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Fantasy Football Week 6 Start Rankings

Posted on 14 October 2009 by Thyrl Nelson

Here are the position-by-position start rankings for week 6. The formula is based on 2-parts player expectations, and 1-part based on the expectations of the defense that’s going against the player this week. The formulary numbers are in parentheses behind each pick, the lower the better, with a lowest possible rating of 3.

 

As always, keep an eye on the injury report, trust your gut, and have fun, that’s the whole point.

 

There are also still 12 chances remaining to submit your own winning entry, in the WNST salary cap game. The prizes are going out to the highest single week scores, so even if you aren’t entered yet, there’s still a very realistic shot at winning. The prizes are $1250 for 1st, $750 for 2nd and $500 for 3rd. It’ll take you 5 minutes to sign up and cost you nothing. So, what are you waiting for?

 

Congrats to Washingtim, who led all scorers last week with 169 points. Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t enough to unseat Talleshortz or WinningComesEasy89, who are still tied for first with 189 points, or Hobos, in third with 179 points.

 

Quarterbacks

 

1. Aaron Rodgers vs. DET (3)

2. Tom Brady vs. TEN (12)

3. Matt Schaub @ CIN (14)

4. Ben Roethlisberger vs. CLE (18)

5. Matt Ryan vs. CHI (20)

6. Donavan McNabb @ OAK (20)

7. Matt Hasselbeck vs. AZ (22)

8. David Garrard vs. St.L (25)

9. Jason Campbell vs. KC (25)

10. Joe Flacco @ MIN (26)

11. Brett Favre vs. BAL (27)

12. Marc Bulger @ JAX (28)

13. Jay Cutler @ ATL (30)

14. Eli Manning @ NO (31)

15. Phillip Rivers vs. DEN (33)

16. Carson Palmer vs. HOU (33)

17. Kurt Warner @ SEA (33)

18. Matthew Stafford / Daunte Culpepper @ GB (33)

19. Drew Brees vs. NYG (34)

20. Kyle Orton @ SD (36)

21. Jake Delhomme @ TB (36)

22. Kerry Collins @ NE (38)

23. Derek Anderson @ PIT (41)

24. Matt Cassell @ WAS (43)

25. Josh Johnson vs. CAR (43)

26. Trent Edwards @ NYJ (49)

27. Mark Sanchez vs. BUF (51)

28. JaMarcus Russell vs. PHI (58)

 

 

Running Backs

 

1. Cedric Benson vs. HOU (11)

2. Maurice Jones-Drew vs. St.L (17)

3. Adrian Peterson vs. BAL (19)

4. Thomas Jones vs. BUF (19)

5. Chris Johnson @ NE (22)

6. Knowshon Moreno @ SD (23)

7. Michael Turner vs. CHI (24)

8. Rashard Mendenhall vs. CLE (26)

9. Ryan Grant vs. DET (29)

10. Clinton Portis vs. KC (33)

11. Matt Forte @ ATL (33)

12. Marshawn Lynch @ NYJ (33)

13. Tim Hightower @ SEA (35)

14. DeAngelo Williams @ TB (35)

15. Brian Westbrook @ OAK (35)

16. Julius Jones vs. AZ (36)

17. Pierre Thomas vs. NYG (36) * if he’s probable or better

18. Willis McGahee @ MIN (37)

19. Ray Rice @ MIN (39)

20. Kevin Smith @ GB (39)

21. Fred Jackson @ NYJ (41)

22. LeSean McCoy @ OAK (41)

23. Ahmad Bradshaw @ NO (44)

24. Cadillac Williams vs. CAR (44)

25. Michael Bush vs. PHI (46)

26. Steven Jackson @ JAX (47)

27. Leon Washington vs. BUF (47)

28. Steve Slaton @ CIN (50)

29. Jonathan Stewart @ TB (50)

30. Mewelde Moore vs. CLE (50)

31. Derrick Ward vs. CAR (52)

32. Brandon Jacobs @ NO (56)

33. Darren Sproles vs. DEN (56)

34. Mike Bell vs. NYG (56) *bump him up if Thomas is hurt

35. Chester Taylor vs. BAL (57)

36. Jamal Lewis @ PIT (58)

37. Reggie Bush vs. NYG (62)

38. LaDanian Tomlinson vs. DEN (62)

39. Larry Johnson @ WAS (63)

40. Sammy Morris vs. TEN (64)

41. John Kuhn vs. DET (65)

42. Correll Buckhalter @ SD (70)

43. Heath Evans vs. NYG (70)

44. LenDale White @ NE (70)

45. Jason Snelling vs. CHI (70)

46. Ladell Betts vs. KC (73)

47. Brian Leonard vs. HOU (73)

48. Justin Forsett vs. AZ (74)

49. Leonard Weaver @ OAK (74)

50. Jamal Charles @ WAS (79)

 

 

Wide Receivers

 

1. DeSean Jackson @ OAK (16)

2. Larry Fitzgerald @ SEA (18)

3. Nate Burleson vs. AZ (18)

4. Steve Smith @ NO (19)

5. Roddy White vs. CHI (20)

6. Donald Driver vs. DET (20)

7. Chad Ochocinco vs. HOU (21)

8. Randy Moss vs. TEN (21)

9. Andre Johnson @ CIN (22)

10. Mario Manningham @ NO (25)

11. Percy Harvin vs. BAL (26) *if he’s probable or better

12. Santana Moss vs. KC (26)

13. Brandon Marshall @ SD (28)

14. Hines Ward vs. CLE (28)

15. TJ Houshmandzadeh vs. AZ (30)

16. Mike Sims-Walker vs. St.L (32)

17. Vincent Jackson vs. DEN (33)

18. Steve Smith @ TB (34)

19. Calvin Johnson vs. GB (35) *if he’s probable or better

20. Greg Jennings vs. DET (36)

21. Jeremy Maclin @ OAK (42)

22. Johnny Knox @ ATL (44)

23. Marques Colston vs. NYG (45)

24. Wes Welker vs. TEN (45)

25. Santonio Holmes vs. CLE (46)

26. Sidney Rice vs. BAL (46)

27. Jerricho Cotchery vs. BUF (49) *watch his health

28. Nate Washington @ NE (49)

29. Derrick Mason @ MIN (50)

30. Anquan Boldin @ SEA (51)

31. Mike Wallace vs. CLE (54)

32. DeWayne Bowe @ WAS (55)

33. Devin Hester @ ATL (57)

34. Steve Breaston @ SEA (57)

35. Tory Holt vs. St.L (58)

36. Andre Caldwell vs. HOU (59)

37. Devery Henderson vs. NYG (61)

38. Jacoby Jones @ CIN (64)

39. Bernard Berrian vs. BAL (66)

40. Kenny Britt @ NE (69)

41. Kelley Washington @ MIN (72)

42. Bryant Johnson @ GB (73)

43. Mark Clayton @ MIN (74)

44. Terrell Owens @ NYJ (76)

45. Earl Bennett @ ATL (79)

46. Kevin Walter @ CIN (82)

47. Mushin Muhammad @ TB (82)

48. Braylon Edwards vs. BUF (83)

49. Bobby Wade @ WAS (83)

50. Hakeem Nicks @ NO (87)

 

 

Tight Ends

 

1. Benjamin Watson vs. TEN (12)

2. Kellen Winslow vs. CAR (13)

3. Todd Heap @ MIN (15)

4. John Carlson vs. AZ (17)

5. Mercedes Lewis vs. St.L (18)

6. Jeremy Shockey vs. NYG (20)

7. Chris Cooley vs. KC (22)

8. Tony Gonzalez vs. CHI (22)

9. Jermichael Finley vs. DET (22)

10. Owen Daniels @ CIN (24)

11. Heath Miller vs. CLE (27)

12. Brent Celek @ OAK (28)

13. Dustin Keller vs. BUF (28)

14. Antonio Gates vs. DEN (29)

15. Dante Rosario @ TB (37)

16. Greg Olsen @ ATL (37)

17. Zach Miller vs. PHI (37)

18. Tony Scheffler @ SD (37) *watch his health

19. Will Heller @ GB (38)

20. Sean Ryan @ WAS (40)

21. Robert Royal @ PIT (40)

22. Kellen Davis @ ATL (41)

23. Daniel Graham @ SD (43)

24. Visanthe Schiancoe vs. BAL (44)

25. Brandon Pettigrew @ GB (44)

26. Daniel Fells @ JAX (50)

27. Chris Baker vs. TEN (50)

28. Jeramy Stevens vs. CAR (51)

29. Steve Heiden @ PIT (52)

30. Jeff King @ TB (53)

 

 

Defense / Special Teams

 

1. Eagles @ OAK (6)

2. Vikings vs. BAL (26)

3. Broncos @ SD (26)

4. Packers vs. DET (26)

5. Ravens @ MIN (27)

6. Seahawks vs. AZ (27)

7. Bills @ NYJ (28)

8. Saints vs. NYG (29)

9. Bengals vs. HOU (30)

10. Giants @ NO (32)

11. Steelers vs. CLE (34)

12. Falcons vs. CHI (36)

13. Redskins vs. KC (36)

14. Browns @ PIT (36)

15. Texans @ CIN (36)

16. Jets vs. BUF (37)

17. Cardinals @ SEA (38)

18. Bears @ ATL (40)

19. Chiefs @ WAS (40)

20. Patriots vs. TEN (41)

21. Jaguars vs. St.L (43)

22. Panthers @ TB (44)

23. Buccaneers vs. CAR (46)

24. Chargers vs. DEN (51)

25. Lions @ GB (54)

26. Titans @ NE (55)

27. Rams @ JAX (55)

28. Raiders vs. PHI (59)

 

 

Kickers

 

1. Stephen Gostkowski vs. TEN (7)

2. David Akers @ OAK (11)

3. Ryan Longwell vs. BAL (14)

4. Matt Prater @ SD (14)

5. Josh Scobee vs. St.L (21)

6. Mason Crosby vs. DET (21)

7. Robbie Gould @ ATL (22)

8. Lawrence Tynes @ NO (23)

9. Jason Hanson @ GB (23)

10. Jay Feeley vs. BUF (30)

11. Rob Bironas @ NE (33)

12. Shaun Suisham vs. KC (34)

13. Olindo Mare vs. AZ (35)

14. John Kasay @ TB (35)

15. Nate Kaeding vs. DEN (36)

16. Jon Carney vs. NYG (37)

17. Jason Elam vs. CHI (37)

18. Jeff Reed vs. CLE (38)

19. Kris Brown @ CIN (40)

20. Rian Lindell @ NYJ (41)

21. Steven Hauschka @ MIN (41)

22. Sebastian Janikowski vs. PHI (44)

23. Neil Rackers @ SEA (44)

24. Billy Cundiff @ PIT (44)

25. Shayne Graham vs. HOU (47)

26. Ryan Succop @ WAS (50)

27. Josh Brown @ JAX (58)

28. Mike Nugent vs. CAR (62)

 

 

 

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Fantasy Football Week 5 Start Rankings

Posted on 09 October 2009 by Thyrl Nelson

Byes and injuries are beginning to have their effect on the NFL season, and your fantasy season as well. So here are this week’s formulary start rankings. The players are graded mathematically, using 2 parts player performance, and one-part defensive expectations against that player. There are also a few adjustments made for anomalies, injuries, and changes in playing time.

