s name is Lemon, don’t waste any time go make a bet, a big bet on whoever the hell he is playing. Of course now that I said this on record and with this being the NFL and all, Cleo Lemon will probably throw for 300 + 3 TD’s and the Dolphins get their first win, hey it’s possible I mean they are still playing the Browns.

Minnesota + 5 1/2 @ Chicago –  Bears

I’m tempted to go with the Vikings because I can’t stand the thought of putting money on Brian Griese but that would mean I’d be putting money on Tavaris Jackson or is it Kelly Holcomb this week, or does it matter either way, no thanks. Cedric benson will go nowhere but then again when does he ever get anywhere, however that Vikings secondary is beatable, look for Greg Olsen to run through that secondary for big plays all day Sunday afternoon.

Tennessee + 3 @ Tampa Bay – Titans

Like I said before I was dead wrong about the Titans this year, but I figured that out weeks ago. Tampa Bay is a bit of a mystery still, they had looked real strong so far this year, but the competition wasn’t that good so were they for real ? Well they got pimp slapped back to reality last week by the injury depleted Colts but everyone should of seen that coming especially with Cadillac and Petitguot (sp? ) out. This week probably won’t help us too much either cause the Titans should win the game rather easily, however if Garcia can have a big day against this defense people are really gonna be forced to pay attention to Tampa the rest of the way.

Washington + 3 @ Green Bay – Redskins

Anyone who watched the second half of last Sunday’s night game saw the wheels start to come off of the suddenly over crowded Packers bandwagon. Yeah the biggest problem was James Jones inability to hold onto the ball thanks to Charles Tillman but once things started to go a little bad they quickly got worse and worse. Farve started to unwind making a couple of bad decisions and when he threw that god awful I don’t even know what to call it but I damn sure won’t call it a pass, to Urlacher you knew the game was over. Don’t be surprised if this is the start of a mini slump, the Packers are still one of the better teams in that weak NFC but they are gonna have weeks like last one when they just don’t have it all together and I expect this week to be one of them as the Redskins will continue to surprise people, Jason Campbell is gonna be one hell of a QB the sooner the rest of the league figures this out the better we will all be.

New England – 5 1/2 @ Dallas – Patriots

Do I still have to explain and justify why I’d take the Patriots every week, isn’t the fact that they are have Tom Brady and Randy Moss and o yeah they are the Patriots enough for everyone. No, ok well then how bout this, did you see the Cowboys play the Bills last week ? Yes I believe it was an random act not likely to be duplicated again but the Patriots D is only a couple millions times better than the Bills and o yeah by the way so is there offense, If Romo gives up 6 turnovers this week they lose by 70. Still not convinced, go watch another sport, ok but seriously Dallas biggest weakness is their secondary watch Brady hit Welker underneath all day to set up the long bombs to Moss. Seriously if the Patriots didn’t have to play the Colts I’d say they are going 16-0, but they do play the Colts and probably won’t go 16-0.

New Orleans + 7 @ Seattle – Seahawks

Have people been watching the Saints, cause unfortunately I have and it’s been painful. The Saints are awful it starts with the defense, but continues with the offense and I see no cure in sight. Without Duece it limits Bush’s effectiveness and makes it even harder on Brees. Brees is getting no protection and you can tell it’s bothering him, he keeps dancing his feet running in circles in the pocket looking downright scared, the Saints have a lot to fix and a long time till it gets done, Seahawks win easy.

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Vacation Time Is Over

Whats good people ? I know I know I haven’t been around for a minute, but the boy went on a bit of an impromptu vacation. I spent some time out in Cali, then I came back last week and went on Tri-State tour checking my peoples I haven’t gotten up with in awhile, overall it was a great couple of weeks, sports wise though, not so much. Remember I said awhile back I didn’t care what the Yankees did in the playoffs as long as they made it there, well apparently I was lying through my teeth, don’t worry I’ll never make that mistake again as a life long Yankee fan I know championship rings is the only successful way to end a season. However with the Yankees struggling to make through the first half of the year, they looked dead. So at this point you could see the Yankees have finally started to put together some really good young pitching ( Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy ) and I was really just excited about the chance to see those 3 guys in a rotation with Wang and Pettite, and I really believed that but once the playoffs came the spoiled Yankee fan came out and I expected another championship. Yeah the bugs cost them game 2 but give the Indians credit they are a great team who looked completely different from the last time the Yankees saw them, when exactly did they find an offense, cause they sure didn’t have one a couple months ago.

