Archive for September, 2007

Bet on It

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

I went 6-8-2 last week. Overall record = 18-25-5. Not good, I know, but with nine home dogs on the slate this week, I’m predicting a rebound. Here are the Week 4 picks:

Ravens -4.5 at Browns

Bears -3 at Lions

Packers -2 at Vikings

Texans -2.5 at Falcons

Jets -3.5 at Bills

Raiders +4 at Dolphins (Best Bet)

Rams +13 at Cowboys

Seahawks -2 at 49ers

Buccaneers +3.5 at Panthers

Broncos +10 at Colts

Chiefs +12.5 at Chargers

Steelers -6 at Cardinals

Eagles -3 at Giants

Patriots -7.5 at Bengals

Comments: It wasn’t purposefully, but I ended up taking every single home team this week, including the nine home dogs. I’ve had more success with my “best bet” (2-1) than I have overall so far, but no specific game jumps out at me this week. I ended up picking the Dolphins, mainly because I have no faith in this Raider team, especially on the road.

A Friendly Reminder

Saturday, September 29th, 2007

By Robby Wellington – Staff Writer

I thought that it would be worth letting the less scrupulous fantasy baseball players out there know that Yahoo’s innings cap only comes into effect at the end of the day, so if you’re still under your league’s cap, even by a couple of innings, feel free to start as many guys as you like tomorrow if you need the help in wins and strikeouts. I did it two years ago in a shady effort to overtake Dalton for the league title. It didn’t work (my hitters did nothing), but DDD still didn’t speak to me for a couple of days.

Week 4 Lineup Rankings

Thursday, September 27th, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

Quarterbacks

1. Tom Brady
2. Tony Romo
3. Carson Palmer
4. Peyton Manning
5. Donovan McNabb

6. Jon Kitna
7. Marc Bulger
8. Eli Manning
9. Matt Hasselbeck
10. Philip Rivers
11. Ben Roethlisberger
12. Brett Favre

13. Jay Cutler
14. Matt Schaub
15. Trent Green
16. Daunte Culpepper
17. Brian Griese
18. Chad Pennington
19. Joey Harrington
20. Jeff Garcia

21. Matt Leinart
22. Steve McNair
23. David Carr
24. Alex Smith
25. Damon Huard

Running Backs

1. LaDainian Tomlinson
2. Frank Gore
3. Brian Westbrook (check status)
4. Joseph Addai
5. Willie Parker

6. Travis Henry
7. Ronnie Brown
8. Shaun Alexander
9. Marion Barber
10. LaMont Jordan
11. Larry Johnson
12. Marshawn Lynch
13. Thomas Jones
14. Willis McGahee
15. Carnell Williams
16. Edgerrin James
17. Cedric Benson
18. Adrian Peterson
19. Laurence Maroney (check status)
20. Derrick Ward
21. Kenny Watson (assuming Rudi Johnson sits)

22. DeShaun Foster
23. Ron Dayne
24. Brian Leonard
25. Warrick Dunn
26. Jerious Norwood
27. Julius Jones
28. DeAngelo Williams
29. Brandon Jackson
30. Kevin Jones
31. Sammy Morris
32. Jamal Lewis
33. Tatum Bell
34. Michael Turner
35. Michael Pittman

Wide Receivers

1. Terrell Owens
2. Randy Moss
3. Steve Smith
4. Roy Williams
5. Chad Johnson
6. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
7. Reggie Wayne
8. Marvin Harrison

9. Torry Holt
10. Donald Driver
11. Plaxico Burress (check status)
12. Javon Walker (check status)
13. Chris Chambers
14. Ronald Curry
15. Lee Evans
16. Larry Fitzgerald
17. Anquan Boldin

18. Joey Galloway
19. Jerricho Cotchery
20. Laveranues Coles
21. Deion Branch
22. Vincent Jackson
23. Braylon Edwards
24. Calvin Johnson (check status)
25. Wes Welker
26. Santonio Holmes

27. Bernard Berrian
28. Kevin Curtis
29. Reggie Brown
30. Roddy White
31. Brandon Marshall
32. Darrell Jackson
33. Derrick Mason
34. Nate Burleson
35. Dwayne Bowe
36. Greg Jennings (check status)
37. Marty Booker
38. Isaac Bruce
39. James Jones
40. Shaun McDonald
41. Patrick Crayton

Hoops Scoop – Undervalued Players

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

With baseball winding down and football in full swing, basketball gets going at an awkward time. Nevertheless, hoops is just around the corner, and I’ll be writing for NBA.com this season. Check out my first blog post, where I go over some players I expect to be undervalued in fantasy drafts next month.

Barometer

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

Take a look at this week’s Barometer. I wrote it yesterday morning, so some of the more recent injury situations weren’t covered. I’m higher on Roddy White than most – he’s a must-add in my book.

Monday Morning Quarterback

Monday, September 24th, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

Three of the biggest busts so far have been Maurice Jones-Drew, Lee Evans and Reggie Brown, all of whom I touted before the season started. It’s actually been a weird year all around so far – as Larry Johnson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Steven Jackson, Frank Gore, Reggie Bush and Rudi Johnson have all disappointed so far as well. If the early going is any indication, 2007 is the year of the wideout. And now, a look around the league:

If Matt Leinart doesn’t start taking football more seriously, he’s never going to realize his potential…If you own Anquan Boldin in your fantasy league, you want Kurt Warner starting. If you are a Larry Fitzgerald owner, you’re begging for Leinart under center…Steve McNair has officially become a liability…I guess Derrick Mason’s career isn’t over, after all.