 

As always, keep an eye on the injury report, trust your gut, and make sure you’re having fun, that’s the whole point.

 

Also, if you’re fantasy team has let you down already, there’s always the WNST salary cap game, it will give you a shot at a fresh start every week, since you can change your whole lineup weekly if you’d like. Not only that, you can change your entire offensive philosophy each week too. There’s the traditional formation with a QB, 2 RB, 3 WR and a TE, or the run and shoot, with a QB, 5 WR and a TE, or my favorite, the power I, with a QB, 4 RB and 2 TE.

 

Even though week 5 is upon us, and you may not be entered yet, fear not, as the money is being paid to the highest single week scores. So you still have 13 opportunities to step in and get eligible for the money. And the money is substantial too, $1250 for first place, $750 for second place, and $500 for third. With less than 500 people playing currently, it’d be foolish not to take 5 minutes and submit a lineup. Even if you never go back and change it, you could still back into some money.

 

Congrats to last week’s high scorer, Ravens/Canes, who came in with 149 points. Unfortunately, 149 wasn’t enough to crack the top 3 spots, which are currently held by WinningComesEasy89 and Talleshortz who occupy the top spot, tied at 180 points, and Hobos with 179. Seriously, go there now, and submit a lineup. You still have a few shots at NASCAR money too while you’re there.

 

Week 5 Rankings

 

The formulary # is listed in parentheses behind each player, the lower numbers are best, with a lowest possible rating of 3.

 

Quarterbacks

 

Quick QB Note: Where injuries are a factor, I listed the backups, as if they were starting. If they aren’t, you should obviously stay away from them. As for injured starters like McNabb, Hasselbeck, Bulger or Stafford, I want to see them start and finish a game before I consider them. Eli Manning is ranked, but he’s a risky proposition to finish the game this week too, especially if the game goes as expected, and the Giants put the Raiders away early.

 

1. Peyton Manning @ TEN (4)

2. Ben Roethlisberger @ DET (5)

3. Matt Schaub @ AZ (11)

4. Joe Flacco vs. CIN (13)

5. Brett Favre @ St.L (18)

6. David Garrard @ SEA (27)

7. Tony Romo @ KC (27)

8. Kevin Kolb vs. TB (27)

9. Carson Palmer @ BAL (34)

10. Jason Campbell @ CAR (35)

11. Kyle Orton vs. NE (37)

12. Trent Edwards vs. CLE (41)

13. Matt Ryan @ SF (42)

14. Matt Cassell vs. DAL (42)

15. Seneca Wallace vs. JAX (42)

16. Kurt Warner vs. HOU (43)

17. Tom Brady @ DEN (44)

18. Eli Manning vs. OAK (45) *if healthy he’d be 9th

19. Mark Sanchez @ MIA (46)

20. Kyle Boller vs. MIN (48)

21. Shaun Hill vs. ATL (49)

22. Kerry Collins vs. IND (50)

23. Derek Anderson @ BUF (54)

24. Josh Johnson @ PHI (55)

25. Daunte Culpepper vs. PIT (57)

26. Jake Delhomme vs. WAS (60)

27. JaMarcus Russell @ NYG (68)

28. Chad Henne vs. NYJ (73)

 

 

Running Backs

 

1. Adrian Peterson @ St.L (15)

2. Maurice Jones-Drew @ SEA (17)

3. Chris Johnson vs. IND (18)

4. Ronnie Brown vs. NYJ (26)

5. Tim Hightower vs. HOU (26)

6. Marshawn Lynch vs. CLE (27)

7. Cedric Benson @ BAL (31) *assuming he’s probable or better

8. Fred Jackson vs. CLE (31)

9. Julius Jones vs. JAX (33)

10. Willis McGahee vs. CIN (34)

11. Marion Barber @ KC (37) *assuming he’s probable or better

12. Ricky Williams vs. NYJ (38)

13. Kevin Smith vs. PIT (41)

14. DeAngelo Williams vs. WAS (41)

15. Rashard Mendenhall @ DET (41)

16. Cadillac Williams @ PHI (42)

17. Brandon Jacobs vs. OAK (43)

18. Michael Turner @ SF (43)

19. Ray Rice vs. CIN (44)

20. Knowshon Moreno vs. NE (45)

21. Brian Westbrook vs. TB (47)

22. Clinton Portis @ CAR (48)

23. Glen Coffee vs. ATL (48)

24. Thomas Jones @ MIA (49)

25. Joseph Addai @ TEN (50)

26. Steve Slaton @ AZ (50)

27. LeSean McCoy vs. TB (51)

28. Jerome Harrison @ BUF (52)

29. Tashard Choice @ KC (53)

30. Ahmad Bradshaw vs. OAK (53)

31. Steven Jackson vs. MIN (56)

32. Michael Bush @ NYG (57)

33. Larry Johnson vs. DAL (62)

34. Donald Brown @ TEN (64)

35. Sammy Morris @ DEN (64)

36. Mewelde Moore @ DET (64)

37. Derrick Ward @ PHI (70)

38. Jamal Lewis @ BUF (72)

39. Chester Taylor @ St.L (75)

40. Willie Parker @ DET (76) *if he’s playing

41. Leon Washington @ MIA (77)

42. Lawrence Maroney @ DEN (78)

43. Ladell Betts @ CAR (78)

44. Jason Snelling @ SF (82)

45. LenDale White vs. IND (86)

46. Jonathan Stewart vs. WAS (87)

47. LeRon McClain vs. CIN (92)

48. Rock Cartwright @ CAR (92)

49. Kevin Faulk @ DEN (98)

50. Jamal Charles vs. DAL (98)

 

 

Wide Receivers

 

1. Reggie Wayne @ TEN (5)

2. DeSean Jackson vs. TB (6)

3. Andre Johnson @ AZ (11)

4. Steve Smith vs. OAK (17)

5. Mike Sims-Walker @ SEA (19)

6. Chad Ochocinco @ BAL (24)

7. Calvin Johnson vs. PIT (26)

8. Mario Manningham vs. OAK (27)

9. Derrick Mason vs. CIN (27)

10. Santonio Holmes @ DET (30)

11. Jehrico Cotchery @ MIA (33)

12. Pierre Garcon @ TEN (33)

13. Hines Ward @ DET (34)

14. Larry Fitzgerald vs. HOU (34)

15. Nate Burleson vs. JAX (38)

16. Percy Harvin @ St.L (41)

17. Santana Moss @ CAR (44)

18. Patrick Crayton @ KC (44)

19. Randy Moss @ DEN (47)

20. Jacoby Jones @ AZ (47)

21. Nate Washington vs. IND (50)

22. Roy Williams @ KC (50) *assuming he’s probable or better

23. Brandon Marshall vs. NE (53)

24. Anquan Boldin vs. HOU (56)

25. Sidney Rice @ St.L (57)

26. Kelley Washington vs. CIN (57)

27. Mark Clayton vs. CIN (59)

28. Terrell Owens vs. CLE (60)

29. Kenny Britt vs. IND (62)

30. TJ Houshmandzadeh vs. JAX (62)

31. DeWayne Bowe vs. DAL (63)

32. Antonio Bryant @ PHI (63)

33. Roddy White @ SF (66)

34. Steve Smith vs. WAS (68)

35. Bernard Berrian @ St.L (71)

36. Bobby Wade vs. DAL (73)

37. Kevin Walter @ AZ (73)

38. Steve Breaston vs. HOU (77)

39. Lee Evans vs. CLE (78)

40. Brandon Stokley vs. NE (83)

41. Tory Holy @ SEA (83)

42. Bryant Johnson vs. PIT (84)

43. Mark Bradley vs. DAL (85)

44. Austin Collie @ TEN (85)

45. Mike Wallace @ DET (86)

46. Jason Avant vs. TB (89)

47. Wes Welker @ DEN (91)

48. Louis Murphy @ NYG (92)

49. Justin Gage vs. IND (92)

50. Andre Caldwell @ BAL (94)

 

 

Tight Ends

 

1. Dallas Clark @ TEN (5)

2. Chris Cooley @ CAR (15)

3. Owen Daniels @ AZ (16)

4. Vernon Davis vs. ATL (17)

5. Heath Miller @ DET (18)

6. Brent Celek vs. TB (19)

7. Visanthe Schiancoe @ St.L (26)

8. Dustin Keller @ MIA (28)

9. Daniel Fells vs. MIN (29)

10. John Carlson vs. JAX (30)

11. Mercedes Lewis @ SEA (32)

12. Jason Witten @ KC (32)

13. Todd Heap vs. CIN (33)

14. Robert Royal @ BUF (34)

15. Tony Gonzalez @ SF (35)

16. Will Heller vs. PIT (37)

17. Sean Ryan vs. DAL (38)

18. Benjamin Watson @ DEN (41)

19. Kellen Winslow Jr. @ PHI (45)

20. Dante Rosario vs. WAS (45)

21. Zach Miller @ NYG (45)

22. Steve Heiden @ BUF (46)

23. Brandon Pettigrew vs. PIT (47)

24. Randy McMichael vs. MIN (53)

25. Kevin Boss vs. OAK (57)

26. Tony Scheffler vs. NE (59)

27. Matt Spaeth @ DET (62)

28. Ben Hartsock @ MIA (62)

29. Jeramy Stevens @ PHI (63)

30. Daniel Graham vs. NE (65)

 

 

Defense / Special Teams

 

1. Giants vs. OAK (10)

2. Vikings @ St.L (10)

3. Eagles vs. TB (13)

4. Broncos vs. NE (22)

5. Redskins @ CAR (23)

6. Colts @ TEN (25)

7. Dolphins vs. NYJ (25)

8. Ravens vs. CIN (26)

9. 49ers vs. ATL (27)