Now to make matter worse is my Jets, ouch seriously Pennington what happened to you ? I swear he arm gets weaker with every passing week. I was at the game against the Giant, I almost fought half the damn stadium ( there were some pissed of Giant fans that really didn’t like me just cause I was rooting for my team ) but more importantly every time Pennington went to pass, I felt like I could of jumped the route and picked him off from way back in row 30. I have been Pennington’s biggest supporter but enough is enough. Defenses don’t send anyone more than 20 yards past the line of scrimmage and Pennington can’t make them pay for it. This allows the d’s to load up the box and stop the run and forces the Jets to try short quick screens which only work when teams aren’t ready for them, but since thats all the Jets do defenses are always ready for them. The coaches don’t trust Pennington’s arm to open up the offense and what they are doing now sure isn’t working so bring in the kid with the cannon arm and let’s see if we can open the offense and use the dangerous weapons we have. Coles and Cotchery are 2 great receivers both criminally underrated due to the fact Pennington can’t get them the ball enough. The season isn’t completely over as the schedule does get easier but as long as Pennington is at QB the offense won’t be beating anyone and with the way the Jets allow you to run the ball on them there is just no chance Pennington can get it done anymore, either way it’s obvious with the roster bonus he would be due next March there is no way in hell Chad is on the team next year, so make the move now see what the kid has and let’s find out if he really is the future.

So as bad as these last week was sports wise at least I know I have a bunch of young talent to watch and grow and hopefully get the Yankees back to their dominating ways and get the Jets to start there own trend of domination, the Jets are closer than most think, they got a great overall team just a couple really big holes that continue to hurt them week in and week out but theres only a couple holes and as soon as the Mangenius figures out those holes are Pennington’s arm, the offense running game ( a deep threat automatically opens up the run a little ) and somehow someway stopping the run, I say abandon this 3-4 system and go with a flexible 4-3, you can switch it up from time to time, but the Jets are playing 3-4 scheme with 4-3 personel, making these moves automatically makes the Jets a better team.

More on all of this tomorrow, Yankees/Jets and my picks for the weeks will be back tomorrow as well. I’ve been slacking on the fantasy tip I know anyone got any question or looking for some help with them just holla at the kid, or wait till next week when I break out the fantasy posts.

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Week 4 Gambling Picks

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Ok so the first week I did this didn’t go so well, and well last week I was mad lazy and was too busy over the weekend to make the picks, but this week I’m back. I’m still not betting any money this week, next week is when it would start, you know if gambling was allowed and everything of course. So here are the lines and my picks for the week. ( Note every week theres always games I avoid like the plague mostly cause of how the line is set, thats no different this week, however I’m gonna start listing the games I’m not touching and say why at the end of the post.

Baltimore -4 @ Cleveland – Baltimore

Ok so the Ravens haven’t gotten off to the start they were hoping for, but thats only cause they haven’t been lucky enough to play the Browns yet. Who cares who the QB is this week, McGahee will run all over the Browns and your much more likely to see Derek Anderson throw 5 int.’s than to see even 3 Td’s from him.

Oakland + 4 1/2 @ Miami – Oakland

This is a bit risky, why ? Cause I’m betting on the Raiders. I’ve heard lots of people pick the Dolphins with the old no one goes 0-16 so they have to win a game sometime right, why not now routine. I don’t buy it not cause they are wrong about teams not going 0-16 but because the Dolphins still have games against the Browns and the Giants this year. Look for Lamont Jordan to carry the Raiders to a W in Miami, assuming Dante doesn’t self destruct trying to win the game on his own.

Chicago – 3 @ Detroit – Lions

A week or so ago I would of said this was a lock for the Bears, now I’m running away from them as fast as possible. Listen I understand Rex Grosman is bad, but Griese is worse. Griese won’t force as many mistakes but thats the coaches fault for continually trying to open up the offense with Rex, they need to simplify the offense for him and not give him the option to make those long errant passes. The other problem I have is the bears D is in shambles. Once Mike Brown went down again I knew they would struggle in the secondary but now with both their corners out and other key defenders like Tommy Harris out, theres no way Griese will be able to win in a shootout.

