Archive for November, 2010

Sunday Driving (sort of): Week 12

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Week 12 started with three Thanksgiving games, one of them super wicked awesome in terms of fantasy output.  This blog will start with an apology for abandoning you during what is – for many of you – a possible elimination week.  This type of behaviour is the opposite of super wicked awesome.  My Week 12 will be spent knocking on wood and acting like a crazy person as I wander around south of the border without any immediate access to my team’s progress (I’m facing a must-win, too).  As a plea for your forgiveness, I’ve assembled a few lists that show which teams have the most favourable, and the least friendly, schedules for the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14, 15, 16).

Best Passing Matchups

Chargers – KC, SF, @Cin

Saints – STL, @Bal, @Atl

Titans – IND, HOU, @KC

Cardinals – DEN, @Car, DAL

Cowboys – PHI, @Wsh, @Ari

Ravens – @Hou, NO, @Cle

Broncos – @Ari, @Oak, HOU

Worst Passing Matchups

Vikings – NYG, CHI, @Phi

Giants – @Min, PHI, @GB

Jets – MIA, @Pit, @Chi

Bengals – @Pit, CLE, SD

Lions – GB, @TB, @Mia

Best Rushing Matchups

Raiders – @Jax, DEN, IND

Redskins – TB, @Dal, @Jac

Bucs – @Wsh, DET, SEA

Broncos – @Ari, @Oak, HOU

Cardinals – DEN, @Car, DAL

Titans – IND, HOU, @KC

Worst Rushing Matchups

Saints – STL, @Bal, @Atl

Vikings – NYG, CHI, @Phi

Jets – MIA, @PIT, @CHI

Bengals – @Pit, CLE, SD

Seahawks – @SF, ATL, @TB

49ers – SEA, @SD, @StL

I know what you’re thinking, “So I’ve read these lists, what do I do now?”  First, don’t make it too complicated.  Whether it’s adding a secondary receiver from a team that will see some teams who are porous against the pass, or picking up a backup ball carrier that will see 3 teams that are soft against the run, one thing’s for sure:  You’ll be confident in your decision because you got your info here (or you don’t trust me, but thanks for reading anyway).  Heck, if your trade deadline hasn’t passed, why not try dealing your back with a tough road ahead for a guy who’ll cruise through an easy docket on his way to fantasy stardom?  No matter what, make sure you play to win the ga… couldn’t finish that, sorry for even starting – and again, sorry for not spending Week 12 with y’all.  Good luck!  See you for Week 13 and another must-win matchup…

(knock)

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 (except during Week 12) follow Zach on Twitter: 

http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

Sunday Driving: Week 11

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

3rd & Short – Sunday Night Knowledge

It’s not a popular activity in the Isakoff household, but it’s time for the Sunday Night Football Name Game.  It’s easy to play – you simply Reid on..

- Hakeem Nicksed a long gain early by Nicking the sideline with his right foot.  That was a sign of the Tynes for New York, as they had trouble moving the Chaneys for the first two quarters.

- The Giants couldn’t Dodge Asante Samuel during the first half.  The Riley veteran was the King of turnovers, recovering a fumble and picking off an Eli Manning Pascoe.  He even Kareemed Derek Hagan but it was ruled a helmet-to-helmet hit so I won’t worry that my description didn’t do it Justice.

- Jason really Avanted to reach out with his hands and have a touchdown catch, that would have been the Sage play.  Instead he played it Bradley and let it hit his body.  The Pascoe fell incomplete.  Vick owners everyWare groaned.

- David could have covered several Akers with his first half Cofield goals, but he had one of his three attempts blocked.

- What the Tuck?  The big defensive lineman Chased down Vick who was moving up in the pocket, then stripped the Eagles’ signal caller.  The Giants Rocca’ed Vick more than most teams could on this night, and that key fumble led to an Eli touchdown toss to Hagan.

- With his Clay hands already responsible for 1 fumble – Ahmad Bradshaw almost fumbled his way into the fumble Hall of Fame in the fourth quarter.  A challenge saved him there, but you could still argue he Buckleyed (a bit of a stretch, I know) under the Sunday Night pressure (under 25 total yards – fumble).

- On 4th and 1, the Savvy Eagles went to an unTapped resource.  Vick bobbled the snap, but recovered Justin time to pitch it to LeSean McCoy for a 50 yard touchdown run that helped Barry the Giants.

- I jinxed Samuel by calling him a wiley vet.  His 4th quarter pick should have sealed the victory, but he didn’t Snee Ahmad Bradshaw giving Max effort on his way to punching the ball out.  Eli wasn’t the Manning to bring the Giants back after that, though, as his Vick scrambling impression ended with an awful dive that caused a self-fumble.

- A Manning interception sealed the Eagles win – but the Vicktor didn’t really get the spoils.  His only TD on the night came when he Rolled out and snuck inside the pylon to open the scoring.  LeSean and Jeremy will be the Eagles who are Maclin at the bar tonight (140 total yards and a score / 9 catches, 120 yards respectively).

Tonight we were supposed to Osi a battle of Super Boley contenders.  Instead two divisional rivals Duked it out in a run-of-the-Mills scrap for first place.  Here’s hoping Umenyiora more satisfied after playing the name game…that last one too much?  I discussed it with Roommate 1 and he said “You’ve already typed it, you kind of Kafka do it”.

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2nd & 4 – 4 O’clock Focus

The football players discussed below may put up outstanding statistics.  They may even do it consistently for the entire season.  Unfortunately for them, the events that took place at Homestead-Miami Speedway this afternoon made it impossible for them to win Athlete of the Year in several publications.  That title will likely go to the man who secured his 5th-straight Sprint Cup Title with a 2nd place finish to end the year, Jimmie Johnson.  Congratulations to him, fingers crossed that the rest of my Nascar team gave enough to capture a Fall season title.  What’s that?…Football?…Right – to the 4 o’clock-mobile!

