I had a five cheese pizza last night. Much to my dissapointment, it was pretty terrible. It had about two cheeses too many. Had it been, say, only a three cheese pizza, it probably would've been a whole lot better. The morale of the story is an old cliche, less is more. The same sometimes applies to fantasy football when talking about the value of players. Getting a player of similar production, but at a later point in your draft. One of those player's is my Rip Van Winkle of the Day. Joey Galloway/WR Tampa Bay: I know, I know, he isn't a true sleeper. More like undervalued. Galloway has been consistently productive since joining the Bucs in 2004. (aside from the year he missed 6 games) Aside from that year, he's had at least 1000 yards and at least six TD's. This including a career high 6.8 YAC last year. Even while getting up there in age, he still has proven to be productive. Without Tampa still having a true #2 WR, Galloway is still the main man. The best part of it is that Galloway goes a lot later in draft than some of the bigger name WR's, making him have excellent value.
Thursday, July 3
Two days ago, the biggest NFL news story was that Chris Henry's assault case was granted a mistrial. That was before Al Harris said the word "itch" on NFL Live. Now you can't go anywhere without hearing the words Brett Favre. I fed the fire yesterday and made 29% of yesterdays Rundown about old number 4. Sorry Smokey, shoot me. Today, I'm going to attempt to bring you an update of the days NFL news without any Brett Favre reports. Because I'm sure that Chris Mortenson and his ESPN crew have already invaded your house to let you know that Favre is possibly making a comeback because his mother's sister's aunt's cousin told some Milwaukee radio station that Favre is staying in playing shape. That may leave me with approximately 2 news stories to discuss, but I'll persevere. I'm an ESPY nominee remember? Miami Draft Picks Won't Sign Until The Tuna Is Back Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland doesn't anticipate any problems getting the team's remaining draft picks under contract.
Ireland originally targeted July 1 to get Chad Henne, Phillip Merling, and Kendall Langford signed, but will wait until Bill Parcells returns from vacation. "As soon as (July) seventh rolls around it’s going to be business as usual," Ireland said. "And we’ll try to get these guys wrapped up."
Source: Palm Beach PostIn avoiding Brett Favre, I get a Bill Parcells report. Sweet mother of God, is there any news worthy people in the sports world who haven't retired and unretired? DeShaun Foster Way Down On San Francisco's Depth Chart The San Francisco Chronicle believes that DeShaun Foster will struggle for playing time in 2008, barring injury.
Mike Martz has spoken of using Michael Robinson and Frank Gore in the backfield together, but said nothing about Foster. Foster isn't great in short yardage, where perhaps the 49ers could use help, and at this stage of his career is little more than a poor man's Gore. He still isn't a bad handcuff.
Source: San Francisco ChronicleSo Foster is a poor man's Frank Gore, while Frank Gore is being used as Mike Martz's poor man's Marshall Faulk. In other words, DeShaun Foster is a homeless person's favorite player. Benchwarmer Clayton Reportedly Looks Good 49ers second-year RB Thomas Clayton reportedly looked "dartingly quick" during Organized Team Activities.
Clayton, who spent his rookie season on the practice squad, struggled to break tackles in the 2007 preseason, which doesn't bode well considering he's 222 pounds and lacks good speed. He's a longshot to make the roster.
Source: San Francisco ChronicleThis slow, weak, 222 pound back who can't break tackles and hasn't even made it off a practice squad reportedly looks dartingly quick? Who reported that? His Mom? Arizona Doesn't Want Najeh Cardinals GM Rod Graves says the team has no interest in free agent Najeh Davenport.
Najeh said he'd target the Lions and Cardinals as suitors, but his off-field past will work against him. The Cards also aren't in position to sign players other than their rookies. It's too bad, because this could've been a nice fit.
