Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Creek's College Column (working title)

Well, with college football action starting tomorrow, I figured I would unveil my top 25, so here it is:

1. USC
2. Texas
3. Michigan
4. Tennessee
5. LSU
6. Virginia Tech
7. Miami
8. Ohio State
9. Oklahoma
10. Louisville
11. Iowa
12. FSU
13. Purdue
14. Boston College
15. Florida
16. Georgia
17. Arizona St.
18. Auburn
19. Alabama
20. Texas Tech
21. Virginia
22. Texas A&M
23. Boise St.
24. Pittsburgh
25. UCLA

I will be including an updated version of my top 25 every wednesday in my college football column.

Another thing I will be duing is my top 5 heisman contenders, but since this is the 1st week, I figured I would start off with a bang and post the top 25 heisman contenders!

1. Matt Leinart QB USC
2. Reggie Bush RB USC
3. Vince Young QB Texas
4. Adrian Peterson RB Oklahoma
5. Gerald Riggs Jr RB Tennessee
6. Chris Leak QB Florida
7. Ted Ginn Jr WR/KR Ohio St
8. Omar Jacobs QB Bowling Green
9. Laurence Maroney RB Minnesota
10. Marshawn Lynch RB California
11. Brian Brohm QB Louisville
12. DeAngelo Williams RB Memphis
13. Reggie McNeal QB Texas A&M
14. Devin Hester CB/KR Miami
15. Mike Hart RB Michigan
16. Drew Tate QB Iowa
17. Tyler Palko QB Pittburgh
18. Cody Hodges QB Texas A&M
19. Brad Smith QB Missouri
20. Jarret Hicks WR Texas Tech
21. Jared Zabransky QB Boise St
22. Maurice Drew RB UCLA
23. Cornell Brockington RB UConn
24. Troy Smith QB Ohio St
25. Greg Lee WR Pittsburgh

So there you have it. One of those 25 players will win the heisman this year, and the other 24 will be heisman-less pieces of crap.

As for this week's games, it all gets started tomorrow night when the old ball coach makes his return to college football, coaching the South Carolina Gamecocks (hehe...) against the UCF Golden Knights. So starting with that game, I'm going to make my picks on some of the college lines.

South Carolina -18.5 UCF

Iike SC in this one. Spurrier will be pulling out all the stops on ESPN in hopes of getting the attention of some high school seniors. If you get a chance to watch this one, watch for safety Ko Simpson on South Carolina. He'll be a star on sundays in a few years. Also, watch for the first "visor toss" of the year for Spurrier. Always a highlight.

Georgia -7 Boise St.

D.J Shockley's debut will be spoiled by the number two scoring offense in the country, and the number 21 player on my heisman list, Jared Zabransky. Not only do I think Boise St. Will cover the spread, they will win by 14 points. I am making this my (zooms up on face for dramatic effect) Lock Of The Week.

USC -34 Hawaii

I'm going with Hawaii here, but not because I think they stand a chance, just because I think when USC benches their starters, up 40-0 in the fourth quarter, Hawaii can score 14 to 20 garbage points... If I can get completely off topic for a second, Do you think Jesse Palmer got the idea to do The Bachelor from Matt Leinart's resemblance to Bob Guiney?

Pittsburgh -3 Notre Dame

Probably the toughest game of the week. Notre Dame always wins a few of these games against better teams, and last time they got a new coach, they started out 8-0. If it were in South Bend, I would probably go with the Irish, but I like Pitt to win, and defend the honor of Dave Wannstedt's mustache.

Virginia Tech -4 North Carolina St.

Virginia Tech is in for a struggle. NC State has the toughest defense in the ACC (and arguably the nation), and even though Marcus Vick has looked like the second coming in spring practice, I expect to see a defensive struggle, with Va Tech coming out on top with a score along the lines of 17-10 or 13-7.

Miami -3 FSU

In a game of dueling freshmen making their first start, I like Miami here, because they are, simply put, the more talented team. The loss of Antonio Cromartie is a huge blow for FSU, and I'd look for Ryan Moore to exploit his absence and come up with some big catches. I can talk about players, and stats, and injuries all I want, but the bottom line is I will not pick FSU in the game untill they show they can beat Miami.

That's my take on some of this week's games. Do with this information what you must.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Top 5 Busts

Alright, quit looking at the picture already and start reading! By the way - yes, they are very real and certified Wisconsin dairy farmer fresh.

Here's a look at some other "busts", the fantasy football kind. To qualify as a bust, a player must not live up to their pre-season hype or finish the season with anywhere near their projected numbers. It doesn't matter if they had a season ending injury or if they just didn't perform as well as expected. Now that my definition of "bust" has been spelled out, let's look at the three most important fantasy positions, starting with running back.

Running Back

1. Priest Holmes - He's going #3 overall in most drafts, and most people who are getting him have to also invest in a 6th or 7th round pick of Larry Johnson as his handcuff. No way does Priest finish this season with the 3rd highest fantasy points...or anywhere near it. If he doesn't have a season-ending injury that prevents him from playing at all, he will at least have a nagging injury that won't allow him to play full time or even near 100%.

2. Jamal Lewis - Baltimore has invested a lot in their passing game during the off-season and I would imagine that they will give Kyle Boller ample opportunity to prove himself in the passing game before they do anything drastic...... like trade his sorry ass to someone else who like lousy quarterbacks, say Washington as an example. At any rate, JL isn't getting any younger either and he also has a few young running backs breathing down his neck for the starting job. I see Billick getting ready for a changing of the guard by the end of the year, especially if playoff hopes are dwindling.

3. Clinton Portis - Washington needs to get an offensive line and a quarterback capable of being a playmaker and leader on the field. Both of these problems will hamper Clinton's success this year. He won't finish in the top 10, which is where he is being drafted, but he won't be as much of a bust as the previous two running backs. He has the ability to still finish in the top 20 as long as he doesn't get overworked and injured in the process.

4. Ronnie Brown - Miami still has a long way to go before they can say they have solved their problems on offense. AJ and Gus are the two co-leaders of the team, when one struggles the other one will be right there to take over. Very rarely does this kind of situation help a young offense become cohesive and "click". I don't think the Dolphins will ever really establish a rhythm on offense that will allow Ronnie much success. He won't be the highest fantasy scoring rookie running back by the end of the season.

5. Willis McGahee - With a young quarterback leading the Bills offense this year, Willis may struggle to get his yards and scores at least in the beginning of the year. I'm hopeful that Losman will get comfortable later on in the season. Willis should still finish in the top 20, but he's been drafted as high as #4 right behind Holmes, so I think the pre-season expectation is just a little too high. I'd call this a mild bust due to unrealistic expectations.


1. Duante Culpepper - Mark my words, Minnesota will not be the offensive juggernaut everyone has become accustomed to over the past few years. They will remain a playoff contender this year through their defensive efforts, which will vastly improve over last year. Culpepper doesn't have a playmaker among his top WR's anymore and he will struggle to find his groove in Moss' absence. This year will be Duante's poorest effort fantasy-wise.

2. Brett Favre - The Packer defense is going to be allowing opponents in the end zone faster than Creek's mom changes boyfriends. Favre will be under lots of pressure to get points on the board and he hasn't even had a full pre-season to work out with his #1 WR. I see a below-.500 season coming on unless the Packers offense gels remarkably quick and Favre can minimize his mistakes.

3. Kerry Collins - I don't think too many people are actually "high" on Collins, except maybe the die-hard Raider faithful who are living in the fantasy world of Moss making their offense an overnight playoff contender. I think Collins will do his usual collapsing pocket tapdance and get rid of the ball too quickly, throwing his usual amount of interceptions... and Moss will be one frustrated WR by mid-season.

4. Drew Brees - the secret about the Chargers passing game is out now, and there really wasn't much change to the key players during the off-season, so I don't think Brees will have the element of surprise or the numbers he was able to accumulate last year. He's not really going too high in drafts anyway, somewhere around 8th round on average, so I would consider this a mild bust.

5. Steve McNair - He's also not going too high, but their are still a few fans who think he's ready to come back 100% this year and recapture the glory of years past. It ain't gonna happen like that. He's been pounded to the ground too many times and after a few more times this season he'll be right back on the sideline watching Billy Volek lead the team.

Wide Receivers

1. Randy Moss - If Collins can't get the job done at quarterback, then Randy isn't going to have one of his better years either. No way does Moss finish first in overall fantasy points this year. He's going way to high in the drafts. I wouldn't be surprised if he gets an "injury" along mid-season just so he doesn't have to put up with the frustration of Collins not being near as good a quarterback as Culpepper. Speaking in terms of being able to get Moss the ball anyway.

2. Terrell Owens - It's not that I don't think TO is talented or capable of producing great numbers this year. I just see him being a major pain in the neck with his personality conflicts and this will begin to tear down the Eagles offense by the end of the season. TO may still get top 10 numbers, but he's going as the #2 WR selection in most drafts and I don't see him finishing the season that high.

3. Nate Burleson - Some very adamant Viking fans think Nate can replace Randy and keep their offense chugging along at the same pace it always has been. Sorry folks... it ain't happening. I think Burleson is highly overrated this year and will be a big time bust.

4. Javon Walker - This will be a very bad year for the Packer's offense, but the one shining light will be Donald Driver, not Javon Walker. I think Walker will still finish top 20, but that is far below expectations. Driver has the ability to be a vertical threat and i think favre will find him more often this year as defenses key on Walker.

