Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Professor Ellis D Trails Week One Syllabus

Welcome students to another season of joy and heartache. First, the utter joys of sending your opponent home with a crushing defeat. Then the heartaches you receive from losing by one point, only because your kicker misses a 32 yard FG. Yes, welcome to the 2006 semester being brought to you by your ever informative and ever evolving class of cretins known as LOCKERROOM. I have been hard at work at compiling data and licking frogs to reach that balance between logic and speculation. I hope you all brought your pens and pencils, for we are about to embark on a journey that will take us to realms unknown… wait a minute, one too many frogs.

I hope that this year, your dreams of attaining that championship that your actual franchise cannot seem to deliver is yours for the taking and I will always do what I can to aid in that cause.

Week 1

Thursday September 7, 2006

MIA @ PIT 8:30 pm EDT

This game has changed dramatically in the past few days, with the news breaking about Big Ben and his appendectomy and thusly the appointing of Charlie Batch to the starter’s position, each offensive member takes a significant hit. Low scoring affairs suck anyway, just ask any married man.

Big Ben – shelved, DO NOT start Batch
FWP – Fast Willie is going to have to be S(uper)FWP or I(nvisible)FWP to have any success against the Dolphins now that they can stack the box against him.
Hines – You have to start him, I know Ben is not there, but Hines has to play unless you have three top 10 WR’s other than him on your roster.

Daunte Culpepper – I love that C-Pep is back and one thing that is going unnoticed is that he will finally have a capable running back in the backfield with him for the first time since Robert Smith’s last year in 2000. He is going to have a monster year.
Ronnie Brown – He can run, catch and block. No dopey bonghead to play with translates into top 10, maybe even top 5 fantasy #’s.
Chris Chambers – He was always a good player, but never consistent enough to be drafted higher than the 7th round. He played so well and so consistent towards the end of the year with shit at QB, compounded with the fact that he has dropped the erratic word from his label, will help him to flourish with C-Pep without a doubt.

Sunday September 10, 2006


Hello, I would like to introduce each other. Old Powerful High Scoring offense meet New Powerful High Scoring offense. KC takes it’s geezers and LJ and faces a young defense prone to causing turnovers. Cincy takes it’s young and highly explosive offense against a band of aging vets with a couple of rookies.

Carson Palmer – Heeeee’s back. He seems to be ready to go after much speculation otherwise. He should throw for at least 3 TD’s this week all to Housh.
CJ – I love you CJ, but you just don’t score as many TD’s as I would like and going against Law is not going to help you. As old as Law is, the guy can still cover.
TJ Whosyourmomma – Expect a big game from TJ this week. BIG - nix that, he's hurt, switch this with Henry.
Rudi Johnson – He might get a score, but the passing game is going to be the controller in this one. He should get some late yards running out the clock, unless Cincy’s defense turns this one into a barnburner.

Trent Green – He has been the most consistent fantasy QB over the past five seasons. The o-line ?’s since Roaf retired has followed to Trent. Can he perform without the same o-line? I don’t know. I do know that he is famous for getting off to a slow start in seasons past. So, if you have another option use it, but don’t be surprised if he goes off either.
LJ – He is chomping to get out there and show us that Herm is right in giving him upwards of 30 carries a game. He could break the rushing record and he could fall on his ass behind the poor blocking of Kyle Turley.


The Browns have not won an opener since they came back into the league and Drew Brees has a good record in opening day games. However, Cleveland has a forming defense and is at home. Partner that with the fact that Brees no longer has LT and Gates out there may be a problem for him.

