THUNDERING BLURB » running back rankings ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 en hourly 1 Twitter Roundtable Vol. 2 Tue, 04 Aug 2009 14:22:46 +0000 admin

roundtableWelcome to the second edition of the Twitter Fantasy Football Roundtable. As is the case last time, a bunch of Fantasy writers who met on Twitter have gathered together to debate and discuss a current topic – today’s group consists of:

Matt Schauf  (@mschauf63) started writing about football for the expansive audience of metropolitan Oneonta, N.Y., back in 2002. After a couple of years of catering to his three readers there, he got picked up by to be an IDP specialist. Soon after, Matt became the lead football writer for PFS and You can now find his work there or at, where he also provides the strategy for the “Hollywood” character in the industry’s first single-player fantasy football game. His IDP writing can also be found at and in preview magazines for Sporting News, Rotoworld and Football Diehards. In addition, Matt runs the industry news site, which was named best new site of 2008 by the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

Joshua Torrey (@jmtorrey) is an Electrical/Computer Engineer working out of Austin, TX. A die hard Steelers fan & fan of not just football but football strategy, Joshua enjoys breaking down game tape and team schemes to predict long term fantasy success. He is also a contributor to He has 5 tattoos, showered yesterday and is eating meatloaf for lunch.

Andrew Garda (@ThunderingBlurb ) has been writing about football for the last eight years, covering everything from Fantasy to College to the NFL. He’s written for such sites as and, but for the last year and a half has also had his own site at He’s also been podcasting since before they had a name for it and despite that making him feel quite old, continues his own weekly show The Thundering Blurb Football Show every Wednesday (10pm EST) on

Mark Gram (@FF101) Along with Adam Stark and Eric Pedigo, Mark begins the 5th season of Fantasy Football 101 with a fantasy draft special on Aug 13th on WFMB am.

 Jim Day (@Fantasytaz) is a retired Biotech Engineer who has been playing Fantasy Football since 1992. Seriously addicted, Jim plays in about 30 Fantasy leagues a year, with most of these being large roster IDP Dynasty leagues. He has been writing for FF sites since 2000 when he started with Jim started Fantasy Football Whiz in 2007 just as a place to have some fun and conversation with fellow league mates and any other fantasy fanatic that wanted to talk FF. It’s a small site, but is growing every year. Besides The Whiz, he also owns and acts as head engineer for Ultimate Recording, a 96 track, fully digital recording studio (im’s other love).

Steve Wyremski (@retiredrookie) is a CPA working in NYC.  He’s a big time New York Jets and Boston College (alum) fan and has been playing fantasy football since 1996.  His primary focus is to reach out to NFL and NCAA players for interviews in an effort to bring the players closer to fans.  Dynasty leagues are a huge focus of his, but general football strategy is his love.

Parag Gheewala (@vote4parag) is an average guy with a day job who loves fantasy football and is also the mastermind behind Mockumentary, which started as his Twitter commentary on the first Twitter Fantasy Football Mock Draft. It quickly lead to Top 10 Fantasy Football Tweeter status. Parag loves the interactive and instant nature of Twitter, but the blog allows him to provide more in-depth comments when needed. Follow him on Twitter and via Mockumentary.

Jared Ferree (@WYFShow ) hosts the “What’s Your Fantasy” radio show/podcast on Blogtalkradio’s Fantasy Sports Channel with Raymond Summerlin.  He is also a frequent contributor to with both fantasy player rankings and general fantasy football articles. 

And now the question of the day.


Last year saw a pretty much unprecedented amount of rookie running backs who turned in stud performances: Steve Slaton, Matt Forte, Chris Johnson were the class of the class – and all things being equal Kevin Smith looked pretty darned good as well.

Which of these guys is most likely to see a dip in numbers their second year and why?


Matt Schauf –

Steve Slaton topped out at 248 carries in college and twice carried fewer than 215 times in his three seasons. The Texans know that they have to be careful about overworking him — as evidenced when they basically sat him (four carries) for the Baltimore game last year. He can’t average 22 carries like he did over the final six weeks of 2008. If more short-yardage carries go the way of Chris Brown and/or Ryan Moats, it’ll chip away at the nine rushing scores Slaton had last year.

That said, I think all of these players belong in the first two rounds of any draft (unless you have some funky scoring system).


Josh Torrey –

I think all of them stand a very likely chance to see a drop in Fantasy production this year. But I agree with Matt, Steve Slaton is one of the ones that stand a better chance. His small frame is what people were holding against him and Slaton proved us all wrong for one year.


But this is the NFL & Slaton is seeing more looks and hits from big time NFL linebackers, injury concerns my come up this year. Injuries can wreck Fantasy seasons and Slaton owners need to understand that one healthy season does not translate into a healthy career.

The other player I see being brought low is Chris Johnson. The kid is a blazer but he really is a one trick pony. Willie Parker lit up the league his first couple seasons as NFL Defenses still were not prepared for such potent speed rush attacks. LenDale White helps Chris Johnson in that opposing Defenses have less time to sub in a better defense for the battering ram that is White or the roadrunner that is Johnson.


Both Titan RBs saw great production increases last year, but if the Titans do start to favor Johnson, he could be in for a long season. My prediction is that the Titans will keep things balanced and Johnson will see some TDs lost to a better passing attack (not by much granted) and White.


Andrew Garda –

Everybody already knows I consider Forte a guy who will slip in year two. But as I’m merely pointing out that I expect him to dip a bit (and remain a top 10 back) I’m not sure I would characterize it as a sophomore slump & I don’t know it will be the biggest.

I agree with Josh that Chris Johnson is a prime candidate for a stumble. My biggest worry is that he is going into the season with no real passing offense. While that didn’t seem hamper him much last year, defenses weren’t as prepared for the speed he brought to the table.

