Tag Archive | "todd"

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Packed at Owings Mills; Probably not at OPACY

Posted on 14 January 2009 by Drew Forrester

It’s AFC Championship Week in Baltimore and the Baltimore, Pittsburgh and national media have descended on Owings Mills.

You’ll be able to hear all of the coverage in a little while once Casey gets all the sound on to our web-site…plus, Casey will be doing the 2-6 pm show with Ray later on today at WNST.

John Harbaugh, Ray Lewis, Derrick Mason, Todd Heap, Joe Flacco…they all spoke with the media today at the facility and the place was jam-packed with members of the press corps.

For reasons known ONLY to the Orioles, they decided today at noon was the perfect time to have Koji Uehara appear before the Baltimore media at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Other than the beat writer from The Sun and a few stragglers from MASN, I assume the room at OPACY is filled to the brim with Japanese media members who are there for Uehara.

But, 95% of the Baltimore sports media is out here at Owings Mills covering the Ravens-Steelers showdown on Sunday.

It is, after all, a fairly big game.

Speaking of the game, I’ll be doing an “AFC Championship Preview Show” this Saturday from 1-4 pm at WNST, following Ray and Casey (11-1) with their regular Saturday Ravens show.

We probably won’t be discussing Koji Uehara.

Then again, neither will anyone else…today or Saturday.

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Remember this? “Cut Heap, cut Stover…they’re done.”

Posted on 11 January 2009 by Drew Forrester

When the game is on the line and a play needs to be made, you turn to the veterans.

That’s what the Ravens did yesterday when the game was in the balance in Tennessee.

Maligned earlier in the season by fans who wanted them chased out of town, both Matt Stover and Todd Heap came through when it mattered most on Saturday.

Heap corralled a terrific 23-yard thread-the-needle-pass from Joe Flacco on 3rd down in the game’s final two minutes and moments later Stover connected on the game-winning 43-yard field goal as Baltimore moved on to the AFC title game.  Just like old times — Heap and Stover factoring in a win. 

It couldn’t have happened to two nicer guys.  Or, two better professionals.

Heap has gallantly played through a difficult season, battling both a pre-season calf injury and an offensive system that clearly doesn’t utilize him like in year’s past.  Stover had some brief struggles early in the season as special teams coach Jerry Rosburg made a couple of small – but significant – changes in the team’s kicking game.  And Stover, admittedly, took some time to adjust.

But yesterday, there they were, playing huge roles for the Ravens.

And to think that we took plenty of calls from folks back in September who said, “Heap is done…Stover can’t do it anymore…time for those guys to go.”  If I took one of those calls, I took 20.

Done.  And done.  Both of them.

Not quite, kids.

They still have football left to play this season.

And, if the game is on the line next Sunday, I’m perfectly fine with the ball being thrown at Heap with 2 minutes to go on 3rd down.  And, if there’s less than a minute to play and Stover jogs on to the field for a 40-something-yard field goal, I like our chances.

I always like our chances when two veterans like Heap and Stover are the ones we need to rely on to come through in the clutch.

They proved that again yesterday.

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In case you weren’t in Nashville…

Posted on 10 January 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The scene today at Graham Central Station could’ve only been followed by something as amazing as today’s win over the Tennessee Titans and the dramatic fashion with which it all unfolded. Matt Stover’s kick. Joe Flacco’s pass. Todd Heap’s catch. Fabian Washington falling on the ball. Rob Bironas missing the field goal. The crowd taking over the streets of Nashville in a virtual sea of purple and marching on LP Field en masse crossing over the Cumberland River.

Baltimore made a powerful impact in downtown Nashville this weekend. It was a takeover, something akin to what the Red Sox and Yankees do to Baltimore. The cops had to come out onto 2nd Avenue and break up the sea of purple. Apparently, they were stopping traffic outside of Graham Central Station and car-tipping was a fear. The only tangible difference between a Red Sox Nation holdup of our city three times a year was that once we got inside LP Field, we realized there were probably only 5,000 of us total. We took over the primary block of bars in Nashville, but the 70,000-seat stadium was plenty blue and red and at the end when Heap made that catch, it was an ear-splitting sound emanating from the stands supporting the Titans. Heap told me after the game that he couldn’t hear anything as the clock was ticking down to zero.

As for the game, there were hundreds of unused tickets. I got stuck with a pair myself. Tickets were virtually worthless an hour before game time. There were sellers everywhere and no buyers. It was a like a flea market. Any Ravens fan could’ve gotten in for $20 yesterday. I’ll get some videos up of it on Sunday when I’m waiting and watching more NFL Football.

These are the memories that make it worthwhile to be a football fan and love the NFL. And, man do I love the NFL today. It was just one of the magical days of my sporting life. Just like it was eight years ago. Just like next weekend sets up to kick it up a notch, the way we did in Oakland eight years ago.

But will it be Pittsburgh? Or San Diego. As we saw in the Arizona-Carolina game, you never how these games are gonna turn out. Who the heck knows who is going to win? Who knew the lowly Cardinals would lay the smack down on the Panthers like that?

