Another Fantasy Football Owner Bites The Dust
The McGee Survivor League turned a little ugly, literally, this week as the beautiful owner of SF Col’s Guys, our lovely Horsefeathers4Colleen, was bounced by the sub par performance of her beloved Drew Brees.  Wagstaff’s pick as one of two main contenders for the title, Col’s Guys departure sent shock waves throughout the league.  Good news for the rest of us, however, as we no longer have to contend with Brees.  That also left us with just one pretty face; our token Minnesotan, Jen G.  Given up for dead last week before a Lazarus-like resurrection courtesy of an NFL scoring change, she took full advantage of her second life by running up the highest total of the week.  Her re-entry came at a cost, however, as our own Southside Johnny and his Fighting Armadillos took one in the shorts, instead.  It’s certainly been a rough two weeks for the Holmdel Division.  If you’re scoring at home, that’s three down, ten to go and Wagstaff, shockingly, still alive.

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Fantasy Football News and Notes
We all know how much Terrell Owens attitude can cause in the clubhouse.  We’ve seen it in San Fran, Philly and Dallas already.  And, given time, it’ll happen in Buffalo.  That said, shame on the Bills’ beat writers for trying to goad Owens into blasting the team’s game plan…Bad day in San Diego for the Professor’s favorite NFL’er, Chad Pennington, as he seriously injured his throwing shoulder for the third (and possibly last) time.  If his career is truly over, he’ll be remembered as a great teammate, leader and winner.  Say what you want about his soft-tossing style but give him his due.  When healthy, he always won, never more impressively than last year when he guided Miami to the biggest turnaround in league history… Can someone explain how San Francisco allowed any receivers to get behind them on that last play in Minnesota?…  As if things weren’t already bad enough in Oakland, assistant coach Randy Hanson has now detailed for authorities how his jaw was broken by head coach Tom Cable; something he previously denied…Mike Shanahan’s name has already begun to surface as a possible replacement for embattled Redskins’ coach, Jim Zorn…Tell me again how the Giants are going to regret not signing a big name replacement for Plaxico Burress… Looks like Fantasy Owners that drafted Michael Crabtree as a late round flier won’t be getting much in return this year as both sides refuse to budge in contract talks… With Dwight Freeney out 2-3 weeks, the Colts already shorthanded defense may face struggles it can’t overcome.

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Fantasy Football Stars- Love 49’ers TE Vernon Davis vs. St. Louis, especially after his 2 TD performance last week.  He’s become San Fran’s #1 option through the air; a far cry from being banished from the bench in coach Mike Singletary’s first game… Carson Palmer should be 3-0 but for the fluky, last play that gave Denver a win in Cincy in the opener.  Palmer is fresh off a victory over the Super Bowl champs and starting to click with his receivers.  Bad news for the atrocious Cleveland Browns… Giants’ RB Brandon Jacobs should have one of his best games of the season this week in KC.  The Chiefs can’t stop anyone.

Fantasy Football Stiffs- Raiders QB JeMarcus Russell is fat, out of shape, confused and a victim of the disarray so much a part of Al Davis’ organization…  Al Davis doesn’t own the Buccaneers.  After that, the same adjectives apply to Byron Leftwich… We’ll save space here and list the Cleveland Browns as a unit.  From the head coach on down, this team is a train wreck whose players you can’t afford to use.  How do you like Mangini now, Cleveland?

Fantasy Football Sleepers- With Marion Barber and Felix Jones banged up, RB Tashard Choice becomes just that in Dallas.  He was very impressive in his Monday Night cameo… Minnesota WR Percy Harvin is becoming a regular on this list.  Not only has he quickly emerged as Brett Favre’s favorite target, he’s now added special teams prowess to his resume…  Since Peyton Manning lost Anthony Gonzalez as his second receiver, he’s made do, quite nicely, with WR Pierre Garcon, who’s had a long TD grab in each of the last two games.

