- The Season's Over -

NFL Observations, Including the Randy Moss-less Patriots and Moss-full Brett Favre

October 27, 2010

Danny Woodhead

Danny Woodhead photo credit: Icon SMI

By: Andrew Thell

- If you play in Yahoo! and you’re in need of a WR or flex play, you could do a lot worse than Danny Woodhead. He’s almost surely owned in your league, but after last week’s relatively quiet game you might still be able to get him at a discount. Woodhead looked very good in the Chargers game, shifty and quick, and it appears he’s going to be heavily involved in both the passing and running game going forward; he even got several carries between the tackles on Sunday. There aren’t many guys who will be getting 8+ carries a game that you can drop into a WR slot.

- Now is the time to invest in Atlanta Falcons skill players. Heading into their bye a lot of teams might be desperate to fill out their starting lineup, and after the bye Atlanta only faces one scary defense for the rest of the fantasy season (Baltimore in Week 10). Matt Ryan looks like he’s ready to be a reliable option from here on out and Tony Gonzalez is a definite buy-low. You’re not going to be able to get Roddy White on the cheap after that dominant performance, but for my money there’s not a WR in fantasy football I’d rather have right now. Matt Ryan is locked onto him every week.

- Ryan Fitzpatrick has a 102.0 Quarterback Rating. His four TDs last week were named White Horse, Red Horse, Black Horse and Pale Horse.

- I’m buying Robert Meachem where I can. He might be the most talented receiver on that team, and he’s definitely their best vertical threat. The Saints offense is better when Meachem is on the field and active, stretching defenses out, and they’re starting acknowledge that in his usage. The matchup in Pittsburgh is rough this week, but the schedule clears up after that.

- It’s amazing how quickly the Kansas City Chiefs has been rebuilt through the draft. We’re seeing the Scott Pioli influence taking effect, and it’s impressive. They’re a solid team now, and just a QB away from really competing.

- As predicted in this space two weeks ago, Tom Brady has had a rough go of it sans Randy Moss. You really can’t overstate the impact he had on the Patriots’ passing game, taking the opposing team’s best corner and one safety out of the picture on every play even when he wasn’t catching passes. The last two weeks Brady has put up 5.9 yards-per-attempt (YPA) with 2 INTs and just 2 TDs despite 76 pass attempts. The year before Moss came to town Brady posted a modest 6.8 YPA, and the last two healthy seasons with Moss Brady had impressive 7.8 and 8.3 YPAs. Brady will still be useful though, he’s a solid QB on a passing team, and he may have even gone from a sell-high to a buy-low.

Wes Welker, on the other hand, I want nothing to do with. In three years playing with Moss Welker caught 112, 111 and 123 passes, but now he’s drawing opposing team’s top corners and has caught just 11 passes for 78 yards combined the last two weeks. Welker’s never been a big red-zone target (3 TDs last year, 4 the year before), so if he’s not catching a huge volume of passes he’s not doing much for your fantasy bottom line.

- The NFC is terrible. Just terrible. You could argue the top six teams in the NFL all reside in the AFC (Jets, Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, Titans, and Colts in no particular order). The only two teams in the NFC I would actually characterize as “good” right now are Giants and Falcons. No team in the NFC West deserves to be in the playoffs.

- If the NFL is going to try and showcase their product for an overseas audience, why can’t they give them a halfway decent game? I know nobody saw this San Fran implosion coming, but 49ers versus Broncos was never what you would call a marquee matchup.

- I never though I would say this, but it might be time to give Tarvaris Jackson another shot. As bad as he looked at times during his limited career as a starter, Brett Favre has been worse this season. The Vikings have too much talent to be 2-4 and on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. Brian Burke over at Advanced NFL Stats sums up just how bad No. 4 has been:

“This season is different. Injuries and distractions appear to have taken their toll. Through week 7, Favre ranks a very distant last in total WPA, with -1.89, nearly three times worse than the next worst passer. That’s -0.32 WPA per game. He’s behind Trent Edwards, Jay Cutler, Matt Moore, Jimmy Clausen, Max Hall–everyone.

It’s not just bad timing or bad luck in high leverage situations, either. Over his six games, he’s responsible for -20 EPA, which is basically net point (dis)advantage. He’s 5th worst in Success Rate (SR) among qualified QBs, meaning he’s consistently bad, and not just a victim of a handful of high impact plays.”