I have 100 seats reserved on two buses for Pittsburgh. I have the tickets. I have the bus. All I need them to do is win tomorrow.

If the game is in San Diego, I’ll be announcing a giant party for anyone who can make the trip but there will be no formal “WNST trip” to San Diego. It’s too pricey on short notice and I don’t really think there’s a market for $1400 trips for a weekend to California at this point. I think most people will feel like we’re 60 minutes away from the Super Bowl and “I’ll just wait and go to Tampa.” Understood!

Wait’ll you see the videos from today. It was the second biggest road party in Ravens’ history. It was Whiskey Joe’s-like. Go and ask your friends who were here. It was one for the ages. The party today was amazing. It was just an unreal day to be a Ravens fan.

This is what it’s all about.

Pittsburgh or San Diego?

Who do you wanna play and why?

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Getting a grip on the Festivus activities

Posted on 23 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

So, it looks like we’re getting into the playoffs. Well at least we can talk that way for a few more days and as a 10-point favorite against Jacksonville this weekend (and please note the gametime change to 4:15 p.m., which means the coldest possibilities for us) the Ravens should win. Heck, if they don’t win they don’t deserve to be in the playoffs, really.

So, assuming that the Ravens are going to win this week and advance to the playoffs I started putting together playoff possibilities onto a cocktail napkin on Sunday and this is what I came up with…and I can’t imagine the NFL scheduling gods could have cooked this weekend up with a whole lot more drama than what they have – several cool matchups and playoff spots on the line in both conferences.

Indianapolis can now pack their bags for Denver or San Diego. But that Sunday night game is gonna be a good one. You gotta think that the Chargers have all of the momentum and the home field. What a story that would be, digging out from 4-8 to make the playoffs. Kinda unheard of…

Clearly, Nasvhille and Pittsburgh are just sitting tight, taking a “bye” week before their official byes. And as we saw two years ago, that extra slacker time isn’t always the best route. Two of the last three Super Bowl champs (Pittsburgh 2005 and N.Y. Giants 2007) have come from the No. 6 hole and not only won three in a row on the road but also overcame the extra game and the lack of a bye. You’d figure that being a higher seed would be a good thing but the recent history doesn’t support it.

And the Ravens (or the eventual No. 6 seed) will be headed to the AFC East winner. If Miami beats the Jets, we’re headed to South Florida. If the Jets beat the Dolphins, we go to New England provided they win in  Buffalo (hardly a given).

And such begins any legitimate Ravens fan’s aspirations of catching fire and making January 2009 one helluva memorable month. Here are my thoughts:

1.    Miami is the Ravens’ best first-round path. While the flights are jam-packed (good luck trying to get to South Florida next weekend if the Ravens make it there!), the weather and a matchup where the homefield won’t be so unkind is favorable for the Ravens. It certainly beats going to frosty New England, which is the worst scenario for the Ravens. If the Jets win and the Patriots flop this weekend and we wind up at the Meadowlands against Brett Favre, I still like our chances. Just FYI: if the Ravens go to New England or New York, we’ve already got “Miller Lite Roadtrips” ready to go! If the Ravens play in Miami, we will not be offering a trip.
2.    A Ravens win at the AFC East champion would take them to a path that’s well-traveled and familiar to Ray Lewis, Matt Stover and any real Ravens fan: Nashville. Clearly, the Titans would rather not see No. 52 coming back into the former Adelphia Coliseum in January. And assuming another Tennessee road miracle win…
3.    The AFC Championship Game could be in Pittsburgh (assuming they don’t choke the weekend of Jan. 10-11) or San Diego, Denver or even Indianapolis, if they could win two in a row on the road and take down the Steelers at Heinz Field.

Of course every fan of every team is plotting their own pathway through their respective conference playoff possibilities. This is the joy of having a Festivus celebration – the possibilities and hope that even being a “potential” No. 6 seed affords. And, we still have to win a game at home this weekend against a feisty Jacksonville team to do that.

As we’ve seen over and over again in the NFL: NO ONE LAYS DOWN late in the season. Well, no one but the Arizona Cardinals, any way…

The lowly Seahawks, Redskins and the Bills all pulled off upsets over playoff-inspired favorites last Sunday. The Jaguars played the Colts extremely tough last Thursday night and they’ll have two extra days of rest before coming here this Sunday. Maurice Jones Drew got dinged up very late in the game against Indy, so it’ll be interesting to see how effective he’ll be this week but he’s an explosive threat, like a human pinball or a poor man’s Barry Sanders. He’ll present speed issues for the Ravens defense in the middle of the field.

There’s no “counting chickens” as a Ravens fan. This Jaguars game is hardly a walkover in my mind. But a win this week opens all sorts of doors of possibilities for 2009 and dreams of an improbably Super Bowl run with a rookie coach, a rookie quarterback and a veteran Hall of Famer inspiring the troops in the September of his career.

The storylines for the Ravens are obvious:

Ray Lewis in a walk year trying to win another Super Bowl…

Trevor Pryce going for No. 3…

Derrick Mason and Samari Rolle, who both came up one-yard short almost a decade ago, getting another chance…

A first chance for Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Todd Heap and other Pro Bowlers to win a championship…

Will it start in Miami?

