Archive for October, 2010

3rd & Short – Sunday Night Knowledge

Guys who got real-life points

- Jeff Reed (4), Garrett Hartley (8), Drew Brees (12), Marques Colston (6), Rashard Mendenhall (6), Lance Moore (6)

Guys who got enough fantasy points

- Colston (6/75/1)

- Brees (305/2)

- Lance Moore (7/54/1)

- Rashard Mendenhall (71/1)

- Robert Meachem (6/76)

Guys who didn’t get enough fantasy points

- Pittsburgh receivers – though Hines Ward was looked to 6 times so he’ll be fine.  Interesting to note Antwan Randle El had 6 targets to Mike Wallace’s 4.  I’m going to chalk this up to the Pittsburgh game plan not calling for a lot of deep shots.

- New Orleans running backs – not worth discussing.

- Ben Roethlisberger – saving the best for last.  Big Ben only tossed for 195 yards.  Don’t hold the pick against him as it came with his team down 10 late in the contest.

A short and sweet post because we didn’t really learn much.  We knew Drew Brees was good.  We knew Pittsburgh was good against the run.  We knew the Saints were good against the pass.  We knew Brees likes to spread the fantasy wealth to several targets and that there will be games when all of the usual suspects get in on the act.  It’s rare to have a game where the majority of what we expected comes to fruition, so I’ll stop the discussion right now.  Who knows?  Maybe Week 9 holds more predictable NFL action…I doubt it.

The Monday Nighter should cushion your fall from the Hallowe’en sugar high – I’ll be watching Game 5 of the World Series.  You gotta…you really have to…love sports.


2nd & 4 – 4 O’clock Focus

So…Brett Favre started…neat eh… (this flippy intro was written prior to Favre’s ugly chin injury)


- The 328th interception of Brett Favre’s career wasn’t his fault.

- Ken Whisenhunt will tolerate throwing one touchdown to the other team, but not two Max Hall.  Go-go gadget arm (Derek Anderson).  Unfortunately his special tool is to throw the ball a long way without a lot of accuracy.  His second talent involves threading the ball right to defenders.

- Congratulations Philip Rivers on getting the Strongest Rotator Cuff (Most Passing Yards in NFL History) through 8 games Award.  Antonio Gates is a big reason.  I guess you’re the beneficiary of Norv Turner protecting a rookie back?

- Vince Young had 250+ and 2 TDs before succumbing to an ankle injury.

- Tom Brady gave way to the running game – they found the endzone 3 times to his 1.

RB (this section will remain Chris-Johnson-free unless he reaches 200 rush yards/3 scores)

- Mike Tolbert wouldn’t be any fun to trick-or-treat alongside – he’s selfishly taken another touchdown from it’s rightful owner Ryan Mathews.

- Good week to start your Bucs.  LaGarrette Blount had two majors.  Should there be additional fantasy points every time they show him sucker-punching that Gator when he played at Oregon.

- Run DMC run.  McFadden collects another 100 yard effort.  See you next time he gets hurt Michael Bush (or for a touchdown in garbage time like you got today).

- Since I said Green-Ellis wouldn’t score, I’m shocked that Danny Woodhead had a rushing TD in the first half.  I’m even more shocked that Green-Ellis found paydirt in the second half.  Green-Ellis’ came after the momentum had shifted on a Pats’ INT.  Green-Ellis’ 2nd touchdown iced the game and likely sent you looking elsewhere for fantasy advice (though I hope that’s not the case).

-  Tim Hightower was a magician for Hallowe’en.  He made himself disappear and somehow forced the guy taking his playing time (LaRod Stephens-Howling – who also scored) to drop the ball.


- Good week to play your Bucs.  Mike Williams (‘Cuse) 100 plus yards and a score.

- Percy Harvin deserved more than 2 points on the back of end of the Vikings’ 2-point conversion.  He got you plenty more points as Favre looked his way a bunch.  Remains to be seen whether Tarvaris will (see Banged Up).

- A multi-score game for Larry Fitzgerald!!!  Steve Breaston also turned in a good day (100+ yards) at The University of Phoenix stadium.  Breaston is still a matchup-only guy thanks to his QB(s).

- On this day (and maybe this day only) Darrius Heyward-Bay can be called DHB (5/105/1).  He won’t reach acronym status often if Jason Campbell is his quarterback and if Louis Murphy (chest – DNP) is in the lineup.


- Antonio Gates missed a series.  He scored on the Chargers’ next possession.

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- Buy or sell – the Oakland defence doesn’t allow more than 14 points the rest of the season?

Banged Up

- Kenny Britt left with a hamstring injury.  Consider him day-to-day.  Nate Washington re-takes the spotlight for the meantime – though it doesn’t shine as brightly as it did on Britt.

- Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert both ended up on the sideline for San Diego.  Tolbert did return.  Can Philip Rivers throw more than he already has this year?

- Brett Favre appears in this section not because of his ankle, but because Myron Pryor caused Favre’s shoulder pads to ride up into his jaw.  Trainers kept Favre’s jaw securely in place all the way to the locker room.  The shot of Favre being carted to the locker room is worth a thousand words (couldn’t find it online yet).  The broadcast called it a lacerated chin.

- Vince Young left with a left ankle/achilles injury.  Enter Kerry Collins.

And now enter October Baseball.  Forgive me if I’m a little distracted during Steelers/Saints, but you’ll still get your fantasy lowdown.  Until then, fear the beard.


1st & 7 – 1 O’clock Thoughts

A slow start to scoring this week – perhaps too many players did a little too much monster-mashing at their Hallowe’en shindigs.


- While David Garrard (5 total TDs) is proving immortal, Ryan Fitzpatrick (1 TD toss) is human after all.

- Through a quarter and a bit David Garrard leads the Cowboys 14-3 and leads all QBs in fantasy scoring.  He remains an enigma, perhaps the week off tricked him into thinking he’s playing at home.

- Speaking of playing at home, I’ve said before Sam Bradford likes playing under the arch, and he enjoyed it to the tune of 191/2.  Amendola and Brandon Gibson can be used when St. Loo plays at home and in the appropriate road matchups.

- If Kyle Orton keeps getting 40 attempts – you keep starting him.

- Jacksonville’s defence is a nightmare so far for Jon Kitna – 2 INTs – have missed flipping over in time to see any concerned Jerry Jones faces. He’d finish with 4 picks.

- DeAngelo Hall no longer plays for the Bears – Matthew Stafford made him a Lion by completing a pass to Hall in the 1st quarter.  Stafford was 3/6 with a pick after his first quarter back.  His 2nd quarter saw him connect with Calvin Johnson for a score.  Stafford would toss 4 scores and have a day you’d expect against Washington’s secondary.

- Maybe Carson Palmer did get in rhythm against the Falcons last week.  Still some questionable throws from the former stud but Chris Clemons turned a pick into a TD for the Bengals’ signal-caller.  Watching him throw a game-deciding interception put the final nail in his fantasy coffin.  Many have been saying it for a while, but for me Carson will never flirt with being a top 5 quarterback (especially if T.O. doesn’t help him out at all).


- Jolly good Frank Gore…jolly good!

- Two syllables sum up the fantasy problem with Denver’s rushing attack:  Te-Bow

- The box score states that St. Louis has no respect for Matt Moore.  As a result Jonathan Stewart has 4 carries for 1 yard at the half.  He’d finish with 35 rushing yards

- Somebody tell Felix Jones it’s Jacksonville’s defence – 7 carries for 15 yards in the first half.

- Jamaal Charles was supposed to have a day and he’s well on his way (130+ total yards at the break).


- Megatron!…and even Nate Burleson in a PPR.  Burleson should be rostered with Stafford back.

- Michael Crabtree finds paydirt in London.  I’d wait to see more from him with Troy at the helm before giving him a full recommendation.  Have to keep recommending former Niner Brandon Lloyd – big day for him.

- David Gettis did nothing with 3 targets – so much for that breakout week last week – Brandon LaFell had 8 looks from Matt Moore and a score.  Steve Smith looks like he’s back to being a pretty good receiving option.

- Terrell Owens won’t lose any fantasy points for not having a Hallowe’en-themed touchdown celebration, but I’m still disappointed.  His second touchdown grab was pure comedy – Chris Clemons tip drilled it right into Owens’ mitts.

- Dez Bryant said he likes how Jon Kitna “looks for all his guys” (read:  doesn’t throw to Roy Williams).   Miles Austin already has 100+ yards and Dez is on his way to a good day.

- Uncharacteristic turnovers are slowing the Jets but Santonio Holmes isn’t responsible.  He’s leading them in receiving at the break.  He’s the only Jets receiver I’d own.


- Jason Witten is Tony Romo’s BFF but he’s already enjoying life without him (almost 100 yards and a garbage time TD).

- Marcedes Lewis has another 2 touchdown day.  He usually needs to score to be relevant – but Garrard does like looking his way.

- Daniel Fells gets the St. Louis score instead their Hoowamanahooui (close?).  Not a situation you want to invest in.

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- When field goals are making up the majority of the scoring, it’s annoying when your kicker doesn’t have one of them (last kicker complaint for a while…promise).

- (Shot of two costumed fans at Wembley)  Dan Dierdorf:  “Just so you know, they do celebrate Hallowe’en here too.”  Thanks for clearing that up Dan.

- The Mason Crosbys beat the Jets 9-0.  Tough if you own any Jet except LT who had 100 YFS.

