Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mondays Minings

This weeks minings will be brief and late. The schedule was thrown off this week but next week, a new work schedule will mean the minings will happen early Monday morning. Also, we are a week away from new schedule rankings so we can look forward to that.

What We Learned - Houston-Dallas
Not much about Houston, you had a team coming off two big wins against a team with its back to to the wall and a lot more to play for. Dallas comes away with a big win, two early losses are more the result of tough scheduling.

What We Learned - Washington-St Louis
Again, not much, the Skins were coming off two emotional games and were perhaps looking past the Rams. They looked passive on defense in a games that did not mean much, even if they should have won easily.

Quick Hits
You can run on Baltimore this year. At this point they are at least a mediocre matchup.
There is no D in New Englan. Start everyone you can.
Saints are what we thought they were(at the mines) solid team but not what they were last year.
Blount should be the starter soon in Tampa, looked substantially better than CWilliams, albeit in limited time. He has more value than Williams ever had, which wasn't much.
Big day for my guys, Machine Murphy and Mario Manningham. That said, Heyward-Bey is showing signs of serious improvement.
Austin Collie is a top 15 guy the rest of the way out.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week 3 Prospecting

San Fran pickem over Kansas City
Niners need to win now. If they play half as well as they did for three quarters against New Orleans this should be over by halftime.

Tennessee +3 over New York Giants
By the way they've both been playing, Titans shouldn't be getting points.

Indianapolis -6 over Denver
Are the Broncos better than the Giants? They aren't 20 points better.

Washington -3.5 over St Louis
No shame in losing to the Texans. This week will be a lot easier.

Detroit +11 over Minnesota
Lions are expert spread-coverers. Vikings haven't played well enough to warrant this spread.

Philadelphia -3 over Jacksonville

Last week 4-2
Overall 7-5
not pretty, dug myself quite the hole over the first two weeks, with my selected pick faring worse than my pucks overall.

Song of the week
Jackson Browne - The Pretender
Heard this song at the perfect moment on radio margaritaville. On a bike at dusk on an isolated stretch of hilly terrain. Perfect tempo and rhythm for the situation.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mondays Minings

What we learned: Carolina-Tampa
So far, Carolina looks like the worst team in the league, and certainly the worst defense. I would consider almost any player in a matchup against the Panthers. Well, unless that player is Cadillac Williams. For Carolina's offense, we have confirmed that there aren't enough fantasy points to support two running backs. This is the reason why I avoided Williams and especially Stewart in drafts this fall. 3 yards/carry? 5o yards each? There isn't going to be a better matchup than this. You are probably stuck starting Williams but maybe you can trade him to someone who still thinks he has value. In no case should Stewart be started. The switch to Clause is probably good for Steve Smith, but he was going to produce anyways due to the SWAG'N theory.

What we learned Houston-Washington
The one weakness of the Texans is obviously the secondary. Has to be more than just the loss of Dunta Robinson. For the Skins, Portis is a play only against good matchups, but at least he is getting the bulk of the carries. Santana Moss should be a regular start, but noone else qualifies. Cooley benefited from the matchup but I don't think he should be used most weeks. Despite the loss Washington looks like a solid team, perhaps the class of the NFC East.

What we learned Indianapolis-New York
Felt like I was taking crazy pills when analyst after analyst thought the Giants were good, some picking them to win the decision. Well the pills have apparently worn off and the Giants exposed. The lone bright spot was pickup of the week, Mario Manningham. For the Colts a few things became clear. Wayne and Clark are the primary options. Collie and Garcon are the secondary targets. This is good new for Collie, as Anthony Gonzalez isn't seeing much time. Collie who was drafted well behind Garcon appears to be just as good a play, although there will be weeks when Garcon hits. Joseph Addai looks great and again received the bulk of the meaningful carries, the touchdown aside. Donald Brown struggled for most of the game, but put up better numbers in garbage time. Handcuff at best.

Fluke of the Week: Pittsburgh over Tennessee
Week 1 saw a bad Kansas City team beat the Chargers through a combination of special teams and luck. This week, the Steelers, though as incapable of creating drives as they were the previous week against Atlanta, beat the Titans with one kickoff return and one terrible officiating mistake. Yes, the Titans made seven turnovers, but some of those turnovers happened because the Titans were put in an uncomfortable situation. What we learned: Though Nate Washington got another touchdown, he is not a fantasy option, only racking up 34 yards despite the team being in a passing scenario all game. On the other side, the Steeler receivers are not going to be consistent plays either. It would be safe at the moment to start running backs against Tennessee, but not wideouts. The opposite is true for those matching up against Pittsburgh.

Quick Hits:
Either the Ravens defense is vulnerable to the run this year, or Benson is going to put up numbers.
Nice to see Desean Jackson putting up solid numbers. After 2 weeks, I believe all the top wrs have a 100+ TD game.
Sticking with the Eagles, Lesean McCoy is going to get enough carries to be useful. If someone thinks he is selling high after this week, it might the time to swing a trade.
The NFC west could possibly be won at 6-10. Any of the four might come in last in the AFC west.
Can you still get anything for Jamal Charles or Jerome Harrison? their value has been submarined by their backups.
Everyone was scared to say how bad Peterson looked last year, he looks like 2008 vintage so far this fall. Too bad the team is now so bad around him.
Jermichael Finley looks uncoverable.
Seattle run defense may just be good.
Poor Randy Moss got stuck on Cromartie Island. Yes, he is the first to be stuck there.