What in the world has gotten into Brett Favre? Not only is he throwing like it’s 1997, but he’s doing so with no semblance of a running game to help…59-84-1 – Norv Turner’s career record as a head coach…Make sure your offer is legitimate, but I think it’s at least worth trying to see how fed up LaDainian Tomlinson’s owner is.

Joseph Addai is no doubt going to finish as a top-5 fantasy player this year, but he’s more a product of his environment than a truly special player. Don’t get me wrong, he’s solid – he does all the small things well like pass protection and he’s also an adept receiver – but there’s no game breaking ability here. I’d be mildly shocked if he had a run for more than 40 yards this season.

Adrian Peterson accounted for 60 percent of Minnesota’s total yardage Sunday, consistently revealing better receiving skills than most expected…I’m not that surprised the Vikings’ run defense held Larry Johnson to 1.8 YPC, but I did expect him to be more involved in the passing game. There isn’t a player in the league who is more of a focal point of an offense than Johnson, so he’s going to eventually produce decent numbers. However, it’s going to have to come as a result of pure volume, with quantity beating quality.

If I’m a Marshawn Lynch owner, I’m seeing what his solid start brings back in trade this week…Ben Watson might finish with 25 catches and 12 touchdowns this season…OK, this New England team looks pretty good.

Ronnie Brown filled up the stat sheet Sunday, but one of the most encouraging numbers was zero – the number of touches by Jesse Chatman…However, Brown has dominated the Jets throughout his career, so it would be nice to see him do it again against different competition next week.

You have to love the Lions – Jon Kitna attempted 46 pass plays, and the team’s leading rusher had five carries…If he stays healthy for 16 games (a very unlikely scenario), I actually think 5,000 passing yards is likely for Kitna…Tatum Bell is going to prove to be a complete waste of a pick from fantasy drafts this summer…Are we entirely sure Reggie Brown is still alive?…For each of the past few preseasons, I’m always too scared to draft Brian Westbrook. And during each of the past few seasons, I really wish I had drafted Brian Westbrook.

My preaseason pick to win the difficult NFC North, the Steelers have looked very good so far, but please, wake me when their competition starts. It looks like they’ll be 5-0 heading into their bye…San Francisco might want to try a run off tackle at some point. The team has literally called every single run play straight up the middle.

It’s still very early, obviously, but through three weeks of the season, Tampa Bay looks like the best team in the NFC South…And the Rams easily look like the worst team in the NFC West.

Brandon Marshall is an absolute beast, and no one looks forward to trying to tackle him…I get it Jacksonville, expect a disappointing performance against weak competition but your “A” game against the league’s better teams. It took me a few years to understand this.

Lost amidst Oakland’s vastly improved offense is the fall off on defense. That’s three straight subpar performances. I would not be surprised if the Raiders finish 1-15 this season; 2-14 looks like their ceiling…However, LaMont Jordan looks like the steal of fantasy football drafts through the first three weeks of the season.

The Bengals going for a two-point conversion while up 21-17 with 2:42 left in the fourth quarter Sunday was the single-dumbest decision I’ve witnessed in years. Absolutely brain-dead. With so little time left and the Seahawks down 4, clearly Seattle was going to go for a TD. Please explain to me the difference between being up 5 and being up 6? I can tell you the difference between 4 and 5, as a field goal would have won it instead of tie it after the inevitable Seahawks TD made it 24-21 (an extra point would have made it 24-22). And yes, I’m bitter because this cost me a cover (I had Cincy +3), and with my picks so far this season, I need all the help I can get.

Steve Smith may have only 10 yards to show for his effort Sunday in the box score, but he absolutely abused DeAngelo Hall to the tune of 67 penalty yards during a third quarter drive. And after a sideline tirade with coach Bobby Petrino, word is (inside information!), Hall was beat up by teammates in the locker room after the game. He’s just lucky Smith wasn’t one of them.

I’m not sure if Joe Gibbs or Jason Campbell is more to blame, but common sense once again took a back seat during Sunday’s final minute. First, Campbell spiked the ball on second down with 1:07 left at the Giants’ 21-yard line – this after a botched snap on first down that was going to be a spike. Why don’t teams just call a play no-huddle? Call me crazy, but isn’t a down more important than 5-8 seconds? There was more than one minute left and they were at the 20-yard line! The preposterousness doesn’t end there, my friends, as it gets even worse. On first and goal from the one-yard line with 51 seconds left, you guessed it, they spiked it again. Good thing too, because they barely got the fourth down play off – with just 31 seconds to spare. No team deserved to lose more Sunday than the Washington Redskins.

This just in – Cedric Benson and Rex Grossman are not very good…If Marion Barber is “The Wire,” then Julius Jones is “The Big Bang Theory.”

The Scoop

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

Editor’s Note: Please support RotoScoop by checking out our Google Ads.

