Friday, September 30, 2011

What I Think I Know: NFL Week 4

Color me average.  2-2 last week with the picks plus a squeaker in the eliminator pick (SD) who did not cover the spread.  It is a new year so lets open it on a good note, eh?  To begin the new year, we are adding a segment called "NostraDovus" where my buddy Dov, who predicted the Bills would win every week, will make his "off the beaten path" pick that could score big.  Lets get started, shall we?

The scary part is that the NostraDovus looks a lot like this.
NostraDovus Locks of the Week: 

New York Jets (+4) @ Baltimore Ravens: "Fuck the points."
Oakland Raiders (+4 1/2 vs. New England Patriots: "Oakland wants it more."

My Thoughts: Although entertaining, I don't think Rex Ryan has a gut big enough to eat those points in Baltimore (although the crabs are good there).  Furthermore, the only thing Oakland wants to do more than New England is punch them in the throat.  I have to disagree on both, but then again, I have disagreed on all three of his Buffalo picks so he is proving that the "experts" are only right 8% more than complete amateurs like the NostraDovus.  We will keep score the rest of the year and see where this crazy experiment takes us.

You Can Bet On It Eliminator Style: New Orleans.  Drew Brees and the Saints go marching into Jacksonville this weekend, and will march out victorious.  Easily.  The scary part about the Saints early success is that they have done it without a run game and their #1 receiver Marques Colston.  Despite being on the road, the Saints are currently favored by 7 1/2, and I don't think it will be that close.  The only thing New Orleans will be missing on the road are the Saintsationals.

Buffalo Bills (-3) @ Cincinnati Bengals: This game will not be a blowout.  Buffalo has not been convincing in any of its wins, but they have found a way to won, which is more than the pitiful Bengals can say.  The Bengals have reverted back to its hoodlum days with both Cedric Benson and Jerome Simpson facing criminal charges, and no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.  Take the Bills and the points, but don't expect a blowout.  Final Score: Buffalo 34, Cincinnati 20.

New England Patriots (-4 1/2) @ Oakland Raiders: The theme for this week will be "The Elite Strike Back." The Patriots, after losing at Buffalo, are hungry for a win and will not lose two games in a row.  The Raiders are a good team (as much as it pains this Chargers fan to say), but they are catching New England at a bad time and will get torched by the quick passing game of New England.  Oakland's inability to avoid penalties will also cost them the game late.  Final Score: New England 38, Oakland 31.

Carolina Panthers (+7) @ Chicago Bears: Don't get me wrong, I don't think the Panthers are going to win here, but seven points is too many points for the Bears to give.  Chicago's two-deep zone is the perfect defense for Carolina's offense that comprises mostly of a three-headed running attack (DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, and Cam Newton) and underneath passing to two talented tight ends (Greg Olsen and Jeremy Shockey).  Look for the Carolina tight ends to have impressive fantasy weeks as the bears will have trouble covering them in the seams.  Final Score: Chicago 22, Carolina 16.

Atlanta Falcons (-5 1/2) @ Seattle Seahawks: Atlanta is another elite team that will be striking back this weekend in Seattle.  Atlanta has lost its identity by going away from the power running game to set up the play-action passing game.  The Falcons will right the ship this week in a blowout in Seattle.  Look for Turner to surpass 100 yards rushing and Roddy White to go over 100 receiving yards.  Final Score: Atlanta 28, Seattle 16.

Friday, September 23, 2011

NCAA Realignment

In the famous words of Vince Lombardi, "What the hell is goin' on around here?  Seriously, what the hell is going on int he world of NCAA conferences?

Why even have conferences if they look like this?

With Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Missouri as the latest installments of College programs to jump ship to another conference, the geography of conferences is all sorts of messed up.  Missouri is neither south nor east to be in the SEC (it's midwest for all those who don't know.  Furthermore, neither Syracuse nor Pittsburgh are within a 4 1/2 hour drive to the Atlantic.  Numerically, the conferences are getting all sorts of messed up.  The Big Ten has twelve teams and the Big Twelve had ten teams, and now nine after Mizzou's departure.  The "pacific" 12 conference may have 16 teams if Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech join.  This is all, obviously, about football placement and money.  The big business of college athletics will soon absorb any academic responsibility these players and coaches have, if it hasn't already.  The attempt to balance the financial and educational forces has led to the debacle we now find ourselves. 