10. Texans vs. AZ (29)

11. Bills vs. CLE (29)

12. Jets @ MIA (30)

13. Bengals @ BAL (36)

14. Cardinals vs. HOU (36)

15. Cowboys @ KC (39)

16. Falcons @ SF (39)

17. Patriots @ DEN (40)

18. Browns @ BUF (44)

19. Steelers @ DET (46)

20. Jaguars @ SEA (50)

21. Seahawks vs. JAX (52)

22. Panthers vs. WAS (54)

23. Lions vs. PIT (55)

24. Raiders @ NYG (57)

25. Chiefs vs. DAL (61)

26. Buccaneers @ PHI (65)

27. Rams vs. MIN (67)

28. Titans vs. IND (69)

 

 

Kickers

 

1. Lawrence Tynes vs. OAK (10)

2. David Akers vs. TB (14)

3. Ryan Longwell @ St.L (17)

4. Joe Nedney vs. ATL (18)

5. Nick Folk @ KC (19)

6. Adam Vinatieri @ TEN (24)

7. Josh Scobee @ SEA (26)

8. Neil Rackers vs. HOU (27)

9. Stephen Gostkowski @ DEN (29)

10. Matt Prater vs. NE (30)

11. Rian Lindell vs. CLE (33)

12. Steven Hauschka vs. CIN (34)

13. Jeff Reed @ DET (34)

14. Jay Feeley @ MIA (39)

15. Jason Hanson vs. PIT (42)

16. Sebastian Janikowski @ NYG (44)

17. Kris Brown @ AZ (47)

18. Shayne Graham @ BAL (49)

19. Rob Bironas vs. IND (51)

20. Dan Carpenter vs. NYJ (53)

21. Jason Elam @ SF (53)

22. Olindo Mare vs. JAX (55)

23. John Kasay vs. WAS (56)

24. Shaun Suisham @ CAR (58)

25. Billy Cundiff @ BUF (59)

26. Josh Brown vs. MIN (62)

27. Ryan Succop vs. DAL (64)

28. Mike Nugent @ PHI (67)

 

 

 

 

 

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Week 4 Fantasy Football Start Rankings

Posted on 30 September 2009 by Thyrl Nelson

Here are the Fantasy Flavor, Fantasy Football Start Rankings for Week 4. The byes are here, which means more tough lineup decisions to deliberate over. The formulary rankings are based on 2 parts individual performance, and one part defensive draw. Remember, it’s not an inducement to do anything crazy. It’s more of a guideline to help when scouring the waiver wire, or working through a tough decision. The formulary numbers are listed in parentheses behind each player, the lower the number the better.

 

 

Quarterbacks

 

1. Jay Cutler vs. DET (21)

2. Peyton Manning vs. SEA (26)

3. Eli Manning @ KC (26)

4. Phillip Rivers @ PIT (27)

5. Jason Campbell vs. TB (28)

6. Matt Schaub vs. OAK (29)

7. Joe Flacco @ NE (30)

8. Aaron Rodgers @ MIN (32)

9. Ben Roethlisberger vs. SD (33)

10. Trent Edwards @ MIA (34)

11. Drew Brees vs. NYJ (35)

12. David Garrard vs. TEN (36)

13. Brett Favre vs. GB (39)

14. Shaun Hill vs. St.L (43)

15. Tom Brady vs. BAL (45)

16. Kerry Collins @ JAX (45)

17. Tony Romo @ DEN (46)

18. Carson Palmer @ CLE (48)

19. Kyle Orton vs. DAL (48)

20. Matthew Stafford @ CHI (56)

21. Mark Sanchez @ NO (57)

22. JaMarcus Russell @ HOU (57)

23. Derek Anderson / Brady Quinn vs. CIN (61)

24. Kyle Boller @ SF (64)

25. Chad Henne vs. BUF (67)

26. Seneca Wallace @ IND (74) *if he starts

27. Josh Johnson @ WAS (76)

28. Matt Cassell vs. NYG (77)

 

 

Running Backs

 

1. Cedric Benson @ CLE (14)

2. Ronnie Brown vs. BUF (19)

3. Chris Johnson @ JAX (20)

4. Adrian Peterson vs. GB (27)

5. Willis McGahee @ NE (27)

6. Ricky Williams vs. BUF (29)

7. Maurice Jones-Drew vs. TEN (30)

8. Julius Jones @ IND (34)

9. Steven Jackson @ SF (35)

10. Ray Rice @ NE (43)

11. Darren Sproles @ PIT (44)

12. Correll Buckhalter vs. DAL (46)

13. Joseph Addai vs. SEA (46)

14. Brandon Jacobs @ KC (46)

15. Fred Jackson @ MIA (47)

16. Ryan Grant @ MIN (49)

17. Cadillac Williams @ WAS (52) *assuming he’s probable or better

18. Thomas Jones @ NO (53)

19. Willie Parker vs. SD (53) *assuming he’s probable or better

20. Donald Brown vs. SEA (54)

21. Fred Taylor vs. BAL (56)

22. Marshawn Lynch @ MIA (57)

23. Ahmad Bradshaw @ KC (58)

24. Darren McFadden @ HOU (59)

25. Kevin Smith @ CHI (60) *assuming he’s probable or better

26. Knowshon Moreno vs. DAL (62)

27. Marion Barber @ DEN (63) *assuming he’s probable or better

28. Matt Forte vs. DET (65)

29. Felix Jones @ DEN (67) *assuming he’s probable or better

30. Michael Bush @ HOU (69)

31. Clinton Portis vs. TB (69)

32. Tashard Choice @ DEN (71) *bump him up if the starters are hurt

33. Steve Slaton vs. OAK (71)

34. Reggie Bush vs. NYJ (76)

35. Glen Coffee vs. St.L (77)

36. Pierre Thomas vs. NYJ (78)

37. Derrick Ward @ WAS (82)

38. Ladell Betts vs. TB (85)

39. Maurice Morris @ CHI (86)

40. Larry Johnson vs. NYG (89)

41. LaDanian Tomlinson @ PIT (90) *assuming he’s probable or better

42. Brian Leonard @ CLE (92)

43. Rock Cartwright vs. TB (93)

44. Jerome Harrison vs. CIN (94)

45. Leon Washington @ NO (95)

46. LeRon McClain @ NE (95)

47. Mike Bell vs. NYJ (96)

48. LenDale White @ JAX (96)

49. Heath Evans vs. NYJ (96)

50. Mewelde Moore vs. SD (98) *boost him substantially if Parker isn’t playing

 

 

Wide Receivers

 

1. Vincent Jackson @ PIT (14)

2. Devin Hester @ DET (24)

3. Reggie Wayne vs. SEA (26)

4. Steve Smith @ KC (26)

5. Percy Harvin vs. GB (26)

6. Andre Johnson vs. OAK (27)

7. Jerricho Cotchery @ NO (28)

8. Mario Manningham @ KC (30)

9. Chad Ochocinco @ CLE (31)

10. Johnny Knox vs. DET (36)

11. Marques Colston vs. NYJ (40)

12. Donald Driver @ MIN (43)

13. Randy Moss vs. BAL (43)

14. Santana Moss vs. TB (45)

15. Mike Sims-Walker vs. TEN (50)

16. Santonio Holmes vs. SD (51)

17. Nate Burleson @ IND (54)

18. Greg Jennings @ MIN (57)

19. Devery Handerson vs. NYJ (58)

20. Calvin Johnson @ CHI (59)

21. Brandon Stokley vs. DAL (59)

22. Pierre Garcon vs. SEA (64)

23. Patrick Crayton @ DEN (65)

24. Justin Gage @ JAX (65)

25. Wes Welker vs. BAL (68) *assuming he’s probable or better

26. Nate Washington @ JAX (69)

27. Derrick Mason @ NE (72)

28. Kelley Washington @ NE (74)

29. Earl Bennett vs. DET (74)

30. Brandon Marshall vs. DAL (75)

31. Roy Williams @ DEN (77)

32. Hines Ward vs. SD (77)

33. Jacoby Jones vs. OAK (77)

34. Andre Caldwell @ CLE (85)

35. Tory Holt vs. TEN (86)

36. DeWayne Bowe vs. NYG (88)

37. Louis Murphy @ HOU (89)

38. Kenny Britt @ JAX (89)

39. Antoine Randle-El vs. TB (89)

40. Mark Clayton @ NE (93)

41. Chansi Stuckey @ NO (94)

42. Bryant Johnson @ CHI (95)

43. Mark Bradley vs. NYG (96)

44. Kevin Walter vs. OAK (99)

45. Terrell Owens @ MIA (101)

46. Sidney Rice vs. GB (104)

47. Jabar Gafney vs. DAL (107)

48. Issaac Bruce vs. St.L (111)

49. Braylon Edwards vs. CIN (113)

50. Lee Evans @ MIA (115)

 

 

Tight Ends

 

1. Vernon Davis vs. St.L (9)

2. Dallas Clark vs. SEA (17)

3. Todd Heap @ NE (26)

4. Mercedes Lewis vs. TEN (30)

5. Owen Daniels vs. OAK (33)

6. Kellen Winslow @ WAS (36)

7. Chris Cooley vs. TB (36)

8. John Carlson @ IND (38)

9. Benjamin Watson vs. BAL (40)

10. Greg Olsen vs. DET (40)

11. Antonio Gates @ PIT (41)

12. Jeremy Shockey vs. NYJ (42)

13. Dustin Keller @ NO (45)

14. Jason Witten @ DEN (47)

15. Robert Royal vs. CIN (50)

16. Visanthe Schiancoe vs. GB (51)

17. Kevin Boss @ KC (54)

18. Tony Scheffler vs. DAL (55)

19. Sean Ryan vs. NYG (56)

20. Heath Hiller vs. SD (57)

21. Daniel Fells @ SF (58)

22. Chris Baker vs. BAL (58)

23. Jeramy Stevens @ WAS (60)

24. Kellen Davis vs. DET (60)

25. Zach Miller @ HOU (65)

26. Daniel Graham vs. DAL (65)

27. Jermichael Finley @ MIN (69)

28. Donald Lee @ MIN (73)

29. Alge Crumpler @ JAX (76)

30. Shawn Nelson @ MIA (76)

 

 

Kickers

 

1. Lawrence Tynes @ KC (6)

2. Ryan Longwell vs. GB (16)

3. Stephen Gostkowski vs. BAL (16)

4. Joe Nedney vs. St.L (18)

5. Rian Lindell @ MIA (27)

6. Mason Crosby @ MIN (31)

7. Jon Carney vs. NYJ (37)

8. Jason Hanson @ CHI (37)

9. Nate Kaeding @ PIT (38)

10. Sebastian Janikowski @ HOU (38)

11. Matt Prater vs. DAL (40)

12. Stephen Hauschka @ NE (40)

13. Olindo Mare @ IND (40)

14. Josh Scobee vs. TEN (43)

15. Shaun Suisham vs. TB (45)

16. Nick Folk @ DEN (49)

17. Jay Feeley @ NO (50)

18. Kris Brown vs. OAK (51)

19. Shayne Graham @ CLE (56)

20. Dan Carpenter vs. BUF (57)

21. Robbie Gould vs. DET (57)

22. Phil Dawson / Billy Cundiff vs. CIN (59)

23. Josh Brown @ SF (59)

24. Adam Vinatieri vs. SEA (64)

25. Jeff Reed vs. SD (64)

26. Rob Bironas @ JAX (71)

27. Mike Nugent @ WAS (77)

28. Ryan Succop vs. NYG (80)

 

