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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.






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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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 11 TEs

Posted on 13 November 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

The big news this week when it comes to tight ends is that on the back of one decent performance, Todd Heap has finally broken into the power rankings. He’ll have a tough time staying there though after a match up with a tough Giants defense on Sunday. Derek Fine still remains an interesting proposition, after being blanked last week. Since it’s pretty much hit or miss when it comes to tight ends outside of the top 5 from week to week, Fine could still be an intriguing start for this week, in a favorable match up.


Remember that we’re listing 3 separate areas of evaluation in each Positional Power Rankings blog. The power rankings, listed first, are a year to date assessment of the top 20 at each position. Under those, are listings advising who should be a little bit better or worse than usual, based on their match up this week. And finally, at the bottom of each blog is the formulary start rankings, which is gotten using the “Secret Fantasy Flavor Formula”. It’s two parts year to date performance, one part opponents’ defensive performance, with adjustments for injuries, anomalies, and playing time changes.


Remember, none of this is gospel. If it were that easy, it wouldn’t be fun to play the games. With that said, we’re very proud of our track record so far, and suggest that you use these and as many other resources as you can find, in order to formulate your own opinions. After all, it’s you who has to live with your lineup decisions


Week 11 Fantasy Tight End Power Rankings


TE Power Rankings Archive34567 – 8 – 9 – 10


Remember that the power rankings listed here are a reflection of year to date performance only, and not an inducement of who to start this week. Check the list at the bottom of the column for this week’s start rankings.


(last week’s rankings in parentheses)


1. Tony Gonzalez (4) – KC – 544 yds 5 TD


2. Antonio Gates (2) – SD – 469 yds 6 TD


3. Dallas Clark (5) – IND – 415 yds 3 TD


4. Jason Witten (1) – DAL – 549 yds 2 TD


5. Kellen Winslow Jr. (11) – CLE – 362 yds 3 TD


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


7. Owen Daniels (3) – HOU – 541 yds 2 TD


8. Kevin Boss (10) – NYG – 217 yds 4 TD


9. Chris Cooley (8) – WAS – 529 yds 1 TD


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


11. Bo Scaife (16) – TEN – 422 yds 2 TD


12. Dustin Keller (NR) – NYJ – 254 yds 3 TD


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


14. Visanthe Schiancoe (9) – MIN – 252 yds 4 TD


15. Mercedes Lewis (15) – JAX – 287 yds 2 TD


16. John Carlson (12) – SEA – 298 yds 2 TD


17. Zach Miller (13) – OAK – 363 yds 1 TD


18. Greg Olsen (14) – CHI – 346 yds 2 TD


19. Alex Smith (17) – TB – 228 yds 3 TD


20. Todd Heap (NR) – BAL – 195 yds 2 TD


Dropped from Rankings: LJ Smith – PHI; Jerramy Stevens – TB; David Martin – MIA


TEs Who Should Be Better Than Usual In Week 11: Dallas Clark vs. HOU; Tony Scheffler @ ATL; Dante Rosario vs. DET; Mercedes Lewis vs. TEN; Bo Scaife @ JAX; Anthony Fasano vs. OAK


TEs Who Could Be Sleepers Based on Week 11 Match Ups: Matt Spaeth vs. SD; Justin Peele vs. DEN; Ben Watson vs. NYJ; Reggie Kelly & Ben Utecht vs. PHI; David Martin vs. OAK


TEs With Tough Week 11 Match Ups: Jason Witten @ WAS; Kellen Winslow Jr. @ BUF; Zach Miller @ MIA; Todd Heap @ NYG; Visanthe Schiancoe @ TB; Chris Cooley vs. DAL; LJ Smith @ CIN; Kevin Boss vs. BAL; Owen Daniels @ IND


TEs You Might Want to Avoid in Week 11: Joe Klopfstein @ SF; Brent Celek @ CIN


And here are the week 11 Fantasy TE start rankings; it’s the top 40 projected 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. We’ll get all of the positional rankings out to you in time for the game tonight, so keep checking back.


