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Monday, October 31, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: REDSKINS CLAIM RB TASHARD CHOICE OFF WAIVERS

The Washington Redskins were awarded the waiver claim on deposed Dallas Cowboys RB Tashard Choice on Monday.  Choice was cut by the Cowboys last week and the addition to the Redskins hints that the team is not happy with the play of Ryan Torain.

Analysis:  Choice is worth a look since the door is wide open to the starting job in Washington since no one has been able to run the ball there.  You could get a nice bonus back the rest of the season there.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: GIANTS WR HAKEEM NICKS' MRI COMES BACK CLEAN ON HAMSTRING, IS DAY-TO-DAY

New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks got a clean bill of health from the MRI he had on the hamstring he injured during Sunday's win over the Dolphins.  Nicks didnt return to the game but the MRI showed nothing but some mild inflammation.  He is fully confident of playing this week.

Analysis:  Great news for Nicks and his fantasy football owners.  He likely will miss a practice or two but expect Nicks to be suited up for this week's game against the Patriots. 

FANTASY BASEBALL NEWS: YANKEES SP CC SABBATHIA DOESNT OPT OUT

In surprising news, New York Yankees ace SP CC Sabbathia didnt opt out of his contract which almost everyone expected heading into today.  Sabbathia apparently loves playing in New York and felt it wasnt worth another venture into the open market.

Analysis:  CJ Wilson is very happy that Sabbathia didnt opt out as he now is the best starting pitcher available for the Hot Stove League.  As far as Sabbathia is concerned, he remains one of the best starters in the game but one who garnered a bit of worry due to the weight gain he had last season.  Still he is as consistent as they come so dont downgrade him too much.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8: WHAT WE LEARNED

Another weekend down the tubes in fantasy football as the march to the playoffs continue.  If you are  like me slogging through a frustrating season (4-4 in my one money league of which I am defending champ) than you know each week is growing in its importance.  Lets take a look at some of the themes that caught my attention.

1. Eli Manning and Ben Rotethlisberger Are Top Fantasy Football Passers:  Both Manning and  Big Ben were looked at as being in the second tier of fantasy football QB's this past drafting season, right behind Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Michael Vick, and Phillip Rivers.  Well halfway through the season, both guys have performed like they belong at the head of the class as Manning threw for two more scores Sunday with 349 yards while  Roethlisberger threw for three scores and 364 yards. With Rivers and at times Vick playing inconsistently, Manning and Roethlisberger have sailed smack dab into the rankings level of both.  They should continue putting up nice passing numbers in the formerly run dominated offenses they man.

2.  Ray Rice and LeSean McCoy No Longer Have Obstacles To Greatness:  Both Rice and McCoy are smaller backs who  has immense physical skills that have launched them to superstardom.  The are unique in their ability to both contribute in the running and passing games but up until this season, a bunch of their value was siphoned away by complementary backs (Willis McGahee and various Eagles backs) who took the goal line touches.  Unencumbered by that aspect in 2011, Rice and McCoy have now become the total package  with big time yards and catches to go along with touchdowns.  They will be right there at the top to challenge for the honors of fantasy football MVP.

3.  The Lions Defense Is Sick:  I hope you all took my preseason advice to select the under the radar Detroit Lions  defense coming into the season as they have absolutely ran roughshod over the Denver Broncos yesterday.  They sacked Tim Tebow 6 times, intercepted a pass, and took a fumble for a score.  In some leagues that  was over 30 points scored by a DEFENSE!!!!  Clearly all of the pass rushers are causing havoc in opposing backfields and its not a stretch to say they are the most impactful unit in the entire league.  Hope you listened to me there.

That's all for now.  As always keep checking for updates as they occur.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 INFIRMARY REPORT

After a very rough Week 7 as far as injuries are concerned, Week 8 was a bit lighter in that respect.  Lets take a look at the nicks (sorry for the pun) and bruises that you need to be aware of.

1.  Hakeem Nicks (hamstring, headed for MRI):  No stranger to getting hurt, Nicks came up lame in the fourth quarter and didn't return in the team's win over the Dolphins.  He said afterward it felt like a cramp which doesnt sound too bad but the team wants him to go for an MRI which should worry you a bit.  Nicks could very well miss Week 9 and Victor Cruz is the add to make.

2.  Montario Hardesty (calf):  Hardesty came out of the team's loss to the 49ers with a calf strain and this was on the heels of Peyton Hillis sitting out again with his hamstring injury.  Hardesty could sit next week but it doesn't matter anyway since Hillis is expected to come back.  Cut him loose if the news if bad tomorrow.

3.  Kevin Kolb (foot):  Kolb was seen after the game in a walking boot after hurting his foot in the second half of the team's loss to the Ravens.  Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said this could be something Kolb has to deal with all season and since he hasn't even played well when totally healthy, don't hesitate to cut him loose.

Week 8 Scratches:

1.  Peyton Hillis (hamstring):  Hillis sat out his second straight game with a bum hamstring after suffering a setback in practice last week.  He will try to return to the field this week but clearly the issue is still a problem to worry about.

2.  Andre Johnson (hamstring):  Johnson practices a bit last week but still didn't feel 100 percent.  The team feels he will be back for Week 9 but he still has to get through some practices before we can feel confident in this.  He is 50/50 for next week in my view.

3.  Hines Ward (hamstring):  Geez there are a lot of hamstring injuries.  Ward sat out Sunday since he didn't practice all week.  With Antonio Brown playing great in his place, the team wont rush him back.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 RUNNING BACK WRAPUP

You know the drill.  Lets get right into how all the fantasy football running backs performed in Week 8.

Ahmad Bradshaw:  50 yards rushing along with 5 catches for 38 yards.  Bradshaw continues to be a disappointment and this doesnt change things.  Really he has had one big game and thats it.  Maybe we all overvalued him.

Arian Foster:  112 rushing yards 1 TD along with 1 catch for 12 yards.  A little light in the receiving game but Foster continues to play at a very high level.

Maurice Jones-Drew:  63 yards rushing 1 TD along with 1 catch for 11 yards.  Jones-Drew just doesnt catch passes anymore which is shocking since he was so good at it but at least he is getting into the end zone.  Thats about the best thing I could say about the former top five pick.

Beanie Wells:  83 rushing yards and 1 TD.  He toughed it out and scored but most of you sat him anyway against the Ravens.

Ray Rice:  63 yards rushing 3 TD's along with 7 catches for 36 yards.  Rice is proving the Ravens never needed Willis McGahee for the in close TD's.  I said in the summer to draft him over everyone but Arian Foster.  Yup.

Steven Jackson:  159 yards rushing and TD's along with 4 catches for 32 yards.  This was a turn back the clock game for Jackson and the first major outing he has had in awhile.  There is still a bit of tread left on those tires.

Adrian Peterson:  86 yards rushing and 1 TD along with 5 catches for 76 yards and 1 TD.  Huge game for the NFL's leading rusher and here is the exciting thing if you are fortunate to be a Peterson owner:  the team made is a point in practice all week to get him involved in the passing game as it showed in this one.  Awesome times ahead.

Chris Johnson:  34 yards rushing along with 3 catches for 17 yards.  Johnson was pulled in the fourth quarter for Javon Ringer and after the game it was annoucned there woukd be a time share going forward.  Unreal.  I cant even take total credit when I said Johnson would be off to a bad start this season as I thought by now he would have worked off the rust.  Pick up Ringer and see where that goes.

Fred Jackson:  120 yards rushing along with 3 catches for 74 yards.  I love this guy.  He has been money all season and its amazing the value he is yielding this season.  Dont sell high by any means as this will continue on.

Frank Gore:  134 yards rushing and 1 TD.  I know this is nitpicking but Gore is pulling an MJD and vanishing in the passing game.  Irregardless, Gore has been one of the best runners in the game for over a month now. 

Rashard Mendenhall:  70 yards rushing along with 3 catches for 22 yards.  This is now a passing offense which is not good for Mendenhall's numbers.  Hope you traded him after that one big game he has this season.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 QB WRAPUP

Lets not waste any time as we take a look at all of the fantasy football relevant QB performances in Week 8. 

Eli Manning:  349 yards 2 TD.  Manning is playing fantastic football and I am reaping the rewards of taking my own advice in wating to select him after the big name QB's were off the board.  Good stuff all the way around but keep in mind he tends to struggle when the weather gets rough.  Sell high if you can get a more stable long term guy.

Matt Schaub:  225 yards 1 TD along with 1 rushing TD.  Like Manning, Schaub has been real good with little pub.  With Andre Johnson getting set to come back, his future looks bright the rest of the way.

Joe Flacco:  336 yards 1 INT.  I am very disappointed in Flacco and its crazy how the guy seems to be going the other way in his development when he should be entering his prime years.  Sit him on the bench or cut him.  I dont care. 

Drew Brees:  269 yards 1 TD 2 INT.  I guarantee you that at least one of the Week 8 primers you read had Brees as the number 1 rated QB option this week.  What the hell was that?  You cant ever get mad at Brees but no doubt this was at least 150 yards and 2 TD's light of what was expected from him in this game.

Cam Newton:  290 yards 3 TD along with 53 rushing yards and 2 fumbles.  Newton is a monster.  There is no other way to put it.  I sold high on him since I already had Tony Romo and Eli Manning but maybe I should have kept him and dumped one of the other guys? 

Christian Ponder:  236 yards 1 TD.  I really like what I am seeing from Ponder but he was totally overshadowed by fellow rookie Newton.  Dont start him yet but those in two QB formats could not be blamed if you do.

Matt Hasselbeck:  224 yards 1 TD.  Hasselbeck's hot streak stopped about a month ago so leave him on the bench until he gets hot again which may not happen.

Matthew Stafford 267 yards 3 TD's.  Stafford could have done more but the game got way out of hand.  What ankle injury byu the way?

Tim Tebow:  172 yards 1 TD 1 INT along with 63 rushing yards.  Again the stats held up in the end but Tebow was horrible the first half.  Too much of a roller coaster ride to recommend.

Ryan Fitzpatrick:  262 yards 2 TD 1 INT.  Nice game for Fitzpatrick after he was shown the money.  Remains a solid lower end QB 1.

Andy Dalton:  168 yards 2 TD 2 INT.  I recommended Dalton this week for those who needed a bye week fill in and I would say he passed the eye test.

Alex Smith:  177 yards 1 TD.  Another game where Smith didnt blow you away but didnt hurt you either.  Perfect for two QB formats.

Tom Brady:  198 yards 2 TD.  Brady made the most of the few chances he had in this game.  Thats pretty much it.  He will be fine.

Ben Roethlisberger:  365 yards 2 TD 1 INT.  I got to admit that I might be a little too hard on Big Ben but I cant deny how great he has been the last month.  With the Steelers line looking like its getting in sync finally, this nice streak could very well last awhile.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: GIANTS WR HAKEEM NICKS SET FOR MRI MONDAY ON HAMSTRING

New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks is headed for an MRI Monday on the hamstring he injured in the second half of the team's win over the Miami Dolphins.  Nicks never returned to the game and claimed afterwards it felt like a cramp.  Victor Cruz will start in his place is he sits out next week.

