Tag Archive | "garrett"

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Eagles coach Andy Reid’s oldest son found dead

Posted on 05 August 2012 by WNST Staff

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Orioles circa 2010: We know they’ll lie, but will they lie down again?

Posted on 06 April 2010 by Nestor Aparicio

I know, I’m like a freaking broken record. Every year I write about how I’ve wrongfully had my media pass revoked and every year the Orioles make up some more lies to justify all of their mean-spiritedness and lack of professionalism. It’s Opening Day, I’ve again been deemed “not a media member” but that’s just the “off the field” stuff.

On the field, the word “improvement” has been thrown around all offseason in regard to the Orioles. As I’ve said many times, when you lose 98 games it’s hard NOT to improve the following season. It can’t get much worse, really.

As sickening as it is that I’ve taken a myriad of phone calls, emails and correspondence wondering “if the Orioles can win 78 games” – as though this disgracefully low bar somehow passes for “improvement” – I am officially one of the optimistic orange Kool Aid drinkers circa April 5th regarding the 2010 season.

It is my belief that this is the best team the Orioles have fielded this century. In 2004, the Orioles “best” performance was indeed 78 wins. Las Vegas has the 2010 Orioles over/under at 74 ½. If I were a betting man, I’d honestly take the “over” for the 2010 Orioles.

But this might be the year they finally prove they were right all along over these past 13 years of “rebuilding” and buying the bats and growing the arms.

Apparently, 78 wins will get a number of people here in Baltimore excited. At least that’s what people think until they realize that even that lofty “goal” would still be 25 games out of first place in AL East and the season would once again be effectively over right around June 20.

People have asked me every day for a month: “What do you think of the Orioles?”

My answer: “It begins with Kevin Millwood.”

Millwood is an unwitting victim of the wrong end of a big contract and the overlooking of putting Baltimore on his “not to visit” list when he inked his last contract in Texas. But, alas, he’s here now and needs to selfishly pitch well, even in MLB’s version of Siberia. He can set the tone with a big effort tonight in Tampa Bay.

It was different when guys like Scott Erickson and Sidney Ponson were poisoning the next generation of Erik Bedard’s with their antics of bush-league, lack of professionalism. Millwood needs to be the “anti-aging” Orioles starting pitcher. He needs to be more like Rick Sutcliffe and less like the aforementioned bunch of vermin who spread their foul temperament and antics through the franchise like baseball’s version of a clubhouse cancer.

I’m not sure what kind of guy Millwood is – and again, therein lies the Orioles ability to unlawfully deny me a chance to do my job after all of these years – but I hope he acclimates, pitches well and leads by example for kids like Brian Matusz, Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman, who seem like the real thing.

Matusz might win 15 games this year if he stays healthy. And while that certainly IS progress, it’s not really much different than what Rodrigo Lopez and Eric Bedard both did twice in orange en route to meaningless, forgettable seasons for the Orioles.

But, as stated before, I’m bullish on the Orioles in 2010 in regard to “progress.” I think they might be OK and quite competitive against teams not named New York and Boston — if pieces fall into place and if good health can be found.

If the starting pitching can get them to the 6th or 7th inning five nights a week, that will allow for a more rested bullpen and a real chance for .500.

I’m sold on Miguel Tejada as a relevant third baseman in the AL East. I think he’ll hit .300 and be an RBI machine like he’s always been. He might be 50 years old for all we know, but I think he’ll be the least of the Orioles concerns at this point in his career. He’s coming as a complimentary player not the leader and “franchise” guy he was counted on to be six years ago. His lies, transgressions and B-12 shots will not even be a factor this summer in Baltimore.

Of course, this would be a good year for SOMEONE to step up and be the REAL franchise player.

Is it Nick Markakis, who is quietly putting together a nice Orioles career?

Or could it be Adam Jones, whose Tweets are fun to follow when he’s not up all night in San Diego?

Or will it be Matt Wieters, whose hype seemed justified over the final two months of 2009 when it appeared he was ready to become a star?

At least there are several All Star Game candidates in orange this summer. It’s not another summer of David Segui, B.J. Surhoff and Gregg Zaun playing out their late 30′s at Camden Yards.

I’m not a Dave Trembley fan – the team tanked and quit down the stretch last year and each of those 98 losses were well-earned late last summer. Again, when the owner is the cheapest in the game and when Trembley will manage for 1/10th of what the best managers in MLB yield for a salary, I get what the team is doing.

They’re making money. They’re hoping these kids pan out and selling it to what’s left of a tortured fan base and using their media moles to “plant the seed” of hope. At least they can say they “were patient” while Andy MacPhail built what this cake turns out to be circa 2013, when it allegedly will mature. (They’re always two years away from competing with the Yankees and Red Sox, aren’t they?)

So, are the baby Birds ready to fly? Can the team be relevant enough to compete through the All Star break without falling 15 games behind Boston and/or New York?

We’ll see. But for the first time in a long time, they can legitimately threaten to be a .500 team if they stay healthy and have some key young prospects step up the way the insider pundits around the sport believe they will.

If Matusz is real?

If Wieters is real?

If Adam Jones can improve?

If Nick Markakis can remain consistent?

If Brian Roberts’ back can stay healthy?

If all of the young starters can get to the 7th inning with consistency?

If Tejada still has it?

And this is before we start projecting the likes of Jeremy Guthrie, Garrett Atkins, Luke Scott, Felix Pie and Nolan Reimond, who are all a literal box of chocolates. Does anyone really know what any of these guys will wind up doing come mid-summer? And what does anyone know about the bullpen, led by Mike Gonzalez?

