The LEV Report

11 October 2008

Written by LEV

Observations and Predictions…
LEV from Crazy Colored Glasses checks in with his look back at Week 5 and a preview to Week 6.

As Week 5 passed us by I continue to be more and more impressed by both the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. While the Giants schedule has been very favorable, the Redskins have gone on the road and knocked off the Cowboys and Eagles on back to back weeks. The offense behind Jason Campbell has been very impressive. He seems to have a firm grasp of Jim Zorn’s West Coast style offense. The defense has played surprisingly well without one of it’s major cogs in Jason Taylor. How much better will they be when he returns from injury. I shudder at the thought.

The best game (in a week surprisingly full of good ones) had to be the Colts come from behind victory over the Texans. I was cursing Peyton with 5 minutes to go in the game, as I thought he had buried my fantasy squad for another week. He then threw for two scores as the Colts shocked the winless Texans. The Titans, Falcons (behind my pre-season ROY pick Matt Ryan), Broncos, Steelers and Vikings all also won close games in this week of the nail biter. The Panthers, Bears, Giants and Cardinals (a win I predicted over the previously undefeated Bills) all enjoyed laughers.

Then there were my beloved Cowboys. When they were out to a 17-3 lead I expected a blowout. Not so much. A few Romo turnovers later (getting to be a scary regular development-8 straight games with an interception, fumbles in 3 of the 5 games this season) and the game was within a missed 2 point conversion of being tied. Touchdown passes to Owens and Crayton made the score a bit more inflated. Until the Cowboys cut down on the mental mistakes (turnovers and penalties) they won’t be able to compete with the upper echelon teams in the NFL. They have all the talent in the world, but they need a little more discipline.

Top Performers of the Week
QB-Kyle Orton:
A Bears QB on this list. Crazy, but Kyle has performed very well over the last few weeks. The wide receivers seem to have responded to him as well. Very good game over the overmatched Lions.

RB-DeAngelo Williams:
Was a complete animal against the Chiefs. Ran for a couple of scores as well as caught one out of the backfield.

WR-Bernard Berrian:
It seems like Gus has found his go-to-guy over in Minny. He looked great in the fourth quarter in helping the Vikes pull out a tough one over the Saints. He should be able to build off of this game.

TE-Chris Cooley:
The Eagles have had trouble guarding tight ends all season (check out the stats, McMichael, Witten, Miller, Olsen and now Cooley have all had big games). That trend continued against the Redskins. Cooley went off for 109 yards and a score.

Defense-Carolina Panthers:
Pitched a shutout and thoroughly dominated the overmatched Chiefs.

Special Teams-New Orleans Saints:
Although Gramatica had a kick blocked and returned for a touchdown, the return efforts of Reggie Bush (two punt returns for scores) and Pierre Thomas (put the Saints in great field position all game) have to be commended.

Looking forward to Week 6 there are 4 games on the schedule I’ll be paying close attention to. Dallas at Arizona is the first. The Cardinals play really well at home, and the Cowboys have trouble with big, physical receivers. Warner could pile up big yardage, but I see the Cowboys behind the strong running of Barber and Felix Jones pulling out the victory. I’m also interested to see what happens Sunday night in San Diego. The Pats seemed to have figured out how to get the ball to Randy Moss during the bye week. Do they have enough to stop the Chargers, whose season very well could be over with another loss. I think they do. Pats in a close one. The Ravens versus Indy looks to be one of those matchups of offense versus defense. The alarming trend for the Colts has been that teams have been able to run on them at will. Does that continue against the Ravens. I think not. My pick is the Colts as I think Dwight Freeney will put too much pressure on Flacco. Manning does just enough to will his team to victory. And finally the most intriguing game on the docket, Jacksonville at Denver. The Broncos have looked rather pedestrian the last two weeks, while the Jags are fighting for the season. I think the physical Jags secondary does enough to slow down Jay Cutler and allow the Jags to run away with a victory.