Take a close look at his last few games – he struggled (but scored) on the ground against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. He caught just two catches for a measly 1 yard versus the Steelers. But he also struggled terribly against Houston.

If you let the Ravens game go as he was hurt and left the match, but look at the other two you’ll note that in both cases, teams pinned him against the line, allowed him no cutback lanes and generally hit him early and often.

It didn’t help that Collins was off his already unimpressive game.

If a team like Houston (ranked 23rd vs the run in 2008) can figure this out, more than likely others will too. It’s especially worrisome since it happened late in the season and was replicated by Pittsburgh.

And look at that early schedule – Steelers, Jets, Jags (twice), Pats – it’s not pretty.

Let’s also not forget LenDale White stealing short yardage work, though if it balances like last year that won’t hurt too much.

I like Johnson, but I think this year a season’s worth of tape along with the mediocre pass game may hurt him more than people expect.


Mark Gram – FF101 on

I had a tough time deciding between C. Johnson and S. Slaton. While I Johnson coming back to the pack just a little, I feel that Slaton will be the guy whose numbers may drop the most.

Good points have already been made as to why Slaton may struggle a bit this season. First, the NFL is not stupid; Slaton will not sneak up on opponents this year. Defenses will be prepared.

Second, as Matt mentioned, the Texans aren’t going to give him the workload that he had last season. With C. Brown and R. Moats as the backups, I think Slaton will see fewer touches at the goal-line.

He’s still a fine option in fantasy drafts, but I’m going into my drafts not expecting the same #’s as last year.


Jeff Terfertiller –

I see Slaton and Johnson having a decent chance of wearing down.  Both are “smaller” and there is talk of both having a big role this season.  Hard to believe the Titans will give Johnson too many carries. 


With White being used to close out games in 2008, he saw extended action as the Titans led many games.  What happens if more games are close?  Will the Titans give Johnson 20-25 touches per game? 


Also, what happens if Collins is hurt or ineffective?  I think last year was a perfect storm of good fortune for Tenn.  In Houston, this is the year for Slaton to prove he can handle the load.  If he has two great seasons, he vaults to a perennial Top 5 pick. 


Josh Torrey –

Andrew said ‘I like Johnson, but I think this year a season’s worth of tape along with the mediocre pass game may hurt him more than people expect.’


I like Chris Johnson in the 2nd Round. But I don’t think I will ever get a chance to even sniff at him.


Parag Gheewala – Mockumentary:

I like all three RBs and don’t foresee a major stumble out of any of them.  I expect Forte’s numbers to decrease from last year because of fewer targets and carries, but he’s good enough not to bust.  Until I see signs that Slaton can’t handle the load, I’ll believe what I saw last year.  Same goes for Johnson – I think he’s got elite skills.  Slaton and Johnson are great values.


Jared Ferree – What’s Your Fantasy Podcast:

One thing that really annoys me about Matt Forte is that I feel people are over valuing him based on the value he represented last season.  Forte went undrafted in some leagues and if you did draft him, you probably picked him up very late.  So based on what he did last season, he was a tremendous value and has people all in a tizzy about him.  The guy did less with 300+ carries than anyone I have ever seen, 3.9 YPC, and 8 rushing TDs, are you serious? 


His value was in the passing game and I don’t think that was planned it was due to Kyle Orton looking to check down.  Cutler thinks he can hit a guy with 2 DB’s draped on his back and if there is one thing I can guarantee in fantasy football this season, it is that Matt Forte won’t come close to his reception totals last season. 


If you watched some of the games that Forte played in last season, there were times he sat out for a long stretch and then got brought in at the one yard line and got a TD, and his stat line was decent.  He was average at best running the ball and better than people thought catching the ball.  I think he doesn’t carry more than 265 times, and doesn’t catch over 40 balls.  That means his production drops quite a bit. 


I don’t predict injuries, so I am assuming Slaton stays healthy and Johnson is a threat to go deep every time he touches the ball, so to me, this one is easy, if you take Forte top 5, you will be disappointed, because I don’t think he is a top 10 fantasy back this season. 


Jim Day –

I have to agree with Jared on this one, I think Forte falls the furthest. That being said, I think all of these kids (outside of Kevin Smith) will remain top 10 at the position. I just don’t think Forte come out on top of this group.

Hate to reiterate what has already been said, but it has been said that his touches will go down partly due to a healthy Kevin Jones looking quicker than he has in the last couple of years according to Chicago beat writers and also the fact that Cutler will look to throw the ball further downfield more often.

Ultimately though I think these things help Forte and allow him to remain fresher longer into the season and maybe even extend his career some, I’m just not sure I see top five in his future in 2009.


Josh Torrey –

While Kevin Jones might be healthy with the pads off, I don’t expect Jones to make it 2 weeks without getting injured. I think the other Adrian Peterson will steal more carries from Forte & is the handcuff to own.


Jim Day –

I am not a fan of Handcuffs and don’t draft that way, so I really don’t care who takes his carries, just that they will be taken.


Steve Wyremski -

Forte is my guy.

Chicago was a game managing team last year with a ton of dump offs and clock management.  Add a gun slinger and I see two changes:

1) Less dump off passes to the RB;
2) More tossing the ball around.

This all equals fewer opportunities for Forte.  Let’s face it… Forte was the Bears offense last season.  While the addition of one of the best young QuarterBacks in the league may help keep the safety out of the box, he’s not going to see the same number of touches.  The Bears are also more likely to get a second RB involved this season based on recent news out of Chicago.

Forte’s big time overrated right now.