1. Dallas Clark (12)

2. Tony Gonzalez (19)

3. Tony Scheffler (19)

4. Antonio Gates (23)

5. Anthony Fasano (30)

6. Bo Scaife (31)

7. Derek Fine (34)

8. Owen Daniels (37)

9. Kellen Winslow Jr. (38)

10. Mercedes Lewis (38)

11. Kevin Boss (40)

12. Jason Witten (41)

13. Daniel Graham (43)

14. Chris Cooley (44)

15. Dustin Keller (45)

16. Billy Miller (46)

17. John Carlson (46)

18.  Greg Olsen (51)

19. Alex Smith (51)

20. Jerramy Stevens (57)

21. Visanthe Schiancoe (59)

22. Tom Santi (60)

23. Zach Miller (63)

24. David Martin (66)

25. Brent Celek (69) *bump him 5 to 7 spots if LJ Smith can’t go

26. Martellus Bennett (69) * bump him 3 to 5 spots if Jason Witten can’t go

27. Todd Heap (70) *bump him 8 to 10 spots if Derrick Mason can’t go

28. Vernon Davis (73)

29. LJ Smith (74) *switch him with Celek if he’s probable or better

30. Jerrame Tuman (75)

31. Justin Peele (76)

32. Dante Rosario (77)

33. Robert Royal (78)

34. Alge Crumpler (79)

35. Donald Lee (80)

36. Matt Spaeth (81)

37. Jeremy Shockey (86)

38. Desmond Clark (89)

39. John Gilmore (89)

40. Steve Heiden (92)


Use the links at the bottom of the page for all of the rest of this week’s rankings. As always, keep an eye on the injury report and make adjustments accordingly, or call in to the show on Saturday from 4-7. And most importantly, good luck this week.






Week 11 Fantasy QB Rankings and Previews


Week 11 Fantasy RB Rankings and Previews


Week 11 Fantasy WR Rankings and Previews


Week 11 Fantasy D/ST Rankings and Previews


Week 11 Fantasy K Rankings and Previews


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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 10 TEs

Posted on 06 November 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

Here are the Week 10 Fantasy Tight End Power Rankings, and just in time to make sure that you’re armed for tonight’s game. As usual when it comes to tight ends, it’s pretty much hit or miss anyway once you get outside of the top 4 or 5 guys. In addition to the power ranks, we’ve also ranked out the top 40 tight ends for this week in the order that you should consider them.


Week 10 Fantasy Tight End Power Rankings


TE Power Rankings Archive34567 – 8 – 9


Remember that the power rankings listed here are a reflection of year to date performance only, and not an inducement of who to start this week. Check the list at the bottom of the column for this week’s start rankings.


(last week’s rankings in parentheses)


1. Jason Witten (1) – DAL – 549 yds 2 TD


2. Antonio Gates (2) – SD – 403 yds 5 TD


3. Owen Daniels (4) – HOU – 528 yds 2 TD


4. Tony Gonzalez (3) – KC – 431 yds 3 TD


5. Dallas Clark (5) – IND – 391 yds 2 TD


6. Tony Scheffler (7) – DEN – 259 yds 2 TD


7. Anthony Fasano (6) – MIA – 288 yds 3 TD


8. Chris Cooley (8) – WAS – 529 yds 1 TD


9. Visanthe Schiancoe (10) – MIN – 248 yds 4 TD


10. Kevin Boss (17) – NYG – 148 yds 3 TD


11. Kellen Winslow Jr. (15) – CLE – 251 yds 1 TD


12. John Carlson (12) – SEA – 244 yds 2 TD


13. Zach Miller (9) – OAK – 321 yds 1 TD


14. Greg Olsen (11) – CHI – 306 yds 2 TD


15. Mercedes Lewis (16) – JAX – 223 yds 2 TD


16. Bo Scaife (13) – TEN – 344 yds 1 TD


17. Alex Smith (19) – TB – 228 yds 3 TD


18. LJ Smith (18) – PHI – 106 yds 2 TD


19. Jerramy Stevens (20) – TB – 154 yds 1 TD


20. David Martin (NR) – MIA – 253 yds 1 TD


Dropped from Rankings: Billy Miller – NO


TEs Who Should Be Better Than Usual In Week 10: Tony Gonzalez @ SD; Mercedes Lewis @ DET; Kellen Winslow Jr. vs. DEN; Jeremy Shockey @ ATL; Visanthe Schiancoe vs. GB; Greg Olsen vs. TEN; Donald Lee @ MIN


TEs Who Could Be Sleepers Based on Week 10 Match Ups: Dante Rosario @ OAK; Michael Gaines vs. JAX; Justin Peele vs. NO


TEs With Tough Week 10 Match Ups: John Carlson @ MIA; LJ Smith vs. NYG; Antonio Gates vs. KC; Dustin Keller vs. ST.L; Bo Scaife @ CHI


TEs You Might Want to Avoid in Week 10: Benjamin Watson vs. BUF; Tony Scheffler @ CLE; Ben Patrick vs. SF


And here are the week 10 Fantasy WR start rankings; it’s this week’s top 75 wide receivers in the order that you should consider them. 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 tonight’s game, so keep checking back for the rest.


