Archive for category Green Bay

Tuesday Morning Stampede

Morning folks. Hope this Tuesday finds you with more W’s than L’s – was a wacky first weekend and the best advice I can give you is not to panic or overreact. Of course, you need to make moves, but make sure they are the right ones and try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater on many of the players who struggled. Of course, conversely, some players may have peaked in week 1 as well. Today and tomorrow, in preparation of waivers, I will try to help you sort out who is who.

With the Daily News show, these morning news posts will probably morph into something more in the way of analysis and strategy so I am not just repeating myself and you’ll get full value. There will still be plenty of news-centric posts throughout the days – especially on days were the injury reports come out. But you need more analysis going forward and that’s what I’ll be doing.

In direct contrast to what I have just written, here’s the morning news stampede -

Darren McFadden
McFadden left last night’s disaster against the Broncos in the 4th quarter with an apparent shoulder injury. His constitution was a concern for some analysts but what should be more of a concern was the majority of the carries going to Justin Fargas. Fargas had a solid day, no doubt (18 carries for 97 yards), but McFadden was supposed to provide a huge offensive spark and he averaged around 5 ypc. What was going on? Along with the terrible play by the rest of the offense, that’s a huge concern for me.

Well that and Mike Ditka sounding hammered in the booth. TE Zach Miller also played well, both blocking and catching the ball. A lot of his touches came in garbage time, but that’s about when the offense started clicking. Very worried about the Raiders offense though not surprised that it remains a mess.

Aaron Rodgers
Aside from Tony Kornheiser’s inability to talk about anything but how Rodgers looked like ’someone the Green Bay Fans should know’, this game should ease concerns about Rodgers taking over for Favre. While not a huge game by any means (18-22, 178 yds and a TD) Rodgers played with poise behind an offensive line that was shaky at best and with run game that never really got going (Ryan Grant’s 57 yard TD notwithstanding). He also ran for 35 yards and a game clinching TD. He did what he needed to and made plays when he needed to. As far as what he holds for your Fantasy team, he remains a solid part of a QBBC. He probably won’t kill you but he won’t put up too many 300 yd, 3 TD games either. At least not until that Oline gets fixed. That group nearly got him killed and had way too many penalties. I wasn’t happy with Ryan Grant’s performance for most of the game. Half his yards came on one – admitedly spectacular – run. He didn’t look good for most of the game and if you played him, you dodged a bullet. I want to hear about that oline getting healthy and Grant getting full carries before I start doing cartwheels about a weak 92 yard performance which lacked a TD.

Tarvaris Jackson
Why pay Bernard Berrian big money if you aren’t going to throw deep? Berrian might have had a huge day but got tripped up on with nobody in front of him and couldn’t get both feet in bounds on a catch in the end zone. But Tarvaris Jackson continues to look like he can’t get an accurate ball thrown beyond 10 yards. When you have the run game they do and the oline is giving you time (which it mostly was) there is almost no excuse. I am not calling Jackson a bust – this is just another example of a guy who missed too much preseason and looked out of synch. Here’s hoping he gets a little better next week. One to watch, by the way – and this is notthe first time you have read this – Sidney Rice looked good gathering 5 targets which resulted in 2 catches for 31 yards and a TD. Again, I think you will see Berrian start to get his (if Jackson can get it straight) but Rice will put up decent numbers and may be the better value play for a great deal of the year.

Denver RBBC
Finally, you can once again see why Fantasy owners hate Mike Shannahan. I know he doesn’t care, but what the hell is going on in that backfield? Pittman 2 TDs? Andre Hall got the majority of the carries? And Selvin Young just flat dissappeared for almost half a game? No clearer today than yesterday than preseason. It’s goign to be tough top start anyone with confidence in the backfield anytime soon.

So basically, same old, same old.

Ok – News Blurb at noon EST/9am PST – we’ll see you then and back here for some analysis of the studs and duds of Week 1.

More cuts on Black Tuesday

More cut updates – remember Saturday is the big day and lots of platyers will drop. I have high hopes that Blurb faves Steve Johnson (BUF), Joey LaRocque (CHI) and Josh Johnson (TB) will be on the squads on opening day.

49ers
DT Joe Cohen, TE Cooper Wallace, S Lewis Baker, QB Kyle Wright, G John Booker
Bills DB Kennard Cox, WR C.J. Hawthorne, P D.J. Fitzpatrick, DE Shaun Nua
Bucs WR Paris Warren, LB Antoine Cash, S Donte Nicholson

Added players from earlier:
Texans –
OL Scott Jackson (foot) onto IR

More should be coming – and Saturday could be brutal. Again, props to jeter23 over at the footballguys.com message board whose list thread is pinned at top and has been where I am going to make sure I miss nobody.