Again – it’s the worst run franchise in professional sports. It’s not even close. That much has been borne out in living color over the past 13 summers. That will never change, even if Brooks Robinson is throwing out the first pitch on Friday. They are the worst group of people I’ve met in my 42 years on the planet — pure evil in their deeds, intents and actions.

But, perhaps this is the summer that all of their bloody deeds since 1997 are justified and they get people in Baltimore truly excited and energized about baseball.

If Tampa Bay could do it two years ago there’s no reason to believe the likes of Matusz, Wieters, Reimold, Bergesen, Tillman and company can’t step up to become very productive, young major leaguers and all hit their stride this summer.

It’s certainly a lot more possible than during the era of Omar Daal, Marty Cordova and Kevin Millar or any of the past sins of Peter Angelos’ ugly stewardship as the suddenly disappearing owner.

My real prediction: 78 wins.

I don’t think they can be above .500 with 54 games coming in the division against New York, Boston and Tampa Bay. But I think they will certainly be far better and more interesting on the field than we’ve seen here in Baltimore over the last 13 years.

But given the history, let’s all sip the orange Kool Aid one ounce at a time…

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Rain drops Koji: Birds lose to Mariners 6-3

Posted on 11 June 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

My new favorite Oriole, Matt Wieters, was the featured Bird tonight but didn’t play. Koji Uehara looked pretty good until the rain came. The Orioles lost again.

Mired in an offensive slump, tonight’s Birds lineup was another head-scratcher with Ty Wiggington, Gregg Zaun and Robert Andino at the bottom of the order. To their credit (and perhaps Dave Trembley, who filled out the card) they combined for 3 of the Orioles’ 7 hits tonight in a 6-3 loss.

Uehara gave up three runs in the sixth inning and another in the fifth, while Brian Bass pitched 1 2/3 of rocky relief.

Uehara looked like he was affected by the rain and Trembley’s postgame indicated that as well. He said the hamstring wasn’t an issue.

The Mariners got a big night from Russell Branyan, who hit a home run off Bass further than any ball I can remember, landing the last row of the bleachers below the scoreboard in deep, deep right centerfield. They called it 450-feet. They said it’s the sixth furthest shot in the history of Camden Yards. I don’t believe it. It looked like it was at least 475 and was just amazing.

The Orioles had a semi-rally in the first inning that got them two runs but could’ve been much worse. Former Oriole Garrett Olson was on the ropes yet survived five innings and got his first win of the season, which must’ve tasted good coming against the team that shipped him out for lowly Felix Pie back in January. After Luke Scott homered in the first, Olson settled down and did enough to survive.

Trembley lamented in the postgame about the offensive struggles of the team. “When it rains it pours” is how Trembley put it. “You stick with your guys, you back them up and there’s not a whole of other things you can do.”

As an aside, I think Ichiro Suzuki is one of the best baseball players I’ve ever seen. He exciting to watch, even when he strikes out looking silly at the hands of Brian Bass. I wish he was an Oriole!

The Orioles will welcome the Atlanta Braves to Camden Yards for three games.

Please feel free to join Bob Haynie at The Next Friday night before the game for an ice cold Bud Light.

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Bisciotti and Harbaugh walk ‘arm in arm’ into 2009 Festivus

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Bisciotti and Harbaugh walk ‘arm in arm’ into 2009 Festivus

Posted on 29 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

What a difference 52 weeks makes. It will be a year ago this Wednesday — on New Year’s Eve — when Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti walked into Brian Billick’s office and abruptly fired the head coach who led his franchise to its only Super Bowl win. It was the biggest story in the city for weeks, and many folks were surprised and many questions were asked. For me, it wasn’t so much the actual firing of Billick as much as the “I changed my mind” reasoning so closely removed from a 13-3 season and the fact that Ozzie Newsome was clearly kept out of the decision. At the time I was a loud critic of the move, especially considering that Bisciotti didn’t have a clear vision of where the franchise was headed or who he wanted to hire as a head coach.

The thinking was this: Who is Bisciotti going to hire who is better than Billick?

Three weeks later, after getting turned down by Dallas offensive coordinator Jason
Garrett and eliminating defensive coordinator Rex Ryan from contention, Bisciotti turned to a “low mileage” young special teams coordinator whose QB brother was far better known not only in Baltimore but throughout the league and in college circles as the head coach at Stanford.

Bisciotti, who is a self-made billionaire and who did it by hiring great people, was pretty offended last winter at the mere notion that his decisions and pick to lead the organization on the field would be questioned. It’s one of the few times I’ve ever seen him publicly “chippy.”

Harbaugh and Bisciotti celebrate Festivus

Harbaugh came to this job as a universally revered “coach’s coach,” the son of a football coach and the brother of a very successful NFL quarterback. I had at least 20 NFL “insiders” who immediately called me and told me that Harbaugh would be a “great” NFL coach. Harbaugh had ZERO detractors. Even Brian Billick privately applauded Bisciotti’s choice to replace him as being “a great move.” Yesterday, as the clock struck zero and Harbaugh had led Bisciotti’s franchise full-circle and back into the NFL postseason, the two men embraced in as genuine a lock as you’d ever want to see on the field at M&T Bank Stadium. You can see the moment on video here… and it was celebrated with the fans.