Analysis:  Not good news at all as obviously the team is concerned enough about this to order the MRI.  Stay tuned as Nicks is about as big a receiving name as there is.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: TITANS TURN TO RB JAVON RINGER IN FOURTH QUARTER

The Tennessee Titans benched RB Chris Johnson in the fourth quarter and feed the ball to backup Javon Ringer to close out their win over the Indianapolis Colts.  Johnson once again struggled early on which has been the trend in every game this season and the team finally gave in to the promise Ringer has shown.  After the game head coach Mike Munchak said the two will splut carries for the time being.

Analysis:  If Johnson didnt just ink a huge contract, he would have been benched outright.  Ringer has played very well this season and he is now the guy to own in the Titans backfield as crazy as that is to say.  As for Johnson, my speech in the summer about how this would be an off season for the guy due to the holdout will go down as one of my best predictions ever.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BROWNS RB MONTARIO HARDESTY EXITS WITH CALF STRAIN

Cleveland Browns RB Montario Hardesty was forced out of Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers with a calf strain and is questionable to return.  This on the heels of the team deactivating RB Peyton Hillis at the outset.

Analysis:  The Browns are really hurting at running back right now and if you are a Hardesty owner, this is obviously bad news.  Its likely he will stay on the bench the rest of the way.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: GIANTS WR HAKEEM NICKS INJURED HAMSTRING IN WIN OVER DOLPHINS

In a bit of discouraging news, New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks injured his hamstring during the fourth quarter of the team's win over the Miami Dolphins.  Nicks didnty return to the game and was replaced by Victor Cruz as the starting wideout opposite Mario Manningham.

Analysis:  This is not good.  Nicks has a long history of injuries and of being a slow healer so its likely he could miss a game at the very least.  Cruz sees a spike in value as he showed today and needs to be picked up if available.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: STEELERS WR HINES WARD (HAMSTRING) IS OUT SUNDAY

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward is OUT for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals with a hamstring strain.

Analysis:  Ward will be replaced by Antonio Brown who makes for a solid start in an expected shootout versus the New England Patriots.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CARDS RB BEANIE WELLS (HAMSTRING) IS ACTIVE SUNDAY

Arizona Cardinals RB Beanie Wells is ACTIVE and will start Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens despite a hamstring strain.

Analysis:  Wells makes for a bad start in going against the Ravens today.  Leave him on the bench since he is not 100 percent.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: DOLPHINS RB DANIEL THOMAS (HAMSTRING) OUT FOR SUNDAY

Miami Dolphins RB Daniel Thomas is OUT for Sunday's game against the New York Giants with a hamstring injury.,  Reggie Bush and Lex Hilliard will split carries in his stead.

Analysis:  Thomas is not much of a fantasy football running back anyway so its not that big of a newsmaker.  I wouldnt bother with Bush or Hilliard either.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL SLEEPER: BRETT LAWRIE 3B TORONTO BLUE JAYS


With the St. Louis Cardinals putting the finishing touches on the 2011 baseball season, the journey begins to the 2012 fantasy baseball campaign.  I already have completed the first installment of the 2012 fantasy baseball draft guide which can be purchased for only $9.99 by using the BUY NOW tab above.  Go to the SHOPPING CENTER page for more details on what the draft kit entails.  Today I will begin profiling certain fantasy baseball commodities in depth and we begin with one of my must have guys for 2012 and that's Toronto Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie.  Lawrie took the majors by storm once he was called up in the second half of the season as he hit .293 with 9 home runs and 7 stolen bases.  He is one of the very best hitting prospects to come around in awhile and that's why he makes for arguably the best sleeper for the upcoming season.  Lets take a closer look at what he can supply owners in 2012.

As I noted earlier, Brett Lawrie has a major amount of hype surrounding his name as he came up through the Blue Jays system.  He out up ridiculous hitting number in the PCL before his callup and the power/speed combo he possessed was the stuff that makes all fantasy baseball owners weak in the knees.  Lawrie immediately showed upon his promotion that he is that naturally gifted by hitting those 9 homers while stealing those 7 bases.  He did all this in only 150 at-bats and one can only wonder how awesome his numbers could have looked if he has spent all season hitting in the majors. 

Looking ahead of 2012, Lawrie should easily be one of the best hitting third baseman in the game.  There is a small worry about a sophomore slump since opposing teams will have a whole offseason to expose his weaknesses but overall I think Lawrie could finish the season as a top five 5.  Third base was absolutely ridled with injuries in 2011 as Ryan Zimmerman, David Wright, Evan Longoria, Alex Rodriguez, Pablo Sandoval, and Kevin Youkilis all spent major time on the DL.  Youkilis and AROD are showing signs of decline, Sandoval's weight is always a worry, Wright has been a mess two of the last three years, and Zimmerman cant ever go through a season with out getting injured.  Thus all of those guys bring significant risk when selected and the high draft picks it takes to pick them up make them doubly risky.  Therefore I would strongly suggest waiting on third base and selecting Lawrie later on and fill out the other spots on your roster while the rest of the league is selecting those shaky guys that I mentioned above.  Lawrie could very well put up better numbers than almost of the top guys and so the ceiling and value he brings to your roster is how winning teams are built.  Be very aggressive here and you will be basking in the glory of being there when Lawrie goes through a big bustout this season.

2012 PROJECTION:  .285 28 HR 88 RBI 82 R 15 SB

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FANTASY FOOTBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: JABAR GAFFNEY WR WASHINGTON REDSKINS

One of the biggers injuries in fantasy football Week 7 was the broken hand suffered by Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss.  The injury will cost Moss the next 4-6 weeks of action and the ripple effect of this has found its way to fellow wideout Jabar Gaffney who will not become the number 1 target of QB John Beck in the receiving game outside of maybe TE Fred Davis.  Gaffney has a nice matchup this week against the Buffalo Bills and thus makes for a very solid pickup.  Even beyond that game, Gaffney has the chance to do some nice things for his fantasy football owners so in our latest Player Analyzer, lets take a look at what kind of an impact he could have the rest of the way.

Gaffney is certainly not a new name as he is currently in his tenth NFL season and throughout his career, he has been a solid but not spectacular receiver by any means.  His career high in receptions is the 65 he caught with the Broncos last season and other than one year Gaffney has never exceeded two TD's.  So there is a very solid baseline to go off of when it comes to projecting Gaffney but the one caveat is the fact that he has never really been a number 1 receiver on any of the teams he was on.  Thus his overall production was limited some.  With the Redskins going forward the next few weeks, Gaffney is the undisputed number 1 guy and so he stand a solid chance of putting up some ice outings until Moss returns.  Think around 5 catches for 70 yards a game for Gaffney and those in PPR leagues could certainly make use of those numbers.  Those who play in deep formats should be even more attracted to him.

All in all, I think Jabar Gaffney is a guy who could be a sneaky good play for a few weeks.  Again he is nothing special overall but Gaffney being the number 1 wideout in Washington puts him a nice position to garner some solid numbers going forward.

Friday, October 28, 2011

RYAN STEELE'S WEEK 8 NFL PRIME PLAYS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PROFESSIONAL HANDICAPPER RYAN STEELE IS BACK WITH FIVE PRIME PLAYS FOR NFL WEEK 8.  HE HAS HAD 6 OF 7 WINNING WEEKS SO FAR WITH A RECORD OF 23-12.,  USE THE BUY NOW TAB TO THE RIGHT TO PURCHASE THE PLAYS.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: STEELERS WR HINES WARD (ANKLE) LIKELY OUT FOR SUNDAY

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward is likely to miss this Sunday's game against the New England Patriots due to an ankle injury.  Ward did not practice on Friday and Antonio Brown would start in his place.

Analysis:  Brown is looking like a good pickup for this week as its looking like Ward is out of the lineup.  Take him out for a spin in a game that looks to be plenty of points in it.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CARDS RB BEANIE WELLS A GAME-TIME DECISION WITH HAMSTRING INJURY

Arizona Cardinals RB Beanie Wells practiced on Friday but on a limited basis and will be a game-time decision according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. 

Analysis:  Wells should be benched even if he does play as he has a date with the rough Ravens defense.  Look elsewhere is my best advice. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: SAINTS RB MARK INGRAM (HEEL) OUT FOR WEEK 8

New Orleans Saints rookie RB Mark Ingram will sit out this Sunday's game due to a heel injury suffered last week.  Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles will share carries in his place in Week 8 with Thomas the better bet for red zone carries.

Analysis:  Sproles is looking like a very good fantasy football option this week.  As far as Ingram is concerned, he reminds me so much of Cedric Benson as a runner who doesnt catch passes and who wont overwhelm you.  He remains a RB 3 in fantasy football parlance.

2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE FIRST BASEMAN PREVIEW

As I wrote earlier, the 2012 fantasy sports boss fantasy baseball draft guide is already completed and ready to go.  It will be updated throughout the offseason to reflect signings, trades, etc. and be resubmitted to showcase the changes.  Also included with your subscription are the 2012 sleepers, busts, injury pitchers to avoid, top rookies, and issue for the season features that will come in the next few weeks.  Use the BUY NOW tab above to purchase your draft kit subscription for only $9.99.

FIRST BASEMAN
Draft Strategy: First baseman are the bedrock of a fantasy baseball team from a hitting standpoint. This position is unmatched as far as supplying extreme power production and big RBI totals and so you must do whatever you can to ensure you have one of the big boppers on your roster. The tricky part is that many owners choose to wait on first base since it goes very deep but I always advise against this. The reason being is that the top 6-7 guys will all be snatched up in the first two rounds and there is a dropoff in overall production after that last guy is picked. Therefore the first baseman you end up with will instantly fall a bit short in comparison to more than half of your leaguemates in power and RBI at the position. So I would suggest using one of your top two picks on a first baseman and that way you guarantee yourself top level numbers in those hitting stats. After all we are in an era in baseball where home runs are becoming more and more scarce and the star first baseman are some of the few guys left who can mash with the best of them. As far as the guys I will be targeting, I wont be owning Albert Pujols that's for sure. It has always taken a top 2 pick to get the guy and on the odd chance I have had that choice in the past, I went with a Hanley Ramirez at the much more shallow SS position than grabbed my first baseman in the second round. I do love Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto and wont hesitate to grab either with an early first round pick. Failing that, I will look to Prince Fielder or Adrian Gonzalez next. I will avoid the rehabbing Ryan Howard (achillies) and Mark Texeria has worn my nerves with his back-to-back seasons of poor batting average. Thus if I don't get any of the guys mentioned above, I will be forced to wait and for the always reliable Paul Konerko or an upstart like Eric Hosmer who I really like. Yes there are a lot of options but just be sure to get the right one.

1. Albert Pujols: After a slow start that fueled concern that Pujols was going to have his first off season, Prince Albert came roaring back to his customary excellence with 37 bombs with 99 RBI and a .299 average. Looking at his 2011 season stats though, they were down some from his previous five seasons. Age is starting to become a bit of a concern as Pujols will be 33 this season and he has had some nagging injuries the last few seasons. Miguel Cabrera and Joey Votto are younger and I wouldn't argue anyone who decided to go that route for this upcoming season. Still in the end Pujols is still the kind when it comes to hitting at least for another season.
Projection: .308 38 HR 110 RBI 115 R 10 SB

2. Miguel Cabrera: Flat out Miguel Cabrera is the best pure hitter in the game today. His ballpark doesn't allow him to hit the 40 homers that Pujols gets almost every season but everything else is top shelf. He had some personal issues in the spring after a drunken arrest but those seem to be in the rearview mirror. The average is superb and the RBI will continue to add up and whats amazing is that Cabrera is only going to turn 29 this season as it seems like he has been around for years and years. As long as no more of-the-field stuff gets in the way, Cabrera is as safe an investment as you can get.