Here are my picks for the rest of the games (10-4 last week). Chicago over at Atlanta. The Orton express continues to ride. The Texans finally pick up a victory in beating Miami. New Orleans taking out the loss against the Vikes on the Raiders. Minny over Detroit. The Jets in a close one at home against the Bengals. Tampa Bay upsetting the Panthers. Redskins behind Portis over the Rams. The Eagles need one bad, and they’ll prevail over the Niners. Packers over the Seahawks. The best team in the game, the New York Giants huge over the Cleveland Browns. I think we finally see Brady Quinn in this game. The Browns have looked awful and the Giants will blitz them into submission.

Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB-Gus Frerotte:
The Lions will have 8 in the box most of the game, Gus and Berrian finally seem to be on the same page. I see another long day in store for Detroit fans.

RB-Thomas Jones:
The Bengals gave up 200 yards rushing to the Cowboys. The Jets should be able to take similar advantage. They’ll try and prevent Favre from beating them, which should provide ample running lanes for Mr. Jones.

WR-Devery Henderson:
Brees should have all day to throw against the Raiders. Henderson should be the beneficiary of that. He’s a bad speedy matchup for the physical Raiders corners.

TE-Vernon Davis:
I’ll go with my theory once again, that the Raiders cannot defend tightends. Jim Johnson is so blitz happy that the tightend usually has a linebacker matching up on him. Vernon Davis finally has his breakout NFL game.

Defense-New York Giants:
The Browns will be completely overmatched. Also, remember the Giants knocked Derek Anderson out of the game in the preseason with a concussion. I think he will be very gun-shy.

Special Teams-Philadelphia Eagles:
DeSean Jackson and David Akers will help the Eagles in a close one over the Niners.

Fantasy Football Forum

7 October 2008

Fantasy Football Forum

How did Week 5 go for you?  Did you survive the bye week?

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

KFFL Analysis League - Chris Cooley and Housh were great.  Donald Driver and John Carney were good.  Kitna and GB D let me down.  My opponent was led by Brandon Jacobs, Jake Delhomme, Steve Smith, Hines Ward, and Joseph Addai.  I had a good chance on MNF, but Adrian Peterson screwed the pooch leading me to failure.  I fell to 2-3 in this league.  I’m failing miserably in my first silly PPR league.

Cage Match League (The Legend vs. Awesome) - I fought back this week to avoid the three game losing streak.  Tony Romo, Greg Jennings, Fitz, T.O. and Reggie Wayne led the way.  Antonio Gates and Marshawn Lynch didn’t deliver.  Awesome was led by Randy Moss, Housh, Witten, and Addai.  McNabb, LT, MB3, and Brandon Marshall failed him.  I improved to 3-2 in this league.

LEV League - I was led by Housh, Reggie Wayne, Steve Slaton, John Carney, and Carolina D.  T.O. was decent.  John Carlson didn’t catch a pass.  My opponent was paced by Eli Manning, Felix Jones and Donald Driver.  Tony Gonzalez stunk.  I won to improve to 3-2.

Fantasy Sports Depot League - I was led by Reggie Bush, Chris Cooley and Randy Moss.  Calvin Johnson and Brian Griese sucked.  I’m glad I changed my mind and benched Orton.  I didn’t need his 300 yards and 2 TDs.  My opponent was caught sleeping as he left a player on bye and his RB slot open.  I won to improve to 3-2.

My Keeper League -  I got strong games from Peyton Manning, Andre Johnson, John Carney, and Chicago D.  Not so much for Marvin Harrison and Owen Daniels.  Joseph Addai,  Hines Ward, and T.O. were big for my opponent.  He got nothing from his QB as Trent Edwards was knocked out early.  Tony Gonzalez didn’t do much.  Reggie Bush made it close as we award return TDs to individual players and not DST, which I find silly.  I won to improve to 2-3.

No Kicker League – I bounced back this week behind Kurt Warner, Fitz, Steve Slaton, Reggie Wayne, Brian Westbrook, and Chris Cooley.  Lee Evans and Chicago D were big for my oppoent.  I moved to 4-1 in this league.

