Tag Archive | "troy"

Live from Tampa…minus the purple!

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Live from Tampa…minus the purple!

Posted on 25 January 2009 by Nestor Aparicio

The reality of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl visit has finally set upon the land here in Tampa, as we’ve spent the day setting up our Radio Row coverage for the week from here at the Convention Center. Downtown Tampa has changed dramatically over the past eight years since the purple Gasparilla Festival here in January 2001. Lots of buildings, new hotels and empty-looking condos sitting dormant on the open market.

Ray and Drew on Radio Row in Tampa

Our Coors Light coverage will begin at 6 a.m. Monday morning with Drew Forrester doing the Comcast Morning Show until 10 a.m. and I’ll be live from 2 til 6 each weekday this week with one exception. Forrester and I have already alerted Ray Bachman that he’ll be the special “guest host” during the 2 p.m. hour on Thursday when Bruce Springsteen holds his special pre-halftime press conference here in the Media Center.

We expect well over 100 guests during the week here in Tampa, including Brian Billick’s co-hosting duties on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Virtually every NFL star in town drops by the Radio Row setup, which is noticeably smaller and more compact this year with the down economy in national media. There just aren’t as many media outlets who can afford to send a staff here for the week to chatter up the NFL and Super Bowl hype. It will be interesting to see the Tuesday “Media Day” madness and if it looks smaller. That’s the day when EVERYONE converges on Raymond James Stadium and asks all of the goofy questions.

One thing we won’t have to worry about is sunshine. It’s 80 degrees and stunningly beautiful here in Tampa today. It’s our favorite week of the year, even when we’re stuck in Detroit or Jacksonville.

More to come all week, including an audio vault here at WNST.net chock full of cool interviews that are available on demand. We’ll also be rolling the wnsTV cameras all week so keep checking back for fresh stuff.

Without question this entire experience might’ve been a lot different save for one Darren Stone penalty and one Joe Flacco pass to Troy Polamalu. I’m going to do my best to not think about it so much this week but I’ll have my moments of weakness and anger and wistfulness for sure. And I’ll be bellied up to the bar this Sunday at Whiskey Joe’s thinking about what “might’ve been.”

The theme for the week? Go Cardinals…

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Towson hoops: Tigers rally for big win

Posted on 03 January 2009 by Drew Forrester

Trailing throughout the entire game, Towson rallied for a gritty come-from-behind win over James Madison on Saturday night at the Towson Center, edging the Dukes, 58-57.

James Madison led 33-27 at the half and had a 5-point lead at 50-45 with just over five minutes to play.

Towson led early in the game at 5-3, then didn’t have the advantage again until Junior Hairston hit a pair of foul shots with just under a minute to play to give the Tigers the 58-57 lead.  James Madison got the ball back with 30 seconds to play but failed to get off a shot and called timeout with 3.8 seconds to play.  Their inbounds play offered little more than a desperation heave at the buzzer and it was off the mark, giving Towson an almost-improbable win.

Hairston led Towson with 16 points.  Seldom used guard Rocky Coleman had his best game of the year with 12 points, while Jarrel Smith and Troy Franklin each chipped in 10.  Towson used only eight players the entire night.  Juwann James led JMU (8-6) with 24 points.

“We just kept on fighting until the end,” said Pat Kennedy in his radio interview afterwards.  ”I told the guys we have to play all 40 minutes because it’s definitely going to come down to the final possession of the game.”

Kennedy was right on the mark with that statement.  

Towson improves to 6-8 overall and 1-1 in the CAA. 

They travel to Delaware on Monday night to take on the Blue Hens, 81-79 winners over VCU earlier today. The Tigers then come back home to host George Mason on Wednesday, then visit Northeastern on Saturday. Virginia Commonwealth makes their first visit to the Towson Center in nearly two years on Wednesday, January 14.

This Wednesday’s game vs. George Mason is “WNST Night”.  $5.00 ticket coupons are available at WNST.net and can be redeemed at the Towson Center Box Office on the night of the game.  Anyone using a coupon receives a $5.00 gift card from Uno Chicago Grill.

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Strange, nostalgic day to be in Dallas

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Strange, nostalgic day to be in Dallas

Posted on 20 December 2008 by Nestor Aparicio

It’s a crazy day to be in Dallas. They’re shutting their stadium tonight amidst a potential season-wrecker if Joe Flacco, Ray Lewis and the Ravens come in a steal a victory. It’s the Ravens’ first-ever trip into Dallas, the final city they’ve never played in over the 13-year history of the franchise (not counting the Minnesota preseason game two years ago). And the civic pressure is on here in “Big D.” You can almost feel the anticipation for this game if you just drive around town and hear people talking.

