Close Calls For Holmdel In McGee Survivor League
Tough week in the McGee Survivor League as the Staten Island division suffered its first casualty of the season.  CousinHorsefeathers4 Ryno went down after a see saw Monday night battle with two of his Holmdel counterparts that saw all three occupy the bottom of the standings at some point.  Wagstaff finally had a big week behind Andre Johnson and Roddy White and may actually see Halloween.  Don’t bet on it, though.

Can Someone Buy That Coach A Watch?
It happens every week yet, as a seasoned Professor of Football, I haven’t ever been able to understand it.  The idea that a Head Coach watching his opponent drive down the field for a game tying or winning score at the end of a game, will staunchly refuse to call any of his timeouts to save some time for his team to come back.   Maybe it’s a macho thing; not wanting to show weakness or a lack of confidence in the defense.  Maybe it’s wishful thinking, hoping against hope that time will run out before the other guys score or maybe it’s just that, after a long day on the gridiron, the coach is just hungry and doesn’t want to delay his post game meal any longer. (This practice is not limited to the NFL, mind you, because I’ve seen this in Pee Wee football.) No matter what explanation is given, it only serves to mask the actual one: stupidity.

The latest example came on Monday when Rex Ryan decided he had a little extra room in his suitcase for the two timeouts he took home to New York after the Dolphins pulled out a last second victory over the Jets.  Miami scored the go ahead TD with just six seconds on the clock, no time at all for Mark Sanchez to do anything about the deficit.  Had Big Rexy chosen to stop the clock, however, the rookie signal caller may have had as much as a minute left.  Ryan’s post game explanation was baffling, as he declared his belief that his defenders would stop the Dolphins short of the goal line; something they had managed but once in a fourth quarter that saw them surrender three TD’s.  Was Rex at the concession stand for those drives?  The rookie head coach did redeem himself on Tuesday, however, in admitting that he’d do it differently next time.  Unfortunately, even if Ryan converts, a hundred other coaches will refuse to acknowledge the oncoming train.

Fantasy Football News and Notes
Lions  WR Calvin Johnson has missed a few practices this week with what might be a sprained knee and is questionable for Sunday.  Expect him to play… Look for the Cardinals to work RB Beanie Wells into a more pivotal role… WR Miles Austin and Jeremy Maclin were the most added players this week on CBSSportsline… A torn meniscus will keep Raider RB Darren McFadden out of this week’s game… New England WR Wes Welker has not participated in a full practice this week as he battles a knee problem… QB Eli Manning will start on Sunday for the Giants in New Orleans… RB LaDainian Tomlinson returns to the Chargers’ lineup Monday night…

Fantasy Football Stars
Although he might belong on the Sleepers list based on last week’s abysmal performance, Tampa Bay’s Cadillac Williams lands here due to the Bucs’ schedule.  They’ll face Carolina this week, ranked 30th in the league against the rush… Aaron Rodgers gave his owners two 300 YD games last year vs. the Lions and there’s no reason to expect anything less this week…The Cardinals’ passing game is as good as its pass defense is bad; good news for owners of Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck, who’ll face the beleaguered Arizona secondary this week.

Fantasy Football Stiffs
Jets WR Jericho Cotchery is still troubled by a hamstring injury and will be a game time decision on Sunday. In the same situation last week, he failed to fire… Browns’ RB Jerome Harrison was the hot pickup last week off of his performance vs. Cincinnati.  He managed just 21 YDS last week against a porous Buffalo defense and doesn’t figure to fare better this week in Pittsburgh… Saints’ TE Jeremy Shockey has been popping off all week as he preps to face his old mates.  Shockey has never been one to perform well under pressure and the Giants won’t want to let him.  Two catches. Tops.

Fantasy Football Sleepers
Denver RB Knowshon Moreno got his feet wet last week with his first career start.  Look for a big week from the rookie as he faces the Chargers; ranked 27th in the NFL against the run… Jets QB Mark Sanchez apologized to TE Dustin keller for not throwing to him Monday night. Keller should make up for it this week in Buffalo… As bad as the Cards’ pass defense has been, Seahawk WR Nate Burleson should be licking his chops this week.

Fantasy Football Slippers
Rashard Mandenhall has been a godsend to many owners since stepping in for Willie Parker in Pittsburgh.  His touches will be cut this week, however as Parker returns from a toe injury… The Eagles plan to work LeSean McCoy into a rotation with Rb Brian Westbrook; bad news for Westbrook owners… Tennessee RB Chris Johnson managed just 34 YDS last week against the colts and will have a tough time this week vs. New England, especially if the Titans continue to play from behind.

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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