Saturday, August 29, 2009

What Will The Badgers Do This Year?

It's just about time for some college football and the Wisconsin Badgers have many questions to be answered. None more interesting than, can they better their 7-6 record last year and avoid another embarrassing defeat in a bowl game? I'm here to briefly preview each game and let you know what Nick's prediction is for the amount of wins for the 2009 Badger squad.

1.) Northern Illinois @ Wisconsin
In 2008, the Northern Illinois Huskies went 6-7 and were not invited to a bowl game, they fared slightly better in conference play (the MAC) with a winning record of 5-3. The Huskies faced off with fellow Big Ten rival Minnesota last year and lost by the score of 31-27. Northern Illinois played horrible on the road with a record of 2-4, so I wouldn't expect this team to come into Camp Randall and pose any kind of threat. Badgers win easily!

2.) Fresno State @ Wisconsin (1-0)
This game intrigues me, I like the match up of John Settle, UW Running Backs Coach, versus his alma mater Fresno State. Not only that, this is a rematch of last year's great game in Fresno State where the Badgers were able to steal a game from the Bulldogs by the score of 13-10. The Bulldogs had a very similar year to the Badgers, finishing 7-6 after having high expectations for the season. I think this game could be the best of the year, with the Badgers pulling out another close victory with the running game. The Bulldogs will be looking forward to their next game with their divisional foe, the Boise State Broncos.

3.) Wofford @ Wisconsin (2-0)

The Wofford Terriers are a Division II team that went 9-3 last year. They played South Carolina close last year and definately could give the Badgers a run if they are not prepared. The Badgers need to forget about the opening of division play the following week and make sure they take care of business against the Terriers. I think they will and continue 3-0 into Big Ten play.

Tomorrow, I will continue with the Big Ten portion of the schedule!

Watch I Love You, Man Exclusive: This Is My Nightmare - MovieWeb

Watch I Love You, Man Exclusive: This Is My Nightmare - MovieWeb

Posted using ShareThis

Taking a small break from the Blog due to my loads of work to get done before school starts. Another reason I haven't done much is because the fantasy football news has been slow this week. I will make a post tomorrow, a rather lengthy one, so make sure to check in tomorrow night or Sunday morning, until then, enjoy one of my favorite clips from the move I Love You, Man!!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Minnesota Twins Streaking!!!!

The Minnesota Twins battled for their fifth consecutive win, winning against the Baltimore Orioles by the score of 7-6. Not only did the win give them the longest active major league winning streak, it also tied them for 2nd in the AL Central with the Chicago White Sox. The Twins are one of those tricky teams, they seem to put their selves in the division race whenever it comes down to the end of the season. As of right now, the Twins sit back 4.5 games from the division-leading Detroit Tigers. One more game with Baltimore and then the Twins welcome the Texas Rangers and the Chicago White Sox to the Metrodome. I think we will learn if the Twins really want to push for the division after those six games.

Nick's Prediction: The AL Central is a toss-up to me, all someone has to do is look at the run differential of the three contenders, Detroit (+15) Minnesota (+12) Chicago (+7), pretty even if you ask me. Compare that to the New York Yankees (+106), Boston Red Sox (+100), Tampa Bay Rays (+84), LA Angels (+73) and that tells you that the AL Central teams are playing close games everyday. But this is Nick's Prediction, can't leave it at a toss-up, I'm going to stick to my earlier prediction and say the Chicago White Sox will win the AL Central. They have lost three straight and went 4-6 in their last 10 and unfortunately have a brutal few weeks ahead against the Yankees and Red Sox. Peavy is expected to start Saturday against the Yankees and I think he will be ready to go. I continue to like the White Sox because I think they have the best pitchers in the division, but watch out if Verlander pitches like he did yesterday in his next couple of starts. The fun thing about the major league season is that the White Sox, Tigers, and Twins will be able to battle with one another for the division in September. Sorry Rory, but I just don't see the Twins coming out on top this year, but there is still hope!!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Fantasy Trifecta! (Trade, Free Agent Pickup and Rumors)

Trade: In spirit of the Monday Night showdown between the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens, Team Koala Kare (Me) decided to swap a Raven for a Jet with Team Egg Roll (Isaac Lee). I acquired Dustin Keller to fill my need of a TE and helped Isaac obtain a running back in Ray Rice. Team Lee received a heck of a deal, but I could afford to let go of Rice because of my major depth at the running back position, I couldn't play them all every week. I'm happy with the deal though, I really like Keller to step up his game this year and help out Mark Sanchez in New York. Ray Rice looked amazing in the game earlier, he scored a rushing touchdown on a nifty trick play. Even though the Ravens have three halfbacks worthy of the starting position, I think tonight's preseason game indicated that Rice will be the starter and will get a lot of carries. Only downside to Rice is his small size, he may not be the first choice at the goal line.

Free Agent Pickup: Here's a deal that went down a few days ago (2 days to be exact):

1.) Team Koala Kare drops Heath Miller and adds Jermichael Finley. The motive behind this move is very simple, I need to have a Packer because their offense appears to be amazing this year. Finley is athletic and has significant speed, only problem is that he shares time with fellow tight end Donald Lee. Finley also failed to live up to his potential during his rookie year, hopefully his sophomore campaign proves to be much better. Only reason I picked up Miller last week was because I desperately needed a tight end, nothing against Miller, but his strength is blocking, which doesn't help my fantasy team. With the addition of Keller and Finley, I have some tough decisions ahead of me, do I want to hold onto two TEs and if I do, which one do I play each week?

Rumors: I'm back again to provide everyone with the latest on injuries, position battles and player/team relations:

1.) Brandon Marshall (Team Shake Junt) to New York? Wouldn't this be a dream come true for Joe, if Marshall could force his self out of the mess known as the Denver Broncos and join the New York Jets. Unfortunately, I don't think this will happen, Denver wants a first round pick and a 4-6th round pick for Marshall, something I can't see the Jets giving up. The sad thing is that the New York Jets should make this deal, they badly need another wide receiver. Joe can only sit back and hope that the Broncos let Marshall play or deal him to another team.