Sell High Don't Buy
Jahvid Best RB Lions - Lots of touchdowns and a lot of garbage time action. 20 yards week 1. 3 yards/carry week 2. A lot of receiving yardage and one big run as the Lions lit up the board after the Eagles shut it down.
Kyle Orton QB Broncos - Yards have piled up, but look at the slate of opponents.
Mark Sanchez QB Jets - Looked good this week, Carson Palmer looked good against the Pats too.
Mike Tolbert RB Chargers - Not going to happen again, count on that.

Buy Low
Felix Jones RB Cowboys - It has looked bad so far, but better days will come. And weaker opponents.
Larry Fitzgerald WR Cardinals - In case his owner panics. He will rebound and put up top 1 numbers. Remember SWAG'N.

Eye Don't Buy:
Brandon Pettigrew TE Lions - I liked Pettigrew last year and for the future, but with two tight ends on the Lions, it will be tough to start him this year. But if you have an empty spot....

Machine Murphy WR Raiders - Bruce loves him, so do I.
Josh Morgan WR 49ers - How was he undrafted while Crabtree was a 5th rounder?

Note: Though I never referred to it by acronym before, I have long used the theory that Stud Wideouts Always Get Numbers.(SWAG'N) This means that the top receivers will end up putting up points even in a bad situation, with bad quarterbacks or against tough matchups. For example, see Andre Johnson on some bad Texans teams a few years ago.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Week 2 Prospecting

Titans -5 over Steelers
Pittsburgh struggled to move the ball against Atlanta and Dennis Dixon is not strong in the pocket. The way Jason Jones has been tearing through the line, this spells a disaster.

Packers -13.5 over Bills
This should be a slaughter.

Panthers -3 over Bucs
Panthers coming off a disappointing loss host the Bucs who were lucky to beat Cleveland.

Chargers -8 over Jaguars
San Diego is at home and should look to rebound from a humiliating loss. JAX is likely not very good.

Colts -4.5 over Giants

Raiders -3 over Rams

Texans -1 over Redskins

Last Week 3-3

Song of the Week: Jimmy Buffett - Far Side of the World, Live in Hawaii version
Overlooked because the original, album version is so bad. Like many Jimmy songs, this one is much better with the new arrangement used live.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mondays Minings

Colts-Texans What We Learned
The take here is not to get too carried away. The Texans will throw more in the future and the Colts will run more. Houston will not always be nursing a lead against a team with such an imbalance in the quality of run/pass defense. The Colts will probably rarely be playing from behind. Foster at this point looks like a top 12 back. I said this winter that the Texans were a running back and a kicker away from being 11-5. They appear to have found both those things. On the other side we learned a few things. The Colts will be a good team to run against. Pierre Garcon was vastly overrated, he is a solid option but his numbers will end up closer to Austin Collie than to Reggie Wayne. Joseph Addai looked the best he has in years in his limited touches. With Donald Brown failing to make an appearance, Addai is another top 12 back.

Eagles-Packers What We Learned
The Packers look like the class of the NFC right now but if the Packers don't make the Super Bowl it will be because the defense lets them down. The offense is clicking and whoever the running back is, Ryan Grant or Brandon Jackson, is a must start. Switching sides, Lesean McCoy will be just fine, operating in both phases of the offense with 80 all-purpose yards. No matter what happens, Kolb's status is in trouble, I don't foresee a situation where Vick doesn't take at least some of the snaps. Drop him.

49ers-Seahawks What We Learned
Hopefully, not much. I've seen this before, team comes out and dominates inferior team but fails to put points on the board. Then fluke play occurs(in this case the 35 yard pass to the one after doing nothing on offense or defense for 25 minutes) and the momentum swings. If as in this case, the better team is put in a bad position, as the Niners were by having to play catch up and keep the ball in Alex Smiths hands, it can get out of hand. That said, neither the young Niners line nor Frank Gore looked good in the running game. Hopefully this is just a case of rookie linemen finding their roles but there is legitimate concern here. As for the Seahawks, I'm not buying anyone. I still think the Niners win this decision, but the next few weeks could be tough.

Bills-Dolphins Quick Hits
Bills are the best week 1 team of all time.
Confirmation- You want no part of a Buffalo running back, no matter how good Spiller was in college.
Marshall didn't put up big yardage but with 8 catches, he is clearly going to find the same success he had in Denver.

Bears-Lions Quick Hits
Get use to it Cutler deniers. He will finish in the top 8. Lions were slaughtered everywhere but on the scoreboard. Take away two receiver fumbles and this game is a blowout.
Fools who drafted Jahvid Best were rewarded this week, but the 2 TDs are the fluke and the 20 yards show the quality of the pick. He'll do better than that but will you ever be comfortable starting him.
Losing Stafford is the best thing for Calvin Johnson. Megatron does better with a qb that just hucks it up rather than trying to find an open guy. Thus his numbers were better in 08 than 09 and immediately became a larger presence after Stafford went down last night. Buy low.