QB

- It’s great to watch a quarterback like Drew Brees run a 2-minute drill.  His status helped him earn a roughing-the-passer call that was integral to this particular 2-minute drive but it was a joy to watch nonetheless.

- Brady / Manning = 2 TDs + 0 INTs / 4 TDs + 3 INTS (1 INT the game-sealer in field goal range).  There was no doubt Manning missed Clark and Collie in this one but there’s nothing you can really do if you own Peyton, you’re not gonna trade him or bench him…’cause he’s Peyton.

- Josh Freeman and Sam Bradford have transformed into possible weekly starts in 14 team leagues.  Matt Ryan was already on that list.  Troy Smith isn’t quite there.

RB

- Michael Turner (28 carries, 131 yards, 1 TD)

- There wasn’t a Saints running back that was supposed to run on Seattle.  Chris Ivory didn’t care, he carried 10 times for 65 yards and a score before the first half was out.  Reggie Bush owners, don’t think that would’ve been your touchdown if he’d played.

- BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead both made a fantasy impact.  This won’t happen every week unless you’re rewarded a point per reception.

- Caution:  Frank Gore’s fantasy numbers may cause severe illness – they’re bad.  Perhaps he failed to get going because LeGarrette Blount was stomping the 49ers’ D to the tune of about 100 yards rushing.

WR

- Marques Colston grabbed two of 3 Drew Brees touchdowns in the first half.  Colston owners have to like that he caught each of his first 5 targets too, in the New Orleans offence, you can’t waste opportunities.

- Not many offences can produce multi-TD receivers each week.  Robert Meachem owners are glad he’s a member of one of these offences.

- The Blair White Project was a scary replacement for Austin Collie (concussion), especially if you’re playing him.  2 TDs for the former walk-on.   Reggie Wayne didn’t miss Collie either (8/107/1).

- Mike Williams steered his way into the endzone at Candlestick.  Please don’t bench him.

- Don’t worry – I texted Fabro to tell him about Brandon Gibson’s touchdown.

TE

- I hate when Michael Hoomanawanui scores because it’s confusing to type his name.

- Has father time tapped Tony Gonzalez on the shoulder?  A drop today while he was also defended easily by a safety.  The Justin Peelle touchdown was the icing on the cake.

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- Real glad I saw that shot of Peyton Manning sitting idly on the bench after that Tom Brady first-half completion for 12 yards to Deion Branch.  My viewing experience was astronomically enhanced.

- Somebody should start a therapy group not only for ‘Niner fans but for those who drafted their defence in the upper rounds.

Banged Up

- Nobody blames Austin Collie for appearing jittery on a few plays.  He did have 5 catches before someone took his helmet away on the sideline after he left the game shaken up.

Some 1′oclock carry over before I close out for now:  Reports of Vince Young having an emotional breakdown.  Jeff Fisher declares that Young won’t start whether he’s healthy or not.  As expected the Brett Favre retirement rumours are swirling, I’ll just let them blow right on through this space…because I don’t care…(apologies if you were starting Brett Favre, I’ll evaluate Tarvaris Jackson’s value another day – like, when it matters)…see you soon…

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1st & 9 – 1 O’clock Thoughts

Made it!  I’ll take this opportunity to thank all of the humans who were on the roads from Milton to The Big Smoke.  You drove like all humans should – merging at the same speed as the rest of traffic, staying on the gas while going up hills in order to maintain speed and not slamming on the brakes every time someone else’s brake lights appeared.  Speaking of appearances, Roommate 2 made only a brief appearance before returning to his quarters, again failing to take advantage of Roommate 1′s absence.

QB

- AARON RODGERS!

- RYAN FITZPATRICK!

- Jon Kitna sticking it to The Lions.  Shaun Hill has no ill will toward the Cowboys, but he had a decent day also.

- Nice comeback by the Bills – you love it if you started Ryan Fitzpatrick.

- At halftime, Carson Palmer may ask his brother Jordan to start writing a letter to the league office requesting that the Bills visit Cincinnati more often.  His clean first half line includes 2 touchdown strikes.  Palmer went back to being a loser for the 3rd quarter 2nd half.

- Joe Flacco’s only up 14 so he has a chance to add to his 200+ yards and 1 score from the first half.

- TMZ should be telling you about Brett Favre on the sidelines, not me, but after his 2nd quarter pick he had a dramatic exchange with his offensive co-ordinator.  For what it’s worth – Favre still got Troy Aikman’s vote of confidence over Tarvaris Jackson…can’t emphasize the phrase “For what it’s worth” enough.

- No drama for Aaron Rodgers.  2 first-half touchdowns.  One to Greg Jennings, and one on a great catch by James Jones to end the half.

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

- I’m sure Arian Foster is a great guy – but he’s got to stop stealing Matt Schaub’s touchdowns.  Especially when he doesn’t cross the goal-line – Schaub needs those maaaaaaan!

- I wonder what the Vegas number would have been for Darren McFadden’s YPC, 2.5?  The under wins.

- Who said fantasy football can’t be good for your health?  Did Steve tell you that per chance?…Steeve (shakes fist).  The blood pressure went down a few ticks when Cedric Benson got a third chance to punch in a touchdown he deserved.  Could be a big day for the Bengals back as Cincy leads by 21.  (See banged up for more)

- Cleveland should get rid of the nickname ‘Browns’ and just be the Cleveland Hillis…or would it be Hilli…or Hillice?  Don’t know how to pluralize it but nevertheless – Peyton Hillis has accounted for like 88% of their offence.  Anyone who had to start Colt McCoy should be happy he threw a TD to Hillis (who did most of the work).

- Touchdown Ray Rice!  It’s OK to have 2 in the same game Ray.  Go get more.  Go to the endzone…go to it.

- The following just scrolled across my computer screen:  “M. Goodson rushed to the left for no gain”.  How does he have 66 yards on 8 carries, early on.

