Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We're Two Days Away From the Deadline...

And while some of the big dominoes still have room to fall, we have to discuss where we are, right? Who's won, who's lost, and who's yet to make a stand.

Who's won?

Philadelphia: They've acquired Cliff Lee and a great 4th outfielder in Ben Fransisco and they did not have to give up any of the pieces that stopped them from committing to Roy Halladay. Now I like Carrasco, and Marson has great hitting potential, but they were able to keep Michael Taylor and J.A. Happ as well as Kyle Drabek. It's the piece they needed, and they didn't have to give up anything.

Cleveland: At present, they've infused themselves with seven top ten prospects from three pretty good systems. Jason Knapp is in A-Ball and Jason Donald has pretty well sucked this year, but for a guy that was going to get squeezed out and a guy they couldn't afford? They got a B+ worth of value. And when you add in the two power relievers they got for DeRosa and Scott Barnes, an already good system gets better. They may be waiting for next year, but there's hope in Cleveland.

Who's lost?

San Fransisco: Long term, my gut says they've made a huge terrible mistake. Not to say that the offense they have won't get better because of Ryan Garko and Freddy Sanchez, but come on. Tim Alderson is kicking ass in Double-A and Scott Barnes looks like he's going to be goods. And is it that going to be that big of an upgrade over Travis Ishikawa and Eugenio Velez? No. Brian Sabean is such an idiot.

Somewhere in the Middle?

Seattle: I'd lean toward this being a loss. If you're going to move to a sell, you need to start playing your prospects. I mean, Ryan Langerhans is a bad stopgap. A real bad one. To keep Langerhans and dump Wladimir Balentin for a junkball reliever? Bad sauce.

And cosidering the Mariners catching situation, I would be baffled by dealing Jeff Clement. But Ian Snell was the best player in the deal by far. I mean, Jack Wilson sucks, but the Pirates are paying some salary. And odds are one of the three pitchers the Pirates will get there? But they are bottom third prospects in a bad organization. My money's on Brett Lorin.

And Dan Cortes is bound to find the plate eventually, right?

Pittsburgh: Getting Lastings Milledge? Good. Getting Tim Alderson? Good. The Ian Snell trade? Meh. They have no room for Jeff Clement. And outside of Lorin? There's nobody that interests me. So, B-.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There are two ways this can go for the Brewers.

We all know that your Milwaukee Brewers got launched by the Nationals. More specifically Jeff "Toast" Suppan got launched by the Nationals. And while my personal opinion of Jeff Suppan is something probably unmentionable to polite company, we need to calm down.

This was going to be a tricky needle to thread, if you look at the story of the preseason. Nobody expected the Brewers to be a divisional winner. Few expected them to contend for the wild card. I was banking on the Brewers finding their way based on the inevitable return of Chris Capuano. That didn't happen, and with the injuries for Dave Bush and Seth McClung, the rotation swung strongly into the smoke and mirrors scenario.

And they aren't exactly out of the division race. They're in 4th and under .500 for the first time in a long time, but they are still just four games out. Like I said before? The Nationals are the perfect bellwether for a slumping team.

If they cannot get healthy? It's time to sell.

So far? Off to a bad start.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I hate Jarrod Washburn.

I just do. He has not committed injustice toward me in any form or fashion. Even at his worst? He has never been outright awful. He's just overrated. Especially this season.

Suffice it to say? He's in the middle of a contract drive. Luck is on his side. And he is pitching out of his mind. The team that acquires him will not be getting a pitcher who has an under three ERA. They will be getting someone whose ERA will rise. I don't even care that there will be an AL-NL swing, I will be right stunned if he ends the year with an ERA below three. Make it 3.30.

For Milwaukee? Giving up Alcides Escobar for him would be downright stupid. And I like Branden Morrow. He has a chance to have a run of closer dominance for a good 4-6 years. But asking him to start is the wrong thing to do. He doesn't have the third pitch.

