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Friday, July 29, 2005

Pay for Play

I like the stance Maurice Clarett took in making his contract. He waived the guaranteed money in favor of an incentive based contract. If this work to his advantage, he can be paid like a first round pick. If not, then the Bronco's risk is next to nothing. He is essentially putting his money where his mouth is and it is a stretch because no one knows right now how much time he will spend on the field. The Bronco's are notorious when it comes to letting everyone and anyone run, but to make the bonus or incentive clauses in the contract, Clarett needs to see turf time.

I like this approach, because it make the player play harder to reach those clauses. Even if the team is out of the playoff picture, then the player still needs to put up numbers to get his money. I guess T.O. should have done something like that, then there is no talk about "out performing" a contract. Maybe this type of contract, if it works, will start a new wave for the future.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Ahhhh, a fresh season begins with training camps underway in the NFL. Most camps start next week, but some started this week. Time for the two a days and talent evaluations. Time for rookies to show their stuff and perhaps a walk-on surprise. We can learn a lot for our potential drafts by following the training camp information and checking out pre-season matchups. The 3rd game is where you get the best idea of the squad for each team - so pay attention to that one. It will show, in most cases, who will make the team and who is performing well. Also note from the games and camp key injuries to the skill positions and the lines. If a linemen goes down and he is a good one you could end up with poor performance from a RB - see Portis last year. On defense it may spell trouble for the offense if the D can not stop the ball.
Breathe in the fresh air and visit a camp near you - most are accessible to the public and it is a great chance to get up close and personal.

Initial TE Rankings - July 27, 2005

Here are the Initial Tight End Rankings for 2005. We will update them periodically based on news and training camp data.

1. Tony Gonzalez
2. Antonio Gates
3. Jason Witten
3. Jeremy Shockey
5. Randy McMichael
6. Alge Crumpler
7. Dallas Clark
8. Todd Heap
9. Ben Troupe
10. Eric Johnson
11. Erron Kinney
12. Jeb Putzier
13. L.J. Smith
14. Marcus Pollard
15. Jerramy Stevens
16. Freddie Jones
17. Bubba Franks
18. Chris Cooley
19. Doug Jolley
20. Daniel Graham
21. Jermaine Wiggins
22. Kris Wilson
23. Courtney Anderson
24. Mark Campbell
25. Heath Miller
26. Matt Schobel
27. Steve Heiden
28. Ben Hartsock
29. Aaron Shea
30. Eric Edwards

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Initial WR Rankings - July 26, 2005

Here are the Initial Wide Receiver Rankings for 2005. We will update them periodically based on news and training camp data.

1. Randy Moss
2. Torry Holt
3. Terrell Owens
4. Joe Horn
5. Marvin Harrison
6. Chad Johnson
7. Javon Walker
8. Reggie Wayne
9. Darrell Jackson
10. Andre Johnson
11. Michael Clayton
12. Drew Bennett
13. Hines Ward
14. Roy Williams
15. Nate Burleson
16. Donald Driver
17. Anquan Boldin
18. Isaac Bruce
19. Jimmy Smith
20. Chris Chambers
21. Steve Smith
22. Eric Moulds
23. Laveranues Coles
24. Rod Smith
25. Lee Evans
26. T.J. Houshmandzadeh
27. Ashley Lelie
28. Muhsin Muhammad
29. Jerry Porter
30. Larry Fitzgerald
31. Derrick Mason
32. Deion Branch
33. Eddie Kennison
34. Plaxico Burress
35. Donte Stallworth
36. Charles Rogers
37. Keary Colbert
38. Brandon Lloyd
39. Amani Toomer
40. David Givens
41. Keyshawn Johnson
42. Brandon Stokley
43. Justin McCareins
44. Santana Moss
45. Joey Galloway
46. Antwaan Randle El
47. Kevin Curtis
48. Andre Davis
49. Keenan McCardell
50. Terry Glenn
51. Troy Williamson
52. Reche Caldwell
53. Bobby Engram
54. Peerless Price
55. Todd Pinkston
56. Marty Booker
57. Mike Williams
58. Darius Watts
59. David Patten
60. Samie Parker

Monday, July 25, 2005

Initial RB Rankings July-25-2005

Here are the Initial Running Back Rankings for 2005. We will update them periodically based on news and training camp data.