Or New England?

Or a trip to the Meadowlands for Favre and the Jets?

Can the Ravens avoid an upset at the hands of the Jaguars – who were truly Kyptonite to this franchise in the early years when they won the first eight matchups of the rivalry – to earn the No. 6 seed. For better or worse, the playoffs come to Baltimore at 4:15 this Sunday in what amounts to a “play in” game for the franchise and the city.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, indeed…

Happy Festivus to all…

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Ravens beat Dallas 33-24, throw a purple party in Dallas

Posted on 21 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s become a joke amongst the local media, calling the Ravens “mighty men.” It’s John Harbaugh’s favorite “term of endearment” and corny catch phrase for his team. Tonight in Dallas, they were indeed mighty men, dropping the vaunted Cowboys like a bad habit at home on their special night and the hyper-emotional closing of Texas Stadium. The Ravens were impressive in dispatching the local stars, 33-24 to urinate on the biggest party in the biggest state in the swan song of the state’s greatest icon on a brutally cold evening.

Tonight, the real “stars” were wearing the purple helmets with the B’s. Strangely enough, it was punter Sam Koch who not only did his thing booting the ball effectively all night (including a 61-yarder) but it was the trick draw play on a field goal fake that stole the show and changed the momentum of the game. Really, who in the world was expecting that? A brass balls move if there ever was one by Harbaugh and the crew.

If this team makes noise in January, they’ll look back on this bounce back from that Pittsburgh fiasco and see the huge emotional breakthroughs. They finally beat a quality opponent on the road. The sheer willpower to persevere amidst an avalanche of injuries speak volumes about their “mighty men” status. The training room looked like an infirmary after the game, with Derrick Mason not being able to lift his arms, with Samari Rolle banged up, with Willie Andeson and Todd Heap hobbling. And while Fabian Washington gritted out a start, the team played the whole game without Ray Rice, who was an injury scratch. So, in came Willis McGahee, whose 77-yard scamper for an apparent “icing” touchdown was only topped minutes later — after Tony Romo led the Cowboys back down the field for an answer on a Ravens’ defense that has been leaky lately – by Le’Ron McClain’s 82-yard bolt to truly put the game out of reach. The final numbers were downright gaudy: McClain was 22 for 139 yards and McGahee finished with just eight carries but 108 yards and team rushing total was a whopping 266 yards and the Cowboys defense will look at the two fourth-quarter runs as busted plays that cost them their season.

For the local fans, it was morgue like, an evening of horrors from the home team on a night when it was all set up for the Ravens to be a “homecoming” pansy for the legends of Cowboys’ past and a night of civic remembrance and celebration. No doubt the Ravens players were inspired when informed that Jerry Jones PERSONALLY, HAND-PICKED the Ravens as his final opponent in Texas Stadium. (That’s a FACT by the way. Jones insisted on having the Ravens because when he looked at the schedule the Ravens were the weakest team on the slate. Perhaps he should’ve chosen Cincinnati?)

After the game Bart Scott and Terrell Suggs screamed all sorts of stuff about it into the NFL Films cameras and the postgame was filled with notions that the Ravens are the new Rodney Dangerfields of the NFL. But at 10-5 with a chance to ice a playoff berth against Jacksonville at home next weekend, it has been the most unlikely of seasons for the purple. Next Sunday will be OUR civic celebration for the 2008 Ravens, our final home game and a chance to send the Ravens on the road in style for an unexpected Festivus.

What a ride…Enoy the videos. I enjoyed making them.

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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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Week 12 Fantasy Start Rankings – Every Position

Posted on 20 November 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

Just for the sake of making everything easier, I’ve decided to post the week 12 Fantasy Start Rankings for all 6 positions in one place. It’s the same start rankings that you can find on the bottoms of each of the Positional Power Rankings for week 12. You can locate those power rankings by using the links at the bottom of this page too.

 

Listed below are the formulary start rankings for each of the 6 positions, with their formulary number listed in parentheses next to them. The formulary rankings are gotten using the “secret fantasy flavor formula”, it’s basically 2 parts player performance, 1 part defensive expectations against them this week, with a few variables thrown in for injuries and anomalies.

 

As news becomes available over the course of the weekend, I’ll make notes here too, so keep checking back. And at the end of the day, trust your gut, and have fun. That’s why we play the games after all anyway. And good luck to you this week as the playoffs approach.

