I’m at it again. Somehow, someway, I continue to fight my own oldness and blast father time in the face with new ideas and an acute sense of fantasy know how. I’m wild, no doubt about it, and my antics are often unnecessary, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, the “i need an answer, a reason, a bone” to get you through your fantasy week, by all means, I’m your guy. All you have to do is email me at PAPAWEIMER50@HOTMAIL.COM and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible – almost always that day, in fact – because I’m old, and rarely leave the house. Plus I have internet hooked up to my 60inch big screen so I can see the dang words.
Before I get into answering this week’s questions (or sharing my answers with you all) I have some good news. This year I get to post some contests here and there, and I get to divvy out the winnings as well. This is the first contest I’ve ever run and so I’m going to do something fun.
Fantasy Knuckleheads is sponsoring my BEST Team Name contest. The winner will receive season long access to their Fantasy Football Draft and In-season Package.
Prize: Free season long subscription to Fantasy Knuckleheads’ Dominator Package, a $24 value.
Contest: The first contest is an easy one. All I want you to do is send the best fantasy football team name you’ve ever had to PAPAWEIMER50@HOTMAIL.COM. I’ll give you until Friday, September 2nd to get me your name . I’ll post my favorites in my next article, and announce my winner.
The Catch: There’s no catch. The Contest is free. Just send me an email with a team name, and that enters you right into the contest. I like witty, I like funny. Good luck!
Now for the Q&A
Jason BD in Indianapolis writes, “This is my first season as a fantasy football guy. I’ve always frowned on the idea of rooting for anybody but Colts. But this season my son roped me into his fantasy league, and I found your site when looking for help. A couple questions: If you wanted Peyton Manning for sure, where would you draft him? How about Reggie Wayne, Joseph Addai, and Pierre Garcon? Dallas Clark? Also, Do you think I could win with all Colts? Thanks!”
Oh Jason, fantasy and home team pride are a tough combination to unleash in any sort of winning matter. I’ll give you my answers, places you will almost surely be able to get your Colts, but I would do my best to mix in some top talent around your guys. You’ll never beat your son in fantasy with a team full of Colts, I can promise you that! I think you can get Peyton Manning pretty easily in the 2nd round. Even the 3rd round if you’re a Top 4 pick in the fantasy draft. These questions about his neck are perfect for you getting him later. No earlier than the 2nd round, though – Peyton as a 1st round pick is too high a price to pay. I think you can get Reggie Wayne in the 3rd round, maybe even the 4th. He goes about 35th overall – and rarely before the Top 30. Like Manning, his stock is falling a bit because of his QB’s health. You can get Dallas in the 5th round. His stock isn’t falling as much, which makes sense. In fact, I expect Manning to play at least 14 games this season which means drafting him at a discount is a great deal. I think Garcon goes a little high, but he’s safe to get around the 8th round. Probably 9th, but if you need him on your squad, the 8th is it. Addai in the 10th is a pretty safe place to get him. So, if you really love these guys, I’d probably hope for a draft that looks like this….
1. Chris Johnson 2. Peyton Manning 3. Reggie Wayne 4. DeSean Jackson 5. Dallas Clark 6. Felix Jones 7. Mario Manningham 8. Pierre Garcon 9. Eli Manning 10. Joseph Addai… And so on. I hope you reconsider, check out our TIERED RANKINGS, but if not – shoot for some big play makers in the rest of your picks – and NO COLTS in Round 1!
Corey Singer asks, “You say you’ve done 7 drafts so far, that’s nothing compared to my 47 – however, you might be paying better attention than me, who do you think is the guy going as the biggest steal in the Top 25 picks thus far?
Corey, I’d say that’s a tough one, but it’s not. I’d give you a quick answer and make this entire thing a lot easier, but that’s not really my style, so I’m not. However, if you want to cut down a few minutes reading this deal, go ahead and scroll down to the bottom. If you had asked me the biggest steal in the Top 35 picks, I might have answered somebody like Vincent Jackson – VJ is healthy, playing for a free agent deal, has one of the best young QBs in the business on a team that likes to throw. He’s a freak of nature and in the preseason he looks good. He’s going after 30 in all but 2 of my 7 drafts, and I think he’s a Top 5 WR. If you had said in all of fantasy, that would have really opened up the flood gates, and I would have said that Lance Kendricks (I’m projecting Top 7 TE, and he’s going undrafted in most leagues – unless I pick him), Donovan McNabb (he’s going after 160 almost always – he’s in a better offense that’s more shaped around what he’s always done – and defenses will have to honor the run-game), or Mario Manningham (he’s going too late, he’s going to be a beast as the #2 in New York). But since you said Top 25, that made it pretty easy. Maurice Jones-Drew is thievery at pick 18-23 where I’ve gotten him three times. He’s expected to play in preseason Week 4, he’s a super consistent TD scoring machine that does everything. And someone recently took Jahvid Best over him. Please. MJD is a Top 8 fantasy pick, and if he’s not, steal him!
