Fantasy Football Unplugged: QB Priorities, other notes

August 28, 2007

Everyone and their mother plays fantasy football in 2007 so I am going to contribute a number of articles to help out the casual fantasy players we have out there. Feel free to comment.

The Quarterback ends up being the forgotten position for a lot of fantasy general managers. You miss out on Peyton and then start eyeing the skill position players you fell in love with and the next thing you know its the 8th round and you don’t know which QB to select because all that is left is a collection of mediocrity. I’ll weigh in on that situation and some other thoughts and FAQ’s about the 2007 fantasy QB’s.

Q: Where do I pick Peyton?

A: I’m pretty high on Manning. I would look to select him at any point at the end of the first round which will still leave you an opportunity to draft a legitimate No. 1 RB with your 2nd rounder. In a 10 team league I could justify taking Manning as early as 8th as it would still leave you an opportunity to draft a Henry, Maroney, Bush at the 13 spot. After 13 your probably going to see a dropoff in RB value to the McGahee, Ronnie Brown, Jones-Drew types. Remember that Peyton is a rock. He won’t miss games, is in his prime, has playmakers around him, and still has that 50 TD pass ceiling.

Q: Who are the 2nd and 3rd ranked QB’s?

A: It depends who you ask. Since this is my blog entry, here is how I see it. Its important to know whether your league awards 4 or 6 points for a touchdown and how many points interceptions take away when you answer this question. Standard fantasy scoring is 4 points and -2 so we’ll use that. One of the reasons why Manning is so valuable reveals itself in this answer. There is a clear cut number 1 QB, after that its a lot of conjecture and opinion. Sean Payton’s offense is not going to slow down this year and Brees is going to throw for over 4 grand again. Brees is still my number 3 though. Carson Palmer is 100% healthy this year and I have to put him in the 2 hole. Palmer threw for 4000 yards last year with 28 TDs and you could see him favoring that knee. Palmer’s upside puts him above Brees for me. Palmer in 2005 was creeping towards an illegal 70% completion rate with 32 TD’s and only a dozen interceptions. I think you can expect that type of year from Palmer in 2007. After Manning, Palmer, Brees, you go with Brady, then Bulger. Those are the big 5 that you can hang your hat on.

Q: After the big 5, what do I do?

A: I think you look for McNabb not too long after. But after Donovan, it gets really hairy. The 7, 8, 9, 10 QB’s are valued about 2 rounds after McNabb comes off the board. So your in the 7th round and start looking at a QB, what do you do? The next 4 quarterbacks drafted on average in Yahoo drafts are Vince Young, Hasselback, Kitna, Romo. My pick in this spot is Kitna. Two words, Mike Martz. Kitna threw a gross 22 interceptions last year, but thats the only thing holding him back from being a top top QB. Kitna threw for 4200 yards and 21 TD’s. Now this year you give the personnel a year of familiarity and add Calvin Johnson to the WR corps. I think another 4,200 is in store with 25 TDs and less interceptions. Also, a stat that went sort of unnoticed is Kitna rushing for 2 TDs and 156 yards last season which was good for an extra 28 fantasy points and nullifies the high INT total. Not bad production for an 8th rounder.

Rushing TDs for a QB are very unpredictable and I don’t believe Vince Young duplicates his 7 from last season. Couple that with the fact that his WRs are trash and he completed an unbelievably low 51.5% of his passes last year and I think you should probably bank on Young only as a bench player. VY is a winner, there is no doubt about that, but for fantasy purposes I think he has too much bust potential.

Hasselbeck doesn’t have as many weapons as in the past and everyone is always down on guys who are coming off an injury season. This could mean you can get a big time QB late in your draft. Hass is a gunslinger thats still in his prime and still playing in the same offensive system that sent him to the Pro Bowl only two years ago. I would be fine with Matt Hass as my fantasy QB in 2007 if I had and edge in skill position talent earlier in the draft.

Romo is usually going to be the next guy off the board. He is unproven, but from what we saw last year, Romo could put up very nice fantasy numbers playing for an entire season. He has Owens, Glenn, Witten, and the underrated Crayton to throw to and he likes to get mobile and throw down field. Bottom line is Romo is another guy from the handful that has 25 TD and 3,800 yard potential.

