The Panic Button

11 September 2008


Written by Lisa Danhof

Is it time to panic yet??  This is the question I ask myself every Sunday night – and probably again Tuesday morning when re-evaluating my team.  This week I found myself thinking about some of the biggest stars of the fantasy football world—those players on whom you spent half your auction money or your first round draft pick.  I’ve listed them here on a panic level scale of 1-4.   A level one player merely bears watching.  A level four player is crying out for immediate action, and possibly a fist full of Xanax with a whiskey chaser.

Level 1 – Braylon Edwards
So he only had two catches. You expected 10? Well, the good news is your expectations are about right, and his two catches are the exception to your 10-catch norm. Derek Anderson threw to him a ton, but the preseason games he missed were painfully apparent in an offense that relies heavily on timing. I hope they have those issues worked out because next week proves an even tougher test against a surprisingly strong Steelers defense – one that held the Texans to only three points through the first three quarters. However, if his stats are still unimproved after next week, be on the lookout for a stat-panicky owner that will trade him for less than fair-market value. Braylon’s going to have a solid fantasy season. No worries here.
Honorable Mention – LaDanian Tomlinson

Level 2 – Joseph Addai
I originally had him listed as a three (probably because he’s my main back), but backed him down. Indy’s offensive line is much more suspect than originally thought, specifically the run-blocking. The loss of Jeff Saturday and the addition of three new starters on the offensive line has changed more than the offensive chemistry; the aura of invincibility is now gone. This situation has great potential to get better as the offensive line has more time to jell, but for now Addai will struggle–it’s hard for an elusive style back to hit non-existent holes.
Honorable Mention – Randy Moss

Level 3 – Steven Jackson
The Rams defense is awful. They gave up 21 points. By halftime. Need further proof? They gave up over 500 total yards. Granted, the Eagles are a quality offense, even missing their top two receivers. However, no matter how you look at it – that is a lot of yardage. Unfortunately for Jackson that means they’re going to be playing catch-up in far more games than I’d be comfortable with. He’s a great back and will always have a good first quarter – before his defense gets them down by double digits. Unfortunately after that Bulger will be forced to go to the air.
Honorable Mention – Maurice Jones-Drew

Level 4 – Marques Colston
Take a deep breath. Now exhale. Ok, now we can talk about this situation before you do anything rash. Is there real reason to panic? Absolutely. But at least you’re not at the Tom Brady level of panic. So let’s go pros and cons.

Pros: He’s not out all year. It’s a thumb injury, which is something that’s not prone to recurrence like say a hamstring injury is. You should have more depth at wide receiver than you have at quarterback. David Patten and Devery Henderson, the Saints second and third receivers, are most likely available on your waiver wire and didn’t look too terrible on Sunday.

Cons: You will be getting zero points from your number one receiver for over half your season. I think that’s really all the reason I need to put him at panic level 4. If you have the bench space to hang on to him, go for it. Despite the injury, he is still far too valuable to straight out drop at this point.
Honorable Mention – Tom Brady

Fantasy Football Out on a Limb is back for another season.  I scour the rosters to select a player who I feel will outperform a higher profile player in that given week.  I base my decisions on matchups, how the players are trending, and the ever-important hunch.  To mix things up I’ll occasionally do some two on one matchups or even pit RB or WR duos against each other.  Sometimes I’ll spot a player some points. 

Scoring
6 points for rushing or receiving TD
4 points for a passing TD
0.1 points per yard for rushing or receiving
0.05 points per passing yard. 