Banged Up

- RVernon Davis injured his ankle and didn’t return.  Delanie Walker took advantage of his absence and becomes and immediate play if Davis misses time.  (Possibly the first TE handcuff in history)

- Ryan Torain went out with a hamstring injury.  Keiland Williams is back on the radar.

- The PIP showed Rex Grossman (not Donovan McNabb - benching – Mike Shanahan saying Grossman gave the ‘Skins ‘the best chance to win’) at the helm for the Redskins for their 2 minute drill.  Then it showed a Lions D-lineman almost pulling a Leon Lett.  What he was trying to do was show you that Rex Grossman hurts everyone’s value.

Sorry Bills fans but Roommate 1 and I couldn’t help but laugh at the finish to regulation at Arrowhead.  Lindell’s miss wasn’t as humourous.  The laughter had long since subsided when the Chiefs’ game-winning kick sailed between the uprights.  Even Gus Johnson was speechless.  I’ll have plenty to say on the 4 o’clocks but that’s it for now…


The Coin Toss

In keeping with the festive spirit, The Coin Toss morphs into a different format and lists a few ghouls whose Week 8 numbers will likely haunt fantasy owners.

Roy Williams (vs. JAX) – Kitna will distribute candy too evenly for Roy to get a decent share

Eddie Royal (vs. SF in jolly old England) – groin issue too dark a cloud to consider Royal

Greg Jennings (@ NYJ) – Jennings’ visit to Revis Island scarier than DiCaprio’s stay on Shutter Island

Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis (vs. Min) – Minnesota’s corn maze will leave BJGE lost in his endzone search

Chris Ivory (vs. PIT) – Steelers will spook Ivory into frigtheningly low rush totals

Anthony Gonzalez (vs. HOU) – The Colts’ mummified receiver too risky a play

It wouldn’t be Hallowe’en without at least one cool house giving out the king-sized chocolate bars – so since you knocked on my door, here are some unexpected options that should sweeten your Week 8 totals.

Patrick Crayton (vs. TEN), Deon Butler (@OAK), Nate Burleson (vs. WAS), Matt Moore (@STL), LeGarrette Blount (@ ARZ), Mike Hart (vs. HOU), Donald Brown (vs. HOU), Jacob Tamme (vs. HOU)


Accountability Section: Week 7

Last week’s picks weren’t worth the full rundown.  Mike Williams soared above Deion Branch (didn’t see Pete Carroll’s pet getting that many targets).  Josh Freeman was getting schooled by Sam Bradford until he threw the game-winning TD (then he was only semi-schooled).  Thomas Jones’ gigantic numbers crushed the trollish stats put up by Felix Jones (got one right).

Apparently some sort of spell was cast on my wireless network or I would have delivered this sooner.  Everyone have a safe and Happy Hallowe’en…watching football.

MANDATORY PROMOTIONAL NOTE:  “Sunday Driving” can be found here every week of the NFL season as Zach Cosby follows all of the action beginning with ‘The Coin Toss’ before Sunday’s games, continuing all afternoon and finishing deep into the night.  For a full fantasy preview each week, tune to The Fantasy Show on THE FAN590 Saturday morning at 11 or download the podcast (available on iTunes).  Tell your friends.

For instant Sunday Fantasy Updates follow Zach on Twitter:

Sunday Driving: Week 7

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

3rd & Short – Sunday Night Knowledge

Favre-related (fingers crossed this section is short)

- The winning time in the “I think his elbow’s OK” pool is 5:15 of the 2nd quarter.  Remember it’s closest without going over, Bob Barker knows best.

- Favre appeared to injure his ankle – he played through it.  Wonder if he’ll be posting a picture online this time around?

- Dear Brett, I’m ashamed of myself for ever expecting you wouldn’t throw a pick-6.  Like, if I was a betting man, I’d bet FOR pick-6 in every game you ever play.  I almost can’t watch my opponent’s fantasy defence when I know they get to face you.  I can only hope that this wound will be healed by you putting up points and me still winning this week.  Sincerely, Former Packers fan

- PS – 24 points was OK, and thanks for avoiding an INT on that final drive at least

- It should be noted that Favre’s ankle looks pretty bad – if he’s your main guy – a capable backup or a  Tarvaris (just had to look up the spelling) Jackson handcuff is necessary.


- The Lambeau Leap never gets old – fantasy owners should consider it a bonus every time Brandon Jackson ends up in the stands.

- Life without Jermichael Finley is now good for James Jones apparently.  The corner slipped (Cris Collinsworth on the slip: “…you just can’t do that against the Packers” – there are teams you can slip against, Cris?  Slipping’s not an accident?) on one of Jones’ long gains but he’s playing with a purpose and making the most of some early targets.  He’s still too deep of an option to consider on a weekly basis.

- Speaking of tight ends, Visanthe Shiancoe now wants his name pronounced (Vi-SONT).  Many would just pronounce it (Robbed) after a 2nd quarter Mike McCarthy challenge.  He’s a good pass-catcher, and deserved a TD based on effort, but the ground definitely played a role there.

- Brad Childress dropped the ball by not challenging so that the refs would know that Andrew Quarless dropped the ball.  The end result is Quarless’ first score in place of Jermichael Finley.  Karma would get Quarless later in the half as he fell on the end of a 4th Down trick play, preventing him from making the catch.  Collinsworth blamed this fall on nerves.

- The song at Lambeau never gets old either (thank god there was a link as it’s impossible to explain).  My bro and I have been laughing at how cheesy it is for the past 20 years.

What a game.  A couple of characters that shouldn’t be overlooked in tonight’s story are Adrian Peterson (172 total yards and a major) and Aaron Rodgers (295/2).  Can’t wait to see what next week holds…


2nd & 3 – 4 O’Clock Focus

Back to the easy-to-read version for the 4 o’clock slate – with one exception – had to leave in the Hi-jinx section because Ennis’ presence alone means there will be some shenanigans to discuss…


- Nobody expected the Chargers to be 2-5, but nobody expected Kris Brown to make the game-tying kick.  Fabro would probably make a Rihanna joke here, but I won’t.

-Trivia question – who was the Chargers 3rd receiver in today’s game?  Philip Rivers’ answer:  I don’t care I’m going to throw for 300+ yards and a score anyway.  He did so at the expense of Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert (who did get a score).

- Tom Brady’s 159 and 1 was good enough to beat Rivers but those low numbers tell you what kind of day the receiving corps had.

- Choosing to go with 2 guys I had doubts about all week instead of Buster Davis is already making it tough to watch the Bolts (Davis – 4/35 midway through the 1st q).  “Needed those other 2 clowns more in the longterm” is what I keep telling myself.

- San Diego’s 4 turnovers in the 1st quarter is also making it difficult to continue watching…so we’ll return to this game after the half.


- Beanie got more carries than Hightower and had a score.  Expect this trend to continue.

- Mike Williams (still talking about the Detroit draftee) is doing his best to prove last week wasn’t a fluke – a first half score will help – he finished with a second straight strong effort.

- Max Hall (head) replaced by Derek Anderson…(insert something about not owning these two QBs)

- Beanie and Hightower are splitting carries – Hightower’s doing better  but neither has scored.

- Marshawn Lynch isn’t splitting anything with anyone and everyone’s enjoying it.


- Coming to grips with the fact that I’m going to lose in The FAN League thanks to Darren McFadden – his 4th touchdown has helped with the convincing.

- Roommate 1, Special Lady, Ennis and I still can’t come up with the appropriate expletive to describe Denver’s 38-0 2nd quarter deficit, though we all agree it should be four letters.

- Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts are also struggling to find ways to describe the 38-0 first half in Denver.

- Forget in Denver – everyone here is chanting ‘Te-Bow, Te-Bow…’ not because it would be good for fantasy purposes, but because it’s fun.

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- There’s nothing quite like listening to Ennis’ thoughts on Darren McFadden getting the majority of Oakland’s touches.  He’s a Michael Bush owner, so it’s gotten quite colourful.  My pleas for Eddie Royal and Brandon Tate (in my return yards league) to see the ball are instantly more obnoxious.

- Have a feeling that Roommate 1 will regret his “I’m not a popcorn guy” comment – this Compliments butter flavour is pretty, pretty, pretty good.

- If Ennis was angry at Darren McFadden you can imagine his feelings on Marcel Reese’s touchdown:  “I think it was awesome, especially because Michael Bush lined up right next to him.” (note the sarcasm)

Ennis departed with his hands in the air following Michael Bush’s touchdown to make it 59-14.  I’m happy for both of them…honest.  I’ll be the first to admit that his absence affected the rest of the Focus, but I’ll step it up without him for Favre Bowl CXI tonight.


1st & 9 – 1 O’Clock Thoughts

What’s that?  No Game 7 to prep for/worry about/be reduced to a babbling mess during?  No Giants’ torture until Wednesday?  If we’re being honest (we’re in the trust tree, right?) I’d go through it every day.   But, since October baseball needs a few days to reset, it’s sweet to have a Sunday devoted solely to football.


- Ryan Fitzpatrick?!?  Joe Flacco’s 3 scores were still good enough to beat Fitzpatrick’s 4.

- Somebody should tell Jay Cutler that DeAngelo Hall plays for the other team.  Nobody told him (Hall – 4 picks).  Tough to own anyone in that Chicago offence right now.