So, I would honestly wait. The Deadline's Friday. The Brewers fans have a sparring partner for these next four days. If disaster strikes, stand pat. If they run the table? Let's see if we can't get Balentien and another prospect thrown in. I like Jharmidy DeJesus.

That's a name you know.

I'm not one for nuance...

But there is a difference between being turned on by someones aesthetic and objectifying them. The difference is blurry, but it's there. Two posts ago, I set a decision to you. I put up some pictures that turned me on. You may see it exploitative, but hey. Potato pototo.

I also know that women don't need my help defending themselves. They're smart and have shaper tongues then your average bear of a dude. This is why (even if I'm one of the last ones to report on this) I am quite annoyed with Electronic Arts. If you don't know about it. Feast your eyes on this. Click the thumbnail.

What this is was EA's promotion for a game called Dante's Inferno. It asked people to "commit acts of lust" toward booth babes. These are women who are attractive and use that attractiveness to promote various acts of of pop culture. And while the intention here was something along the lines of a photo hunt, the wording?

It does seem like an open interpretation to sexually harrass women hired by EA and other companies, let alone random attractive women who decided to come to the comic-con dressed as their favorite character. And no matter their choice of employment. It's never okay to bring that implied invitation to the table.

So in conclusion? EA's marketing staff is more special than the twenty-seven year old slacker who gets outworked by elderly and the mentally low. I may bring a locker room post or two, but I am only marginally dickish. Be classy. Be good and be funny, and you'll have a better shot than just going om nom nom and honking various soft tissue humps.

I'm all over the place today. I dunno.

Palate Cleanser...


Comic-Con Winners!

So you know what? I like comics. I also like movies. So when the powers of comics and movies combine, I switch my purview from sports to Nerd Proms not involving politics. And with San Diego Comic-Con? We're all winners.

Some winners were just more winner. We discuss them here.


This is the reason why James Cameron's taken the better part of a decade off. And from the looks of it? It's going to be awesome. And probably the only the only thing that's going to be worth a damn in 3-D from here on out.

Iron Man 2

Because the first one was awesome. You have Robert Downey as the perfect fit for Tony Stark. You have Jon Favreau as the best mixture of style and substance in direction. Zack Snyder wishes he fly like that. Also...

This could be a very interesting movie. Very interesting.

The Book of Eli

Denzel Washington brings a swagger to any proceedings, and these are people who have a tendency to be the creepy guy hiding in the background. So, he did well. Even if one of the Hughes brothers said "This movie is for people who like graphic novels as well as comic books." Also, a postapocalyptic vision of the future. With Gary Oldman in the role of a lifetime. So yay.

And to a similar extent? Josh Brolin promises to make for a kick ass Jonah Hex.

Attack of the Show

Word on the street was that their panel was legendary. And that always does well. The show that they did for comic-con was also well recieved from the nerd community, for two reasons.

I mean after I punch myself in the balls for that statement, I just have to say that that costume is a wonder of structural engineering. And that's solely the reason why I posted this picture. And this one.

Yep. I did it. I did it and I'm proud. I'm like the security guard on the left in text form.

Now to shake my head and slowly back away from it.

Poker Players America's Role Models: Frank Wiese.

So the poker boom may be over regardless of Phil Ivey's magical run to the final table. That doesn't mean you can't find someone who wants to exploit it. Enter Frank Wiese. And enter the best bad commercial...of all time!

On the scale of 1 to 10? This has an unitentional comedy scale of an 7.5. Poker fans will give it a 9.

Cold Chilling at the Halladay Inn

Let me propose something. Let me propose the premise that J.P. Riccardi is about to outhink himself on the Roy Halladay front. He wants the moon and the stars coming back in return. And rightfully so. You get a pitcher of Halladay's caliber coming back for 2010.

That being said? He's treading dangerous ground. Why? Because he's letting offers pass that many would consider strong hauls for the pitcher. Philly has an offer of J.A. Happ, Michael Taylor, Carlos Carrasco, and Jason Donald. Put this another way.