1. Tony Gonzalez (7)

2. Kevin Boss (19)

3. Owen Daniels (21)

4. Visanthe Schiancoe (22)

5. Antonio Gates (25)

6. Dallas Clark (26)

7. Derek Fine (26)

8. Anthony Fasano (28)

9. Kellen Winslow Jr. (30)

10. Mercedes Lewis (32)

11. Greg Olsen (35)

12. Billy Miller (35)

13. Zach Miller (39)

14. Tony Scheffler (41)

15. Jeremy Shockey (45)

16. Dante Rosario (48)

17. Bo Scaife (51)

18. David Martin (52)

19. John Carlson (53)

20. Steve Heiden (57)

21. Donald Lee (58)

22. LJ Smith (60)

23. Heath Miller (23)

24. Mark Campbell (61)

25. Michael Gaines (63)

26. Rober Royal (64)

27. Dustin Keller (66)

28. Jerrame Tuman (70)

29. Desmond Clark (71)

30. Daniel Graham (72)

31. Brent Celek (74)

32. Brad Cottam (75)

33. Justin Peele (76)

34. Tory Humphrey (76)

35. Alge Crumpler (77)

36. Vernon Davis (78)

37. Todd Heap (81)

38. Tom Santi (83)

39. Casey Fitzsimmons (87)

40. Delanie Walker (88)






Week 10 QB Power Ranks and Weekly Previews


Week 10 RB Power Ranks and Weekly Previews


Week 10 WR Power Ranks and Weekly Previews


Week 10 D/ST Power Ranks and Weekly Previews


Week 10 K Power Ranks and Weekly Previews

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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 9 TEs

Posted on 30 October 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

Here are the Week 9 Fantasy Flavor Tight End Power Rankings. It’s the top 20 TEs based on what we’ve seen so far, and a look ahead at this week’s match ups. In addition to the power rankings, we’ve identified the best and worst match ups for week 9 and ranked the top 35 TEs in the order you should consider them this week.

TE Power Rankings Archive34567 – 8

Week 9 QB Rankings and Previews

Week 9 RB Rankings and Previews

Week 9 WR Rankings and Previews

Week 9 D/ST Rankings and Previews

Week 9 K Rankings and Previews


Fantasy Tight End Power Rankings Week 9


The power rankings are based on year to date performance and not a reflection of who to start this week, match up information for week 9 is listed below the rankings. Last weeks rankings are in parentheses.

1. Jason Witten (1) – DAL – 549 yds 2 TD

2. Antonio Gates (2) – SD – 403 yds 4 TD

3. Tony Gonzalez (7) – KC – 369 yds 3 TD

4. Owen Daniels (3) – HOU – 395 yds 2 TD

5. Dallas Clark (15) – IND – 328 yds 2 TD

6. Anthony Fasano (9) – MIA – 251 yds 3 TD

7. Tony Scheffler (6) – DEN – 259 yds 2 TD  

8. Chris Cooley (5) – WAS – 451 yds 1 TD

9. Zach Miller (11) – OAK – 312 yds 1 TD

10. Visanthe Schiancoe (4) – MIN – 223 yds 3 TD

11. Greg Olsen (8) – CHI – 296 yds 2 TD  

12. John Carlson (12) – SEA – 214 yds 2 TD

13. Bo Scaife (10) – TEN – 318 yds 1 TD

14. Billy Miller (NR) – NO – 323 yds 0 TD  

15. Kellen Winslow (14) – CLE – 187 yds 1 TD

16. Mercedes Lewis (17) – JAX – 185 yds 2 TD

17. Kevin Boss (NR) – NYG – 118 yds 2 TD  

18. LJ Smith (NR) – PHI – 106 yds 2 TD  

19. Alex Smith (16) – TB – 216 yds 2 TD

20. Jerramy Stevens (19) – TB – 154 yds 1 TD

Dropped from Rankings: David Martin – MIA; Heath Miller – PIT; Donald Lee – GB


Here’s a look at who should be a little bit better or worse than normal based on this week’s match ups.

TEs Who Should Enjoy Their Week 9 Match Ups: John Carlson vs. PHI; Greg Olsen vs. DET; Zach Miller vs. ATL; Anthony Fasano @ DEN; Bo Scaife vs. GB; Donald Lee @ TEN; Robert Royal vs. NYJ

TEs Who Could Be Sleepers in Week 9: David Martin @ DEN; Justin Peele @ OAK; Alge Crumpler vs. GB; Reggie Kelly vs. JAX; Joe Klopfstein vs. AZ

TEs With Tough Week 9 Match Ups: Tony Scheffler vs. MIA; Alex Smith & Jerramy Stevens @ KC; Heath Miller @ WAS; Tony Gonzalez vs. TB; Kevin Boss vs. DAL; Jason Witten @ NYG; Dustin Keller @ BUF; Todd Haep @ CLE; Mercedes Lewis @ CIN; LJ Smith @ SEA; Chris Cooley vs. PIT


And finally our “Formulary Start Rankings” for week 9. They’re gotten using the secret Fantasy Flavor Formula, which is basically 2 parts players performance, one part defensive expectations against them and a fraction of my gut thrown in to account for injuries and anomallies. The formulary number is in parenthesis behind the player’s name, the lower the number, the better your player’s chances at a big day.

