- The Season's Over -

Blake Griffin to Earl Clark: An Early Progress Report On This Year’s Lottery Picks

December 30, 2009

Tyreke Evans

Tyreke Evans Photo Credit: Icon SMI

By Brian Spencer

1) Blake Griffin, F, Los Angeles Clippers: A fractured left kneecap incurred in the waning days of preseason has Griffin shelved until at least late January, though there’ve been very few positive reports out of Clipper Land and we’re starting to wonder if this thing might drag on even longer. Obviously, there’s no reason to rush him back to the court, but it’s an inauspicious omen for a franchise that never seems to catch lightening in a bottle, much less a modest break. The 20-year-old was quite impressive during Summer League and preseason play, so hopefully this is just one of those things and not a sign that Griffin is injury prone.

2) Hasheem Thabeet, C, Memphis Grizzlies: The native Tanzinian has a long, long ways to go. It’s much too early to label him an out-and-out bust, but unless your name is Darko (who by the way still blames his failed NBA career on everybody except himself) second-overall picks aren’t supposed to look as immediately lost, overmatched, and overwhelmed as Thabeet has in limited duty. You can’t teach height, and Thabeet has plenty of that to spare at 7-3, but right now it’s hard to imagine him ever becoming more than a shot-blocking specialist with an extremely low ceiling on offense.

Key Per-Game Averages: 10:54 minutes, 2.9 points, 3.3 boards, 1.1 blocks

3) James Harden, G, Oklahoma City Thunder: His well-trimmed beard isn’t the only thing that’s made Harden an early fan favorite in Oklahoma City. This team has been quietly building up its perimeter depth over the past year or so, and though for now Harden is playing second fiddle to starter Thabo Sefolosha off the bench, his hustle, smarts, and willingness to do whatever is asked of him has entrenched him in Scott Brooks’ regular rotation. Though it may not be until next year, it’s only a matter of time before Harden slides into the starting lineup and sticks there. A future All-Star? Probably not, but has the look of a significant piece on a winning team.

Key Per-Game Averages: 22:23 minutes, 9.8 points, 38% FG, 3.4 boards, 2.5 assists, 1 triple, 1.1 steals

4) Tyreke Evans, G, Sacramento Kings: Phenomenal. This kid has done it all and more for the resurgent, exciting Kings, and is flirting with historic, rare rookie pers of at least 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. As I said earlier this month, Evans has all the physical tools and mental intangibles to a be a perennial All-Star in this league for the next decade. What’s more, he seems like a winner and has been the driving engine behind his team’s respectable 14-16 record. Nobody thought the Kings would entertain realistic playoff hopes this season, but then few thought Evans would dominate as quickly as he has either.

Key Per-Game Averages: 37 minutes, 20.3 points, 46% FG, 5.1 boards, 4.9 assists, 1.5 steals 3.1 turnovers, 78% FT

5) Ricky Rubio, G, Minnesota Timberwolves: Let’s be honest: the Timberwolves totally botched this. It’s like the Chargers drafting Eli Manning with the first-overall pick of the NFL Draft, but deciding to keep him instead of trade him even though he was adamant about not wanting to be there. Rubio clearly had/has no interest in playing in Minnesota, but GM Randy Kahn stubbornly stuck to his guns, drafted him, and refused to trade his rights to any number of alleged suitors. Now, Rubio is in Europe playing for Regal Barcelona for at least two seasons (and currently averaging an underwhelming 5.1 points, 3.3 boards, and 4.9 assists) and the T’Wolves are stuck waiting for some kind of return, sometime down the road, on a top-five pick. It’ll be interesting to see what becomes of Rubio’s trade value; sure, he’s still considered a top NBA prospect, but winds change direction quickly.

Jonny Flynn to Earl Clark after the break…

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13 CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Dec. 30, 2009 at 12:46pm in ETB Articles, NBA

Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball: Worst Hoops Video Game Ever?

December 29, 2009

Just a guess here: if you bought Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball for your original Nintendo console, you played it four or five times before it permanently became the cartridge you jammed in there to hold games down.