Weekly Record:  5-1
Season Record:  17-13

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

Kyle Orton
- 24 of 34 for 334 yards, 2 TDs
Aaron Rodgers - 25 of 37 for 313 yards, 3 TDs, INT
Tony Romo - 14 of 23 for 176 yards, 3 TDs, INT
Ben Roethlisberger - 26 of 41 for 309 yards, 3 TDs, INT
Drew Brees - 26 of 46 for 330 yards, TD, 2 INTs

Running Backs
Steve Slaton
 - 16 carries for 93 yards, 2 TDs
Joseph Addai - 17 carries for 71 yards, TD
Michael Turner - 26 carries for 121 yards, TD
DeAngelo Williams - 20 carries for 123 yards, 2 TDs, 1 catch for 25 yards, TD
Ronnie Brown - 24 carries for 125 yards, TD
Brandon Jacobs - 15 carries for 136 yards, 2 TDs
Clinton Portis - 29 carries for 145 yards, TD
Brian Westbrook - 12 carries for 33 yards, TD, 6 catches for 51 yards
Edgerrin James - 21 carries for 57 yards, TD, 2 catches for 21 yards
Tim Hightower - 7 carries for 37 yards, 2 TDs
Felix Jones - 9 carries for 96 yards, TD
Frank Gore - 12 carries for 54 yards, 4 catches for 24 yards, TD
Kevin Faulk - 7 carries for 32 yards, 2 TDs. 4 catches for 29 yards
Mewelde Moore - 17 carries for 99 yards, 3 catches for 17 yards
Reggie Bush - 12 carries for 29 yards, 7 catches for 64 yards, 2 punt return TDs 

Wide Receivers
Andre Johnson 
- 9 catches for 131 yards, TD
Reggie Wayne - 7 catches for 97 yards, TD
Muhsin Muhammad - 3 catches for 71 yards, TD
Greg Jennings - 4 cathches for 87 yards, TD
Donald Driver - 3 catches for 68 yards, TD 
Greg Camarillo - 6 catches for 68 yards, TD
Domenik Hixon - 4 catches for 102 yards, TD, 1 carry for 15 yards
Sincore Moss - 4 catches for 45 yards, 2 TDs 
Lee Evans - 2 catches for 100 yards, TD
Larry Fitzgerald - 7 catches for 52 yards, 2 TDs
T.J. Houshmandzadeh - 7 catches for 85 yards, 2 TDs
Terrell Owens - 2 catches for 67 yards, TD, 1 carry for 8 yards
Randy Moss - 5 catches for 111 yards, TD
Isaac Bruce - 3 catches for 49 yards, 2 TDs
Mike Walker - 6 catches for 107 yards
Nate Washington - 6 catches for 94 yards, TD
Hines Ward - 7 catches for 90 yards, TD
Bernard Berrian - 6 catches for 110 yards, TD
Devery Henderson - 4 catches for 104 yards, TD

Tight Ends

Chris Cooley - 8 catches for 109 yards, TD
Jason Witten - 8 catches for 79 yards, TD

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.

Kyle Orton -  He threw for 334 yards and 2 TDS.  I guess I have to start taking him seriously as he has three straight multiple TD games, with an average of 267 passing yards per game over that stretch.  I take back the things I said about him before and recommend him for your bench. 
Ruling:  Get ‘em


DeAngelo Williams - If he was cut following his mediocre string of games vs. Chicago, Minnesota, and Atlanta, his previous owners are kicking themselves for missing out on his 3 TD, 148 total yard effort vs. Kansas City.  He won’t do that again, but he proved he’s still capable of being roster worthy.
Ruling:  Get ‘em.

Kevin Faulk – Faulk was instrumental in New England’s road victory over the 49ers with 7 carries for 32 yards and a pair of TDs.  He added 29 yards on 4 catches.  I get the feeling that the Patriot RBs will be used according to their matchups leaving none of them reliable to start on a consistent basis.  Faulk means more to the Pats than he does to fantasy teams. 
Ruling:  Don’t Sweat ’em. 

