- The Season's Over -

What You Should Know About the 2009-10 NBA’s First Two Nights

October 26, 2009

By: Zachariah Blott

Blake Griffin is Number OneThe NBA season kicks off Tuesday night with four games, and then a hefty twelve on Wednesday. Here are things you should know and look for on these two nights.

1) Blake Griffin could be leading the league in scoring by Thursday. The Clippers’ defense has been stealing the ball a lot, resulting in numerous fast break buckets in the preseason. Griffin runs the floor well for a big man, so he was scoring a lot of those easy points. On top of that, he is the #1 option for the Clippers in the half-court. What could put him over the top is the fact that LA’s first two opponents play fast: the Lakers and the Suns. The Lakers play great defense, but they still had the sixth-fastest pace last year. You already know the Suns are the epitome of fast, and their defense is pretty lackluster.

Then again, Griffin just tweaked his knee broke his kneecap and will miss at least the first 6 weeks of the season. Plus, Dwayne Wade‘s Heat kick it off Wednesday with the Knicks, so…

2) Teams dread playing two games in two days, but Boston gets a second-night break on their first back-to-back. They start things off with an absolute slugfest at Cleveland on Tuesday, but then they fly home and can play the JV squad for an easy encounter with Charlotte the next day. On the flipside, the Clippers get the Lakers on opening night and the Suns on Wednesday. They should be able to score some points in these games, but they will probably start the season 0-2.

LA Clippers president Andy Roeser photo credit: Icon SMI

3) Want to know the what to watch each night? This is an easy one. The Eastern Conference favorites Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics tip it off at 7:30 on Tuesday on TNT. Then the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets fight for an early jump on the top-heavy Northwest Division Wednesday night at 10:30 on ESPN. There is no shortage of star power or playoff positioning to be had right off the bat with this pair of games.

4) How about story lines on opening night? This isn’t hard, either. Boston and Cleveland is a great contest to begin the season with, but one of them will be 0-1 right out of the gate, so expect at least one of their next opponents—Charlotte and Toronto—to take serious beatings on Wednesday. You also have the Lakers and Clippers squaring off which is cool because it’s the only cross-city rivalry in the league. With the LA connection, fans get the NBA Champs and Blake Griffin’s first game (maybe); enough said. Farther up the coast, upstart Portland faces off with the team that was last seen knocking them out of the playoffs: the Houston Rockets. Expect revenge to be on the minds of the Blazers no matter what lip service they provide about it being a new season. Finally you’ve got the Wizards at Dallas. Anyone have a good reason they’re slated for an otherwise exciting opening night? The only connection I can see is offensive talent that usually disappoints in the postseason.

5) Two teams that will definitely be undefeated after two nights of action are the Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks. That’s because the Bulls’ season starts Thursday with the visiting San Antonio Spurs. Expect Derrick Rose and Tony Parker to display their one-man fastbreak skills as much as possible. The Bucks are dormant until Friday when they travel to Philadelphia.

For what else to expect in the 2009-10 NBA, check out ETB’s Divisional Previews:
- Eastern Conference, Central Division
- Eastern Conference, Southeast Division
- Eastern Conference, Atlantic Division
- Western Conference, Southwest Division
- Western Conference, Northwest Division
- Western Conference, Pacific Division

Zachariah Blott cannot recommend Rick Telander’s “Heaven Is A Playground” enough.

No CommentsPosted by ETB Contributor on Oct. 26, 2009 at 8:10am in NBA

2009-10 NBA Season Predictions and Awards

October 25, 2009

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Regular Empty the Bench contributor Zachariah Blott handicaps the 2009-10 NBA season with his predictions for playoff finishes, individual awards, the league’s best backcourt, and more. The season kicks off on Tuesday… finally! There’s still time to get the Early Bird Discount on the NBA League Pass.