Projection: .326 34 HR 117 RBI 105 R 3 SB

3. Joey Votto:*****THE REST OF THE GUIDE IS FOR SUBSCRIBERS ONLY.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO PURCHASE.*****

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 START/SIT

New York Giants VS. Miami Dolphins:

START THEM:

Eli Manning-Manning will torch the awful Dolphins secondary.
Ahmad Bradshaw-Even if Jacobs comes back, Bradshaw is moving toward being the every down back.
Hakeem Nicks-Upward and onward he goes to his spot as one of the very best in the game.
Giants Defense-Justin Tuck returns to help swarm Matt Moore.
Mario Manningham-Back to being the solid number 2 for Manning.
Jake Ballard-He has earned the right to start at least for this week.
Brandon Marshall-Marshall is flapping his gums this week but when motivated he can dominate.

SIT THEM:

Dolphins Defense-This unit is a joke.
Matt Moore-He could get sacked 10 times.
Daniel Thomas-Doesn't get enough work yet.
Reggie Bush-Same as above.
Brian Hartline-Nice player but not in the fake game.
Davone Bess-In deeper formats you could give a look since Moore will be dumping off a lot.

Carolina Panthers VS. Minnesota Vikings:

START THEM:

Cam Newton:  What a season from the rookie.
Steve Smith:  Comeback player of the year.  Kudos to you if you drafted him.
Jonathan Stewart:  Slowly becoming the every down guy.
Adrian Peterson:  Don't worry about him sitting out.  Could go for 150. 
Greg Olsen:  Remains Newton's second option.

SIT THEM:

Christian Ponder:  Looked good in his debut but not yet.
Percy Harvin:  Not happening.
Michael Jenkins:  I would start him in deeper leagues where you use 5 receivers.
Panthers Defense:  Both of these units are terrible
Vikings Defense:  Ditto.
DeAngelo Williams: Wow the Panthers are going to regret that contract they gave him.

New Orleans Saints VS. St. Louis Rams:******THE REST OF THIS FEATURE IS FOR FANTASY SPORTS BOSS INSIDER SUBSCRIBERS.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO PURCHASE YOUR SEASON ACCESS PASS FOR A DISCOUNTED RATE OF $15.00.*******

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD (ANKLE) TO START SUNDAY

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford will star on Sunday barring a last minute setback on his injured ankle.  Stafford practiced both Thursday and Friday and he pronounced himself ready to go.  Shaun Hill would start in his place if anything were to happen.

Analysis:  Great news for Stafford owners who have enjoyed his solid health so far this season.  His play has slipped a bit the last two weeks but he still has been a tremendous value in 2011.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CARDS RB BEANIE WELLS (KNEE) LIKELY TO SIT SUNDAY

Arizona Cardinals RB Beanie Wells is likely to sit out Sunday's game due to the bone bruise on his knee suffered in last week's game.  The oft-injured back claimed he would play earlier in the week but he has not been as boastful as the week has progressed.

Analysis:  Wells is annoying in that he cant ever stay on the field for a sustained period of time.  Leave him on the bench and hope he gets back next week.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BROWNS RB PEYTIN HILLIS (HAMSTRING) SITS OUT PRACTICE FRIDAY, WILL LIKELY SIT SUNDAY

Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis is lending credence to the Madden Curse as the game's 2011 cover boy missed practice on Friday and is likely to sit out Sunday's game.  Hillis suffered a setback in practice Wednesday and hasnt done anything since.  He will be replaced by Montario Hardesty Sunday.

Analysis:  Hillis is driving his owners and even his own team crazy.  He was a nice story last season but he has been a big bust so far in 2011. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: TEXANS WR ANDRE JOHNSON WONT PLAY SUNDAY

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson will miss his fourth straight game on Sunday due to continued pain in his injured hamstring.  Johnson was held out of practice on Friday and afterward head coach Gary Kubiak admitted he is not ready to come back.

Analysis:  Ugghh.  Just when it started to look like Johnson was getting close to return, its another step back.  Its now been a month of games missed for Johnson as he continues to torture his owners.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: TEXANS WR ANDRE JOHNSON (HAMSTRING) TO BE GAME-TIME DECISION SUNDAY

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson will be a game-time decision on Sunday as he continues to try and get back from a hamstring injury that has already cost him three games.  Johnson practiced on Wednesday but he reported that he still was not 100 percent after the session.

Analysis:  I think it will be one more missed game for Johnson this week but there is at least some hope he will play.  Just make sure you have a replacment in case he cant go.  Either way, Johnson will not be supplying first round value this season which was the round he was selected in during most drafts. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD TAKES FIRST TEAM REPS THURSDAY

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford took first team reps in practice on Thursday as he seems to have turned a corner with his injured ankle.  Stafford did only side work on Wednesday but he was able to maek it onto the field today.

Analysis:  This is a nice sign for Stafford being able to play Sunday.  Check back to make sure he practices tomorrow and if he does, get him back into your lineup.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BROWNS RB PEYTON HILLIS (HAMSTRING) SITS OUT PRACTICE THURSDAY

Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis sat out practice Thursday due to soreness in his injured hamstring after returning to the field Wednesday.  No word on whether he has suffered a setback but clearly he is not feeling 100 percent yet.

Analysis:  This cant be considered good news as Hillis apparently is not feeling right.  Its possible the team doesnt want to have him practicing on back to back days yet but thats debatable.  Stay tuned. 

2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE: CATCHER SAMPLE PREVIEW

THE FANTASY SPORTS BOSS 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE IS ALREADY COMPLETED AND THE FIRST INSTALLMENT IS READY TO GO.  IT WILL CONTINUALLY BE UPDATED THROUGHOUT THE OFFSEASON AND RESENT TO SUBSCIBERS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT TRADES, SIGNINGS, AND INJURIES.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO PURCHASE YOUR 2012 DRAFT KIT FOR ONLY $9.99.  HERE IS A SMALL SAMPLE OF THE CATCHER RANKINGS.

2012 FANTASY BASEBALL CATCHER RANKINGS


Draft Strategy: Drafting catchers early in a given draft is one of the cardinal sins in fantasy baseball and is a huge mistake on so many levels. For one, the chance of injury with a catcher is higher than at any other position outside of starting pitcher. Using a high draft pick on such shaky health is a disaster waiting to happen and 2011 reinforced that notion with Joe Mauer and Buster Posey serving as two high catcher draft picks who spent most or a good potion of the year on the DL. The collisions at the plate, the getting hit with pitches, and the absolute wear and tear that accumulates all conspire to make catchers a position best left for the middle rounds of your draft. Once agian I will pan for guys who are a bit under the radar due to injuries the previous season or who had a bad season for whatever reason. I also zoned in on guys who are coming up from the minors and who are not in the consciousness of all fantasy baseball players as a whole. Last season the guy I ended up with on both of my money league teams who fit this criteria was Miguel Montero of the D-Backs who had his best season as a pro. His value is one the rise in 2012 so I need to go look for someone else. The names I did come up with though who will likely land on my team this season are Matt Wieters, Wilson Ramos, Jesus Montero, and Geovany Soto. Wieters is the guy I am most after as he is a post-hype sleeper who many have moved on from. The guy made some big strides in 2011 with 22 home runs but I an almost guarantee you he wont get picked until about 6 or 7 other guys go before him and thats just crazy. Again gusy who are post-hype sleepers like Wieters make for the best values and I think he makes for a tremendous pick this seaosn. After Wieters, I like Jesus Montero who hit like a monster when he came up toward the end of 2011 for the Yankees. The power is legit and he profiles as another Victor Martinez. He wasnt around enough to have him shoot up draft boards for this season and his ceiling is very high. After that, I like Soto as a bounceback candidate. We saw him do it before in 2010 when he was one of the best hitting catchers in the game and I think he will come back again this seaosn and do the same. All three guys make for very good catching options for your team without having to break the bank.



1. Brian McCann: McCann was on his way to his best season and had a shot at 30 home runs until late season injury issues. When it was all said and done, McCann had the best overall season of the consensus top fantasy baseball backstops heading into last season. He remains the safest bet of the lot and will still be only 28 when 2012 rolls around.
Projection: .282 25 HR 83 RBI 62 R 2 SB

2. Buster Posey-It was a complete washout of a season for Posey who tore up his knee in a home field collision. This was further evidence of why you should avoid drafting catchers so high no matter how promising they might be. Before he got hurt, Posey's fly ball rate came back to his minor league numbers (and away from his surprising rookie power season of 2010) so expecting 20-plus home runs is a bit ambitious. Still his average will be a plus and he will be prominently featured in the Giants lineup.
Projection: .288 18 HR 84 RBI 77 R 5 SB

3. Carlos Santana-******THE REST OF THESE RANKINGS ARE FOR FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT KIT SUBSCRIBERS.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO PURCHASE YOUR OFFSEASON LONG KIT WHICH INCLUDES RANKINGS, SLEEPERS, BUSTS, INJURY RISK PITCHERS TO AVOID, AND MORE FOR ONLY $9.99.******

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: TEXANS WR ANDRE JOHNSON (HAMSTRING) HEDGING BETS FOR SUNDAY

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson reported after practice Wednesday that he is still feeling issues with his injured hamstring,.  Johnson has missed the last three games with the hamsting and he seemed to throw cold water on a possible return Sunday after heach coach Gary Kubiak seemed to indiate he would get back.

Analysis:  Not what you want to hear.  Johnson is testing the patience of his fantasy football owners which include yours truly.  Lets hope he feels better in the next day or two but its looking like he will sit out again this week.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAMS QB SAM BRADFORD (ANKLE) UNLIKELY TO PLAY IN WEEK 8

St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford is unlikely to play in Week 8 due to ongoing issues with the high ankle sprain that kept him out of Week 7.  AJ Feeley will once again start in his place.

Analysis:  Bradford has been a complete bust this season in fantasy football along with every other Rams player on offense.  Stay far away from everyone associated with this group.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: VIKINGS RB ADRIAN PETERSON (FOOT) SITS OUT WEDNESDAY PRACTICE

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson sat out practice Wednesday with a sore foot which he hurt towards the end of last Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers.  Peterson was limping at the end of that game and now the missed practice confirms he is still feeling issues there.  Toby Gerhart took the first team reps in practice.

Analysis:  Peterson has a great matchup this week against the awful Carolina Panthers defense so his fantasy football owners are hoping he will be all right.  Peterson has to get back on the practice field over the next two days in order to be a legitimate threat to play on Sunday. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CARDS RB BEANIE WELLS (KNEE) UNLIKELY TO PLAY SUNDAY

Arizona Cardinals RB Beanie Wells is unlikely to play Sunday due to a bum knee.  Wells spoke early Wednesday about how he expected to be out there but head coach Ken Whisenhunt thinks its unlikely he will go.