Other notes of notes -

Cincinnati Bengals
According to HC Marvin Lewis, Jerome Simpson could open the season as the Begnal’s #3 WR. that’s a huge turn of events from earlier this preseason, when Simpson was struggling. How much this will pay off will depend on two things – the health of the Dynamic Duo (Housh and CJ) and if Ben Utecht puts up numbers like we expect/hope at TE. Late pick at best.

Arizona Cardinals
Regardless of ESPN, Chris Mortenson and John Clayton, HC Whisenhunt says he won’t decide until post-Thursday’s game as the starter. I am not a big fan of this situation and frankly, don’t know who will end up any week as the starter. Leinart better look nails this week though, or Mort will be right and Whisenhunt – and myself – will be eating crow.

Green Bay Packers
HC Mike McCarthy is talking about decresing Grant’s carries over the season, I assume to integrate Brandon Jackson into the game mroe. It doesn’t kill Grant’s value, but it will lessen the chances he ends the season in the top 10.

Denver Broncos
Brandon Marshall is in NY to protest his suspension – hoping to knock a game off the total 2-3 game time. This has a big impact on rookie Eddie Royal. Royal will be a starter during the time Marshall being suspended and will put up good numbers during that time, so every game counts. He should be ok throughout the year BUT he needs some time to lock that #2
spot up – he’s a borderline 3/4 now and will probably be no more than that.

That’s it for now – we’re back at 6:30am PST/9:30am EST for the morning post and remember the Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Podcast is back tomorrow night at 6pm PST/9pm EST.

Also, tonight we rebooted the BlogTalkRadio fantasy draft and actually got through it with minimal pain – I’ll talk a little about it tomorrow here or on the show.

Have a good night.

Favre to Jets – finally?

According to FOXSports.com , Brett Favre is now a Jet. Jay Glazer is saying there are no compensation details yet but rumor earlier was a 3rd with escalations to a 1st depending on the Jets and Favre’s performances.

More when I have it.

But bump up the Jets offense considerably if it’s true….

Wednesday Morning Stampede

So FAVREWATCH 2008 is far from over, but we knew that would be the case.

All that and some running back news below for the Morning Stampede…

Green Bay Packers
As was reported yesterday, Favre is probably close to being traded and soon. Both the Jets and Bucs are allegedly interested – the Tampa Tribune says Favre will be a Buc be days end, with Brian Griese heading to Wisconsin to back up Aaron Rodgers (which as I wrote last night, only made sense). Not so fast says Jay Glazer of FoxSports – the NY Jets have offered a much better trade package. Apparently, Favre currently prefers the Bucs, though he is talking to the Jets, and supposedly feels that the Packers are asking too much from the Bucs just because they are a NFC team.

I think this will clear up by Friday, maybe before, but it continues to be somewhat ugly between the Pack and their once favored son.

Both the Bucs and Jets would be good, not great fits, for Favre and neither is a Super Bowl contender though the Bucs seem closer on the surface. Favre may help them make a run while he merely makes the Jets an 8-8 team with Wild Card aspirations. That’s not a slam on Favre – the Jets are just farther away. But you never know.

Either team would put Favre back on the Fantasy radar and make him – at the very least – a #2 QB.

Chicago Bears
Kevin Jones is definitely healing well and while he might still open the season on the PUP list, he is supposedly running close to full speed. He’s been in pads, though sporting a heavy knee brace. It’s the brace that reminds you he is still coming back from a nagging injury and is a guy who the Bears probably picked up more for later in the season. Jones could be a pick during the last half or third of your draft, but you shouldn’t draft him for anything but bench depth. Matt Forte is still the starter and will be for some time, barring him struggling mightily.

San Francisco 49rs
Frank Gore could have a huge season if he is involved in the pass game the way I (and others) suspect he might, yet I still see him slipping late in the 1st round of drafts. Gore has worked hard to get into better shape, including dropping wieght. With the concerns for just about every running back pick after #3 (Westbrook or Peterson, depending on who you ask), Gore is someone to look at closely and consider for your #1 back.