QB Conclusion/Overview

I would tell you to target Peyton if he is available in the end of the 1st or beginning of the 2nd round. If you miss out on Peyton then start looking at Palmer/Brees in the third round. If you can get a tier 1 WR or Gates in the 3rd then thats where I would go instead. Brady is going to go earlier than I would select him so you won’t see him on my team this year. Best case scenario here is its your pick in the 5th round and the skill position field is starting to thin but you realize Bulger is still available. If you can’t get Bulger then you are in the last question territory. You have already missed the big 5 so get a good 3rd WR and consider McNabb a round later. After McNabb goes then screw it, your going to have question marks at quarterback so stock up on talent elsewhere and look for Kitna/Hass/Romo later on. If you get one of those guys or Phil Rivers then just remember to grab a backup not too long after. Personally I like Eli, Leinart, Alex Smith, and Favre as very solid backups with potential to be starters. Remember that its not necessarily the QB you select, its where you take them and what you are able to surround them with.

Other Notes

-Reggie Bush looks like hes ready to really set it off this season. He’s the featured player in that Saints offense. Bush is in the best shape of his life with some added muscle. He is running patient instead of pressing, while still showing that insane explosiveness. Just think of it as Sean Payton increasing his workload while expecting the type of play we saw at the end of 2006 when he produced about 500 yards and 7 TDs in December.

-Adrian Peterson is for real. Get him on your team if possible. Your looking at first round production if he takes over the job full time or Taylor gets injured. And even in a time share you need to think Peterson will get the goal line carries and produce a decent amount of touchdowns. The 43-yard run that included a Madden spin move, truck stick, and blowing by a fast Jon Vilma on the sidelines last week was tantilizing.

-WRs are underrated and the talent pool is pretty shallow if your league starts three of them. All the draft experts say to go RB/RB in rounds 1 and 2 but I disagree with that philosophy this season. I’ll go RB/RB if I’m able to get 2 studs, but in the latter part of the second round I take Steve/Chad/Harrison over a suspect RB like Ronnie Brown or Benson any day of the week. After the top dozen RBs there is a dropoff where there isn’t much difference between the 2nd and 3rd round talent. The amount of running back by committees these days assures you that some good talent is going to slip to the 3rd and 4th rounds. Running back is actually a deep position this season. Let your fellow GMs select Ronnie Brown/Randy Moss while you take Chad Johnson/ Brandon Jacobs in rounds 2/3. Also, take a look at the WR rankings this season. After the top 15 it starts to get scarce and then after the top 25 it starts to get uncomfortably thin. Get your three WRs on board before you look for a backup RB. Good players like Cadillac, Julius Jones and Tatum Bell can be had late in the draft. You do not want to be stuck with Cotchery and Berrian as your WR2 and WR3s because you waited too long to fill them out.

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50 Cent: Not Quite Washed Up

August 27, 2007

50

If last Tuesday’s T.I., Ciara, T-Pain and Young Joc concert proved anything, it’s this: 50 Cent can still kill it in the right situation.

Fiddy showed up in the middle of Ciara’s set at the Tweeter Center, giving everyone there a breather from the deep-voiced, sucky-singing songstress, who seemed like she’s facing a career crossroads deciding whether to be a pop star or a rap diva.

For some reason – maybe to promote his new album, which after four dud singles he decided to hype with a straight up challenge to Kayne – 50 Cent has been everywhere. He was at Summer Jam at Tweeter earlier in the year, he was with Rage and Wu Tang in New York and now here he was, at the place where he’d been booed two months prior (“Hey, I’m not even supposed to be here”), rapping his verse from Ciara’s “Can’t Leave ‘Em.”

Maybe it was because everyone was sick of Ciara, or because the predominately female crowd got to see 50 with his shirt off, but for whatever reason, the place erupted. They went wild when he first came out and absolutely lost it when he launched into “I Get Money,” complete with an 8 Mile-esque, full-crowd hand bounce as a white strobe light pulsated to the beat.

I have to say, it was very, very ill. And I don’t even like 50 that much.

But you gotta give the guy a little credit – he is trying. He vowed that he’ll quit making solo albums if his latest record doesn’t outsell Kayne’s, scheduled to be released the same day.

It’ll at least be interesting to see how that pans out. Kayne’s CD already has two pretty big hits, especially considering that everyone you know sweats the ultra-addictive, 80s-flavored “Stronger.” Couple that with Mr. West’s high probability for a Grammy, considering he’s only getting better and is now well-respected in the music industry and pop world alike, and his selling appeal seems to be at its peak.

But this is 50 Cent, after all, and it’s always risky to doubt him. People love him and his beats will bump in trunk subs and night clubs everywhere, no matter how absurd the lyrics are (“Some rides go fast/Some rides go slow”).

