DA Fantasy Rankings for Week 5.

 

Born in 1971.

 

Well, this would usually be about the time I talk about what is going to happen this week in the NFL.  Game of the week, interesting storylines and match-ups, that kind of thing.  Well, the NFL hasn’t been delivering in recent weeks.  The Bears/Giants Sunday night affair told the whole story didn’t it?  And, this week they come back with the Eagles vs. the 49ers.  That’s Kevin Kolb!  The 0-4 Niners!  Don’t miss it!  I’ll be safely watching game 3 of the NLDS during that barn burner.  Maybe I’ll click over during commercials, until Eastbound and Down comes on anyway.  Instead of the usual football talk, I decided I’m going to break down the QBs for DA Fantasy.  You see, there are all these online resources for actual fantasy football, but where do my guys go?  I’m no genius, but I am well versed in poor quarterback play.  So, to the players out there, here’s something to chew on.  For those not playing, here’s the QBs you should avoid watching at all costs this weekend.

1.  Todd Collins.  Did you see Collins last week?  First of all, he’s a statue.  Secondly, you know how they say some Qbs can make all the throws?  Collins can’t make any of them.  Once the Panthers get used to his change-up, look out.  Projected Key Stat:  3 Interceptions.

2. Max Hall.  Hall is thrust into the spotlight in place of Derek Anderson (shed a tear).  Hall has receivers to throw to, New Orleans hasn’t had the turnovers on defense like last year either.  I don’t think they let the kid reach his full DA potential.  Not this week.  Also worried about a quick hook.  Projected Key Stat:  11/25 passing.

3. Jimmy Clausen.  So, Clausen and the Panthers are the favorites in this one?  Wow.  Hits keep coming for the hair product assassin, who loses Steve Smith this week.  I’m not sure Clausen jangles the pick meter too often, but Julius Peppers may break him.  Projected key stat:  2 lost fumbles.

4. Josh Freeman.  One of the great natural talents in DA hasn’t had his breakout week of 2010 yet.  I think that could change this week in Cincy.  He already struggled against one AFC North team.  This time on the road things get erratic.  Projected key stat:  2 INTs

5.  Ryan Fitzpatrick.  Fitzy’s been dodging bullets for a couple of weeks here.  The Jags should be riding high coming off a win against Indy, but when you are dealing with two teams that stink, momentum doesn’t matter.  Bad things happen to the Bills.  Like Fitzpatrick’s game this week.  Projected key stat:  23/44 passing.

6.  Bruce Gradkowski.  The big bald fella has been a little disappointing by throwing the occasional touchdown and last week dipping into penalty yardage, but he’s no stranger to the pick.  The AFC West has turned into a big mess, but the Chargers may have found a little groove last week.  Bad news for the Al Davis gang.  Projected key stat:  1 pick-6

7.  Wallace/Delhomme.  I personally hope Delhomme comes back this week, because no one looks more defeated on the football field than our favorite Cajun.  The guy’s a mess.  If it’s Wallace or Delhomme the problem is, the Browns offense has become Peyton Hillis.  They need to loosen the collar on these gunslingers.  Projected key stat Delhomme: 2 INTs.  Wallace:  94 yards passing.

8.  Vince Young.  Vince is one of the many QBs who have been hard to figure out this season.  The Cowboys defense started the season poorly, but did a nice job with the Texans.  I think coming off a bye, at home, they’ll be ready for VY. In between handing off to Chris Johnson, Young  drops a stink bomb.  Projected Key Stat:  2 Turnovers.

9.  Kevin Kolb.  So, it’s been a year now since Kolb had a successful play from scrimmage?  The guy is a nightmare out there.  I think he’s just what the doctor ordered to get SF’s defense on track, and get them off the train to 0-16.  Only problem is, he’ll probably be accurate and could throw for some yards.  Good news?  Kolb loves picks.  Key Stat:  3 INTs

10. Matt Cassell.  So, the Chiefs are 3-0.  Weird.  Does going into Indy and playing the biggest game in the franchise’s recent history seem like a spot where Cassell is going to step up?  I didn’t think so.  If the Colts defense had anything, I’d have Cassell shooting up this list.  As is, he might accidentally throw for a score or two.  Key Stat:  3 TO’s.

11.  Shaun Hill

12.  Alex Smith

13.  Brett Favre

14.  Mark Sanchez

15.  Kyle Orton

16.  Donovan McNabb

Drop The Puck!

 

The Audacity of Flyers Kitten....

 

If there is one thing you don’t have to tell the Philadelphia sports fan, it’s that the Flyers get everything underway tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Sidney Crosby!  New arena in Pittsburgh!  In state rivalry!  The truth is, this may be the least anticipated season opener for a team coming off a conference championship in the history of thefour major sports.  The Flyers always have trouble wrestling attention away from the Eagles and more recently the Phillies, but if you think it is bad for them, what about the poor Sixers?  I remember when the baseball season would be a forgotten memory by the time the orange and black hit the ice.  Now, even hockey fans struggle to check in before the new year.  The bandwagon will start idling around April.