- Need evidence that turf toe affects your play?  Maurice Morris is out-carrying and out-catching Jahvid Best so far in Dallas.  Morris can be owned in deeper formats, especially by Best owners.

WR

- GREG JENNINGS!

- STEVE JOHNSON!

- Santonio Holmes just makes plays.  2 of those plays were touchdowns.  One of them broke the Texans’ hearts for the 80th straight week.

- Miles Austin is the second-best Cowboy to own.  A 2-TD day for his loyal owners.

- Steve Johnson stuck it to my pre-game prediction – but so did the Bills/Bengals – Johnson didn’t start having his day until the Bengals went up 21.

- Is Steve Breaston more valuable than Larry Fitzgerald?  You answer, I don’t ask many questions.

- Nate Burleson and MegaTron are viable against bad defences.  Burleson should be rostered in all PPR leagues.

- Dwayne Bowe now has a Chief record 9 touchdowns in 6 games.  None of them should have come when the team had 1st & Goal inside the 5.  Thomas Jones got the TD on their next visit.  Both players added another.

- True or False:  Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens both have first half touchdowns.  Bonus question:  There was smack spoken and a show put on after A) Ocho’s B) T.O.’s C) All of the above.  I don’t know how to do upside-down-font so the answer guide is kind of boring.  True and C.  (Figures the Owens emotions are running high against his former team…please spare us any post-game tears Terrell)

- Dez Bryant is the best Cowboy to own.

- Emmanuel Sanders just HAD to catch a touchdown and not Hines Ward.  Come on!

TE

- Joel Dreessen makes this section not only because he made my day (got Schaub a TD) but because he went over 100 yards receiving with a score.

- Another AFC South tight end who’s fantasy relevant – Marcedes Lewis – getting on the touchdown act.

- Shaun Hill + Brandon Pettigrew = sneaky value.

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- Least-watched overtime game this season has to be Redskins/Titans.  I blame the fact that Rusty Smith was at quarterback for Tennessee. (more in Banged Up)

- The Cable Guide (almost a sequel starring Jim Carey) tells me that FOX is currently showing “Gone in 60 Seconds”.  Don’t want to take away from an above-average Nic Cage performance, but they should be embarrassed to be showing a flick during Week 11 of the NFL…oh, and the finale of their signature sport, NASCAR.

- 1:25pm – Roommate 1 appears and struggles to get to his regular spot on the couch

- 1:26pm – “Holding should be a 5 yard penalty…not a 10 yard penalty.”  (Doesn’t provide explanation)

- Early candidate for commentary of the day:  Guy working with Gus Johnson “Watching Fred Jackson run is like watching somebody pour a glass of water…”  Pardon?

Banged Up

- Jason Campbell left the Raiders tilt with a possible career-ending blow to his ego and dignity.  The Bruce Gradkowski era begins again.

- Even Big Ben has to be shaken by a right hook to the jaw from Richard Seymour.  Seymour (after a correction) was ejected.  Roethlisberger was checked briefly but should have the chance to add to his 2 touchdowns.  He did.

- Bernard Scott was in for Cedric Benson on two goal-line stuff attempts at the end of the half.  Apparently Benson left with an eye injury – hopefully he can get back on the field as he looked primed for a big day.  Benson returned to fumble the Bills a momentum-swinging TD.

- The ‘Skins/Titans game gave us nothing, except several injuries and some free football.  Clinton Portis hurt his groin (has that been a problem) and Vince Young’s thumb was the reason he left.

Roommate 1 had too much fun last night, his Sunday went: couch -> bathroom -> couch -> bathroom and then he disappeared.  Brad Childress’ job may disappear by Monday morning…

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The Coin Toss

10 more days left in Movember (donations appreciated) and feeling good about a must-win Week 11 for The Quan Cosbys – does it get any better than this?  Yes, actually, getting to spend Sunday watching football (while checking in on an historic race at Homestead Miami).   Here’s a little last-minute advice for your must-win matchup – unless of course you’re cruising along near the top of the standings…then proud I am of all of you…

WR

Steve Johnson (@ CIN) vs. Hines Ward (vs. OAK)

The most recent Johnson to take the fantasy world by storm saw his thunder subside after last week.  Why? A decline in targets and the fact that his team was playing in a close game (with a lead even?!?!?!) thanks to the outstanding play of fellow-generic-namer Derf Jackson.  That trend continues today at Paul Brown Stadium.  One fantasy trend I don’t see continuing is the dreaded corner shutting down the #1 WR, at least it won’t in Pittsburgh.  Hines Ward returns from a Week 10 concussion to find the endzone against that Oakland cornerback.  As is the case with any meal, Hines will make a great addition to your Week 11 fantasy totals.

RB

Keiland Williams (@ TEN) vs. Willis McGahee (@ CAR)

It appears this is the week Clinton Portis’ groin will allow him to dress in his favourite costume, an actual NFL football uniform.  Portis’ presence hurts Keiland Williams’ number of touches against a Tennessee defence that has yielded only 4 rushing touchdowns all season.  With the blow-out that looms in Carolina, McGahee could get just as many touches as Washington’s pseudo-number-1 back and McGahee is more likely to score.  Somebody tried to tell me this was Ray Rice’s week to get all of the scores, but with the amount of points Baltimore could put up, I was like “What you talkin’ ’bout?” Willis is the call.

QB

Kyle Orton (@ SD) vs. Matt Ryan (@ STL)

You can’t bench a guy coming off a season-high 4 TD passes, right?  Wrong.  You can if said guy faces a tough Monday Night test.  Orton will head into San Diego, where this other guy (named Tom Brady) was held to just 1 TD pass – the same (or less) should be expected of 50-attempt-Orton.  Too much is being made of Matty Ice’s road struggles – he’s still tossed 5 TDs over his last 3 road games – and the Falcons may have to rely on his cold-blooded arm if Michael Turner gets stonewalled as many expect.  Ryan is the call.