1. LaDainian Tomlinson
2. Priest Holmes
3. Edgerrin James
4. Shaun Alexander
5. Tiki Barber
6. Brian Westbrook
7. Deuce McAllister
8. Clinton Portis
9. Domanick Davis
10. Kevin Jones
11. Willis McGahee
12. Corey Dillon
13. Julius Jones
14. Rudi Johnson
15. Ahman Green
16. Curtis Martin
17. Jamal Lewis
18. Tatum Bell
19. Chris Brown
20. Warrick Dunn
21. Fred Taylor
22. J.J. Arrington
23. Steven Jackson
24. Lamont Jordan
25. Kevan Barlow
26. Lee Suggs
27. Duce Staley
28. Carnell Williams
29. Thomas Jones
30. Larry Johnson
31. Ronnie Brown
32. DeShaun Foster
33. Cedric Benson
34. Michael Bennett
35. Michael Pittman
36. Derrick Blaylock
37. Jerome Bettis
38. Kevin Faulk
39. Mewelde Moore
40. Marshall Faulk

WR, TE and overall 200 still to come.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Average Draft Position

What if you had the knowledge of how thousands of other people drafted players in a Fantasy draft utilizing the same type of rosters and similar scoring systems? Would it be worth something? Of course it would. The average position tool is a wonderful and helpful feature of AntSports they have so many helpful tools over there including the average draft tool, mock drafting tool and for the hardcore folks a serious mock draft. They are FREE and I recommend checking them out - they even offer leagues.
Using the average position tool will assist you in evaluating value of players at positions within a draft. They will help you gauge when a player is likely to go. Something to check in on for sure during your preparation. You can check all positions or just by individual position. Educate yourself - be prepared.
AntSports Fantasy Football Leagues Recommended!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Terrell Says - "I Don't Really Have to Play for the Eagles"

That is interesting Terrell, why do you think that you don't have to play for them? Sure you can not play at all or play for them - you are under contract. When will you learn to keep your mouth shut - one day it is 50-50 you will be in camp the next is you don't have to play for the Eagles. All the crap you pulled to get out of your situation in SF and it was your situation not having the papers filed and forcing a trade, and someone took a chance based on your word - and now you are just being you. Sure you are talented and any team would want you, but why weren't they beating your door down last year? If I recall only 2 or 3 suitors called on you. Do you really think that opening your trap everyday in the media gains you support? I don't think any team wants to deal with the headache of T.O. - it is just not worth it. Sure you may help them win a few games, but in the end as San Fran knows and now Philly...T.O. is just not worth it. I hope the Eagles keep holding you to the contract - hold out if you want - you are right, you don't have to play for the Eagles - you don't have to play at all - and I am sure that is what is best for your family. I am sure all of the people that read your saga feel sorry for you and your family that you only stand to make 3+ million this year. Could have made a ton more in endorsement deals had you and your agent kept your collective mouths shut. Oh, well it is your life and career - enjoy your legacy. Why not do everyone a favor and pull a Ricky Williams - retire now - let this be all you are about - just please shut up.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Initial QB Rankings - July 21, 2005

Here are the Initial Quarterback Rankings for 2005. We will update them periodically based on news and training camp data.

1. Peyton Manning
2. Donovan McNabb
3. Marc Bulger
4. Daunte Culpepper
5. Kerry Collins
6. Jake Plummer
7. Brett Favre
8. Trent Green
9. Aaron Brooks
10. Matt Hasselbeck
11. Michael Vick
12. Tom Brady
13. Drew Brees
14. Carson Palmer
15. Chad Pennington
16. David Carr
17. Byron Leftwich
18. Jake Delhomme
19. Brian Griese
20. Steve McNair
21. Drew Bledsoe
22. Ben Roethlisberger
23. Eli Manning
24. Kurt Warner
25. Patrick Ramsey
26. Kyle Boller
27. Trent Dilfer
28. J.P. Losman
29. Gus Frerotte
30. Rex Grossman
31. Joey Harrington
32. Alex Smith

Comments are welcome. Initial Running Backs, Wide receiver and Tight End to come...

