Thursday, December 23, 2010

Week 15, A junior who doesn't get into their first choice college is a miffed teen.

All right, all right, that was a long title, I get it.

Sorry for not doing this on Monday or Tuesday as I have been doing, but it's been a hectic end to my semester and I haven't had much time.

How about a Christmas theme?  Ooh, ooh, I know.  I'm gonna give the playoff teams in song form!  Watch this one:

On the first day of Christmas, the NFL Playoffs gave to me...
The Chicago Bears, Rex-Grossman-free.

On the second day of Christmas, the NFL Playoffs gave to me...
Two AFC North teams and the Chicago Bears, Rex-Grossman free.

On the third day of Christmas, the NFL playoffs gave to me...
Three losses for the Falcons, two AFC North teams, and the Chicago Bears, Rex-Grossman-free.

On the fourth day of Christmas, the NFL playoffs gave to me...
Four touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and the Eagles do a favor for me.

Wait a second, this is awful.  And it won't work now that I put two teams into one thing.  Hmm...

How about I reassess some of the picks I made earlier in the season?  I've been concerned before as to whether or not I would actually do that.  All right, here's a look back at my contender/pretender/sleeping giants/disappointment picks from allllll the way back in Week 7:

Seattle Seahawks (4-2 then, 2-6 since) -- Correct!  OK, so they've won two games since Week 7, but they're still tied for the lead in the division at 6-8!  I'm rooting for the Rams, but wouldn't it be great if I picked this one right?

Kansas City Chiefs (4-2 then, 5-3 since) -- Correct!  They just need to hold off the Chargers and they'll prove me right!  The Chargers have come back from a sad start to the season, but maybe they put themselves in just big enough of a hole that the Chiefs can pull this out.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2 then, 4-4 since) -- Correct!  They don't seem to have the juice at the end of the season to hold up in the Wild Card chase, mostly because they haven't beaten the good teams.

Tennessee Titans (5-2 then, 1-6 since) -- Correct!  They've had some quarterback issues, yes, but the Randy Moss signing was a dud and Chris Johnson has had some duds himself.  Turns out they could've had a legitimate shot at the division this year too.

Sleeping Giants
New Orleans Saints (4-3 then, 6-1 since) -- Correct!  Since they've gotten some of their running backs back the passing game has surged as well, and Brees has cut down on the interceptions.  Now they're in prime position to go to the second round of the playoffs after getting their bye (aka game against the NFC West champ)

San Diego Chargers (2-5 then, 6-1 since) -- Correct!  Well, they may miss the playoffs anyway, but they made a nice recovery after a strange start.  We're seeing now the team we thought we would see from the beginning, though.

Dallas Cowboys (1-5 then, 4-4 since) -- Sorta right?  So they lost their quarterback and fired their coach, and now they're winning games!  So which was the issue?  We're seeing the talent come through though.
Cincinnati Bengals (2-4 then, 1-7 since) -- Correct!  Not sure what happened here.  They just added offensive pieces and suddenly their defense is way worse and Carson Palmer can't play?  Must be a T.O. curse.

Wow, I was right on 7/8 of those!  Way to go, me!  Once the regular season is over I'll look over my predicted playoff picture from a couple weeks ago as well.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Frameshmania Week 15 Preview!

Victorious!  Another nice week for my team (although not the highest-scoring week), but a win in the playoffs is always good.  Here's how the second round of the playoffs is looking:

1. Salt Lake City Big Tymers (11-2)
8. Hometown Mamas (4-9)                            1. Big Tymers (12-2)
4. Gym Tan Laundry (6-6-1)                           5. CodyRansom (6-8)
5. CodyRansom's Crew (5-8)

3. JETS Jets Jets Jets (7-6)
6. Delco's Sidearm Stud (4-8-1)                     3. Jets Jets Jets (8-6)

2. Sabotage the League (10-3)                 2. Sabotage (11-3)
7. Ease it In, Don't Forsett (4-9)

Last week the only upset was CodyRansom's Crew over GTL, but a donut from Randy Moss and -4 from the Bears' D against the Patriots brought about Gym Tan Laundry's second consecutive sub-60-point game when he had never gone below 75 prior.  The top three seeds all won, but I had the only big win of them.  A 27-point game from Desean Jackson gave Sabotage the League the win, and JETS won despite having Aaron Rodgers sustain a concussion after just 1 point.  My predictions for the playoffs were straight chalk in the first round so I wasn't too surprised.

