Archive for November, 2008

Bet on It

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Last week I went 11-5, bringing my season total to 93-78-5. New England improved my best bet record to 8-2-2 with a resounding victory as well. This week I’m taking all five road favorites and just three puppies altogether during a 16-game slate, so it’s safe to say I’m not feeling all that confident, unlike last week. I was close to making the Giants my best bet but went with Indy instead. I just can’t see Cleveland putting up many points with their quarterback play against such a tough secondary. Plus, the Colts’ offense is rolling. Back Indianapolis.

Titans +11 at Lions

Seahawks +12.5 at Cowboys

Cardinals +3 at Eagles

49ers +7 at Bills

Ravens -7.5 at Bengals

Colts (best bet) -5 at Browns

Panthers +3 at Packers

Dolphins -8 at Rams

Saints +3.5 at Buccaneers

Giants -3.5 at Redskins

Falcons +5 at Chargers

Broncos +9 at Jets

Steelers +1 at Patriots

Chiefs +3 at Raiders

Bears +3.5 at Vikings

Jaguars +3 at Texans

Barometer

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Week 13 edition.

Week 13 Lineup Rankings

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Quarterbacks

1. Philip Rivers
2. Tony Romo
3. Peyton Manning
4. Kurt Warner
5. Jay Cutler
6. Aaron Rodgers
7. Drew Brees

8. Brett Favre
9. Donovan McNabb
10. Ben Roethlisberger
11. Matt Ryan
12. Trent Edwards
13. Shaun Hill
14. Tyler Thigpen
15. Sage Rosenfels
16. Kyle Orton
17. Eli Manning
18. Chad Pennington
19. Matt Cassel
20. Kerry Collins

Running Backs

1. Adrian Peterson
2. Marion Barber
3. Joseph Addai
4. Frank Gore
5. Thomas Jones

6. Brian Westbrook
7. Marshawn Lynch
8. Chris Johnson
9. Michael Turner
10. Ryan Grant
11. Larry Johnson
12. LaDainian Tomlinson
13. Maurice Jones-Drew
14. Ronnie Brown
15. DeAngelo Williams
16. Matt Forte
17. Brandon Jacobs/Derrick Ward
18. Warrick Dunn
19. Clinton Portis
20. Steve Slaton (check status)
21. Darren McFadden

22. Jamal Lewis
23. Willie Parker/Mewelde Moore
24. Reggie Bush/Pierre Thomas
25. Justin Fargas
26. LenDale White
27. Leon Washington
28. Kevin Smith
29. Peyton Hillis
30. Tim Hightower

Wide Receivers

1. Andre Johnson
2. Reggie Wayne
3. Anquan Boldin
4. Larry Fitzgerald
5. Roddy White
6. Brandon Marshall
7. Terrell Owens
8. Steve Smith
9. Greg Jennings

10. Lee Evans
11. Calvin Johnson
12. Santana Moss
13. Vincent Jackson
14. Jerricho Cotchery
15. Laveranues Coles
16. Antonio Bryant
17. Dwayne Bowe
18. Marvin Harrison
19. Kevin Walter

20. Randy Moss
21. Wes Welker
22. Hines Ward
23. Eddie Royal
24. Lance Moore
25. Santonio Holmes
26. Mark Bradley
27. Marques Colston
28. Bernard Berrian
29. Matt Jones
30. Kevin Curtis
31. Justin Gage
32. Ted Ginn
33. Plaxico Burress (check status)
34. Anthony Gonzalez
35. Derrick Mason
36. DeSean Jackson
37. Chris Chambers
38. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
39. Donnie Avery
40. Muhsin Muhammad

The Scoop

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Marvin Lewis’ decision to kick a field goal down 20-7 with 6:47 left last Thursday was beyond perplexing (still down two scores!), compounded by the fact it meant Pittsburgh was no longer covering the 11-point spread. Thankfully, the Steelers drove back down the field and scored a touchdown, righting what looked like a horrible wrong. Words can’t describe how bad coaching is in the NFL…Somehow, that event may not have been as frustrating as watching Willie Parker clearly injure himself on a run, immediately point to the sidelines to come out and watch the next two quarters without a single mention of it from the broadcast team.

Rumors of Steve Slaton being too small to be an every down NFL back appear to be warranted, as he’s clearly wearing down and hitting the proverbial rookie wall. The only thing surprising about Ahman Green’s season-ending injury was that it didn’t occur sooner, but it remains to be seen whether Slaton can take full advantage of the situation…It’s early, but Brady Quinn sure doesn’t look like a franchise quarterback to me. He’s terribly inaccurate, although Braylon Edwards’ continued drops don’t help. Seriously, Edwards has the worst hands in the league…Please, I implore you, do not draft Jamal Lewis next year. I don’t care how late he falls…Sage Rosenfels’ 8.2 YPA mark is elite, but he hasn’t been able to turn that into touchdown production, and there isn’t a more mistake prone QB right now. Up 16-6 with less than 7 minutes left Sunday, Rosenfels simply cannot get picked off in that situation. Inexcusable…Realize that Houston has one of the toughest fantasy playoff schedules against the pass.

Kansas City keeps letting me down ATS, but they sure do play some entertaining games. That defense has a ton of work to do…Welcome back, Trent Edwards. He should continue to put up nice numbers this week against San Francisco…Tyler Thigpen’s turnovers were brutal, but this guy is a fantasy machine. He even adds rushing yards and can easily be relied on as a QB1 during the important Weeks 14-16…One of the weirdest statistical anomalies this year belongs to the Chiefs, who are among the league-leaders with 21 takeaways yet rank last in the NFL with just six sacks. Those two often go hand in hand.

Ronnie Brown owners have to be growing impatient (I know I am), but he should ultimately reward them with upcoming matchups against the Rams, Bills, 49ers and Chiefs…The fact I’m even thinking that Bill Belichick might be more important than Tom Brady speaks volumes. It’s not true, but if I were a franchise, I’d trade an entire draft class for Belichick’s services…Matt Cassel followed up his amazing effort against the Jets with an even better performance last week, becoming the first quarterback to throw for 400 yards in back-to-back games since the immortal Billy Volek did so in 2004. Volek and Drew Bennett will always have a special place in my heart for that magical late season run. Seriously, Cassel is all of a sudden a developing star.