1. Anthony Fasano (18)

2. Zach Miller (19)

3. Owen Daniels (20)

4. Dallas Clark (23)

5. Greg Olsen (24)

6. John Carlson (25)

7. Tony Gonzalez (32)

8. Bo Scaife (32)

9. Jason Witten (34)

10. Visanthe Schiancoe (34)

11. Chris Cooley (37)

12. Tony Scheffler (41)

13. David Martin (44)

14. Kellen Winslow (45)

15. Mercedes Lewis (51)

16. LJ Smith (54)

17. Robert Royal (54)

18. Justin Peele (55)

19. Kevin Boss (57)

20. Donald Lee (57)

21. Jerrame Tuman (58)

22. Martellus Bennett (62)

23. Alge Crumpler (62)

24. Desmond Clark (62)

25. Alex Smith (64)

26. Jerramy Stevens (66)

27. Heath Miller (71)

28. Dustin Keller (71)

29. Tory Humphrey (71)

30. Tom Santi (73)

31. Daniel Graham (81)

32. Steve Heiden (81)

33. Brad Cottam (84)

34. Reggie Kelly (88)

35. Ben Patrick (88)

Check back tomorrow for the defense and kicker rankings and catch me on the Comcast Morning Show with Drew tomorrow around 9: 45. And of course you can catch the Fantasy Flavor on Saturday from 4-7 and as always, good luck this week.




Thyrl’s Mobtown Blog Pound 2.0

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Rocking the Red with the Caps in D.C.

Posted on 29 October 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

I’ll admit it. I’m biased.

I inexplicably fell in love with hockey when I was five years old at the Baltimore Civic Center at an AHL Nova Scotia Voyageurs-Clippers game. I saw the ice. I saw the action. I was hooked. During my 40-plus years on the planet,  many of my best and most personal sports memories have been made at hockey games.

Most of the people who’ve listened to my show or read my work over the past 17 years know of my affinity for the puck. We’re running our first-ever “Caps Puck Bus” next Thursday night (tickets are only $50 for the whole evening of fun) and I expect it to be memorable.

Last night, I made my first of many pilgrimages down to the Verizon Center in D.C. to see the Caps take on my adopted favorite team, the Nashville Predators. It was a memorable game. The Caps took it to the Preds early, at one point holding a 23-5 lead in shots and a 2-1 advantage. Nashville came back to even the score late in the game, forcing a rare OT shootout, which the Caps won taking a 4-3 victory.

Sure, Alex Ovechkin was missing last night, away with his ailing grandfather but it was still an eye-opening experience seeing more than 15,000 people in the rink last night all “rocking the red” on a chilly Tuesday night.

Sure, I’ve had my differences with the Capitals over the years. First (and this is no secret), I thought the combination of moving into D.C., firing David Poile, changing the logo and those hideous blue jerseys were all bad ideas. It hurt the franchise and it made me feel less connected after being a guy who for a decade drove to the Capital Centre in a red, white and blue sweater at least 35 times a year to see Mike Gartner, Gaetan Duchesne, Dave Christian, Bobby Carpenter and company beat up the Flyers, Islanders, Penguins and Rangers. Some of my favorite memories in sports were waving white pompoms and screaming at Ron Hextall.

I also had another problem as a Caps fan in the 1990’s: my radio show ended at 6 p.m. and getting from upper Towson to downtown D.C. made it impossible to see an entire game. So, I just went on a hockey hiatus in some ways, for nearly a decade.

Last season, the Capitals reached out to me personally and asked me to come back to Caps games. I went to a few games during the stretch run and wound up taking a bunch of friends (including Hockey Meg, Agent Orange and WNST blogger Ed Frankovic) down to games. For Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoff series against Philadelphia, we threw Drew Forrester and Phil Jackman into a car and had a blast.

Like I said, I’m a hockey goober. I met my wife at a hockey game in Manchester, N.H. I have scores of friends who’ve entered my life and stayed through hockey. My best pal, Tom Kapp, allowed me to take his kid to a game a dozen years ago in Hershey and now his kid, Tyler, drags him from rink to rink in his quest to be an NHL goalie.

Hockey can be infectious like that. I’ve said it many times: it’s the best sport there is for the sheer energy and action.

So, why have I adopted the Nashville Predators of all teams? Their one and only head coach in their 11-season existence is Barry Trotz, who was the final coach of the Baltimore Skipjacks before they left town for good in 1992. I covered Trotz’s team for the Baltimore Evening Sun for two seasons and we became friends. Trotz went on to win the Calder Cup in Portland, Maine the next season, got the Predators job before the expansion in 1997 and has been their coach ever since. For some reason, we’ve always remained close and in touch.

Over the years, he’s been a frequent guest on WNST and a great friend when we’ve gone to Nashville for games. I’ve probably seen the Preds play in 15 cities across the country over the last decade and I have a closet full of swag he’s been kind enough to send me over the years and I’ve always enjoyed rooting for the Predators because Trotz is such a special guy. (And think about how rare and unique that is in this day and age: he’s the ONLY coach they’ve ever had!)

But, back to the Capitals and hockey locally.

The Caps reached out to me with one message: WE WANT BALTIMORE TO EMBRACE THE CAPITALS! They asked me if I could help or if I had some ideas.

I said I’d help by promoting the sport I love in Baltimore. (If I ever get rich with WNST.net I would absolutely bring a hockey team to Baltimore and be a complete idiot about promoting it and making it work. There’s NOTHING better than going to a hockey game, if you ask me!)