Drew Brees – I never liked him. He doesn’t have an arm and doesn’t read coverage real well. His safety valves are gone and I think he gets exposed this season for the guy that was about to be benched not too long ago.
Deuce/Bush – Deuce is coming off an injury and Bush is a rookie that no one knows how much or little he is going to be used.
Joe Horn – When healthy he is a great player with a QB that can hit him. I am not so sure about Brees being able to do that. The Saints are bad enough to where he will get points late in games plenty

Charlie Frye – He goes from having nobody to throw to, to having a potential trio of threats in Edwards, Jurevicious and Winslow. It is too early in the season to even think about starting him.
Reuben Droughns – The loss of Bentley hurts, They did trade for Fraley, but he can’t run block. Reuben is looking at similar #’s that he posted last year, nothing spectacular.
Braylon Edwards – He is the real deal. If he can put some time on the field instead of the ER, then he could post some great stats this year.
Kellen Winslow – He hasn’t played in a LONG time. I mean, last time he played the Red Sox were still cursed.


Can you say ultimate defensive matchup? Simms is looking to progress to the next level and Kyle Boller never got there which is why Air McNair is there now. A lot of hits and not much scoring. Take the under.

Steve McNair – MVP 2 years removed. Reunited with Mason. I love Steve this year, just not in this game so much.
Jamal Lewis – This game will be won by Defense and RB’s. I don’t see Jamal winning this game as much as I can envision him pulling up lame.
Todd Heap – This year he is finally spoken in the same breath as Tony G and Gates.
Derrick Mason – He is getting his Christmas present early this year in the name of Steve McNair.

Chris Simms – He showed some leadership abilities at times last year and will have his work cut out for him playing Ray Lewis and gang in week one.
Caddy – The rebuilt o-line should finally allow him to run to the left. He is so speedy and shifty. I would love to see more screen passes to him.
Mi. Clayton – Third year alert. He sucked last year, we all know that. He will come back this year and put up better numbers than Galloway.


My pick for stinker of the week. Who is the starting QB in Tennessee anyway? Can the Jets pick a RB? Ugh!!!

Pennington – Noodle arm and one weapon
Coles – The only real weapon on this team and hence the only starter fantasy wise. They should be losing plenty this year, so look for some good 4th quarter stats.

Collins/Volek/Young – I would only play Volek out of this stellar trio, if he plays.
Brown/Henry/White – I would stay away. Far away. If you are forced to pick one, Brown, again Ugh!!!
Drew Bennett – It was looking as though Drew had finally gotten his QB in there and whoosh it was gone.
Ben Troupe – With Volek, he was a nice sleeper.


The Bills and the new offense travel to CMGI to face a once mighty, now not so much but still capable of smashing the Bills, Patriots.

JP – I think that he has looked better this year in preseason, but so did Tim Couch a few years back. Preseason tends to skew your opinions sometimes to faulty ones. He should be better this year, but not in Wk 1.
Willis – I just don’t like Willis, he plays well against poor run defense teams and this isn’t one of them.
Lee Evans – This is the only bright spot on the Bills offense. Another perfect example of teams trailing late and throwing to the go-to guy padding his fantasy stats mightily.

Tom Brady – Another year, and more receivers lost or replaced. Can he continue his magical play. Who cares, he has won 3 rings already.
Corey Dillon – Yes he is getting older, but he isn’t dead. Barring injury, of course, he will stave off Maroney enough this year to be a solid contributor to the Pats and your squad.
Ben Watson – He will be the Pats leading receiver this year. Take from that what you will.


The Eagles have had problems with Kubiak, but that was when he was with Denver. Houston has some talent for a change, but it will take time for it to come together. The Eagles looked possessed in the preseason and will look to execute against a lesser opponent.

D-Mac – He is back and looking trim and sharp. Start him with confidence.
Westboogie – He will dance his way into the endzone a couple of times on Sunday.
Brown/Stallworth – I would hold off on these guys until it becomes apparent who his favorite target is. I would venture to say Brown at this point if you are in a bind.
LJ Smith – Set to explode, last season he looked hot out of the gate, but fell due to injuries to himself and his QB.

David Carr – Even with the new o-line and schemes, he continues to look lost. It reminds me of Harrington. Maybe he is not used to not having insane pressure on every single play yet.
Wali Lundy – A rookie and on Houston, not a recipe for success, but he has looked strong. Make sure that Morency is on your Roster
Andre Johnson – The presence of Moulds will help him, but will Carr get him the ball?