A.J. Burnett has turned in one of the more underrated seasons in baseball this year. Pitching in the AL East (and not for the two top teams), Burnett has posted a 3.40 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s allowed three runs or fewer in eight consecutive starts and opponents are batting just .203 against him. That said, it’s hard to figure out what Toronto is thinking: the team has left him in to throw more than 115 pitches in four consecutive starts, including 120 and 124 during his last two. Already an injury-prone player, the Blue Jays are both out of the pennant race and have personally seen more injuries to their squad than any other team in baseball this year.

Check out this Magical Bat.

The San Diego Padres have 20 shutouts this year with just one complete game. Before this year, the fewest complete games by a team with at least 20 shutouts was 17.

Sean Casey may be the nicest person in sports, but the guy has hit four homers in 432 at-bats this season. That’s not very good.

The Hebrew Hammer – I have to snicker every time I hear someone make the daring claim that Ryan Braun should win the NL ROY this season. Oh really, you think? The only debate regarding end of season awards with Braun is whether or not he deserves to be the NL’s MVP.

Having Braun on your fantasy team is a great feeling, but it doesn’t make me quite as happy as this guy.

Back in June, I told all of you the Yankees would still make the postseason, much to plenty of people’s dismay. Well, I hope you don’t think I’m above congratulating myself by pointing out how spot on I was. My arm is really getting tired of patting myself on the back.

I’d rather drink my own urine than own Ben Sheets in a fantasy league again.

It’s a crime against humanity that a guy with Felix Hernandez’s stuff has a 1.43 WHIP on the year.

As sure as “Good Luck Chuck” will be terrible, Laurence Maroney is going to break out this week.

Steve Smith’s favorite movie is “The Notebook,” and he listens to Carrie Underwood – yes, he’s just about the coolest player in the league.

Start everyone involved in the Bengals/Seahawks tilt this week, which is likely to be another shootout. I like the Bengals and the moneyline, by the way, as that appears to be this week’s likeliest upset. I’m not going to go as far as to say Carson Palmer is as good at football as Jason Whaler is at rapping – that would be hyperbolic – but I get the feeling anyone who drafted Palmer this year is not going to be sorry.

Last week, I stumbled to a 6-9-1 mark against the spread. My overall season record now stands at 12-17-3. For what it’s worth, I feel more confident in this week’s picks; of course, that just means they will be the worst yet.

And now, Week 3’s predictions:

Cardinals +8.5 at Ravens

Bills +17 at Patriots

Lions +6.5 at Eagles

Colts -6.5 at Texans

Dolphins +3 at Jets

Vikings +2.5 at Chiefs (Best Bet)

Chargers -4.5 at Packers

49ers +9 at Steelers

Rams +3.5 at Buccaneers

Bengals +3 at Seahawks

Browns +3 at Raiders

Jaguars +3 at Broncos

Panthers -4 at Falcons

Giants +3.5 at Redskins

Cowboys +3 at Bears

Titans +4 at Saints

Week 3 Lineup Rankings

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

Quarterbacks

1. Peyton Manning
2. Carson Palmer
3. Tom Brady

4. Matt Hasselbeck
5. Drew Brees
6. Vince Young
7. Donovan McNabb
8. Jon Kitna
9. Ben Roethlisberger
10. Marc Bulger

11. Tony Romo
12. Jake Delhomme
13. Jeff Garcia
14. Eli Manning
15. Jay Cutler
16. Matt Schaub

17. Jason Campbell
18. Josh McCown
19. Philip Rivers
20. Brett Favre
21. Baltimore QB
22. Rex Grossman
23. Chad Pennington
24. David Garrard
25. Derek Anderson
26. Matt Leinart
27. J.P. Losman
28. Damon Huard
29. Trent Green
30. Kelly Holcomb

Running Backs

1. Willie Parker
2. Brian Westbrook (check status)
3. Joseph Addai
4. LaDainian Tomlinson
5. Rudi Johnson
6. Steven Jackson
7. Shaun Alexander
8. Frank Gore
9. Travis Henry
10. LaMont Jordan
11. Clinton Portis
12. Cadillac Williams

13. Reggie Bush
14. Willis McGahee
15. Laurence Maroney
16. Larry Johnson
17. Adrian Peterson
18. Derrick Ward
19. Deuce McAllister

20. Maurice Jones-Drew
21. Cedric Benson
22. Marshawn Lynch
23. Edgerrin James
24. Thomas Jones
25. Ronnie Brown
26. Marion Barber
27. Ahman Green
28. LenDale White
29. Jamal Lewis
30. Fred Taylor
31. Chris Brown
32. Warrick Dunn

32. DeShaun Foster
33. DeAngelo Williams
34. Ladell Betts
35. Julius Jones
36. Tatum Bell
37. Jerious Norwood
38. Brandon Jackson/DeShawn Wynn
39. Ron Dayne
40. Sammy Morris

Wide Receivers

1. Steve Smith
2. Chad Johnson
3. Reggie Wayne
4. Marvin Harrison
5. Terrell Owens
6. Randy Moss
7. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
8. Roy Williams
9. Marques Colston
10. Torry Holt
11. Plaxico Burress
12. Javon Walker
13. Donald Driver

14. Joey Galloway
15. Santana Moss
16. Hines Ward
17. Ronald Curry
18. Braylon Edwards
19. Larry Fitzgerald
20. Anquan Boldin
21. Chris Chambers
22. Reggie Brown
23. Lee Evans
24. Deion Branch