2.) Carson Palmer (Philadelphia Fakeouts) to sit out the third preseason game! This headline has a few fantasy implications. Everyone knows the third preseason game gives starters the spotlight and allows them to show what they can do for an entire half. With Palmer out again with an ankle injury, the offense in Cincinnati doesn't look promising. Chad Ochocinco (Team Campbell) and Laveranues Coles (Team Trader) are negatively affected by this injury because they lose time to obtain chemistry with Carson. Not only that, but Coles appears to be having trouble picking up the Bengals playbook, causing Ochocinco's stock to rise if Palmer can stay healthy throughout the season.

3.) Here are my projected winners of the quarterback battles around the league:
Byron Leftwich (Free Agent) vs. Luke McCown (Free Agent)
Daunte Culpepper (Free Agent) vs. Matthew Stafford (Free Agent)
Derek Anderson (Free Agent) vs. Brady Quinn (Free Agent)
Shaun Hill (Free Agent) vs. Alex Smith (Free Agent)
Mark Sanchez (Team Klit Crusher) vs. Kellen Clemens (Free Agent)
What does this all mean? If you need a quarterback, go after these guys, not the guys who won't be the starters. I think Leftwich and Shaun Hill could be decent spot starters during your QB's bye weeks or if someone goes down early in the season. Stay away from Culpepper and Quinn because they play on bad teams. I also don't like Sanchez, I think he's a decent passer, but only when he has no pressure, the Jet's offensive line isn't that great.

4.) Donnie Avery (Team Dogfighters) is close to returning! This is good news barring a speedy recovery by the Rams' QB Marc Bulger. I like the St. Louis Rams to be the surprise team in the NFC West this year, once again barring the health of Bulger. With Steven Jackson running over defenders, it could really open up the pass for Avery who's is very fast! With the departure of Bruce and Holt over the last couple of years, Avery is prime to take over the number one receiver spot. However, at the same time, the Rams passing game could be downright terrible, we'll have to wait and see!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's Not All About Sports!

Hey guys, today I'm going to deviate away from my obsession to put in a plug for the movie Funny People. I'll start out by saying if you're looking for one of those hilarious movies where you can't stop laughing, this is not your movie. However, if you're looking for a movie with humor, drama, and sophistication, grab a bucket of popcorn and enjoy. The movie may be a little long at 2.5 hours, but I felt intrigued throughout. I believe the movie allows you to think on many levels and provides the audience with a new perspective on comedy. I don't want to give any of the plot away, so I'll end by saying the director Judd Apatow is simply genius with his latest work. Now go out and see the movie!!!! As you can tell, I'm not much of a movie critic, how do you talk about a movie without giving away some of the plot?

Who Cares About The Top 25?


Why is the initial College Football Poll such a big deal? Does anyone really care besides Florida University and I'm not really sure they do either. The rankings are never an indication of what actually occurs during the college football season, so I don't see why we put one out before any games have been played. Most of the votes are based on what happened last year, which also doesn't make any sense to me. For example, the only reason Utah makes the Top 25 is because they ended in the two spot last year. Would anyone outside of the Mountain West Conference definitively say they would choose Utah, TCU, or Brigham Young as one of their top 25 teams in the nation, I don't think so. I'm not taking anything away from Utah's undefeated season and their defeat of SEC powerhouse Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, but what are the odds they can have another amazing season to warrant a top 25 spot going into this season. I don't have a problem with the voters trying to predict the best 25 teams going into the season, but please don't make such a big deal out of it and stop being so nice to the schools from non-major conferences. I'm all for the underdogs, but they are never the teams initially ranked in the top 25 before the college football season. I would like to end on the question, HOW DID NOTRE DAME MAKE THE TOP 25?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fantasy Waiver Claim!

No huge football stories occurring today besides the debut of Favre, but I'll stay away from that. Here was a waiver deal that went down:

1.) Team Koala Kare drops Jeremy Maclin and adds Miles Austin. After watching the Eagles preseason game with the Colts yesterday, I wasn't very happy with the progress of Maclin. This is probably due to his absense from training camp and practices because of the difficulty of signing first rounders. I would advise everyone to stay away from Maclin unless you would like to take the risk. McNabb and the Eagles love to spread the ball around, but I think Curtis and Avant are better options over Maclin. When Rory dropped Miles Austin, it caught my attention right away, I like the fact that Austin could be the number two opposite Roy Williams. However, Austin's health is a concern, but if he's able to stay healthy, let's say sleeper!!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fantasy Football Tidbits!

Thanks to everyone who reads my blog and took the time to fill out your trading block, very cool! Today, I thought I would take a few news stories/rumors and link them to our fantasy league. I'll stay away from the Plaxico story, I'm still sitting on the fence with that issue. Lets delve into the world of the NFL:

1.) Ben Roethlisberger (Team Shake Junt) injured! On the last day of training camp, one of the Steelers players stepped on the back of Big Ben's ankle, he was carted off the field and also seen holding an icepack on the wounded ankle. Big Ben was quoted "Oh it just feels great. It feels like a car ran over it." This could be very detrimental to Joe's fantasy team, especially since I'm talking about his back-up QB Matt Cassell a little later in the post. A fantasy team without a dependable quarterback can be very frustrating, I learned that first-hand last year (had to rely on Jason Campbell and David Garrard).