And if last Tuesday proved anything, he can still get a crowd going.


J.D. Drew Comes as Advertised

August 19, 2007

J.D. Drew

Everything they said about J.D. Drew was right.

He doesn’t look like he cares. He’s too content to take a walk. He’s not aggressive at the plate. He plays decent defense. He runs well. He’ll get on base at a decent clip. He’ll be nagged by injuries. The fans will probably dislike him.

But – it was always said – if healthy, his numbers will be there at the end of the year.

Well……WTF?!: .265 AVG, 6 HR, 45 RBI – What’s wrong with this guy?

Sunday was the last straw for me. With the Sox down 3-1 in the eighth inning with two outs and runners on first and second, Drew hit for Bobby Kielty. Well, he didn’t actually hit . Drew stood there and watched six pitches go by him, striking out looking on a pitch on the outside corner.

Just another example of J.D. Drew letting an opportunity pass, failing to protect the plate and be aggressive in a time when a base hit is certainly more valuable than a walk. One of these days Drew has to step up and get the job done himself instead of waiting for someone else – usually the guy hitting behind him – to do it.

The Red Sox didn’t sign Drew to be a leadoff hitter.

And this isn’t about the money. The Sox are big market club. Part of being a big market club is spending $14 million a season to woo a free agent outfielder to patrol a tough right field and hit fifth behind your big boppers. I’d be upset even if he was making $1 million.

The Sox lack of production from the No. 5 spot in the order is staggering. I was listening to WEEI the other day and Dale and Holley read off some of the numbers. I don’t remember the figures exactly and had a hard time tracking them down, but the Sox ranked something like 28th in the league in home runs and close to that in RBI. The Sox No. 5 hitters produced 14 home runs, also near the bottom.

Of course, as we all know, the Red Sox had this same problem last year. But Drew was supposed to fix it.

He hit .283 with 20 homers and 100 runs batted in for the Dodgers last year – numbers that would have been more than adequate had he done the same with the Sox (I’m not asking for his 2004 MVP candidate season with Atlanta when he hit .305 with 31 jacks and 93 batted in).

But at some point, doesn’t this guy have to heat up? For more than two/three games? Doesn’t he have to start going the other way and maybe swing at a pitch that may be just outside the plate if it means solid contact to drive in a run or move a guy over?

It makes the Sox failed attempt to acquire Jermaine Dye even more significant. I wanted Dye more than Gagne. It’s not that I thought Gagne would be bad (who could have predicted this?), it’s just that I thought another bat in the lineup was a more pressing need.

If Drew continues to do what he did Sunday, that need might be exposed in the postseason. Or maybe sooner.


Calvin Johnson sparks memories

August 17, 2007

[The blog has been a little slow with William’s slacking so here’s a little writeup I did when I was bored.]

I was watching the Lions preseason game the other night, and seeing Calvin Johnson catch his first couple passes in a Lions uniform had me thinking. Who are the best college players I have seen over the last five years? I’m picking five years because that’s how long I have been deeply entrenched in college football and the NFL draft. So I’m going to write it up in list form for the USS because everyone loves a list. Some players came to mind right away. These are guys that I watched personally and was blown away by. All of them were on a different level than other college players and would dominate games on the reg.

8. Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma– AD was just power and explosiveness. Hard to describe unless you saw how angry he ran at Oklahoma. He was dominating the land as a freshman. I wish he stayed healthier so we could have seen more highlights. He is the best pure runner to come out of college since Tomlinson.

7. Terence Newman, Kansas State– You’re saying huh? Newman was that good? Oh yea he was. I thought Cincinnati should have taken him at number 1 overall. ESPN showed a K-State game one night and I was amazed. Newman was the best receiver’s shadow. He wasn’t even tested at corner and when he was he would pick it for six. Newman also played offense and was an amazing kick returner. Its hard for a DB to take over games but Newman did. Pay attention to Newman this year. He is the most underrated corner in the game if you ask me. The guy doesn’t make probowls, but at one point last year he was on a streak of one touchdown allowed in 2 entire seasons.

6. Terrell Suggs, Arizona State- They started showing ASU games nationally just because of Suggs. He was this muscled up speed freak with the scary neck roll just burning off the edge and eating quarterbacks. Suggs was literally unblockable in college. He ran a crap 40 time and was a little undersized so his draft stock slipped. Now he has settled in nicely as an all pro pass rushing LB for the Ravens.

