Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Most Appealing NFL Head Coaching Job

Black Monday has come and gone, leaving the NFL with six head coaching vacancies.  But which one is the most appealing?

In my opinion, it is the Detroit Lions job.  They have a great defensive line and a potentially dynamic offense.  More importantly, they already have a franchise quarterback—something that many of the other jobs lack.

Some might argue that the Texans vacancy is the best job, but they lack a franchise quarterback.  It is still a good job, but I think that the Lions job is still better.

The Lions have a lot of talent and are just lacking some discipline.  They are already built to win and do not need a rebuilding year.  The Lions are the closest team to being Super Bowl contenders, making it the most appealing job in the NFL.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Wisconsin Badgers React to Randall Cobb Touchdown

Sports Fans I Feel Sorry For

1. Chicago Cubs Fans

  • This is pretty self-explanatory.  The Cubs suck, and they have been sucking consistently for over 100 years.  Yet, their fans still love them and continue to attend games.
2. Fans of Cleveland Teams

  • LeBron left.
  • They had to suffer through "The Drive."
  • A professional sports team from Cleveland has not won a championship since 1964.
3. Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Their quarterbacks are Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne (if you can consider them NFL quarterbacks).  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Aaron Rodgers Out

In a press conference earlier today, Packers coach Mike McCarthy stated that Aaron Rodgers is OUT for Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Rodgers has not been medically cleared to play since fracturing his collarbone agains the Chicago Bears.

Packer fans have been criticizing Rodgers for not "sucking it up" and playing.  Many are of the opinion that Brett Favre would be playing through the pain.  However, I think that this is a smart decision by the organization.

Even if the Packers make the playoffs, they will not make it far.  Their defense is atrocious, and their offensive line is mediocre.  There is no way that they are good enough to go into Seattle and beat the Seahawks.  Furthermore, I think that they would have a hard time beating the 49ers, Saints, and Panthers.

Green Bay is better off keeping Rodgers off the field and letting him heal completely.  Subsequently, he will be able to have a healthy and productive offseason.  In the meantime, Ted Thompson needs to put together a competitive defense.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

NFL Power Rankings

  1. Seattle Seahawks
  2. Denver Broncos
  3. New Orleans Saints
  4. Kansas City Chiefs
  5. Carolina Panthers
  6. San Francisco 49ers
  7. New England Patriots
  8. Cincinnati Bengals
  9. Indianapolis Colts
  10. Chicago Bears
  11. Arizona Cardinals
  12. Detroit Lions
  13. Green Bay Packers
  14. Philadelphia Eagles
  15. Baltimore Ravens
  16. Miami Dolphins
  17. Dallas Cowboys
  18. San Diego Chargers
  19. St. Louis Rams
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers
  21. New York Giants
  22. New York Jets
  23. Tennessee Titans
  24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  25. Buffalo Bills
  26. Cleveland Browns
  27. Jacksonville Jaguars
  28. Oakland Raiders
  29. Atlanta Falcons
  30. Minnesota Vikings
  31. Washington Redskins
  32. Houston Texans

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jim Schwartz and the Lions Collapse

Wisconsin and Illinois were celebrating last night as they watched the Detroit Lions collapse on national television.  With their loss to the Ravens, the Lions fell from first place to third place in the NFC North, allowing Green Bay and Chicago to control their own destinies.  Having lost four of their last five games, the Lions now sit on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.

If the Lions miss the playoffs, then it is time for Jim Schwartz to be fired.

The Lions have a former number 1 pick in the draft (Stafford) and three number 2 picks (Johnson, Bush Suh).  Furthermore, the Bears and the Packers, their only competition for the division, have been playing backup quarterbacks for the past month.  Everything had lined up for them to finally win the NFC North.  However, Jim Schwartz can't seem to get his team together.

The Lions appear to lack focus and discipline at times. Calvin Johnson dropped some easy catches last night, and Stafford had three interceptions.  They have the talent, but they don't have the poise.  It is looking like Lions fans will have to wait another year for a division title.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Aaron Rodgers for MVP

A little over a month ago, the Green Bay Packers were sitting pretty.  They finally had a running game and were the favorites to win the NFC North.  Then, a certain crack in a particular collarbone put the Packers' playoff hopes on hold.

Since the injury to Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are 0-4-1.  In the past 5 games, the Packers have averaged 16.4 points per game, while allowing 29.4 points per game.  Now, they sit on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.

While standing on the sidelines with his Movember stache, Aaron Rodgers is effectively making his case for MVP.  No player is more valuable to his team than Rodgers is to the Packers.  Prior to his injury, the Packers averaged 30.3 points per game, almost twice as many points than without him. Suddenly, without an elite quarterback, Mike McCarthy looks like a mediocre coach.  McCarthy looks like a lost puppy, wandering the sidelines aimlessly, waiting for Rodgers to save him from this hellhole.  He has started three different quarterbacks in Rodgers' absence, each one making Packers fans cringe in pain.

Rodgers has not been there to hide the deficiencies of the defense, which have become blatantly obvious in his absence.  The defense looks defeated, unable to stop the run or the pass.  Without Rodgers under center, the Packers look incapable of even winning a single game.

Some would argue that Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Drew Brees are more valuable to their respective teams.  However, they all have respectable defenses.  Furthermore, the Patriots have Bill Belichick, and the Saints have Sean Payton, who illustrated his value during his suspension last season.