Accountability Section: Week 10

Hill vs. Brady – Cosby’s Call: Brady (flip) It was Brady – Hill (321/1) Brady (350/3)

Moreno vs. Derf Jackson – Cosby’s Call: Derf (flip) It was Derf – Moreno (156 tot yds/1 TD) Derf (170 tot yds/2 TD)

Williams (TB) vs. Thomas – Cosby’s Call: Thomas (flip) It was Thomas – Williams (4/68) Thomas (8/149/1)

This concludes a hometown (Milton) edition of The Coin Toss.  My first of many hopes this week (good luck to Jimmie Johnson as he chases his 5th straight Sprint Cup title) is that people will remember how to drive on the good old 401, I’ve got a 1 o’clock kick-off to make dangit!

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:  http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

Sunday Driving: Week 10

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

3rd & Short – Sunday Night Knowledge

Key Moments

Hines Ward hit helmet-to-helmet by James Sanders

- False hope was given to Ward owners for Sunday Night’s game anyway.  NBC reporting a neck injury with a questionable return.  Wrong, Mike Tomlin calls it a concussion, a word that’s like nails on a chalkboard to fantasy owners.  Ward had to watch (you can’t return when diagnosed with a concussion) as his streak of 186 games with a reception came to an end.  I expect you’ll have to monitor his availability all week but Pittsburgh hosts Oakland at 1 o’clock so you’ll have a full complement of receiver options to plug in.

- Who steps in?  Emmanuel Sanders got most of the looks stepping in for Ward (and caught a touchdown) but it will be interesting to see (if Ward were to miss time) how the looks are going to be split between Sanders, Antwaan Randle El and Heath Miller after a week of practice.  You can bet at least 1 of the 5 sacks taken by Roethlisberger came as a result of Ward not being on the field as well.

- Does it hurt Mike Wallace?  His hard-hitting journalistic instincts shouldn’t be affected but no doubt defences will key a bit more on Wallace without Ward in the lineup.  It was obvious right away, including 2 red zone trips, that the Steelers offence as a whole will miss Ward.  Wallace could see more of that Oakland cornerback next week as well.

Tom Brady yelling on the sideline

- Amateur sketch here.  Dramatization here.  No real fantasy significance, just a good opportunity for a joke(s).

The Tiny Football League

- Again, no real fantasy significance, just several questions.  Was this week’s report a shot at the Bengals?  What am I supposed to be taking from it?  Why do I have these questions?

Sanders intercepts Roethlisberger for 6

- No, not Primetime, it was James Sanders back on the scene.  The pick was key because it provided the proverbial dagger and briefly interrupted Big Ben’s come-from-behind fantasy explosion.  Roethlisberger finished with 3 TDs (2 of them to Wallace – neither inside the 10 where they’ll miss Ward the most).

Brady and Rob Gronkowski connect for their 3rd Touchdown of the night

- One of 3 Tight End targets for Brady, under 10% of the fantasy universe actually owns Gronkowski.  With 3 touchdowns that ownership number will rise, but keep in mind that Gronkowski needs to score to be relevant and he won’t be potting a hat trick every week.  In fantasy terms, the more important observation to take away from this is that the tight end presence is filling the Pats’ void of not having a top wideout (they had some guy before who really liked them, Moss I think).  On top of that, this effort is a perfect example of why you can’t count Brady out of any matchup.

The loss of Ward for the majority of this tilt still stings (I own him).  So to help ease the pain I’ll give you some possible WR options for next week (in case Ward is a no-go at 1 o’clock).

Mohammed Massaquoi (@ JAX), Nate Burleson (@ DAL), Brandon Gibson (vs ATL),  Seyi Ajirotutu (vs. DEN on Monday Night – a good play provided the cast of injured receivers doesn’t play)

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2nd & 4 – 4 O’clock Focus

Don’t worry, no power outage at the pad (not to make lite of what Pam Oliver called a scary situation in New York).  A good thing too because the blog can’t afford a 12 minute delay like they had at the Meadowlands when a generator outside the stadium blew.  I am bringing you this blog from a dark living room though as Roommate 1 cut the lights for some much-needed shut-eye during the 4 o’clocks.  He must have had a Saturday night similar to mine.  No doubt our Saturday nights were better than Kansas City’s Sunday evening (allowing 2 touchdowns to Tim Tebow is never fun).

QB

- Welcome to Garbage Time – with your host – Matt Cassel.  Today he’ll throw for lots of touchdowns.

- Jon Kitna was 3 touchdowns good in helping Garrett win his debut.  Kitna can be considered but not relied upon every week.

- Tim Tebow’s not affecting Kyle Orton.  Orton had 3 quick scores.  (Gaffney, Lloyd, Moreno) Orton can be counted as a middle-tier starter with I-get-a-million-attempts upside. (Had 296/4 today).

- Troy Smith and Sam Bradford are in position to provide a decent day.  They did.

RB

- Tim Tebow’s another reason I don’t want to own Knowshon Moreno.  Be happy with Moreno’s touchdown catch and 100+ YFS.  (I don’t see him being as productive as he was with 15+ carries week in and week out)

- Jamaal Charles scored a touchdown.  It was on a pass but it still counts.  Thomas Jones disappeared in the blowout.

WR

- Apparently The Dwayne Bowe Show is a hit when the Chiefs are trailing.  (13/186/2)

- Brandon Lloyd…what a story he’s been.  2 more touchdowns today.

- Mario Manningham had the day we expected with Steve Smith out.

- Tim Tebow has nothing to do with Dez Bryant.  Bryant’s the only Cowboy I want on my team.

- Danny Amendola (had a touchdown) and Brandon Gibson (didn’t have one) are both capable of helping your squad in PPR formats.

- Michael Crabtree grabbed his 4th TD in his lsat 5 games.  SF visits TB next week.