2.) Matt Cassel (Team Shake Junt) may not be the starter in Kansas City! I'm sorry Joe, I hate to break the bad news, but Cassel may be a one-year wonder who only looked good behind that talented New England Patriots team. This makes me wonder, does Tom Brady also benefit from that amazing talent, maybe he's overrated? I won't argue with all you Brady-lovers. To get back to the initial topic, Brodie Croyle is rumored to be challenging Matt Cassel for the starting job and appears to be the front-runner after training camp. This really shakes up Joe's fantasy team, he's possibly left with no quarterback at all right now, depending on the severity of Big Ben's injury.

3.) Malcolm Kelly (Free Agent) and Devin Thomas (Free Agent) are candidates for the second wide receiver position in Washington D.C. Jason Campbell and the Redskins have hinted that one of these guys has moved up to the second spot on the depth chart, they haven't designated which one though. This wouldn't be a horrible option if you're in need of a wide receiver, wait to see who it is, and you could end up with a solid option as a flex play or as a replacement during a bye week.

4.) Brandon Marshall (Team Shake Junt) seems to be going nowhere in Denver! Once again, bad news for Joe and his fantasy team. Brandon Marshall wants to be traded more than he wants anything, but teams seem to covet the wide receiver position, even if the guy is a huge distraction. The situation reminds me of names such as Ochocinco, Boldin, Moss, and Owens. The upside is that these guys put up solid numbers every year, no matter how large their ego is or how much of a tantrum they want to throw. The big problem Joe has to worry about is if the Denver Broncos decide to suspend Marshall for conduct detrimental to the team. I don't think they will do this because quite frankly the Broncos need him, the team's future doesn't look good right now.

5.) Jets practice some Wildcat? If this rumor turns out to be true, this means more opportunities for the talented Leon Washington (Team Klitzman). Kari probably doesn't know what I'm talking about, but this is a good thing. Leon Washington found ways to get to the end zone last year, even though Thomas Jones was the main halfback. This year the New York Jets want to make Washington more of a focal point in their offense. Not only does Team Klitzman own Washington, she owns Thomas Jones, so if she works it right (meaning she puts Washington in the flex spot and starts Jones against weak defenses), she could put up huge numbers. It may be frustrating trying to decide which one to start on a week to week basis, but something you have to deal with in the fantasy world.

6.) Davone Bess (Free Agent) looks to be passing up Greg Camarillo (Team Klitzman) on the depth chart! Coming off an ACL injury, Camarillo seems to be having a hard time recovering from the injury. He had great chemistry in Miami with Chad Pennington last year, that may not happen this year. Davone Bess could be another legitimate option if looking for another wide receiver, keep your eyes on the Dolphins and their depth chart.

Free Agent Deals: Rory reads the blog, that makes me happy, haha, here's the deal:

1.) Team Linton drops Garrett Hartley and adds Brian Robiskie.
I'll start out by saying I like this move, haha, Hartely needed to be dropped, he's out for the first four games. I love Rory's ability to find upside in the free agent pool, this may be the rookie wide receiver who gets the most looks this year. Lining up opposite of Braylon Edwards is never a bad thing and Cleveland is a mess, anyone could step up and play well. The Browns don't even know who their QB will be (Anderson or Quinn?), I believe that helps Robiskie's chances because the starting position could change hands a few times this year.

Blockbuster Fantasy Trade and Some More Fantasy Free Agent Pick-Ups!!!!

Blockbuster Trade: Who knew such a big deal would go down before the season even starts? Team Koala Kare (that's me) decided to get some running back depth by acquiring Ray Rice and Kevin Smith from Team Trader (Robert Trader) for TE Greg Olsen and WR Laveranues Coles. For me, I knew I had to make this deal, I really like the upside of Ray Rice and Kevin Smith will get his carries due to the inconsistent play of the Detroit Lions. For Team Trader, not only does he get a solid tight end in Greg Olsen, it opens up some double fantasy point options in Chicago. I also think Olsen will become Cutler's favorite target. Laveranues Coles is a wild-card, he could be amazing in Cincinnati, but could also fall into bad times like many players have done in the past.

Fantasy Tip: Go to your fantasy team page on ESPN.com and fill out your trading block, let everyone know where you're looking to upgrade and what players you would deem untouchable. Not only is this good before the season, it will become very important throughout the season up to the trade deadline, players will get injured and they will need to be replaced. You also never want to be too deep at a position because that could lead to tons of bench points, and you don't necessarily want that.

Free Agent Deals: A few more minor deals went down, here they are:

1.) Team Linton drops Miles Austin and adds John Carney. This one is kind of funny, Garrett Hartley decided to get suspended for four games, so Rory needed a kicker and he decided to go with the Saints replacement for Hartley, the pro-bowler John Carney. To cure some curiosity, Hartley was suspended because he tested positive for the stimulant Adderall. I'm not sure why Rory is keeping the kicker on his bench, granted he's only suspended for four games, but I think it would be a safe bet to release him on waivers. If your team is thin at wide receiver, I would take a chance on Miles Austin, there is a good possibility he could emerge as the number two opposite Roy E. Williams in Dallas. I'll have to ask Rory about this move?

2.) Team Koala Kare drops Rashad Jennings and adds Heath Miller. This was a deal I had to make with my blockbuster trade, mostly because I had no tight end. Heath Miller was the best option left on the free agent list, but is still not that great because Pittsburgh uses him as more of a blocker. Thus, if anyone is willing to move a tight end, bring offers my way! Rashad Jennings had to be moved with my two new running backs joining the team, only reason I took the chance on Jennings was for insurance on Maurice Jones-Drew.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fantasy Free Agent Moves!!!!

Hey guys, I think it's only appropriate to let everyone know the free agent acquisitions that have went down and what they mean:

1.) Team McCarthy drops Justin Fargus and adds Robert Meachum. I don't get this deal, Fargus doesn't have a lot of upside, thus why I see him being dropped, but why Meachum? Robert Meachum is at best the fourth receiver on the Saints roster, he probably won't be on the field much. The only motive I can see is that Matt is thinking of those double points he could get with Drew Brees, a very rare chance in my opinion, there are better receivers out there. If you are thinking about Fargus, I would stay away, McFadden and Bush are bound to break into the starting role, even if Fargus begins the season in that spot.

