Gil Lock’s Take on the AFC and NFC Title Games

Things went better than expected last week for the star of Ryno Rife Sports Handicappers.  He may not have won any ryno-rife5money, but he did manage to break even on this season’s first venture into the world of pro football.  Gil, having assured us he’d confer with his wife, Jill, returns this week to give his two cents on who we might be watching two weeks from now in Super Bowl XLIV.

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By Eddie Mayrose

Wagstaff Eliminated From McGee Survivor League

It’s been two weeks since our beloved Professor was sent packing and he still hasn’t gotten over it.  The dreams he had Horsefeathers4of collecting the grand prize of Christmas booty have been dashed, by in-laws no less. The pain became worse when the elimination process spilled over to his birthday.  Then, the sweetest competitor left in the competition actually sought out some old classmates of the Prof and dished some more dirt.  It’s been quite a humbling experience.

The Staten Island Division has now been decimated while just one remains from the Holmdel and Long Island loops.  The Midwest Division is alive and well heading into the semi final round, each hoping to collect a Christmas gift from the rest of the league.  Good luck to all but, keep it down on the ferry, will ya, Jen?


Fantasy Football News and Notes


Thought it was very cool last week when Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew, after taking a knee on the one yard line in order to run down the clock in the fourth quarter, apologized to his Fantasy Football owners…RB Steve Slaton will be back in the Texans’ starting lineup on Monday night vs. Tennessee…Eagles RB Brian Westbrook will miss up to three weeks with his second concussion in a month.  If he has people that love him, however, he’ll sit the rest of the year…Denver QB Kyle Orton missed a lot of practice time with a sprained ankle and is doubtful for Sunday…Michael Turner, listed by the Falcons as doubtful for Sunday, probably won’t go…Washington RB Clinton Portis is still out with a concussion…Bengal RB Cedric Benson missed the entire week of practice with a hip injury and won’t play Sunday… A bum hip has Colts’ DE Dwight Freeney doubtful at Baltimore…Saints’ RB Reggie Bush is out with a knee injury…Troy Polamalu will not be in the Steelers’ secondary in Kansas City.

Fantasy Football Stars-

How often do the Texans get to show their stuff to a national audience?  That’ll happen Monday night and WR  Andre Johnson should take full advantage.  He and QB Matt Schaub are probably the deadliest passing duo in the league this side of Brady-Moss and not many know it.  Look for Johnson to make life miserable for the Tennessee defense.


Fantasy Football Stiffs -

Jets’ QB Mark Sanchez was the beneficiary of the team’s hot start and Tom Brady’s rust when Gang Green knocked off the Patriots in Week 2 at the Meadowlands.  That won’t happen today as a ticked off Patriots’ defense will be bringing schemes the rookie has never seen.  If you lose points for QB turnovers, you’ll want to sit Sanchez.


Fantasy Football Sleepers-

RB Larry Johnson was signed by the Bengals this week after a month of turmoil inn Kansas City caused by his insensitive remarks about gays cost him his job.  Desperate for a new start and working with fresh legs, he should pur up solid numbers as Cedric Benson’s replacement in Cincinnati.


Fantasy Football Slippers-

Broncos’ WR Brandon Marshall could see his numbers drop vs. San Diego if QB Kyle Orton can’t go.  Back-up QB Chris Simms does not have Orton’s arm and will likely work the underneath routes; costing Marshall and his owners valuable YDS and scoring opportunities.

by Professor Wagstaff

So, here we are. Week 1 for Fantasy Football Owners and the inaugural season for the members of The McGeeHorsefeathers4 Survivor League, a pressure cooker of a Fantasy Football League made up of Nieces, Nephews, In-Laws and Uncles; all vying for the bragging rights that will turn the family Christmas party into their very own championship locker room. In a brutal format that does not allow for trades or free agent pickups, the lowest scoring team of the fourteen that make up the league will be eliminated each week until only one is left standing. Or, simply put, don’t screw up your Fantasy Football Draft because you could be one and done. Advice that the good Professor should have followed in Round 6 when I got caught watching the Miami-Florida State game. I didn’t realize I was on the clock until after the computer auto picked Cincy TE Chase Coffman. Now, Wagstaff readers know I like the Bengals’ rookie but not that much. He was in my queue for a last round pick until he became my sixth. I spent the rest of the draft one player short as I scrambled to cover the mistake. It probably won’t matter anyway because, with two girls in the league, the guys don’t have a chance. The Fantasy Gods seem to love women and these two know what they’re doing; a double whammy. So, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that Beanie Wells can get something done and hope that Reggie Bush, the player Coffman should have been, doesn’t light it up in New Orleans. Good luck to all.