Last Week
Tony Romo
(20) over Tom Brady (3.8) WHICH I WON
Michael Turner (34.6) over Ryan Grant (9.2) WHICH I WON
Selvin Young (9.6) over Darren McFadden (5.7) WHICH I WON
Randy Moss (17.6) beat Larry Fitzgerald (9.1) WHICH I LOST 
Jerricho Cotchery (14.0) over T.J. Houshmandzadeh (4.4) WHICH I WON
Super Stetch:  Ray Rice (8.3) over Fred Taylor (2.7) WHICH I WON

Regular Picks:  4-1
Super Stretch Picks:  1-0
Overall:  5-1
Breakdown: QB: 1-0, RB 3-0, WR: 1-1

Season Record
Regular Picks:  4-1
Super Stretch Picks:  1-0
Overall:  5-1
Breakdown: QB: 1-0, RB: 3-0, WR: 1-1

Quarterback
  
Aaron Rodgers 
over Brett Favre
Of course I’m going to go there.  Rodgers looked good against a bad Vikings Pass Defense last week.  Favre put up solid numbers vs. the Dolphins.  I think they will both have success this week, but I see Rodgers torching Detroit much worse than Favre will do vs. the reeling Pats.

Running Backs
 
Brandon Jacobs
over Marshawn Lynch
Jacobs gets to take on the lowly St. Louis Rams.  Yeah, he’s playing on the road, but the G-Men have no problem on the road as evidenced by their run last year.  Jacobs is healthy and should bowl over their pitiful D.  Meanwhile Lynch gets to face a Jacksonville team coming off a loss.  Plus he’s playing in Jacksonville.  You see where I’m going with this?

 
Larry Johnson
over Steven Jackson
I like LJ in this battle of Redemption Backs.  LJ gets to face a soft Oakland team at home.  I can see 100 yards and a pair of TDs for the big fella.  Meanwhile S-Jax gets to face the G-Men while he’s still trying to get his legs under him from missing training camp.  LJ is going to be the one who looks like a first round pick this week.

Wide Receivers
 
Marvin Harrison
over Chad Ocho Cinco
I’ll go with the Old Man over the Young Buck.  No way does Indy fall to 0-2.  Sorry Vikes.  The Colts are going to go into the Dome and pass, pass, pass.  Wayne and Harrison will have big days.  Harrison records his first TD since Week One last year.  Meanwhile the Bengals are just rotten right now.  Unlike the NFL and Reebok I won’t charge Chad $500 K to use his legal last name.  You think they would pull that stunt if he changed it for religious reasons?  Last time I checked when Kobe switched numbers it was one of the most popular jerseys in the NBA.

   
Santonio Holmes over T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Santonio Holmes wasn’t invited to the Pittsburgh TD party last week.  Have no fear Holmes owners, Big Ben will work him in this week.  He should light the lamp vs. Cleveland.  Meanwhile Housh plays for the Bengals, who I am down on big time. 

SUPER STRETCH
 
David Patten
over Wes Welker
With Marques Colston out with a thumb injury the Saints will have to rely on David Patten more.  He’ll likely be Drew Brees’ top target.  That’s a much more enviable position to be in than the #2 option for Matt Cassel.  Welker relied on timing plays with Brady and that’s going to take time to get down.

NFL Picks – Week 2

10 September 2008

Last Week: 10-6 (Losses:  DET, SEA, JAX, SD, INDY, MIN)
Lock Picks: 2-0
Season Total:  10-6

Previous Lock to Win Picks:  NE (W)
Previous Lock to Lose Picks:  STL (W)
Overall Lock Picks: 2-0

Week 2 Picks
Lock to Win:  New York Giants
Lock to Lose (can’t be same game as above):  Buffalo

NO over WASH
CAR over CHI
GB over DET
JAX over BUF (Loser Lock)
KC over OAK
NYG over STL (Winner Lock)
INDY over MINN
TENN over CIN
SEA over SF
TB over ATL
SD over DEN
HOU over BAL
NE over NYJ
ARI over MIA
PITT over CLE
DAL over PHI

 | Posted by | Categories: NFL | Tagged: NFL, NFL Picks |

Fantasy Football Forum

9 September 2008


Fantasy Football Forum

Did your 2008 Fantasy Football Season start off with a Victory?  What good is winning if you can’t talk about it?  Let’s us hear about your fantasy success.  Did you fall at the hand of your bitter rival?  Did you lose Tom Brady for the year?  Misery loves company so feel free to lament your loss. 

I’m in six leagues so I’ll recap each one.

