Saturday, October 18

Straight Outta Mancavedom: Week 7 Mancrushes

Is there a better activity in the world than chilling down in the man cave discussing football and girls? Red-blooded American males say it in unison, "No." Of course not. This is why every Thursday (or in this week's case, late Saturday) FFWWH will let you all in on our own couch talk about football. And girls. And football playing girls. The down side? Football playing girls don't matter in the type of fantasy football that this site is specifically about. So uhh, we kind of had to improvise and work with what we have. So, umm, this feature will be about our mancrushes. (Ya, ya, cue the "figures, he's from California" jokes, blah, blah.) Moving on. Here's each of our respective mancrushes for week seven. A-Koz He came up big last week and that should continue this week. Vincent Jackson, as I mentioned in my weekly recap, was a monster last week. He tore up the Pats secondary and was targeted many times on the deep ball. [Ed's note: V-Jax had 10 targets in week six.]
Now he gets to go against a Bills' secondary that is ravaged by injuries. In addition to Terrence McGee being out this week, Ashton Youboty could be out this week. The Chargers know that that'll be the weakness of Buffalo and should try to exploit it early and often. Chris Chambers is listed as doubtful this week, leaving Jackson with nearly all the targets to WRs this week. Stat Boy Don't you love it when your quarterback is coming off back-to-back 300-yards games and is playing the worst passing defense this week? Yeah, I figured. That's why Matt Schaub is my mancrush of the week. The past two games he's played, Schaub has had an average of 340 yards and two passing touchdowns (along with a rushing score as well). On the season, the Detroit Lions have given up 260 yards and two scores per game to opposing quarterbacks. Oh, and Schaub is playing them this week. Look for Schaub to get another 300-yard game and two more scores as he plays his way into the top-four quarterbacks on the week. Tosten Burks Great, great things come from the uniquely dressed. White bow tie on a white shirt? Puleease. Thank god you had that "I didn't know your great-grandfather but from everything that John McCain has told me..." joke. My point? The Bucs will be wearing these beauties this weekend. Against the sixth-worst defense in the NFL. Which is pretty much better than good for the Tampa Bay running game that is sixth best in the league. Start Earnest Graham and Warrick Dunn in every league you're in. Gage Arnold Paging Gage, paging Gage. Please don't go the way of your Vols football program. Keep the fight....

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Stat Boy Saturday: How Consistently is Your RB Getting Carries?