2.) Team Lee drops DeShawn Wynn and adds Amani Toomer. I like this deal, mostly because it makes sense. Why you drafted Wynn I will never know, but Toomer was a great pickup. Matt Cassell needs someone to throw to in Kansas City and Toomer has the experience to run his routes and get open. Toomer will most likely be the third option at wide receiver, but will see significantly more time than DeShawn Wynn will. If any of you guys are looking for a Packer, pick up Jordy Nelson, not DeShawn Wynn.

3.) Philadelphia Fakeouts drops Jeff Garcia and adds Brett Favre. Don't really need to explain this one, best fantasy free agent move of the week! Favre is a nice option as a possible starting quarterback, this puts a little pressure on Dustin, will he start Palmer or Favre, should be very interesting! Garcia is probably another player you want to stay away from, JaMarcus Russell appears to be playing well, that means Garcia will stay on the bench in Oakland.

4.) Team Trader drops Kevin Curtis and adds Kerry Collins. This makes sense with Robert's lack of trust for Cutler, but I think Cutler is actually a better option than Collins is. Kerry Collins is a game manager and rarely goes deep down the field. With Robert's depth at running back and wide receiver, I see no problem in starting Cutler and having Collins as a sold back-up option. Kevin Curtis is in a sticky situation, with the Eagles first round draft pick Jeremy Maclin out of Missouri, it leaves Curtis with an unknown role. I see Maclin and Curtis switching out throughout the season, but I think Maclin has the better upside. I would stay away from Curtis, there are better receivers out there right now.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Sad Day In Wisconsin Sports

Favre To The Vikings: This time a month ago I was posting the unthinkable, I was starting to come around with the idea of Favre in the purple and gold. Now that the fantasy has become reality, I don't really like it. My initial reactions go out to everyone hurt by this move. On a personal level, I feel for all of you who have been betrayed by Favre, going to the New York Jets was one thing, this is completely different. I also feel for Sage Rosenfels and Tavaris Jackson, they are professional football players with families who thought they would have a legitimate shot at the starting quarterback job in Minnesota. I can't help but have that sick feeling in my gut after hearing this is going to really happen. Now I can only root for the Packers even more to win the NFC North and let Favre know that he made a mistake, something the Packers did not do when sticking with Aaron Rodgers.

Fantasy Take: Unfortunately, this has huge fantasy implications. We might as well call the Minnesota Vikings' offense play-action city. With the best running back in the planet, Favre will probably have the best opportunity of his career when looking for wide-open receivers. The only issue will be his health, he has a torn rotator cuff and is going to be forty years old. We all see what happened in New York last year, will he hit that wall again? Props to Dustin for picking Favre up off of waivers, something a few people tryed to do yesterday, haha, good thing Dustin received that last pick in the draft!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cutler On The Fantasy Trading Block!

Team Trader has informed me that he will listen to any offers for a trade, he would like to specifically move Jay Cutler. I'm willing to part with Trent Edwards, especially with the possibility of having Favre as my starting quarterback (I attempted to pick him up off the free agent list today!). I've heard rumors from Joe and Isaac that they would be willing to move Matt Cassell or Jake Delhomme, a few ideas to ponder. Only problem I have with Jay Cutler is the lack of wide receivers in Chicago and his calling out of wideout Devin Hester after an interception during a preseason game against the Buffalo Bills. However, I think Cutler would serve very well as a back-up quarterback on any fantasy team. As for the rest of team, I see that Team Trader is loaded with quality running backs. Chris Johnson and Kevin Smith are possible fantasy studs while Rice, Sproles, Taylor and Brown could be great role players with their respective frachises. Also lots of value at the wide receiver position, an elite wideout in Calvin Johnson and lots of upside with Antonio Bryant and Bobby Engram. Lets see some trades go down!!!!

If You Don't Watch Golf, Maybe You Should!

Going into the last round of the PGA Championship, the drama couldn't have been deeper, Tiger lead Y.E. Yang and Paddy Harrington by two strokes. Who would bet against Tigers perfect streak of winning majors when going into the last round as the leader? I would, which I kind of did by picking a streak for cash pick against Tiger. I'll admit it, I think Tiger is a freak, but I also think the rest of the field is starting to believe Tiger can be beat by almost anyone on any given day. Take this year as an example, Tiger was beat in every major by golfers who most of you probably have never heard of (Yang, Cink, Cabrera, and Glover). Enough about Tiger Woods, I'm here tonight to talk about Y.E. Yang, the first Asian to win a men's major championship. IF YOU TAKE ANYTHING FROM THIS POST, LET IT BE THIS, Y.E. YANG WON THE 2009 PGA CHAMPIONSHIP, TIGER DID NOT GIVE IT AWAY! You might be asking yourself, but Nick, Tiger had the lead going into the day and he lost it. I don't care about that, Tiger was downright terrible with the putter the last two rounds, but he shot a 75 in the final round, not a bad score at all even by Woods' standards at Hazeltine. Y.E. Yang deserves all the credit in the world, he stepped his game up in front of Tiger's mass media following and didn't show any sign of nervousness. His story is unbelievable, the South Korean didn't start playing golf until the age of 19 (he's now 37) and has never won a PGA tour event until now. Playing in his third PGA Championship, he was able to post a score of -13 over the final 49 holes, an entire 12 strokes ahead of Tiger Woods on his final 49 holes. Congrats to Yang for the amazing victory!!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fantasy Trade and Draft Recap!!!!

Fantasy Trade: Minutes after the highly anticipated fantasy draft a trade went down between me and Team Shake Junt (Joe Selbo). Seeing that Joe already drafted Brandon Marshall, he didn't really want Eddie Royal anymore, so I went ahead and gave him Santonio Holmes. A fairly even trade, Royal and Holmes are both very similar wide receivers and looked at as the 2nd option on their respective teams.