If the 2008 Dallas Cowboys lose their final game in Texas Stadium to get essentially bumped from a playoff spot, they’ll be all-time chumps. Especially on the backend of Tony Romo’s January meltdowns and T.O.’s loudmouthed nonsense. This game is significant here — the lead story on every TV channel and the headline of every newspaper.

A big giant “love in” is scheduled for the pre-game and the in-game. The pageantry they’re putting on – and you do know that EVERYTHING is bigger in Texas – will rival what we did for the Orioles in Baltimore on 33rd Street back in 1991. If you really want to vomit and hate the Cowboys more than you already do, just flip NFL Network on today. The pre-game show starts at 5 p.m. and that goof Rich Eisen has already promised to get “every breathing Cowboy legend possible” onto the show. Just hearing Deion Sanders wax on (and off) with every Dallas legend from Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett to Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith is enough to make you hit the “mute” button.

I’ve hated the Cowboys since Clint Longley…

But here’s the reality: the WHOLE THING is set up for the Ravens to get their asses kicked on national “house TV” of the NFL with the star at the 50-yard line and a team and a stadium that helped build the foundational greatness of the shield is going down. (A little different than imploding the Hoosier Dome, as was done earlier to day in Indianapolis…)

Not that the game doesn’t have enough interesting subplots already – with both teams fighting for their January lives and a crucial win tonight – but the stadium closing combined with the constant drama of Terrell Owens and the matchup issues (still no word on whether Fabian Washington will suit up…join the FREE text service and we’ll keep you in the loop) on both sides of the ball, this figures to be a great and memorable night either way.

The Ravens need this game. The city kinda needs this game. I don’t want to wake up on Christmas Day on the outside looking in after all of the fun this team has given us this year. I want a playoff game in New England or New York or Miami two weeks from now. I don’t want the season to end. Tonight could be kinda ugly, as the Ravens enter the game as 4 ½ point underdogs. As big of a home game as the Pittsburgh fiasco was the other night, this might as big of a December road game as the Ravens have played in their history.

It’s always fun when the Ravens play in big games. You can feel the weight of this one here in Dallas for sure.

The weather report shows that the temperature will be dropping like a rock during the game. It was 78 degrees here yesterday when we landed. We walked in short sleeves after dark last night amidst the holiday lights. This morning it’s 60 degrees, damp and kinda chilly. It’s supposed to be 55 at 6 p.m. and 45 at 9 p.m. and 32 by midnight. Tomorrow, it’ll be 35 degrees when we leave Dallas.

I’ll continue to check in from Dallas.

We found a lady bug on the window sill and thought it might be good luck…Ladybug

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Ravens – Steelers just another game

Posted on 10 December 2008 by caseywillett

Just another game

That is the mind set of many of the Ravens players here at 1 Winning Drive this week. The players know that there is a lot at stake for this game, but they are just focused on it as the most important game on the schedule only because it is the next game on their schedule. They all admit they know this game could have huge playoff implications, but does not matter unless they win the game.

Terrell Suggs did admit that it is one of the biggest games he has played in since he came into the NFL,”Probably since the 2006 playoff game (vs the Colts) this is probably the biggest game I’ve ever played in. I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity and have some fun and enjoy it. What better place to do it than in our own backyard and M&T ? It’s going to be exciting. I think the football gods have blessed us to have an opportunity like this, to have a game this late in December of this magnitude. Everybody just can’t wait for it, so it’s going to be good. I think both teams will be ready, and both teams are going to put on one heck of a show.”

Roster Move

The Ravens added running back Jalen Parmele from the Miami Dolphins practice squad to their active roster. Parmele was a 7th round draft pick out of Troy, but was inactive for the Dolphins before he was placed on the practice squad. To make room for Parmele, the Ravens placed defensive tackle Lamar Divens on the injured reserve list with a shoulder injury. Parmele will give the Ravens some depth at running back position with concerns injury wise to both Willis McGahee and Ray Rice. Rice seems to be the more serious of the two as he is deals with a  contusion, “it’s a bad one on his shin”, according to Coach Harbaugh.