5. Derrick Mason - Moving to Baltimore will significantly reduce the production mason was used to getting in Tennessee. I think he will also suffer much the same fate of Randy Moss. Boller just isn't a capable quarterback when it comes to the passing game.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Dont look now folks, but the past 12 months just might have been the greatest in the history of sports, for a single market. For nowhere were more visionaries gathered together at a slice of time, than in the Hub.

Lets begin our look back with the WORLD SERIES CHAMPION BOSTON RED SOX. Thats right kids I said World Series Champs. Every person alive in Red Sox Nation, can die a happy death, knowing that they will not have to roam the Fens for all eternity, haunting the latest group of has beens & scared demi-gods.

In fact, the way it was accomplished, losing 3 straight, then winning the final four games against the Spankmes, could have only been thought up by the ravings of a madman. The look in Steinbrenner's eyes reminded me of a field trip I took in the 6th grade to a slaughterhouse. I watched in horror as a man swung a 16 pound sledge hammer & hit the biggest pig I have ever seen, square between the eyes. It didn't kill him, but he looked like Chris Chandler after his 299th concusion.

The only way to best describe the look in Mr. Money's eyes, other than abject horror, would probably be to read Edgar Allen Poe's " A Tell-tale Heart" on psychotropics.

Then, to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals, the same Cardinals who had twice beaten the Red Sox in game seven of the World Series. Tony Ya'loser, had no explanation for his teams failure to hit. sweet victory was ours!

Moving on :

The SUPER BOWL CHAMPION New England Patriots won their second Super Bowl in a row, and, third in four years. In this age of free agency & parity, this has got to be viewed as the greatest accomplishment in NFL history.

The team is all about the game. There is not a person on that 53 man roster worried about stats/playing time/image/cred. The dismantling of the Indianapolis Colts in the last two playoff years, has to be looked at as the most dominant of any team in a long time.

They beat the bejesus out of McNabb & the high-flying Eagles so badly, McNabb acted like a girl with morning sickness because of her prom date. Despite a valiant affort by the biggest blow hard this side of the WWE. Of course I am talking about T.O., you know, the guy who thew all his QBs under the bus. What a waste of talent on that self promoting A_HOLE!

Movin right along:

The BOSTON CELTICS are not the laughing stock, that the franchise slipped into over the last 10 years. They have quietly gotten younger, and better. If fact, they might have had the best draft of any team this year. I figure, once they get rid of Paul "not my system" Pierce, they will be a legitimate contender. or at least win the conference.


Who would have thunk it? After all these 30 years of me calling Harry Sinden the cheapest bastard on the face of the earth, it would seem I owe him an apology. For his Nostradamus-like vision, set the tone for the NHL to adopt a salary cap.

Don't look so surprised, for 20 years the BOSTON BRUINS had a self imposed salary cap, called "The Ray Bourque Rule", in which no player on the Bruins roster, would ever be allowed to make more than future Hall Of Famer Ray Bourque.

More Stanley Cups have been lost by the miserly ways of Sinden, from failure to open his purse strings at the trading deadline, than Carter has liver pills.

But its all good. A New NFL season is right around the corner. The Red Sox are in first place (1 1/2 games) & a new Bruins & Celtics teams can actually compete.

My Prediction for Superbowl XL

Pats 38

Philly 24

3-PEAT BABY!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Ask The Experts

Welcome to the first annual pre-season edition of Ask the Experts, an exclusive DKOCSA column that allows you, our faithful readership, to ask important questions pertaining to Fantasy Football to our "extinguished" panel of experts.

First of all, let's introduce our panel!

Dr. Norelin Seit is an adjunct professor of Statistical Methods in the Mathematics Department of Notubright University in Pismo Beach, California. He was the lead researcher for the US Government cost analysis survey of ketchup packets vs. squeezable bottles for the opening bid contract with Del Monte.

Hugh Renassle has won the HFFITOC (Handicapped Fantasy Football International Tournament of Champions) the last eight years in a row. He's an inspirational story of a man born at Love Canal who has overcome mental retardation, cerebral palsy, Tourette's syndrome, gout and a severe case of irritable bowel syndrome to achieve unquestionable success.

Jimmy Bob Billy Ray Ned is the first official season ticket holder of the Carolina Panthers and uncle of the 2004 running back phenom, Larry Ned. He coaches high school athletics and teaches drivers education at Ashboro High in Ashboro, North Carolina. No relation to the "Deliverance" actor Ned Beatty, but an uncanny resemblance.

We at LOCKERROOM would like to thank each of these esteemed gentlemen for offering their expertise here, we appreciate their commitment and we hope their advice will be a beneficial asset to Locker Room and our readers for many years to come.

Now let's field some questions that have been emailed to us this week.

Will the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl this year? - Dan G. Sheboygan, WI

NS - Funny you should ask that, Dan, this is a very popular question in fantasy forums... however unrelated and unimportant it is. But I just ran a Z test with the null hypothesis "Green Bay will win the Super Bowl" and calculated it to a p = .005 probability. Turns oout they have a 1/32 chance of winning at this point. Of course, there are other factors involved such as; a head coach living in the shadows of a much better previous coach and has no idea how to build a championship caliber team or keep the one he inherited, no defense for the foreseeable future, an aging quarterback way past his prime production years, a big headed wide receiver who thinks the word team is spelled with an "i". All of that means I had to reject my null hypothesis, so I can say with 99.5% accuracy that Green Bay will NOT win the Super Bowl.

HR - Wudda fuck.... r u wedarded? Ged ouda hewe u homew!!

JBBRN - I said turn left! LEFT!! I'm sorry, what was the question?

I just drafted this team in a 10 team standard scoring redraft league; do I have a shot at the title? QB - Collins, Losman RB - Westbrook, Taylor, Bennett, Gore WR - MAson, Chambers, Branch, Rogers, Price TE - Troupe K - Nugent DEF - Pittsburgh. Kyle Z. Elizabethtown, PA.

NS - Amazingly, you still have a 1/10 chance of winning your league. Of course, every week of the season will only decrease that probability since you drafted a team that looks worse than a first year girl scout in a 16 team league. That's not just my personal opinion, I did run your roster through my 2005 Fantasy Draft Analyzer v2.1 program and this was the answer it gave after a seeminly endless stream of HAHAHAHAHAHA. First time that's ever happened.

HR - Wudda fuck... Diju faww athweep on ur keyboawd duwing ur dwaft?

JBBRN - Who did you draft in the first round? Westbrook? Nice draft Sparky! We have room for a manager just like you in our money league. We love people like you.

You guys are awesome! I loved your advice on KRAP Monday Morning QB radio show last year. Your advice helped me finish 8th in my league after being in the cellar for 6 straight years. I was wondering if you guys had any sleeper picks this year for TE. That's a highly overlooked position. Jerramy S. Seattle, WA.

NS - Jerramy, your last name wouldn't be Stevens by any chance, would it? What is the probability of two guys with the same odd spelling of a popular name in the same community? Oh never mind. Draft yourself you sycophantic megalomaniac!

HR - Wudda fuck... dighd ennz only ged fordy yards if dey r wucky. Scwodum wickew! Wadson or Miwwer.

JBBRN - Kris Mangum. He's been my TE for the last 3 years. He's due for a break out year this year.

In your guys opinion, who's the best rookie running back this year? Teddy N. Branson, MO

NS - Based on team needs, their pre-season performances so far and strength of schedule against defenses who typically do poorly against the run; I would say JJ Arrington or Frank Gore. Just look at the division they are in. Carnell is a close third.

HR - Wonnie Bwown! Shid fow Bwains!!

JBBRN - Like I tell my kids on our state champoinship coon hunting team... go with your gut instincts. If you know your dog has a bad habit of chasing squirrels than you gotta look for another dog to do the job right.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah.... running backs! Ciatrick Fason is my pick. Boy with a name like that had to learn to run real good at an early age.

Well, that's all the time we have for questions today folks. We'll try to squeeze in another edition before the season kicks off. Be sure to send in your questions or post any comments here at LOCKERROOM. Until next time.... have fun playing with yourself.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Top 20 IDP's

I have a keeper league that plays with individual defensive players (IDP) and I know several of you fantasy football fanatics are also playing in and enjoying those type of leagues. But the amount of helpful information to help you before the draft is scarce compared to the offensive players.

Here's how the top 20 break down.

1. Ray Lewis - LB Baltimore

Round 6 is where he is typically being drafted. Way too early in my opinion, I believe there is much better value out there for a later pick.

2. Donnie Edwards - LB San Diego
3. Ed Reed - DB Baltimore
4. Keith Bulluck - LB Tennessee

Okay round 7 is still too early to be drafting defensive players. I'm still building an offense with some depth at this point. But I really like Edwards and Bulluck, and if you have to have a super stud LB I would grab one of these guys.

5. Brian Urlacher - LB Chicago

Brian is typically going in the 8th round, but with his injury risk it's just not worth the headache. Let someone else draft him this high.

6. Mike Peterson - LB Jacksonville
7. Terrence McGee - DB Buffalo

Now I'm ready to start thinking about defensive players. By round 9 I have already collected 3 Running backs, 2 Quarterbacks, 2 Wide Receivers and maybe a decent Tight End. Peterson is a great Linebacker and you won't have to suffer on offensive depth in order to get him. I also like McGee as a top DB. He also did some duty as a punt returner for Buffalo last year and always got me a few extra points off return yards, which was really nice.