College athletics is a mess because of the concept of the "student" athlete.  In football, students are told to withdraw from certain classes before they begin because they are "too hard."  Unlike in basketball, the good players have to attend more than one semester of classes and getting bad grades can impact their eligibility going forward, and their NFL career subsequently.  I understand why schools want to coddle their prized athletes academically, but they are doing those kids a huge injustice by asking them to limit their brains to just football.  The biggest crime in this world is to limit someone's education and/or thinking power.  Especially if it is in the advancement of one's own position in college athletics. 

College basketball has become a joke when it comes to living up to the college half.  The best of the incoming talent to college basketball give less than 4 months of commitment to their academics and then do God-knows-what second semester (which ends after their athletic season is over).

The New Moneyball
The worst part about all of this is that the athletes have the audacity to complain that they are not getting paid, when they are missing out on the one thing that can serve as currency the rest of their lives: a free college education.  The fact that they do not see their education as a priceless entity shows how uneducated they really are.  I understand that kids who come from impoverished backgrounds don't see the education as a way to finance themselves when they can be making millions on a football field or basketball court.  If that is the case, and they want to try their hand at professional sports, then let them.  If they fall flat on their face, no one should feel sorry for them.  The NFL and NBA need to let players of all ages enter their leagues.  Natural selection will do the rest.  No one is saying that professional athletes can't also get an education, but they can then pay for it on their own with their professional salaries.  Use the scholarship money for those who seek an education, not a national championship.  Forcing kids to go to college is not working, so eliminate the force. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What I Think I Know: NFL week 3

For all of those who took my advice last week, you're welcome (3-1 + correct eliminator selection that also covered the spread).  Week 3 is here and there are some very interesting games coming up, betting-wise.  If you are still in eliminator pools, my choice (and the obvious one) is San Diego vs. KC.  It's not rocket science yet because it is still early in the season and the good teams will still be available for you to pick, not to mention it is safe to go with the highest (15) point spread of the week.  Line-makers in Vegas pay their mortgages with these lines so you can feel safe following their lead.  Now for the more difficult lines.
Go Chargers, GO!

You Can Bet On It:

Detroit Lions (-4) @ Minnesota Vikings: I don't know if you've received the memo, but the Lions are really good.  Quarterback Matthew Stafford is tied with Tom Brady with 7 passing TD, plus he has 1 rushing TD.  Wide receiver Calvin Johnson has looked unstoppable and is being supported nicely by fellow wideout Nate Burleson, running back Jahvid Best, and tight ends Brandon Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler.  Final score: Detroit 27, Minnesota 17

New England Patriots (-9) @ Buffalo Bills: The Bills have been a cute story so far t his NFL season.  However,  the machine that is the Patriots offense comes to town this week, and Buffalo's defense has not looked up to snuff as of yet.  Buffalo's only chance to win this game is by outscoring New England and we all know that that is not happening.  I anticipate the Patriots getting off to a torrid start in this game and never looking back.  Final Score: New England 42, Buffalo 28.

Green Bay Packers (-4) @ Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler still has a raspy voice due to a vicious hit to the throat he took last week against New Orleans.  Unfortunately for Cutler and the Bears, Clay Matthews and the rest of the Packers defense led by sackmaster-general Dom Capers are coming to town.  Chicago's offensive line was a big concern coming into this season.  Enough so that they chose Gabe Carimi in the first round of this year's draft.  Guess what?  Carimi is out for this game, delivering another blow to the Bears offensive line.  Final Score: Green Bay 31, Chicago 20.

