Archive for December, 2009

Tis’ the Season

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

In the Huddle

By Mark Sheldon

As the holiday season approaches, fantasy owners are not concerned with filling a stocking, baking cookies or lighting a candle. No, they are concerned with playoffs baby!!

Tis the season indeed! Depending on your league (not sure if there are two leagues on earth that are exactly the same), this weekend will mark the beginning of the playoffs, the semi finals or in some cases just another week. But is it really “just another week” when it’s Week 15? No. It is at this point in the season where you love fantasy football…or you hate it. Last week, thanks to Andre Johnson and Brandon Marshall, I loved it. Thanks to Rashard Mendenhall and Randy Moss, you hated it, too bad. That’s what fantasy football playoffs are all about; the unthinkable happens. While Adrian Peterson got you to the playoffs, Chris Jennings won you your pool.

Let’s take a look back at last week: Jamal Charles was better than Maurice Jones-Drew, Randy Moss had 1 catch and a lost fumble, Marion Barber did his best Matt Forte impression and got stuffed at the goal line 4 times and Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald thought the game was in Arizona.  This cost someone, somewhere, a victory.

This sounds evil, but that’s the thrill of fantasy football. For fantasy football owners, there is much more than 1st place on the line.

In some cases hundreds of dollars are on the line, which can be the difference between a diamond necklace for Valentines Day or a box of chocolates.

In some cases honour and dignity are on the line.

But in most cases, it’s bragging rights amongst your friends. I spoke to Dan Quinn, Managing Director of NFL Canada, last week and he told me over 800,000 people play fantasy football in Canada. That’s a lot of bragging rights!

There’s just something cruel, yet hilarious, about using the following line in mid-May: “You’re still mad at me because I beat you with Jim Sorgi in the finals, aren’t you?”

Just to make sure you’re the one bragging in mid-May, let’s dig a little deeper into the fantasy world…

My Christmas Wish List:

1.I want Tony Romo. I want Sept-Nov Tony Romo. I want Tony Romo to stop being so bi-polar. I want Tony Romo’s 3 TD’s not his 3 INT’s. I want to win this week but he can never win in December.”

He’s playing the undefeated New Orleans Saints. He’s going to win and put up good numbers, Santa can give you Tony Romo.

2.I want Dwayne Bowe. I want 08 Dwayne Bowe, even if it’s just for 1 game. I really want to win this week and he’s my 3rd WR, I have no other option. I want him to get me at least 6 REC and 90 YDS. I want to know PED’s weren’t the reason he was good. I want to know he’s playing this week.”

If he returns to the starting line up against the Cleveland Browns, Santa will give you Dwayne Bowe. Santa knows how bad the Chiefs passing game was without you.

3.I want Matt Forte.  I want Week 8 Matt Forte. I want the Matt Forte who went in the 1st Round of almost all fantasy drafts. I don’t want the Forte who has 685 rushing YDS and 4TD’s…on the season. I want last year’s Bears O-line. I want Kyle Orton and not Jay Cutler. I want to win this week and he’s my only option.”

He’s playing the Baltimore Ravens, I’m sorry, but Santa can’t give you Matt Forte.

4. I want Fred Jackson. I want Fred Jackson because I might have to sit a RB in the final 3 weeks. I want Fred Jackson because RB’s are falling quicker than the snow. I want Fred because he has 48 CAR’s in the last 3 games. I want Fred Jackson because I have Marshawn Lynch. I want him because his name is Fred.”

Santa remembers Fred’s first game against the New England Patriots where he put up 140 YDS on 20 touches and scored a TD. Santa will give you Fred Jackson.

 

Hanukah Festival of Lights:

1. I light this candle for Pierre Garcon, who is going to see lots of the field in the final 3 weeks, as the undefeated Colts begin to rest their starters.

2. I light this candle for Matt Schaub, who saves the season for Andre Johnson owners.

3. I light this candle for the Green Bay Packer’s offensive line, which needs to find the strength to protect Aaron Rodgers so he can get the ball to Greg Jennings and Donald Driver and so Ryan Grant can have another amazing performance.

4. I light this candle for Terrell Owens, who WILL get 295 YDS receiving in his final 3 games to finish over 1000 YDS for the 9th time in the last 10 years.

5. I light this candle for the Dallas Cowboys, who will realize Felix Jones is a better option than Marion Barber down the stretch.

6. I light this candle for Brandon Marshall, who I traded in Week 6 (and caused a whole in my wall in Week 14) and who will get less than 21 receptions over the last 3 weeks.

