NFL 2012 – Week 14, “Yay Fantasy” edition

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

The “Super Contest” Picks

Buffalo (-3.0) over St. Louis – I love the 2012 Rams! I love that in a year where my favorite teams have crapped the bed across the board, the Rams have provided me with a loss-less year against the hated, rot-in-hell 49ers. To quote Jesse Pinkman, “1-0-1, bitch!”

Everything comes with a price though, right? It sure does and the price of the Rams taking care of their divisional rivals (4-0-1 in division play) is that they barely show up to play non-divisional opponents and against the non-conference games, fuhgeddaboudit! However, it’s a smart move by Jeff Fisher, who probably realized about hour two of taking over the job that the Rams were talent depleted and had little to no chance of completely turning this thing around this year. So Fisher did the next best thing in year one, take care of the division. Every division game has become the Rams “Super Bowl” this season. And this in a markedly improved division.

You can pencil this in for next year – the Rams will be in the playoffs with at least nine wins. And Chris Givens will be a top 10 WR in fantasy football. Yay fantasy.

But as for this game, it’s the week after the Rams sold out in the five quarter performance against the 49ers. We’ve been here before, three weeks ago after a knockdown, drag out five quarter fight against the 49ers the clearly superior Rams came home to play the over-matched Jets. The result, Jets 27-13. Look for a similar result this weekend in Buffalo.

Cleveland (-6.5) over Kansas City – Get this – the Browns have been a 6.5 point favorite or more in just 21 games since 1989. Since 2003 they have been in this situation just four times. Four! But, guess what, I don’t care this Browns team is a young, feisty version of those once great Baltimore Ravens teams that could D-UP and run the ball. You have to love the Browns defense this week in a sneaky play that might make the difference in the fantasy playoffs. Yay fantasy.

Let’s also not forget that the Chiefs had a tremendous tragedy last week and while they were emotional prepared to play against the Panthers, it feels a little bit like this week the weight of the tragedy will hit them and with the, on the road this has the makings of a mail in game for them.

And I have mention the Bob Costas commentary on “guns arrrrre bad” last Sunday night. Essentially Costas took to the stage to tell America that in the wake of this tragedy we need stricter gun control laws. I agree that guns, in general, can have a net effect that is largely undesirable, especially when the gun is easily accessible in the heat of the moment. But when I heard that Javon Belcher shot his girlfriend nine times, I think that goes past the “I lost my mind and pulled the trigger” area and falls straight into “he was going to kill her even if he had to strangle the life out of her with his bare hands” It’s pretty simple, dude was deeply disturbed and, in this case the absence of a gun, would have meant the results would have involved a knife, rope and sturdy beam. This is a very sad tale indeed.

Still, I don’t watch Sunday night football to hear political agendas and my guess neither do you. Save it Costas!

Chicago (-3.0) over Minnesota – Vikings QB Christian Ponder got engaged this past week. Oh, that’s sweet! Let’s hope his bride to be isn’t marrying him for because he is the quarterback of the Vikings. I am thinking that is about to end very soon as he is horrible.

I have to admit this line feels very much like a trap to me. First off, outside of AP, the Vikings have zero offense. Zero! When Percy Harvin went down with an injury apparently the Vikings lost the ability to throw the ball. Now there offense is “hope AP breaks a long TD run” or “hope we can ride AP into the red zone for a field goal.” Moreover, the Bears defense even minus Urlacher is tough, so how exactly are the Vikings going to be in this game.

Throw in the reality that their rookie kicker is in the tank and quite literally, the Vikings only offense is AP. I don’t think that will be enough for the Vikings to win the game but several billion fantasy owners will be rejoicing when AP has the “no effing way” game for them – 200 combined yards and 2 TDs. Yay fantasy.

Cincinnati (-3.0) over Dallas – Just three weeks remain until I am officially fatnasy foorball free. I cannot wait. A game like this one is a big part of why I have grown to hate fantasy. Ask any fantasy player about who they like in this game and the likely answer will be the Cowboys, because they are playing “really good football right now.” Um, ok, so two weeks ago the Redskins strolled into Cowboys stadium and laid the smack down on the Cowboys, but in the process of trying to rally back, Romo and Bryant put up huge fantasy numbers.

Last week the Cowboys barely pulled one out against, quite possibly, the worst team in the NFL, but again Romo and Bryant put up huge fantasy numbers. Translation – the Cowboys suck, but the fantasy disease has infected so much that a majority of people actually think the Boys are playing well just based on fantasy numbers. Ugh!

In terms of this game, here is how it will go – after a pick-6 the Bengals take a 34-10 lead heading into the 4th quarter, DUH-DUH-DUH-TA-DA, here comes “Super Fantasy Man” and his sidekick, “Super Fantasy Boy” to save the day for some poor fantasy chump, who is the process of negotiating with themselves about “just give me one touchdown to Dez.” Done. Cowboys rally comes up short, but Romo and Bryant once again are positional high scorers for the week, and the fantasy community praises the “really playing great football” Cowboys. Yay fantasy!