Carolina Panthers (-4) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: Never thought I'd say this, but how good is Cam Newton?  I don't think I've whiffed more on someone than I have on Cam, and he hasn't even won a game yet.  As expected, Newton made some rookie mistakes last week, but he was able to jump out to a lead against the super bowl champion Green Bay Packers defense last week.  Oh yeah, he went over 400 yards passing again.  Now, translate his efforts against what is a pathetic Jacsonville Jaguars team that will also be starting a rookie quarterback in Blaine Gabbert.  Final score: Carolina 24, Jacksonville Jaguars: 12.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What I Think I Know: NFL Week 2

Week 1 was great and week 2, on paper, looks even better.  For everyone in eliminator pools, choose Pittsburgh (I know you didn't choose them last week because they lost).  Not only is it the highest spread (14 1/2), but it just makes the most sense.

You Can Bet On It: I'm introducing this new segment every Saturday for everyone to place at their favorite betting establishment.  Please be responsible for I am not omnipotent, but I'm pretty good.  Lets get started:

Detroit Lions (-8) vs Kansas City Chiefs: This line started at -6, but with safety Eric Berry now out for the year in Kansas City, there will be nothing stopping the Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson connection in Detroit.  Look for big days from Stafford, Johnson, and the rest of the Detroit offense as Kansas City continues to struggle to find its 2010 form.
Oakland Raiders (+4) @ Buffalo Bills: Oakland may not win this game, but their defense will keep them close.  As impressive as Buffalo's offense was last week, Ryan Fitzpatrick will not be given as much time to throw with the likes of Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelley constantly chasing him.  We will find out how tough the Bills are because one thing Oakland will certainly do is punch them in the mouth, literally.
St. Louis Rams (+7) @ New York Giants: St. Louis got a little humiliated by the Eagles last week, but the Giants are not nearly as good.  Once again, don't go crazy and pick the Rams to win (even though I personally think they will), but take the massive 7 points.  Eli Manning looks lost without Steve Smith on third downs and the Rams can get after the quarterback (head coach Steve Spagnuolo was the defensive coordinator for the Giants pass rush that battered Tom Brady in the Super Bowl).

Atlanta Falcons (+3) vs. Philadelphia: Classic home underdog situation.  Throw in the fact that 0-1 teams  desperately do not want to go 0-2 and play that way.  Oh yeah, Mike Vick returns to Atlanta, and the Falcons want to send a message that they are better without Vick.  Look for Atlanta to win this game and for Matt Ryan to continue his home dominance in the regular season.  The fact that Atlanta is getting a field goal is a nice safety net, though.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Top 5 Storylines From 9/11/11

5.  I will never forget: How much America has commercialized a tragedy.  America did the equivalent of posting post break up song lyrics.  Nothing says "I'm over you" like showcasing keepsakes and reminders.  Instead of paying hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars to a private company that is doing well financially, why not use that money to help the people that were actually effected by 9/11?  As of now, all yesterday did for the people that were ACTUALLY effected was give them a public, painful reminder with zero benefit.  If I have to see another Budweiser Clydesdale commercial with the horses kneeling I'm going to take an ice pick and shove it into my retina.

4.  Peyton Manning won the MVP: by not even playing.  How bad were the Colts?  Offensively, they were anemic, and defensively they were worse.  There may not be another team in the league that is built around one person more than the Colts, and it showed.  In the long run, Houston is not that good and Indy is not that bad, but good for the Texans for making a statement that they are the class of the AFC south this year.  Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear rips your neck off.

3.  If you are selling the Cowboys stock, I'm buying.  Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys were dominating one of the best defenses in the NFL.  Playing the Giants depleted defense and the Redskins mediocre defense will make the Cowboys look like an all-pro team.  If you can buy low on Tony Romo or anyone on the Dallas offense in fantasy football, do it.  Tony Romo can make you look ridiculous for not believing in him.

2.  Cam Newton looked fantastic: against one of the worst pass defenses from last year that has lost almost all of its veteran leadership from its super bowl contending team a few years ago.  If I were a Carolina supporter, I would be cautiously optimistic, but remember: YOU STILL LOST.  The Panthers ran the same play the Titans ran at the end of Super Bowl XXXIV, and got the same result: coming up one yard short.

1.  Who was that team playing the Chiefs?  And what did they do with the Buffalo Bills?  Often feeling like I've been given the short end of the stick, I am forced to watch the Bills every week, but the Bills shocked, awed, and bludgeoned the Kansas City Chiefs.  Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like Jim Kelly, Fred Jackson looked like Thurman Thomas, and Stevie Johnson looked like Andre Reed.  I will be the first person to say that I whiffed on that game and it cost me money, and probably eliminated a lot of people from eliminator pools.