- I just added Deon Butler again after his TD.  Hasselbeck loves (LOVES) Mike Williams (11/145) but Butler is still a good matchup play with Matt (not Tim and definitely not Charlie Whitehurst) at the helm.

TE

- Tim Teb…just kidding.

- Vernon Davis never should have caught that ball in the endzone, he’s a tight end for crying out loud.  The 14th penalty by the 49ers wiped out the touchdown, their 3rd wiped out TD of the afternoon (oops).

- Second straight week with a TD for Kevin Boss.  Not in my lineup, and not in your lineup once the byes end.

Hijinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- 5:18pm – Touchdowns in all 4 games.  Two defensive, two offensive (unless you’re offended by defensive touchdowns – then they were all offensive).  Football!

Banged Up

- Matt Hasselbeck played the majority of the game with a cast on his non-throwing hand.

Free football requested.  Free football granted…and a battle of Heisman trophy winners to boot.  Here’s hoping Brady-locks versus Big Ben is just as good…

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1st & 7 – 1 O’clock Thoughts

Week 10, right?  By my count, that means I have to suffer 7 more weeks watching Marvin Lewis make a mess of coaching the Bengals…that’s too long…

QB

- Brad Childress is probably to blame for Brett Favre’s 3 picks and 170 yards.

- Colt McCoy is a winner (or a loser in OT) no doubt about it – probably why he’ll be a fringe fantasy start the rest of the year.

- (Expletive) Carson Palmer (expletive).  He put up another serviceable fantasy effort in a loss.

- Jay Cutler already has 2 TD tosses.  Greg Olsen and Devin Hester were the worthy (and I use the term loosely) recipients. Kellen Davis caught another.

- It appears nobody told Matt Schaub I need him to match Matt Ryan’s Thursday Night performance – or maybe he just figures his buddy Matt Turk hasn’t had enough work this season.  Schaub came around – more on one of his TDs (not the one to Andre Johnson) in Hijinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense.

- Mark Sanchez rush TDs weren’t supposed to be common – but he broke the plane for the second straight week.  He’s also thrown a touchdown to Jerricho Cotchery (of all people).

- Josh Freeman already has 2 touchdowns.  Start him every week.

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

- 100 yards to go with his touchdown for Derf Jackson.  Guy even added a receiving score.  Nice. (See The Coin Toss for my pregame analysis)

- I was wrong about Mike Goodson.  He was Mike Greatson – going over 100 yards (a great feat with Jimmy Claussen under centre).

- Shonn Greene had 20 carries to LT’s 17.  Probably the status quo for the rest of the year.

- Miami’s backfield continues not to make sense.  75 yards between their two backs.

- 1:42 – 1:46 pm:  The rushing touchdowns pour in.  Peyton Hillis (knock it off), LeGarrette Blount (will the nickname ‘Suckers’ stick?), Derf Jackson (told you so), Javarris James (what can’t Donald Brown do for you?)

- Maurice Jones-Drew remembered where the endzone is located.  He must have liked it because he found it again before the half was out.

- Who is Josh Vaughan?  He’s the guy who scored Carolina’s first (and only) rushing touchdown of the day.

WR

- It’s not shocking that Gus Johnson called the reeeeedickulous finish in Jacksonville.  It’s not shocking he exclaimed ‘HA HA’.  It is shocking that Mike Thomas got the most unlikely TD of the year and of his career.  It’s not shocking that my opponent has Mike Thomas.  My even up came on Santonio Holmes’ overtime TD.

- Andre Johnson didn’t like Roddy White’s push to become the top receiver in fantasy – his 9/146/1 day is evidence of that.

- Nate Washington caught the touchdown while Randy Moss was doubleteamed on the other side of the field.  Moss had his worst debut, ever (1/25/0)…ever.

- Johnny Knox is still a major part of the Bears offence, and if you believe they can keep Cutler on his feet you can continue to roll him out there.

- MegaTron.

-  Chad Ochocinco was so excited the Bengals finally called a play for him, he forgot to line up properly.  It cost him a spectacular touchdown.  He’d eventually line up correctly and complete the same drive with a textbook touchdown grab.

TE

- Consider Anthony Fasano next week if Tyler Thigpen is under centre – they connected for a 4th quarter TD.

- Jacob Tamme continues to be a perfect example of why you don’t pass on a guy who takes over a position that is utilized prominently in a great offence.

- Didn’t see the Kellen Winslow score so I don’t know if he did any sort of Soldier Boy related celebration.

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- Jerricho Cotchery gets the “Remarkable Catch Post-Strained Groin on the Same Play” Award.  Great effort by Sanchez as well on the play.

- Add Gus Johnson and Gary Kubiak to the list of people who didn’t believe the NFL was serious about enforcing the “you must possess the ball all the way through the play” rule.  Kevin Walter knocked his TD out of his right-hand with his left-hand while raising it up for the ref to see.  Nice defence Kevin…but wait…it’s a good thing Kubiak challenged because they ruled Walter possessed it long enough then made a second act and that’s when he dropped it.  I didn’t know there was a ‘long enough”!??!?  I didn’t know there was a ‘second act’?!!?!?

- Say what you will about Jags fans but I’m thankful for them on this day anyway.  They just made my afternoon by optimistically cheering for Jacoby Jones to muff a fair catch the same way naive baseball fans yell at a fielder who’s about to be on the receiving end of a can of corn.  Jones caught it.

- Why does the broadcast always show Peyton Manning every time the Colts make a mistake.  It doesn’t matter who was at fault, could have been a poor special teams tackle, we always have to see some sort of Manning-face.  The equivalent would be showing the All-Star catcher when the left fielder drops a fly ball.

Banged Up

- It was a good run/drive/few plays Chad, now let’s get Chad back in there.  Henne relieves Pennington thanks to a shoulder injury.  No word if the two shared tears on this QB switch. Then Tyler Thigpen took over.  Miami has Chicago on Thursday, you can hopefully find somebody else.

