THUNDERING BLURB » Willis McGahee ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 en hourly 1 Sunday Morning NFL Update The First Sun, 05 Oct 2008 15:46:00 +0000 admin Brian Westbrook - Active today, start him against a Redskin defense that just announced two more players inactive today (CB Shawn Springs, LB Marcus Washington).

Charles Tillman - will be playing today and that makes life a little more worrisome for Kitna owners.

Aaron Rodgers – will be playing. If you have another good matchup, I am still worried about him surviving the game, so consider using them instead. Earlier this week, sources said the Packers were concerned the injury would threaten his season.

Carson Palmer – he’s allegedly determined to play, but like Rodgers (only even moreso) he’s not a sure bet to finish the game. Worse, Dallas will make it a long day for the hapless Bengals. Unlike with Rodgers, there is no doubt – use someone else.

Willis McGahee - This week’s Official Thundering Blurb Mr. Glass is reportedly so bruised and banged up, he may not make it through the game according to John Clayton. Against that defense? Avoid unless you are in a huge bind, he’s a bad play.

More as the morning progresses….

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Tuesday Tue, 02 Sep 2008 13:54:00 +0000 admin Quick reminder that today will launch the Thundering Blurb Daily News Stampede – Monday through Friday I’ll drop you a quick 15 minutes of news you’ll need to know to get the edge on your league mates.

A few stories of note this morning:

Baltimore Ravens
Willis McGahee returned to practice on Monday and while it’s clear he’s still coming back from surgery, what isn’t clear is who will start. My money is on rookie Ray Rice, but McGahee could steal carries if he practices well enough. Couple that with the fact that I think either runner will face 8 men in a box as the Bengals dare Joe Flacco to beat them with his arm – and I suspect either running back is a risky choice, even against the Bengals. Speaking of quarterbacks, Troy smith is home from the hospital and has dropped an astonishing 20 pounds. He won’t be playing anytime soon, hence the rumors Joey Harrington and former Jaguar Todd Bourman might sign with the team.

Oakland Raiders
Javon Walker also returned to practice yesterday and while NFLN’s Adam Shefter reports that he is considered questionable with a hamstring injury, he looked fine, though he did have trainers check his leg out. Walker is not someone I want to have to start at all this week against Denver.

Seattle Seahawks
Matt Hasselback was back at practice Monday and said his back was not going to be a factor going against the Bills week 1. While I am always concerned with a back injury, I may be more concerned with the beat up wide receivers. Hass could be a risky play against an improving Bills secondary.

That’s all for now – remember to subscribe to ITunes and get the News Stampede delivered right to your door!

More later….

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Thursday Afternoon News Thu, 28 Aug 2008 20:08:00 +0000 admin Second of probably three of these today barring some giant piece of news – also remember to catch myself, Cecil Lammey and Sigmund Bloom on BlogTalkRadio as The Drive Block will bring you 2 hours of live genius beginning at 10pm EST/7pm PST.

Dallas Cowboys
Guess who’s back? Not Slim Shady but the ever-loving Rain Man himself – Adam ‘not Pacman’ Jones! Well it seems the gamble Jerry Jones and the ‘boys took will pay off. The NFL fully reinstated Jones today and according to the Dallas Morning News , he found out while he was eating at Hooters. Classy. Seriously though, Jones was just hitting his stride when he got into huge trouble and I think that once he has some real gameplay again, he will begin to get back in the groove. Good gamble by the Cowboys if Jones keeps his nose clean and his singles in his pocket.

Indianapolis Colts
You know how I was saying last night I was going to watch this game to see if Jim Sorgi can recover from an awful preseason. He won’t. Sorgi will not be playing at all since his knee is hurt. So watch as Quinn Gray and Jared ‘The Hefty Lefty’ Lorenzon battle to hold Manning’s clipboard. We hope that Manning’s back-up will be irrelevent but as the mystery around Peyton’s knee deepens and people will be worrying up until kickoff of Week 1 whether he will start or not.