Seb from Australia writes, “This’ll be my first season of fantasy NFL. I live out in Australia, so don’t get to watch many games, but have enjoyed following the sport for the last 2 -3 years, albeit fairly loosely.This year though, a friend as cajoled me into joining his league; it’s a $20 buy in, winner take all. My ego dictates I must win, so my question to you is, when it comes time to draft, in what order of value do i place RBs, WRs, QBs and TEs?”
Seb, Thanks for the email! Over the years I’ve certainly had some thoughts on which positions you should go for first, but no matter what I decide, it always changes on draft day. I think nabbing RBs and WRs early is very important, but the value in the draft makes all the difference. I try to tier my rankings so that I know I’m always getting the best positional value and still getting good overall value. I like to start trends. Like in Round 5, if none of the TEs have been drafted yet, it’s a good time to get your favorite guy, maybe Antonio Gates or Dallas Clark or Jermichael Finley – because it’s always better to start a trend than grab on the back of one. I’m not saying go get a TE in the 4th round, not at all, I’m just saying, if it’s good value at the time, it’s not bad to be a trend setter. (but never get a defense or a kicker early in the draft – never…ever!) I still think RB is the most important position, though WR has made a run at the top spot over the last few years. RBs touch the ball more than anyone else except for QBs (but you usually only get 1 QB in your starting line-up). Because of that, they have the most consistent production and that’s huge. If you can get 2 great consistent RBs with your first 2 picks (AP, CJ, Arian Foster, Ray Rice, MJD, McCoy, Mendenhall, Steven Jackson) I say go for it. If you can only Cajole a singe one, go ahead and take a star WR in Round 2 and get one of the next tier running backs in Round 3 or Round 4. Good Luck!
Back at it again. A week of emails have come in and I continue to answer them with my best foot forward – whatever the hell that means. I wish I could answer them with my best back forward – I’d trade a couple retirement checks for a best back right about now. Anyway, below are some answer to some email questions. Feel free to join in on the fun and question the king of the fantasy realm – me and Tolkien, right? Get to me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’ll get back to you as prompt as possible.
DBM in one of the Dakotas asks, “How will Marshawn and Sydney Rice do in Seattle this year?”
I think the Seahawks will be much better offensively, and it all centers around the offensive line. James Carpenter is a good RT prospect that does everything pretty well, he’s not a liability in pass or run blocking, and is above average at both. Robert Gallery is a great addition as well, probably the best OG on the market. The Hawks had the worst offensive line in football last year, and now with rookies and 2nd year guys, plus a big FA addition, they’ll be better. I like that Tarvaris Jackson comes over as a leader, one of the most knowledgeable players on the team about the offense they’ll be running in Seattle (because, like him, it came from Minnesota). As a leader, and teacher, he’ll have much more confidence to what’s going on, and I think that will help him a ton – because remember, he was always the guy they dumbed down the offense for when he was in – that does nothing for your confidence. You ask little of someone, you get little in return. I don’t know where Rice is going in drafts, but as my #3 receiver I like his upside. He’ll lead the Hawks in receiving this year.
David in Minnesota writes, “I am in a keeper league and I can keep up to 4 players.If I keep 4 – I will lose my first 4 picks, if I keep 3 then I will lose my first 3 picks etc. Next bit of info I will be drafting 11th in each round. It is a snake draft without reversing. Here are the players I am trying to figure out who to keep and how many. What do you think? (Brady, MJD, Bradshaw, Best, Sid Rice, Stevie Johnson, Colston, Welker)
I would probably only keep 2, maybe 3 guys on your squad. The only reason I would keep 3 is because your pick is so late in Round 3 – but so early in Round 4, so you have to take a chance and hope you can get a better 4th player. Brady and MJD (unless you trade for Charles) are sure thing keepers, obviously. They are both Top 2 round players, and so you keep them. After that, I don’t see any given there. I think Best is your next best upside player, and while I ranked him as a 4th round guy prior to LeShoure’s season ending injury, he might be a nicer risk as a 3rd rounder now. I would consider Colston over Best, if you think the draft will be more RB heavy than WR heavy – they are both very close to me, but I’d go with Best without knowledge of other rosters. Welker, maybe, but he’s limited in non-ppr leagues, and I think he’s right around Colston’s grade, with not as much upside. Because you’re one of the highest 4th round picks, take a chance and see if you can’t upgrade at WR. Good luck!