-  Kerry Collins limped off the field at halftime.  Based on name alone, we don’t want to meet Rusty Smith.  Phew, Vince Young was able to take over (it’s his job anyway).

- Mark Sanchez suffered an ugly takedown.  Hobbled off.  Sanchez returned to almost throw a costly pick and do other Sanchez-esque things.

- Ochocinco suffered a shoulder injury but he played through it.  You noticed it on every play.

Love free football, don’t get me wrong, but I wouldn’t mind a week where it doesn’t overlap so heavily into the 4 o’clock games.  On top of that, I’m already exhausted, but if the rest of the sked has even an ounce of the excitement the early games shared I’ll have no problem staying awake.  Oh, and congratulations to the Buffalo Bills.

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The Coin Toss

A good cold-and-gray morning to everyone.  A perfect day for football…the following should help make it a perfect fantasy day as well…

QB

Shaun Hill (@ BUF) vs. Tom Brady (@ PIT)

Hill’s making many shout – and it’s tough not to project a big day at the top of your lungs – because he’s got a soft matchup and he’s throwing to that really good and big dude who’s awesome (MegaTron).  Wait just a moment though, Hill hasn’t played in 3 weeks and the Bills are putrid against the run.  Both factors could limit his pass attempts.  Even though he hasn’t cut his hair – Tom Brady HAS played the last 3 weeks and one of his favourite targets (Deion Branch) is back to 100 percent.  Star that he is, Brady in primetime is the call.

RB

Knowshon Moreno (vs. KC) vs. Fred Jackson (vs. DET)

Listen up everybody – Coach McDaniels has something to say about his stud running back.  Word on the street is he wants to get his consistent and reliable ball carrier “going”.  Why don’t we ask Jay Cutler about the value of Josh McDaniels’ word?  It doesn’t matter what the Broncos boss wants, Moreno won’t be going very far against KC’s defence.  The man Bills fans could affectionately call ‘Derf’ if they wanted (it works for anyone named Fred – credit to my bro and his middle school pals for that one) will have more room to travel against Detroit.  Jackson will also likely see the rock more than You Oughta Know-by-now-Shon.  Jackson’s the call.

WR

Mike Williams (vs. CAR) vs. Mike Thomas (vs. HOU)

With Syracuse Bowl-bound, Williams may be looking to steal the spotlight back from the team that at least one ‘Cuse fan feels he quit on.  Emotions aside, the decision above is simple – go with the player who has an opportunity at multiple touchdowns.  Williams could be involved in a blow out so he’ll have to get his score early on.  Thomas could be either be in a shootout or playing from behind against a very generous Texans defence.  Thomas is the call.

Accountability Section: Week 9

Cassel vs. Sanchez – Cosby’s Call: Sanchez (flip) It was Sanchez – Cassel (216/2) Sanchez (336/2)

Williams (SEA) vs. Ocho – Cosby’s Call: Ocho (flip) It was Williams – Williams (2/25) Ocho (1/15)

Mike Bush vs. C. Taylor – Cosby’s Call: Chester (flip) It was Chester – Bush (17 tot. yds) Chester (27 tot. yds & a TD)

With Wade Phillips out in Dallas, it will be tough for the blog to be as fun as Week 9…but I’ll give it my best.

Sunday Driving: Week 9

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

3rd & Short – Sunday Night Knowledge

Since it’s Week 9 and the Cowboys are no good (and whatever other reason you’ll accept) we here at the blog figured it would be more fun for everyone involved if we handed out awards to those involved with the NFL’s Sunday Night presentation…

Best Member of the Crew – Faith Hill.  Roommate 1 and I are at odds over whether she should bring back the high boots of 2009 or keep the T-Shirt/Dress get-up she’s ‘rocking’ this season.

Worst Member of the Crew – Tony Dungy.  He’s a nice guy and all, but…

Best Stat – The following was chosen because it summed up Jon Kitna so well.  Mercifully it only flashed on the screen for a few moments but it was something about (and don’t quote me on this) Jake Plummer (161 and 161) and Kitna (155 and 155) being the only quarterbacks to debut since 1980 and have even TD and INT totals.  Any time you’re being compared to Jake Plummer, it’s not good.

Worst Stat – Total Yards around the 3 quarter mark:  Dallas 94 Green Bay 405.

Best Made-up Term – Insult to injury to insult.  Al Michaels referencing Wade Phillips not being able to challenge a non-fumble by Bryan McCann because the Cowboys’ had misused their final timeout.  McCann was actually down, but the refs ruled a fumble on the return.  Green Bay picked it up and walked it in to make it 28-0.

Worst Made-up Term – Torque champion.  Cris Collinsworth referencing DeMarcus Ware’s ability to get around the edge.

Best Lambeau Attire – Wade Phillips’ receiver gloves. Faith Hill’s T-Shirt/Dress get-up is a close second.

Worst Lambeau Attire – Collinsworth’s scarf.  It looked like he cut the sleeve off a cheap Metlife fleece.

Best Celebration – Nobody pulling Clay Matthews’ hair on his Lambeau Leap.

Worst Celebration – Aaron Rodgers doing ‘The Belt’ after a 32-yard scramble.

Best Quotes - 3-way tie

Roommate 1 (following Dez Bryant’s touchdown) – “Look…Wade Phillips looks like he just got fired over the headset.”

Collinsworth – “The Cowboys have gone back to basics and they’re basically awful.” “…about as close as you can get to spitting in Wade Phillips’ face.”  The latter in regard to Mike Jenkins giving up on the tackle on James Jones’ touchdown.

As you can tell by the inaugural edition of the SNK Awards there wasn’t much good Dallas-wise and there was a ton of good Packer-wise.  Yet another Sunday Nighter where we learned very little in fantasy land because everyone did as expected.  Until they get a new coach Dez Bryant is the only Cowboy to consider, Aaron Rodgers is an elite cornerback, James Jones filled in admirably for Donald Driver and the Green Bay defence is as solid as it is opportunistic.  In the words of Roger Lajoie “Good night everybody!”

