September 28, 2011

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NFL Predictions: Week 4 Surprise Fantasy Studs

By: Rick Jarrell

Man, was Week 3 for the NFL exciting. A total of ten underdogs took home wins, the highlight being the Buffalo Bills, who survived Tom Brady’s New England Patriots to take the early division lead. The Oakland Raiders mostly dominated the New York Jets, the Cleveland Browns scored a game winning touchdown in the last two minutes, and Michael Vick somehow managed to start, but got knocked out, again. All around entertaining week.

My NFL fantasy predictions, however, were a mixed bag. Rex Grossman had a decent game against the Dallas Cowboys, but failed to put up significant numbers. The San Diego Chargers were a huge disappointment, not blowing out the hobbled Kansas City Chiefs as they should. Vick started, but Mike Kafka did get some playing time, but did not impress.

The bright spot was Rob Gronkowski, who again, scored two touchdowns in a high scoring battle against the Bills. Ochocinco should have had a good game, as well, but dropped a sure fire 50 yard touchdown pass. It slipped right through his hands. Stunning. Still can’t believe it. While I continue to try to digest that, on to Week 4 NFL predictions.

Tony Romo

A lot of people have been down on Romo. Sure, he screwed up in Week 1 against the New York Jets. But he’s still a Top 10 quarterback, and whether or not he’s a true leader, he’ll still give you NFL fantasy points. I’ll admit, his performance Monday was less than stellar. I expected much more. But he is playing with broken ribs and a pierced lung, so he deserves some slack.

Another week to recover should be good for him. Although it’s a short week and recover time isn’t normal, expect him to have a big game against the Detroit Lions. The Lions secondary is sub-par, and with a high scoring offense led by Matt Stafford, I see this being a shootout. If Romo can’t go, Jon Kitna wouldn’t be the worst pick up for those desperate.

Donovan McNabb / Percy Harvin

I’m very surprised to be saying this, but I think McNabb is poised for a good week. Perceived by many to be well past his prime, and Week 1’s performance was nothing short of proof, McNabb has played decently the past two weeks. The Vikings would have won Sunday if not for their aversion from Adrian Peterson in the second half, which was strange to say the least.

A match up against Kansas City, a team down a Pro Bowl safety in Eric Berry, and a team I predicted to get slaughtered last week, should be favorable, despite my incorrect prediction. Without deep protection, McNabb’s top deep threat, Percy Harvin, should be able to get some space.

Tim Hightower/Roy Helo

The running back by committee is a fantasy owner’s worst enemy. Washington Redskin’s coach Mike Shanahan is a notorious offender. But their Week 4 match up against the St. Louis Rams’ – the worst running defense in the league – should have one, if not both, poised for a big game.

Historically, Shanahan’s “no-name” backs have exploded randomly a few times a season, but never stuck as top of the depth chart guys. I like what Hightower does as a blocking back, and Helu certainly has potential, so hopefully they do stick. But expect an offensive explosion from one of them sometime this season, likely this week being their best shot.

September 27, 2011

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Chances For A Perfect NFL Season

By: Joe Williams

After three weeks of NFL football, there are just three teams left without a loss. Five teams have yet to post a win. Will anyone be able to follow the footsteps of the 2007 New England Patriots and finish 16-0 or the 2008 Detroit Lions and go 0-16? Let’s go to the schedule and see when these teams will take their first loss or pickup their first win of the 2011 NFL season.

Detroit Lions 3-0

Could they go from 0-16 to 16-0 in just three years? Not going to happen. The Lions have certainly come a long way since Dan Orlovsky stepped out of bounds in his own end zone for a safety, the difference in a 12-10 loss to Minnesota and the Lions finished the 2010 NFL season without a win. Detroit looks like a team that will be in the NFL playoffs but I think their undefeated streak ends on Sunday when they pay a visit to Dallas.

Green Bay Packers 3-0

Pop quiz: When was the last time the Packers lost a game that mattered? It was on Dec. 19 at New England for those of you who don’t want to look it up. When was the last time they lost with Aaron Rodgers on the field for four quarters? Try Nov. 28 at Atlanta. Rodgers has won 10 straight games with most of them coming against the cream of the NFL crop (49ers, Giants, Bears, Eagles, Falcons, Bears, Steelers, Saints, Panthers, and Bears). Sooner or later Green Bay has got to drop a game and I say it will be sooner. Oct. 9 at Atlanta to be exact…the last team to beat the Packers with Rodgers on the field.