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Running Back Blurb Breakdown: Steven Jackson Sat, 27 Jun 2009 01:18:00 +0000 admin
Steven Jackson
I have decided that Jackson is the perfect Fantasy Football Illusion. We all treat him as if he’s a stud and yet he’s only been in the top 10 fantasy-wise once in his five year career.

So what exactly is keeping him ranked this high year after year? Well for starters he DOES produce well despite missing games and suffering through terrible offensive lines and injured QBs. He can catch the ball, break a big run and fight for hard yards.

But the risk is he has only finished a full season once – in 2006 which was the year he was a top fantasy player. That’s telling – but so is how much he’s been hurt.

He’s also facing another season with a questionable Oline and now has a very young and/or inexperienced wide receivers for a weakening Bulger to throw to.

Jackson once again is a back with a ton of potential – but will it be reached or is it merely an illusion we chase every season?

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2009 Running Back Rankings – 6/25/09 Fri, 26 Jun 2009 00:54:00 +0000 admin So after much shuffling of people and hand wringing, here is the inaugural Blurb top 50 Fantasy Football Running Backs. Over the next day or two, I’ll have player breakdowns of about the top 10 or so on this list – not necessarily in order of where I ranked them.

If there is a guy you want to know about beyond that, drop me a line in the comments or at thunderingblurb(a) and I’ll try to get on it ASAP.

A lot of this list comes down to my feeling after several mocks and early redrafts. In my opinion from the second to the tenth pick, you could make an argument for a number of players. Feel free to make YOUR argument known here or even on next Wednesday’s Blurb podcast.

Assume these will change by the time training camp hits.

1 – Adrian Peterson
2 – Michael Turner
3 – Steven Jackson
4 – LaDainian Tomlinson
5 – Maurice Jones-Drew
6 – DeAngelo Williams
7 – Matt Forte
8 – Steve Slaton
9 – Chris Johnson
10 – Frank Gore
11 – Clinton Portis
12 – Brian Westbrook
13 – Brandon Jacobs
14 – Marion Barber
15 – Ryan Grant
16 – Ronnie Brown
17 – Knowshon Moreno
18 – Chris Wells
19 – Pierre Thomas
20 – Reggie Bush
21 – Willie Parker
22 – Kevin Smith
23 – Joseph Addai
24 – Thomas Jones
25 – Darren McFadden
26 – Larry Johnson
27 – Jonathan Stewart
28 – Donald Brown
29 – Marshawn Lynch
30 – Ray Rice
31 – Derrick Ward
32 – Jamal Lewis
33 – Cedric Benson
34 – Rashard Mendenhall
35 – Felix Jones
36 – Fred Jackson
37 – LenDale White
38 – Darren Sproles
39 – Julius Jones
40 – Leon Washington
41 – Ahmad Bradshaw
42 – Chester Taylor
43 – Fred Taylor
44 – LeSean McCoy
45 – Willis McGahee
46 – Earnest Graham
47 – LeRon McClain
48 – Jerious Norwood
49 – Laurence Maroney
50 – Justin Fargas


Cedric Peerman - Will he take over for McGahee?
Shonn Greene - The future Thomas Jones – will he get snaps?
Tim Hightower – If Wells holds out, Hightower gets a second chance.
Tashard Choice - Who is spelling Barber? Will Choice get a shot?
Jamaal Charles - LJ isn’t getting younger.
Rashad Jennings – Someone has to spell MJD. Jennings has the talent.
Michael Bush - Looks great in shorts. Will he make it a three headed monster?

Back soon with the first batches of player breakdowns.

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RB Rankings for Week 12 Sat, 22 Nov 2008 00:42:00 +0000 admin LT has not been himself this season – more because of Oline play than a decline in his ability, no matter what Fantasy owners think. But the Colts are still averaging 138.5 yards allowed per game and have given up 15 rushing TDs. Those who expect Tomlinson to continue to struggle may be in for a surprise the rest of the way. The key is the offensive line though and some of those matchups may be more about how they play than the strength of the run defense. This week I think both the oline and LT get the job done.

Matt Forté has had a tremendous rookie season and will be going up against a staggering Rams team. While Kyle Orton is still getting his legs underneath him after his injury, Forté will continue to carry the load. The Rams will be hard pressed to stop this playmaker either on the ground or through the air.

The biggest challenge facing Adrian Peterson any given week may just be Brad Childress. he had a great first half against the Bucs but Childress looked other directions for most of the rest of the game. Some of that was the Bucs scheme but some of it was flat out impossible to figure out. Against a shaky Jags D, Peterson should be gold, but one can only hope Childress keeps his biggest playmaker on the field, especially late in the game when the D is run down.

The biggest recipient of good fortune because of Tony Romo’s return is defintitely Marion Barber, as shown by his huge game last week. Barber can be dominating and showed it last week, burying the Redskins in the 4th quarter. The 49rs may be playing tougher since Mike Singletary took over but they are still a middling 17th in the NFL against the rush and that’s not good enough to slow Barber down.

Frank Gore had a great game last week against the sad-sack Rams and while he faces a bigger challenge this week, it’s not so big I can’t see him having success this week as well. Dallas did play well last week against Clinton Portis, so there is a worry they may start rolling but Gore is healthier than Portis and will be the sole focal point of his team. And while that makes him a huge focus of the defense as well, Gore is the type of top-flight RB who can overcome it.

