Friday Tidbits 9/28/07

28 September 2007

Brett Favre tied Dan Marino with his 420 TDs as Green Bay upset San Diego. The Raiders won. Of course, they did play Cleveland. Donovan McNabb let his playing to the talking. McNabb, Westbrook, and Kevin Curtis were amazing. Jon Kitna threw for 446 yards in a losing effort. Kevin Curtis and Roy Williams each went over 200 yards. I’m not sure if that ever happened before. Tom Brady threw 2 more TDs to Randy Moss. Ho hum. Dallas destroyed Chicago. Michael Vick got busted for “listening to the Doobie Brothers”. You following me? Not smart to smoke weed after a guilty plea. The Bears finally pulled the plug on Rex Grossman. Griese gets the call. DeAngeleo Hall was fined $100K for his meltdown. What a puke. Deuce McAllister is out for the year with a knee injury. Steven Jackson is out a week or more with a bad groin. Drew Brees donated $2 million to Purdue for an athletic facility.

Josh Beckett became the first 20 game winner since 2005. Mike Mussina won his 250th game. Cleveland clinched the AL Central. Anaheim clinched the AL West. The Red Sox and Yankees clinched a playoff spot. Prince Fielder clubbed his 50th home run. There was a Manny sighting in Boston. A-Rod went over the 150 RBI mark. Milton Bradley tore his knee arguing with an umpire. That umpire (Mike Winters) was suspended for the rest of the season and postseason for baiting Bradley. Survey says they are both a-holes. Michael Young had his 200th hit for the 5th straight year. Fausto Carmona, Chien-Ming Wang, and Jake Peavey all recorded their 19th victories. Ryan Howard is tied for the all-time single-season strikeout record with 195. The remaining pennant races are great. The Red Sox have a two game lead on the Yankees. Philly and NY are tied for first. The Cubs have a two game lead on Milwaukee. Arizona has a one game lead on San Diego. San Diego has a game edge over the Mets and Colorado, who’ve won 11 straight to get in the chase, in the Wild Card race.

Shawn Marion wants to be traded. LA is a likely destination. Troy Hudson signed with Golden State. That’s awesome. Now that he’s in California, T-Hud can continue his wonderful rap career. LeBron is going to host Saturday Night Live.

The NHL season kicks off on Saturday. Tampa Bay D Dan Boyle accidentally cut his wrist with his skate and will be out a month. The LA Kings waived G Dan Cloutier. Vancouver G Roberto Luongo said he would retire if the league used bigger nets. Chicken. Philly F Scottie Upshall broke his wrist and will be over more than a month. St. Louis will be without D Jay McKee for a month because of a foot injury.

There were some stunners last weekend in college football. My Syracuse Orange knocked off #18 Louisville 38-35 despite 555 yards and 4 TD passes from Brian Brohm. Andrew Robinson had 423 yards and 4 scores for the ‘Cuse. Miami doubled up #20 Texas A & M 34-17. Michigan beat #10 Penn State 14-9. #22 Georgia beat #16 Alabama 26-23. I like it when Saban loses. The other matchup betwen ranked teams saw #2 LSU defeat #12 South Carolina 28-16. Oklahoma DE John Williams is out for the year with an Achilles injury. The weekend kicks off tonight with a sweet matchup between #5 West Virginia and #18 South Florida. #6 Cal vs. #11 Oregon should be a good matchup. #9 Wisconsin vs. 4-0 Michigan State could be good. Is it just me or is it weird that South Florida and Rutgers became good while Auburn, Colorado, and Ole Miss have become bad.

Kentucky G Joe Crawford had knee surgery. Louisville C Clarence Holloway had open-heart surgery. Ohio State gave Coach Thad Matta a $480,000 raise. Tennessee suspended D Duke Crews indefinitely for a rule violation. Syracuse’s Carmelo Anthony was on hand to break ground on the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center, a practice facility for the men and women’s teams. He donated $3 million for it. Corliss Williamson is retiring from the NBA (didn’t know he was still playing) to become an assistant coach for Arkansas Baptist College. Georgetown signed Coach John Thompson III to a 6 year contract extension.

That concludes the Tidbits. As always, feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.