The Jets are legit. They seemed like a fraud early on, with a couple of big blowouts at home against weak competition, but this team has improved each week and is a serious threat in the AFC. However, any MVP talk regarding Brett Favre is laughable, unless people believe his locker room presence is the main reason behind greatly improved offensive and defensive lines…The only way to describe Leon Washington is explosive. Why he doesn’t get 10-15 touches per week is one of life’s greatest mysteries, right on par with Roswell and why “Dancing With The Stars” gets nearly 20 million viewers each week…The Titans loss really wasn’t all that shocking. It was more a matter of when, not if. Still, they’ll regroup and remain one of the better AFC teams.

Is it wrong of me to openly root for the Eagles to struggle? There’s no real reason why, but I just can’t stand that underperforming franchise, highlighted by Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid’s incompetence. Over the last two games, the Eagles have had 31 third down conversion attempts. They called zero run plays! Coincidentally, that’s the same exact percentage I’d put on the chances of McNabb returning in an Eagles’ uniform next year…Forget trying to figure out Baltimore’s backfield, just look elsewhere.

I’m not ready to call Shaun Hill the future at the quarterback position in San Francisco, but he’s clearly a massive upgrade over Alex Smith and J.T. O’Sullivan. He’s going to be a top-10 fantasy QB from here on out…Like Andy Reid, Wade Phillips sure has a knack for challenging plays that take one instant replay to realize the original call was clearly correct…With less pressure now and no longer the favorites, maybe Dallas becomes even more dangerous.

Why does the NFL package not allow local games that are blacked out to be on the “Mix” channel? I live nowhere near Detroit, so I get the red zone channel instead? I digress…How good is Calvin Johnson?…It’s time to re-evaluate this Detroit playing on every Thanksgiving business…Is anyone else already dreading the eventual Tampa Bay playoff loss. Teams like this have no business winning so many games. Ugh.

The Entourage finale was solid, but there’s one major problem (and the elephant in the room) with the premise, Adrian Grenier (and therefore, Vincent Chase) simply can’t act! Just terrible. Nice fella though, as he once sat next to my mom on a flight from NY to SF. He told her he could get her into Hyde, which she’s sure to take advantage of never.

After not receiving a single touch in last week’s fourth quarter (while seen with a trainer stretching his hamstring out) and then mysteriously missing practice late in the week, I was utterly petrified when Adrian Peterson started Sunday’s game on the sidelines. Luckily, it was just a little indiscretion and not an injury, although my blood pressure did rise as a result…Facing such a stout Minnesota front seven, the Jags utilized Maurice Jones-Drew perfectly. Can’t wait to see what he can do with a heavier workload next season.

Matt Forte’s 4.0 YPC leaves a lot to be desired, but he’s got some serious moves in the open field. He still runs a heavy risk of wearing down over the final five weeks, but he’s been one of the biggest steals in fantasy leagues this season…Despite last week’s goose egg, I’d start Greg Olsen with confidence in Week 13…The Rams have been outscored 99-6 in the first half of the last three games, which isn’t very good.

How about Oakland putting up 31 points with JaMarcus Russell attempting a total of 11 passes? Chris Johnson has been a huge upgrade at LCB…After Mike Shanahan called Nnamdi Asomugha the most underrated player in football (and maybe of all-time), apparently it wasn’t just talk – Denver attempted just one pass Asomugha’s way Sunday…It’s true. Jay Cutler gets flustered too easily. He needs to keep his head on straight when things get rough…Darren McFadden is a player. Now, let’s see if he can stay healthy and actually carry a full workload (unlikely until next season). He’s explosive.

DeAngelo Williams has quietly been one of the league’s better running backs this season. He’s really improved…Michael Turner simply doesn’t go down on first contact. His fantasy playoff schedule is rough, but he’s the real deal who can break tackles with the best of them. He’ll enter 2009 as a top-5 fantasy pick…Talking about Michael Vick’s possible return to the NFL during CBS’ pregame show Sunday, Bill Cowher spoke of how imperative it is to get him a dominant running back, since his best days occurred while playing with Jamal Anderson. I have about as poor of a memory as you’ll find, but this seemed absurd. A quick check reveals Anderson and Vick played together a total of two games! Vick attempted six passes during that time.

Brandon Jacobs owes many fantasy players an apology. That shouldn’t happen if listed as “probable”…Still, I expected more from Ahmad Bradshaw. Interesting how the Giants were still able to win easily while on the road against the NFC’s possible No. 2 seed while struggling to run the ball. And also without Plaxico Burress. New York is just that good…Tim Hightower is on pace to finish the season with 465 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.

Guessing the touches in Seattle’s backfield is as maddening as in Baltimore and just needs to be avoided altogether…At least Mike Holmgren is leaving Jim Mora with such a solid foundation. He’s going to need an extra order of smelling salts…Clinton Portis is one tough dude, but I still don’t see Washington as a playoff caliber team…Did everyone enjoy Shaun Alexander’s tenure as a Redskin as much as I did?

Got to love Tony Dungy’s aggressiveness on fourth downs Sunday, and suddenly, the Colts look likely to finish 12-4…Partly due to a disappointing record, I’m not sure if people realize just how good Philip Rivers has been this season. He’s easily been one of the league’s most valuable players…With so many inept candidates, NFL coaches have become increasingly easy to pick on, but Norv Turner’s decision to call a timeout with 1:35 left right before kicking a field goal might very well have been the single worst of the 2008 season.

Drew Brees put on a clinic Monday night, and that was against a Packers secondary that had been one of the NFL’s best this year. New Orleans would be a fun team in the postseason, but odds are against that happening…Nice to see Greg Jennings targeted frequently again, as he received 15 looks Monday…Again, why were the Saints wasting carries on Deuce McAllister when they had Pierre Thomas all along? Even when Reggie Bush returns, New Orleans would be best served making sure Thomas leads the team in carries each week…If forced to choose, I’d rather Lance Moore than Marques Colston over the rest of the season.