4 CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Dec. 29, 2009 at 11:58am in NBA

Reading is Great! Today’s NBA Rumors, Gossip, and Fantasy Hoops Tips

December 28, 2009

kidsreading1

- Ball Don’t Lie – My bad, Sacramento Kings. Nothing personal and no hard feelings.
- Yahoo! Sports – Just when you thought T-Mac couldn’t get anymore depressing…
- ESPN – Bill Simmons’ Magical Fantastical Hypothetical Trade Idea Generator
- SLAM ONLINE – The maturation of Amir Johnson continues.
- Hoop Doctors – An early preview of the 2010 Rookie/Sophomore Challenge.
- NBA FanHouse – Does it matter if Tyreke Evans is a true PG or not?
- Points in the Paint – Don’t give up on these struggling fantasy hoopers just yet.
- Give Me The Rock – Scoop these guys up on waivers while/if they’re still hurt.
- Philadelphia Inquirer – The 76ers can’t win games and some players can’t get along. Yay!
- Hoops Addict – The revamped Raptors are finally starting to gel.
- Forum Blue & Gold – Andrew Bynum gets dissected like a frog in 8th-grade biology class.
- Full-Court Press – With the Pistons nearing full strength, the rotation has become an issue.
- Red94 – Carl Landry is making a strong case for 6th Man of the Year honors.
- Bucks Blog – Coming to a NBA court near you: Brandon Jennings in “The Curse of 55″.
- Blazer’s Edge – A look back at the Portland Trail Blazers from 1999 – 2002.

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Dec. 28, 2009 at 3:31pm in NBA

Fantasy Football – Week 16 QB, TE, and Defense Rankings

December 24, 2009

NFL Logo

NFL Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Ranks Preview by Brian Spencer

“Are you gonna wait for your sign, your miracle?
Stand up and fight, this is it!
Make no mistake where you are, this is it!
Your back’s to the corner, this is it!
Don’t be a fool anymore, this is it!
The waiting is over…”

- Kenny Loggins, This Is It

Finally, a totally legit excuse to work Loggins lyrics in…

This is indeed it, folks: championship week in most fantasy football circles. If you’re still reading, a tip of our big ol’ cowboy hat to your worthy efforts and the best of luck this weekend. This also marks the last week of ETB’s annual fantasy football coverage, and basically closes the chapter on this NFL season as far as our purposes go. As most of our loyal readers know, basketball is our main squeeze and the time has come for us to exclusively get back on that wagon after a mini-holiday break here. (To that end, stay tuned next week for a special report and player interviews from Detroit Pistons practice.)

So, how did my fantasy football teams fare this season? Could have been better, could have been worse. I made the semifinals in both leagues, but unfortunately lost both matches last week and play for 3rd place this weekend. In the ETB-sponsored league, I plugged in Michael “F’ing” Turner at the last minute after reports that he was “thumbs up” and good to go, then of course saw him carry the ball one time for 7 yards, then call it a day. That hurt. I then watched my Team DEF, the Green Bay Packers, get smoked in Pittsburgh for 38 points and Jerome Harrison, whom I briefly had in my flex spot before benching him in favor of Darren Sproles, blow up for something like 853 yards and 10 TDs. It just wasn’t meant to be, but I’ll take some solace in knocking my ETB colleague Mr. Thell down to 4th place this weekend in our consolation matchup.

The other league’s result was a bit lopsided, with Chris Johnson losing a fumble and failing to score, my underwhelming cadre of WRs combining to post next-to-nothing numbers, and my opponent benefiting from big days by Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, Greg Jennings, etc. Blah blah blah–everybody not playing for a title this week has a sob story to tell, so I digress.

Player ranks are broken down into just two posts this week: QBs, TEs, and DEFs below, with WRs and RBs here. Thanks for checking in with us during the fantasy season; it’s been fun, and we hope we were able to help lead you to the promised land. We’ll be back next season to do it all over again, but until then, it’s NBA all day, every day.

See Also:
- Week 16 RB and WR Ranks

Quarterbacks

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. TB
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers vs. SEA
3. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans @ MIA
4. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers @ TEN
5. Tom Brady, New England Patriots vs. JAX
6. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts vs. NYJ
7. Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals vs. STL
8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys @ WSH
9. Eli Manning, New York Giants vs. CAR
10. Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings @ CHI
11. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals vs. KC
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. BAL
13. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles vs. DEN
14. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers vs. DET
15. Vince Young, Tennessee Titans vs. SD
16. Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins vs. HOU
17. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears vs. MIN
18. Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins vs. DAL
19. Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos @ PHI
20. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens @ PIT
21. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons vs. BUF

TE and DEF ranks after the break…

Read the rest of this article »

3 CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Dec. 24, 2009 at 12:38am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 16 WR and RB Rankings

December 24, 2009

Andre Johnson has been on fi-yah for the Texans

Andre Johnson Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Ranks Preview by Andrew Thell

If you’re still reading these rankings fantasy football is treating you pretty well this season. Then again, you could be like me – on the outs in all your money leagues and just playing for pride (gotta maintain that Yahoo! overall performance). After getting knocked off with a cruel Yahoo! stat correction on the Tuesday after the regular season’s close in one, I was ousted from the postseason in my other money league this week after Brett Favre and the Vikings offense inexplicably decided to lay down for the Carolina Panthers and Julius Peppers.

