Archive for August, 2009

Will Shonn Shine or will I be left Greene behind the gills?
Will Shonn Shine or will I be left Greene behind the gills?

Anyone who plays fantasy football games where you have a 55 man roster always licks their chops at the start of a rookie draft, and I for one am no exception.

I run two 20 team leagues through the use of Action PC 2009 software, and each team has a full 55 man live roster.

The BBFL (Britball Football League) is entering its 4th season in September 2009. Prior to the start of season 4 we have just completed our rookie draft, using only players that were drafted in the 2009 NFL draft.

The rookies drafted will not play in the 2009 BBFL as they need to wait until they have finished the 2009 NFL season and given ratings.

The draft is 100 total picks, and due to some savvy trading I ended up with 9 picks (everyone starts with 5).

I did trade my 1st round pick away just before the start of the rookie draft – but I did end up with Big Ol Albert Haynesworth the $100m defensive tackle.

So here are the 9 picks I made, the position I drafted in the BBFL draft is first and the number in brackets (?) is the place that the player actually got drafted in by their NFL team, and then my reason for drafting….

Pick 34) Shonn Greene RB Iowa (65) Jets

With Thomas Jones looking to either slow down, or even get traded, and Leon Washington making a living as a dynamic 3rd down back/change of pace back/returner Greene could end up the feature back of the Jets for many years to come. Ideally I was looking for Donald Brown but he went at pick #30. Greene has just fallen off the pace in the last week or so and may find it hard to get playing time in September and October. I do think that Greene will get around 70-90 carries in 2009 and catch about 20 passes. One for the future for sure, but in a league full of smart owners I had to grab Greene early.

Pick 36) Alex Mack C California (21) Browns

This was a tougher decision, and one I may come to regret. With 35 picks already made I was nearing to selecting Evander Ziggy Hood, but as I always track all the picks taken I looked to see who had been overlooked. That is where I found Alex Mack. I love drafting offensive linemen as I find it easier to pick up people like WRs as free agent or waiver wire picks. Mack was the first C drafted in the NFL and has a legitimate shot at starting very early on with the Cleveland Browns. No way near a sexy pick but you build teams through offensive and defensive lines.

 

Pick 39) Sean Smith CB Utah (61) Dolphins

I wanted to upgrade my secondary and get someone who can be my 2010 nickel back. Sean Smith had had very high ratings throughout camp and he could end up week 1 as a starter. The Dolphins are a team that are to be respected, and with Jason Taylor looking to give it one last push his defensive colleagues will want to play extra hard. Plenty was on offer at pick #39 but this is one of those gut instinct picks that I will be keeping a keen eye on. Lets hope Smith is over his bout of flu too!

Pick 54) Eben Britton OT Arizona (39) Jaguars

We all know that Dennis Hopper got found out when he noticed Sandra Bullock had an Arizona Wildcat t-shirt on in the only good Speed film, lets hope I dont get found out after drafting Britton. Again I went offensive line, but this time grabbing an offensive tackle that should start from day one with fellow rookie Eugene Monroe. The Jags need Britton and Monroe to perform if they are to help Maurice Jones-Drew live up to the unbelievable amount of hype given to him as the 2nd best fantasy running back available in the whole of the NFL. I dont think MJD will be as good as everyone thinks and this thought will be explored later in this draft.

Pick 59) Michael Johnson DE Georgia Tech (70) Bengals

Anytime you draft a player selected by the Bengals you do have to take a long hard look at the guy’s criminal record. The Bengals love to select people who have a bit of and edge (even if that means being outside the law). At 6ft 7 Johnson is a beast, who played TE and was a basketball stud too. Either Marvin Lewis is a genius or maybe there is a genuine reason Johnson did not get selected by an NFL team until round 3. Johnson could make a big impression early but it takes an exceptionally talented DE to make an impact as a rookie.

Pick 76) Al Afalava S Oregon State (190) Bears

I had two owners Instant Message me about 5 minutes after this pick, cursing my name under their breath, so I knew I had done something right. Afalava is competing against Daniel Manning for a significant role in the Bears secondary. Shows I do my homework. Too many people in my league try to pick players that are in the same pick area as their NFL counterpart, so to see me dip down 114 picks must have been somewhat of a shock. Reading Bears fans forums they like Afalava and think he can lay the wood. Not sure he is the best coverage guy but then again he is a safety and not a cornerback. Check out Afalava cleaning an opponents clock in his college days.

Pick 83) Rashad Jennings RB Liberty (250) Jaguars

Have to admit I had my eye on Jennings throughout the entire draft as I just love this guy. Having already drafted a Jags offensive lineman this makes me look like a Jacksonville fan I know. Jennings is the original ‘dark horse’ and providing he stays fit he could get 300-400 yards on the ground. Someone has to pick up the carries that Fred Taylor has taken to New England and who the hell is Chauncey Washington anyway? Yes Greg Jones will get some work but Jennings is the ace up Jack Del Rio’s sleeve.