The best part of this? Week 1? The Colts play the Bears when? Sunday night. That’s right – Manning owners may have to make a decision whether to risk losing a position if Manning does not play or putting their back-up in to play it safe but missing a good Manning game.

We’ll talk about this a ton next week on the podcast both here and the at The Drive Block. Heck if it’s still this murky next Friday, I’ll definitely give you my thoughts on the blog as well.

Baltimore Ravens
So a lot of folks have been pushing for Willis McGahee to not only lose the #1 gig to Ray Rice but to get cut completely or traded. Chief among these folks would be the Baltimore Sun who would have run him out on a rail a week ago had they been in charge. Well, the Sun has finally admitted McGahee is unlikely to go anywhere. Now long term, he may not be there next year if Ray Rice plays like it looks like he can. But short term, if McGahee is healthy, I expect him to get most of the carries. I don’t expect them to over-utilize Rice so that he burns out mid-season. And they will need to run the ball a lot given the mess of their QB situation. There’s not a lot out there to acquire via Free Agency (Duante Culpepper is about it). The Sun points out if they wait until Saturday, Chris Simms may be cut my Tampa, but then they might be in a dogfight with the Cowboys and a few other teams and I don’t know they can win a street fight there right now.

Miami Dolphins
Ricky Williams is the starter for tonights finale though how much work he will see is debateable as the Phins will want to see what Ronnie Brown can do. Williams will start the season as the #1 – no matter how good Brown does. But – and this is important – there will be a split from the getgo. He’ll take the field first but he won’t be the only back here. If Brown is lights out tonight, he will get more snaps next week. If he’s average or – bite my tongue BAD – Ricky will get the majority.

Like I have said before – these guys are borderline #2,s or really #3 with upside. Treat them as such and leave yourself room to be pleasently surprised rather than annoyed because you depended upon them for too much.

That’s all for now – another post a little later and don’t forget The Drive Block on BlogTalkRadio tonight at 10pm EST/7pm PST.

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Tuesday Stampede Tue, 12 Aug 2008 16:18:00 +0000 admin I will be posting my top 20 College Football rankings this afternoon either all at once or in halves – depends on how long the list is with commentary.

Onto the NFL -

Arizona Cardinals
Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt says that Matt Leinart has improved his audibling and red zone work and will not be coming out of games at that spot on the field. While I still think Leinart is a shaky choice for a Fantasy QB until he shows me he can be consistent, it’s good to hear he won’t get ‘middle relievered’ during an important Fantasy sequence on the field and it does lessen my concerns a bit.

Oakland Raiders
From ‘The Sky is Falling’ column – rookie RB Darren McFadden fumbled 3 times in Monday’s practice. While I don’t think think the sky really IS falling (first fumbles of the preseason) you will now recall that one of the issues some people (including me) had with him pre-draft was his 15 fumbles his last year at Arkansas. This was a concern and will continue to be until he proves otherwise, but as these are his first fumbles in camp, I won’t worry much, he shouldn’t be going so early in drafts that a fumble problem will leave you hanging too badly.

Cincinatti Bengals
Rookie Keith Rivers seems undaunted by missing a teeny bit of camp – he led the Bengals with 7 unassisted tackles Monday night and didn’t even start. He will probably be an intriguing late round/waiver pickup in IDP leagues, asssuming people chalked him up to ‘rookie’ and he went undrafted in the first place. He certainly seems to have stepped right up for the Bengals which they really needed to have happen. Tight End Ben Utecht seems to really be getting those promised looks in the offensive scheme. He had a good Monday night and the staff is putting ’special plays’ together for him. I might be starting to believe it…..

San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates is running but also in a lot of pain, and apparently very frustrated with his lack of progress. He says he will not play early if it damages the season long term, which is good for your overall season, but bad if you want to draft him. If you get Gates, you may be in the position of being forced to take a back-up TE early to cover for him if he’s out a few weeks. If you go early on a tight end, my advice is to think of Jason Witten or even Tony Gonzalez. Better yet, get one of the later tier guys and keep an eye on the waiver for value. Amongst the TEs I like later are Jeremy Shockey, Vernon Davis on the earlier side, Owen Daniels, LJ Smith, Ben Utecht on the later side.