Source: Arizona RepublicThe fact that the Steelers gave up on trading Davenport after just three hours should be a sign as to how successful he will be on the free agent market. Every other Davenport in the world gets taken for free. It's looking like that's the only way Najeh would get snagged right now too. (He's 247 pounds, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's full of cheetos as well.) Goodell Allows Pac Man to Attend Training Camp, Only To Have Him Not Cowboys CB Adam Jones has decided to remain in Dallas for the three weeks of downtime between now and the starting of training camp.
Jones is regularly visiting team headquarters. It's worth noting because he needs to stay out of trouble until September 1 to be reinstated. Jones can practice in camp, but hasn't been fully allowed back in the league yet.
Source: Fort Worth Star-TelegramDallas must have better night clubs than wherever the Cowboys practice facility is located. NFL Supplemental Draft Is No More Due To Fact That No One Cares The NFL will not hold a supplemental draft in 2008 due to a lack of participants.
There were rumors that USC ILB Rey Maualuga, Oklahoma State TE Brandon Pettigrew, and Mississippi State OT Michael Brown might apply, but they decided against it. Maualuga has a chance to be a top-15 pick in next year's draft. Chargers DB Paul Oliver and Ravens OT Jared Gaither were the only players selected in last year's supplemental draft.
Source: USA TodayNo one would participate in it? Sounds like the commenting section on this blog. Express your opinions people! Tell me you hate me. Make cheesy jokes. Share your one-liners. Comment!
Posted by Tosten Burks at 7/03/2008 03:16:00 PM
Wednesday, July 2
Drew Brees' throw complete to....David Patten? Brees to...Lance Moore? Complete to...Devery Henderson? Something just doesn't sound quite right. For as potent as the Saints' offense is, they lack a true #2 target in the passing game. Outside of Marques Colston, there isn't much there in terms of WR's and TE's. Eric Johnson wasn't the FA signing they had hoped he would be; Billy Miller was outplaying him by the end of the season. All of this begs the question: Will there be a new piece to the Saints' puzzle this year? I say yes. Robert Meachem/WR New Orleans: This is one of the more popular sleepers out there. Hey, you try coming up with a deep sleeper every single day. It isn't easy. Anyway, Meachem has more raw talent than guy's like Patten and Moore. He is athletic and has good size. He didn't make much of an impact last year; injuries and trouble learning the offense held him back. Meachem is healthy now and has had ample time to learn the playbook. If everything goes his way, he could be a productive player with the Saints this year and possible for year's to come.
Posted by Alex Kozora at 7/02/2008 03:23:00 PM
A few weeks ago, Bill Simmons suggested ways for tennis to become more popular. Many have attempted to do so as well. Ratings aren't great, average Joe sports fans could care less, and for the most part, people just don't really care. I think I know why. In America right now, it's summer. People love summer. Summer means warm weather, the beach, clear skies. Today, Wimbledon got rained out. Who is going to watch television in July to see some rain? The Sports Guy's article on this was a joke. I have the real solution to tennis's popularity problems. Get rid of weather. Now get rid of your boredom after reading that weak introduction by reading today's news report from your resident Rotoworld Whore. Najeh to Detroit or Arizona? Free agent RB Najeh Davenport is reportedly interested in playing for the Lions and Cardinals.
No word on whether the interest is mutual, but both teams could obviously use a big back with Davenport's skills. The Browns would be another interesting land spot, but Davenport admitted that it's not an option because of his troublesome relationship with his son's mother in Cleveland.
Source: Detroit Free PressSomebody actually wants to play for the Lions and Cardinals? Matt Millen or Rod Graves: Sign this guy right now. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Brown Close to 100% Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown (ACL surgery) expects to be cleared for contact when camp opens July 26.
"I feel good, feel no hesitation," he said. Brown is also optimistic that he will be 100 percent by the start of the season and that he will quickly return to his pre-injury form. It's an optimistic outlook, but Brown is likely to have an adjustment period in addition to splitting carries with Ricky Williams.
Source: Miami HeraldCleared for contact? What, has he been in quarantine for 6 months? Can he hug his wife again? This is good news. Best Nickname In Sports! His new Cardinals teammates have given rookie Brandon Keith a new nickname after learning of Keith's arrest for rioting at Northern Iowa.