Here's my team's Week 14 roster:

QB4 Michael Vick
RB1 Michael Turner

RB6 Arian Foster
RB3 Jamaal Charles
WR6 Brandon Lloyd

WR2 Greg JenningsTE6 Chris Cooley
D/ST Giants
K Mason Crosby

RB8 Jason Snelling
WR1 Andre Johnson

TE2 Zach Miller
RB2 Cedric Benson
WR4 Mike Wallace
RB7 Ahmad Bradshaw

D/ST Cardinals

Roster Moves:
Dropped Giants D for Patriots D

Dropped Crosby for Josh Brown

The Giants face my Eagles this week, so it's off with their heads.  They did a nice job for me, though.  The Patriots are surprisingly the 4th best fantasy defense, and may play a Packers team that scored just 3 points against the Lions sans-Aaron-Rodgers.  As a result of this Rodgers issue, I'm picking up another kicker just to make sure I can get some points.

Week 14 was pretty sad, as Rodgers' injury (Greg Jennings), Matt Cassel's appendectomy (Jamaal Charles), and the Broncos just being terrible (Brandon Lloyd) prevented me from cashing in on a big game from Michael Turner and another nice game from Vick.  Fortunately, my mom got a combined 6 points from Thomas Jones, Anquan Boldin, Jeremy Maclin, and Mike Williams.  As such, I was able to pull away in the end, winning 94-51.

Lineup changes:
Johnson (v. Titans) in for Jennings (v. Patriots)

Miller (v. Broncos) in for Cooley (v. Cowboys)
Brown (v. Chiefs) in for Crosby (v. Patriots)
Patriots/Cardinals D (v. Packers/Panthers) in for Giants D (v. Eagles)

Johnson showed me up last week for sitting him, so I will not doubt him again.  Also, it's a rematch with Cortland Finnegan, who he pounded into submission last week.  I'm really concerned about Jennings/Lloyd this week, and Mike Wallace is playing the Jets (and maybe Revis Island), so I'm gonna see how things look on Sunday and decide between the three of them for my second receiver.  Just in case you didn't know, Rex Grossman is starting for the Redskins this week, and I will never play guys who need Grossman to survive.  If Aaron Rodgers plays, I'll put in Jennings and the Cardinals, and if not, I'll probably put in Wallace and the Patriots.

This week I play my friend Steve (CodyRansom's Crew), who had a rough start to the year thanks to some tough draft busts (Ryan Grant, Larry Fitzgerald, Shonn Greene, Brett Favre).  However, he's rebounded nicely and is hitting his stride at the right time.  The Thursday Night game was between the 49ers and Chargers, and fortunately Vernon Davis did nothing!  That means that I'm essentially playing 9-on-8, which bodes well with some tough wide receiver scenarios I'm dealing with.  Hopefully the Thursday game bodes well.  Here's what the matchup looks like:

Vick (v. Giants) vs. Matt Ryan (v. Seahawks) -- Vick +4

Foster (v. Titans) vs. Adrian Peterson (v. Bears) -- Foster +3
Charles (v. Rams) vs. Jonathan Stewart (v. Cardinals) -- Push
Turner (v. Seahawks) vs. Deion Branch (v. Packers) -- Turner +5
Lloyd/Jennings/Wallace (v. whoever) vs. Larry Fitzgerald (v. Panthers) -- Push
Johnson (v. Titans) vs. Hakeem Nicks (v. Eagles) -- Johnson +4
Miller (v. Broncos) vs. Vernon Davis (v. Chargers) -- Miller +6
Cardinals/Patriots D (v. whoever) vs. Dolphins D (v. Bills) -- Me +2
Brown (v. Chiefs) vs. Jay Feely (v. Panthers)-- push

Verdict: I win by 24.  It's all about how my second receiver does and if I can avoid his receivers having a big game like last time, when Deion Branch and Calvin Johnson had almost 40 points combined.  The big games are Falcons/Seahawks and Cardinals/Panthers (yeah, I know).