Standings

Eastern Conference Playoff Teams:
1. Boston Celtics
2. Cleveland Cavaliers
3. Orlando Magic
4. Chicago Bulls
5. Toronto Raptors
6. Philadelphia 76ers
7. Washington Wizards
8. Atlanta Hawks

Conference Finals:
Boston Celtics over Cleveland Cavaliers

Western Conference Playoff Teams:
1. Los Angeles Lakers
2. San Antonio Spurs
3. Portland Trail Blazers
4. Denver Nuggets
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Utah Jazz
7. Houston Rockets
8. New Orleans Hornets

Conference Finals:
San Antonio Spurs over Los Angeles Lakers

NBA Finals:
Boston Celtics over San Antonio Spurs

Six Things that Could Blow Up These Predictions:
1) Tons of key injuries like last year (Garnett, Yao, Duncan, Brand, Nelson, etc.)
2) San Antonio finally gets too old.
3) Denver rolls like they did from mid-March to mid-May (22-5).
4) Orlando uses all their weapons and continues shocking the league.
5) Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers both take a quantum leap for Miami.
6) The new-look Pistons gel faster than anticipated.

Player and team predictions for the 2009-10 NBA season after the break…

Read the rest of this article »

No CommentsPosted by ETB Contributor on Oct. 25, 2009 at 5:10pm in NBA

The NBA’s Most Depressing Players of 2009

October 23, 2009

From one depressing player to another

Changing of the Guard Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Allen Iverson, G, Memphis Grizzlies

Our Most Depressing NBA Players of 2008 list was headlined by Vince Carter, shown above passing the torch to his successor atop this ignominious throne, Allen Iverson. He couldn’t possibly have picked a more-depressing franchise to land with at this late stage in his HOF career than the Memphis Grizzlies. AI didn’t have much choice, really, but tell me I’m not the only one who’d feel better about reading reports of Iverson dominating overseas in Europe, as opposed to scanning boxscores on dreary winter mornings and seeing that AI played low-efficiency backup minutes, in a losing cause, on a terrible team like Memphis.

I’ve had trouble swallowing this move from the moment it happened:

So this is what Allen Iverson’s career has come to: a sideshow attraction on a floundering franchise that views him as nothing more than a means of selling a few more tickets to a small, generally disinterested fanbase. In just one year, the first-ballot Hall of Famer and longtime NBA fan favorite has first been reduced from a high-scoring perennial All-Star to a coveted expiring contract, then to an unwanted, unrestricted free agent, and finally to leftover late-summer scraps.

It’s literally a sad state of affairs in Memphis. Forget bobblehead or replica jersey nights at the FedEx Forum this season—they’re better off giving away Zoloft.

Adam Morrison, GF, Los Angeles Lakers

At least he got a championship ring, just like his fellow, colossal draft-bust Darko Milicic got a ring with the Detroit Pistons back in ’04: as a cheerleader, though in breaking his hand during the final ticks of garbage time in the series clincher, Darko arguably earned his more than Morrison did. A popular write-in pick for 2008′s Most Depressing Players, Morrison headlines a long list of first-round picks from the 2006 NBA Draft that in 3 short years have found permanent seats at the end of a bench, and aren’t much longer for this league than the length of their legacy rookie contracts.

Mysteriously taken third overall by the Charlotte Bobcats despite little indication that his college-friendly game would translate to the NBA level over the long term, Morrison is a career 37% shooter with skewed pers of 8.7 points, 2.4 boards and 1.6 assists… skewed in that those averages actually belie the miniscule contributions he’s made to a winnning cause. He’s laughing all the way to the bank though: $5.2 million this year and $6.3 million next. I’m setting the over/under on the number of times he’s traded during his expiring-contract year at three. Any takers?

Quentin Richardson, GF, Miami Heat

The washed-up, long-range chucker that nobody wants, though Pat Riley insists Q-Rich will play a significant role for the Miami Heat this year. Sure he will. Toting a juicy $9.3 million expiring contract, the nine-year vet was traded four times in the span of seven memorable weeks this summer, which prompted Andrew to call a spade a spade after Richardson briefly landed with the T’Wolves:

Quentin Richardson is a 29-year-old “guard-forward” (but not really either) who doesn’t play defense, hasn’t seen a shot opportunity or bear claw that didn’t look good to him, sports a career 1.6-to-1.2 assist-to-turnover ratio, brings a bad locker-room attitude and has shot 71.3% from the line and 39.8% from the field in his nine seasons in the league. He’s a cancer, on the court and off. Oh, and he kinda sucks. Kinda sucks a lot. The only thing Minnesota Miami can hope to get out of Richardson before his contract expires next summer is a unique ability to steal shots and minutes from the young kids and stunt their development in the process.