Fantasy Football Slippers- One thing Cardinals’ RB Tim Hightower had going for him was that 1st round pick, Beanie Wells, was having trouble hanging on to the ball.  That is, until Hightower coughed it up himself last week.  Look for Arizona to use its bye week to make Wells a more viable part of the attack and take carries from Hightower… Bills’ WR Terrell Owens had no catches last week for the first time in 185 games.  That won’t happen Sunday in Miami but he and Trent Edwards are clearly not in sync… Lost in the euphoria of the Jets’ perfect record is the struggling RB Thomas Jones. In New York’s victory over Tennessee, he carried just 14 times for  20 yards.  Jones has struggled for most of the season, his strong second half vs. Houston the lone bright spot.

BYE WEEK- Arizona, Atlanta, Carolina, Philadelphia


Fantasy Baseball Clock Strikes Midnight
If you’re reading this with anything more than a passing interest, it’s because you’re still alive in your Fantasy Baseball fieldwithballmoonLeague and need that little extra over the last four days to give you an edge and secure a title. Throw out the scouting reports, the tendencies and projections; you need players that can help you today.  To that end, we’ve tweaked the format a little for our final Forecast in hopes that it’ll help raise that flag.   Good luck.

Streaking- Your biggest concern here is making sure you have players that will actually be in the lineup.  As insane as it might sound to waive/bench Alex Rodriguez for Minnesota’s Matt Tolbert, it makes sense when you realize that ARod will probably rest this weekend while Tolbert and the Twins desperately strive for the post season.  Other teams that will still be playing for something are the Braves, Rockies, Cardinals, Phillies and Dodgers.  St. Louis and Philadelphia are battling for the second seed in the NL while the Braves and rockies contend for the Wild Card.  Even Los Angeles has a vested interest this weekend as they’re head to head matchup with Colorado will determine the Wild Card.  Make no mistake, Joe Torre’s boys absolutely care about that as they look to avoid seeing the Cards’ deep rotation in the first round.  You’ll also want to use players approaching milestones as well as rookies being auditioned by bad teams; Washington’s Mike Morse for example.  One other piece of advice:  Pick up as many free agents from the Twins and Tigers as you can.  If they finish in a tie, their one game playoff is a regular season game and the stats count.  Right now it looks like Nate Robertson and Carl Pavano would be the starters.

Stalling- Veteran players and starting pitchers on the Angels, Red Sox and Yankees will likely be no help to you this weekend as they will be rested by managers fine-tuning their lineups for the post season.  You’ll get a game from each, probably, but that won’t do you any good if you need a few R or RBI.  You’ll also want to rid yourself of young pitchers whose teams are looking to limit their IP.  No matter what’s listed, the possibility exists they won’t go.  Stay on top of that.  Continue, also, to keep away from veterans like Miguel Tejada who are losing playing time while the organization auditions rookies at their positions.

It’s always sad to see the season come to an end.  Congratulations to the winners and good luck to those less fortunate as they prepare their rosters for a big 2010.  We’ll be back next week with a playoff preview and follow that up with out Fantasy Awards.

With but ten days remaining in the season, the race in the Hausier’s Krowedum Rotisserie League has boiled down tofieldwithballmoon three teams; all of whom have been moving up and down within a range of ten points while alternating positions on a daily basis.  “It’s tough when the categories are this close”, said Bobby Carr of the Master Batters.  “At this time of year you’d like to focus on a category or two where you can either move up or protect a lead.  But a number of categories are close enough to demand attention and it’s spreading the attack pretty thin.”  In explaining further, Carr said, “I woke up the other day with a four point lead overall.  But I was just percentage points ahead of two teams in WHIP and just 2 RBI ahead of another two.  The next day, each of those four had passed me and I was two points behind.”  “I’ve decided to leave my team the way it is and hope for the best.  About the only moves I’ll make is to fill slots when players have an off day.” Carr’s problem is not uncommon among owners still in the race.  Trying to decide which players give you the best chance at gaining a point or two without costing you somewhere else is a dicey game.  Fortunately for Carr, it’s one he’s used to as he pushes for his third consecutive title.  As we said last week, keep an eye on the pennant race in the AL Central as the Twins and the Tigers will not sit their regulars and give up on your guys who may be losing playing time to auditioning rookies.  You’ve got ten days left.  Good luck.

