Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Matchup rankings

Once again these are the matchups you want to send your running backs against. Or want to avoid, as it goes.

1 star- matchups to avoid

1.5 stars-matchups that are usually rough but have lapses

2 stars-top tier backs have destroyed them, but they've held most rbs

3 stars- steady, expect mediocre results

3 stars-falling, previously tougher defenses have suffered injuries
Broncos,not injuries, just falling apart

3 stars-rising, be wary, they may be even better a few weeks from now

3 stars-random, who knows what to expect
Packers, looks elite one week, a disaster the next

4 stars-they've shut down the weakest of backs

4.5 stars-startem all

5 stars- the matchups that make your mouth water

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mondays Minings-Week 10

The big talk this week is a few coaching decisions. It is important to judge the decision without considering the outcome. For the Patriots going for it was the right call, even though it turned out badly. For the Jags it was a bad call, even though it wound up working. I don't mean MJD shouldn't have taken that knee. Great football decision, but what happened after was just dumb. Del Rio wasted all the time off the clock and took a field goal with 2 seconds left. A botched snap or blocked kick ends the game needlessly in this situation. Now, the Jags aren't running Slaton or Peterson or anyone as fumble friendly. Take the 40 seconds after the kneel and try to punch it in. If you fail you still have the same field goal situation and a potential second try if you don't get the kick off. How hard is that?

I know Bill Simmons has talked about a VP of common sense, but I agree with him fully here. NFL coaches need an assistant of common sense. Someone to just watch from the sideline and tell him when something is colossally stupid. Hey, don't call a timeout at 2:02, hey, don't run your lightning back right into the line on 4th and 2.

The problem, is that NFL coach is a job that requires many different skills, and the process of qualifying for the position does not necessitate all of them. NFL head coaches are selected primarily on the basis of being a good coordinator. I've talked previously about some of the faults a good coordinator might not have that prevent him(martz) or hinder him(reid) from being a good head coach, but I haven't touched on this. Coordinators do not often have to make decisions, they call plays, but don't decide. They get told what to do in the big situations and are responsible for details more often than the big picture stuff. So coaches who are bad at that type of thing don't get weeded out. What's more, the jib of and NFL coach takes upwards of 20 hours a day and is filled with uncountable tasks to which we do not witness. Gameplans, motivation, organization, personnel. This leaves even the best of them open to completely obvious bonehead moves. There is no way to know beforehand, which qualified assistants are common sense lackwits, and it is such a small part of their 100 hour week, but it often determinate in a game. Guys like Belichick clearly get it. Guys like Del Rio and Reid do not. Understanding how demanding and complicated the position is, doesn't it make even more sense that NFL coaches have an assistant on their bench who just sits there and says nothing until his boss is about to make an incredibly obvious error. "hey coach, this might be a good time to hustle to the line, they might challenge"

Moving on to this week's games:

Denver's defense is falling apart. Far from a fluke, the Washington loss looks like part of a general slide. Start away against the Broncos. Aside from a pair of early plays, where they forgot to cover Marshall, this was a slaughter. I don't think Betts is a reliable play going forward. As strange as this would have been a few weeks ago, he doesn't play Denver every week.

Ease up on Bud he is, in the words of Don't Ask, an old fat grandpa man. Without Adams and Lamar Hunt, there would have been no AFL, and no 60s expansion for the NFL either. His boy, Vince Young is playing like we always hoped he would. Titans will contend next year, led by the best back who didn't fumble twice this week.

My Superbowl pick is currently 16-0, but the Saints really haven't looked good for a few weeks now. You can run on them now, due to some defensive injuries and some offensive ineptitude(mostly due to the use of Mike Bell, get a clue Payton). Anytime they've gotten Thomas his carries, he has been a beast. Any time they they spread them around, they struggle.

If Benson misses any time, do not plug in his backup. It's not that kind of offense. An injured Benson probably means more points for Palmer. On the other side, you can most likely throw in a Falcons back and do ok.

Mendenhall had a tough game, but this is the toughest matchup on his schedule. Keep the faith.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mondays Minings-Week 9

Was that Ahman Green playing for the Packers? Are things going that bad? Will they send out Paul Hornung next week? Nice game for Grant in an complete fluke of a game. Then again, he was going against the Bucs. He is a sell high if you can.