- Hope you started Kerry Collins over Drew Brees (3 TDs for Collins – 4 picks for Brees).  Still expect to see Vince Young behind centre when he’s healthy.

- How respectable was Matt Moore’s return?  It was 2 touchdowns, 300 yards and 1 INT respectable.

- Carson Palmer needs to play from behind to have a good day.  He played from behind today.

- Andy Reid would like to thank the Tennessee Titans for making his decision to go back to Michael Vick after their bye very simple.

- I must have put the clamps on Josh Freeman – he’s getting out-touchdowned 2-0 by Sam Bradford.

- You didn’t play Todd Bouman, and you probably never will, but I feel obligated to give you his first half line (11 of 18 for 152 and 1…with no picks)  The Jags will take that, since they’re playing with house money in this one.  Their comped cash ran out in the 2nd half – starting with a Derrick Johnson pick-six.

- Good thing Matt Ryan has 2 first-half scores – his Falcons are already blowing out the Bengals.

- Chad Henne’s having a better day than many expected against the Steelers (153/1).  Big Ben’s been better (points for alliteration).

- Drew Brees has probably thrown 3 picks because I took the Saints in Survivor.  Please accept my apologies, and this wonderful fruit basket.

RB (this section will remain Chris-Johnson-free unless he reaches 200 rush yards/3 scores)

- The man sitting to my right (Ben Ennis) is still not a fan of Ryan Torain despite his 100 yard day against the Bears.

- Peyton Hillis just keeps putting together serviceable fantasy days.  He and Willis McGahee (who had a score today) are securely in my bad books – but they do produce.

- Michael Turner must have heard himself sliding down the running back rankings – he’s got 87 and 1 already.  He finished with over 100 yards and 2 scores.

- Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles both have touchdowns.  Jones has 107 yards to Charles’ 9.  I’m texting Todd Haley to get Charles more second half touches.  He got them – (the touches – Haley never got my texts).


- David Gettis doubled his season production today.  Teams should stop making Carolina’s passing game beat them but Moore has made Gettis a viable option in the right matchups.

- Lucky!  Marques Colston really really wanted his first touchdown of the year to come in garbage time in a loss to the Browns.  Fantasy owners will take it.

-  This is not a test – it’s a repeat of the following PSA – Kenny Britt just scores touchdowns.  Well, he gets in bar fights, but other than that he just scores touchdowns.  And I guess 225 yards is pretty good.  He’s the only Titans receiver I’d own.

- Steve Johnson?!?  Lee Evans?!  Fitzpatrick is making them more ownable (still a great made-up word) by the week.

- What an honour for Jordan Shipley to have Gus Johnson call his first career touchdowns.  He’s worth a look in PPR formats. All of Cincy’s receiving corps is better when they’re behind – Ocho and T.O. both had good days too.

- On the radio side of things we suggested that you temper expectations for Roddy White against Cincy’s bracket coverage (we weren’t the only ones).  If you set the bar low then he cleared it in just 3 drives (6/157/1).

- It was 21 games in the making but Danny Amendola has his 2nd career touchdown catch.  He’s still the only Ram receiver you can start each week.

- Not that he was in danger of being shunned, but tossing touchdowns to the most popular kids will definitely help Roethlisberger get back in the cool clique.  Both Wallace and Ward are already on the board.

- Who’s going to step up in DeSean Jackson’s absence.  One candidate is Riley Cooper – he’s got Philly’s TD but Kevin Kolb’s arm has plenty more tosses left.  Most of those tosses went to Jason Avant, Cooper had just 2 fewer targets with 6, so both are serviceable in Jackson’s absence.

- Mike Sims-Walker is a jerk.

- Kenny Britt just scores touchdowns.  Well, he gets in bar fights, but other than that he just scores touchdowns.  He’s the only Titans receiver I’d own.


- Todd Heap doesn’t have a concussion, he has a 2 touchdown(s).

- Michael Hoomanawanui (Michael Alphabet to his teammates) doesn’t have 5 catches this season but he now has a touchdown.  Monitor his use before doing anything crazy.

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- Ben Ennis (@bennis01) is in the house as the honourary flipper (not a dolphin…the flipper for the channels) and I suppose I’ll take into account his fantasy thoughts as well.

- The digital line of scrimmage (Ennis confirmed the spelling of scrimmage) was almost a liar, until the refs threw the flag against Big Ben.

- Indicator #28 in the Fantasy Handbook that you may be taking virtual football too seriously:  You flip to a game when you see that your kicker’s team is in the red zone and root against them on every down.

- Indicator #28a:  You curse a kicker you could have picked up for already having 3 field goals. (Apologies if I offended your family Mr. Dan Carpenter)

- Is the 2nd quarter too early to sound The Survivor Siren?  At least make the appropriate moves to get it warmed up as the Saints have only 3 points against the Browns, and the Ravens trail Buffalo by 4.  Saints lose, Ravens win.

Banged Up

- This section was empty until Alex Smith just got sacked to start his 3rd quarter.  He’s favouring his shoulder, Niner fans will not favour David Carr (who replaced the shoulder-braced Smith).  One Sam Rosen sentence led to the following exchange:

Rosen:  Let’s take a moment to think about Alex Smith.

Cosby:  What were you thinking?

Ennis (thinks):  I was thinking – He sucks.

Cosby:  I thought that too.

Cosby’s Special Lady:  I was thinking it sounded like he was dead.

Smith’s career very well may be dead, Special Lady – Vernon Davis owners hope it doesn’t end this way.  Not like this, never like this.  Miami fans hope the NFL finds a way for replays to become more conclusive, especially the ones that could have shown they definitely recovered that Roethlisberger fumble.  Don’t want to dwell on the past though…time to watch Tom Brady’s hair take on Philip Rivers’ tantrum-face…


The Coin Toss

Fantasy owners are nothing if not observant, so let me begin by explaining the early morning post-time for this Sunday’s blog.  Long story short, my recording of Game 6 of the NLCS showed Brian Wilson striking out Ryan Howard at around 4:30am.  Instead of trying to sleep I’ve decided to put the finishing touches on the ol’ Coin Toss while the jubilation wears off (it won’t) and while deciphering a Giants lineup that sort of, kind of,  maybe has a chance to beat Cliff Lee (I couldn’t).  Also of note, now that I have this NLCS-clinching game on my PVR, can I ever delete it?  That’s a personal debate that matters very little to you, so I’ll quickly move on and attempt to address some Week 7 lineup questions that should have (at least some) significance to you…


Josh Freeman (vs. STL) vs. Sam Bradford (@ TB)

With a Manning on a bye and a Schaub on a bye, the attention of many fantasy owners will shift to this pair of young quarterbacks.  Both will face a secondary that can be described with such adjectives as ‘mediocre’, so let’s keep this simple.  Bradford has struggled on the road while Freeman has looked decent at home against some stout secondaries.  Freeman is the call.


Mike Williams (vs. ARI) vs.  Deion Branch (@ SD)

Deion Branch left Seattle.  The next week, Williams caught 10 balls.  Branch responded by grabbing 9 in his new (old?) home in New England.  Yes, Williams caught 1 more ball than Branch in Week 6 and appears primed for a big Week 7 against the Cardinals’ weak secondary, but he’ll be matched up with a pretty good corner in Rodgers-Cromartie (the Rodgers is to show he’s not the one with all of the kids).  Plus, no offence Matt Hasselbeck, but Branch has this guy named Tom Brady throwing him the ball.  Branch is the call.


Felix Jones (vs. NYG) vs. Thomas Jones (vs. JAX)

Usually keeping up with the Jones’ is easy for Felix, but not in Week 7.  He faces a Giants defence that already controlled a game in Texas this season, and shut down one of fantasy’s better backs in the process.  By complete coincidence, NFL Playbook is currently demonstrating exactly how New York will shut down Felix on Monday night – I’m even more convinced.  Thomas (the better Jones this week) finds paydirt against a Jaguar D that has allowed 7 rushing scores this season.  Thomas is the call.

Accountability Section: Week 6

Tate vs. Amendola – Cosby’s Call: Amendola (flip) It was Amendola – Tate (0/0) Amendola (3/19) – yuck

Hillis vs. Ivory – Cosby’s Call: Ivory (flip) It was Ivory – Hillis (90 total yds) Ivory (175 total yds)

Cassel vs. Henne – Cosby’s Call: Cassel (flip) It was Cassel — Cassel (201/3) Henne (231/2)

With the late post-time I have a feeling the snooze button will get some work until around 12:30 tomorrow.  My first priority at that time will obviously be to continue to bask in the glory of a National League pennant help you with any tough Week 7 lineup calls either on Twitter (@thecozbyshow) or in the comments section…see you then…or at the half.  Football!

MANDATORY PROMOTIONAL NOTE:  “Sunday Driving” can be found here every week of the NFL season as Zach Cosby follows all of the action beginning with ‘The Coin Toss’ before Sunday’s games, continuing all afternoon and finishing deep into the night.  For a full fantasy preview each week, tune to The Fantasy Show on THE FAN590 Saturday morning at 11 or download the podcast (available on iTunes).  Tell your friends.

