August 9, 2011

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Players I Want On My Fantasy Team

By: Joe Williams

With the first NFL preseason game just a few days away, millions of people are getting ready for their fantasy football drafts. And millions more are wondering what is wrong with those people. People wonder what is wrong with me all the time. But when you bring home that fantasy football championship and the year-long bragging rights over your buddies that comes with it…it’s worth it.

It’s pretty obvious that you’d like to have Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson and Andre Johnson on your fantasy team. You might get one or two of the best players in the NFL but how you fill out the rest of the roster is more important in your effort to build a winning team. Here are a few NFL players I will be looking to have on my fantasy team.

Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis

Last year Bradford finished the year with the 20th most fantasy points for NFL quarterbacks. He will play better in 2011. He’s going to have better weapons around him than he did last year. He’s also going to have Josh McDaniels. McDaniels left the Broncos in a bad way with several controversial decisions that he made, but he also helped Kyle Orton put up some big fantasy football numbers. He will do the same for Bradford.

Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver

If you drafted Moreno in the last couple seasons, you might think his name is Knowshow Moreno because he has been disappointing. The departure of McDaniels is almost as good for Moreno and it is for Bradford. John Fox is taking over in Denver and he likes to run the ball. A lot. The Broncos made a play for DeAngelo Williams but ended up settling for Willis McGahee. Another plus for Moreno. His touches will go up and so will his production.

Chad Ochocinco, WR, New England

He was a great player in Cincinnati but was known mostly for his crazy and entertaining antics on and off the field. He was stuck on a team that was going nowhere and wanted out of town. He finally gets his wish with a trade to play with Tom Brady and the Patriots. Sound familiar? Randy Moss was in a similar situation in Oakland before going to New England and putting up some of the best receiving numbers ever. Ochocinco may not score 23 TD’s like Moss did in his first year with Brady throwing to him, but he will get more than the four he scored last season.

Owen Daniels, TE, Houston

I’m giving him one more shot. I keep drafting him and he keeps getting hurt. Every season I think he’s going to put up big numbers. Just like everyone thinks the Texans are going to make that jump to a contender. If they don’t come through this season, I’m off the bandwagon. But if you don’t get one of the big-name tight ends, Daniels has the potential to put up some big numbers in the explosive Houston offense.

Daniel Thomas, RB, Miami

Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are out. Reggie Bush and Thomas are in. Bush is the big name addition in Miami but he has never been the able to handle the workload of a starting running back. Thomas will get plenty of carries and more importantly, look for him to get the ball in the red zone.

July 20, 2011

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Top NFL Free Agents

By: Rick Jarrell

After news broke last week the NFL owners and players were closing in on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, I honestly was not that excited. Part of me cares more about the NBA, but part of me can’t believe it until it is set in stone. Rumors are rumors for a reason, and while they entertain us, without potential action, it’s pointless. So this spring and summer, usually dominated by NFL and NBA rumors and training camp news, has been extremely boring for sports fans. The typical sports fan doesn’t want to diagnose the various legal matters involved in CBA negotiations.

Despite my skepticism that a deal is actually in place, I’ve begun to give in to the rumor mill a little bit, as it seems a safe bet something will be worked out soon. So here we go, with the top NFL free agents to keep an eye on.

Note: I’m excluding players that are technically NFL free agents, like Peyton Manning and Michael Vick, who we’re 99% sure they will resign with their current teams.

Deangelo Williams

Williams has been a top 10 running back the past few years, despite splitting carries with Desaun Foster and Jonathon Stewart, respectively. The two headed ground attack worked well initially for the Carolina Panthers, but the team has moved into a rebuilding stage. Williams will likely bolt for a playoff contender, where he can potentially be a feature back. He missed 10 games last year, and backs tend to break down as their careers progress, but he’s still arguably the top player available.

Nnamdi Asomugha

Asomugha’s free agency is strange, to say the least. He signed a huge contract with the Oakland Raiders, but after a contractual loop hole, he was able to opt out of his contract. Another tough luck incident for Raider Nation will likely be good luck for Asomugha and whoever signs him. His numbers were down last year, but he still made his fourth Pro Bowl because teams literally stopped throwing in his direction (I refer to this as the Champ Bailey Syndrome, who’s also a free agent). We’ve seen young talented cornerbacks switch teams only to fall out of the limelight, but I don’t expect Asomugha to be anything less than stellar. Every team could use another corner in this pass happy league, we’ll just have to see who wants him enough and who has room under the new salary cap and CBA stipulations.

Sidney Rice

Before last year, I envisioned Sidney Rice as a Viking for life. Not sure why, he just seemed like a good fit there, especially due to his connection with Brett Favre. One year later, we find that Favre is mortal, the quarterback situation is undetermined, and Minnesota may not be a long term home for the team. Rice has every reason to leave for a team that has the opposite of all that.

Randy Moss

Moss is not the player he used to be. No one can argue against that. But underestimating his abilities would be nieve. During the prime of his career, he was hands down the best receiver in the league – and he had not only one peak in Minnesota, but another in New England. Would you be surprised if he was able to resurrect himself for one last run? A lot of teams need a big play receivers – someone will take a chance. The best fit would be with a respected, veteran coach able to get Moss to dedicate himself to football again.