Life Is Too Busy

Unfortunately I haven’t had time to write a great post like I normally do the last couple days. Hopefully that will change tonight. That being said, I am going to do my best to give to keep you up-to-date on today’s information.

NFL.com reported that Jake Delhomme is back practicing with the Browns at a high level. The ankle sprain he suffered during week one isn’t perfect yet but he may play this weekend. Solid information should be available after practice Friday. If your main man is on a bye week, Delhomme could be a start in very deep leagues, though not recommended.

The Chicago Bears’ QB Jay Cutler has been ruled out for his week 5 game against the Panthers. Todd Collins will get the start, but after getting his bell rung (yes I know, it is a medical term) against the Giants, I can’t see him or his receivers as being very good starts. Forte still has plenty of value this week but stay away from the rest of the Bears.

If I am playing you this week, Be Afraid.

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Clinton Portis Out 4 To 6 Weeks

I can’t help but laugh at all the people who took him early in the draft. Portis is now out 4 to 6 weeks after a groin separation (ouch). Worst case scenario, Portis is only available for the last 6 weeks (including playoffs) in most fantasy leagues. Since he is only averaging 50 yards a game before injury, I would be very worried if I were his owner. I know his value is extremely low right now but I would trade if possible. I don’t see him being better than a flex sport in most leagues near the end of the fantasy season. Torain will be the new starter and is available in about half the leagues. Even if you don’t need an RB, pick him up and use him as trade bait.

If you are playing me this week, Be Afraid.

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Lynch To Seahawks; Jenkins Back In Lineup

I am a little slow on commenting on Marshawn Lynch’s coast to coast move to Seattle, but better late than never. This trade has affects 4 different running backs’ trade values. Lynch should remain a start most weeks, though I would lower expectations during this week. Any move of this size will take a couple weeks to get use to the new team and city. Forsett’s value just took a huge hit. His owners can only hope now that he will be able to split carries evenly. I don’t see this happening though I would hold on to him until his use is figured out. Fred Jackson is named the new starter in Buffalo and should get decent numbers. They have little passing game and need him to come up huge. Spiller is now the number 2 guy and will get more or a realistic chance to show what he has. While I wouldn’t start him, he suddenly becomes a flex start in really deep leagues. Also, I would try to acquire him in trades as an after thought. Try to get the other team to throw him in to any trade.

Michael Jenkins also returns to the Falcons starting lineup after being out for the first four games following a shoulder injury. With 50 receptions last year. He is a bye week fill-in or deep league flex start most weeks. I don’t see White’s stats hurting at all either. Pick Jenkins up if you have a roster spot that is open or might as well be.

And if you’re playing me this week, Be Afraid.

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Hook, Line, Sinker: Moss Is A Viking

So now that the deal that I reported yesterday is a done deal, Moss owners can go jump for joy. If you can trade for Moss your now with the value he was worth after the last game, do it! I could see Favre throwing to him 10-15 times a game. When you have a guy who can come up with any catch in the book, ie catch against Revis this year, you give it to him as much as he wants it. Now if Henne will only learn that and give it to Marshall more…

What does this mean for the rest of the New England receivers? Obviously Welker is now the number one. He should start getting the numbers he got last year. As far as the others go, Tate now becomes the number two and a viable 3rd starter or flex start. If you are in a league that counts return yards, Tate is now like gold. Edelman becomes the third man. I would only use him in deep leagues as a flex.

If you play me this week, Be Afraid.

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Randy Moss To The Vikings?

Jay Glazer just reported that New England and Minnesota is working on a deal to trade Randy Moss back to the team he started with. The main thing keeping this from happening is getting Randy resigned to a longer deal. This could be huge for Moss owners. Favre has been looking for a number one receiver to make his life easier, and this would be definitely be it. Keep your ears open!

If you are playing me this week, Be Afraid!

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And Just When We Started To Like Vick Again

He goes and injures himself. Okay, maybe thats not how it exactly happened but for fantasy owners, he caused a lot of pain and grief. Based on what Michael Vick said to a radio station, he should be out 1 to 2 weeks, though the time table isn’t for sure. This is relatively good news considering how much pain everyone said he was in after he got turned into a sandwich. For those who thought that picking up Kevin Kolb was going to be a good play after Vick went down, the day just continued to get worse. Kolb repeated his first half performance from Week 1 by looking more like Matt Leinart than a starting QB. If your backup QB isn’t worth starting for the next couple weeks, play the position by match-ups by picking up guys off the waivers. Garrard has a positive match-up against the Bills, while Sam Bradford is playing the Lions. A long shot could be Matt Cassel against the Colts. As the NFL’s last unbeaten, KC has been playing really solid football. The Colts defense has yet to pull it together and could be ripe for the picking again.