8. Julius Peppers - DL Carolina

Defensive line folks are usually not this important, but Peppers did very well last year. Personally I would put Kerney from Atlanta here as the #1 DL guy. However, I'm not convinced that you need to be spending a spot in the 10th round for a lineman.

9. Rodney Harrison - DB New England
10. Takeo Spikes - LB Buffalo
11. Patrick Kerney - DL Atlanta

I would LOVE to see Harrison on the board in the 11th round. I would grab him up in a heartbeat! I don't think people are very secure about all the changes in the Patriots defense this year, and for my money I would take advantage of that.

12. Nick Barnett - LB Green Bay
13. Dwight Freeney - DL Indianapolis
14. Jamie Sharper - LB Seattle
15. Keith Brooking - LB Atlanta

Sharper in Seattle sounds good to me, too bad he's replacing Chad Brown instead of working right alongside of him, that would have been an awesome duo. I don't like the fact that the entire fate of the Green Bay defense rests on Nick's shoulders this year. I don't see Gbaja-Biamala picking up the slack from his line position. Sharper's absence is going to hurt Barnett's numbers considerably. I don't know why people are drafting him in the 12th round, I would rather have a Derrick Brooks (Tampa Bay) or a Jonathan Vilma (New York Jets) here in this round. Brooking as in excellent LB for this late in the draft.

16. Roy Williams - DB Dallas
17. Derrick Brooks - LB Tampa Bay

I don't think Roy is worthy of being in the top 20. I know Dallas is changing their defensive scheme around this year to a 3-4 with some nickel packages and there is some question so far in training camp as to whether they have the right personnel to make this transition smoothly. I think I'd rather have Mike Green (Chicago), Rhonde Barber (Tampa Bay) or Dunta Robinson (Houston) for my second DB. They should all have better stats this year than Williams.

18. Mike Green - DB Chicago
19. Jonathan Vilma - LB New York Jets
20. Aaron Schobel DL - Buffalo

There's just too many defensive linemen going high this year in these IDP drafts, I don't know what people out there are thinking. None of them are worthy of a high draft pick except Kerney in my opinion. This grouping of IDP's is typically going in the 14th round and i still think you have better options at DB or Lb for getting players who are more likely to get you lots of solo tackles, more sacks, forced fumbles, pass defends and interceptions. Why spend a pick this early on a guy like Schobel?

The only other person I haven't mentioned, and people aren't drafting this high for some reason is Adrian Wilson in Arizona. His supporting cast has vastly improved, including the addition of rookie Antrel Rolle, and adrain's numbers should be high enough to warrant him being in the top 20. The Cardinals secondary is going to be interesting to watch this year.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Archer's Draft Analysis


Anal - (adj) Of or near the anus.

Lysis - (comb form) a loosening, dissolving or destruction thereof.

This explains why you feel so crappy about anything that involves analysis. Nobody likes having that area of their body "loosened" or "destroyed". I've talked to a few proctologists like the one in the picture here who could tell you a few very amusing stories about real-life anal-lysis, some of them self-inflicted, but I digress.

Let's get down to business and analyze this year's draft. I've been compiling data from numerous varied sources. NFL and ESPN mostly, but I've got Football Sharks, Football Guys, and dozens of other people who are probably just as knowledgeable as me on the subject, but they have figured out a way to make money offering their advice. anyway, I've got a good handle on what's happening out there so far, so I can share with you all what to expect.

The best way to explore this draft is to break it down by individual rounds. let's pretend we're in a standard scoring, redraft 10 team league. I'll focus on the offensive players mainly, but I'll have a section at the end that deals with individual defensive players for those of you who have the need of that information.

Here's how the first 10 rounds of your draft should look.

Round 1

1.1 LaDanian Tomlinson
1.2 Shaun Alexander
1.3 Priest Holmes
1.4 Peyton Manning
1.5 Edgerrin James
1.6 Willis McGahee
1.7 Deuce McAllister
1.8 Daunte Culpepper
1.9 Jamal Lewis
1.10 Randy Moss

There's only one other site I've run across that is actually putting Priest Holmes down around #8 on their top10 RB lists, which put him in the second round. That's where he should be folks! *Ducking tomatoes* I know, I know! But listen, we saw a portent of things to come last year and we need to take of the rose-colored beer goggles and face the facts. Priest is not immortal. He won't last all year this year either, not even close. So be a wise fantasy owner if you must grab Holmes at #3 or 4, and make sure to get your handcuff later, you'll need it. I'll be discussing Larry Johnson in the 6th round.

Peyton Manning shouldn't be #4 overall, either. He's bound to have a little drop off from last year's phenomenal numbers. He can still throw 40 TD's this year and make you about 20 points a game, which isn't bad, but it isn't good enough to warrant him going this high. He should be where Culpepper is.

Culpepper won't have one of his better years, either - not without a Moss-type receiver. Without Randy or a strong running game, Daunte will face a very challenging season and he will suffer for it. Tice's offensive scheme is not good enough to plug in just any old wide receiver like Burleson and still get the same numbers that Moss brought. Nate is an average receiver, and he's Culpepper's best option this year. I expect Minnesota to keep in games through their strengthened defense this year, not by their explosive offense.

Speaking of Moss, he's got a new team and quarterback to get used to in Oakland. It would be wonderful if Kerry Collins had enough poise to stay in the pocket without getting so excited that he forgot what color of uniform his receivers were wearing. Look for more of the same this year. Moss will be very frustrated... and his numbers will slump. He'll still be a top 5 WR, but I would rather have Chad Johnson here in the first round. The Bengals have all the right pieces this year, including a young and now seasoned quarterback.

Round 2

2.1 Clinton Portis
2.2 Domanick Davis
2.3 Ahman Green
2.4 Kevin Jones
2.5 Terrell Owens
2.6 Julius Jones
2.7 Corey Dillon
2.8 Rudi Johnson
2.9 Tiki Barber
2.10 Donovan McNabb

I'm not convinced that the Gibbs x 2 Era at Washington will make any drastic improvements on offense as long as they continue to keep Patrick Ramsey as their #1 Quarterback. Until that change is made, I would expect Clinton Portis' numbers to suffer. He also has the ex-Denver running back curse going for him. I'm certain that I would look good as a Denver running back. That's not taking away from Clinton's talents, but Shanahan seems to know how to maximize the potential of his backs better than most coaches around the league. Clinton needs some blockers, too if he's ever going to get back up around 4.5 or 5.0 yards per carry.

If you're making the turn in a serpentine draft and just picked up a stud WR like Moss or Johnson, and you see running backs like Corey Dillon, Domanick Davis or Ahman Green still on the board... wouldn't you rather have one of them instead of Portis? I would! Switching Dillon and Portis makes better sense. Julius averaged over 100 yards per game in 4 starts last year, and has a more cohesive offensive unit now with Bledsoe and Parcell's re-uniting. I would switch him with Kevin Jones, since I think JJ will have a slightly better year.

Round 3

3.1 Marvin Harrison
3.2 Torry Holt
3.3 Chad Johnson
3.4 Steven Jackson
3.5 Curtis Martin
3.6 Javon Walker
3.7 Brian Westbrook
3.8 LaMont Jordan
3.9 Andre Johnson
3.10 Joe Horn

Here in round 3 is where all the rest of the top tiered WR's not named Moss or Owens hang out. So far this year, it's a dead heat at 3.1 for Harrison, Holt and CJ. They are ranging from 17th pick overall to 24th pick overall. Harrison is my favorite, but I think Wayne and Stokley will continue to benefit again this year from double team coverage on Marvin leaving his numbers less than what pre-season expectations dictate.

This is Marvin Lewis' third year as head coach of the Bengals, and if he follows the same path of his successful predecessors then he's going to the playoffs this year. Palmer and CJ will have to put up some awesome numbers to accomplish that and I think they can.

Javon Walker, Andre Johnson, and Joe Horn are pulling up the rear of the 3rd round. Walker's hold-out has surely helped to decrease his stock some so far this year. With his projected performance for this year and the great year he had last year, he should be in the top 3 right behind TO. I think Walker's numbers will not be as high as people expect. Driver will be the one to have a better year. AJ has been a solid performer and last year people were big on the Carr/AJ connection, but they weren't mature enough for real big numbers last year. However, this year seems more likely for them to really gel and start fulfilling those heightened expectations. Horn has also been a very consistent performer on a very average offense.

Four running backs are going in round 3 and only one of them is on my "watch' list... LaMont Jordan. Martin should be the solid leader for this grouping followed by Jordan, Steven Jackson and Brian Westbrook. I don't think Jackson is going to have a better year than everyone else in this list, but he may have better numbers than Westbrook if only because he stays healthy all year.

Round 4

4.1 Hines Ward
4.2 Tatum Bell
4.3 Chris Brown
4.4 Antonio Gates
4.5 Tony Gonzalez
4.6 Ronnie Brown*
4.7 Reggie Wayne
4.8 Roy Williams
4.9 Nate Burleson
4.10 Carnell Williams*

*- rookie

Ward should be in round 3 with Horn, but again a contract hold-out has effected how comfortable people have been drafting a player. However, his stock should rise again now that he's signed.