Even without Ovechkin last night (most hockey people would tell you he’s the best player on the planet), the building was still mostly full and the atmosphere the Caps are building is something that should be enjoyed by any sports fan.

If you haven’t been to a Caps game lately, I can honestly say that you’re missing out on some great sports fun.

And it’s easier than you think…

The ride was traffic-free and painless last night (left the house at 5:30, made a stop and was still in my seat 15 minutes before the 7 p.m. start). They’ve done a great job branding their players and the “Rock the Red” promotion. Truth be told, Caps games are a LOT of fun and I’m looking forward to re-embracing my adolescence and throwing on my red, white and blue sweater more often this year.

We’ll be doing a series of “Puck Bus” promotions over the course of the season. Or at least as many as we can effectively market and sell. You fill the seats and we’ll continue to take hockey fans down to D.C.

Hockey has been gone from Baltimore for nearly 15 years. The only way it could conceivably come back to Baltimore is if I get rich enough to do it because I’m the only fool who would even think about trying it again after it’s failed so many times here. (By the way, I’m a LONG way from fulfilling this dream of mine so don’t hold your breath on this one! LOL…)

So, in the interim, I’ve decided that I’m going to embrace the Caps, go to the games like I used to and have some fun while I’m still young enough (even at 40 and aging rapidly) to do it.

Last night brought back all of the memories, right down to accidentally running into the legendary Rod Langway while I was grabbing a beer at the concession stand.

I like the Zamboni.

I like the action.

I like “The Good Old Hockey Game.”

I like shootouts.

I like funny Canadian accents.

I like the horn blowing after a goal.

I even like the silly movie clips (“UNLEASH THE FURY!!!!”) they play on the HD screen at the Verizon Center.

And most importantly, I love the game and the action and the strategy of the sport.

Like I said, the Caps are doing a really nice job down in D.C. with that hockey team. But the only way to find out is to go to a game.

We’re going next Thursday and we’ve made it easy.

Just pay the $50 and show up at the Park and Ride in White Marsh (4:15 p.m.) or I-95/UMBC (5 p.m.) and we’ll take care of the rest.

The link is here if you care to join us.

Game on!

Let’s rock the red…

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Harbaugh and Hockey

Posted on 13 September 2008 by Ed Frankovic

Harbaugh Making a Stand?

So I caught some sports news tonight on Comcast and John Harbaugh stormed off from the media to end his daily press conference this afternoon out at 1 Winning Drive. It appears that the constant questions about who is playing and who is hurt are getting to our new head coach. In Harbaugh’s defense he has been consistent in not answering these questions at all and has stated so to members of the media, from what I’ve seen and heard. Personally, I think it is a GREAT decision by Harbaugh to keep mum on injuries and anything pertaining to who is playing where and how much. Giving out that information can hurt your competitive advantage. So I say kudos to Harbaugh for standing his ground and not discussing injuries or playing time or anything strategic ahead of time because it can help the Ravens against their upcoming opponents. I rarely see Bill Belichick discussing injuries and that has worked for New England as well (of course some guy named Brady doesn’t hurt to have on your side either). So as fans of the team are you okay with Harbaugh not discussing these things? Can you live with the lack of information and uncertainty on various players in a football crazed town? I certainly am and have no problem with him drawing a line in the sand with the local press. After all, he is getting paid to win games, not be nice with the media, right Mr. Bisciotti?

Hockey Talk and Season Coming Soon

To all of you hockey starved fans out there, hang in there, training camp starts up next week with the first part of each teams’ camps focused on the rookies and young prospects. The veterans start skating officially later next week (although many Caps are in town skating at Kettler Iceplex daily already, and in case you hadn’t heard Nicklas Backstrom sprained his ankle Thursday and will likely miss at least some of camp). If you have access to the NHL network they are showing many of the NHL rookie games this week each night so tune in to get your first look at some future NHLers. Also, the Caps rookies will be playing the Flyers rookies at 3pm at Kettler Iceplex on Thursday, September 18th. I plan on attending and providing some information on how the young guys are developing as well as any info I can pick up about the big club. The Caps open their regular season Friday, October 10 in Atlanta and are home the next night against the Chicago Blackhawks at 7pm. I expect the Caps to have lots of sellouts this year so get your tickets while you can.

Other hockey tidbits: The Blackhawks have traded former Caps forward Robert Lang to the Montreal Canadiens for a second round draft pick in the 2010 draft…Tampa Bay forward Vincent Lecavalier, who hurt his shoulder in the last Lightning game against the Caps last season, says he will miss the first four Tampa preseason games but will return for the final two games…Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes signed a seven year, $58M deal with the club on Thursday, September 11.

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Let’s start today with some simple Fantasy Football reminders:

Posted on 10 September 2008 by KZ

Let’s start today with some simple Fantasy Football reminders:

1. One person’s trash is another man’s treasure!
2. Do onto others as you would like done onto you!
3. Take your heart out of all decisions!
4. You snooze you lose, think ahead!
5. Relax!