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Oct. 27, 2010 at 11:15pm in NFL, NFL Fantasy News

2010 NBA Northwest Division Previews

October 26, 2010

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant Photo Credit: Icon SMI

The 2010 NBA Preview Extravaganza wraps with a look at the West’s Northwest Division.

While LeBron James was busy fellating himself in front of the world while making his “decision”, the NBA’s best and most exciting young player quietly made a decision of his own. With none of ESPN’s cameras watching and puzzlingly little fanfare, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant quietly tweeted on July 7 that he had resigned with the team on a five-year deal. His Thunder are the franchise to watch this year and for the foreseeable future, and Durant has cemented his status as the NBA’s most likeable and most humble megastar.

Still only 22 years old (!), Durant enters his fourth NBA season coming off a MVP-caliber effort that led his team to a 50-32 record and their first playoff berth since the Sonics became the Thunder and moved to Oklahoma City. In case you’re keeping track, those 50 wins were 27 more than they had the previous year. Let’s all take a minute to drool over his eye-popping pers last season: 30.2 points on 47% FG, 90% FT, 7.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.4 steals, 1 block, and 1.6 three-pointers. Lord have mercy!

The Thunder’s embarassment of riches doesn’t stop with Durant. Starting PG Russell Westbrook (also just 22 years old) figures to take another step towards All-Star status, Jeff Green still hasn’t hit his ceiling a year after averaging 15 and 6, second-year SG James Harden–the third-overall pick of the ’09 draft–looks like a deadly offensive weapon, and the sky’s the limit for raw 21-year-old center Serge Ibaka, who just might be the team’s long-term answer in the middle. Throw in a cadre of other promising youngsters and solid rotational players, and this team just might be ready to make some noise before their time.

Jazz:  SLC Dunk | Salt City Hoops | SBN Recap

Nuggets:  Denver Stiffs | Roundball Mining Company | The Nugg Doctor | SBN Recap

Thunder:  Welcome to Loud City | Planet BBall | SBN Recap

Timberwolves:  Canis Hoopus | TwolvesBlog

Blazers:  Blazersedge.com | SBN Recap

Recaps:  All Previews

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 26, 2010 at 11:20am in NBA

2010 NBA Southwest Division Previews

October 26, 2010

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This is going to be the year the San Antonio Spurs finally fall off.

Yeah, right. We’ve been saying that for a few years now, and like clockwork it just doesn’t happen. I’m sure it won’t this year either: Richard Jefferson will experience a renaissance, Tim Duncan will go for 20 and 10ish, Manu Ginobili will be an All Star, and DeJuan Blair will join him. Rookie Tiago Splitter will compete for Rookie of the Year honors with teammate James Anderson, who was (of course) pegged as one of the draft’s potential steals when he slid to the Spurs with the 20th-overall pick. This team will methodically post another 50+ win season, and bore us to death in the process. We’re big Spurs fans around here folks!

Chris Paul leads the rebuilding (directionless?) New Orleans Hornets into murky waters, but though he’s saying all the right things for now, let’s see what happens when his team stumbles towards the bottom of the division; something tells me the trade rumors aren’t going away anytime soon. The Dallas Mavericks are still the Dallas Mavericks–a slightly younger, slightly more exciting version of the Spurs–while the Houston Rockets welcome Yao Ming back into the rotation for what they hope will be somewhere around 20 minutes a night. The big man is good for the game and has worked hard to come back from that irksome foot injury, and we’re rooting for him to stay healthy and dominate in whatever capacity he’s capable. The Memphis Grizzlies could theoretically push for a playoff spot, but we still really wish the league would step in and A) relocate the franchise for God’s sake, and B) issue a mandate that once relocated, they drop the silly “Grizzlies” moniker.

Grizzlies:  Straight Outta Vancouver | 3 Shades of Blue | SBN Recap

HornetsAt the Hive | Hornets247 SBN Recap

MavericksMavsMoneyball The Two Man Game

RocketsThe Dream Shake | SBN Recap

SpursPounding the Rock | Project Spurs | SBN Recap

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 26, 2010 at 10:36am in NBA

2010 NBA Southeast Division Previews

October 26, 2010

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The 2010 NBA Preview Extravaganza continues with a look at the East’s Southeast Division.

There’s one story and one story alone that bears watching in the Southeast: will this be the year that hyper-talented Charlotte Bobcats forward Tyrus Thomas finally puts it all together for all 82 games? Now 24 years old and entering his fifth NBA season, this will be Thomas’ first full season with Larry Brown’s ‘Cats, and despite signing a five-year, $40 million deal, it looks like he’ll start the year on the bench. Talent is not an issue, never has been: it’s what’s between his ears that’s held him back so far. I’m not ready to say it’s now or never for Thomas, but it’s getting damn close.