Week 12 Lineup Rankings

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Quarterbacks

1. Aaron Rodgers
2. Tony Romo
3. Kurt Warner
4. Drew Brees
5. Peyton Manning
6. Jay Cutler

7. Philip Rivers
8. Kyle Orton
9. Sage Rosenfels
10. Ben Roethlisberger
11. Eli Manning
12. Matt Cassel

13. Tyler Thigpen
14. Shaun Hill
15. Kerry Collins
16. David Garrard
17. Brett Favre
18. Jason Campbell
19. Matt Ryan
20. Jake Delhomme

Running Backs

1. Adrian Peterson
2. Marion Barber
3. Matt Forte
4. Willie Parker
5. Frank Gore
6. Steve Slaton
7. Clinton Portis (check status)
8. Pierre Thomas/Reggie Bush
9. Ryan Grant
10. Marshawn Lynch
11. LaDainian Tomlinson
12. Joseph Addai
13. Brandon Jacobs (check status)
14. Larry Johnson

15. Warrick Dunn
16. Chris Johnson
17. Jamal Lewis
18. Ronnie Brown
19. Brian Westbrook (check status)
20. Michael Turner
21. DeAngelo Williams

22. Derrick Ward
23. Kevin Smith
24. Thomas Jones
25. Tim Hightower
26. Peyton Hillis
27. Jonathan Stewart
28. Maurice Jones-Drew
29. Justin Fargas/Darren McFadden
30. Sammy Morris

Wide Receivers

1. Anquan Boldin
2. Reggie Wayne
3. Andre Johnson
4. Larry Fitzgerald
5. Greg Jennings
6. Steve Smith
7. Brandon Marshall
8. Roddy White

9. Dwayne Bowe
10. Calvin Johnson
11. Hines Ward
12. Antonio Bryant
13. Braylon Edwards
14. Plaxico Burress (check status)
15. Santana Moss
16. Lee Evans

17. Terrell Owens
18. Marques Colston (check status)
19. Eddie Royal
20. Santonio Holmes
21. Bernard Berrian
22. Wes Welker
23. Marvin Harrison
24. Kevin Walter
25. Lance Moore
26. Vincent Jackson
27. Donald Driver
28. Randy Moss
29. Jerricho Cotchery
30. Matt Jones
31. Mark Bradley

32. Chris Chambers
33. Justin Gage
34. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
35. Deion Branch
36. Bobby Engram
37. Laveranues Coles
38. Muhsin Muhammad
39. Donnie Avery
40. Ted Ginn

Bet on It

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Last week I went 7-9, bringing my season total to 82-73-5. I lost my best bet (Chiefs), which was especially frustrating for two reasons: 1) the way that game played out and 2) I basically flipped a coin between KC and Tennessee, and the Titans easily covered. I’m now 7-2-2 on the year. Not that it means much, but I do feel more comfortable with this week’s slate of games than I have in a while. I had a hard time coming up with a best bet, since I liked a few but loved none. I really like the Chiefs as home dogs against a bad Bills team traveling during a short week. I also felt better about backing the Falcons and Chargers. As for New England, I expect them to bounce back after a tough loss to the Jets, especially with 10 days to prepare. The Patriots will have revenge on their minds after the Dolphins embarrassed them in Week 3, and it’s never easy to win five straight games in the National Football League.

Bengals +11 at Steelers

Eagles +1 at Ravens

Texans +3 at Browns

49ers +10.5 at Cowboys

Buccaneers -9 at Lions

Vikings +2.5 at Jaguars

Bills -3 at Chiefs

Patriots (best bet) +1 at Dolphins

Bears -9 at Rams

Jets +5 at Titans

Raiders +10 at Broncos

Panthers +1 at Falcons

Giants -3.5 at Cardinals

Redskins -3.5 at Seahawks

Colts +2.5 at Chargers

Packers +2.5 at Saints

Barometer

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Week 12 edition.

The Scoop

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Another fantastic Thursday night game, hopefully all of you have NFL Network. The Jets still don’t have an extremely impressive win on their resume, but this team has improved as the season has progressed, which makes sense with all the new additions. Brett Favre is playing better, but this team is interesting thanks to their play in the trenches on both sides of the ball…Sammy Morris didn’t do much in his first game back, but he’s the favorite for carries in New England’s backfield from here on out. He can’t be unowned in any fantasy league…Jerricho Cotchery has fantastic hands and is one of the more underrated receivers in the league. He needs to get the ball more…What a game from Matt Cassel. He’s making himself an awful lot of money.

I have no clue where that defensive performance came from by the Broncos and on the road no less. All those injuries might be a blessing in disguise. They are a solid start at home against the Raiders this week…Imagine what Jay Cutler’s numbers would look like if his receivers didn’t lead the NFL in drops this season…I still don’t view Peyton Hillis as a worthy fantasy commodity…Matt Ryan didn’t play too poorly Sunday, but that one interception showed he’s still a rookie.

Maybe the most underrated stat in the NFL this year is the Colts allowing just two touchdown passes all season. They have recorded 10 interceptions…As much as it pains me, it sounds like it’s safe to go ahead and drop my boy Matt Schaub. I’ll still recommend him next year, but since he can’t be trusted to stay healthy, he’s definitely a QB2 and nothing more…Joseph Addai made a couple horrible drops Sunday, and yet he still produced a big game. With that upcoming schedule and the offense clicking, Addai may go from biggest bust over the first half of the season to one of the most valuable commodities over the second half of the year.

At times, JaMarcus Russell can look competent. I’d like to see him play with some receivers around him….It’s official, Ted Ginn is not going to be a bust…The Raiders have no offensive touchdowns in 13 quarters. 13! If the rumors are true about Al Davis using more resources to make sure Lane Kiffin doesn’t get the Tennessee job than he is on his own Raiders franchise, the state of affairs is even sadder than I thought in Oaktown.

The Giants currently have the best rushing offense in the history of the NFL. Period. Baltimore’s 29-game streak without allowing a 100-yard rusher has now become a fraud…Derrick Mason is one of those aging vets I wrote off a couple of years ago yet continues to remain relevant…Brandon Jacobs is an absolute beast, but this knee injury seems a little more serious than the Giants are letting on. Remember, he was extremely prone to injury last year. Run, don’t walk to pick up Ahmad Bradshaw if available. He’s easily the No. 1 waiver priority this week.

If Calvin Johnson ever gets even an average quarterback on his side, he’ll immediately become a top-three fantasy receiver. Daunte Culpepper does not qualify…I wouldn’t go overboard praising Julius Peppers. It’s nice he’s back producing, but his numbers need to be placed in context, as he’s padded his stats with five sacks over the last two weeks against Kwame Harris and Detroit…Luckily the Panthers’ running game is playing at an elite level, because Jake Delhomme has been brutal recently…Kevin Smith lacks big play ability, but he looks like a serviceable fantasy back from here on out.

This headline killed me. Anyone who has this Eagles team in the top-5 in their power rankings simply hasn’t watched them play this year. I know I’m beating a dead horse, but Donovan McNabb not knowing that ties existed in the NFL is hilarious. Forget the statement itself, what I found more interesting was his delivery and demeanor, or what about his questioning of what happens in the playoffs? Let’s just say McNabb and Andy Reid were absolutely made for each other. And if I hear the term “kissing your sister” one more time, I’m gonna puke (Puke! That’s a funny word).