 

Defense / Special Teams

 

1. 49ers vs. St.L (17)

2. Packers @ MIN (20)

3. Giants @ KC (21)

4. Bills @ MIA (22)

5. Bengals @ CLE (22)

6. Saints vs. NYJ (24)

7. Broncos vs. DAL (27)

8. Vikings vs. GB (28)

9. Chargers @ PIT (33)

10. Ravens @ NE (38)

11. Bears vs. DET (40)

12. Jets @ NO (41)

13. Colts vs. SEA (44)

14. Titans @ JAX (47)

15. Redskins vs. TB (49)

16. Lions @ CHI (50)

17. Seahawks @ IND (52)

18. Jaguars vs. TEN (53)

19. Texans vs. OAK (54)

20. Cowboys @ DEN (56)

21. Raiders @ HOU (56)

22. Steelers vs. SD (61)

23. Browns vs. CIN (63)

24. Buccaneers @ WAS (64)

25. Dolphins vs. BUF (67)

26. Patriots vs. BAL (69)

27. Rams @ SF (73)

28. Chiefs vs. NYG (77)

 

 

As always, keep an eye on the injury report, have fun, and good luck this week.

 

 

 

 

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Week 3 Fantasy Football Start Rankings

Posted on 23 September 2009 by Thyrl Nelson

This week’s formulary rankings have gotten a bit interesting, with a number of surprises. As always, the rankings are based on 2 parts player performance and expectations, and 1 part based on the defense that’s opposing them. For the first 2 weeks, I used the defensive tendencies from last season, but this week, I averaged the defense’s performance from last season against what they’ve done so far this year. There are also a few minor adjustments made based simply on my gut.

 

As always, these rankings aren’t meant to make you do anything crazy, like benching Tom Brady this week because he’s ranked 12th.They’re meant instead to be used as a guideline for tough decisions, to find sleepers on the waiver wire, and to caution you to temper your expectations in cases where the match ups may be less than favorable.

 

Remember that the formulary numbers are in parentheses behind each player. The lower the number, the better it looks for your player, with a lowest possible score of 3.

 

Quarterbacks

 

I’m staying off of both Donavan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck this week with their respective rib injuries. Their backups are ranked as if they’re starting. If the backups aren’t starting, I’m off of the starters, as I have my doubts about either of them finishing.

 

1. Drew Brees @ BUF (13)

2. Tony Romo vs. CAR (17)

3. Peyton Manning @ AZ (18)

4. Matt Ryan @ AZ (19)

5. Joe Flacco vs. CLE (20)

6. Phillip Rivers vs. MIA (24)

7. Matt Schaub vs. JAX (24)

8. Trent Edwards vs. NO (26)

9. Aaron Rodgers @ St.L (31)

10. Eli Manning @ TB (33)

11. Ben Roethlisberger @ CIN (35)

12. Tom Brady vs. ATL (41)

13. Jason Campbell @ DET (46)

14. Kyle Orton @ OAK (49)

15. Jay Cutler @ SEA (49)

16. David Garrard @ HOU (53)

17. Kurt Warner vs. IND (54)

18. Byron Leftwich vs. NYG (54)

19. Carson Palmer vs. PIT (55)

20. Brett Favre vs. SF (55)

21. Mark Sanchez vs. TEN (57)

22. Kerry Collins @ NYJ (59)

23. Kevin Kolb vs. KC (62)

24. Marc Bulger vs. GB (63)

25. Chad Pennington @ SD (68)

26. Shaun Hill @ MIN (74)

27. Matthew Stafford vs. WAS (76)

28. Seneca Wallace vs. CHI (76)

29. Brady Quinn @ BAL (78)

30. Jake Delhomme @ DAL (78)

31. JaMarcus Russell vs. DEN (79)

32. Matt Cassell @ PHI (84)

 

Running Backs

 

Injuries will have a lot to do with how these rankings wind up looking by game day. So far though, it would seem that the running backs without committees behind them are most valuable, while the committee approach remains much more hit or miss. Willis McGahee is obviously the biggest surprise here, and should still be looked at cautiously, because of the shared carries situation, but high-ranking sleepers abound on this week’s list.

 

1. Willis McGahee vs. CLE (13)

2. Adrian Peterson vs. SF (18)

3. Fred Jackson vs. NO (30)

4. Tim Hightower vs. IND (30)

5. Frank Gore @ MIN (31) *assuming he’s probable or better

6. Ronnie Brown @ SD (31)

7. Chris Johnson @ NYJ (36)

8. Marion Barber vs. CAR (36) *assuming he’s probable or better

9. Maurice Jones-Drew @ HOU (37)

10. DeAngelo Williams @ DAL (39)

11. Darren Sproles vs. MIA (42) *drop him 4 or 5 spots if LT is probable or better

12. Ryan Grant @ St.L (43)

13. Cedric Benson vs. PIT (48)

14. Thomas Jones vs. TEN (48)

15. Ray Rice vs. CLE (49)

16. Brian Westbrook vs. KC (50) *assuming he’s probable or better

17. Cadillac Williams vs. NYG (51)

18. Julius Jones vs. CHI (52) *assuming he’s probable or better

19. Michael Turner @ NE (53)

20. Matt Forte @ SEA (54)

21. Clinton Portis @ DET (57)

22. Mike Bell @ BUF (57)

23. Steven Jackson vs. GB (62)

24. Kevin Smith vs. WAS (62)

25. Derrick Ward vs. NYG (63)

26. Darren McFadden vs. DEN (64)

27. Felix Jones vs. CAR (64) *put him around #12 if he’s starting

28. Brandon Jacobs @ TB (64)

29. LeSean McCoy vs. KC (65) *put him around #20 if he’s starting

30. Steve Slaton vs. JAX (66)

31. Reggie Bush @ BUF (68)

32. Knowshon Moreno @ OAK (68)

33. Ricky Williams @ SD (69)

34. Michael Bush vs. DEN (70)

35. Fred Taylor vs. ATL (71)

36. LeRon McClain vs. CLE (71)

37. Joseph Addai @ AZ (72)

38. LaDanian Tomlinson vs. MIA (72) *bump him up 5 spots if he’s probable or better

39. Larry Johnson @ PHI (73)

40. Jonathan Stewart @ DAL (75)

41. Correll Buckhalter @ OAK (76)

42. Ahmad Bradshaw @ TB (78)

43. Chris Wells vs. IND (80)

44. Kevin Faulk vs. ATL (81)

45. Donald Brown @ AZ (82)

46. Jason Wright vs. IND (82)

47. Ladell Betts @ DET (87)

48. Lawrence Maroney vs. ATL (87)

49. Jamal Lewis @ BAL (88)

50. Sammy Morris vs. ATL (88)

 

 

Wide Receivers

 

1. Andre Johnson vs. JAX (12)

2. Reggie Wayne @ AZ (13)

3. Santonio Holmes @ CIN (17)

4. Marques Colston @ BUF (21)

5. Vincent Jackson vs. MIA (21)

6. DeSean Jackson vs. KC (28)

7. Steve Smith @ TB (29)

8. Terrell Owens vs. NO (29)

9. Percy Harvin vs. SF (35)

10. Larry Fitzgerald vs. IND (36)

11. Devery Henderson @ BUF (37)

12. Chad Ocho-Cinco vs. PIT (37)

13. Greg Jennings @ St.L (37)

14. Calvin Johnson vs. WAS (38)

15. Randy Moss vs. ATL (41)

16. Mike Sims-Walker @ HOU (41)

17. DeWayne Bowe @ PHI (42)

18. Donald Driver @ St.L (45)

19. Jehrico Cotchery vs. TEN (45)

20. Mario Manningham @ TB (45)

21. Devin Hester @ SEA (48)

22. Johnny Knox @ SEA (50)

23. Derrick Mason vs. CLE (54)

24. Wes Welker vs. AZ (55) *assuming he’s probable or better

25. Brandon Stokley @ CAR (56)

26. Roy Williams vs. CAR (56)

27. Patrick Crayton vs. CLE (62)

28. Steve Smith @ DAL (58)

29. Mark Clayton vs. CLE (62)

30. Hines Ward @ CIN (63)

31. Louis Murphy vs. DEN (64)

32. Roddy White @ NE (64)

33. Antoine Randle-El @ DET (65)

34. Anquan Boldin vs. IND (66) *bump him up 5 spots or so if he’s probable or better

35. Laurent Robinson @ NE (66)

36. Nate Burleson vs. CHI (67)

37. Justin Gage @ NYJ (68)

38. Jacoby Jones vs. JAX (68)

39. Ted Ginn Jr. @ SD (72)

40. Robert Meachem @ BUF (73)

41. Lee Evans vs. NO (73)

42. Chansi Stuckey vs. TEN (75)

43. Pierre Garcon @ AZ (75)

44. Laverneus Coles vs. PIT (76)

45. Myles Austin vs. CAR (78)

46. Braylon Edwards @ BAL (78)

47. Jason Avant vs. KC (82)

48. TJ Houshmandzadeh vs. CHI (85)

49. Tory Holt @ HOU (87)

50. Brandon Marshall @ OAK (92)

 

 

Tight Ends

 

1. Tony Gonzalez @ NE (13)

2. Chris Cooley @ DET (15)

3. Dallas Clark @ AZ (18)

4. Jason Witten vs. CAR (25)

5. Jeremy Shockey @ BUF (26)

6. Kellen Winslow Jr. vs. NYG (27)

7. Brent Celek vs. KC (30)

8. Dustin Keller vs. TEN (31)

9. Benjamin Watson vs. ATL (32)

10. John Carlson vs. CHI (33)

11. Antonio Gates vs. MIA (34)

12. Todd Heap vs. CLE (38)

13. Owen Daniels vs. JAX (38)

14. Mercedes Lewis @ HOU (41)

15. Robert Royal @ BAL (50)

16. Jeremy Stevens vs. NYG (51)

17. Vernon Davis @ MIN (51)

18. Zach Miller vs. DEN (53)

19. Dante Rosario @ DAL (55)

20. Heath Miller @ CIN (55)

21. Derek Schouman vs. NO (58)

22. Kevin Boss @ TB (60)

23. Greg Olsen @ SEA (61)

24. Matt Spaeth @ CIN (63)

25. Jermichael Finley @ St.L (63)

26. Sean Ryan @ PHI (63)

27. Tony Scheffler @ OAK (64)

28. Visanthe Schiancoe vs. SF (69)

29. Alge Crumpler @ NYJ (72)

30. Randy McMichael vs. GB (73)

 