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Week 14, Now for the Poor Teams

All right, so it's finals week and I don't have much time to write about stuff.  I swear I'm going to do a little ditty about the MLB Hot Stove stuff (especially the Phillies and Red Sox big signings), but probably not until next week.

For now, I think I'm going to recap the Week 14 games from the other side of what I wrote last week; this time I'll be looking at the games from the side of the worst teams in the league, those that seem destined for top-5 draft picks.  If there are ties record-wise, I'll break them based on which team I expect to finish lower.

1. Carolina Panthers (1-15): This team just doesn't have ANY quarterback play, and they've thrown 4 of them out there at some point this year, including two rookies (one of whom, Jimmy Clausen, is supposed to be the guy of the future).  They got destroyed by the Falcons thanks to their bottom-ten run defense getting thrashed by Michael Turner for 110 yards and 3 touchdowns.

2. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14): They went undefeated in the AFC North last year, and if they don't beat the Browns this week they will win only one game in the division this year.  Their inadequacy was on prime display against the Steelers this week, as Pittsburgh scored 2 more touchdowns on returns of Carson Palmer INT's than they scored offensively (zero).  Cedric Benson has toted the rock at least fifteen times with less than 4 yards per carry 8 out of 13 games this year (two more if you count games where he didn't get to fifteen, like this week)

3. Buffalo Bills (3-13): I expect them to lose their last three games (against each of the other teams in their division), but put up a pretty good fight against at least the Dolphins.  They won a snorefest against the Browns 13-6 thanks to a workmanlike 29 carries and 112 yards from Fred Jackson.  So you drafted CJ Spiller at what, 7 overall?  8 carries for 33 yards for a team with 2 wins against a team that's going nowhere?  If you are paying him all this money and whatnot, why not give him the ball, hm?

4. Detroit Lions (3-13): Another team that's just sad-looking, and if they had some decent quarterback play I would have thrown them a bone for at least another win.  However, Aaron Rodgers gets a concussion and Drew Stanton is able to lead his team to a 7-3 victory with this stellar line: 10-for-22, 117 yards, 1 TD (on a screen), 2 INT.  His QB rating was 0.2 points fewer than what he would have gotten had he just thrown 22 incompletions and called it a day.

5. Denver Broncos (4-12):  I don't know if/when Tim Tebow shows up, but I really hope he doesn't, if for no other reason than that I have Brandon Lloyd on my fantasy team.  Kyle Orton is top-5 in the league in passing this year, but has gone 28-for-73 with 283 yards, 0 TD, 3 INT in the last two weeks after going 24-for-41, 347 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT the week before.  Oh, and they just lost 43-13 to a Cardinals team that had scored 43 points in their prior four games combined.  I just think there's too much offensive firepower on this team not to win a game before the end of the year.

Honorable mention bad teams:
Arizona Cardinals (5 games where the top passer had 150 or fewer yards, and they won 2?)
Tennessee Titans (Randy Moss signing looking good now, huh?  5 games, 5 catches, 62 yards, 0 TD) San Francisco 49ers (Alex Smith really likes putting together good finishes to confuse his coaches)
Cleveland Browns (Peyton Hillis is a beast, but there's just nobody on this team)
Minnesota Vikings (Tarvaris Jackson is terrible, and Brett Favre is not much better; poor Adrian...)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Frameshmania Week 14 Preview!