Houston – 3 @ Atlanta – Texans

Again here I heard the can’t go 0-16 strategy being applied here, people really must not have watched enough of the Texans so far this year. Ok Andre Johnson is still out so is Ahman Green and while it does go against everything I believe in to bet on a team with Ron Dayne starting at RB, theres just no way the Falcons will move the ball on the Texans Defense which is criminally underrated right now and THE reason they are off to such a good start and are definitely for real.

Green Bay – 2 @ Minn. – Packers

I hate lines like this they make me mad nervous, and normally send me running. Minn. has looked pretty bad so far this year and it doesn’t look like they will turn it around anytime soon, meanwhile the Packers have exceed everyone expectations so far and look to be the far superior tea, so why only 2 point favorites, does Vegas know something we don’t ? Probably they usually do, especially when they set a line begging you to pick one team, which is whats happening here, but you know what ? I’m gonna fall for it at least this week. I understand why the did it in this game just like no team can go 0-16 they can’t go 16-0 ( well maybe the Patriots can but w/e w/e w/e ) and a surprising 3-0 team goes on the road to play a division rival, this one has upset written all over it, next week everyone will be saying ” we knew the Packers weren’t that good ” it all seems so set up for that but I’m bucking the system and I say the Packers at least make it to 4-0.

Jets – 3 1/2 @ Buffalo – Jets

Ok first always take my Jet bets with a grain of salt cause well I am biased. If you see me pick them to lose make the bet cause that must mean I expect them to get spanked, however I also normally stay away from picking the Jets game cause a) I never want to bet against them and b) it’s hard to tell how biased I am sometimes, so if I pick them I really expect them to win. In fantasy if you have Marshawn Lynch play him, same goes with any of the Jets, Lynch will have a big day but Pennington will feast on that secondary and the Jets better snag an important division road victory.

Tampa Bay + 3 @ Carolina – Tampa

I didn’t want to pick this game, in fact I’d almost suggest never betting on this division unless it’s for Atlanta and New Orleans to lose, but see my thing is I HATE the Panthers, there isn’t a more confusing team in the league, and they have been doing it for years. I despise the Panthers and will never bet on them again, which can of course only mean one thing, David Carr will someone get the W for the Panthers.

Pittsburgh – 6 @ Arizona – Steelers

Heres another one where it seems set up for an upset. You got 2 former Assistant Coaches of the road team coaching at home against their former team, road team is 3-0, with 3 cupcake games, seems set up for the home team to steal this game, or at least make it close, problem with all that is Wisenhunt is saying he will be playing a platoon of Leinart and Warner, listen I already wasn’t sold on Leinart before and I’ve had a rule to bet against Kurt Warner for about 3 + years now, no way I can bet against the Steelers here.

Philly – 2 1/2 @ Giants – Eagles

But I admit I’m not THAT confident. It’s the line playing tricks on me again, I know the Eagles have looked bad until they played the Lions so people are skeptical, but this is the Giants, and trust me their secondary is even worse than the Lions, I know some of you Lions fans are shocked right now, but it’s true watch a Giants game sometime. Eagles secondary is banged up too, I expect to see Eli chuck a bunch of terrible passes in the air only to be bailed out by Plex/Toomer/Shockey making leaping catches, which of course will be followed by constant praise of Eli, still Eagles should win this game by at least a field goal.

GAMES I’M NOT TOUCHING

Dallas – 13 @ St. Louis

Dallas will win but no way will I ever bet on an NFL team to lose by more than 13, even if it is the Rams and they will probably lose by 20-30 pts.

Seattle -2 @ San Fran

Neither of these teams are that good, Seattle is more balanced, 49ers got the better defense, I can’t call it, it’s a definite flip em.

Denver + 9 1/2 @ Colts

Again 9 1/2 pts. is too much to take, even with the Colts playing at home against a clearly inferior team, Colts will win, should cover too, I just wouldn’t put any money on it, cause if I did this game would have last second touchdown to cut the lead to 8 written all over it.

New England – 7 @ Cinn.

Only cause the Bengals could be losing by 30 in the last 8 minutes and Palmer could somehow find a way to get them back within 7 in the last second. I will tell you this much though bet the OVER. It’s set at 53 1/2 pts. don’t be shocked to see the Patriots almost bet that themselves.