5. Larry Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh- Fitz grew up as the ball boy for the Vikings. The kid has been running routes since he could walk. Fitz might not have been as gifted athletically as the others on this list in terms of burst and raw strength but he made up for it with a polished skill set. He was running better routes as a sophomore in college than most professionals. Teams couldn’t keep him out of the end zone even though they knew where it was going. 36 touchdowns in 26 career games, and at one point caught a TD in 18 straight games

4. Carson Palmer, Southern California- Palmer played in a great offense and he just diced college defenses for a living. Leinart played on better teams and was definitely great, but Palmer was more impressive. He had a golden arm and threw the best looking ball I might have ever seen.

3. Sean Taylor, Miami- Taylor was literally bigger than a lot of linebackers. He ran like a corner. He hit harder than anyone in the country. He just roamed and picked off anything in his area code due to great instincts and ball skills. And when he intercepted the ball he was probably bringing it to the house since he was one of the best RB in the country in high school. Taylor was flawless as a prospect besides character. He was expected to be the best safety in the NFL within a year. If he stays out of jail and is used right in Washington then watch out. Players polled in SI just voted him as the hardest hitter in the game.

2. Calvin Johnson, Georgia Tech- Calvin Johnson is the truest. He is a dream. Definitely the most complete prospect on this list. Size? He’s got 2 inches and 15 pounds on Terrell Owens. Speed? He ran a 4.3 laser time 40 yard dash in someone else’s shoes at the combine which makes him one of the fastest guys in the NFL at 240 pounds. Leaping ability? Um, he has a 45 inch vertical leap. To put that vertical in perspective, Lebron’s is 44 inches. Those are just Calvin’s measurables though. The kid runs good routes even though he could cruise on his athletic ability. His hands are unbelievable too. On top of all that, he is a big time character guy, very smart and humble. He might not dominate right away as the number 2 in Detroit, but this kid has no ceiling.

 

1. Reggie Bush, Southern California- Reggie is not the prospect that some of these guys are on paper, but he was the most electric player I’ve ever seen. Calvin was somewhat limited in terms of individually dominating games because he was just a WR with a terrible quarterback throwing to him. USC used Bush as the ultimate offensive weapon and it allowed him to take over games. A threat to go the distance with every touch and an ability to make people miss like we hadn’t seen since Barry Sanders on Turkey day in the 90’s. Reggie put up 2,611 all purpose yards and scored 18 touchdowns in his Heisman winning 2005 season.

reggie bush hurdle


Fantasy Football Primer 2007

August 9, 2007

chad johnson yahoo

Training camps are in full gear. The first pre season game happened last Sunday. Your thinking about the Patriots more and more. Football season is upon us and in short time you will be gathered up with your buddies for your fantasy football draft. Tonight I’m gonna get you guys primed if you haven’t been in the lab yet. My league had a draft lottery a month ago so I’ve been doing my homework. Lets go over a mock first round of an 8 man league with standard scoring, a couple theories and strategies, and a few guys who could blow up and win you a title.

Mock 1st Round

1. Ladainian Tomlinson – This is a no brainer folks. Don’t get cute and try something silly here. LT is the clear cut number one for every reason in the book. With that being said, he can’t really get any better than he already is. Remember that last year LT was the consensus number 3 overall pick behind LJ and Shaun. Also realize that LDT at number 1 and then the last pick of the 2nd and 1st pick of the 3rd round is going to leave you with more projected points than everyone else in your league. While that is a very good thing, your going to hear the “Yea you made the playoffs, anyone would have with LT” argument. But, bottom line, take LT and subsequently take your other managers money. If I had this pick I would go with 2 blue chip WR’s at picks 16 and 17. A core of LDT, Chad Johnson, Steve Smith, Javon Walker, Cadillac Williams?… Lock it up.

2. Steven Jackson – Stud. Caught almost 100 balls last year. Did have a heavy workload last season but noone besides LT is such a sure pick. No real question marks for this all around monster.

3. Frank Gore – Now it starts to get a little iffy. Frank Gore at 3? Yup, Frank Gore. 1700 yards on the ground and another 500 through the air. Couple that with the fact that Gore has no threat of losing 3rd down or goal line carries and you have your 3rd overall pick of the draft. Gore has had both shoulders and knees operated on though so that injury history is a legitimate concern. Upside and talent warrants the pick in my opinion though. Realize that Gore was ahead of Portis and McGahee on the depth chart at Miami for a reason.