Analysis:  Wells remains a solid back to use when healthy but his health is always a major issue.  Stick him on the bench this week.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BROWNS RB PEYTON HILLIS (HAMSTRING) READY TO BE STARTER

Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis has returned to practice this week and declared himself 100 percent ready to be the starter again.  Hillis missed last week's game with the hamstring injury with Montario Hardesty running for almost 100 yards but he seems good to go for Sunday.

Analysis:  Head coach Pat Shurmer went on record Wednesday saying Hillis will get the majority of carries this week if healthy.  Hillis has been very disappointing so far this season but there is plenty of time for him to turn his season around.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LIONS RB JAHVID BEST (CONCUSSION) TO SIT AGAIN SUNDAY

Detroit Lions RB Jahvid Best will likely sit out his second game in a row due to the concussion he suffered back in Week 5.  Best is not practicing and he could be out even beyong this week.

Analysis:  Its looking more and more like Best's availability is in question the rest of the season.  Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams will split carries in his place and neither guy is worth using.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LIONS QB SHAUN HILL TAKING FIRST TEAM REPS WEDNESDAY

Detroit Lions backup QB Shaun Hill took all of the first team reps during practice on Wednesday as starter Matthew Stafford did some work on the side.  Stafford is dealing witgh an injured ankle that he hurt at the end of Sunday's loss to the Falcons and is listed as questionable for this week.

Analysis:  This is not a good sign for Stafford that Hill is taking the first team reps.  Hill did very well in his place last season though so he needs to be added if you are a Stafford owner.  Stafford still has time to get back but the team will be very cautious with him going forward. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: TEXANS WR ANDRE JOHNSON TO PRACTICE WEDNESDAY

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson is expected to practice with the team on Wednesday as he continues to try and get himself back for Sunday's game after missing three games with an injured hamstring.  Johnson "has a chance" to play Sunday according to head coach Gary Kubiak but he will also be monitored closely to make sure he doesnt re-injure it.

Analysis:  This is a big step for Johnson in regards to possibly getting back onto the field.  Its been a long time already for Johnson's fantasy football owners to be without their star receiver but at least this should give you some hope the end is near.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 8 ADDS/DROPS

Its already Week 8 in fantasy football and so lets take a look at the main adds and drops for this week's games.

Fantasy Football Week 8 Adds

DeMarco Murray (RB)::  This is stating the obvious after Murray ran for over 200 yards in his starting debut last week and you cant expect even half of that production every week.  Still he has another good matchup this week against the Eagles this week and if he keeps playing this well, Felix Jones will be relegated to a backup role when he gets back. 

Jabar Gaffney (WR):  With Santana Moss on the shelf for the next month, Gaffney becomes the main go-to-receiver in the Washington passing offense.  He wont put up blockbuster numbers by any means but a guy who is the number 1 receiver on any team deserves recognition.

Fred Davis (TE):  Davis has the number 1 tight end job all to himself for the rest of the season with Chris Cooley placed on IR and he showed in catching six passes with a score last week how good he can be.  With top guys like Jermichael Finley struggling and Antonio Gates always injured, this is a very solid replacement if you need it.

Shaun Hill (QB):  Its possible that Matthew Stafford will have to sit out due to his ankle injury as Hill took the first team reps on Wednesday which is not a good sign.  Still Hill was very productive in Stafford's place last season and with all the weapons at his disposal, he could very well be a nice stopgap option this week.

Bernard Scott (RB):  Scott gets the start for the Bengals with Cedric Benson on suspension this week and he has a nice matchup against the Seahawks poor run defense.  He wont catch a lot of passes but Scott has proven in limited time over the last two seasons that he can get the job done when called upon.

Andy Dalton (QB):  Dalton has been better than advertised in his rookie campaign but Cam Newton has shown us that using a first year passer is not the worst idea in the world.  Dalton gets the Seahawks this week who dont cover well and his chemistry with fellow rookie WR AJ Green has been great.

Fantasy Football Week 8 Drops

Jermichael Finley (TE):  I have been over this many times on here the last two weeks as Finley is clearly the fourth option in the Packers passing game which is not a place you want to be.  Finley has caught only three passes the last two weeks and there are plenty of other promising tight ends on the wire who are outproducing him.

Santana Moss (WR):  Moss is out for at least with a month with a broken hand and so there really is no reason to hold onto him as he could be out longer.  He wasnt doing much lately before the injury and so there is no use holding onto a mediocre receiving option as dead weight on your roster.

Daniel Thomas (RB):  Thomas is another guy who you cant wait on anymore as he has failed to put together useful outings since coming back from injury.  The fact that he splits reps with Reggie Bush doesnt help.

Matt Hasselbeck (QB):  It was nice while it lasted but Hasselbeck has been a major liability the last three weeks.  Never hold onto an aging QB when things start to go the other way.

Mike Thomas (WR):  The Jaguars passing game is one of the worst in the league with rookie QB Blaine Gabbert looking bad so far.  Thomas is not catching nearly enough passes to remain in your starting lineup.

Thats all for this week.  Check back next week for more adds and drops. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD ANKLE INJURY IN "WEIRD SPOT"

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford reported on Tuesday that the ankle injury he suffered in last Sunday's game is still sore and he also claimed it was in a "weird spot."  Head coach Jim Schwartz also said that he was a bit worried about the location of the pain.  Shaun Hill would start in his place if Stafford wasnt able to go Sunday.

Analysis:  Stafford was looking like a sure bet to go after coming through his check-ups all right Monday but this news is a bit discouraging.  Hill needs to be added to all Stafford fantasy football rosters as he has played well in the past when filling in for Stafford.  Once again injuries have cropped up for the very talented Stafford.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAIDERS RB DARREN MCFADDEN'S FOOT STRUCTURALLY SOUND

Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden's foot is structurally sound after testing was performed on it Tuesday according to head coach Hue Jackson.  McFadden sprained the foot in last Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and he didnt return.  They are on a bye this week but the team believes he will be ready to go when the club gets back on the field for Week 9.

Analysis:  Its looking like McFadden dodged a bullet here but pick up Michael Bush just in case if you are an owner.  McFadden doesnt have the greatest history with injuries so its always good to have depth if you have him on your roster.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: REDSKINS PLACE TE CHRIS COOLEY ON INJURED RESERVE WITH BROKEN SEASON, OUT FOR 2011

The Washington Redskins placed TE Chris Cooley on season-ending injured reserve on Tuesday.  Cooley broke a finger back in Week 6 and the team felt it was best to just place him on IR in order to fre up a roster spot.  Fred Davis takes over the starting gig full-time the rest of the season.

Analysis:  This is big news for Davis who could put up some nice numbers the rest of the way.  If somehow he is still hanging out on your league's waiver list, dont hesitate to add him to your club.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 INFIRMARY REPORT

Injuries reared their ugly head after a few quiet weeks so lets get right to it.

1.  Darren McFadden (sprained foot, should be ok for Week 9 after bye):  McFadden was a complete washout on Sunday after suffering a sprained foot early in the first half of their game against the Chiefs.  Reports indicate that he was kept on the sidelines as a precaution since Michael Bush was running well and with the bye week coming up, McFadden will have two weeks to get healthy.  He should be good to go in Week 9 but pick up Bush in case.

2.  Santana Moss (broken bone in hand, out a month):  Moss suffered a broken bone in his hand in the first half of their loss to the Panthers.  He had surgery Monday and will now be out for a month.  Anthony Armstrong and Jabar Gaffney will be the starters with Fred Davis also being a big factor in the passing game.  Keep Moss on the bench if you can.

3.  Willis McGahee (broken bone in hand, headed for specialist):******THIS REST OF THIS FEATURE IS FOR FANTASY SPORTS BOSS INSIDER SUBSCRIBERS ONLY.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO PURCHASE YOUR SEASON ACCESS PASS TO ALL FANTASY FOOTBALL FEATURES FOR A DISCOUNTED RATE OF $15.00.*******

Monday, October 24, 2011

2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE FOR ONLY $9.99

THE 2012 FANTASY SPORTS BOSS FANTASY BASEBALL DRAFT GUIDE IS ALREADY COMPLETED AND READY TO GO.  I BEGAN WORKING ON THE GUIDE WHEN THE 2011 REGULAR SEASON ENDED AND JUST COMPLETED IT THIS WEEK.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO PURCHASE YOUR DRAFT GUIDE KIT FOR THE 2012 FANTASY BASEBALL SEASON FOR ONLY $9.99.  INCLUDED IN THE GUIDE IS:

-POSITION BY POSITION RANKINGS AND PLAYER SYNOPSIS OF ALL THE SPOTS AROUND THE DIAMOND.  THESE RANKINGS GOOD DEEP FOR OWNERS IN ALL FORMATS.  THESE RANKINGS AND SYNOPSES WILL BE UPDATED THROUGHOUT THE OFFSEASON AND FREE AGENCY PERIOD ALL THE WAY THROUGH SPRING TRAINING TO KEEP YOU UP TO DATE. 

-2012 FANTASY BASEBALL SLEEPERS AND BUSTS ALONG WITH TOP ROOKIES AND 2012 ISSUE YOU NEED TO KNOW (COMING IN NOVEMBER)

-2012 FANTASY BASEBALL INJURY RISK PITCHERS TO AVOID (COMING IN JANUARY).

ALL UPDATES AND FEATURES WILL BE E-MAILED PROMPTLY UPON COMPLETION.

PURCHASE NOW AND THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE 2012 POSITION BY POSITION RANKINGS WILL BE SENT TO YOU RIGHT AWAY.  HOPE TO HAVE YOU ABOARD AGAIN THIS SEASON.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAIDERS RB DARREN MCFADDEN (FOOT SPRAIN) SHOULD BE GOOD TO GO AFTER BYE

Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden sprained his foot early in the first half of the team's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday and he was held out more as a precaution according to team sources.  The Raiders are now on a bye and both McFadden and the team believes he will be ready to go for Week 9.

Analysis:  McFadden has come back to earth after his awesome first two weeks and now the injury clouds things.  He has a long injury history to worry about but its looking like he dodged a bullet here as the bye comes at a great time.  Pick up Michael Bush just in case however.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: REDSKINS WR SANTANA MOSS (BROKEN HAND) OUT A MONTH AFTER SURGERY

Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss will miss the next month after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his hand.  Moss broke the bone early in Sunday's loss to the Carolina Panthers and will now take a seat with Jabar Gaffney seeing more looks.

Analysis:  Terrible news for Moss owners as he will done for a month.  Fred Davis and Gaffney figure to get most of the receptions going forward.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CARDS RB BEANIE WELLS TO MISS 1-2 GAMES WITH KNEE BRUISE

Oft-injured Arizona Cardinals RB Beanie Wells will miss the next 1-2 games with a bone bruise on his knee which he suffered in Sunday's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Analysis:  Not much was mentioned on this until now but Wells once again cant stay on the field.  He is only a RB 3 or bench option at this point.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7: WHAT WE LEARNED

A new feature will be unveiled today which I should have started sooner and that is the Fantasy Football Week 7 What Have We Learned.  Taking the position wrapups a step further, this feature will discuss the main themes from the previous week of fantasy football action.  So without delay lets take a look at what took place in Week 7 that we should all be aware of.

