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Friday, June 30, 2006

2006 Divisional Predictions Part 3

AFC North

1. Cincinnati Bengals

The injury to Carson Palmer destroyed the Bengals dreams last year, but he has been intent on returning for opening day 2006. That is a major feat in itself, but will he be the same Carson Palmer that has led the Bengals out of the perennial NFL basement? Time will tell.

The off season saw some decent depth at QB (Jon Kitna) move on to other opportunities. It also saw LB, Nate Webster (Den) and TE Matt Schobel (Phi) move on, but that was it. The remainder of the team from last year was left intact. The defensive additions include DT, Sam Adams (Buf) and S, Dexter Jackson (TB), on the offense they added some depth with WR, Antonio Chatman (GB) and QB, Anthony Wright (Bal), not a huge off season by any means out side of keeping their own players.

Cincinnati drafted CB, Johnathan Joseph, OT, Andrew Witworth with their first two pics followed up by a couple of DL, a LB and then some potential offensive depth with a QB and 2 WR. The only foreseeable impact player in 2006 seems to be Joseph, who has received high praise from the mini camps thus far.

The Bengals season hinges directly on the knee of Carson Palmer. If he is at worst the same as last year then they win the division, but if he is not himself from last season then it will be a struggle. WR’s, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh represent one of the best receiving tandem’s in the league and RB, Rudi Johnson continues to tote the load. They have decent depth at the skill positions outside of QB so as Palmer goes the Bengals will follow. Being optimistic and thinking that based on his work ethic to return from knee injury we are opting for Cincinnati to win the AFC North.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

2006 NFL Divisional Predictions Part 2

NFC East

1. Dallas Cowboys

DALBill and Drew ride off into the sunset as the Cowboys drive through the playoffs to the Super Bowl. Or is it just a fantasy? The Cowboys added the explosive WR, Terrell Owens to give them a leg up in the division, but will it be enough? Drew Bledsoe is one of the most immobile quarterbacks in the league and at some point that spells injury. The Cowboys had better protect him if they want their return to glory to be complete.

The off season for the Cowboys can be summed up in the acquisition of WR, Terrell Owens, but there were defensive improvements as well as they signed LB’s, Rocky Boiman (Ten) and Akin Avodele (Jac) and S, Marcus Coleman (Houston). They also invested in OL protection for Bledsoe in offensive linemen, Jason Fabini (NYJ) and Kyle Kosier (Det). They also picked up K, Mike Vanderjagt (Ind). The main departures were underperforming OL, Larry Allen (SF), DT, La’Roi Glover (STL) and WR, Keyshawn Johnson (Car).

The Cowboys draft took LB, Bobby Carpenter in the first round who could be an impact starter for them this year, followed by a TE and then DE, Jason Hatcher in the 3rd round. The remainder of the draft was a mix of offensive and defensive personnel.

Dallas has already laid claim to the NFC East division title and it could be well within reach if the improved defenses of NY, Washington and Philly don’t hit Bledsoe too much. There may also be tension on the field for sharing the ball with Owens, Glenn and Witten while also running the ball. The Cowboys will need to be on offense 80% of the time to keep everyone happy. Can Bill hold it together? Can T.O. prove whiners prosper? Can Bledsoe stay upright? If all of these things can happen the Cowboys win the East, if not any one of the teams below could leapfrog them and drop the ‘boys in the basement, which is how close this division really is.


Monday, June 26, 2006

2006 NFL Divisional Predictions Part 1


1. New England Patriots

The Patriots have been in the top spot for several years despite losses in free agency. Again this year they should win the AFC East simply because the level of competition has not risen up to them nor have they lost enough to go down a spot. Tom Brady is the best quarterback in the NFL and should prove that again in 2006.

In free agency there were some key losses with Tom Ashworth (T) to Seattle, David Givens (WR) to Tennessee, Willie McGinest (LB) to Cleveland and Adam Vinatieri (K) to Indianapolis. ON the flip side there was little in the way of acquiring replacements or upgrades in getting what would be designated at best as a 3rd WR in Reche Caldwell from San Diego and S, Tebucky Jones from Miami the rest was really spent on retaining some core members of the team. The most difficult replacement will be finding a reliable kicker.

In the draft, the Patriots took RB, Laurence Maroney with the first pick and WR, Chad Jackson with the second pick, then a couple of TE’s, K, a couple of OL and acouple of DL and a DB. Maroney will contribute this year and there is a good chance that Jackson will as well though not as much.

One thing that can be said though is that New England, really Bill Belichick, seems to always find a way and this year should be no different as New England will find a way to hold on to the division.

To read more click here.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fantasy Football Pre-Camp Training

footballlockerNow that the NHL and NBA seasons are over and MLB is at about the mid-year point it is time to start getting back in shape for the NFL and in particular Fantasy Football. Training camps will open for most in late July, but there is much that can be done now to prepare for you upcoming drafts and season.