David gets another questions off in a lengthy email… “Would you think of a trade for Jamaal Charles, giving up MJD and one of my receivers? A guy in our league has no receivers…”
It’s pretty well documented that I picked Charles as the #1 back in fantasy for the upcoming season. Since I don’t think you should keep any of your receivers, I’d say yeah, jump in and make that deal. Lucky says “no don’t do it, MJD is more consistent” but hey, he says it’s close, and my feeling has always been my feeling, and since this isn’t “Ask Lucky Lester” I’m pretty sure I’m gonna say what I want. Charles has the upside and the offensive line to be the best running back in fantasy. He’s lightning quick and doesn’t take big hits. MJD doesn’t have his upside, if you can get him and all it’s really gonna cost you is MJD (who I rank behind Charles, Peterson, C Johnson, Foster, and Ray Rice) then do it!
We’ve been instructed to put together as much “draft help” content up as possible – to change the things we normally do to better aid the masses in putting together winning fantasy squads. From what I’ve been told, the site is going to be popping with such articles, and possibly even a way for you to rank your very own squad based on a new formula. But that will come, for now it’s all about my answers to your questions…
Now, while I’m supposed to make this as much about fantasy drafting as I can, forgive me if I do what I want from time to time and just post some humorous answers to even funnier questions – what’s fantasy football Q&A without a laugh or two?
If you’re new to the site, or me, Papa Weimer, I’m an old terse man with a knack for the sport of football. I’ve spent many an hour winning staring contests with the television on Sundays, Mondays, and sometimes Saturdays and Thursdays… If you want to get a hold of me and see if I can’t assist you in answering one of your questions, send your mail to email@example.com – I’ll get to answering your Qs as quick as possible.
Here are some of the emails I’ve answered over the lockout….
Dave in Fernberg asks, “If there’s no NFL season will you finally answer my questions about CFL or continue to shun me by mocking my emails with replies titled, “What does C stand for?”???
Dave, of course I won’t ever answer those emails seriously, because they are jokes, right? I mean, they are mock emails, similar to mock drafts, similar to mock leagues, because they don’t still play games in Canada, do they? I mean, I know Buffalo is basically Canada, but it’s still the US. Canada is where they play hockey, not football. I know you guys get football on your TVs, 98% of your population lives within 100 yards of the US-border, so just pick up a coat hanger, bend it around your hockey stick, plug it into the back of your TV and see if you can’t steal cable from your big red white and blue brother. Silly, Dave…. PS – Where’s Canada?
Dustin in Oregon writes, “I hear the players and owners are getting their ducks in a row – speaking of Ducks, do you think Legarrette Blount could be better than Steven Jackson? My OSU brother in law is giving me 10-1 odds on a $50 bet after I told him that Blount and Jackson will be close. Should I take it or am I just losing $50?”
That’s actually closer for me than you’d think – I would rather have Steven Jackson if I were deciding one way or another, but I like me some big bad Blount force. It’s close enough where I would probably take that bet at a 3-1 payout – so 10-1 sounds great! You have to look at it like this, Steven Jackson hasn’t been a scoring machine ever, so despite his giant percentage of plays in St. Louis, he doesn’t have those high scoring days like some other backs. Playing an entire year is going to help Blount, but not as much as walking into camp with the #1 gig. Caddy Williams is likely gone, and he’s going to be a 3rd down back even if he stays. Blount is the guy, and he runs real hard and is real bit – so I’d put his upside at 1200 yards and 12 touchdowns – but I think his downside is 900 yards and 8 touchdowns – and since Jackson is getting older, his injury risk is going up – I think you have odds too good to pass up, good luck with your angry Duck!
Scott Pa from Texas asked, “I know the lockout is in full effect, so maybe fantasy questions right now will go unanswered, but I’m interested in your rookie RB rankings (if the season actually goes down) – you have a Top 5 for me?”
From one Pa to another, you betcha, bub! From the first time I watched Mark Ingram run, I couldn’t help but think, “that guy is going to be a top 10 RB in the NFL the day he steps foot on the field”. Then he went to the combine and didn’t run super fast – and I figured, I could care less that he wasn’t the fastest back of the bunch after 40 yards, he was still one of the fastest guys to 10 yards and 20 yards – what’s more important? So his top end speed isn’t amazing, and he won’t be busting Jamaal Charles or Chris Johnson 60 yard runs a couple times per year – big deal – he’s still a beast, runs real hard with great balance, and he’s the #1 back in this draft. If I didn’t think so much of Jahvid Best, LeShoure would probably be 2nd, but because Best will almost surely get half the carries, Mikel drops down a spot or two. Ronnie and Ricky are gone, or so it seems, and Daniel Thomas is the next guy in line. He was a solid player as the only offensive threat at Kansas State, and I think he’ll be solid in the league as well. He’s a big back with good speed. The rest goes like this.
Mark Ingram, Daniel Thomas, Ryan Williams, Mikel LeShoure, and Montario Hardesty….
Alright, I know Hardesty was a a draft pick 2 years ago, but he hasn’t played a down yet – so he’s still a rookie, right? Like Blake Griffin in the NBA a couple years ago? If that’s the case, look out for Ben Tate, too… Alright, just a rookie, I’ll go with Roy Helu Jr. Splinter Shanahan can stumble upon a solid runner from time to time, and you never know, Roy could be that guy.