1.  DeMarco Murray Will Easily Be The Top Waiver Add This Week:  To say that Dallas Cowboys rookie RB DeMarco Murray was awesome in his first pro start is the understatement of the season.  Murray ran the ball for a ridiculous 253 yards on 25 carries with one touchdown.  It was an awesome performance and fantasy football owners are going to be tripping over each other to pick him up this week.  Some things to keep in mind though:  the first is that he was going against arguably the worst rushing defense in the NFL in the Rams and that pretty much any runner with ability was going to be able to carve them up.  The second is that Murray is not much of a pass catcher so he wont be as good an asset in PPR leagues as he would be in standard formats.  Really there is no where else to go from here but down and I would suggest the radical move of picking him up and than immediately trading the guy while his value is at its highest point.  Felix Jones will come back in a month and than the two will likely split carries so strike while the iron is hot when it comes to Murray's trade value.  I am not saying that he doesn't have skill as obviously Murray got it done in a big way Sunday but long term I don't see him as a difference-maker for you. 

2.  Who Is This Impostor Calling Himself Phillip Rivers?:  It was another in a string of ugly performances by San Diego Chargers QB Phillip Rivers on Sunday as he threw two more INT's to bring his total to 9 on the season which trumps his total of 9 scores.  Rivers was awful down the stretch especially against the Jets when he threw the ball out of bounds on fourth down with no time left instead of trying a Hail Mary pass.  Clearly something is wrong with Rivers and I honestly am starting to wonder if he is hurt.  Making matters more puzzling, he had his favorite receiver TE Antonio Gates back against the Jets but that didn't help his struggles.  I saw huge things for Rivers in 2011 as I named him the preseason fantasy football MVP but obviously that's not happening.  There is still a ton of season left for Rivers and his track record over the last three seasons has been phenomenal but as far as this season is concerned, he has been disappointing.  If you are a Rivers owner, you have to hold tight as you cant sell low on the guy.  I really do think he will come around as he is too good to keep struggling like this.  That is unless there really is an injury to worry about.  Until than though, keep him on the bench if you have a good backup and get ready to get him back in when he rights the ship.

3.  Jermichael Finley Can Be Dropped:  I wrote a Trend Or Mirage piece on Finley the other day suggesting that his vanishing act in the Packers passing game cant be ignored and that if he didn't come through in a big time matchup against the Vikings, than it would be time to move on to other options.  Yes Finley caught a TD pass but he had only two receptions total to go with the one he caught last week.  The four scores are nice but realistically speaking, Finley is putting up carbon copy numbers of someone like a Marcedes Lewis who is another TE who gets most of his value from the unpredictable TD's.  In a season where there have been countless TE upstarts like a resurgent Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Greg Olsen, and Jermaine Gresham, I think we have reached the point where you need to go looking for a more consistent performer.  Look for Olsen, Gresham, or Fred Davis on the wire as all three would be better options at this point.

4.  Drew Brees With 5 TD's In Demolition Of Colts:  The New Orleans Saints put on a clinic last night in a 62-7 destruction of the Indianapolis Colts as QB Drew Brees threw for FIVE touchdowns to go with 325 passing yards.  All of the usual receiver suspects got in on the act for the Saints as Colts coach Jim Caldwell should immediately be fired for this disgrace with or without Peyton Manning.  With Manning injured and Phillip Rivers struggling, Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady have separated themselves from the pack at the top of the QB rankings and all three really give a leg up to their fantasy football owners' squads.  There is a nice comfort in owning these three guys as they all instantly make your squad a favorite going into your matchup due to their consistently excellent numbers.  This past summer I drafted Texans WR Andre Johnson in round 1 over the available Drew Brees (Rodgers was already picked) and surely I am regretting that move as the injured Johnson is not helping me at all right now while Brees once again is doing his thing.  I am on board now with picking a top notch QB like these three in round 1 as the production is so tremendously great that it cant be ignored.

5.  Tim Tebow With a Smashing Debut:  At this point I am pretty confident that Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow will find a cure or cancer, cure the national debt, and figure out world peace over the next few weeks.  Tebow predictably pulled a rabbit out of a hat in leading the Broncos back from a 15-0 deficit to defeat the Miami Dolphins in OT.  Tebow threw for two scores while also running for over 60 yards.  Even though he didn't throw for a lot of yardage, Tebow's whole stat package was very good and honestly I cant doubt the guy anymore since he always seems to find a way to get it done every week.  He wont win you a fantasy football title but Tebow will help you get there,  Pick him up and don't ask questions.  He has earned that right as he continues to prove is doubters wrong.

That's all for now.  Check back for all the latest injury news later on.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LIONS QB MATTHEW STAFFORD (FOOT, ANKLE) HEADED FOR MRI

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford was seen in a walking boot after the team's loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday as he apparently injuried his foot and knee during the last offensive play of the game.  Stafford limped off the field and will head for an MRI on Monday.

Analysis:  Hold your breath Stafford owners as this could be big.  Stafford believes he will be fine but every player says that.  Check back tomorrow.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: REDSKINS WR SANTANA MOSS (HAND) ALREADY RULED OUT FOR WEEK 8

Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss has already been ruled out of the team;s Week 8 outing due to a hand injury suffered during Sunday loss to the Carolina Panthers.  Moss broke a bone in his right hand and had it wrapped while he stood on the sidelines in the second half of the game. 

Analysis:  Its nice to hear this early that Moss will be out as his fantasy football owners will have plenty of time to get his replacement.  Still his value was not looking so hot with John Beck at QB who doesnt have thr arm that Rex Grossman has which hurts the deep game.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: REDSKINS RB TIM HIGHTOWER HAS TORN ACL, OUT FOR SEASON

Washington Redskins RB Tim Hightower has torn his right ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.  Hightower tore the ACL during the second half of Sunday's game and will go on IR.

Analysis:  Hightower was not much of a fantasy football weapon but the big thing is that Ryan Torain will now be the full time back.  Pick up Torain if available.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 RUNNING BACK WRAPUP

Arian Foster is ridiculous, Chris Johnson is still apparently holding out, and Matt Forte is staking his early claim to the fantasy football overall MVP.

Michael Turner:  122 rushing yards.  There were no scores or receptions which is annoying but Turner is proving that he has not lost a step like some have said.

Maurice Morris:  50 rushing yards along with 2 catches for 13 yards.  Those who took a shot with Morris in this heavy bye week were letdown big time.  He didnt do anything to warrant being kept around for another week.

Willis McGahee:  76 rushing yard with 1 fumble.  McGahee came up lame later on which cemented this waste of an outing.  Check back on his injury.

Daniel Thomas:  53 rushing yards along with 2 catches for 0 yards.  Thomas got 19 carries as he is the main guy in this backfield but against Denver he needed to do much more.  Only a fill-in at this point.

Arian Foster:  115 rushing yards and 2 TD along with 5 catches for 119 yards and 1 TD.  This was one of those absolutely ridiculous fantasy football stat sheets that only Foster can accumulate.  Remember when we were all calling him a big bust after three weeks?  Yeah I dont remember that either.

Chris Johnson:  18 rushing yards along with 6 catches for 27 yards.  Speaking of big busts, Johnson was awful again running the football.  In fact Javon Ringer stole carries in the second half as the team looked for a spark.  Clearly the holdout has ruined his season so far and I honestly cant endorse trading low on the guy.  Another lesson on why an athlete cant miss camp.

Matt Forte:  145 rushing yards an 1 TD along with 2 catches for 38 yards.  I am running out of superlatives to use when discussing Forte.  For a guy who was being drafted in the third round this past summer, he is clearly one of the best values and bets overall players in the game.

Montario Hardesty:  95 rushing yards along with 2 catches for 27 yards.  Decent outing for Hardesty but it took 33 carries to do it.  So yeah not so impressive.  Still Peyton Hillis should be back this week which makes him useless.

Mike Tolbert:  58 rushing yards and 1 TD along.  Hedidnt catch a pass which was a surprise but Tolbert did enough to stay relevant.  And Ryan Matthews getting dinged up reminds you how he is only one play from becoming the full time guy.

Ryan Matthews:  39 rushing yards along with 4 catches for 26 yards.  The catches helped salvage something out of this game but Matthews' bruised thumb pretty much sealed his outing. 

Shonn Greene:  112 yards rushing along with 1 catch for 5 yards.  Greene is starting to find his rhythm and I can endorse riding the hot hand until he cools off a bit.

Adrian Peterson:  175 yards rushing and 1 TD along with 1 catch for zero yards.  Awesome game for Peterson who had made the summer debate between he and Chris Johnson laughable. 

Michael Bush:  99 rushing yards along with 2 catches for 12 yards.  Bush is a very capable runner who can more than hold his own if McFadden needs to miss time.  All McFadden owners should already have the waiver claim in on him.

Darren McFadden:  4 yards rushing along with 1 catch for 3 yards.  No doubt the majority of McFadden owners couldnt make up this loss as they were beaten in their game.  It doesnt look like anything major yet with McFadden but the next injury is always around the next corner.

DeMarco Murray:  253 yards rushing and 1 TD.  What the hell was that?  Hold crap.  That was unbelievable.  Say goodnight Felix Jones.  Obviously he was going against arguably the worst run defense in the NFL which helps but still this was an Arian Foster-like outing.  The battles will be fierce to claim him off waivers.

Steven Jackson:  70 yards rushing and 1 TD along with 4 catches for 3 yards.  This is who Jackson is now and thats a decent enough runner who wont make many big plays anymore due to his age.

Rashard Mendenhall:  32 yards rushing along with 1 catch for 5 yards.  I hope you all took my advice and traded him off last week's outing.

Beanie Wells:  42 yards rushing.  Ugly game for sure.  Not much more to say than that I guess.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 QB WRAPUP

Cam Newton continues to play well, Matt Hasselbeck is no longer having that comeback season, and Mark Sanchez quieted the critics for one week.  Lets take a look at all of the fantasy football QB performance in Week 7.

Matt Ryan:  218 yards 1 TD 2 INT.  Once again Ryan lets down his fantasy football owners and at this point I have to endorse looking to do better going forward.  Its just not happening for him for whatever reason.

Matthew Stafford:  183 yards 1 TD.  This was Stafford's worst outing of the season but at least he got the one TD.  The bigger concern was the ankle injury he suffered at the end of the game which will need to be monitored.

Tim Tebow:  161 yards 2 TD along with 65 rushing yards.  Unreal.  The guy just has a knack and he surely made good on the chance that some fantasy football owners took on him in this game.  At this point why the heck not?

Matthew Hasselbeck:  104 yards 1 TD 2 INT.  Another dud of s week for Hasselbeck as the feel good comeback story is off the track.  Get off for now and monitor how he comes back from this.

Matt Schaub:  296 yards 2 TD.  Typical Schaub game where he does nice things without blowing up the stat sheet.  There is something to be said for that kind of consistency.

Jay Cutler:  226 yards 1 TD 2 INT.  Typical inconsistent Cutler who comes back from last week's great outing with this.  This is why he cant ever be totally depended on.

Josh Freeman:  264 yards 2 TD 4 INT.  Its not getting any better for Freeman and so its safe to forget his name until 2012.