Most of the 49rs have a long way to go to prove themselves fantasy worthy and Gore could still face 8 man fronts if Martz’s offense struggles. But Gore has faced them before and done well. Dropping the weight and getting into better shape will hopefully keep him healthier and get rid of nagging injuries that have plagued him for his career.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Just when we thought Fast Willie Parker had lost his goal line touches for good with the drafting of Rashard Mendenhall – not so fast. According to HC Mike Tomlin (by way of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ), Parker is once again under consideration for goal line duties. Now, I need to look into this but this may be a sign Mendenhall is struggling a little in camp. I’ll see what I can find out. Parker will get you the yards – but his touchdowns were completely absent last year and it killed his owners. If he can get even a few more goal line touches, it would really help his value to you. I have been, and still do, assume that the rookie Mendenhall will get a ton of short yardage looks, including in the red zone. Parker hasn’t got the size for it and concern still is he might wear down. But he has been effective on occasion and could be again if the offensive line is back on it’s game. That was the biggest problem last year – the Ol-ine struggled as much as he did.

He’s your rock solid RB2 – with a ton of upside if this plays out.

That’s all for now – more later.

Favre to Bucs – Garcia to Packers?

Hey guys

In case you were asleep, Adam Shefter says the Packers have placed Favre on the declared non-injury inactive list and told him once and for all – no, you cannot get your release. They are talking to the Bucs and Favre is thinking it over. And of course we have talked about what this could mean for Favre and the Bucs – but what about a wrinkle?

Could Garcia be a part going back to the Pack?

Let’s face it, the Pack has very shaky QB depth behind Rodgers who has a bit of an injury history. They need a veteran back-up and I was shocked they didn’t pursue one. So why not?

Well, Garcia still thinks he can start. He can. too. Maybe he can gamble that Rodgers will not work out or get hurt, but I doubt he’d be happy. On the other hand – well rotoworld put it better than I ever could -

….and Jeff Garcia would certainly throw a hissy fit to be remembered.

I think Garcia could do well in Green Bay but he may not go. I would think Brian Griese or Chris Simms will be more likely.

But anyway, I thought it an interesting notion. Jets are also getting mentioned a lot on NFL Total Access.

Favre Leaves Camp and other tidbits

Continuing our last story on this, Brett Favre has now left Packers camp and will be meeting – along with his family – with GM Ted Thompson later. Some earlier reports via The Sports Network have pegged him as once again asking for his outright release, something that likely won’t happen and would – as I have said – would be akin to assisted career suicide for Thompson. Adam Shefter over at NFLN reported yesterday that the Bucs were still talking with the Packers about a possible trade, so perhaps the meeting will involve something along those lines. Shefter feels that the Bucs trade or retirement are the only choices. As rumors have said the discussions yesterday with Favre and McCarthy centered on team unity and avoiding an ugly lockerroom situation, he may be right.

I say Favre should take the trade, if he really wants to play. I also think the Packers should try to make a deal as best they can and be flexible in what they want for Favre so he has a selection of choices.

The sad thing is, something tells me that this brouhaha has probably so sapped Favre of energy and desire that he migth just walk away. And as much as I think a lot of his actions here in this have been badly executed and thought out, I think that would be too bad. Favre wants to play – somehow that shouldn’t be THIS hard to make happen.

In other news –
Jacksonville Jaguars
The wide receiver situation in Jacksonville is no clearer despite the current depth chart. With Porter and Williams out, Troy Williamson and Dennis Northcutt are the first team, while Mike Walker and Matt Jones are second team. I still have hopes for Walker, though not as high – being on Jones’ squad isn’t a ringing endorsement. However, HC Jack Del Rio has spoken well of Jones’ effort in camp. So you never know.

I’ve said this before but this is like the Pats prior to last year, only with less yards. It’s going to be hard to know who will get yards consistently and while Garrard will be an effective starter (though not a dynamic one) for fantasy teams, no receiver here will be good enough, often enough to be better than a #3, at best. But the offense overall should be pretty effective, regardless of who catches the ball when.

New Orleans Saints
Reggie Bush is going to get some opportunity to return punts again, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune . Still, he won’t do it that often, though he might make for a few really impressive run backs. Meanwhile, Pierre Thomas is “competing for a lot of touches” according to Head Coach Sean Payton, via the Baton Rouge Advocate . Thomas is a guy I have been touting all off season and with Deuce returning from another knee injury and Thomas impressing last season, expect the guy to get a good amount of touches.

More from the article:

“He has good vision and good balance,” Payton said. “He’s a guy that has proven that you can hand him the ball more than 15 or 20 times in a game and he can carry the load.”

That’s a good sign if you happened to have snagged him when I told you to for your Dynasty Teams. I think he will compliment Bush very well and he certainly looks to take over for McAllister, who is nearing the end of being a useful full time back.