We can revisit all of the details of last January’s semi-bizarre job search and all of the possibilities and permutations and fallout of a bloody, unexpected firing of a Super Bowl champion coach amidst a locker room full of revolt, dissent and mouthy and aging players. All of my January Bisciotti/Garrett/Harbaugh blogs are still here in the archives if you care to read them.

Here’s the point: Bisciotti has made three MAJOR calls in 2009. First he fired Billick, while owing him $18 million, a ballsy and risky move if there ever was one. Then, he hand-picked unproven John Harbaugh to lead his football team in January. And finally — you might never get anyone to admit this on the record within the franchise — Bisciotti absolutely JUMPED on the table in the draft room in April and insisted that Ozzie Newsome trade up into the 18th pick to take a New Jersey kid from “small school” University of Delaware named Joe Flacco to be his franchise quarterback.

Considering our history with sports franchise poobahs in Baltimore (think Irsay, Jacobs, EBW & Abe Pollin), we’re far from believing that owners should get overly involved in the day-to-day operations of a sports franchise in most circumstances – and this is your chance to fill in the holiday Peter Angelos joke of your choice right here – but obviously an NFL owner’s choice of a head coach and a franchise quarterback has never looked better than it does this morning, exactly 52 weeks to the day that Bisciotti was clearly shaken by the removal of Billick, whom he had deep affection and respect for as a person and a leader of men.

If you’re excited about the Ravens this week and you’ve got purple fever, sure it’s fashionable to give all of the credit to Flacco and Harbaugh (as well as Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Le’Ron McClain, Cam Cameron, etc.) but today is a day we should consider giving the credit to the “mastermind” of several of the most significant 2009 calls that have landed the Ravens in the postseason and headed to Miami this Sunday at 1 p.m.

Steve Bisciotti has played a MAJOR role in the Ravens’ turnaround by making moves that have been greeted with at least extreme “curiosity” inside his own building and amongst his experts. Who would’ve thought that Rex Ryan could get passed over for the head coaching job here for a special teams coordinator and respond in a fashion that has made him the front-runner for the St. Louis Rams job 52 weeks later? Human nature might’ve said, “You can’t bring Ryan back as defensive coordinator” given the strange circumstances.

But over the course of his life, Bisciotti has shown an uncanny ability to find and retain quality people as employees. It’s his “gift” as a business owner, bringing in people who he’ll brag are “better” than him. He’s always told me that it’s the secret of his success.

Sure, he subtracted Brian Billick who I clearly think is one of the better people I’ve met on the planet and a person that I’m supremely thrilled to have on my WNST.net team, but he also added another quality guy in John Harbaugh — as well as a new staff — and the change has obviously worked out fabulously in Year 1. (For the record, Billick had Cam Cameron flying into Baltimore to be his offensive coordinator a year ago today as well, had he not been fired…just a fact!)

The firing of Billick was a change, as I stated last Janaury, that I wouldn’t have made. Many concurred with my assessment. But that’s why he’s Steve Bisciotti and that’s why he’s worth a billion dollars. As the old Indiana Jones movie said, “He chose wisely.”

Many NFL jobs will begin popping open today. Brian Billick might even get another shot to lead an NFL franchise at some point in the next few weeks. Of course, he might be enjoying his quality of life watching football on Fox and doing radio shows and writing a blog here at WNST.net while building his life on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

But 363 days later, you would be hard-pressed to make the argument that Billick might’ve gotten this team to 11-5, with or without a quarterback like Flacco. Or maybe not. But at this point, that’s not an argument anyone in Baltimore wants or needs to make. In reality, we’re all in a better place 52 weeks later.

The NFL job carousel will get crazy this week. I’m glad we’re on the other side of this one this season covering a playoff team instead of a job search and all of the messiness involved. Phil Savage is the first of many fired friends of mine this week.

For now here in Baltimore, it’s Festivus for the rest of us.

Bring on the Fish…

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Orioles appear to dump Ramon Hernandez off to the Reds

Posted on 09 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

As has been reported all day from the winter meetings in Las Vegas, it appears as though the Orioles and the Reds have finally completed the transaction to send catcher Ramon Hernandez to Cincinnati for outfielder Ryan Freel and a pair of prospects.

The $1 million in cash involved in the transaction will need to be approved by Bud Selig.

Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com was the first with the story. He’s had a phenomenal running blog from Sin City…

The rumors regarding Garrett Olson for Felix Pie continue to swirl. But they’re only rumors at this point.

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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 14 RBs

Posted on 03 December 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

If this week’s running back rankings prove anything, it’s that everyone had pretty much an equal shot on draft day at putting together a winner. In fact, it’s probably those who drafted in the top 5 in most leagues who are the ones disappointed. Regardless, the running back rankings are littered with guys who would have been available in the 5th round and beyond, even in the deepest of leagues. Furthermore, the top 20 has been changing up dramatically from week to week, so every week is a chance to catch lightning in a bottle.

 

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 14. 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 14 start rankings, that’s where you should look for help with your week 14 lineup decisions.