KFFL Analysis League -  I started this league off with a W.  Kitna, Adrian Peterson, Edge, Bowe, and Rackers led the way.  MJD wasn’t very good, but given that it’s a PPR league he was decent.  Housh and Cooley let me down.  Randy Moss and Plax were the only guys to put up  a fight.  Maroney, Mendenhall, and Heath Miller stunk.

Cage Match League (The Legend vs. Awesome) -  The Legend Body Slammed Awesome.  Losing Tom Brady hurt this week.  It’s a two-man league so he’ll be fine.  Romo, Westbrook, T.O., Wayne, Fitz, and Winslow were solid.  Colston let me down.  I got lucky with Brady, but Addai and Housh did little.  LT and S-Jax didn’t dominate.  Moss, Andre Johnson, and Witten were solid against me.

LEV League - Picked up the W behind Philip Rivers (picked up in a trade for Kurt Warner).  Reggie Wayne, T.O., and Winslow helped out.  Housh didn’t do much.  Moss, Bowe, and Gates put up solid numbers against me.  MJD and Toomer didn’t.

Fantasy Sports Depot League - Picked up a W.  Got stong play from Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, DeSean Jackson, and Bush.  Bulger and Cooley sucked.  Thomas Jones, London Fletcher and DeMeco Ryans (IDP league) did well against me.

My Keeper League -  Not a pretty showing, but I got the W.  Got a solid performance from Marshawn Lynch.  Decent games from Roy Williams and Andre Johnson.  Wes Welker let me down.  Westbrook had a big game against me…he always does.  LT didn’t do too much damage.  Bad games from Holt, Ocho Cinco, and Dallas Clark kept me in it.

No Kicker League - I housed my opponent behind the strong play of Westbrook, Bush, and Cotchery.  Heath Miller was my only letdown.  Kitna and T.O. had nice games against me.  Colston, Santonio Holmes, Addai, and Dallas Clark…not so much.

Weekly Record:  6-0
Season Record:  6-0 

That’s how my weekend of fantasy football went. How did you do?

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL | Tagged: Fantasy Football, NFL |

Quarterbacks
Drew Brees
- 23 of 32 for 343 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Donovan McNabb - 21 of 33 for 361 yards, 3 TDs
Tony Romo - 24 of 32 for 320 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
Philip Rivers - 17 of 27 for 217 yards, 3 TDs
Jay Cutler - 16 of 24 for 299 yards, 2 TDs (without Brandon Marshall)

Running Backs
Brandon Jacobs
– 21 carries for 116 yards, 1 catch for 8 yards
Michael Turner - 22 carries for 220 yards, 2 TDs
Jerious Norwood - 14 carries for 93 yards, TD
Marshawn Lynch 18 carries for 76 yards, TD, 3 catches for 18 yards
Thomas Jones - 22 carries for 101 yards, TD
Reggie Bush - 14 carries for 51 yards, 8 catches for 112 yards, TD
Devery Henderson - 1 catch for 84 yards, TD
Brian Westbrook - 19 carries for 91 yards, TD, 2 catches for 1 yard, TD
Willie Parker - 25 carries for 138 yards, 3 TDs
Marion Barber - 16 carries for 80 yards, 2 TDs, 3 catches for 21 yards
Edgerrin James - 26 carries for 100 yards
Frank Gore - 14 carries for 96 yards, TD, 4 catches for 55 yards
Matt Forte - 23 carries for 123 yards, TD, 3 catches for 18 yards
Adrian Peterson – 19 carries for 103 yards, TD

Wide Receivers
Plaxico Burress
- 10 catches for 133 yards
Calvin Johnson - 7 catches for 107 yards
Lee Evans - 4 catches for 102 yards
Jerricho Cotchery - 3 catches for 80 yards, TD
Randy Moss - 6 catches for 116 yards, TD
DeSean Jackson - 6 catches for 106 yards
Greg Lewis - 5 catches for 104 yards
Hank Baskett - 2 catches for 102 yards, TD
Andre Johnson - 10 catches for 112 yards
Hines Ward - 6 catches for 76 yards, 2 TDs 
Reggie Wayne - 8 catches for 72 yards, TD
Eddie Royal (with cheese) - 9 catches for 146 yards, TD

