Thursday, September 13, 2007

Professor Ellis D Trails Week 2 Syllabus

Good day my loyal students who return for yet another exciting season ahead. To those who showed up last week for class and were denied access to the breadth of football knowledge due to my inconspicuous absence. Well, I must confess that dear Mrs. Trails and I were away celebrating another wonderful year together. I know you ask, “But Professor how could you, of all people, get married on the most important weekend of NFL & Fantasy season, I say that’s life. We sailed the Adriatic in search of new creatures to bring to our home in an effort to bring about different and exciting ways to access the antipodes of the mind. My findings you will discover in future syllabi.

Week one was a wild one indeed, with many teams winning on last second FG’s being made possible by the Prevent (your team from winning) Defense. Others took advantage of poor decision making or execution of special teams. There were many injuries as well that will affect many of our lineups and matchups. So, without further ado on to week 2.

BUF @ PIT – Buffalo was leading their game against Denver for 59:59 and lost. How? Well, with just over two minutes left, Marshawn Lynch takes a pitch outside and instead of letting the clock keep running; he goes out of bounds, stopping the clock. That means a lot, when the Broncos get the game winning FG off with 1 second left. Add injury to insult, they lost starting defenders Ko Simpson and Jason Webster possibly for the year. Ouch! Pittsburgh on the other hand destroyed their opponent and made them seem like a team that could only match up with the Michigan Wolverines right now. Big Ben looked stellar and Parker turned it on late to cross the century mark. The Bills are not Cleveland of course, but one has to wonder how the Bills gave up so many yards and yet so few points.

JP Losman – Once again, Loserman is announced as the Bills savior and once again he will disappoint. He just doesn’t have it. He tries to hard for the big play too often and doesn’t take what is given him.

Marshawn Lynch – He is a train. He is a train that is angry and the defense is his enemy. He is a force. Too bad he is in Buffalo. This kid will be a stud though; his heart and determination won’t allow anything else. Lynch = Anti-McGayhee

Lee Evans – Poor Lee Evans. Maybe Loserman will get hurt and he will be able to have a chance at consistent opportunities. Basically, if he doesn’t catch a couple deep balls, he is useless.

Ben Roethlisberger – He did awesome, against Cleveland. I wouldn’t expect that output regularly. He kicked ass in the first game of the season last year too. He will, however, give you a not to high, but consistent score each week and in most leagues that is something to behold

FWP – Before breaking out in the second half, I was not impressed by what I saw from Willie this week. By then the defense was tired and conceded the game. Buffalo was torn up by that Bronco blocking scheme and I am interested to see if they will stop Parker this week. My gut says they will.

Hines Ward – Time to hand over the reigns to budding star Santonio Holmes. Ward is still the main man, but Holmes is coming on fast.

Heath Miller – He caught a TD last week. He’ll get another one around week 7 or 8.

CIN @ CLE – Cincinnati escaped Baltimore with a win last week. Instead of pounding McGayhee 4 times from inside the 10, they decide to throw, throw, and throw with Kyle Boller, LMAO!! – Instructions on How to Lose in the NFL by Brian Billick. I wasn’t aware of the vaunted Bengal run defense that he must have been expecting. Cleveland traded their starting QB for nothing and then signs never-was Ken Dorsey back because the golden boy, Quinn basically demanded it. Cowboy’s fans revel in it.

Carson Palmer – Big Ben had a career day against these guys, nufced.

Rudi Johnson – Should have a pretty decent game, but won’t be needed, see above.

Chad Johnson – Self Proclaimed future Hall of Famer will bolster his stats and have another surprise for us all. I for one cannot wait.

Derek Anderson – Who? That’s what you’ll be saying by this time next year as the Quinn era should begin next week.

Jamal Lewis – He is rejuvenated this year. He also just realized he plays for Cleveland. Damn, sucks to be him.