 

Week 14 Fantasy Running Back Power Rankings

 

RB Power Rankings Archive34567 - 891011 - 12 - 13

 

(last week’s rankings in parentheses)

 

1. Thomas Jones (4) – NYJ – 1088 yds 11 TD & 161 yds 2 TD rec

 

2. Michael Turner (1) – ATL – 1208 yds 13 TD

 

3. Brian Westbrook (11) – PHI – 657 yds 8 TD & 233 yds 4 TD rec

 

4. Matt Forte (3) – CHI – 1012 yds 6 TD & 358 yds 4 TD rec

 

5. Adrian Peterson (6) – MIN – 1311 yds 9 TD

 

6. DeAngelo Williams (10) – CAR – 955 yds 11 TD & 112 yds 2 TD rec

 

7. Brandon Jacobs (5) – NYG – 950 yds 12 TD

 

8. Clinton Portis (2) – WAS – 1228 yds 7 TD

 

9. Marion Barber (7) – DAL – 870 yds 7 TD & 366 yds 2 TD rec

 

10. Steve Slaton (16) – HOU – 904 yds 8 TD & 250 yds 1 TD rec

 

11. Reggie Bush (NR) – NO – 294 yds 2 TD & 298 yds 3 TD rec

 

12. Steven Jackson (NR) – ST.L – 619 yds 4 TD & 275 yds 0 TD rec

 

13. Chris Johnson (15) – TEN – 958 yds 7 TD & 227 yds 1 TD rec

 

14. Frank Gore (8) – SF – 926 yds 6 TD & 354 yds 1 TD rec

 

15. Marshawn Lynch (13) – BUF – 844 yds 7 TD & 283 yds 1 TD rec

 

16. LaDanian Tomlinson (12) – SD – 794 yds 6 TD & 371 yds 1 TD rec

 

17. Maurice Jones-Drew (9) – JAX – 552 yds 11 TD & 415 yds 0 TD rec

 

18. Ronnie Brown (14) – MIA – 690 yds 10 TD & 19 yds 1 TD pass

 

19. LenDale White (20) – TEN – 575 yds 13 TD

 

20. Larry Johnson (18) – KC – 657 yds 4 TD

 

Dropped From Rankings: Joseph Addai – IND; Willie Parker – PIT

 

RBs Who Should Be Better Than Usual In Week 14: Adrian Peterson @ DET; Larry Johnson @ DEN; Steve Slaton @ GB; LaDanian Tomlinson vs. OAK; Ryan Grant vs. HOU; Thomas Jones @ SF; Matt Forte vs. JAX

 

RBs Who Could Be Sleepers Based On Week 14 Match Ups: Peyton Hillis vs. KC; Chester Taylor @ DET; Tim Hightower vs. ST.L; Ryan Moats @ GB; Cedric Benson @ IND; Leon Washington @ SF

 

RBs With Tough Week 14 Match Ups: Clinton Portis @ BAL; Brian Westbrook @ NYG; DeAngelo Williams & Jonathan Stewart vs. TB; Marion Barber @ PIT; Frank Gore vs. NYJ; Kevin Smith vs. MIN; Marshawn Lynch vs. MIA; Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward & Ahmad Bradshaw vs. PHI; Willie Parker & Mewelde Moore vs. DAL; Warrick Dunn & Cadillac Williams @ CAR

 

And here are the week 14 Fantasy RB start rankings; it’s my top 50 RBs 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. We’ll get all of the positional rankings out to you in time for Thursday’s game, so keep checking back for the rest.

 

1. Thomas Jones (11)

2. Adrian Peterson (12)

3. Matt Forte (18)

4. Michael Turner (20)

5. Steve Slaton (27)

6. Reggie Bush (33)

7. Brian Westbrook (37)

8. LaDanian Tomlinson (38)

9. Brandon Jacobs (39) *keep an eye on his injury status

10. Steven Jackson (39)

11. Chris Johnson (40)

12. DeAngelo Williams (42)

13. Larry Johnson (44)

14. Peyton Hillis (45)

15. Marion Barber (47) *keep an eye on his injury status

16. Clinton Portis (48) *drop him 5 or 6 spots if he’s worse than probable

17. Maurice Jones-Drew (53)

18. Ronnie Brown (54)

19. Frank Gore (56)

20. Marshawn Lynch (56)

21. LenDale White (56)

22. Joseph Addai (57)

23. Tim Hightower (61)

24. Willie Parker (62) *keep an eye on his injury status

25. Jamal Lewis (67)

26. Kevin Faulk (70)

27. Ryan Grant (72)

28. Sammy Morris (74)

29. Darren McFadden (76) *switch him with Fargas if he’s worse then probable

30. Derrick Ward (77)

31. Leon Washington (77)

32. Mewelde Moore (80) *bump him to Parker’s spot if Parker can’t go

33. Kevin Smith (81)

34. Jerome Harrison (82)

35. Warrick Dunn (83)

36. Pierre Thomas (83)

37. Dominic Rhodes (83)

38. Willis McGahee (86) *if he’s playing

39. Chester Taylor (86)

40. LeRon McClain (88) *bump him 5 spots if McGahee doesn’t go

41. Ricky Williams (98)

42. Jerious Norwood (102)

43. Mike Tolbert (102)

44. Deuce McAllister (103)

45. BenJarvis Green-Ellis (104)

46. Jonathan Stewart (108)

47. Justin Fargas (108)

48. Tatum Bell (109)

49. Mike Karney (111)

50. Julius Jones (113)

 

All of the rankings will be up in time for you to get your Thursday lineups in, so check back tomorrow for the rest. And use the links below to check all of the other positions; they’ll be activated as they become available.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

 

Week 14 QB Rankings & Previews

 

Week 14 WR Rankings & Previews

 

Week 14 TE Rankings & Previews

 

Week 14 K Rankings & Previews

 

Week 14 D/ST Rankings & Previews

 

 

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Maybe They’re Not Who We Thought They Were

Posted on 01 December 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

With 8 games in the win column already, and a quarter of the season still remaining, these Ravens have taken the league, the media, and even their most devoted fans very much by surprise.