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Ricky Williams - Cleared To Play

Ricky is back - still faces a 4 game suspension, but he is back. Well almost - maybe this is a cruel trick the Dolphins are playing on him to get him back. Just think - he is cleared to play and is going to camp. He suffers through camp and then they cut him - revenge is sweet. Who knows - apparently new coach Saban and Williams are buddy - buddy. One has to wonder what role this means for him in the offense as the fins drafted a young back in Ronnie Brown and would expect him to play - Say that the Dolphins don't sign Brown and Williams is out for 4 games that is a big hole to fill - if they sign Brown, do they also need Ricky? Interesting stuff going on in Florida. Once again just like in Tennessee it muddies the fantasy running back situation - we will keep an eye on developments through camp and keep you posted.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Tops at Their Spots?

Are the players below really tops at their spots? Are they still the kings of their proverbial hills? We will begin exploring the reasons why they are still the ones to beat or if they have seen better days.

Quarterback – The Colts, Peyton Manning.
Peyton had a tremendous year last year breaking the TD record held for so long by Dan Marino. Should he still be the top QB? Absolutely, unless this is a playoff fantasy league, that is. The only one that was in a position to knock him off this perch was Dante Culpepper – he may still have all the tools to do so, but has lost his main man in Randy. The Colts still have the core of the offense from last year. They should be in position once again to score early and often – On the 2 yard line…run or pass? With Peyton and the Colts – I think we found that answer out last year.

Running Back – The Chargers, LaDainian Tomlinson.
LaDainian is the top ranked RB, but this is clearly a battle now, Especially if Shaun Alexander gets a long term deal and if Priest Holmes can stay healthy. Tomlinson, once the entire Charger offense has seen his play count and points erode as the team gets better. The emergence of Antonio Gates has removed some touchdowns from his arsenal, and he did not break as many long runs as he used to last year. If Alexander gets the deal he is looking for he should probably go first – sorry LaDainian, but second or third isn’t so bad – it is that underdog role you love to play so much.

Wide Reciever – The Raiders, Randy Moss.
New Team, New Moss? No way – Moss will want his touches and Al Davis loves the vertical game…that is a marriage made in heaven. Collins can throw the deep ball – not nearly as good as Culpepper, but Randy just needs it in the vicinity. Moss is still the top guy. Terrell Owens will most likely hold out and even if he did play the relationship between him and McNabb may lead to some classic TO stunts detracting from the game, but if he shows up he could challenge Moss for the title. Harrison is a team man and does not get the numbers he used to. I think Chad Johnson could contend – especially if he and Palmer are more comfortable with each other.

Tight End – The Chiefs, Tony Gonzales.
Gonzo has been the top ranked tight end in fantasy for many years – and usually it is justified. He has a tough year last year and some new contenders are in the mix – Antonio Gates and Jason Witten. Gates put up amazing numbers for a rookie and earned the trust of Drew Brees in the process. Jason Witten put up some real good games at the end of the season – this year new QB. If Bledsoe can connect with him the way he used to connect to Ben Coates last time under Parcell…Hmmm. I still think that you have to give the nod to Gonzo – he is the man until proven otherwise, but Gates is hot on his heels now.

Travis Henry to the Titans?

I guess the Titans are not all that happy with Chris Brown. This further muddies the RB drafting waters. True, Chris Brown had the makings of a stud, but with all of the flash and dash he was injured quite a bit. I think that adding Henry as an insurance policy is wise from the ownership point of view, but moving a disgruntled backup from one location to another accomplishes what? Having him as a disgruntled backup on the Titans? Maybe there is some underlying condition with Brown that is not public yet. Once the trade is finalized and camp starts more information on this situation will become clear. Henry is good enough to start and will not be happy playing second fiddle anywhere. Chris Brown can not be happy with this vote of 'no confidence' in him either. Looks like an interesting camp for the Titans...