Tight Ends
Bo Scaife
- 6 catches, 105 yards
Jason Witten – 6 catches for 96 yards
Dante Rosario - 7 catches for 96 yards, TD
Antonio Gates - 4 catches, 61 yards, TD
Anthony Fasono - 8 catches for 84 yards, TD

Week 1 NFL Observations

8 September 2008

Of course the big news of the opening weekend is Tom Brady’s knee injury.  The Patriots are down, but not out.  If it happened to any other team you could basically write the season off.  The Patriots are different.  Why?  Because they can make adjustments on the fly better than any other team.  They are going to sulk over losing their leader.  They are going to find other ways to win.  Namely with their ground attack.  The Patriots are very versatile at the Running Back position with Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, and LaMont Jordan.  They can beat you in a variety of ways.  Maroney is the speed guy.  Morris is a more physical runner.  Faulk is the unsung hero type that can catch passes out of the backfield or take a draw for just enough yardage to move the chains.  LaMont Jordan can catch passes and run between the tackles.  Obviously the Patriot Receivers take a hit in fantasy value.  They aren’t going to pass it as often as with Brady.  The one I feel will be hurt the most is Wes Welker.  Randy Moss can go get a ball thrown from anyone (provided that he’s motivated).  Welker relies on timing patterns.  That doesn’t come as easy.  The Pats will still win the division in my book, but I don’t see a deep run in the playoffs.

The AFC got shook up in Week 1.  New England lost Brady.  Indianapolis, San Diego, and Jacksonville lost.   It appears Pittsburgh is the class of the AFC at this point.

Running Backs represented.  This year, more than in previous years, Running Backs were sliding in fantasy drafts.  Wide Receivers and QBs (Brady, Manning, Romo, Brees) were moving up.  In Week 1 though the power of the RB was felt.  Among the Big Name Backs Michael Turner and Willie Parker led the way.  Also scoring 20 or more was Reggie Bush, Marion Barber, Brian Westbrook, and Frank Gore .  Thomas Jones and Marshawn Lynch scored 15 or more.  Contrast that with Big Name Wideouts and you see no WR topped 20, and only Hines Ward and Randy Moss topped 15.  I’m not saying this is a trend since one week doesn’t make a trend, but it’s worth noting.  Score Week 1 to the Running Back.

Donovan McNabb put on quite a show.  He seems to alternate between getting ripped by the fans and ripping up the opposition. 

Brady wasn’t the only stud QB to go dud for fantasy teams.  Big Ben threw for 137 yards.  Peyton Manning and Romo only threw 1 TD.  Derek Anderson threw for 114.  Kurt Warner threw for 197 and a score.  Hasselbeck threw for 190 and a score.  Bulger threw for 158 without a TD.  Pretty ugly stuff. 

Well, we have a double-feature tonight on Monday Night Football.  To answer Hank in advance, I am ready for some football.

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL | Tagged: Fantasy Football, NFL |

There were some unusual heroes on Sunday.  There always are.  Let’s take a look at them and see if they are worthy of your fantasy rosters.

QBs
Matt Cassel – Sure, he’s no Tom Brady, but he does have a lot of weapons to work with.  He knew enough to hook up with Randy Moss for a score.  Went 13 for 18 for 152 yards and a TD, which is a lot better than he showed in the preseason.  He may not be a fantasy starter, but you’ve got to put him on your bench.
Ruling:  Get ‘em.

RBs
Sammy Morris – He had as many carries as Maroney (10), but he outrushed him (53 to 51), scored a TD, and caught 5 passes for 34 yards.  The Pats are going to have to rely on the run more this year without Brady, plus Morris looked good last year before he got hurt.
Ruling:  Get ‘em.
Chris Johnson – 15 carries for 93 yards rushing and 3 catches for 34 yards and a score.  LenDale did get the one-yard plunge, but Johnson certainly was plenty involved, especially for a close game against a tough D.
Ruling:  Get ‘em.
Le’Ron McClain – Perhaps the biggest surprise of all.  19 carries for 86 yards and 2 catches for 24.  They were facing Cincy though, and McGahee should be back soon.
Ruling:  Don’t Sweat ‘em.