Another week with our honorary stat boy, Zach Fein of Fein Sports. A contributor with as much stat muscle as anyone in the business. You may not understand what he's says and use it for you fantasy leagues, but if you're in the mood to be baffled and confused, then boy does he have you covered. Because life is one big spreadsheet. There is nothing worse than your team's running back getting three carries because his coach decided to give the ball to his backfield mate. If you own a back who is only good for a long run now and then (see: Jones, Felix), you realize the frustration of this almost every other week. Look, I don't hate Felix Jones. Or Jerious Norwood. Or, sometimes, Maurice Jones-Drew. All I'm saying is that you can remove the frustration if you have someone you know will get five, or seven, or ten, carries a game, every game. Take a look at the following table. It lists the top-50 running backs' carries per game, the standard deviation of their carries each week, and the value of those numbers (computed as carries divided by SD). A lower SD means that their carries are more consistent, and thus a higher value is better than a lower one.
Consistency of RBs' Carries
Player Carries St.Dev Value
Chris Johnson 17.0 1.4 12.0
Derrick Ward 8.6 1.0 8.4
Clinton Portis 22.7 2.9 7.7
Brandon Jacobs 15.8 2.6 6.0
Selvin Young 9.4 1.6 5.8
Matt Forte 21.2 3.8 5.6
Steve Slaton 14.4 2.7 5.3
Michael Turner 21.3 4.1 5.1
Marshawn Lynch 18.2 3.5 5.1
Adrian Peterson 21.5 4.2 5.1
Reggie Bush 13.0 2.8 4.7
Tim Hightower 7.2 1.6 4.6
Thomas Jones 16.8 3.9 4.3
Steven Jackson 19.2 4.7 4.1
Chris Perry 15.8 4.0 4.0
Sammy Morris 10.6 2.8 3.8
DeAngelo Williams 14.3 3.9 3.7
Frank Gore 17.8 4.8 3.7
Jamal Lewis 18.0 4.9 3.7
Willie Parker 22.0 6.5 3.4
Julius Jones 18.0 5.3 3.4
LaDanian Tomlinson 18.2 5.5 3.3
Marion Barber 18.3 6.2 3.0
Willis McGahee 14.5 5.0 2.9
Edgerrin James 16.8 6.1 2.7
Jonathan Stewart 11.7 4.5 2.6
Earnest Graham 12.0 4.7 2.6
Ryan Grant 17.7 7.1 2.5
Brian Westbrook 13.5 5.6 2.4
Larry Johnson 18.6 7.8 2.4
LenDale White 12.6 5.3 2.4
Darren Sproles 4.7 2.0 2.4
Ronnie Brown 14.2 6.0 2.3
Warrick Dunn 12.5 5.4 2.3
Fred Jackson 6.0 2.6 2.3
Michael Bush 11.8 5.1 2.3
Darren McFadden 11.8 5.2 2.3
Felix Jones 6.0 2.7 2.2
Le'Ron McClain 13.0 6.1 2.1
Ricky Williams 10.0 4.9 2.1
Kevin Smith 8.4 4.5 1.9
Pierre Thomas 5.2 3.1 1.7
Kevin Faulk 4.8 2.9 1.7
Jerious Norwood 6.8 4.2 1.6
Maurice Jones-Drew 10.8 6.9 1.6
Joseph Addai 10.3 6.8 1.5
Michael Pittman 8.2 5.4 1.5
Rudi Johnson 8.0 6.3 1.3
Correll Buckhalter 8.0 7.1 1.1
T.J. Duckett 6.8 7.1 0.9
  • Chris Johnson has been amazing this year. He's played five games; his carry totals, from low to high: 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.
  • Derrick Ward, with 7.25 yards per touch on the year, is a must-own in all leagues, especially if you own Brandon Jacobs (who is No. 4 on this list).
  • If in an argument between Clinton Portis and Marion Barber, you can point to consistency to argue for Portis, who is No. 3, over Barber, who is No. 23. For the record, I like Portis more.
  • Sammy Morris is the RB to own in New England. He's the most productive, and is most consistently getting carries.
  • It is interesting to see McGahee far ahead of Le'Ron McLain. However, that is likely due to McLain's getting only two carries last week when he had 19, 17, 16, and 11 in the first four games.
  • Ryan Grant would have moved up 15 spots if his 33-carry game last week was changed to 23 carries. Don't worry about his low spot on the list.
  • Likewise, Earnest Graham would have moved up 10 spots if he had had 15 carries instead of five last week.
  • Most of the backs in the bottom 10 of the list were either a) injured mid-game (like Addai), or b) backups planted into a bigger role in one or two games due to injuries or another player (like Pittman).

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Double Coverage

The feature everyone loved in the preseason, Double Coverage, is back. There have been many dynamic duos in history. Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. Batman and Robin. Peanut butter and jelly. And today, we bring you yet another great duo. Tosten and I will be giving our views on a player each week; one of us for him, and one of us against him. Today's topic: Who's the better play? Dominic Rhodes or Ryan Grant?
A-Koz: Start Rhodes

You knew how much I disliked Joseph Addai this season.

