Tuesday, October 1, 2013


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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Super Contest Picks, Week 4

This year, for the first time I am participating in a local version of the Las Vegas Hilton Super Contest. Its pretty simple; you submit 5 game picks against the Vegas spread (set on Wednesday) listed under "Weekly Card" each week. A win is worth 1 points, a tie worth a half, and a loss worth 0. The person with the most points at the end of the season wins. Each week I will give you my picks with the spread and why I picked it. Hopefully we can see how good I am at being lucky.

I've had some humbling experiences in my life and this ranks up there. The first week I decide to post my picks here I pick up a bagel. Ofer. Zippy. The Vikings showed that they can't beat a team who already gave up in the morning (PST) and it didn't get better from there. I attended the Colts-Niners game to see the match-up of Andrew Luck against his old coach, Jim Harbaugh (more on that at a later date) so I didn't get to sit in front of Sunday ticket all day and see myself get wrecked. Truly, I didn't feel like I had a good grasp on what would happen that week and I think the experience taught me a lesson - Vegas skews these numbers to make you pick certain games the way they want. They know somehow that there are sucker bets they can make some serious cash on. Look at the Vikings Browns game, look at the Falcon Dolphins game. Both looked like easy money, but the team that the bettors took more, lost. So my advice - go away from what the betting public will do. Here are my picks

Week 4

Steelers (-2.5) over Vikings (in London)

The Steelers D has not been terrible this year and give Dick Lebeau a one-dimensional offense like the one the Vikings are offering this year and he will feast. The Steelers will go up a score early and force a couple turnovers (although they have 0 through three games) and make Matt Cassel uncomfortable.

Ravens (-3) over Bills*

Are these Ravens for real? I guess so. I think they will have a little extra this week after Ray Ray's comments. They will blitz this rookie Bills QB and show him what real NFL speed is.

 Cardinals (+2.5) over Bucs*

This is a toughy since both teams have been inconsistent and generally terrible. I am looking for Larry Fitz to come back a little healthier this week and the Bucs continue to be in disarray even with the inevitable change from Josh Freeman to Mike Glennon. And I think home field is pretty irrelevant here as those fans have all but given up on that team (Sorry, Tampa!)

Lions* (-3) over Bears

This is the one. When I first saw this, it looked like common sense to take the Bears with three points even though its in Detroit. But thinking about it more, I really think Vegas knows something here and will get the bettors to take the Bears. The Bears have been very average, beating sub-par teams on their way to 3-0 but the Lions have also shown to be competent on both sides of the ball.

Falcons* (-2.5) over Patriots

The Pats are 3-0, but the worst undefeated team in the league. Do we finally have cracks in the Brady-Belichick era (I wonder if they like the fact that they will forever be connected)? They have struggled against two teams who were supposed to be horrible with rookie QBs (Jets and Bills) and a team who is falling apart at the seams and whose coach had given up on their QB (Bucs). The Falcons continue to fly under the radar as a very good team taking big first half leads in their first two games before running up against a surprising good Dolphins team.

God Speed, my picks.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Brains, Looks, Wild Card Week 4

Each week I will try to bring you the brainy pick of the week, the guy who is the no doubt starter in all leagues; the guy who looks like hes going to come up with a big week but will disappoint; and the wildcard, the guy who is going to come from nowhere to have a big week.  

I've decided that my attempt at adding pictures within pictures was looking awful, but I want to keep putting in some sort of pictures because it jazzes the whole thing up a bit plus its fun to continue to find "Wild Card" pictures. Also, why not present the info in a more organized form? Let's try this in a table this week.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fantasy Football Week 4 Starts and Sits


Tony Romo (QB, DAL) - Romo hasn't been a great fantasy QB this year (currently 14th) but this week he is facing the abysmal Chargers pass D.  The Chargers rank last in passing yards allowed this season and Romo has the weapons to really pick them apart through the air.  Romo is a must start this week.

Terrelle Pryor (QB, OAK) - Pryor is facing possibly the worst defense in the league this week, the Redskins. Or the Washington professional football team.  Whichever you prefer.  Regardless of what you call them, Washington is just plain terrible this year against the pass and the run, ranking 31st in both.  All this points to Pryor having a nice fantasy game.  With Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton on bye teams will be searching for a QB fill-in this week and Pryor is the guy to target.