Braylon Edwards/Kellen Winslow – These guys have so much talent, enormous potential. I honestly do not remember a team that had so many weapons that was this terrible. Joe Thomas did not look like he deserved to be taken in the top 3 rounds, let alone top 3 picks.

IND @ TEN – Peyton Manning throws 3 Td’s and close to 300 yards in an easy win. Ho-hum, another day at the office. My prediction of Wayne overtaking Marvin this year is already off to a great start. The Saints have started their descent back to Earth after last year. The play calling was about as awful as you could get against the Colts. Reggie Bush rushing up the middle – NO. Completely stop using Deuce to his strengths – NO. Payton is about to give Billick a run for his money in showing teams How to Lose in the NFL. The Titans upset the Jaguars in a game where Jack Del Rio just may have shown why he should be the first coach to be fired this year. I really don’t understand why that horse face is still a coach. He has taken a team that looks pretty good on paper and makes them suck again and again. Time for a change there.

Peyton Manning – What else is there to say about the smartest and most effective QB in the league, seriously.

Joe Addai – Scary moment right off the bat for Jo-Jo. He came back and obliterated the defense. Tennessee played surprisingly well against the run last week, but Jax doesn’t bring a passing game anywhere near the Colt’s. So, expect big things until further notice

Reggie Wayne – Superstar now in his prime

Marvin Harrison – Superstar that will be around for a couple more years

Kenton Keith – That guy runs so effing hard. I can see now why they cut Dorsey. I was thoroughly impressed with his tenacity. I would like to see more.

Vince Young – The madden curse is stifled for one week, what a load of bologna. He will be fine in fantasy and you can reap the rewards once given to you by another runner named Vick, but in the NFL wins will be hard to come by against teams that don’t want to give the game away in the end.

Chris Brown – He ran like a monster last week. A monster that was possessed. At this current pace, he should be on IR by week 6.

HOU @ CAR – The former joke of the league wins their opening game against the new joke of the league, Kansas City. Carolina was a team to be reckoned with just a couple short seasons ago. Being healthy this year with some new wrinkles will lead them to a division crown.

Matt Schaub – I need to see more of him. He played a defense whose only stars are either wildly inconsistent or older than my dead grandparents.

Ahman Green – See Matt Schaub.

Andre Johnson – He is starting to prove that his one down year was a fluke. He runs routes better than ever and now has a QB that should able to get him the ball.

Jake Delhomme – The guy has taken his team to a Superbowl and a Championship game and people still talk down about this guy. I have actually heard people wanted to give Carr a shot when he wasn’t hurt. That is lunacy.

Foster/Williams – They both should prosper in the zone blocking scheme, but it will be hard to pick who will have a better week each Sunday, until one of them inevitably gets hurt.

Steve Smith – Dwayne Jarrett inactive you say, they could line up Dwayne Wayne from What’s Happening on the other side of Smith and he would still get a hundred yards and a TD.

SF @ STL – Two rivals playing as opposites after week 1. One lucks out by winning on their last drive where they almost equal their yardage output in that one drive versus their yardage in the entire rest of the contest. The other Loses their game outright and their premier Left Tackle in the process.

Alex Smith – The Cardinals showed a fight in their defense that I had not seen from them since, well ever. I am still on the Smith breakout campaign. Mostly, because I have him in almost all 4 of my fantasy leagues.

Frank Gore – It was great to see him get goal line carries and it was also great to see him not fumble. St Louis should give him ample room to roam.

Darrell Jackson – He looked like his old days in Seattle when he used to rub butter on his hands before every game to make it more challenging. He needs to step up for Smith to be successful.

Arnaz Battle – I thought he was on the verge of breaking out last year and played well on Monday Night especially where most are overlooked – downfield blocking.

Marc Bulger – He played well without Pace in there last year. It’s the loss of Incognito that will hurt him overall.

Steven Jackson – He caught the bulk of his passes last year after Pace went out. I just hope that he doesn’t lose that many to Leonard or he won’t live up to his 2nd overall selection in most leagues. He is a train that just needs to get some steam and he will be fine

Torry Holt – People thought the knee would bother him; well he has put that one to bed so far.