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I’m going back out on that fantasy football limb. I will pick five players I believe will score more points this week than a higher profile player. The scoring will be 6 points for rushing or receiving TD, 4 points for a passing TD, .1 points per yard for rushing or receiving and .05 points per passing yard. I will also do a Super Stretch Pick where I take a real longshot. First, I’ll recap last week.

Last Week
Brett Favre 30.55 beat Jason Campbell 14.7 WHICH I GOT WRONG
Frank Gore 5.1 beat Rudi Johnson 4.2 WHICH I GOT WRONG
LaMont Jordan
21.3 beat Maurice Jones-Drew as I predicted.
Larry Fitzgerald 8.5 beat Santana Moss 8.4 WHICH I GOT WRONG
However, Fitz fumbled a ball so if your league deducts for fumbles, Moss was the better play.
Vincent Jackson 16.8 beat Hines Ward 0.9 as I predicted.

Super Stretch
LenDale White 12.0 beat Thomas Jones 11.1 asI predicted.

Season Record: 8-7 Regular Picks, 3-0 Super Stretch Picks, 11-7 Overall
QB: 2-1, RB: 6-3, WR: 3-3

This Week’s Picks
Brian Griese over Jeff Garcia
Chicago is finally pulling the plug on the Rex Grossman Experiment. Griese has a solid day to keep the job for a while. Garcia struggles a little on the road against Carolina.

Marion Barber III over Willie Parker
MB3 has been awesome. He should have no problems against St. Louis at home. Fast Willie won’t be able to keep up on the road against Arizona.

Brian Leonard over Jerious Norwood
Leonard gets the starting nod because of S-Jax’s injury. He takes advantage of by outperforming Norwood against Houston’s surprisingly good D.

Kevin Curtis over Braylon Edwards
Curtis shows he was no fluke against a weak Giants pass D. Edwards has the fun matchup with Baltimore.

Javon Walker over Marvin Harrison
Their teams square off so why not an Out on a Limb square off as well.  Denver will be playing from behind padding Walker’s stats. Indy will be up so Addai will get the work. Not to mention Marvin has to share with Wayne.
SUPER STRETCH
Wes Welker
over Larry Fitzgerald
I’m really picking on Fitz this year. He hasn’t reached rock bottom yet. Facing Pittsburgh will bring him there. I sense Brady will remind everyone that it’s not just Randy Moss this year.

What did you think of my predictions? Do you have any fantasy upsets in mind? Please leave your comments.

Previous Out on a Limb Picks
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

What Happened to Our Running Backs?

I’ll ask it again. What has happened to our running backs? LaDainian Tomlinson, Steven Jackson, and Larry Johnson. These guys were generally the top 3 picks in most fantasy drafts. LJ may have slid depending on when you drafted based on his preseason contract situation. Rudi Johnson, Willis McGahee, Laurence Maroney, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Reggie Bush were late first, early second round picks. All of these players have been fairly disappointing thus far.

These running backs are being outscored by the likes of Randy Moss, Chad Johnson, Plaxico Burress, Steve Smith, Roy Williams, Terrell Owens, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Kevin Curtis, Anquan Boldin, Braylon Edwards, and Andre Johnson (who even missed a game). I could see Randy Moss, Chad Johnson, Steve Smith, and Terrell Owens, but the rest? That’s crazy.

Not all of the running backs are off to slow starts. Brian Westbrook and Ronnie Brown have rode big Week 3′s to the top of the scoring list. Joseph Addai and Willie Parker have been great. Marion Barber III, LaMont Jordan, Adrian Peterson, Clinton Portis, Edgerrin James, and Derrick Ward have been surprisingly some of the strongest, most consistent plays.

How many of these guys brought jeers from your leaguemates when you selected them in your draft? Who’s laughing now? Fantasy football is unpredictable. You can research until your face turns blue, but sometimes a little luck is all you need. So when you are drafting next year, try not to make fun of people for their picks. Remember, anything can happen.

So what can you do with this info? If you’re me, you seek out the owners of the running backs who have been disappoinments. Obviously, LT is most likely untouchable. As is Reggie Bush, whose value increased with the injury to Deuce McAllister. There may not be a better time to try and get S-Jax. He’s hurt and has been struggling. However, if you can get him for a bargain, it will help you in the long run. Eventually, New England will use the running game more. If you can get Maroney for cheap, you may be smiling when your faith is rewarded. Kansas City worked the outside with Dwayne Bowe, which opened the middle for Tony Gonzalez. That could eventually opens things up for LJ. Have you looked at Cincinnati’s fantasy playoff schedule (Weeks 14-16)? It’s as close to a cake walk as you’re going to get in the NFL. For that reason, he could be a trade target. I don’t recommend MJD. I predicted he’d be a bust in the preseason, and he’s making me look like a genius.