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2nd & 3 – 4 O’clock Focus

Say yes to the return of the Easy-to-Read format and more ways to win…

IND @ PHI

- Austin Collie appeared to be literally knocked out in the 2nd quarter.  Reports are that he was alert and sitting up, but a concussion is no surprise.  Blair White becomes a WR-fringe play again.

- Jacob Tamme is almost Dallas Clark.  In fantasy terms, I’d start 75% of Dallas Clark every week.  Tamme is like 82.78% of Dallas Clark.  Dallas Clark.  Without mentioning Clark … dang … what I’m trying to say is Tamme is a weekly start.

- An Andy Reid challenge was unsuccessful (for the 1000th time in his coaching career), Michael Vick and Jason Avant would have had the touchdown.  Then a Jim Caldwell challenge was successful, Michael Vick would have had the touchdown.  That was followed by the most comical frustrated reaction ever from a Philadelphia fan (unless you count this).  Then Vick finally punched it in, on his way to 75+ rushing yards.

- There didn’t appear to be any ill effects for DeSean Jackson in his return from a concussion (7/109/1)

- Javarris James slapped Donald Brown owners in the face not once but twice.  Two touchdowns for James.  Brown appears to be the between-the-20s guy even without Addai.

KC @ OAK

- Every Darren McFadden and Michael Bush owner was ecstatic to see some random offensive linemen catch a touchdown. (note the sarcasm)

- This game was supposed to be a field day for the running backs.  Their total yards went like this:  Charles (100) Jones (32) McFadden (124) Bush (17) .  None of them crossed the goal line.  Those numbers aren’t really field day-esque.  They’re more like extended recess or something … I don’t know …  I’m not sure what ‘having a field day’ even means…

- Matt Cassel really likes Tony Moeaki.  He’s also helped Dwayne Bowe catch a touchdown in four straight games.  No word on how much credit Bowe is giving the port-o-potty drill.

NYG @ SEA

- Charlie Whitehurst’s War was over before the start of the 2nd half (35-0 Giants at the break).  Two Whitehurst INT’s were somewhat to blame.

- Fantasy Giants (great pun eh?) included:  Eli Manning (290/3), Ahmad Bradshaw (92 total yds, 2 TD), Hakeem Nicks (6/128/1) and Steve Smith (4/46/1).

Somehow, some way, Jason Campbell engineered a game-tying AND a game-winning drive (thanks be to Jacoby Ford who had several crucial catches – 6 for 148 to be exact).  Campbell’s performance will make it even harder for Tom Cable to bench him in favour of his favourite quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.  Good luck with the media on the bye week Tom, and good luck to all you Packer and Cowboy owners in the Sunday Nighter…

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1st & 8 – 1 O’clock Thoughts

Roommate 2 can probably tell it’s getting later in the fantasy season because the first half of action had me yelling at the TV on several occasions.  2 also has a good chance to pass Roommate 1 on the depth chart as 1 is M.I.A.  Read on to find out how that turns out (and what happened in the early NFL games) while you listen to Paper Planes.

QB

- Do you think Philip Rivers could throw me a touchdown?  Against Houston I’d say definitely – he had 2 by the 14 minute mark of the 2nd quarter (to Seyi Ajirotutu and Randy McMichael).

- Josh Freeman is good.  I’m still deciding where he ranks fantasy-wise.

- Drew Brees’ multiple touchdown passes should silence those who felt he wasn’t a top tier QB.  David Thomas stayed in-bounds costing Brees a shot at a third first-half score.

- Colt McCoy tossed in a rushing touchdown to go with 150+ yards through the air and no turnovers.

- Tom Brady doesn’t miss Randy Moss in the touchdown department.

- Chad Henne didn’t pass his Baltimore test.  3 interceptions is an F.

- Matt Schaub was on his way to his first touchdown – I refuse to believe otherwise.  Instead he ends his day with a pick off Andre Johnson’s knee and right to a defender.

- Instead of intercepting a trailing Brett Favre, the Cardinals decided to allow his career-high in yards.  I wonder if the Vikings are who Ken Whisenhunt thought they were…

RB

- All Day literally had a chance to get points almost all of Sunday thanks to overtime – he didn’t even need it.

- Who was that running back the Texans drafted that got injured?  Doesn’t matter.  Apparently being drafted doesn’t matter either.  Arian Foster wasn’t drafted and he’s already got two scores this fine afternoon.  The Calvin Johnson rule cost him (and Matt Schaub) a 3rd score on the day.

- Peyton Hillis (29/184/2) still can’t celebrate touchdowns (even though he scored twice today).  He should take notes from Michael Turner (don’t try to combine 8 touchdown celebrations into one…and don’t flex).  Both have already celebrated today.  Turner just flipped the ball to the ref on his second touchdown of the day.

- Chester Taylor came through with that sneaky touchdown I predicted. (pats self on back)

- There’s nothing that would have changed my mind about drafting Ray Rice, but I did so believing I could trust Cam Cameron’s play-calling.  I’m not the only Rice owner who’s wondering why he’s not getting more looks through the air and on 3rd & short.  Especially when LeRon McClain keeps getting stuffed. Cameron must read the blog because Rice was heavily involved through the air and on the ground in the second half.  Thank you Cam.

- It’s my fault I’m in a must-win in THE FAN League – but did Ronnie Brown (started by my opponent Greg Brady) really have to choose this week to break-out of his funk.  Thankfull it wasn’t a huge breakout.

WR

- The way Percy Harvin looked in warmup – cudos to him for going over 100 yards receiving and approaching double digit catches (he also bruised his elbow pretty good).  Steve Johnson had the same type of day in Toronto without the ankle or elbow injury.

- I wanted to recommend Nate Burleson I really did.  I wish I had (7/113/1).  He won’t be as active on days MegaTron doesn’t face Revis (couldn’t think of a Transformers name for Darrelle).