New York Giants
I don’t normally want to call out other Fantasy Guys, especially those I don’t know. And in all fairness I can’t recall who said it. But I did a little reading in Alaska and out of curiosity, I read some Fantasy Football magazines. I don’t do magazines. At the Journal last year, we did an online one that updated weekly. I read Footballguys, in part because I know so many people involved and I like what they do. I read Pro Football Weekly’s for the excellent team breakdowns. This year, I picked up ESPN’s as well.

I won’t critique it much here, but will point out once again my frustration with some of the content there. So late in their mock draft (which was allegedly done in 45 minutes – thanks guys, good job being thorough – and with little explanation of any picks), in the final round in fact, one guy picks up Mario Manningham. He touts the pick, how clever he is. Manningham is great!

Manningham is also the only rookie WR taken. You know, over James Hardy, Devin Thomas, Limas Sweed – or what I like to call ‘Guys who can contribute maybe this year’. Manningham – behind the likes of Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer and Steve Smith.

The same Manningham who today, according to the New York Post , has bleeding in his strained quad. Thats’ bad and it could put him on the PUP, if not IR if it’s bad enough.

Which just goes to show you that you ALWAYS need to use your own judgement and use the mags and everyone’s opinions online and everywhere else to help form your own. Anyone reading this column is unlikely to have made that pick – because you probably know the upside of the other rookies and you pay attention. It ain’t that hard.

But I look back at that mock and shake my head even harder at the $7 or whatever that I spent. Thank God I get to write it off next year.

More later….

Tuesday Morning Stampede

Yesterday, Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy and estranged quarterback Brett Favre met for something on the order of 9 hours or so, longer than expected and wrapping their discussion at about 12:30am EST. Not much is known for sure about the meeting but we know they talked about what a QB controversy and battle might do to team chemistry. We still don’t know what is going on here and there is supposed to be a press conference at some point today.

As the World Turns, These Are The Days of our Lives……

Washington Redskins
Yesterday Malcolm Kelly got his knee scoped and today it looks like fellow rookie Devin Thomas is going to miss all the practices this week and the second preseason game. Not a good start for the rookies here. Now word on if Fred Davis has woken up in time for camp or gotten a new alarm clock.

New York Jets
The rookies in this camp are faring much better, as Dustin Keller has been showcasing his talents all camp long and now Vernon Gholston is doing the same. While the Newark Star-Ledger is saying he has had a quiet camp so far, both the blogs at Newsday.com and DailyNews.com have mentioned Gholston being in the backfield many tiems in the day since he has signed his contract. Both players could have an impact – though Gholston’s learning curve and the return of Chris Baker at tight end may limit the upside of both this season.

St Louis Rams
Steven Jackson continues to hold out but I think he shows to camp soon. Not because he will get what he wants or cave, but because if he misses one more day of camp, he loses a year towards being an unrestricted free agant, according St Louis Post-Dispatch . He may be willing to lose that if he thinks he can sign an extension but at this point both sides seem pretty far apart.

Baltimore Ravens
Wednesday’s episode of The Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Show will talk about Training Camp battles, but I’ll touch on this one here as well. Rookie Joe Flacco is struggling in camp, overthrowing short passes or throwing them too hard. Touch Passes are important for the Ravens scheme so that’s not good for his starting bid. Flacco has doubters and certainly has holes in his game. He was going to take a year to develop at least. Troy Smith has the edge in camp right now and looks like the starter.

More later.

Late Sunday Week Primer

Hey guys

Hope you had a good weekend – between some computer issues and the imminent kickoff of both college football and pro football seasons, the Blurb was quiet this weekend for the most part.

Here is a quick look at what’s on tap, then a brief weekend update for you:

This week we’ll have much more Training Camp news as well as the beginnings of some college discussion. Both The Thundering Blurb Podcast and The Drive Block will of course be in full effect. And I am hoping to have at least my top 10 college rankings by Friday. That and Friday night/Saturday morning I hope to have delivered some on the spot Cowboys camp news as well.

So as always pretty quiet.

Here’s the weekend update:

Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have suspended wide receiver Steve Smith for 2 regular season games for his altercation with Ken Lucas, and it will be interesting to see how hard he drops in drafts. Hopes were high for him in the Fantasy community but there is no way you can draft him where he was going, often as people’s #1 wr. And now you know why we tell you a draft prior to preseason games is a bad idea.

However, if he drops long enough for you to grab him as a #2 and you can grab some good filler guys to back him up, he should be very productive after he gets back in the groove by week 3. So play up his suspension in your leagues and see if you can snag him as he tumbles hard. Overall he should be much better than last year, but you also have to worry about how he reacts to this.