Tim Thomas, F, Dallas Mavericks

Here’s a useless bit of trivia to regale your friends with at a party: Tim Thomas, the 7th-overall pick of the 1997 NBA Draft, has never played in all 82 regular-season games during the 12 years he’s been in the league. He twice played in 80–as a Buck in 1999-0 and 2002-03–but never 82. In this season, his 13th, he’ll suit up for the 8th team of his career, the Mavericks, who hope to utilize him as a three-point specialist, I guess. (Hey, it’s the Mavericks. It’s not supposed to make any sense.) They hope to use him in that limited capacity, of course, once he returns in a month or two from right-knee surgery.

A hint is a hint, Tim: it’s time to call it a day… though, admittedly, I couldn’t walk away from the $6 million you’ll make this year either.

Four more of the NBA’s Most Depressing Players after the break, and your chance to vote for your “favorite” depressing player, after the break….

Read the rest of this article »

17 CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 23, 2009 at 12:40pm in ETB Articles, NBA

ETB’s Logo Report Cards, NBA Logo Trends and Logos in Other Sports

October 23, 2009

Denver Nuggets Classic Logo

By: Zachariah Blott

I know it’s a bit belated, but I wanted to put together a few lists that show some logo trends in the NBA over time and some great logos in other sports. Enjoy!

Again, all of these logos are found at Chris Creamer’s SportsLogos.net.

See Also:
NBA Logo Report Cards, Pt. 1
NBA Logo Report Cards, Pt. 2
NBA Logo Report Cards, Pt. 3


NBA Logo Trends

Trends From the 1940′s Into the 1970′s

Early logos tended to use ridiculous cartoons of the mascot playing the sport.

Ft. Wayne Pistons LogoAtlanta Hawks 1969/70

Denver Nuggets, 1976-1981

Ft. Wayne Pistons, 1948-1957

Houston Rockets, 1971/72

Milwaukee Bucks, 1968-1993

New York Knicks, 1946-1964

Philadelphia Warriors, 1951-1962

Trends From the 1970′s

Teams used super simple shapes and colors, akin to construction paper cut-outs. Apparently they had time machines back then and consulted with the South Park creators to see what they would have done in middle school.

1974/75 All Star Game in Phoenix

Buffalo Braves, 1971-1978

Golden State Warriors, 1972-1975

Indiana Pacers Classic LogoIndiana Pacers, 1976-1990

Kansas City Kings, 1975-1985

New Jersey Nets, 1978-1990

New Orleans Jazz, 1974-1979

Philadelphia 76ers, 1963-1977

Phoenix Suns, 1968-1992

San Diego Clippers, 1978-1982

Washington Bullets, 1974-1987

More logo trends and awards from around sports, after the jump …

Read the rest of this article »

2 CommentsPosted by ETB Contributor on Oct. 23, 2009 at 3:02am in Miscellaneous, MLB, NBA, NFL

2009-10 NBA Season Blog Preview Series: Western Conference – Northwest Division

October 22, 2009

Brandon Roy was the hero against HoustonWe’re back with another round of blog previews for the 2009-10 NBA season, this time hitting up the underpublicized Northwest Division of the Western Conference. ETB’s own Zachariah Blott has already detailed the division here, so be sure to check that out for more in-depth coverage.

As evidenced by the six blog previews linked to below, the Portland Trailblazers are an early favorite to not only be the most popular team in the Northwest, but to also represent the division in the postseason. They’re finally at a point when the rebuilding process and plethora of lottery picks should pay off. Brandon Roy has emerged as one of the elite players in the NBA, a selfless leader who fills the stat sheet and doesn’t shy away from the big shot, and is finally paired with an elite pass-first point in Andre Miller. Down low, the duo of LaMarcus Aldrige and Greg Oden (who could be an All Star this season) should anchor this ship in high fashion. Meanwhile, the wing positions and bench are rife with talent including Travis Outlaw, Jerryd Bayless, Nicolas Batum, Steve Blake, Rudy Fernandez, Joel Pryzbilla and Martell Webster. This team is deep, young and talented.