Now you'll know how much I love Dominic Rhodes this week. Granted, he wasn't the greatest statistically last week against the Ravens. But he ran hard against a tough Ravens run defense, including a crazy 38-yard run in which he broke tackle after tackle. And after getting a big lead against Baltimore, the Colts were able to pound the ball with Rhodes the rest of the game. With Peyton Manning looking like his old self and the struggles the Packers have had as of late, I expect Indy to jump out to another big lead. That'll give Rhodes—pretty much the only viable back on the roster with Mike Hart out for the year and Addai likely to be sidelined for a few weeks—tons of opportunities to run all over the depleted Packers defensive line that has allowed running backs to rush for at least 100 yards in four out of six games this season. Keep in mind that if the Colts jump out to an early and big lead on the Packers, like they did to the Ravens last week, Grant won't get the luxury of having the opportunity for 30-plus carries like he had last week.

Tosten Burks: Start Grant
It took Britney Spears and Kevin Federline almost four years to end their shenanigans. I watched four straight weeks of Caveman before moving on my television viewing to a sitcom that actually made me laugh. Heck, Around the Horn still features Jay Mariotti. One of the hardest things to do in live is to give up on something that sucks. Case in point: Ryan Grant. But he's not a Caveman; stay with him! Don't file your divorce papers just yet. Do not mute him, whatever you do. Last year he wasn't a stud mainly until the second half of the season. His carries and yards have gone up each of the past three weeks. Ride him week seven as he plays the fourth worst run defense in the NFL on Monday night. The Colts will not be able to stop him. Enjoy at least one week of the dominance that your fantasy team who played the lucky waiver wire loser who ending up snagging him was crushed by in 2007. Britney is back on top. If that ain't a sign, I don't know what is.

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Catch Up Day Folks

While we were busy during the week feeding starving African children, this baby got neglected. Check back throughout the day as we catchup on all that we missed during the week so you can fill your weekly mancrush, namecallin', and stat guy quota.
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Tuesday, October 14

Running the Wire

Screwing League Mates Over By Stealing The Missing Pieces Of The Puzzle That They Need 101 What a past couple of days it has been. Injuries and the trade deadline have kept fantasy footballers' eyes glued to the television and amazingly well-written blogs. With so much news, your league's waiver wire is sure to be buzzing this week. Gold Wire Pickups: Brad Johnson/QB Dallas: Sure, he doesn't have the strongest arm in the world and he isn't the most mobile in the world. In fact, these two could avoid a pass rush better than Johnson could. But if you get points based on age, look no further. Seriously, all bad jokes aside, Johnson should be one of your top pickups. Because of his experience, you don't have to worry about any sort of learning curve like a rookie or inexperienced player may face. He's got the weapons, too. Owens, Witten, Barber, and the newly acquired Roy Williams are all at his disposal. St. Louis' defense is one of the worst in the league, too, making Johnson even more appealing. Vincent Jackson/WR San Diego: He was easily Philip Rivers favorite target Sunday night in the Chargers romp over the Patriots. Jackson was targeted on many deep routes and given his size, he's also a red zone threat. Jackson is a great play this week, especially if Chambers is still out of the lineup. He's on waivers in about 30% of leagues. Copper Wire Pickups: Kevin Walter/WR Houston: With Matt Schaub back in the lineup, Walter becomes relevant to fantasy play. He nearly had 100 yards last week and should have an excellent chance of matching those numbers this week against a Lions defense that allowed Bernard Berrian and Bobby Wade to rack up big numbers last week. He's owned in over 55% of leagues. Chicken Wire Pickups: Shaun McDonald/WR Detroit: With Roy Williams heading for Dallas, the #2 WR spot is open. Granted, the Lions offense isn't as strong as it was last year, but chances are the Lions will be playing from behind. A lot. Fantasy owners are always looking for players with opportunities and McDonald has it. Shaun Alexander/RB Washington: Now I'm not one to jump on the bandwagon, and you know how highly I think of Clinton Portis, but if you have a free spot and looking for a flier, you could do a lot worse. Ladell Betts could be out a few weeks, giving Alexander all the carries Portis doesn't snatch up. He's going to get an opportunity to some extent - the Redskins are going to see what he has left; otherwise, they wouldn't have signed him. Matchups against the Browns and Lions don't hurt either.
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Monday, October 13