Denver Broncos
Brandon Marshall has received his punishment from the league and it’s about where I thought it would be – I said 4, reduced to 2, and it’s 3, likely to be reduced to 2. Marshall is another guy who may tumble hard come your draft day and this will, like Smith, keep him from being someone you can grab as a #1 but might drop enough for you to grab later after you have a good #1, a good Rb and another guy in either category. When he comes back, Cutler will be very happy to see him and target him often.

Kansas City Chiefs
This might be irrelevant depending upon how you view the pass game in KC, but rookie Will Franklin has apparently passed by Maurice Price and Jeff Webb. Devard Darling is all that stands between him and starts, so consider a late flier on him – though if pickings are better elsewhere, remember the KC pass game will likely top out at ‘meh’ with sprinklings of ‘yuck’.

And brace yourselves -
Green Bay
Favre arrives in camp Monday. He was reinstated today after the Hall of Fame festivities were done with. It looks liek the competition is on and Aaron Rodgers took to the fight with 7-of-20 passes for 84 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception at the Packers’ Fan Fest scrimmage Sunday night. Yeah, that’s not a great start to this is it? Oh and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel saying that the Pack called the Vikings about Favre being available in trade – and I still say if that happens then Ted Thompson might as well sign his letter of resignation. The two times Favre would lead the Vikes against the Pack would do it for him, if he wouldn’t. But man, wouldn’t that make Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice owners happy?

More tomorrow throughout the day as we continue spinning Training Camp and the NFL for you every single day.

ps- just watched the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – and I have rarely been so perplexed by a flick.

An interesting Favre thought

So, Goodell isn’t reinstating him today. So no Brett this weekend. Packers get to breathe a bit and allegedly have a chance to move things forward with Favre – be it the package or convincing him to agree to a trade or whatever.

Here’s an interesting thing though. Because while I think Favre has really misplayed this top to bottom (although he isn’t alone of course), he faxed his papers in what – four days ago?

Does anyone find it interesting that the NFL delayed reinstating him until after this weekend – until after the Hall of Fame induction?

That’s a savvy group. Why risk having Favre show up to camp during a huge weekend for the League?

Interesting thought huh? Just conjecture of course, but seems off to me.

Favre rejects Jets, decides to be sourpuss

I’m not saying this as a Jets fan, though you might write it off as sour grapes on my part. Could that be part of it? Maybe. But I think really that I have just had enough of the Favre thing.

‘All I want to do is play football,’ he says. ‘Why don’t you all understand?’ he pleads. ‘The Packers don’t want me, then I need to be released so I can find someone who DOES,’he cries.

Unless of course a team who wants him is the Bucs. Or the Jets. Or rather a team not the Vikings.

Enough Brett. Just stop. It’s done.

I thought the Pack made a huge misstep when they offered him $20 mill to just go away. I was pretty disappointed and was finally of the mindset that they were being beyond ridiculous.

Maybe Favre was in the right.

But the fact is, Favre only wants one of two things:

To play in Green Bay and be in charge.

Or to play for the Vikings and stick it to Green Bay twice next year. The old ‘I told ya so’ with a little extra lemon thrown in.

I believed (past tense) Favre wanted to play above all else. I understood not going to the Dolphins. Or Kansas City. Heck, at heart I get not wanting to play for the Jets if he thinks the O-line has too many issues still.

But the statements he made today confirm he just wants to be right. It isn’t about football for Favre, not if he can say this to ESPN:

“My intentions have been to play, and with Green Bay. They say no, so I still want to play in this division for obvious reasons, which I made clear to management. If they won’t let me play in Green Bay, let me play against you. That’s where I am.”

If they won;t let him play in Green Bay (and I do think he gives them a chance at a Super Bowl that Rodgers doesn’t) he wants to stick it to them twice a year.

That’s not passion. That’s just bitter.

Maybe he has a right to be. But he’ll get no more sympathy from me (not that he’s gotten a ton, in honesty).

Green Bay has not acted well and has been responsible for a lot of this mess.

But every time they do something that puts me in Favre’s camp – amazingly, he finds a way to make me lose sympathy for him.

I can only hope Favre comes to his senses and finds a way to play – after all this drama, after all the times he told us how much he missed it, it would be a waste not to.

Find a way to get traded to another team, Favre. If not the Jets, fine. But don;t get caught up so much in the bitter fued between you and Ted Thompson that you forget why you started this disaster in the first place.

/soapbox

Back with more actual news later.