The Fantasy Freak Show Podcast: McFadden, Bradshaw and spacesuit-pooping

19 Oct
by in General

Standing in line at the DMV, forced to endure two hours of at-work training, watching soccer, Week 7 in the NFL … What do they all have in common? They are examples of hell on earth.

With six teams on a one-week siesta this week, owners, even in 10-team leagues, are forced to dig deep.

On this week's comforting program, Brad Evans and Brandon Funston, equipped with helmet lights and pickaxes, unearthed numerous hidden gems to help you net a crucial win. At the top of the show, we discussed possible backfield reshuffling in New York (David Wilson or Andre Brown up?), followed up with a break down of all the sleepers and busts from each Week 7 game and told you what whether Larry Fitzgerald will boom or bust with John Skelton under center.

Too busy polishing your Ditka (Bobblehead, people, bobblehead!)? No problem. Listen to the replays below:



Tags: Brad Evans, Brandon Funston, DMV, , Fantasy Freak Show Podcast, , , Podcast, , siesta,
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Over/Under: In clash with Titans, will Spiller or Jackson pay the Bills?

18 Oct
by in General

Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders for Week 7.

Pick a Bill: C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson?

Andy — JOE CRIBBS. No, seriously, did I not already pick a side in my running back ranks? What part of "CJ Spiller No. 10, Fred Jackson No. 14" was not clear?

Dalton — SPILLER. Both are terrific players in an even timeshare. Pro Football Focus graded Jackson as the best RB last season despite him missing 6+ games. But Spiller is six years younger and leads the NFL by a wide margin with 5.2 YPC after contact and has his own right to claim to be best back in the NFL as of today.

Brad — SPILLER. Jackson continues to net more snaps than Spiller, but the second fiddle has serious wiggle. He's forced 13 missed tackles on just 150 snaps, the seventh-highest in the league. Point blank, C.J. is lethal in small doses. Bank on 80-90 total yards and a score against the Titanics this week.

With DeMarco out of uniform, Felix Jones total yards at Carolina 94.5

Scott — OVER. The Panthers give it away on a per-carry basis and a per-game basis. Bet on those cat-like reflexes.

Andy — OVER. For a week, you'll enjoy Felix. He's facing a generous run defense, he's in line for plenty of touches, and he's as healthy as he ever gets. Jones is a competent receiver, capable of picking up 40-60 yards via the screen/check-down game.

Dalton — OVER. He'll probably disappoint again, and Dallas' run blocking is poor, but I got him for $33 (all of my remaining FAAB) in Y! F&F, so I might as well go all in. Carolina has allowed the fourth most fantasy points to opposing RBs, and Jones looked noticeably slimed down during his first real action of the year last week.

Larry Fitzgerald, sans Kevin Kolb, total receptions at Minnesota 5.5

Andy — OVER. The only thing that fantasy owners have ever really liked about John Skelton is his unwavering focus on Fitz. I'm not going to promise multiple touchdowns here, but I do think Fitzgerald could see 12-15 targets. Assuming that happens, six catches should be a layup.

Dalton — OVER. The Vikings have allowed the fifth-most receptions to opposing WRs this year, and while I understand it's not always so simple looking at backtracking stats like that, Arizona should be playing from behind Sunday, and Fitzgerald has a history of performing better with John Skelton under center.

Brad — UNDER. Barely. In 13 John Skelton starts, Fitz had reeled in 5.6 receptions per game. But Arizona's dreadful offensive line combined with an aggressive Vikings pass rush means opportunities could be limited this week. Think he finishes in range of 4-5 catches for 60 yards.

Mike Williams, off consecutive 100-yard games, receiving yards vs. New Orleans 79.5

Brandon — OVER Six receivers have hit the 79-yard mark or better against the Saints in their five games. He hasn't gone over this number against NO in his four career meetings, but then again, he never had an attention-deflecting presence opposite him before like Vincent Jackson.

Scott — UNDER. I don't like betting that aggressively on a secondary receiver, and the Saints offense generally isn't as high-powered outdoors (and on a natural surface). Williams is still a fine play, but I'm not all-in on him yet.

Andy — OVER. The Bucs will have to put the ball in the air more often than they'd like this week, and it's not as if they're facing a fearsome D. Both Williams and V-Jax should post solid fantasy lines.

Alex Green total yards at St. Louis 79.5

Brad — OVER. Green is the unrivaled beast of burden in Green Bay with Cedric Benson sidelined. The Rams aren't pushovers in the trenches anymore (3.9 YPC to RBs last five weeks), but with another hefty load, he should creep over this number.

Brandon — UNDER the Rams are allowing just 4.0 YPC, and Green is dealing with a bit of a sore shoulder. He fell short of this number on 23 touches in a blowout of Houston last week, and I think he comes up shy again.

Scott — OVER. We already know Green is a good volume bet, and his skill set gets a boost playing on the carpet in St. Louis.

TE Tussle: Martellus Bennett, Scott Chandler or Jermichael Finley?

Dalton — FINLEY. This is a crap shoot to say the least. Chandler faces a defense that has allowed an NFL-high seven scores to opposing tight ends, while Bennett appears back to health. Finley is easily one of the most overrated players in the league, but I'd still prefer him over the other two.

Brad — BENNETT. The Black Unicorn is way overdue. Limited by a tender knee over the past couple weeks, he's finally practicing in full this week. Anticipate a resurgence. The 'Skins have allowed four TEs to reach the 11-point mark this year.

Brandon — BENNETT That he wasn't listed ion the Giants initial injury report this week is a good sign that Bennett is getting over that sore knee he's been dealing with the past couple weeks. His matchup is fantastic this week, facing a Washington defense that has allowed a top 6 fantasy TE in four of their six games.

Thursday Throwdown: Marshawn Lynch or Frank Gore?

Brandon — LYNCH I'm not sure I have a good reason for favoring one over the other here. This is two shutdown run defenses against two of the league's premier tough guy running backs. But Lynch has had 40 more carries than Gore over the first six weeks, so workload is my deciding factor.

Scott — LYNCH, mostly because I feel better about his chances at a touchdown. And the Seahawks will probably feed him more, not wanting to turn this into a game Russell Wilson has to win on his own.

Andy — BEAST MODE. But really, there's not a lot of enthusiasm behind this selection. Lynch and Gore are both in the high-teens in my ranks, great players with lousy match-ups. Slight edge to Marshawn, based on projected workload.

Matthew Stafford passing yards at Chicago 279.5.

Scott — UNDER. First and foremost, we know Stafford will probably take the initial 30 minutes off, as the Lions always do. This guy probably cranked out every term paper the morning it was due. And given how nasty Chicago's defense is on all three levels, I'm not projecting a massive Detroit windfall in the second half.

Andy — OVER. Stafford could very well get an empty 300 here, with multiple turnovers and.

Dalton — UNDER. This is hardly a no-brainer, as Stafford is on pace to finish with 698 pass attempts this season, which would set an NFL record, so we know the volume will be there. But Chicago's defense might be the best in football, and playing outdoors hurts too. Stafford has got just 6.8 YPA this season, which is below league average.