25. Calvin Johnson
26. Laveranues Coles
27. Jerricho Cotchery
28. Vincent Jackson
29. Bernard Berrian
30. Santonio Holmes
31. Darrell Jackson
32. Derrick Mason
33. Mark Clayton (check status)
34. Kevin Curtis
35. Devery Henderson
36. Dwayne Bowe
37. Wes Welker
38. Jacoby Jones
39. James Jones
40. Donte’ Stallworth
41. Marty Booker
42. Isaac Bruce
43. Nate Burleson
44. Brandon Marshall
45. Mike Furrey
46. Shaun McDonald
47. Arnaz Battle
48. Brandon Jones
49. Jerry Porter
50. Amani Toomer

The New Top 50

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

By Robby Wellington – Staff Writer

A lot has happened in the first two weeks. Instead of writing about it, I’m unveiling my current top 50 players. If my league held a draft today (standard scoring with 0.5 PPR and 2 WR, 2 RBs and a flex) this would be my cheat sheet.

1. LaDainian Tomlinson
2. Joey Addai
3. Frank Gore
4. Steven Jackson

5. Willie Parker
6. Brian Westbrook
7. Travis Henry
8. Rudi Johnson
9. Larry Johnson
10. Shaun Alexander
11. Steve Smith

12. Reggie Bush
13. Clinton Portis
14. Cedric Benson
15. Willis McGahee
16. Laurence Maroney
17. Terrell Owens
18. Marshawn Lynch
19. Chad Johnson
20. Brandon Jacobs
21. Reggie Wayne
22. Torry Holt
23. TJ Houshmandzadeh
24. Carson Palmer

25. Edge James
26. Marvin Harrison
27. Roy Williams
28. Antonio Gates
29. Thomas Jones
30. Peyton Manning

31. Plaxico Burress
32. Javon Walker
33. Maurice Jones-Who
34. Marques Colston
35. Lee Evans
36. LaMont Jordan

37. Larry Fitzgerald
38. Calvin Johnson
39. Donald Driver
40. Braylon Edwards
41. Marion Barber
42. Cadillac Williams

43. Tom Brady
44. Kevin Jones
45. Reggie Brown
46. Anquan Boldin
47. Ronnie Brown
48. Jamal Lewis
49. Deuce McAllister
50. Andre Johnson (please be OK ‘Dre!)

Barometer

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007

Take a look at this week’s Barometer.

Monday Morning Quarterback

Monday, September 17th, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

While I’ve gotten plenty right so far – don’t make Larry Johnson a top-5 pick, Carson Palmer No. 1 fantasy QB, Adrian Peterson, Travis Henry, etc. – I can’t help but feel like a massive failure with my misses – Maurice Jones-Drew, Lee Evans, Vince Young hasn’t been that great. Still, I’m sure both lists will creep back toward the middle soon enough, so again the overall theme must preach patience. And now, onto the action from Week 2 around the league:

Matt Schaub is better than David Carr, this much is already apparent. Now, let’s all hope Andre’ Johnson’s MRI comes back clean…Do not forget about Ron Dayne. He won numerous fantasy leagues with a big finish last year and is in line to get most of the carries should something happen to injury-prone starter Ahman Green…Is there a worse run-blocking unit in the league than Carolina’s?…It looks like Steve Smith will go down as the best second round value in fantasy leagues this year. Running backs are scarce, but he’s clearly more valuable than any RB2 right now.

The wide receivers help, but Cincinnati’s awful defense is a big boon to Carson Palmer’s statistics. And anyone who used the Bengals in their survivor pool was asking for trouble – that was a classic trap game. Road team traveling during a short week…Kellen Winslow should be treated as the No. 2 fantasy tight end from this point forward…You know what I’m going to say regarding Jamal Lewis’ monster effort – sell-high. Do yourself a favor and go look at his career numbers. His 2003 season is a bigger outlier than Adrian Beltre’s career-year.

With that offense and Warrick Dunn getting goal line carries, it’s officially time to start worrying about Jerious Norwood’s fantasy prospects this season…R.I.P. Joe Horn…Dennis Northcutt is a boring option, but any team’s No. 1 WR deserves some fantasy consideration…Maurice Jones-Drew has been a huge disappointment so far, but it’s not like any RBs taken in round 2 have really been productive. Ronnie Brown? Reggie Bush? Cedric Benson? All have their warts so far.

That Packers defense is legit…Brandon Jackson blew a big opportunity to take that job and run with it, no pun intended…Derrick Ward has been rather impressive and is worth starting as a flex as long as Brandon Jacobs remains out.

The matchups haven’t been easy, but J.P. Losman has been bad thus far…Fantasy owners don’t want to hear it, but for what it’s worth, Lee Evans had just four catches after two weeks last year as well…The numbers may not show it, but Marshawn Lynch looks legit. He’s going to be a very good NFL running back, starting this season…Santonio Holmes is going to lead the league in yards-per-catch this season.

I’m officially fearful for Marc Bulger’s health – he’s going to get killed before the season is over with that “protection.”…Unfortunately, Alex Smith might be who we thought he was, and that’s not a good thing – especially for Vernon Davis…Continuing an earlier discussion regarding when NFL players would be drafted by GMs, I will say this: Frank Gore would be the second RB selected, behind only LT.