Greg Camarillo – His production has increase every week thus far, capped off by his 68 yard, TD performance vs. San Diego.  He faces a poor Houston secondary so he’s worth picking up for a week if you have the bye week blues next week.  However, he faces Baltimore and Buffalo the next two weeks so he’s not a good long-term answer. 
Ruling:  Get ‘em (for next week). 

Sincore Moss - Sincore caught 4 passes for 45 yards and 2 TDs.  Of course, Plaxico Burress was suspended from this game.  This feels like a one-game wonder to me.  Let somebody else chase the box score.
Ruling: Don’t Sweat ‘em.

Tom Sati  - Yes, he scored a TD and caught four passes, but he’s just too far down the food chain in Indy’s Offense to worry about.
Ruling:  Don’t Sweat ‘em.

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

The LEV Report

4 October 2008

Written by LEV

Observations and Predictions…
LEV from Crazy Colored Glasses checks in with his look back at Week 4 and a preview to Week 5.


Week 4 was a big upset week for me as my beloved Dallas Cowboys were knocked off by a very impressive Washington Redskins team, which has now won 3 in a row after looking dead in the opener against the Giants. Jason Campbell showed great poise and played the new West Coast offense to perfection. They are going to be a team to be reckoned with. The Bears also showed they are a team to look out for in upsetting the Eagles. The Bears are a few breaks away from being 4-0. They are a team that bears watching. The Chiefs also pulled out a shocking win against the previously undefeated Broncos. I don’t know anyone who picked that. I was also surprised that the Bucs handled the Packers so easily. I think their was a bit of a letdown after the Cowboys game last week.

The rest of Sunday (and Monday) basically went according to plan. A few standouts were Brett’s big day against the Cardinals. Jacksonville pulling out a close against the Texans (welcome back Matt Schaub). And even though they lost, Baltimore also showed it has some fight in them behind rookie Joe Flacco. I like this kid, and with that defense they will be in every game.

Top Performers
QB-Brett Favre:
Huge 6 touchdown performance against the Cardinals.
RB-Larry Johnson: Was it a return to form, or a 1 game blip? The biggest reason for the Chiefs upset of the Broncos.
WR-Lavarenues Coles: Finally seems to have clicked with Favre as evidenced by his 3 score day.
TE-Zach Miller: A big reason the Raiders held a surprising lead at the half. Nice day, I think he’ll turn out to be JaMarcus Russell’s main weapon.
Special Teams-Washington Redskins: They dominated the Cowboys in kick coverage. Giving neither Adam Jones or Felix Jones a chance at any type of quality runback. Therefor pinning the Boys deep on their end of the field constantly.
Defense-Carolina Panthers: They did a good job of shutting down the resurgent Falcons.

Here are my thoughts on Week 5 games. Washington at the Eagles is my game of the week. I think the Eagles will be amped up and should win this game in a shootout. Only if Westbrook returns. Without Westy I think you have to favor the Skins. Other games I’ll have a close eye on are Pittsburgh versus the Jaguars. I’m not buying into the Jags yet, and I liked the toughness the Steelers showed. I pick the Steelers in a low scoring close game. Indy at Houston should be a tough road test for the Colts. I think the bye week came at the right time for the Colts. It should have allowed him to rest up and get on the same page with his receivers. Colts in a close one. Dallas very big over Cincy. Boys take out last weeks loss on the Bengals. Titans over an amped Baltimore in a low scoring defensive battle. The Cards over the Bills in my upset special. Just a hunch I’m having.

The rest of the games should go as follows (8-5 last week). Carolina over the Chiefs. Chicago’s Matt Forte running wild over Detroit for the win. Packers beating the Falcons in a close one. Chargers big over the Dolphins. Giants winning a close one over Seattle. Broncos beating the Bucs. Pats over the Niners in San Fran. The Saints over the Vikings to drop them to 1-4.

