Thursday, November 17, 2005

Professor Ellis D Trails Week 11 Syllabus

I am appalled. I watched the entire Monday Night game and for 56:20, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Then I was dealt a blow that was all too familiar. I recalled 1992, watching the Eagles/Packers game. The Venerable Brett Favre was in his first full season under center. There they were up by seven, 24-17 and at the Packers ten. Heath Shuler seemed destined to take it in for insurmountable 14-point lead. Then, as fate has done so often, that I should have predicted it coming swooped down and took the heart from my chest. Heath Shuler fumbled the ball and an apparently meaningless turnover occurred. I mean, there was only just over two minutes left and the Birds were up by seven. The game was over, right. No, the Packers drove down for a game tying TD with under a minute to play. The Packers then kicked off, and at least we had overtime to deal with, or so I thought. Instead of running out the final minute, The Mike Tice-esque Rich Kotite decided to run the ball with Herschel Walker. As the ball fell from Walker’s arms, I think I laughed in pain, as if the Eagles had a chance to recover. Inevitably, Chris Jacke kicked the game winning FG with seconds remaining as the loss was sealed. That was the worst feeling I have ever had after an Eagle’s loss in my life up until Monday night.

I absolutely hate the Cowboys. I am not a proponent of hate, but I detest that lone star and everything it stands for. I flashed back to every moment where providence had left me sour. Randall getting popped by Bryce Paup in the year we were supposed to take it all with the best defense of all time. The next season to have Randall back, but Jerome Brown dying prior to the season took the anchor and leader of the defense away from where he belonged. Rodney Peete throwing an interception in overtime and laughing as the Giants returned it for a game winning TD. I couldn’t stop my mind from overflowing with images of lost moments and being left with a constant ache that could be felt into the pit of my gut.

There is one thing that I have learned from these frequent moments of torment. That would be how to recover. They flashed up a stat that epitomizes Philadelphia. It has been 22 years since this city has won a championship and that makes it the longest stretch that a major market has gone since winning a championship. Some cities have teams that don’t win. All of our teams don’t win. This is the main reason for my cynical, but realistic view of the sports world. Because every time I get my hopes up, they are crushed like the proverbial bug. Finally, no matter how much as I am crushed and no matter how much my dreams vanish before my eyes, I am a Philadelphian and I will never abandon my Team. That is what holds my dear city together. Some may ask why would you put up with so much disappointment? The answer is simple, for the love of the game and the enjoyment encompassing it all. Now that I have vented my frustration, I will put that memory with all of the others to be locked away until the next foreseeable event the curse brings upon us all.

Now, onto a more positive note. Sit down and take notes. Get ready for Week 11.

PHI @ NYG
Obviously, I am still feeling the effects of Monday Night. Why did they throw on third down? Run 3 times and make Dallas use all of their TO’s, (no pun intended) and then have to go the length of the field on their defense. WOW. Talk about pulling a Mike Tice. I got mad respect for you Andy, but that was pathetic. The Giants lost to the Vikings at home. Talk about the sun shining on a dog’s ass on Sunday.

McNabb out, McMahon in. McEagles will McLose. McBench all McStarters short of McWestbrook
Brian Westbrook – In the face of adversity, he still plays with fire and puts up notable fantasy numbers especially in ppr leagues. I wouldn’t sit him.

Eli Manning – Should have a field day with his defense dominating the Birds all day
Tiki Barber – He is a known Eagle killer. Must Start.
Plaxico Burress – His height will give him an advantage over the Eagles “Pro Bowlers” in the defensive backfield
Jeremy Shockey – Eagles usually give up points to TE’s. He should have a good day, but the TD’s are going to Barber or the wide outs

ARI @ STL
The Rams lost a key game at Seattle and now must pile on the wins. Arizona in the dome is a good way to start. This is the return of Kurt Warner to his old stomping grounds. It will be as he left it, with the Rams beating the lowly Cardinals.

Kurt Warner – Makes his return to the place of his glory. He will perform as usual and lose as usual.
Anquan Boldin – If he returns, he might not be a strong play as Warner has found his threat in Fitzgerald.
Larry Fitzgerald – Kurt’s main man and in line for another big game, even if most of his stats come in garbage time like last week.

Marc Bulger – Couldn’t get on track in the rain last week and still put up pretty good numbers. He should smash the Cardinals. 350 and 2 TD’s
Steven Jackson – He will move the chains but won’t see the end zone at least he won’t on the ground.
Torry Holt – Rams need a win, i.e. Big Game. See Torry’s Nickname and that is what you will see
Isaac Bruce – He is still out there, not as a decoy but, similarly, to take pressure off of Holt and allowing the main man to do what he does best. He could get 60 and a score.