Here is what Coach Harbaugh had to say about Parmele,”We’ve been studying him all year. He plays special teams. He’s a quality running back, we think a young and upcoming player. There’s a chance he could help us here the last three weeks with our injury situation at running back, so we’re pleased to have him.”

Bounty Watch

Terrell Suggs says that he has not received any word from New York and the NFL offices regarding bounty talk. Suggs made some comments about bounties regarding Steelers players last time these two teams played. Suggs did point out that he is sure “Roger will be some where watching.”

Mason breaks down Polamlu vs Reed comparison

Derrick Mason was asked to compare Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu who are widely considered the top two at their position in the NFL.  Mason said he would not compare the two because it would not be fair, but did offer up this difference between the two,”Ed Reed is Ed Reed; Troy is Troy.One has long hair, one has short hair. That’s about the only comparison.”

Protecting home turf versus Steelers

The Ravens have won the last 5 games between the Steelers and Ravens in Baltimore. The last win by the Steelers in Baltimore was a 31-18 win on 10-27-02.

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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 14 WRs

Posted on 03 December 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

Despite a rough patch for the Cardinals, their vaunted receivers remain ranked #1 and #2 in the power rankings, as well as this week’s start rankings. The veterans have started to reclaim the receiver rankings over the last few weeks, as many of the rookies appear to be hitting that proverbial wall. We’ll be back tomorrow with your tight end, kicker and defense rankings, so check back then too.

 

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 Wide Receiver Power Rankings

 

WR Power Rankings Archive34567 - 8 - 9 - 10- 11 - 12 - 13

 

(last week’s rankings in parentheses)

 

1. Anquan Boldin (1) – AZ – 942 yds 11 TD

 

2. Larry Fitzgerald (3) – AZ – 1075 yds 8 TD

 

3. Greg Jennings (5) – GB – 1057 yds 7 TD

 

4. Calvin Johnson (2) – DET – 971 yds 8 TD

 

5. Steve Smith (4) – CAR – 958 yds 4 TD

 

6. Roddy White (6) – ATL – 1085 yds 6 TD

 

7. Bernard Berrian (13) – MIN – 795 yds 5 TD

 

8. Santana Moss (7) – WAS – 828 yds 5 TD

 

9. Andre Johnson (8) – HOU – 1146 yds 4 TD

 

10. Terrell Owens (12) – DAL – 816 yds 8 TD

 

11. Brandon Marshall (9) – DEN – 942 yds 4 TD

 

12. Randy Moss (11) – NE – 785 yds 8 TD

 

13. Lance Moore (14) – NO – 739 yds 8 TD

 

14. Eddie Royal (20) – DEN – 757 yds 5 TD

 

15. Reggie Wayne (10) – IND – 870 yds 5 TD

 

16. Vincent Jackson (16) – SD – 703 yds 5 TD

 

17. Kevin Walter (15) – HOU – 705 yds 7 TD

 

18. Lee Evans (NR) – BUF – 890 yds 3 TD

 

19. Hines Ward (18) – PIT – 755 yds 6 TD

 

20. DeSean Jackson (NR) – PHI – 775 yds 2 TD & 1 TYD rush

 

Dropped From Rankings: DeWayne Bowe – KC; Justin Gage – TEN

 

WRs Who Should Be Better Than Usual In Week 14: Lee Evans vs. MIA; Randy Moss & Wes Welker @ SEA; Laverneus Coles & Jehrrico Cotchery @ SF; Tory Holt & Donnie Avery @ AZ; Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison & Anthony Gonzalez vs. CIN; Roddy White @ NO; DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis & Hank Baskett @ NYG

 

WRs Who Could Be Sleepers Based On Week 14 Match Ups: Roscoe Parrish & Josh Reed vs. MIA; Jabar Gaffney @ SEA; Chansi Stuckey @ SF; Derrick Stanley & Dane Looker @ AZ; Koren Robinson, Deion Branch & Bobby Engram vs. NE; Harry Douglass & Michael Jenkins @ NO; Matt Jones, Reggie Williams & Jerry Porter @ CHI; Justin Gage, Justin McCairens & Brandon Jones vs. CLE

 

WRs With Tough Week 14 Match Ups: Chad Johnson & TJ Houshmandzadeh @ IND; Braylon Edwards @ TEN; Terrell Owens & Roy Williams @ PIT; Santana Moss & Antoine Randle-El @ BAL; Andre Johnson & Kevin Walter @ GB; Chris Chambers & Vincent Jackson vs. OAK; Derrick Mason & Mark Clayton vs. WAS; Antonio Bryant & Ike Hilliard @ CAR; Steve Smith & Mushin Muhammad vs. TB; DeWayne Bowe & Mark Bradley @ DEN