BGTrouble in Alaska asks, “Randy Moss or Chad Ochocinco?”
Ugh… Why didn’t you just throw Terrell Owens in there with those guys. TO would get the nod if it wasn’t for his mystery injury, his probability of starting the season without a team, and his destructive locker room habits. But hey, you didn’t even ask about him… It’s hard for me to believe that Moss will ever be a fantasy force again. The way he gave up last season, his poor shape, his half routes in full effect, I just don’t see him being a guy I’d ever like to start – but with the last pick of my fantasy draft, if he’s there, I might just take him on principal. So I’m a hypocrite, sure, but I’ve been wrong before (like last time Moss was trying to flunk out of the league). He probably has a better feel for the WR position than anybody ever, his physical tools are nightmarish for CBs, and if he got into the right situation, he could stun me and turn into a starter again – but I think Chad Johnson has a better chance of getting that done. I guess there are more places that I think Chad could succeed. Moss needs that special circumstance. Chad just needs to go to a team with a WR better than him and an offensive line that can block long enough for Chad to get open. If I had to pick, I’d take the namechanger!
More of the Draft Kit to come! Hope this helps!
Papa’s Picks: Top 5 2010 NFL Week 16 Underdogs
I struggled in Week 14, going 1-4 – but the season record is still solid. I had a senior moment in Week 15, forgetting to make my picks, and getting a call from Lucky Lester at 9am on Sunday Morning wondering what the hell I’ve been doing. I told him it could be any number of things, namely any old illness, bad memory loss, or losing battle to a batch of nachos – his choice. I told him to fire me if he thought I wasn’t worth keeping around – haha – he had a good laugh at that one. Anyway, bottom line is that I’m back and ready to make up for my Week 15 absence. Here’s who I got in Week 16…
Week 16 Free Picks
Washington Redskins (+8) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: I’m not a big fan of Splinter Shanahan, and I don’t think the Redskins are a great team, but getting 8 points in Jacksonville is a joke. The Jaguars aren’t good, either, they just win a few games here and there. I would be not stunned at all if Washington won outright, so getting 8 points seems like the right price for me.
San Francisco 49ers (+2.5) @ St. Louis Rams: The Rams have struggled lately, and Sam Bradford looks to have hit a little bit of that rookie wall. With Troy Smith giving the 49ers their best chance to win, I think they pick this one up on the road.
Seattle Seahawks (+6.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs play too many close games, and Seattle’s defense is playing well. I see them sticking with the Bucs and the game coming down to a field goal. How do I see that after watching them play last week? I don’t know – call it a hunch, or a food-baby.
Cincinnati Bengals (+8.5) @ HOME VS. San Diego Chargers: The Chargers have been a garbage dump on the road, and Cincinnati’s defense matches up pretty well with a Chargers’ team sans Antonio Gates. The Bengals still have some pieces, and everybody gets up to play the Chargers. I don’t like Cincinnati to win outright, but I think they keep it close (like they have most games this season).
Oakland Raiders (+3) @ HOME VS Indianapolis Colts: The Raiders play well at home. They are much more physical than the Colts. They will be as pumped as the team can get to try and end Peyton Manning’s playoff run. I think Oakland runs the ball hard and often to upset the Colts and end the season early for Indy.
Papa’s Picks: Top 5 2010 NFL Week 14 Underdogs
The Steelers (barely), Broncos (easily), and the Bengals (in true Bengal-fashion) all came through (against the spread, anyway) to assure a winning week for me in Lucky #13. The other teams, well, the Bucs did their best to keep it close but failed to cover by a point, and the Jets went into New England and everyone saw what Hard Knocks can also mean. Still, 3-2 ain’t bad. Just adding to my elitist record as the season mulls on. Here’s who I like this week.
Week 14 Free Picks
Cincinnati Bengals (+9.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers: As I reiterated last week, “The Bengals sure can find ways to lose” but like I also said, they play plenty close to the best of teams. With nearly 10 points on their side, I think they can limit the damage – and ready for this, I think they will win. But I’m still taking the points – I mean, these are the Bengals we’re talking about, here.
Chicago Bears (+3) @ HOME VS New England Patriots: I’m giving the Patriots a chance to get me twice in consecutive weeks and make me look bad. I’m giving them a chance because they are bound to come back to earth a little bit and the Bears are one heck of a great defense with an offense taking fewer chances and producing fewer turnovers – which is good. I don’t like Chicago, think they’ll stumble when it counts, but they are playing at home and they could give Tom a tough time in this one.