Friday, September 9, 2011

NFL Future Bets

The NFL debuted last night with a ravaging game filled with touchdowns and excitement.  I apologize for the lateness of my NFL futures bets, but here they are nonetheless.

Detroit over 7 1/2: The once lowly lions would be a disappointment at 8-8, and that would still cover the 7 1/2 line.  I have Detroit making the playoffs in my NFL predictions so this seemed like the most obvious of all of the future bets

San Diego over 9 1/2: I'm not just saying this because they are my beloved Chargers.  San Diego is still the class of the AFC west and I don't think the new kickoff rules help anyone more than the Chargers.  Fewer special teams plays mean more time that the no. 1 offense and defense get to flex their muscle.  The now trendy superbowl pick will easily go 10-6 and possibly even 12-4.  No one else gets to play both Denver and Oakland twice besides Kansas City, who has an otherwise brutal schedule.

Houston over 8 1/2: This is the year that Gary Kubiak and the Texans break on through to the other side...of the playoffs.  With Peyton Manning now out for an extended period of time, Houston gets first crack at the Manning-less Colts and should win and carry that momentum to a 10-6 season.

Washington over 6: I'm not saying that Washington is going to be great (especially having one of the most racist team names), but I only see the Eagles competing for the playoffs from this division.  Head Coach Mike Shanahan can run the football with anyone, and Tim Hightower has looked good so far.  Washington will find its way to 7-9 or 8-8.  I also wouldn't be surprised with a push at 6-10.

Carolina under 4 1/2: Having been forced to watch Carolina's third preseason game featuring the one and only Cam Newton, there is no way this team wins 5 games.  Now that Newton is officially getting paid, he has the weight of professional-sized expectations on his shoulders that will weigh him and the Panthers down to, at best, a 4-12 season.

Cincinnati under 5 1/2: Owner Mike Brown has created an absolute mess in Cincinnati.  It was only a few years ago that Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson, and Cedric Benson were changing the culture in Cincy to that of a winning franchise, but Mike Brown has collapsed any foundation they created by consistently terrible decisions.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What I Think I Know: NFL Predictions

The weather may be outright destructive in the northeast, but the NFL season starts tonight, and no sports fan could be happier.  However, ESPN's Mike Greenberg has put the kibosh on both the Philadelphia Eagles and my beloved San Diego Chargers by picking them in the super bowl.  My season is over before it even began, but I will still offer my predictions for everyone to criticize when they go horribly wrong. 








Analysis: I am bucking a few trends in my predictions.  Only having four different teams in the playoffs (Arizona, Detroit, San Diego, and Houston) than last year is a departure from the traditional five new teams. With the lockout robbing teams of OTA's and coach/player interaction, especially with younger teams (like St. Louis), continuity will be much more valuable this year than in years past.  With that being said, I am contradicting myself with the Texans and their switch to the 3-4 defense, Arizona with the newly-acquired Kevin Kolb at the helm, and some would argue that Detroit is still a young team.  A veteran team that is noticeably absent from my playoff picture are the Indianapolis Colts.  Neck injuries are scary: neck injuries to the face of the franchise are outright terrifying.  When the medical term "nerve regeneration" is discussed  without any kind of certainty, I begin to question whether Peyton Manning will play at all this season.  Sure, the Colts believe that the "next man up" will perform well, but Kerry Collins was unemployed three weeks ago, and now is leading the Colts into this NFL season.  Ouch.  Last year, I was very big on the Detroit Lions to finish 8-8, and they should have gone 9-7 if not for a blown call in week 1 against the Bears.  This year, Detroit pushes its way into the playoffs.  Unfortunately, they meet Mike Vick and the Eagles "dream team" in the first round, and the Eagles will spank them so hard, they won't sit down for weeks.