Oh, fantasy football couldn’t be kind enough to put me out of my misery on Sunday night though, it had to prolong the agony all through the Monday night affair as Steve Smith briefly got my hopes up with a first-half touchdown. Fantasy football knows how to build you up just enough to bring you down, and Smith ultimately fell just 15 yards, or 1.3 points, shy of propelling me into my league’s Super Bowl – and, more importantly, into the money. She’s a cruel mistress, she is.

Alas, you’re still alive, and that’s what’s important here. So on to the ranks. It’s the holidays, I’m with family eating and drinking well, I don’t have a fancy intro breaking down individual players for you this week. Hopefully you don’t need it if you’ve made it this far. Best of luck to all of you still in it, and a happy holidays to our ETB readers.

See also:

- Week 16 QB, TE and DEF Rankings

Wide Receivers

1. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans @ MIA
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals vs. STL
3. Wes Welker, New England Patriots vs. JAC
4. Randy Moss, New England Patriots vs. JAC
5. Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers @ TEN
6. Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals vs. STL
7. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints vs. TB
8. Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals vs. KC
9. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles vs. DEN
10. Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos @ PHI
11. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys @ WAS
12. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons vs BUF
13. Santonio Holmes, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. BAL
14. Sidney Rice, Minnesota Vikings @ CHI
15. Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers vs. SEA
16. Mike Sims-Walker, Jacksonville Jaguars @ NE

RB rankings and WR ranks 17 through 42, after the jump…

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3 CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Dec. 24, 2009 at 12:37am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Larry Brown Has (Fill in Team’s Name) Playing Some Good Defense

December 21, 2009

Larry Brown Knows DefenseBy: Zachariah Blott

Something seems fishy when you look at which NBA teams are well ahead of the pack in terms of defense this year. Only three squads boast a Defensive Rating of 100 or better (league average is 106.7) : the Celtics, the Lakers, and the Bobcats. Whereas Boston and LA are storied franchises in large markets that can afford $85 and $91 million worth of talent, Charlotte is slumming it with the Kings and Pacers of the world by only having $65 million of player payroll.

What the Bobcats do have that the big dogs don’t, however, is Larry Brown. Brown is the nomadic Jedi of NBA coaches, having been with more teams than your mot … never mind… let’s just say he’s been employed by a lot of teams. He’s the only person to have coached seven different franchises into the playoffs, and the only person to have coached an NCAA Champion (Kansas, 1988) and an NBA Champion (Detroit, 2004). Brown moves around so much, his rookie coaching gig in 1972 (Davidson College) was cut short before they played even one game because he accepted another job with the ABA’s Carolina Cougars.

So why do colleges and professional teams keep signing Brown if he has the commitment anxiety of Two and a Half Men’s Charlie Harper? Because a) he’ll coach any rag-tag group of losers, and b) he can turn said group into a solid, defensive unit.

Right now, Brown has the always lowly Charlotte Bobcats playing defense like the All-Star filled squads that won the last two NBA titles. And although their 10-14 record is similar to last year’s 35-47, Michael Jordan’s team is on pace to secure their first-ever playoff berth. Examining the Four Factors, we can start to see how this squad is getting it done.

Larry Brown photo credit: Icon SMI

Effective Field Goal Percentage

The Bobcats have held opponents to a .486 eFG%, which is better than the league average of .497 and ranks 11th in the NBA. Both the 44% FG% and 33% 3FG% surrendered by Charlotte are low, so they’re making it difficult for teams to score both inside and outside. Of particular note is that Bobcat opponents are forced to shoot 26% of their shots from behind the arc, which is considerably higher than the league average of 22%, so they are keeping teams from getting easy looks at the basket.

Turnover Percentage

As good as Charlotte is at forcing bad shots, they’re even better at forcing bad decisions before the shot. Their opponents turn it over on 15.8% of possessions, the second-best mark in the league which averages 13.8%. It’s hard to score against a team when they’re busy taking the ball out of your hands.