Oh, right… there’s also the matter of whether or not the Orlando Magic are still legitimate title contenders–we at least know for sure they’re still going to be a boring team—while the Washington Wizards look to the future with first-overall pick John Wall now running the show and young FCs Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee pegged for the most significant roles of their careers. Unfortunately, there’s also this Gilbert Arenas matter: the (washed-up?) knucklehead will collect a guaranteed $17.7 million this season, $19.2 million next, $20.8 in 12-13, and finally $22.3 in 13-14. Christ. Now 28 years old, Arenas has played in a combined 47 regular-season games over the past three seasons, and is already suffering from a sore ankle. The Atlanta Hawks have been on the cusp for a minute now… and from my view, their time to get over the hump is kind of sort of starting to slip away.

The Miami Heat made a few key offseason moves as well, but unfortunately one of them wasn’t getting rid of American Airlines’ public dress announcer and his grating “dos minutos!” call.

Bobcats: Rufus on Fire | Hoops Addict | SBN Recap

Hawks: Peachtree Hoops

Heat: Peninsula Is Mightier | SportsAgentBlog.com

Magic: Orlando Pinstriped Post | Magic Basketball | Orlando Magic Daily | Orlando Sports Central

WizardsBullets Forever | Sparty and Friends | Truth About It | SBN Recap

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 26, 2010 at 8:59am in NBA

2010 NBA Atlantic Division Previews

October 25, 2010

Atlantic Division

The 2010 NBA Preview Extravaganza continues with a look at the East’s Atlantic Division.

There’s something in the air here in New York City, and it’s not the foul stench of Eddy Curry’s $11.2 million paycheck (though that does stink). No, it’s something different, something I haven’t felt since I moved here almost 9 years ago: optimism. And why not? Though they struck out on LeBron (maybe for the better), all those seasons of tanking and clearing salary-cap space did land them Amare Stoudemire, who may not bring home a title but will definitely breathe some much-needed life into Madison Square Garden. David Lee, now in Golden State, might be the more fundamentally sound player, but Stoudemire is the marquee box-office attraction this franchise has been waiting for.

Honestly, though, we’re just as excited about the arrival of Anthony Randolph, who’s still just 21 years old and could eventually eclipse Stoudemire’s wow factor. He may still need more seasoning, but we’ve been high on this kid since he joined the league in ’08 as the 14th-overall pick by the Warriors, and can’t wait to see him on a nightly basis. That’s assuming, of course, that he isn’t involved in a deal that nets the Knicks Carmelo Anthony, a long-rumored showstopper that’s apparently still being discussed. Either way, for once we finally won’t only be interested in seeing the visiting team when we head to the Garden.

Oh, yeah, there’s also the Nets, 76ers, Raptors (who were somehow omitted from the above graphic, unlikely by mistake), and Celtics to discuss. Woo. Hoo.

Celtics: CelticsBlog Celtics 24/7 | Celtics Central | Celtics Hub | CelticsLife | Gino’s Jungle | RedsArmy.com | SBNation Boston | SBN Recap

Knicks: Posting and Toasting | Bandwagon Knick | KnickerBlogger.Net | Straight Bangin’

Nets: NetsDaily NetsAreScorching Fanway | SBN Recap

Raptors: Raptors HQ | Hoops Addict | Hip Hoop Junkies | SBN Recap

Sixers: Liberty Ballers

Recaps: All Previews

1 CommentPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 25, 2010 at 11:01pm in NBA

2010 NBA Pacific Division Previews

October 25, 2010

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The 2010 NBA Preview Extravaganza continues with a look at the West’s Pacific Division.

Last year, the Clippers Lakers made the City of Angels proud once again, making their third straight appearance in the NBA Finals and taking home the Larry O’Brien trophy for the second consecutive season. Meanwhile, the Suns nipped at their heels all season long, finishing just 3 games back in the regular-season standings, but now look to an Amare Stoudemire-less future. Good thing or bad thing? We’ll see.

The Kings scored the Rookie of the Year in Tyreke Evans, a bull who embraces the moment, performs at a high level under pressure, and has the look of a perennial All-Star. Nellie’s fun-and-lose Warriors bowed out with 26 wins, but added Stephen Curry, who lost out to Evans in ROY voting but has risen into the upper echelon of fantasy hoops and could be even better than Evans. Keith Smart takes over head-coaching duties this year. And, finally, the Clippers were the Clippers, though looking on the bright side their .353 winning percentage was their best since 2006-07. Progress!