Why Baltimore?  Ray Rice is going to go nuts this year.  The signing of Vonta Leach as Rice's lead blocker will not go unnoticed this year.  As a Chargers fan, I know the value of a fullback (Lorenzo Neal).  Haloti Ngata has also lost a significant amount of weight and looks to be a force on the inside of Baltimore's defense.  It's not a secret that teams that can run the ball and stop the run do very well, and Baltimore can do both of those things and have the veteran leadership to overcome the hardships that the lockout created.

Enjoy the fantastic opener tonight between the last two super bowl champions.  I think the NFL should make that a tradition to pit the previous two super bowl champions against each other in the first game of the NFL season.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fantasy Friends Draft Recap: Part 1

It was a dark Sunday evening. Papers piled high next to not one, not two, but three laptops on the coffee table. The clock struck 9:30PM, and then all of those resources were useless: the most competitive fantasy football draft I've ever been a part of had begun. There were twists and turns from pick 1 until pick 288. I had the pleasure and misery of picking fifth amongst this all-star cast of characters. My picks will be in CAPS and will most likely be the worst of each round.

Round 1:

1. Toole: Ray Rice, RB Baltimore

2. Kingston: Tom Brady, QB New England

3. Rzepka: Adrian Peterson, RB Minnesota

4. Mertz: Aaron Rodgers, QB Green Bay


6. Bateman: Michael Vick, QB Philadelphia

7. Andrade: Jamaal Charles, RB Kansas City

8. Heim: Drew Brees, QB New Orleans

9. Stanton: Chris Johnson, RB Tennessee

10. Alsip: LeSean McCoy, RB Philadelphia

11. Last: Maurice Jones-Drew, RB Jacksonville

12. Ortiz: Andre Johnson, WR Houston

My pick: There wasn't a single tweet that could scare me from taking Foster at pick 5. The potential upside of a consensus #1 pick until a few days ago was too much to pass up. I was shocked to see not one, but two quarterbacks already taken in the top 4 picks. It's clear that the 6 points per passing touchdown in this league was valued more highly than the 1/2 point per reception. My goal of nabbing one of the top quarterbacks in the third round was looking to be foiled.

The Rest of the Round: Toole started the draft with my original target for pick 5 in Ray Rice. We had engaged in conversations about switching draft positions but could not agree on which extra pick would be necessary in compensation. Regardless, we were on the same wavelength on who to take first. Immediately after selecting Rice, Toole posted "let the hate begin." No hate here. First surprise came at pick #2 with Tom Brady being taken as the first QB by Kingston. He was talking about taking a QB first and he stuck by his position. The strategy of taking QB first was a popular one with three more QB's being taken in the first round, which left a number of quality RB/WR options available in round 2.

Round 2:

13. Ortiz: Roddy White, WR Atlanta

14. Last: Calvin Johnson, WR Detroit

15. Alsip: Phillip Rivers, QB San Diego

16. Stanton: Darren McFadden, RB Oakland

17. Heim: Rashard Mendenhall, RB Pittsburgh

18. Andrade: Frank Gore, RB San Francisco

19. Bateman: Greg Jennings, WR Green Bay


21. Mertz: Steven Jackson, RB St. Louis

22. Rzepka: Larry Fitzgerald, WR Arizona

23. Kingston: Michael Turner, RB Atlanta

24. Toole: Hakeem Nicks, WR New York (n)

My Pick: Hillis was my preferred target in the second round and I got him. I now have the recently injured Foster and the “cursed” Madden coverboy in Hillis. Curses, like rules, were made to be broken so I had no fear in taking the best biceps in football. My only debate was taking Larry Fitzgerald with my pick but I have always had the philosophy to never let a RB who catches passes and gets goal-line touches go, and I stuck to it.

The Rest of the Round: Alsip upset me a little bit by taking Rivers, who I wanted in the third round, but overall this round went as planned. Andrade had to be pleased that his team consisted of Gore and Charles, two great PPR options at RB. Bateman decided to go QB, WR in the first two rounds respectively, which has proven to not be the most successful strategy in the past, but Bateman has a great track record of out-of-the-box thinking to get him into the playoffs, so I will reserve judgment.