 

Let’s be honest here, none of us saw this coming. Not on January 1st when the Ravens were without a head coach for the first time in nearly a decade, or a few weeks later when they were spurned by Jason Garrett; regarded by many to be the cream of the prospective head coaching crop. No one thought that this season was possible when free agency came and went with the Ravens only signing a few special teamers.

 

When the Ravens went into the draft in April (I know, we should know better than to question the team’s approach to the draft), but when they went into the draft and appeared to draft for depth, rather than to improve the 5-11 team that they put on the field last season, none of us could have believed that the turnaround would come this quickly. And certainly when training camp came around, and the infirmary report looked like a who’s who of the active roster, all of us had to be bracing for a long season in 2008. And all of that says nothing about the degree of difficulty that the schedule seemed to add to the playoff hopes of this team, seemingly in great transition already.

 

Having said all of that, I know for certain that there are people out there who refused to see the glass as half empty. Those who against all odds predicted a playoff run this year, my wife for example has been assuring me that the Ravens were going to the Superbowl from the day that Joe Flacco was given the reigns to start the season. Even those who were selling that hope however, were feeling the need to qualify their opinions with what seemed like a mountain of unlikely ifs. If the offensive line was able to come together quickly, if Joe Flacco was able to play better than any rookie should etc., etc. etc. My wife, by the way, simply believes in miracles, and doesn’t spend much time dissecting X’s and O’s, so that’s her reasoning.

 

Since the beginning of the season however, and particularly since their match up with the Colts in week 6, the landscape has changed dramatically. And with it, the expectations have changed as well, and with just 4 games remaining, and their destiny in their own hands, I can’t help but wonder what the fan reaction would be if the bottom dropped out now.

 

Looking at the standings, that’s pretty much what it would take to derail this team’s playoff hopes at this point. At 8-4 the Ravens still sit a game behind the Steelers, yet very much alive, in the chase for the AFC North. Obviously, losing to them in two weeks would put the Ravens virtually out of the hunt for the division. Assuming that the Ravens are able to beat the Steelers in two weeks though, both teams are by no means assured to win out, and a tie for the division might be possible.

 

Barring a dramatic upset for either of these teams, it’s presumable that the tiebreaker, between the Ravens and Steelers would come down to strength of victory. At that point, the Ravens would be aided by Pittsburgh’s loss to Philadelphia, whom the Ravens have beaten. A lot would also depend on the very tight races between the Dolphins and Patriots, and the Raiders and Chargers, which are the two teams’ uncommon victories.

 

The Steelers probably did the Ravens a favor on Sunday, by beating New England. The loss put the Patriots, and Dolphins, a full game behind the Ravens in the hunt for the final wildcard spot. In addition to their one game lead, the Ravens enjoy the simple tiebreaker over Miami by virtue of their head to head victory. They would hold the tiebreaker over New England too, since it would go first to conference record. The Patriots have lost all 5 of their games within the AFC, and with just 2 AFC games left; the Ravens could lose no more than 4.

 

On the Surface, it seems that both the Patriots and Dolphins have the better end of the schedule. But the Pats are getting ready to spend 2 weeks straight on the west coast, they didn’t deal with it so well last time. And the Dolphins have road games in 3 of the last 4, with 2 against teams still fighting for playoff contention themselves.

 

If the Ravens can beat Jacksonville to end the season, which should be easy considering that the Jags look like they’ve mailed it in weeks ago, and win just one of their other 3 games, then The Patriots, Dolphins or Bills would have to win out in order to get the wildcard. Everyone else would be out of contention.

 

So again, based on what we’ve seen so far this season from both the Ravens, and their wildcard competition, it would take a substantial meltdown in order to see this team miss the playoffs. And although I sincerely hope and believe that it won’t happen, I can’t help but wonder what the reaction would be if it did.

 

At the beginning of the season, 9-7 and narrowly missing the playoffs would have been welcomed with great surprise. Even 8-8 and a promise of meaningful football into week 16 at least, which is what they’ve assured us already, would have been regarded as a minor miracle. But a lot has changed since the beginning of the season, and the proverbial bar doesn’t go back down. It’s been raised now, as has the price of poker, and this young team looks up to the task.

 

There’s a playoff race going on after all, there’s no time to rest on your accomplishments now. They’ve spun a nice story already, but nice stories are a dime a dozen in the, “what have you done for me lately” NFL. If they failed to finish it now, they’d be remembered as a much different kind of story, that’s for sure. The Browns were a nice story last season, and look at them now.

 

The contenders are separating from the pretenders, and clearly these Ravens are not who we thought they were. The coming weeks will tell if they are who we think might be now. If they play the last quarter of the season like they’ve played in the last quarters of games, I’m not sure any of us knows just how good this team could be.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

 

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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 13 Ks

Posted on 27 November 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

Here are the week 13 fantasy kicker power rankings and weekly start rankings too. There are 3 games on the slate for today, so don’t forget to get your lineup changes in before you get locked out of the early games.

 

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 13. 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 13 start rankings, that’s where you should look for help with your week 13 lineup decisions.