ClippersClips Nation | SBNation Recap

KingsSactown Royalty | Cowbell Kingdom | SBNation Recap

LakersSilver Screen and Roll | Forum Blue & Gold | NBAtipoff | SBNation Recap

SunsBright Side Of The Sun | SB Nation Arizona | ValleyoftheSuns SBNation Recap

WarriorsGolden State of Mind | SBNation Recap

Recaps: All Previews

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 25, 2010 at 10:40pm in NBA

2010 NBA Central Division Previews

October 25, 2010

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The 2010-11 NBA season kind of snuck up on you, eh? Well, the World Series sounds drab and the TV Commercial Extravaganza known as NFL broadcasts are already wearing thin on your nerves, so the timing couldn’t be better for the return of the greatest game on earth.

To get you acclimated and appraised of what to expect, every year for the past few years the good people over at Celtics Blog bring together the Web’s best NBA bloggers and writers to break down the NBA, team by team, division by division. Yours truly have traditionally previewed the Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves–two teams surely destined for great things this season–but we sat this one out. Lamed out. Dropped the ball. Whatever.

Fortunately, our peers have rose to the occasion. To kick off this year’s NBA Preview Extravaganza, we start with the East’s Central Division, where the former kings (Cavaliers, and before them Pistons) are staring down a unpredictable rebuilding year, the Bucks try to build on the positive momentum from last season, the Bulls look to seize the day and win the crown, and the Pacers hope to sign more white guys to the roster.

Bucks: Brew Hoop | NBAMate | SBNation Recap

Bulls: Blog-A-Bull | SBNation Recap

Cavs: Fear The Sword | WaitingForNextYear

Pacers: Indy Cornrows

Pistons: DetroitBadBoys | Detroit Basketball | Need4Sheed.com | SB Nation Detroit

Recaps: All Previews

No CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 25, 2010 at 10:27pm in NBA

I (Sort of) Like What I’m Seeing, But Detroit Lions Still Giving Fans Honolulu Blue Balls

October 19, 2010

Ndamukong Suh

Ndamukong Suh Photo Credit: Icon SMI

By Brian Spencer

Progress, as it relates to the Detroit Lions, lies truly in the eye of the beholder.

At 1-5 heading into their Week 7 bye, the Lions are clearly no longer a laughable doormat. Casual observers perusing the standings are likely to think “same ol’ Lions”, but this team is no pushover. With a little luck, they could be anywhere from 3-2 to 4-1… again, depending on your point of view.

We all remember what happened in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears, so theoretically, at worst, this team should be a semi-respectable 2-4, with 10 more chances to exceed last year’s final haul of 2-14. In Week 2, they lost a nail-biter at home to the Philadelphia Eagles, 35-32, were soundly beaten the next week in Minnesota, then squandered a chance to win in Green Bay for the first time in nearly two decades in dropping a very winnable game against a very beatable team, 28-26. That led to a 44-6 thrashing of the St. Louis Rams (the team’s biggest win since 1995), then, finally, to a heartbreaking 28-20 loss to the New York Giants in Week 6. At least they covered the 10 1/2 spread on Sunday; appreciate that, guys.

If you’re adding up the carnage at home, that’s 4 losses by a combined 18 points. In the feeble NFC North, if this team had simply been awarded the win they deserved against the Bears, then pulled it together long enough to steal one of those other winnable losses, they’d stand a hopeful 3-3 and be right in the thick of things. Specifically, they’d likely be tied for first place. All it would have taken was one less missed tackle there, not turning the ball over here, not getting flagged there. Considering this franchise is just one season removed from their historic 0-16 record, and came into the 2010 season sporting a 3-37 record over their last 40 games, these close calls have to be considered progress.

But let’s be honest: most teams in the NFL can point to one or two key moments in a game in which they came short as the difference between a win and a loss. That’s called parity, and the NFL has cornered the market on it; the cliche “on any given Sunday” truly defines this league. (See the moribund Arizona Cardinals, who at 3-2 in the NFC Joke West could actually be on their way to the playoffs.)

So welcome back to the NFL, Detroit Lions: you’re just like all the other lower-rung teams now. You’re good enough to be in most games, but still not good enough to win most games.

Woo hoo!