The playoffs are here, people!  And yours truly was able to put together a win, clinch the top seed, and acquire this trophy.  So now, here are the playoff matchups:

1. Salt Lake City Big Tymers (11-2)
8. Hometown Mamas (4-9)

4. Gym Tan Laundry (6-6-1)
5. CodyRansom's Crew (5-8)

3. JETS Jets Jets Jets (7-6)
6. Delco's Sidearm Stud (4-8-1)

2. Sabotage the League (10-3)
7. Ease it In, Don't Forsett (4-9)

Looking at the matchups this week, I see a pretty chalk result.  The top three seeds are just too good right now (and the bottom not quite on the same level), and while I think that Gym Tan Laundry will have some trouble (especially after starting Randy Moss, who got zero points on Thursday night), his roster is too strong to go out without a fight (although he seems to have quit after Frank Gore's injury).  In the league office page, I predicted a Big Tymers-Jets championship, and I think that after the Thursday games I feel a little better about that (Jets are up 30).

Here's my team's Week 13 roster:

QB4 Michael Vick
RB1 Michael Turner

RB6 Arian Foster
RB3 Jamaal Charles
WR1 Andre Johnson
WR6 Brandon Lloyd
TE6 Chris Cooley
D/ST Giants
K Mason Crosby

RB8 Jason Snelling
TE2 Zach Miller
RB2 Cedric Benson
WR4 Mike Wallace
RB7 Ahmad Bradshaw

WR2 Greg JenningsD/ST Seahawks

Roster Moves:
Dropped Seahawks D for Cardinals D

The Giants face a good matchup again this week (Vikings), so I need to look a week ahead for a defense matchup.  I don't really want to do this (again), but the Cardinals are playing the Panthers next week and might be my only reasonable option next week.

Week 13 started off fabulously on Thursday, as I led 65-5 thanks to Vick, Foster, and Johnson.  Not much of concern after that, as my final 6 guys scored 64 and Sidearm Stud's final 8 guys scored 66 as I won big, 129-71.  Sadly, I did not have the biggest margin of victory, as J-E-T-S beat Gym Tan Laundry by 79.

Lineup changes:
Jennings (v. Lions) in for Johnson (v. Ravens)

We'll see how Andre Johnson's injured ankle progresses, but Brandon Lloyd has too good of a matchup to sit and Jennings is really hot AND has a good matchup.  If Johnson looks better, he might replace Lloyd with the concern that the firing of Denver's coach may alter the Broncos' gameplan (since the interim coach was the running back's coach).  I'm also worried about Matt Cassel's appendectomy forcing the Chiefs to be one-dimensional and the Chargers to load up on the run and stop Jamaal Charles.

This week I play my mom, who has had a really rough year but with the way this league is structured she still has a shot to make a big impact on the league's outcome.  The Thursday Night game was between the Titans and Colts, but only the Titans' defense was involved for either team.  I benefited from a bounceback game by the Colts, as the Titans D got -3 points!  I think that that may get me just the little boost of confidence that allays my fears at the moment of getting knocked out in the first round.  Here's what the matchup looks like:

Vick (v. Cowboys) vs. Drew Brees (v. Rams) -- Vick +4

Foster (v. Ravens) vs. Steven Jackson (v. Saints) -- Push
Charles (v. Chargers) vs. Thomas Jones (v. Chargers) -- Charles +5
Turner (v. Panthers) vs. Anquan Boldin (v. Texans) -- Turner +6
Lloyd (v. Cardinals) vs. Jeremy Maclin (v. Cowboys) -- Push
Jennings (v. Lions) vs. Santonio Holmes (v. Dolphins) -- Jennings +5
Cooley (v. Bucs) vs. Kevin Boss (v. Vikings) -- Cooley +3
Giants D (v. Vikings) vs. Titans D (v. Colts) -- Giants +8
Crosby (v. Lions) vs. David Akers (v. Cowboys)-- push

Verdict: I win by 31.  At this point it's just the quality of my players that's going to get me through this matchup, as the individual matchups and situations aren't great.  I'm psyched for a title chase, and this is just a stepping stone for my greatness.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Week 13, My Fantasy Teams Aren't Hurting

All right, all right, that rhyme wasn't so hot.

But you know what IS hot?  The fact that I will enter the playoffs as the top seed in two out of my three fantasy leagues.  But enough about me.