So there you have it. A little bit of news. A little bit of trade help. Hopefully it helps you. Agree with my assessments? Think I’m full of it? Feel free to leave me a comment below.

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NFL Picks – Week 4

26 September 2007

nfl-logo.jpg
Photo courtesy of Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI 

I was OK last week. I went 10-6. I lost on San Diego, Cleveland, Cincy, Denver, Washington, and Chicago. My lock pick (San Diego) didn’t come through either. Hopefully I can do better this week.

Last Week: 10-6
Overall: 30-18
Lock Picks: 1-2

Lock Pick: Baltimore
Previous Lock Picks: PITT, CIN (L), SD (L)

Week 4 Picks
GB over MN
HOU over ATL
NYJ over BUF
BAL over CLE
DAL over STL
CHI over DET
MIA over OAK
SF over SEA
TB over CAR
PITT over ARI
SD over KC
INDY over DEN
PHI over NYG
NE over CIN

Do you have any differences?

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Fantasy Football Forum
Did you win your matchup this week? What’s your record? Me, I’m 3-0. I was the 2nd high scorer in my league this week despite getting less than 8 points from Larry & Rudi Johnson. The guy who carried the big lumber for me this week was Kevin Curtis. My opponent was less than pleased. As you may know, I’m in an 8 man keeper league. I’m pretty proud of starting Curtis in an 8 man league. Tom Brady was amazing yet again. Chad Johnson played well. My free agent pickup of Dallas Clark paid an immediate dividend. I finally found a kicker in Jeff Reed. I would have been better off starting Benson or LenDale over either Johnson.

That’s how my weekend of fantasy football went. How did you do?
Tracking My NFL Preseason Predictions
I made a bunch of predictions in the preseason. I profiled guys I thought would do well. I also profiled guys I thought wouldn’t meet expectations. Here are mypreseason predictions are going.

Surprises
J.P. Losman – Prediction: 3400 yards, 24 TDs, 16 INTs
On Pace for: 1360 yards, 0 TDs, 5 INTs
Right-O-Meter: 1
Losman got hurt. Really hurts your projections. He completed every pass in Week 3. So what if he just threw one pass.

Alex Smith – Prediction: 3000 yards, 20 TDs, 14 INTs
On Pace for: 2459 yards, 5 TDs, 5 INTs
Right-O-Meter: 1
Well, he finally cracked 200 yards and threw his first TD.

Chris Brown – Prediction: 1000 total yards, 5 TDs
On Pace for: 1440 total yards, 0 TDs
Right-O-Meter: 8
56 total yards in Week 3. LenDale has scored the past two weeks though. Brown needs to break some long ones.

Jerious Norwood – Prediction: 1200 total yards, 5 TDs
On Pace for: 885 total yards, 0 TDs
Right-O-Meter: 4
His 66 total yards was his season’s best.

D.J. Hackett – Prediction: 80 receptions, 1100 yards, 8 TDs
On Pace for: 37 yards
Did not play because of ankle injury.
Right-O-Meter: 1 – An ankle injury will keep the Right-O-Meter low all year long.

Vincent Jackson – Prediction: 64 receptions, 1100 yards, 9 TDs
On Pace for: 955 yards, 5 TDs
Right-O-Meter: 6
98 yards and a score. That’s what I’m talking about.

Heath Miller – Prediction: 600 yard, 8 TDs
On Pace for: 805 yards, 5 TDs
Right-O-Meter: 10
Solidf 82 yard performance

Disappointments
Vince Young – Prediction: 2800 passing yards, 650 rushing yards, 16 TDs, 6 rushing TDs, 20 INTs
On Pace for: 2272 yards passing, 512 rushing yards, 16 TDs, 5 rushing TDs, 15 INTs
Right-O-Meter: 10
My predictions are on target, but a further review of my projections, and those numbers wouldn’t be that bad.

Maurice Jones-Drew- Prediction: 1100 total yards, 8 rushing & receiving TDs
On Pace for: 832 total yards, 0 TDs
Right-O-Meter: 10
55 total yards. Another stinker. At least he outscored Larry and Rudi Johnson this week.