 

Week 13 Fantasy Kicker Power Rankings

 

K Power Rankings Archive34567 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12

 

(last week’s rankings in parentheses)

 

1. Jay Feeley (5) – NYJ – FG – 20/24; 1-39 – 14/47; 40-49 – 4/5; 50+ – 2/2; PAT – 31/31

 

2. Stephen Gostkowski (1) – NE – FG – 26/28; 1-39 – 18/18; 40-49 – 8/10; 50+ – 0/0; PAT – 25/25

 

3. Jason Elam (4) – ATL – FG – 22/24; 1-39 – 12/13; 40-49 – 9/9; 50+ – 1/2; PAT – 30/30

 

4. Rian Lindell (12) – BUF – FG – 23/28; 1-39 – 15/15; 40-49 – 7/10; 50+ – 1/3; PAT – 28/28

 

5. Ryan Longwell (8) – MIN – FG – 22/26; 1-39 – 13/14; 40-49 – 5/8; 50+ – 4/4; PAT – 25/25

 

6. Garrett Hartley (NR) – NO – FG – 6/6; 1-39 – 5/5; 40-49 – 1/1; 50+ – 0/0; PAT – 11/11

 

7. Matt Bryant (6) – TB – FG – 25/29; 1-39 – 21/21; 40-49 – 4/6; 50+ – 0/2; PAT – 24/24

 

8. Mason Crosby (2) – GB – FG – 19/23; 1-39 – 12/14; 40-49 – 4/4; 50+ – 3/5; PAT – 34/34

 

9. Matt Prater (9) – DEN – FG – 18/24; 1-39 – 10/12; 40-49 – 3/7; 50+ – 5/5; PAT – 28/28

 

10. Neal Rackers (10) – AZ – FG – 21/24; 1-39 – 15/17; 40-49 – 5/5; 50+ – 1/2; PAT – 31/31

 

11. Phil Dawson (7) – CLE – FG – 24/27; 1-39 – 18/19; 40-49 – 3/3; 50+ – 3/5; PAT – 17/17

 

12. David Akers (3) – PHI – FG – 22/26; 1-39 – 18/18; 40-49 – 4/5; 50+ – 0-3; PAT – 29/29

 

13. Rob Bironas (11) – TEN – FG – 20/23; 1-39 – 10/10; 40-49 – 10/13; 50+ – 0/0; PAT – 27/27

 

14. Joe Nedney (14) – SF – FG – 21/24; 1-39 – 13/13; 40-49 – 7/9; 50+ – 1/2; PAT – 25/25

 

15. John Kasay (13) – CAR – FG – 20/21; 1-39 – 12/12; 40-49 – 7/7; 50+ – 1/2; PAT – 26/26

 

16. Shaun Suisham (15) – WAS – FG – 21/28; 1-39 – 11/13; 40-49 – 9/12; 50+ – 1/3; PAT – 18/18

 

17. Nate Kaeding (16) – SD – FG – 20/24; 1-39 – 17/17; 40-49 – 3/7; 50+ – 0/0; PAT – 28/28

 

18. Robbie Gould (18) – CHI – FG – 18/21; 1-39 – 10/10; 40-49 – 8/11; 50+ – 0/0; PAT – 29/29

 

19. Josh Brown (17) – ST.L – FG – 19/23; 1-39 – 7/7; 40-49 – 8/10; 50+ – 4/6; PAT – 12/12

 

20. Josh Scobee (19) – JAX – FG – 16/20; 1-39 – 9/12; 40-49 – 3/4; 50+ – 4/4; PAT – 24/24

 

Dropped From Rankings: Sebastian Janikowski – OAK

 

Ks Who Should Be Better Than Usual In Week 13: Rian Lindell vs. SF; Nick Folk vs. SEA; Phil Dawson vs. IND; Jay Feeley vs. DEN; Joe Nedney @ BUF; Matt Bryant vs. NO; Rob Bironas @ DET

 

Ks Who Could Be Sleepers Based On Week 13 Match Ups: Sebastian Janikowski vs. KC; Dan Carpenter @ ST.L; Olindo Mare @ DAL

 

Ks With Tough Week 13 Match Ups: Nate Kaeding vs. ATL; Stephen Gostkowski vs. PIT; Shaun Suisham vs. NYG; Shayne Graham vs. BAL; Mason Crosby vs. CAR; John Carney or Lawrence Tynes @ WAS

 

Ks You Might Want To Avoid In Week 13: Jason Hanson vs. TEN; Jeff Reed @ NE; Adam Vinatieri @ CLE; Connor Barth @ OAK

 

And here are the week 13 Fantasy K start rankings; it’s all 32 starting kickers 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. Jay Feeley (12)

2. Rian Lindell (13)

3. Garrett Hartley (22)

4. Jason Elam (25)

5. Matt Bryant (25)

6. John Carney or Lawrence Tynes (28)

7. Ryan Longwell (28)

8. Phil Dawson (28)

9. Neil Rackers (33)

10. Stephen Gostkowski (37)

11. Joe Nedney (37)

12. Rob Bironas (38)

13. Matt Prater (40)

14. Mason Crosby (41)

15. John Kasay (44)

16. David Akers (48)

17. Sebastian Janikowski (50)

18. Nick Folk (53)

19. Josh Scobee (55)

20. Robbie Gould (57)

21. Josh Brown (57)

22. Olindo Mare (60)

23. Shaun Suisham (62)

24. Kris Brown (65)

25. Dan Carpenter (65)

26. Nate Kaeding (67)

27. Matt Stover (70)

28. Jeff Reed (76)

29. Adam Vinatieri (83)

30. Connor Barth (87)

31. Shayne Graham (88)

32. Jason Hanson (90)

 

You can use the links at the bottom of the page to check out the rest of this week’s positional rankings. Have a great holiday, and good luck this week.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

Week 13 QB Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 RB Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 WR Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 TE Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 D/ST Rankings & Previews

 

 

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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 13 TEs

Posted on 27 November 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

Here are the week 13 fantasy tight end power rankings and weekly start rankings too. There are 3 games on the slate for today, so don’t forget to get your lineup changes in before you get locked out of the early games.