The first thing you can do is to get re-aquainted with the teams and the off-season movement by looking at the results of free agency. Then you can start to review the many features of You can start by reviewing the player rankings and going over the Tips for a Successful Draft as well as the Importance of the Mock Draft articles.

There is also some interesting insight on the Third Year Wide Receiver that you can read through. It is also good to look through the NFL Schedule grid and get a copy of the bye weeks prior to drafting.

The site is always being updated so check back for updates and new information daily.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hurricanes Win Stanley Cup

The Carolina Hurricanes win their first ever Stanley Cup with a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers in game 7 of the series. After allowing the Oilers some hope watching them even up the series after leading 3 games to 1, the Hurricanes played with resolve on Monday night and left no doubt that they were going to emerge victorious.

Rookie goalie Cam Ward stopped just about evey shot the Oilers had to offer giving up just one goal early in the 3rd period facing 23 shots. He also was the reciepient of the Conn Smythe Trophy for the playoff MVP. The real story for game 7 for Carolina outside of the rookies play was the fantastic defensive play by Carolina in shutting down the Oilers attack and in turring offensive themselves gettign the first two goals of the game. Aaron Ward and Frantisek Kaberle lit the lamp in the first and second period respectively.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Edmonton Equalizes Series

The Edmonton Oilers went home for game 6 and made it happen. They won in very convincing fashion and are now headed back to Carolina for the final and deciding game for the Stanley Cup. Carolina just looked sluggish and played uninspired, especially considering they should have wanted to avoid a game 7 after being up 3 games to 1 in the series. With a win in Game 7 Monday, Edmonton would be the first team in 64 years to come back from 3-1 down to win the Cup. The Hurricanes whiffed again, getting outshot 34-16 and totally worked over by the younger Oilers, who barely made it into the playoffs and then became the first No. 8 seed under the current format to reach the championship round. The Edmonton Oilers mobbed their third-string-turned-starting goalie as the crowd chanted, "We want the cup!"

Read More of this story here.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Edmonton Stays Alive

Fernando Pisani scored a shorthanded goal early in overtime and the Oilers prevented Carolina from celebrating its first championship on home ice, stunning the Hurricanes 4-3 in Game 5 on Wednesday night to send the series back to Alberta.

Pack it back up. Game 6 is Saturday night in Edmonton.

The Hurricanes lead the series 3-2, but the Oilers refused to buckle when facing elimination for the first time in these playoffs -- even after Steve Staios was sent to the penalty box for dragging down Mark Recchi at 3:03 of overtime.

Just 28 seconds later, Pisani struck for his second goal of the game and the first shorthanded overtime goal in Stanley Cup finals history.

Read more of this story at

Monday, June 12, 2006

Roethlisberger Injured In Motorcycle Accident

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (head) has been injured in a motorcycle accident around 11:30 am Monday, June 12. The team has confirmed Roethlisberger was injured. He was not wearing a helmet when he flew over the handlebars and hit his head on the windshield of a car, according to an eyewitness. The witness added Roethlisberger seemed groggy and was bleeding from his head, but was able to say his first name. He has been taken to Mercy Hospital, but officials are not commenting on his condition.

It is still too early to tell how severe his injury is, but the team is seriously concerned about his condition. Early indications are his injuries are not life-threatening.

Read more about it here.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

McNair Moves On

As predicted before in this article, Titans QB Steve McNair has been traded to the Baltimore Ravens for a 4th round pick. There was no way the Titans would just cut him and getting a 4th rounder is better than nothing. The deal is for five years with a maximum value of $32 million, but in reality this is more likely a three-year contract that will pay him $20 million. McNair has also been inserted at the Ravens new starting quarterback.

McNair still has value and it may be an increased value as far as the Ravens and fantasy football players are concerned. The Ravens immediatly fill the need of a competent quarterback and in doing so made the weapons surrounding him on the field more valuable as well.

Read more here.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Pennington Throws Again

Although the club offered few details, New York Jets officials confirmed that quarterback Chad Pennington, rehabilitating from a second surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, threw in seven-on-seven and "team" drills during a Tuesday practice. Pennington also repeated the activities on Wednesday.

The voluntary organized team activity (OTA) session, closed to the media, is the first time this spring that Pennington has thrown in a team-type environment since October surgery on his shoulder.

Pennington is expected to continue testing the shoulder in the ongoing OTAs through this week and the Jets will convene for a veteran minicamp June 15-17.

Bottom Line: More will be known after the June 15-17 minicamp, but the reality of Pennington's status will be up in the air until camp opens. If he is recovered from the shoulder surgery he will increase in value. Until more is known treat this a good news, but with a grain of salt that perhaps it is a smokescreen by the Jets to get some trade interest.


Other News:

McNair allowed to train at Titans Facillity - The Tennessee Titans must allow Steve McNair to work out on their property as long as he has a contract with the team, an arbitrator ruled Wednesday. Read the entire story here.

Ricky and the Argonauts - Ricky Williams is the highest paid CFL running back. For better or worse he was able to sign a deal with the Toronto Argonauts - read more on that here.