Great divisional match to start the season, too bad for Mr. Mexico that it happens to be in Carolina. Vick’s faux reign in the NFL is about to be over. It’s too bad for Falcon fans that the defense does not make up for the offensive shortcomings.

Ron Mexico – I wouldn’t start him if you gave him 100 yds and a TD to start the game.
Warrick Dunn – Think he finally has the backfield to himself now that TJ is gone. I don’t think so. Norwood and Griffith will get more playing time and Dunn’s production, although should be just fine for yardage heavy leagues, won’t go up much in the way of TD’s.
Alge Crumpler – I sure hope his injury is behind him????

Jake Delhomme – Can Jake lose his tunnel vision? Every year he locks onto one target. Moose only looked good when Smith wasn’t playing. Smith was phenomenal with no one playing beside him. Will this change? I am not so confident.
DeShaun Foster – One of my sleepers for the top tier. If he stays healthy as you all know, he could truly be awesome. It probably will not happen though. Play him while he can still play.
Steve Smith – He should get some yards this week, but look for key to get the TD this week in the red zone. Hall is a great cover guy.


The RB roundabout travels to St Louis where a new era begins this week. Shanny has yet to name a starter and fantasy geeks are everywhere hanging on this decision. The Rams offense looks tight, but the defense will be hurting baaaaaahhhd.

Jake Plummer – He has 2 #1 receivers out there catching balls from the snake who is coming off his best year in the league. He could honestly put up MVPesque numbers this season.
RBBC – Pick one, but don’t be pissed when he doesn’t play or gets pulled.
Rod Smith – Mr. Fantasy WR. Every year he is passed on by many and every year he is solid. Shit like that doesn’t change.
Javon Walker – I am seeing a lot of ups and downs. He will have some really good games and some two catcher games. TD’s won’t be as high as some are projecting.

Marc Bulger – I love Marc this season. If Linehan can work with Gus Frerotte, then he can take Bulger from a gunslinger to a QB. Weapons like Holt, Bruce, Curtis, and Jackson are not bad to have either.
Steven Jackson – He moves into the top of the class group this year, it is just too bad he starts the season against the stingy run defense in the Broncos. If they can get up early, he could get 100.
Tory Holt – Seems like many put him in the top 5, but never #1. He is in my book.


Some people feel like the ‘Hawks have too many curses around them for them to succeed. That to me is BS. They lost Hutch, but that is it really. Their line is anchored by Walter Jones anyway. Their defense is better than last year. Detroit looks to finally build on some good decisions by Millen. I know that is a miracle in itself. Marinelli brings toughness to the defense, while Martz should make the offense actually move down the field. It still will take the Lions a bit to put it together and I would hate to be playing them late in the year. Don’t forget the last time Seattle played in Detroit, it was a Super Bowl loss to the Steelers.

Matt Hasselback – He has his receivers back and are seemingly healthy. He should take advantage of a growing Lions secondary. As long as Sims doesn’t take someone’s head off.
SA – He has to come down from last year, but not by much. Look at what he has done in the last 5 years. He’ll be fine.
D-Jax – He will always be the only Florida receiver ever to do anything. This week he comes back to where everyone remembers him.
Nate Burleson – Not a fantasy impact player. He only plays well with a star on the other side and being third on the depth chart won’t help him to be an impact on your squad.

John Kitna – He has looked like a leader during the preseason. Now we get to see the real John Kitna. He has a nice arm, but plays very inconsistently. He has played well recently as a starter, but not for a team with a new coaching staff and different bodies all over the place. He’s a sleeper, but don’t expect too much.
Kevin Jones – His production solely lies in Martz’ hands. If he goes to Bryson on receiving plays and then abandons the run like he did in St Louis, then he will suffer.
Roy Williams – The only viable receiving option in Detroit right now.


The Best defense against the Packers. Ouch!