WRs
Hank Baskett - 2 catches for 102 yards, including a 90 yard score.  Nice stat line, but I don’t see it repeating very often.  DeSean Jackson, L.J. Smith, and Greg Lewis were bigger focal points for the Eagles.
Ruling:  Don’t Sweat ‘em.

TE
Anthony Fasano – He scored a TD, which is a start.  He had 84 yards, which is solid.  What makes me very interested is the fact he caught 8 passes.  He could be a big part of the Dolphin Offense.  Snatch him up.
Ruling:  Get ‘em
Dante Rosario – When Steve Smith returns he probably won’t factor in as much, but it’s hard to ignore a Tight End that catches 7 passes for 96 yards and a score.  He’s worth giving a shot
Ruling:  Get ‘em

There you have it.  I hope I provided you some good info while you make your fantasy team waiver wire adjustments. 

I’m going to look at the matchups each week and pick five fantasy starters that could be in for a tough week.  Here’s who could have trouble out of the gates.

Quarterback
Matt Cassel
- So you snatched up Matt Cassel from the waiver wire when Brady went down.  If he were playing at home, perhaps you could plug him in.  He gets to face the Jets on the road though.  Not the simplest of tasks.  Often you see somebody replace the starter with great success only to find that magic hard to duplicate.  Judging by his preason performance, he still has a long way to go.
Stat Line: 16 of 23 for 165 yards

Running Backs
Kevin Smith
-  Smith had 80 total yards and a TD.  Solid rookie debut.  He gets to play at home next week, but he’s facing Green Bay instead of Atlanta.  He’ll find quite a difference between the Defenses.  His second NFL game won’t be nearly as successful.
Stat Line:  10 carries for 40 yards, 4 catches for 21 yards

Chris Perry - If he thought Baltimore made his life tough, Tennessee could be even more difficult against the run.  They are playing at home, but until Cincinnati gets their passing game going it will be difficult to run.
Stat Line:  21 carries for 64 yards, TD

Wide Receiver
Wes Welker
- Randy Moss is a freak that can go up and get a ball no matter who threw it to him.  Welker, on the other hand, relies more on timing patterns and quick hits.  That’s an area that Tom Brady was extremely good at.  Cassel knows the system, but knowing and doing are two different things.
Stat Line:  7 catches for 72 yards

Torry Holt - The Rams looked like absolute garbage against the Eagles.  They are going home, but the road has been kind to the New York Giants of late.  They put a lot of pressure on the Quarterback which doesn’t bode well for Marc Bulger, Torry Holt, and the rest of the passing attack for the Rams.  It appears the “Greatest Show on Turf” isn’t making a reprisal.
Stat Line:  6 catches for 76 yards, TD

NFL Week 1 Fantasy Fill-ins

5 September 2008


Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

Let’s face it.  Nobody wants to start their fantasy football season off with a Loss, although half of us do.  I want you to end up in the happy half so I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in if you are dealing with an injury (Willis McGahee owners) or tough matchups (Jake Delhomme/Marc Bulger owners). 

QB
Kurt Warner
- How many people snagged Kurt Warner as their starting QB?  Probably not many, especially with Matt Leinart as the projected starter.  Well, Warner won the gig and should be rolled out in Week 1 vs. San Francisco.  He’s got a pair of outstanding WRs and finished the season with a flurry.  Feel free to plug him in over a Hasselbeck, a Bulger, a Cutler, and a Delhomme.
Stat Line:  19 or 30 for 197 yards, TD