Rams Cardinals Quick Hits
Mark Clayton might be the pickup of the week after Brandon Jackson. He has done it before, has solidly put up at least 500 yards each year since 06. The Rams will be behind and throwing often, despite a schedule of soft defenses.

Brandon Jackson RB Packers - see above
Mark Clayton WR Rams - see above
Mario Manningham WR Giants - not that much less a threat than Steve Smith or Nicks
Mike Vick QB Eagles- see above
Mike Thomas WR Jaguars - maybe if you don't trust MSW

Don't Buy/Pickup
Hakeem Nicks WR Giants - Manningham actually had the most yards, the touchdowns are fluky.
Nate Washington WR Titans - Raiders always give up big games to second receivers
Peyton Hillis RB Browns - Just why? Would you start him if he got all the carries? No. No place on roster.
Brandon Lloyd WR Broncos - Jaguars are not a good defense. Royal only Bronc that should be on a bench.
Steve Breaston WR Cardinals - One of two games this year where he outplays Fitzgerald, you don't want to start him in the rest.
Anyone who scored without putting up yardage.
Mike Williams WR Seahawks

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Week 1 Prospecting

This is a new feature at the mines where I pick 5 or 6 games a week. Additionally, there will be a song of the week, either something that I hear on xm radio that I hadn't heard before or something I never fully appreciated before. What does this have to do with picks or fantasy football? Nothing, but I'm going to do it anyways.

Miami -3 over Buffalo

San Francisco -2.5 over Seattle

Green Bay -5 over Philadelphia

Chicago -7 over Detroit

Baltimore +1.5 over New York Jets

San Diego -4.5 ove Kansas City

Song of the Week

Lord Kitchener - Nora

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Team Prospects

Buffalo-Under 5.5 wins
After 6 wins last year, the team is still a mess. Against a tough schedule, they will have a tough time getting back to 6.

Chicago-Over 8 wins
They won 7 last year and absolutely everything went wrong. This year the oline can only play better. The defense is bolstered by Peppers and Urlacher.

Cincinnati-Over 8 wins
This is a team that won 10 games last year, despite suffering a rash of injuries on defense over the last few weeks. After a disastrous playoff performance by the second string defense, the hate has gone too far.

Cleveland-Under 5.5 wins
They won 5 last year, they won't top that against what may be the toughest schedule in the league. They also plan to play Jake Delhomme at quarterback.

Denver-Under 7 wins
This team finished 2-6 down the stretch. Since then, they have lost their best player on each side of the ball. The schedule is easy but that won't be enough.

Houston-Over 8 wins
8-8 last year and lost 4 games because of missed chip shots and goal line fumbles. Those problems have been fixed.

Jacksonville-Under 7 wins
Division is too tough and they aren't any better than the 7-9 team we saw last year.

Miami-Over 8.5 wins
Things seem to be in place for Miami, who will need to improve on last year's seven to win the division. They added a top talent at a position of dire need.

New York Jets-Under 9.5 wins
The Jets, a 500 team last year, won't top that win total against this murderer's row schedule unless two more teams lay down for them at the end.

Oakland-Over 6.5 wins
The schedule is too easy for them not to top this. They won 5 last year and made a big improvement at the most important position.

Pittsburgh-Under 9 wins
9-win team with Big Ben last year. How have they improved? Starting out 1-3 won't help them get back to 9.

San Diego-Over 11 wins
Won 13 last year and face the easiest schedule in the NFL. Improved running game as well.

Tennessee-Over 8.5 wins
The opposite of Denver, this team won 8 last year after tossing the first 6. They should top 8 by playing all 16.

Tampa-Under 5.5 wins
Not a lot of wins on this schedule for a team that has so little on both sided of the ball.

Washington-Over 7.5 wins
The biggest jump from 4 wins, but they made the most improvements.

Now the teams that I stake my claim on.

Green Bay-Over 10 wins
In position to be the class of the NFC. They aren't going down from last year's 11-5. 14 wins is more likely than 9.

San Francisco-Over 8.5 wins
This is cake, 8-8 last year and going up against an NFC easiest schedule. Throw in a full year of Alex Smith and a potentially healthy Gore, and SF gets 9 in their sleep.

For posterity, here's the rest of the league.
Arizona- 7.5 from 10
Atlanta-9 from 9
Baltimore-10 from 9
Carolina-7.5 from 8
Dallas-10 from 11
Detroit-5 from 2
Indianapolis-11 from 14
Kansas City-6.5 from 4
Minnesota-9.5 from 12
New England-9.5 from 10
New Orleans-10.5 from 13
New York Giants-8.5 from 8
Philadelphia-8.5 from 11
Seattle- 7 from 5
St Louis-4.5 from 1

For kicks, division winners

San Diego
Green Bay
New Orleans
San Francisco

Made my super bowl pick in February and I'm sticking with it, even though everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. Green Bay-Indianapolis.