Randy McMichael – Much like in Tampa where QB’s go to die, St Louis is the place where Tight Ends go to die.

GB @ NYG – Green Bay was completely outplayed and somehow won. The offense looked awful; they had a scoring drive of -1 yard. They do however play a much more maligned foe in New York this week to say the least. The Giants folded once FatBoy Lorenzon was brought in to play in a barnburner in Dallas. They lost Eli, Brandon Jacobs and Umenyiora off a team that wasn’t exactly brimming with depth in the first place. The Giants will have many options though, once draft day rolls around

Brett Favre – Brett showed management that even if they ask him to take less risks and play within the offense, he is still going to wing it and play like he does. Who wins in this situation? The only answer is Brett Favre, because that’s who he is looking out for not the Packers.

Brandon Jackson – He got his feet wet against a nasty defense and will produce much more against a terrible interior of the Giants

Donald Driver – Is this team ever going to get a second receiver that can play more than a handful of games with this guy? I don’t know, but he keeps producing and making catches.

Bubba Franks – He should just go to St Louis – See Randy McMichael

Fatboy Lorenzen – I know Eli is a GTD, but I wouldn’t expect him to play and risk doing further damage. Fatboy is not a fantasy option

Derrick Ward – With Jacobs out Ward steps in. I wouldn’t recommend starting him either

Giants Receivers – They all take hits without Eli.

ATL @ JAX – The Post Vick era began with a bang. They were annihilated by Minnesota. Harrington blew and you can pretty much guarantee that they will be taking a QB with their first pick in the draft and one that isn’t of the running variety only. Jacksonville began their new era with a new leader at the quarterback position. I use leader very loosely in this case. A great defense with a mediocre offense equals no playoffs and a new coach.

Jerious Norwood – He goes from playing one of the best run defenses to playing a team that gave up over 200 yards rushing week one. His QB is Harrington. That hurts.

Joe Horn – He just invented invisibility.

David Garrard – He responds to being named the starter with a pedestrian performance and a loss to the titans. Way to go Del Rio.

MJD – Crisp, cool and refreshing that tastes great and is less filling.

Jags WR – I hope you don’t have any of them on your team.

Jags Defense – They always play better at home and they get to tee off on Joey Harrington.

NO @ TBB – Payton is a terrible coach. He doesn’t know how to use his players that he has, but still likes to add as many offensive players as he can. He and team management ignored the defensive problems that hindered them last year and has a corner playing man who can only play zone. Mistakes such as this can get teams eliminated from playoffs if they make it there at all. Tampa looked alright but for the second consecutive year, they did not score a TD in their opening game. Ominous beginning isn’t it?

Drew Brees – He won’t score much if he doesn’t take any shots downfield. Throwing it 20 times a game to Eric Johnson only helps Eric Johnson

Reggie Bush – He only caught 3 passes. That has to change. He is much more of a playmaker than Eric Johnson will ever be. They also need to get him moving. Any attempt to rush him up the gut is a mistake.

Deuce McAllister – He had something like 15 carries at halftime when it should have been over 20. They moved the ball on their first couple of drives than abandoned what was working. Things like that can only be blamed on the coaches.

Jeff Garcia – He played ok, but in Tampa, he needs to be awesome and he just isn’t that good.

Michael Pittman – If Caddy can’t go, Pittman is a starter in fantasy, especially in PPR leagues.

Joey Galloway – This guy is playing on borrowed time.

David Boston – I only bring this guy up because it was found out that he tested positive for GHB, otherwise known as the date rape drug. I know it supposedly helps in body building, but how much of a moron do you have to be David? That is the nail in his career’s coffin.

MIN @ DET – The Vikings defense looked stellar against the Falcon’s anemic offense, now we get to see if that last place pass defense from a year ago can hold up against Martz and his prolific passing attack. Detroit shellacked Oakland’s secondary with Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson having solid days on the road. Their defense looked poor against now journeyman and former Lion, Josh McCown. They get a young offense this week built on speed and athleticism. It should actually be a fun one to watch.