RB
Selvin Young - I know not many of you took Selvin as your #2 RB this season.  It’s OK to bench your starter in Week 1 if he is facing a tough matchup (Jonathan Stewart,  Ronnie Brown [bet you wish you had that pick back], Ryan Grant, and LenDale White to name a few) or is an injury-risk (Ryan Grant, McGahee).  Young gets to face a Oakland Run Defense that was putrid last year.  Oakland is great against the pass and Brandon Marshall is sitting this one out because of suspension.  Mike Shanahan is on the hot seat this year.  Think he wants to get off on the right foot?  Think he knows the best way to beat Oakland is on the ground?  Think Selvin Young is a good play?  Me too.
Stat Line:  7 carries for 36 yards, TD

Ray Rice-  If McGahee sits this one out I would have no problem using Rice against Cincinnati.  Rice had a fantastic preseason, is capable running and catching the ball, and the Bengals D isn’t very strong.  The Ravens are using a Rookie QB in Joe Flacco so they will lean on the running game.  Even if McGahee plays Rice could be an option at a Flex or 3rd RB position if you have them in your leagues.
Stat Line:  22 carries for 64 yards, 3 catches for 19 yards

WR
Jerricho Cotchery -  I’ve been singing Cotchery’s praises since #4 signed with the Jets.  I envision an old style Jets-Dolphins shootout.  Last year this game was fantasy puke, but this year Cotchery, Favre, Pennington, Thomas Jones, Ricky Williams, Coles, and even Ted Ginn, Jr. could produce decent fantasy points.  He’s a nice play if you have Steve Smith, Brandon Marshall, or Kevin Curtis on your roster.  I’d also use him over guys like Hines Ward, Chris Chambers, Lee Evans (it’s not December), or Bernard Berrian.
Stat Line:  3 catches for 80 yards, TD

DeSean Jackson -  WIth Kevin Curtis out and Reggie Brown hurting, Jackson could find himself quite busy in the season opener.  I’d roll with him over the likes of Anthony Gonzalez, Ronald Curry, Reggie Williams, or Isaac Bruce.
Stat Line:  6 catches for 106 yards

TE
L.J. Smith - The Birds aren’t going to rely solely on Westbrook and DeSean Jackson.  While he’s healthy they may as well get some production out of the big fella.  I’d roll him him over the likes of Benjamin Watson, oft-injured Todd Heap, Tony Scheffler, and sucky Chris Cooley (oh wait, it’s too late for that).
Stat Line:  5 catches for 39 yards, TD

K
David Akers
-  St. Louis tied Baltimore for allowing the most points from Kickers (146) last year.  They tied with Kansas City for allowing the second most Field Goals (34, Baltimore allowed 37).  I mentioned the Birds will be without some of their weapons so their drives could stall out.  Akers could be a busy guy on Sunday.  Robbie Gould faces Indianapolis (72 points), Kris Brown faces Pittsburgh (83 points), Rob Bironas faces Jacksonville (85 points), and Josh Scobee faces Tennessee (86 points).  It’s conceivable Akers scores higher than all of these Kickers.
Stat Line:  1 FG, 5 PATs

DEF
Arizona 
- Some of the top Defenses (Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Houston) face some difficult challenges.  Arizona gets to face J.T. O’Sullivan and the 49ers.  They have a lot of new pieces on Offense.  It could take some time for them to click.  Arizona could pile up the Sacks and Turnovers.
Stat Line:  1 INT, 3 Fumble Recoveries, 4 Sacks, 13 points allowed

Friday Tidbits 9/5/08

5 September 2008


The Phillies acquired Matt Stairs for a Minor Leaguer.  Josh Beckett (elbow) landed on the DL.  Carl Pavano pitched well.  Dustin Pedroia hit cleanup.  He is probably the smallest cleanup hitter since the Dead Ball Era.  Frank Thomas landed on the DL.  C.C. Sabathia threw a Complete Game one-hit Shutout.  Jeff Kent will have knee surgery.  Arizona acquired David Eckstein for a Minor Leaguer.  Cliff Lee threw a Shutout to improve to 20-2.  He’s amazing.  Adrian Beltre and Stephen Drew each hit for the Cycle.  Troy Percival and Joba Chamberlain came off the DL.  An A-Rod HR was the first reviewed via Instant Replay.  The call on the field stood.  Carlos Zambrano has rotator cuff tendinitis.  That darn goat. 