NO @ NE
Both Superbowl teams of last year are struggling. Welcome to the NFL of Today. NE will still beat the team with no home. Honestly, the Saints don’t have enough talent to continue this overwhelmingly demoralizing season. They have replaced their team song with Home on the Road to music of Home on the Range
"Oh give me a dome, where the Saints can call home, and the teams that have talent can play. Where seldom is seen an offensive scheme, and the defense will give up points all day”

Tom Brady – Showed against the Dolphins why he is a consistent producer in fantasy football. The Saints provide little challenge to stop him.
Deion Branch – This was the guy that I picked out a hat for this week. It is so difficult to know whom Brady will target.
Ben Watson – 2 late TD’s to pull out the game in Miami shows that he has great ability

Aaron Brooks – Two years ago he looked like a star in the making. Not anymore.
Joe Horn – Did he retire before this season? JK

OAK @ WAS
Washington has been lucky all season. Last week their luck ran out. Oakland cannot seem to buy a win. They are four games out of the Division and just can’t get the job done when it counts, sounds like Kerry Collins career. That being said, Washington wins this one with a good defense and the fact that they are at home.

Kerry Collins – He threw 3 INT’s last week. We have now seen the real Kerry Collins. He could throw 3 again this week.
Randy Moss – As usual, he is good for around a buck and a score.
Lamont Jordan – Washington is giving up the tenth most points to RB’s this year including 12 overall TD’s. This bodes well for Lamont Sanford, er, I mean Jordan.

Mark Brunell – Definitely the most surprising player this year. He wasn’t even starting to begin the season. Nobody saw this coming. 250 1 TD/1 INT
Clinton Portis - The Raiders give up the third most points to RB’s. Combine that with the fact that Portis is averaging 90 yards total a game over his last 4 games with 5 TD’s. 120/2 TD’s
Santana Moss – He reminds me of a shorter version of Jimmy Smith from back in the day and loves Brunell throwing him the ball.
Chris Cooley – He gets about 50 yards a game and doesn’t score that often, sounds about right.

PIT @ BAL
Pittsburgh has won four in a row and the only one that was even close was against, well you guessed it, Baltimore. It was a one point victory on Monday Night. Boller is back and that means virtually nothing. Jamal Lewis looks like he doesn’t care. Jim Fassel is an awful coordinator and this team proves it.

PITT QB – I don’t like whoever is the starter. It’s a divisional rivalry game and defense controls this one
Hines Ward – Played spectacular against Cleveland. Baltimore is not Cleveland. Always a fantasy starter nevertheless.
PITT RB – Duce gets the yards, who knows who gets the goaline vultures. The Steelers are a fantasy owner’s nightmare.
Antowain Randel El - He could see time at QB, this week. Hmmm, very interesting.

PITT DEF / BALT DEF – These two defenses are the strongest plays on either team.

Kyle Boller – HA HA HA. Are you going to start him? I didn’t think so.
Jamal Lewis – Should be playing for a contract, now he most likely won’t get what he thinks he is worth.
Derrick Mason – He consistently gets the yards and consistently doesn’t score.
Todd Heap – I feel bad for this guy. He could really be a great player on a team with offense. If he was on the Colts, he would be phenomenal.

JAC @ TEN
Jacksonville will probably have to run the table to even stay close with the Colts. Tennessee is a shell of their former team due to poor cap management. The bad news, Taylor is doubtful. The good news, Tennessee is vulnerable through the air.

Byron Leftwich – Has a lot of young weapons and one really old one. 300 and 2 TD/1 INT
Greg Jones – He can handle himself in the absence of Taylor. What ever happened to Toefield?
Jimmy Smith – He is the Nolan Ryan of the NFL 85 /1 TD
Ernest Wilford – No one heard of this guy a month ago and is now quickly becoming a favorite of Lefty and has the same amount of TD’s as Smith. He exploited STL and HOU and had a bad week against BAL, but really wasn’t needed in that blowout. 90 /1 TD

Steve McNair - I don't see him doing well against a Jacksonville team on a mission
Chris Brown - He will be shut down this week.

TB @ ATL
Gruden really took a gamble last week going for two. That takes guts, which is something you rarely see in this league anymore. This just in, there has been a Mike Alstott sighting. ATL lost to GB at home thanks to a guy named Gado. Domo Origato, Mr. RoGADO. Vick hates playing the Bucs, as shown by his 61 career QB rating against them in five games.