OK, now let’s break these down one by one with a bit more detail.

One person’s trash is another man’s treasure: Once the draft is over, the most important part of a Fantasy Football team is the waiver wire. You have to look through every transaction every day. You never know what treasure you may find. For example today I found Kevin Smith was dropped yesterday in one of my leagues. The team who dropped him chose to go in another direction and picked up Fargas from Oakland. Understandable, but I targeted Kevin Smith early in my drafts and missed out on him … now he is my 4th RB and has great upside. You just never know. With most rosters at 14 to 16 players, owners will have to make decisions to cut people they may not want to. It takes 30 seconds to check the waiver wire every day, do not assume that Wednesday morning the waiver week is done.

Do onto others as you would have done onto you: In the last two days I have seen some of the most ridiculous trade offers ever. Now with that said, you never know what someone will consider a good deal. If a deal to good to be true is offered to you, take it … but don’t be the one to make crazy offers. Just because Tom Brady is out for the year does not mean someone will swap Randy Moss for Edgerrin James. So stop it now! Thank you!

Take your heart out of all decisions: Eddie Royal is now the darling of the Fantasy world. He torched D. Hall for 146 yards on Monday night and is now only available in 10% of leagues worldwide (He would have been on your roster already if you had checked out www.fansfantasyfootball.com earlier, where we told you to grab him as a sleeper, but…). You can love the kid, you can add him to your roster, but please realize it was one week. Realize Brandon Marshall is back for week 2, and that Eddie will be third on the target chart in Denver the rest of the year. Matt Jones, when it’s all said and done, may be the better pickup because he could be the number 1 WR in Jagsville, and will wind up with more targets. Just don’t fall in love with any player … once you do … you get burned.

You snooze you lose, think ahead: You will see on my What’s New Page that under pickups for the week, I list Deion Branch. Now Branch in my opinion does not play til week 4, but he is instantly the number one receiver in Seattle and is owned in few leagues. One of the keys to winning Fantasy Football is finding the diamonds in the rough before everyone else. So, think ahead and don’t snooze on guys from the practice squads or free agents. They may be this year’s Graham or Grant. Think about Cedric Benson, Shawn Alexander, Darius Walker, DeDe Dorsey, Kevin Jones and others. Not saying they will be the next one, but you have to keep them on your radar.

Relax!!!: One week and I have seen people dropping players like Kevin Smith, Marc Bulger, Chris Perry and Jabar Gaffney to name a few. To me, you have to see for two weeks what is really going to happen with a player. So don’t rush to judgment. Relax its only 1 week. If you are 0–1 … you are still in the playoff hunt.

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NFL week 1 leftovers

Posted on 10 September 2008 by Keith Melchior

I haven’t heard many talk shows this week, but when I have listened I got the consensus that a majority of the callers were ready to anoint Joe Flacco the next Johnny U. I have 2 things to say, one game does not a career make and remember Stony Case and how everyone though he was the next best thing to sliced bread.

I was impressed by Flacco’s ability to run the offense Sunday. He was nearly flawless, even though his numbers weren’t all that good at 15-29 for 129 yards and a 64.7 QB rating. He showed poise, presence and patience and ran the offense like a 10 year veteran. The O-line was impressive and pushed the Bengalscar defense around all day. Flacco ran the no huddle efficiently and when time was on their side, he handed the ball off and let McClain carry the load..(when was the last time a fullback led the team in rushing?)

The defense dominated Carson Palmer. When was the last time he threw for only 99 yards and had a QB rating of 34.5? Cincinnati had a whopping 154 total yards. Take away those 2 phantom DPI calls against McAlister and they turned in a 2000-like performance (well, let’s not go there) in holding the Bungles to 2-13 on 3rd down and only 3 points.

That could have easily been a 28-3 beat down and this Ravens team must learn how to put opponents they are dominating away early and nail the lid closed so mistakes, like the Todd Heap fumble and dropped TD pass along with the Ray Rice fumble don’t come back to bite them and change the momentum of the game. The defense came up huge after the Heap fumble put them on a short field. No way the game was as close as the 17-10 final, but again, they need to learn how to finish teams off early and not give them a chance to pull off a fluke win.

Now they head to Houston and face a Texans team that was embarrassed on the road in Pittsburgh. Houston was suppose to be a team of the future. Let’s hope their future begins on September 21st

Other NFL ponderings…

ESPN MNF broadcast…thumbs down to the 3 stooges. If I heard one Brett Favre comparison, I heard 30. They need to learn when to shut up and call the game at hand and stop dwelling on the past. I am glad the Packers won. A huge monkey is off Aaron Rodgers back, but let’s wait and see how he fares on the road against the Lions. One game does not a career make.

Speaking of the Lions, wasn’t Atlanta supposed to suck this year? They go out ang hang up 31 on Detroit and make Matt Ryan and Michael Turner look like Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James. Again, one game does not a career make, but then again, you and I could look like those 2 guys against the Lions.