Draft Recap: We've finally arrived, the teams have been drafted and the matchups are looking great. This morning was very interesting, a morning full of surprises, who knew two quarterbacks would be drafted in the first five picks? Here's the deal, I'm going to briefly talk about what I liked and what I didn't like about each team in this year's fantasy draft. After that, I will announce the owner who had the "Best Draft", if you think I'm bias when I do this, just look at who I picked last year. I picked Chad as the best drafter and he went on to have the best regular season, we won't talk about how he lost to the number four seeded playoff team in the first round of the playoffs. I hope you guys like reading, because I plan on writing a lot about our fantasy league this year on my blog, I guarantee every one of the owners will receive lots of media coverage. I will also provide tips and insight on what teams and who I think is hot. I also like to talk about other pressing sports issues, why not read the blog, right? Enough of that, here we go, time to analyze the draft:

Team Koala Kare (Nick Grays) - Don't worry, I'm not going to pick myself for the "Best Draft." Lets just say I'm very happy to see MJD drop back to me at the seventh spot, in most leagues he's the third overall pick, that's amazing to me. Now that Fred Taylor is gone, he's going to easily get tons of carries. I also received that elite WR in Roddy White and a solid QB in Donovan McNabb. I was a little disappointed to not get Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan, two quarterbacks that I had higher on my draft-board. For you people who follow my blog, you know that I like McFadden as a sleeper pick, so that was also nice. No Packers on my fantasy team is kind of weird, that has never happened before.

Team Lee (Isaac Lee) - I'm assuming you're very happy with taking Michael Turner at number three because I know I would, don't worry about his abundance of carries last year, he will still be "The Burner". Also a very nice touch with the Matt Ryan pick, double point opportunities. Another aspect of your draft that I liked was the late acquisition of Dustin Keller, a very solid pick at TE late in the draft. A few things I don't like about the team is your WRs, Steve Smith is solid, but the rest of them can be inconsistent at times. Don't know if you saw this, but seven of your players are on bye week Week 4, kind of nice to get the bye week over with, unfortunately it could be a mess as you travel to play Team Linton that week.

Team Trader (Robert Trader) - Robert couldn't make the draft this morning, so the computer stepped in to autopick for him. Let me tell you, the computer didn't do too bad of a job, he has solid running backs and an elite receiver in Calvin Johnson. I think Ray Rice could be a sleeper this year, only thing I don't like about the team is Jay Cutler and that's only because I don't know what to expect in Chicago. This team could be dangerous, watch out!

Team Shake Junt (Joe Selbo) - I couldn't be happier to only see this team once this year, opposed to twice like I had to last year. I really like Steven Jackson, won't argue with that first round pick. I also like the group of wide receivers, I envy how he owns a jersey of one of his fantasy players (Greg Jennings), all I can say is maybe one day! The pick of Fred Jackson was genius, he could be huge with Marshawn Lynch out for the first few games due to a suspension. The only vulnerable part I see is at the QB position, Big Ben can be a terrible fantasy QB at times and Matt Cassell is a question mark, did New England make him look better than he actually is?

Team Linton (Rory Linton) - I really like this team, but one problem exists, the depth is minimal. Adrian Petereson is a gem, and the snatching of Aaron Rodgers was brilliant, couldn't have been better timed. I also like the Cedric Benson pick and the acquisition of former teammates Roy Williams and Terrell Owens, they are both number one receivers. After Petereson, I see some very questionable backs, to me Parker is not what he used to be, he struggles to stay healthy and with Mendenhall and Moore, Parker won't get the ball at the goal-line. Mclain could be alright, but I like Ray Rice better, and McCoy, Norwood and Greene probably won't see the ball much.

Team McCarthy (Matt McCarthy) - What a curveball that was, I thought AP was no doubt the first pick, but Matt went with Drew Brees. Most people would poke fun at this pick, but I'm not here to do that. I think fantasy risks are something that need to be done if you want to win a championship, its not as simple as following year-old lessons like "you have to pick a running back or wide receiver" in the first round. Kudos to Matt for stepping up and picking the player he wanted. The first pick is a tough spot, you have to wait a long time in between picks, but I feel Matt did a good job of picking solid WRs and RBs, I love the Hakeem Nicks pick in the 16th round. The only problem that I have is that this team pretty much sinks or swims with Drew Brees, we'll see if he pleases or disappoints!

Team Harwood (Tim Harwood) - Some of you may be laughing at this owner's pick of Tom Brady in the first round, but I can guarantee you won't be laughing if Brady has a year similar to his 2007 campaign. Tim went with Marion Barber, a very solid pick at running back, but after that it may be a struggle for points. Lendale White is not going to see the ball as much and who knows about Faulk and Rhodes. Tim's WR core is also mediocre, but it's fantasy football, anything can happen!

Team Dogfighters (Chad Breiby) - This guys knows how to draft, another solid year. However, this year I see a few flaws. I really like the duo of Forte and Portis, they could put up some solid numbers. I also see Reggie Wayne as an elite receiver this year in Indianapolis. After that, Chad's other WRs are some guys dealing with early injuries (Avery and Berrian) and Crabtree who has an attitude problem. Buckhalter was a great pick if he can scavenge enough carries in Denver. My biggest issue is Michael Vick, he can't play for four weeks ,so why should he be drafted?, not only that, he's not a starting quarterback. Vick will at most see a few plays here and there in a wildcat type of scheme, that's maybe good for a few touchdowns, I don't see him putting up significant fantasy numbers.