Fantasy Picks of the Week
QB-Tony Romo:
Should bounce back nicely from the loss to the Skins against an overmatched Bengals secondary.
RB-Matt Forte: The rookie has looked good as the focal point of the offense. Expect a great game against the lowly Lions front line.
WR-DeSean Jackson: The Skins have fits trying to cover speedy slot receivers. Jackson should see plenty of time in the slot in 3 receivers sets.
TE-Tony Gonzalez: Special shout-out to Tony who will become the all-time reception yardage leader for Tight Ends. He is (and has been for many years) my favorite player in the NFL and in my eyes is the greatest Tight End in the history of the league.
Special Team-San Diego: Return tandem of Sproles and Cromartie one of the most dangerous weapons in the game.
Defense-Titans: I expect a low scoring game in Baltimore with the Titans clamping down and limiting Flacco and the Ravens.

 | Posted by | Categories: Fantasy Football, NFL | Tagged: Fantasy Football, NFL, Week 4, Week 5 |

Putting the final piece of your fantasy football puzzle together

Bye weeks are here.  I’ve uncovered some guys you can plug in to your lineup if you are dealing with byes, an injury, or tough matchups. 

Kyle Orton 
- I can’t believe I’m endorsing him, but Kyle Orton has a decent matchup this week.  He’s facing Detroit’s 22nd ranked pass D.  They are allowing 222.7 yards and 2 TDs per game.  He looks like a better play than a Matt Schaub vs. Indy’s #2 ranked pass D, Kerry Collins vs. Baltimore’s #1 ranked pass D, or David Garrard vs. Pittsburgh’s #3 ranked pass D if you are looking for a bye-week fill-in.
Stat Line:  24 of 34 for 334 yards, 2 TDs.

Mewelde Moore - Injuries in Steel City have thrust Mewelde Moore into the starting role for the Steelers.  Jacksonville is middle-of-the road when it comes to Run D so Mewelde should be able to find some holes.  He is a capble receiver out of the backfield as well, making him an intriguing play this week.

Steve Slaton - I don’t know if he’s moved into Must Start status for fantasy teams, but he pretty much is this week going up against Indy’s 31st ranked Run D (199.3 ypg allowed).  Like Mewelde, he is a very capable receiver out of the backfield, and should be a solid Week 5 performer.
Stat Line:  16 carries for 93 yards, 2 TDs

Lance Moore -  Last week I gave you Robert Meachem, who went for 99 yards and a score.  Moore was even better though with 101 yards and 2 scores.  I look for both Meachem and Moore to continue their strong play against Minnesota’s middle-of-the-road pass D.
Stat Line:  5 catches for 31 yards

Bernard Berrian -  If not now, then when?  Berrian goes up against New Orleans’ 29th ranked pass D.  He’s coming off two solid weeks (79 & 78 yards) with Frerotte at the helm.  I could see him breaking a big one on MNF. 
Stat Line:  6 catches for 110 yards, TD

Anthony Fasano - The Chargers have the league’s worst pass D at 276.3 yards per game.  They were torched by Tight End’s Dante Rosario (TD) in Week 1, Tony Scheffler (2 TDs) in Week 2, Dustin Keller (TD) in Week 3, and Zach Miller (TD) in Week 4.  That sure looks like a trend to me.
Stat Line:  3 catches for 47 yards

Jason Elam
- It sure is funny to see Elam in a uniform other than the Broncos.  He’s a perfect 9 for 9 in both FGs and PATs.  He faces the Packers, who have allowed the 2nd most FGs (10) and the 3rd most Kicker points (39).
Stat Line:  2 FGs, 3 PATs 

- Their D doesn’t look as good as it’s been in recent years, but facing Detroit could be the cure.  They should be able to pick up multiple Sacks and INTs.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they scored a Defensive TD as well.  Losing Tommie Harris could put a wrinkle into my plans.
Stat Line:  4 Sacks, INT, Fumble Recovery, TD, 7 points allowed