 

QUARTERBACKS

 

1. Peyton Manning (15) @SD

2. Aaron Rodgers (21) @ NO

3. Jay Cutler (22) vs. OAK

4. Tony Romo (22) vs. SF

5. Kurt Warner (29) vs. NYG

6. Shaun Hill (31) @ DAL

7. Brady Quinn (31) vs. HOU

8. Drew Brees (35) vs. GB

9. Eli Manning (36) @ AZ

10. Phillip Rivers (40) vs. IND

11. Matt Cassel (40) @ MIA

12. Kyle Orton (42) @ ST.L

13. Tyler Thigpen (43) vs. BUF

14. Gus Frerotte (43) @ JAX

15. Jeff Garcia (44) @ DET

16. Donavan McNabb (45) @ BAL

17. Jason Campbell (48) @ SEA

18. David Garrard (52) vs. MIN

19. Brett Favre (53) @ TEN

20. Chad Pennington (57) vs. NE

21. Sage Rosenfels (61) @ CLE

22. Kerry Collins (61) vs. NYJ

23. Matt Ryan (62) vs. CAR

24. Joe Flacco (64) vs. PHI

25. Jake Delhomme (68) @ ATL

26. Ben Roethlisberger (69) vs. CIN

27. JaMarcus Russell (70) @ DEN*about the same if it’s Walter or Tuisasopo

28. Trent Edwards (78) @ KC

29. Marc Bulger (78) vs. CHI

30. Ryan Fitzpatrick (81) @ PIT

31. Daunte Culpepper (86) vs. TB

32. Matt Hasselbeck (87) vs. WAS

 

 

RUNNINGBACKS

 

1. Clinton Portis (19) @ SEA

2. Adrian Peterson (22) @ JAX

3. Matt Forte (22) @ ST.L

4. Frank Gore (23) @ DAL

5. Marion Barber (27) vs. SF

6. Thomas Jones (28) @ TEN

7. Reggie Bush (32) vs. GB

8. Brian Westbrook (33) @ BAL

9. Willie Parker (34) vs. CIN

10. Brandon Jacobs (35) @ AZ *watch his injury status

11. Marshawn Lynch (37) @ KC

12. LaDanian Tomlinson (38) vs. IND

13. Michael Turner (43) vs. CAR

14. DeAngelo Williams (43) @ ATL

15. Steve Slaton (45) @ CLE

16. Maurice Jones-Drew (46) vs. MIN

17. Ronnie Brown (48) vs. NE

18. Jamal Lewis (51) vs. HOU

19. Chris Johnson (56) vs. NYJ

20. Larry Johnson (56) vs. BUF

21. Steven Jackson (60) vs. CHI *keep an eye on his status

22. Joseph Addai (65)@ SD

23. LenDale White (66) vs. NYJ

24. Ryan Grant (69) @ NO

25. Darren McFadden (71) @ DEN

26. Jonathan Stewart (73) @ ATL

27. Warrick Dunn (74) @ DET

28. Sammy Morris (76) @ MIA

29. Mewelde Moore (77) vs. CIN

30. Tim Hightower (78) vs. NYG

31. Kevin Smith (79) vs. TB

32. Willis McGahee (83) vs. PHI *keep an eye on his status

33. Deuce McAllister (84) vs. GB

34. Derrick Ward (85) @ AZ

35. Ahman Green (85) @ CLE

36. LeRon McClain (87) vs. PHI *bump 2 or 3 spots if McGahee can’t go

37. Jerome Harrison (87) vs. HOU

38. Peyton Hillis (89) vs. OAK

39. Justin Fargas (95)vs. DEN *bump 15 spots if McFadden can’t go

40. Ray Rice (97) vs. PHI *keep him here regardless of McGahee’s status

41. Dominic Rhodes (97) @ SD

42. Jerious Norwood (99) vs. CAR

43. Julius Jones (99) vs. WAS

44. Leon Washington (100) @ TEN

45. Antonio Pittman (102) vs. CHI *bump 8 to 10 spots if Steven Jackson can’t go

46. BenJarvis Green-Ellis (104) @ MIA

47. Ricky Williams (106) vs. NE

48. Chester Taylor (112) @ JAX

49. Kevin Faulk (114) @ MIA

50. Kenneth Darby (114) vs. CHI *bump 3 or 4 spots if Jackson can’t go

 

 

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

 