Team Campbell (Jason Campbell) - I really like this team, at least the starters, this could be possibly the best starting fantasy lineup. Who could go wrong with LT, Peyton Manning, Reggie Bush, Ronnie Brown, Ochocinco and Hines Ward? These are veteran players who know how to find the endzone. The bench is weak and he could run into some problems in Week 8 when six of his players are on a bye week.

Team Szombatfalvy (Mike Szombatfalvy) - Remember last year when this guy owned a factory of running backs, in my opinion, that's his only weakness this year. I love the pick of Kurt Warner and his WRs are top notch, not the mention the best TE in football (Anthony Gonzalez). For some reason, I don't trust halfback Knowshawn Moreno and Larry Johnson can't live up to his potential. Brandon Jacobs should be solid, this could be a dangerous team if Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald provide their owner with some deadly double point combinations.

Team Klitzman (Kari Klitzman) - Everyone should tell this owner she has done a great job with her first ever fantasy draft, no way she finishes at the bottom of this year's standings, this is a solid team that I'm even scared of. Her team has it all, a reliable QB in Philip Rivers, solid running backs in Thomas Jones and Frank Gore, an elite receiver in Andre Johnson and some veteran receivers who know how to catch the ball (Evans, Mason, and Camarillo). She even has potential sleeper picks in Chris "Beanie" Wells and second year man Felix Jones. Only downside is the fact that you probably don't need two defenses and two tight ends.

Team Klit Crusher (Nick Lowenburg) - Here we go again with the absolutely hilarious team names, simply amazing, haha! The returning champion had done a decent job drafting, once again picking some not-so safe players but ones with a lot of upside. Once again, have to take risks to have a chance at fantasy greatness, something Nick knows very well. I like his pick of Randy Moss, I think he will get plenty of catches with Tom Brady back behind center and Deangelo Williams should be solid once again. However, I don't think Williams will be close to his production of last year, I think Stewart will be more involved in the run offense. He snagged Crosby from me, he was going to be my one Packer, but other than that, a solid team. Only problem I foresee is his running back production while Lynch is serving his suspension.

Philadelphia Fakeouts (Dustin Anderson) - I feel bad for this guy, first time he joins my fantasy league, I randomize the draft order and he gets the last pick and not only that he ends up with a bye week in the first week and here I am talking about his team last, haha. He should be happy because I think his team has the most depth, that first week he should be scoping out who can play in his starting roster, he has many players worthy of those nine starting spots. I love the acquisitions of Carson Palmer, Dwayne Bowe, and Steve Slaton, all of these players have the potential to be fantasy superstars. His bench players may not jump out at you, but they are consistent players who can quietly put up big numbers every week. Only flaw is that these bench players and players with great upside can easily fall to the other side of the spectrum and put up low numbers. He may have a few bad fantasy outputs here and there, the good thing is he has many players to exchange in and out of the starting lineup.

And The Winner Is: The owner with the "Best Draft" this year goes to Kari Klitzman (Team Klitzman). Under the circumstances, I'm shocked by how well she did with her first ever attempt at a fantasy draft, she didn't make any big mistakes and picked some great players. Always remember anything can happen, that's why we love fantasy football. I encourage you all to keep reading the blog and make some comments on the bottom of the article, any input on what I'm doing is greatly appreciated. Also get that $20 in as soon as you can. Thanks for joining the 2nd Annual Madison Fantasy Football League!!!!







Thursday, August 13, 2009

Welcome To The Big Leagues Alcides Escobar!

In celebration of the call-up of the Brewers' top prospect Alcides Escobar, I thought I would blog about his first major league start. Escobar hit .298 with 4 HRs, 34 RBIs, and 42 stolen bases in 109 games at Triple-A Nashville.

(1:42 CT Bottom of the 2nd Inning) - Following a monster blast from Prince Fielder and a three-run shot by catcher Mark Rivera, the Brewers lead 4-0. Alcides appeared to be nervous in the dugout and it showed in his first at-bat. Escobar jumped on the second pitch while the Padres' shortstop Cabrera fielded the groundout and sent a strong throw to first baseman Gonzalez to hand speedy Alcides his first out of the 2009 MLB season.

(2:10 CT Bottom of the 3rd Inning) - Pretty awesome to see Escobar's second at bat in the very next inning, Brewers lead 9-0. Another groundout for Alcides, still appears to be a little nervous in my opinion. Congrats to Braun for another Brewer homerun and Mark Rivera for hitting his 2nd homerun in consecutive innings!

(2:45 CT Top of the 5th Inning) - Very interesting to hear and see Corey Hart in the booth! Padres produce a small rally and cut the score to 9-3. Escobar fielded a groundout and contributed to the last out of the top of the 5th with a strong throw to Fielder.

(2:53 CT Bottom of the 5th Inning) - Wowsers, Fielder hits an opposite field blast for his 2nd home run of the game and extends the Brewers lead to 10-3! Hart expresses his opinion on Hardy being sent down to the minors, states that he hopes Hardy will be back soon, no response on the prospect Escobar.

(2:57 CT Bottom of the 5th Inning) - Manny Parra contributes to the lead with a RBI to extend the score to 11-3! Alcides comes up to bat for the third time!!!! This time Escobar makes good contact, unfortunately the ball lines out to the left fielder. That puts Alcides at 0-3 for the day, not so bad though, no bad looking strikeouts and he's making contact. Who couldn't be happy with a Brewers lead of 11-3!!!!

(3:13 CT Top of the 6th Inning) - Brewers don't look like they can hold onto the big lead, Parra seems to be fatigued as the Padres have fought back to a 11-6 score. Alcides showed another strong-armed throw on a routine ground-out. There you go, Macha makes the move and brings in Mark DiFelice, Parra is still on the hook for the win.

(3:44 CT Bottom of the 7th Inning) - Escobar received a little luck on his fourth at-bat, the ball curved away from the foul line to stay in and gave Alcides his first major league hit this year! The Brewers maintain their lead of 11-6, maybe we can get a steal from Escobar and add a couple of insurance runs. There he goes, like the speed of lightning, Escobar scores from first base on the Lopez double. Brewers lead 12-6.