Steve Smith, still scoreless on the season, .5 TDs against Dallas.

Dalton — OVER. Dallas has allowed just three touchdowns to wide receivers this year, but that's been accompanied by 7.6 YPA and a 6:1 TD:INT ratio, so they haven't exactly been a shut down secondary. Smith has surpassed eight touchdown receptions just once in his career, but he's on pace for 1,242 yards this year, so a handful of scores are sure to follow.

Brad — UNDER. Newton's plummeting accuracy matched with an unsavory matchup arrow to more donuts in the TD category. Dallas has yielded just three WR scores in five games.

Brandon — UNDER Dallas has allowed just 3 receiver TDs this season, second fewest in the league. And it has given up just one pass play of 40-plus yards, which doesn't bode well for Smith. In Carolina's offense, Smith needs to score from deep because it's all about Cam Newton and Greg Olsen in the red zone.

Backup Mash-up. Which QB2, not named Josh Freeman, saves owners from the bye week blues: Brandon Weeden, Carson Palmer, Christian Ponder, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Matt Hasselbeck?

Brad — WEEDEN. Consider the transgressions on defense for both Cleveland and Indy there's a strong shootout potential in this matchup. Rookie has thrown for at least 231 yards in five straight.

Brandon — WEEDEN. I'm highest on Weeden. Not much defense to be found in this game in either side. Weeden is eighth in the NFL in pass attempts per game and this looks like another high volume affair against an Indy defense allowing the fourth-highest QB Rating in the league.

Andy — FITZPATRICK. Blech.

Dalton — FITZPATRICK. Palmer is on pace to finish with 4,589 passing yards, which would be top-25 all time, but I'm going to buy Fitzpatrick low after he's gone back-to-back weeks without a TD after throwing 12 over the first four weeks and facing a Tennessee secondary that has allowed an NFL-worst 107.9 QB Rating this season.

Scott — You haven't picked up WEEDEN yet? Be a lot cooler if you did. The Indy-Cleveland match has shootout written all over it, and Weeden has something going with deep threat Josh Gordon. The Browns passing game was a hot mess in Week 1, but Weeden has rallied nicely since then.

Can't get enough Andy Behrens, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don and "The Noise?" Listen to The Fantasy Freak Show (Now on iTunes) every Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Yahoo! Sports Radio

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Lames: Fitz flop on the horizon in Minnesota

17 Oct
by in General

Each week the Noise highlights 10 bold names who he believes are destined to torpedo your teamleave egg on his face. For those playing the Lames home edition, each player must be started in at least 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues to qualify. As an accountability advocate, results, whether genius or moronic, will post the following week using the scoring system shown here. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, post your Week 7 Lames in the comments section below.

Matthew Stafford, Det, QB (81-percent started)
Matchup: at Chi
Somehow it appears the Madden Curse has infected Stafford and not the video game's cover athlete, Calvin Johnson. The popular second-round pick, off one of the greatest QB seasons in NFL history, has seen a precipitous drop in production. Plagued by turnovers and misconnects, he's yet to tally a multi-TD passing game this season. Still, he remains on pace to throw an arm-taxing 697 times this season, which would best his franchise record 663 attempts from a year ago. Unfortunately, his dip in YPA ('11: 7.6, '12: 6.8) and red-zone inefficiency continue to keep him outside the QB top-12 in per game average. So does his uneven performance in-game. Evident in last week's thrilling win in Philly, Stafford has become the league's latest comeback king. His fourth quarter QB rating 103.9 completely dwarfs what little he's accomplished earlier in games (1st: 48.1, 2nd: 58.7, 3rd: 80.1). If he didn't sleepwalk through first halves, he would easily be a top-five signal caller. Consistency will be key for Stafford Monday night in Chicago. Tim Jennings and company have yet to allow a multi-TD passer and have given up a mere 6.1 yards per attempt. Earlier this season, proven passers Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo failed to reach the 20-fantasy point mark against the Bears. Stafford was a turnover machine the last time he visited the Windy City, throwing four picks. In the rematch, anticipate a similar outcome.

Fearless Forecast: 26-42, 283 passing yards, 1 touchdown, 3 interceptions, 4 rushing yards, 15.6 fantasy points

Ray Rice, Bal, RB (99-percent started)
Matchup: at Hou
The impact of Ray Lewis' loss on the Ravens isn't limited to defense. His on-field presence and leadership will most certainly take a team-wide toll. It's possible the Ravens could use it as a rallying cry. They could also crumble, leaving owners hoping for favorable returns on both sides of the ball dejected. It's extremely rare Rice's name is mentioned in this space. He's arguably the league's most versatile weapon, a certifiable PPR behemoth. He's finished in 'Lame' territory only three times in his past 24 games. Accurately predicting a Rice letdown is akin to stumbling across 'binders full of women' -- slim odds. Still, Houston, even minus premier run stopper Brian Cushing, is capable of forking Rice. Bradie James, who filled the massive void left by Cushing, graded out nearly the same against the run last week against Green Bay as the former All-Pro did in his previous five games. Granted the Ravens are a more formidable ground foe, the replacement's effort was nothing to scoff at. The Texans, collectively, are one of fantasy's stingiest run defenses. They've yet to surrender a RB rushing TD and largely held established commodities Reggie Bush, Maurice Jones-Drew and Willis McGahee in check. Of all people, Chris Johnson is the only rusher to hurdle the 70-yard mark on the ground versus Houston this year. It's serious HUEVOS, but it's not improbable Rice bombs in H-Town.

Fearless Forecast: 17 carries, 66 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 10.4 fantasy points

Marshawn Lynch, Sea, RB (81-percent started)
Matchup: at SF
A tango with San Francisco, fresh off allowing its first 100-yard rusher at Candlestick in 21 regular games, means Lynch could be more 'Least' than 'Beast' Mode. No amount of Skittles can prepare him for the defensive onslaught. The Niners, worn down by the incessant pounding issued by the Giants offensive line and Ahmad Bradshaw, didn't resemble their usual immovable selves. It's unlikely to happen again. After all, Russell Wilson is no Eli Manning. San Francisco, unlike last week, can isolate its focus on containing the opponent's strength, the run, which it failed to do the last time the division counterparts met face to face. Last year in Week 16, Lynch rolled up 134 total yards and a touchdown against the Gold Panners. However, that happened in Seattle. In the rematch, San Fran will get the best of the Beast. Even after last week's misstep, the Niners have still allowed just 3.3 yards per carry and the second-fewest fantasy points to RBs. Lynch is an animal after initial contact, but expect him to find few treats in San Francisco.