Drew Brees has posted three consecutive poor games against teams that run Cover 2 defenses, dating back to last year’s postseason. It’s a concern, to be sure, but he makes for a better trade target than he does offer…Joey Galloway might still be the fastest man in the NFL when he’s 50…Reggie Bush owners, stay off that ledge – he’ll be fine.

It looks like Tennessee’s defense is not going to be nearly as bad as expected, especially against the run…Dallas Clark may have been the most undervalued fantasy tight end entering the season…Vince Young looked good passing the ball Sunday, and he’s only going to get better.

It doesn’t get much uglier than Tarvaris Jackson’s performance Week 2…Roy Williams running 20 yards sans his helmet was one of the coolest plays Sunday, and that aerial attack is legit in Detroit…Minnesota is going to have a very good fantasy defense this season, creating numerous turnovers. They are a must-start next week against Kansas City.

Watching Marion Barber share carries with Julius Jones is comical at this point. I guess it doesn’t matter with Dallas winning, but Wade Phillips would like to keep his job I assume, and the easiest way of doing that is by putting his best players on the field. If Barber is a Kobe beef hamburger from Bradley Ogden’s, then Jones is a McDonalds’ Filet-O-Fish.

It probably won’t happen for some time, but Kellen Clemens gives the Jets the most long-term potential. He can make throws Chad Pennington physically cannot…Actually, the same can be said for Kyle Boller and the Ravens…Mark Clayton has negative yardage on the season.

I’m beginning to think Rex Grossman just isn’t a very good quarterback…He should already be owned in keeper-leagues, but Dwayne Bowe could even be considered in deep redraft leagues…This may sound crazy, but Cedric Benson owners may want to think about trying to sell-high this week.

I apologize Ronald Curry owners, I guess Denver’s secondary really is that good…LaMont Jordan is for real – he’s running with the same tenacity he did two years ago, when he was a top-15 fantasy player…Selvin Young is going to have legit fantasy value at some point this season…Anyone who thought Sebastian Janikowski was going to make that second field goal attempt hasn’t been paying attention to the Raiders the last couple of years – this franchise is cursed. Do you realize they haven’t won since Week 8 of last season?

I’m still having a hard time fathoming what Randy Moss has done so far…Antonio Gates looks like a steal for those who drafted him in the third round…LaDainian Tomlinson was held scoreless in two of the first four games last year and only rushed for 100 yards in one of the first six games last season, so he’s used to slow starts. Don’t go dropping him just yet.

Dynasty leaguers, feel free to use your top waiver priority.

Bet on It

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Robby Says:

Like Matt McConaughey in “Two For the Money,” all I do is work out and pick winners…

I like a 6-point teaser with the Colts (-1) @ Tenn, Bengals (-.5) @ Cle and Eagles (-.5) vs. Wash: $55 to win $50.

I’m teasing just the Colts and Bengals 6 points: $55 to win $50.

I’m taking the Giants (-1) over the Packers: $27.25 to win $25.

Last, I’ve got the Vikings (+150) moneyline: $20 to win $30.

Dalton says:

Last week I went 6-8-2 against the spread and lost my $50 parlay I wagered under this format. This week, I’m taking:

10-point teaser with the Jacksonville (-.5) vs. Atlanta, Denver (pick) vs. Oakland and Chicago (-3) vs. Kansas City: $88 to win $80.

Also, I’ll take St. Louis (-3) over San Francisco: $33 to win $30.

Finally, I’m taking the Chargers (+177) moneyline: $20 to win $35.

Here are the rest of my Week 2 picks:

Falcons +10.5 at Jaguars

Bills +10 at Steelers

Bengals -7 at Browns

Packers -1 at Giants

Texans +6.5 at Panthers

Colts -7.5 at Titans

Saints -3.5 at Buccaneers

49ers +3 at Rams

Cowboys -3.5 at Dolphins

Vikings +3 at Lions

Seahawks -3 at Cardinals

Chiefs +13 at Bears

Jets +10.5 at Ravens

Raiders +10 at Broncos

Chargers +3.5 at Patriots

Redskins +7 at Eagles

Week 2 Lineup Rankings

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

Quarterbacks

1. Peyton Manning
2. Carson Palmer
3. Tom Brady
4. Vince Young
5. Marc Bulger
6. Drew Brees
7. Donovan McNabb
8. Jon Kitna
9. Tony Romo

10. Ben Roethlisberger
11. Jake Delhomme
12. Matt Hasselbeck
13. Matt Leinart
14. Rex Grossman
15. Philip Rivers
16. Jay Cutler
17. Matt Schaub
18. David Garrard
19. Brett Favre

20. Alex Smith
21. Tarvaris Jackson
22. Daunte Culpepper/Josh McCown
23. Trent Green
24. Kyle Boller
25. J.P. Losman

Running Backs

1. Steven Jackson
2. LaDainian Tomlinson
3. Joseph Addai
4. Frank Gore
5. Travis Henry
6. Willie Parker
7. Brian Westbrook
8. Rudi Johnson
9. Shaun Alexander
10. Adrian Peterson

11. Cedric Benson
12. Maurice Jones-Drew
13. Edgerrin James
14. Reggie Bush
15. Larry Johnson
16. Marshawn Lynch

17. Clinton Portis
18. Laurence Maroney
19. Willis McGahee
20. Ronnie Brown
21. Deuce McAllister
22. LaMont Jordan
23. DeShaun Foster
24. Chris Brown
25. Fred Taylor