1. Santana Moss (11) @ SEA

2. Anquan Boldin (15) vs. NYG

3. Larry Fitzgerald (17) vs. NYG

4. Greg Jennings (20) @ NO

5. Andre Johnson (25) @ CLE

6. Bernard Berrian (27) @ JAX

7. Steve Smith (29) *CAR @ ATL

8. Calvin Johnson (32) vs. TB

9. Roddy White (34) vs. CAR

10. Reggie Wayne (34) @ SD

11. Hines Ward (38) vs. CIN

12. Kevin Walter (41) @ CLE

13. Brandon Marshall (45) vs. OAK

14. Justin Gage (45) vs. NYJ

15. Terrell Owens (48) vs. SF

16. Eddie Royal (49) vs. OAK

17. DeWayne Bowe (49) vs. BUF

18. Randy Moss (50) @ MIA

19. Lee Evans (56) @ KC

20. Antonio Bryant (59) @ DET

21. TJ Houshmandzadeh (60) @ PIT

22. Donnie Avery (63) vs. CHI

23. Lance Moore (67) vs. GB

24. Vincent Jackson (68) vs. IND

25. Wes Welker (68) @ MIA

26. DeSean Jackson (69) @ BAL

27. Plaxico Burress (74) @ AZ

28. Donald Driver (76) @ NO

29. Braylon Edwards (77) vs. HOU

30. Chris Chambers (80) vs. IND

31. Laverneus Coles (81) @ TEN

32. Jehrrico Cotchery (83) @ TEN

33. Matt Jones (84) vs. MIN

34. Mushin Muhammad (91) @ ATL

35. Derrick Mason (92) vs. PHI *watch his injury status

36. DeVery Henderson (95) vs. GB

37. Steve Breaston (95) vs. NYG

38. Issac Bruce (98) @ DAL

39. Brandon Lloyd (98) @ ATL

40. Mark Bradley (101) vs. BUF

41. Nate Washington (104) vs. CIN

42. Kevin Curtis (105) @ BAL

43. Ted Ginn Jr. (109) vs. NE

44. Sinorice Moss (110) @ AZ

45. Michael Jenkins (116) vs. CAR

46. Santonio Holmes (117) vs. CIN

47. Marvin Harrison (118) @ SD

48. Greg Camarillo (121) vs. NE

49. Malcolm Floyd (124) vs. IND

50. Ricky Williams (124) vs. NE

51. Antoine Randle-El (127) @ SEA

52. Anthony Gonzalez (128) @ SD

53. Rasheid Davis (132) @ ST.L

54. Tory Holt (133) vs. CHI

55. Bryant Johnson (134) @ DAL

56. Jabar Gafney (134) @ MIA

57. Hank Baskett (135) vs. BAL

58. Amani Toomer (136) @ AZ

59. Marques Colston (137) vs. GB

60. Chad Johnson (140) @ PIT *out insert Chris Henry here

61. Patrick Crayton (140) vs. SF

62. Devin Hester (144) @ ST.L

63. Koren Robinson (149) vs. WAS

64. Bobby Wade (151) @ JAX

65. Myles Austin (152) vs. SF  out

66. Sidney Rice (153) @ JAX

67. Marty Booker (156) @ ST.L

68. Deion Branch (157) vs. WAS

69. Ike Hilliard (161) @ DET

70. Reggie Brown (163) @ BAL

71. Chansi Stuckey (165) @ TEN

72. John Standeford (170) vs. TB

73. Brandon Stokley (171) vs. OAK

74. Mike Walker (174) @ DET

75. Steve Smith (174)*NYG @ AZ

 

 

TIGHT ENDS

 

1. Dallas Clark (13) @ SD

2. Kellen Winslow Jr. (15) vs. HOU

3. Tony Scheffler (20) vs. OAK

4. Bo Scaife (24) vs. NYJ

5. Antonio Gates (28) vs. IND

6. Owen Daniels (29) @ CLE

7. Tony Gonzalez (33) vs. BUF

8. Kevin Boss (34) @ AZ

9. Anthony Fasano (34) vs. NE

10. Dustin Keller (34) @ TEN

11. Zach Miller (34) @ DEN

12. Billy Miller (38) vs. GB

13. Jerramy Stevens (39) @ DET

14. Jason Witten (42) vs. SF

15. Visanthe Schiancoe (43) @ JAX

16. Chris Cooley (45) @ SEA

17. Greg Olsen (53) @ ST.L

18. Alex Smith (53) @ DET

19. Mercedes Lewis (55) vs. MIN

20. Todd Heap (55) vs. PHI

21. Tom Santi (61) @ SD

22. John Carlson (63) vs. WAS

23. Daniel Graham (64) @ CLE

24. LJ Smith (66) @ BAL

25. Derek Fine (69) @ KC

26. Steve Heiden (73) vs. HOU

27. Vernon Davis (76) @ DAL

28. Dante Rosario (78) @ ATL

29. Donald Lee (79) @ NO

30. Heath Miller (80) vs. CIN

31. Martellus Bennett (80) vs. SF

32. Brent Celek (80) @ BAL

33. David Martin (80) vs. NE

34. Alge Crumpler (80) vs. NYJ

35. Jeremy Shockey (82) vs. GB

 

 

KICKERS

 

1. Mason Crosby (16) @ NO

2. Garrett Hartley (16) vs. GB

3. Stephen Gostkowski (24) @ MIA

4. Matt Bryant (26) @ DET

5. Phil Dawson (29) vs. HOU

6. David Akers (30) @ BAL

7. Lawrence Tynes (32) @ AZ *no difference if it’s Carney

8. Rian Lindell (33) @ KC

9. Jason Elam (36) vs. CAR

10. Shaun Suisham (36) @ SEA

11. Nate Kaeding (39) vs. IND

12. Joe Nedney (41) @ DAL

13. Matt Prater (44) vs. CAR

14. Jay Feeley (46) @ TEN

15. Ryan Longwell (46) @ JAX

16. Robbie Gould (46) @ ST.L

17. Rob Bironas (47) vs. NYJ

18. Sebastian Janikowski (48) @ DEN

19. Josh Brown (50) vs. CHI

20. Neil Rackers (54) vs. NYG

21. Josh Scobee (58) vs. MIN

22. John Kasay (61) @ ATL

23. Jeff Reed (61) vs. CIN

24. Nick Folk (65) vs. SF

25. Jason Hanson (69) vs. TB

26. Connor Barth (69) vs. BUF

27. Matt Stover (71) vs. PHI

28. Olindo Mare (75) vs. WAS

29. Kris Brown (77) @ CLE

30. Adam Vinatieri (77) @ SD

31. Shayne Graham (79) @ PIT

32. Dan Carpenter (83) vs. NE

 