"Even Leinart was like, 'You really got tasered? Did it hurt?'" said Keith, a 6'5/343-pound offensive tackle who got tasered by Iowa police a month before the draft. "They call me 'Taz.' They say its short for Tasmanian devil, but I think it’s short for taser. I tell them, 'Yall are trying to be funny.' But it’s a rookie thing, so I am down with it."
Source: azcardinals.comGood connection Brandon. Sounds like the Cards drafted a real honor student... Grant About To Get Paid Exclusive rights free agent Ryan Grant expects to reach an agreement on a multi-year contract with the Packers before training camp begins.
Grant says talks have been "positive." SI.com's Bucky Brooks predicted last month that the deal would span three to four years. Grant actually has less leverage than Earnest Graham, but we'd expect him to get more money.
Source: Pierce County HeraldIf a guy named Bucky predicts it, it's going to happen. Grant will get a three or four year contract. Real Fantasy Football Analysis! Jerious Norwood was in the mix for punt returns during Falcons minicamps.
He's battling Adam Jennings, who's squarely on the roster bubble, and CB Brent Grimes, who may start on defense. Norwood appears to have a good chance to dominate punts, accentuating his value in return-yard leagues.
Source: atlantafalcons.comIf Norwood is going to return punts for Atlanta, that means that the risk of him getting injured on special teams is not a huge concern for the Falcons. Signs are pointing to Michael Turner being a feature back, and not a member of a timeshare. Favre Has All But Put His Uniform Back On ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Brett Favre has told coach Mike McCarthy that he has thought about playing this year.
Had to know this day was coming. The comeback talk is reportedly only in preliminary stages, but Favre's family is encouraging him to play. Cornerback Al Harris says Favre told him he still "has the itch" to play. This situation could turn thorny. The Packers own Favre's rights, but we'd guess that the front office would simply rather move forward with Aaron Rodgers. The coaching staff may lean more towards Favre. Favre could subsequently push for his release, something Mort mentions. "Brett's a high-quality person and he's not going to push it that far," a team source said. "He'll do the right thing [and stay retired]."
Source: ESPN.comEver since he announced his retirement, the rumors haven't stopped that he'd be back. From a telling Letterman appearance, to still un-turned-in (shut up, that's a word) retirement papers, signs have been pointing to this all off season. Why did Favre officially come out and say this now? My guess is that he needs something to take up his time other than shaving. That 5 oclock shadow doesn't look as good when you actually have time to shave every day... More Favre News Citing a league source, the Wisconsin State Journal reports that Brett Favre requested his release from the Packers "within the past few weeks."
Either Favre or his agent, Bus Cook, reportedly contacted the Packers to inform them of his intent to play again. When the Packers said they've moved on, Favre demanded to be released. The Packers refused. GM Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy are currently on vacation and unavailable for comment. The Packers hold all the power here and if they continue to exercise it, the situation could get ugly for the franchise.Source: Wisconsin State Journal Nothing to say here, just wanted to give you loving, ad-clicking readers the very latest news on the story.
Posted by Tosten Burks at 7/02/2008 02:23:00 PM
Here at Fantasy Football Writers With Hair, we respect Negative Nate as much as any writer in the business. Anyone who can be shoved in Matthew Berry's shadow as much as he does and restrain from jumping off a bridge qualifies as a hero. Honestly, google image search Ravitz; the first picture that shows up is one of the balding Mr. Berry. He has a weekly column during the fantasy football season, talks daily on the Fantasy Focus Football Podcast with the TMR, and is the co-founding father of popular fantasy site "Rototimes." He also doesn't tell annoying girl problem stories like Matthew Berry. So faithful, ad-clicking readers: Approve or Disapprove?