Jahvid Best

Jahvid Best Photo Credit: Icon SMI

The Befuddling World of the Detroit Lions

My Lions have racked up all kinds of interesting, maddening stats on this noble march to the bye week:

- Last year only the Tampa Bay Bucs and St. Louis Rams scored less points than the Lions in the NFC; through five games this season, the Philadelphia Eagles are the only NFC team that’s put up more points.

- So far the Lions are one of 16 teams who’ve scored more points than they’ve given up: of those teams, the Lions and San Diego Chargers (2-4) are the only ones with losing records.

- Last year the St. Louis Rams were the only NFC team that had less interceptions and less sacks than the Detroit Lions defense; this year, so far the Lions have both the fourth-most sacks (one behind the Rams, ironically enough) and fourth-most interceptions.

- The Lions have been penalized more than any other team in the league (59).

- Lions starting left tackle Jeff Backus has only given up 3 sacks so far on the season, a respectable number given some of the names he’s been asked to block (Jared Allen, Julius Peppers, Osi Umenyiora, etc). Those three sacks, however, have resulted in two quarterback fumbles/turnovers, and one strained right shoulder on a franchise quarterback, Matthew Stafford. Stafford has not played since the second quarter in Week 1.

- Rookie running back Jahvid Best burst onto the NFL scene (and into fantasy football circles) in Week 2 with a scintillating performance against the Eagles, gaining 78 yards on the ground, 154 receiving yards, and scoring thrice. Lofty comparisons to former Lion greats like Barry Sanders and Billy Sims ensued; for all the hype, though, Best has yet to rush for more than those 78 yards in a single game, is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry, and his Lions are the second-worst rushing team in the NFL.

And Yet…

In the absence of wins, however, there is something to be said for simply being competitive–just ask the Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers. There’s also something to be said for having a plan in place and young cornerstones to build around–just ask the Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers. The Lions are in a much better place than they have been in the last decade, and are getting closer, but we’re all going to have to endure a few more twists of the nuts before this team truly turns it around. Hey, they’ve already given you honolulu blue balls every year since 1957, what difference does another year make?

beastman

You love seeing rookie Ndamukong Suh dominate this early in his young career and look every bit like the best player in his draft class; the kid is a first-year Pro Bowler if he keeps this up. Remember that pseudo-debate leading up the draft about who was the better defensive tackle prospect, Suh or Gerald McCoy? If you do, forget it. It’s early, but I haven’t heard a peep about McCoy, taken third overall, down in Tampa Bay. Through five games, McCoy has 8 tackles compared to Suh’s 21 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 interception, and all kinds of pressure and hits on opposing quarterbacks.

Call him Beast Man.

You drool at Calvin Johnson’s casual, quiet, explosive start to the season, despite the modest stats (29 catches for 437 yards, 5 TDs). Make no mistake, Megatron has been stellar when he’s been targeted and is catching almost all of the catchable balls thrown his way; the problem is that he still isn’t seeing as many as he should be. It’ll be a thing of beauty when the offensive coaching staff realizes that he needs to run a fly route and get the target, poor coverage or not, when he’s gifted with single coverage. There’s a better-than-average chance he’s going to come up with it.

You see the potential for guys like Stafford and Best to be special players, and see the makings of a solid core on defense with playmakers like Louis Delmas and, lately, Alphonso Smith, a second-round pick in last year’s draft who was cast off by the Denver Broncos but has played his way into the starting lineup in Detroit. After seeing limited action the first few weeks, he’s already logged 16 tackles, 3 INTs, and 1 return TD capped off by the Carlton Banks. We still haven’t seen second-year starting middle linebacker DeAndre Levy in action yet, either, due to lingering injuries. He too is apparently somebody this team feels confident is somebody to build around.

Brandon Pettigrew (25 years old) and Tony Scheffler (27) are locked up for the foreseeable future as the team’s top tight ends, and so far this year have combined for 59 receptions, 553 yards, and 2 TDs. They comprise what so far is looking like the top tight-end combo in the NFL.

This is all well and good. The Lions are no longer more than likely to be down by 20+ points at the end of the first half, in every game, every week. They’re competitive, they’re making plays, they have core pieces of the puzzle in place, they probably wouldn’t be defeated by the top-10 college football teams.

Does that make the losing any more palatable? No, not really. But in my eyes, I see progress. And for now, I’ll just have to take it.