Defensive Rebound Percentage

Most teams that do well clearing the glass after an opponent’s miss have a dominant big man or frontcourt, teams like the Magic, the Cavaliers, and the Spurs. Guess what, Charlotte is right in the middle of these three at the top of the league for defensive rebounding. Whereas the average missed shot is boarded by the defense 73% of the time, Charlotte gets their hands on 76% of them. A lot of this obviously has to do with leaper extraordinaire Gerald Wallace and his 12 RPG.

Free Throw Rate

Make it a perfect four for four. Charlotte is better than the league average at keeping opposing players off the free throw line, as well. The Bobcats give up .210 FT/FGA, well below the .231 median mark. This means their defense isn’t just forcing other teams to stay out of the paint for shots and rebounds, they’re doing it without getting their paws all over them. By the way, only two teams other than the Bobcats are above average in all Four Factors on defense. Think you know who they are? They’re named at the end of this article.

Looking at Larry Brown’s role players, then and now, after the jump …

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1 CommentPosted by ETB Contributor on Dec. 21, 2009 at 12:57pm in ETB Articles, NBA

Fantasy Football – Week 15 RB Rankings

December 17, 2009

Frank GoreRanks Preview by Andrew Thell

He was your first-round pick, but it still took some balls to start Frank Gore on Monday Night. Then again, if you took Frank Gore with your first-round pick there was a good chance you weren’t in contention last week. Coming into the game Gore had single-digit carries in two of the last three games, including 9 carries and 2 receptions for just 30 total yards at Seattle in Week 13 – the team he tore up for 246 total yards and 2 TDs in Week 2.

So yeah, the 25 carries for 167 yards and a TD against Arizona were a surprise. Keep in mind, though, that was largely the result of playing with the lead all game after Arizona stubbornly refused to maintain possession of the football in the first half, and that Gore’s opponent this week, the Eagles, boast a stout rush defense. That said, they’ll be throwing the book at Alex Smith and the 49ers would be wise to keep the ball on the ground again. Gore is a strong RB2 option.

So much for Larry Johnson eating into Cedric Benson’s carries. Since Benson’s return from a hip injury he’s been thrust back into the dangerously overused lead-back role with 52 (!) carries for 206 yards over the last two weeks. In those games LJ has tallied 5 carries… for 8 yards. As I’ve mentioned before, it seems like the best way to attack the San Diego defense is with a power running game and underneath passing game. Their rush defense isn’t anything special, and I expect the Bengals to ride Benson once again.

You never expect strong options to keep emerging on the wire this late in the season, but every year they do. It’s the nature of football. This week Houston’s Arian Foster is the latest waiver-wire pickup you can plug directly into your lineup and feel pretty good about it. Injuries killed his draft stock, but Foster has talent. He fits perfectly into the Houston system with great hands, good size, and decisive cutting. From what I’ve heard he’s been a Gary Kubiak favorite since training camp and the Texans are going to feed the kid and see what they have. Playing a horseshit St. Louis Rams rush defense (147.2 YPG, 19 TDs allowed – 2nd in the NFL), Foster has fantasy football hero written all over him.

Pittsburgh faces a tough, complete Packers defense that is on a serious roll right now. That’s the bad news for Rashard Mendenhall; the good is that he’ll be given the Steelers’ third-down opportunities this week and he could be featured heavily in a grind-it-out game where the weather could be a factor.

Things are set up nicely for Laurence Maroney owners: the guy got 22 carries last week, he’s scored 8 TDs in the last 8 weeks, and he draws the NFL’s worst rushing defense in Buffalo this week. You have to like those odds. The odds also favor rookie Knowshon Moreno, who gets a fantastic matchup in Oakland this week and should dominate the carries with Correll Buckhalter expected to miss the game.

We don’t expect Brian Westbrook to play, and thus we haven’t ranked him. We also don’t expect you to be starting an Eagles running back if you’ve made it this far.

I love Beanie Wells’ downhill running style, and I expect it to be a very long hill this week in Detroit. Humble projection: 17 carries for 85 yards and 2 TDs.