Pick 84) Brian Hartline WR Ohio State (108) Dolphins

Around this time it does start becoming a bit of a crapshoot, and you tend to either hit gold or a big lump of worthless rock. Hartline is projected to end up anywhere from #2 WR to #5WR and this spectrum of possibilities in a team that does not have a mega star wr makes Hartline a worthwhile bet. Pennington wants reliable hands and accurate rout running wideouts, and this is what Hartline provides. As a guy who has played in a BCS title game he has the pedigree to be a success.

Pick 94) Sebastian Vollmer OT Houston (58) Patriots

Call it a bit of European favouritism if you like but the German born Vollmer landed in a great situation when he was drafted in the 2nd round by the Pats. This is why I was very surprised to find him on the board at pick 94 in my league draft. Vollmer is a converted tight end who played in Germany in this decade. Here in England we generally root against any sort of German athlete, but in this instance I will have to make an exception. Vollmer is one injury away from blocking for God – oops I mean Tom Brady.

Here is the full 2009 BBFL rookie draft (with 3 picks still to be made);

ROUND 1

1) 2.00pm Cleveland Aaron Curry OLB (4)

2) 2.15pm Oakland BJ Raji DT (9)

3) 2.30pm Buffalo Jason Smith OT (2)

4) 2.45pm Carolina Brian Orakpo LB (13)

5) 3.00pm Tampa Bay Matt Stafford QB (1)

6) 3.15pm Carolina Percy Harvin WR (22)

7) 3.30pm Buffalo Mark Sanchez QB (5)

8) 3.45pm Denver Michael Crabtree WR (10)

9) 4.00pm KC Michael Oher OT (23)

10) 4.15pm Detroit LB Ray Maualuga (38)

11) 4.30pm Miami James Laurinitis (35)

12) 4.45pm Tenn DE Aaron Maybin (11)

13) 5.00pm Green Bay Patrick Chung S (34)

14) 5.15pm Buffalo Malcolm Jenkins CB (14)

15) 5.30pm St Louis Lesean Shady McCoy RB (53)

16) 5.45pm Dallas Peria Jerry DT (from list) (24)

17) 6.00pm Carolina Tyson Jackson DE (3)

18) 6.15pm NYG Eugene Monroe OT (8)

19) 6.30pm Buffalo Brian Cushing OLB (15)

20) 6.45pm Tenn Andre Smith OT (6)

ROUND 2

1) 2.00pm Cleveland Chris “Beanie” Wells RB (31)

2) 2.15pm Oakland Darius Heyward-Bey (7)

3) 2.30pm Buffalo Vontae Davis CB (25)

4) 2.45pm Baltimore Jeremy Maclin WR (19)

5) 3.00pm Tampa Bay Hakeem Nicks WR (30)

6) 3.15pm Jacksonville Phil Loadholt OT (54)

7) 3.30pm Minnesota Eric Wood (28)

8) 3.45pm Denver Aphonso Smith CB (38)

9) 4.00pm Kansas City Robert Ayres DE (29)

10) 4.15pm New England Donald Brown RB (27)

11) 4.30pm Miami Larry English LB (16)

12) 4.45pm Tennessee Clay Matthews (26)

13) 5.00pm Green Bay Knowshon Moreno RB (12)

14) 5.15pm Washington Shonn Greene RB (65)

15) 5.30pm Indianapolis Clint Sintim OLB

16) 5.45pm Washington Alex Mack C (21)