The glaring and obvious trend to see here in this round is the fact we have another TE worthy of Gonzo status in the upper echelon. Gates is actually in a dead heat with Gonzalez. Brees staying in San Diego may have helped keep Gates' stock so high this year, plus the lack of any real new developments to improve the Charger WR corps. It appears that Gates will once again be the prominent feature of the Charger passing attack.

Reggie Wayne is our first #2 WR to show up, and I agree that he should be the head of this class of WR's, but I think Roy has the potential to put up better numbers this year in Detroit. I would rather have any receiver in round 5 over Nate Burleson. Boldin should be up in round 4, since Arizona looks like a much improved offense with some explosive weapons.

Tatum Bell is another running back on my watch list, despite all the rumors and speculations, I believe he will emerge as the #1 feature back for Denver. I don't see a RBBC happening under Shanahan. The main concern with both Bell and Brown is whether they can stay healthy all season long. If I were looking to pick one of these guys up then I would also have to consider picking up Travis Henry and Mike Anderson as insurance.

Ronnie Brown tops the rookie class of backs this year and it's obvious that he is sorely needed in Miami to start immediately. But I like another rookie who's also needed immediately, but not in such a dire straits kind of situation... that is JJ Arrington in Arizona. I've already mentioned the passing game, but I think this will be a very well rounded offensive attack, which makes me believe Arizona is on the verge of becoming a playoff contender. JJ has the build and running style that Denny Green loves. He's got a low center of gravity and very elusive with lots of leg power. He's a franchise type of back with a lot of future and a good coach to bring in to the league properly. "Cadillac" is also in the same situation at Tampa with Gruden. He's a close second to Arrington, then Ronnie Brown and last is Benson, who is the first player taken in the next round.

Round 5

5.1 Cedric Benson*
5.2 Michael Clayton
5.3 Darrell Jackson
5.4 Steve Smith
5.5 Larry Fitzgerald
5.6 Fred Taylor
5.7 Trent Green
5.8 Marc Bulger
5.9 JJ Arrington*
5.10 Anquan Boldin

Finally, Fred Taylor is no longer considered a top tier feature back. His numbers have not warranted that designation for the past couple of years now. Seeing Fred here means that he's a #3 running back, used only for bye weeks or an injury to one of your top two backs. Perfect placement!

We also have several lower tiered #1 WR's, which usually start making up the #2 WR spots on most fantasy squads since there are 32 NFL teams and only 10 or 12 fantasy teams. Michael Clayton and Larry Fitzgerald are my favorites in this group. I've already discussed my excitement about Arizona, so I'll abstain from making any more comments. Clayton had a very surprising year last year with Griese, and I think that will continue into this year. Griese is a self-destructive kind of quarterback though, so my enthusiasm is tempered.

Trent Green and Marc Bulger are both excellent quarterbacks that have consistently put up good numbers with their respective teams the past few seasons. The loss of Johnnie Morton along with moving Samie Parker up into that slot has me excited for the Kansas City passing game. It's always been underrated in the shadow of Holmes, but Green seems to always get decent fantasy points, now he has a young new receiver to throw to, which should help. Brett Favre should also be up in this quarterback grouping. This year looks like another bad year for the Packer defense, so Brett and company are going to have to be a prolific point-scoring machine, which means a lot of passing. It also means Favre will have the opportunity to throw a lot of interceptions, which has been his only downside.

Round 6

6.1 DeShaun Foster
6.2 Derrick Mason
6.3 Warrick Dunn
6.4 Muhsin Muhammad
65 Larry Johnson
6.6 Lavernues Coles
6.7 Duce Staley
6.8 Michael Vick
6.9 Kevin Barlow
6.10 Carson Palmer

Three of the wide receivers in this round have new homes this year. Mason in Baltimore, Muhammad in Chicago and Coles has returned to New York. I am most excited about Coles returning to Jets territory. He and Pennington had such good numbers back in 2002, I'd like to see those kinds of numbers return for both of them. Pennington's off-season shoulder surgery is a concern here though, which is probably why Coles isn't going any higher. Mason in Baltimore doesn't really do anything for me, unless Anthony Wright gets the starting QB job. Boller has never impressed me with his vertical passing ability... or lack of. The fact he's had no wide receivers really hasn't been the issue. But now that Billick and the Ravens have committed to developing the Ravens passing game... I think Kyle Boller's days are numbered. I like Mark Clayton and it pained me to see him drafted by a team known for not having a passing game. I hope they bring in a decent QB before they lose Clayton to another team. This year... I expect Heap to be the leading receiver again... just like year before last.

Muhammad in Chicago is my least favorite of these new pairings. Muhsin had such a great year last year and he took advantage of it for one last decent contract, but the fact he's in Chicago means that his career is fading quickly, he won't ever see the numbers he had last year again. Wide receivers who wear Bears' uniforms just don't make it to the top.

Remember I said I would be talking about Larry Johnson in this round? Here we are. Larry should go around 6.7 since Priest is going at 1.3. If you're looking to steal a badly needed handcuff make sure to take note of this. Johnson on the board after 6.7 is an open invitation. Other backs going in round 6 are Foster, Dunn, Staley and Barlow. I like that order. Dunn and Foster are very good #3 running backs and the first two may even make decent #2 backs.

Michael Vick is also going in this round. I've heard someone say recently that he puts up numbers like a #2 running back, so it's only fitting that he's down here in the 6th round with a bunch of #2 backs. Personally, I would never draft Vick. His playing style is exciting to watch, but it sucks from a fantasy standpoint and it will also shorten his career due to the wear and tear he needlessly puts on his body. He should learn to be a passing QB but, then, there wouldn't be any hype because he would be average at best. Carson Palmer is another QB in this round, and one I have my eyes on as a strong top 10 QB of the future. I would rank him higher than Vick.

Round 7

7.1 Jerry Porter
7.2 Drew Bennet
7.3 Jason Witten
7.4 Todd Heap
7.5 Thomas Jones
7.6 Michael Bennett
7.7 Brett Favre
7.8 Alge Crumpler
7.9 Lee Evans
7.10 Isaac Bruce

Jason Witten, Todd Heap and Alge Crumpler round out the top 5 TE's as selections in round 7. Crumpler has been the only consistent receiver that Vick uses since he doesn't have any vertical passing game. Witten is an emerging TE that I would put on the top of this grouping. So, it appears others feel the same way I do. I've mentioned the Dallas reunion of Parcells and Bledsoe already, and Witten should benefit from this. I also will predict that many fantasy owners will find themselves rummaging through the waiver wire to find Terry Glenn at some point this season.

Michael Bennett... or "Matchstick Man" as I like to call him, for some reason he still has a loyal following willing to draft him this high. I'm not one of them. I'd rather draft Mewelde Moore up in round 6 where Kevin Barlow is and not even mess with Bennett. But I admit that round 6 is too high for Moore, we'll talk about him later.

Drew, the other Bennett, could have a great year if McNair stays healthy or gracefully steps aside rather than trying to play through the pain so that Volek can continue to establish his leadership of the team, which is inevitable. Calico also has an excellent chance to put up decent #2 WR numbers. The Titans running game is suspect, which means that their offense may not be as balanced as it needs to be in order for the passing game to be successful. I would approach any Titan offensive player with some degree of caution this year. Mason's departure is a good thing for Bennet fans, but I think Tennessee is going to struggle with another below .500 year.

Lee Evans is an emerging #2 WR with a lot of potential. He had some great games near the end of last season, but that was with Bledsoe. Losman may not have the field vision to find Evans as often this year. Rookie quarterbacks, and Losman is for all practical purposes, seem to have narrow vision and focus only on their veteran receivers like Moulds who are team leaders and easily earn the trust of a young quarterback. This may hurt Evans for the first part of this year.

Round 8

8.1 Ravens DST
8.2 Tom Brady
8.3 Chris Chambers
8.4 Eric Moulds
8.5 Plaxico Burress
8.6 Jeremy Shockey
8.7 Lee Suggs
8.8 Kerry Collins
8.9 Matt Hasselbeck
8.10 Jerome Bettis

Tom Brady at #9 overall on the Quarterback list seems about right, but I would expect him to go right after Palmer or before, instead of Vick. Brady is definitely a great value for QB this late in the draft. The other two QB's going this late are Hasselbeck and Collins, neither of which I like. Drew Brees, Aaron Brooks or maybe even Chad Pennington are QB's I'd rather have rounding out the top 10 and going in this round.

Some WR's going in round 8 include; Burress, Moulds, and Chambers. The situation in Miami with Frerotte possibly getting the starting QB job has my interest. Chambers has never been a receiver I paid much attention to because he didn't have a decent QB throwing to him. I don't know if Gus will be any better, but it's a situation I will monitor in the first few weeks of the season. If it appears the status quo is still in place, I will continue my Chambers bashing.... unashamed.

Burress in New York doesn't seem to be a very good mix personality wise, but he is needed. If he and Eli don't gel this year, and Plaxico's mouth doesn't get him shipped out by 2006, then I can see him putting up decent numbers again.

Lee Suggs is the only running back going in this round. I'd rather have Reuben Droughns who will be mentioned shortly in the next round. Shockey's injury risk is the only thing I can tell that is keeping him this low and out of top 5 TE territory.