Where has that been all season, Ryan Grant? From completely shutting down Tennessee’s running game to allowing 200 rushing yards versus a Green Bay squad that hasn’t been able to run all year – the Bears are a little inconsistent…Once again, this Packers team is dangerous. I’d actually rank them ahead of the Panthers and as the NFC’s second best team right now.

Despite the outcome, I still say taking 4.5 points and KC last week was one of the best bets of the season. Two stops at the goal line were just killer, one of which came on a horrible call by the refs. Call me crazy, but when three feet away from the end zone, why throw the ball 30 yards through the air? Then again, it’s my own fault for not taking the Herm Edwards factor into greater consideration…Whatever, I’m a glutton for continued punishment. Why in the world is Buffalo, who is traveling during a short week, 3-point favorites in Arrowhead this week?…Pierre Thomas is another must-own in fantasy leagues. Deuce McAllister is done, and Reggie Bush is no guarantee to be healthy anytime soon.

How does Adrian Peterson have zero touches on offense in the fourth quarter? Even for the incompetent Brad Childress, that seemed unconscionable…It’s nice that it appears Carnell Williams’ career will continue, but I wouldn’t bother rostering him this season, even with Earnest Graham out for the year.

The Rams have trailed by a combined score of 75-3 at halftime over their last two games…Marc Bulger is officially one of the five worst quarterbacks in the NFL…Mike Singletary has no clue when dealing with the media, but if nothing else, he has San Francisco playing hard…Make sure Antonio Pittman is not available in your league. Little should be expected of Steven Jackson over the rest of the season…Shaun Hill can definitely be used in the right matchup, and he has a few of those coming up during crunch time.

I apologize for my Tim Hightower hype. The Cardinals really don’t run block all that well, and his 3.1 YPC mark can no longer be ignored or blamed on short-yardage usage. I’m not jumping ship, and there’s still plenty of TD potential, but J.J. Arrington’s emergence is worrisome. He’s definitely a bigger threat than Edgerrin James, that’s for sure…Matt Hasselbeck is clearly not right. Avoid at all costs. His post-game interview with the press was really bizarre…Words can’t truly explain just how well Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are playing. I honestly can’t think of a better tandem. Ever.

I still can’t wrap my mind around why Vegas had the Titans as only 3-point favorites against a bad Jacksonville team last week. This Tennessee defense is simply unstoppable in the second half of games…As much as I like him, any Kerry Collins MVP talk is ridiculous to the point of offensive.

What an interception by Troy Polamalu. Unreal…Pittsburgh’s defense has allowed the fewest YPC and YPA this season, which is almost unfathomable. This D deserves far more hype…Sunday’s game went from being the most gut wrenching loss ATS ever for those who backed SD (me), to later being the most gut wrenching loss ATS ever for those who backed Pitt. What an insane turn of events that had nothing to do with the game’s outcome. Just craziness. I left the bar thinking I had lost 17-10 when I saw the ref decline the penalty and throw his hands up and didn’t find out the true final score until later that night. My favorite part of all is ESPN being forced to acknowledge the situation yet only with a wink and nudge. High comedy.

Have you stopped taking Washington seriously yet? I know I have. The Lions have scored more touchdowns (19) this season than the Redskins (18)…Clinton Portis is one tough S.O.B…I know he’s been learning a new system and has played with Tony Romo just one game, but come on, where’s Roy Williams? Detroit ripped off Jerry Jones in that deal…I just love watching Marion Barber run. Dude is a punisher.

I’m no longer upset Cleveland has been scheduled in so many primetime games, because they always bring their A game in the spotlight, leading to entertaining contests like Monday night. Nice to see Brady Quinn acknowledge Braylon Edwards’ existence…Lee Evans owners: Gulp!…Suddenly, my Bills last place prediction looks spot on, which was insane one month ago…It’s safe to say Trent Edwards didn’t have a great first quarter Monday. What’s going on there?…I’m a big Fred Jackson fan, but Marshawn Lynch (finally) impressed against the Browns. He made defenders miss and was hard to bring down. I’ve never seen him play better, and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.

Excellent Albert Pujols MVP pick voters. The rest of the order wasn’t any good, but I won’t nitpick. Then again, that one was a no-brainer…As for Cliff Lee for Cy Young, I would have voted Roy Halladay, but Lee is plenty deserving and a fine selection. Francisco Rodriguez finishing third is a joke but not worth getting up in arms over. As for Halladay, he allowed fewer base runners, had the superior K:BB ratio and threw 22.2 more innings than Lee. While he had the superior defense behind him, Halladay also faced the second highest opposing batters OPS in major league baseball, whereas Lee ranked 50th, so his schedule was significantly harder.

As for AL MVP, there really wasn’t a good choice this year, but I know there were a few better than Dustin Pedroia. Sure his defense at second base needs to be taken into account, but he finished 18th in OPS in the AL! Kevin Youkilis, Joe Mauer and Grady Sizemore would have all been better picks. Even Halladay or Lee would have been superior. Finally, I know this has been passed all around the Internet, but in case one of you hasn’t seen the world’s greatest MVP ballot, here it is. If this guy is able to keep his voting privileges next season, the system is even more broke than I thought it was.

Bet on It

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Last week I went 8-6, bringing my season total to 75-64-5. My best bet record improved to 7-1-2 when the Titans covered, and most importantly, I’ve moved ahead of Chris Liss in the RotoWire Staff Picks column, which infuriates him to no end. This week, I’m not all that confident – taking way too many favorites. I originally had a Bengals feel, but in the end, Philly is a fraud who can’t hang with the good teams yet cherishes beating up the doormats…I had the hardest time with the Pitt/SD game…Two lines really jump out at me (Chiefs and Titans). Kansas City may be 1-8, but they’ve hardly played like that since Tyler Thigpen took over at quarterback. It’s worrisome how decimated the team is on defense, but they are at home, and the offense is actually good. The Saints are desperate for a win, but this is a soft team that has yet to win a single game on the road this season…I really have no clue what Vegas is thinking when it comes to Tennessee this year. They are undefeated, yet barely favored over a bad Jaguars team? Huh? This line is so bizarre, it screams trap, but the same could be said last week when the Titans laid just a field goal against a Rex Grossman led team, so I’ll once again happily back Tennessee.