* edit * 

I forgot the Chargers-Chiefs game, it’s ok cause I’m staying away from that one too, basically anytime you see a 10 + point spread know I’m not touching it.

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Who and How To Target RB’s In Fantasy ( Waiver Wire/ Trades )

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This is gonna be a buy low/sell high column with a twist. Normally you read fantasy articles and they all tell you the same things, buy low on L.T. or L.J. right now, gee thanks for that advice, problem is each article is written to be as broad as possible, which is great and all cause you know it includes everyone, but does it really help anyone ? Shouldn’t weather or not you wanna buy low or sell high depend on your record, how the other teams are built in your league and what you need help with the most ? Of course so how can one tell you, that you must go get RB a) and be willing to part with WR b), well first problem is what if you don’t have receiver B or anything close to him ? What if your set at RB’s and you wanna know which ones to trade for a receiver, what if your 3-0 your team is looking stacked no real weak points at first glance, but then you peep the schedule and notice some of your studs have very tough match-ups at the end of the season, hell some might just be starting a vicious stretch that could kill their value and possibly your team if you don’t trade them soon enough. Having what looks like the best team after week 3 doesn’t mean a damn thing, in fact it’s quite possible you could go undefeated all year with a stacked line-up and then you get crushed in the finals because you have Peyton Manning and Joesph Addai and they aren’t getting full PT cause they already clinched their playoff spot, or maybe your convinced Steven Jackson turns it around, ok say he does are you still gonna wanna play him those last 2 weeks of the fantasy season when he is matched up against Green Bay and Pittsburgh. So here I’m gonna tell you what RB’s to grab expecting them to outplay expectations and who to trade or avoid due to bad match-ups and people who will under perform their expectations. Also again since I’m speaking to an audience and not you indivually some of my suggestions might not work for you, so I suggest you look at your team and your schedule the rest of the way, examine your bye weeks, what weeks you have real bad match-up and don’t feel comfortable starting anyone you have, check those last 2 weeks schedule and start planning for the playoffs if you can afford to, check what weeks you need help the most and check who can help you the most those weeks and go after them. After each player I will list what weeks I have marked as big weeks for said RB, with playoff weeks in BOLD.

GET NOW BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE CATCHES ON

~ Willie Parker – Granted he shouldn’t be on this list, cause everyone should have him and no one should be thinking he is anything less than a top 5 back, but I say this cause honestly I think he is the best back to have the rest of the year, so if you have L.T. and can’t wait for him to turn around anymore ( I suggest waiting until after the Chiefs though, their schedule gets much easier ) so more realistically let’s say you have Larry Johnson or Steven Jackson and you can’t wait it out, see if you can convince the guy to trade you Parker, hell in fact if you have anyone besides L.T. I suggest you take a shot and see if you can get Willie Parker. If you have to give up one of them Rb’s and a decent receiver do it, take a look at Parkers’s schedule the rest of the way, this guy is on his way to a monster year 2,000 + yards. These Steelers still love to run the ball and no one except possibly L.T. will outperform him the rest of the way. As for those last 2 weeks of the fantasy season ( keep in mind thats weeks 15 and 16 in real football ) Parker is a great play both weeks as he has Jacksonville in week 15 and St. Louis in week 16, so if you have Parker feel good you most likely got this years best RB don’t trade him, but if you can pry him away from someone somehow just do it. ( weeks 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16 )

~ L.T. – I know I know again he shouldn’t be on here either, last one I promise. However I do know of some people who have L.T. and are 0-3 and there for are panicking. It’s understandable really, if you took L.T. you took him with the first pick leaving you most likely with not a great # 2 back, which was ok at the time because you got L.T. and he would make up the difference, problem is he hasn’t and your team has suffered, I get it but unless you got holes everywhere and someone is gonna give you an upgrade everywhere and one of these other RB’s on this list, relax and do not trade L.T. he has played against 3 of the best defenses in football so far, they are adjusting to a whole new coaching staff he will be fine and that turn around starts this week in Kansas City and should continue over the next 2 weeks with Denver and Oakland. Now again if you started out 0-3 you can’t afford to worry about the last 2 weeks right now, you have to try and get yourself there, but if you still can make it there without trading him do so, cause those last 2 weeks L.T. is lucky enough to play the Broncos and Lions, 2 teams no one would have trouble running through let alone L.T. ( weeks 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 15 and 16 )