 

Defense / Special Teams

 

1. Eagles vs. KC (15)

2. Broncos vs. OAK (15)

3. Packers @ St.L (20)

4. Giants @ TB (22)

5. Steelers @ CIN (22)

6. Vikings vs. SF (25)

7. Ravens vs. CLE (25)

8. Falcons @ NE (26)

9. Saints @ BUF (32)

10. Cardinals vs. IND (33)

11. Seahawks vs. CHI (36)

12. Bengals vs. PIT (36)

13. 49ers @ MIN (39)

14. Lions vs. WAS (41)

15. Bills vs. NO (43)

16. Raiders vs. DEN (43)

17. Titans @ NYJ (44)

18. Bears @ SEA (47)

19. Jets vs. TEN (48)

20. Redskins @ DET (48)

21. Chiefs @ PHI (55)

22. Texans vs. JAX (56)

23. Rams vs. GB (63)

24. Chargers vs. MIA (68)

25. Colts @ AZ (70)

26. Patriots vs. ATL (72)

27. Browns @ BAL (74)

28. Dolphins @ SD (77)

29. Panthers @ DAL (77)

30. Jaguars @ HOU (78)

31. Cowboys vs. CAR (85)

32. Buccaneers vs. NYG (93)

 

 

Kickers

 

1. Lawrence Tynes @ TB (9)

2. Rian Lindell vs. NO (12)

3. Nate Kaeding vs. MIA (18)

4. Joe Nedney @ MIN (21)

5. Ryan Longwell vs. SF (22)

6. Neil Rackers vs. IND (22)

7. David Akers vs. KC (26)

8. John Carney @ BUF (28)

9. Nick Folk vs. CAR (37)

10. Sebastian Janikowski vs. DEN (38)

11. Jason Hanson vs. WAS (41)

12. John Kasay @ DAL (43)

13. Shaun Suisham @ DET (43)

14. Jay Feeley vs. TEN (44)

15. Phil Dawson @ BAL (45)

16. Stephen Hauschka vs. CLE (49)

17. Matt Prater @ OAK (50)

18. Robbie Gould @ SEA (50)

19. Stephen Gostkowski vs. ATL (51)

20. Mason Crosby @ St.L (51)

21. Dan Carpenter @ SD (62)

22. Adam Vinatieri @ AZ (62)

23. Ryan Succop @ PHI (63)

24. Jason Elam @ NE (68)

25. Josh Scobee @ HOU (69)

26. Kris Brown vs. JAX (72)

27. Rob Bironas @ NYJ (73)

28. Josh Brown vs. GB (77)

29. Jeff Reed @ CIN (78)

30. Olindo Mare vs. CHI (80)

31. Shayne Graham vs. PIT (84)

32. Mike Nugent vs. NYG (87)

 

As always, keep an eye on the injury report. And Good Luck this week.

 

 

 

 

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Fantasy’s Back – Free Money Up for Grabs

Posted on 13 February 2009 by Thyrl Nelson

WNST and Toyotaliveweb.com are once again in the fantasy sports business. For those who have been suffering from fantasy sports withdrawal, WNST’s fantasy offerings are back, and soon to be in full swing. The NASCAR season begins on Sunday, and $2500 in cash prizes are on the line in our Fantasy NASCAR Sweepstakes.

 

If you haven’t signed up already, what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose? Nothing, with no entry fee to play, it will only cost you 2 minutes of your time to get signed up. It will also give you the jump on registration for baseball and golf, both coming in April, and of course for fantasy football too.

 

Click Here To Register Now!!!!!

 

There’ll be a relatively small number of players to compete against, and it’s easy to play. You simply pick the top 10 finishers in each week’s race, and get 100 points for each driver that you successfully predict in the top 10. You also get bonus points for any driver whose exact finish you predict correctly.

 

It’s easy to manage too. If you set a lineup today, and never go back to the game again, your lineup will carry over through the season. The 3 highest single week scores will walk away with the money, so you can get in at any time, but the earlier you do it, the more chances you’ll have to submit that winning lineup.

 

You may even find that it gives you a reason to watch a sport that you wouldn’t otherwise watch, and a rooting interest too. That’s what happened to me last season.

 

I’ve always considered myself a baseball, football and basketball guy with interests in boxing and MMA. I also have always been a guy who’d be interested in just about anything that gives you an excuse to make a wager. When it comes down to it, no sport may be more conducive to gambling than NASCAR racing.

 

Odds are, even if you don’t watch racing, you know who the good drivers are, just go and pick 10. Or you could take the lottery style approach and simply pick your favorite numbers. Draw them out of a hat if you’d like, just pick 10 drivers.

 

After you’ve selected your 10, print them out so you’ll remember, and watch the race on Sunday. What else is there to do this Sunday? At least make time to watch the last 100 laps. After that, if you can’t get into it, you just can’t. Baseball will be here soon enough.

 

Unlike other sports, NASCAR puts their biggest event at the beginning of the season. (I never quite bought the Superbowl analogy, but in a sport where the championship could potentially be sewn up before the last event, things are a bit different.) In any regard, it’s sure to be an entertaining race, and will be even more so, if it sets you on the way to walking away with your share of the $2500 in cash.

 

Sign Up And Have Fun!!!!!!!!!!

 

I challenge you to pick a lineup and watch the race and not enjoy it. Even if you don’t enjoy it, you’ll still have a lineup set, and won’t have to do anything else with it for the remainder of the season if you don’t want to. You could still wind up being pleasantly surprised once the season winds down.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Fantasy Flavor Week 17 Start Rankings

Posted on 26 December 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

Well it’s week 17, and for most of us the fantasy season ended either quite some time ago, or for a fortunate few, just last week. In the event that your league plays through week 17 though, here are the week 17 start rankings for every position. It’s the top 50 running backs, top 75 wide receivers, top 35 tight ends, plus all of the projected starters at quarterback, kicker and defense / special teams ranked for this week.

 

The rankings were gotten using the fantasy flavor formula, which is basically 2 parts player performance, and 1 part defensive expectations against them, with adjustments made for injuries and anomalies. Each player’s formulary rankings are listed in parentheses behind the player, the lower the number, the better that player projects.

 

We’ll bring back the positional power rankings for the final ranks next week, along with some year ending fantasy awards too. Until then, good luck this week.

 

QUARTERBACKS

 

1. Jay Cutler (8)

2. Aaron Rodgers (8)

3. Kurt Warner (17) *be careful, he may not play the whole game

4. Phillip Rivers (21)

5. Drew Brees (26)

6. Tyler Thigpen (31)

7. Chad Pennington (34)

8. Matt Cassel (35)

9. Tony Romo (38)

10. Matt Schaub (40)

11. Peyton Manning (41) *be careful, he may not play the whole game

12. Shaun Hill (45)

13. Donavan McNabb (45)

14. Jeff Garcia (48)

15. Brett Favre (48)

16. Matt Ryan (48)

17. Joe Flacco (51)

18. Kyle Orton (53)

19. David Garrard (56)

20. Jason Campbell (56)

21. Trent Edwards (56)

22. Eli Manning (57) *be careful, he may not play the whole game

23. Ryan Fitzpatrick (57)

24. Seneca Wallace (59)

25. Ben Roethlisberger (60) *be careful, he may not play the whole game

26. Jake Delhomme (60)

27. Tavaris Jackson (70)

28. Marc Bulger (71)

29. Dan Orlovsky (79) *not much difference no mater who is QB

30. JaMarcus Russell (83)

31. Kerry Collins (85) *be careful, he may not play the whole game

32. Bruce Gradkowski (96)

 

 

RUNNING BACKS

 

1. Michael Turner (9)

2. DeAngelo Williams (20)

3. Matt Forte (20)

4. Chris Johnson (25) *playing time could be an issue

5. Stephen Jackson (27)

6. Brian Westbrook (28)

7. LaDanian Tomlinson (29)

8. Thomas Jones (34)

9. Clinton Portis (34)

10. Adrian Peterson (35)

11. Steve Slaton (41)

12. LenDale White (43) *playing time could be an issue

13. Ryan Grant (43)

14. Kevin Smith (46)

15. Brandon Jacobs (47) *playing time could be an issue

16. Larry Johnson (50)

17. Maurice Jones-Drew (52) *keep an eye on injury status

18. Pierre Thomas (53)

19. Marshawn Lynch (54)

20. LeRon McClain (60)

21. Ronnie Brown (61)

22. Cedric Benson (62)

23. Sammy Morris (64)

24. Marion Barber (68) *keep an eye on injury status

25. Kevin Faulk (70)

26. Willis McGahee (72)

27. Warrick Dunn (72)

28. Joseph Addai (73) *playing time could be an issue

29. Willie Parker (76) *playing time could be an issue

30. Dominic Rhodes (77) *could benefit if they rest starters

31. Jonathan Stewart (78)

32. Tim Hightower (79)

33. Mewelde Moore *could benefit if they rest starters

34. Derrick Ward (81)

35. Darren McFadden (91)

36. Tatum Bell (92)

37. Jamal Lewis (93)

38. Chester Taylor (97)

39. Leon Washington (100)

40. Deuce McAllister (101)

41. Ben-Jarvis Green Ellis (102)

42. Justin Fargas (103)

43. Ricky Williams (107)

44. LaMont Jordan (108)

45. Julius Jones (109)

46. Maurice Morris (113)

47. Darren Sproles (113)

48. Cadillac Williams (114)

49. Tashard Choice (117) *much better if Barber doesn’t play

50. Jerious Norwood (117)

 

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

 

