Saturday, October 17, 2009

College Football Picks

#6 So Cal(-400) vs. #25 Notre Dame(+300)

USC was victim to an upset from Washington three weeks ago, but I don't see the Trojans dropping this game. USC has owned the Irish in there previous seven meeting going 7-0. Freshman QB Matt Barkley will have the offense scoring early and often, and the Trojans won't look back.

Cal Golden Bears (-160) vs. UCLA Bruins( +140)

Im going with the upset and picking the Bruins. College football can be very streaky and Cal does not seem to be in rhythm offensively lately. Scoring six points in the past two games, has me leaning towards UCLA in a close game.

# 4 Virginia Tech Hokies( -160) vs. # 19 Georgia Tech ( +140)

This is a battle for ACC supremacy, a meeting between two 5-1 teams. The ACC is a tough conference to pick but that being said Virginia Tech is an all around better team than Georgia Tech. Wins against Miami(FL), Nebraska and Boston College have me jumping on the Hokies' bandwagon.

# 22 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. #2 Alabama Crimson Tide (under 44 points) odds -110

I like Alabama to win this game but I feel that this will be far from a shootout. Steve Spurrier will have his defense fired up in this SEC showdown. I saw what Carolina's defense did to Ole Miss star QB Jevin Snead, and this unit just seems to be confident. I see this as a 17-10 Alabama win.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Has the Chad Henne era begun?

I'll be the first to say that Chad Henne's performance last Monday Night was quite impressive, but its hard to completely jump on the bandwagon (although I want to). Since the days of Dan Marino, the starting quarterback job has been a revolving door for the Dolphins. The likes of Ray Lucas, Sage Rosenfels, Brian Griese, Jay Fielder, Damon Huard, Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington and Cleo Lemon have been under center. Previous drafts have not helped either, i.e. John Beck. Dolphins fans desperately need Henne to continue to shine.

In his second year, he has stepped in for injured Chad Pennington and is so far 2-0. What is more impressive is that Henne has beat two division rivals in the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. The Bills game was a blowout and therefore not much was asked from the passing game. Against the Jets however, when Henne needed to step up and make the throws, he did. He threw a beautiful deep touchdown pass to Ted Ginn Jr., and orchestrated a game winning drive that lead to a Ronnie Brown touchdown with six seconds left. He outshined fellow rookie Mark Sanchez and more importantly brought the Dolphins to within one game of the division lead. Sure Henne may not be asked to throw the ball a whole lot, with the dynamic tandem of Ronnie and Ricky, but knowing he can produce could really open this offense up. Not to mention he showed the poise of a crafty veteran. There is a tough road ahead, vs. Saints, at Jets and at New England, but I can't help but be excited about what this rookie has to offer.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fantasy Follow-up: Things Leaned from Monday Night

After a bit of a hiatus the blog is back and in full swing.

After a long day, one thing was sure. I was most definitely ready for some football. It turned out to be quite a showing and some interesting storylines emerged throughout the divisional showdown. For starters, Braylon Edwards is one of a small handful of offensive players in the last 40 years to start for one team one week and another the next, a feat he not only accomplished, but did in style, snatching 5 catches 64 yards and a touchdown (almost 2). The Jets and Browns have similar systems and similar terminology, which enabled Braylon to crack the starting line up only 2 days after joining the team. He made an absolutely acrobatic catch on that 34 yard reception that reminded fantasy owners of his 2007 campaign. I was unaware that Edwards was also an acting major at Michigan, after dropping a huge reception he was able to draw a bogus pass interference call on the fins 5 yard line. This play enabled the Jets to go ahead with about 5 minutes left in the game. Overall he had a great game and it was remarkable how quickly he was able to do so.

Probably an even bigger story line was the emergence of
Chad Henne. He was a solid 4 year starter at Michigan, though he never lived up to the potential he flashed during his freshman campaign. A second round draft pick only in his second year, Henne has been thrown into the starting position due to the injury of veteran Chad Pennington. In Henne's previous start he looked shaky at best. The dolphins did not seem to trust him either, favoring the wild cat and the two headed monster that Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams have become. However tonight, against a strong Jets team, the fins knew they would have to open it up a little with their neophyte quarterback. Henne shined tonight. He found open receivers, he was accurate (20/26...and 241 yards 2 tds), he got Ted Ginn Jr. involved on that long play. Anthony Fasano looked like a new man. It was a great day to be a Dolphins fan after seeing their offense so far this year.

There were some other players of note involved in tonights matchup:

1. Ronnie Brown- 74 yrds rushing, 2 tds, 14 yrds receiving (and 23 passing). Kid is a beast. Each week is proving why he should be considered part of that top tier of running backs. He looked good spearheading the wildcat attack, and came up huge on that touchdown in the final seconds of the game. He has shown he is still going to get his touches, and is definitely a must start fantasy running back. On a forum that i post on, somebody asked if they should start Braylon Edwards over Ronnie Brown....are you joking 5 running back or wr that has just switched teams 2.5 days ago (it turned out that braylon put up some numbers, but ronnie was just too real).

2. Ricky Williams - 138 total yards- prior to the season i doubted the legitimacy of Ricky Williams as a fantasy player. He has definitely proven me wrong. He's a good weekly option in flex or 3 rb leagues. And he could spot start during your stars' bye weeks without much drop off. Despite Henne's performance i still expect the dolphins to be mostly a run oriented team. Look for Ricky and Ronnie (or Rail Road as i like to call them) to continue their success.

3. Ted Ginn Jr.- 2 rec 57 yds td...not the greatest game, but he finally got on the map after posting back to back miserable performances. I still do not know how confident i am in him becoming Henne's number 1 target, he is available in 35% of ESPN leagues, i would go ahead and pick him up if you can, and monitor how he does in the coming weeks as Henne continues to grow as a quarterback.