26. Michael Pittman
27. Brandon Jackson
28. Marion Barber
29. Tatum Bell
30. Derrick Ward
31. Ahman Green
32. Thomas Jones
33. Julius Jones
34. DeAngelo Williams
35. Ladell Betts
36. Jamal Lewis
37. LenDale White
38. Jerious Norwood
39. Warrick Dunn
40. Leon Washington

Wide Receivers

1. Steve Smith
2. Terrell Owens
3. Reggie Wayne
4. Marvin Harrison
5. Chad Johnson
6. Torry Holt
7. Roy Williams
8. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
9. Andre Johnson
10. Marques Colston
11. Javon Walker
12. Larry Fitzgerald
13. Anquan Boldin
14. Randy Moss

15. Donald Driver
15. Lee Evans
16. Plaxico Burress
17. Reggie Brown
18. Braylon Edwards
19. Ronald Curry
20. Hines Ward

21. Calvin Johnson
22. Joey Galloway
23. Chris Chambers
24. Bernard Berrian
25. Darrell Jackson
26. Santana Moss
27. Deion Branch
28. Vincent Jackson
29. Santonio Holmes

30. Mark Clayton
31. Laveranues Coles
32. Devery Henderson
33. Patrick Crayton
34. Kevin Curtis
35. Jerricho Cotchery
36. Donte’ Stallworth
37. James Jones
38. Isaac Bruce
39. Arnaz Battle
40. Brandon Marshall
41. Muhsin Muhammad
42. Derrick Mason
43. Wes Welker
44. Drew Bennett
45. Mike Furrey
46. Jerry Porter
47. Nate Burleson
48. Dwayne Bowe
48. Brandon Jones
49. Mary Booker
50. Joe Horn

Barometer

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Check out this week’s super-sized version of the Barometer.

Monday Morning Quarterback

Monday, September 10th, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

There wasn’t a bigger surprise this week than Randy Moss’ performance. He missed all of the preseason and even seemingly still appeared less than 100 percent, yet torched the Jets’ secondary play after play. Leg issues will likely continue to hamper him, but there’s obviously quite a bit of upside with that offensive line and Tom Brady throwing him the ball.

Things that made me look bad Week 1: Lee Evans, Maurice Jones-Drew, Reggie Brown and Vince Young. However, there was some good mixed in: Travis Henry, Adrian Peterson, Ronald Curry and Tony Romo – who I got flack for ranking as my No. 3 QB for this week. Point is, it’s one week of action, and while football certainly seems like less of a marathon than baseball, this week’s results should be digested with a mountain-sized grain of salt. But man, my Romo ranking was good!

Ben Roethlisberger threw four TD passes Sunday, and Pittsburgh didn’t throw a single pass over the game’s final 15 minutes…Santonio Holmes is going have a breakout year this season…If you drafted Jamal Lewis you (a) likely don’t read this site and (b) are even less likely to make your playoffs…I’m beginning to think I was wrong in doubting Kellen Winslow’s health. A monster season could be in store.

Donovan McNabb didn’t look great, but blame it more on Green Bay’s emerging defensive unit and not the surgically repaired knee…The Eagles’ (not very) special teams was the most pathetic thing I’ve seen in a while and single-handedly cost that team a victory…Will someone please tell Reggie Brown the season has indeed begun…The Packers’ offense looks dreadful…

But not as bad as the Chiefs’ offense looks. If Larry Johnson makes it through the entire season unscathed, he’s the toughest man in sports, hands down…Matt Schaub to Andre Johnson is the new Montana to Rice.

R.I.P. Matt Jones…The new offensive coordinator for the Jaguars might want to watch some game film from last year and acclimate himself with the national football league. His personnel doesn’t exactly fit a 3-1 pass-run ratio…It’s such an oversimplification, but man, all Vince Young does is win football games.

Adrian Peterson looks like he’s going to be a pretty good running back.

If the Panthers’ offensive line plays like that throughout, this team will easily make the playoffs…As much as I’m enamored with all these young backs, I’m calling DeAngelo Williams a bust. It will take a DeShaun Foster injury (somewhat likely, however) for Williams to ever get more than 40-50 percent of the touches, and he’ll never get any goal line work…You’ll hear people talk about how the loss of Orlando Pace is terrible news for Steven Jackson owners, but don’t buy it – he was actually much more productive after Pace went down last season. The loss of Bulger’s blindside help meant the team rarely threw deep and instead settled for quick dump offs to Jackson, so another 75-80 catch season might be in the cards.

If Jon Kitna can do that against a solid secondary and away from a dome, a huge season may be in store. Even with a 17-0 lead, the team threw excessively and only allowed two sacks after leading the league in that category last season…Roy Williams had to deal with Nnamdi Asomugha all day, so expect better performances out of him moving forward…It’s safe to say Sebastian Janikowski was not worth a first round draft pick.

Folks, that was LaDainian Tomlinson’s floor – Week 1 will likely be his worst statistical performance of the season, and he still accounted for two TDs. He’s just so involved in that offense, the more I think about it, the more I believe Tomlinson is worth 60 percent of your budget in an auction league…Cedric Benson had a tough matchup Week 1, and he’ll no doubt possess legit fantasy value this season. However, he’s just not a very good NFL running back. He lacks speed, escapability and has hands seemingly comprised of five thumbs. Backup Adrian Peterson legitimately looks better when on the field.