Chris Simms – This guy put a solid effort together against a good defense. He is the same guy that struggled on the road against a poor Niner’s defense. Which Simms will come to play? I say the guy that played last week.
Carnell Williams – The Caddy is said to be getting back into game shape and should have a great weekend against the team giving up almost 22 points/ game to RB’s this season.
Joey Galloway – It seems like this guy catches at least one TD every week. I don’t see why that trend won’t continue.

Michael Vick – He has only thrown over 250 yards once since the 16th Week of 2002 and that was a measly 252 yards against DEN in week 8 of last season. In that span he only went over 200 6 times. That’s 29 games while throwing 27 TD’s and 22 INT’s. When are people going to give up on this guy for fantasy purposes?
Warrick Dunn – He is averaging close to 113 total yards a game, but has only 4 total TD’s. Only start him in yardage-heavy leagues.
Alge Crumpler – The guy who sounds like a coffee cake from the lake suffers with Vick at QB.

CAR @ CHI
That game last week in the Windy City was truly a blustery one. It wasn’t a surprise that it came down to a special teams play. The same thing might be true for this week. Carolina hasn’t lost since a week 3 defeat at Miami. People who were writing them off when they were 1-2 are now back on the wagon with the current co-# 1 NFC team.

Jake Delhomme – Chicago is looking at some rain/snow storms on Sunday, and to be a balmy 45 at game time. The wind is supposed to be blowing pretty hard, This is not for Jake owners. 150 1 TD/ 1INT
Stephen Davis – He is only an OK play in a TD heavy league. This one is a battle of defenses and Fox knows that one RB score could be the difference. Keep in mind that Chicago has only given up one RB score this year and that was to Kevin Jones who btw only seems to score against strong defenses. (CHI-1, TB-1,BAL-2)
Steve Smith – This guy has not lost a step this year coming back from injury. He is a bolt of lightning off the line and no one can cover him, now only if Jake throws him the ball in some crazy weather.

Thomas Jones – Benson’s injury is not as serious as first thought, but he will not be playing for a few weeks. Can he play with as much heart without the rook looking over his shoulder, only time will tell. He is not a strong play this week against a defense 3rd best at allowing points to opposing RB’s

MIA @ CLE
Browns ticket manager is under house arrest after scamming tickets to brokers, bypassing fans on a waiting list. The biggest question is, who the hell is on a waiting list to see the Browns? Cleveland has lost 4 of 5 and show almost no signs of life, save a winning performance against a pathetic Titan’s team. Miami on the other hand has lost 5 of 6 and look just as lifeless. Does anyone really care about this game?

Sage Rosenfels – It is reported that Frerotte has said that he will not play this week and that means that Sage the Savior gets the nod, I know you love him Wikkid, but on the real, he barely beat out AJ Feeley. Downgrade all Dolphins. I see the final of this game being 9-6 and pick either team to win. There should be a bunch of turnovers and not because the defenses are any good. I dare you Sage, prove me wrong.
Ronnie Brown – He should get a nice chunk of yardage, but scoring is going to be difficult with 10 guys in the box.

Antonio Bryant – He has put up poor numbers over the last four weeks against bad teams except for Pitt, I would not start him over Toomer or even Lelie, maybe even Randel El.

DET @ DAL
Two teams that will be playing on Thanksgiving next week are playing each other this week. How nice. I don’t care what anybody says, Dallas got lucky on Monday night and will have an emotional let down against Detroit. This doesn’t mean they will lose for they are playing the Lions at home. Have I mentioned how much I hate the Cowboys?

Joey Harrington – He had his one good game, now it’s time to come back to reality.
Roy Williams – 3 TD’s against Arizona and they only win by eight, that’s just sad.
Kevin Jones – Mariucci has no idea of the talent he has in Jones. 58 yards in the first half and then only 6 carries in the second half. Why, because of Artose Pinner and Shawn Bryson. Are you serious?

Drew Bledsoe – I hate this guy. He was dominated by the Eagles and yet still won because of poor decision making. He sucks. I don’t care what anyone says. He should play well this week though, but I still hate him
Terry Glenn – I hate her too.
Jason Witten – He is due for a good game, but the Lions give up the least amount of points to TE’s. That’s because they are too busy giving up points to other members of offenses.
Julius Jones – When he was hurt, we were assured that he wasn’t going to lose his starting job. It sure looked like that last week. So much for his preseason prediction of 1700 yards.