Posted by Tosten Burks at 7/02/2008 01:39:00 PM
Tuesday, July 1
The Espy nominees were announced today, and I'd like to encourage everyone to go out and support your favorite writer, yours truly. I was nominated for Best Record Breaking Performance (most shameless pleas to readers for them to click on ads in a single blog of all time), and I hope everyone supports me by voting. You have no idea how much I want to get on stage to accept that award, and punch Justin Timberlake in the face for making the song "Sexy Back." Du du du oooh ooh, I need ya girl, du du... Piece of crap, it's in my head again. Thanks a lot Justin. Quick, I need something to distract me from the music. My job? What's your suggestion? For me to do the task at hand? That could work... Henry's Fate in Hands of Court System Jurors in ex-Bengal Chris Henry's assault trial will resume deliberations Tuesday after failing to arrive at a consensus on Monday.
Closing arguments were made Monday afternoon. Henry, on trial for striking an 18-year-old in the face, claims the boy was hurling racial slurs at him and his friends, so Henry acted in self defense. The jury holds Henry's NFL future in its hands. He'll likely be thrown out of the league if convicted.
Source: Cincinnati EnquirerYou know for a professional athlete, Chris Henry doesn't sound very tough. Since when did, "racial slurs," cause one to defend themselves by throwing punches? Henry obviously doesn't understand that "...words will never hurt him." Later in the day, this case was given a mistrial. Chris Henry's life must suck right now. Earlier this week, he got his car towed away from the parking lot of the court where his case turned out to be bogus. Bummer. Another Criminal NFL Player The Lions' coaching staff reportedly envisions Brian Calhoun as a third-down back and outside runner who will also contribute on special teams.
The Lions reportedly remain "extremely high" on Calhoun's speed. The only thing Tatum Bell does well is run, so it isn't unreasonable to think Calhoun could make him obsolete during the season. It's a good sign for Calhoun that the staff still thinks he's fast after two lost seasons due to a bad knee.
Source: MLive.comThe Lions are high on Calhoun's speed? I didn't know Brian was a drug dealer. John Kitna is gonna have a fit when he hears this. That's a sin. Guy With Funny Name Plays Three Positions Former Falcons and 49ers WR Otis Amey led the Arena Football League with 50 touchdowns this season.
He was tried as a punt returner during his brief NFL stint. Amey's Orlando Predators, coached by Jon's brother Jay Gruden, fell to the Cleveland Gladiators 69-66 in the playoffs Monday behind Raymond Philyaw's four TD passes to Robert Redd and three to ex-Ravens wideout Randy Hymes.
Source: Canton RepositoryAmey is a wide receiver, punt returner, and a quarterback? Now this guy deserves an Espy for something. Barnett's Trouble Resolved Packers MLB Nick Barnett has completed a deferred prosecution agreement stemming from an incident that happened at an Appleton nightclub last summer and will avoid a criminal conviction.
Barnett allegedly knocked drinks out of two women's hands, then one of the women to the floor in June 2007. Avoiding the conviction doesn't rule out NFL discipline, but Barnett is probably not in danger of a multi-game suspension.
Source: Green Bay Press-GazetteI guess Barnett wasn't lying when he said the Packers defense is going to be more aggressive... Allen To Talk About Drinking Jared Allen will discuss his past alchohol-related issues at the 2008 Rookie Symposium in Carlsbad, California.
"Honestly, I'm not sure if anyone will listen," he said. "But at least we can say that someone told them. It's good for them to see some real-life anecdotes." Allen has two strikes in the NFL (both DUIs), but his slate will be wiped clean if he stays out of trouble until September. He appears to be well on his way.
Source: St. Paul Pioneer PressJared Allen is going to talk to rookies about drinking problems at a get together that originally meant a drinking party. Aww the irony. Earl Bennet Has Deceptive Speed Bears signed third-round WR Earl Bennett to a four-year contract. The Vanderbilt product has "deceptive" speed, which often translates into an effective slot man. The SEC's all-time leading receiver enters training camp no higher than fourth on a jumbled depth chart, but he has an opportunity to play quite a bit as a rookie. Source: Kansas City Star No, no. Deceptive speed is amphetamines disguised as flour. Bennet must be a drug dealer too... With that line, I deserve the ESPY for "Best Finish." Yowza.