Grossman – Let’s start the countdown to Griese now. ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz
Thomas Jones – He’ll break the century mark and probably score at least once.
Moose Muhammed – you know he is counting down until Griese is in there.

Brett Favre – He actually should put up some yards considering how fast his team will be trailing.
Donald Driver – In TD-heavy leagues you might want to look in another direction this week. 100 yards is not out of the ? however.


Great, another stellar matchup. SF is a couple years away from even thinking about contending for anything. Arizona isn’t anything to write home about either. Their volatile passing attack should annihilate the niners. Can the niners keep up? No.

Frank Gore – He could have a nice game this week. DT is still an issue for the Cards and running behind big Larry Allen is always a good thing for a running back.
Antonio Bryant – Arizona’s pass defense is good and getting better, I don’t see Bryant coming close to century mark this week.

Kurt Warner – He can still launch it and as long as he has they dynamic duo out there, I would start him every week until he inevitably gets hurt.
Edge – I don’t see him getting much room early in the year, while the line learns to play with each other. I would let Edge owners get frustrated and then pounce on him around mid season.
Bryanquan Lamboldin – Take either one please. You really can’t go wrong with either.


BP takes his team (+ 1 malcontent) into the swamps of Florida to start the new year against a team that has a strong defense and knows how to win games late.

Drew Bledsoe – Statue that will wonder why the Cowboys didn’t address the o-line situation more seriously while viewing the sky on many an occasion
JJ – I don’t see him being the complete back and will always split time with Marion unless he hires Jeff Gillooly to whack him in the knee.
TO – He will have a solid game, but nothing spectacular like he is used to. This will eventually lead to his undoing by constantly getting in Drew’s face and Drew’s only response will be, “TO, I don’t play offensive line.”
Jason Witten – Has to be a little pissed that they go out and get two more TE’s to cut into his numbers.

Byron Leftwich – The unquestioned leader of this team. Now let’s stay off the injury report please.
Fred Taylor – I am always afraid of guys that are labeled injury machine. Healthy, I love him, so at least for this week start him.
Matt Jones – He is a big redzone target.
Ernest Wilford – He was the man who scored TD’s last year even when Jimmy Smith was still playing. Also, see third year WR.

Sunday Night

Brother vs Brother in primetime. I actually expected more hype from this game than there actually has been so far, but it is still a few days away. The Giants think that they improved a defense that really only could pressure from the ends last year. They haven’t. Madison is too old and Arrington isn’t a complete LB. They never addressed the DT situation and teams will run it right at them or screen it by the ends. Peyton’s team is same old same old, skilled offense and good defense that will start the younger Manning 0-1.

Peyton Manning – Always good for 300+ and 3 TD’s. Put it down each week.
Joe Addai – I know he is a rookie, but he is the best back on the team and that includes newly signed John Wells.
Marvin Harrison – If I didn’t have Tory Holt as the #1 receiver, than this guy would be every year.
Reggie Wayne – People actually are down on him for some reason. Stop and take this moment to go look at his stats. He is damn good!!!!!!!!!

Eli Manning – I still think that he is too erratic and doesn’t read defenses well enough yet to win big games. I think in the national spotlight against his big brother’s team, he will crumble.
Tiki Tiki Tiki – Once again the age ?’s come up and once again he will silence the critics. I am a firm believer in that he knows when he is done and will play well until that day comes, or until he tears all the ligaments in his knee.
Plaxico Burress – He would easily be a top level WR if he didn’t drop so many balls. He’ll make a sick catch that he shouldn’t and then miss one in the numbers. Frustrating is an understatement.
Jeremy Shockey – I think that he a great TE, working out with his team and QB this offseason would have made him better.

Monday September 11, 2006


This Vikings team could look very familiar to Joe Gibbs on Monday night. It should with the amount of Eagle’s castoffs it has. Has it been long enough for that stacked o-line to play cohesively? They face a nice test in Washington run defense. Washington rests their hopes on an aging QB and a separated shoulder of their young stud.