I was wrong panning Joey Galloway entering this season. He exhibited his old speed Sunday, and the team simply has zero alternatives in the passing game. And with an upgrade in Jeff Garcia, Galloway may very well have one more decent season after all…How about Deion Branch going catchless Week 1? Now that’s the green-gloved man we know and love…And I’m sticking to my Shaun Alexander is done proclamation – take away one late run in garbage time, and he got 80 yards on 26 carries against a team that was routinely gashed by the run last season. He’s tentative, lacks burst and is finished with that whole breaking a tackle nonsense.

Every carry given to Julius Jones over Marion Barber decreases the Cowboys’ chances at victory. How much visual (and statistical) evidence does one need to finally make this switch?…Tony Romo is good, people – use YPA to your advantage…What a disaster the Giants’ season opener was. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such catastrophe on the injury front. Brandon Jacobs was an injury concern, but I did expect him to make it to 10 carries on the year…That said, I feel pretty bad worrying so much about Jacobs’ knee when Kevin Everett’s ability to ever walk again remains in question. Really puts things in perspective.

The Scoop

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

Joe Borowski has a 5.50 ERA this season. He also has 40 saves. Again, the saves category is the silliest statistic in all of sports.

Dontrelle Winless – Since May 30, Dontrelle Willis has one win. One. He’s 1-11 over that span.

Joba Chamberlain gives the Yankees a dominant setup man they’ve been missing for years. Dude has an 18/4 K/BB ratio over 14.1 scoreless innings since getting called up to the big leagues. That’s pretty good.

If the Giants really do let Barry Bonds walk, and all signs point to this being the case, I will be more disappointed in Brian Sabean than ever before – something I didn’t think possible. The team calls Bonds, who leads his league in OPS, a “fallback option” and will be looking to address it’s offensive inefficiencies elsewhere. We could be looking at historical lows in offense in the Bay Area next year if that’s the case. Forget from a baseball standpoint, he puts butts in the seats and with a 3,000-hits mark on the horizon, it also makes zero sense from a marketing view to let the world’s greatest hitter leave. I digress.

Pat Burrell has 214 career homes runs. 41 of them have come against the Mets. In other words, nearly 20 percent of his long balls have been mashed against one franchise.

This is one of the crazier box scores I’ve seen in a while.

Peter King’s recent article ranking the NFL’s top-500 players was an excellent read – if you were looking for a good laugh. I understand he didn’t want to overemphasize the skill positions, but come on, you are trying to tell me there are 102 better players in the NFL than Terrell Owens? Ed Reed ranked 12th overall? In between SportsCenter highlights, he’s the worst safety in help coverage in the league quite possibly – extremely overrated. And what about Ben Roethlisberger coming in at No. 85? If there were a draft held today but NFL GMs, I promise you Roethlisberger would be a top-five pick.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Jay Cutler was born in a town called “Santa Claus?”

Sean Payton’s decision to punt on 4th and inches from his own 30 down 17 to Indy with 13 minutes left Thursday was an early candidate for dumbest move of the year. Will someone please tell these coaches the ultimate goal is to give your team the best chance to win and not to decrease your probability of losing by more.

Raiders starting quarterback Josh McCown caught twice as many passes last season for the Lions as Raiders wide receiver Jerry Porter did. McCown recorded two receptions for 15 yards. Porter totaled one catch for 19 yards. Also, McCown was listed ahead of current Raiders receiver Mike Williams on the Lions depth chart at one point.

Random Prediction: J.T. O’Sullivan and/or Kellen Clemens will have significant fantasy value at some point this season. You heard it here first and you can thank me later.

Bashing the “Sports Guy” has become so cliché, I find myself defending the guy more often than not. But his recent NFL Power Poll in which he places the Seattle Seahawks as the No. 2 team in the NFL is beyond head scratching – that’s right, ahead of both the Chargers and the Colts. Geez, I picked them to finish third in a terrible division.

I cannot believe we are going to be subjected to that awful John Cougar Mellencamp song once again.

If I Had $1,000 Dollars

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Robby Says:

Ever since Bodog stopped accepting my credit card, I’ve been unable to continually and habitually bet on sports (this is not necessarily a bad thing). To alleviate these withdrawal pains, I decided to give myself $1,000 in fake money and see how I do betting on NFL (and occasional College Football) games this year.

I invited DDD to join in on the fun since, after all, this is his blog. I can’t wait to make him look bad!

(Note: These spreads and payouts are all taken from Pinnaclesports.com, who have the best deals in the business as far as I can tell.)

I’m putting $110 on a Colts (-6) and Chargers (-6) 6-point teaser to win $100.

(Note: Teaser illiterates are advised to read this.)

I’m putting $40 on a Colts (-6), Chargers (-6) and Patriots (-6.5) three-way 6-point teaser to win $64.

I’m putting $42 on the Rams (-1) to win $40.

I’m putting $20 on the Lions moneyline (+112) to win $22.40.

Dalton Says:

I’m keeping it simple this week with a four-team parlay: Rams (-1), Raiders (-1), Bengals (-2.5) and 49ers (-3). I’ll bet $50 to win $622.