Jets +3 at Patriots

Broncos +6.5 at Falcons

Lions +14.5 at Panthers

Bears +4 at Packers

Texans +9 at Colts

Saints -5.5 at Chiefs (best bet)

Raiders +11 at Dolphins

Ravens +7 at Giants

Vikings +3.5 at Buccaneers

Eagles -9 at Bengals

Rams +6.5 at 49ers

Cardinals -3 at Seahawks

Titans -3 at Jaguars

Chargers +5 at Steelers

Cowboys -1 at Redskins

Browns +5 at Bills

Week 11 Lineup Rankings

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Quarterbacks

1. Kurt Warner
2. Drew Brees
3. Jay Cutler
4. Peyton Manning

5. Tony Romo
6. Matt Ryan
7. Jake Delhomme
8. Donovan McNabb
9. Aaron Rodgers
10. Philip Rivers
11. Ben Roethlisberger
12. Tyler Thigpen

13. Shaun Hill
14. Sage Rosenfels
15. Matt Hasselbeck
16. Trent Edwards
17. Brett Favre
18. Eli Manning
19. Kyle Orton
20. Brady Quinn

Running Backs

1. Frank Gore
2. Brian Westbrook
3. Michael Turner

4. Adrian Peterson
5. Matt Forte
6. Chris Johnson
7. Marion Barber
8. Joseph Addai
9. DeAngelo Williams
10. Ronnie Brown
11. Thomas Jones
12. Tim Hightower
13. Larry Johnson
14. Marshawn Lynch

15. Clinton Portis (check status)
16. Brandon Jacobs
17. LaDainian Tomlinson
18. Steve Slaton
19. Julius Jones
20. Ryan Grant
21. Jamal Lewis
22. Willie Parker (check status)
23. Kevin Smith
24. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
25. Jerious Norwood
26. Maurice Jones-Drew
27. Willis McGahee
28. Justin Fargas
29. Antonio Pittman
30. Peyton Hillis/Tatum Bell

Wide Receivers

1. Steve Smith
2. Roddy White
3. Brandon Marshall
4. Anquan Boldin
5. Larry Fitzgerald
6. Reggie Wayne
7. Andre Johnson

8. Marques Colston
9. Lee Evans
10. Eddie Royal
11. Greg Jennings
12. Calvin Johnson
13. Dwayne Bowe
14. Mark Bradley
15. Antonio Bryant
16. Terrell Owens
17. Plaxico Burress
18. Laveranues Coles
19. Jerricho Cotchery
20. Lance Moore
21. Randy Moss
22. Wes Welker
23. Hines Ward

24. Santana Moss (check status)
25. Kevin Curtis
26. DeSean Jackson
27. Muhsin Muhammad
28. Vincent Jackson
29. Santonio Holmes
30. Bobby Engram
31. Steve Breaston
32. Michael Jenkins
33. Donnie Avery
34. Bernard Berrian
35. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
36. Matt Jones
37. Donald Driver
38. Kevin Walter
39. Deion Branch
40. Jason Hill

Barometer

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Week 11 edition.

The Scoop

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Last Thursday’s Broncos/Browns tilt was easily one of the best games of the season. I don’t care if purists disagree, offense is just more fun. Jay Cutler has the guts of a burglar. It’s true at times he’s a little too Brett Favre in his risks, but he also makes throws that no other current quarterback can. He has an excellent mix of zip yet also the ability to float lobs into the right place. His one pick was Brandon Marshall’s fault, not his…Brady Quinn didn’t play poorly, but the normally spot on Chris Collinsworth was a little hyperbolic in his praise of the young QB. Quinn attempted just one pass that went 15-plus yards through the air, which was incomplete. It’s nice he didn’t make any mistakes, but that Denver D is the worst, and his 6.8 YPA was unimpressive. With this dink and dunk approach, Braylon Edwards’ already low fantasy value might be crushed. Bump up Kellen Winslow, however…Did everyone enjoy the Ryan Torain era as much as me? After excessive hype despite never playing and being just a fifth round draft pick, Torain looked like the second coming of Jim Brown for 20 minutes. Then, his knee bent the wrong way. It’s safe to call the kid talented, yet too injury prone to ever really matter.

Windy conditions didn’t help, but to call Rex Grossman inaccurate would be an understatement. And again, why are teams attacking Cortland Finnegan? His reputation clearly hasn’t caught up to his play yet…Then again, even Vegas and the oddsmakers have been extremely slow to the Titans’ party all season long…It’s crazy how many rookie running backs are having a great season, and none of them are Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, or Rashard Mendenhall.

It’s great that Jacksonville can beat up and bully doormats, but this team is deeply flawed, evidenced by allowing a staggering 11.0 YPA to the Daunte Culpepper/Drew Stanton duo…It’s possible Kevin Smith is a difference maker in fantasy leagues down the stretch…There won’t be a better time to try and trade Maurice Jones-Drew than after last week’s effort.

I’d try to avoid the Baltimore backfield at all costs. That’s a mess from week-to-week…John Harbaugh has done a terrific job replacing that preening schmo Brian Billick and deserves serious Coach of the Year consideration…Sage Rosenfels is capable and can move the ball, but his tendency to turn the ball over is a killer. Hopefully all that silly talk about him being better than Matt Schaub can be put to rest for good now.

Michael Wilbon is an idiot. He said on PTI Tuesday that the Tim Lincecum Cy Young choice was horrible, and he would have him fourth or fifth on his list. He would have voted for Brandon Webb because of his 22 wins. He also had Brad Lidge ahead of Lincecum. Webb wasn’t even the best pitcher on his own team and wouldn’t factor into my top-10. As my blood boils, I’ll try not to let this lunacy ruin a beautiful moment: congrats Lincecum! The voters got something right for once.

The AFC East is really interesting right now, as the Bills continue to fade while the Pats continue to improve. Also, the Jets’ defensive line makes them noteworthy. And it wouldn’t be out of line to call the Dolphins the best team in that division…Go ahead and put this down in ink – bench Lee Evans when he’s facing New England…Bill Belichick is underrated. Seriously, think about all the massive failures who have left New England: Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weiss and to some extent, Eric Mangini. It’s all Belichick.

Marques Colston is back. Consider him a top-10 fantasy wideout from here on out…The Giants absolutely ripped off the Saints in the Jeremy Shockey trade.  I know he’s been hobbled, but what else is new? How is he averaging the fewest yards per catch of his career playing in that offense and with Drew Brees throwing to him? He’s much better at limping and bitching to his own quarterback then he is at playing football…Matt Ryan is a top-5 QB in the NFL RIGHT NOW. If starting a franchise from scratch with every player in the league available, the only person I’d even consider taking ahead of Ryan would be Jay Cutler. Therefore, I view Ryan as the second most valuable commodity in the NFL.