Friday, July 15, 2005

Tips for a Successful Draft Day

Just thought we would pass on some draft day tips since we will soon be entering the Fantasy drafting season...

1. Know your League.
This is probably the most important tip. If you know your league rules, scoring system, prizes and how it all works that is your first step.

2. Pre-Work.
Research everything, everything. Participate in mock drafts follow player / team news, check the rankings and cheatsheets, evaluate sleepers and busts create your own cheatsheet and crib notes on strategy - look at the average draft positions in leagues that score similar to yours.

3. BE PREPARED on draft day.
Bring your league fees, cheatsheets, magazines, pen / pencil (more than one), clipboard or hard book to write on, hi-lighter(s), folder to keep things private, drafting grids to keep track of your players. For the more technologically advanced leagues - bring a laptop, assuming your drafting site has a hot spot.

4. Fade into the background.
Actually there are two schools of thought on this, one is to fade into the background and the other is to annoy the hell out of the other owners by commenting on their picks, suggesting picks, throwing out false information on injuries, arrests, etc. Doing that may work for some, but typically you will do better to stick to business and keep a watchful eye on the other owners and know more than them. Know what they have drafted, what they need, etc. it may prove beneficial when your pick comes up and you know they need something.

5.Check your Bye Weeks.
There is nothing worse than finishing the draft and then noticing that you have bye week issues. I am not suggesting drafting by this alone - if there is a valuable player on the board, you have to take him. I am suggesting that if there are players on the board and you could go with one or the other then check the bye week.

6. Evaluate your draft position.
Yes, evaluate it based upon who you want to take in the next round - like chess, plan your moves ahead of time. Perhaps you know the next player you want will be gone by the time you pick again - think trade - moving up to get value while sacrificing other picks is a notable method to build the best team, just be careful not to give too much.

7. Draft the best players you can.
Don't team build. You've probably seen this before - a guy takes QB,RB,WR,TE then starts to get the second player at the positions needed. Draft the best guy on the board. Don't reach too early for your sleeper picks either.

8. Beer is your friend.
You can have one or two, but don't drink until the work is done. Get your buddies refills quickly. The more they drink the more bad picks they will make. Make sure to keep the fluids flowing and you will get them wasted, force them to use the facilities and end up with a better team.

9. Checking it Twice.
Make sure you double check your drafted team back to the draft board and the commish. Ensure you have all the contact information necessary for the season - you never know who you will be wheeling and dealing with.

10. It's supposed to be Fun!
Too many of us treat this as if it is a business. Many are uber-competitive. Winning is great, but it is about fun first. Getting too serious over anything fantasy leads to bad results. Remember to 'Keep it Real'.

Rankings, Sleepers and Busts all arriving next week...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Benefit of Mock Drafting

The most important part of your fantasy season is the draft. You only get one shot to draft the best team of players you can for free before you have to perform transactions to backfill injuries and hopefully get the surprise star of the season. Practice makes perfect and the best way to practice your draft is to join and complete a mock draft. What is a mock draft? A mock draft is essentially a draft mulligan - you can do it as many times as you like and see how the results differ. Join one that coincides with the majority of your league settings and scoring parameters. Once in you can follow the picks, pre-pick, or wait until you are notified in email that you are up. Then practice your selections. You can also use the sites that offer mock drafts to evaluate a players value and potential drafting position. That is an invaluable tool right there. The best part about this type of practice is that it is 100% FREE. Do yourself a favor and join up for a few mock drafts before you have to actually do it for real. The practice and information you get from it may give you the edge you need to win your league.
You can check out FREE Mock drafts at antsports from the link in this post or the link in the links section.
AntSports Fantasy Football Leagues