I wrote in my predictions a week or so ago that Marvin Lewis would be fired after this season. Well, he is 0-1 and faces a tough Tennessee team this week then follows @ Giants, Cleveland, @Dallas, @ Jets and Pittsburgh. An 0-7 or 1-6 start could quickly turn WHO DEY? into OOOH DEY SUCK AGAIN.

Are the Colts as bad as they looked Sunday night in losing to Da Bears? Can Chicago be THAT good and dominant or was it Peyton Manning rust from not playing in the preseason? Maybe the Colts are getting a little long in the tooth. When was the last time they lost an opener…and at home no less? Seems like at least 10 years.

Tom Brady is out for the season…shame. Only ones who care other than Patriots fans are those who have him on a fantasy team. Was that payback for Bill Belichek? Can he turn Matt Cassel into the next Tom Brady? How will they fare Sunday in the big apple against Brett’s Jets? This will be huge division test for both teams. The AFC East is considered fairly weak after the Patriots. With Brady out, it is open season and everyone now has a shot at taking the division title, even the lowly Dolphins.

Another interesting matchup this week is the Cowgirls against the Iggles. Early bragging rights on the line in a division where 3 teams could be 12-4 or 11-5. And sorry Redskins fan, they won’t be one of those teams. Not this year.

Thats all for now..Have a good week!

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With Much Anticipated Return!!

Posted on 09 September 2008 by stevenlink

Well it’s been a while since I blogged last and I apologize greatly to all the devoted fans of this blog (as tumbleweeds come tussling by).  A lot has happened in the World of Sports in the past few weeks and unfortunately I cannot cover it all but I’ll do the best I can.

Let me first get this thought out there about the Orioles: The season was a lot of fun for the most part.  This team exceeded a lot of expectations that were set at the beginning of the season for them.  The unfortunate part is that they are no longer exceeding those expectations and we are in September and the Orioles decided to slump again like they always do.  Everyone knows that the reason for this is their pitching…again.  The Brian Matusz #1 draft pick keeps looking better and better as does the rotation of the Bowie Baysox.  And on that note, congratulations to the Baysox for their historic season of winning their division.  It is a shame that they lost in the playoffs but it was pretty bush-league how the Akron Aeros placed Travis Hafner in their lineup.  I mean it’s fair having an All-Star slugger conduct his rehab stint during a playoff right?  But I digress…Andy MacPhail’s philosophy of pitching first for organization truly is the best way to rehabilitate this floundering franchise.

In regards to the Ravens’ game Sunday all I can say is, well, I was wrong.  I’ll admit that I was one of those persons who felt the Ravens had no chance winning that game against the Bengals.  But really, was I really that crazy for making that call?  You have Carson Palmer, Chad John-oh I mean Ocho Cinco, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh against a secondary that was beat up last year by this team, and on top of that, Ed Reed was a game-time decision and Wacko Flacco wasn’t overly impressive during the pre-season.

But the Ravens defense was simply phenomenal Sunday.   They decided to leave the hammer at home and instead brought the sledge to bust the Bungals offense with.  They were so dominant that T.J. Houshmandzadeh decided to invest in the Kleenex Tissue Company on Monday because of all the crying and complaining he did on the field.  My only problem with our defense yesterday was when Samari Rolle decided to try his best impersonation of Brett Favre and chucked the ball into the sidelines after his “fumble” recovery.  I mean really guys??  Did we not learn anything from last year and the delay of game penalties??  His reaction to that play was uncalled for.

The Ravens offense looked pretty good as well.  Ray Rice and Le’Ron McLain ran very well but Lorenzo Neal was the real hero with the way he created those running lanes for those two backs.  Todd Heap showed how rusty he was with his fumble and dropped touchdown.  But the rookie QB Joe Flacco really stole the show with his performance.  I thought he’d act like a deer in the headlights out there but again I was proven wrong.  He showed poise and confidence as he was able to adjust to blitzing linebackers or charging defensive linemen.  His block on Mark Clayton’s touchdown run was the play of the game to me.  Hopefully he can build on this experience and maybe, just maybe we finally have the start of a real quarterback here in Baltimore.  And if it takes me having to be wrong for this to happen…then I never want to be right.

Yesterday it was announced Tom Brady is done for the rest of this season.  The shouts of despair and sadness you hear is not only from New England, but also from all of those Fantasy Football players who decided to draft Tom Brady with their first round pick instead of that running back they knew they should have gone with instead.  The news about Tom is horrible.  No one wants to see such a great football player get injured, especially the injury that he was dealt.  So here it is, my Question to You – Do you think the Patriots are still Super Bowl contenders without Tom Brady behind center?  I don’t think they are Super Bowl contenders anymore because of this injury.  However, I do think this team will still make the playoffs.  They still have a ton of talent and the Belichick x-factor to win a lot of football games.   This team just won’t win games by 30 points this year like they did last.