J.A. Happ is a pitcher who's been strong in a hitters park. Michael Taylor killed pitchers dead in his half-season of AA. Carrasco? He's had to deal with a .330 BABIP and bad luck with homers. And Jason Donald is struggling after coming back from an injury.

It's not a 12 out of 10 in terms of the highway robbery scale, but Michael Taylor's coming quickly and coming strong. Happ would be moving to a pitchers park, which would help offset any changes in talent. Carrasco is having a fluky season of bad luck. And Jason Donald is kind of sucky this year, but that's beside the point.

The point is, Riccardi is not going to get anywhere near a haul that he could get this season if he decides that he's going to wait until next year. The Indians got two players who might be worth a damn for Sabathia. If he's going to wait for someone to blink, he may be sorely mistaken.

And he may lose out on a real chance to help for the future because of it.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The teased Bus Leagues Baseball post is here...

I'm talking about how the Brewers will likely lose their playoff chances for the inability to have a pitcher maintain their health or gain knowledge legally. It's time for you to get learned. It's time for you to find out why Alexandre Periard and Jeremy Jeffress have taken a FUBAR to the head of the Brewers Chances.

Go here now.

Yes now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm going to roll out of bed with a string of ramblings...

I've got to get shit out of my head. And I'm going to make swings and take swings. Randomness here and randomness there.

Now, I'm never going to be a baseball manager, but if I was Ken Macha and I had a pitcher who struggled so mightily in the first half? If he was showing success with the back-up catcher, he would get the back-up catcher. Craig Counsell may suck, but he'll get on base enough to have it be worth your time if you're desperate.

Speaking of desperation? The Brewers do entirely reek of it. Matt Holliday goes to St. Louis and gets the Pujols bump in his stats. The Astros are inexplicably in the middle of this. And while somebody said the Cubs were bound to have injuries sink them? The pack has kept them in it.

Do they make a move and kill the future to cold chill at the present in the Halladay in? I have to say no. Halladay is great. But does he get the Brewers a chance at a pennant? No. I can't see an Escobar, Parra, Hart, and Brett Lawrie package not killing the Brewers future. We've been marginalized.

Or for the want of sticky icky, a division championship has been lost.

Here's what I want to say about Deadspin. It has gotten worse. I don't blame Daulerio. Any newbie was going to get pushed over to get the blog more into the Yellow Journalisitic gawker ideal. I'm not hating the player, but man, fuck the game.

Isiah Whitlock, Jr. is a character actor who always brings a charismatic force and Nolan Richardsonish looks to whatever role he plays. Sadly, no one will remember him for anything beyond being the sheeit guy. HE WAS DOC LOUIS, DAMNIT!

He was Doc Louis.

Now I'm not one for guilty pleasures, but Degrassi: The Next Generation has one of the great modern portrayals of the Byronic Hero.

And when Santino Marella can't save a comedy sketch? You have negative charisma.

And if you're in a keeper league and you lose 4 of your top ten draft picks to the DL in a 30-team 34 set-up? It's not your year.

Having Vincente Padilla as a keeper is just retarded. I'm just saying, Bill Simmons, fantasy expert.

Has Starbury gone back to a manic indie thrill? I say yes. It's a wonderful thing. The Starbury as cancer meme is dying out.

Jerryd Bayless. Offer Portland a 1 or twelve twos. You will not be disappointed.

I know, it's just like a twitter feed. But you know what? You get to read it here. I may post something on Bus Leagues this weekend, I may not. Something sparked a hint of creativity.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Buherle Bear Network...

By now you know, Mark Buehrle tossed a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. (Why? Because they let Juan Uribe go!) And while this is truly an august feat, rarer than anything beyond a 100 extra base hit season. This is not a guarantee of immortality.

For there have been 17 perfect games before today, and there's an interesting fact. If you count Mike Witt? There has been as much mediocrity as there has been Immortality who achieved this one shining moment.