Cowboys Continue To Crash: Tony Romo Out For Four Weeks

The Monday morning "OMG IT'S LIVE SO IT'S OBVIOUSLY WORTH WATCHING NOW" SportsCenter program came in handy for the first time in recent memory. And old memory. Or whatever the opposite of recent memory is. Michael Smith broke the story that America's Team's, America's quarterback Tony Romo is going to miss four weeks due to a broken finger. There are so many dirty ways to take a story about Jessica Simpson's boy toy having a broken finger, none of which I will expand upon in this here blog space. If you care about the fantasy impact though, this is huge. Terrell Owens, Patrick Crayton, and Jason Witten obviously take huge value hits. I mean really, name the Dallas backup. Bueller? Bueller? It's Brad Johnson. Of USA Today 2003 All-Joe team and 2003 Pro Bowl "Quarterbacks Challenge" Winner fame. In 2003. Five years ago. He could be Romo's dad. Johnson is 40 years old. The only person who benefits from Johnson's rise to starterdom is Marion Barber. Bradley's friends call him "Checkdown Charlie." Others prefer the term grandpa. Barber's fantasy owners will be using the word Jesus. Barber, who during the absence of scat back Felix Jones for the next half-month-or-so due to another injury of the hamstring variety, will have huge reception numbers. The screen pass will become Barber's best friend. Expect tons of touches for the Barbarian to go with the oodles of touchdowns he already gets you fantasy owners out and expect less receptions, less yardage, and less big plays from the Dallas receivers. Also expect a Chris Mortensen "scoop" to come out in a couple minutes in an attempt by Mort to re-solidify himself as the true Bristol source-king. Then expect said "scoop" to be wrong and then for every sports blog in the wild, wild web to jump down his throat with clever one-liners and dry insults. Buy Romo low this week to stash him on your bench for when the elite QB comes back in a month; buy TO low next week after his owner begins to hate him and his three fantasy points-a- week glory as much as Jeff Garcia does; and submit your Romo broken-pinky jokes in the comment section right now.
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Weekend Recap: Week 6

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Instead of being in the book War and Peace, that quote should be the title of every fantasy football magazine. As I'm sure many of you can relate, I've fallen on hard times this year in my leagues. In my one league, I've lost games by one and two points. Same league, different week: I scored the second-highest amount of points in the league. But because of fate's cruel hand, I went up against the team who scored the most points. That's the nature in the game. You hate it when your team is in a rut bigger than the Cleveland Browns offense, and you hate it when you make decisions worse than Dan Orlovsky. Conversely, there's no better feeling in the world than when your fantasy team is kicking butt and taking names. What fantasy players fell on hard times and which ones rose to glory this week? - Michael Turner only plays well against poor defenses. Sure, he tore it up against the Chiefs, Lions, and a depleted Packers defense, but he's struggled mightily against the Bucs and Bears. Take away Turner's 23 yard run against Chicago on Sunday, and you have a stat line of 24 carries for 31 yards. - A performance like the one Bernard Berrian had yesterday usually don't come too often for a speed demon on a run-first team. Don't put too much stock into his 131 yard day. - Ryan Fitzpatrick spells doom for Bengals' wide receivers. In his two starts, Housh has only 13 catches for 99 yards and zero touchdowns while Chad Ocho Cinco has just eight catches for 86 yards and zero touchdown celebrations. Roger Goodell's pockets are a lot emptier this year. - Terrell Owens could be in a similar situation. Brad Johnson doesn't have near the arm strength or mobility that Tony Romo has. Jason Witten and Marion Barber do get boosts in their value, however. - With Chris Chambers out, Vincent Jackson really came on strong. As long as Chambers is out of the lineup, continue to start Jackson with confidence. - Ryan Grant's 90-yard game doesn't look bad, but keep in mind it took 30 carries against a Seahawks defense that has struggled to stop the run.
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