4. Larry Johnson – LJ is holding out right now. He also has been run into the ground. History shows that the majority of running backs get injured following a season of over 375 rush attempts, LJ rushed for an all time high 416 times and caught another 41 passes last year. Use like that, especially with LJ’s power running style, puts a beating on your body. LJ’s yards per carry also fell almost a full yard from 05 to 06. He lost all pro Will Shields on the OL which is worth noting. And oh yea, Priest Holmes is in camp and might be getting 8-10 carries per game this year. So why go with LJ if he has these concerns? Because everyone has question marks but not everyone has scored 40 touchdowns with 3500 yards over the past 2 seasons. You need to decide for yourself which pick is a sound investment on LJ given his risk/reward projection.

5. Joseph Addai – Full time duty now and in the most explosive offense since the greatest show on turf. Addai is very solid but its the opportunity that gets him selected this early. I think 1500 yards on the ground and being very active in the passing game is a lock for Addai. They will use him like they used Edge, huge potential. Watch for DeDe Dorsey in pre season to figure if he stands to get some touches as a spell for Addai.

6. Shaun Alexander – 27 touchdown season was only 2 years ago. Alexander is getting older though and last year he worried me a little. He looked like he lost just enough of that burst to take a step backwards this year in a declining Seattle offense. Still, he needs to go this early because of the fact that anything close to his season 2 years ago would put you in a good spot to cash in.

7. Brian Westbrook – Injury concerns, but he broke out last year when he got 240 rushes. Westbrook is a gamebreaker and a threat to take any of his 77 receptions to the hizzle.

8. Willie Parker – Fast Willie Parker is a rock. He racks up big yardage and TD’s in a system that fully features him. You can justify taking Parker as early as number five.

In that first round your guaranteed a stud RB. After picks 1 and 2, I personally would prefer the lowest pick possible due to the earlier 2nd round pick. I drew the 4th pick in my league but traded 4th/17th for 8th/13th (10 team lg). Anyway, other guys you can strongly consider in the first are Rudi, Peyton, Maroney.

Peyton obviously holds more value in leagues where td passes are worth 6 pts rather than 4. But remember Peyton does not miss games, is still in his prime, and is only 2 years removed from that 48 TD pass season. If you believe in him, you can justify Peyton as early as you want in the first round. Just realize that a QB that early pushes all your WR and RB talent back a round.

-You want to understand the concept of tiers or drop offs in value. Decide when there is a significant production dropoff in your positional rankings for each position and group those players into tiers. For example Jackson and LT would be tier 1. Gore, Alexander, LJ, Addai would be tier 2, etc. Then if you aren’t sure whether to draft a WR or RB in the 3rd round, then take a look at who is available at those positions. If Edge/Benson/Jacobs/Jones are all available and in the same 3rd tier, but Roy Williams is the last guy left in your tier 1 WR’s, then you select Roy and target one of the tier 3 RB’s next round. Realize that if you don’t get Peyton early, then miss out on Brees/Brady/Palmer/Bulger, you are going to want to wait a while to get your quarterback. This comes in handy when position runs start. Say you have Chad/Steve/Harrison/TO/Fitz/Roy in tier 1 for WR and all of a sudden 5 of them come off the board right in front of you. Well then its a good idea to finish that run and select whoever is left because you get a guy with similar value at a later pick. You want to finish runs, not start them. Now if all 6 of your tier 1 wr came off the board and the pick is to you? Then look at a different position for a stud and come back to your tier 2 WR’s later. Im sorry if this concept sounds complicated, its really not, and it will help you immensely if you understand it.

-Look up ADP, or average draft position. Try Ant Sports ADP and plug in your league settings. Knowing ADP is important because you can map out where you want to target certain players. You can go into the draft with a better plan. It tells you on average where the masses are selecting people. So if you see Steve Smith available at pick 25 and you know his ADP in 10 team leagues is 16, its a good idea to select him. There is a lot of value in that pick. If you know ADP, you wont be reaching for picks too early. The problem with reach picks are not that they aren’t good players, its that you could have got the same guy in a later round.

-Know your other managers. Keep track of who the other teams are selecting. If its on you and you own picks 28 and 33 and you are targeting Javon Walker and Brandon Jacobs then you can probably get both of them if you have been paying attention. In this situation team 9 has picks 29/32 and team 10 has 30/31. Now you look at your sheets and see that team 9 and 10 both went RB/RB in round 1 and 2 and are dying to get in on the WR run. Jacobs isn’t going to get picked by either of them but If you leave Walker on the table, he will get scooped. With pick 28 you select Walker, then 4 more WR go off the board and Jacobs is sitting there for you at 33. Just because you took Peyton and Ronnie Brown in round 1 and 2 and were thrilled to get Jacobs in the 3rd, it doesn’t mean you have to take him there. A little thinking netted you your targeted WR along with Jacobs. If you took Jacobs at 28 then you are looking at a large downgrade at WR.