Fearless Forecast: 20 carries, 74 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 8 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.7 fantasy points

Larry Fitzgerald, Ari, WR (98-percent started)
Matchup: at Min
With Kevin Kolb sidelined by tender ribs for the next several weeks, John Skelton is set to man the controls for sliding 'Zona. Most fanalysts would contend the QB change is a major win for Fitzgerald. Skelton's tunnel vision for the wide receiver is well-documented. When No. 19 has taken first-team reps, a span of 13 starts, he and Fitz have combined for seven touchdowns and 10.5 targets, 5.6 receptions and 90.5 yards per game. Still, it's shortsighted to believe the pair will instantly rekindle their on-field love out of the gate. From a fantasy perspective, the MetroDome doesn't exactly scream 'Romance!' As most are well aware, the Cardinals couldn't protect the pocket from a line of legless basset hounds. Cardinals QBs have been sacked 28 times this year, the most in the NFL. Skelton has a quicker release than Kolb, but he's a fixed object. For Jared Allen and the rest of Minnesota's dogged front, he will look like a freshly cooked goose. If badgered relentlessly, Skelton's chances of connecting with Fitz downfield are limited. Keep in mind, among WRs, only Donnie Avery has surpassed 75 yards against Antoine Winfield and friends this year. In a homecoming of sorts for the Minnesota native, he won't be crowned king.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 60 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 9.8 fantasy points

Brandon Lloyd, NE, WR (81-percent started)
Matchup: vs. NYJ
For "Gumby," a clash with Antonio Cromartie isn't very appealing. For one, the possibility of unwanted pregnancy is uncomfortably high. And so is the potential to underwhelm statistically. Against receivers with prototype frames, Cromartie usually operates at the highest level. Previously, he locked down Andre Johnson, Michael Crabtree, and, for 3.5 quarters, Reggie Wayne. Overall, he checks in as the eighth-best cover-man according to Pro Football Focus, conceding just a 41.7 catch percentage to assignments. Lloyd bruised his shoulder late last week in Seattle, but returned to a full practice Wednesday. Even though he's close to full strength and possesses freakish athleticism, he could fall victim to the matchup this week. Remember, New England has leaned more heavily on the run this year, ranking No. 1 in rush attempts per game. Given the Jets' shortcomings stopping the run, Stevan Ridley will likely be the centerpiece of the game-plan this week.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 52 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.9 fantasy points



Each week one fortunate guest prognosticator will have a chance to silence the Noise. Following the rules stated above, participants are asked to submit their "Flames" (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Mondays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

Reader Record: 17-25 (40.5%)

Can't get enough Andy Behrens, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don and "The Noise?" Listen to The Fantasy Freak Show (Now on iTunes) every Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Yahoo! Sports Radio

Tags: , , , fantasy points, HUEVOS, , Lames, mark, , , , Stafford
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Flames: Palmer, Raiders D/ST your remedies for the bye week blues

16 Oct
by in General

Each week the Noise highlights 12-13 somewhat obscure, unobvious names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post the results, whether genius or moronic, the following week using the scoring system shown here. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, post your Week 7 Flames in the comments section below.

Carson Palmer, Oak, QB (12-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Jax
For whatever reason, the fantasy community must feel Palmer carries a contagion. Despite eclipsing 20 fantasy points in three of his past four games, most continue to keep the signal caller at arm's length. However, this week, because of bye week hell, fanatics need to trust his services. Palmer pinned last week's giveaway in Atlanta on himself blaming his poor ball security and mental missteps for the loss. Back in the Black Hole, look for him to kiss and make-up with the Raiders faithful. Defensively, the Jaguars are the new Hello Kitties of the NFL. Pounded via ground and air, they are an overly generous defense. Over the past three weeks, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton and Jay Cutler each threw for at least 244 yards and two touchdowns against them. On the season, corners Rashean Mathis and Aaron Ross have allowed a QB rating of 106.2. Due to Darren McFadden's ongoing inconsistencies and with Denarius Moore blossoming, Palmer will be leaned on Sunday. Bank on the man in black.

Fearless Forecast: 22-33, 262 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 3 rushing yards, 21.4 fantasy points

Felix Jones, Dal, RB (18-percent started)
Matchup: at Car
It's true Jones would likely shred a ligament reading a book. The delicate back, who the Noise pimped heavily preseason last year, excels at disappointment. But with DeMarco Murray out of action for the foreseeable future due to ligament damage in his foot, the once overhyped commodity has a chance at redemption. Don't expect him to spoil his second chance. Considering its gross inadequacies defending the run, a mortally wounded walrus would likely drag its way to 100-yards and a touchdown against Carolina. This season, the Panthers have routinely received failing grades on gap assignments. On the year, they've surrendered 4.8 yards per carry 123 rushing yards per game and the most receiving yards to RBs. In relief of Murray, Jones looked spectacular last week in Baltimore. He attacked the line, forced missed tackles and was quick around the edge, a far cry from the out of shape rusher who failed a conditioning test in training camp. On 19 touches he totaled 105 yards, 55 of which were after contact. Yes, Phillip Tanner will wrest away roughly 10-12 touches, but if the Dallas offensive line can dominate the line of scrimmage again and Jones can stave off the injury imp, he's in line to post top-12 numbers in Week 7. Start him with confidence.

Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 77 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.5 fantasy points

LeGarrette Blount, TB, RB (5-percent started)
Matchup: vs. NO
Though Doug Martin is the clear-cut No. 1 by the Bay, there's a puff or three still left in Blount. No longer in need of car service, the "Lazy" rusher purchased an alarm clock, has shown up to team meetings on time and has put in the work, earning the respect of Greg Schiano and his teammates. As a result his snap count has steadily risen over the past three weeks climbing from 6-to-12-to-18. His seven carries for 58 yards and a score in a blowout win against Kansas City in Week 6 was his finest fantasy performance since Week 14 last year. In the encore, don't be surprised if he totes the rock 10-plus times for the first time in 2012. Unsurprisingly, the Saints are rather 'hole-y' on defense, particularly up the middle. In five games, they've yielded 5.0 yards per carry, 141.2 rushing yards per game and six end-zone plunges to RBs, equal to the most fantasy points allowed. In order to control clock and keep Drew Brees on the sidelines for as long as possible, look for Schiano to feature a power run game with Martin and Blount. If the much improved Tampa defense, especially the secondary, can rise to the challenge and keep the game competitive, the backup is in line for a top-24 day. FLEX him in 12-team and deeper leagues.

Fearless Forecast: 11 carries, 60 rushing yards, 1 reception, 4 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 13.1 fantasy points

Brandon Gibson, StL, WR (9-percent started)
Matchup: vs. GB
Don't call him 'Debbie.' Filling the void for injured starter Danny Amendola, Gibson stepped up last week in Miami catching seven passes (on nine targets) for a career-best 91 yards, including a one-handed Madden-esque grab. At times over his four-year tenure in the league, he's shown flashes of star potential, but misroutes and a lack of chemistry with Sam Bradford made him wildly erratic. But it appears he's learned form the mental mistakes, realizing the personal opportunity currently at stake. Green Bay, uneven defensively over the first few weeks of the season, was dynamite in coverage last week, vexing Matt Schaub on numerous occasions. Still, evident against Indianapolis a couple weeks ago, the Packers secondary can be exploited. Though it's unlikely Bradford will channel the football ghost of Kurt Warner, he will likely be pressed into a high volume situation, enhancing Gibson's scoring potential. In a performance worthy of a Garbage All-Star nom, the wideout could clean-up late. Employ him as a WR3 in 12-team and deeper PPR leagues.

Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 88 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 13.3 fantasy points

Kenny Britt, Ten, WR (19-percent started)
Matchup: at Buf
For the sake of his queasy supporters, Britt better cover his gloves in reversible tape. Though his final stat line was commendable last week versus Pittsburgh (4-62-1), the wideout didn't make it look easy, plagued by a case of the bobbles. Mike Munchak blamed Britt's skittishness on the receiver's missed practice time and learning curve with the club's revised playbook. But the health of his surgically repaired knee is no longer a concern. If he can master the offense quickly, he should produce steady yields moving forward, starting this week versus Buffalo He's simply too talented not to. "Unkind" best describes how opponents have treated the Bills this year. Nine wide receivers have scored at least 10 fantasy points against them. Combined Stephon Gilmore and Aaron Williams have allowed 16.0 yards per catch. Because of Britt's big-play ability, look for Matt Hasselbeck to target him early and often downfield, en route to his finest effort yet this season.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 83 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 18.1 fantasy points

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)

Brandon Weeden, Cle, QB (6-percent started)
Matchup: at Ind
Weeden, who fought alongside Zach Taylor during the Mexican-American War, may be ancient for a rookie, but he's shown plenty of piss and vinegar over the past five weeks. During that stretch he's totaled at least 231 passing yards in each game and tallied a respectable 7:6 TD:INT split. At times he's been overly reckless, but forging a strong relationship with home run hitter Josh Gordon of late, Weeden has connected on a number of explosive pass plays. And according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's very scientific study of each of his throws against Cincinnati, the passer is coming off his finest performance to date. Teams have battered Indy most often between the tackles, but they've also registered a great deal of vertical success. Four quarterbacks have found the end-zone twice in a game versus the Colts this year. Count on Weeden becoming the fifth. Keep in mind if Trent Richardson sits, Pat Shurmur may install a more air-minded game-plan. Better yet, the Browns' wayward defense could turn this contest into a shootout.

Fearless Forecast: 21-34, 253 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 1 interception, 4 rushing yards, 20.1 fantasy points



Each week one fortunate guest prognosticator will have a chance to silence the Noise. Following the rules stated above, participants are asked to submit their "Flames" (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Mondays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

Reader Record: 19-22 (46.3%)

Can't get enough Andy Behrens, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don and "The Noise?" Listen to The Fantasy Freak Show (Now on iTunes) every Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Yahoo! Sports Radio

Tags: , , Carson Palmer, , , fantasy points, , ,
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The Fantasy Freak Show Podcast: Replacement RBs, DMC and Honey Boo Boo

12 Oct
by in General

Turnover in fantasy is a given. In this violent sport, any backup is one knee buckle away from relevancy. Last week, Cedric Benson, Donald Brown and Ryan Williams were bitten by the injury imp, paving the way for new point sources to emerge. How will their replacements perform?

On this week's prudent program, Scott Pianowski and Brad Evans delved into the Week 6 prospects of Alex Green, Vick Ballard and whoever the heck is going to carry the ball at a pedestrian pace for Arizona. Also, we revealed our sleepers, busts and Shocker Specials from every remaining game, played a game of over/unders and explained why Tony Romo is bound for a bounce-back.

Too busy shopping online for 'sexy' Halloween costumes? No problem. Listen to the replays below:



Tags: boo, Brad Evans, Buckle, , , , , Honey Boo Boo, Podcast, Ryan Williams, Scott Pianowski, , , Vick Ballard
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Over/Under: Is the other Vick the right pick at RB2 in Week 6?

11 Oct
by in General

Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders for Week 6.

Vick Ballard, now starting against the Jets with Donald Brown sidelined, final Week 6 RB rank 22.5 (In other words, will he deliver RB2-level stats in 12-team leagues)?

Brad — UNDER. The once proud Jets defense is a shell of its former self. This season, the Puddle Jumpers have surrendered 4.7 YPC to RBs. Ballard will give way to Mewelde Moore on third-downs but is a strong candidate for a 17-75-1 afternoon.

Brandon — UNDER. Meaning he'll be a top 22 RB in Week 6. Jets allowing a very unRex-like 4.9 YPC. And the Jets have to be on alert first and foremost in the passing game given Luck's early success. Space should be available for Ballard.

Scott — With all due respect to the plus matchup, I'm going OVER. If Ballard has special talent, it hasn't flashed yet: 21 carries, 42 yards. He's only caught one pass. Indy's run blocking currently ranks 27th on Pro Football Focus; good luck finding holes.

Defense/Special Teams Dilemma. Pick your poison: Tampa (vs. KC), Miami (vs. StL) or Detroit (at Phi)

Brandon — MIAMI. Love that they are at home against a lousy offense — Rams have been 8th-most generous offense in fantasy to opposing defenses. And Miami has already been getting it done as a fantasy defense, ranking in the top 8 in QB sacks and INTs

Scott — Put on your snappiest white suit and meet me in MIAMI. The Dolphins defense has cut its teeth against legitimate opposition, and this week it faces an offense with no blocking and no downfield threats. Get ready to duck, Sammy Bradford.

Andy — TAMPA. This group has defended the run well (3.2 YPC), they're coming off a bye, and facing a depth chart QB.

Rashard Mendenhall total yards against Tennessee 94.5

Andy — OVER. It would help my cause if this game remains competitive for, say, three quarters. But you have to love Mendenhall's tape from Week 5, and this is an awfully friendly matchup.

Dalton — OVER. I was wrong about taking a wait-and-see approach with Mendenhall last week, as he looked fantastic. I expect Thursday night's game to be relatively close, and Mendy should exceed 20 touches, resulting in 100 yards from scrimmage.

Brad — OVER. My obnoxious affections for Illinois running backs wouldn't let me think any other way. Plus,Tennessee is the NFL's Titanic defensively. It's given up 173.9 total yards per game to RBs this season.

Pick a Packer: Alex Green or James Starks

Dalton — As someone who had far too many shares of Cedric Benson than I'd like to admit, this question pains me. Can the answer be neither? If not, then I'll say STARKS. I get that Green is far more explosive, but Starks has a better chance at a goal-line carry and is far more trusted in pass protection, so he'll be on the field more.

Brad — GREEN. McCarthy's declaration his backfield will be a 'hot hand' situation definitely favors Green, fresh off a respectable 10-63 effort at Indy. On the excitement scale, Starks barely moves the needle. He's clunky, slow and largely average.

Brandon — STARKS. Mike McCarthy says he'll ride the hot hand, but he has a much longer history with Starks and, when a coach has concerns about pass pro (as he does with Green) in an offense that pretty much is thinking pass all the time, it makes me lean towards Starks even more.

Aaron Hernandez, assuming he's active, receiving yards at SEA 54.5

Brandon — UNDER. Back in the fire off a four-week layoff, I'm not believing he'll get his usual workload. And Seattle has the kind of defensive speed to deal with a less than 100 percent Hernandez.