Brad Johnson – If your league is yardage heavy, I wouldn’t play him. Short passes don’t do much in fantasy unless there are many TD’s.
Chester Taylor – The line has looked average so far, but some are saying that they aren’t showing all of their cards. He will be the focus of the offense unless he gives them reason to do otherwise. Redskins run defense is pretty stingy.
Troy Williamson – Let the post KO-RO era begin. Sorry Astro, I know how you felt for him. Troy won’t be a real fantasy factor until they get a better QB in there.

Mark Brunell – I know the preseason doesn’t mean anything, but seriously only completing 45% of your passes. Whoa bad!!! Zero points from the first teamers.
Clinton Portis – So, Gibbs is saying that it is up to Portis if he is playing on Monday night. I say if he decides not to play, clear the basement for the ‘Skins. The Vikes have some LB issues, so if he does play, he makes a nice start.
mini wr’s – I don’t like any of these guys including Moss. He played way over his head last year and Brunell is just not going to get him the ball as much, especially with the other midget WR’s out there calling for the ball.
Chris Cooley – I don’t think he knows what his role truly is, HB, TE, up back. He just wants to play and make plays, which he will. Start him.


What a way to start a new era of Monday Night Football with the clowns from espn calling the show. Phillip Rivers takes his newly appointed reigns on the road against an almost laughable situation that is Oakland. Shell comes out from behind the desk and attaches his Al Davis marionette strings to try and instill a tough minded attitude and bring winning back to the Raider Nation. Sorry, Al not this year.

Phillip Rivers – He has Gates, LT, and Keenan to take off the pressure and other than that, just hand it to LT for the run and let the defense do the rest. There really is not situation better to come into as a QB that this.
LT – LT smashes the Raiders, this will continue.
Antonio Gates – As long as Rivers can get the ball close, he will catch it.

Aaron Brooks – First game of his Raider career is against the Chargers defense. Did he lose a bet? With the defense shutting down Lamont this week, he will have to perform to get the win. Has he ever done that?
Lamont Sanford – see above
Randy Moss – He finally has a QB that is reckless enough to throw it downfield as much as Randy likes. It won’t work as much as it will, nor will it help win too many games, but it will still be exciting to watch on primetime.
Doug Gabriel – He is young and fast and has an alright set of hands, Al Davis would never let this kind of talent go while keeping a whiner like Porter. OOPS.

Top QB’s for Week 1

1. Peyton Manning vs. NYG
2. Carson Palmer @ KC
3. Donavon McNabb @ HOU
4. Matt Hasselback @ DET
5. Jake Plummer @ STL
6. Kurt Warner vs. SF
7. Marc Bulger vs. DEN
8. Eli Manning vs. IND
9. Tom Brady vs. BUF
10. Phillip Rivers @ OAK

Top RB’s for Week 1

1. LT @ OAK
2. SA @ DET
3. LJ vs CIN
4. Rudi Johnson @ KC
5. Tiki vs. IND
6. EDGE vs SF
7. Thomas Jones @ GB
8. Westbrook @ HOU
9. Gore @ ARI
10. Addai @ NYG

Top WR’s for Week 1

1. Tory Holt vs. DEN
2. Marvin Harrison @ NYG
3. Larry Fitzgerald vs SF
4. Anquan Boldin vs SF
5. Rod Smith @ STL
6. TO @ JAX
7. Chris Henry @ KC (ADJ 9-8-06)
8. Darrell Jackson @ DET
9. Plaxico Burress vs. IND
10. Chad Johnson @ KC

You all know who the TE’s are to play. All the normal ones plus Ben Watson.

There you have it my faithful students. Study hard and you shall be bestowed with a win this week. This season is as up in the air as any we have had in the past which makes for some exciting football and I am looking forward to a successful season as I am sure are all of you. I leave you know with a bit of wisdom. Wisdom that I always close with and should be observed before each lineup submission…As always go with your gut and don’t look back.

Professor Ellis D Trails

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