Frank Gore (RB, SF) - Gore has been a disappointment this year but he seemed to get things back on track last week.  This week he faces a Rams defense that is giving up over 100 yards a game. Enough said.

Bilal Powell (RB, NYJ) - Powell has been taking carries from Chris Ivory every week and really distanced himself last week. Geno Smith actually looks like a competent QB that defenses have to respect which will continue to open things up for Powell.

Emmanuel Sanders (WR, PIT) - The Vikings have only given up 80 yards less through the air than the Chargers which bodes well for Sanders this week.  The Steelers running game is essentially non-existent and the Vikings know this.  Watch for the Vikings to attempt to shut down Antonio Brown leaving Sanders to carry the load. With the Packers three wide receivers and Steve Smith on bye this week Sanders is a solid WR2/Flex play.

Brian Hartline (WR, MIA) - Hartline has been one of the most consistent guys in the league so far at WR. He has had at least 4 catches and 50 yards in each game this year to go along with 2 TDs. He has 29 targets so far this year more than the likes of Victor Cruz, Brandon Marshall, and Wes Welker. As Mike Wallace complains about getting the ball, Hartline has seemed to gain the emerging Tannehill's (Wow, I can't believe I just used those two words back-to-back) trust.


Eli Manning (QB, NYG) - Eli is facing the number one fantasy defense this week, the Chiefs.  The Chiefs can fully commit to stopping the Giants passing game because the Giants don't trust any of their running backs.  Tom Coughlin is on the hot seat and Eli and that miserable offensive line won't help his situation this week.

Sam Bradford (QB, STL) - Bradford has put up really good numbers so far this year, but he has been in many games where he needs to throw the ball a lot after his team gets in a big hole early. This week he takes on a San Francisco defense that didn't allow Andrew Luck to do much last week through the air despite giving up 27 points and will have something to prove after that beat down.

Benjarvus Green-Ellis (RB, CIN) - Green-Ellis took a back seat to rookie Giovani Bernard last week.  While Green-Ellis will continue to get the short yardage and goal line work his fantasy value is too touchdown dependent.  The Bengals are also playing the vastly improved Browns defense this week which also hinders his value.

Darren Sproles (RB, NO) - Sproles just can't seem to get it together this year.  Last week appeared to be the week for Sproles to get it on track.  Mark Ingram was out and the Saints were facing a sub-par Cardinals defense.  Sproles proceeded to only score 5.6 points and only carried the ball three times.  Sproles will continue to be involved in the passing game but he shouldn't be counted on as anything more than a Flex option until he begins to produce like he has in the past.

Ryan Mathews (RB, SD) - Dallas is only allowing 66/ypg on the ground this year.  Mathews has yet to live up to the hype he rode into the NFL and is beginning to lose carries to Danny Woodhead. To make matters worse Ronnie Brown took the only goal line carry last week and converted the opportunity. 

Roddy White (WR, ATL) - White has been admirable in acting as a decoy for Julio Jones but he's not going to get healthy by playing injured every week.  The Patriots have the fourth best pass D and White has produced anywhere near a starting caliber WR this year. Sit White until he gets healthy.

Andre Johnson (WR, HOU) - Not only has Johnson been slowed by injuries the last couple weeks (concussion, shin), but this week he gets to face the cocky Richard Sherman who also happens to be one of the best cover guys in the league. The 32(!) year old will have some trouble and Schaub has already started to trust the rookie DeAndre Hopkins. I hope Sherman gets under his skin and we get to see another beat down not because I don't like Sherman, but because that was awesome.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Week 4 Fantasy Football Pickups

This is the first week that you will have to deal with players on byes.  Picking up the right player can be the difference between winning and losing your matchup.  The Panthers and Packers are on bye this week which means two top 5 quarterbacks are out this week along with several key receivers and DeAngelo Williams.  Here are some guys that are great fill-ins this week or worthy of rostering for the foreseeable future. 

Philip Rivers QB Chargers - Rivers only scored 10.5 points in Week 3 but he still had a pretty good day that just didn't translate into a good fantasy day.  Rivers completed 20 of 24 passes with only one touchdown and no picks.  If Rivers throws another TD he has a respectable fantasy day.  