 

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 13. 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 13 start rankings, that’s where you should look for help with your week 13 lineup decisions.

 

Week 13 Fantasy Tight End Power Rankings

 

TE Power Rankings Archive34567 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12

 

(last week’s rankings in parentheses)

 

1. Tony Gonzalez (1) – KC – 696 yds 6 TD

 

2. Antonio Gates (2) – SD – 507 yds 6 TD

 

3. Kevin Boss (8) – NYG – 265 yds 5 TD

 

4. Tony Scheffler (3) – DEN – 363 yds 2 TD

 

5. Dallas Clark (6) – IND – 489 yds 3 TD

 

6. Jason Witten (5) – DAL – 594 yds 2 TD

 

7. Owen Daniels (7) – HOU – 583 yds 2 TD

 

8. Anthony Fasano (9) – MIA – 305 yds 3 TD

 

9. Kellen Winslow Jr. (4) – CLE – 413 yds 3 TD

 

10. Chris Cooley (10) – WAS – 630 yds 1 TD

 

11. Billy Miller (13) – NO – 424 yds 1 TD

 

12. Dustin Keller (12) – NYJ – 383 yds 3 TD

 

13. Bo Scaife (11) – TEN – 490 yds 2 TD

 

14. Jerramy Stevens (16) – TB – 267 yds 2 TD

 

15. Visanthe Schiancoe (15) – MIN – 353 yds 4 TD

 

16. Heath Miller (NR) – PIT – 284 yds 2 TD

 

17. John Carlson (17) – SEA – 351 yds 3 TD

 

18. Zach Miller (14) – OAK – 471 yds 1 TD

 

19. Martellus Bennett (20) – DAL – 207 yds 3 TD

 

20. Greg Olsen (18) – CHI – 391 yds 2 TD

 

Dropped From Rankings: Daniel Graham – DEN

 

TEs Who Should Be Better Than Usual In Week 13: Tony Scheffler @ NYJ; Dustin Keller vs. DEN; Bo Scaife @ DET; Antonio Gates vs. ATL; Greg Olsen @ MIN; Mercedes Lewis @ HOU; Visanthe Schiancoe vs. CHI

 

TEs Who Could Be Sleepers Based On Week 13 Match Ups: Justin Peele @ SD; Daniel Graham @ NYJ; Leonard Pope @ PHI; Dante Rosario @ GB

 

TEs With Tough Week 13 Match Ups: Chris Cooley vs. NYG; Billy Miller & Jeremy Shockey @ TB; John Carlson @ DAL; Kevin Boss @ WAS; Vernon Davis @ BUF; Kellen Winslow Jr. vs. IND

 

TEs You Might Want To Avoid In Week 13: Daniel Fells vs. MIA; Martellus Bennett vs. SEA; Reggie Kelly vs. BAL

 

And here are the week 13 Fantasy TE start rankings; it’s the top 35 tight ends 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. Antonio Gates (10)

2. Tony Scheffler (10)

3. Tony Gonzalez (21)

4. Owen Daniels (26)

5. Dallas Clark (28)

6. Bo Scaife (29)

7. Dustin Keller (30)

8. Anthony Fasano (30)

9. Kevin Boss (33)

10. Jason Witten (36)

11. Visanthe Schaincoe (40)

12. Kellen Winslow Jr. (43)

13. Heath Miller (43)

14. Daniel Graham (46)

15. Jerramy Stevens (48)

16. Greg Olsen (48)

17. Chris Cooley (51)

18. Billy Miller (51)

19. Mercedes Lewis (51)

20. Jerrame Tuman (55)

21. Zach Miller (57)

22. John Carlson (62)

23. Martellus Bennett (62)

24. LJ Smith (63)

25. Alex Smith (66)

26. David Martin (70)

27. Brent Celek (73)

28. Justin Peele (73)

29. Dante Rosario (76)

30. Vernon Davis (76)

31. Todd Heap (79)

32. Donald Lee (82)

33. Alge Crumpler (85)

34. Desmond Clark (86)

35. Benjamin Watson (90)

 

You can use the links at the bottom of the page to check out the rest of this week’s positional rankings. Have a great holiday, and good luck this week.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

Week 13 QB Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 RB Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 WR Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 K Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 D/ST Rankings & Previews

 

 

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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 13 RBs

Posted on 26 November 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

The fantasy running back rankings only lost one player from the top 20 this week, and since it was Steven Jackson who has been teasing us with hopes that he’d play for the last several weeks, it was probably overdue. There was still a significant amount of movement within the top 20 though, as there seems to be every week with the RBs. We’ll try to do the best we can to keep you up to speed with who’s hot and who’s not as the season progresses.

 

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 13. 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 13 start rankings, that’s where you should look for help with your week 13 lineup decisions.