17) 6.00pm Carolina Glen Coffee RB

18) 6.15pm NY Giants Josh Freeman QB

19) 6.30pm Tennessee Evander Ziggy Hood DL

20) 6.45pm Kansas City Louis Delmas S

Round 3

1) 200pm Cleveland Kenny Britt WR

2) 215pm Oakland Ron Brace DT

3) 230pm Buffalo Darius Butler CB

4) 245pm Baltimore Mohammed Massaquoi WR

5) 300pm St Louis Everette Brown DE

6) 315pm Tennessee William Moore S

7) 330pm Minnesota Pat White QB

8) 345pm Denver Connor Barwin DE

9) 400pm Washington Sean Smith CB

10) 415pm New England Paul Kruger DE

11) 430pm Miami Max Unger C

12) 445pm Tenn Jared Cook TE

13) 500pm Green Bay Brian Robiskie WR

14) 515pm Washington Eben Britten OT

15) 530pm Indianapolis Fili Moala DT

16) 545pm Indianapolis Austin Collie WR

17) 600pm Carolina Brandon Pettigrew TE

18) 615pm NYG Jarius Byrd S

19) 630pm Washington Michael Johnson DE

20) 645pm St Louis Jarron Gibert DT

Round 4

1) 200pm Cleveland Roy Miller DT

2) 215pm St Louis Chase Coffman TE

3) 230pm Minnesota Kraig Urbik OT

4) 245pm Baltimore Ramses Barden WR

5) 300pm St Louis Deon Butler WR

6) 315pm Jax Sherrod Marton S

7) 330pm Minnesota Darcel McBath CB

8) 345pm St Louis James Davis RB

9) 400pm Miami Juaqin Inglesias WR

10) 415pm New England

11) 430pm Miami Patrick Turner WR

12) 445pm Tenn Andy Levitre OG

13) 500pm Green Bay Lawrence Sidbury DE

14) 515pm St Louis Javon Ringer RB

15) 530pm Indianapolis Kaluka Maiava LB

16) 545pm Washington Al Afalava S

17) 600pm Carolina Mike Wallace WR

18) 615pm NY Giants Louis Vasquez OG

19) 630pm Philadelphia Mike Mitchell S

20) 645pm Tampa Bay Jarrett Dillard WR

Round 5

1) 200pm Tennessee Rashad Johnson S

2) 215pm St Louis Mike Thomas WR

3) 230pm Washington Rashad Jennings RB

4) 245pm Washington Brian Hartline WR

5) 300pm St Louis List Ladarius Webb CB

6) 315pm New York Giants Sen’Derrick Marks DT

7) 330pm Minnesota Mike Goodson RB

8) 345pm Denver Nick Reed DE

9) 400pm Kansas City Nate Davis QB

10) 415pm New England

11) 430pm Miami Johnny Knox WR

12) 445pm Tampa Bay Derek Cox CB

13) 500pm Green Bay Seth Olsen OL

14) 515pm Washington Sebastian Vollmer OT

15) 530pm Indianapolis William Beatty OT

16) 545pm Dallas Stephen Hodge S

17) 600pm Carolina Terrence Knighton DT

18) 615pm New York Giants Jasper Brinkley MLB

19) 630pm Philadelphia David Veikune LB

20) 645pm Indianapolis

Any thoughts on my picks???

What on earth will Trapasso do for an encore???
What on earth will Trapasso do for an encore???

Forget that OAP in purple, move over Chad ‘whatever your surname is this week’, take a walk to the sidelines golden-boy Brady, the 2009 NFL Pre Season is all about one man.

Yes he is a rookie, but I’m not talking about Donald Brown, Shady McCoy, Mark ‘pretty boy’ Sanchez, or even the cord-fed farm boy Matthew Stafford.

The true superstar of this early preview of the 2009 NFL season is Tennessee Titans undrafted free agent punter Albert Joseph Trapasso known to the world as A.J. Trapasso.

Not content with making headlines in Week 1 of the pre-season for scoring the FIRST touchdown of the year in the Hall of Fame game (on a perfectly executed fake punt run), Trapasso decided to make the highlight reel AGAIN in week 2.

To outdo himself the former Ohio State Buckeye decided to mess up the scoreboard at the new but traditionally named Cowboys Stadium.

His skyrocket punt had to be done 0ver after he lofted the pigskin into the base of the giant scoreboard, falling to earth with snow, and fragments of moonrock dust. See below.

Trapasso was signed as a rookie free agent by the Titans on April 30 2009, after booting the ball for four years for the Buckeyes. With vet punter Craig Hentrich injured and Tennessee cutting Josh Miller earlier in the week Mr Trapasso could become the Cinderella figure of the 2009 NFL season.

On closer inspection Trapasso’s run in Week 1 (preseason) was no coincidence – the Columbus Ohio native was an outstanding high school running back at Pickerington (Ohio) High School. 3,754 yards and 50 touchdowns in High School is a set of stats to be very proud of. Trapasso was also a two time all state High School selection.

I doubt Ill write a post about a punter for another year, but with the A.J. Trapasso book still being written I cannot wait to see what is on the next page…..

Go A.J – you are my new rookie punting hero !

Henry could be in for a HUGE 2009

Henry could be in for a HUGE 2009

With week 1 of the 2009 NFL pre-season games already in the record books there is not that much to really report of note (that is if we are talking about action that took place ON the field).

With teams using the pre-season to experiment, and to find out if their 4th string undrafted free agent quarterback is any good, its hardly the time to make final fantasy football draft decisions.

There are a few exceptions though, with some veteran players really wanting to prove a point, to use the pre-season to potentially come out from under the proverbial rock or to move out from under the shadow of a now departed colleague they backed up.

This is where Chris Henry has sparkled like a golden nugget in a prospectors pan (yes this analogy would have been far more impressive if Henry was a 49er).

The Cincinnati Bengals wideout is in his 5thseason now, having only caught 107 passes in his first four seasons, hardly figures that have anyone drooling at the mouth.