Fantasy Football Studs

Have to love San Diego’s Philip Rivers against any divisional foe but especially the Raiders. With Tomlinson and Gates healthy, Rivers has too many weapons for the defenseless Raiders to handle… Think Carson Palmer is anxious to get back on the field for the Bengals? He couldn’t ask for a weaker secondary to face than Denver’s. Chris Henry had a great preseason, the former Chad Johnson seems motivated and Wagstaff has to hope that Chase Coffman has a big year… Pity the poor Lions, trying to rebuild and having to face Drew Brees on opening day. Look for 300+ YDS and 3 TD from the Saints’ QB.

Fantasy Football Stars

Love the Texans’ and Saints’ DST as both will face rookie QBs. Four sacks each and a few INTs should be easy pickins’… With Terrell Owens in Buffalo, look for Dallas QB Tony Romo to rely heavily on TE Jason Witten in the season opener against a rebuilding Bucs’ squad with a lot of defensive problems…

Fantasy Football Sleepers

With a rookie QB facing a strong pass rush, the Jets’ will probably gear their passing game to a short, quick hitting style. Great news for owners of TE Dustin Keller… The Rams are undergoing a complete rebuild, especially on their D Line, which could make for a big afternoon for Seattle’s Julius Jones on Sunday… The Bills fired their O Coordinator during the preseason, cut a starting OT and will open vs. New England with three rookies on the O Line. Something tells me the Patriots D is licking its chops.

Fantasy Football Slippers

Injuries to QBs Kyle Orton and Chris Simms and the uncertain status of WR Brandon Marshall will result in a tough debut for Denver RB Knowshon Moreno, who may not even get the lion’s share of the carries… Not that Eli Manning isn’t a Wagstaff favorite, he is, but the Giants’ game plan this week will probably not be well suited for a big game from the QB… Cards’ WR Anquan Boldin has the Professor a little nervous. He’s got a bad hammy, is ticked about his contract and didn’t have a good preseason.

Fantasy Football Stiffs

You can blame Eric Mangini if you’re the owner of whoever starts at QB for the Browns this week. With Cleveland facing one of the top Defenses in the league, it was no time to let Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson twist in the wind. One of them will pay the price on Sunday… Still think that Matt Cassel’s success was a product of the talent surrounding him last year. He heads into the season with a trained knee that limits his mobility against the Baltimore Ravens; not a recipe for success… The Colts’ D will struggle this week vs. the Jags, especially with S Ed Sanders hobbled.

by Professor Wagstaff

It was a slippery slope in 2008 for owners who decided to grab a signal caller with the first pick of their Fantasy Horsefeathers4Football Draft.  Tom Brady didn’t make it out of the first quarter of the first game and Peyton Manning struggled early before settling into a productive yet un-Peyton like campaign.  Tony Romo, rated third on most boards, also failed to deliver equal value while Carson Palmer was terrible before going down for the season.  Drew Brees, an early second rounder, was the leagues most productive QB  while late draftees like Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub were super sleepers.  And who among us could’ve seen Matt Cassel coming down the road.  So, what did all of these surprises teach us?

Well, if nothing else, it’s probably not as good idea to grab a QB in the Top five of the first round.  Consider only the most elite options with your first pick and, if none fall to you, be patient enough to wait into the middle rounds.  Your squad is will be significantly better with a stud RB and a second tier QB than the other way around.  The trick is to separate the studs from the stiffs and then, as always, trust your judgment.  How to accomplish this tricky little feat?  Read on, my Fantasy Football brethren, as Waggie’s here to help.