Round 3:

25. Toole: Mike Wallace, WR Pittsburgh

26. Kingston: Vincent Jackson, WR San Diego

27. Rzepka: Matt Forte, RB Chicago

28. Mertz: Reggie Wayne, WR Indianapolis


30. Bateman: Ahmad Bradshaw, RB New York (n)

31. Andrarde: Dwayne Bowe, WR Kansas City

32. Heim: Miles Austin, WR Dallas

33. Stanton: DeSean Jackson, WR Philadelphia

34. Alsip: Knowshon Moreno, RB Denver

35. Last: DeAngelo Williams, RB Carolina

36. Ortiz: LeGarrette Blount, RB Tampa Bay

My Pick: My plan was to take Mike Wallace or Matt Forte here, but Toole and Rzepka ruined that plan so I went with Gates over Bowe because I give the PPR edge to Gates. I typically punt the TE position, but this year I see value in the TE considering the ½ point per reception.

The Rest of the Round: Have to love what Rzepka is doing grabbing Peterson, Fitzgerald, and Forte in the first three rounds. He has learned previous miscues and ignored taking any Buffalo Bills multiple rounds too early. Bateman had to be tickled pink seeing that Ahmad Bradshaw was still available to fill his RB1 slot, but Alsip grabbed one of my early round sleepers in Moreno who will benefit greatly from new head coach John Fox’s running system in Denver.

Round 4

37. Ortiz: Matt Schaub, QB Houston

38. Last: Peyton Manning, QB Indianapolis

39. Alsip: Mike Williams, WR Tampa Bay

40. Stanton: Josh Freeman, QB Tampa Bay

41. Heim: BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB New England

42. Andrade: Ben Roethlisberger, QB Pittsburgh

43. Bateman: Jason Witten, TE Dallas


45. Mertz: Chris “Beanie” Wells, RB Arizona

46. Rzepka: Marques Colston, WR New Orleans

47. Kingston: Jeremy Maclin, WR Philadelphia

48. Toole: Felix Jones, RB Dallas

My Pick: I am not satisfied with the available WR and thought that Felix Jones would make it back to me in round five, so I decided to corner the market on TE and draft Clark for my FLEX spot. Some may see all of the Colts as a risk, but when Peyton Manning does return healthy they will be valuable trade commodities. I do not intend to keep two top tight ends on my roster the entire season.

The Rest of the Round: Ortiz took who I wanted in Matt Schaub at pick 37 to accompany his first round selection of Andre Johnson, a dangerous duo. As expected, there was a run on QBs, but the selections of Freeman and Roethlisberger were a little too early for my taste. Interesting side note, the three main guys in Tampa Bay (Freeman, Blount, and Williams) all went within four picks of each other.

Round 5

49. Toole: Wes Welker, WR New England

50. Kingston: Jermichael Finley, TE Green Bay

51. Rzepka: Fred Jackson, RB Buffalo

52. Mertz: Ryan Mathews, RB San Diego


54. Bateman: Vernon Davis, TE San Francisco

55. Andrade: Brandon Marshall, WR Miami

56. Heim: Owen Daniels, TE Houston

57. Stanton: Steve Johnson, WR Buffalo

58. Alsip: Santonio Holmes, WR New York (a)

59. Last: Lee Evans, WR Baltimore

60. Ortiz: Jahvid Best, RB Detroit

My Pick: I got very fortunate to see Dez Bryant fall all the way to pick 53 so I could fill my WR1 slot. I figured that someone was going to take Bryant between my previous pick at 44 and this one at 53. My only other consideration was to take Ryan Mathews, but Mertz made my decision very easy when he selected the second year running back for my beloved Chargers.

The Rest of the Round: Toole made a fantastic value selection by taking the receiver with the most receptions since 2007 in Wes Welker. Naturally, Rzepka needed to fill his quota of Buffalo Bills on his team so he took Fred Jackson. The one big surprise of the draft was Last taking Lee Evans. Evans has shown some great things for Baltimore this preseason after being traded there from Buffalo, but taking him above his counterpart in Anquan Boldin was a bold move. Can’t wait to see how that pans out.