NFL Picks – Week 5

1 October 2008

Last Week: 9-4 (Cincy, Green Bay, Denver, Dallas let me down)
Lock Picks:  1-1

Previous Lock to Win Picks:  NE (W), NYG (W),  BUF (W), SD (W)
Previous Lock to Lose Picks:  STL (W), BUF (L), CIN (W), KC (L)
Overall Lock Picks: 6-2
Season Total:  40-20

Week 5 Picks
Lock to Win:  Dallas
Lock to Lose (can’t be same game as above):  Miami

Carolina over Kansas City
Chicago over Detroit
Green Bay over Atlanta
Tennessee over Baltimore
San Diego over Miami (Loser Lock)
Indianapolis over Houston
New York Giants over Seattle
Philadelphia over Washington
Denver over Tampa Bay
Arizona over Buffalo
Dallas over Cincinnati (Winner Lock)
New England over San Francisco
Pittsburgh over Jacksonville
New Orleans over Minnesota

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 a look at players who could struggle this week.

J.T. O’Sullivan 
- If you’ve been riding the J.T. O’Sullivan wave, be warned, it could get bumpy this week.  He gets to face a New England team coming off a bye after beeing humiliated by the Dolphins.  That wouldn’t be fun for any QB, but it’s even worse for one with as little experience as J.T. has.
Stat Line:  14 of 29 for 130 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs, 23 rushing yards

Running Backs
Michael Turner
-  If you think he’s going to bounce back from a mediocre performance, guess again.  His two big games came against Detroit and Kansas City.  They both have awful Defenses.  Green Bay will provide a much stiffer test, especially at home.
Stat Line:  26 carries for 121 yards, TD

Rudi Johnson  – He had a nice game for Detroit prior to the bye, but I’m not expecting him to follow it up with a big performance vs. the Bears.  If you grabbed him off the waiver wire in hopes he returns to his old form, you’ll have to wait a little longer.
Stat Line:  5 carries for 23 yards, 3 catches for 9 yards (further proof PPR leagues are silly)

Wide Receiver
Matt Jones
- Crackman has been pretty solid to date, but that will change when he faces Pittsburgh this week.  Even though they are at home, I don’t expect Jones to be highly productive.
Stat Line:

Santana Moss - Santana has been on fire, but he will draw Asante Samuel next week in Philly.  He’ll make life tough on the speedy veteran.
Stat Line:  Did not catch a pass.

With Cleveland, the New York Jets, Oakland, and St. Louis on bye next week there are several outstanding players not available to your fantasy teams.  Let take a look at some attractive alternatives.

The only one you may be missing is Favre, especially following his 6 TD explosion.  If you have been relying on Derek Anderson, you probably already have found a new solution.  If you are relying on Bulger/Trent Green or Jamarcus Russell, you need more help than I can provide.  For argument’s sake we’ll say Favre is your #1.  You can possibly use Kyle Orton since he plays Detroit.  He’s probably the only option available with a decent matchup.

Running Back
Jamal Lewis, Thomas Jones, Run DMC, Michael Bush, and Steven Jackson are on bye.  Aside from Jackson, you most likely aren’t losing your feature back.  To pick up the slack you can use Matt Forte against Detroit, Ryan Grant vs. Atlanta (it’s gotten that bad for Grant), Jonathan Stewart vs. Kansas City, or Steve Slaton vs. Indy.  If you have bigger troubles you could possibly use Darren Sproles (vs. Miami) or Felix Jones (vs. Cincy) in hopes that their teams will have such big leads that they will turn to their backups to pile on cheap fantasy points.

Wide Receiver
You need to replace Braylon Edwards, Torry Holt, Laveranues Coles, and Jerricho Cotchery.  Bobby Engram is supposed to make his return.  If he is a go, he could be used vs. a mediocre Giants pass defense.  In Dallas, Miles Austin is getting more involved in the Offense.  Either he or Patrick Crayton could be used vs. Cincy.

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