 

DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS

 

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7) @ DET

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (16) vs. CIN

3. Chicago Bears (21) @ ST.L

4. Green Bay Packers (27) @ NO

5. Philadelphia Eagles (27) @ BAL

6. Tennessee Titans (30) vs. NYJ

7. New York Jets (36) @ TEN

8. New York Giants (37) @ AZ

9. Baltimore Ravens (42) vs. PHI

10. Miami Dolphins (42) vs. NE

11. Seattle Seahawks (42) vs. WAS

12. San Francisco 49ers (43) @ DAL

13. Dallas Cowboys (43) vs. SF

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (44) vs. MIN

15. Cleveland Browns (46) vs. HOU

16. Minnesota Vikings (48) @ JAX

17. Oakland Raiders (49) @ DEN

18. Atlanta Falcons (50) vs. CAR

19. Buffalo Bills (50) @ KC

20. Arizona Cardinals (51) vs. NYG

21. Carolina Panthers (52) @ ATL

22. Washington Redskins (58) @ SEA

23. Kansas City Chiefs (63) vs. BUF

24. New England Patriots (65) @ MIA

25. Cincinnati Bengals (67) @ PIT

26. Denver Broncos (67) vs. OAK

27. San Diego Chargers (68) vs. IND

28. New Orleans Saints (72) vs. GB

29. Indianapolis Colts (73) @ SD

30. Houston Texans (80) @ CLE

31. St. Louis Rams (81) vs. CHI

32. Detroit Lions (87) vs. TB

 

 

Week 12 Fantasy QB Rankings and Previews

 

Week 12 Fantasy RB Rankings and Previews

 

Week 12 Fantasy WR Rankings and Previews

 

Week 12 Fantasy TE Rankings and Previews

 

Week 12 Fantasy K Rankings and Previews

 

Week 12 Fantasy D/ST Rankings and Previews

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

 

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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 12 TEs

Posted on 20 November 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

When it comes to shuffling your lineup from week to week, tight end performance might be the toughest to predict. Unless you have a tight end who functions as a staple of his passing game, like Gates, Gonzalez or Witten, it may be safer just to stick with one guy that you believe in week in and week out. Even at this late stage in the season, Gates has just 6 TD to lead all tight ends, and no tight ends are over 600 yards yet this season. Nonetheless, here are this week’s tight end rankings, and match up previews.

 

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 12. 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 12 start rankings; that’s where you should look for help with your week 12 lineup decisions.

 

Week 12 Fantasy Tight End Power Rankings

 

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

 

(last week’s rankings in parentheses)

 

1. Tony Gonzalez (1) – KC – 583 yds 5 TD

 

2. Antonio Gates (2) – SD – 479 yds 6 TD

 

3. Tony Scheffler (6) – DEN – 351 yds 2 TD

 

4. Kellen Winslow Jr. (5) – CLE – 402 yds 3 TD

 

5. Jason Witten (4) – DAL – 583 yds 2 TD

 

6. Dallas Clark (3) – IND – 459 yds 3 TD

 

7. Owen Daniels (7) – HOU – 555 yds 2 TD

 

8. Kevin Boss (8) – NYG – 217 yds 4 TD

 

9. Anthony Fasano (10) – MIA – 305 yds 3 TD

 

10. Chris Cooley (9) – WAS – 576 yds 1 TD

 

11. Bo Scaife (11) – TEN – 450 yds 2 TD

 

12. Dustin Keller (12) – NYJ – 341 yds 3 TD

 

13. Billy Miller (13) – NO – 388 yds 0 TD

 

14. Zach Miller (16) – OAK – 430 yds 1 TD

 

15. Visanthe Schiancoe (14) – MIN – 293 yds 4 TD

 

16. Jerramy Stevens (NR) – TB – 238 yds 1 TD

 

17. John Carlson (16) – SEA – 337 yds 2 TD

 

18. Greg Olsen (17) – CHI – 391 yds 2 TD

 

19. Daniel Graham (NR) – DEN – 202 yds 4 TD

 

20. Martellus Bennett (NR) – DAL – 206 yds 2 TD

 

Dropped from Rankings: Mercedes Lewis – JAX; Alex Smith – TB; Todd Heap – BAL

 

TEs Who Should Be Better Than Usual In Week 12: Dallas Clark @ SD; Bo Scaife vs. NYJ; Zach Miller @ DEN; Kellen Winslow Jr. vs. HOU; Dante Rosario @ ATL; Dustin Keller @ TEN; Mercedes Lewis vs. MIN

 

TEs Who Could Be Sleepers Based On Week 12 Match Ups: Todd Heap vs. PHI; Alex Smith & Jerramy Stevens @ DET; Joe Klopfstein vs. CHI

 

TEs With Tough Week 12 Match Ups: Jason Witten & Martellus Bennett vs. SF; Tony Gonzalez vs. BUF; John Carlson vs. WAS; Vernon Davis @ DAL; Chris Cooley @ SEA; Antonio Gates vs. IND; Heath Miller vs. CIN

 

TEs You Might Want To Avoid In Week 12: Leonard Pope vs. NYG; Benjamin Watson @ MIA; Casey Fitzsimmons vs. TB

 

And here are the week 12 Fantasy TE start rankings; it’s the projected top 35 TEs 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 the Thursday night game, so keep checking back for the rest.