Scott — UNDER, and clearly under at that. The Seahawks defense is nasty, especially at home. Hernandez probably won't be 100 percent and he plays a position where timing is critical. I will not be proactive ranking him, or starting him, in Week 6.

Andy — UNDER. As of this writing, we don't even have confirmation that he'll play. So betting that he'll exceed any yardage total carries some risk.

Jordy Nelson receiving yards versus Jonathan Joseph and the Houston Texans 69.5

Scott — UNDER. I've finally thrown up the white flag on Nelson, giving him the lowest ranking of the year on my clipboard. He only needs one play to make everyone happy, but the timing and accuracy is missing with Green Bay's YAC game. Kareem Jackson is having a nice coverage year in Houston, too.

Andy — UNDER. Here's your projection: three catches on six targets, 55 yards, one TD.

Dalton — OVER. Joseph has allowed 7.7 YPA this year, so it's not like he's been exactly shutdown. Still, Houston has given up the second fewest fantasy points to opposing WRs, and Nelson has obviously been a big disappointment. I'm betting on that changing come Sunday night.

Andrew Luck, coming off a 386 combined yards thrashing of Green Bay, total yards at NYJ 299.5

Scott — I'm head over cleats for this kid, but I have to go UNDER. The Jets back seven is still a respectable lot, and Luck might have to make do without a lot of Reggie Wayne this week (he'll be coverage target No. 1 in the Meadowlands).

Andy — UNDER. Luck delivers some sneaky yardage via the ground game, but I think this game should be fairly low-scoring and messy. Can't go over.

Dalton — UNDER. I have Luck on a bunch of my teams this year, so I'm a big fan, and I know he's thrown for more than 300 yards in three of four games this year, but he's going outdoors against a desperate Jets team that's far more vulnerable against the run than pass. Luck is the real deal, but he falls short of this number this week.

Alfred Morris rushing yards versus Minnesota 89.5

Andy — OVER. I can easily see a 30-carry, 90-yard, no-touchdown effort from Morris.

Dalton — UNDER. I expect this to be very close, and I'm a full believer in Morris, but Minnesota's run D is very stout (although he previously gashed a similarly impressive TB run defense for 113 rushing yards earlier this year). And the fact RGIII looks likely to play certainly helps.

Brad — UNDER. I'm heavily invested in 'The Butler,' but it's hard to see him escaping the 80s against such a stalwart defense. MJD has the highest ground total (77) against the Vikings this year. Morris would need 35 carries to eclipse that number.

Dwayne Bowe, assuming Brady Quinn is under center, at TB 74.5 receiving yards

Brad — UNDER. Quinn is only slightly better than Blaine Gabbert. In other words, he's a borderline abomination. Another 9-6 thriller could be in order for KC, hindering Bowe's chances for a standout performance.

Brandon — OVER. Tampa Bay allows a league-high 9 yards per pass attempt. And the first (of three) passes Quinn attempted last Sunday was a 20-yard strike to Bowe. Are we really thinking that Quinn is such a major step down from Cassel?

Scott — I'm going UNDER (respect to Talib; no respect to the KC pass throwers), but fear not, Bowe sympathizers. You'll get a late touchdown that has no impact on the actual game.

QB conundrum: Matt Schaub (vs. GB), Kevin Kolb (vs. Buf), Alex Smith (vs. NYG), Christian Ponder (at Wash), Andy Dalton (vs. Cle)

Brad — SMITH. His swelled 'bird' is no longer an issue. Foreseeing Corey Webster, the league's worst cover corner, getting torched by Michael Crabtree at least a dozen times.

Brandon — DALTON. Giving Big Red the slight nod here, though Cleveland's pass defense should be better with Joe Haden back. That said, can't ignore that 318/3 line Dalton hung on the Browns in Week 2.

Scott — DALTON is the play here — even if Joe Haden has his groove on, the deep Bengals receiving corps will find other matchups they like.

Andy — PONDER. This one seems like a layup. The only QB that hasn't passed for 300 yards against the 'Skins so far this year is Josh Freeman...who threw for 299.

Dalton — SCHAUB. His fantasy value doesn't approach his real life value thanks to the Texans' terrific defense and run-heavy offense, but Green Bay should be able to put up points Sunday night, resulting in Schaub attempting a season-high in pass attempts. For what it's worth, I dropped Joe Flacco for Schaub this week in Yahoo!

Can't get enough Andy Behrens, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don and "The Noise?" Listen to The Fantasy Freak Show (Now on iTunes) every Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Yahoo! Sports Radio

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Lames: Buccaneers sharpening swords for Chiefs, Charles

10 Oct
by in General

Each week the Noise highlights 10 bold names who he believes are destined to torpedo your team leave egg on his face. For those playing the Lames home edition, each player must be started in at least 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues to qualify. As an accountability advocate, results, whether genius or moronic, will post the following week using the scoring system shown here. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, post your Week 5 Lames in the comments section below.

Tom Brady, NE, QB (95-percent started)
Matchup: at Sea
Tom Terrific? More like Tom Tepid in Seattle. Prior to Week 1, most projected extraordinary production for the two-time MVP this season. Everything was in place. He was a proven commodity surrounded with endless weapons in a pass-heavy system. But Bill Belichick isn't predictable. Shockingly, the Hoodie has called 'pass' just 47.5-percent of the time through five games. Stevan Ridley, and not Brady, has become the engine that drives the offense. Still, the passer hasn't become a fantasy slouch. He currently ranks No. 7 among signal callers in per game average. This week, however, look for him to rank well outside the top-10. CenturyLink Field is an intimidating environment. Brady admitted earlier this week running no-huddle, which was instrumental in New England's win over Denver, in such a raucous venue "will be a challenge." Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers, who both struggled earlier this year in Seattle, would most certainly agree. Overall, the 'Hawks have conceded just 6.0 yards per attempt and the fewest fantasy points to QBs. The defensive line along with blanketing corners Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman are a well-oiled machine. It may sound absurd, but Brady is bench worthy for owners with viable alternatives.

Fearless Forecast: 24-36, 248 passing yards, 1 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 14.4 fantasy points

Jamaal Charles, KC, RB (94-percent started)
Matchup: at TB
When drafted four years ago, no one could've predicted the rusher, 199 pounds soaking wet, was capable of transforming from timeshare back to 30-carry Clydesdale, but that's exactly what he's become. Ridden repeatedly with Peyton Hillis sidelined by a high ankle sprain, the JC of KC has gripped the pigskin an average of 30.7 touches per game over the past three weeks, netting 6.1 yards per touch. Considering his lengthy recovery from a torn ACL, his resurgence is nothing short of remarkable. The workload is very attractive, but Charles, like any rusher, isn't immune from fantasy failure. This week's matchup is tougher than you think. A year ago, Stephen Hawking could've putted his way to 150 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs. In complete disarray under Raheem Morris, they ranked dead last versus the run. But new head honcho, Greg Schiano, has changed the culture, elevating the club's defensive profile. In particular, Gerald McCoy, who is the fourth-best run defender in the league according to Pro Football Focus, has ramped up his game. Strength versus strength will be the theme by the Bay this Sunday. At home, Tampa has surrendered just 3.5 yards per carry to RBs this year. But unless Brady Quinn, who floundered in 12 previous career starts, performs semi-competently, Charles could disappoint.