As someone who likes the Flyers more than 99% of the people I know, this year has been especially tough to take notice of hockey again, even for me.  Roy Halladay making history on the eve of their opener is just the final insult in an off-season full of anonymity.  The Eagles quarterback situation, another playoff run for the Phillies, and the Flyers can barely make the front page on their own network’s website.

I know no one cares about hockey right now, and I don’t especially care that much either.  The early checklist for a Flyers season usually goes something like this:

  1. Don’t go 1-7-2 out of the gate.
  2. Make sure there is still no #1 goalie
  3. Avoid any major injuries
  4. Pray that someone (Chris Pronger for this year) hasn’t suddenly gotten too old

That’s about it.  That’s where I’m at.  If someone out there wants to chat hockey in a little more detail, well, we can break everything down in the comments section.  In the meantime, I would have felt badly if I didn’t mention the Flyers considering that wild run they took us on last Spring.  Remember when the Phils were slumping?  Yeah, it feels like ages ago.  Anyway, the Flyers are back, and Flyers kitten is as salty as ever.

Word Association:

 

Filth.

 

In case you are wondering, I already sold my ticket stub for 23 dollars.  Of course I haven’t sold it (yet), but I am a little disappointed it is no longer in mint condition.  I just shoved the thing in my pocket.  Hey, I didn’t know Roy was going to throw a no-no.  I wasn’t among them, but many people wondered how Halladay would fare in his first post-season game.  It went O.K.  Halladay’s no-hitter, which was blemished by a single walk, was just the second no-hit game in post-season history.  Don Larsen’s perfect game in the ’56 Series has always been a piece of baseball lore.  Now Halladay slides in a half-step below him, and I was happy to be there to see it.  ‘

There wasn’t, for me at least, a sense that anything special was going to happen tonight in the early innings.  From the first pitch of the game, which was weakly grounded to short, it was clear that Halladay had his high-end stuff, but I think most in the crowd were far more worried with the offense.  The Phillies scratched out a run in the 1st, and then in the second as a cold rain began to fall I hoped they’d merely turn the line-up over.  Instead Halladay lined a hit to left, Edinson Volquez lost all command, and then Shane Victorino chased him for good with a single to left center that made it 4-0.  That hit released the tension valve in the stadium.  The way Roy was throwing, it felt that 4 was going to be enough.  I sat back and relaxed for a moment, and assigned my Rally Towel the more mundane task of keeping my jeans dry.

I’ll say I first thought no-hitter in the 4th inning or so.  Far too early, and I’m sure much earlier than most.  I have a fixation on the no-hitter, though.  I have seen one before, and at that one my friends and I joked about it after the 1st inning.  Also, the Phillies, during their slumps this year, were prone to games where they went several innings before picking up that first hit.  It became second nature for me not to just check the score, but also to check up on when they got their first hit.  I didn’t expect Halladay to polish off the last six innings with such ease, but I was doing the countdown in my head pretty early on.

By the sixth or seventh I would say no one in the stands cared one lick about what the Phillies were doing offensively. The game was in hand.  The only question left was whether or not history would be made.  The Reds played their role well, taking a huge number of strikes, striking out often, and rarely hitting a ball that had any chance of resulting in a hit.  Each top-half of the inning the crowd would work its way into a frenzy and then shower Halladay with a standing ovation as he left the field 12 outs away, 9 outs away, 6 outs away.  I will say I don’t know that I’ve ever clapped that much during a 2-hour period.  It got to the point where it felt insufficient, but what else could you do?

By the ninth I felt fairly confident that Roy was going to pull it off, and when he did, the roar that erupted from Citizen’s Bank Park was probably as loud as any I’ve heard there.   As a crowd of media swarmed Halladay on the field for post-game interviews, the crowd stayed in place, hoping for a tip of the cap, any bone Roy was willing to throw, everyone was going to soak in gratefully.  Several chants died out before gaining any legs.  Roy is not a name conducive to chanting.  There was a brief MVP, MVP, MVP chant as well.  Someone in my section asked if you could chant Cy Young? Never heard it before, but people were willing to try anything.  In the end, they just settled for more applause.

As far as what the game means for the series, it’d probably be a bit too easy right now, when that is fresh in your mind to bury the Reds.  The truth is, though, that was everything the Reds didn’t want to have happen.  Volquez was wild.  The first third of the Phillies vaunted trio had truly unhittable stuff.  The Phillies scratched out 4 runs and hit at least two balls that would have been home runs on another night.  There was a difference in class on Wednesday, but Halladay deserves most of the credit for that.  Roy Oswalt needs to pick up where Halladay left off.  He can allow a hit, of course, but he needs to keep this Reds line-up down.  They can be pitched to.  We certainly know that now.  A good game from Oswalt, and a few big hits off Bronson Arroyo and the Phillies will be on their way.