 

1. Dallas Clark (13)

2. Kellen Winslow Jr. (15)

3. Tony Scheffler (20)

4. Bo Scaife (24)

5. Antonio Gates (28)

6. Owen Daniels (29)

7. Tony Gonzalez (33)

8. Kevin Boss (34)

9. Anthony Fasano (34)

10. Dustin Keller (34)

11. Zach Miller (34)

12. Billy Miller (38)

13. Jerramy Stevens (39)

14. Jason Witten (42)

15. Visanthe Schiancoe (43)

16. Chris Cooley (45)

17. Greg Olsen (53)

18. Alex Smith (53)

19. Mercedes Lewis (55)

20. Todd Heap (55)

21. Tom Santi (61)

22. John Carlson (63)

23. Daniel Graham (64)

24. LJ Smith (66)

25. Derek Fine (69)

26. Steve Heiden (73)

27. Vernon Davis (76)

28. Dante Rosario (78)

29. Donald Lee (79)

30. Heath Miller (80)

31. Martellus Bennett (80)

32. Brent Celek (80)

33. David Martin (80)

34. Alge Crumpler (80)

35. Jeremy Shockey (82)

 

Use the links below to check out all of the other positional rankings, and I’ll try to consolidate all of this week’s start rankings into one blog, that I’ll update as injury information becomes available too. Remember to trust your gut and have fun, and as always, good luck this week.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

 

Week 12 QB Rankings and Previews

 

Week 12 RB Rankings and Previews

 

Week 12 WR Rankings and Previews

 

Week 12 K Rankings and Previews

 

Week 12 D/ST Rankings and Previews

 

 

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Great Tight Ends

Posted on 15 November 2008 by Brian Billick

Tomorrow we may see a substantial achievement by one of the great tight ends to play this game. With one more TD reception Antonio Gates can get to 50 TD receptions in a career faster than any other tight end in NFL history. Not withstanding injury, Gates may well be on the way to the first of many feats to establish himself as one of the great tight ends of all time.

The year 1963 saw the beginning of a major shift in the NFL with the use of the tight end. The evolution of the tight end position has been constant since Mike Ditka changed the definition of the position as the 5th selection overall in the NFL Draft that year by the Chicago Bears when he caught 56 passes for 1076 yards and a still-record 12 TD’s by a tight end (tied by Todd Christensen twenty years later). Ditka, Baltimore’s John Mackey and St. Louis Cardinals Jackie Smith (all drafted in I963) began to shift the tight end position to one from primarily as a blocker to one who could be a major part of an offensive passing attack. All three would go on to have Hall of Fame careers.

These great players were followed by the likes of Charlie Sanders (Detroit) and Raymond Chester (Oakland) in 1968 and 1970, respectively. Dave Casper (Oakland) followed in 1974, our own Ozzie Newsome then came along in Cleveland in 1978, Kellen Winslow (San Diego) and Todd Christensen (Oakland) in 1979. Christensen was actually drafted as a running back by the Dallas Cowboys, moved on to the New York Giants before settling in Oakland and igniting his career as a tight end.

In the mid-1980’s Mark Bavaro (New York Giants) and Jay Novacek (Dallas) came along to prove invaluable parts of Super Bowl winning teams.

Shannon Sharpe started the 90’s off right with the Denver Broncos followed by Tony Gonzales (Kansas City Chiefs) in the later part of the decade.

Looking at this group one thing become readily apparent. If you want a great one you will probably have to use a high draft choice to do it. The chart below shows that you will probably have to expend a first day pick to get a TE of this caliber.

Mike Ditka

1963

Chi

1961, 1st round (5th overall) by Chicago

Kellen Winslow

1980

SD

1979, 1st Round (13th Pick) by San Diego Chargers

Tony Gonzales

1998

KC

1997, 1st Round (13th Pick) by Kansas City Chiefs

Ozzie Newsome

1979

Cle

1978, 1st Round (23rd Pick) by Cleveland Browns

Raymond Chester

1972

Oak

1970, 1st Round (24th Pick) by Oakland Raiders

John Mackey

1964

Bal

1963, 2nd round (19th pick) Baltimore

Dave Casper

1975

Oak

1974, 2nd Round (19th Pick) by Oakland Raiders

Todd Christensen

1980

Oak

1978, 2nd Round (28th Pick) by Dallas Cowboys

Charlie Sanders

1970

Det

1968, 3rd rond (74th pick) By Detroit

Shannon Sharpe

1991

Den

1990, 7th Round (27th Pick) by Denver Broncos

Jackie Smith

1965

StL

1963, 10th round (129 pick) St. Louis

Antonio Gates

2004

SD

2003, Not drafted

Obviously, Antonio Gates may end up as one of the great-undrafted free agent stories of all time. A basketball player at Kent State in Ohio, Gates, if he can stay healthy may break virtually every TE record.