The Ravens DST is our first defense to show up in the draft. I wouldn't spend an early draft choice on a defense, unless I wanted the Patriots, which no one is drafting in the first 10 rounds this year. Big mistake folks! I think there's always an emerging defense every year that you can grab off the waiver wire by mid-season and stick with the rest of the way, so why worry too much about drafting one. Some other defenses that are looking good this year, but that no one is going to draft until late... if at all: Detroit, Arizona, Jets and Minnesota. Back to the Patriots defense for just a sec, I know they lost some key players and a defensive coordinator, but Mangini is the coordinator and he's also very good... if not better than Crennel. Bruschi is out, a very heartbreaking story, and a big hole considering his emotional leadership and passion for the game, but the Patriots got busy and brought in Chad Brown from Seattle and Marty Beisel from Kansas City, who I think will be great additions in the linebacker corps. I am still a little worried about the loss of Ty Law and how that will effect the Patriots passing defense.

Round 9

9.1 Donald Driver
9.2 Santana Moss
9.3 Deion Branch
9.4 Jimmy Smith
9.5 Ashley Lelie
9.6 Brandon Stokley
9.7 Travis Henry
9.8 Dallas Clark
9.9 Steelers DST
9.10 Reuben Droughns

Big grouping of WR's here with Driver, Branch, Moss, Smith, Lelie and Stokely. I'd rather have Driver or Branch. Branch will emerge even more as Brady's #1 target now that Patten is gone. I've already discussed Driver, who is ready for a breakout year since he and Favre have had all this time in training camp to bond, while Walker sat at home playing Madden '05 on his Gameboy.

Santana Moss is the one WR here that doesn't belong as high as he is. Jimmy Smith is more attractive than Moss... fantasy wise... c'mon. Neither of those guys would make my top 10 rounds list. I'd rather have Kennison, Colbert or maybe Calico.

Droughns would be my choice of a late pick up at running back. He should do just as well as Suggs, and Crennel has stated he'd let the best guy in camp start or, if they both do well, he'd play them both equally. Either way, Droughns isn't going to be your starting back, but he makes a decent back up, without the injury concerns of a Henry or Faulk.

Round 10

10.1 Drew Brees
10.2 TJ Duckett
10.3 Randy McMichael
10.4 Jake Plummer
10.5 Braylon Edwards*
10.6 Troy Williamson*
10.7 Aaron Brooks
10.8 Byron Leftwich
10.9 Marshall Faulk
10.10 Charles Rogers

This is QB territory again with Brees leading the pack, followed by Plummer, Brooks and Leftwich. Brees and Brooks were mentioned earlier in rounding out the top 10, so I think they are great value QB selections this late in the draft. Brees helped me get to the champoinship of one league last year, although he didn't have a good week 17, so I lost the title game, but I like Brees again this year. Other QB's I'd rather have here than Plummer or Leftwich are Delhomme, Pennington or Carr. I also think Warner will end up in the top 15 QB's by year's end as long as he can stay healthy. He's still not Round 10 material, could easily pick him up in the 12th.

Dallas Clark and Randy McMichael are the two late round TE selections, but I like the idea of Marcus Pollard moving to Detroit better. I know Detroit hasn't been a decent place for TE's, but this might just work. This late in the draft it would be worth taking a flyer on Pollard. Another candidate worth considering here would be the rookie Heath Miller in Pittsburgh.

I would also rather have Kennison, Houshmandzadeh, Colbert, Rod Smith or maybe Marcus Robinson than to select Charles Rogers. There's nothing wrong with taking a chance on the rookies, but I think they won't be nearly as productive as some of the other WR's I've mentioned. And Rogers is just too fragile to be dependable as a decent back up.

TJ Duckett, Marshall Faulk and Michael Pittman round out the running back selections for these late rounds in the draft if you're still looking for a 3rd or 4th back up. Remember that discussion we had about Mewelde Moore earlier? This is where I would draft him, and I think he would be an excellent fill in type of back since Bennett is bound to go down sometime during the season. Ricky Williams may also be worth a flyer if you're the brave sort. he's typically going in the 12th or 13th rounds.

That's all for now, but I will be adding the IDP top 20 list as promised.... tomorrow.


A Glimpse Into Our World. (aka Confessions of an OCD sufferer)

NOTE: I am speaking just from my own perspective here, but I would hazard a guess that others in the world of fantasy football have some of the same tendencies. Please don't take offense if I hit too close to home. The photo should be a clue that this shouldn't be taken seriously.

Mr Anal Retentive prepares for his Fantasy Football draft.

Well forlks, it's that time of year again. August is half over and the lawn is yellow from lack of water and over abundant sunlight & heat. The kids are getting ready to trade in carefree afternoons at the City Pool for another boring year of textbooks and homework assignments. Your wife is begging for a vacation from summer vacation because listening to her rambunctious hellion offspring fight over every little thing while she hauled them around all day for the last two-and-a-half months has driven her to the edge of a nervous breakdown.

But you have other plans!

You hear the clashing of football helmets echoing from your past and remember the excitement and exhaustion of two-a-day practices in the sweltering August heat. The locker room comradery, the scuffles that determine the new seasons pecking order. It all is coming back to you. Football season fast approaches. It's time to do the number crunching of last season's stats and read all the "experts" opinions about which team has had a better off-season acquiring free agents or selecting promising rookies in the Spring draft. Some of us have kept up with everything the minute it happens, while others have taken the summer off to actually be with their families and help their wives with that summer nervous breakdown thing they do.

The hardcore have been anxiously collecting data and keeping tabs every day of new developments. Now we have to download, print off or otherwise procure every 2005 NFL Fantasy Football Draft cheat sheet known to man. If you don't... well you're just not preparing yourself properly for the upcoming season. And if you're not knowledgeable about the latest news surrounding Hines Ward or Ronnie Brown's contract negotiations, you're just making yourself a target for the obligatory "smack talk".

It's time to get busy!

You're feeling the anticipation of the autumn rituals you've learned to enjoy since childhood. Only now, since you no longer play the game, just watch it... the rituals are a little different. Instead of hitting guys in full pads and getting buried in the bottom of huge piles of people... now you're buried in huge piles of computer paper with hand written notes and highlights of players stats that you "need". It's not a pretty site to see you lounging around in your favorite recliner, unshaven and wearing wrinkled clothes with the greasy finger trails across your shirt from the potato chips you've been eating for the past hour... good nutrition is important for this type of work. A nice cold Molson Ice is also necessary for the arduous task ahead.

You busy yourself by pouring over every minute detail trying to spot something that will give you the edge in your upcoming drafts. Every year you try to make sure you have the best draft of your life in every league... but it never happens the way you envision. Someone always grabs Manning right before you. Dammit! But regardless of the enivitable disappointments you trudge through your preparation rituals, endlessly surfing the web for fantasy football chat rooms looking for insider information and confirmation that somebody else believes Ola Kimrin will be the next TOM Dempsey... or that Mike Nugent will have more adoring fans by season's end than Ted Nugent. Search long enough and you will find someone who agrees. There's always a dealer willing to sell you what you need to get your fix... as long as you're willing to help him get his fix, too.

It's an ugly addiction. One that masks itself with male bravado... "if he can go a month without leaving the computer screen, then so can I dammit! Who needs sleep!"

Some men have been known to get so addicted to this game that they have forgotten all about the outside world. From September until February it doesn't exist. There is only football, stats, beer and nachos. Nothing else matters. The wife or girlfriend calls on you, sometimes with an obvious lust that only a fool would ignore. The kids are trying to understand algebra, but you can only think in x's and o's, not x's and y's. You are totally emersed "in the zone" of checking internet sites on an hourly schedule waiting for their draft analysis and pre-season camp breakdowns. Once the season begins, you have your routine of checking site after site for weekly game analysis based on last week's and last year's results. How do they play on grass, away from home, in the middle of a buffalo stampede.... it's ALL important information! These websites cater to your OCD, and they don't care if they are right or wrong as long as they sound like their "experts" and give you the numbers you crave.

You have ESPN on 24 hours a day so you won't miss a second of precious time with late breaking news of something like a Terrell owens ankle sprain from an excessive end zone celebration during pre-season which included the Spice Girls on Harley Davidson's doing 360 donuts around the goal post. One of them got dizzy and accidentally ran over TO's foot. Damn! Hey... don't laugh... it could happen. He's all about making the game more entertaining, so this kind of stunt would be right up his alley.

But once you start wondering what it would be like if Sean Salisbury and John Clayton actually put on boxing gloves and went 15 rounds at Madison Square Garden... well, you might want to turn the TV off for a while and go get some counseling or therapy. Of course, Sean would kick Clayton's ass... we all can tell Clayton is a whiny, brainiac, four-eyed wimp.

Goin' to Detox Mansion! They say it takes 28 days to get those nasty toxins out of your bloodstream. That is... if you can live without football and ESPN for a month in the middle of the NFL season. Ha! Not even going to happen. Better make it May or some off-season month when the football action is slow... and yes I am talking about NFL Europe. Who watches that crap anyway?

Just when your wife thought she could hogtie you for two second to get some attention and get you to clean out the rain gutters. Someone goes and creates a minor league of misfits and CFL rejects so that people in Europe can have the excitement of NFL football in their own backyards. Nice try! But it does give you another excuse to ignore those people who live with you... I think they call them family, and you're suppose to do "stuff" with them, like go camping or something. Why spend time with them? They don't have anything in common with you... afterall, they don't know how many yards per carry Shaun Alexander got last year.