I think that's going to wrap it up for me today, I have to go to work. I'm hoping this six run lead will be enough for the Brewes to break the three game losing streak they are on and possibly start a winning streak. Overall, I'm happy with the debut of Alcides Escobar, he made good contact and made the defensive plays he should make. Make sure you go out and get Madden 2010 tonight at midnight, a Happy Maddenolliday to everyone!!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Draft Order Set!!!!

Team McCarthyMatt McCarthy 1
Team LintonRory Linton 2
Team LeeIsaac Lee 3
Team HarwoodTimothy Harwood 4
Team DogfightersChad Breiby 5
Team selbojoe selbo 6
Team GraysNick Grays 7
Team TraderRobert Trader 8
Team CampbellJason Campbell 9
Team SZOMBATFALVYMIKE SZOMBATFALVY 10
Team KlitzmanKari Klitzman 11
Team Lowenberg
Nick Lowenberg
12
Philly FakeoutsDustin Anderson 13

Monday, August 10, 2009

Was My Thirst For Football Quenched?

Besides the amazing 40-yard fake punt play, I would have to say the first preseason game of the year wasn't very exciting. Kerry Collins and company for the Tennessee Titans looked dominant, while the Buffalo Bills looked like they have issues on defense and offense. The absence of John Madden made me happy, he was definitely right when saying "it was time," in regards to his retirement. This provides me with a perfect time to put in a plug for the new Madden game coming out this Friday (August 14th), go out to the stores and pick it up! Keepin it brief today, see you guys tomorrow!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Maybe My New Favorite Golfer?

As I was watching the Bridgestone Invitational today, I couldn't be more intrigued everytime I saw the leader Padraig Harrington. Even his awkward warm-up plan was enough to keep my eyes glued to the television screen. There's just something about this Irishman, he has a sort of quirkiness to his game that makes him exciting to root for. I'm kind of upset that I can't watch the battle between Paddy and Tiger Woods tomorrow in the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational. Harrington leads Woods by three strokes and is playing some very confident golf. Tiger Woods shot the best round of anyone today and I wouldn't be surprised if he makes a charge tomorrow to make the match a nailbiter at the end. Who knew we would have this much drama right before the last major of the year, the PGA Championship (Harrington is the defending champ at the PGA Championship). I don't know if he's my favorite golfer, but I would have to say Paddy is an excellent player to root for.

Nick's Prediction: I'm fairly confident that Harrington has the experience and ability to hold off Mr. Woods tomorrow to win the Bridgestone Invitational. Not only will this be Paddy's first win of the year, but it will give him momentum to play well at the PGA Championship in Minnesota next weekend. Just to let everyone know, there is a streak for cash pick tomorrow (Tiger Woods vs. The Field), I'm saying go with The Field. Not only does Harrington have a three stroke lead already, he's playing some great golf!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Skip the 2009-10 Season, Are You Kidding Me? Plus A Starbury Treat!

Michael Crabtree's "advisor," a.k.a his cousin says that the former Texas Tech wide receiver is willing to sit out the entire NFL season and re-enter the draft next year. The 49ers have offered Crabtree a contract, but apparently it's nowhere near what the Raiders gave 7th pick WR Darrius Heyward-Bey ($38 million). First of all, you were the 10th pick Crabtree, I don't care how great you think you are, nine teams didn't think much of your abilities. Second, rookies are getting way too much money these days, how many first-rounders actually earn their money with consistent play, not many, I have more belief in a player drafted in the fifth or sixth round who has to fight for a spot and prove that they have what it takes to play in the NFL. Thirdly, are you crazy, you would rather sit out an entire year and be drafted at a lower spot opposed to taking millions of dollars for not yet stepping one foot on the field. Of course, this was Michael's cousin talking and not himself or his agent, so I don't know how much of this you can believe. Regardless, Crabtree is starting out his NFL career badly and looking like another one of those diva wide receivers. I thought Crabtree would be very similar to a Calvin Johnson, slightly cocky, but able to back his game up, those are the receivers that I respect, I guess I was wrong.

Nick's Prediction: I'm sure Crabtree will sign for some rediculous amount, which is just not fair because his game won't be that great. For Crabtree's fantasy outlook, I would say stay away from the receiver, not only is the rookie missing training camp, but there's some indecision about San Fran's quarterback, will it be Alex Smith or Shaun Hill? Don't get me wrong, Crabtree is the real deal, he's just wasting valuable time to develop into a solid wide receiver in the NFL, maybe those nine teams that passed him up saw this coming.

The Treat: This is just funny!!!!

Ready For Some Football?

If you haven't heard yet, the preseason starts Sunday night as the Buffalo Bills travel to Tennessee to battle the Titans in the annual Hall of Fame Game. The game will be televised on NBC at 7 PM CT, make sure to tune in if you can't wait for NFL football like me. More importantly, six legends will be inducted into the hall of fame on Saturday. I think it's awesome to start seeing players inducted into the hall of fame that I had the pleasure to watch as a kid. The 2009 class is filled with defensive legends, names most people probably have never heard of. Bob Hayes, Randall McDaniel, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson Jr., and Rod Woodson are those names. Bob Hayes was a speedy wide receiver who played with the great Roger Staubach, a little before my time, haha. Randall McDaniel was a beast on the offensive line of the Minnesota Vikings during the 90s, trust me, I remember him very well. Don't need to say much about Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, and Rod Woodson, they are no doubt some of the best defensive players to ever play the game, I'll always remember them. Lastly, who could forget about the beloved Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr., one of the founders of the AFL! Congrats to all of the hall-of-fame inductees!!!! R.I.P. Derrick Thomas

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Packers Training Camp!!!!