Mike Witt finished 117-116 as he is the Mendoza line for perfect mediocrity. Len Barker, Charlie Robertson, Don Larsen, and Lee Richmond all finished under .500 and all had an ERA+ under 100.

And we have the immortal division of Cy Young, Addie Joss, Catfish Hunter, Jim Bunning, and Sandy Koufax. These are hall of famers and these are well-regarded legends of baseball. And what do these ten pitchers have in common?

I thought none of them would begoing to have Mark Buherle join their ranks. Sure, he's one of the two active pitchers who now have hit 27 up and 27 down in nine innings. But does he have a chance to surpass the levels of Dennis Martinez and Kenny Rogers? Absolutely. Is he better than David Cone? In terms of ERA+ Actually yes.

I guess what I'm saying here is, Mark is a very underrated pitcher. He's quietly been great. But are we at a point where we can consider his stuff Hall of Fame? Not yet. He'd need to have seven or eight more years of solid and not try to hang on above and beyond the pale of his career. If Jim Kaat and David Cone were smart enough to quit while they were ahead, maybe there would be stronger consideration to their whole hall of fame divinity.

Final analysis? Buerhle's case is stronger than I originally thought, but he has a long way to go. Perfection helps, but he needs a ring or another 125-150 wins.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Okay, I'll level with you.

I don't have much to say. I'm waiting for waiver claims on my fantasy baseball team. It's has all the excitement of ZZ Top doing comedy sketchs or me talking about my simulated college football team and their jackassery. I mean, it's awesome that I have to have a problem every simulated week.

But anyway. If I find an angle between now and when I go to sleep? Gold. If I do not? We'll talk tomorrow.

Has Steve Nash decided to mail it in?


Okay, that's mean. But here's the thing. The Suns window has shut. This isn't going to be a team that's going to make a run at the Lakers or the Spurs in the next two seasons. And if you really cared about winning a championship? You would try to find a different team to ply your trade.

Not to say that he's not going to stay on a 40 win team. A line-up of Nash-JRich-Clark-Frye-Amare is going to be a solid team. However? It's going to fall short. They don't have a back-up point guard who can solve the puzzle and stopgap when Nash wears down. And he will.

But you know what? That's okay. They don't have the expectations. They're just going to be fun. Fun and flirty.

That's right. The 2009 Phoenix Suns are 13 Going on 30!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Milwaukee Bucks: 1080p Black and White Basketball.

It seems as if the Milwaukee Bucks are in a deep state of disunity. You have a team that seems to keep grabbing pieces for a seven seconds or less offense. I mean you could get together a five of Sessions/Jennings, Meeks/Weems, Mbah a Moute, Alexander, and Amir Johnson and run another team out of the gym.

John Hammond has brought a lot of interesting pieces together in an effort to restart the Bucks. And this has made the Bucks offseason one that you cannot put a letter grade on by October. There are a lot of pieces, and if we had a digital coach? These pieces would be a spectacular fit. That's the other problem.

Scott Skiles loves Luke Ridnour. It's annoying on so many levels. Scott Skiles will probably start Bruce Bowen and ride Kurt Thomas until he inevitably breaks down. I mean, look at all the pieces the Bulls had that degenerated under the Skiles regime. You've got that whole thing to worry about.

But you know what? We're not done. There's a long time between now and training camp. Some would say we need to waive Weems to get a shot at Sessions. Some would say we need to waive Bowen and trade Ridnour. Some are saying we're going to let Sessions walk. I'll be honest, I want to like this. I'm talking myself into this.

But there's still moves to be made or not made. I'm not going to walk away on this team just yet. But I'm still tentative as to bless this mess.

But we could see a ten game winning streak the moment Scott Skiles gets fired this offseason.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I'll be honest...

I'm someone who doesn't have the easiest blog to get into. Apparently, you have to read at a seventh grade level to get what I write. And you know what? I like it like that. You must be this smart to ride the ride.