7. I light this candle for Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, Ricky Williams, Thomas Jones and Frank Gore owners, whose RB’s will not sit a down in the last 3 weeks.

8. I light this candle for Maurice Jones-Drew, who is finally breaking down after his first full season as a featured back.

Out of the Cold Program:

These players are homeless and need a place to stay for the Holidays:

1. Chris Jennings RB Cleveland Browns (Yahoo! 28% owned): Ok, I know I have told you not to play a single player from the Browns the whole season, but its playoff time, and sometimes you need to gamble. The former Montreal Alouette ran over the Steelers last week to the tune of 20 CAR’s, 73 YDS and a TD. With the Cleveland Browns eliminated from the playoffs 15 weeks ago, they are giving Jennings the chance to show his skill. With favourable matchups against Kansas City and Oakland the next 2 weeks, he’s a great plug-in.

2. Kenny Britt WR Tennessee Titans (ESPN 28%): Over the past 5 weeks, Kenny has scored 3 TD’s while averaging 3.6 receptions and 70 YDS. The reception totals is not great, but look at his yards per catch this season (16.9) and you can see what type of numbers Britt could post. Since taking over at QB, he has been Vince Young’s number 1 option. Its playoff time and this could be a good payoff.

3. Fred Davis TE Washington Redskins (Yahoo! 58%): In the last 3 weeks, Davis has put up 4 REC and 50 YDS per game. He has been the 4th best TE in Yahoo! standard pools and has caught 4 TD passes in that span. On the season, the Giants have given up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing TE’s. These are good signs.

4. Hakeem Nicks WR New York Giants (ESPN 55%) See ya Mario Manningham! There’s a new kid on the block and his name is Hakeem Nicks. Nicks has TD’s in 2 straight games and is coming off a 110 YD performance against a very good Eagles secondary. I do believe as Eli goes, Nicks does, and with the playoffs on the line, I think Eli shows up. His 18.0 YDS/catch shows big time potential.

Player Rankings for Week 15:

 

QB:

 

1. Drew Brees

2. Peyton Manning

3. Kurt Warner

4. Aaron Rodgers

5. Matt Schaub

6. Philip Rivers

7. Tony Romo

8. Tom Brady

9. Donovan McNabb

10. Brett Favre

11. Ben Roethlisberger

12. Eli Manning

13. Jason Campbell

14. Joe Flacco

15. Alex Smith

16. Carson Palmer

17. Kyle Orton

18. Alex Smith

19. Matt Cassel

20. David Garrard

RB:

1. Chris Johnson (How can you not?)

2. Adrian Peterson

3. Thomas Jones

4. Ray Rice

5. Maurice Jones-Drew

6. Ricky Williams

7. Cedric Benson

8. Jamal Charles

9. Frank Gore

10. Knowshon Moreno

11. Joseph Addai

12. Steven Jackson

13. DeAngelo Williams

14. Laurence Maroney

15. LaDanian Tomlinson

16. Ryan Grant

17. Rashard Mendenhall

18. Beanie Wells

19. Fred Jackson

20. Brandon Jacobs


WR:

1. Andre Johnson

2. Reggie Wayne

3. Anquan Boldin

4. Wes Welker

5. Brandon Marshall

6. DeSean Jackson

7. Larry Fitzgerald

8. Vincent Jackson

9. Sidney Rice

10. Miles Austin

11. Chad Ochcocinco

12. Marques Colston

13. Randy Moss

14. Pierre Garcon

15. Terrell Owens

16. Steve Smith (CAR)

17. Steve Smith (NYG)

18. Greg Jennings

19. Santonio Holmes

20. Derrick Mason

TE:

1. Vernon Davis

2. Dallas Clark

3. Antonio Gates

4. Tony Gonzalez

5. Brent Celek

6. Jason Witten

7. Fred Davis

8. Visanthe Shiancoe

9. Jermichael Finley

10. Dustin Keller

11. Heath Miller

12. Jeremy Shockey

13. Kellen Winslow

14. Kevin Boss

15. Greg Olsen

DEF:

1. Ariona Cardinals

2. Baltimore Ravens

3. Denver Broncos

4. Minnesota Vikings

5. Philadelphia Eagles

6. New York Jets

7. Houston Texans

8. Green Bay Packers

9. Tennessee Titans

10. New Orleans Saints

11. Indianapolis Colts

12. New England Patriots

13. Seattle Seahawks

14. San Diego Chargers

15. Pittsburgh Steelers

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