-There is such a large difference between the tier 1 defenses (Baltimore and Chicago) and the rest of the pack, that they actually warrant a relatively high pick this year. But if you don’t get one of the top 2, I would recommend waiting until very late to grab one. NE,SD, Jax, Carolina are all unknowns. Don’t waste a draft pick on them if a sleeper skill position pick is still available.

-You do your damage in the later rounds. The early picks keep you competitive but that late ones win leagues. Guys like Colston, Jones-Drew, Gore all gave people a huge advantage last season. Take upside often. Get solid veteran backups in case you suffer an injury, but the upside guys like Adrian Peterson are the ones that are lottery tickets.

-Pay attention to career arc. You want younger guys that are getting better and stronger with breakout potential. I stay away from anyone I think is going to have a worse year than the year previous if at all possible. Look for Roy Williams over Donald Driver, Maroney over Edge, etc.

-Draft guys you are completely sold on. Do not make picks that are going to have you leaving the draft and wondering if it was the right move. If you think LJ is gonna get hurt this year, dont draft him, take someone safer. Be completely sold on all of your picks and you’ll have a lot more fun and sleep easier.

-Chad Johnson is in for a huge year. No Chris Henry and a 100% Palmer are gonna mean big things. Chad is going to get vertical early and often. He is my number one ranked WR this year. Steve Smith might have a higher ceiling but I think Chad is a can’t miss.

-Look a little deeper. Game logs and especially watching the actual games will give you a better read on the type of season players had than just final numbers. Consistent 10 points per week from a WR is usually more valuable then guys leaving you out to dry most weeks and then blowing up for 40 on other weeks like Galloway, Santana, Evans. In a head to head league you want to bring 100 points to the table every week rather than 80, 80, 140. When I look at Maurice Jones-Drew’s 2006 a little closer it worries me. The kid has loads of talent and gets touches even though Taylor is the primary ball carrier. Hes young, explosive, and scores a lot of TD’s. So whats not to like? Well he had a couple real long runs last season that I don’t know we can bank on in 2007 (The non tackle in the Pats game). Then you look at 13 touchdowns. That is a huge number that is going to be really hard to match and even harder to surpass in 2007, especially since bruiser Greg Jones is healthy. So even though MJD is exciting, you can reasonably expect a small decline in 2007 when you look a little closer at the numbers. Now if Fred Taylor goes down, thats a different story. Bottom line, do more homework than just looking at last years totals when evaluating a player.

Sleepers and Undervalued

Anthony Gonzalez, WR Colts- Draft him later but hes gonna be the new Stokely for the Colts. Manning has already been throwing to him for months even though he is a rookie.

Jerious Norwood, RB Falcons- Great system, explosive RB, Dunn is hurting and should give up the job this year.

Reggie Brown, WR Eagles- McNabb loves him and its his 3rd year. Should all come together for him

Carnell Williams, RB Bucs- Theres a reason he started over Ronnie Brown at Auburn. TB’s offense was crap last year. Garcia should help and Cadillac should be more like the one we saw in 2005.

Tatum Bell, RB Lions- Mike Martz does great things for fantasy football. Tatum is winning the job right now because Jones isn’t healthy yet. Tatum is faster than Jones though, hes a home run threat. Martz is going to get him touches and let him hit the afterburners. Can’t stack 8 in the box with Roy/Calvin on the outside.

Chris Chambers, WR Dolphins- He is too good to be as bad as last season. Im not giving up on him yet. I’ll blame last year on the QB situation.

Adrian Peterson, RB Vikings- He is a Chester Taylor injury away from being a top 10 fantasy player before he even takes a snap in the league. AD is the best pure runner to enter into the league since LT. Power, explosive, elusive, strong. He can run all day.

Roy Williams, WR Lions- Roy racked up yards and big plays last season in the Martz offense. Roy has sick hands, runs great routes, and is explosive fast for a big WR. Look for an uptick in TD’s though this season. Martz system doesn’t use the fade pattern often but he promised Roy that he will be seeing more of them in the end zone this season after realizing its a skill that hasn’t been utilized enough. Roy could end up as a top 4 fantasy WR this season.