SEA @ SF
It looks now like it will be Seattle and Carolina slugging it out to see who will lose to Indy in Superbowl X-tra Large. With SA now being the focal point instead of Hasselback, that Seahawk team can be unstoppable. What can I say about San Francisco? Didn’t someone leave their heart there? Oh, yeah, the Forty-Niners did.

Matt Hasselback – With San Fran doing everything they can to attempt to stop Alexander, Hass should go apeshit against the worst (by far) pass defense in the league. 350 3TD’s/ 1 INT.
Shaun Alexander – Again, he is Shaun Alexander.
Bobby Engram – Looked to get back in the groove against St Louis, and now gets to face the creampuff Niner’s DB’s.

BUF @ SD
The Bills dominated a Kansas City team that plays much worse on the road than they do at home. McGahee cannot seem to play a full game lately. San Diego is coming off a bye week with the best running back in the league going against arguable the worst rushing defense. Buffalo is 4-1 at home and 0-4 on the road. San Diego should breeze through this one.

JP Loseman – SD has a poor pass defense and this guy found a rhythm against KC with Evans. These two could rack up some garbage time points.
Willis McGahee – Hasn’t scored a TD since week six. He seems to rack up the yards against poor run defenses 124 yds/game 3 TD’s (HOU, ATL, NEW, NYJ, NO) but he doesn’t do much against strong run defenses 59 yds/game 1 TD (TB, MIA, OAK, KC) – I don’t see him doing well this week.
Lee Evans – If you want a risk pick with a high reward plug Evans in as your number 3 WR.

Drew Brees – He has been on fire lately if you take out the Eagle’s game, but he faces the best team against the pass. He puts up OK numbers.
LT – should easily be the number one player this week
Antonio Gates – He is the only consistent receiving threat in this offense.

NYJ @ DEN
The Broncos would have won 8 in a row coming into this game if it not for the Herculean efforts of Eli Manning and the Giants. They have two road games after this including a Thanksgiving date in Dallas, so they will be gunning for this one. As much as the Broncos have been winning, the Jets have been losing. This one is over before it begins.

Brooks Bollinger – He shows signs of life for about two seconds and then you realize it was against the prevent nothing defense. He stinks and probably won’t last the entire game.

Jake Plummer – The Jets are pretty good against the pass and awful against the run. The Snake is not a real strong play this week, but he definitely plays better at home.
Mike Anderson – The Jets are giving up a combined 161 yds/game and just over a TD a game to opposing RB’s. Look for Mike S. to control the clock with Mike A.
Rod Smith – 35 year old Rod Smith has averaged 75 yds/ game over his last four and has 3 of his 4 TD’s during that stretch. 90 yds/ 1 TD

IND @ CIN
Indianapolis looks like a team for the ages. Johnny U out there minding the troops. Cincinnati is coming off a bye week. This is the week that Indy is supposed to be vulnerable because no team goes undefeated. This is a sneaky game and I am not buying it. No doubt, I think that this one will be a high scoring affair, but Indy wins this one and loses next week against Pitt.

Peyton Manning – He is the consummate professional. He handles his business and you don’t hear a peep. I love those commercials where he is praising the common man. Take note TO. 300 2 TD’s
Edgerrin James – Cincinnati has given up a lot of yards to RB’s but surprisingly not a lot of TD’s. Edge brings them down and knocks it in. 130 2 TD’s
Marvin Harrison – I wonder where all the guys that said, “This is the year that Wayne takes over for Marvin.” He may have 1 more catch and 9 more yards, but Marvin has 5 more TD’s. Looks like Marv is still the guy.

Carson Palmer – He has been the best fantasy QB so far this year and there is no sign of him stopping. Indy has surrendered only 9 passing TD’s this year. However, 7 have come in the last 5 weeks.
Chad Johnson – He has guaranteed a big game against the Colts this week, but he won’t guarantee victory. That’s what I see too. 120 2 TD’s and 1 in the loss column.
Rudi Johnson – The addition of Simon has helped the team immensely against the run and have only given up 3 TD’s to RB’s all year. Rudi is not a good play this week as if you needed me to tell you that.

KC @ HOU
KC really misses Roaf. Trent Green has as much time to throw as it takes the Eagles to blow a 4th quarter lead. Houston is pitiful and gives up more points to RB’s than any other team not named San Francisco. I said KC misses Roaf, but not this week. LJ will run them to victory.