The Denver Nuggets, who tied the Blazers with 54 wins a season ago, may have something to say about that though. Devner still boasts elite talent at point and small forward with Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey “Mr. Big Shot” Billups. Up front, this squad features mobile defenders and rebounders in Kenyon Martin, Nene Hilario, and Chris Andersen. That trio gives this squad a physicality and attitude that no other team in the division can match. Every night erratic, juvenile and supremely talented guard JR Smith can carry the offense on his back while the rest of the team plays nasty defense. They’re thin, though, as well as injury prone and aging.

Can The Denver Nuggets Check Kobe Bryant?The Utah Jazz are another team that threatens to make the postseason out of the Northwest, as any team led by the heady, physical stylings Deron Williams and Jerry Sloan figures to be. The Jazz are mediocre on the wings, led by defensive-minded Ronnie Brewer, but they have some talented rebounders up front in the power forward tandem of Paul Millsap and Carlos Boozer. Mehmet Okur and Andrei Kirilenko also bring unusual, versatile skill sets to their respective positions.

Young, developing teams in Minnesota and Oklahoma City figure to bring up the rear inthe Northwest once again, but make no mistake: these are improving teams that sport impressive young players worth watching. I went into greater detail in my Timberwolves preview here, but suffice it to say that Al Jefferson, Jonny Flynn and Kevin Love are hard-working youngsters that bring a lot to the table.

As far as watchability goes, there are few teams ETB enjoys more than the Thunder (despite the hideous 50s high school jerseys). Kevin Durant isn’t a complete player just yet, but man can this kid fill it up in smooth, impressive fashion. He’s joined by the fascinating talents of explosive, rebounding PG Russell Westbrook, do-it-all F Jeff Green, defesive freak G/F Thabo Sefolosha, rookie scorer G James Harden and everybody’s favorite reclamation project, PG Shaun Livingston. They won’t make the playoffs this season, but with this core the Thunder are going to be very good in a year or two.

With that out of the way, be sure to check out the individual team previews of our blogger brethren …

Denver Nuggets Denver Stiffs | The Nugg Doctor

Minnesota TimberwolvesCanis Hoopus | Empty the Bench | TWolvesBlog

Oklahoma City ThunderBlue Blitz | Daily Thunder

Portland Trail Blazers - Blazersedge | A Stern Warning | The Rip City Project | Blaze of Love | BustaBucket | Trail Post

Utah JazzSLC Dunk | True Blue Jazz

More 2008-09 NBA Blogger Previews

Eastern Conference:
- Atlantic Division
- Central Division
- Southwest Division

Western Conference:
- Southwest Division
- Northwest Division
- Pacific Division

Brandon Roy and Kenyon Martin Photo Credit: Icon SMI

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Oct. 22, 2009 at 9:57pm in NBA

Fantasy Football – Week 7 WR Rankings

October 22, 2009

Marques Colston

Marques Colston Photo Credit: Icon SMI

The recuperative powers of Anquan Boldin are truly remarkable, but I still don’t think he’s going to play this week and thus haven’t ranked him. The receiver says he’ll be a game-time decision, so owners will want to be sure to check on his status Sunday morning just in case there’s been an update, but I’m operating under the assumption that Steve Breaston (who is also dealing with a sore knee, but should play) gets the start. Keep in mind this is a night game, so don’t wait too long to make a decision. If Boldin does play, insert him into the low-teens and bump Breaston down towards the bottom of this list. Even after that shellacking at the hands of the Saints last week, the Giants still boast the NFL’s best pass defense (148.8 YPG).

I miss the Titans secondary already. Come back soon, guys! The fantasy week just isn’t as fun without watching my players gauge you for obscene totals.