Greg Olsen, TE Bears- Shockey, Winslow, Olsen. The U pumps out these freaky athletic pass catching TE’s. Olsen has been tearing it up in Bears practice and Urlacher recently said Olsen is the best tight end he has ever seen, and he wasn’t kidding.

Priest Holmes, RB Chiefs- The guy has made a career from proving people wrong. If LJ holds out or gets hurt why cant Priest have a comeback year in the phenomenal Chiefs run system? He still has the vision and you gotta remember he didn’t retire because of any leg problems. Due to being a backup in Baltimore Priest’s odometer isn’t anything alarming. He has less career carries than Shaun, LT, Edge. Its a deep sleeper but I really wouldn’t be shocked if Priest is a factor again at age 34.


Why Citizen Kane is Overrated

August 7, 2007

Kane

(Ed.’s Note: The following is an entry by Tevlin crtiquing the movie Citizen Kane, which was recently dubbed the No. 1 Greatest Movie by the American Film Industry on its annual CBS special. It’s written in a sort of broadcast news format. Cue the morse code…) 

This just in, “Citizen Kane Overrated.” It recently has come to the attention of numerous film critics, including myself, that Orson Wells’ 1941 film, Citizen Kane, is one of the most overrated films in the history of American Cinema. No other film stirs such talk of prestige and importance than this epic work. Additionally, no other film on any list of ‘top-rated’ films goes as unwatched as this “masterpiece.” Arguments over Citizen Kane’s brilliance have recently begun to surface and this reporter is willing to be the first to boldly take a stand against the film.

Friday night, tired from an exhausting week, looking to unwind and relax? Well then this writer has no other suggestion to you than to watch the classic film, Citizen Kane. If you have had trouble sleeping and want a sure fire way to get a goodnight’s rest than you should rent, if you can even find it at your local video store, Citizen Kane! There has never been such a celebrated film that no one wants to watch again in their lives. People may rant and rave about the films innovating techniques but pacing certainly wasn’t one of them.

If you’re looking for a way to ‘wow’ a the pretty girl at the bar, start off talking about the film’s use of deep focus, lead into acting and its visual style and then pull the trigger by mentioning how metaphoric the film is and even though the film is a satire about Billy Hearst (act as though you guys were close), it really ends up being about Orson Wells. If this doesn’t work, then invite her back to you dirty dorm room for some delicious Ramen Noodles where you insist on showing her your awesome closet-door-beirut table and special edition DVD copy of CK (by this point in the night your goal is right around the corner and I’m sure she’ll be more impressed if you’re using abbreviations and film jargon she doesn’t understand). If she isn’t waking up next to you in your bed than I bet you have other issues with personality or commitment. I am only one man and not a magician. Side note: I in no ways support or condone the private viewing of this film as a way to seduce women into hanging out in your crappy dorm room or agreeing to anything you or your film-buff college buddies can imagine.

But if it seems you don’t need tips on how to woo a woman and are interested in this film for other reasons than I have some further advice for you: Don’t watch it. That’s about it. Other than a supplement to some film history class you might be attending, I, as a film-guy myself, can see no additional reason to watch Citizen Kane. This film is the type of movie you never want to watch. Well then why is it considered the greatest film of all time? Because, many of these people who support it haven’t even seen the movie and simply follow the popular trend, one could assume. Trust me, you’ll thank this guy ::points to self:: if you don’t waste two hours of your life on this.

In summary, Citizen Kane is a film that offers many contributions technically for the film industry such as editing techniques like the dissolve, deep focus, innovative story telling and a highly original critique of the most successful man at the time the film was produced. However, Citizen Kane is a very slow film that is dull and seems to drag on at many times. The film may be highly celebrated, but it isn’t highly watched.

“The greatest film no one want to see,” is how I would dub it personally. As an interesting way to look at American filmmaking, this film is perfect. But, as a way to spend some time and enjoy a movie, this film is bottom of the barrel.


Boston abuzz over new guys

August 1, 2007

KGGagne

Boston was abuzz yesterday with trade talk. Everyone who likes sports was on the phone calling their best friend, dad or roommate, online scouring ESPN, TrueHoop and Boston Dirt Dogs looking for the latest info, watching ESPN News, or listening to WEEI.

The place was nuts. I felt like Peter Gammons yesterday fielding calls about potential trades.