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers vs. Colts
  2. Matt Forté, Bears at Rams
  3. Adrian Peterson, Vikings at Jaguars
  4. Marion Barber, Cowboys vs. 49ers
  5. Frank Gore, 49ers at Cowboys
  6. Marshawn Lynch, Bills at Chiefs
  7. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers at Falcons
  8. Steve Slaton, Texans at Browns
  9. Michael Turner, Falcons vs. Panthers
  10. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars vs. Vikings
  11. Joseph Addai, Colts at Chargers
  12. Warrick Dunn, Buccaneers at Lions
  13. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Patriots
  14. Clinton Portis, Redskins at Seahawks
  15. Ryan Grant, Packers at Saints
  16. Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Jets
  17. Jamal Lewis, Browns vs. Texans
  18. Thomas Jones, Jets at Titans
  19. Brian Westbrook, Eagles at Ravens
  20. Larry Johnson, Chiefs vs. Bills
  21. LenDale White, Titans vs. Jets
  22. Peyton Hillis, Broncos vs. Raiders
  23. Derrick Ward, Giants at Cardinals
  24. Brandon Jacobs, Giants at Cardinals
  25. Kevin Smith, Lions vs. Buccaneers
  26. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers at Falcons
  27. Willis McGahee, Ravens vs. Eagles
  28. Darren McFadden, Raiders at Broncos
  29. Justin Fargas, Raiders at Broncos
  30. Pierre Thomas, Saints vs. Packers
  31. Ahman Green, Texans at Browns
  32. Julius Jones, Seahawks vs. Redskins
  33. Jerious Norwood, Falcons vs. Panthers
  34. Kevin Faulk, Patriots at Dolphins
  35. Antonio Pittman, Rams vs. Bears
  36. Tim Hightower, Cardinals vs. Giants
  37. Deuce McAllister, Saints vs. Packers
  38. Ray Rice, Ravens vs. Eagles
  39. Leon Washington, Jets at Titans
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Top Fantasy RBs of Week 11 Tue, 18 Nov 2008 22:19:00 +0000 admin Joseph Addai 153 total yds, 1 rush TD, 1 RecTD, 4 catches - Addai finally has the game we have been waiting for all season long. Not only a factor on the ground, but through the air. The offensive line played better than it has in a while and so had Manning. And so has Addai who looked more like his old self than he has in a long, long time.

Frank Gore 114 total yds, 2 TDs, 2 catches – Gore fell about where I ranked him, but looked better than I expected, if that makes sense. I don’t think he would have fared as well against a decent run D, but it’s Gore and if you were still nursing doubts as to his eligibility for ’stud RB’ status, then you need to pay more attention. Gore will contineu to put up solid numbers every week in part because his coach knows to run a stud back. Are you listening Childress?

Marshawn Lynch 177 total yds, 1 rec td, 10 catches - Lynch was pefectly involved in both the ground and air attack. Edwards had problems going downfield, so Lynch got lots of dump off passes. Will Juaron stop splitting carries with Jackson? I can’t say, but this is what Lynch is capable of if you give him the work.

DeAngelo Williams 120 yds, 2 TDs - Williams had yet another ridonkulous game this weekend and is just rolling along. He has some tougher matchups, but he is getting the feature back carries and will be a great spot stud into the fantasy playoffs.

Ryan Grant 151 total yds, 1 TD, 1 catch – Grant finally gets back to where we saw him so often last season and he did it against one of the better rush defenses in the league. Part of the key was the play of the offensive line which opened some good holes for him. He might be just gettign started with some great matchups going forward, including during the fantasy playoffs where he sees Houston and Jacksonville.

Maurice Jones-Drew 93 tot yds, 2 TDs, 3 catches – MJD has another multi-touchdown game and even if the yards aren’t there, seems to be a better bet than LenDale White for TDs and yardage.

Steve Slaton 156 yds 1TD – Once again, the rookie out of West Virginia had a great game, even if Ahman Green had 2 TDs to his one, he still gets more carries and chances.

Marion Barber 153 total yds, 1 TD, 6 catches – Barber really missed Romo. So did his owners. No more, as Barber put Dallas on his back and carried them to victory this weekend.

Pierre Thomas 144 tot yds, 1 TD, 4 catches - Thomas filled in very well for Aaron Stecker (injured) and looked much mroe like his 2007 self. Hopefully can keep it up.

Michael Turner 81 yds, 2 TDs - Not a great day yardage-wise for Turner who often seems to be doing less with more carries. Still, continues to be a reliable RB2.

Peyton Hillis 70 total yds, 2 TDs – A good debut for Hillis and probably a taste of what is to come – split catches and carries.The TDs are likely an abberration though. He won’t have too many double TD games but should keep the bulk of the work at least until Young returns.

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RB Rankings for Week 11 Fri, 14 Nov 2008 22:57:00 +0000 admin Nothing like a wasted hour for an appointment where the person you were supposed to meet with was sick and you wait 20 minutes before anyone tells you that.

Back now and here are the RB rankings for week 11!

Michael Turner is still playing streaky though he has had two good games in a row. Can he get a third in before he dips? Playing against Denver, I think he can. While Ryan and his receivers will attack the weakened secondary, Turner will get plenty of work and Denver is 27th and have allowed 11 rush TDs so far. Turner might get caught up in the shoot out, but as Denver will have little run game, the Falcons will try to keep Cutler off the field and control the clock. Turner (and maybe Jerious Norwood at #22) will have plenty of work and likely see good production.

Let’s summarize Frank Gore’s week: Gore: Man my head hurts. I have a concussion. Singletary: You’re football player, you’re head doesn’t hurt, it’s your neck. Gore: It is? What a relief. Comedy aside, that smells funny to me. But he apparently looks good in practice this week and will start – and against a terrible run D like the Rams (30th in the NFL) and the Jets blew them up for 206 and 3 TDs. Gore may not do that alone, but he should have a pretty large day. If I was sure he was 100% – and I am not – he’d top this list.