If MVP truly stands for the Most Valuable Player, then there is no doubt that it should go to Aaron Rodgers.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

3 Fantasy Football Sleepers

Everyone is always looking for that one guy who falls through the cracks.  That one person that is unnoticed.  That one athlete who is undervalued.  These players can be the difference between a good fantasy football team and a championship team.  Below are three of my fantasy football sleepers for the 2013 season.

1. He is 6'2'', 220 pounds and ran a 4.42 at the NFL combine.

Cordarrelle Patterson was drafted 29th overall by the Minnesota Vikings after playing one year of major college football at Tennessee.  He has the raw talent; however, his skill are unrefined.  Despite his lack of experience and "polish," Patterson is one of my fantasy football sleepers for the 2013 season.

As I wrote in Christian Ponder and Vikings Prediction, Patterson has the attributes that you cannot teach: size and speed.  A player can always learn to run better routes, but he must be born with the height and speed.  With his physical ability, he will pose as a difficult match-up for defensive backs.  Furthermore, he will have Greg Jennings, a veteran receiver, as a mentor.

He is the 70th ranked receiver (214th overall) on ESPN will likely be available for you to draft in the last round.  Ultimately, as a last round pick, he would come with minimal risk and a high reward.

2. This next guy is 6'5" and 237 pounds.  As a quarterback, he ran a 4.65 40 yard dash at the combine.

With his size and speed, E.J. Manuel could be the next Cam Newton.  Manuel was the first quarterback taken in the 2013 NFL Draft at 16th overall by the Bills.  Manuel has been impressive in his first two preseason games, going 10-12 for 92 yards and a touchdown pass in Friday's win against the Vikings.

Many people have criticized the Bills for drafting Manuel so early.  However, he has outperformed Kevin Kolb thus far, and his fantasy potential is very high.  I think it is worth drafting him as a backup quarterback, because he is a dynamic player and could end up being your starter.  Right now, he is the 32nd rated fantasy quarterback, so he should be available for you to take in the later rounds.

3. Martellus Bennett is 6'6" and 265 pounds and possesses 4.68.  Needless to say, he is a physical specimen.  He was targeted 90 times last season with the Giants, despite playing with an injured knee throughout the season.  He was acquired by the Bears and could be in for a breakout season (assuming the Bears have a better offensive line).

It is worth drafting Bennett as a backup tight end and seeing what happens this season.  Currently, he is the 13th ranked tight end on ESPN
All three of these guys have two things in common:  they are big and fast for their position.  They have the physical features that give them the potential to be a dominant force in the league.  Consequently, they are my fantasy sleepers.

Check out 2013 Fantasy Football Sleepers for a list of my other sleepers for the 2013 Fantasy Football Season.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fantasy Football Draft Strategy

Here is my Fantasy Football draft strategy.  It is broken down by position.  I'm sure that there will be disagreements; however, this strategy has worked well for me.

Last year, the top six leading scorers in both ESPN.com and NFL.com leagues were quarterbacks.  Therefore, I suggest picking a quarterback in the 1st round.  However, you don’t want your starting quarterback to be on a running team.  Also, make sure you pick up a solid back-up quarterback with a different bye week than your starter.  Needless to say, don’t draft a guy that can’t hit the broadside of a barn. 

Also, don’t draft quarterbacks that haven’t been named the starter yet (ex: Geno Smith).  You don’t want to be stuck with a player that is a back-up.  This goes for any position.  You can always pick them up in free agency later, once they’ve been named the starter.  

Pick running backs from teams that consistently run the football.  You don’t want a running back on a team that always passes (ex: Saints).  Also, pick running backs from good teams.  You don’t want a running back from a team that is always playing from behind and has to pass the ball. 

Furthermore, stay away from platoons in which the running backs split carries (ex: Panthers).  They do not work well for Fantasy Football.  Additionally, make sure your running backs are the starters on their actual teams, because back-up running backs in the NFL don’t produce consistent fantasy points. 
Take chances on sleepers.  Look for guys that are physical specimens (fast and big).  Also, look for good receiving backs, because they can rack up some nice points.

You want a wide receiver from a team with a good quarterback, otherwise they won’t get the ball (ex: Larry Fitzgerald in 2012).  They don’t necessarily have to be on a good team, they just need a respectable quarterback. 

The trend in the NFL is tall, strong, and fast wide receivers (ex: Calvin Johnson & Julio Jones).  This is because small cornerbacks can’t cover them.  During the draft, look for these types of receivers.  Of course, it’s also a good idea to draft wide receivers on passing teams.  

Draft a tight end that is big and fast, because they are too fast for linebackers and too big for defensive backs.  They create match-up problems.  A good tight end can be a huge asset to your team.

Pick a kicker from a team with a halfway decent offense, so they have the opportunity to kick field goals.  A kicker can be a good source of points.  However, if your kicker loses his confidence, get rid of him. 

Furthermore, don’t waste a roster spot by drafting a back-up kicker.  When your kicker has his bye-week, pick up a back-up just for that week.  Then drop him at the end of the week. 

Defenses are unpredictable at the beginning of the year.  Also, injuries happen throughout the course of a season, which affects the defenses.  It’s always a safe bet to go with traditionally good defenses.  I try to pick a defense with a good pass rush, because that will create turnovers, which means more points for me.


Pick solid players that can fill in during bye-weeks.  Your bench should consist of a back-up quarterback, a second defense, role players to fill positions, and sleepers.  You want to have a good bench, so that you have depth in case of injuries.  Also, the tiebreaker in match-ups is normally your bench points, so that is another incentive of having a good bench.

Check out Fantasy Football Draft Guide for more tips.