December 5, 2011
With news that Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Donovan McNabb was released by the team, several teams could be looking to add the potential future Hall of Famer to their rosters. No NFL team claimed the veteran through waivers, but that could have actually been the best thing to happen to him. McNabb will now be able to select his own destination (assuming there are interested teams, of course) and pick what he feels is the best opportunity.
Retirement, of course, is an option. Every NFL team could decide that they’ve seen enough of the 35-year old quarterback, and if he’s unable to find a suitable offer, his career could be over. But the chance clearly exists that he could end up with another franchise before that happens, and McNabb believes he still has plenty of good football left.
So where could Donovan go?
November 29, 2011
1. Green Bay Packers (11-0) — Sunday’s game at the Giants could be the biggest remaining hurdle towards 16-0. How bad do the Packers want to run the table?
2. New England Patriots (8-3) — With a two-game lead and the tiebreaker on their side, the Patriots have almost locked up the AFC East. The schedule sets up well for a run at home-field advantage.
4. Baltimore Ravens (8-3) – The Ravens stay on top of the AFC North with a Thanksgiving Day win in the Harbaugh bowl. Now they must avoid any more letdowns.
5. San Francisco 49ers (9-2) – Despite the loss, the Niners show they can compete with the NFL elite. They can clinch the NFC West with a win against St. Louis.
6. Houston Texans (8-3) – The Texans pick up another win but lose another quarterback. Now it’s up to rookie T.J. Yates to lead a playoff run.
7. Atlanta Falcons (7-4) – Atlanta has won five of the last six. Sunday’s trip to Houston looks more winnable with the Texans down to the third-string quarterback.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3) – It wasn’t pretty in Kansas City but a win is a win. Huge game in the AFC North this week against Cincinnati.
10. Dallas Cowboys (7-4) – America’s Team has moved to the top of the NFC East with four straight wins. They need to make it five in a row before a critical meeting with the Giants.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) – The Bengals continue to exceed expectations. If they can do that on Sunday and beat the Steelers, it would go a long way towards getting them to the playoffs.
13. Oakland Raiders (7-4) – It’s a two team race in the AFC West. Oakland has a one-game lead but the more difficult schedule.
14. New York Jets (6-5) – The Jets got back on track with a win over Buffalo. They should pick up a couple more wins with Washington and Kansas City in the next couple weeks.
15. Tennessee Titans (6-5) – The Titans beat Tampa Bay in what was essentially an elimination game. They can knock the Bills out with a win this week.
16. New York Giants (6-5) – The Giants are in big trouble after losing three straight and the undefeated Packers are up next. The good news is they still play the Cowboys twice so they can control their fate.
18. Buffalo Bills (5-6) – The Bills are on life support after four losses in a row. They will have to run the table for the week 17 game at New England to matter.
19. Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) – With the loss to New England, the Eagles have a stranglehold on the most disappointing team of the year. How much worse will it get?
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) – The Bucs are another disappointing team in the NFC. They need to beat Carolina to avoid falling into last in the NFC South.
22. San Diego Chargers (4-7) – What happened during their bye week? The Chargers were 4-1 before the bye and are now 0-6 after.
23. Miami Dolphins (3-8) – The Dolphins have won three of four. They could give the Bills a run for third in the AFC East.
24. Washington Redskins (4-7) – They broke the six-game losing streak against Seattle. They could start a new streak with three teams fighting for the playoffs coming up next.
25. Minnesota Vikings (2-9) – The Vikings have lost three straight. If they don’t find a way to beat Tebow it could become six straight with the Lions and Saints coming up.
26. Seattle Seahawks (3-7) – The Seahawks blew a 10-point lead against Washington. At least they have a short week to think about it.
27. Carolina Panthers (3-8) – The Panthers are much better than last year but aren’t getting many wins to show for it. But they have found their quarterback.
28. Kansas City Chiefs (4-7) – The defense played well against the Steelers but the offense couldn’t get it going. Will they turn to Kyle Orton this week?
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8) – Jack Del Rio has been fired. This franchise has a lot of work to do.
30. Cleveland Browns (4-7) – They put up a fight against Cincinnati but came up short. And there’s more bad news; four of the last five games are against Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
31. St. Louis Rams (2-9) – The way this team has played its hard to find another win on their schedule. The best chance appears to be at Seattle.
32. Indianapolis Colts (0-11) – The Colts could make a run at 0-16. They are at New England and Baltimore for the next two.
October 7, 2011
Last week was very kind to fans – the games were exciting and, for the most part, concluded in rather predictable fashions. Most of the games, other than the Bengals win over the Bills and 49ers win over the Eagles, had outcomes you would expect. And even those two, in hindsight, make a lot of sense. But despite the predictability, there were a lot of entertaining games on, the Detroit Lions‘ comeback over the Dallas Cowboys likely the best of them all.
Tony Romo, one of my fantasy studs of the week, managed to only play one half and put up 300 yards and 3 TDs. But at halftime, the towel boy locked Romo in a storage closet and took his jersey, throwing three picks resulting in two touchdowns and a devastating loss in the second quarter. Still a decent fantasy play despite the turnovers, but wow.
McNabb performed well, too, especially compared his recent performances. 200 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT is acceptable for a back up if you needed it. The Vikings still lost, but it seems like that’s going to be a consistent trend this year.
On to the Week 5 Fantasy Studs…
For many fantasy owners, the beginning of bye weeks has snuck up quicker than anticipated. All of my teams, for example, have been annihilated by the Week 5 buys, including both of my quarterbacks – Romo and Rex Grossman (I try to synchronize my teams for simplicity). Luckily I’ve snagged a decent replacement in Alex Smith.
Smith led the Niners to victory Sunday with a solid 200 yards and 2 TD game. The Eagles, who allegedly have a deadly secondary, actually have superior cornerbacks and holes at safety and lineback, which Smith was able to exploit with Vernon Davis at tight end.
This week, they face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who aren’t exactly shutting down teams. Will Smith put up 40 points for you? No. Did I just accidentally type “Will Smith?” Yes. But another solid 20 point outing is likely in store, which is all you can really ask for in a back up.
Note: I’ll also be starting Michael Crabtree in hopes he will finally play a full game and finally show some of the talent touted when he was coming out of college.
Shonn Greene & LaDainian Tomlinson
The New York Jets have looked much worse than anticipated this year on the shoulders of Mark Sanchez, who did a pretty good Tony Romo impression Sunday night. But their match up with the New England Patriots this weekend provides a very good match up for the Jets, who in the past, have played well and beat the high flying offense. The Patriots’ defense is suspect at best, but can produce big plays with their dynamic corners. The run defense, however, gives up big yards. Look for the Jets to keep the ball on the ground, out of Sanchez’s hands, and in the arms of Green and LaDainian Tomlinson.
That’s right, I’m suggesting a kicker. In reality, kickers don’t matter much. When they put up big numbers, it’s unpredictable, and your energy is best served on other matters – fantasy football and otherwise. Which makes it even more irritating that the first bye week, my kicker is out. Not a big deal, but it’s annoying. So my strategy on the waiver wire to pick up whoever is playing Denver in hopes they nail a 50 yard field goal. This week, that’s San Diego’s Nick Novak. Denver’s Matt Prater would work, too, but he isn’t very accurate.