It makes me feel better. It should make you feel better as well. You read something here that's not picture-centric, it instantly bestows upon you a level above and beyond a low brow moron. I'm a touch of class, baby.

That being said? We need sportswriters with a touch of class. In the old school, we had sportswriters who knew how to craft a narrative. You could see a hero find his way against a villain. It gave these games stakes. It gave these stories stakes.

But since Joe Buck decided he was going to get outraged over Randy Moss' fake trou drop? Sports has found it's way into villifying idiots. Not for nothing, and not to name names, but when you live in a world where you have athletes who will consider the death of Michael Jackson as a worse tragedy than 9/11? Something's gone wrong.

We need villains. We need smart villains. We need villains who behave cowardly. We need more players to embrace their inner bastard. In fact, I'm going to make another post. Maybe later, maybe tomorrow. Someone needs one more act to complete his heel turn.

Color yourself teased.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In Doug We Trust...

The news of today, despite the split series with the Reds is a big trade with the Diamondbacks. The Brewers now welcome Felipe Lopez. And this is a trade with no downside until 2013. I love this trade for the Brewers, I want you to love it too.

Here's why this deal is tremendous.

1) The Brewers don't give up a high impact prospect.

I like Cole Gillespie. He has a Mark Kotsayish vibe about him as someone who plays above his tools. But in his first exposure to Triple-A? He's hitting .242. And while Roque Mercedes is killing it in the Florida State League with a closers set of weapons, it's a bullpen guy in class A. You see all sorts of strange happen with relievers who hit double-A for the first time. See: Omar Aguilar.

2) Felipe Lopez is at his best in September and beyond...

Traditionally, Felipe Lopez has been a better second half hitter than a first half hitter. Post All-star break, his OPS is 51 points higher. This moves him from a rich man's Alex Cintron into something worthwhile. But he's shown an ability to get hot in September. Last month of the season? Felipe's gone off for a .299/.362/.438 line. Not to say lock it down by any stretch, but that is most definitely hope we can believe in.

3) The Brewers infield situation gets interesting.

For several reasons. One, Craig Counsell's nigh miraculous .280 start to the season loses the sword of damocles aspect of his final 2007-2008 lines. Two? All of the sudden, the Brewers would have to consider J.J. Hardy available if they're going to go after a starter. Three? The Billy Hall threat level is at noon.

Dumb rumor I just made up. Challege trade with Boston. Billy Hall for Julio Lugo.

Anyway, I love this deal. Blueberry Johnson style.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

You know what?

I like to write. I do. And just because I'm struggling to make the blogging donuts so to speak does not mean that I am not writing. I am just at a peak state of disunity.

In the story of my life, this just means I am ready to do something bold. Or at the very least something. Because you know what? Great stories start off from a dilemma. Great stories start off from conflict.

Brett Favre Vikings

This is why I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I want Brett Favre to sign with the Vikings. It will be the greatest sports story of 2009. You have the aged hero cast asunder by the team that made him the single greatest quarterback not named Tom Brady on the history of Earth, joining their rivals for closure. Everybody loves a well drawn protagonist. Everybody loves the three-dimensional tragic hero.

And here is why Brett Favre a tragic hero.

1) The Archetypal Tragic Hero is almost universally male.
2) The tragic hero is either noble by berth or rises to a noble station.
3) The hero is faced with a serious decision.
4) The tragic flaw is in this instance Hubris. A.k.a. I'm 39, I can still play a professional level starting quarterback.
5) The downfall is meant to arouse pity and fear in both audience and actor.

Here's where we have to wonder. Most of your tragic heroes realize that they have committed some major mistake against God or society and it was by their own hand. Brett has been in a country-fried version of Hamlet for the better part of the decade. His story cannot close until he realizes the sins that he's committed if he's a tragic hero.

 stephen a smith Pictures, Images and Photos

Since the days of Arthur Miller, we have seen a rise of people who fall under a new designation. These are people who follow the characteristics for the tragic. But they do not have the gumption to realize they have sinned and they are doomed to suffer. These stories may be open-ended. And they may not even end with a characters death.