Tavaris Jackson – He reminds me of a young McNabb, all the way down to his lack of receivers early in his career. Sidney Rice could grow a lot with this guy as well.

Adrian Petersen – AD took full advantage of Chester Taylor’s injury and blew up on the Falcons. He can taste the ROY, but don’t get hurt.

John Kitna – He is one win closer to his 10 win prediction after staving off the Raiders comeback efforts. He definitely has the talent around him to put up some gaudy numbers this year.

Tatum Bell – I am just waiting for him to fail or get hurt, I have zero faith in his desire to be good.

Roy Williams – I could see him getting 16 TD’s this year easily.

Calvin Johnson – He is the real deal. He is a machine that was bred to be a football player. He has the talent, desire, and will to succeed. Nothing will stop this from happening.

DAL @ MIA – Romo has come a long way from dropping a snap that ended the Cowboy’s playoffs last season. Granted he was facing a piss poor pass defense that was missing any kind of rush whatsoever, but he still hit his men and made great reads that put up points and I give him credit for that. Also, is it me or do the Cowboys play differently when Barber is in there as opposed to Jones? It just looks like they have more life when Barber is running for them. Miami is dropping fast. Green looked old and confused. They had so many opportunities to take that game from the Redskins, but never capitalized. Trent Green just may make the Dolphins regret not taking Quinn and I am not a fan of Quinn. I am not a fan of Beck either. Great defense, but that’s about it right now.

Tony Romo – I have never really given Romo any credit, but I must say he is accurate and patient and smart. All the things you really need to be a successful QB in this league. Having TO doesn’t hurt either.

Marion Barber – I love runners that play like they are angry and run with ferocity. Jones just plows into the line and gets a hole every now and again.

TO – With their clutch guy Glenn possibly to miss significant time, He could honestly end up with 20 TD’s this year.

Jason Witten – What a way to start a season. Many prognosticators dropped him in their respective rankings, but not me. He is a solid blocker and gets into great position to make plays and with the WR’s attracting so much attention; he cannot help but be open.

Dallas Defense – The pass rush just wasn’t there. I expected a fury on Eli Manning and while he was hit, I just didn’t see the consistent pass rush that I expected. As young players grow, that will change, but I just don’t know why Roy was out in coverage so much again.

Trent Green – He should be renamed Trent Ain’t Green no more. He looked lost at times like an old fogey at the airport.

Ronnie Brown – The Dolphins attempted to make upgrades on the O-line, I didn’t see much against the Redskins who really have no D-line to speak of.

Chris Chambers – Chris meet Eddie Kennison’s career except that your O-line is terrible and there is no Tony Gonzalez to help out.

SEA @ ARI – Seattle has some problems at WR. Branch was supposed to be the new #1, but is held without a catch against Tampa. They trade for Charlie Frye so that they can convert Seneca Wallace to WR in the hopes that he can bring what Nate Burleson obviously just cannot do, make plays. Arizona like others, had opportunities to do things against San Fran but when Clements wasn’t making the play. Lienart was running around due to the lack of blocking by their top pick Levi Brown. San Fran’s line is not that good. Every time they would send Willis or another LB, Lienart would dance around and the play was virtually over.

Matt Hasselback – He needs someone to step up. He has a history of sucking pretty bad in Arizona and their Cardinals secondary didn’t play bad against the Niners, until they went into prevent mode anyway.

Shawn Alexander – He looked to be in top form and should be leading many a fantasy team this season and in some leagues for a much cheaper price tag then last year.

Deion Branch – Let’s see if mighty mouse can make a catch this week.

Matt Lienart – He needs to get the ball out faster and let his receivers make plays. He is not going to win games with his arm. He needs to let his playmakers take care of that. I think Leinart would be a great QB for the West Coast Offense.