Phillip Rivers:  179 yards 1 TD 2 INT.  I guess I cursed Rivers in the summer by saying he would be the fantasy football MVP.  At this point he is up there for the LVP (least valuable player). 

Mark Sanchez:  173 yards 3 TD 1 INT.  Sanchez stuck it to his critics for one week but dont count on outings like this too often as the Jets have found their running game.

Cam Newton:  256 yards 1 TD along with 59 rushing yards and 1 TD.  Nice comeback for Newton off last week's stinker as he continues to prove his worth.  The sky is the limit.

John Beck:  279 yards 1 TD 1 INT.  A good enough outing for Beck in his Washington starting debut but dont grab him off the wire yet.

Ben Roethlisberger:  361 yards 3 TD.  Thats two big outings in the last three weeks.  Feel free to put Big Ben back out there.

Tony Romo:  161 yards 2 TD.  The two TD's were good but the yardage was very disappointing since it was the Rams as the opponent.  Still he didnt turn it over and he continues to have a knack for throwing scoring strikes.

Aaron Rodgers:  335 yards 3 TD.  I didnt have a chance to get Rodgers in the first round of my draft this past summer but next season if given the chance I wont hesitate.

Christian Ponder:  219 yards 2 TD 2 INT.  Ponder was very impressive for his first start but the two picks show you he is still raw.  Dont pick him up yet.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CHARGERS RB RYAN MATTHEWS (THUMB) RETURNS FOR SECOND HALF

Updating an earlier item, San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Matthews has returned to action to start the second half despite coming out in the first half with a bruised thumb.

Analysis:  Good news as there is still time for Matthews to salvage his fantasy football day. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CHARGERS RB RYAN MATTHEWS EXITS WITH THUMB INJURY

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Matthews was forced out of Sunday's game against the New York Jets after suffering a thumb injury in the first quarter.  Matthews' return is questionable.

Analysis:  Another big early injury in this fantasy football Sunday.  Mike Tolbert will be the workhorse back unless Matthews can get return to action.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BUC'S RB EARNEST GRAHAM'S DAY IS DONE WITH ANKLE INJURY

Updating an earlier item, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Earnest Graham is finished for the day due to an ankle injury.

Analysis:  Tough news to hear as Graham's day was a complete washout.  Lets hope your other running backs you had active did something decent ot make up for it. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: REDSKINS QR SANTANA MOSS LEAVES WITH HAND INJURY, QUESTIONABLE TO RETURN

Washington Redskins WR Santana Moss was forced out of Sunday's game against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter with an apparent hand injury.  Moss was being looked at by trainers on the sidelines and his return is questionable.

Analysis:  A lot of early injuries in fantasy football today and Moss is just the latest.  He has a nice matchup today which is the real shame in this.  Chekc back for updates.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BUC'S RB EARNEST GRAHAM HELPED OFF FIELD, HEADED TO LOCKER ROOM WITH LEG INJURY

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Earnest Graham was helped back to the locker room after suffering an apparent leg injury during the first quarter of the team's game against the Chicago Bears.  Graham hit the turf after a first drive carry and than had to be helped off the field and than into the locker. 

Analysis:  Just a terrible development for those fantasy football owners who went with Graham off his nice game last week.  Check back for details.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: SEAHAWKS RB MARSHAWN LYNCH INJURIED IN WARPUPS, DEACTIVATED

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch was deactivated for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns due to an injury sustained during warm-ups.  No word yet on what the injury is but Justin Forsett and Leon Washington will split carries in his place.

Analysis:  Unreal.  Those who ran with Lynch for this game hopefully saw this before it was too late.  Check back for updates later on.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL TREND OR MIRAGE: JERMICHAEL FINLEY'S DISAPPEARING ACT IN PASSING OFFENSE

The tight end position in fantasy football so far this season has been quite possibly the most topsy-turvy in the game.  The position has been dominated by upstarts who were not near the top of the rankings when the season began such as Brandon Pettigrew, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gonkowski, and a resurgent Tony Gonzalez.  Those at the top however have not fared as well with Antonio Gates being injured most of the season, Dallas Clark seeing a sharp drop in production with QB Peyton Manning out, and Jermichael Finley of the Packers pulling a disappearing act in the best passing offense in the game.  The last name of that group is the subject of our latest Fantasy Football Trend or Mirage feature and we will try to dig in and determine what has gone wrong for Finley and his disappointing numbers and whether or not they will continue.  Lets get to it.

Looking at Finley's overall numbers, they don't look terrible on the surface with 23 receptions for 321 yards and 3 TD's.  However if you were to break things down a bit more from there, you would see why we are discussing him in the first place.  Those three TD's????  They all came in one game.  Finley has also failed to top 70 yards in all but one game this season and two of his last three outings had his yardage in the mid-20's which just wont cut it.  The icing on the cake was a 1 catch game last week that pretty much ruined a bunch of fantasy football teams in their matchups.  Clearly Finley is not one of the chief targets of QB Aaron Rodgers as James Jones, Greg Jennings, and Jordy Nelson get the lion's share of the work.  A guy with Finley's freakish athleticism at the position is an asset that should be taken advantage of more but for whatever reason, it just hasn't happened yet.

I think part of the problem ultimately is the fact that Rodgers is so quick and decisive with his throws and this usually benefits the wide receivers who get in and out of the breaks much more quickly than the tight end.  Also like with what we annually see in New Orleans, the Packers like to spread things around which means fluctuating stats for all of the receivers which include he tight end.  Ultimately Finley will likely see his production swing wildly as a result since that just the way the Packers get things done in their offense.  The fact that you as a Finley owner used a high draft pick on the guy means you cant cut him.  You can bench him if you want for a hotter commodity such as Jermaine Gresham or Fred Davis but Finley is still so incredibly talented that he needs to be held onto.  In fact this Sunday he has a tremendous matchup against the Minnesota Vikings who are one of the worst teams to cover tight ends in the game so a big outing should be in store for his owners.  Stick with him for one more week at least and go from there.  If Finley once again disappoints Sunday, than feel free to start searching for other alternatives.

TREND OR MIRAGE (JERMICHAEL FINLEY'S DISAPPEARING ACT IN PASSING OFFENSE):  TREND

Friday, October 21, 2011

RYAN STEELE'S NFL WEEK 7 PICKS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE!

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PROFESSIONAL HANDICAPPER RYAN STEELE IS BACK FOR WEEK 7 WITH 5 MORE PRIME PLAYS FOR THE WEEK AS HE BRINGS IN HIS 20-10 RECORD TO CONTINUE WITH THE WINNING.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB TO THE RIGHT TO PURCHASE.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAIDERS KICKER SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI (HAMSTRING) COULD BE SHUT DOWN FOR A FEW WEEKS

The Oakland Raiders might be forced to shut down kicker Sebastian Janikowski for a few weeks due to a hamstring injury.  Janikowski has easily been the best kicker in fantasy football this season but owners coule be without him for a bit.

Analysis:  Another big blow for Raiders fans and even more so for his fantasy football owners.  Janikowski is a tough one to replace due to his crazy range but some guys to look up would be Jason Hanson, Matt Bryant, and Rian Lindell.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: TEXANS RULE OUT WR ANDRE JOHNSON (HAMSTRING) FOR WEEK 7

As expected, the Houston Texans have ruled WR Andre Johnson as being OUT for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans.  Johnson willl now have missed three games in a row since suffering the hamstring injury against the Steelers and will be reevaluated for Week 8.

Analysis:  Its very frustrating for Johnson's owners to not have arguably the best wide receiver in the game this long.  Some have said this is a six-week injury so we are halfway there.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: SAINTS LIST TE JIMMY GRAHAM PROBABLY FOR SUNDAY

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham has been loisted as probable for this Sunday's game despite dealing with a sprained ankle this week.  Graham has been somewhat limited in practice this week due to the ankle but both he and the team claim he will be 100 percent ready to go against the Indianapolis Colts.

Analysis:  Graham will be good to go so dont worry about anything.  He once again should have a huge day against a soft Colts defensive unit.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAIDERS QB CARSON PALMER MAY NOT START AFTER ALL SUNDAY

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Raiders are having second thoughts on starting QB Carson Palmer due to limited amount of time he has had to practice with the team since arriving in a trade on Tuesday.  Kyle Boller would than start instead.

Analysis:  I thought it was crazy that they would just throw Palmer out there but either way he sholdnt be started in fantasy football anyway. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CHARGERS TE ANTONIO GATES (FOOT) PRACTICES FRIDAY AND WILL PLAY SUNDAY

In a big piece of news, San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates pracriced fully on Friday and will be ready to go on Sunday versus the New York Jets.  Gates caused some alarm by sitting out Thrusday's practice but it was only for precautionary reasons.

Analysis:  The long wait for Gates to come back for his fantasy football owners is almost over, at least for this week.  Its very possible he gets hurt again so enjoy it while it lasts.

FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEK 7 START/SIT

Some big names are out of action this week due to the byes such as Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, LeSean McCoy, Michael Vick, etc.  So with pickings slim this week, lets take a look at who to start and sit this week in fantasy football.

Atlanta Falcons VS. Detroit Lions:

Matt Ryan:  START HIM:  This game should have plenty of offense and Detroit has shown they can be thrown on lately.

Michael Turner:  START HIM:  Is coming off a big game and will be needed especially in a bye week.

Roddy White:  START HIM:  Remains the top dog in the Atlanta passing offense and will continue to flourish.

Harry Douglas:  SIT HIM:  Not enough happening here to use.

Tony Gonzalez:  START HIM:  Has performed better than Jermichael Finley.

Defense:  SIT THEM:  Not a chance.

Matthew Stafford:  START HIM:  Every week he should be out there but the Falcons present a nice passing opportunity.

Maurice Morris:  SIT HIM:  You could maybe give him a chance in PPR but that's about it.  They will be throwing more than usual to make up for Jahvid Best's loss.

Calvin Johnson:  START HIM:  Next.

Brandon Pettigrew:  START HIM:  Right there at the top of TE performance this season.

Nate Burleson:  SIT HIM:  Way too inconsistent this season when he should have been benefiting from the attention given to Johnson.

Defense:  SIT THEM:  If you need to than go with it but look for a better matchup as this looks like a high scoring game.

Chicago Bears VS. Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

Jay Cutler:  START HIM:  Cutler looked great last week and it shows you how good he can be when protected.  The Buc's don't have a big time rush to keep him from getting the ball downfield.

Matt Forte:  START HIM:  As good as there has been this season at any position.

Devin Hester:  SIT HIM:  Only use if you count return yardage.

Roy Williams:  SIT HIM:  Continues to be a bust wherever he goes.

Defense:  START THEM:  The Buc's are toward the bottom of the league on scoring.

Josh Freeman:  SIT HIM:  Has been better of late but still don't trust him yet.

Earnest Graham:  START HIM:  Graham comes off a 100-yard game and he catches the football.

Mike Williams:  START HIM:  Williams is bound to get going soon.

Kellen Winslow:  SIT HIM:  He reportedly is playing on one leg so that's not someone you want to use.

Defense:  SIT THEM:  They are a far cry from their dominant defenses in the past.