Mark Sanchez- 12/24 172 td....solid performance for the rookie. Do not expect too much out of him fantasy wise even though he has a new toy in Braylon Edwards. He can probably fill in for bye week quarterbacks most weeks, just avoid starting him starting him in tough matchups (ie. week 11 against @ the pats)

Thomas Jones- 42 yards 2 tds...not a flashy game by the veteran, but he got 13 touches including the goal line ones, and was able to find the promised land not once but twice. He has continued to put up decent numbers and could be a pretty consistent flex start (just avoid him in bad match ups as well, you saw how he did against the titans run D, 15 carries, 20 yards)

thats it for now, thanks all

Special thanks to and written by Jacob Alley

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dolphins Topple Saints, Improve to 4-0 on the Preseason

A few quick notes from the Dolphins vs. Saints game, the last of the preseason.

The play of the game had to be the interception by rookie cornerback Sean Smith, which came midway through the first quarter. Saints quarterback Mark Brunell dropped back and threw what seemingly looked like a touchdown pass, when Smith outstretched his arm and grabbed the ball with one hand while staying inbounds.

Chad Pennington was not very exciting, but was effective going 8-11 for 56 yards. Chad Henne continues to gain experience going 11-16 for 89 yards.

It was nice to see some signs of life from WR Ted Ginn Jr., who had a 23 yard reception. Davone Bess continues to be the go to guy, catching 5 passes for 39 yards.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and say that right now Patrick Cobbs looks like the best running back on the roster. He had the only touchdown of the game, to go along with his 9 carries for 54 yards and 3 receptions for 23 yards.

Ok, I know its only preseason but I have to say I am excited about this Dolphins Team. Sean Smith has really stepped up to the plate this preseason and should help give an immediate improvement to the passing defense. Pat White role in the wildcat was not shown during the preseason, and for good reason. That element of surprise is what helped the Dolphins win 11 games last year. Up next, the Atlanta Falcons, and the start of the NFL regular season.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lebron vs. Dwight: Trick Shots

Awhile back I posted a video of Dwight Howard hitting nothing but net while seated on the bench. Superman has become quite the master of these trick shots, rivaling the games best. Now this video of Lebron James hitting a crazy shot in Paris has surfaced, and my question to you is which shot is better?

In my professional opinion, Dwight has Lebron beat. I mean come on thats all you got for us Lebron, a straight up 3 quarter length shot. Please, Dwight could do that in his sleep. Talk to me when you flip into it or something. Nothing against the "King", he is as talented as any on the court, but this by far is not his best.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ricky's Final Tour

Ricky Williams time in Miami could be compared to a real-life relationship. There have been big ups and big downs, but overall the experience was memorable. Lets take a look at his journey.

After being traded from New Orleans in 2002, Williams had a monster year with the Dolphins leading the NFL in rushing yards finishing with 1853. He followed that year with another solid performance rushing for over a thousand yards and 9 touchdowns. Looking like the second coming of Barry Sanders, the Dolphins thought they had found a franchise back.

Everyone knows what happened next, Ricky couldn't stay away from the blunt and violated the league's substance abuse policy in December of 2003. Then he went Dave Chappelle on the Dolphins, deciding to retire from the NFL and go on a spiritual trip to India. To this day he does not regret retiring, because it helped him find out who he really is. The Dolphins finished the year with a record of 4-12

Williams returned to the Dolphins in 2005, but then failed another drug test and was suspended for the entire 2006 season. Played for the CFL that year, then upon return to the NFL in 2007 was injured for the whole year. Finally last year he was able to play and was a nice change of pace back to Ronnie Brown, also taking some snaps in the "Wildcat" formation.

As a Dolphins fan, I have seen Ricky at his highest(no pun intended) and absolute rock bottom. It has been a wild ride, and I am actually very sad that he has announced that he will retire after the 2010 season. Williams has always been odd, but he has never claimed to be perfect. He has suffered from depression and anxiety at times, but has been able to pull through it and be a part of this team. I commend him for that. So Ricky you will be missed, but then again we are always left to wonder what could have been?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Notable '09-'10 Orlando Magic Games

Wednesday, November 11th vs. Cleveland 8:00 PM TV: ESPN

The first time these two teams meet since Lebron James stormed off the court in late May. Shaquille O'Neal returns to his old stopping grounds, where he broke into the league so many years ago. O'Neal was acquired to match up with all-star center Dwight Howard, who was simply too much for the Cavs to handle in the playoffs. It doesn't get much better than this, two of the best teams in the east, old Superman vs. new Superman, on prime-time television

Friday, November 20th @ Boston 8:00 PM TV: ESPN

Orlando's magical run last year almost came to an end with the series against the Celtics which went seven games. This game will look quite different from last year, as Boston was without Kevin Garnett and the Magic were without Jameer Nelson. Newcomers Rasheed Wallace and Vince Carter will look to make an impact in the east race and this game is a good place to start

Friday, December 25th vs. Boston 2:30 PM TV: ABC

A Christmas Day match up, following the Lakers vs. Cavs, that will more than likely be an important game in the standings. Come on, you know you will be tuned in and watching this great game after drinking eggnog and opening presents.

Monday, January 18th @ LA Lakers 10:30 PM TV: TNT

and Sunday, March 7th vs. Lakers 2:30 TV:ABC

Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson sat and watched as Kobe Bryant and company celebrated after closing out the Magic for the title last year. Orlando gets two shots at revenge during the regular season, and you wont want to miss either of these game. The Magic will also get a look at new Laker Ron Artest.