Posted by Tosten Burks at 7/01/2008 04:53:00 PM
Ben Franklin once said, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." In fantasy football, there are only a few certainties. Public leagues are terrible, Tom Brady will go too high, and the Bears' offense is awful. Today, we take a look at the third certainity, the Bears offense. While it is indeed awful, there could be one player emerging from it. Earl Bennett/WR Chicago: While few rookies produce well in their first season, it does happen from time to time. Dwayne Bowe had 1,000 yards last year, and Anquan Boldin contributed his rookie season. One big reason for why rookies struggle is because of the transition to the NFL. A lot of players aren't polished enough, they still need to work on some aspects of their game. In Bennett's case, he is one of the most NFL-ready rookies out there. He runs good routes and has reliable hands. Another key factor for having a rookie produce is opportunity. Look at the Bears' WR corps. Marty Booker, Devin Hester, Mark Bradley, you get the picture; it's bad. With a few strong showings in training camp and preseason games, Bennett could quickly work his way up the depth charts. One other smaller tidbit of news about Bennett: he and the Bears agreed to a deal today. He'll have all the time available to be as prepared as possible for the regular season.
Posted by Alex Kozora at 7/01/2008 12:57:00 PM
Monday, June 30
There was an interesting show about a half hour ago on the History Channel. It was about the bathroom of the future. It was actually pretty cool. (About as cool as a show about a bathroom can get) They were showing hi-tech technology that may be used years from now. Some of the bathrooms were all automated, with countless buttons and different programs. However, as I watched it, a thought occured to me: It all seems too complicated. I mean, come on, it's a bathroom. Does it have to be more intricate than my computer? The point I'm trying to make is that sometimes, we make fantasy football too complicated. Once in a while, you don't have to look at stats from a previous year. Just look at the situation the player is in. Don't overlook what's in front of your face. Don't get me wrong; I'm as big as a stats junkie as anyone around, but for today, I'll put numbers aside. Any Lions QB or WR/Detriot: That's right, today you get a bonus. Instead of naming just one player, I'm giving you positions. Excited? There is one huge reason for why I'm avoiding any Lions QB or WR this year: the absence of Mike Martz. The pass happy Detriot appears to be no longer. Now, the Lions' offense will be much more conservative. This should expose their pass offense for what it really is. Let's face it, Jon Kitna isn't that good of a QB as his numbers would lead you to believe. He greatly benefited from Mike Martz, and as stated, Martz is gone. At best, Kitna is an average talent. When you consider his age (36) and his durability, (how much longer can he last behind that terrible Lion offensive line?) I think this is the year the wheels finally fall off. The outside chance of second-year QB Drew Stanton starting doesn't help either. Obviously, if Kitna is going to struggle or if an inexperienced QB like Stanton starts, Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, and company won't be faring any better. Their fantasy value would be worse than Al Davis' PR guy.
Posted by Alex Kozora at 6/30/2008 06:21:00 PM
I'm a new soul. In this very strange world. I've cleaned up, and I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. After being inspired by the G rated Wall-E getting the best reviews of any movie all year, I'm applying the concept to my own writing. Thus, the name change. I'm still a rotoworld whore struggling with an addiction, but instead of bringing you a dirty titled Report, I'll present my loving, ad-clicking readers with a more eloquent Rundown. "A soul that makes virtue its companion is like an over-flowing well, for it is clean and pellucid, sweet and wholesome, open to all, rich, blameless and indestructible." So says Greek philosopher Epictetus. So I'm going to take my indestructible mind and get on with this Rundown. Harrison Gets Paid The Bears are expected to finalize a four-year contract with rookie DT Marcus Harrison within the next 24 hours.
Getting Harrison under contract would leave Chicago with four remaining unsigned picks; Earl Bennett, Matt Forte, Chris Williams, and Zack Bowman.