For instant Sunday Fantasy Updates follow Zach on Twitter:

Sunday Driving: Week 6

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

3rd & Short – Sunday Night Knowledge

DeSean Jackson update:  Reports indicate Jackson suffered a severe concussion and will at least be out until November 7th.  Owners should make the necessary adjustments at receiver.  Hot adds from this week that could help next week include: Jason Avant (@TEN) Deon Butler (@TB) Brandon Gibson (vs. ARI) Buster Davis (vs. NE – if Naanee doesn’t play)


- There are few quarterbacks that can put your 46 point lead in doubt – Peyton Manning is among them.  Manning against the Washington secondary is downright frightening.  His first half put him on pace to eclipse the 46 point mark, but a 13 yard touchdown run by Joseph Addai in the 3rd quarter slowed number 18′s pace.  Manning’s final line was still none too shabby (307/2)

- Joseph Addai took an awkward hit from London Fletcher in the fourth quarter and stayed very still.  Andrea Kramer called it a shoulder injury, also mentioning he was dazed on the way to the locker room. Donald Brown will likely be healthy after the Week 7 bye and obviously any injury that may slow Addai would add to Brown’s Week 8 value.  (Indy hosts Houston on Monday Night, so Addai owners should  handcuff Brown whenever they see fit).

- Against any unit as bad as Washington’s secondary, fantasy owners can expect the Colts big 4 in the receiving corps to be useful.  Garcon (dinged up late), Wayne, Collie and Clark (also dinged up late) all got theirs – in that order.


- Ryan “Chews Up” Torain carried the Washington offence and carried 20+ times for 100+ yards and 2 scores.  He appeared to tire as the game wore on which is natural for a guy eclipsing 15 carries for just the third time ever.  This game proves he can run in Shanahan’s system but temper your expectations against Chicago’s defence next week.

- 200+ yards is a lock for Donovan McNabb if he throws it 40+ times.  He found his usual suspects in Moss and Cooley (who left with a concussion), while Anthony Armstrong also stepped up as the team’s second-leading receiver.  Touchdowns won’t come as easily as the yards for anyone in this passing game.

Fitting that this one ended on a great catch – Aaron Francisco picking off Donovan McNabb – because Pierre Garcon did this earlier in the game.  You gotta love sports.


2nd & 3 – 4 O’clock Focus

A little overwhelmed after the first slate of games?  A less intimidating format for the late starts should help get you through these notes (with much less reading…promise)


- Denver’s running backs should be embarrassed that Josh McDaniels felt it was necessary to go to Tim Tebow near the goal line.  Tebow still isn’t fantasy relevant in his own right, he’ll just steal (not very Tebowesque) some red zone looks that belonged to relevant Broncos.

- Linebackers shouldn’t cover Dustin Keller.

- Santonio Holmes is now involved enough to have WR2 upside – as long as he stops coughing up the football.

- Watch L-T’s 4th quarter touchdowns and answer these two questions:  1)  Can the Jets’ O-line block or what?  2)  Doesn’t it remind you of the old LT, just a little? (or maybe I was just thrown off by the vintage Tomlinson touchdown celebration)

OAK @ SF (a.k.a. your run-of-the-mill box score only game)

- Mike Singletary should tell the ‘Niner faithful that no matter how bad Alex Smith seems, David Carr won’t be much better.  It would be like switching from a Mercury Topaz to a Dodge Shadow.  Neither offers the smoothest driving experience – especially if the people steering the car should be contestants on America’s Worst Driver.

- Frank Gore’s 64 yard gain showed why he’ll continue to fall down the running back ranks in the coming years – the afterburners simply aren’t what they once were.

- Sea-Bass Janikowski is the most valuable Raider again today, but even he’s a risky play with Jason Campbell under centre.  Gradkowski (shoulder) didn’t dress but you’d hope he’ll play and bring value back to some Raiders in Denver next weekend.


- Roy Williams might be the only receiever who can catch 2 touchdowns and still not receive the confidence of fantasy owners.  Hate to say it but he may be more than just a bye-week plug-in.

- Any thoughts that Roy’s consecutive good days would ruin Dez Bryant’s value were partially put to bed as Bryant snatched his first career touchdown off the fingertips of a defender.   Still, you want to see Bryant healthy, and receiving a healthy dose of targets, before counting on him week-in and week-out.

- Nice of Tony Romo to pay homage to Brett Favre (while losing to him) by throwing a final drive INT.  He’s throwing a lot of those these days.

A closing shout out – thin air or not – to Matt Prater (59 yard field goal – ‘with room to spare’ – have to credit  Dan Dierdorf) and Nick Folk (56 yard field goal – Jets’ franchise record).  An early finish means there’s plenty of time to prep for Game 2 of the NLCS…and the Sunday Nighter of course.  Fear the beard!


1st & 9 – 1 O’clock Thoughts

Apologies if you’ve been checking in often…some thoughts from the second half are mixed in with the first half bullets.  So much going on I didn’t even have time to sound the Survivor Siren (it needed it – and if you had one of the teams involved in an upset scare I’m sure you knew it already).  If you own any Chiefs or Texans or Big Bens…read on with interest.


-  I didn’t want to start this section with a Big Ben joke, so I won’t.  Big Ben probably didn’t want to start his season with an INT, but he did.  Colt McCoy’s season started with promise – a nice completion to the tight end for a first down, by the time I returned to see the outcome of that drive they were showing a replay of his first career pick.  Update Roethlisberger – touchdown to…Mike Wallace.  After the break…Roethlisberger with 3 touchdowns.  A great trading piece/guy for the long haul if he was stashed on the bench.

- Matt Cassel’s 3 TDs is plenty of proof that the Texans’ secondary is not good.  Emphasis on NOT.

- No need to grab a net for Philip Rivers, his one week fall to mediocrity had a soft landing.

- I know Arian Foster is a necessary evil in order for Matt Schaub to succeed, but does he have to be 2 touchdowns evil?

- First half business as usual for Brees (2), Rodgers (1) and Schaub (1) (fewer yards for Schaub).  Flacco’s making an early case to join them.

RB (this section will remain Chris-Johnson-free unless he reaches 200 rush yards/3 scores)

- Kansas City imposed it’s physical will to the tune of Jamaal Charles (93 yds) and Thomas Jones (100/1).  Not to be outdone, Arian Foster punched back with two majors.

- I don’t care how many platinum albums you sell Chris Ivory – I’m just as impressed with 15 carries and 158 yards – you didn’t have to throw in the fumble though.  Why?  Because that leads to Ladell Betts getting the touchdown.  Monitor the goal-line situation when Pierre Thomas returns.

- “Beast Mode” is turned on for the first time in a Seahawks uniform.  What’s the beast now, it’s not a seagull, whichever animal it’s one that found the endzone in Lynch’s debut.

- BenJarvus Green-Ellis (tied for the league-lead in capitalized letters) was an unlikely candidate to take the early lead in rushing touchdowns in Week 6.  He just busted one in against the Ravens.

- More than a few thought Brandon Jacobs would find paydirt, it only took him 13 minutes.  Don’t worry, Ahmad Bradshaw got his 133 yards on the ground.

- Also filed under ‘Expected’, Marshawn Lynch leads the Seahawks in carries.  Justin Forsett’s 1 carry for a touchdown doesn’t belong in that file.

- Peyton Hillis made himself useful thanks to 6 catches against Pitt.  Mike Bell wasn’t a factor.

- As assumed after last week Ryan Mathews is back in the featured role in a big way.  Mike Tolbert is back to vulturing touchdowns.


- Megatron should never appear on the injury report because only humans should be listed.  Apparently his shoulder is as healthy as an 87 yard touchdown catch.

- Andre Johnson’s fine.

- Jeremy Maclin is good and stuff.  The play call helped him get separation but he looked fast on his 2nd TD catch of the day.  His value obviously increases if Jackson misses time (see Banged Up).

- Vintage Brandon Marshall (10/127) and Greg Jennings (6/133/1) in a Dolphins OT victory

- You may have lost a bet you didn’t remember you made today.  Mike Williams (the former Lions draft pick) actually caught 10 balls for over 100 yards in a game.  I don’t care if you never thought it would happen, pay up.  The Seahawks receiving situation remains cloudy but I like Deon Butler best (see below)

- Before the Pats’ first drive of the 4th Q, Jim Nantz announces (in Nantz Shocked Voice) “The Patriots receivers…have only combined…for 4 catches” (fantasy note: that’s not good for any member of their offence so don’t expect anything spectacular)

- The Bowe Show is on in Houston.  Plenty of YAC on his 2nd TD catch of the day.

- It’s a wonder they don’t try and get DeSean Jackson the ball on every play.  Already a rushing TD and receiving TD for the Eagles most dangerous weapon (with Michael Vick out).  Maclin’s having a day already too, unfortunately more on Jackson in Banged Up.

- Cosby pats himself on back for adding Deon Butler.  Cosby then reconvinces himself that there was enough uncertainty that he didn’t want to start Butler.  This performance eases some of the uncertainty.

- The Curious Case of Nate Burleson continues.  Already a TD catch against the Giants secondary.  I just added him in a league where I’m desperate at receiver, with his inconsistency and a switch at quarterback imminent, he’s still a matchup start only

- Maybe this is the week for Marques Colston?  Moore and Meachem have already found the endzone. Nope, Heath Evans grabbed the 3rd TD pass from Brees.

- Nobody’s ever heard of you Danario Alexander, but that was a nice diving catch for your first career TD.  Out-catching Danny Amendola is impressive, too. (Amendola did have as many looks from Bradford though)

- Deion Branch didn’t have a catch but was targeted 3 times in the first 25 minutes.  He’d later grab a score and finish with an impressive debut line.