 

 

And here are the week 14 Fantasy WR start rankings; it’s my top 75 WRs 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. Anquan Boldin (15)

2. Larry Fitzgerald (17)

3. Roddy White (19)

4. Greg Jennings (25)

5. Bernard Berrian (25)

6. Randy Moss (26)

7. Calvin Johnson (28)

8. Steve Smith (34)

9. Reggie Wayne (35)

10. Lee Evans (37)

11. Brandon Marshall (44)

12. Lance Moore (44)

13. Santana Moss (45)

14. Andre Johnson (46)

15. Terrell Owens (50)

16. Eddie Royal (50)

17. DeSean Jackson (50)

18. Hines Ward (52)

19. Justin Gage (55)

20. Vincent Jackson (59)

21. Laverneus Coles (59)

22. Kevin Walter (62)

23. Wes Welker (62)

24. DeWayne Bowe (65)

25. Issac Bruce (67)

26. Antonio Bryant (69)

27. Marques Colston (72)

28. Matt Jones (74)

29. Steve Breaston (75)

30. Jehrrico Cotchery (75)

31. Derrick Mason (78)

32. TJ Houshmandzadeh (80)

33. Mark Clayton (81)

34. Donald Driver (83)

35. Braylon Edwards (89)

36. Santonio Holmes (90)

37. Donnie Avery (90)

38. Chris Chambers (95)

39. Anthony Gonzalez (95)

40. Mark Bradley (97)

41. DeVery Henderson (98)

42. Michael Jenkins (99)

43. Ted Ginn Jr. (100)

44. Malcolm Floyd (105)

45. Mushin Muhammad (106)

46. Nate Washington (108)

47. Kevin Curtis (108)

48. Amani Toomer (109)

49. Marvin Harrison (109)

50. Tory Holt (110)

51. Devin Hester (115)

52. Koren Robinson (118)

53. Hank Baskett (120)

54. Chad Johnson (128)

55. Jabar Gaffney (128)

56. Brandon Stokley (130)

57. Reggie Brown (130)

58. Antoine Randle-El (131)

59. Josh Reed (131)

60. Rasheid Davis (133)

61. Ashley Lelie (136)

62. Bryant Johnson (139)

63. Dane Looker (144)

64. Roy Williams (146)

65. Reggie Williams (146)

66. Brandon Lloyd (147)

67. Chansi Stuckey (147)

68. Mary Booker (149)

69. Ike Hilliard (153)

70. Bobby Wade (157)

71. Brandon Jones (159)

72. Harry Douglass (159)

73. Josh Morgan (159)

74. James Hardy (159)

75. Miles Austin (166)

 

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 RB Rankings & Previews

 

Week 14 TE Rankings & Previews

 

Week 14 K Rankings & Previews

 

Week 14 D/ST Rankings & Previews

 

 

 

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Hoops: Penn State wallops Towson

Posted on 29 November 2008 by Drew Forrester

I guess I’m glad I didn’t stick around in Philly to see that one first-hand.

Penn State thumped Towson tonight, 78-54, in the finale of the Hoop Group tournament at The Palestra in Philadelphia.  Towson (3-3) finished the tournament with a 1-3 record and dropped both games in Philly this weekend, losing to Villanova on Friday (64-47) before falling to the Nittany Lions this evening.

Granted, I wasn’t there, but a quick glance at the box score tells you everything you need to know.  Penn State jumped out to an early 18-8 lead and maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the first half en route to a 40-24 edge after 30 minutes.  Like they did on Friday, the Tigers came out cold in the second half, scoring only 6 points in the first 6+ minutes to fall behind 54-30.  Penn State (6-1) eventually opened up a 30-point lead and failed to score a point in the game’s final four minutes as Towson battled late to finalize the scoring at 78-54.

Pat Kennedy tried to shake up his lineup, starting Rocky Coleman and Tony Durant, but it didn’t change things much, as the Tigers lost for the third time in four games overall.  Troy Franklin contributed a game-high 12 points for Towson, who play at UMBC on Wednesday night.