Streaking-Switch hitting Matt Wieters is playing every day for the Orioles and has 3 three hit games in his last 4… The Twins keep closing on the Tigers and Michael Cuddyer is a big reason. Since it was announced that Justin Morneau is out for the year, Cuddyer has taken over at 1B and hit 4 HR in 6 games… Jason Kubel has settled into the Twins’ cleanup spot and seems to be driving in a run every night… Rockies C Yorvit Torrealba has been on fire, with four multi hit games in the last nine… Cubs’ hurler Tom Gorzelanny has been throwing very well and could give you a W or two… Royals’ 1B  Billy Butler, a huge Moonlight favorite, is closing in on 50 doubles. Mark it down now; Butler will have a huge 2010.

Stalling- The White Sox may look to limit the innings of starters John Danks and Mark Buerhle over the last week… Milton Bradley is done for the year after the Cubs suspended him for criticizing the team in the press. What a surprise… White Sox OF Jermaine Dye is crawling toward the finish line and has seen his BA drop to .238.

Sick Bay- Jays’ SS Marco Scutaro is out for the year with a back injury… OF Denard Span was out of the Twins’ lineup on Tuesday after being beaned on Monday. He’s day to day… San Francisco 2B Freddy Sanchez could miss a few days with a bad knee.

Fantasy Football Survivors

Week Two saw the Shortbus Samurai Warriors run away from the rest of the McGee Survivor League in much the sameHorsefeathers4 way their RB, Chris Johnson, ran away from the Houston Texans.  Johnson was just what Dr. Pete ordered to stave off the elimination that was eventually suffered by the beautiful Jen G. who can turn the world on with her smile.  Unfortunately, she had a nothing day and was unable to make it all seem worthwhile.   It’s possible that she angered the gods of the Twin Cities in her failure to support the Twins superstar, Jason Kubel.  Well, it’s off to Roll-n-Roaster for Team Minnesota as the rest of the McGees head into Week Three.

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Fantasy Football’s Best Player

Don’t know if we need some kind of ceremony to mark a changing of the guard but Drew Brees is now, unquestionably, the best QB in the NFL.  After watching Tom Brady struggle for most of the Pats’ opener vs. Buffalo and then look totally flustered against the Jets, it’s obvious that he’s still shaking off the rust from last year. Brees now has 9 TD passes and more than 600 YDS through the first two weeks… So far, the Jets have been true to their word that they’ll get Leon Washington as many as 15 touches a game.  Not great news for Thomas Jones owners… Have to be concerned over what’s preventing Tony Romo and Roy Williams from getting on the same page in Dallas… Despite QB Kurt Warner’s sensational performance vs. Jacksonville, (24-26, 243 YDS, 2 TD), WR Anquan Boldin once again failed to establish himself.  Makes you wonder if his acrimonious contract negotiations have the Cards phasing him out of the offense as they prepare for life without him… You’d think that with two rookie WRs, TE Zach Miller would have significant value in the Raiders’ attack.  But, with QB JeMarcus Russell as likely to stink out the joint as not, even Miller is too risky a play…Don’t count RB Willis McGahee out of the Ravens’ game plan just yet. In Baltimore’s victory over San Diego, McGahee was the man at the goal line.

Week Three Projections

Fantasy Football Stars- Texans’ QB Matt Schaub lit up the Titans last week with 4 TD and 300 YDS. He’ll be facing a Jaguars’ DST that was shredded by Kurt Warner last week… Look for Giants’ WR Mario Manningham to be Eli Manning’s favorite target in Tampa off of his huge night in Dallas last week… Miami’s Ronnie Brown gave evidence on Monday night that he is one of the more underappreciated stars in the league with 136 YDS and 2 TD.  With the 0-2 Dolphins desperate for a win, they’ll put the ball in his hands.