- When you’re up against Hakeem Nicks you’ll take a Mario Manningham touchdown.  But when you could have taken a flyer on Manningham and didn’t, it kind of makes you feel like this.  Buster Davis (my starter in Manningham’s spot) caught a TD to quell the fumes.


- Young QB = ownable tight end.  Ben Watson (6/88/1)

- Owen Daniels 5th catch followed by a battle for the first down showed me that he’s back to normal – let’s get him involved like the past Mr. Kubiak.

- Crabtree and Quarless each have a long catch in Finley’s absence.

- How about Tony Gonzalez not having a first half catch?  Wait…there’s one…and it’s worth 6 points.  Ship it!  He’d grab another.  Double ship!

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- Roommate 2 confirms his status as Roommate 2 because a) Roommate 1 is on the adjacent couch and 2) Roommate 2 just texted me about clothes.  It’s Sunday…C’MON MAAAN!

- Nothing’s worse than seeing Mike Vrabel (expletive) score, especially if you own a Chief.  Even Gus Johnson wasn’t excited.

- Should Ryan Howard be at the Eagles game 6 hours before first pitch of Game 2 of the NLCS?

Banged Up

- Not to make lite of any injury but fortunate for fantasy owners that they got 2 scores from DeSean Jackson before he was levelled by Dunta Robinson.  Jason Avant is a serviceable replacement whether you own Jackson or not.

- Again not making lite but it appears to be “Hit a Defenceless Receiver Week” in the NFL.  Helmet-to-helmet contact from Brandon Merriweather on Todd Heap.  The trainer was testing his vision on the sideline.  He would return.

- James Harrison obviously a fan of “Helmet-to-Helmet Week” sending Joshua Cribbs out for the game and Mohammed Massaquoi in for treatment.

- Shaun Hill gives way to an arm injury and Drew Stanton.  Things could have gotten ugly at the Meadowlands.

- Horrible day for San Diego in St. Louis.  They lose Gates (ankle) and Floyd (hamstring) to injuries of unknown severity.

Free football everywhere!  Enjoy the end of Pats/Ravens – it’s living up to the hype…the 4 o’clock blog will no doubt live up to it (as I’m the only one hyping it…)


The Coin Toss

Even with a head cold it’s easy to find comfort in the opening of Countdown.  It’s almost as soothing and equally as satisfying as listening to Casey Kasem while enjoying the warm cool breezes of Anytown, USA.  Here’s hoping it helps clear my head for some tough Week 6 picks…


Brandon Tate (vs. BAL) vs.  Danny Amendola (vs. SD)

Both these dudes were definite adds after their teams lost their #1 receivers (Moss – ugly situation, Clayton – ugly injury).  Now, do you play them?  Can you rely on them?  The truth is it’s like Week 1 all over again, we just don’t know how they will be used.  Let’s stick to what we do know.  Amendola was at least the second-most targeted receiver in each of the first 5 weeks.  Tate obviously wasn’t looked to often as the #3, but even Moss, whose role he’s expected to assume while Branch gets acclimated, lost the target race to Wes Welker all but one week.  Based on opportunity, and proof that he can click with his quarterback, Amendola’s the call.


Peyton Hillis (@ PIT ) vs. Christopher Ivory (@ TB)

This call comes down to one thing (well, two things) only, and it’s the guys handing the aforementioned guys the ball.  Hillis is going to get it from Colt McCoy and take it into the teeth of a Steelers’ D that is ready for the run.  Ivory will be taking the ball from Drew Brees and finding holes in the Bucs defence thanks to the Saints success in the passing game.  Ivory’s the call.


Matt Cassel (@ HOU) vs. Chad Henne (@ GB)

Don’t see Henne putting up the pigskin as much as Cassel will have to as the Brown and Williams tandem will take advantage of a Packers front seven that’s riddled with injuries.  I’d rather my QB was dealing with Houston’s secondary than Green Bay’s, so high-school-to-the-pros Cassel is the call.

I like ending on a somewhat positive note – I’m looking at you Megatron owners – so here it is – Calvin Johnson will play against the Giants.  Use him as usual, though I don’t see anything more than WR2 numbers.  Good luck in Week 6…don’t forget to follow thecozbyshow on Twitter for fantasy updates and check back here all day for all of the Sunday goings-on.
Accountability Section: Week 5

F. Jackson vs. D. Williams – Cosby’s Call: Jackson (flip) It was Jackson – Jackson (73 yds) DeA W (59 yds)

Moss vs. Royal – Cosby’s Call: Royal (flip) It was Moss – Moss (4/81/1) Royal (4/31)

Hill vs. Favre – Cosby’s Call: Hill (flip) Coin lands on side — Hill (227/3), Favre (264/3/1 INT)

MANDATORY PROMOTIONAL NOTE:  “Sunday Driving” can be found here every week of the NFL season as Zach Cosby follows all of the action beginning with ‘The Coin Toss’ before Sunday’s games, continuing all afternoon and finishing deep into the night.  For a full fantasy preview each week, tune to The Fantasy Show on THE FAN590 Saturday morning at 11 or download the podcast (available on iTunes).  Tell your friends.

For instant Sunday Fantasy Updates follow Zach on Twitter:

Sunday Driving: Week 5

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

3rd & Short – Sunday Night Knowledge – Turkey Edition

The Good

-  LeSean McCoy being a legit running back.  Guy’s actually not relying on just his catches to fulfill his value.  McCoy’s ground line looked like this (18/92/1)…he had his normal receiving day too…that’s nice.

- Alex Smith + Michael Crabtree = 6 catches on 7 targets = 84 yards and a score as they head into the 4th Q.

- Kevin Kolb’s scramble on 3rd & 18.  Unfortunately no matter how many first downs he picks up with his legs, this blogger feels Philly’s just waiting for Vick to get healthy.

- Andy Reid’s moustache.

- Brent Celek catching a TD…and leading the team in looks under Kolb.

The Bad

- DeSean Jackson tweaking something.  Probably had something to do with his abysmal night.

- David Akers’ 55 yard field goal attempt.

- Crabtree leading the team in targets…well it’s bad for Vernon Davis owners, but not terrible, he still got 1/5th of Smith’s attention through 3 quarters.  Ohp (weird sound) and look who’s getting the ball on the crucial drives.  Vernon Davis.  That TD should calm his owners for the moment.

The Ugly

- Alex Smith’s fumble (his fault)…and the game-ending pick (not as much his fault).  Neither highlight was ready, but you don’t want to see them anyway.

- Frank Gore’s fumbles.

- Any decision by Andy Reid involving clock management.

- Smith having to endure chants of “We want Carr”.  As Metallica (and I guess many others) said, careful what you wish ‘Niner fans…and thank you for the chuckle.  Further to this, why were ‘Niner fans ‘getting loud’ while Smith tried to engineer a game-tying drive?

In closing I’d like to extend this Thanksgiving greeting…Happy Thanksgiving all


2nd & 3 – 4 O’clock Focus


- Drew Brees!  3 picks!  Exclamation point!  2 TDs and 294 yards means he was still helpful in leagues that don’t penalize the INT.  Tony Romo had a nearly identical day, except he went over 400 yards (that’s a lot).

- Philip Rivers was of great help and he didn’t throw the picks (400+ yards, 2 TDs)

- I’m never going to know what to say about Vince Young.  He’s a guy who gets the job done but for fantasy players that doesn’t help much.  (173/2 in Dallas)

- Feel free to write about Jason Campbell in comments, it will be the only way he’s addressed because I don’t want to talk about him.  For anything Max Hall-related read on…

RB (this section will remain Chris-Johnson-free unless he reaches 200 rush yards/3 scores)

- Didn’t I tell you that Max Hall would have a negative affect on the running game.  Beanie Wells somehow made 35 yards out of 20 carries.

- Michael Bush is becoming the latest back to prove that almost anyone can be useful if they just get a full workload.  He’ll easily surpass 100 YFS (don’t use that acronym enough).  He even had a crucial touchdown.

- Felix Jones joined Bush in their quest to make sure backs get a featured role.  His 15 carries resulted in 109 yards.

- Mike Tolbert’s fumble and general ineffectiveness probably handed the lead-back reins back to Ryan Mathews.  Tolbert saved his day with a TD (he’ll probably always get the goal-line looks).


- There’s the Malcolm Floyd you drafted (8/213/1).  The Miles Austin you thought you were getting showed up today, too.  (9/166/1)

- You’re playing with house money if you’re starting Roy Williams.  Good on you if you got his 5+ catches and touchdown this afternoon.

- Kenny Britt won’t stop scoring touchdowns.  That’s 3 straight weeks for the Rutgers product.

- This isn’t the last time that Max Hall will be mentioned (and I’ll still refuse to make obvious Mad Max references), but he managed to allow Larry Fitzgerald to maintain fantasy respectability (7 catches, 98 yards).


- Stop the presses!  Antonio Gates caught a touchdown!  Wait…he’s scored in 9 straight games.

- Zach Miller doesn’t care who’s at quarterback – he’ll still be a weekly PPR start…consider his touchdowns a bonus.