Chad Pennington’s interception returned for a touchdown was atrocious. Up 14-0, ball security should probably be at the forefront, so a late throw across the field to the sideline was uncalled for…I actually like Miami’s squad, but this team is bad when it comes to special teams and tackling. The Wildcat can still be effective, though…The Seattle offense won’t be so dreadful with Matt Hasselbeck returning, but it’s still a situation to mostly avoid in fantasy leagues.

Adrian Peterson is far from a complete back since his hands are so poor, and he’s still a big injury risk, but with the football in his hands, there’s an argument he’s the best running back ever. Currently, he might be the NFL’s best short-yardage runner and breakaway threat – quite a rare combination. And Minnesota’s offensive line hasn’t opened up nearly as many holes as the unit did last season. I’m not a religious man, but in Purple Jesus, I trust…The Vikings’ special teams and coaching are a joke, but they have become a bit more interesting since the defensive line has started to develop a serious pass rush…The refs flat-out blew that first safety call. In fact, once they realized it wasn’t intentional grounding, they termed the penalty an “illegal forward pass.” That’s laughable.

One of my favorite moments Sunday was when the Rams sent out the field goal team to cut the Jets’ third quarter lead to 40-3. A crucial decision indeed…I have no idea what the contract details are, but I’d have a hard time seeing St. Louis not cut, or at least renegotiate, with Marc Bulger this offseason…I won’t be drafting Steven Jackson next year. He’ll still look good enough to have people talking themselves into making him a first round pick, but this guy simply can’t stay healthy. This much we know…You won’t see a weaker QB statline during a 47-3 win than Brett Favre’s last week…Imagine how good this Jets’ defensive line would be if the team hadn’t wasted last year’s sixth pick in the draft.

Jake Delhomme was just brutal Sunday. I would say it was tough to watch, but the game was blacked out in my area thanks to incompetence…The Raiders lost despite having more yards, first downs, takeaways and nearly a 15 minute edge in time of possession…Can’t wait to see what Joey Porter does against Kwame Harris next week…Quietly, DeAngelo Williams is having a very solid year…If starting a franchise, I’d make Nnamdi Asomugha the first defensive player taken. I understand it seems a little crazy since Oakland’s defense is so bad, and for the most part, I’d value guys on the line far more than a defensive back. Elite pass rushers demand double teams, and a guy like Albert Haynesworth definitely deserves consideration since he both stuffs the run and gets to the quarterback. However, there are at least 15 dominant defensive lineman, whereas there isn’t another corner in the league within a mile of Asomugha’s skill set, making him a unique property.  He literally takes away half the field on every single snap.

The Steelers may have given up 24 points last week, but it certainly wasn’t the defense’s fault. The team allowed just 6.0 YPA and 3.3 YPC, but too often a Ben Roethlisberger turnover left them with a short field to defend. Roethlisberger is really struggling right now, and one wonders whether he should sit out until fully healthy…With a playoff schedule featuring the Bengals, Lions and Jaguars, and Marvin Harrison having one foot in the grave, Anthony Gonzalez could be a major factor in fantasy leagues when it matters most…I wouldn’t call Indy’s win a “they’re back” type victory, but with a terrific pass defense and the upside of that passing offense, they still represent a potential threat…I’ve heard more than once how the absence of Willie Parker has hurt Pittsburgh, but that’s erroneous. Very few running situations in the NFL would be greatly impacted by the starter going down (49ers being the best example), and the Steelers certainly aren’t one of them.

Jamaal Charles was looking at a highly productive game Sunday had he not aggravated his ankle injury during his first touch. Now with the backfield so depleted, Kansas City has no choice but to welcome Larry Johnson back with open arms. If he can avoid incarceration, LJ could be a major fantasy factor down the stretch with fresh legs and a suddenly potent Chiefs offense…Like Darren McFadden and his toe injury, Chris Chambers should just sit out until his ankle fully heals. I’m all for toughness, but what good does it do to play at 60 percent and never let the injury truly heal?…Tyler Thigpen is clearly the answer at quarterback for Kansas City. He can play. Mark Bradley possesses serious talent as well. Just like that, the Chiefs have a very intriguing young nucleus…You think LaDainian Tomlinson looks slowed this season, wait until next year. I won’t be recommending him as a top-50 pick in 2009. It may not be Shaun Alexander, 2007, but it could approach that territory.

Any team can win any given week, but last Sunday’s line (Philadelphia -3) in the Eagles/Giants game was the most dumbfounding I’ve seen all year. Really, those two teams are equal? The Eagles are paper tigers. That game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated. Philadelphia shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as this dominant New York team…I had no idea that rule existed regarding Eli Manning’s near past the line of scrimmage throw. Interesting.

Johnny Drama has somehow transformed from one of my favorite characters to the most loathsome one currently on TV. Seriously, Californication is better than Entourage.

Shaun Hill made some boneheaded decisions Monday night, and his 5.4 YPA mark left a lot to be desired, but he also made some plays as well. He’s fine to start in fantasy leagues this week at home against the Rams…Not sure what happened to Tim Hightower, but I wouldn’t panic. He still seems like a top-15 fantasy back…In Jason Hill and Josh Morgan, San Francisco has some young receivers with upside…Everyone is criticizing the 49ers for the Michael Robinson run to end the game, but I thought their decision to call a run on second down with 20 seconds left and no timeouts was equally as bad. Just a horribly incompetent finish to an otherwise entertaining game.

My new favorite player in the NBA: Rudy Fernandez – “Rudy is not everyday a shooter,” Fernandez said. “He’s defense. He’s passes. He’s assists.” As awesome as that third person quote was, it didn’t bring me as much joy as reading that Edinson Volquez finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year race. And yet, he’s not a rookie! Just fantastic work by the BBWAA all around. That’s almost as good as when Rafael Palmeiro won a Gold Glove for playing 28 games in the field in 1999.

Everyone is killing the Marlins for the Scott Olsen/Josh Willingham trade, and while I agree they should have been able to get more in return, I’m not very high on either of those players’ futures at all. Olsen’s 4.20 ERA last season came with an ugly strikeout rate and a brutal 1.6:1 K:BB ratio. He’s also completely lost his fastball. Good luck sustaining that .266 BABIP. Willingham’s career OPS is .833, so left fielders like him are a dime a dozen. It’s frustrating watching Florida having to make so many decisions based on payroll, but with a staff featuring Ricky Nolasco, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Andrew Miller and Chris Volstad, they will be contenders for years to come.