Having said that it is hard to not recognize the accomplishments of Tony Gonzales: (those in RED are current Hall of Fame players. The only HOF missing from this list is John Mackey whose numbers don’t rate in the top ten).

RK

NAME

Year

Rec

Yds

Avg

Lg

TD

1

Tony Gonzales

12

870

10426

12.1

73t

71

2

Shannon Sharpe

14

815

10060

12.3

82t

62

3

Ozzie Newsome

13

662

7980

12.1

74

47

4

Kellen Winslow

9

541

6741

12.5

67t

45

5

Jackie Smith

16

480

7918

16.5

81

40

6

Todd Christensen

10

461

5872

12.7

50

41

7

Mike Ditka

12

427

5812

13.6

76t

43

8

Jay Novacek

11

422

4630

11

49

30

9

Dave Casper

11

378

5216

13.8

52t

52

10

Antonio Gates

6

378

4831

12.8

72t

49

Kellen Winslow is considered by many to be the best based on the numbers he generated even though he was a part of an offense with such great receivers as Charlie Joiner, Wes Chandler and John Jefferson. With all this talent outside, it is truly amazing that he was able to generate this much offense.

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The Young and Restless

Posted on 14 November 2008 by Brian Billick

As I prepared for my game this week between the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs I had a chance to see first hand what the Chiefs are going through with their purging of their roster and building anew this franchise. Trading away their best defensive player (Jared Allen to the Minnesota Vikings) and loading up on draft choices this year you can clearly see the commitment the Chiefs have made to the future, and the growing pains they are experiencing at 1-8.

Seeing Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson put this plan in motion, I can’t help but think back to the 2002 season when Ozzie Newsome and I were faced with the same task.

As much as we as coaches would like to think otherwise, our jobs (particularly that of a head coach) are inexorably linked to the finances of any given situation. In 2000 the Baltimore Ravens reached the top of the professional football pyramid winning Super Bowl XXXV and then returning to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs in 2001. The price was unavoidable, however.

In 2002, the Ravens fielded the youngest team ever (19 rookies) in the history of the NFL. The decisions made in the preceding years to the “Cap Purge” of 02’ were all made with the consensus agreement that the team would have to be gutted after the 2001 season. With every signing leading up to the Super Bowl year General Manager Ozzie Newsome would make the obligatory observation, “Now we all know the piper has to be paid in 2002, right.” It was an acknowledgment by all involved that the expenditure “over the cap” had an unavoidable consequence in today’s NFL. That for every dollar “over the cap” you spend you will be devoid of those dollars in subsequent years.

At the heart of the Ravens’ Championship year were players like Shannon Sharpe, Priest Holmes, Rob Burnett, Duane Starks,Tony Siragusa, Qadry Ismail, Sam Adams. Jeff Mitchell, Jamie Sharper, Jermaine Lewis and even future Hall of Fame Rod Woodson would all be victims of the financial “balancing of the books” that every team must come to recon with.

It was only fitting that the cover of the 2002 Ravens’ Media Guide adorned the oil portraits of myself and Ozzie. Indeed, we where left with the task of rebuilding a championship team with our “financial” hands tied behind our backs. We did so in the only way left to a team in this situation and that is to draft and draft well.

Draftees like Jamal Lewis, Adalius Thomas, Todd Heap, Gary Baxter, Casey Rabach, Edgerton Hartwell, Ed Reed, Anthony Weaver, Dave Zastudil and Chester Taylor would team with holdovers Chris McAlister and future Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Jonathan Ogden to form an AFC North Division Championship team in 2003. They key was the franchise’s willingness to take the dramatic steps to “purge” their championship team of older and more expensive talent and replace it with younger more affordable players.

The problem lies in being a victim of your own success. When you draft well, even though the young player comes cheaper, they play themselves into the higher priced market that makes it increasingly tough to keep all of your good players. Ultimately, the successes of drafting Ed Reed, Todd Heap and Terrell Suggs then forced the Ravens to let go of Jamal Lewis, Adalius Thomas, Gary Baxter, Casey Rabach, Edgerton Hartwell, Anthony Weaver, Dave Zastudil and Chester Taylor. It has become a vicious cycle, in a reverse of nature, the “young eating their old.”

In training camp of the 2002 purge year Todd Heap had a humorous, but acute observation. We had long had a tradition on our team that the most veteran players got to sit in first class when we traveled. Typically that would be seven or eight players, usually with 10+ years in the league. Todd Heap, who was just entering his third year in the league, at our first OTA with this young group observed, “Coach, looks like I am going to be in first class this season.”

Having spent the day with Herm Edwards, it’s clear he is finding the same things I did in 2002. Though tough getting through the loses, it was one of the most enjoyable years I have had coaching. Working with and developing the young talent is what being a coach is all about. Herm will also find that by having to play so many young players you are going to learn a great deal more about them than you might otherwise have a chance to do. Next year when he looks at his roster and sees a bunch of 2nd and 3rd year players he will not have to worry about how they will play in their first starts. They will all have 10 to 16 games of playing experience.

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