- The day of inaugural end zone visits continues with Jason Witten joining in on the fun.  His was quickly answered by some guy named Chris Johnson.
Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

-  The definition of parity:  3 late games and all 3 had the Survivor Siren waaailing!  Many were shocked to see Tom Cable give victory man-hugs!! Even more probably weren’t happy to see Max Hall getting congratulatory back pats following a Cards win over the Saints!!!  A few were unhappy (almost impossible) to see a Wade Phillips disappointed-face!

-  Why do broadcasts always cut away right when a head coach is about to do something ridiculous.  After his kicker sent the kickoff out of bounds Jeff Fisher threw off his headset and started hopping.  I guess it was important we see a graphic about Donovan McNabb.  The broadcast quickly redeemed itself by replaying a shot of the special teams coach looking even sillier.

Banged Up

- Max Hall and Bruce Gradkowski came into Week 5 play with tough matchups, both had to leave after taking a big hit.  Hall was able to return while Gradkowski tested out his injury but couldn’t continue.

- For a moment Roy Williams’ eyes lit up again as Dez Bryant appeared to injure the same ankle that troubled him in the preseason.  Bryant would return but didn’t have the same day as Williams (documented above).

I would’ve bet you before these games that Game 3 of the NLDS would still be on once they’d all wrapped up.  I’m going to go admire Brian Wilson’s beard.  Talk at you following the Kevin Kolb Experience (shudders)…


1st & 9 – 1 O’clock Thoughts


- Buffalo’s defence is officially ‘officially awful’.  David Garrard never throws for 3 TDs on the road.

- Eli Manning and Hakeem Nicks need to knock it off.

- Dear Matt Schaub, I know you’re excited to have Andre Johnson back, but don’t force the ball to him.  That leads to interceptions and you having -2 points after the 1st quarter.  That didn’t lead to a good day.

- A glimmer of hope for Carson Palmer owners.  His tight spiral that he let Terrell Owens run under for their first quarter touchdown looked like the Carson of old.  Carson quickly quells the excitement with a Pick-6.  Now he’s getting showered with boos at Paul Brown.  (Join in fantasy owners…don’t be shy – he finished with multiple picks…again)

- Shaun Hill and Ryan Fitzpatrick are living up to their bye week plug-in hype (some guys will take any kind of hype).  Sam Bradford (another bye week suggestion) hasn’t found the endzone.

- Jake Delhomme took over for an injured Seneca Wallace.  The only pass I saw him throw was an INT.  He still makes Mohammed Massaquoi an interesting WR3 play.

RB (this section will remain Chris-Johnson-free unless he reaches 200 rush yards/3 scores)

- Shades of ’09 Cedric Benson as he’s trying to close out a Bengal victory.  They didn’t let him fully complete the job and Carson blew it.

- Looks like Willis McGahee has conceded goal line duties for now – LeRon McClain got a try from fullback before Rice took in his 2nd of the day.

- Don’t be fooled by Brandon Jackson’s 100 yard day.  One of his few carries went for a long-gainer.

- Ray Rice Touchdown!  From the 1!  Welcome to the 2010 party Ray.

- Fred Jackson is out-carrying C.J. Spiller – and enjoying his matchup with the Jags.  No scores though.

- Interesting thought sequence by me “Wouldn’t mind avoiding a Peyton 2-minute drill to end th…” (Jamaal Charles gets crushed by Antoine Bethea and the ball comes out…Colts ball) “(Expletive)”…Besides the fumble (not his fault) Charles has racked up 61 yards.  Charles finished with 87 yards and 3 catches.

- The world is back to normal.  Michael Turner approaching 100 yards while Peyton Hillis approaches 10 yards.  Hillis does have a receiving touchdown.  Ste-Jack broke 100 in Detroit while the rest of his team was awful (save Danny Amendola)

- The Panthers should be ashamed.  Matt Forte’s already reached the century mark and has 2 rushing touchdowns.


- Brandon Lloyd isn’t 2 touchdowns-a-week good but feel free to count on him until further notice.

- Hats off to Mike Williams for a great day against a tough pass D in Cincy (7/99/1)

- Nobody expected Santana Moss to lead all receivers in the GB/WSH (is that the short form for Washington?) game.

- Steve Johnson takes best sleeper play of the week honours.  Nobody will beat themselves up as much as I will for not grabbing him for this week.  His chemistry with Fitzpatrick makes him an interesting week-in and week-out WR3.

- Thought I’d be the last one to say this but it might be time to start worrying about Ochocinco.

- Nate Burleson has chosen Week 5 as one of his ‘I’m healthy and I’ll produce” weeks.  Nate, when you haven’t scored a TD all year don’t celebrate early.

- Hakeem Nicks and Eli Manning need to knock it off.

- Terrell Owens has the Cincy touchdown.  Batman (or Robin, can’t decide who’s who now, whichever one Ocho is) hasn’t really arrived on the scene.

- Am I invited to the 2010 Welcome Party for Lee Evans tonight at the Buffalo Hilton?  I’ll glady celebrate his touchdown even though I don’t own him.  I could go for some wings, too.

- As expected, only 5 receivers combined have caught the ball in CHI/CAR.

- The spectacular catches (this one of the TD variety) continue to come for Brandon Lloyd.


- Good call on the Saturday radio show guys (The Fantasy Show on THE FAN590) – Brandon Pettigrew grabbed a TD.

- Marcedes Lewis makes this section ’cause he has a touchdown.  Goes to show what the rest of the tight end world did during the first slate of games.

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- The Giants defence cemented themselves as a weekly play for me.  Fingers crossed that benching them against Houston doesn’t cost me the week.

- The dreaded Survivor Siren is blaring again.  The Bengals trail at home to the Bucs.  They lost.  On top of that, the Vinatieris only lead the Succops by 3 (Vinatieri won) and the Cheeseheads have their lead melting in Washington.  It actually melted completely and Graham Gano polished them off in OT!

- Didn’t see St. Louis laying such an egg in Detroit.

- Pretty good indicator of my receiving situation – I’m upset Steve Johnson caught a touchdown instead of Roscoe Parrish.

- Oh how fantasy has changed the way we watch sports…why else would you yell “Stay out of the endzone” while your team is on offence.

- A Week 5 Special from the cable service provider – FROZEN SUNDAY TICKET CHANNELS – woooo!  Awwww, why did they unfreeze them after 5 minutes

Banged Up (back where injuries hopefully stay – as a minor afterthought)

- Monthly reminder that Calvin Johnson is actually human.  He had to have his shoulder wrapped on the sideline.

- Maurice Jones-Drew sprained his wrist.  Rashad Jennings didn’t play this week with a shoulder injury but he’s the handcuff.  Jones-Drew did return.

- Part of the reason for the St. Louis egg mentioned above could be Mark Clayton being out for the game.  Laurent Robinson becomes fantasy relevant right?  Maybe not, Danny Amendola reached double digits in receptions.

- Proof that fumbles always hurt teams:  Jermichael Finley carted off after tackling a ‘Skins defender.  Donald Lee would have been the add but he left with a shoulder injury.

- Incredible that Demaryius Thomas walked off on his own.  Search ‘hit on Demaryius Thomas’ later today and you’ll see what I mean.  Broadcast saying it’s a head/neck injury and he won’t return.

Let’s hope the Giants fair better than the other orange and black team on which I focus my rooting interest (not saying their name because I’m that embarrassed).  See you after this 4-pack of games…or on Twitter @thecozbyshow


The Coin Toss

What an exchange to start this Sunday morning:

Roommate 1:  “It’s 10/10/10 today, Cos.”

Cosby:  “Is that a big deal?” (rewinds Countdown to see if they said anything about AJ’s ankle)

Roommate 1:  “It’s 10/10/10.”

Cosby:  “That doesn’t answer the question.”

Roommate 1:  “I guess it’s not a big deal, but we’ll only live to see two more of these.”

Cosby:  “Are you kidding?  I plan on living past 2100.”  (Roommate 1 thinks for a split second then agrees.)

By the time I transcribe this exchange, the world is informed that Andre Johnson will play.  Everyone agrees that he’s a must start.  Here’s hoping everyone will also agree that following me on Twitter ( is a worthwhile Sunday experience, as it gives me a way to provide instant fantasy updates before I publish the full blog.

Speaking of the blog…


Fred Jackson (vs. JAX) vs.  DeAngelo Williams (vs. CHI)

With “Beast Mode” and his circus act being shipped on a train to Seattle, “Derf” (can’t take credit for it but it’s a terrific handle for anyone named Fred) Jackson is the new man in town (again).  While we don’t know if he’ll be featured in Buffalo’s rushing attack, he should still get a minimum of 15 touches against the porous Jags D.  The Bears’ defence has been anything but porous, and with Steve Smith out of Jimmy Claussen’s arsenal, they’ll be able to stack the box against DeAngelo.  He’ll have a tough day even if he gets 20 touches.  Marshawn, who?  That’s what Bills fans will be asking after their Bills run wild on the Jaguars.  Jackson’s the call.


Randy Moss (@ NYJ) vs.  Eddie Royal (@ BAL)

Two tough road matchups here, but the Jets have already had to prove themselves against the pass (holding Tom Brady to a 72.5 passer rating), while the Ravens haven’t.  Denver will definitely test them, maybe even to the tune of 50 pass attempts – many of which will target Fast Eddie underneath.  Couple the latter with Moss possibly having to visit Revis Island again, and Royal’s the call.