Those of you who caught the second half of the Vikings-Ravens game last week know just how important Antoine Winfield is to the Viqueens pass defense. The secondary just folded after he went out, allowing Joe Flacco & Co. to pick them apart with alarming alacrity and efficiency. Winfield has been in a walking boot this week and it doesn’t sound like the Pro Bowler will be ready to play in Pittsburgh this week. Start Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward with confidence, both should rack up yardage with a possible score. If you’re in a bye-week jam, it might be a good opportunity to take a gamble on speedy rookie Mike Wallace. Don’t expect more than 3-4 receptions, but the kid is capable of making big things happen even so.

This week should provide a lot of insight into the Giants passing game. They’ll face off against the fantasy-friendly Cards pass defense, and Eli Manning should have plenty of production to spread around. But what will the distribution be? Is Steve Smith a legit No. 1 fantasy wideout and the breakout story of 2009? And as we predicted a few weeks ago, the split end position has gotten a little murky between YAC machine Mario Manningham and talented rookie Hakeem Nicks. Will one emerge as a clear-cut better option? We’ll be starting everybody we can from the Giants attack and watching closely.

See also:
- Week 7 QB Rankings
- Week 7 RB Rankings
- Week 7 TE Rankings
- Week 7 DEF Rankings

1. Randy Moss, New England Patriots @ TB (in London)
2. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans vs. SF
3. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts @ STL
4. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals @ NYG
5. Vincent Jackson, San Diego @ KC
6. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints @ MIA
7. Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengalsvs. CHI
8. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons @ DAL
9. Wes Welker, New England Patriots @ TB (in London)
10. Hines Ward, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. MIN
11. Steve Smith, New York Giants vs. ARZ
12. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles @ WAS
13. Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. MIN
14. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs vs. SD
15. Donald Driver, Green Bay Packers @ CLE
16. Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers @ CLE

WR rankings 17 through 44, after the jump…

Read the rest of this article »

2 CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Oct. 22, 2009 at 1:15pm in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 7 RB Rankings

October 22, 2009

Steve SlatonThe Carolina Panthers are terrified of letting Delhomme air it out, as they should be, and the Bills pass defense has been surprisingly respectable this season (170.7 YPG, 6-to-10 TD-to-INT ratio). Of course, a lot of that modest production is because opponents don’t need to throw on the Bills. Buffalo gives up a league-worst 181.8 yards and 5.3 YPC on the ground.

Carolina figures to lean heavily on the running game this week, which has earned DeAngelo Williams a spot inside our top two and even landed his cohort, Jonathan Stewart, inside the top 15. The Panthers dropped 267 yards and 3 TDs last week via the rush, so there’s plenty of fantasy points to spread around in this matchup.

If Ryan Grant can’t get it going this week against the Cleveland Browns, who are giving up 165.3 rushing yards per at a 4.9 YPC clip, then it’s time to panic. Grant was never a special player, his production has always simply been a product of system and use, but he hasn’t scored since Week 2 despite facing off against the Rams and Lions (who actually field a semi-respectable rush defense). His 3.8 YPC is downright anemic given the matchups to date. The offensive line in Green Bay is ruining fantasy seasons.

The Bengals boast a pretty stout rush defense, but they are susceptible to giving up chunks of yardage to running backs on receptions out of the backfield. It was on full display last week as Steve Slaton managed just 43 rushing yards on 19 carries, but lit up the linebackers and safeties for 6 receptions, 102 yards and a score through the air. Forte hasn’t looked quick this season, but he finished his rookie season with 63 catches and 477 receiving yards and is a strong play this week in all formats.

You spent your hard-earned imaginary waiver-wire dollars on Laurence Maroney this week for a reason. Don’t hesitate to use him, there may never be a better opportunity. The matchup is ideal and we don’t think Sammy Morris will be a factor in this one.

We all know that things can change in a hurry in New Orleans, but right now Mike Bell is a better play than Reggie Bush. If you had told me that would be the case and both were healthy in the preseason I would have been shocked, but the Saints simply have too many weapons in the passing game to keep Reggie involved every week and Bell figures to continue working in short-yardage and goal-line situations despite Pierre Thomas’ obvious superior talent and football skills. It’s frustrating, but it’s the truth. At least for now.