Henry had 7 catches for 100 yards and a score in the Bengals pre-season opening loss to the Saints.

It’s only pre-season but if Henry was to duplicate that little cameo on a consistent basis he could record 100 catches for 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Huge figures that on the surface look ridiculously over inflated, but if we dig a bit deeper there are some big factors to consider.

1) TJ Houshmandzadeh is gone (now a Seahawk having cafe lattes with Fraiser Crane at Cafe Nervosa). Housh had a mindblowing 294 catches in the last three NFL seasons – someone has to replace them.

2) Reggie Kelly the TE is out for the season for the Bengals, and Ben Utecht is injured. Cincy will go into the season relying on a rookie TE – this again means Henry will get more looks.

3) If Chad Ocho Cinco De Mayo Johnson can get back to his old Pro Bowl self he will draw a lot of double teams coverage – again leaving Henry with a #2 CB.

4) At 6 ft 4 Henry has the height to out jump shorter corners and has the speed to out run gambling safeties like Troy Polamalu.

5) 107 catches in his career is poor, but 19 touchdowns from those few balls is a remarkable 17.7% touchdown per catch likelihood rate. This makes Henry a fantastic red zone target.

6) Carson Palmer missed most of 2008 so he will be determined to come back on fire and throw between 3,000 and 4,000 yards passing, meaning he will be looking to air the ball out where possible and he needs targets he can trust, and ones he has worked with before.

Henry has never had such an opportunity to turn his ‘potential’ into ‘performance’ – it may be now or never for Chris Henry – stay tuned, and if he becomes a fantasy stud remember NFL FAN IN ENGLAND told you so.

Wipe that Mona Lisa smile of  your face Vick

Wipe that Mona Lisa smile of your face Vick

If there is one thing that I have learned from this whole sorry Michael Vick saga it is how hypocritical American sports reporters are. Forgiving Vick for his dog fighting is weak and pathetic.

Yes Vick served his time in prison, but are we just supposed to all go ‘well gee what a model citizen he is is – we forgive him for being a sicko who trained dogs to maim and kill each other’ ?

Am I the only one to see through all this utter nonsense and say Vick should not be earning millions of dollars doing something he loves?

I have always hated the Philadelphia Eagles, as a lifelong Redskins fan, but my hatred has been of a controlled divisional rival type, one where I do not wish an Eagles players to get hurt, just one where I hope the lose more games than they win each season.

All the mythology about Eagles fans at the Vet throwing snowballs at Santa Claus – forget that – I say any visiting fans should visit a building site before they arrive at Veterans Stadium in order to stock up with bricks.

In fact why not make the Eagles home opener on 20 September v the New Orleans Saints should be renamed ‘Throw a Brick at Vick’ Day.

I dont ask for much in life, but I would like to see Michael Vick stripped naked and then get him to step into a small cage and take on three starved pitbulls. Screw the jail sentence where he was probably seen as some cheap hero by his peers.

Roger Goodell you are a weak man. Jeffrey Lurie you need to look at yourself in the mirror.

Today is a sad day for the morality of mankind.

Perhaps the best example of the Madden Curse
Perhaps the best example of the Madden Curse

I’m here instead to raise my concerns about the health, happiness, well-being and possibly mortality of Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Steelers S Troy Polamalu.

They are the new faces of the Madden computer game.

Lets look at the fate of previous Madden stars

09 – Brett Favre QB – was pictured in Packers and Jets uniform but either way he crashed and burned late in the season and left his record setting career on a pretty awful note, hence his flirting with the Vikings.

08 – Vince Young QB – He is now backing up Kerry Collins – yep Kerry Collins. Young is about one cameo apperance from becoming the next Akili Smith

07- Shaun Alexander RB – In 2006 Alexander had his highest number of career fumbles and missed 6 games. His career has gone down quicker than Gillian Tailforth in a Little Chef car park.

06 – Donovan McNabb QB – In 05 McNabb only managed 9 games.

05 – Ray Lewis LB – Anyone for murder charges?

04 – Michael Vick QB – Enough said – 2 years in prison and global hatred from every dog lover

03 – Marshall Faulk RB – Only 10 starts and the first time in 6 years he rushed for under 1,000 yards

02 – Daunte Culpepper QB – 16 starts in 2000, 16 starts in 2002 – but in 2001 when he was on the Madden cover only 11 games.

01 – Eddie George RB – Only Madden cover star to have a MONSTER season – 1,962 combined yards and 16 touchdowns.

I have Fitz in one of my NFL.com fantasy teams so I hope he stays fit.

It is pretty much a guarantee though that Fitz or Polamalw will suffer somewhat and I would put £10 on that both of them will combine to play under 30 games this season between them.

What u guys think – nonsense or curse of the cover?