It’s been a bit of an uneven start for the Tigers, as they’ve yet to find a starting five to rely on game in and game out.  Franklin has been hot and cold running the point and Josh Thornton hasn’t extended his success from the season opener when he poured in 24 against Navy.  When only one player scores in double digits, as was the case on both Friday and Saturday night in Philly, you’re not going to win many games.  

Wednesday night at the RAC will be a major test for Kennedy’s team, as they do battle with the defending America East champion Retrievers and their star guard, Jay Greene, who nearly single-handedly led a dramatic late game comeback on Saturday afternoon in their 61-56 win over a pesky Toledo team.

If Towson harbors hopes of competing in the CAA this year, a step in that direction would be a win on Wednesday night.

It’s not going to be easy.

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‘Nova puts away pesky Towson

Posted on 29 November 2008 by Drew Forrester

Everything about The Palestra was great except the final score.  

Villanova 64 – Towson 47

I’ll have video up from my night at the historic sports arena on the campus UPenn at some point in the next day or two.  You’ll get an inside look at how the Tigers prepared for the game and, from my seat five feet behind Pat Kennedy, you’ll HEAR an account of life on the bench.

The final score was symbolic of what the game represented.  Villanova – a team that has been to four straight NCAA tounaments and is currently #23 in the nation with four McDonald’s All-Americans on their roster – and Towson, yards better than last year but still looking for its identity with three transfers and a freshman point guard who had his troubles on Friday night.

It was a game for a while.

Towson hung tough in the first half and closed the gap to 27-26 with about three minutes to play in the opening 20 minutes thanks to an inspired effort from Junior Hairston.  Towson started the game with Mt. Carmel product Troy Franklin, but he picked up his 3rd foul with 12 minutes gone in the game and Pat Kennedy turned to Richmond transfer Brian Morris to run the point – and he did so with great effectiveness as Towson outscored ‘Nova 11-4 to get right back in the game.  

Dante Cunnigham – who was a beast on the defensive end – was so incensed with Towson’s run that he yelled at his Wildcat teammates, “HAVE SOME PRIDE, DAMMIT!!” as the players made their way to the Villanova bench after a Jay Wright timeout.

Towson was down 30-28 and had a good look for a game-tying two pointer in the final seconds of the first half but the ball took a crazy bounce off the rim and Villanova came up with the loose ball and a frantic shot by Scottie Reynolds at the buzzer was good for three as the Wildcats extended their margin to five at the half.  

It’s hard to say that one shot – one 3-pointer – could have been the difference in the game, but that bucket at the end of the first stanza lifted ‘Nova’s spirits and sunk Towson’s at the same time.

A different Tigers’ team showed up to start the second half.  Towson didn’t score a basket from the field for nine minutes to start the final 20 minutes and by then, it was 44-32 in favor of Villanova.  From there, baskets were traded until the final whistle and a 64-47 loss for the Tigers.

All in all, though, Pat Kennedy and his staff have plenty of good to take from the game.  In fact, virtually every player executed something well during the night.  Unfortunately, Kennedy and his staff have plenty of not-so-good to point out as well.  That’s what coaching is all about.  Making your players better.

Towson has a great chance tonight for a marquee win as they take on Penn State at 6:30pm.  Prior to last night’s loss to Rhode Island, the Nittany Lions were undefeated at 4-0.

The Tigers travel to UMBC on Wednesday night for a 7:05pm battle with the Retrievers.  It’s “WNST Night” at the RAC.   You can download a $4.00 off ticket coupon at www.wnst.net and redeem it at the box office on Wednesday for what should be a great local college basketball game.

I won’t be rooting for either team on Wednesday.  

I’ll be happy either way.

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The Fantasy Flavor Positional Power Rankings – Week 13 WRs

Posted on 26 November 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

The wide receiver rankings, like most of the rest of the positional rankings didn’t see a lot of change in week 13, aside from the return of a couple of old familiar names to the list. There have been a number of nice surprises at wide receiver this year, as there typically are, but as of now Lance Moore has officially unseated Eddie Royal as the out of nowhere superstar. We’ll see if he’s able to maintain that status as both Jeremy Shockey and Marques Colston look to be returning to form for the Saints.