When I first heard about the Matt Holliday trade, my instinct was: “What in the hell is Billy Beane thinking?” So, naturally, Michael Wilbon and Rick Reilly go off on PTI about how much of a steal it was for the A’s. We are talking about a corner outfielder with an .803 career OPS outside of Coors Field. He’s improved in recent years away from home, but with Oakland’s payroll and Holliday about to hit free agency, it’s essentially a one-year rental. Still, I’m not big on questioning the brilliant Beane, so here’s my now revised thinking: Greg Smith’s peripherals were way out of whack with his 4.16 ERA, so he’s a nothing. Huston Street is a health risk and isn’t even the best reliever on the A’s. Also, while his component stats are pretty, he has been poor during save situations throughout his career. Carlos Gonzalez, however, is quite interesting. He could be the one true regret Beane let go. However, his horrible strikeout rate and inability to take a walk never really fit with the A’s, and he’ll only be an asset against right-handers. Beane must think either a) he’ll be able to get a better return than he just gave up at the trade deadline, when teams often become far more desperate or b) the A’s are ready to contend, and he’s happy to receive the draft picks with Holliday being a Type A free agent.

Week 10 Lineup Rankings

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Quarterbacks

1. Kurt Warner
2. Philip Rivers
3. Drew Brees
4. Aaron Rodgers

5. Jay Cutler
6. Eli Manning
7. Donovan McNabb
8. Matt Ryan
9. Brett Favre
10. Chad Pennington
11. Ben Roethlisberger (check status)
12. Peyton Manning

13. Shaun Hill
14. Brady Quinn
15. Jake Delhomme
16. David Garrard
17. Matt Cassel
18. Trent Edwards
19. Sage Rosenfels
20. Tyler Thigpen

Running Backs

1. LaDainian Tomlinson
2. Adrian Peterson
3. Frank Gore
4. Brian Westbrook
5. Michael Turner
6. Tim Hightower
7. Mewelde Moore (if Parker is out)
8. Ronnie Brown

9. Thomas Jones
10. Brandon Jacobs
11. Jamal Lewis
12. Chris Johnson
13. Jamaal Charles
14. Marshawn Lynch
15. Maurice Jones-Drew
16. Steve Slaton
17. Ryan Torain
18. Joseph Addai
19. Ryan Grant
20. Matt Forte

21. Ray Rice (check status)
22. Willis McGahee (check status)
23. Deuce McAllister
24. DeAngelo Williams (bump him way up if Stewart sits)
25. Justin Fargas
26. Kevin Faulk
27. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
28. Kevin Smith
29. LenDale White
30. Jerious Norwood

Wide Receivers

1. Brandon Marshall
2. Larry Fitzgerald
3. Anquan Boldin
4. Roddy White
5. Greg Jennings
6. Steve Smith
7. Andre Johnson

8. Plaxico Burress
9. Reggie Wayne
10. Marques Colston
11. Calvin Johnson
12. Bernard Berrian
13. Braylon Edwards
14. Jerricho Cotchery
15. Laveranues Coles
16. Lee Evans

17. Randy Moss
18. Matt Jones
19. Dwayne Bowe
20. Eddie Royal
21. Vincent Jackson
22. Hines Ward
23. Santonio Holmes
24. Greg Camarillo
25. Lance Moore
26. Chris Chambers
27. Derrick Mason
28. Wes Welker
29. Donald Driver
30. Muhsin Muhammad
31. Kevin Curtis
32. DeSean Jackson
33. Steve Breaston
34. Kevin Walter
35. Sidney Rice

Bet on It

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Last week I went 9-5, bringing my season total to 67-58-5. My best bet, the Steelers, won easily, bringing my total there to 6-1-2. For what it’s worth, the teams I feel the most confident about this week are: the Dolphins, the Packers and the Steelers. As for my best bet, Tennessee is going to lose at some point, and Chicago possesses a legit defense. Also, the public is all over the Titans this week, and they are the dreaded road favorite, making this my least favorite “best bet” so far this season. Still, I just can’t imagine a Rex Grossman-led offense putting up double-digit points against that defense.

Broncos +3 at Browns

Saints +1 at Falcons

Titans -3 (best bet) at Bears

Jaguars -7 at Lions

Seahawks +9.5 at Dolphins

Packers +2.5 at Vikings

Bills +4 at Patriots

Rams +8 at Jets

Ravens -1 at Texans

Panthers -9.5 at Raiders

Colts +2 at Steelers

Chiefs +15.5 at Chargers

Giants +3 at Eagles

49ers +10 at Cardinals

The Scoop – NBA Style

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Check out my notes around the league over at NBA.com.

The Scoop

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

By Dalton Del Don

Trent Edwards has no doubt improved this season, and his peripherals are elite (68.0 completion percentage, 7.8 YPA), but a 6:9 TD:turnover ratio reveals there’s still plenty of work to do…It would be nice if the running game helped, as Marshawn Lynch continues to really disappoint. At least he’s much more involved in the passing game this season…If nothing else, Brett Favre keeps things interesting. He’s not playing very well right now, and as crazy as it sounds, the Jets clearly downgraded going from Chad Pennington to Favre…New York’s defensive line is playing at an extremely high level. Forget trying to run on them, and their 29 sacks rank third in the NFL. Kris Jenkins has been one of the most important acquisitions in the league, and I fear for Marc Bulger’s safety this week.

Words can’t describe just how bad that contract the Jags handed out to Jerry Porter was. How Jacksonville continues to be touchdown favorites while on the road is baffling…Chad Johnson has three scores over the last three weeks, including two last Sunday. Therefore, if you can get any type of return, look into dealing him right now. His 9.4 yards per catch mark is absurd, and he hasn’t topped 57 yards receiving in a game this season. I’d rather Eddie Royal…It’s almost unfathomable Cedric Benson has become Cincinnati’s lone bright spot on offense. Even crazier, teammates have had nothing but good things to say about him…If there were an award that’s opposite of Most Improved Player of the Year, David Garrard would be the winner this year.