I think that with the last quarter of the season coming up, it seems appropriate that I make some predictions about the way that I see the NFL playoff picture shaking out, because we all love predictions.  Maybe I'll actually look back at my predictions over the year and compare them to the actual results.  That'll be a good blog entry.

All right, so I'm obviously going to have to do some sort of recap of the week's games, so what I'm going to do is give my projected playoff picture and just talk a little bit about how the team looked this week.

So, without further ado, the NFC:

1. Atlanta Falcons (NFC South champions, 13-3):  Their second road win against a winning team in their division this year (including Week 3 against the Saints), and while on paper they don't look great, they keep winning games and their schedule shapes up pretty well the rest of the way (2 games against the Panthers)
2. Chicago Bears (NFC North champions, 11-5): Not a particularly impressive offensive performance against a poor Lions defense, but just a solid game from Jay Cutler (21-of-26, 234 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT) is all this team needs to beat most teams in the league with that defense.
3. Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East champions, 11-5): Finally a good fourth quarter from this team as they were able to come back and pull away from the Texans.  Lesean McCoy looks ridiculously good, and finally Brent Celek gets back into the swing of things (4 rec, 55 yds).
4. St. Louis Rams (NFC West champions, sadly, 8-8): When you're trying to claw your way into the playoffs, you have to beat the bad teams.  Arizona is a bad team.  Steven Jackson is still a man among boys, putting up another 100-yard effort, and Sam Bradford is the runaway Rookie of the Year.
5. New Orleans Saints (NFC South runner-up, 11-5): This win was all about the Bengals' neutral zone infraction inside the ten yard line that created the winning touchdown, but the Saints have to like the way they're running the ball now with Chris Ivory (and Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas making their way back).
6. Green Bay Packers (NFC North runner-up, 10-6): James Starks comes from out of nowhere to give the Packers a running game all of a sudden.  Sounds kinda like Ryan Grant at the end of 2007, right?  Greg Jennings and Donald Driver both have big touchdowns where the 49ers defense just fails to tackle.  In other news, nice uniforms.

First team out: New York Giants, 10-6

And now for the AFC:

1. New England Patriots (AFC East champions, 12-4): Now this game hasn't concluded yet, but I think that a 28 point lead with a quarter left is a lock.  Their defense has improved as the season has progressed, and Tom Brady looks really effective with his little flashback-to-2003 offense.  Tough next couple games against the Bears and Packers, but they have a leg up on the Steelers and Jets with tiebreakers.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC North champions, 12-4): Ben Roethlisberger doesn't really need a healthy nose, right?  I think that if Rashard Mendenhall can give this team balance and Mike Wallace can put up more games like this (5 rec, 76 yds), they can ride this Ravens win to a division title.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West champions, 11-5): They were the 5th-worst team in the league last year.  Just saying.  Now Dwayne Bowe looked more like Dwayne Bowe this week, catching no passes, but the way that they run the ball with Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones and an above-average defense can get them through a pretty soft last four games.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC South champions, 9-7): I honestly have no idea what's going to happen in this division since all of the teams are within 2 games of one another, but they have the lead going in, so I'm going with them.  Maurice Jones-Drew has at least 100 yards in each of his last five games, and David Garrard is doing a little bit more running, which is a part of his game he was using a couple years ago when they were good.  I do see the Colts putting up a fight, though.
5. New York Jets (AFC East runner-up, 11-5): Since I wrote the Patriots blurb, they've increased the deficit to 35, but it's just one game, and they can weather the storm (I think).  It's all about how well Mark Sanchez plays, because 11-for-23, 117 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT is not going to cut it against the league's worst pass defense.  But they can run the ball and (I think) play defense, and that will win you some games.
6. Baltimore Ravens (AFC North runner-up, 10-6): A rough game against the Steelers is no indictment, but that lame duck of a pass by Flacco on fourth down was inexcusable.  I think that they just have too many quality skill players (Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, etc.) and too much talent in their defensive front to not make the playoffs.

First team out: San Diego Chargers, 9-7

Also, just check out this comparison.

Which one has the broken nose?