As for the rest of this week’s slate, I’ll list my picks below just for fun, since I have to pick them anyway for other articles I’ll be writing:

New Orleans (+6) at Indianapolis

Atlanta (+3) at Minnesota

Carolina (+1) at St. Louis

Denver (-3) at Buffalo

Kansas City (+3) at Houston

Miami (+3) at Washington

New England (-6.5) at New York Jets

Pittsburgh (-4.5) at Cleveland

Tennessee (+6.5) at Jacksonville

Chicago (+6) at San Diego

Detroit (+2) at Oakland

Tampa Bay (+6) at Seattle

New York Giants (+6) at Dallas

Baltimore (+2.5) at Cincinnati

Arizona (+3) at San Francisco

NFL Season Preview

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

NFC West

1. St. Louis Rams
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Seattle Seahawks
4. Arizona Cardinals

NFC East

1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. Dallas Cowboys (Wild Card)
3. New York Giants
4. Washington Redskins

NFC North

1. Chicago Bears
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Minnesota Vikings
4. Detroit Lions

NFC South

1. New Orleans Saints
2. Carolina Panthers (Wild Card)
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
4. Atlanta Falcons

AFC West

1. San Diego Chargers
2. Denver Broncos (Wild Card)
3. Kansas City Chiefs
4. Oakland Raiders

AFC East

1. New England Patriots
2. New York Jets
3. Buffalo Bills
4. Miami Dolphins

AFC North

1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Cincinnati Bengals
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Cleveland Browns

AFC South

1. Indianapolis Colts
2. Jacksonville Jaguars
3. Tennessee Titans
4. Houston Texans

POSTSEASON

NFC

Byes – (1) New Orleans Saints, (2) Philadelphia Eagles

Wild Card Round – (3) Chicago Bears over (6) Carolina Panthers, (5) Dallas Cowboys over (4) St. Louis Rams

Divisional Round – (1) New Orleans Saints over (5) Dallas Cowboys, (2) Philadelphia Eagles over (3) Chicago Bears

Championship Round – New Orleans Saints over Philadelphia Eagles

AFC

Byes – (1) San Diego Chargers, (2) Indianapolis Colts

Wild Card Round – (3) New England Patriots over (6) Denver Broncos, (4) Pittsburgh Steelers over (5) Cincinnati Bengals

Divisional Round – (1) San Diego Chargers over (4) Pittsburgh Steelers, (2) Indianapolis Colts over (3) New England Patriots

Championship Round – Indianapolis Colts over San Diego Chargers

SUPER BOWL XLII

Indianapolis Colts over New Orleans Saints

Week 1 Lineup Rankings

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

By Dalton Del Don – Senior Writer

Quarterbacks

1. Peyton Manning
2. Drew Brees
3. Tony Romo
4. Tom Brady
5. Vince Young
6. Carson Palmer
7. Marc Bulger
8. Donovan McNabb
9. Ben Roethlisberger

10. Jake Delhomme
11. Matt Leinart
12. Jon Kitna
13. Matt Hasselbeck
14. Matt Schaub
15. Jay Cutler
16. Eli Manning
17. David Garrard
18. Alex Smith
19. J.P. Losman

20. Philip Rivers
21. Daunte Culpepper
22. Steve McNair
23. Rex Grossman
24. Brett Favre
25. Jeff Garcia

Running Backs

1. LaDainian Tomlinson
2. Steven Jackson
3. Frank Gore
4. Joseph Addai
5. Willie Parker

6. Larry Johnson
7. Reggie Bush
8. Travis Henry
9. Maurice Jones-Drew
10. Brian Westbrook
11. Shaun Alexander
12. Deuce McAllister

13. Laurence Maroney
14. Rudi Johnson
15. Ronnie Brown
16. Adrian Peterson
17. Willis McGahee
18. Brandon Jacobs
19. Edgerrin James
20. Cedric Benson
21. Marshawn Lynch

22. Ahman Green
23. Brandon Jackson
24. Fred Taylor
25. Carnell Williams
26. Thomas Jones
27. LaMont Jordan
28. Tatum Bell
29. Clinton Portis/Ladell Betts
30. Marion Barber/Julius Jones
31. DeAngelo Williams/DeShaun Foster
32. Jerious Norwood
33. LenDale White
34. Chester Taylor
35. Jamal Lewis

Wide Receivers

1. Steve Smith
2. Terrell Owens
3. Reggie Wayne
4. Marvin Harrison
5. Marques Colston

6. Andre Johnson
7. Larry Fitzgerald
8. Javon Walker
9. Lee Evans
10. Anquan Boldin
11. Roy Williams
12. Chad Johnson
13. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
14. Plaxico Burress
15. Reggie Brown

16. Hines Ward
17. Donald Driver
18. Torry Holt
19. Donte’ Stallworth
20. Braylon Edwards
21. Mark Clayton
22. Santana Moss
23. Calvin Johnson
24. Devery Henderson
25. Ronald Curry
26. Deion Branch
27. Bernard Berrian
28. Joey Galloway
29. Vincent Jackson
30. Darrell Jackson

31. Santonio Holmes
32. Drew Bennett
33. Laveranues Coles
34. Randy Moss
35. Patrick Crayton
36. Chris Chambers
37. D.J. Hackett
38. Jerry Porter
39. Jerricho Cotchery
40. Joe Horn

Barometer

Monday, September 3rd, 2007

Check out my latest Barometer over at NFL.com.