Shaun Hill (vs. STL) vs. Brett Favre (@ NYJ)

St. Louis has translated matchups with Anderson, GradCampbell, McNabb and Hasselbeck into a #21 ranking on the pass defence chart.  Hill is coming off an impressive outing against a tough Green Bay D and has a weapon that the quarterbacks above can only dream of having (MegaTron).   Favre just got a comparable weapon in Moss, but he won’t have a chance to put him on display (not even over text) against Rex Ryan’s boys.  Hill’s the call.

Accountability Section: Week 4

Rice & S. Jackson vs. RB2 – (flip) Rice was a loser, Jackson got by, McGahee & Tolbert were my only recommended bench calls that proved me wrong

Andre Johnson vs. WR2 – Coin never flipped as Johnson did not play – hope you replaced him with Bess

Gradkowski vs. Hasselbeck – Cosby’s Call: ‘beck (flip) It was Gradz — Gradz (278/2), ‘beck (190/0)

MANDATORY PROMOTIONAL NOTE:  “Sunday Driving” can be found here every week of the NFL season as Zach Cosby follows all of the action beginning with ‘The Coin Toss’ before Sunday’s games, continuing all afternoon and finishing deep into the night.  For a full fantasy preview each week, tune to The Fantasy Show on THE FAN590 Saturday morning at 11 or download the podcast (available on iTunes).  Tell your friends.

Follow Zach on Twitter:

Sunday Driving: Week 4

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

3rd & Short – Aftermath Monday Edition

Banged Up (not kidding about starting with this - here’s an update on the pertinent Week 4 injuries)

- It’s no wonder Jay Cutler left the Sunday Nighter with a concussion - check the tape (there’s even a Tom Coughlin concentration face in there). The Giants sacked Cutler a merciless 9 times before he was forced to leave, and the way his head snapped off the turf we have to assume that at least his Week 5 status is in question.  However, Monday Night Countdown is reporting that Cutler attended team meetings and they are moving forward as though Cutler will play this week in Carolina.  Still, I’d want to have a backup plan if I owned Cutler and thankfully the Bears play in the earliest set of games so you’ll have plenty of options to pluck off the wire.  In order, I’d consider Sam Bradford (@ DET), Shaun Hill (vs. STL) or even Bruce Gradkowski (vs. SD).

- Just hearing Andy Reid say the words ‘rib cartilage’ made me cringe.  Owners of Michael Vick, who suffered this rib cartilage injury, aren’t cringing any less on Monday.  The Eagles are listing Vick as day-to-day, week-to-week, which isn’t very helpful in our universe.  If you can I’d have the same backups listed above at your disposal, but if Kevin Kolb hasn’t been snapped up already he’s your add this week if Vick is a game-time decision.  It’s an unfortunate circumstance because Kolb has looked all kinds of awful, but since the Eagles play in San Francisco on Sunday night, you’d only be left with Alex Smith (ok at home I guess), Brett Favre (facing the Jets and likely rostered) and Mark Sanchez (only available in 1/3 of leagues) as your other options.  The Vick situation is definitely one that will be heavily monitored in the press this week.

- Another Sunday night lineup call may be much easier, as Mort just let the Monday audience know that Steve Smith – the Carolina one – is “unlikely” to take his high ankle sprain into action against the Bears.

- Since the Bears/Giants showed us very little fantasy-wise (aside from the fact that no Bears have fantasy value if their offensive line struggles like it did, and the Giants D is a terrific play at home) I’ll conclude with one final injury update.  Clinton Portis told the press he “heard (his groin) pop” during Sunday’s game.  Coach Shanahan told reporters in the afternoon that MRI results wouldn’t be ready for a couple of hours.  We’re still waiting but if Portis were to be out this week then Ryan Torain would be set to roll as the ‘Skins number 1, too bad it’s against Green Bay.

That’s it for a quick Monday Night look.  Enjoy Pats/Dolphins (see if Tom Brady throws up on himself with plays like that INT from his back on one of his previous visits to  Miami) and let’s hope next week’s blog isn’t littered with injuries.

2nd & 4 – 4 O’clock Focus

Banged Up (jeez, another block starting with injuries…C’MON MAN!)

- The Redskins made a Vick sandwich early in Donovan’s Return (not very original, I know, but that’s my working title for this big divisional battle).  A screen with a tiny little shot of Pam Oliver’s face just told me that Vick’s return is questionable (chest/ribs).  I wonder if mini-Pam will be able to tell us if Vick will get the keys back as soon as he’s healthy?  Only Andy Reid knows.  The answer from the fantasy community may be divided because many owners probably just scrambled to get Kevin Kolb hoping he’ll finally fulfill his preseason hype (I’m not among them), and many of the owners who picked up Vick want to continue to feel like they won the lottery (I’m not among those owners, either).  Plenty on this to come…

- Just as we got done thanking/cursing Gary Kubiak…he deserves more cursing.  Why didn’t he tell anyone that he decided that Arian Foster would dress but wouldn’t start thanks to a coach’s decision.  Kubiak is the coach isn’t he?  So it was his decision…Gare, you gotta let us know your decisions so we know how long he’ll sit and know we can have him in our lineups without freaking out (more below).

- Clinton Portis (groin) is laying on his back on the Washington sideline.  Ryan Torain’s life just keeps improving, as does the life of anyone who took the early heads up on the former Bronco back.


- Philip Rivers – 2 touchdowns on 17 attempts – thanks Antonio Gates.

- Michael Vick/Kevin Kolb (see above/below)

- Instead of the Matt Leinart Era, the Max Hall Experiment has begun in Arizona.  Tell us how it looks Derek Anderson, because I’m not watching.  Beanie Wells’ value takes a hit unless Mad Max excels.  As for Larry Fitzgerald, I’ll think about it.

- The enigma that is David Garrard’s Home/Road splits lives on for one more week.

RB (this section will remain Chris-Johnson-free unless he reaches 200 rush yards/3 scores)

- Derrick Ward benefitted from Foster’s benching, but I doubt there’s a fantasy owner who’s sharing his excitement.  Don’t rush to add Ward as Foster played in the second half (more in the next bullet point). What we can conclude is that Ward is indeed the appropriate handcuff for Foster.

- <<TOUCHDOWN>> Arian Foster rushed to the right for 74 yard touchdown.  The moment that note scrolled across the screen all of the Derrick Ward craziness was put to bed.

- <<TOUCHDOWN>> Ryan Torain rushed to the left for 12 yard touchdown.  The moment that scrolled across the screen every Clinton Portis owner gulped.  Before I could get these words out, Torain put Asante Samuel to sleep with a video game juke.  Portis’ groin injury makes this backfield VERY interesting.

- Speaking of backups who are threatening to take over in the short-term, Ryan Mathews has only 3 carries while Mike Tolbert’s taken the ball 16 times and turned it into 100 yards and a major.  Mathews owners (and I) can only assume this is injury-related and treat it as though Mathews isn’t 100 percent.  Until he’s declared fully fit, Tolbert appears to be the man (truck) in this backfield, with Mathews receiving the opportunities again once he’s healthy.

- Call in the authorities – Michael Bush has vultured his first touchdown from Darren McFadden – this is bound to happen again.  D-Mac is still getting his – both on the ground and through the air.

- Joseph Addai has a couple of touchdowns – probably why Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie have both been held off the scoresheet.

- Finally a good day on the ground from MJD.  He’s another back (see Ray Rice) who isn’t catching the ball enough.  Get your most dynamic players the ball in space!!!  Four minutes after that final exclamation point was typed, Jones-Drew caught a touchdown pass on a well-designed play.


- Here you go, Mr. Wayne, here’s a map – the endzone is marked here.  Try and find it after your 15th catch, you didn’t quite make it on your first 14 for over 150 yards.  You didn’t find it.  (15/193/0)

- Please don’t ask what you should do with Larry Fitzgerald.  7 for 56 is still OK but I really don’t know what to make of his situation.


- Antonio Gates and Dustin Keller should have one of these Gatorade commercials.  Gates would be the one trying to pull off the “Ha…let’s go” as smoothly as his Airness.  Keller would provide the “I ain’t stopping.”

- It’s almost creepy how quietly consistent Dallas Clark has been both in targets and in production.

- Joel Dreessen (I’d like to buy an E, Pat…(spins)…I’ll have an S…I’ll solve Pat), not Owen Daniels, Joel Dreessen is the Houston tight end to own this week (4/64/1 in the 1st half).  I’m not going out on a limb when I say this simply has to do with Daniels’ hamstring that nagged him heading into Week 4.

- All of the Fabro love isn’t going to Zach Miller’s head.  (9/107/1 before the 10 minute mark of the 4th)  Miller’s not the only one in Oakland who likes Bruce Gradkowski (Tom Cable does, too).

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- Not to joke about injuries, but maybe Vick was injured on the loving embrace he and Donovan shared after he snuck up on McNabb during the pregame.  FOX showed it in slo-mo, I just might go back and take a look.

- Do they offer clock management classes for head coaches in their 12th year?  Please direct Andy Reid to the registration table.

- The Survivor Siren wails again.  Jacksonville leading Indy by 7 after 3.  They lead by 7 with 0:52 seconds to play.  Wait, they’re now tied because Austin Collie caught his weekly touchdown.