If you play me this week, Be Afraid.

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Drafting Made Easy

People often ask things like “Why don’t my teams do better” or “Why do I get unlucky every year?” Lady Luck does play a huge roll in every week to week match-up. I tend to believe fantasy football is 60% skill and 40% luck. A lot of bad situations can be avoided when proper measures are taken. These measures often begin with the single most important day of the fantasy year, the draft. A lot of these apply in every league and can be altered to fit other sports as well. Though we are in week 5, take the time to remember these or save them somewhere for the future. You will thank me.

1. “Avoid Rookies Early.” As I wrote in my post “Rookie Mistakes,” picking up rookies early in the draft (where your starters are selected) is fools gold. There is often 2 or 3 big name rookie position players that creep up the draft board based on hype. If you were to just step back for a minute, it would be easy see that trusting your team to a guy who has never played in a professional game is crazy. Hoping is not for your starters, it’s for your bench.

2. “Pay Attention To Other Teams’ Picks.” Obviously you want to know who is off the board when it is your turn, but thats not why this is important. I’ll use myself as an example. My main league is a keeper league. I was the only person who didn’t keep a QB, as my play at that position was less than admirable. Before we began, I noticed this and immediately changed my strategy. My thought was that most of the teams won’t select any backups, until round 6. Here is how I figured this. We start a QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, a Flex, a TE, a K and a Defense. Most people are going to want to fill these positions (minus K and Def) as early as possible. With 2 keepers, that makes 5 rounds to fill the other 5 starter roster sports. So, with everyone else holding a QB, this is how I believed I had until round 6 to pick up a QB. This will stand true unless a player drops a lot lower than he should. It allowed me to stock up on position players and hold off on my QB need until late. Most people would not have realized this and selected a QB higher, wasting the opportunity to get higher end RB’s, WR’s or TE’s. Little things like this make a huge difference on your draft day performance.

3. “Pre-Draft Trades Can Be Key In Keeper Leagues.” Once again, I’ll use my draft from this year to prove a point. One of my keepers was Roddy White. While he is consistent and rarely gives me bad weeks, I wanted a potential game breaker at wide receiver. I targeted Brandon Marshall and began haggling with his owner. I was able to get Marshall and a 5th round pick (equivalent to 7th round because of keepers) for my 2nd round pick (basically 4th round). Now, how many leagues can you trade your 4th round pick for Marshall and a 7th round pick? Not many but the situation gives you this opportunity. I then traded both my 5th round picks (mine and the one I got from the first trade) for a different person’s 2nd round pick. I didn’t want to miss out on the value in the first couple rounds. With both of these trades put together, I basically traded my 5th round pick (7th in non-keepers) for Brandon Marshall. Can you say touchdown? Draft picks don’t have a solid value like players and depend on the individual. Don’t go into a keeper draft without trying to pull off a positive trade.

4. “Find The Diamonds In The Rough.” This is obviously easier said than done. If it wasn’t, everyone would target the same players and they would no longer be “in the rough.” I will share one strategy. Look for new NFL starters who have previous experience. Most people go for players who have started before or have big names; this includes 1st round rookies. They either have been successful starting experience or mythological hype based on college stats. Players who already have NFL experience but haven’t benefited from starting, and the fame that comes with it, have a tenancy to slip through the cracks. In my draft, believe it or not, Arian Foster slipped to me in the final round. While he did start a couple games for the Texans last year, he still wasn’t well known. I hit the jackpot and didn’t over “pay” for his value in my draft.

5. “Create Your Own Cheat Sheet.” This is the last tip for today (this post is already too long). I see so many people just grab the cheat sheets from ESPN, Yahoo, etc. and base their picks on that and some personal feelings. Experts are experts because they get paid, not because they have all the answers. Creating your own pre-draft rankings makes you become more familiar with players who you normally would know very little about. You may find a stat that, in your mind, lowers the value of a big name quite a bit. If you do this tip alone, I guarantee you will have a better draft.

As always, if you’re playing me this week, Be Afraid.

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