Alex Smith QB Chiefs - Smith is never going to be a great fantasy QB, he doesn't throw downfield and looks inside of 10 yards on most passes.  With that being said the Chiefs play the Giants in Week 4.  The Giants secondary has been terrible this year and are coming off a Week 3 performance where they gave up three passing TD's to Cam Newton.  

Stephen Hill WR Jets - There are four impact wide receivers on bye this week and Hill has proven to be a good combo with Geno Smith.  Hill is still pretty raw but was compared to Calvin Johnson coming out of college for a reason.  The guy is huge and he can go up and get the ball.  Hill had over 100 yards receiving in Week 3 and should be a good pickup for bye week plug-ins for the rest of the year.

Bilal Powell RB Jets - Amazingly another Jet makes the list! Powell has shown through the first three weeks that he is a better runner than Chris Ivory.  Coming off a 100+ yard weeks against the Bills look for Poweel to see most of the carries the rest of the way unless Ivory really turns things around.  Starting running backs are hard to come by and Powell is still available in nearly 40% of leagues

Caleb Sturgis K Dolphins - Sturgis is a fifth round rookie out of Florida who has looked impressive during his first three weeks in the NFL.  Kicker is often overlooked during the season but having the right guy can really make a difference.  Sturgis is worth owing over 86% owned Randy Bullock.

Chiefs D - The Chiefs have been one of the biggest surprises so far this season and a big reason is because of their defense.  Most were unwilling to buy into the hype but after shutting down a potent Eagles offense in Week 3 the Chiefs look like the real deal. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Super Contest Picks, Week 3

This year, for the first time I am participating in a local version of the Las Vegas Hilton Super Contest. Its pretty simple; you submit 5 game picks against the Vegas spread (set on Wednesday) listed under "Weekly Card" each week. A win is worth 1 points, a tie worth a half, and a loss worth 0. The person with the most points at the end of the season wins. Each week I will give you my picks with the spread and why I picked it. Hopefully we can see how good I am at being lucky.

I have picked weeks 1 and 2 and scored 5.5 points (out of a possible 10) which puts me at 2nd out of 14 people in my pool.

Week 3

Vikings* (-5.5) over Browns

This is the most obvious pick so far this season due to the fact that the line was set before the Trent Richardson deal blew the sports blog up on Wednesday. The Browns offense really couldn't have gotten worse and who knows Bryan Hoyer may actually be an upgrade from Brandon Weeden, but I still think the Vikings can pound it out enough with AP and get the W by at least a touchdown.

20 - 12 Vikings

Bucs (+7) over Patriots*

The Bucs are a mess with their QB and coach apparently at odds and that's no good for anyone, but they have stayed in both games so far this season and shown some rays of hope. The Patriots on the other hand have won two games that looked more like high school football. Is the Belichick/Brady stranglehold finally over? This guy says yes. The Bucs wont be able to pull out a win in Foxboro but will keep it close.

17 - 13 Pats

Rams (+4) over Cowboys

The Rams fought hard last week in a game against the superior Falcons in Atlanta. They went down more than two scores early but kept it interesting in the second half. They will be this year's Mike McD keeping every game close. Couple that with the clutchness of Tony Romo and this one will come right down to the end.

28 - 27 Cowboys

Bills (+2.5) over Jets*

I was salivating pretty hard when I saw this one. Why the hell would you give anyone besides the Jags (and maybe the Browns) points against the Jets? The Jets have played the Bucs and Pats and as I said above, neither of those teams look very good or stable. The Bills, on the other hand, have looked very calm and capable so far this year with E.J. Manuel under center and played the Patriots in a game that resembled college level play. The wildcard here though is will Geno come out with a chip on his shoulder and prove to the team that passed over him that they made the wrong choice? I say no, he will continue to stuggle with his lack of weapons.

20 - 10 Bills

Raiders (+15) over Broncos

Ok, admittedly I don't feel very good about this one, but you know what? Sometimes crazy crap happens in the NFL and I am counting on Peyton and his otherworldly offense to have a slightly off week (he's gotta throw a pickle (new word for interception, get on the bandwagon) at some point right?). I also am hoping that the Tyrelle Pryor/Darren McFadden combo can chew some yards up on the ground and limit Peyton's possessions. The Raiders aren't going to set the world on fire, but they are going to get that late TD that pisses everyone except Vegas off.

34 - 20 Broncos

* Denotes home team