Detroit (+7.0) over Green Bay – This game is the classic matchup of “the moveable object versus the resistible force.” The Lions are having trouble finishing a dump, while the Packers consistently leave the backdoor open in hopes that no one wanders in to steal their brand new Panasonic VT30 65 inch 3D TV.

It’s hard to make a case that the Packers cover this spread considering they will be without their two best defenders Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson, their best running back (Starks) and one of their top receivers (Nelson).

The case for the Lions is much more palatable – (a). after getting called out by an anonymous teammate this week, Suh will likely play his best game of the year in hopes that said teammate will apologize so Suh can stomp him; (b). The Lions are getting seven points, remember they can’t finish, but they can keep it close; and (c). It’s Calvin Johnson and it’s Sunday night, just imagine the number fantasy games that will flip when Calvin catches that garbage time TD that also happens to cover the spread for the Lions. Yay, fantasy!

The “Rest of the Picks” Picks

Philadelphia (+7.5) over Tampa Bay – This Eagles team has something going with Foles and Bryce Brown. Ten years from now Bryce Brown’s finish to the season will be known as the 2012 version of Maurice Jones-Drew’s 2006 season. Yay fantasy.

Baltimore (+2.5) over Washington – That was truly a gutless performance by the Ravens last week, but out of something bad comes, hopefully, something good and maybe the Ravens will begin utilizing their best player – Ray Rice. Just in time for the fantasy playoffs. Yay fantasy.

Carolina (+3.5) over Atlanta – It’ great to see Cam Newton finally piling up fantasy points like his rookie season. He’s also piling up the losses but who cares fantasy shmuck thinks Cam is “playing great football.” Yay fantasy.

NY Jets (-3.0) over Jacksonville – I have it on good authority that there “is no way the Jets lose this game.” Plus, I they’re my fantasy defense, so I have to pick them. Yay fantasy.

Tennessee (+5.0) over Indianapolis – It’s just time for the Colts, their number is up. Look you can’t be 8-4 ATS, have a soft number this week (should be 6+) and expect them to cover, plus Andrew Luck is hitting the rookie wall. Too bad for those trusting him as their only fantasy quarterback in the fantasy playoffs. Yay fantasy.

San Diego (+8.0) over Pittsburgh – I know Roethlisberger is back this week, but after watching Charlie Batch crying after beating the Ravens last week it makes me think this team will be spent and be lucky to survive the abysmal Chargers this week. Look, I get it Charlie, the Ravens cost me an entry in a 24K survivor pool, I was crying as well, but at the end of the day it was just one game you cannot bawl like an newborn who just became disconnected from the mama boob. Oh, and don’t even think of starting Roethlisberger this weekend. Yay fantasy.

San Francisco (-11.0) over Miami – Seriously, this the 49ers “flex their muscles” game. One of these weeks I am going to be right on them. Oh, by the way Colin, catchy name, Kaepernick should be in all fantasy starting lineups this week. Yay fantasy.

Arizona (+10) over Seattle – John Skelton is back and no, he shouldn’t be anywhere near a fantasy starting lineup this week. Yay fantasy.

NY Giants (-4.5) over New Orleans – I am closing out the picks with the two games that will likely impact the most fantasy matchups this weekend. This game is a late afternoon Sunday game with probably at least ten fantasy starters – Manning, Brees, Graham, Colston, Moore, Sproles, Cruz, Tynes, Bennett and Bradshaw. I am sure a few fantasy games will swing on the outcome of this game, which probably means it will end up being a 17-10 dud with Henry Hynoski scoring both touchdowns on short runs for the Giants and the Saints getting a defensive touchdown. Hey wait, I forgot to list Hakeem Nicks. No, actually it is a purposeful omission as Nicks is nicked up again. Seriously fantasy freaks, when will you learn that you cannot trust that guy to stay healthy? Yay fantasy.

New England (-3.5) over Houston – Statement game for the Patriots. No way I see them losing this game, so I merely have to hope that they really want to whack the Texans to send a strong pre-playoff message to them.

As for the fantasy starters, several leagues will come down to the wire to see which team advance in the playoffs on the backs of the following: Brady, Schuab (should be starting), Ridley, Foster, Welker, Hernandez, A. Johnson, O. Daniels, Lloyd, Graham, Gostkowski, Pats D, Texans D, Walter, Vereen and Tate. Yup, I can see now – Ben Tate stealing the show on Monday night, throwing up a nice little 80 and 2 TDs in a 17 point loss and swinging all of a handful of games to a guy who hasn’t changed his lineup in over two months. Yay fantasy.

Best of luck this week.