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

NFL Players and Papers

Does anyone in the NFL who plays watch or read the news? I have to wonder at times. There is always someone getting themselves in trouble with the law, drugs, abuse, felony, etc. I thought the NFL had programs in recent years to combat these behaviors. Don't the players themselves get tired of all of the negativism the new creates on their league and themselves? It seems to occur more and more lately, McMichael, Taylor, Winslow Jr., etc. The list goes on like a role call for an entire team.
Do they do it because they can not control their actions or do they do it thinking they are above the law, or maybe they think they can get away with it. I am sorry, but the "everybody's doing it defense" just won't cut it. Rarely does, if at all anyway. It is bad enough that the problems with the law get in the new, the other negative stuff rules headlines as well - the holdouts, contract negotiations, etc. It would be nice to see some highlights in the news of the good some players do - the good guys - you remember - Barry Sanders, LaDainian Tomlinson, Warrick Dunn, etc. The role call there could build a team too.
I am tired as a fan hearing others point things out that is wrong with the sport - it would be good to be able to hear about and come back with things that are good and great about the sport. Focusing on the positives of what the good guys do for once. You could get lucky and see a spot on a pre-game show, but some of the things these guys do is great - it is a shame to see it all overshadowed by the bad apples.

Hockey in 2005?

Sure looks like Hockey will make it's way back in 2005. A deal may be imminent including many rule changes? How will the fans react? Will Hockey get a similar backlash that Baseball did a decade ago? Can the tiny sport handle such a snubbing? Will they make it enough of a product that it can become a major sport again? Does anyone care?
Hockey is one of those things that you have to see live to enjoy - it does not translate well on to television - at least not yet. The rules keep changing and it makes it hard for people to "get it". All I know is that Nascar ratings beat the crap out of most all sports at this point. I don't "get that", let's watch cars race around in a circle, oops, oval and hope for a crash. I thought sport was something that required 100% person power. If that is it, then Hockey qualifies. These guys are in shape - much like basketball players. Football Players at the skill positions are as well, but the non-skill football and baseball players leave a lot to be desired - ever see a fat hockey player?
I for one would like to see Hockey again and like to see it thrive. It is a greuling sport that requires power and skill and all of that on a ice skates. Here is hoping it comes back new and improved.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Holdout Dreams

Some big name players are poised to hold out when training camp begins at the end of this month. I can see the want to hold out if you can versus doing two a day drills in the hot sun of summer. Today's players are in great physical condition so training camp is more about getting in tune with the team and playbook versus getting back in shape. The players who hold out will forego a weekly check and probably not miss that money. The real cash comes when the season starts. What are the other costs of holding out? Well you have the paycheck, reputation, possible endorsements, and the fan loyalty. The last one is something that the players don't care about at all, but will pander to the fans if it makes good press sense to do so.
The fans are the real losers in the hold out - the team suffers and thus the fan does. The team makes plans to go on without the names and potentially opens the door for a new, younger, hungrier player - that would be great - a guy holds out and the backup shines with the chance and the holdout player is forced to change their mind. Imagine Shaun Alexander holding out and Maurice Morris putting up better numbers than Alexander did - the team won't care, the fans will love it and Alexander will end his holdout just to get playing time. Can it happen? I am sure as fans we wish it was always the case. We would do anything to get the chance to play.
In Philadelphia, there could be two hold out scenario's - Corey Simon - who the Eagles traded and apparently Corey did not like the deal so it fell through with the Ravens and everyone's favorite holdout Terrell Owens - he will get all of the press for sure. No one cares about Corey Simon - what has he really done for the team to make him a stand out player - always a rookie or free agent to take his place. Owens - the Eagles really don't have anyone - drafted a WR and have Greg Lewis, but can they do the job? Can McNabb do the job without Owens? He did before, so why not now? If the WR's improve 10% and McNabb can utilize them - Owens will not be missed. Javon Walker in Green Bay - Please - where did he come from? He was hot and cold last year and had a more consistent year the year before - if Driver stays healthy then Farve will be fine - and he will force the ball to anyone who lines up.
Holding out benefits the pockets of the one who holds out. Maybe rightly so. In the case of Alexander - is the price of over $6 million not enough to play for? Owens? Sure you are in the 2nd year only making around $4 million with next year significantly higher - can't honor your signature on a contract and play? Perhaps you became too quick to sigh using the 'sharpie', but you did sign. It is a ton of cash, the kind no one who watches you play can ever hope to make - just play, play the game you love and win for your teams - not yourselves.