Edgerrin James – The Cardinal’s line looked better at run defense than last year, but they were playing against a sub-par D-line. This should be a much better test to see if Edge is back to playing with the big boys in terms of fantasy status.

Larranquan Fitzboldin – Give these guys the ball in the flat and let them do their thing. Spread them out and let them fly. Don’t give the defense time to react. Lienart does not have the arm strength to wing it out there.

Leonard Pope – This 6’8’ behemoth should be involved more and more and I saw some signs of that on Monday.

NYJ @ BAL – First off the fans were not cheering Pennington getting hurt as much they were cheering to see the young Kellen Clemens get his first action. Media types can be so presumptuous. The Jets didn’t really have a chance to win, I mean with Bill Bilicheater videotaping defensive signals and all. I am starting to understand why he was always one step ahead of opposing defenses. The Jets did run my favorite play of the opening weekend. It was when the Jets were about to score their first TD and the play clock was running down and some of the players in the huddle were pointing at the clock like, “Hey, the clock is running down.” I guess the Pats figured there would be a timeout called, and kind of slacked a little. Then the Jets hurried up to the line did a quick snap and threw a TD. It was great. It’s nice to give Bilicheater a taste of his own medicine.

Chad Pennington – I fully expect him to be hurt in this game, even without Ray Lewis and it might be the best thing for the Jets in the long run

Lavereneus Coles – He scored 2 Td’s last week and is playing great football right now

Thomas Jones – Don’t expect much on the road against the Ravens.

Kyle Boller / Steve McNair – Does it really matter?

Willis McGAYhee – If you gave up a draft pick to get a guy to be the main man, yet you don’t trust him enough to pound the rock with the game on the line, then he is garbage.

Mark Clayton – What’s up with WR’s named Clayton that turn out to suck when they are supposed to break out.

Demetrius Williams – I would drop Clayton for this guy in my league, if he was available.

Todd Heap – He needs to learn how to catch a ball throw right at him. He makes some nice catches, but the easy ones seem to escape his grasp somehow.

OAK @ DEN – Could a broken index finger finally bring Daunte Culpepper back into the regular season? If it is, then there is no better place to do it then on the road @ Denver where they certainly hate their Raiders. That mile high air could be deflating to C-pep as he keeps pulling himself off his back. Denver pulled off a miracle win last week after Buffalo basically stopped the clock for them on consecutive plays before the Broncos final drive. Shanny sent an email to Lynch yesterday, it read, “Thanks for being a rookie.”

Daunte Culpepper – Go ahead, start him, go ahead.

Lamont Jordan – Those nine catches looked great in your fantasy lineup. Could we see a return to two years ago where Lamont racked up 70 catches. That would be a nice comeback.

Ronald Curry – The #1 WR on a bad team always scores a bunch of fantasy points.

Jay Cutler – He was on of only 3 QB to throw for over 300 yards this weekend against a pretty good defense at that.

Travis Henry – He showed what an experienced back can do behind that blocking scheme. He is a must start until injuries hamper his stride.

Brandon Marshall – Get used to hearing Cutler to Marshall for 6.

KC @ CHI – Kansas City is in shambles. The defense is awful and the offense isn’t much better. Why did LJ sign a long term contract with that debacle of a team? Chicago had the luxury of opening on the Road against one of the leagues best teams. Coming home and being angry against a defense that made Ahman Green look good is a great way to bounce back

Damon Huard – I can’t figure out how this louse got another starting job in the NFL

Larry Johnson – I would only have this guy on my team in PPR leagues and only because they have no other options with that putrid O-line, but to dump it off to him.

Rex Grossman – If he doesn’t kill it this week, then he might want to bench himself.

Cedric Benson – I am really worried that Benson cannot power through the line. The Bears have the most veteran (oldest) line in the league and he couldn’t get one yard against a defense that didn’t even stack the box. That is worrisome.

Bernard Berrian – He would lead the league in yards per catch if they had a QB that could get him the ball.