For the Texans, Moats looked, um, well better than Slaton, other than the fumble. That part looked exactly like Slaton. They couldn't get Dwyer fast enough, though Green Bay will probably draft him first. I do like what I see, and would feel confident starting Moats the rest of the way. He will have better matchups and a few goal line opportunities. Texans will be leading more games in the second halves. I'd buy before his value goes up if you can. At this point however, you should be looking at what matchups you have left. If you like two backs that you have, there isn't much point in acquiring another just because he has value. You need to look at who you are going to start when. You primarily consider the next few weeks if you are hunting a playoff spot, and weeks 15-16 if you are looking strong.

That game for Chris Chambers was ridiculous and we are all dumber for having witnessed it. He is an ideal UFL receiver. Matt Cassell, product of the Patriots system? Looks that way. Sims-Walker has been noticeably inconsistent, and has scored quite a few points on my bench, but he has my confidence going forward. The Jags will normally be behind, and he should be the target. Play him.

Cedric Benson has to be in any discussion about the best back in the league. On the other side, Rice has a poor game but still gets the bulk of the work. They've committed.

Improving run defenses: patriots and panthers
Worsening run defenses: redskins, saints and bears

Matt Forte really is looking better, even though he rarely ran down 20 points.

Cmon Andy Reid, just run Weaver in short yardage. That's what he is there for.

Last mention for the following here. They've been good too many weeks in a row.
Benson, CJohnson, PThomas,MJD, DWilliams, Turner.

But speaking of Williams, what a strange career path. From a disappointment, to a very fluky stat total last year, to just being flat out good. I have to admit, I didn't see this coming, from the injury to Stewart, to his return being basically a benching, to DWilliams becoming a feature back.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mondays Minings-Week 8

Gut punch Sunday at the mines, Owen Daniels is out for the season just a week after being awarded an exclusive diamond of the week. That obviously hurts the owners of the number one tight end. Not much you can do, although maybe its the time to trade a third running back, maybe one that has a poor schedule down the line. The benching of Slaton, turned out to be the best thing for the Texans as Moats looked much better. I've said all along, the Texans need another rb, turns out they had one all along. What Moats was doing behind Chris Brown on the depth chart is beyond me but he is obviously the pickup of the week. Ideally, Moats and Slaton could be a 1-2 punch. For now, bench Slaton and pickup the Moatman. The Texans rb1 has had a favorable schedule. It's time to see if they can take advantage of it.

Nothing like a game against the Browns to get a running back back on his feet. Forte finally puts up some numbers against a terrible defense, without managing to look very impressive. The schedule will get tougher so now may be the peak trading time for Forte. The Bears defense is weakening as well, giving up too many ypc to Jamal Lewis. Could be a better matchup down the line than you think.

To be a bit self indulgent, it appears my quarterback curse may be over. Every year in my longtime keeper league, my qb situation is a diaster as I end with up the guy I target only to watch him suffer an injury within 4 weeks. I've taken down the seasons of Chad Pennington, Matt Hasselback, Donovan McNabb and Ben Roethlisburger. Pennington and Hassleback haven't had fantasy relevance since. So far Tony Romo has avoided the curse and looks pretty feisty. As I write these words, I am fully prepared for him to go down. Meanwhile, the Cowboys look pretty good, showing improvements on defense in particular.

Without Donald Brown, Addai looks like a very good play, especially considering his schedule. He got all but one of the carries on Sunday.

Eagles rb1 is a must play every week. They will have their Dr Jeckyll games, but opponent won't help you predict them. You have to play him every week. On the other side of the ball Jacobs put up a respectable game against a stingy Eagles D.

Vince Young looked very good. Calm and confident. That will help CJ's value for the remainder. I couldn't be more excited about Vince Young 2.0. He should change his name to Vincent to distinguish the new from the old.

Norv was so determined to get LDT a touchdown it's sad. After someone else got ONE goal line carry a few weeks ago he pouted on the sideline, Norv rewards his behavior by giving him 8 goal line carries last week. Since his fork prevented him from getting in, he got all the goal line carries this week, and gets two TDs without doing anything to get the team down there. Anyways, don't be tricked into starting him next week.

Peterson puts up solid numbers again but he is dropping in 2010 mocks. He just doesn't look good. I have more faith in the 2010s of MJD, SJAX, and CJ right now. A few others are knocking on his door.

Diamonds(a bunch of obvious ones this week, but those top running backs looked really really good.)
Chris Johnson
Maurice Jones-Drew
Steven Jackson
Brett Favre
Pierre Thomas - Sit Bell on the bench any time, the frenchman is a monster
Ray Rice- There is no more three headed monster in Baltimore.
Miles Austin