Fearless Forecast: 22 carries, 96 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 10 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 12.8 fantasy points

Willis McGahee, Den, RB (67-percent started)
Matchup: at SD
McGahee's birth may have preceded the construction of Stonehenge, but the ageless wonder has staved off Father Time, displaying nimble feet, versatility and burst reminiscent of his pre-injury days with the Bills. He's averaged 4.5 yards per carry and is on pace for a 1,204 rushing yard, 10-TD campaign. If he continues on that track it would be his finest fantasy season since 2004. Despite him losing a critical fumble last week against New England, Peyton Manning and cohorts remain committed to getting McGahee the ball in multiple situations. However, the Bolts are a stiff adversary. Corey Liuget and Shaun Phillips have done an excellent job sniffing out the run. As a whole, San Diego has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this year and has limited opposing rushers to a modest 3.8 yards per carry. In a pivotal intradivisional game, McGahee may get jolted.

Fearless Forecast: 16 carries, 66 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 13 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 10.1 fantasy points

Jordy Nelson, GB, WR (91-percent started)
Matchup: at Hou
The newest spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism isn't exactly luring travelers. His underwhelming performance on the field is bad for business in reality and fantasy. With or without Greg Jennings in uniform, Nelson, no longer a secret, has folded under added pressure. Only once this season has he reached double digits in fantasy scoring. And that was against the New Orleans Aints. On a per game basis teammates James Jones and Randall Cobb have outperformed him. Still, he's enticed a healthy 7.2 targets per game, but with only one TD on the season, some owners are strongly considering keeping their pair of Jordache in the closet, especially this week. Jonathan Joseph and Kareem Jackson are a defensive tandem to fear. According to Pro Football Focus, both rank inside the top-25 in pass coverage among cornerbacks. Their stellar play combined with J.J. Watt's disruptive nature at line  are major concerns for Jordy. Unless Green Bay recently signed a group of ogres to protect the pocket, Aaron Rodgers will likely be under duress early and often, limiting Nelson targets downfield.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 45 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 7.5 fantasy points

Brian Hartline, Mia, WR (50-percent started)
Matchup: vs. StL
Two weeks ago the Barracuda devoured everything in his path accomplishing what Mark Duper and Mark Clayton never did in their illustrious careers. His 253 yards against Arizona set a new franchise record, at the time a "bittersweet" accolade for the humble receiver. No surprise Hartline crashed back down to earth last week in Cincinnati. Attracting extra attention on numerous occasions, he caught just four passes for 59 yards on five targets. Another vanilla effort could be on tap versus visiting St. Louis. The Rams, no longer 'rancid' defensively, have locked down the pass fairly consistently. Corners Bradley Fletcher and Janoris Jenkins combined have surrendered a mere 10.7 yards per catch to their assignments. Throw in St. Louis' aggressive pass rush, and Hartline is more deep league WR3 than 12-team WR2 material in Week 6.

Fearless Forecast: 4 receptions, 51 receiving yards, 0 touchdowns, 8.1 fantasy points



Each week one fortunate guest prognosticator will have a chance to silence the Noise. Following the rules stated above, participants are asked to submit their "Flames" (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Mondays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

Reader Record: 14-21, (40.0%)

Can't get enough Andy Behrens, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don and "The Noise?" Listen to The Fantasy Freak Show (Now on iTunes) every Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Yahoo! Sports Radio

Tags: , fantasy points, , , , Jamaal Charles, Lames, , , rusher,
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Flames: Accurate Smith to throw darts, hit bullseyes against New York

09 Oct
by in General

Each week the Noise highlights 12-13 somewhat obscure, unobvious names who he believes are destined to torch the competition. To qualify, each player must be started in fewer than 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Speaking as an accountability advocate, I will post the results, whether genius or moronic, the following week using the scoring system shown here. If you're a member of TEAM HUEVOS, post your Week 6 Flames in the comments section below.

Alex Smith, SF, QB (19-percent started)
Matchup: vs. NYG
Once the Bea Arthur of fantasy quarterbacks, San Fran's 'Golden Girl' is now more Blanche Devereaux — sassy, sultry and, statistically speaking, quite alluring. Coming off just his second 300-yard game since October 5, 2010, Smith is dealing. The antithesis of Mark Sanchez, he's completed nearly 69-percent of his passes and is on pace to obliterate his previous career high in touchdown passes (Pace: 26, High: 18). Consistency in coordinators has made him more comfortable with the offense and in his overall decision-making. His swollen 'bird' is a "concern" to head coach Jim Harbaugh, but the signal caller downplayed the injury Monday calling it "no big deal." Assuming the swelling subsides, he's a fabulous start in Week 6. The visiting Giants are one of the league's worst pass defenses. According to Pro Football Focus, Corey Webster ranks No. 102 out of 102 corners  in pass coverage. Overall, the Giving-Men have surrendered 8.8 yards per attempt and four 20-point fantasy performances to QBs this season. For Drew Brees and Cam Newton owners seeking a one-week replacement, the Gold Panner should yield bountiful riches. Plug. Play. Reap.

Fearless Forecast: 21-31, 251 passing yards, 2 passing touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 17 rushing yards, 22.3 fantasy points

Rashard Mendenhall, Pit, RB (46-percent started)
Matchup: at Ten
Similar to the other members of the 'Knee Three' (Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles), Mendenhall didn't skip a beat in his triumphant return to the lineup. He resembled the hard-cutting, explosive back from two years ago, a season in which he finished No. 7 among RBs. After four weeks of Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer 2-yard plods, it had to be refreshing for Steelers fans to see. Overall, he finished with 101 total yards and a touchdown on 16 touches against Philly. Thursday's encore could be even better, provided Pittsburgh's retooled offensive line continues to execute. Though Mike Munchak recently made a dumbfounding remark this year's Titans team is more talented than last year's mediocre bunch, his defense remains leaky, particularly in the trenches. Tennessee has conceded 4.2 yards per carry, 173.6 total yards per game and six touchdowns to rushers, equal to the sixth-most fantasy points allowed to RBs. Emerging from his inaugural effort of 2012 unscathed, the Steelers' "savior" will carry supporters to the Promised Land. Start him with the utmost confidence, but, as Gerry Dulac reported Tuesday, don't expect a burdensome workload just yet.