Source: Chicago TribuneDoes Chicago want to get drop kicked by Brian Urlacher? If they don't give him money, the face of their franchise is going to smash the GM's face. You can smash me for that line too if you want. Andrews Has Relationship Issues Patriots CB/KR Willie Andrews was arrested Monday for allegedly pointing a gun at his girlfriend's head after she accused him of cheating on her.
The woman allegedly confronted Andrews at his apartment on Sunday night. She says he was waving a gun and that it touched her temple. This makes two arrests for Andrews this year, and we suspect he's out of chances. He was found in possession of marijuana in February. The Patriots are unlikely to look past this latest allegation, especially since Andrews is a role player.
Source: WBZTV.comYa man, I hate when the ladies find out too. Just pull a Shaggy, that usually works better than shoving a gun to the girl's head. You don't bust out a nine millimeter. Buddy, may I suggest Oprah? Kacyvenski May Retire? Free agent Isaiah Kacyvenski hopes to return to the NFL this season.
Kacyvenski, once a special teams star with Seattle, tore cartilage in his left knee during Raiders camp last summer and was released with an injury settlement. He says he'll consider retirement if no teams call him by Week 4.
Source: Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin See? Look what rookie contracts are doing to owners! Teams can't afford the thread it takes to put long names on jerseys, so guys like Kacyvenski end up out of the league! Roger, fix this problem fast. Not Even Pro Athletes Immune From Identity Theft An internet impostor reportedly created a false Reggie Williams MySpace page and announced that the fifth-year receiver would retire.
Williams told Jaguars.com that he does not, in fact, plan to retire. He doesn't want to let all his planned celebrations for eight-yard gains go to waste.
Source: jaguars.comThis was definitely a Colts fan trying to make the division easier. They don't have the smartest fans in Indianapolis... Derrick Martis Has An Evil Twin Ravens CB Derrick Martin denies that he was cited for drug possession at Hopkins Airport in Cleveland on Saturday, according to a team spokesman.
The man arrested has the same birthdate and name. The citation he received is similar to a traffic ticket and considered a minor misdemeanor. A $100 fine is the maximum penalty Martin faces, if of course it was him.
Source: Carroll County TimesWhat? Drug possession is the same level of crime as a traffic ticket? Martin getting framed by his clone isn't the weirdest thing going on here... No Interest in Joe Horn From Dallas Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff says the Cowboys have not called him about Joe Horn.
"I've made no contact with Dallas or they with me," Dimitroff told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Horn, who said in May that he wants out, has been given permission to seek a trade, but he is more likely to eventually be cut.
Source: Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionOf course the Cowboys haven't phoned about Joe. Haven't you seen his touchdown celebrations? Horn is the one who makes the calls.
Posted by Tosten Burks at 6/30/2008 02:20:00 PM
Sunday, June 29
Just a short time ago, it seemed like Cincinnati was going to be a complete mess this year. Chad Johnson was threatening to hold out, and in the words of T.O., NFL fans everywhere were "getting their popcorn ready." T.J. Houshmandzadeh was becoming unhappy, and the Bengals seemed to be a trainwreck on the verge of collapse. However, things seem to be a bit more steady for the Bengals. Ocho won't be sitting out this year and the Housh reports have quieted down. While this team is far from being perfect, heck, they're still a ways off from being anything more than average, there are some player's that could emerge into fantasy producers this year. Andre Caldwell/WR: With Chris Henry getting into more trouble than Dennis the Menace and consequently, being cut by the Bengals and suspended by the league, there's a big hole to fill for the #3 WR in Cincy. With there being no clear guy to step in, multiple players will have an opportunity. Caldwell, although a rookie, is a polished WR. He played in a big school (Florida) and while he isn't a deep threat, he's a solid possession wide receiver. With Caldwell doing better than fellow rookie Jerome Simpson, he (Caldwell) appears to currently have the edge. *Side note. Here are some of the other candidates besides Caldwell competing for the #3 slot in Cincy. Whomever wins it has sleeper potential. Jerome Simpson, Antonio Chatman, Mario Urrutia, and Glenn Holt.
Posted by Alex Kozora at 6/29/2008 06:00:00 AM