Round 6

61. Ortiz: Shonn Greene, RB New York (a)

62. Last: Brandon Lloyd, WR Denver

63. Alsip: Cedric Benson, RB Cincinnati

64. Stanton: Pierre Thomas, RB New Orleans

65. Heim: Anquan Boldin, WR Baltimore

66. Andrade: Ryan Grant, RB Green Bay

67. Bateman: Jonathan Stewart, RB Carolina


69. Mertz: Marcedes Lewis, TE Jacksonville

70. Rzepka: Matt Ryan, QB Atlanta

71. Kingston: Mike Tolbert, RB San Diego

72. Toole: Mark Ingram, RB New Orleans

My Pick: Could not ask for more than to follow up my pick of Dez Bryant with the selection of Tony Romo. I’m sure this pick was much to the dismay of Rzepka who was also looking for a QB. Only other consideration was to take another WR but there were plenty still on the board that I wanted so I decided to wait.

The Rest of the Round: Kudos to Alsip who took the underappreciated Cedric Benson. Fantasy wise, Benson is one of the few RB options that does not have any competition for carries. Last year, if I told you that Ryan Grant was a sixth round pick, you would have laughed me. This year, Andrade grabs a steal in the Green Bay lead back. Heim also found value in this round taking Anquan Boldin.

Round 7

73. Toole: Percy Harvin, WR Minnesota

74. Kingston: Austin Collie, WR Indianapolis

75. Rzepka: Tim Hightower, RB Washington

76. Mertz: Mario Manningham, WR New York (n)


78. Bateman: Plaxico Burress, WR New York (a)

79. Andrade: Chad Ochocinco, WR New England

80. Heim: Joseph Addai, RB Indianapolis

81. Stanton: Kenny Britt, WR Tennessee

82. Alsip: Daniel Thomas, RB Miami

83. Last: Sidney Rice, WR Seattle

84. Ortiz: Pierre Garcon, WR Indianapolis

My Pick: Santana Moss was my consolation prize after Rzepka selected Hightower. Not a bad WR2, but also not a good one. This is definitely the weakness of my starting lineup on offense.

The Rest of the Round: Mertz could no longer go by seeing his beloved Giants be drafted by other players so he grabbed Manningham. Kenny Britt fell all the way to Stanton at 81, so he got great value there. Sidney Rice was a good value pick by Last because if Rice plays like he did two years ago in Minnesota, Last will do some damage in this league.

Round 8

85. Ortiz: Marshawn Lynch, RB Seattle

86. Last: Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB Buffalo

87. Alsip: Joe Flacco, QB Buffalo

88. Stanton: Kellen Winslow, TE Tampa Bay

89. Heim: Brandon Jacobs, RB New York (n)

90. Andrade: Jerod Mayo, LB New England

91. Bateman: Michael Bush, LB Oakland


93. Mertz: Eli Manning, QB New York (n)

94. Rzepka: Malcom Floyd, WR San Diego

95. Kingston: Ray Lewis, LB Baltimore

96. Toole: Matthew Stafford, QB Detroit

My Pick: Another consolation prize after Ortiz selected Lynch at pick 85. Moore does stand to gain the most from Reggie Bush’s departure. The speedy receiver will get more bubble screens and opportunities to hit the big play in the passing game. Also, for a small receiver, he catches a lot of balls in the red-zone.

The Rest of the Round: We get our first taste of defensive players! And none of them are named Patrick Willis! Needless to say, I am surprised. Andrade keeps up his reputation from last year being the first guy to draft a defensive player, but instead of drafting Willis (like he did last year), he goes with Mayo. Kingston follows suit by going with whom he calls, “Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Murderers.” Mertz is not satisfied with one Giant so he makes it two in a row with the truncated version of his last pick of Manningham in Eli Manning. Toole finally drafts a QB in Stafford. If Stafford can stay healthy, Toole will have a great chance to win the league.