Fearless Forecast: 18 carries, 79 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 11 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.5 fantasy points

Donald Brown Vick Ballard, Ind, RB (3-percent started)
Matchup: at NYJ
Brown offers about as much excitement as watching David Blaine get jolted for three straight days. Painfully average across the board, he's the consummate get-what-you-pay-for back. His skill set and overall workload rarely stand out. And Indy's inadequate defense has done him no favors. Still, when given opportunities he's contributed some meaningful stats. Nearly 66-percent of his 239 total rushing yards have come after contact. Fresh off his best game of the season, (92 total yards vs. GB) he's a RB2 to trust in Week 6. Because of Andrew Luck's rapid ascension and Reggie Wayne's otherworldly play, defenses are starting to turn their attention to the pass game, which should place Brown in several exploitable situations. The Puddle Jumpers, widely believed to be one of the league's stingiest run defenses entering the season, have been just the opposite. In particular, nose tackle Kenrick Ellis, who checks in at No. 46 per Pro Football Focus versus the run, has really struggled. Through five weeks, New York has allowed an uncharacteristic 4.7 yards per carry and the fourth-most fantasy points to RBs. On possibly his first 20 touch game of the season, Brown clowns Rex Ryan and company. (UPDATE: Brown underwent a knee scope Wednesday morning and is expected to miss 2-3 weeks. Ballard, who at times was a tackle-shredding beast in preseason play, will handle the load. Consider the promoted backup a mid-range RB2 in 12-team leagues this week.)

Fearless Forecast: 19 carries, 83 rushing yard, 2 receptions, 9 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 16.7 fantasy points

Denarius Moore, Oak, WR (17-percent started)
Matchup: at Atl
Off the bye the Raiders have the unenviable task of clashing with the NFC's lone unblemished team in their house. In reality, it's a matchup to avoid, but, in fantasy, it's one to take advantage of. After losing Brent Grimes Week 1, most expected the Falcons' secondary to flounder. However, Asante Samuel has picked up the slack, executing brilliantly over the past few weeks. On the year, his assignments have netted just 9.6 yards per catch. And, overall, Atlanta has given up a mere 7.0 yards per passing attempt. But, despite the unsavory paper matchup, Moore is a trustworthy WR3 in 12-team and deeper leagues this week. Why? Oakland's defense is positively ghastly. Because a one-armed man could throw for 300 yards against the Raiders' secondary, Carson Palmer will likely accumulate 45-50 pass attempts, enhancing Moore's chances for a big payday. The wideout, who has averaged 8.7 targets in three games, could net his heftiest workload of the season.

Fearless Forecast: 5 receptions, 78 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 17.6 fantasy points

Andre Roberts, Ari, WR (30-percent started)
Matchup: vs. Buf
Roberts, quietly in the midst of a breakout season, continues to draw minimal praise from the fantasy community. Owned in just over half of Yahoo! leagues, he deserves more. His 10.5 per game average in standard formats ranks No. 19 among WRs, ahead of notable names Eric Decker, Antonio Brown and teammate Larry Fitzgerald. Roberts put in the grunt work this offseason training alongside Fitz while devoting endless hours in the film room. As a result, he's become one of the game's most underrated route runners and underneath weapons. With so much attention paid to Fitzgerald, he's thrived in single coverage. Expect that trend to continue this week. No defense has yielded more wide receiver touchdowns (10) than the bumbling Bills. Starting corners Aaron Williams and Justin Rogers, who combined have allowed a 62.5 catch percentage, rank No. 91 and 97, respectively, in pass coverage according to PFF. If, and that's a giant IF, Kevin Kolb is afforded time, Roberts should flirt with triple-digits in yardage.

Fearless Forecast: 6 receptions, 93 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 19.8 fantasy points

SHOCKER SPECIAL (Under 10-percent started)

Alex Green, GB, RB (4-percent started)
Matchup: at Hou
With Cedric Benson sidelined potentially for the next eight weeks with a Lisfranc injury, indications suggest James Starks will draw the start this week for Green Bay. But considering Starks' snaillike pace and inelastic running style, Green is the smart money bet. The ex-Hawaii star opened eyes last week in relief of Benson. His beautiful 41-yard scamper in the second half, a run which featured a brilliant cut-back across the grain, showcased his talents. Blessed with size (6-0, 225 lbs.), speed (4.45 40-yard time), versatility and a 'get downhill' mentality, he's a wonderful fit for Green Bay's zone-blocking scheme. However, the Packers' coaching staff, likely still worried about his surgically repaired knee, apparently don't want to overexert the young back. Still, even if he plays second-fiddle to Starks, he possesses plenty of flex appeal this week at Houston. The Texans, thought to be one of the league's most unyielding run defenses, has surrendered a generous 4.3 yards per carry to RBs this season. Shifty runners like Reggie Bush and Chris Johnson have caused them fits. And down one of its best gap defenders, Brian Cushing, Houston's vulnerability between-the-tackles is noticeable. If he logs 12-15 touches, Green could be one of Week 6's biggest surprises.

Fearless Forecast: 12 carries, 54 rushing yards, 3 receptions, 15 receiving yards, 1 touchdown, 15.2 fantasy points



Each week one fortunate guest prognosticator will have a chance to silence the Noise. Following the rules stated above, participants are asked to submit their "Flames" (1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 D/ST) by midnight PT Mondays via Twitter @YahooNoise. How large are your stones?

Reader Record: 18-16, (52.9%)

Can't get enough Andy Behrens, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don and "The Noise?" Listen to The Fantasy Freak Show (Now on iTunes) every Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Yahoo! Sports Radio

Tags: Accurate Smith, , Antonio Brown, Donald Brown Vick Ballard, , fantasy points, , , pace, , ,
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The Fantasy Freak Show Podcast: Norv Nonsense, Hartline love and Philly phonies

05 Oct
by in General

First there were Lucifer's Shanahanigans. Now enraged owners, spurned by irrational coaching decisions, have to deal with Norv's nonsense.

On this week's insightful program, sleuths Brad Evans and Dalton Del Don  attempted  to solve San Diego's backfield mystery. Additionally, our fearless investigators combed over the remaining Week 5 slate, uncovering their sleepers, busts and Shocker Specials from every remaining contest. Also, is the market ripe to sell high on Michael Turner, Andy Dalton and Brian Hartline? We told you.

Too busy watching Liam Neeson blast would-be kidnappers? No problem. Listen to the replays (or download them here) below:



Tags: , , , , Fantasy Freak Show Podcast, Hartline, mystery, Norv Nonsense, , Podcast, Shanahanigans, Shocker Specials,
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Over/Under: Will Chris Johnson’s value continue to rise in Minnesota?

04 Oct
by in General

Fantasy is a speculative game. Predict the future, and you look like a genius. Don't, and you're painfully human. Gazing into the crystal ball here's our view on 10 intriguing over/unders for Week 5.

Chris Johnson combined yards at Minnesota 79.5

Dalton — UNDER. There's no question both Johnson and Tennessee's run blocking looked much improved last week, but he averaged just 27.0 yards from scrimmage over the previous three games to start the season. Plus, the Vikings have allowed the second fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this year.

Brad — UNDER. Are we really to believe the Titans have suddenly solved their run-blocking issues after one week? Tennessee's O-line couldn't part a puddle. Minnesota, which has allowed just 3.1 YPC to RBs, dominates the line of scrimmage.