Monday, July 11, 2005


The supplemental draft. An additional chance for NFL teams to find that diamond in the ruff.

Does anyone ever? In our life the supplement is designed to enhance our well being. In the NFL the crop of individuals here will most likely not add the enhancement that the teams are looking for. The great example this year Manuel Wright - everyone is clamoring over him, yet he played only two seasons primarily as a backup. His bench press did not impress and the only thing going for him is the NFL number 1 ingredient - Speed - and lots of it - doing a sub 5.0 40 at that weight is astounding.

The draft may not offer much in the way of an enhancement for the NFL team, but it does give another chance (in most cases) to athletes that may have messed up or lost eligibility for some other reason or maybe a last shot for someone pursuing the dream. Getting picked up here is the first step for them - it requires a lot of work on their part to make this second chance work -, because they know this could be it for the NFL dream.

Perhaps your team can find that diamond in the ruff - and you can target a real sleeper for your fantasy league.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Surreal NFL House - Who would be best for TV?

Imagine you are to cast the surreal life house and it had to be NFL players - who would you put in da house? I think a great start would be Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. Shannon Sharpe would be great to have on too. Chad Johnson is a must and so would be Michael Irvin. Seems like receivers are the best 'head cases' that would make for reality TV. Jim McMahon is the only QB that comes to mind as being 'TV worthy'. Then we have running backs - most seem to be pretty much a non-factor, except for the grandaddy - Ricky Williams - he is a must and we can drop on Maurice Clarett too, maybe Jamal Lewis as well. What about defense? Hmmm...Deion Sanders, Ray Lewis, Warren Sapp for sure and Bill Romanowski. I am sure there are more, but this is the fun house I created. Who would you put in this asylum? I am sure it would be a great ratings winner.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Alexander the Great?

Is Shaun Alexander right? Does he just want a 'fair' deal or a 'mega' deal? He wants to stay, play and retire in Seattle. He will not sign the tender for the franchise tag that is on him for the 6 plus million for 2005. I can see where he would want a longer term deal, especially for being a running back and how the majority of them wear out and disappear as they approach the big 3-0. Alexander has the numbers to make a case for big money - he is a TD machine - the only thing that comes to mind with all of this Seattle lovefest talk is the playoffs last year and the QB sneak versus handing Alexander the ball thus winning the game and ensuring him the rushing title - I remember how he reacted. If he is a team player he does not care - I don't think if the roles were reversed that Curtis Martin would have acted that way. So after that incident he was pissed at Mike Holmgren...The same person that he will have to deal with as coach and for making the fair deal. He just wants Seattle to do what is right.

So what is right? For Seattle, that is. Is it wise for Seattle to give Alexander a long term deal and strap their cap for years to come at the RB position? Probably not. Would Seattle like to continue using the services of Mr. Alexander? I think they would. But I remember having Mr. Alexander a few years ago during a Walter Jones hold out and it dawned on me that without a pro-bowl lineman Mr. Alexander fell to the depths of average at best...Once Mr. Jones returned Alexander became the TD machine he is normally. I guess what is fair is that Mr. Alexander should be providing some of the contract $$$ to the prple who open the holes that allow him to run wild. But it is about me and greed and not about what is fair for Seattle - if he wanted to win, he would educate himself on the new salary cap mentality of the NFL and look at teams like the Patriots and Eagles and know that the only way to get to the big prize in your sport is to do it as a team - and the best way to do that is to spread the $$$ around and remain competitive - that is what would be best for Seattle - that is what Seattle wants to do - will they or will they be fair to their one player and let him gobble up a good % of the cap for years to come? Only time will tell. What would happen if Seattle came out and told Shaun - we only want you to accept what is fair, what is right? - wouldn't that be a press nightmare?