Fantasy Football Stiffs- At first glance, Redskins QB Jason Campbell had a solid Week 2 vs. St. Louis.  However, when you realize he didn’t throw a TD pass against a terrible St. Louis squad, you have to worry about his production… Bucs’ WR Antonio Bryant missed last week’s game vs. Buffalo and his status is uncertain for this week’s game against the Giants.

Fantasy Football Sleepers- If Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck can’t go, look for the Seahawks to rely on RB Julius Jones with Seneca Wallace under center… It looks like Brett Favre has found his favorite receiver and it’s Percy Harvin. The Vikings’ rookie has a TD in each of his first two games…

Fantasy Football Slippers- New England’s Wes Welker pops up on this list based on the uncertainty of his injury status. Given Bellichick’s history of not disclosing injuries, (How surprised were you that Welker was out last week?), you can’t take a chance with Welker until game time…Don’t get sucked in by Eagles QB Kevin Kolb.  His 391 YDS vs. New Orleans was a nice surprise filling in for Donovan McNabb but two things should make you stay away. First, Donovan McNabb could return any time and, second, the Saints were up by so much throughout the game, Kolb threw way more than expected…Tampa Bay QB Byron Leftwich has had two solid weeks against Buffalo and Dallas but now must face the Giants; whose defense is a significant step above both.

By Moonlight Graham

It’s been a disappointing Major League season for those fans that enjoy September pennant races fieldwithballmoonas each division seems to be locked up and only the NL Wild Card spot is still being contested.  We might see one more divisional race if the Twins can sweep the Tigers this weekend but, with their pitching, it’s not likely.  For baseball purists, the final month has been a letdown.

The absence of close races will have a bearing on Fantasy Baseball owners also, as they’ll be forced to keep an eye on star players that are vital to their Fantasy Baseball teams being rested as their MLB team preps for the post season.  So, if you’re looking to pick up an important point or two in the W or ERA categories, be aware that C.C. Sabathia or Chris Carpenter might be passed over in order to get a little more rest before the playoffs.  Likewise, dependable veterans on teams out of the mix; guys like Paul Konerko and Miguel Tejada, to name two, may find a seat on the bench as their teams audition younger players.  The bottom line is, if you’re lucky enough to still be in the running for your league title, it is more important to keep an eye on the box scores now than at any other point in the season.

Streaking

Arizona’s Juan Gutierrez is making a case to be the D’Backs’ 2010 closer with 4 S and 1 W in September… Tommy Hanson has a 0.45 ERA over three September starts for Atlanta… Kansas City’s Robinson Tejeda is 2-0 over three starts with 18 K.  When did you ever think he’d be a piece of your puzzle?… Seattle’s Ryan Rowland-Smith has gone 7 IP in each of his last four starts while posting a 2.61 ERA…

Stalling

Houston’s Miguel Tejada will see his playing time decrease as the Astros audition Tommy Manzelli at SS… Chad Billingsley’s most recent turn in the rotation was skipped as he has struggled over the last month… Despite extended rest, Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo was ripped in his last start and could be shut down for the rest of the year… Even though his last outing was a strong one, Chris Tillman may be shut down by the Orioles as they try to limit his IP… Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona is 1-5, 5.48 in his last nine starts… Jorge Posada will miss the weekend after being suspended for his ridiculous display during the Yankees- Blue Jays game on Wednesday… A.J. Burnett continues to struggle, going 1-4, 6.75 over his last six starts.  It’s been awhile since any of his teammates hit him with a pie… Take the 5-0 record given you by Pedro Martinez and run.  In his last start, the fragile Martinez threw 130 pitches, the most he’s thrown since 2002.  That followed a 119 pitch game in his previous outing.  You can’t expect him to hold up under the strain…

Sick Bay

Washington C Jesus Flores is done for the year after shoulder surgery… Justin Morneau will be out for the year with a stress fracture in his back… Kevin Youkilis has missed three straight with back spasms and could be out through the weekend… Detroit’s Jarrod Washburn is out with a bad knee… Yankees’ starter Andy Pettitte will miss a turn due to shoulder fatigue… Texas OF Josh Hamilton may miss the rest of the year with back issues…

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