“Attention Fantasy Football Shoppers…”

By Eddie Mayrose

To most Fantasy Football Owners, the key to a successful season is a stable of capable ball-carriers.  Given the amount of touches they receive, it’s a logical concept to spend early round picks on running backs.  In most Fantasy Football Drafts, they dominate the first round; often taking up the first five slots.  However, there is significant, year-to-year turnover on the list of elite backs, something owners don’t always take into account and the reason bargain hunting could lead to a championship.

Last season, many Fantasy Football Players were all smiles after landing Matt Forte and Marion Barber in the first two rounds.  That was likely the only happiness enjoyed by those owners as both of the supposed studs failed to fire.  Yet, discount rushers like Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles delivered top shelf numbers at a much lower price.

Heading into the season, there are two running backs that, because of the circumstances of their teams, are newcomers to the “Elite List”.  There are two others, in similar situations, who are not as highly regarded but could become productive members of your championship squad at a fraction of the cost.   Just remember to shoot the old Professor a thank you note as you celebrate your title. Continue reading »

McGee Survivor League Down To Final Pair

After 12 tribal councils have eliminated all but Dr. Pete and Twin Cities Jen, the inaugural season of the McGee CJSurvivor League comes to a close this weekend.  Interestingly, the matchup will pair the NFL’s two best running backs; Jen’s Adrian Peterson and Pete’s Chris Johnson.  A bitter pill for the old Professor to swallow, as his strategy to load up on receivers in the early round was summarily stuffed down his throat in Week 10 when he was, ironically, nosed out by both of the finalists on his birthday.  We’ll give a slight edge to Jen’s Team Minnesota for two reasons.  She can turn the world on with her smile and Waggie predicted that she or Colleen, our Bay Area beauty, would walk away with the prize.  That probably bodes well for Pete’s Samurai Shortbus, however, as I haven’t gotten much right in this league.  Good Luck.

Fantasy Football News and Notes

Eagles WR DeSean Jackson is very doubtful vs. Atlanta with a concussion…With RB Jamal Lewis done for the year, Jerome Harrison becomes an attractive FA pickup as he’s the Browns’ first option as a replacement.  Well, maybe notben attractive but it’s Week 13; you can’t expect much…Mark Sanchez is probable vs. the Bills on Thursday.  If that’s a concern for you, I’d expect that your team is doubtful for a playoff run… The former Chad Johnson threw some left handed compliments at the Bengals’ decision to rely on the running game in their last two wins.  He wants the Bengals to throw more.  Hey Chad, did you notice how much you threw the ball last year when you were 4-11-1?…  QB Ben Roethlisberger will lead the Steelers into battle vs. Oakland.  Hines Ward, however, is questionable with a size 12 Adidas shoe still stuck in his mouth… K Jason Elam was waived by Atlanta, who signed Matt Bryant as a replacement… RB Cedric Benson should return for the Bengals vs. Detroit; bad news for those who picked up Larry Johnson… The Giants’ DST went from a must-start to a matchup when S Kenny Phillips went down and now are a must-sit with LB Antonio Pierce sidelined… Don’t sweat if you own New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas.  Mike Bell got more carries on Monday simply because the Saints chose to run the ball in garbage time.

Fantasy Football Stars

RB Rashard Mendenhall ran for 95 YDS last week in the Steelers OT loss to the Browns; one of the toughest run defensesmarshall in the league.  Look for a significant bump to those totals vs. the pathetic Raiders in a game Pittsburgh must have… QB Carson Palmer will shut that big hole in #85′s face by taking advantage of a hapless Lions’ secondary while easing the burden on RB Cedric Benson; returning from injury… Broncos’ WR Brandon Marshall will reap the combined benefits of a ten day rest and an extremely weak defense to post huge numbers vs. Kansas City.

Fantasy Football Stiffs

QB Kurt Warner is still having trouble with his eyes as a result of a concussion.  He’s probable for Arizona vs. Minnesota warnerbut you have to wonder how effective he’ll be against a defense with 40 sacks… Owners of Ravens RB Ray Rice have been hurt all year while Baltimore turns to Willis McGahee at the goal line.  Rice has maintained value, however, by posting solid YDS; something that won’t happen this week vs. Green Bay’s tough run defense… Things don’t look bright for WR Lee Evans in tonight’s game vs. the Jets. With Terrell Owens starting to string together some solid games and Buffalo facing a formidable defense, Evans is unlikely to get a lot of touches.

Fantasy Football Sleepers

The Texans face a Jacksonville squad as desperate as they are.  The thinking here is that the Jags will throw the kitchenorton sink at WR Andre Johnson, leaving Kevin Walter to enjoy a big day… Eagles’ RB LeSean McCoy will take advantage of the Falcons fading defensive unit to the tune of 100 YDS and two TD… QB Kyle Orton will lead a rested Denver squad into Kansas City and make the game look  like a seven on seven drill.

Fantasy Football Slippers

In spite of the Saints’ scoring like a pinball machine, TE Jeremy Shockey hasn’t become part of the fun.  It’s been weeks shockeysince he had a productive game… Chiefs’ QB Matt Cassel is in for a long one vs. a Denver team that seemed to find itself on Thanksgiving vs. the Giants… Speaking of the Giants, it’s a mystery why RB Brandon Jacobs has been struggling.  Howevr, it’s your job to react to the problem; not figure it out.

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.

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