Seattle Seahawks (+5) @ San Francisco 49ers: I know the Seahawks aren’t good – hell, they are bad and wouldn’t have 4 wins if they played outside of the NFC West, but you know who has been worse? San Francisco. At the very least, the 49ers won’t beat up on the Hawks, with Seahawk killer Frank Gore out of the line-up, it’s going to be a close one. I’ll do what friends don’t let friends do and bet the Hawks.
Carolina Panthers (+8) @ HOME VS. Atlanta Falcons: Oh the Falcons have been very good, but they’ve played too many close games, even against a couple teams in the Panthers’ realm of badness (in the realm, not equal to). I’ve seen the Panthers get a little better over the last few weeks, and now with a running game that’s going and Clausen not playing too terribly, well, I’m giving them a chance to compete in this one. I’ll never push this luck again.
Houston Texans (+3) @ HOME VS Baltimore Ravens: Crazy? Maybe – but the Texans are a solid football team that does their best defensive work against the run, and can do it all offensively. I think they score points on the Ravens, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they won on Monday Night against the big bad Ravens.
Hey there, it’s late and way past my old-man bed time, but since it will take me 30 minutes to fall asleep, I figured I’d just listen to the clock tick-tock while writing this article and counting sheep. Baaaaaaaa (sheep sound). Week 13 is always an interesting one in the fantasy realm as 4 million people sit at 6-6 when 7-6 means playoffs. As it just so happens, 2 million of those people will be playing each other and thus, some apt fantasy advice from an old man like myself might just go a long way to getting the playoffs. Getting there is half the battle, as most of the time LUCK and some big-ball waiver wire moves (see Lucky’s Waiver Wire Warriors article for help there) end up getting one select fantasy owner a championship. But we have to get there first. For all you guys, and girl, (one girl wrote in this week, Jessie, you represent your sex well!) I hope this advice gets you to where you want to be!
Remember, hit me up at PAPAWEIMER50@HOTMAIL.COM - You got questions, I got answers!
David writes, “Which 3 WRs would you start out of these 4 – Austin, S Johnson, Colston, Lloyd (I am thinking Lloyd and Johnson for sure ,but then who?)”
Steve Johnson, Colston, and Lloyd I think for your big-3. Probably more in the order that you started with, Lloyd 1, Johnson 2, and Colston 3 – not that order matters, but if you wanted to go with Austin, I’d put him in for Colston. I think the match-ups are great for all three of the guys I picked to have great days, and Austin goes against one of the tougher defenses in the league for WRs and QBs to have big plays, or big days. I guess they are middle of the pack this season, but historically they don’t allow big plays at all. Johnson plays Minn, not great against WRs, Lloyd against KC is nice, because they give up big plays and he makes them, and Colston against Cincinnati could be good, I think the Bengals are about 25th ranked D against receivers in Fantasy Football. Plus they have been known to stay close for a while, which means the Saints would be more apt to pass longer.
Blog Dad asks, “Would you start Obomanu,Hagan or D Alexander (I have absolutely no clue here)”
I would go with Obo in your second batch, not because I think he’s great, but because I don’t think Hagan is a very good receiver and I think Alexaner is so streaky that he’s hard to trust. Obomanu might not have a starting spot locked up like Derek Hagan, but he’s good, fast, and has good hands (at least two things that Derek doesn’t have, maybe the trifecta). Obo has gotten Hasselbeck’s attention, and there’s something to be said for that. At least a couple deep balls have to go his way, and with trust, a handful of short Hass passes might just find Obo.
Brett Favre’s Conscience wrote, “Who would start? I need a Flex – Keiland Williams, T Jones, Sid Rice, Choice, and Welker ( I am leaning toward Welker because of the way Brady is playing and they will not be able to run against the jets)”
I think Welker is tough to pick against right now, for that very reason of Brady – the only other guy I would go with is Thomas Jones, honestly – his match-up is very good. I just believe that the Jets have to pay all of their attention to Welker – with no big time deep threat they should key in on Wes. But then again, welker, and then Edelman the game Wes was out last year, killed the Jets especially in PPR. In that first game with no Welker, Edelman had 8 catches for 98 yards on 16 targets. In the second game Welker had 15 catches for 192 yards on 17 targets – that’s the one the Patriots won. It will be interesting to see how the Jets play the Pats without Moss, but he seems to be a tough match-up for them – so I think your lean is reasonable.
Stanleigh from Cali writes, “Well Lucky, Wayne’s drops and starting Sidney Rice got me where it counts last week, losing by a fantasy field goal. This week I need your opinion on the choice of Flacco, Big Ben, or Bradford at QB and Reggie Wayne, Austin, Obomanu, Sidney the Great, and James Jones at WR. Need 1 QB and 3 WRs. Thanks in advance!”
Going with the rookie is risky, but that Pitt/Raven match-up should be a tight one, a low-risk one, a grind it out, smash mouth, low scoring one – so I think you’re making the right decision. The Cardinals are bad and the Rams have trusted Sam to make good decisions in the red-zone all season long, that’s why Steven Jackson has such low TD numbers. Bradford is the real deal, and against the Cardinals a big day is possible.