- Upon further review, there’s no evidence to prove Donovan did anything to hurt Vick during their pre-game hug.  There’s also no evidence that you actually want to own Kevin Kolb (he’s not pretty to watch).  Maybe you can add Kolb if you own Vick, maybe, and you’re allowed to own him if you drafted him and kept him in case Vick got hurt.  I can’t imagine Vick not being the starter if he’s healthy, his play was electric prior to the injury.  Andy Reid just challenged this comment, like 99.9% of his other challenges, the call will not be changed because it was so obviously correct.

- Survivor Siren follow-up:  59 yards is a long way, Josh Scobee made it look short.  The Jags needed that, fantasy owners weren’t affected as much.

With all of the injury business it didn’t really seem like there were two fewer games.  Hopefully the byes didn’t bite you too badly, start prepping for next week.  “Sunday Night Knowledge” is postponed unless a significant fantasy event takes place – then it will be addressed on Monday.  For now, I’ve got a birthday (not mine, someone who’s asked her name not be disclosed) and an NL West pennant to celebrate!


1st & 8 – 1 O’clock Thoughts

Banged Up (don’t want to turn this into an injury blog – top bullet kind of important though)

Andre Johnson was among the Texans inactives.  Thank Gary Kubiak for allowing you to insert plan B.  If you didn’t have a plan B – curse Gary Kubiak.

- Steve Smith – the old Real Steve Smith – the one who now has Claussen as his quarterback – appears to have picked up an ankle injury – X-Rays were necessary


- Sanchez is serviceable again – and found someone other than Dustin Keller (Braylon actually caught one).

- Haven’t seen how he’s looked but Carson Palmer is over 300 yards with multiple scores.  Amazing what a trip to Cleveland (where you end up playing from 13 down) can do.

- It’s the middle of the 4th quarter and I’m actually flipping to the Lions/Packers game.  Why?  Shaun Hill has hung right with Aaron Rodgers, and actually has 3 touchdowns if you count the one he threw to Charles Woodson.  Calvin Johnson has the other 2 and he is great.  Rodgers will have to run out the clock himself because the Pack really doesn’t have a running game (seriously, they’ve rushed the ball 11 times – maybe why they trail the time of possession battle by 3 to 1 ratio).

- The man-who-should-never-shave (too many hypens?) Kyle Orton is on pace to throw the ball a million times this year…his owners should appreciate it.

- More cudos to Sam Bradford – the future looks bright for the Rams.

- Joe Flacco looked very bad and then very good in pulling out the win for the Ravens with 250+ yards and a TD.

RB (this section will remain Chris-Johnson-free unless he reaches 200 rush yards/3 scores)

- Victory!…L.T.  He easily cleared 100 yards and outscored the Bills 14-7 himself.  Probably because Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the Bills in rushing attempts.  Shonn Greene hopes the Jets play the Bills at least 4 more times as he reached the 100 yard plateau.

- He’s Rashard.  He’s running on the Ravens.  His 2nd rushing touchdown saw him run outside and reach just inside the pylon.

- Ray Rice only managed 8 carries for 20 yards but more importantly here – he is still not active enough in the passing game!  Unfortunately the Ravens won so that probably won’t change.

- The Browns (though miserable) continue to shut down runners, Cedric Benson owners don’t want to look at his day.

- Good night Jogdish!  Jerome Harrison has no value until Peyton Hillis fumbles a lot or gets hurt (Hillis – 27/102/1)

- Place your Betts.  He split carries with Chris Ivory (13/12 respectively) and each ran well in Pierre Thomas’ absence.  Jonathan Stewart didn’t run well but he saved his day with a long receiving major.  DeAngelo Williams didn’t need any of that catching-the-ball nonsense (86 rushes and 1 major).

- San Fran’s ‘D’ showed up for the first time on the road this season…holding Michael Turner to 50 yards on the ground.

- Steven Jackson’s groin was 70 yards healthy.


- A milestone day for Terrell Owens (second all-time in receiving yards, tears to follow?) who reaches the 2oo yard mark and finally found his way to the painted grass.


- The Usual Suspects all have touchdowns for Green Bay.  Jennings, Finley, Driver.

- Exhale Eddie Royal owners.  He’s having a great day (over 100 yards and a score) and not at the expense of Brandon Lloyd (double digit catches).

- I’m sure Fabro is still frustrated even though Lance Moore caught Drew Brees’ only passing touchdown.  I think Brees actually had a completion to a fan and to the back judge just for good measure.


- Dustin Keller is not a man, he’s more than a man…the next few weeks will truly tell us just how valuable said man can be to a fantasy owner.  Defences have to adjust to a guy who keeps scoring multiple TDs, don’t they?

- No surprise to one blogger that Ben Watson leads the Browns in catches and receiving yards with Seneca Wallace behind centre.

- If Shaun Hill is going to get 80 attempts a game, then Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler both have value in a PPR.

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- Sound the Survivor Siren.  Cincy trails in the dog pound with a quarter to play, while the Panthers cling to a one point lead over the Saints after 3 quarters.  Green Bay’s only up 8 on Detroit to boot!  Holy divisional matchups Batman!  Have I sufficiently frightened you…well only one of the favourites above lost (hint, I’m not happy).

Time to juggle the two best pro sports on the planet.  Giants baseball baby!

The Coin Toss

To baseball for a second, and if you’ve seen either of the past two games between the Padres and Giants you’d assume that on this particular Sunday, nobody will be faced with tougher decisions than Bud Black and Bruce Bochy.  Well, injuries to Ray Rice, Steven (yes I spelled it correctly this time) Jackson and Andre Johnson have forced fantasy owners to make perhaps even bigger calls than Bochy or Black will have to face in their battle for the N-L West.


Ray Rice (@ PIT) & Steven Jackson (vs. SEA) vs. Any RB2

The best way to start is by saying that neither of the handcuffs for the backs above should be considered if either back gets the green light on Sunday.  Right now, it looks like they’ll both suit up (more on that below) so you won’t have to worry about being stuck with McGahee or Darby against very tough defences.  While knee bruises are also tough, it sounds like Rice won’t be as limited as Jackson.  If you’re already in a must-win week, you have to put your stud back out there no matter what, but if you’re in a position where you can roll the dice, there are some options I’d consider for replacing Ste-Jack.  Still, your replacement train for Jackson should stop around BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Shonn Greene and Jonathan Stewart territory.  The Maroneys, B. Jacksons, Hightowers and even the Tolberts of the world should take a backseat to your #1 picks.  Rice (who at post time told Rachel Nichols he’ll play) and Jackson (who at post time will be active, with his touches to be determined, according to Adam Schefter) are the call.


Andre Johnson (@ OAK) vs. Any WR2

(Nnamdi Asomugha) X (an ankle that’s already been re-injured once) = A massive slide down the WR rankings for Andre Johnson.  How far is that slide?  That depends where you’re at in the standings, and who you have on your bench that will be available after 4 o’clock.  With Legedu Naannee on my roster, I’m going to wait until the last minute and pray that the Texans make my decision for me by benching their big wideout.  If you’re really wary of Johnson’s wonky ankle, other suitable replacements could be Louis Murphy, Devin Hester or even Davone Bess (Bess only in a PPR).  Receiver is definitely a deep position, but if Johnson does play it’s not deep enough to not start the best player of the bunch.  Johnson’s the call.


Bruce Gradkowski (vs. HOU) vs. Matt Hasselbeck (@ STL)

With names like those listed above, it’s no wonder the QBs take a backseat in Coin Toss this week.  Heading into Week 4, there are just a few questions regarding these 2 quarterbacks.  The biggest question from yours truly is whether or not they shave their heads on game day, or whether it feels the same way as when you shave your face and the perspiration just stings all game?…Enough on that, on to the questions that have some fantasy relevance.  Can the Raiders hang with the Texans in the Black Hole, especially by establishing the run, therefore limiting Gradkowski’s attempts?  Yes.  Are Bruce’s top 2 targets banged up?  Uh-Huh.  (I’ll let this opportunity to slight Heyward-Bey and Murphy fall by the wayside because they’ve actually earned some fantasy respect of late.)  Will the Rams hang with Hasselbeck’s ‘Hawks enough to get him the same number of attempts as Gradkowski?  Sure.  Are his weapons in tact?  You bet.  Using these answers as evidence, Hasselbeck’s the call.

There you have it, some really big choices for fantasy owners (myself included – see: Rice, Johnson), and I have to make them on one of the biggest days of my baseball-watching life.  No worries though, I won’t let it distract me from providing all of the latest from this afternoon’s NFL action.  Go Giants…

Accountability Section: Week 3

Flacco vs. Smith – Cosby’s call: Flacco (flip) It was Flacco — Flacco (262/3), Smith (232/1)

L.T.* vs. B. Jackson – Cosby’s call: L.T. (flip) It was L.T. – L.T. (88 yds/1), B. Jackson (39 yds)

Maclin vs. Walter – Cosby’s Call: Walter (flip) It was Maclin — Maclin (4/83/2), Walter (3/34/1)

*I know Al Michaels said we couldn’t call Tomlinson “L.T.” while he’s with New York, but I had to for formatting purposes…and he’s starting to play like L.T. again

MANDATORY PROMOTIONAL NOTE:  “Sunday Driving” can be found here every week of the NFL season as Zach Cosby follows all of the action beginning with ‘The Coin Toss’ before Sunday’s games, continuing all afternoon and finishing deep into the night.  For a full fantasy preview each week, tune to The Fantasy Show on THE FAN590 Saturday morning at 11 or download the podcast (available on iTunes).  Tell your friends.

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