See also:
- Week 7 QB Ranks
- Week 7 WR Ranks
- Week 7 TE Ranks
- Week 7 DEF Ranks

1. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers @ HOU
2. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers vs. BUF
3. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings @ PIT
4. Ronnie Brown, Miami Dolphins vs. NO
5. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Sheep vs. IND
6. Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons @ DAL
7. Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals vs. CHI
8. Steve Slaton, Houston Texans vs. SF
9. Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia Eagles @ WAS
10. Matt Forte, Chicago Bears @ CIN
11. Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints @ MIA
12. Ryan Grant, Green Bay Packers @ CLE
13. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers @ KC
14. Marion Barber, Dallas Cowboys vs. ATL
15. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers vs. BUF

Running back rankings 16 through 37, after the jump…

Read the rest of this article »

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Oct. 22, 2009 at 12:20pm in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 7 TE Rankings

October 22, 2009

Tony Scheffler

Tony Scheffler Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Welcome back, Tony Scheffler. You were missed.

A relatively under-the-radar fantasy darling for the past two seasons in Denver while Jay Cutler was still under center, the fourth-year tight end’s stock took a major dip on draft day this year. The reliably solid Cutler had been shipped to Chicago, and in his place was the reliably unreliable Kyle Orton, not to mention a new coaching staff and new offensive scheme. Not an ideal situation for Scheffler, who on average fell all the way to the late-14th round in most Yahoo! drafts… if he was drafted at all.

For the first 5 weeks of the season, his predicted demise became reality with the 6-5 Western Michigan alumnus hauling in just 10 catches for 116 yards and 1 TD. It was a different story against the thin San Diego Chargers secondary on Monday, as Scheffler broke out for 6 catches, 101 yards, and a brilliant touchdown grab along the sideline that was all fingertips and concentration. In The Year of the Tight End, it was one of the finest catches you’ll see at the position all season.

The undefeated Broncos are on bye this week, but keep Scheffeler in mind if you’re in need of a plug-in play starting Week 8 at Baltimore. There’s no telling whether Monday’s performance is a firm indicator of future success, or whether it’s a fluke for a still-unpredictable offense, but all things equal we feel this guy has top-10 TE talent. Now it’s on Orton and OC Mike McCoy to keep utilizing it.

See also:
- Week 7 QB Rankings
- Week 7 RB Rankings
- Week 7 WR Ranks
- Week 7 DEF Rankings

1. Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts @ STL
2. Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers @ KC
3. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans vs. SF
4. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys vs. ATL (Don’t let us down)
5. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. MIN
6. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons @ DAL
7. Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles @ WSH
8. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers @ HOU
9. Chris Cooley, Washington Redskins vs. PHI
10. Jeremy Shockey, New Orleans Saints @ MIA (Check Status)
11. Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota Vikings @ PIT
12. Greg Olsen, Chicago Bears @ CIN
13. Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay Bucs vs. NE (In London)
14. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers @ CLE
15. Zach Miller, Oakland Raiders vs. NYJ
16. Benjamin Watson, New England Patriots vs. TB
17. Kevin Boss, New York Giants vs. ARZ
18. Dustin Keller, New York Jets @ OAK
19. Donald Lee, Green Bay Packers @ CLE
20. Sean Ryan, Kansas City Chiefs vs. SD

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 22, 2009 at 10:27am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 7 QB Rankings

October 21, 2009

Peyton Manning is a NFL quarterbackWe learned a few things last week, or at least had some facts strongly reinforced:

- Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and the rest of the Patriots passing attack can still bring a weak-kneed secondary, like Tennessee’s, to tears. If you were trying to buy low on Brady, that window has closed; conversely, if you were waiting to sell high, there’s no better time than the present.