Wayne is an auto, even thought he dropped at least 2 passes last week, maybe 3. Austin is also a guy you have to go with, I think, too much big play ability. As for Obomanu, it’s tough to go away from a guy that has had huge plays of late. Even before his late long distance love play, he was having a pretty good game last week. If Williams comes back, he might not get those same looks – and then I’d maybe go Rice – but the way Hass has been going to Obo, I think he’s a safe bet for points. If your not in the mood to bet on Rice again, Obo’s your guy either way.
Johnson from Finland writes, “I need one pick, for all the money, down to two in my survivor pool. I’ve been good, I have New Orleans, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and San Diego to choose from. Also have KC and Minnesota if they mean anything to you.”
Boy oh boy, Johnson, that’s a lot of pressure. I know I’ve helped you a couple times this year (like when I advised you to steer clear of the Giants in Week 10 (because you just never know about a new coach) and the Titans in Week 11 (because I’m wild like that) and though you didn’t listen to me and went with the Giants last week (you lucky bastard) you can see now why I wanted you to stay away from that game. But in the finals, in Week 13, I have to get you two opinions. Mine and Lucky’s…
Mine: Of the team’s you have left, and there are some good ones in there, I would go with the Chargers. San Diego is playing like San Diego does at the end of the year, and the Raiders are not playing like the Raiders had been playing when they finally got to .500 earlier this season. They are playing at home, they are winning on the ground and through the air. I don’t see any reason to pick anybody else – that’s as safe as a survivor in Week 13 can get.
Lucky’s: I would agree that the Chargers are a nice bet. But I rank them 2nd this week. Why? Because I think the Raiders could get it together for a big game against the Chargers, and while I don’t think it’s likely, it’s certainly possible. The Raiders have been able to really run it, and there’s no reason they can’t go back and find out why they are struggling lately (ahem, McFadden, get your ish together). The Chargers, remember, struggled for a great portion of the season, finding ways to lose like it was their job – and while they look to be turned around, they could always relapse. Still, Papa’s right, a good bet there. My #1 team of your bunch is New Orleans. I know it’s no the road, and I don’t love road games in Survivor, but there is no way the Saints lose to the Losers, I mean the Bengals. They are a terrible match-up for the mistake prone turnover happy Bengals. I think they win by 3 touchdowns in a laugher.
Papa’s Picks: Top 5 2010 NFL Week 12 Underdogs
So yeah, I was 1-4 last week as the favorites killed the dogs in Week 12. Give me a break, you can’t win them all! The Rams stumbled late, the Lions did the same – the Broncos, they just stunk it up after the first 5 minutes, and the Giants eliminated themselves from winning when Eli Manning spiked himself after a run, fumbling despite not getting contacted by a defensive player, giving the ball up along with the game. Tampa won, however, making sure I didn’t go winless in Week 12 – good squad, those Buccos, like ‘em a lot! Here’s Week 12′s – write them down!
Week 12 Free Picks
Buffalo Bills (+7) @ HOME VS. Pittsburgh Steelers: I see the Steelers dropped the hammer on the Raiders last week, a team, like Buffalo, that had been playing some tough football despite being a laughing stock for the last few years in the league. So maybe the Bills are supposed to get crushed at home by the big bad Steelers – I don’t know – but call me crazy when I tell you the Bills are a nice bet. Unlike the Raiders who can really only run the football, the Bills’ passing attack is potent, and big-play-worthy, and the Steelers have struggled with that area of their defense. Upset? Probably not – but a close game just like the ones Buffalo has been playing for the better half of the season? More likely than not.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+9) @ New York Giants: I wonder if the oddsmakers have seen the Giants injury report lately, or if they’ve watched them play at any time over the last couple weeks. The Giants have always been streaky under Tom Coughlin and they’ve always been a bad cold-weather team under Eli Manning. The Jags have been playing well enough to give them a nod getting 9 points against a struggling Giants squad.
Green Bay Packers (+1) @ Atlanta Falcons: Aside from Michael Turner and the Falcons run game (which hasn’t been all that great this year anyway) I don’t know one thing the Packers aren’t better at than Atlanta. So I’ll take the Packers to beat the 8-2 Falcons in Atlanta – big day for Mr. Rodgers and company.
San Diego Chargers (+3) @ Indianapolis Colts: Did the Chargers go and do what the usually do and make me a believer in the 2nd half of the season after struggling to win games throughout the first half? Yes, I’m hooked. I hate getting lured into stuff like this but with Indy hurting in more places than any other and San Diego playing well, getting their best receiver back, and committing to the human bowling ball that is Mike Tolbert – well, I’m lured. The Chargers are shiny right now, how can I help myself?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+9) @ Baltimore Ravens: I know the Ravens are good, and despite always picking dogs, and the Ravens always being favorites, I don’t pick against them very often – that’s how I show respect. But this line is just too good. How good? Too good! The Buccos find ways to win and the Ravens find ways to play close games. Baltimore doesn’t put points on the board quickly, and Tampa Bay has some nice physicality to them. Could and should be a tight one in Baltimore!