1. Anquan Boldin (4) *playing time could be an issue

2. Larry Fitzgerald (8) *playing time could be an issue

3. Steve Smith (9) *CAR

4. Andre Johnson (20)

5. Greg Jennings (20)

6. Roddy White (27)

7. Randy Moss (33)

8. Calvin Johnson (34)

9. Brandon Marshall (37)

10. Antonio Bryant (38)

11. Bernard Berrian (39)

12. Santana Moss (39)

13. Hines Ward (41) *playing time could be an issue

14. Vincent Jackson (44)

15. DeWayne Bowe (44)

16. Eddie Royal (49)

17. Kevin Walter (50)

18. Terrell Owens (51)

19. Marques Colston (57)

20. Wes Welker (57)

21. Reggie Wayne (58) *playing time could be an issue

22. Santonio Holmes (61) *playing time could be an issue

23. Lee Evans (63)

24. TJ Houshmandzadeh (66)

25. Derrick Mason (66)

26. Donald Driver (66)

27. Laverneus Coles (66)

28. Lance Moore (69)

29. Mark Bradley (70)

30. Mushin Muhammad (71)

31. DeSean Jackson (73)

32. Jehrico Cotchery (74)

33. Justin Gage (75) *playing time could be an issue

34. Issac Bruce (75)

35. Steve Breaston (80) *could benefit if they rest starters

36. Deion Branch (91)

37. Malcolm Floyd (94)

38. Mark Clayton (94)

39. DeVery Henderson (95)

40. Chris Chambers (98)

41. Michael Jenkins (99)

42. Braylon Edwards (100)

43. Kevin Curtis (103) *keep an eye on injury status

44. Ted Ginn Jr. (104)

45. Nate Washington (105) *could benefit if they rest starters

46. Marvin Harrison (112) *playing time could be an issue

47. Robert Meachem (113)

48. Donnie Avery (117)

49. Josh Reed (117)

50. Devin Hester (120)

51. Jabar Gafney (121)

52. Antoine Randle-El (121)

53. Amani Toomer (124) *playing time could be an issue

54. Tory Holt (125)

55. Koren Robinson (125)

56. Tony Gonzalez (126)

57. Bryant Johnson (129)

58. Marty Booker (132)

59. Chansi Stuckey (132)

60. Reggie Brown (135)

61. Patrick Crayton (137)

62. Brandon Stokley (143)

63. Dennis Northcutt (146)

64. Jeherme Urban (148) *could benefit if they rest starters

65. Josh Morgan (151)

66. Hank Baskett (151)

67. Bobby Wade (151)

68. Domenik Hixon (154) *could benefit if they rest starters

69. Brandon Lloyd (154)

70. Roy Williams (157)

71. James Hardy (159)

72. Johnnie Lee Higgins (161)

73. Ike Hilliard (164)

74. Harry Douglass (165)

75. Steve Smith (170) *NYG could benefit if they rest starters

 

 

TIGHT ENDS

 

1. Antonio Gates (10)

2. Tony Gonzalez (17)

3. Jason Witten (18)

4. Anthony Fasano (19)

5. Dallas Clark (20) *playing time could be an issue

6. Tony Scheffler (21)

7. Joey Haynos (29)

8. John Carlson (35)

9. Kevin Boss (36)

10. Owen Daniels (38)

11. Greg Olsen (39)

12. Daniel Graham (39)

13. Donald Lee (42)

14. Visanthe Schiancoe (44)

15. Martellus Bennett (44)

16. Zach Miller (47)

17. Billy Miller (49)

18. David Martin (55)

19. Chris Cooley (57)

20. Heath Miller (57)

21. Jerramy Stevens (58)

22. Todd Heap (63)

23. Dustin Keller (64)

24. Alex Smith (64)

25. Bo Scaife (68)

26. LJ Smith (72)

27. Mercedes Lewis (73)

28. Derrick Fine (74)

29. Jeremy Shockey (77)

30. Desmond Clark (77)

31. Robert Royal (80)

32. Benjamin Watson (83)

33. Vernon Davis (85)

34. George Wrighster (85)

35. Michael Gaines (87)

 

 

KICKERS

 

1. Stephen Gostkowski (9)

2. Rob Bironas (13)

3. Jason Elam (16)

4. David Akers (20)

5. Mason Crosby (28)

6. Jon Carney (31)

7. Nate Kaeding (32)

8. Garrett Hartley (34)

9. John Kasay (34)

10. Rian Lindell (35)

11. Phil Dawson (44)

12. Neil Rackers (45)

13. Shaun Suisham (45)

14. Matt Bryant (46)

15. Jay Feeley (46)

16. Ryan Longwell (47)

17. Kris Brown (47)

18. Josh Brown (50)

19. Matt Stover (52)

20. Matt Prater (54)

21. Robbie Gould (57)

22. Jeff Reed (64)

23. Joe Nedney (65)

24. Dan Carpenter (66)

25. Olindo Mare (66)

26. Jason Hanson (69)

27. Shayne Graham (69)

28. Sebastian Janikowski (71)

29. Nick Folk (73)

30. Connor Barth (81)

31. Josh Scobee (83)

32. Adam Vinatieri (92)

 

 

DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS

 

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (12)

2. Baltimore Ravens (16)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22)

4. New York Giants (23)

5. Green Bay Packers (24)

6. Philadelphia Eagles (25)

7. Chicago Bears (25)

8. Tennessee Titans (27)

9. New York Jets (32)

10. Arizona Cardinals (35)

11. Dallas Cowboys (36)

12. Atlanta Falcons (37)

13. Miami Dolphins (42)

14. Cleveland Browns (42)

15. Minnesota Vikings (47)

16. Oakland Raiders (51)

17. San Francisco 49ers (51)

18. San Diego Chargers (57)

19. Indianapolis Colts (58)

20. Washington Redskins (58)

21. Cincinnati Bengals (59)

22. Carolina Panthers (60)

23. Kansas City Chiefs (61)

24. New England Patriots (62)

25. Seattle Seahawks (68)

26. Buffalo Bills (68)

27. New Orleans Saints (71)

28. Houston Texans (73)

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (76)

30. Denver Broncos (88)

31. St. Louis Rams (89)

32. Detroit Lions (89)

 

As always remember to check the injury report before finalizing your lineups, and have fun and go with your gut. Good Luck this week.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

 

 

 

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How I’d “Fix” Baseball (Without a Salary Cap)

Posted on 24 December 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

If you think that it hurts to be an O’s fan today in the wake of the Mark Teixeira signing, imagine how it feels to be a Rays fan. As Orioles fans, we at least “enjoyed the luxury” of having zero expectations in the first place. Furthermore, we have a decade of mismanagement that simply can’t be ignored when trying to figure out why the O’s are hopeless. But the Rays have done “everything right” when it comes to running a small market club, yet they have to be seriously concerned about their chances going forward in this division now too.

 

When it comes right down to it, spending doesn’t always, or even usually equate to winning a World Series. The Yankees have spent nearly $2 billion on payroll since they last popped the champagne bottles, and a number of smaller market teams have gone away with the hardware in the meantime. But in order to play for a championship, you have to get to the post season first. And more often than not, over the course of 162 games, the big spenders usually come out on top.

 

Based on the current landscape of the AL East, it’s safe to say that it’ll be tough going for the Orioles no matter what they do over the next 3 to 5 years. The Yankees are reloading, and are still actually under last year’s payroll number, the Red Sox are always willing to spend, and have proven to be one of the more adept teams at developing their own young talent too. And the Rays have a stockpile of young talent that should keep them in the hunt for the foreseeable future at least. It’s a safe bet that someone in the division could win 100 games and still miss the playoffs in the next year or two.

 

There will likely be lots of talk of a salary cap in the upcoming days and weeks. And depending on how much more these Yankees are willing to spend, and how much success it affords them, we’ll probably be discussing it well into the future too. I’d guess, that much like a playoff in college football, although a salary cap in baseball makes total sense to most fans, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see it happen.

 

Salary caps aren’t perfect either though. The NFL is all but ready to scrap theirs, despite the success that the league has enjoyed under the system. And the salary cap in the NBA is a confusing mess that makes for silly trades and even phantom contracts in order for teams to stay within its bounds.

 

There are a number of ways that I’d like to “fix” baseball, but here’s a simple one. It alleviates the need for a salary cap and still levels the playing field, without messing with the tradition of the game. I also think that it would benefit enough teams to make it viable. And as I said, it’s simple.

 

All you’d have to do is put both leagues back on a balanced schedule, determine a date, let’s say March 1st, and sort the leagues into divisions by payroll. There would still be an American and National League, but instead of East, West and Central divisions, they’d have a high, middle and low payroll division.

 

Going back to a balanced schedule would mean that the schedule could be released as usual, without regard for divisional alignments. And they could even name the divisions after legendary players.  

 

Since the leagues have different numbers of teams, structuring the divisions could be tricky. In the AL, I’d take the top 4 payrolls and put them in one division. This would give back a little bit of benefit to the teams who are willing and able to spend, as they’d have a better mathematical shot at making the playoffs. The median and low payroll divisions would each have 5 teams in the AL.

 

In the NL, I’d put 4 in the top payroll division again, and put 6 teams each in the other two divisions, or they could elect to put 5 teams in each of the top and median divisions and 6 in the low payroll division.

 

This system would still reward teams for spending money, as they’d compete in the smallest division, and the balanced schedule would insure that divisional alignments wouldn’t give any team an advantage for the wildcard because of the division that they’re in.

 

Strategically, teams would have to make decisions based on whether acquisitions or deals are likely to place them into a division where they have a better chance at getting to the postseason. It would put every team’s spending out on Front Street, making them answerable to their fans. And it would even allow baseball to do away with their farcical luxury tax if they chose to.

 

Most importantly, doing it that way would insure that teams in cities like Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Cincinnati and other modest markets wouldn’t be forced to compete with spending power that they could never hope to match. Further, it would reward teams who are able to stockpile talent despite modest payrolls like Tampa and Milwaukee recently, while rewarding those who choose to spend big money too.

 

Sooner or later, they’re going to have to do something, or baseball will surely begin to suffer. Maybe that’s the problem in a nutshell. Until baseball sees that the average fan is fed up, despite the fact that their numbers say otherwise, there’ll be no reason for them to do anything. And in once proud baseball cities all across America, fans are hoping for a reason to hope, while in a few select cities, the playoffs are all but assured already.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

 

 

 

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NFL Power Rankings – Week 17

Posted on 23 December 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

As the season winds down, it becomes easier and easier to figure who will be getting the chance to extend their fortunes beyond the regular season. Every team falls into one of four categories at this point. The bookends are absolutes for the most part; they are the teams that have already either assured themselves a place in the post season, and those who have insured that they won’t get that chance. For many of those teams, draft picks or final seedings still may lie in the balance, but if power is based on your ability to walk away with the hardware, then teams in both categories have already determined their fates more or less.

 

In the middle though, are two much more interesting categories of teams as the season comes to a close. They are the teams who control their own playoff destinies, and those who will need to benefit from someone else’s misfortune in order to get in. It seems that most of the teams who were in control of their own destinies last weekend were unable to capitalize on that control. And likewise, those teams that seemed to benefit from the misfortunes of others, failed to capitalize themselves on their own good fortune. What it all boils down to is that the last weekend of the season is soon to be upon us, with many teams’ post season fates still very much up in the air.