Torry Holt – Prediction: 1100 yards, 7 TDs
On Pace for: 1120 yards, 11 TDs
Right-O-Meter: 5
He didn’t reach the endzone this week. His 63 yards were mediocre, but keep in mind Bulger only threw for 116 yards.

Tony Gonzalez – Prediction: 700 yards, 5 TDs
On Pace for: 891 yards, 0 TDs
Right-O-Meter: 8
His yardage is better than I thought, but he still hasn’t reached the endzone. He did have a solid 7 catch, 96 yard game against Minnesota. Dwayne Bowe looked good, which could open things up for Gonzo and LJ.

I continue to bomb at QB. Half of my WR prediction seems to be coming around. MY RBs need to break long TDs to get me going. TE has been solid. My bust picks are still pretty accurate.

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Friday Tidbits 9/21/07

21 September 2007

NFL Week 2 was insane. The Patriots smoked San Diego. Randy Moss scored twice. I guess the video scandal didn’t matter. Cleveland knocked off Cincinnati 51-45. I don’t think the Cavs even score that much. Derek Anderson’s five TDs did the trick. It helped that Jamal Lewis carved up the Cincy D for 215 yards. Carson Palmer threw 6 TDs in a losing effort. Brett Favre moved past John Elway as the NFL’s winningest QB. He had 3 TD passes against the sucky New York Giants. San Fran, Houston, Washington, and Detroit joined Green Bay at a surprising 2-0. Tampa Bay stomped the Saints. I guess last year was a fluke. Buffalo’s Kevin Everett is able to move both hands now. Great news. They say he may be able to walk in a couple of weeks. Amazing. Tennessee extended Jeff Fisher’s contract four years. New York’s Steve Smith will be out a couple weeks with a broken shoulder blade. The Falcons raided the retirement home and brought back Morten Anderson. Seattle gave DB Jordan Babineaux a five-year extension. The Jets lost return man Justin Miller. Tank Johnson may be taking his guns to the Lone Star State. As a Cowboy, he may be able to buy a truck and keep his bazookas in the gun rack. Byron Leftwich siged with Atlanta. I used to love McNabb. He went to Syracuse while I was there. He plays for my 2nd favorite NFL team. However, I have become annoyed with him. He said that black quarterbacks are criticized more than white ones. Tell that to Eli Manning or Rex Grossman. Could it be, perhaps, that you play in a market where the fans are very critical? If Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt was booed, then anyone is fair game. When you sign a contract worth upwards of $100 million, you are going to be held accountable. I’d say that’s pretty standard. Washington lost another O-Lineman. Guard Randy Thomas will be out for the bulk of the year with a torn tricep muscle. MeO got fined for his TD celebration. He made fun of the Video scandal. I think it’s kind of funny. Andre Johnson is out this week. San Fran LB Manny Lawson is gone for the year with a knee injury. Jax lost S Gerald Sensabaugh for the season with a shoulder injury.

The Yanks took 2 of 3 in the weekend series against Boston. Boston is holding on by its teeth. They’ve tanked in 1978 fashion. Jim Thome blasted his 500th home run. The tainted #756 ball sold for $752,467. It would have been cool if they paid $756,000 instead. They dropped the ball. No pun intended. Michael Young drove in 7 runs against Oakland. Frank Thomas smashed three home runs in one game. The Sun came up. The governement taxed someone. Ben Sheets got hurt again. Boston shut down Hideki Okajima because of tired arm. I wish they did the same with Eric G*gne. Ken Griffey, Jr. will finish yet another year on the DL. This time with a groin injury. He did hit 30 home runs this year moving him to 593. Toronto’s Vernon Wells is shutting it down as well. Houston rookie J.R. Towles drove in 8 runs. The Cubbies are in first place. San Diego has won 7 straight and is only a half game out of first.

Dikembe Mutumbo is returning for one more year. Don Nelson agreed to an extension with Golden State. J.J. Redick has a broken bone in his right hand. The league’s second most hated referee Joey Crawford was reinstated. Utah’s AK-47 says he wants out. Milwaukee matched G Charlie Bell’s offer sheet from Miami. They don’t seem too concerned with whether or not people want to play there.