They have no concept of how much you suffer for your addiction and that you know the most inane details of every NFL player better than your own families birthdays and anniversaries. "But I'm no good with numbers!" Yeah right!

So my first draft of the 2005 Fantasy Football season is coming up this weekend and thought I'd just share some of my twisted thoughts about this crazy ritual with some other freaks out there who might understand the craziness. My computer desk has stacks and stacks of NFL roster sheets, coaching bios, team offense and defense stats, individual offense and defense players stats, projections of fantasy scoring, draft cheat sheets for offense and defense players. It's nuts! There's not a bare spot on my desk to set my cup of coffee on, which means that somewhere I have an important stat that has been ruined by a coffee stain that's just waiting to be discovered. I know I take this hobby way too seriously, but I do have fun with it, and I do make fun of my OCD tendencies... so hopefully that means I'm not over the edge yet. Right!? Please tell me!

Obviously I'm messy and disorganized. So I can't have full-blown OCD!!

My dishes are piling up in the sink as they always do this time of year. I'll get to them before any major scientific experiments get started, but I have "real" work to do. I can't be trifled with mundane activities. I wish I had paid closer attention to all the off-season trades and drops, because now it's a mad dash to get caught up with the rest of you so I don't look like an idiot. Because you guys will be coming to me with a million questions and I'm supposed to know the answers. Will Patrick Surtain thrive in KC and make their secondary better than it has been? How will Plaxico do in a Giants uniform this year? What does Ronnie Brown holding out so long mean for the return of Ricky Williams as the dolphin running back woes continue right where they left off last year?

Too many questions... and I don't have any certain answers. Just educated guesses.

... and I'm sure someone out there will ask me something really inane like should I draft Larry Ned? Hell, I don't even know if the guy is on an active roster this year or not. He's a cult icon though. Surely one day will come when he gets to be the fantasy football scoring machine we all know he could be. All hail the GREAT NED

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Disclaimer: Headlines, breaking news, rumors, updates

I will be using my direct contacts and relative "insider" info (not trying to sound conceited in any way, that's just sort of what it is) throughout the season to bring you the quickest, fastest updates on any breaking injuries, transactions, news, etc that I possibly can.

Last year I was able to post on fanball several times before any websites or sports sites made things public like Leftwich's injury and Priest's injury. However, I want to place a disclaimer right now. Take everything I say at your own risk. Again, everything I place on this site will be something that I personally feel is reliable at about 98 percent and from someone in a very direct word of mouth, whether from a team official, from an "analyst" at ESPN before he goes on air, etc. There is ALWAYS a chance that what I post may turn out to be untrue or later corrected (as was the case with Leftwich's injury, I posted that he was out for the year. ESPN, Rototimes later reported the same thing, but then it turned out he only missed 3 weeks if I remember correctly.) I will do all that I can to post things promptly and quickly to this site, I just do not want to hear, or feel responsible, if someone takes my advice and then it turns out to be wrong later. If you are the type who wants a jump on your league's WW every Monday or ahead of the game for making trades, then listen to me. If you want absolute confirmation or PROOF of a newsstory, then you'll have to look elsewhere. That is the point of my role, you'll (hopefully) find out HERE the majority of the time BEFORE you hear it ANYWHERE else, so you won't be finding any confirmation online.

Regardless of timing, I will post what I hear, when I hear it and if I have time from work, hopefully a quick blurb on the significance or what it means for other fantasy players on the same team.

I hope you all enjoy this season and that my notes and breaking news helps you all win your league's respective trophies :)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

ACC Breakdown:

Kickers, athletes or not? You decide.

Atlantic Coast


Boston College 8-3

Why would I think a team that couldn't even win the Big East title (uh oh, here he goes again...) could finish ahead of FSU, and the rest of the ACC's Atlantic division? Well, stay with me here. BC's defense has one of the best players in the nation in Mathias Kiwanuka (aka Kiwi) they have a solid linebacking corps, and although Will Blackmon is going to be trying his luck on the other side of the ball, they still have senior corner Jazzmen Williams, who, contrary to previous reports, is not a jazz man at all. He is said to enjoy hip-hop, and a little reggae when lighting up. Offensively, they have a strong line, anchored by Jeremy Trueblood and Josh Beekman. They also have a playmaker at wide receiver, in converted cornerback Will Blackmon, who is also one of the nations top return men. That may be enough to win with a defense like they have.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Kiwi

Florida St. 8-3

Now that the Chris Rix era is over, the crimi-Noles were supposed to be moving on to the Wyatt Sexton era. This was before it was discovered that Wyatt Sexton is, in fact, god and has lying disease... I mean lyme disease. Now there will be a battle between freshman Drew Weatherford and the "X-man" Xavier Lee. Expect Lee to be starting September 5th against Miami. Running backs Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker make up what is the best duo in the ACC. Defensively, the loss of Antonio Cromartie for the season due to a torn ACL is devastating. They still have one of the best linebacking units in the nation with A.J Nicholson, Buster Davis and Ernie Sims.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Washington

Clemson 6-5

Tommy Bowden saved his job last year, going 5-1 in the last six games of the year, after starting out 1-4. This year, all eyes are on quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who will need a great year to prove that he is a top QB in next years draft. A tough non-conference game against Texas A&M may end up keeping them from making a bowl game this year. The defense returns Tye Hill, who is a speedy corner, but overall, the D has lost a lot of talent, and could end up hurting the Tigers in a few games.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Whitehurst

N.C. State 6-5

The Wolfpack was the top defensive team in the country last year, and still have star defensive ends Mario Williams and Many Lawson. Both are 1st round picks, and Williams may be a top five pick in next year's draft. Offensively, they still don't have the stability they had when Phillip Rivers was under center, but Jay Davis played well in his first year. Although, if he throws more interceptions than touchdowns as he did last year, Chuck Amato may cry on him. Speaking of which, coach Amato must have gone through a few boxes of Kleenex last year, watching his 5-2 Wolfpack go 1-4 down the stretch, and miss out on a bowl birth.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Williams* (Jr)

Maryland 5-6

"WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE! Well... we should at least protect the tool shed... and, for the love of god, get grandma to a shelter." That is this years battle cry for the Maryland Terrapins, and coach/actor/enormous blob Ralph Friedgen. Jordan Steffy takes over at QB this year, and his main target will be senior wideout Derrick Fenner. (not that Derrick Fenner, Seahawks fans) D'Qwell Jackson returns at linebacker, with his 123 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 INTs, and a partridge and a peartree.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Jackson

Wake Forest 4-7

What is it that makes the Deacons so demonic? Well, it certainly isn't the football program, where they seemed to be destined for another losing season. Running back Chris Barclay, who is back for what seems like his 12th senior season, is an All-ACC talent. Other than that, who cares? (you don't count, Tim Duncan!)

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Barclay


Miami (FL) 10-1

Just when you forget about them, that's when the Hurricanes jump right back in the national title picture. Sophmore Kyle Wright will get his chance to revive the tradition that once was "QB-U." In the backfield, former Blanche-Ely star Tyrone Moss (sorry for the local high school reference) will get the bulk of the carries. He'll be running behind a line anchored by Eric Winston who is returning from a blown knee that caused him to miss last season, and is maybe just a notch below D'Brickshaw Ferguson for the best tackle in college football. The defense is loaded with playmakers. Baraka Atkins, Orien Harris at the D-tackle positions make up possibly the best combo in football, and redshirt freshman linebacker Willie Williams is on pace to obliterate Darryl Strawberry's record for most arrests of an athlete. The secondary is the best in the nation by far, with Kelly Jennings, Greg Threat, and longshot Heisman hopeful Devin Hester, who had four returns for touchdown last season and expects to see some time at receiver this year as well. All in all, don't be suprised to see them in tha national title game this year.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Winston

Virginia Tech 10-1

Unlike the Michael Vick experience, the Marcus Vick experience involves more pot, and more underaged girls.(but suprisingly less STD's). Coach Frank Beamer hopes to keep that under better control than his enormous goiter. Sophmore phenoms Eddie Royal and Josh Hynam, with senior tight end Jeff King, will be catching the passes, while Mike Imoh amd Cedric Humes form one of the top backfield's in the country. Defensively, the stars are D-end Darryl Tapp,and Jimmy Williams, who is the top corner in some minds. If not for back-to-back games against Miami and at Virgina (of which I'm sure they will lose one) this team may have the best chance of beating USC in a title game.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Williams

Virginia 7-4

Virgina returns what will most likely be 2 of the top 5 picks next year. Senior offensive tackle D'brickshaw Ferguson, and Middle Linebacker Ahmed Brooks both elected to return to Virginia in a surprise of sorts last offseason. QB Marques Hagans doesn't get the press of a Brad Smith or Reggie Ball, but is every bit as athletic and doesn't make as many mistakes. Running back Wali Lundi scored 17 times last season sharing carries with Alvin Pearman. Now that Pearman is out of the picture, expect Lundi to break the 1,000 yard barrier. Virginia has a chance to win Coastal division if Va-Tech or "Da U" stumble.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- D'Brick

Georgia Tech 6-5

From an Al Groh coached team, to a Chan Gailey coached team, as the obscure former NFL coaches run continues. The Yellow Jackets have talent at the skill positions, with sophmore WR Calvin Johnson on the verge of being one of the biggest stars in college football. Reggie Ball still hasn't turned the corner to become an above average QB, but Tech hopes this year he will. Running Back P.J Daniels has gone from walk-on to starter, and is one of the most underrated players in college football. Defensively, they return nine starters, most notably defensive end Eric Henderson, linebacker Gerris Wilkinson, and strong safety Chris Reis.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Henderson

North Carolina 2-9

Losing Sean May, Ray Felton, and Marvin Williams will be tough on coach Williams-... What? UNC has a football program? They made a bowl game last year? *faints*

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Kyle Ralph OG

Duke 2-9

What can be said about Duke's football program, that hasn't been said about intelligence in the catholic church? Non-existant? Sure, but all jokes aside, a seal walks into a club... Ok ok, you don't care anymore, I get it!