Quick note on “Football Night in America” on NBC before the Sunday night football game, could it be more unprofessional?  I mean you had Tiki Barber with his rude comments, Jerome Bettis with his gushing about the Steelers, and of course Keith Olbermann…enough said.  It was like I was watching a bunch of frat boys discuss last night’s party and their take on what happened.   And what is the deal with Bob Costas?  Is he trying to reassemble the early 1990’s Sportscenter crew?  Is Craig Kilborn the next addition to his cast?  I know that Olbermann and Patrick are good friends, but NBC should get Olbermann off of the show the same way they got him off of the election coverage.  Bob, you disappoint me.

It’s no secret that I am a huge University of Miami Hurricane fan, and it was no secret of my feelings towards Urban Meyer, the head coach of the University of Florida football team, on Saturday night.  His decision to continue to pass the ball into the endzone with 1:00 minute left and kicking a field goal to end the game after the Canes stopped his team.  That action was completely uncalled for and disrespectful.  The Canes played great against a much more experienced and skilled team being down only 9-3 going into the 4th Quarter.  But their young and inexperienced team fell apart in that last quarter and were behind 23-3 when the Gators were still passing for that last touchdown.  Do you think it was a coincidence that even with the field goal the Gators were able to make their 21 point spread?  I don’t…And the excessive celebration call made during the BYU v. Washington game against Washington’s QB Locker was horrible and the fact it resulted in the Washington’s loss was even more of a kick in the jewels.

If you didn’t hear by now Maryland lost to Mid Tennessee State this past weekend.  That’s right folks, it wasn’t Tennessee or even Memphis who beat the Terps, but Mid Tennessee State.  To reiterate, it was not a team from the SEC or Conference USA, but rather the Sun Belt Conference.  The 24-14 loss was a complete embarrassment.  There was no reason for this loss.  This has been an underachieving program for the past 3-4 years.  My Take on this situation is that if the Terps do not make a legitimate run at a prestigious bowl this season then Ralph Freidgan should be let go.  There are no more excuses for him.  The ACC is one of the weaker conferences in the NCAA now (just take a look at the Top 25 poll and see how many ACC teams are represented there as one piece of evidence).  His team has underachieved ever since he had his own recruits took over this team with the exception of the 2006 season.  He has had recruiting scandals to recruiting losses from here in our own state to neighboring schools that should not happen.  I like Ralph, I think he has done so much for this program and putting it back on the map, but he needs to right the ship before Maryland Athletic Director finally sets him out to sea.  And if you were wondering who I think the AD should look at Skip Holtz, the head coach of ECU, to take over at Maryland.  I think his style of play and the players on the Terps’ roster would be a great fit.

And finally, for all of you European Premier League Soccer fans out there, I was told you can’t miss Saturday night’s game (noon game here) between Chelsea and Manchester City.  Manchester City spent 32 Million Pounds (converting to the dollar that would be like 1 billion dollars…sarcasm people) to acquire Brazilian striker Robinho.  Let’s not forget that in European Soccer the money spent is not going to the player but rather to the player’s previous team, Real Madrid.  Apparently the concept of the indentured servant is still alive and well in Europe…Also there is the Ohio State v. USC game Saturday.  I know all of my Notre Dame friends will be upset with this remark but I’m rooting for USC to smear the Buckeyes across the field for this game.

Well I hope my much anticipated return was well received.  I’m done for now but I’ll be sure to be back at the next chance I get.  Sayonara B-more.

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An Eye-Popping Stat

Posted on 09 September 2008 by Mark Mussina

While the sports world has turned to football, one of the greatest athletes of our generation is about to accomplish something that has to be considered astounding. Greg Maddux is less than ten innings away from reaching 5000 for his career. That’s right 5000!
I think innings pitched may be one of the most underappreciated stats in all of sports. It’s not like at bats, or pass attempts, or even attempts fromm the field. To record innings you must actually get people out. Think about that. It’s not the number of pitchers a guy throws, nor is it the number of batters that he faces. It’s about how many outs a pitcher gets, and Maddux has got them more often than about anyone.
In the 20-year span from 1988 to 2007, Maddux reached 200 innings 18 times. He even threw 202 innings in 1994 when the strike occurred in mid-August. And the two years that he didn’t reach 200 innings, in ’02 he had 199 1/3, and in ’07 he had 198. Even now, as a 42-year-old, he’s over 175, with maybe four starts to go. His record of 7-12 is not very Madduxesque, but his ERA is still in the low fours. A lot of 32-year-olds would take that.
But as much as I’m in awe of the innings total, he has another stat that may even be more impressive. He has yet to walk 1000 men in his career. Right now he sits at 999. Let’s put it this way. Tom Glavine, who, like Maddux, is known as a control/finesse pitcher, is next on the active innings list with just over 4400. He has walked exactly 1500 guys.
When talking about pitchers of this generation, we’ve had a few guys who had impressive stretches: Johan, Pedro, Randy, and Clemens. But when you look at what Maddux did from ’92-’98, his stretch is as good as anyone’s. Someday we’ll be able to tell our grandkids that we saw the last guy get 350 wins and 5000 innings.

P.S. You do realize that Aubrey Huff leads the American League in total bases.

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