 

Week 17 NFL Power Rankings

 

NFL Power Rankings Archive –  3- 4567 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16

 

(last week’s rankings in parentheses)

 

1 Tennessee Titans (3) – 13-2 – They may have faltered a bit in recent weeks, but when the Titans had something to play for again, they showed that they can seemingly turn it on at will. They may not be quite as intimidating as they were a month and a half ago, but the road to the Superbowl in the AFC goes through Tennessee at this point. Next Week: @ IND

 

2. New York Giants (4) – 12-3 – The Giants, like the Titans seemed to come back to Earth in recent weeks, but proved their mettle in a potential NFC Championship preview. In the process they also proved to themselves and the world that they won’t be easy to put away. Next Week: @ MIN

 

3. Carolina Panthers (2) – 11-4 – The Panthers went on the road last week in near playoff conditions and gave the world champs all that they could handle. They may have come out on the losing end this time around, but they showed that they’ll be a factor before it’s all said and done. Next Week: @ NO

 

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (1) – 11-4 – It’d be easy to put the Colts here, as they beat the Steelers head to head a few weeks ago.  But it’s just as easy to figure that the brutal schedule they’ve endured finally caught up to the Steelers last week. They still have a first round bye locked up and will get to stay home against anyone but the Titans. Next Week: vs. CLE

 

5. Indianapolis Colts (5) – 11-4 – Depending on what happens in a now meaningless game against the Titans this week, the Colts could ride into the playoffs on the NFL’s longest current winning streak. They looked all but dead through the first 8 weeks of the season, but have been invincible ever since. Something tells me that someone is going to wish that they’d put this team away when they had the chance. Next Week: vs. TEN

 

6. Baltimore Ravens (7) – 10-5 – The Ravens have hung tough through what looked like an impossible stretch in their schedule, and in doing so have turned themselves from a nice story to a legitimate factor in the AFC race. They’re not in the playoffs just yet, but they are one of the few teams that has been beating the teams that they’re supposed to beat consistently. Next Week: vs. JAX

 

7. Atlanta Falcons (14) – 10-5 – The Falcons have shown what they’re made of and secured a trip to the playoffs in the process. And the upside isn’t done yet, as the Falcons still have a shot a winning their division and even securing a first round bye. And to top it all off, Bobby Petrino’s Razorbacks were 5-7 this season, so much for greener pastures. Next Week: vs. ST.L

 

8. Miami Dolphins (15) – 10-5 – No matter where they finish, from 1-15 to where they stand now is nothing short of amazing. Still, it will likely be of little consolation to Sparano and his bunch if they miss their opportunity to finish this season in the playoffs. They’re not there yet, but just one win is all it will take. Next Week: @ NYJ

 

9. Minnesota Vikings (6) – 9-6 – The Vikings missed out on an opportunity to secure their place in the postseason and make a couple of other week 17 games meaningless in the process. Now they’ll have to fight for their playoff lives against the Giants who may or may not approach it all out. Remember how the Giants finished last season when their playoff seeding was already assured. This is no sure thing for the Vikes. Next Week: vs. NYG

 

10. Arizona Cardinals (8) – 8-7 – Maybe the Cardinals, with their playoff fate already basically assured weeks ago, intentionally went into the tank since no one was taking them very seriously in the first place. Maybe they can turn it on when it counts and will take the playoffs by storm. More likely, this team is headed in the opposite direction of where a playoff bound squad should be at this point. Next Week: vs. SEA

 

11. San Diego Chargers (25) – 7-8 – As improbable as it would have seemed just a few weeks ago, the Broncos have failed to finish their job, and have allowed the Chargers a chance to take away a years worth of bad luck in one fell swoop. It doesn’t hurt the Chargers chances either, that the game is in their stadium, and that the NFL may feel a bit of an obligation to help San Diego out in this particular match up. Next Week: vs. DEN

 

12. Dallas Cowboys (10) – 9-6 – The Cowboys had quite the whirlwind weekend last week. Having control of their own destiny, and losing it in embarrassing fashion in their Texas Stadium finale, their fate seemed to have been all bit sealed. Instead, the door that they opened went unused by everyone in line behind them, and Dallas is once again in control of their own playoff destiny. Next Week: @ PHI

 

13. Denver Broncos (9) – 8-7 – For those who thought the idea of the Broncos in the playoffs was a joke, there’s good news. The Broncos may have played themselves out of that position, and allowed another 8-8 club to stumble into the playoffs in their place. This will undoubtedly be a season for the books in Denver. Next Week: @ SD

 

14. New England Patriots (13) – 10-5 – The Patriots may be the league’s hottest team over the last few weeks, and certainly punctuated it with a blowout against the Cardinals on Sunday. Unfortunately for them, they may have to try and sustain that momentum into next year, as without some help the Pats will be on the outside of the playoffs looking in this year. Next Week: @ BUF

 

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12) – 9-6 – Even if they do stumble into the playoffs somehow at this point, these are not the same Bucs that we were seeing just a few short weeks ago. It still wouldn’t be a shock to see them get in, but it’s tough to take their chances seriously at this point. Next Week: vs. OAK

 

16. Chicago Bears (17) – 9-6 – The team may not be very exciting but their games sure have been. For some reason, the Bears seem capable of playing with anyone, but destined to play with everyone. No team in the league has seemingly had more nail biting finishes. They have a couple of ways to possibly get in, but still need to win and get help. Next Week: @ HOU

 

17. Philadelphia Eagles (16) – 8-6-1- It seems that those who thought they might benefit from a tie were wrong. A tie with Dallas or Pittsburgh maybe, but anything less than a win against Cincinnati can’t be an advantage for a playoff team. Their playoff hopes aren’t dead yet, but it’s close. Next Week: vs. DAL

 

18. New York Jets (11) – 9-6 – If the Jets have one reason to be hopeful, it’s that no team that has been in control of the AFC Easthas stayed there for very long. They’ll need help to get into the playoffs this season, but aren’t out of it just yet. Next Week: vs. MIA

 

19. New Orleans Saints (19) – 8-7 – There probably wouldn’t have been many who would have guessed that the Saints would go into week 17 with nothing to play for, except a shot at Dan Marino’s passing record. The rest of the division may have taken New Orleans by surprise, but they’re still a dangerous looking club going forward. Next Week: vs. CAR

 

20. Buffalo Bills (21) – 7-8 – They went into the tank from controlling the division and appeared to be in freefall since mid season. But the Bills still managed to make themselves a factor in the playoff race last week against Denver and have another chance to play spoiler this week, this time in their own division. Next Week: vs. NE

 

21. San Francisco 49ers (22) – 6-9 – Mike Singletary’s unique brand of leadership has rescued this club from seeming freefall, and given them reason to be hopeful going forward. In the NFC West, it seems that anything is possible. Next Week: vs. WAS

 

22. Washington Redskins (20) – 8-7 – The Redskins may have hit their stride a little too early. After a tremendous start, they enter the off-season with seemingly the same old problems as before. They were still a factor in the playoff race last week, playing spoiler against the Eagles. This week should be a decent test for them too. Next Week: @ SF

 

23. Houston Texans (18) – 7-8 – Their momentum took a major hit last week, but the Texans still have lots of reasons to be proud of their efforts this season. They’ll get a good chance to play spoiler this week, and to test their mettle against a playoff caliber team. Next Week: vs. CHI

 

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (23) – 5-10 – They showed a pulse last week, but still look like a club that packed it in a long time ago. They’ll have a chance to be a playoff spoiler against the Ravens this week, we’ll see if they take it. Next Week: @ BAL

 

25. Green Bay Packers (24) – 5-10 – The Packers trip from the NFC title game a year ago to their current depths has to be one of the major disappointments this season. It will also probably overshadow the fact that Aaron Rodgers played pretty well in Brett Favre’s stead, and probably isn’t the reason for their difficult turnaround. Next Week: vs. DET

 

26. Seattle Seahawks (30) – 4-11 – The Seahawks proved that they can play well when they are properly motivated, as they gave Mike Holmgren a rousing sendoff in his home finale. In the process they managed to spoil the Jets playoff hopes too. Next Week: @ AZ

 

27. Cincinnati Bengals (27) – 3-11-1 – The Bengals were finally able to muster enough of a ground game to overcome their quarterbacking issues. Unfortunately for them, they only get to see the Browns twice per season and missed on their first opportunity. Next Week: vs. KC

 

28. Oakland Raiders (29) – 4-11 – There are definitely more questions than answers for the Raiders at this point, and with Al Davis at the helm that’s a trend likely to continue. Still, JaMarcus Russell is finally looking like a quarterback, and the Raiders have played proudly in the face of nationwide ridicule all season. Next Week: @ TB

 

29. Cleveland Browns (26) – 4-11 – They’re clearly going nowhere fast with virtually no one left at quarterback. The key for the Browns will be focusing on their improved defense and moving forward without letting this season beat them mentally. Next Week: @ PIT

 

30. Kansas City Chiefs (28) – 2-13 – The Chiefs play with a lot of character, and may have found something in Tyler Thigpen, but otherwise have little reason to be hopeful going forward. Little except that they’ll have someone new in charge of running the team in the future. Next Week: @ CIN

 

31. St. Louis Rams (31) – 2-13 – The Rams have played a few teams tough this season, and have a couple of young components worth building around for the future. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have a lot of toughness, and that’s never easy to teach. Next Week: @ ATL

 

32. Detroit Lions (32) – 0-15 – They’ve got the top pick in the draft locked up, and a bunch of other picks that they acquired from Dallas in the Roy Williams trade to go with it. In today’s NFL, turnarounds happen all the time, and with Matt Millen finally out of the picture, there’s reason to be hopeful in Detroit. Next Week: @ GB

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

 

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Playoffs start in Dallas for Ravens on Saturday night

Posted on 19 December 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

The Colts victory against Jacksonville on Sunday night added another harsh dose of reality to the Ravens’ plight in attempting to make their improbable run into and eventually through the playoffs. By picking up the win, Indy locked up not just a wildcard berth, but the #5 seed to boot, thereby closing the book on any slim chances that the Ravens would have had to potentially host a playoff game.

Don’t get me wrong, the mere fact that we are still even contemplating playoffs at this point in the season is already far beyond any reasonable expectations that I had for this team before the season began. With that said however, this is not the team that we expected prior to seeing them on the field this year, and at this point, to miss the playoffs altogether would still be a huge disappointment.

For those smarting over the fact that they’ve sent off their playoff ticket money already, in this financially trying holiday season, there is some room for consolation. For all intents and purposes, at least where the Ravens are concerned, the playoffs are already underway. Whatever post-season glory or disappointment this team is destined to achieve, the road there begins, and could just as quickly end, this week in Dallas, with the Ravens a mere 6 wins away from championship glory. And one of those games will be here in Baltimore at least.