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Ben Patrick TE* (Jr)

All-ACC Team:

QB Charlie Whitehurst Sr Clemson
RB Leon Washington Sr FSU
RB Chris Barclay Sr Wake Forest
WR Calvin Johnson So Georgia tech
WR Eddie Royal So Virgina Tech
TE Greg Olson So Miami
OL D'Brickshaw Ferguson Sr Virginia
OL Kyle Ralph Sr North Carolina
OL Josh Beekman Jr Boston College
OL Jeremy Trueblood Sr Boston College
OL Eric Winston Sr Miami

DL Mathias Kiwanuka Sr Boston College
DL Orien Harris Sr Miami
DL Darryl Tapp Sr Virgina Tech
DL Mario Williams Jr NC State
LB Ernie Sims Jr FSU
LB Ahmed Brooks Jr Viginia
LB D'Qwell Jackson Sr Maryland
DB Jimmy Williams Sr Virgina Tech
DB Devin Hester Jr Miami
DB Kelly Jennings Sr Miami
DB Pat Watkins Sr FSU

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

I have been probably the biggest (and maybe the only) Terrell Owens supporter around, and with that in mind, I'd like to say this:

"Go to hell, T.O"

And yes, it has gotten that serious. Philly fans open up their hearts for no one, but did for T.O. He was just as big as anyone in the city, minus Allen Iverson & maybe on par with Donovan.

We fell in love with T.O, and I'd thought T.O had fallen in love with us. When he caught that touchdown in that preseason game against the Ravens, it was the happiest moment I had since we beat the Bears in Chi-town. Imagine that, a TD in a preseason game has me in full "call everyone I know and scream" mode.

Then, he starts out the season with 3 TD's in a win over the Giants. Right then and there, he had won over Eagles fans.

Then, he got injured against the cowboys. He walked off the field, then just kind of brokedown in the tunnel, and had to be helped back to the locker room. That monday was the day of my midterms, and the whole time, I was on my cell phone looking for the results of his MRI. That's how much this guy meant to me and my team.

When I found out the injury is serious, I am devastated. I'm talking borderline, "My parents told me I am adopted" devastated.

Then comes the Super Bowl, and he played on a broken ankle. And, by golly, he played well! In fact, he was the bright spot of the game from an Eagles fans perspective.

Fast forward to now. Terrell Owens, after a summer-long contract dispute, and numerous cheapshots at Donovan McNabb and the Eagles organization, he has walked out of training camp, and quite frankly, I hope he keeps walking. Keeps walking until he meets up with a few Eagles fans who have pounded a few too many down, and gets what's coming to him.

I don't think T.O realizes what he has done. He angered the most volatile fan base in sports. And if he plays for the Eagles this year, he will be booed endlessly, and if he doesn't play for the Eagles this year... Well, I give him four to six months.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Stupid or Smart?

With Javon's healthy return, my boy Brett seemingly in the best shape of his entire career (considering he has set completion percentage records each of the past 2 seasons, being in fantastic shape and having zero off the field adversity to begin the season could be a scary thing...

Found a website giving 50-1 odds on GB to win it all...So I bet $20. Figured that pay day of $1000 would be reallllllllllll sweet....

Question is: Smart bet or just wasting $20?

Also trying to change my display name on here to GBinSB06....someone tell me if it's fixed or not.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Creek Covers: The American Bowl

Falcon's QB Michael Vick, happy the American bowl isn't being played in Mexico!

Well, this is the first installment in what will be a running series. Basically, it's just a cheap knock-off of the Sports Guy's diaries, but with a new name & more death threats. Plus, I'd like to think that mine is funnier, but maybe that's just me. Anways, I got up early today (4:30 EST) for the beginning of football season. The American bowl, the only bowl less competitive than the " Humanitarian Bowl" was being played in Japan this year, and is a match up of the two losers of the conference championship games, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Indianapolis Colts. So with out further ado, let the preseason begin!

5:01: What a lame intro for ESPN. It's only preseason! (Then why am I up at 5:00 in the morning?)

5:03: Why are the player Intros in english? What a slap in the face to the people of Japan. 1st Hiroshima & Nagasaki, now this!

5:04: Do all the Japanese throw like girls?

5:09:Everytime Vick rolls out, I'm pretty sure you can hear all of Atlanta holding their collective breaths.

5:11: Vick (playing with a "God, japanese women are the shizznit!" look) throws a INT on the opening drive. It's not the 1st time someone caught something from him, ain't that right, Ron Mexico?

5:13: The Colts start with the no huddle. See how easy it is Donovan? Just call the play from the line! (Yes, I'm bitter!)

5:18: The fans in Japan have "thunder sticks"... It's too bad I already made my A-bomb joke.

5:20: TD Colts. Troy "Remember when I owned the Pac 10?" Walters scores. 7-0 Colts. I need a McMuffin right now like you couldn't believe!

5:22 What's up with the "Mike's Hard Lemonade" ads? Why don't the other bottles talk? It's just one bottle that can talk & he talks to other humans? How does that makes sense? Someone needs to get fired over this! What do you mean I have no life?

5:28: I don't know who's less happy to be in Japan, Edgerrin James, or Mike Tirico.

5:34: 2 completed passes in a row to Dez White. Maybe something to watch out for? I don't think any position on a specific team has been avoided like the Falcons wide receivers in the history of fantasy football. People are staying away from Peerless Price like Joe Johnson is staying away from success.

5:37: How did Mike Vick get his cornrows done in Japan? You think he flew his hair stylist halfway around the world to do it? I'm going to go ahead & say he did.

5:40: FG Falcons. 7-3 Colts. 2nd quarter just started. Anybody know when "Strathmore Bagels" opens? It is walking distance for me.

5:43: My favorite part of preseason: Young Players getting a shot to do something, and completely blowing it. The kicker, who they brought along to be a "kickoff specialist" just booted a ball out of bounds. Way to go, kid.

5:46:I know it has nothing to do with anything, but a note to women (& gay men): Cheerleading is not a sport!

5:48: Let's get something straight, I love Cato June, but the fact that he is one of the Colts top starters, lets me know that the Colts will not win the superbowl this year. Speaking of Michigan, Marlin Jackson just killed someone. Film at 11:00.

5:52: Another Atlanta FG. That's it, I'm starving, I'm getting some cereal damn it!

5:57: Back with some Corn Pops! Gotta have my Pops!

6:01: Wow... in honor of Jason Wright's dropped handoff, I will breakout the, "Bless his heart, he's got to be the sickest man in America!" TD Colts 14-6. Kendyll Pope just got a gift on that one. (Which I'm sure he's used to being he went to FSU & all.

6:10: TD Falcons. 13-14. Brian Finneran almost blew the dunk on the goalpost. Gotta love white people!

6:11: Matt Schaub may be the best preseason QB of all-time.

6:17: Aaron Moorehead fumbles. He's no Troy Walters, I'll tell you that much!

6:24: Fred McCrary just made a bumbling, stumbling, bobbling catch for a TD. 20-14 Falcons in the lead. A general rule of thumb: Anytime a fullback touches the ball, comedy ensues.

6:27: Time for the Coors light halftime show! Which means I have to put away the clothes I bought yesterday...damn back-to-school...

6:52: Anything funnier than Mort' asking Edge to explain the meaning of the word, "right" in the sentence, "I got to do right by the big man?". I think not!

6:54: It's possible that "Quite Frankly" may edge out "Seinfeld" reruns for the coveted 6:30 spot in my TV scheduele.

6:57: 3 plays, 3 sacks. Jim Sorgi may die before the game is over. It could happen.

7:03: I think we've had approximately 174 flags thrown on the last 4 plays. Yay preseason!

7:07: Jim Sorgi knows he's allowed to throw the ball, right? Another flag...That's it, I'm taking a shower!

7:23: Random thoughts from in the shower:

I bet I could take Shawn Bradley in a one-on-one game.

I haven't made nearly enough Ron Mexico jokes.

I wonder if the president has been assassinated since I got in the shower?

7:28: My thoughts on Roddy White:

I really love his talent, and I thought he would be a steal to whatever team got him. But I don't see him working on the Falcons. He has all the talent in the world, but I don't see a wide reciever putting up big numbers with Michael Vick as his QB. Still, Roddy has enough talent that people will notice him, and when his rookie deal is up, I expect him to get a pretty decent pay day. (As I say this, he drops a TD)

7:43: TD Jason Wright. 27-14, Falcons. If Mike Golic uses the word "redeemed" to describe Jason Wright one more time, I will karate chop him in the throat.