Okay, I haven’t been holding up my end of the bargain, and I’m sorry for that, they started giving away steaks for five dollars down at the local strip club and, well, I’ve spent enough time there that they started giving me free shirts with the girl’s pictures on them – I’m basically a walking add for boobies. It’s good. Some of that may be true, some of it may be false, but I have been busy doing stuff that I probably don’t need to do, so dang, I’m sorry. I’ve been answering the numerous emails coming in, so feel free to send me your questions, comments, frustrations, etc – and maybe I can straighten it all out.
Get to me at…. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s some of the stuff I’ve been saying to the good people writing in this week….
David from Minnesota asks, “Papa, what’s your take on Derek Hagan?”
My take on Hagan is this – Jacksonville, bad defense (I always think this on principal, it’s correct 99% of the time) and Hagan looks like the #2 receiver there, but he’s probably #3 behind Kevin Boss. Manningham is a good player, so defenses could double him and take their chances with Hagan, who has been on and off rosters since getting picked relatively high in the draft a few years ago. There’s a reason he usually doesn’t play, and I think it’s because he doesn’t run very good routes, is slow out of breaks, and that should make him a mediocre option. He didn’t really light it up last week. But you’re right to look at him – and I would probably rate him ahead of Ben Obamanu (another player David asked about in a previous email), if only because Ben is a #3 receiver on an offense that doesn’t pass as much, and at least Hagan is a big cat that might get a jump ball or two in a goal line situation.
Joe was a first time sender and sent me this, “I’m sending out an S.O.S. My team has had the injury bug all year long starting with, Ryan Grant, Steve Smith (Car), Owen Daniels, Tony Romo, and this latest one with Hakeem Nicks. I feel I have a decent team but I could use a solid Waiver Wire pickup in both my TE and WR3 spots. Could you please review my squad and make some recommendations as to who I should grab? (Big Ben, Vincent Jackson, Bowe, Knox, Mendenhall, McFadden, Tony Moeki, Longwell, Ravens or Vikings – bench Blount, Watson, Nicks – and I have free roster spot) Thanks in advance!!!”
Hey Joe, thanks for writing in. I have a team that has all those first four players on it, Grant, Smith, Daniels, and Romo – needless to say I haven’t won too many games lately. Hopefully we can both turn it around.
Here are some things I might do to add some upside to your squad, but your starting line-up still looks pretty solid going forward. I also have Vincent Jackson (in that same league) and I’m hoping he can help me pull out two late season wins to get me into the playoffs as a low seed. Funny thing is, my league is a dynasty league, and I’ve had all those players for a while – just a tough run of luck there.
I think I’d pick up Hernandez, from New England, and just hope he’s a big part of the game plan against Detroit. I watched some of the angles Louis Dumas took in the Lions’ last game, and I think Hernandez could eat him up. He’s not as consistent as Watson and Moeki, but his upside is a lot higher – and I like upside at TE – because consistency gets you 5 or 6 points, upside could find you 20. You could drop Moeki to make that change if you want. The Chiefs do play Seattle, a legitimate bad pass defense, but the Hawks give up a lot of yards to receivers, so Moeki might not be as big a part of the game plan. Dreesan is another option. The Titans are solid defensively, but he’s looking like a nice target for Schaub with Owens likely out again. Either of those guys I’d rather start than Moeki or Watson (with Watson it’s just I don’t trust Delhomme to pass me the bread).
If you pick one of those guys up, and drop another – that still leaves you with two waiver pick ups. I think Nate Burleson would be my #1 options and Derek Hagan would be my #2. Listen, there’s a reason why Hagan has been out of starting line-ups for most of his down and down career, but Eli throws the rock, and Hagan looks like he’s in line to be the #1 receiver there from here on out. I guess that makes Boss relevant too, didn’t think of that. The Jaguars are historically not very good defensively, and a Boss play there might be nice after all. I think his floor is a lot higher than Hernandez, who, if not part of the game plan, hardly gets more than a target or two. However, I don’t know if Boss’s ceiling is as high. Up to you there, but Boss is a strong play as well, if only because Eli has to throw it somewhere. Gaffney would be #3 if it comes to that, but I think I’d try for Burleson. He’s just been too solid opposite Calvin Johnson. If you look at his stats since coming back from injury, he’s at a nice #2 receiver pace, and it’s not like the Patriots have been great against the pass.