“All it takes is a 6 game winning streak.” That was my Dad’s rationale on what it takes to win a national championship in basketball. Regardless of who the competition may be, any team that considers itself championship caliber has to also consider itself capable of stringing together a six game winning streak. That logic typically doesn’t apply to football at any level, but for the 2008 Ravens, 6 wins is what it’s likely going to take.

Before the Steelers game last Sunday, I convinced myself, and even went on air and tried to convince a few of you, that losing the game would not be the end of the world. The point that I was actually trying to get across was not that losing was okay so much, but that winning wasn’t as important as most seemed to think. And I say that simply because, even had the Ravens beaten the Steelers on Sunday, it was still likely that they’d wind up with the 6th seed, and Pittsburgh with the 3rd. In my mind, there’s another match up coming between these two teams, and that’s the one I’d like to see the Ravens win if I had to choose. It’s hard to beat anyone 3 times in a season.

All of that of course, was before the game unfolded the way that it did, and no matter how prepared I may have been to accept a loss in that one, nothing could have prepared me for the feeling that I had when it ended as it did.  Still, when it’s all said and done, (God forgive me for saying it) losing on Sunday may have been the best thing for the Ravens and it was definitely the best thing for the NFL.

When the Steelers picked up the win on Sunday, it assured that their meeting with the Titans this week would be meaningful in terms of impact on playoff seeding. The fact that the Texans were able to pick up the win against Tennessee on Sunday makes it even more important, but regardless, either of those circumstances would have given meaning to the Steelers and Titans match up this week. On the other hand if the Ravens and Titans had both won last week, the Titans would have wrapped up home field and could have begun resting starters if they chose to this week.  They also would have almost certainly given a straight vanilla game plan to the Steelers too because of a likely playoff meeting down the line.

The loss on Sunday takes away any margin for error that the Ravens would have enjoyed over the eventual runners up in the AFC East for the wildcard, but also sets up a potential slugfest between the Titans and Steelers this week. That could work in the Ravens best interest ultimately, and absolutely sets up a dream weekend for the NFL execs in week 16.

Also working in the Ravens favor, and the rest of the AFC as well perhaps, is the fact that the Colts’ playoff spot is absolutely certain with a long week leading up to a meaningless week 17 match up with Tennessee. (It’ll be meaningless for the Colts at least; the Titans could still be playing for the top seed in the AFC in week 17) Remember that the Colts are well known for wrapping up their playoff spots early, dialing it down in the final weeks of the season and making disappointing playoff exits. The only time that the Colts actually won it was in 2006 when they had to play through week 17 in order to earn the best possible playoff seed.

If you already believe in the fix, then you don’t need me to convince you that something was up in that game on Sunday. Again, the NFL’s TV interests certainly seem to have been served. If you believe that the outcome on Sunday was influenced by the league’s desire to set up this week’s match up between Tennessee and Pittsburgh tough, than the reason that the Ravens were even in that position was because of their own loss to the Titans in week 5, another game that seemed to turn on an egregious call by the officials. So maybe now they’re due for a break.

They won’t get that break at Dallas on Saturday either though. Dallas on Saturday will probably be a lot like Pittsburgh was on Monday night last season, luckily these Ravens don’t look very much like those Ravens did. If they’re going to pick up a win this week, they’ll need to make their own breaks. There is such a thing as putting the game out of the refs’ hands, and that’s what they’ll have to do to keep their playoff hopes rolling. Otherwise they’ll have to hope to back in to the playoffs, which I still think is a distinct possibility, but hopefully a matter that we won’t even have to discuss.

The road to the Superbowl starts all over again this week for the Ravens, and it’ll take 6 wins to take the prize. The only problem is that the NFL doesn’t offer up any soft  #16 seeds to tune up on, they’ll have to come out of the gate charging like an unlikely #12 seed themselves.

If an “us against the world” mentality is helpful, the Ravens have to be feeling that way after Sunday’s loss. But as I’ve said, there could still be a lot of positives to come from the loss as well.

And if you believe in the fix, then you certainly remember the 2005 Steelers. As I recall, it seemed like the league was ready to get Peyton Manning his ring that time around. The refs seemed to do all that they could to give the game to the Colts in the divisional round against Pittsburgh, but the Steelers managed to make enough plays to take it out of the refs’ hands. Many seem to think that the Steelers were conversely rewarded in the Superbowl that year getting the benefit of some questionable calls against the Seahawks.

Maybe the Ravens will also get a similar boost down the line if they needed it. I wouldn’t hold my breath though. Maybe if someone had told Walt Coleman that the Titans had already lost while he was under that hood on Sunday, we wouldn’t even be discussing any of this.

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 16 D/STs

Posted on 18 December 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

And finally, here are the week 16 defense / special teams rankings. With every other position, every bit of conventional logic seemingly out the window in this fantasy football season, there haven’t been a lot of surprises when it comes to defense. This week though, the match ups have made for lots of viable sleepers on defense this week.

 

Keep in mind that the power rankings, listed here, are based on year to date performance and not a reflection of your best options for week 16. Just below the power rankings are match up previews advising who should be better or worse than usual this week, based on their opponents. At the bottom, are the week 16 start rankings, that’s where you should look for help with your week 16 lineup decisions.

 

Week 16 Fantasy Defense / Special Teams Power Rankings

 

D/ST Power Rankings Archive34567 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15

 

(last week’s rankings in parentheses)

 

1. Baltimore Ravens (1) – 6 TD, 31 sacks, 22 int, 6 fum rec, 3 safeties, 195 pts allowed

 

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3) – 7 TD, 27 sacks, 21 int, 8 fum rec, 239 pts allowed

 

3. New York Jets (9) – 6 TD, 40 sacks, 14 int, 13 fum rec, 289 pts allowed

 

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (2) – 2 TD, 47 sacks, 18 int, 9 fum rec, 1 safety, 182 pts allowed

 

5. Chicago Bears (7) – 6 TD, 28 sacks, 21 int, 8 fum rec, 1 safety, 290 pts allowed

 

6. Tennessee Titans (6) – 3 TD, 38 sacks, 18 int, 9 fum rec, 197 pts allowed

 

7. Philadelphia Eagles (4) – 5 TD, 41 sacks, 14 int, 10 fum rec, 1 safety, 247 pts allowed

 

8. New York Giants (5) – 3 TD, 40 sacks, 16 int, 5 fum rec, 3 safeties, 228 pts allowed

 

9. Minnesota Vikings (11) – 4 TD, 41 sacks, 12 int, 13 fum rec, 3 safeties, 270 pts allowed

 

10. Dallas Cowboys (12) – 2 TD, 53 sacks, 8 int, 12 fum rec, 1 safety, 274 pts allowed

 

11. Green Bay Packers (8) – 9 TD, 23 sacks, 18 int, 6 fum rec, 327 pts allowed

 

12. Arizona Cardinals (10) – 6 TD, 29 sacks, 11 int, 16 fum rec, 352 pts allowed

 

13. Carolina Panthers (14) – 1 TD, 32 sacks, 11 int, 12 fum rec, 258 pts allowed

 

14. Miami Dolphins (13) – 1 TD, 37 sacks, 12 int, 10 fum rec, 1 safety, 255 pts allowed

 

15. Indianapolis Colts (16) – 3 TD, 24 sacks, 14 int, 11 fum rec, 248 pts allowed

 

16. Cleveland Browns (15) – 3 TD, 17 sacks, 22 int, 7 fum rec, 281 pts allowed

 

17. Oakland Raiders (20) – 4 TD, 27 sacks, 14 int, 8 fum rec, 2 safeties, 340 pts allowed

 

18. San Francisco 49ers (19) – 4 TD, 26 sacks, 11 int, 5 fum rec, 319 pts allowed

 

19. Atlanta Falcons (18) – 3 TD, 28 sacks, 10 int, 4 fum rec, 1 safety, 275 pts allowed

 

20. San Diego Chargers (NR) – 3 TD, 26 sacks, 11 int, 8 fum rec, 1 safety, 284 pts allowed

 

Dropped From Rankings: Buffalo Bills

 

D/STs Who Should Be Better Than Usual In Week 16: San Francisco 49ers @ ST.L; Cleveland Browns vs. CIN; Atlanta Falcons @ MIN; New York Jets @ SEA; Philadelphia Eagles @ WAS

 

D/STs Who Could Be Sleepers Based On Week 16 Match Ups: New Orleans Saints @ DET; St. Louis Rams vs. SF; Houston Texans @ OAK; Cincinnati Bengals @ CLE; Denver Broncos vs. BUF

 

D/STs With Tough Week 16 Match Ups: Pittsburgh Steelers @ TEN; Carolina Panthers @ NYG; Minnesota Vikings vs. ATL; Chicago Bears vs. GB; New York Giants vs. CAR; Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. SD

 

D/STs You Might Want To Avoid In Week 16: New England Patriots vs. AZ; Detroit Lions vs. NO; Kansas City Chiefs vs. MIA; Jacksonville Jaguars vs. IND

 

And here are the week 16 Fantasy D/ST start rankings; it’s all 32 D/STs in the order that you should consider them this week. They were gotten using the Fantasy Flavor secret formula, and have their formulary numbers in parentheses, the lower the better.

 

1. New York Jets (13)

2. Baltimore Ravens (17)

3. Philadelphia Eagles (22)

4. Tennessee Titans (25)

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29)

6. Chicago Bears (37)

7. San Francisco 49ers (37)

8. Dallas Cowboys (39)

9. Miami Dolphins (39)

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (40)

11. Arizona Cardinals (41)

12. New York Giants (42)

13. Green Bay Packers (43)

14. Atlanta Falcons (43)

15. Indianapolis Colts (44)

16. Oakland Raiders (46)

17. New Orleans Saints (47)

18. Minnesota Vikings (48)

19. Cleveland browns (54)

20. Houston Texans (54)

21. Carolina Panthers (57)

22. San Diego Chargers (60)

23. Buffalo Bills (60)

24. Seattle Seahawks (68)

25. St. Louis Rams (68)

26. Cincinnati Bengals (69)

27. Washington Redskins (72)

28. Denver Broncos (72)

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (73)

30. Kansas City Chiefs (78)

31. New England Patriots (81)

32. Detroit Lions (86)

 

You can use the links at the bottom of the page to get to the rest of this week’s rankings and catch the show on Saturday from 4-7. We’ll be leading up to the Ravens game and setting up the rest of week 16 as well.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

Week 16 Fantasy QB Rankings and Previews

 

Week 16 Fantasy RB Rankings and Previews

 

Week 16 Fantasy WR Rankings and Previews

 

Week 16 Fantasy TE Rankings and Previews

 

Week 16 Fantasy K Rankings and Previews

 

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