Chad Johnson officially became Chad Ocho Cinco.  Dude isn’t smart enough to figure out that Ocho Cinco means eight five not eighty-five.  Bryant McKinnie got suspended four games for being big, dumb, and aggressive.  Cincy cut Rudi Johnson.  He caught on with Detroit.  Joey Harrington was cut by Atlanta.  Houston cut Rosevelt Colvin.  Tampa cut Chris Simms.  Philly cut Jerome McDougle.  He caught on with the Giants.  The Pats cut John Lynch and Chad Jackson.  Kevin Faulk got suspended for a game for smoking weed.  Speaking of weed, Ricky Williams signed a one-year extension with Miami.  Jacksonville T Richard Collier was shot.  Joe Flacco will start the opener for Baltimore.  Pittsburgh sent Sean Mahan to Tampa for a late draft pick.  Denver sent CB Domonique Foxworth to Atlanta for a late pick.  Kyle Boller was placed on the Injured Reserve.  Tom Brady finally practiced.  Tatum Bell took Rudi Johnson’s bags as a parting gift when Rudi replaced him on the Lions’ roster.  Deion Branch may give it a go this weekend despite tearing his knee in the playoffs. Daunte Culpepper retired.  Plaxico Burress signed a five-year $35 million extension.  Then he went out and helped the Giants beat Washington.  Willie Anderson signed a three-year deal with Baltimore.


Patrick Ewing, Jr. was traded to the Knicks from Houston for Frederic Weis.  Houston’s Chuck Hayes had surgery on his broken nose.  Donyell Marshall signed with the Sixers.  Miami signed Jamaal Magloire.  Mario Chalmers and Darrell Arthur were dumb enough to bring marijuana to rookie camp.  I wonder who reminds them to inhale and exhale.  Oklahoma City will be known as Thunder.  Manu Ginobili had his ankle scoped.


Ottawa traded Andrej Meszaros to Tampa Bay for Fikip Kuba, Alexandre Picard, and a first-round draft pick.  Toronto sent Bryan McCabe and a draft pick to Florida for Mike Van Ryn.  Nashville suspended RW Alexander Radulov for not re-joining the team.  He’s opting to stay in Russia.  St. Louis signed first rounder Alex Pietrangelo.  Atlanta signed first-rounder Zach Bogosian.


Jim Tressel tweaked his contract to make him the highest paid coach in the Big Ten.  Florida State RB Tavares Pressley (knee) will miss the season.  JoePa tied Bobby Bowden with his 373rd Win.  Michigan lost their opener to Utah.  #24 Alabama crushed #9 Clemson 34-10.  East Carolina upset #17 Virginia Tech.  Bowling Green beat #25 Pitt.  Texas DT Lamarr Houston got popped for a DUI.  Georgia lost DT Jeff Owens (knee) for the year.  USC took over #1.  Ohio State’s Beanie Wells hurt his foot in a blowout win.  He’ll miss this week’s game.  UCLA beat Tennessee.  Penn State suspended Maurice Evans, Abe Koroma, and Andrew Quarless after they got busted with weed.


Keon Lawrence is transferring from Missouri to Seton Hall. 


#3 Svetlana Kuznetsova got beat in the U.S. Open by Katarina Srebotnik.  Lindsay Davenport was beat by Marion Bartoli.  #5 Nikolay Davydenko was beat by Gilles Muller.  This time Serena beat Venus.  Leander Paes and Cara Black won the U.S. Open Mixed Doubles title.  Novak Djokovic beat Andy Roddick.

Jimmie Johnson won the Pepsi 500.  Kyle Busch won Nationwide’s Camping World 300 at Auto Club Speedway.

Vijay Singh won the Deutsche Bank Championship.  Camilo Villegas won the Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge.  Gregory Havret won the Johnnie Walker Championship (European Tour).  Jeff Sluman won the First Tee Open (Champions Tour).   Just because he’s not golfing doesn’t mean Tiger isn’t busy.  He has another baby on the way.

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.  Be sure to check out my Links Page for some great sites.


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