 

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 Wide Receiver Power Rankings

 

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

 

(last week’s rankings in parentheses)

 

1. Anquan Boldin (1) – AZ – 879 yds 11 TD

 

2. Calvin Johnson (4) – DET – 905 yds 8 TD

 

3. Larry Fitzgerald (2) – AZ – 1010 yds 6 TD

 

4. Steve Smith (7) – CAR – 853 yds 4 TD

 

5. Greg Jennings (6) – GB – 966 yds 6 TD

 

6. Roddy White (6) – ATL – 973 yds 6 TD

 

7. Santana Moss (5) – WAS – 773 yds 5 TD

 

8. Andre Johnson (9) – HOU – 1071 yds 3 TD

 

9. Brandon Marshall (11) – DEN – 887 yds 4 TD

 

10. Reggie Wayne (10) – IND – 824 yds 5 TD

 

11. Randy Moss (NR) – NE – 770 yds 8 TD

 

12. Terrell Owens (NR) – DAL – 718 yds 7 TD

 

13. Bernard Berrian (8) – MIN – 673 yds 4 TD

 

14. Lance Moore (19) – NO – 724 yds 7 TD

 

15. Kevin Walter (17) – HOU – 667 yds 7 TD

 

16. Vincent Jackson (18) – SD – 703 yds 5 TD

 

17. DeWayne Bowe (16) – KC – 724 yds 6 TD

 

18. Hines Ward (14) – PIT – 718 yds 5 TD

 

19. Justin Gage (13) – TEN – 413 yds 4 TD

 

20. Eddie Royal (12) – DEN – 673 yds 4 TD

 

Dropped From Rankings: TJ Houshmandzadeh – CIN; Lee Evans – BUF

 

WRs Who Should Be Better Than In Week 13: Donnie Avery & Tory Holt vs. MIA; Lee Evans vs. SF; Terrell Owens & Roy Williams vs. SEA; Antonio Bryant & Ike Hilliard vs. NO; Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison & Anthony Gonzalez @ CLE; Bernard Berrian vs. CHI; Hines Ward & Santonio Holmes @ NE; Santana Moss & Antoine Randle-El vs. NYG; Justin Gage @ DET

 

WRs Who Could Be Sleepers Based On Week 13 Match Ups: Derrick Stanley vs. MIA; Roscoe Parrish & Josh Reed vs. SF; Patrick Crayton vs. SEA; Kevin Curtis, DeSean Jackson & Hank Baskett vs. AZ; Sidney Rice & Bobby Wade vs. CHI; Nate Washington @ NE; Brandon Jones & Justin McCairens @ DET

 

WRs With Tough Week 13 Match Ups: Braylon Edwards vs. IND; Calvin Johnson vs. TEN; Randy Moss & Wes Welker vs. PIT; Steve Smith & Mushin Muhammad @ GB; Greg Jennings & Donald Driver vs. CAR; TJ Houshmandzadeh & Chad Johnson vs. BAL; Plaxico Burress & Amani Toomer @ WAS; Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald & Steve Breaston @ PHI; Lance Moore, DeVery Handerson & Marques Colston @ TB; DeWayne Bowe & Mark Bradley @ OAK

 

WRs You Might Want To Avoid In Week 13: Donte Stallworth vs. IND; Mike Furrey & Shaun MacDonald vs. TEN

 

And here are the week 13 Fantasy WR start rankings; it’s the top 75 wide receivers 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. Roddy White (23)