Round 9

97. Toole: Jimmy Graham, TE New Orleans

98. Kingston: Ndamukong Suh, DT Detroit

99. Rzepka: Julio Jones, WR Atlanta

100. Mertz: Steve Smith, WR Carolina


102. Bateman: Roy Williams, WR Chicago

103. Andrade: James Starks, RB Green Bay

104. Heim: Braylon Edwards, WR San Francisco

105. Stanton: Patrick Willis, LB San Francisco

106. Alsip: James Harrison, LB Pittsburgh

107. Last: C.J. Spiller, Buffalo

108. Ortiz: A.J. Green, Cincinnati

My Pick: This is a pick that I look at in shame. Mike Thomas is not very good, and I had the opportunity to take Patrick Willis, but I blew it. Hopefully this pick will not bite me in the butt too much.

Rest of the Round: Stanton grabs Willis at pick 105 and will be a thorn in my side all season. Alsip following Willis up with Harrison was a good idea, as well. Unlike in the real-life NFL draft, A.J. Green gets drafted after Julio Jones. Andrade correctly grabs the handcuff to his Ryan Grant pick in James Starks. This was one of the few rounds where I really think I made the worst selection.

Round 10

109. Ortiz: Johnny Knox, WR Chicago

110. Last: Zach Miller, TE Seattle

111. Alsip: Greg Olsen, TE Carolina

112. Stanton: Reggie Bush, RB Miami

113. Heim: Hines Ward, WR Pittsburgh

114. Andrade: Visanthe Shiancoe, TE Minnesota

115. Bateman: LaDanian Tomlinson, RB New York (a)


117. Mertz: Davone Bess, WR Miami

118. Rzepka: Kevin Kolb, QB Arizona

119. Kingston: Paul Posluszny, LB Jacksonville

120. Toole: Danny Amendola, WR St. Louis

My Pick: Justin Tuck is the best defensive-line option in fantasy and I grabbed him. I was very happy to see him still available after the run on defensive players.

The Rest of the Round: Everyone in this round made great selections. I particularly loved Alsip’s choice of Greg Olsen, Stanton’s pick of Reggie Bush, and Mertz’s pick of Davone Bess, even though I’m sure he would have loved to have had Tuck.

Round 11

121. Toole: Sam Bradford, QB St. Louis

122. Kingston: Mark Sanchez, QB New York (a)

123. Rzepka: Rob Gronkowski, TE New England

124. Mertz: Trent Cole, DE Philadelphia


126. Bateman: Robert Meachem, WR New Orleans

127. Andrade: Clay Matthews, LB Green Bay

128. Heim: Tony Gonzalez, TE Atlanta

129. Stanton: Jordy Nelson, WR Green Bay

130. Alsip: LaRon Landry, S Washington

131. Last: James Jones, WR Green Bay

132. Ortiz: Jerome Harrison, RB Detroit

My Pick: Now was as good a time as any to find a backup QB given the run on the second-tier QB’s in the recent rounds so I went with Cutler. Hopefully the one week he has to play for me he will not throw 5 interceptions.

The Rest of the Round: A few picks didn’t make much sense to me, like Rzepka selecting Rob Gronkowski over Aaron Hernandez and others at tight end. Tony Gonzalez was another puzzler when Brandon Pettigrew was still available, but Kingston took the cake selecting Mark Sanchez. As a Patriots fan, he should be shunned for owning both Brady and Sanchez.

Round 12

133. Ortiz: Ryan Torain, RB Washington

134. Last: Brandon Pettigrew, TE Detroit

135. Alsip: Stephen Tulloch, LB Detroit

136. Stanton: Willis McGahee, RB Denver

137. Heim: Danny Woodhead, RB New England

138. Andrade: Jared Allen, DE Minnesota

139. Bateman: Denarius Moore, WR Oakland


141. Mertz: Lawrence Timmons, LB Pittsburgh

142. Rzepka: Matt Cassel, QB Kansas City

143. Kingston: Charles Woodson, CB Green Bay

144. Toole: Terrell Suggs, DE/LB Baltimore

My Pick: Berry showed why the Chiefs selected him in the top-5 two years ago in the real-life NFL draft. I’m wicked excited to add him to my team and see him get tons of tackles after Antonio Gates beats him on some post routes.

Rest of the Round: We started to see the transition to building the defensive rosters in this draft. Kingston taking Woodson and Toole taking Suggs were particularly nice picks. Timmons and Tulloch are no slouches by Mertz and Alsip, respectively.