- Drew Brees and his seemingly endless cadre of interchangeable parts/weapons can light up anybody. Anybody. The New York Giants pass defense was the NFL’s top-ranked unit heading into their much-anticipated clash with the Saints in New Orleans… and they’re still holding down the top spot despite last week’s torching at the hands of Brees. Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson… they should probably all be owned and, at a minimum, stashed in case one of their colleagues suffers a semi-serious injury. It’s a plug-and-play operation there in New Orleans, and it’s hard to stop.

- As far as fantasy production goes, Brett Favre is back and should be considered a weekly start unless you have a much-better option. Maybe just not this week on the road against Pittsburgh, especially with Troy Polamalu back in the lineup.

- The Detroit Lions secondary should be exploited as much as possible: if there’s ever a time to start guys also-rans like Marc Bulger and Donnie Avery, it’s in Week 8 when they travel to Detroit. Same goes with Derek Anderson and Mohamed Massaquoi in Week 11… actually, don’t start either of them. Ever.

Onto the ranks… why Manning over Brady? Manning is indoors and coming out of a bye week, while Brady is on the road in London, where the weather and playing field tend to be terrible.

See also:
- Week 7 RB Rankings
- Week 7 WR Ranks
- Week 7 TE Rankings
- Week 7 DEF Rankings

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts @ STL
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots vs. TB (In London)
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints @ MIA
4. Eli Manning, New York Giants vs. ARZ
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. MIN
6. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers @ CLE
7. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans vs. SF
8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons @ DAL
9. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers @ KC
10. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears @ CIN
11. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals vs. CHI
12. Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals @ NYG
13. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles @ WSH
14. Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings @ PIT
15. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys vs. ATL
16. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs vs. SD
17. Jake Delhomme, Carolina Panthers vs. BUF
18. Shaun Hill, San Francisco 49ers @ HOU
19. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets @ OAK
20. Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams vs. IND

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 21, 2009 at 5:10pm in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 7 Defense Rankings

October 21, 2009

Packers DefenseWe’re not big advocates of investing in team defenses on draft day. Sure, it’s a bit stressful to pick through the scraps every week, adding and dropping based on matchups and sometimes getting stuck with what could optimistically be called a shitty play. But more than perhaps any other fantasy position, it’s often a fool’s errand to chase last year’s production and burn a 6th – 8th round pick on a DEF. We’d argue you shouldn’t take one until your very last pick.

The Pittsburgh Steelers DEF were the first off the board this year, with an average draft position of 58th overall, or the middle of the 6th round; they’re currently the 17th-ranked DEF in ETB’s scoring format. The Tennessee Titans DEF was on average taken a few picks later at 73rd overall, and that unit now sits dead last in fantasy defenses. Sure, some of the high picks pan out (like the Giants, Vikings, and Ravens), but it’s a total crapshoot and not worth the reach. Reaches are for RBs and WRs, not DEFs.

To that end, our top play this week: the Green Bay Packers, who dismantled the Detroit Lions at home last week to the tune of 0 points allowed, 5 sacks, and 3 INTs. Yes, it was an ideal matchup coming off a bye and with both Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson sidelined, but this is what DEFs are all about–playing the matchup. They get another juicy one this week against the pitiful Cleveland Browns offense.

In case you’re wondering, the Green Bay DEF’s average draft position in Yahoo! was 135th overall, and they’re currently the 7th-best fantasy DEF.

This week’s top-five plays should all pan out nicely, but it gets a bit murkier after that.

See also:
- Week 7 QB Rankings
- Week 7 RB Rankings
- Week 7 WR Ranks
- Week 7 TE Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers @ CLE
2. Philadelphia Eagles @ WSH
3. New England Patriots vs. TB (in London)
4. Indianapolis Colts @ STL
5. New York Jets @ OAK
6. Minnesota Vikings @ PIT
7. New York Giants vs. ARZ
8. New Orleans Saints @ MIA
9. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. MIN
10. Atlanta Falcons @ DAL
11. Buffalo Bills @ CAR
12. San Francisco 49ers @ HOU
13. Carolina Panthers vs. BUF
14. Arizona Cardinals @ NYG
15. Cincinnati Bengals vs. CHI

Charles Woodson & AJ Hawk Photo Credit: Icon SMI

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 21, 2009 at 10:51am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

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