Trent Green – Spends more time on his back than a 2-dollar crack whore, but as long as he can hand it off he won’t have the opportunity to throw an INT.
Larry Johnson – Huge numbers this week. He should give LT a run for his money for player of the week.
Tony Gonzalez – I thought that he would have had a poor week last week without Roaf against the #1 pass defense, but actually did pretty good. 75 yds/ 1 TD

Dominick Davis/Jonathan Wells – Neither is a very good play. I have said it before and I’ll say it again. I wouldn’t be surprised if Houston doesn’t score a point.

MIN @ GB
Green Bay goes on the road and stuns the Falcons. Minnesota goes on the road and stuns the Giants. Both teams are on an emotional high. The difference is Mike Tice. He will find a way to lose this one. Samkon Gado looks like a beast. Let’s just hope he can hold onto the ball long enough to keep the job.

Brad Johnson – At 37, he is well past his prime and the only thing going for him is that Green Bay gives up points to TE’s like crazy which seems to be the only position he can throw to.
Mewelde Moore – How is Bennett keeping this guy on the bench? I understand that Tice is protecting a wrist injury but, when he out-yardages Bennett's entire game on one play then he needs to be in there.
Jermaine Wiggins – GB gives up the second most points in the league to TE’s. A lone bright spot in a bad offense.

Brett Favre – I wonder how many times John Madden will knock one out to Brett on what could play out to be the second to last Monday Night Game he will play and possibly the last at Lambeau Field. I can hear it now. “ Brett Favre is the only Brett Favre there can ever be” Brett Favre can take a game upon his back and will his team to victory” “ Brett Favre can turn water into wine” John Madden needs to go. Last Monday night he made up words like Quickler and said the Cowboys SNEAKED into town. This guy speaks for a living, what? Anyway, Brett comes to play on Monday.
Samkon Gado – I am now officially on the bandwagon. Minnesota has given up 10 rushing TD’s this year. GO GO Speed GADO GO.
Donald Driver – Stepped up his performance in the face of double teams. Looks good for a buck and a TD
Bubba Franks – Only Minnesota gives up more points to TE’s than Green Bay.

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Top QB matchups – Week 11

1. Brett Favre
2. Peyton Manning
3. Carson Palmer
4. Matt Hasselback
5. Marc Bulger
6. Eli Manning
7. Tom Brady
8. Mark Brunell
9. Byron Leftwich
10. Drew Bledsoe

Top RB matchups – Week 11
1. Ladanian Tomlinson
2. Shaun Alexander
3. Larry Johnson
4. Edgerrin James
5. Steven Jackson
6. Samkon Gado
7. Tiki Barber
8. Clinton Portis
9. Lamont Jordan
10. Warrick Dunn

Top WR matchups – Week 11

1. Chad Johnson
2. Torry Holt
3. Steve Smith
4. Santana Moss
5. Donald Driver
6. Larry Fitzgerald
7. Plaxico Burress
8. Randy Moss
9. Marvin Harrison
10. Joey Galloway

Top TE matchups – Week 11

1. Jeremy Shockey
2. Tony Gonzalez
3. Antonio Gates
4. Randy McMichael
5. This is getting redundant each week with the same rankings


Sleeper of the Week

Samkon Gado – The Vikings gave up over 200 yds to Tiki Barber in a win over the Giants and Gado went off in his first start. Not bad for being 5th string at the beginning of the year. He has a great matchup this week and I think his fortune continues.


Bust of the Week
Willis McGahee – As I stated before, he seems to do better against poor run defenses and not so hot against the better run D teams. This week they have to travel 3000 miles to face one of the best run defenses that are coming off a bye week. You make the call.

Week 11 comes and goes. It’s strange how as time drudges on, it goes with a growing speed. So is life. Take heed this week as the NFL is becoming more and more difficult to envision. I am still undecided as to whether that is good or bad for the either the NFL or fantasy football.

Always go with your gut and never look back.

----Professor Ellis D Trails

1 comment:

Bryan "Shell, not Lamb" said...

Sorry it has taken me so long to do this. I really enjoyed this article. I too suffer from the effects of a losing team, I am a Cubs fan and as Wikkid says "NUFCED". Unlike you, I have the 90's bulls and the '85 Bears to fall back on. At least you can say you are a loyal fan. It is all too easy to give up and jump on winning bandwagons. One thing I can't stand is disloyal fans. Anyway, great rankings. Besides the ranking of Willis and DD. I have them both, but thanks to Gado my week is not an automatic loser. Keep up the good work!