2. Santana Moss (23)

3. Reggie Wayne (25)

4. Anquan Boldin (27)

5. Terrell Owens (27)

6. Larry Fitzgerald (31)

7. Andre Johnson (31)

8. Bernard Berrian (33)

9. Calvin Johnson (35)

10. Steve Smith (37)

11. Greg Jennings (38)

12. Brandon Marshall (39)

13. Hines Ward (44)

14. Lee Evans (44)

15. Vincent Jackson (45)

16. Kevin Walter (46)

17. Justin Gage (48)

18. Randy Moss (52)

19. Lance Moore (52)

20. DeSean Jackson (52)

21. DeWayne Bowe (57)

22. Eddie Royal (61)

23. Antonio Bryant (64)

24. Laverneus Coles (67)

25. Issac Bruce (68)

26. TJ Houshmandzadeh (71)

27. Chris Chambers (71)

28. Donnie Avery (73)

29. Jerricho Cotchery (75)

30. Derrick Mason (76)

31. Wes Welker (82)

32. Braylon Edwards (86)

33. Marques Colston (90)

34. Mushin Muhammad (91)

35. Anthony Gonzalez (91)

36. Plaxico Burress *keep an eye on his injury status

37. Santonio Holmes (96)

38. Mark Bradley (97) *keep an eye on his injury status

39. Ted Ginn Jr. (97)

40. Malcolm Floyd (97)

41. Donald Driver (98)

42. Steve Breaston (101)

43. DeVery Henderson (102)

44. Matt Jones (102)

45. Marvin Harrison (109)

46. Michael Jenkins (113)

47. Nate Washington (114)

48. Greg Camarillo (115)

49. Tory Holt (123)

50. Kevin Curtis (124)

51. Antoine Randle-El (125)

52. Patrick Crayton (127)

53. Brandon Lloyd (132)

54. Chad Johnson (132)

55. Hank Baskett (132)

56. Bryant Johnson (135)

57. Jabar Gafney (140)

58. Mark Clayton (142)

59. Reggie Brown (142)

60. Harry Douglas (143)

61. Amani Toomer (146) *bump 5 or 6 spots if Burress is inactive

62. Ike Hilliard (146)

63. Roy Williams (147)

64. Rasheid Davis (148)

65. Koren Robinson (148)

66. Josh Reed (152)

67. Ashley Lelie (157)

68. Sinorice Moss (158) *bump 3 or 4 spots of Burress is inactive

69. Devin Hester (158)

70. Bobby Wade (159)

71. Sidney Rice (161)

72. Marty Booker (166)

73. Brandon Jones (168)

74. Brandon Stokley (169)

75. Chansi Stuckey (171)

 

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 13 QB Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 RB Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 TE Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 K Rankings & Previews

 

Week 13 D/ST Rankings & Previews

 

 

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Ravens Rope-a-Dope Scores Another KO

Posted on 24 November 2008 by Thyrl Nelson

Float like a butterfly,

Sting like a bee,

The Ravens could rope-dope,

The whole AFC.

 

John Harbaugh is just 11 games into his rookie campaign, and in addition to besting his friend and mentor Andy Reid on Sunday, it seems that his version of the Ravens may have also begun the process of cementing their identity.

 

On the surface, the Ravens are much like the team we have grown accustomed to seeing year in and year out here in Baltimore. They’re once again an absolutely dominant, and for lack of a better word, scary defensive unit. They try to overcome the unbalanced talent on the offensive side of the ball by managing the game, and really attacking teams on the ground. That is after all, and always has been, Ravens football.

 

Look a little deeper though and you’ll notice that this time around, the Ravens have some talent that they can work with at quarterback. The additions of Ray Rice and Lorenzo Neal, and the brilliant repositioning of LeRon McClain have added a new level of depth and dimension to the running attack. And the hybrid skill set of Troy Smith, Flacco’s ability to tuck and run, and Haloti Ngata opening up holes at the goal line have collectively breathed some excitement and respectability into the offense. And the bottom line shows it, at 7-4, the Ravens are tied for 5th in the AFC, and lead the AFC North in scoring. And did I mention that they have a quarterback?

 

The Ravens, under Flacco have already had an unprecedented 4 game stretch in which they piled up 134 points, and after a week 11 slip up against perhaps the best team in football, they came back with another 36 point effort on Sunday against what had previously been the league’s 8th ranked scoring defense. And speaking of defense, the Ravens’ D is quite obviously holding up their end of the scoring load too, but that’s par for the course when it comes to the Ravens.

 

Again on Sunday though, as is quite often the case in football, and sports in general for that matter, the score might not have told the whole story. At 10-7, the halftime score sure didn’t feel indicative of the Ravens effort to that point, largely due to the 100-yard kick return by Quentin Demps just before the half. But as has often been the case in Ravens victories this year, the game still seemed to be very much in the balance (despite the insertion of Kevin Kolb) until a late surge closed the deal.

 

There’s no doubt that the Ravens have had a lot of obstacles to overcome already this season, particularly when it comes to injuries. But perhaps because of those injuries, or perhaps as a result of the new look hybrid offensive packages, or possibly because of the success of the Giants last season using a similar formula, the 2008 Ravens appear committed to using as much of their active game day roster as is effectively possible. And in doing so, they’ve proven to be too much for teams to handle late in games.

 

Consecutive losses in weeks 4 and 5, in which the team was unable to hold on to second half leads, and saw their defense give games away on late drives gave reason to believe that this year’s Ravens might be just the opposite type of team. Their seeming inability to finish games was a major reason for concern under the new regime. Since then though the Ravens have turned their second half fortunes around and turned the endgame into their time to shine.