SD @ NE – San Diego is a powerhouse on defense and two trick pony on offense. I didn’t see much growth in Rivers against the Bears, but you can attribute that to first week craziness. This week is on the road against a strong opponent. The Wide Receivers have to do something to gain River’s trust so that he throws to someone other than Gates. New England romped the Jets. It only took 6 zoom lenses and a tripod in Mangini’s bathroom to do it. The NFL sources have said that there will be repercussions for Bill Bilicheater’s ways, but I won't believe it until I see it.

Phillip Rivers – If you have a better option I would go with it. The way for them to win this game is to run with LT all day.

LT2 – Wilfork will cause him some problems, but nothing that LT hasn’t shredded before.

Antonio Gates – People said don’t start Gates against Chicago. They have the best defense against TE’s in the league. I doubt those idiots will ever sit Gates again.

Tom Brady – What is he going to do at halftime now that they can’t go over the team’s spy tapes. He’ll probably make another baby or shoot a magazine cover.

Laurence Maroney – They need to get him involved in the passing game more. He should have had much better stats against the Jets according to the score of the game.

Randy Moss – The pass rush should make it a little harder for Brady to find Moss as easily as he did against the rookie Revis.

WAS @ PHI – The tale of two teams. One wins on a last second FG and one loses on a last second FG. Philadelphia outplayed Green Bay and manhandled their offense yet lost. Miami basically said, “Hey Washington, we don’t want to win. Do You?” Losing Janson for the year is a big blow and will not help the growth of the young QB or their running game. Philly is coming home with a chip on their shoulder and something to prove now. This one could get ugly fast.

Jason Campbell – He was unimpressive to say the least against Miami and now gets to face the EAGLES without their best Olineman.

Clinton Portis/Ladell Betts – Gibbs wasn’t lying when he said that were going to run this year. 41 carries against the Dolphins and 34 of those from the running backs. Expect more of the same this week.

Santana Moss – Moss needs to do a better job of getting separation. Working with an inexperienced QB doesn’t help the timing routes.

Antwaan Randle El – Don’t expect a week like last week.

Donavon McNabb – You can be certain that D-Mac will take advantage of the weak pass rush and pick apart that defense in prime time.

Brian Westbrook – Despite a strong beginning, he was underused against the Packers. He needs to be set in motion out wide to take advantage of mismatches and open up opportunities for the WR’s.

Kevin Curtis – This guy is more than a solid replacement for Stalworth. He is better than Stalworth.

Reggie Brown – He assisted Joe Horn in his discoveries.

Top 10 QB’s for Week 2

  1. Peyton Manning
  2. Carson Palmer
  3. Donovan McNabb
  4. Brett Favre
  5. Tom Brady
  6. Drew Brees
  7. Matt Hasselback
  8. Tony Romo
  9. John Kitna
  10. Ben Roethlisberger

Top 10 RB’s for Week 2

  1. Steven Jackson
  2. Frank Gore
  3. LaDanian Tomlinson
  4. Joe Addai
  5. Shaun Alexander
  6. Brian Westbrook
  7. Edgerrin James
  8. Rudi Johnson
  9. Reggie Bush
  10. Willie Parker

Top 10 WR’s for Week 2

  1. Steve Smith
  2. Chad Johnson
  3. Terrell Owens
  4. Reggie Wayne
  5. Larry Fitzgerald
  6. Torry Holt
  7. Javon Walker
  8. Anquan Boldin
  9. Randy Moss
  10. Marvin Harrison

Bust of the Week

Laurence Maroney – San Diego’s defense is well known to be stingy, but I think more people were surprised to see Sammy Morris get so many carries. With a passing attack that New England now possesses, it is a reality that Maroney will take a dip in at least this game.

Go forth my students into your leagues and set your lineups with confidence. Remember the season is early and the diamonds have yet to emerge from the rough. I will see you all next week with all you need to take on your opponents trash talking all the way and don’t forget…Always go with your gut and don’t look back

Professor Ellis D Trails.

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