Some call him All Day, I call him Purple Jesus (wish I could credit it to someone but I forget who coined it) but either way, you call Adrian Peterson for your lineup each week. It’s a tough matchup, sure. But the oline started opening huge holes for Peterson last week and I think Peterson will have great production again this week though nowhere near the 2 bills he had last time out. Keep in mind Tampa doesn’t give up TDs on the ground. But that didn’t matter to Thomas Jones against the Pats, huh? Still, keep it in mind.

I think this is a couple weeks in a row that that DeAngelo Williams has been a good to great play. Jonathan Stewart will get carries but Williams is still the primary and will get the bulk of the carries in a tasty matchup against the woeful Lions defense. While they may work at getting Delhomme back on track, I still think the bulk of the work – and fantasy points – will come down to Williams. Expect his third game with 100 yards and a TD.

The Bengals will not be the test for Brian Westbrook and the Eagles that the Giants were so not only do I expect Westy to rebound from his down game. He will get back involved both on the ground and through the air against a D that is bad in both areas of the game. Cinci did strangle the Jacksonville run game last week, but I think the Philly Oline and Westbrook are far better than what there is right now in Jacksonville.

Other notes:
#7 Marion Barber is going to benefit more than almost anyone else to have Romo back as finally opposing secondaries and defenses cannot throw 8 men in a box….. It makes me sad to see LaDainian Tomlinson at #12, but imagine if he wasn’t LT, how bad it could be. I think he will have issues but still have a pretty decent day that in perspective will blow away many other RBs vs the Steel Curtain….. How can Steve Slaton be #14 against the Colts? Two reasons – first, the Colts played better the last week and have Bob sanders back and second, Kubiak is saying they will watch his carries carefully and maybe limit them. DANGER DANGER!…. #17 Willie Parker may do better in his debut from injury but that harness worries me a little…. Ladell Betts seems to be ready to go, but I’m not sure how healed he is and how many touches he will get so he sits for a week at #28…. Willis McGahee wins the ‘who gets carries this week in BAL’ and his prize is a #23 ranking but I gotta tell you Baltimore is quickly becoming the biggest FF headache week to week not involving secret season ending injuries……

Running backs

  1. Michael Turner, Falcons vs. Broncos
  2. Frank Gore, 49ers vs. Rams
  3. Adrian Peterson, Vikings at Buccaneers
  4. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs. Lions
  5. Brian Westbrook, Eagles at Bengals
  6. Matt Forté, Bears at Packers
  7. Marion Barber, Cowboys at Redskins
  8. Chris Johnson, Titans at Jaguars
  9. Tim Hightower, Cardinals at Seahawks
  10. Joseph Addai, Colts vs. Texans
  11. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Raiders
  12. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers at Steelers
  13. Marshawn Lynch, Bills vs. Browns
  14. Steve Slaton, Texans at Colts
  15. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars vs. Titans
  16. Jamal Lewis, Browns at Bills
  17. Willie Parker, Steelers vs. Chargers
  18. Kevin Smith, Lions at Panthers
  19. Ryan Grant, Packers vs. Bears
  20. Brandon Jacobs, Giants vs. Ravens
  21. Larry Johnson, Chiefs vs. Saints
  22. Jerious Norwood, Falcons vs. Broncos
  23. Willis McGahee, Ravens at Giants
  24. Peyton Hillis, Broncos at Falcons
  25. Ricky Williams, Dolphins vs. Raiders
  26. Dominic Rhodes, Colts vs. Texans
  27. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. Lions
  28. Ladell Betts Redskins vs. Cowboys
  29. LenDale White, Titans at Jaguars
  30. Cedric Benson, Bengals vs. Eagles
  31. Julius Jones, Seahawks vs. Cardinals
  32. Deuce McAllister, Saints at Chiefs
  33. Ahman Green, Texans at Colts
  34. Justin Fargas, Raiders at Dolphins
  35. Antonio Pittman, Rams at 49ers
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WR Rankings for Week 11 Fri, 14 Nov 2008 20:32:00 +0000 admin Anquan Boldin is just the man – he is in a prolific passing offense with fellow receivers to draw coverage off him, with a great matchup. On top of that, he’s getting plenty of scoring targets in the red zone – more than Larry Fitzgerald since Boldin returned from injury. Could be a fairly huge day for Boldin, who is certainly the Anti-Mr.Glass round these parts.

Roddy White broke his streak of consecutive games with a TD in Week 9, but got back on track against New Orleans. Along with his fresh status as a weapon, he’s getting tighter coverage and opportunities for catches are a little more scarce. But he’s facing a secondary with it’s fair share of problems, not the least of which is Champ Bailey’s continuing absence. Bailey started practicing, but even with him, the secondary give up a lot of yards (242 per game) and TDs (14) with almost no sacks (3). They have a good pass rush, but the Falcons Oline has protected Ryan well and that should give White time to break free from coeverage and have himself a good day.

Brandon Marshall was thrown to a ton in the first half and would have had a truly monster game had he been able to hang onto a few passes he dropped. As it is, the late TD gave his day a little more oomph – but that’s Marshall. he gets the opportunity, he has the ability, he just needs to maintain focus. Atlanta’s secondary is shaky and as I mention in the review of Cutler, the run game is messy enough to where Cutler will have to throw. He will target Marshall early and often and I expect the WR to hang onto the ball better thisweek, putting him in line for a huge game.

So, Reggie Wayne was hurt last week, right? And he didn’t practice Wednesday and Thursday, right? True on both counts. But last week he was questionable and all he did was catch 114 yards and a TD. Some people have him ranked farther back due to the questionable status but if he’s in, this is where I have him. And I think he will be in and productive against a shaky Houston secondary that is playing better but will not be able to contain Wayne and Manning.