I’ve heard criticism of the QB switch in Cleveland, and while I can understand questioning the reasoning during a short week, the opponent is ideal, and there was little reason to stick with Derek Anderson at this point. Just because you made a mistake contractually, doesn’t mean that should affect playing time…That said, I’m not expecting Brady Quinn to be any kind of savior. But might as well get the learning process started and see what the future looks like…It can’t be understated – Braylon Edwards has really, really bad hands…I’m not sure what people see in Willis McGahee, but Ray Rice looks like Baltimore’s future in the backfield. He’s an upgrade.

Just when Matt Schaub is in the midst of justifying my hype, yet another injury occurs. That hit he took was pretty serious, so it’s hard to call him soft, but he clearly can’t be counted on to stay healthy. Make picking up Sage Rosenfels a priority…Because of his activity in the passing game, it appears Steve Slaton is matchup proof. Then again, that theory will be tested once more this week against Baltimore…Adrian Peterson is a perceived disappointment, and his utter lack of receiving ability hurts, but the most talented back in football is on pace to finish with 1,646 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, which isn’t too unacceptable. Check out his playoff schedule.

The Kyle Orton injury was a killer, because with his improvement and that defense, the Bears really were sleepers in the NFC. Now, they get a massive downgrade under center. Rex Grossman is horrific…Daunte Culpepper? Seriously? Detroit needs to find a quarterback of the future in the worst way. There’s a very real chance the Lions go 0-16 this season.

Kansas City may have something in Tyler Thigpen. He’s certainly more interesting than Brodie Croyle ever was. Plus, Thigpen has some serious receiving skills!…Down 24-19, Jon Gruden elected to go for two with 13:36 left, and it nearly cost him the game. I guess coaches really will never learn…I’d make Jamaal Charles my No. 1 waiver priority this week. Larry Johnson may come back Week 11, but there’s an equal chance he gets a longer suspension when/if he is found guilty in his December trial. Charles isn’t built for 25-plus touches, but he can catch passes and is explosive, so he’ll do plenty of damage when on the field. With Thigpen making the offense competent, Charles could make a major impact from here on out.

I’m not sure what happened – is it as simple as coaching changes? But Marc Bulger is just nowhere near the same QB he was two years ago. If not for an extremely lucky 80-yard bomb last week, he would have gotten 3.2 YPA against a beatable Arizona secondary. He’s not even worth a roster spot in most leagues…As a Larry Fitzgerald owner, there isn’t a player in the NFL I’ve cursed more this year than Anquan Boldin. Dude is a touchdown machine…At the season’s halfway point, my MVP ballot currently looks like: 1) Philip Rivers 2) Kurt Warner 3) Drew Brees. It’s really splitting hairs among those three, who have clearly been the league’s most valuable players so far. It’s simply amazing what Warner’s been able to do at age 37. There’s a real chance the Cardinals have a bye during the first week of the playoffs…Right now, Tim Hightower should be treated as a top-15 fantasy back. At minimum.

The Titans have now won eight straight games without a 200-yard passing game. Please let that sink in a minute…All LenDale White does is score goal-line touchdowns or hit 50-plus yarders. Such breakaway speed!…Green Bay is underrated. That’s a dangerous team capable of going deep into the playoffs…Chris Johnson is a very, very good football player. Despite White stealing all those touchdowns, Johnson is currently a top-10 fantasy back, and in dynasty leagues, he’s a top-5 commodity.

That offensive pass interference call negating an 80-yard touchdown to Brandon Marshall was a joke. That isn’t called 99.9 percent of the time. Don’t worry about Marshall, he’ll be just fine. His response to Joey Porter was priceless…The Dolphins are sneaky good. I know I wouldn’t want to face them in the playoffs…It’s Peyton Hillis’ world, and the rest of us are just passing through…Can’t wait to see what Ryan Torain can do. It’s safe to say I’ve never been more excited about someone with three career carries who was drafted in the fifth round…As leader of the Jay Cutler fan club, I’ll be the first to admit his play has really slipped over the past five games. Still, I’m keeping the faith.

After everyone was clamoring for a QB change, it was pretty funny watching Brooks Bollinger’s first pass get picked off. I’m beginning to think Dallas is easier to beat with Tony Romo out of the lineup…Justin Tuck is a bad, bad man. Like linebackers in Pittsburgh, the Giants just breed elite defensive ends…Eli Manning has quietly struggled over the past four games, but it doesn’t matter when the running game is historically good. The team’s current 5.2 YPC mark is higher than any team has ever finished a season with.

The Eagles seem to be the darling of stat heads, often getting ranked as one of the league’s three best teams in power polls. I just don’t see it. They pressure the quarterback well, but too often lofty yardage totals result in too few of points thanks to poor red zone play. Donovan McNabb’s impressive 7.6 YPA mark is accompanied by a modest 20-TD pace. Plus, Andy Reid is a liability on Sundays. Why Vegas views them as equals to the Giants (Philly -3 this weekend) is beyond me…All that said, Brian Westbrook should be treated as the No. 1 fantasy asset from this point forward…Seneca Wallace spiked the ball in the final minute of the second quarter to stop the clock last week. On third down. They punted the very next play.

For the first time in 16 years, a team (the Raiders) had negative yardage at halftime Sunday. John Abraham absolutely abused Kwame Harris in one of the more pathetic offensive displays in recent memory. 10 net passing yards!…Don’t be fooled, this Atlanta team is good. I say they beat the Saints this week…It sounds like the Raiders will release DeAngelo Hall soon, meaning they traded a second round pick and paid $8 million for eight games in which he was consistently torched. I always knew he was overrated, but I at least thought he was above average. Not the case. At least Al Davis was able to admit his mistake, and locking up Nnamdi Asomugha long-term should be a top priority. He might be the most valuable defensive player in the league.

It was sad watching the Colts/Patriots game, which was a far cry from their usual matchup. Both teams are a shell of their former selves, although Peyton Manning played well…Interesting to see Bill Belichick make a couple of questionable calls. Still, it’s impressive how he’s getting that New England team to play…Few players are more overrated (and overpaid) than Dwight Freeney.

The offense has problems mainly because of the line, but Pittsburgh’s defense is Super Bowl level. James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, two linebackers, have recorded 19.5 sacks so far this season…Byron Leftwich played well in relief Monday, but I’m skeptical if he were forced into significant playing time…Washington’s secondary is playing at an extremely high level. They are allowing the third fewest YPA (6.0) in the NFL, which is especially impressive when you consider the lack of pressure the front seven provides.

Barometer

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Week 10 edition.

Midseason Draft

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

I participated in a midseason league last week, and here’s a write up with the details and also a link to the results. It’s fairly interesting to see how some players’ values have changed so much.