Stan the man-Leigh typed, “Papa, always love your take – I’m currently starting Sidney Rice over Michael Crabtree – good move? Crab killed me last week. I also have Woodhead…”
Yeah, tough to argue about what you have there. Crabtree was a killer for me as well. Jones did catch just 3 balls, but touchdowns are nice. Crabtree against Arizona seems like a pretty good match-up, but stick with your gut here, because Rice is a beast, he played most of the game last week, and the Redskins have a bottom 30 pass defense. Plus he came out healthy. I like Woodhead against the Lions, getting carries and working out of the backfield – but I would never feel comfortable starting him. Just put your hopes in the guy you believe in, because I think he’s the highest upside guy you’ve got. Rice helped get Brett’s mojo back last season, why not again this time around?
Papas Picks: Top 5 2010 NFL Week 10 Underdogs
Should have been 3-2 this last week, but the freaking Jets basically scored a touchdown as overtime ran out – Santonio Holmes took that slant the distance, and my seemingly sure cover from the Browns turned into a loss. Lucky says, “I told you so.” That punk! Ha. I had that game on the nose, but sometimes, that pointy egg-shaped ball takes a bounce the other way and I just have to cope. I’ve had some good bounces this year as well. And we have a favorite family saying that goes against my “should have been” theory for last week’s games. If grandma had ball she’d be grandpa” and “If ifs and buts were cocks and nuts then grandma would be grandpa” – write those down. Better bounces this week!
Week 11 Free Picks
St. Louis Rams (+3.5) @ HOME VS. Atlanta Falcons: I know, I know, the Falcons are one of the best teams in football, and this is a stupid bet on my part – but how can I go against one of my favorite teams this season, playing at home where they are a very solid team, sporting a good defense that doesn’t give up many points, as better than a 3 point underdog? Plus, Atlanta was very good last week against Baltimore – they’re ready for a return to earth.
Detroit Lions (+7) @ Dallas Cowboys: Dallas beat the Giants, hurry, everything change back to what it would be like if the Cowboys weren’t 2-7… Please. They need to do more than win one freaking game without Romo for me to even think about considering them as a 7 point favorite. Ridiculous.
Denver Broncos (+11) @ San Diego Chargers: Really? The Chargers have what, 4 wins? They’ve played all but a couple very close games that come right down to the wire. The Broncos throw the ball as well as any team. This spread is dumb.
New York Giants (+3) @ Philadelphia Eagles: I’m enjoying Mike Vick’s play as much as the next guy, but the Giants are a very good football team, and the Eagles are coming off of one of the best single game performances of the season – they’re bound to slow down a bit, and the Giants have to feel a sense of anger after getting slammed by the Cowboys last week. Seems like the perfect storm for a Giants win in Philly.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) @ San Francisco 49ers: Again, where do these guys get off? Tampa Bay wins football games, even when they get out-played. San Francisco finds way to lose games, even when they outplay their opponent. Troy Smith is undefeated since taking over at QB – but that’s got to change sooner or later.
Papas Picks: Top 5 2010 NFL Week 10 Underdogs
3-1-1 in Week 9 – you bet, made up for that 2-3 in Week 8 and then some. I don’t have my record right off hand, but I’m telling you, I’ve been killing it this season and there’s no way anybody in the site as a record matching my win-percentage. I know Lucky picks every game, and he does a hell of a job with that impossible situation, but winning is winning and I’ve been doing a lot of that. How many times do I have to tell ya? It’s all about the UNDERDOGS!!! Here’s 5 more dogs for your sports betting pleasure!
Week 10 Free Picks
Chicago Bears (+1) @ HOME VS.Minnesota Vikings: I’m going back to the well here – the Vikings keep getting favored like they’ve done something with it. Please, they beat the Cardinals in overtime. When we discuss games here in LL.com-land, we still can’t understand what all the fuss is about. Cardinals, in overtime – get over it! The Bears are tough at home, and they have enough to beat the Vikings if Minnesota doesn’t play well. When have they played well again?
Detroit Lions (+3) @ Buffalo Bills: The Lions are way better than you think. They’ve been tough every week. The QB issues scare me a little, but then I feel better because they are playing the Bills. The Bills know how to lose, even though they are playing solid football. Anyone with points against Buffalo seems like a great deal, even if the game is played in lovely Buffalo.
Cleveland Browns (+3.5) @ HOME VS. New York Jets: Oh the Jets will have trouble with Hillis, everyone does. Colt McCoy has been very solid, and I imagine he’ll continue to be. I know the Browns don’t have much offensive firepower, but at home, getting a field goal plus, I think they are a solid bet with a very strong offensive line and a QB that doesn’t make painful mistakes.
Washington Redskins (+3.5) @ HOME VS. Philadelphia Eagles: The Redskins have already gotten the best of the Eagles once. Now they are at home, and I’ve seen Donovan step up his game after a situation like this before. I know Mike Vick has been awesome, but the Eagles don’t deserve 3+ points in Washington, the Redskins have been good enough defensively to be a good value at that spot.