Steve Smith was just getting rolling going into last week, coming off three 100 yard games in a row. And then he biffed hard against a stouter than expected Oakland secondary and probably killed more owners than Bernard Berrian’s donut. He gets back on track this week, against a horrific pass defense in the Lions. They have no corner that can match up to Smith and while I have Delhomme ranked fairly far back, that is in great part to the fact that DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart will get a huge workload. But when he throws, it will be to Smith and I think Smith will have a much better day than Delhomme.

Other Notes:
Yes, that’s Dwayne Bowe at 10 – he has a Qb who can throw and is playing pretty well, Mark Bradley or not…. Hines Ward sits at 15, where he is an excellent red zone target and reliable pass catcher for Roethlisberger and is the steadiest thing in that offense….. At #16 Vincent Jackson is right behind Ward and like Steve Smith, is a guy who could have a better day than his QB does, even against a stout Steeler defense….. And yes, Terrell Owens is still a marginal top 20 guy, at 18, even with Romo back. Let’s see if anything has changed since they weren’t connecting enough before the injury to Romo…… Show of hands. When the season started, who would have forseen Houshmandzedah (31), Chad Johnson (Ocho Whatever at 33) and Plaxico Burress (35) on the bottom end of any rankings?

Wide receivers

  1. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals at Seahawks
  2. Roddy White, Falcons vs. Broncos
  3. Brandon Marshall, Broncos at Falcons
  4. Reggie Wayne, Colts vs. Texans
  5. Steve Smith, Panthers vs. Lions
  6. Andre Johnson, Texans at Colts
  7. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals at Seahawks
  8. Calvin Johnson, Lions at Panthers
  9. Greg Jennings, Packers vs. Bears
  10. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs vs. Saints
  11. Marques Colston, Saints at Chiefs
  12. Lee Evans, Bills vs. Browns
  13. Antonio Bryant, Buccaneers vs. Vikings
  14. Santana Moss, Redskins vs. Cowboys
  15. Hines Ward, Steelers vs. Chargers
  16. Vincent Jackson, Chargers at Steelers
  17. Santonio Holmes, Steelers vs. Chargers
  18. Terrell Owens, Cowboys at Redskins
  19. Eddie Royal, Broncos at Falcons
  20. Muhsin Muhammad, Panthers vs. Lions
  21. Bernard Berrian, Vikings at Buccaneers
  22. Lance Moore, Saints at Chiefs
  23. Donald Driver, Packers vs. Bears
  24. Steve Breaston, Cardinals at Seahawks
  25. Donnie Avery, Rams at 49ers
  26. Braylon Edwards, Browns at Bills
  27. Devery Henderson, Saints at Chiefs
  28. Michael Jenkins, Falcons vs. Broncos
  29. Roy Williams, Cowboys at Redskins
  30. Marvin Harrison, Colts vs. Texans
  31. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Bengals vs. Eagles
  32. DeSean Jackson, Eagles at Bengals
  33. Chad Ocho Cinco, Bengals vs. Eagles
  34. Kevin Curtis, Eagles at Bengals
  35. Plaxico Burress, Giants vs. Ravens

Back later with the RBs…

]]> 0 Fri, 07 Nov 2008 22:26:00 +0000 admin As I said on the ESPNRadio show (I am an attention whore, huh?) LaDainian Tomlinson tends to get even better as a season wears on. He has the mother-of-all matchups this week and is healthy. God help the Chiefs – or God help Norv Turner if he doesn’t have LT (and to a lesser extent, Sproles) plan a cleat on their backs and push. Tomlinson should come out the bye like a house afire.

Adrian Peterson aka All Day aka Purple Jesus aka the reason i am still alive for the playoffs in one league has a mtachup that isn’t quite as good as LT’s but it’s quite salivation worthy nonetheless. The Pack is 27th in the league vs the run and last week got decimated by Chris Johnson and LenDale White for 178yds and a touchdown. In week 1, ADP thumped them for 103yds and a TD. He could, concievably, do even more this time around as he is red hot coming into this matchup.

Now, Frank Gore may find himself behind along with the 49rs in this game. He may be involved in a little catchup. And it’s a tougher matchup than folks give it credit for because the Cards score so well. But the 49rs involve him in the passing game so even behind, he is still a factor. Also, San Fran will need to control the clock if they are going to try and limit Warner & Company’s time on the field. That’s all Gore. And lest we forget, Gore torched them in week 1 for 96 yds and a TD on the ground and another 55yds receiving. This man is a stud and you don’t worry so much about him in matchups – you just plug him in.

Brian Westbrook is healthy, his Qb is healthy, the WRs are finally healthy – all good things. The Giants are a tough matchup no doubt but Westbrook has an advantage in that he is 1) involved in every aspect of the offensive gameplan. Carries, receptions – he gets you points everywhere. And 2) with the gang all healthy, you cannot just focus on Westy. He will have more room to run for the fact that McNabb will throw to Curtis and Jackson at anytime so the defense will have to stay honest. Finally, the oline is keeping McNabb very safe but they are also blocking better for Westbrook. That extra push will help him gain yards even against a tough NY Giants team.

Maurice Jones-Drew may be a long shot – I talked a bunch today about how I was worried about the mental state of the team. But the line is healthy and the matchup is very good. If Garrard can keep the ball moving through the air, MJD should benefit on the ground. I think he will get the chance to break into open space, use his speed to his advantage and have some long gains. This might be a little higher than many have him, but I am still looking for MJD to step forward the rest of the way. Hopefully I am right and our concerns about the emotional exhaustion of the team are unfounded.