~ Edge – So this isn’t last year, people that drafted Edge are actually happy they drafted him as opposed to wishing him harm ( to put it nicely ) as everyone who drafted him last year felt. Unless your in a league with complete idiots mostly everyone realizes this ( if you are in one of those idiot leagues you probably got it won all ready so relax ) but I don’t think most people realize just how good he will be the rest of the way. Only problem is the Cardinals figure to be behind a lot so they will have to throw but at least they can run the ball and run it well this year. Lucky for Edge owners and future Edge owners he still has games against St. Louis, Detroit, Cinn. , San Fran, and Cleve, with New Orleans and Atlanta in the final 2 weeks, that means he has 7 games left against teams that combined allowed an avg. of 143 yards per game, which means there are plenty of fantasy points to be had by the Edge. ( weeks 5,10,11,12,13,14,15 and 16 )

~ Larry Johnson – Ok some of you probably are wondering why he is here, well for much the same reasons as L.T. if you have him I assume you took him high and he is probably killing your team. I hated LJ at the beginning of the year because of his horrible o-line, mess of a QB situation and overall just being on a bad team, and while all of this still holds true his schedule starts to get drastically easier after this week. However like I said these problems are still there so unless you can afford to sit him on the bench for the next couple weeks and hope for a turn around avoid him, but if you 3-0 and sitting pretty and stacked with RB’s take a shot, cause like I said after this week LJ has 7 weeks against teams that have been allowing at least 125 yards a game, one of them against Detroit in the final week. Keep in mind LJ missed almost all of training camp too and while that normally isn’t a big deal for RB’s be ready for him to turn his season around as soon the Chiefs start to play the Jacksonville’s and Cinn.’s. ( Weeks 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 14, 16 )

~ Marshawn Lynch – I wasn’t as high on this guy as a lot of people were at the beginning of the year. I thought he would get crushed coming from the soft Pac-10 to the NFL, but this boy has proved himself to be worthy. He hasn’t been amazing or unstoppable by any means but he is still being underrated by everyone I’ve talked to, don’t make the same mistake. See if you can get him cheap he will help you especially those last 2 weeks of the year against the Browns and the Giants. Besides that he still has 2 games against the Jets ( and trust me anyone can run on the Jets ask Ronnie Brown ) Cinn, 2 games against Miami and a game against Jacksonville, all teams that give up at least 120 rushing yards a game. If you started off great and are already thinking bout playoff like I am make a move for Lynch before someone else catches on. ( Weeks 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15 and 16 )

~ Deshaun Foster – This guy defines underrated right now. He is THE RB in Carolina, they aren’t sold on Williams and Foster has been running the ball well. True he has had an easy schedule but it’s gonna stay that way. Foster is criminally undervalued in most leagues right now and I’m sure he can be had cheap. He has 2 games against New Orleans, a game against the Falcons, Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks and Jags all left and he should have big games against all of them, while only one of them ( Seattle ) is in the playoffs most of them are down the stretch run if your looking for help during those last weeks. ( Weeks 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 14 )

~ Willis McGahee – I expected things to be going better for Willis here in B-more, I mean he seems built for the Ravens, problem is the rest of the offense is a mess. Good news is most McGahee owners are panicking and trying to pawn him off now, my suggestion of course is to take advantage of this. 2 games against Cleve. a game against St. Louis, Buffalo, Cinn,, Miami and Seattle all are still on the schedule and all are more than winnable games for the Ravens. In all of these games the Ravens D should shut down the other offense and allow McGahee plenty of carries to pick up plenty of yards and TD’s. Miami and Seattle are the playoff weeks and you shouldn’t have any problem playing him then. ( Weeks 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 15 )

~ Rudi Johnson – This really depends on who has him, but I saw some people panic after last week, scared he would disappear and scared he would be hurt. If the injury scares you, theres not much I can say other than I doubt it will effect him for more than a week or 2 at most. So if your in a league where the Rudi owner is thinking like then steal him, as he still has games against the Chiefs, Jets, Bills, Rams, and in the playoff weeks the 49ers and Browns. The Bengals offense is a machine designed to score points and as long as Rudi stays healthy he will do the same and if you want help for those final weeks theres not too many with better playoff week match-ups ( Weeks 6, 7, 9, 11, 14, 15 and 16 )