Scott — UNDER always feels right with Chris Johnson. I have nothing good to say about Tennessee's run blocking (neither does CJ), and the Minnesota front seven has been stuffing everyone on the ground.

Michael Vick final Week 5 QB rank 12.5 (In other words, will he finish as a top-12 passer?)

Brandon — UNDER. I have him ranked No. 12, so I'll say barely under, but I don't feel great about him facing a Pittsburgh defense getting Polamalu and Harrison back this week .

Andy — OVER. But I ranked him No. 13, so a top-12 rank obviously wouldn't shock me. The Steelers defense is coming off a bye, getting Troy Polamalu and (possibly) James Harrison back. Not the easiest setup for Vick.

[Fantasy Football 101: Keys to survive the bye weeks]

Dalton — UNDER. The Steelers' secondary has actually allowed a 6:1 TD:INT ratio over three games this year, although the defense should return healthier after the bye. Vick is unlikely to go crazy Sunday, but I think he just barely finishes as a top-12 fantasy QB.

Ryan Mathews, currently the No. 2 RB on the Chargers' depth-chart, total yards at New Orleans 94.5

Andy — OVER. I think he can top this yardage number with ease vs. New Orleans, but the key to Mathews' fantasy value is whether he remains on the field near the goal line. I'd give Jackie Battle better odds to actually find the end zone this week.

Dalton — UNDER. New Orleans has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing RBs this season, and I am on board with Mathews being a buy low right now, but I'll fade this number thanks to the uncertainty of his usage Sunday night.

Brad — OVER. Everyone is overreacting to Jackie Battle's 'promotion.' It's a facade. Talent trumps in New Orleans. Against the league's worst run defense Mathews goes for 120-plus total yards.

What backup has the most FLEX appeal: Ben Tate, Brandon Bolden or Michael Bush?

Dalton — BUSH. I worry about his shoulder injury, but I'm banking on Bush getting a couple of goal-line carries. I don't particularly like any of these options this week.

Brad — BUSH. Even with Matt Forte back in action, the Bears' stringent defense should allow Bush to log plenty of second-half carries. Think 40-50 total yards and 1-2 goal-line vultures.

Scott — When in doubt, dial up a shrubbery. BUSH has a dedicated goal-line role, and the Jaguars have been chummy to opposing backs (4.3 YPC, six scores). I'm also leery of Tate; those garbage-time pile-on games haven't been in the cards yet, per the team's play calling.

Rashard Mendenhall, approximately nine months removed from reconstructive knee surgery, total yards versus Philly 64.5

Brad — OVER. This is extremely close, but Mendenhall is a strong candidate for 15-17 touches in what should be a triumphant return to the lineup. In his absence, Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer were the Bert and Ernie of rushers.

[Survival Football: NFL upset picks for Week 5]

Scott — UNDER is my default call on any player off a major injury. I need a show-me game first. I do expect Pittsburgh to win in Week 5, but it will be because of Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game.

Brandon — UNDER. Three consecutive RBs have topped this number against Philly (Ray Rice, Ryan Williams and Ahmad Bradshaw), but I'm not confident that he gets thrown into the fire for more than 12-15 touches in his first game back, and that's probably not enough to get it done against the Philly D.

Brian Hartline, fresh off a franchise record 253 yards last week in 'Zona, receiving yards at Cincinnati 74.5

Scott — OVER. Follow the targets, follow the improving rookie QB. The Bengals secondary has been a mess all year. Turn on your Hartline.

Brandon — OVER I like the usage consistency — he's third among WRs in targets, and has at least eight in each game. And Cincy allows a healthy 7.7 YPA and is one of just seven teams allowing a QB Rating above 100, so the matchup is far from daunting.

Andy — OVER. Cincinnati hasn't stopped anyone through the air or on the ground this year, so it could be a decent day for multiple Dolphins. Hartline has topped this total twice in four games.

Thursday Night Throwdown: Ryan Williams or Steven Jackson?

Brandon — S-JAX. I like Ryan Williams, in theory, but the reality is that he's been good for 26 total yards or less in three of four games. And based upon the fantasy points allowed to RBs, this will actually be S-Jax's second-easiest matchup of the year.

Andy — WILLIAMS. Just playing match-ups here. The Rams have allowed 4.7 yards per carry through four games, and they gave up 4.8 last season.

Dalton — WILLIAMS. He has the more favorable matchup and is ostensibly the healthier back. However, I don't expect either to have a big game Thursday night.

Martellus Bennett receiving yards versus Cleveland 49.5

Andy — OVER. Is this where I'm supposed to discuss how effective Cleveland has been at limiting the fantasy production of opposing tight ends? Well, it's not as if they've faced a murderer's row of TEs, plus they were simply league-average in 2011. Eli is gonna need Bennett this week, given the injury situation in his receiving corps.

Dalton — UNDER. The Giants will likely be running the ball a lot nursing a lead during the second half, and Cleveland has actually defended tight ends well this season. I'll say Bennett finds the end zone but falls just short of this yardage output.

Brad — UNDER. Everyone's favorite Black Unicorn won't be worthy of a sticker on a tween's Trapper Keeper. Jermaine Gresham, Scott Chandler and Dennis Pitta were nowhere near this number against Cleveland over the past three weeks. Expect lots of Cruz, Hixon.

Minnesota D combined turnovers/sacks against Matt Hasselbeck and the Titans 5.5.

Brad — OVER. Jared Allen may accomplish this in sacks alone. Matt Hasselback is blessed with the elusiveness of an anchored oil tanker.

Scott — UNDER. Matt Hasselbeck's arm has seen better days, but he's still a sharp guy between the ears. He knows how to avoid negative plays.

[Also: DeSean Jackson is moving quickly toward a rap career]

Brandon — UNDER. I'll say that the Vikings fall just short (5). Tennessee has actually been fourth-best in the NFL in limiting sacks and the Vikings have just one INT.

QB Conundrum. Best play out of Andy Dalton, Andrew Luck and Christian Ponder.

Scott — DALTON, and not just for the Roadhouse references. The Cincinnati receiving group has proven to be deeper than anyone expected, and A.J. Green might be Robin to Calvin Johnson's Batman. And the Bengals secondary will do everything it can to keep the game competitive.

Brandon — DALTON. Dalton's the No. 2 fantasy QB over the past three weeks, and he's going to have to throw the ball a good amount this week as Miami allows a league-best 2.4 YPC.

Andy — DALTON. He's facing an opponent that allows nearly 300 passing yards per game. Layup.

Dalton — LUCK. I like all three this week, but the Colts should have to throw it a ton in a likely shootout. Luck is sneaky productive from a rushing perspective as well.

Brad — LUCK. He and Raggedy Andy are neck-n-neck here, but Aaron Rodgers should run roughshod over Indy's defense, greatly enhancing the rookie's workload. A 300-plus yard 2-3 TD day very attainable.

Can't get enough Andy Behrens, Brandon Funston, Scott Pianowski, Dalton Del Don and "The Noise?" Listen to The Fantasy Freak Show (Now on iTunes) every Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Yahoo! Sports Radio

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