7:53: An old big ten favorite, John Standeford, just caught a TD. Makes you wonder where Vinny Sutherland is right now, doesn't it? 27-21.

7:58: I wonder if Mike Vick & Kobayashi know each other. For some reason, I think they would be good friends.

8:04: Do the refs really need the NFL logo on their hats?

8:07: Peyton Manning is basically the offensive coordinator of the Colts at this point, right? I mean, there's a minute left in a preseason game, and he's barking out orders at the chain crew, the quarterback, the peanut guy in section C. Is there a player in sports middle-aged white guys like more? I think not.

8:09: Well, after a sack and a kneel, this one's over, folks. Entertaining, for a preseason game, and it signifies that FOOTBALL IS BACK, BABY!!!!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bettors Edge

Here it is folks, my first football betting slip of the season. While sitting in my favorite Mafia owned bistro in Boston, enjoying a cold one, my man Pauley " The Animal" Piscatelli, also my man on the other end of many fall Sunday phone calls, asked me what I thought about American Football being played in Japan. I told him that Japan had most favored nation status with the USA, so in about 2 months, they will make it better, smaller, cheaper, & more consumer friendly, so buy stock in Sonyvision now.

He looked at me like I had 3 heads, shook his head & showed me a large weapon inside a shoulder holster. He then said that I shouldn't mess with him, as thinking hurt his head. He then asked me what I thought of the Indy Colts finally beating the Pats in January. I told him if it was played inside a dome, against the Team from lest year, Indy scores 10 points, not the measely 3 of last year.

I then inquired if the line for the first pre-season game between Indy & Atlanta was still Indy-2.5, he said it was & I dropped 100. on Indy. Their scrubs are better than Atlantas scrubs. Even with the injury to Stokley, who would only be on the field for the first quarter anyway, I see Indy winning this game 38-24, With Jim Sorgi throwing 3 TDs in the second quarter. This didn't seem to faze Pauley, so I told him about this site & how I was going to post my picks for the year, He laughed & asked if I was sure I wanted every one to see what a fish I was. I had to remind him about the money I had won from each and every year, for the last 7 years. he left in a huff after that, & stuck me with his bar tab.

Oh well, I will make that up this weekend.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Big East Breakdown:

Louisville's sophmore QB Brian Brohm is a star in the making

Louisville 11-0

A team has never had so much potential to ruin the BCS as we know it since it came into existence. And yes, it has me down right giddy. Think about it, Louisville is in its 1st year in a "BCS conference." So naturally, they won't be very respected by the other members of the conference, the writers, the media, and what have you. The only problem is, THEY'RE IN THE BIG EAST! The very same conference that just one year ago, had a team in the Fiesta Bowl with a 8-3 record & was stomped by Utah. Louisville is by far the best team in the Big East, and may win every game by at least 10 points. So what happens when they go undefeated? After all, they're in the Big East, a "BCS" conference. So they should be in the national title game, no? I'd bet everything on the fact that no matter how well they play, there is no way they even sniff a national title game.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Travis Leffew OT
Mammoth of a man, with plenty of experience. Will probably be in the mix around the mid to late 2nd round.

Pittsburgh 9-2

It seems a new trend may be starting in Pittsburgh. Rather than being good one year, than sucking for the next two, they may just be good the whole time. After the Rutherford/Fitzgerald era, it was almost certain that they would go back to sucking. Instead, we are now in the midst of the Palko/Lee era which has netted Pittsburgh a Big East title for the Panthers, with Palko being called one of the top junior QB's in the nation, and Greg Lee getting near as much hype as Larry Fitzgerald. Now they have Dave Wannstedt at the helm, and hope is abound in Pittburgh. (as opposed to when he was hired in Miami & everyone was like, "huh?") The defense is where Wannstedt will have to do his best job of coaching, as Pittsburgh had complete lapses of concentration at times last year. (38 points to Syracuse, Are you kidding me? 38 points to SYRACUSE?!?!) Wannstedt hopes to turn around the talented bunch led by linebackers H.B. Blades & Clint Session, cornerback Josh Lay, and defensive end J.J Horne.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Lee

Rutgers 7-4

Laughing stock no more! Welcome to respectability Rutgers, good to have you here. Why don't you go sit down on the couch over there next to Wyoming & Bowling Green. The passing game is borderline juggernaut, and match that with Mike Alstott clone Brian Leonard, and you've got one hell of an offense. The defense will be taken over by head coach Greg Schiano in hopes of turning them into a defense that doesn't over 34 points 7 times, like they did last season. So you Rutgers alumni rejoice, because even though you still live with your parents, and your life is a complete failure, your football team will be mediocre!
(PS- any Rutgers alumni who may or may not be reading this, and be my fathers boss, please disregard previous comment)

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Leonard

Syracuse 5-6

It's hard to imagine that this team was a Pitt loss away from being in a BCS bowl. They were 6-6 last year damnit! While they loss running back Walter Reyes, Damien Rhodes should fill in nicely.(considering Reyes was hurt for much of last year anyway) Syracuse ranked 78th in offense, and 101st in defense, so nothing special there. It just always seems like Syracuse wins one or two conference games that suprise everyone, so that's what I'm banking on this year. Plus, they play in the Big East. (noticing a trend here?)

Best NFL Draft Prospect- James Wyche DE
Has never really put up the numbers, but has the tools scouts drool over.

West Virginia 6-5

What may be the most depleted team in the nation after losing a starting quaterbacks, one of the nations most talents wide receivers, a early season heisman candidate at running back, and some guy named "Pacman," they face an up-hill struggle towards regaining a spot atop the Big East. There is also some buzz about running back Jason Colson (who was thought to be Kay-Jay Harris' replacement) being moved to wide receiver. In keeping with the Mountanieer tradition of having weird names for defensive players, the defense will be anchored by guys named Dingle, Dykes, Dee McCann and Boo McLee. Incoming freshman Mortty "anus-breath" Ivy, and kicker Pat "confined to a wheelchair" McAfee hope to be special teams producers as well.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Dan Mozes OG* (Jr)
One of the most underrated guards in the country. That could change if he does well at the combine next year.

Connecticut 5-6

With Dan Orlovsky gone, UConn will now turn into a running team. Cornell Brockington is the was the Big East's leading rusher last year as a sophmore, and he may not even be starting. This is all due to Terry Caulley who missed all of last year with a knee injury. Caulley is an explosive back, and is the most talented in the conference. (you heard me, Michael Bush) This team will start out strong, but late season games against Pitt & Louisville may knock them out of a bowl game.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Caulley

Cincinnati 2-9

Another team in the Big East who lost pretty much all of their talent. They only have three returning starters on each side of the ball. If it wasn't for games against Eastern Michigan & Western Carolina, this team would be in trouble of not winning a game at all. Any truth to the rumor that Bob Huggins will be coaching the football team too this year? I mean, he has been arrested for a DUI before, so he'd fit right in.

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Brent Celek TE* (Jr)
Good all-around player. Possible mid round pick next year.

South Florida 2-9

I have a serious problem here. Why the hell is The University of South Florida in Tampa?!?!? That's not in south Florida, It's in west Florida. What the hell are people thinking?

Best NFL Draft Prospect- Stephan Nicholas LB* (Jr)
The only good player on the defense. Has a nose for the ball.

All Big East Team:
QB Tyler Palko Jr Pittsburgh
RB Terry Caulley Jr UConn
RB Brian Leonard Jr Rutgers
WR Greg Lee Jr Pittsburgh
WR Broderick Clark Sr Louisville
TE Clark Harris Jr Rutgers
OL Travis Leffew Sr Louisville
OL Dan Mozes Jr West Virginia
OL Steve Franklin Sr Syracuse
OL John Glass Sr Rutgers
OL Charles Spencer Sr Pittsburgh

DL James Wyche Sr Syracuse
DL Adam Roberts Sr Cincinatti
DL Keilen Dykes So West Virginia
DL Elvis Dumervil Sr Louisville
LB Boo McLee Jr West Virginia
LB Stephan Nicholas Jr South Florida
LB H.B Blades Jr Pittsburgh
DB Jamile Addae Sr West Virginia
DB Josh Lay Sr Pittsburgh
DB Ron Girault So Rutgers
DB Mike Loerello Sr West Virginia

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Archer's Bio

What do you call a statistical wunderkind and phenomenally accurate NFL prognosticator, who was delivered in a movie theater basement during the most life threatening hours of the British Invasion in 1964?

You call that man..... Archer! *trumpet fanfare*

A heartbreaking childhood of destitution and illness in the trailer parks of Oklahoma, gave rise to one of this Nation's best football minds. Back in 1980, just inches from death from an unknown infection, and beyond any treatment known in the medical community, brave Archer was miraculously healed by a Navajo medicine man named Y'ahta'ah. Once he recovered fully and was able to run, he learned how to play the game of football. In the enchanted deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, he began his arduous journey to master the game he loves so much.

Today Locker Room can proudly herald the arrival of Archer as their pre-eminent Fantasy Football genius (Okay, well.... at least one of them). Stay tuned for Archer's Fantasy Football breakdown each Wednesday throughout the 2005 NFL season. He'll be putting on his Carnac turban and staring into his crystal ball (and he might even do some research) to bring you weekly scoring breakdowns for every match up.