 

There were glimpses of it early too. In week 3 against Cleveland the Ravens trailed at halftime 10-7. And although they didn’t wait until nail biting time to take control, it was a 3 TD, third quarter explosion that put the game away for the Ravens.  Even in the heartbreaking loss to Pittsburgh in week 4, Flacco and his troops drove 76 improbable yards for the tying touchdown with just over 4 minutes to play.

 

After the tough losses to the Steelers and Titans, the Ravens have been lights out in the second half and particularly the 4th quarter. In their second meeting with Cleveland in week 9, the Ravens were down 27-13 until inside of the final minute and a half of the third quarter, before rallying for 24 straight points to finish the Browns off. The following week against Houston it was a 19-13 Ravens lead at the start of the final quarter, in which the Ravens managed 22 points to make it look like it was never in doubt.

 

I suppose you could view the efforts of the Browns, Texans, and Eagles and say that they simply quit down the stretch, having watched the games, it’d be tough to argue. But at this point, given that it’s been the trend in recent weeks, to dismiss it as teams giving up would do a disservice to the Ravens’ efforts. Over the last few weeks, the Ravens have quite simply outlasted teams, outworked them, and ultimately beaten them into submission.

 

Much like the Giants of last season and again this season, who seem to have been pressed into using more of the roster than they would have liked to, the Ravens are using that to their advantage. By shuffling guys in and out more frequently, and using their ball control offense to keep their defense fresh, they seem to be more willing and able to finish games, and bring their best efforts when the game is on the line. They are after all, all NFL players, and although the talent level is clearly varied, it seems that a fresh B- player against a fatigued A+ player can still create match up problems.

 

The Ravens will still have to figure out what they can do when teams are able to jump on them early like the Colts and Giants were able to do. If the Ravens could bring their 4th quarter game from start to finish, they’d be impossible to deal with. For now it seems that they’ll have to be content to play conservative, control the clock, keep the defense fresh, and stay in position to make a run in the fourth quarter. It would seem that they’ve found their profile. Until they can develop Joe Flacco into their “haymaker”, the Ravens may just have to lie on the ropes, finish every jab and let opponents punch themselves out.

 

Styles make fights, as they say, and the Ravens look to have found theirs. With the apparent lack of knockout power in the AFC this season, the Ravens may try to rope-a-dope their way back to the Superbowl.

 

Peace,

T

(thyrl@wnst.net)

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Towson holds off Hampton in hoops

Posted on 22 November 2008 by Drew Forrester

When he needed a big basket and a big rebound, Towson coach Pat Kennedy turned to Troy Franklin and Robert Nwankwo respectively on Saturday night at the Towson Center.  And both players delivered in a big way.

Franklin, a freshman guard (Mt. Carmel, Baltimore), scored 11 of his 18 points in the game’s final 5:40, including two 3-pointers on successive trips down the court, and Nwankwo had eight rebounds in the second half as the Tigers held off Hampton University, 82-73, to improve to 2-1 on the season.  Hampton (MEAC) came into the game on the heels of a major win on Thursday night, having knocked off defending CAA champion George Mason, 50-44.

Towson’s Jarrel Smith led all scorers with 24 points, while Brian Morris chipped in 9 points and 9 assists for the Tigers, who play host to New Jersey Institute of Technology on Monday night.

Towson controlled the first 30 minutes of the game, before Hampton rallied midway through the second half to take a 60-57 lead.  But the Tigers went on a 12-2 run from that point, boosted by Franklin’s two 3-point buckets and a three-pointer from Josh Thornton.  Hampton cut it to a four point margin at 72-68 with just under two minutes to go but that was a close as the Pirates would get.

Through three games, Towson looks to be MUCH improved over last year.  Junior college transfer Calvin Lee is a legitimate CAA player and fellow transfer Brian Morris (Richmond) gives the Tigers a player who can both handle and shoot the ball.  Add to those two players the emerging Jarrel Smith and the black and gold have a formidable three-man ensemble – and each player has a talent unique to himself.  

The Tigers have displayed a propensity for turning the ball over a little too much in the early stages of the season, but there’s no question this year’s edition of “Pat’s Cats” is Kennedy’s best team yet.  

Following Monday’s home game with NJIT, the Tigers will face a major test next weekend, playing Villanova on Friday night (in Philadelphia) and either Rhode Island or Penn State on Saturday night.  

On December 3rd at the RAC Arena, UMBC will host Towson in what should be the local game of the year.

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