Vick To Green Bay?: While I was making my visit to ESPN.com for the thousandth time today, guess what I saw, that's right, a rumor indicating the Packers would be possibly interested in Vick, who reported that like a month ago? Not so fast Nick, keep the ego in check, we all know that there is a 99.9 % chance the Packers would not sign Michael Vick. First of all, the Packers do not need the attention that would come along with Vick and Coach McCarthy has a lot of confidence in back-ups Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn. Vick would simply not be a good fit in Green Bay, we don't run the wild-cat offense and we have plenty of speedy receivers, what would we do with him? I believe this is a case of ESPN blowing up minuscule news involving the name Michael Vick, very similar to news involving that one guy who wanted to go to Minnesota, dare I say the F-word. I think it's becoming a little rediciulous to go through every NFL football team and decide whether they would sign Michael Vick or not, it will happen and I'll be interested when it does happen, but not now, please, enough with the news about where Vick will go!

Packers Training Camp: On a happier note, the Packers look very good at the start of training camp this year. Clay Matthews Jr. has impressed in his first few days from the outside linebacker position. I'm also very excited for defensive coordinater Don Capers and his new immense playbook with the 3-4 scheme. How awesome will it be to see Aaron Kampman back up and play a couple of plays from the linebacker position? The team still hasn't signed their first pick in the 2009 Draft, B.J. Raji, I wouldn't be worried though, I believe the wait is due to some other draft picks to be signed so he knows what kind of money to expect. The NFC North should be one of the most competitive divisions this year, I can't wait!!!!

Props To Joe: Joe Selbo walks slowly to his golf ball just fifteen feet from the pin on Hole 3. He slightly bends down to check the angle of the green from both sides of the ball. He proceeds to gently grab the putter with a firm grip, gives a couple of practice shots, and releases the putter against the nike tour golf ball. The ball slowly rolls towards the hole and drops, providing today's MVG (Most Valuable Golfer) with a correct read and a par on that particular hole. After the putt was sunk, Joe jumps into the air, boosting his confidence and providing momentum to shoot the best round of his young golf career. Congrats Joe!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Impressed by Parra and Bye-Bye Sessions!

Impressed By Parra: Forget about the Brewers .500 record and Trevor Hoffman's horrible outing earlier tonight. I thought Macha should have left Parra in the game to attempt his first career complete game, he couldn't have done much worse than Hoffman. Fortunately, Hoffman didn't completely throw away Parra's solid outing as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the L.A. Dodgers in L.A. by the score of 6 to 5. Not only did Parra give the Brewers a much needed eight innings, but he showed some great perseverance. After a throwing error in the 2nd and the bases loaded with no outs, he forced C. Blake into a double play and only allowed one run that inning. Unfortunately, I think Parra's quality outing will go unnoticed because of the late drama. I'll end this topic with the most important stat of the night, Parra only issued one walk, great job on the win Manny!

Ryan Braun also had a good night with four hits, including a three-run homer that cracked the game open. Braun and Parra were making sure they showed friends and family that they can play (both of them are from the LA area)!

Bye-Bye Sessions: Free agent PG Ramon Sessions seems to be very close to signing a deal with the New York Knicks. This rumor comes from his agent Chubby Wells:

"We've been playing footsie with the Knicks the last two weeks," Wells said. "I'm sure we'll clarify something in the next couple days with the Knicks or another team [Los Angeles Clippers] and figure out what's going on."

This move makes sense to me because he would be a great fit in New York. The Milwaukee Bucks would have seven days to match or better a deal by the Knicks, but I don't think this would happen, especially with the emergence of rookie point guard Brandon Jennings.

A 2009 Fantasy Football Sleeper Pick!

Instead of keeping all my fantasy football secrets to myself, I thought I would share them with my faithful followers. My fantasy football sleeper pick at the running back position is Darren McFadden this year. The Oakland Raider had a less-than-stellar rookie year with 499 yards and 4 TDs. Part of this was due to a turf toe injury that took away some of his explosiveness, but also the fact that he had to compete with Justin Fargas and Michael Bush for carries had an impact. Rumors have it that Coach Tom Cable wants to get McFadden a lot more involved in the offense:
"He's a real key for us," Cable said of the running back. "When you look at us when we used him many ways, not just as a runner, but many ways, we were much, much better offensively. So (the goal is) to expand on that role and make him a key part of what we're trying to do."
This jumps out to me because I already know the Oakland offense will have it's problems, when an offense doesn't click, what do they do?, they run the ball, McFadden will get his carries, that's for sure.

Nick's Prediction: ESPN has McFadden as their 22nd ranked running back, mostly because of his dissapointing year last year. I think he would be a complete steal in the fifth or sixth round of the draft, a great flex player in the beginning of year and possibly a solid starting running back depending on how things go in Oakland. ESPN also projects his 2009 stats to be: 908 rushing yards, 8 rushing touchdowns, 293 receiving yards, and 1 receiving touchdown for a total of 173 fantasy points (he had 91 fantasy points in 2008). I believe they're right about the touchdowns, but I say he easily eclipses the 1000 yard mark, I see the Raiders offense rushing the ball a lot. Hope this helps some of you guys out, can't wait for the draft!!!!

Tomorrow's SFC Picks: (lets see what I'm good at when I make all the picks)

1) Kurt Busch vs. Carl Edwards - Edwards has a better final position
2) Jeff Gordon vs. Denny Hamlin - Gordon has a better final position

3) Kansas City Royals @ Tampa Bay Rays - Tampa Bay
4) Djugården @ Gefle IF - Gefle IF win
5) Dan Haren (v. Mets) vs. Justin Verlander (v. Orioles) - Verlander records more strikeouts
6) Chicago Cubs @ Cincinnati Reds - Chicago
7) Atlanta Braves @ San Diego Padres - Atlanta
8) Texas Rangers @ Oakland Athletics - Texas