Other thoughts -
You start #9 Chris Johnson every week regardless of matchup…… #13 Mewelde Moore gets the start with Parker hurt again and should have a good day…. #17 BenJarvus Green-Ellis will get another start with Morris and Jordan out and is looking pretty good…… I put Ray Rice as a cautious #18 – everyone is banged up there…… I think #26 Darren Sproles may get some garbage time against the Chiefs and could be a nice flex play….

Running backs

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers vs. Chiefs
  2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Packers
  3. Frank Gore, 49ers at Cardinals
  4. Brian Westbrook, Eagles vs. Giants
  5. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars at Lions
  6. Thomas Jones, Jets vs. Rams
  7. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Seahawks
  8. Michael Turner, Falcons vs. Saints
  9. Chris Johnson, Titans at Bears
  10. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers at Raiders
  11. Tim Hightower, Cardinals vs. 49ers
  12. Marshawn Lynch, Bills at Patriots
  13. Mewelde Moore, Steelers vs. Colts
  14. Brandon Jacobs, Giants at Eagles
  15. Steve Slaton, Texans vs. Ravens
  16. Matt Forté, Bears vs. Titans
  17. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots vs. Bills
  18. Ray Rice, Ravens at Texans
  19. Deuce McAllister, Saints at Falcons
  20. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs at Chargers
  21. Kevin Smith, Lions vs. Jaguars
  22. Kevin Faulk, Patriots vs. Bills
  23. Joseph Addai, Colts at Steelers
  24. Leon Washington, Jets vs. Rams
  25. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers at Raiders
  26. Darren Sproles, Chargers vs. Chiefs
  27. Le’Ron McClain, Ravens at Texans
  28. LenDale White, Titans at Bears
  29. Justin Fargas, Raiders vs. Panthers
  30. Julius Jones, Seahawks at Dolphins
  31. Maurice Morris, Seahawks at Dolphins
  32. Jerious Norwood, Falcons vs. Saints
  33. Ricky Williams, Dolphins vs. Seahawks
  34. Derrick Ward, Giants at Eagles
  35. Fred Taylor, Jaguars at Lions
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WR Rankings for Week 10 Fri, 07 Nov 2008 19:33:00 +0000 admin Again, as I said on the ESPN1230 show with Jake Stevens, I think Roddy White is now a top flight Fantasy (and NFL) WR and should be played pretty much regardless of matchup. Matt Ryan is going to have a very good day against the Saints depleted secondary and hewill look to White often – as he does all the time. The Saints have allowed 240+ yards per game, with 12 TDs to only 6 interceptions. White will easily get the seperation he needs to break free and will have an outstanding day.

Larry Fitzgerald vs Anquan Boldin is a debate a lot like ‘which do I like better, chocolate ice cream or vanilla?’ It splits the electorate pretty thoroughly but I say – WHO THE HELL CARES? IT’S FREAKING ICE CREAM – ENJOY! Seriously, both of these guys will have – and often do have – top flight Fantasy games. You have to be happy with either and I would be tempted to start both if you happened to have both. Fitz will undoubtedly get the yards and Boldin is a more sure red zone target. I think this week Fitz gets a TD and the yards, which bumps him up over ‘Quan. But Boldin is a fantastic play as well. I don’t know how the 49rs will come out this week but I do know that Warner will throw and there is enough love for both guys. Star tthem and enjoy your damned dessert.

I know Donald Driver (#19 ) woke up and found himself relevant last week, but Greg Jennings is the man in Green Bay, bar none. As I say in the Qb rankings, Rodgers will have to throw to win this game, what with his bad run game and the shaky Vikes secondary. And while he will occasionally grace other receivers and TEs with a bunch of catches, he always goes to his man, Jennings. If Rodgers is throwing and needs a big score (and he will do both) then Jennings is your man. Jennings has become a solid WR 1 most weeks and this will be a very good game for him. (Side note: they throw so much that I think Driver has his second good game in a row, hence the 19 ranking.)

Calvin ‘I am Megatron’ Johnson may have a new Qb this weekend in Culpepper and while C-Pepp is clearly not the same guy who tossed TDs to Moss way back when, he still has an arm. While he will nto be able to scramble as he used to and will find himself on his back, when he isn’t picking turf out of his mouth, C-Pepp will use Johnson as often as he can and has an arm that might – just might – allow Megatron to get some seperation in a way he hasn’t been able to with Orlovsky. Stanton makes him riskier but let’s face it- Johnson will get it done even if it’s a Juggs machine. They will have to throw against the Jags and I think Johnson will be able to burn that secondary regardless of QB.

Other Decepticon and Autobot-free thoughts -
I like #15 Muhsin Muhammad a ton this week and might have him ranked higher than just about anyone else – that matchup with the special teamer masquerading as a corner is going to be fantastic…. Repeat after me – you play #17 Matt Jones, until it’s time to not play Matt Jones. Against Detroit? It’s Dr. Rockso time. Felony possession or not I don’t know what the NFL is doing and until they actually bench him, I won’t. This week should be a big one KKKKYEEEEAH….. And yes, #18 Plaxico Burress is busy bitching his way out of the top 20 and is not a consistent – or reliable – fantasy option. I keep waiting for him to rebound and he keeps struggling…..