Baltimore Ravens
More great news for McGahee owners – the knee he just had scoped? It’s the one he has had multiple surgeries on, the one he wrecked in the Fiesta Bowl 5 years ago. He showed up to camp out of shape so rehab is an iffy proposition. Ray Rice continues up the boards as McGahee drops.

That’s all for now – questions and comments can go to as well as the comment section below.

College rankings coming later this afternoon (my afternoon, not the East Coast’s).

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McGahee, Rice and Handcuffs Mon, 11 Aug 2008 17:24:00 +0000 admin The top news today is of course Willis McGahee. McGahee is getting his knee scoped this week (maybe as we ’speak’) and will be laid up at least 2-4 weeks. Now, from here on out, Ray Rice is a handcuff you need to have if you draft McGahee and THIS from a guy (me) who is not a big handcuff proponant. (Antonio Pittman might be another nice piece of insurance if you believe Steven Jackson will indeed hold out and you’re into handcuffing. Just FYI.)

But Rice was already looking good and generating buzz about taking carries away from McGahee before the scope. Week 1 is in doubt and now you have to look at the following:

  1. McGahee is not going to be a first round pick for you
  2. Ray Rice will be a guy who moves up and you might have to reach for to get him handcuffed to McGahee

And now you see why I hate the idea of ‘having’ to handcuff your players. Because inevitably you have to reach on the player. Cecil and Sigmund are very much at odds with me on this, as evidenced by last Thursday’s Drive Block. I’m not going to tell you they are wrong but I WILL say that they were both drunk, so you can’t trust them.

OK, maybe not.

But I will say that while I might like to target Chester Taylor if I draft Peterson with the #2 or 3, his ADP at Antsports is very reasonable at 7.10 (according to and yesterday in my local league’s draft he went in round 9. At that point, he’s cheap insurance, you’ve stocked up on higher upside RBs and WRs, probably bagged a TE and at least 1 QB – I mean, THAT’s value, not merely a handcuff.

Ray Rice is going even later than that – 11 round and on. That will change right…. about…. NOW. With McGahee hurt and week 1 in doubt, people are goign to gobble up Rice’s hype and before you know it, that ADP is going to drop 3 rounds or more in some drafts. He goes from a 2nd string guy like Felix Jones and becomes another Kevin Smith/Matt Forte. I don’t know I think he’s running away with that job, but he could.

When it comes to handcuffs though, generally it depends upon your league. In my aforementiond local league, my fellow owners do not hesitate to go after handcuffs most years – one fellow specifically will grab a backup if he hangs around ‘too long’ just so he has a shot at trading him to another owner in case of emergency. In fact, guess who got Ray Rice? Yup. He’s already sent an email to the unfortunate McGahee owner this morning.

Other leagues will be populated by guys who are just looking for the best available value. That’s how I like to draft. I drafted Addai in the 5 spot yesterday. Didn’t sweat getting Rhodes or Hart because there was better value at my spot round after round. Why grab Rhodes in round 13 (his ADP via Antsports) when Ricky Williams is there (ADP round 9, incidentally)? One will sit on my bench unless Addai goes down and even then maybe not put Addai’s numbers up anyway. The other could start in my flex right away.

I just like drafting depth. In a draft going 16-20 rounds, you have that luxury most times. Look, why reach for Addais’ backup when I can draft a bunch of RBs who could slip in and start or rotate in and out of my lineup? Aside from Addai, I have Jones-Drew, Willie Parker, DeAngelo Williams, the aforementioned Ricky Williams, and then Hail Marys Andre Hall and Steve Slaton. Did Rhodes add anything to that really?

In my opinion, no. Other’s mileage might vary, and in the end it’s your team. I can’t tell you how to run it. But I’d rather have a grip of running backs who might pop at any time, then worry about backing up one particular guy just in case.

Back with some news later…..

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