Fantasy Football Draft Picks for QB

Studs

Will the Saints’ Drew Brees reach the 5,000 YDS mark in passing again?  Probably not.  But, 4,500 is likely, as is his 2 to 1 TD to INT ratio.  And, if Reggie Bush and Marques Colston can suit up for all 16 games, he’ll have a stronger arsenal… Sometimes, we Fantasy Football players get so caught up with our analysis that we can’t see the forest for the trees.  Such was the case last year, when Peyton Manning missed most of Indy’s  training camp.  We should have seen his sub par September coming but were blinded by the reputation.  Well, Peyton’s been in camp since Day 1 this year and his stats will reflect that.  Bank on a return to 4, 200 YDS and 35 TD… Remember how happy you were last year when New England’s Tom Brady fell to you in the first round?  That euphoria lasted about ten minutes into the season, as Brady went down with a knee.  Expect elite numbers from him this year as he and Randy Moss reunite but don’t buy into the “ahead of schedule” reports coming out of camp.  Keep in mind he had not one procedure but two; the second because his recovery from the first was going too slowly.

Stars

Have to love that San Diego’s Philip Rivers will spend almost half a season facing terrible defenses in the AFC West.  He’ll also have LaDainian Tomlinson at full strength from the get go.  4,000 YDS and 30 TD look like a lock… In Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers showed the league why the Pack let Brett Favre walk.  It had been four years since he’d done anything but hold a clipboard and he still posted 4,000 YDS and 28 TD while running for four more TD.  He’ll be even more comfortable this year, which will allow him to boost all of these numbers… Turns out, it didn’t take the Falcons all that long to recover from the Michael Vick debacle.  One draft was all it took, as Matt Ryan settled in as the Falcons’ starter and led them to the playoffs.  He had some help, of course, in Michael Turner and Roddy White and will get more for ’09 in TE Tony Gonzalez.  His 3,440 YDS and 16 TD will probably serve as career lows for this rising star.

Sleepers

Houston’s Matt Schaub burst on to the scene in a big way last year, throwing for 3,000YDS and 15 TD in just 11 games.  A full season with Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter could easily add 1,200 YDS to that total and bump the TD up to 25…  In Cincy, Carson Palmer is coming back from an injury riddled season while dealing with the loss of T.J. Houshmandzadeh.  Laveranues Coles may fill that gap, leaving it to Palmer to reestablish the former Chad Johnson as a threat.  The bet here is that he does…    Miami’s Chad Pennington may not have the best fastball in the game but he’s a proven winner and one of the game’s most accurate passes.   Given that he’ll go in the last few rounds, if at all, a repeat of last year’s 19 TD and 3,600 YDS make him a steal.

Slippers

That I don’t believe Arizona’s Kurt Warner can sustain last year’s success is not the issue.  That he’ll be taken in a position that will likely require improvement over last year’s stats to justify the price is what should concern you…  Now we’ll find out just how much Terrell Owens had to do with  Tony Romo’s success in Dallas.  Even in a disapointing ’08 he had 3,400 YDS and 26 TD.  Romo is still a viable option at QB but don’t reach…  The move to Chicago’s Soldier Field, the lack of a proven receiver on the Bears’ roster will negatively impact  Jay Cutler, a QB who’ll go higher than he should based on reputation.

Stiffs

Even in a season that saw great team success, Tennessee’s Kerry Collins posted very pedestrian Fantasy numbers.  Don’t like his age or the fact that the Titans rely so heavily on the run…  With the Raiders’ organization in such disarray, we mwy never know if  JaMarcus Russell could have been a great QB.  The athleticism he showed at LSU says yes.  The talent surrounding him in Oakland says no…  Buffalo’s  Trent Edwards already had enough pressure on him coming off a sub par season in a tough division.  Then the Bills brought in Terrell Owens.  If Edwards has two bad games in a row, a good bet, Owens will be all over him and the wheels will come off.

Fantasy Football Picks

Professor Wagstaff’s Top 20 Quarterbacks

  1. Drew Brees
  2. Peyton Manning
  3. Tom Brady
  4. Philip Rivers
  5. Aaron Rodgers
  6. Matt Ryan
  7. Matt Schaub
  8. Tony Romo
  9. Donovan McNabb
  10. Kurt Warner
  11. Carson Palmer
  12. Jay Cutler
  13. Eli Manning
  14. Ben Roethlisberger
  15. Jake Delhomme
  16. Chad Pennington
  17. Jason Campbell
  18. Matt Hasselbeck
  19. Joe Flacco
  20. Shaun Hill
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