2011 NFL Week Six Fantasy Football – Diamonds and Not So Rough

It’s time for Week 6 edition of my
Diamonds and Not So Rough column. Looking back at Week 5 it was not a good week
for my Diamonds, but a great week for my Not So Rough players. Only one of my
Diamonds hit the 15 point mark, while all five of My Not So Rough players
scored under 20 points.

Week 5 Diamonds (20% wins):

  • Willis McGahee a near miss at 14.50 points
  • Greg Olsen only had 11.10 points
  • Mark Sanchez was my only hit at 18.64 points
  • Julio Jones was injured but before the injury only managed 3.8 points
  • Mario Manningham came in at a lowly and disappointing 8.10 points

Week 5 Not So Rough (100% wins):

  • Cedric Benson was held to 5.30 points so that was an easy pick
  • Stevie Johnson only checked in at 5.40 points so another easy winner
  • Maurice Jones-Drew did score a TD but was held to 14.50 points
  • Brandon Lloyd had a great catch but it was his only one as he had 2.50 points
  • Beanie Wells had a TD, but only 12.00 points

As a reminder, the scoring system I will use to grade my performance is this:

  • All touchdowns 6 points
  • .04 point per yard passing
  • .1 per yard for rushing/receiving,
  • points per receptions > .25 RB/.50 WR/1.00 all others;
  • -1 per interception
  • -3 for interception return for TDs (also known as pick sixes).

Also to remind the readers for the Diamonds I’m looking for a 60% success ratio and I’m looking for the same 60% for the Not So Rough players. A Diamond must score at least 15 points in the scoring system listed above while a Not So Rough player must score under 20 to be considered a success.

So without further adieu here are my Week 6 picks for Diamonds:

James Jones WR Green Bay Packers – He had a breakout game last week against the Falcons defense and this week he has the juicy Rams secondary on
the menu to keep it rolling. 6 catches for 120 yards and a TD or 21 points.

Greg Olsen TE Carolina Panthers – Yes I will give him another chance this week against a Falcons secondary that can be torched by a read hot Cam Newton. 5 catches for 90 yards and a TD or 20 points.

Colt McCoy QB Cleveland Browns – Again, I’m not saying to bench Aaron Rodgers for him but if you have BYE week QB blues start him confidently against a weak Raiders secondary. Sure the Raiders will be fired up for the Al Davis home game tribute but it won’t stop McCoy from throwing for 250 yards and 2 TDs or 22 points plus another 30 yards or 3 points for rushing the ball.

Michael Crabtree WR San Francisco 49ers – A name I even despise typing, but he is matched up with the Lions secondary and fellow WR Josh Morgan is on Injured Reserve. The Lions may blow out the 49ers this week meaning Alex Smith may have to throw, throw and throw again. 5 catches, 88 yards and a garbage time TD or 17.30 points.

Shonn Greene RB New York Jets – Greene showed signs of life last weekagainst New England and I look for him to keep it rolling Monday night against the Dolphins defense. I see another 120 total yards, 3 catches and a rushing TD. In our scoring system that breaks down to 18.75 points.

Now for the Not So Roughs:

Brandon Marshall WR Miami Dolphins – People will rate him highly coming off the BYE week but he has two things going against him this week – he faces Revis Island coverage and he has Matt Moore at QB. Here is a quarter, call Steve Smith of
the Panthers and ask him how well his career took off with Matt Moore at QB. 5 catches for 60 yards and no scores or 8.50 points.

Reggie Wayne WR Indianapolis Colts – Wayneis not going to enjoy his matchup with the Bengals secondary this week plus QB Curtis Painter seems to only have eyes for WR Pierre Garcon. 5 catches for 75 yards with no scores or 10.00 points in our scoring system.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB Jacksonville Jaguars – Not it’s not that I don’t like MJD, it’s just that he is matched against an improving Steelers defense. Look for him to post similar numbers to last week. 100 total yards, but this time without the TD. 10 points puts him on this list.

Arian Foster RB Houston Texans – Yes, Foster has bounced back nicely from the hamstring problems but this week it’s the very tough Ravens defense and not the Raiders. I still see Foster rushing for 70 and catching passes for another 30. Adding in a TD gets him close to 20 but with 4 catches he’s in at 17 which is less that our goal of 20 this week.

DeSean Jackson WR Philadelphia Eagles – Jackson had a very nice Week 5 against the Bills, but the Redskins defense is better against the pass than the Bills. DeSean ripped the Redskins apart last year, but not in this game. The Redskins
have had a week to prepare for Jackson and prepared they will be. 4 catches 80 yards and a TD or 16 points.