Washington Redskins VS. Carolina Panthers:******THE REST OF THIS FEATURE IS FOR FANTASY SPORTS BOSS INSIDER SUBSCRIBERS ONLY.  USE THE BUY NOW TAB ABOVE TO PURCHASE YOUR SEASON ACCESS PASS TO ALL THE INSIDER FEATURES FOR ONLY $15.00 (DISCOUNTED MID-SEASON RATE).******

Thursday, October 20, 2011

RYAN STEELE'S WEEK 7 NFL PRIME PLAYS READY TO GO FRIDAY

FANTASY SPORTS BOSS PRO HANDICAPPER RYAN STEELE IS BACK WITH HIS 20-10 MARK ATS WITH FIVE MORE PRIME PLAYS FOR NFL WEEK 7.  THEY WILL BE SHIPPED OUT TO SUBSCRIBERS TOMORROW AFTERNOON SO IF YOU HAVENT ALREADY DONE SO, USE THE BUY NOW TAB TO THE RIGHT TO PURCHASE THE SELECTIONS.  5 OF 6 WINNING WEEKS IN THE BAG AND RIGHT AT THE TOP OF THE PRO HANDICAPPING CIRCUIT.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAMS QB SAM BRADFORD (HIGH ANKLE SPRAIN) A GAME-TIME DECISION SUNDAY

St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford will be a game-time decision Sunday as he missed practice Thursday with a high ankle sprain.  AJ Feeley has been taking the reps all week for the Rams as he prepares for the chance that he might play.

Analysis-  Dont count on Bradford playing which shouldnt disrupt too many fantasy football teams.  The bigger news is the negative effect this has one newly acquired Brandon Lloyd who will havea tougher time getting his catches with Feeley at QB.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: COLTS RB JOSEPH ADDAI (HAMSTRING) LIKELY TO SIT AGAIN SUNDAY

Indianapolis Colts RB Joseph Addai is likely to sit out again on Sunday as he continues to miss practice with a hamstring injury.  Addai hurt the hamstring back in Week 5 and he missed last week's game as Delone Carter and Donald Brown split the carries.

Analysis:  Dont count on Addai being out there as Carter and Brown will split reps against the poor Saints run defense. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: FALCONS WR JULIO JONES (HAMSTRING) SITS OUT PRACTICE AGAIN ON THURSDAY

Atlanta Falcons rookie WR Julio Jones sat out practice again on Thursday as he continues to deal with a sore hamstring.  Jones missed last week's game with the hamstring which he hurt back in Week 5 and he is looking like a game-time decision this week. 

Analysis:  Friday is big practice for Jones and I think if he sits that one out, he will miss Sunday's huge game against the Detroit Lions. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: SAINTS TE JIMMY GRAHAM HELD OUT OF PRACTICE THURSDAY WITH ANKLE PAIN

New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham was held out of practice Thursday with ankle soreness after tweaking it in practice on Wednesday.  Head coach Sean Payton though reported that it was only a cautionary move and that he will start Sunday.

Analysis:  Graham has quite possibly been the best performing tight end in fantasy football the last month anad he has a great matchup this week against the Colts.  He will be fine.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CAHRGERS TE ANTONIO GATES (FOOT) MISSES PRACTICE THURSDAY

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates missed practice on Thursday, muting optimism that he was getting close to coming back from his chronically injured foot.  Gates had practiced on Tuesday and Wednesday but apparently he might have overdone it a bit. 

Analysis:  Its possible the Chargers just wanted to be cautious and not have him practice that many days in a row but its something to be worried about since its Gates who never seems to come back on time.  Once again Gates is hurting his fantasy football owners with ongoing foot issues. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL UPDATED WR RANKINGS: A SECOND IN-SEASON LOOK

Last but not least, we check in on the updated WR fantasy football rankings for 2011.  Some big names are moving down while some upstarts are on the upswing.  Lets see where they all stand.

1.  Calvin Johnson
2.  Roddy White
3.  Andre Johnson
4.  Hakeem Nicks
5.  Steve Johnson
6.  Wes Welker
7.  Larry Fitzgerald
8.  Miles Austin
9.  Mike Wallace
10. Greg Jennings
11. Reggie Wayne
12. Jeremy Macklin
13. Anquan Boldin
14. AJ Green
15. Dez Bryant
16. Julio Jones
17. Brandon Marshall
18. Nate Washington
19. DeSean Jackson
20. Dwayne Bowe
21. Vincent Jackson
22. Sidney Rice
23. Santana Moss
24. Marques Colston
25. Deion Branch

-Nothing changes at the top with the exception of the injured Andre Johnson falling behind Roddy White.  Calvin Johnson has been a man among boys at this position this season.
-Larry Fitzgerald has not been as great as I thought he would be this season and thats an indictment on QB Kevin Kolb who has looked indecisive in the pocket.  Lets hope he finds his groove soon so Fitz can realize the heights he was once at.
-Wes Welker is having a ridiculous season by any means.  We all knew how great he was but the pace he is on this season is unbelieveable.  Quite possibly the best PPR receiver in fantasy football history.
-Both Julio Jones and AJ Green have been fantasy football assest from the begining which you dont always see from rookie passers.  Pretty soon they will be in the top ten and maybe higher.

Thats how I see things.  Let me know what you think by posting below.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: STEELERS THINK WR MIKE WALLACE (HAMSTRING) WILL PLAY SUNDAY

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Mike Wallace hasnt practiced yet this week due to a reportedly Grade 1 hamstring strain but both he and team officials think he will give it a go Sunday.  Wallace has a great matchup this week against the Arizona Cardinals.

Analysis:  Its looking like Wallace will be out there but be advised that he could easily come out of the game if it tightens up at the start.  He is a risk in that respect but Wallace has a great matchup to exploit this week.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BROWNS RB PEYTON HILLIS COULDNT RUN WEDNESDAY, WILL TRY TO JOG IN POOL THURSDAY

Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis was unable to jog on a side field on Wednesday due to continuing issues with his pulled hamstring which he suffered in last week's game.  He will now try to jog in a pool on Thursday as the team refuses to rule him out for this Sunday.

Analysis:  There is almost no way that Hillis will go this week since he cant even run yet.  Hardesty will draw the start and go against a tough Cardinals run defense. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: PANTHERS TE GREG OLSEN'S TURF TOE NOT SERIOUS

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen's turf toe is not believed to be serious and he is expected back at practice on Thursday.  Olsen will almost certainly play on Sunday according to team officials.

Analysis:  Olsen has been a big weapon for his fantasy football owners this season as rookie QB Cam Newton has looked to him often.  He should be good to go this week.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LIONS RB JAHVID BEST (CONCUSSION) ADVISED HE SHOULD SIT OUT THE SEASON

Things are looking bleak for concussed Detroit Lions RB Jahvid Best as he has been advised to sit down for the rest of the season as a result of the latest hit to his head.  Best has a long history of concussions and the team is very concerned about long lasting effects on their young runner.  No word yet on what Best will do but he is almost certainly not going to play Sunday with Maurice Morris starting in his place.

Analysis:  Tough break for Best who was playing good football the last few weeks.  If you are a fantasy football owner of Best, prepare for a long absence as this does not look good.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: DeMARCO MURRAY RB DALLAS COWBOYS

One of the bigger injuries in Week 7 fantasy football was the high ankle sprain suffered by Dallas Cowboys RB Felix Jones who will now miss the next 2-4 weeks as a result of it.  That means rookie DeMarco Murray will start in his place this week against the St. Louis Rams and he is the subject of our latest Fantasy Football Player Analyzer as we determine what he could offer this wek and beyond.

Murray was selected in the third round of the 2011 draft and so the rookie headed into what seemed like a crowded backfield with Jones and Tashard Choice standing in his way.  Than camp opens and Choice turned off the coaching staff by showing up in awful shape and not playing well when given the chance in preseason games.  Murray on the other hand showed a spark and thus he leapfrogged Choice as the backup to Jones heading into the season.  With Jones the clear workhorse back, Murray didnt see much work until last week when the ankle sprain parked Jones on the bench and he immediately stepped in as his replacement.  Murray finished with the game with 10 carries for 32 yards along with 1 catch for 7 yards.  It was not a great showing but Murray now has a whole week to prepare with the first unit in practice as the Cowboys go up against an awful Rams defense. 

As far as Murray's game is concerned, he is 6-0 and 227 pounds so he is built solidly despite the smallish height.  He has good speed through the tackles and he also can take it outside.  His hands are just all right and he doesnt figure to be a big time pass catcher for those who take part in PPR formats.  Still with the bye weeks here and with big names like Frank Gore, LeSean McCoy, and Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis on the sidelines, Murray is a good replacment option due to the fact he will get the lion's share of carries in this game agianst an awful defense like with St. Louis.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BUC'S TE KELLEN WINSLOW HOBBLED WITH SORE KNEE

Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Kellen Winslow has been dealing with soreness in his six-time surgically repaired knee all season but plans to continue playing through it.  Winslow spoke to reporters on Wednesday and said he is "basically out there on one leg."  He has zero touchdown catches on the season.

Analysis:  Once a big time fantasy football tight end option, Winslow is being left behind but many upstarts this season such as Jimmy Graham, Greg Olsen, Brandon Pettigrew, and Rob Gronkowski.  There is no need to have him on your roster when they are many other better and healthier options available.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BROWNS RB PEYTON HILLIS WONT PRACTICE WEDNESDAY DUE TO HAMSTRING

Cleveland Browns RB Peyton Hillis wont practice Wednesday due to ongoing issues with the hamstring he pulled last week but he will attempt to run on a side field to see how it feels. 

Analysis:  Even if Hillis does suit up, he wont get a full workload with Montario Hardesty taking the extra reps.  Hardesty has not played well this season when given the chance but he is the handcuff.  In a week where there are some big names on bye weeks, the timing of Hillis' injury is awful.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAIDERS TO START CARSON PALMER AT QB SUNDAY

The Oakland Raiders have wasted no time in naming newly acquired QB Carson Palmer to start this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.  This only one day after Palmer came over in a trade with the Bengals and the fact that he has not partaken in any football activities since last season.

Analysis:  We all know Kyle Boller sucks but still this is a surprise that he is being put right out there.  Dont start Palmer this week if you picked him up but hold onto him to see where this goes. 

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAMS QB SAM BRADFORD TO PLAY THROUGH HIGH ANKLE SPRAIN

St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford will play through the high ankle sprain he suffered last week according to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.  AJ Feeley is getting extra reps this week in case Bradford cant go but all signs point to the second-year franchise passer being the guy this week.

Analysis:  Its puzzling why the Rams would risk Bradford worsening the injury since they are winless and are not going anywhere this season.  On a side note, newly acquired Brandon Lloyd will have a much better chance with Bradford at QB to post some useful numbers this week.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LIONS RB JAHVID BEST SITS OUT WEDNESDAY PRACTICE WITH CONCUSSION

Detroit Lions RB Jahvid Best sat out practice on Wednesday due to the concussion he suffered in last Sunday's game.  Best has a long history of concussions which has the team concerned and its likely he will sit with newly acquired Ronnie Brown and backup Maurice Morris getting work in his place.

Analysis:  Best is not going to go as concussions for a running back who lead with their head alot is a big deal.  Brown and Morris will probably split carries evenly and so neither one is starting material.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LEGARRETTE BLOUNT TO LIKELY SIT SUNDAY

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB LeGarrette Blount will likely sit out the team's Sunday game in London in favor of Earnest Graham.  Blount is being pointed to Week 8 and Graham is coming off a 100-yard outing last week.