 

Week 13 Fantasy Running Back Power Rankings

 

RB Power Rankings Archive34567 - 891011 - 12

 

(last week’s rankings in parentheses)

 

1. Michael Turner (7) – ATL – 1088 yds 13 TD

 

2. Clinton Portis (1) – WAS – 1206 yds 7 TD

 

3. Matt Forte (9) – CHI – 909 yds 6 TD & 336 yds 3 TD rec

 

4. Thomas Jones (5) – NYJ – 950 yds 9 TD & 140 yds 2 TD rec

 

5. Brandon Jacobs (6) – NYG – 879 yds 11 TD

 

6. Adrian Peterson (4) – MIN – 1180 yds 8 TD

 

7. Marion Barber (8) – DAL – 838 yds 6 TD & 353 yds 2 TD rec

 

8. Frank Gore (3) – SF – 860 yds 6 TD & 331 yds 1 TD rec

 

9. Maurice Jones-Drew (11) – JAX – 503 yds 11 TD & 393 yds 0 TD rec

 

10. DeAngelo Williams (14) – CAR – 883 yds 7 TD & 98 yds 2 TD rec

 

11. Brian Westbrook (2) – PHI – 547 yds 2 TD & 213 yds 2 TD rec

 

12. LaDanian Tomlinson (15) – SD – 770 yds 5 TD & 329 yds 1 TD rec

 

13. Marshawn Lynch (19) – BUF – 710 yds 7 TD & 282 yds 1 TD rec

 

14. Chris Johnson (13) – TEN – 833 yds 5 TD & 218 yds 1 TD rec

 

15. Ronnie Brown (12) –MIA – 642 yds 9 TD & 19 yds 1 TD passing

 

16. Steve Slaton (16) – HOU – 774 yds 6 TD & 198 yds 1 TD rec

 

17. Willie Parker (17) – PIT – 485 yds 4 TD

 

18. Larry Johnson (NR) – KC – 565 yds 3 TD

 

19. Joseph Addai (20) – IND – 457 yds 5 TD & 131 yds 1 TD rec

 

20. LenDale White (18) – TEN – 469 yds 11 TD

 

Dropped From Rankings: Steven Jackson – ST.L

 

RBs Who Should Be Better Than Usual In Week 13: Ronnie Brown & Ricky Williams @ ST.L; Thomas Jones vs. DEN; LenDale White & Chris Johnson @ DET; Larry Johnson @ OAK; DeAngelo Williams & Jonathan Stewart @ GB; Maurice Jones-Drew @ HOU; Marshawn Lynch vs. SF

 

RBs Who Could Be Sleepers Based On Week 13 Match Ups: Darren McFadden & Justin Fargas vs. KC; Patrick Cobbs @ ST.L; Leon Washington vs. DEN; Jamal Lewis & Jerome Harrison vs. IND; LeRon McClain & Ray Rice @ CIN

 

RBs With Tough Week 13 Match Ups: Clinton Portis & Ladell Betts vs. NYG; Peyton Hillis @ NYJ; Matt Forte @ MIN; Adrian Peterson & Chester Taylor vs. CHI; Brandon Jacobs, Derrick Ward & Ahmad Bradshaw @ WAS; Brian Westbrook vs. AZ

 

RBs You Might Want To Avoid In Week 13: Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk & BenJarvis Green-Ellis vs. PIT; Cedric Benson vs. BAL; Deuce McAllister & Pierre Thomas @ TB; Steven Jackson, Antonio Pittman & Kenneth Darby vs. MIA

 

And here are the week 13 Fantasy RB start rankings; it’s the top 50 running backs 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. We’ll get all of the positional rankings out to you in time for Thursday’s games, so keep checking back for the rest.

 

1. Thomas Jones (11)

2. Michael Turner (20)

3. Marion Barber (27)

4. Maurice Jones-Drew (30)

5. DeAngelo Williams (31)

6. Matt Forte (33)

7. Frank Gore (36)

8. Chris Johnson (36)

9. Ronnie Brown (36)

10. Clinton Portis (38) *keep an eye on his injury status

11. Brandon Jacobs (39) *keep an eye on his injury status

12. Marshawn Lynch (39)

13. Adrian Peterson (40)

14. LaDanian Tomlinson (40)

15. Larry Johnson (46)

16. LenDale White (48)

17. Brian Westbrook (49) *keep an eye on his injury status

18. Darren McFadden (49)

19. Steve Slaton (50)

20. Jamal Lewis (53)

21. Reggie Bush (55) *keep an eye on his injury status

22. Joseph Addai (55)

23. Steven Jackson (60) *keep an eye on his injury status

24. Willie Parker (60)

25. Kevin Smith (61)

26. Leon Washington (67)

27. Mewelde Moore (74)

28. Warrick Dunn (75)

29. Ryan Grant (76)

30. LeRon McClain (76) *drop 5 spots if McGahee starts

31. Ricky Williams (76)

32. Derrick Ward (78) *bump 5 spots if Jacobs doesn’t play

33. Willis McGahee (80) *keep an eye on his injury status

34. Tim Hightower (81)

35. Jonathan Stewart (83)

36. Dominic Rhodes (85)

37. Kevin Faulk (94)

38. Peyton Hillis (94)

39. Jerious Norwood (98)

40. Julius Jones (101)

41. Justin Fargas (101)

42. BenJarvis Green-Ellis (102)

43. Pierre Thomas (108) *bump 2 spots if Bush isn’t playing

44. Deuce McAllister *bump 5 to 7 spots if Bush isn’t playing

45. Chester Taylor (114)

46. Ahman Green (116)

47. Ray Rice (120) *bump 3 or 4 spots if McGahee is inactive

48. Michael Bush (121)

49. Fred Jackson (122)

50. Patrick Cobbs (124)

 

All of the rankings will be up in time for you to get your Thursday lineups in, so keep checking back. You can use the links below to check all of the other positions; they’ll be activated as they become available.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

 

Week 13 QB Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 WR Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 TE Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 K Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 D/ST Rankings & Previews

 

 

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