2011 NFL Week Five Fantasy – Diamonds and Not So Rough

Welcome to Week 5 of the fantasy and NFL season and the debut of my “Diamonds and Not So Rough” column. This column will focus on five players that are highly rated that I see with the probability of high scoring weeks and five players that are rated highly that in my mind will disappear this week and disappoint their owners.  These opinions are just that opinions and I’m certainly not recommending that if I happen to be down on Ray Rice for a week that you bench him and play Chester Taylor in his place (sorry Chester but you were washed up at least two years ago). Place kickers and defensive players will not be discussed in this column on a weekly basis.

The scoring system I will use to grade my performance is this:

  • All touchdowns 6 points
  • .04 point per yard passing
  • .1 per yard for rushing/receiving,
  • points per receptions > .25 RB/.50 WR/1.00 all others;
  • -1 per interception
  • -3 for interception return for TDs (also known as pick sixes).

Diamonds: I’m looking for a 60% success ratio and I’m looking for the same 60% for the Not So Rough players. A Diamond must score at least 15 points in the scoring system listed above while a Not So Rough player must score under 20 to be considered a success.

So without further adieu here are this week’s picks for Diamonds:

Willis McGahee RB Denver Broncos.

Willis is now the #1 running back in Denver, but a somewhat healthy Knowshown Moreno is lurking in the background. This week he faces the San Diego Chargers at home. The Chargers have the 5th best pass defense and the 12th ranked rush defense in the NFL. Denver has to rely a little more on their running game as putting the ball in Kyle Orton’s hands too much is proving to be their downfall. The Chargers may have their way with the Broncos but the good news is Willis can catch. Willis should crack my goal of 15 points this week with 80 yards rushing, 30 yards receiving and my bold call – a short TD pass from Tim Tebow!

Greg Olsen TE Carolina Panthers.

We all know the Saints pass defense is not very good and Panthers QB Cam Newton has established a fine chemistry with Olsen. I’ve seen at least one of his touchdowns and a few other nice catches called back on penalties. Couple his matchup, plus the face I traded him this week and Olsen is looking at a 6 catch, 100 yard receiving and 1 TD game. That’s good for 22 points in our scoring system.

Mark Sanchez QB New York Jets

Coming off a negative week in most scoring systems along with Rex Ryan’s assertion that the team will be more “ground n’ pound” makes this prediction a scary proposition.  The good news is Sanchez gets to play the Patriots horrific pass defense. 280 yards along with 2 TDs and 2 INTs make this a 21 point day for Mr. Sanchez.

Julio Jones WR Atlanta Falcons

Tune in to NBC to watch the rookie breakout game for Falcons #2 WR rookie Julio Jones. The Green Bay pass defense is struggling andAtlantais out for a little revenge after last season’s playoff whipping. My Diamond prediction for Jones is 8 catches, 125 yards and 2 TDs or close to 28 points.

Mario Manningham WR New York Giants

Mario was projected as a top wide receiver heading into the season and he’s been nothing short of disappointing so far. That will all change this week againstSeattle. They have a decent pass defense but they won’t stop Super Mario this week. 100+ yards, 6 catches and a TD are looking like conservative projections this week.

Now for the Not So Roughs:

Cedric Benson RB Cincinnati Bengals

He has a suspension looming, but something tells me it’s taking so long he will avoid the suspension. So while some will see this as his farewell for three weeks game, I just see it as another disappointing game in what’s become a pretty disappointing career.Jacksonvillecan stop the run and they will this week too. No TDs and 75 total yards for “Ced.”

Stevie Johnson WR Buffalo Bills

 

Nnamdi orAsante, pick your poison this week, Stevie. The “Dream Team” is struggling and they face pretty close to a “must win” this week. I think the Bills play them tough and beat them but RB Fred Jackson, not the passing game leads the way. Stevie will probably find the end zone for one TD but 4 catches and 60 yards receiving keep him under my goal of 20 points.

Maurice Jones-Drew RB Jacksonville Jaguars

The Bengals defense does not get a lot of respect, but they have played the run pretty good so far this year. MJD faces a bigger challenge then he’s probably expecting this week. He probably needs a lot of catches this week to exceed the 20 point barrier. I don’t see him doing that. One TD and less than 100 total yards won’t get him to 20 points.

Brandon Lloyd WR Denver Broncos

Lloyd faces a tough matchup with the Chargers 5th ranked pass defense. His QB is struggling and Lloyd has not come close to approaching last year’s numbers. In some ways WR Eric Decker has taken over as the #1 wide receiver inDenver. Lloyd will have some catches this week but he’ll be under 100 yards again and not in the end zone. Anyway you slice it it’s less than 20 points.

Chris “Beanie” Wells RB Arizona Cardinals

Coming off last week’s three TD game he’s rated high on most people’s list this week. This week he faces two challenges, one the hamstring is still not 100% and the Vikings staunch run defense. I see Beanie scoring a TD this week, but that coupled with less than 100 total yards does not equal 20 points so he’s a Not So Rough this week.