Wide receivers

1. Roddy White, Falcons vs. Saints
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals vs. 49ers
3. Greg Jennings, Packers at Vikings
4. Calvin Johnson, Lions vs. Jaguars
5. Anquan Boldin, Cardinals vs. 49ers
6. Andre Johnson, Texans vs. Ravens
7. Lee Evans, Bills at Patriots
8. Steve Smith, Panthers at Raiders
9. Bernard Berrian, Vikings vs. Packers
10. Marques Colston, Saints at Falcons
11. Randy Moss, Patriots vs. Bills
12. Jerricho Cotchery, Jets vs. Rams
13. Vincent Jackson, Chargers vs. Chiefs
14. Laveranues Coles, Jets vs. Rams
15. Muhsin Muhammad, Panthers at Raiders
16. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs at Chargers
17. Matt Jones, Jaguars at Lions
18. Plaxico Burress, Giants at Eagles
19. Donald Driver, Packers at Vikings
20. Wes Welker, Patriots vs. Bills
21. Reggie Wayne, Colts at Steelers
22. Hines Ward, Steelers vs. Colts
23. Donnie Avery, Rams at Jets
24. Kevin Curtis, Eagles vs. Giants
25. Santonio Holmes, Steelers vs. Colts
26. Devery Henderson, Saints at Falcons
27. Chris Chambers, Chargers vs. Chiefs
28. Michael Jenkins, Falcons vs. Saints
29. DeSean Jackson, Eagles vs. Giants
30. Greg Camarillo, Dolphins vs. Seahawks
31. Isaac Bruce, 49ers at Cardinals
32. Derrick Mason, Ravens at Texans
33. Ted Ginn Jr., Dolphins vs. Seahawks
34. Torry Holt, Rams at Jets
35. Sidney Rice, Vikings vs. Packers

RBs come after lunch (west coast lunch)…..

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RB Rankings for Week 9 Fri, 31 Oct 2008 21:37:00 +0000 admin Brian Westbrook had 167 yards last week on the ground and added 42 via receptions. As tempting as Graham is, as good as Peterson is, I think Westy has a good day against a rush D that gives 121 yards per game on the ground and 6 TDs. Add to it the phenomenal matchup vs the pass D of the ‘Hawks – know that Westbrook will be involved as always. He will have a tremendous opportunity in both phases of the game and I think he will top leagues again this week.

Speaking of Purple Jesus aka Adrian Peterson – the Texans have coughed up 11 ground TDs, second most in the league so far this season. They were better earlier in the season but the last three games have given up a total of 278 rushing yards top run games brought by the Bengals, Lions and Dolphins. Wait, those aren’t Minny-like run offenses? Uh-oh! The Texans are getting lit up on the ground, and Peterson will be able to make plenty of plays against them this week. I think Frerrotte and Berrian will keep Houston honest and AP will tire them out all day.

How DOES one cram all that Graham? Well, you rank him third. Ok, bad joke (dated bad joke no less) but Earnest Graham is an excellent start this week. With Dunn banged up, Graham will get all the love in this run game this weekend against one of the worst defense in the league. On top of that, Gruden will not pull a Mangini and throw 40 times to 15 runs. Graham will get the ball often and do very well against the woeful Chiefs.

A terrible Lions defense will keep Matt Forte at the top of the rookie running back ranks this week – not only running the ball but catching it as well. Forte faces a defense ranked 31st, which can get run over by any back. Forte should have no problem running all over the Lions. Yes, they stumped Peterson – but that was pretty unusual. I don’t expect a repeat, especially as Chicago is passing the ball well and Detroit will not be able to just focus on the run.

Finally is Michael Turner the Burner - perhaps not as high as some have him this week, I still like him as a play. Oakland has coughed up 556 rushing yards in their last 3 contests and have had plenty of bad games so far. Also, may I submit the 11 touchdowns they have allowed this season. I like Turner this week for both yardage and a TD – he’s a guy you can start with confidence even if he has been a bit streaky this year.

Other thoughts -Willie Parker (34) may be playing, but I think he’s no more than a light flex – Mewelde Moore (30) is pretty much the same. Until we sort out who is doing what, be careful…. Don’t overthink the Leon Washington (28) stats from last week – only three carries is a flex back for a Fantasy team, not a RB2 unless you have to…. This may be the week Tim Hightower (17) takes the #1 gig over…. MJD (10) and Fred Taylor (23) both have valeu this week against a shoddy Bengals run D….

Running backs

  1. Brian Westbrook, Eagles at Seahawks
  2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Texans
  3. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers at Chiefs
  4. Matt Forté, Bears vs. Lions
  5. Michael Turner, Falcons at Raiders
  6. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins at Broncos
  7. Marion Barber, Cowboys at Giants
  8. Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Packers
  9. Clinton Portis, Redskins vs. Steelers
  10. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars at Bengals
  11. Marshawn Lynch, Bills vs. Jets
  12. Brandon Jacobs, Giants vs. Cowboys
  13. Steven Jackson, Rams vs. Cardinals
  14. Thomas Jones, Jets at Bills
  15. Willis McGahee, Ravens at Browns
  16. LenDale White, Titans vs. Packers
  17. Tim Hightower, Cardinals at Rams
  18. Ryan Grant, Packers at Titans
  19. Kevin Faulk, Patriots at Colts
  20. Steve Slaton, Texans at Vikings
  21. Edgerrin James, Cardinals at Rams
  22. Michael Pittman, Broncos vs. Dolphins
  23. Fred Taylor, Jaguars at Bengals
  24. Ricky Williams, Dolphins at Broncos
  25. Justin Fargas, Raiders vs. Falcons
  26. Jamal Lewis, Browns vs. Ravens
  27. Derrick Ward, Giants vs. Cowboys
  28. Leon Washington, Jets at Bills
  29. Dominic Rhodes, Colts vs. Patriots
  30. Mewelde Moore, Steelers at Redskins
  31. Kevin Smith, Lions at Bears
  32. Julius Jones, Seahawks vs. Eagles
  33. Cedric Benson, Bengals vs. Jaguars
  34. Willie Parker, Steelers vs Redskins
  35. Kolby Smith, Chiefs vs. Buccaneers
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