See also:
- Week 15 QB Ranks
- Week 15 WR Ranks
- Week 15 TE Ranks
- Week 15 DEF Ranks

Frank Gore Photo Credit: Icon SMI

1. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans vs. MIA
2. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings @ CAR
3. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens vs. CHI
4. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. IND
5. Thomas Jones, New York Jets vs. ATL
6. Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins @ TEN
7. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs vs. CLE
8. Cedric Benson, Cincinnati Bengals @ SD
9. DeAngelo Williams, Carolina Panthers vs. MIN
10. Joseph Addai, Indianapolis Colts @ JAC
11. Rashard Mendenhall, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. GB
12. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos vs. OAK
13. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers @ PHI
14. Laurence Maroney, New England Patriots @ BUF
15. Chris Wells, Arizona Cardinals @ DET
16. Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams vs. HOU

Running back rankings 16 through 37, after the jump…

Read the rest of this article »

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Dec. 17, 2009 at 8:42am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 15 QB Rankings

December 17, 2009

Kurt WarnerRanks Preview by Brian Spencer

If you own Kurt Warner, you have to start Kurt Warner. The Cards’ favorable fantasy playoff schedule is part of the reason you drafted him. But I guarantee that 90% of his owners are anything but ecstatic about putting him in the lineup after that steaming pile of shit he dropped on Candlestick Park Monday night in his team’s embarassing 24-9 loss to the 49ers. You’re lucky if you survived in spite of what was probably his worst performance of the season, given the timing.

The raw stats were bad. Real bad: 16-29 for 178 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, 1 fumble lost, and 4 sacks taken. In ETB’s scoring format, that shook out to -1.37 fantasy points. But the numbers don’t tell the whole story here: the man looked distant, sullen, and simply grateful to be trotting over to the sideline in one piece. Warner has never been one of the league’s more emotional guys, but his body language was all wrong all game long and couldn’t have been inspiring confidence in his teammates during their comeback attempts (feeble though they were).

We understand that concussions are serious business, and so, finally, does the NFL. That’s fine. But if all those hits he’s taken over the years have permanently gotten into his head, then he needs to step aside and let Matt Leinart take his place. It’s only one game, and just 2 weeks ago he was brilliant in picking apart the Minnesota Vikings, but there was something definitely off about his demeanor on Monday. The football gods are smiling on him and the Cardinals pass attack this week in gifting them a dream matchup against the Detroit Lions and their league-worst pass defense, but still, it makes you wonder if this is the beginning of the end to Warner’s illustrious career.

See also:
See also:
- Week 15 RB Ranks
- Week 15 WR Ranks
- Week 15 TE Ranks
- Week 15 DEF Ranks

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints vs. DAL
2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts @ JAX
3. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans @ STL
4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers @ PIT
5. Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals @ DET
6. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles vs. SF
7. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers vs. CIN
8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys @ NO
9. Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings @ CAR
10. Tom Brady, New England Patriots @ BUF
11. Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins vs. NYG
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. GB
13. Vince Young, Tennessee Titans vs. MIA (Check Status)
14. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens vs. CHI
15. Eli Manning, New York Giants @ WSH
16. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers @ PHI
17. Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins @ TEN
18. Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos vs. OAK
19. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears @ BAL
20. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals @ SD
21. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs vs. CLE

Kurt Warner Photo Credit: Icon SMI

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Dec. 17, 2009 at 8:40am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 15 WR Rankings

December 17, 2009

Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall Photo Credit: Icon SMI

Ranks Preview by Andrew Thell

As a Chad Ochocinco owner you never like to hear this kind of quote from Carson Palmer: “We’re a team that throws the ball about 20 times and runs it about 30. That’s who we are, and that’s who we’re going to continue to be.” Ugh. Very few of us can afford to bench Chad regardless, but I’m not expecting huge things against a San Diego secondary that’s looked quite good.

I don’t know what to make of the whole Randy Moss mess, other than we all know this is a guy who takes off plays (and games … and seasons, in the case of 06-07). I’m not shocked or aghast. That’s who he is. We knew that. He’s still the best wide receiver of the decade, and I think he’ll get his head screwed back on. That said, with just 6 receptions over the last three weeks and playing in Buffalo against their elite secondary (189.2 YPC, 10 TDs allowed, 25 INTs), Rando is hardly an elite play.

Back in Week 8 I predicted that would be the week Hakeem Nicks overtook Mario Manningham and his irksome tendency to drop big passes for good. It appears I was a bit premature, but better late than never. Hakeem Nicks got his fist start of the season on Sunday night and made plays, converting 7 targets into 4 receptions, 110 yards and a TD. It could have been a bigger game if not for a few costly drops, but Nicks played well and should be a fine play in Washington.

Speaking of drops, Dwyane Bowe returns from his four-game suspension this week just in time to take on the Cleveland Browns’ fantasy-friendly secondary. There was some concern over whether Bowe would regain his starting job, but apparently he kept himself in great shape and resumed his first-team reps right off the bat. If he’s available in your league, and he shouldn’t be, scoop Bowe up and pencil him into your WR3 slot. There’s every reason to believe he’ll get plenty of opportunities to produce.