Buffalo Bills 3-0

The high-flying Bills offense is putting up over 37 points a game. A win at Cincinnati this week and they will match their win total from last year. I don’t see the Bills making a run at 16-0 with a trip to New England and two meetings with the Jets on the slate. It will be interesting to see what they can do against the Jets defense but I don’t think an undefeated streak will be on the line. I think they will get beat in two weeks by the Eagles.

Minnesota Vikings 0-3

You have got to feel for Viking fans after they have had to watch their team blow a 10-point halftime lead at San Diego, then blow a 17-point halftime lead against Tampa Bay and follow that up by blowing a 20-point halftime lead against Detroit. At this rate, the fans probably wouldn’t mind if the team ends up moving to Los Angeles as has been rumored. The good news is with Kansas City and Arizona coming up in the next two weeks, the Vikings should get a win soon.

St. Louis Rams 0-3

Wow. The Rams must be wondering what they did to the NFL schedule-makers. What a brutal first start to the season they have. Eagles, Giants, Ravens, Redskins, Packers, Cowboys, and Saints. They could be 0-7 or 1-6 when we get to November. But if they can survive that stretch and stay within shouting distance in the NFC West, there are a lot of winnable games for the Rams in the last two months. I say they find a way to beat Washington on Sunday.

Miami Dolphins 0-3

If the Bills are for real, then the Dolphins are and the bottom of the toughest division in the NFL. Add the NFC East to their schedule and it looks like it will be a long season in Miami. At least fans in Miami have the Miami Heat run at a championship to look forward to. They will likely lose at San Diego and the New York Jets and get to 0-5 before the Broncos come to town. Denver ought to be 1-4 and it will be a big game in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. I think Miami wins.

Indianapolis Colts 0-3

It was a devastating blow to this team when Peyton Manning couldn’t make it back to start the season. It looks like there will be no reason for him to take the field by the time he is healthy enough to do so. But this is a team that is going to put up a fight as they did Sunday night against Pittsburgh. They might not win at Tampa Bay on Monday but if they lose, they have the Chiefs and Bengals up next and will win at least one of those.

Kansas City Chiefs 0-3

The Chiefs looked much better against the Chargers than they did in the first two games. They host a matchup of winless teams on Sunday against the Vikings and then head to Indy to face the Colts in another matchup of struggling teams. They need to beat Minnesota to restore some hope to the fans at Arrowhead. Otherwise they could be 0-5 at the bye with some difficult opponents to come. I predict the Chiefs pick up their first win on Halloween night against San Diego.

September 23, 2011

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Top Trends For The Week

By: mzaccagni

It is clearly NFL season and our numbers this week make that pretty obvious. Who do you think took the top spot though? We’ll give you a little hint.. Rookie..Quarterback..Come on if you can’t guess it off of those two hints then you must have been living under a rock for the past two weeks. Cam Newton had an unbelievable start for the Carolina Panthers but now the real question is, how long will this last? Is Newton the real deal?

We give you the top five popular trends at Fathead for this week and to our surprise (and probably your’s too) the Disney Princess Collection made it on the list. Maybe there was a Disney Princess convention going on this week because people definitely showed us their excitement!

1. Cam Newton

2. Dallas Cowboys Logo

3. Michael Vick

4. Disney Princess Collection

5. Winnipeg Jets Logo

September 21, 2011

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Predicting the NFL Week 3 Fantasy Studs

By: Rick Jarrell

Like many media personalities, I’m going to take a stab at predicting which NFL players will have spectacular statistical performances this upcoming weekend. But unlike many media personalities, I’m going to predict the top five players in the league – Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Andre Johnson, etc – will have a great week. That’s a cop out. Anyone can do that. The following are my somewhat bold predictions for NFL Week 3 fantasy studs.

Rex Grossman

I’m still surprised the Washington Redskins didn’t decide to go with Jon Beck as their starting quarterback, but I digress. Grossman has shown flashes of the good and bad we saw during his Chicago Bears days. Mike Shanahan may be reeling in the gun slinger, creating a reliable starter, and the suspect Dallas Cowboys’ secondary provides a solid match up. Where Dallas’s secondary lacks, it’s run defense makes up for it, with playmakers on the defensive line, which leads me to believe the Skins will be even more inclined to take it to the air as much as possible. But I caution you, as always, Grossman will throw a pick or two on his way to a 400 yard game.

Rob Gronkowski & Chad Ochocinco

Gronkowski has already been tearing it up this year, with three touchdowns in two games, even while splitting time with fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez (often in two tight end formations). But now that Hernandez will be out the next 2-4 weeks, Gronkowski should benefit even more by being additionally targeted by Tom Brady.