~ Frank Gore – Like Rudi I know some Gore owners who are panicking, not so much cause they don’t believe in Gore but because the 49ers offense looks anemic, and while I can’t very well argue with that I can say the schedule does get easier with a six week stretch where they play the Giants, Saints, Falcons, Seahawks, Rams and Cardinals as well as a week 15 match-up with the Bengals, if people are looking to trade Gore it’s cause they haven’t looked at the schedule ( no Woody Paige ) and like I’ve been saying this whole column, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. ( Weeks 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15 )

~ Thomas Jones – He was very underrated last year, even more so before the season since he is no longer splitting carries, however the people that were down on him probably feel good about being down on him still and thats fine as long as your willing to realize he is about to turn it around. First 2 weeks they played against 2 of the best defenses in football and to be honest the Jets o-line is a mess but last week in the second half Jones put up 92 yards against the Dolphins, looking like he is finally comfortable in the offense and ready to be the Thomas Jones we all know from last year. I know your saying but that was against the Dolphins, point taken but whats this whole post about, TJ’s schedule is full of good match-ups, ,with 2 games against Buffalo, a game against Cinn, Giants, Miami and Cleveland TJ can definitely be an upgrade to your team on certain weeks. ( Weeks , 5, 7, 8, 13, 14 )

TRADE NOW WHY YOU CAN STILL GET THE BEST VALUE

~ Travis Henry – Ok so I just yesterday noticed this. I got Henry on 2 of my teams and as I was looking at my match-ups the rest of the way I noticed he only has 4 favorable match-ups the rest of the season. Now while normally I wouldn’t be so concerned with the Broncos rushing game but the fact that they can’t stop anyone from running and Jay Cutler just does not instill any confidence in me yet, I see them being behind in too many games and with Shannahan’s games he likes to play stealing TD’s from his starters clutches I think now is as good a time as ever to trade Travis Henry to someone who will give you great value while you can still get it. Right now he has 4 match-ups I like ( Detroit, week 9, K.c., week 10 and 14, and Oakland week 13 ) however he still has 2 games against the Chargers, 1 against the Colts, Packers Tenn. Chicago and Houston, everyone of those teams has held their opponents to under 100 yards rushing a game most under 90, trade Travis Henry before everyone else figures that out as well.

~ Lamont Jordan – I’m a big Lamont fan have been since he was backing up Curtis ( Chris Berman’s favorite ) Martin, Jordan has gotten off to a great year, it is no fluke the guy is for real, the Raiders however are not, and their schedule doesn’t get any easier, he has 4 match-ups I like and a bunch of games I expect the raiders to be out of by the start of the second quarter, meaning lots of passing not so much running, Ronald Curry will benefit greatly from this Lamont however will suffer. Good match-ups the rest of the way are Miami week 4, K.C. week 7 and 12 and Denver week 13 and week 16 against Jacksonville he is a decent play as well) However they also have San Diego, Tenn, Houston, Chicago, Minnesota, Green Bay and Indy on their schedule and I wouldn’t feel comfortable playing him any of those weeks, put him on the block now while he is still hot and get something good while you still can.

~ Steven Jackson – This is another one that depends on who has him, if you have him and can afford to wait it out do it go for it, problem is you won’t get full value for him now especially with him hurt, so theres a couple things you can do, depending on how bad you need help you can settle for your best offer now, if it’s someone I said try and get think about it strongly, probably take it, if not wait it out just a little longer. I wouldn’t play him the next 3 or 4 weeks based on match-ups and his injury but after that he has Cleveland, New Orleans, San Fran, Seattle, Atl. and Cinn. and assuming he is healthy by then he should be back to the Steven Jackson we knew from last year. His last 2 weeks are brutal match-ups no matter how much he looks like last year so maybe you wanna let him play Cleveland and the Saints work his value up and trade him for someone with better playoff match-ups.

Remember you can follow all the advice you want from where ever you want to gather it but whats good for you might not be good for everyone else, so you have to balance the needs and strengths of your team, assess where you need help the most and where you can afford to give up some talent ( if your stacked at WR and need Rb help trade one of your stud receivers or vice versa ) and always, always look at your match-ups and see what weeks you don’t like them and see what can be done about it.

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