And at the end of the day? The Celtics officially got Kevin Garnett while the Red Sox missed out on Jermaine Dye then acquired Eric Gagne. Not a bad day, eh?

Now look at this:
Kevin Garnett
Ray Allen
Daisuke Matsuzaka
Eric Gagne
Adalius Thomas
Donte Stallworth
Randy Moss

The list reads like a preliminary bracket for an ESPN ‘Who’s Now?’ segment. Instead it’s the names of the stars acquired by Boston teams in just the last calendar year. Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

Couple that with incumbent one-namers Brady, Ortiz, Manny, Schilling, Seymour and Pierce, and Boston has its own Star Market (you can steal that phrase).

Now let’s take a look at what yesterday meant to each Beantown big club.

Red Sox
Apparently trying to channel the 1996-2000 New York Yankees that rolled out John Wettleland, Jeff Nelson, Ramiro Mendoza, Mike Stanton et al to set-up Mariano Rivera, the Sox are trying to win it all with the best bullpen in baseball.

A lead after six innings means a dose of Gagne, Hideki Okajima and Jonathan Papelbon in some order. Wow. When you have Manny Delcarmen and Mike Timlin pitching mop-up innings, you know you’re in good shape.

Still, I think the Sox made a big mistake not getting Dye. I even wanted him more than Gagne. Theo Epstein reportedly offered Wily Mo Pena and Craig Hansen for the White Sox right fielder, but apparently Chicago GM Ken Williams wanted Delcarmen. You’re telling me the Sox wouldn’t deal Delcarmen for a much-needed right-handed bat when they already had a deal for Gagne in place?

Curious move considering the acquisition of Gagne makes Manny D expendable and the fact that the offense has been sputtering for the better part of a month, with about zero production from J.D. Horrbs, I mean Drew.

The addition of Dye would have given the Sox the flexibility to sit Drew against all lefties and rest the ailing Ortiz a lot more (I think you’re gonna see him get a lot of days off during the stretch run) without losing any production. A right-handed power hitter who plays good D, Dye could have really helped this club, especially considering that he’s a proven postseason performer (World Series MVP, anyone?). I guess you can’t have it all, but I absolutely would have pulled the trigger on this one.

Celtics
The Celtics managed to steal the headlines on a day usually dominated by the Fenway club – the Major League Baseball trading deadline. The trade for KG obviously makes the Celtics an instant contender, but it does something else secretly, something maybe even more important: it makes other players want to come here.

Agents were reportedly calling the Celtics yesterday , informing the team that their clients would like to be a part of what’s going on here. Everyone knows the Green are in the market for a veteran point guard and an experienced big man. According to the Boston Herald, the Celtics are looking at Eddie House, Troy Hudson, Brevin Knight and Charlie Bell for the point position, as well as Dikembe Mutombo, P.J. Brown, Michael Ruffin, Calvin Booth and Scott Pollard at center/forward.

I really like Brevin Knight and think he’d be the best fit. I also like Bell, but he’s a restricted free agent, meaning Milwaukee could match any C’s offer. As for the big man, Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge both admitted Mutombo’s their next target. If the Celts can sign both of them using the mid-level exception, we’d have quite a team on our hands.

Mutombo could come off the bench to spell Kendrick Perkins and KG or, if you want to get sexy with it, start alongside Garnett in the basketball version of the twin towers. And whether the point player is Knight, Bell or whoever, their job will be simple: tutor Rajon Rondo and play serious minutes if the kid falters.

The marketing blitz already started for the Celts — already in today’s paper was an ad with Allen, Pierce and KG saying “We’ve got the big ticket. Time to get yours.” With season tickets expected to skyrocket and single-game packages likely to sell out, the C’s are the newest hottest ticket in town.

New England Patriots
Don’t forget the Pats, who went wild this offseason, picking up Moss, Stallworth, Thomas, Wes Welker and re-upping Junior Seau. They’re an instant 99 in Madden. Before the Sox and Celts trades, the Pats were eating up the airwaves with the constant Moss watch as well as the 10-man battle for the top five receiving slots.

Don’t forget this team also has Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Rosevelt Colvin, Lawrence Maroney, Ben Watson and maybe Asante Samuel. Absolutely loaded. I don’t know how they do it. But whatever it is, it seems to have rubbed off on the other teams in the region.
Bruins
Who? Oh…the hockey team. The B’s did trade for Minnesota goaltender Manny Fernandez a few weeks ago, but still, sorry guys, you’re becoming less relevant than the New England Revolution.

Now if we could only get Beckham…