4 CommentsPosted by Brian Spencer on Oct. 19, 2010 at 12:30am in ETB Articles, NFL

Selling High on the Fantasy Football Stock Exchange Five Weeks Into 2010

October 14, 2010

Matt Forte isn't this good

Matt Forte photo credit: Icon SMI

By: Andrew Thell

The first few weeks of the season trading is generally hard to come by. As owners we all drafted the guys we did for a reason, and with a small sample size we’re loath to abandon strategies and draft-day opinions. After a few weeks, though, we have more data to form opinions on and the confidences of our opponents begin to be shaken. Owners of underperforming picks start to re-think their stance and, after a few losses, panic can set in. Five weeks into the season the teams at the top of the standings are feeling pretty good about themselves, but everybody should be looking to mix things up. You can always improve their squad, grab undervalued commodities on the market and sell off players playing over their heads. You know the drill: buy low, sell high.

Below are some of the prime trade candidates to cash in on, early-season heroes who might have more market value than they should. We’ll check back in with some buy-low candidates shortly.

Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears: I know, you’re pumped that your fifth- or sixth-round pick is currently the seventh-ranked player in the Yahoo! game. But a quick look under the hood reveals some disconcerting facts. Nearly all of Forte’s production has come on big plays, and he’s really not the kind of player who can sustain that, especially in the running game. Prior to last week’s explosion Forte had yards-per-carry averages of 2.9, 2.9, 2.6 and 2.2 through the first four weeks after posting meager 3.6 and 3.9 marks the first two years of his career. That’s bad. Really bad. He did bust off a career-long 68 yard carry last week, but that’s not really his game. Even in his breakout rookie campaign Forte only had two carries over 30 yards.

Between the fluky big plays, the Forte we saw in Week 3 and Week 4 (76 total yards, combined) is closer to reality than the guy we saw last week. In fact, I think that Chester Taylor is the superior blocker and runner between the tackles on that team, and Mike Martz might realize that eventually. With fantasy playoff matchups at Minnesota and versus the Jets, his value may never be higher and you would do well to send Forte to a desperate team in win-now mode in exchange for a more established, consistent runner.

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots: The Patriots superstar quarterback is one of the biggest name brands in fantasy football, and you may be able to capitalize on that recognition factor. Make no mistake about it, the loss of Randy Moss is a serious blow to Brady’s fantasy prospects. It’s easy to forget, but before Moss came to town Brady was a solid fantasy QB, but not the kind of guy to carry teams. Before he dropped an otherworldy 50 TDs in Moss’ first year in New England 2007 Brady had managed just 24 and 26 TDs the previous two seasons. Good, but not great. In fact, that magical season is the only time in his 10-year career he’s topped 28 TDs. That isn’t to say Brady won’t be a solid fantasy performer from here on out, he’s still plenty useful, but he’s probably not as good as people think. See if you can sell somebody on the Patriots new weapons Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Tate and the fact that their mediocre defense will force the Pats to throw and get a marquee price for the marquee name.

Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego Chargers: Like Brady, I fully expect Gates to be a very useful fantasy player from here on out. With Jermichael Finley out of the picture there’s a very good chance Gates will finish the season as the league’s top fantasy (and real-life) tight end. But he’s not this good. The former Kent State power forward hasn’t reached double-digit TDs since 2005 and has only topped 1,000 receiving yards twice in his career but is currently on pace for 93 receptions, 1,530 yards and 22-23 TDs. That’s simply unsustainable, especially in light of recent news. Reports indicate Vincent Jackson will report to the Chargers later this month and be ready to suit up in time for the fantasy playoffs, and that’s a major concern. Upon his return Jackson will eat into Gates’ targets, yards and TDs just like he did the last two seasons. Don’t sell Gates for anything less than a fantasy star, but if somebody is willing to give you first- or second-round value, pounce on it.

Terrell Owens, WR, Cincinnati Bengals: If you own TO, no doubt you’re pleased as a pig in shit about his 17 receptions, 324 yards and 2 TDs the last two weeks. I would be too, but I wouldn’t start drinking the Kool Aid just yet. The rookie owner clings to that success and rides it till the well runs dry, but the savvy owner strikes while the iron is hot. Owens is on pace to lead the league in targets by a wide margin and set a career-high in receiving yards. With his advanced age and how bad Carson Palmer (below) has looked, the odds of either those high-water marks being attained are very slim. Owens is a classic sell high.

No CommentsPosted by Andrew Thell on Oct. 14, 2010 at 11:54pm in NFL, NFL Fantasy News

Transcendent Roy Halladay Throws Second No-Hitter in MLB Playoffs History

October 6, 2010

Photo credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

1 CommentPosted by Andrew Thell on Oct. 6, 2010 at 8:13pm in MLB

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