Last week I closed out the wide receiver ranks with this throwaway line (you were going to start him either way): “Just a hunch, but I think Andre Johnson pushes around Seattle’s smallish secondary this week: 9 receptions, 146 yards, 2 TDs.” I thought it was an aggressive projection, but appears I was a bit conservative: Johnson had surpassed those totals by halftime and finished with 11 for 193 and 2 scores. You heard it here first: Andre Johnson is a fine start in Week 15 at St. Louis.

Weekly Darrelle Revis alert: downgrade Roddy White. Significantly. Christ, that Revis kid is really, really good.

See also:
- Week 15 QB Ranks
- Week 15 RB Ranks
- Week 15 TE Ranks
- Week 15 DEF Ranks

1. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans @ STL
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals @ DET (Check Status)
3. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts @ JAC
4. Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals @ DET
5. Wes Welker, New England Patriots @ BUF
6. Brandon Marshall, Denver Broncos vs. OAK
7. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints vs. DAL
8. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles vs. SF
9. Sidney Rice, Minnesota Vikings @ CAR
10. Vincent Jackson, San Diego Chargers vs. CIN
11. Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys @ NO
12. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions vs. ARZ
13. Derrick Mason, Baltimore Ravens vs. CHI
14. Greg Jennings, Green Bay Packers @ PIT
15. Donald Driver, Green Bay Packers @ PIT
16. Randy Moss, New England Patriots @ BUF

WR rankings 17 through 46, after the jump…

Read the rest of this article »

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Dec. 17, 2009 at 8:36am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Fantasy Football – Week 15 Defense Rankings

December 17, 2009

Mario WilliamsRanks Preview by Brian Spencer

As we said two weeks ago, we don’t advocate or recommend that you get cute this time of the year. You don’t bench the studs who got you this far just because they had an off week last week, but sometimes due to injury you simply can’t avoid scouring the waiver wire during the fantasy playoffs in search of a viable plug-in play/savior. To that end, the Houston Texans DEF is likely available and could be the gem defense-needy owners are looking for.

The St. Louis Rams are a wreck. They’re battered, bruised, and depleted, and at 1-12 are better off losing the rest of their games and securing the top pick in the 2010 draft than they are winning. The offense has failed to score more than 9 points for two straight weeks, with their only touchdown in this span coming on a meaningless 11-yard strike from “Keith Null” (quotes because we’re not sure this guy really exists) to Randy McMichael in their 47-7 loss to the Titans last Sunday. They’ve coughed up 6 INTs, 4 sacks, and 1 fumble, and with Kyle Boller still battling an illness it looks like “Null” will get the nod again against the visiting Texans.

This defense isn’t spectacular: they’re squarely in the middle of the league pack in points allowed (21 per) and yards allowed (329), and towards the bottom in interceptions (11) and sacks (22). Obviously, you’re getting cute if you start them, but if you’re a believer in playing matchups, this one might be worth a roll of the dice, especially since their only real offensive weapon, RB Steven Jackson, is wearing down physically and mentally.

Meanwhile, the Texans are under the gun to win out and keep their faint playoff hopes alive. Last week they ransacked the Seattle Seahawks offense, holding them to 7 points while sacking Matt Hasselbeck thrice and picking him off once. You probably have better options, but it’s something to think about.

See also:
- Week 15 QB Ranks
- Week 15 RB Ranks
- Week 15 WR Ranks
- Week 15 TE Ranks

1. Denver Broncos vs. OAK
2. Minnesota Vikings @ CAR
3. Arizona Cardinals @ DET
4. New York Jets vs. ATL
5. Green Bay Packers @ PIT
6. Baltimore Ravens vs. CHI
7. Philadelphia Eagles vs. SF
8. New Orleans Saints vs. DAL
9. Houston Texans @ STL
10. Indianapolis Colts @ JAX
11. Washington Redskins vs. NYG
12. Seattle Seahawks vs. TB
13. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. GB
14. New England Patriots @ BUF
15. San Diego Chargers vs. CIN
16. San Francisco 49ers @ PHI
17. Cincinnati Bengals @ SD
18. Tennessee Titans vs. MIA

Mario Williams Photo Credit: Icon SMI

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Dec. 17, 2009 at 8:32am in Fantasy Rankings, NFL, NFL Fantasy News

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