The NHL preseason is underway. Anaheim D Mathieu Schneider broke a bone in his left ankle. He’ll be on the shelf for a while. His teammates Teemu Selanne and Scott Niedermayer still haven’t decided if they’ll retire or not. Buffalo’s Teppo Numminen hopes to play despite open heart surgery. Vancouver D Sami Salo fractured his wrist. Ottawa C Mike Fisher signed a five-year extension with the club. Sean Burke retired after tending nets for 20 years.

Another wild week of college football. #1 USC took care of #19 Nebraska 49-31. #2 LSU (44-0 over Mid Tenn) and #3 Oklahoma (54-3 over Utah St.) routed inferior opponents. #5 Florida beat #22 Tennessee 59-20. Kentucky knocked off #9 Louisville. Utah flattened #11 UCLA 44-6. I didn’t know Lloyd Carr coached UCLA this week. Just kidding Lloyd. Michigan actually won this week, rolling on Notre Dame 38-0. Coach Weis needs to start videotaping the opposing team’s play signals. Maybe then his team could score a touchdown. #21 Boston College bumped #15 Georgia Tech 45-24. #16 Arkansas fell to Alabama 41-38. Texas S James Henry became the 6th Longhorn to be arrested since June. They are starting to rival the Bengals. The best matchups this week are #2 LSU vs. #12 South Carolina and #16 Alabama vs. #22 Georgia.

Pitt PG Levance Fields got the stun gun treatment when he was rasslin’ with a cop. I guess he shouldn’t have tried to grab the cop’s gun. Alabama PG Ron Steele will redshirt next year following knee surgery.

The Phoenix Mercury won the WNBA Finals.

Floyd L*ndis had to give back his T*ur de France vict*ry.

That concludes the Tidbits. As always, feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.

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I’m going back out on that fantasy football limb. I will pick five players I believe will score more points this week than a higher profile player. The scoring will be 6 points for rushing or receiving TD, 4 points for a passing TD, .1 points per yard for rushing or receiving and .05 points per passing yard. I will also do a Super Stretch Pick where I take a real longshot. First, I’ll recap last week.

Last Week
Brett Favre 26.1 beat Marc Bulger 22.4 as I predicted.
Shaun Alexander 13.5 beat Steven Jackson 9.6 as I predicted.
Laurence Maroney 7.7 beat Maurice Jones-Drew 4.1 WHICH I GOT WRONG.
Marvin Harrison 8.7 beat Reggie Wayne 7.0 WHICH I GOT WRONG.
I’m 0-3 picking Reggie’s this year.
Santonio Holmes 5.3 beat Ronald Curry 1.2 as I predicted.

Super Stretch
Cedric Benson 11.0 beat Larry Johnson 8.7 as I predicted.

Season Record: 6-4, 2-0
QB: 2-0, RB: 4-2, WR: 2-2

This Week’s Picks
Jason Campbell over Brett Favre
Last week I rode Favre against a porous Giants defense. This time I’m flipping the switch on the old man. I’m going Campbell against the aforementioned porous Giants D, figuring Shawn Merrim*n and company will force Favre into plenty of mistakes.

LaMont Jordan over Maurice Jones-Drew
MJD let me down last week. This week I’m picking on him. LaMont Jordan should be able to move the chains against Cleveland. MJD will have his hands full with Denver’s tough D.

Rudi Johnson over Frank Gore
I’ll take on Gore again. I’m not going with a Reggie this time. Instead, I’ll take Rudi against Seattle. I like the matchup better than Gore against Pittsburgh.

Santana Moss over Larry Fitzgerald
Jason Campbell has to throw to somebody. I think Moss gets in the endzone. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ran one in as well. Fitz has gotten off to a slow start. Facing Baltimore won’t help

Vincent Jackson over Hines Ward
Vincnet Jackson has been pretty quiet. I think he gets it going this week against Green Bay. Hines Ward will have Nate Clements to deal with in SF.

STRETCH
LenDale White
over Thomas Jones
LenDale has actually been pretty productive. Thomas Jones hasn’t got on track yet. Facing New England, Baltimore, and now Miami won’t help. He is a buy low candidate though. I suggest you try and steal him from his owner in your leauge.

What did you think of my predictions? Do you have any fantasy upsets in mind? Please leave your comments.

Previous Out on a Limb Picks
Week 1
Week 2


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