But one man can only do so much. There has to be another benefactor, someone who hasn’t tallied as many receptions as normal on the team. Someone who’s very vocal, but strangely not the last two weeks. That man, of course, is Ochocinco. He’s crowded behind the aforementioned athletic tight ends and very Patriot-minded players Deion Branch, Wes Welker, and Julian Edelman. Even with Brady throwing for 500 yards a game, that’s a lot of love to spread around. Expect Ocho to benefit from Hernandez’s absence, possibly more than Gronkowski will.

The Entire San Diego Chargers Team

The Kansas City Chiefs surprised everyone last year by winning the division handily but have stumbled out of the gate this year. They lost their Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry in Week 1, and Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles in Week 2. Both to ACL injuries. Both are out for the year. Couple that with the wide perception the team would take a step back this NFL season, it will likely be a very long year for the team and their fans.

The beneficiary of the Chief’s misfortunes this week will be the division rival Chargers. Moving the opposite direction of the Chiefs, as they are widely perceived to have underperformed last year, stud quarterback Phillip Rivers should have a huge game against the depleted secondary. Who catches the ball the most – Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd, Antonio Gates – is irrelevant, as it’s probable all three will have very favorable games for their fantasy owners.

Mike Kafka

That’s right, I said it – Mike Kafka. League rules state Michael Vick has to sit out at least one game after his concussion (at least I think those are still the rules). So unless they change the rules specifically for him, Kafka is the man for Philadelphia this Sunday. The former Northwestern quarterback is highly unknown, but I can tell you this – it seems no matter who the Eagles put in at quarterback, they still win. Donovan McNabb, AJ Feely, Kevin Kolb, Vick, and now Kafka, who went 7-9 after Vick’s departure this past weekend.

Don’t expect Kafka to turn into Drew Brees. Not even close. They’ll probably try to establish the run, with LeSean McCoy having a breakout season so far. But the Giants have a strong defensive line. They’re weak in the secondary. So in a situation where you’d think Andy Reid would limit pass attempts to below 20, it may actually eclipse 30.

I hope none of you drafted Peyton Manning and David Garrard and are already hounding the waiver wire. But for the few that exist, Kafka is a decent option. Assuming Grossman is unavailable, that is.

September 20, 2011

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NFL Early Season Surprises

By: Joe Williams

We are just two weeks into the NFL season and the landscape of the league has already changed. Some NFL teams have dug themselves a big hole to try and climb out of. Others have played better than expected. Here are some teams that have me reconsidering my NFL season predictions.

Buffalo Bills

It’s no surprise that the Patriots and Jets are 2-0 but did anyone expect to see the Bills destroy the Chiefs and win a shootout with Oakland? I don’t think so. It’s not that the Bills won two games; it’s the way they’ve done it. Ryan Fitzpatrick has led the now high-flying Bills to a league leading 79 points. Buffalo didn’t score its 79th point last year until the fifth game of the season and started out 0-8. How much has Buffalo really improved? We are about to find out. Tom Brady and the Patriots come to town this week.

Indianapolis Colts

When Peyton Manning was ruled out for most of the NFL season with a neck injury, it was pretty clear the Colts would relinquish their strangle-hold they have had on the AFC South. The Colts have proved in the last two weeks just how great Manning is. The offense is near the bottom of the league and hasn’t scored a touchdown in either game until the outcome was already decided. If they continue playing like this, there will be no reason for Manning to take the field when he gets healthy.

Kansas City Chiefs

Just when it looked like the Chiefs were going to be the team to challenge San Diego in the AFC West in the next few years, they are off to a horrendous start this NFL season. They are just a game back in the AFC West but after being outscored 89-10 in two games, confidence of a turnaround cannot be high. It’s been so bad that I’m not even rubbing it in to my friend who is a Chiefs fan. Matt Cassel has not been good but the worst part is the loss of Jamaal Charles for the season. Not to mention losing Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki as well. It could be a long season at Arrowhead.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins weren’t even supposed to contend for a spot in the NFL playoffs, let alone win the NFC East, but here they are at 2-0 and in first place. The Giants and Cardinals may not be NFL heavyweights right now but a win is a win and teams that stay in the race need to win at home. Things get a bit tougher for Mike Shanahan’s team this week though with a trip to Dallas. A road win over a division rival would be huge.

Carolina Panthers

When I say “Carolina Panthers”, what I mean is “Cam Newton”. When I picked Newton up for my fantasy team I never imagined he would throw for 854 yards in two games. He looks like he is going to be the real deal and even though the Panthers are 0-2, they have looked much better than the team who earned the first pick in the NFL draft last season.