Analysis:  Graham has a tough matchup against the Bears who bottled up Adrian Peterson last week but in PPR legaues he is extra valuable since he can catch the football.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: REDSKINS NAME JOHN BECK STARTER

The Washington Redskins became the latest tema to realize that Rex Grossman stinks as they will bench him for John Beck this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.  Grossman was pulled last week after throwing four INT's in a loss to the Eagles.

Analysis:  Beck's promtion doesnt warrant a fantasy football add even if you are desperate at QB.  This also doesnt change the value much of Santana Moss, Fred Davis, and company.

FANTASY FOOTBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: CARSON PALMER QB OAKLAND RADIERS

The big news of NFL trading deadline day was the astounding trade between the Bengals and the Raiders where Cincy dealt QB Carson Palmer to Oakland for a 2012 first round pick and a 2013 conditional first round pick.  Palmer flew immediately to Oakland after the deal in an effort to quickly get up to speed and get behind center.  The former Pro Bowler was at one time a top play in both the NFL and fantasy football until a playoff game knee injury against the Pittsburgh Steelers started the spiral to where we are today.  So with a new start in Oakland set to begin, lets take a look at the current state of Carson Palmer and determine what he can offer in fantasy football the rest of the season.

First a quick history lesson.  Carson Palmer of course was the number 1 overall pick back in the 2003 draft out of USC where he was coached on the assistant level by none other than current Raiders head coach Hue Jackson.  After sitting on the bench his entire rookie season, Palmer got handed the reigns in 2004 and proceeded to rell off three straight seasons where he threw 32, 28, and 26 touchdowns.  He also threw for over 4,000 yards in two of those seasons as Palmer was known as one of the very best passers in the game.  He also was a top 3 fantasy football QB during that time until of course the knee injury changed things.  Palmer from that point forward never threw for more than 20 TD's in a season and failed to reach the 4,000 yard mark in any of the next four seasons.  It all culminated in the holdout to start this season as Palmer vowed to never play for the Bengals again.  Of course that all changed now and so we must determine if he has any game left to offer potential fantasy football owners.

As far as Palmer's passing is concerned, he still had the cannon arm and big time accuracy in the down seasons after the injury.  The tools are certainly still there and will allow him to quickly prove adequate at the very least when he gets back behind center.  The issue however is that he has had zero time to prepare with no participation in any offseason program due to the lockout along with the holdout.  Also the Raiders are a run dominant team so its not like the offense will be built around the QB.  In other words Palmer wont be putting up superstar numbers like he used to do.  He should be solid but not a big difference maker when you break it down.

All in all, I think Palmer is a speculative add who could be used as a spot starter for bye weeks and injuries.  He wont ever revisit those Pro Bowl numbers he had back in the day but he could surely be useful the rest of the season.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL UPDATED TIGHT END RANKINGS: A SECOND IN-SEASON LOOK

Its time to tak a look at the second set of fantasy football tight end in-season rankings.  A lot of the big names have disappointed so far this season and thsoe names originally further down the list are moving up.  Lets see how things shake out.

1.  Jason Witten
2.  Brandon Pettigrew
3.  Rob Gronkowski
4.  Jimmy Graham
5.  Vernon Davis
6.  Antonio Gates
7.  Tony Gonzalez
8.  Aaron Hernandez
9.  Jermichael Finley
10. Owen Daniels
11. Dallas Clark
12. Greg Olsen
13. Kellen Winslow Jr.
14. Fred Davis
15. Dustin Keller

-Brandon Pettigrew has been a monster all  season for the upstart Lions and he joins Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski  as some of the biggest values in all of  fantasy football, let alone tight end.  The tight end position has been one big disappointment at the top with Jermichael Finley off to a slow start, Antonio Gates being hurt, and Dallas Clark being negatively impacted by the absence of Peyton Manning.
-Owen Daniels and Tony Gonzalez have also had nice seasons in contrast to their late round draft selections.  Daniels especially has stepped up with the absence of Andre Johnson.
-Fred Davis is in line for a sharp increase in value now that Chris Cooley is out the next 6 weeks with injury.  He makes a very good pickup this week.

Thats how I see it.  As always let me know what you think.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: VIKINGS QB DONOVAN MCNABB BENCHED FOR ROOKIE CHRISTIAN PONDER

Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has decided to bench QB Donovan McNabb for rookie Christian Ponder with the team 1-5 and coming off a disgusting loss to the Bears.  Ponder showed some things in relief of McNabb in that game and so the future is now for the Vikings.

Analysis:  It didnt take long for McNabb tofind his way to the bench for yet another team.  Its a sad ending of a very good career for the former Eagle but clearly this wasa move that had to be made.  Ponder is not worth using for fantasy football until we see more of what  he can do.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: LIONS RB JAHVID BEST (CONCUSSION) COULD SIT SUNDAY

Detroit Lions RB Jahvid Best has not been ruled out yet to play in Sunday's game despite suffering a concussion in Week 6.  Best has dealt with concussions in his past and  still has to pass the baseline testing in order to play this week but head coach Jim Schwartz has not discounted his availability yet.

Analysis:  I think its going to be tough for Best to play this week as a consussion for a RB is a big deal.  He is mainly a PPR guy anyway but the fact they bye weeks are taking out some big names this week (LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore) is bad timing.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BENGALS RB CEDRIC BENSON SUSPENSION REDUCED TO ONE GAME

Cincinnati Bengals RB Cedric Benson's original 3 game suspension has been reduced to one game and he will  serve it in Week 8 against the Seattle Seahawks.  Bernard Scott will start in his place.

Analysis:  Benson is ninth in the NFL in rushing but he doesnt catch passes and he is averaging less than 4.0 ypc.  Scott has a good matchup against the Seahawks so if you are desperate you could use him there.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAIDERS ACQUIRE QB CARSON PALMER FROM BENGALS FOR TWO FIRST ROUND PICKS

In a blockbuster in-season  trade, the Oakland Raiders have acquired QB Carson Palmer for a 2012 first  round pick and a conditional 2013 first round pick.  The Raiders moved quickly to fill the void left by the season-ending injury to QB Jason Campbell.  The conditional 2013 first round pick will vest if the  Raiders make the playoffs this season.  If they miss the playoffs, they will get a second round choice.

Analysis:  This is  a ridiculous amount of picks to give up for Palmer who has not played a down as he held out all season.  Palmer no doubt has talent but he hasnt been the same player since having his knee blown out in a playoff games years ago.  Only a speculative add in fantasy football at this point until we see how  rusty he is.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: COWBOYS RB FELIX JONES (HIGH ANKLE SPRAIN) OUT 2-4 WEEKS

Dallas  Cowboys oft-injured RB Felix Jones will miss the next 2-4 weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain in last Sunday's loss to the Patriots.  Jones has been battling shoulder issues all season but played through it.  He was forced to wear a protective boot on the ankle and Demarco Murray will now start in his place.

Analysis:   Murray becomes a person of interest, especially with the bye weeks in full swing.  Jones once again is unale to realize his full potential due to injuries and its seems like things will never change  in that aspect.

Monday, October 17, 2011

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: CHARGERS WALKING WOUNDED (GATES, MATTEWS, TOLBERT) ALL PRACTICE ON MONDAY

The San Diego Chargers are getting healthy as TE Antonio Gates (foot), RB Ryan Matthews (calf) and RB Mike Tolbert (concussion) all practiced on Monday.  The only exception was WR Vincent Jackson who sat out with a hamstring injury.  Gates has been out for weeks and his status needs to be watched the most but its a good sign that he is already on the field this week.

Analysis:  I expect all of these guys to play on Sunday and they all make very good fantasy football options (Tolbert being only for PPR).  Good news all around.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAMS QB SAM BRADFORD HAS HIGH ANKLE SPRAIN, IN WALKING BOOT

St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford has a high ankle sprain according to head coach Steve Spagnuolo and his status for the weekend is up in the air as a result.  AJ Feeley took all the snaps in practice on Monday as Bradford was seen in a walking boot.

Analysis:  Spagnulo is calling him day-to-day which is an overly optimistic view of a high ankle sprain.  I think its a longshot if he plays Sunday but either way Bradford has little fantasy football value.  The bigger issue is the fact that newly acquired WR Brandon Lloyd wont be attractive with AJ Feeley at QB.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: RAIDERS CALLED QB'S JOSH MCCOWN AND DAVID GARRARD

With QB Jason Campbell out for the season with a broken collarbone, the Oakland Raiders have called QB's Josh McCown and David Garrard in order to determine whether they would be interested in coming to pilot the team.  Kyle Boller is now the starter but the team doesnt feel comfortable with him as their starter the rest of the season.

Analysis:  Yesterday's Campbell injury is a major one and the Raiders are tryng to save the season before it gets out of hand with Boller as their passer.  No matter who comes aboard, they wont be worthy in fantasy football.

FANTASY FOOTBALL NEWS: BRONCOS DEALING WR BRANDON LLOYD TO THE RAMS

According to various reports, the Denver Broncos have agreed to deal WR Brandon Lloyd to the St. Louis Rams.  With the trading deadline approaching on Tuesday, the team made it known Lloyd was available and the Rams pounced.  Terms of what the Rams are sending back are not know yet.

Analysis:  Lloyd's fantasy football value is pretty much unchanged from going to Denver to St. Louis.  This should be a boon to QB Sam Bradford as well as he now has a weapon to pass to that is not mediocre.

FANTASY FOOTBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: GREG LITTLE WR CLEVELAND BROWNS

With the bye weeks in full swing and injuries being a weekly problem for owners, looking for replacement options for your lineup is always a challenge.  Of course every season players emerge into valuable roles and seemingly come out of nowhere to be useful parts the rest of the way.  One such player is Cleveland Browns WR Greg Little who caught six passes for 72 yards this past Sunday and who will be featured in the team's passing game going forward due to his speed and physical nature once he catches the ball.  So in the latest edition of the Fantasy Football Player Analyzer, we look a bit deeper at Greg Little the player as we determine how much of a help he can be the rest of the season.

Little was originally a second round pick of the Browns in the 2011 draft out of North Carolina and he is built solidly at 6-2 and 220 pounds.  He also gained a reputation as a very physical receiver while in college along the lines of a Steve Smith or a Hines Ward.  Obviously that's always a big help in the overlooked yards-after-catch.  One a team desperate for an impact receiver, it was all set up for Little to be a big part of the offense and that's just the opportunity that he earned once the season began.  After catching only 1 pass in the opener, Little has grabbed 4, 3, 6, and 6 catches in the last four games.  He is starting in the slot position which means his yardage hasn't been great but with QB Colt McCoy not being a downfield thrower, the chances to get his hands on the ball will be plentiful.  He hasn't gotten into the end zone yet but that figures to change real soon.

All in all, Greg Little is a guy who needs to be picked up in PPR fantasy football leagues.  Those in standard formats can take a pass since he wont score enough to be useful in that setup but Little clearly has the goods to produce on Sundays.  If you are in a PPR league, Little will be a very good WR 3 for your squad the rest of the season and an even better by-week fill-in if you need help in that department.