- I will never recommend Bernard Berrian – his 9 grabs were a product of playing from behind.

- Seyi Ajirotutu.  Apparently his last name directly translates to “Two Touchdowns”.  Congrats to the super computer for recommending him and to those who plugged him in as a sleeper.

- Roscoe Parrish has a unique name that you can actually pronounce – and he did this (7/60/1).

- Earl Bennett may not score again this season but he found the endzone at Rogers Centre.

- Mike Williams (TB, ‘Cuse) can safely be started every week (as proven by today’s TD).

- Braylon Edwards has the most targets and the touchdown from Mark Sanchez.

- Larry Fitzgerald is all right with Derek Anderson.  5 first half catches all right.

TE

- 2 touchdowns for Randy McMichael means another relevant tight end handcuff (we talked about Delanie Walker/Vernon Davis last week) has come to the forefront.  Shout out to Lance Kennedy for recommending Randy McMichael/Antonio Gates.

- Visanthe Shiancoe had a big 4th quarter and should continue to benefit while Sidney Rice sits.

- Brandon Pettigrew with a bonus touchdown against the Jets.  Good bye Tony Scheffler.

- I’ll tell you about Jeremy Shockey’s touchdown because he can’t – he got the wind knocked out of him pretty good.  Didn’t you love being a teammate of a guy who had that happen – pretty comical and it’s OK to laugh because you know if the situation was reversed then they’d be laughing at you.

- Don’t want to overwhelm you with tight end love – but I feel forced to mention Aaron Hernandez’ (or is it Hernandez’) touchdown grab.  He’d add another – sure he doesn’t want Deion Branch’s hamstring to ever fully heal.

Hi-jinx/Shenanigans/Other Nonsense

- Don’t know what the Chargers can do about their special teams, maybe bring in Rudy or something…anything.  Jacob Hester caught a kick-off over his shoulder and stepped out of bounds inside the 10.  The 3 & Out that followed was ugly (probably because Antonio Gates isn’t playing) and the punt attempt was even uglier.  The punt was blocked and recovered inside the 10 – Arian Foster quickly turned it into six points.

- The Browns are no longer a team you can pick on for your Survivor pool.  They’re up 10 on New England in the 2nd quarter.

- The next fantasy development should be something that calculates the number of trips your guys make to the red zone compared to the number of times they score.  On second thought, scrap that as my guy just failed to score from the red zone for the umpteenth time. (Expletive)

- 3:38pm – Roommate 1 discovers the Bears and Bills are playing in Buffalo.

Banged Up

- Roddy White (bruised knee) is playing with a sleeve on a bruised knee suffered early on against Tampa.

- Dick Stockton reporting that the Panthers are without Matt Moore and Jonathan Stewart.  Wow.  You don’t want anything to do with this team.

- Ryan Mathews’ nightmare rookie season continues as he was seen limping to the locker room.

- Matt Stafford had to ice his shoulder late in the Lions’ OT loss.

Don’t know whether it was the volume of my fantasy rants or my moustache, but Roommate 2 just went in his room and closed the door.  Too bad for him, that’s a missed opportunity to move up the roommate ranks.  Looks like I’ll still be counting on Roommate 1 for the bulk of the football-watching (he sent some angry texts about his possible demotion before returning in time to see the Vikings save their season).  Glad you’re watching with us…

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The Coin Toss

Raise your hand if you turned on your TV at 10 o’clock this morning expecting to see Countdown?  Don’t be ashamed, a lot of perfectly normal humans forget to turn their clocks back.  Just be glad you were an hour early for football and not a Sunday work shift (not that jobs are bad, but most don’t allow you to watch football).  For fantasy owners, the clock change is a win/win:  You either get an extra hour to prepare (including reading this here blog), or an extra hour of sleep.  I chose the latter, but still can’t wait for Week 9 to kick-off.

QB

Matt Cassel (@ OAK) vs. Mark Sanchez (@ DET)

The Sanchize has only tossed one TD despite averaging near 38 attempts over the past 3 weeks.  While I believe he won’t come close to that many attempts this week, doubling his 3-week TD total is not out of the question.  The fact that the Jets running game should establish itself early, combined with the fact that the Jets want to get Sanchez rolling again, bodes well for the young USC product.  I don’t know where (or if) Matt Cassel played in college, but this weekend he’s entering The Black Hole, enough for me to project a 1 TD day from the Chiefs’ signal-caller.  Sanchez is the call.

WR

Mike Williams (vs. NYG) vs.  Chad Ochocinco (vs. PIT)

This guy will be throwing the ball to Williams while trying to avoid this (or becoming one of the million – ballpark estimate – quarterbacks who the Giants have injured this season). The man featured in that last photo will avoid the Steelers enough to make #85 fantasy relevant on Monday Night.  Chad in primetime is the call.

RB

Michael Bush (vs. KC) vs. Chester Taylor (vs. BUF @ Rogers Centre)

The following choice is not influenced by the fact that I enjoy Cheetos (one of the best values in snack food) from time to time, or that I drafted Chester Cheetah in two leagues this season.  Reports state Taylor’s role in the offence will include goal-line carries against the worst rushing defence in football.  Bush has been making his hay in garbage time.  The Raiders’ battle with Kansas City will come right down to the wire though, meaning McFadden will be featured until the bitter end.  Chester’s the call.

Accountability Section: Week 8

- Jennings and Green-Ellis were the only jerks who were able to escape my pregame Hallowe’en curse last week.

Week 9 (the first week of Movember – click here to donate) and lineup choices haven’t gotten any easier.  It’s even difficult to decide which game deserves the bulk of our attention.  If you’re a Percy Harvin owner, he’ll play, but I don’t recommend watching him try to run.  See you soon – but not at the Bills game.  I didn’t get hooked tickets – but I’m not bitter.

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:  http://twitter.com/thecozbyshow

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