These are your anti-heroes. But there is more to the story with Brett Favre. He has an adaptable cunning, a mysterious magnetic charisma, social and sexual dominance, and outright arrogance. If someone writes the story of Brett Favre, it would have to be...

lord byron

Lord Byron. His is the pen that would ink Favres story best.

Boom. Learned.

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm going to tell you something strange...

I've got nothing right now. I really don't care about the big sports story of the bloggersphere. It doesn't matter if they're famous or not, it's still creepy. Sports in general aren't inspiring me. Someone called Jeter overpaid? Zounds!

But he is.

Twitter's killing my style. That's too much fun. It makes this feel like a job. And I have no angle at this point.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

You want to see something last? BOOM!

That's Scarlett Johansson. As the Black Widow. Nerds are bereft. They are happy at the attractiveness, but Emily Blunt was gonna be a better fit.

You see the dilemma? They aren't going to have sex with either, so they don't know what to think.


Victory lap time!

The Underrated Movie of July.

You know me. I like movies. I have a tag that says that. And I found a hidden gem that everybody needs to see. Or at the very least seek out.

For July? It's Overnight.

This just might be one of the great stories of fevered ego in the modern era. It's the story of Troy Duffy, the mind behind the cult hit The Boondock Saints. He comes into the movie signing a deal where he gets $300,000 for the script, a record deal based on his band doing the soundtrack, a first look deal for his production company, and J. Sloans bar in Los Angeles. He then proceeds to piss it all away.

Now Mirimax does put the movie into turnaround, but even at the start of the movie, Troy shows that success isn't something he can handle very well. And we're kind of waiting to see how he falls. Because he is not the sympathetic hero. He gets a taste of success and it all goes to shit.

The ending is poignant. We see all the members of the band working in menial labor. We see Troy skulking about. And it makes you think. After making you laugh and feel sympathy for the major characters.


But you know what? The one thing Hollywood wants more than anything is a good redemption story. And there's a sequel coming to Boondock Saints. November 1st? Troy Duffy gets his shot in Boondock Saints II.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Titans of the Diva and the Home Run Threat [Tier System: Part Three]

I have to say something. I'm want to do the easy thing. Runner-runner going 1-2. Heck, last year I went runner-runner-runner. But I'll tell you this. You may be behind the curve if you don't take a receiver in the first two rounds.

There are 10 receivers that you can feel comfortable with as your #1. From 11-24? On most of them? There's a reason to have fears of their season on about two-thirds of them.

But I'll give you a new tier system. Remember...

Don't follow this list in order.
If I have their name italicized, I expect them to be busts.
If I have them in the courier bold font? They are sleepers.

Tier One
Larry Fitzgerald (You can almost guarantee a 95-1100-10 season for him if he plays all 16 games.)
Calvin Johnson (He'll be fine no matter who's throwing him the ball. Go long. He'll get it to you.)
Andre Johnson (His only risk is that if Matt Schaub unleashes the ligament tear, he has to have the delightful failures of the NFC North chuck the ducks in his general direction.)
Steve Smith (With the running attack that the Panthers have? He's always facing single coverage. And unless he does something retarded, he will have the benefit of a full complement of games.
Randy Moss (He's not going to catch 23 touchdown passes again. Not by a longshot. However? 1300 yards and 15 scores is not out of the question.)

Tier Two
Greg Jennings (#1 receiver in a great passing game. Not spectacular, just great. If the top 5 are gone? Feel good here.)
Terrell Owens (Year One is motivated TO. Year two is when it all goes to shit. But so long as Trent Edwards keeps Joanna Krupa on speed dial. Things will work out.)
Reggie Wayne (85-1300-8. Mark it down. *makes wanking motion*)
Roddy White (With Tony Gonzalez, the solid mid-late WR1 either gets more single coverage or turns into Dwayne Bowe. I say the former.)

Tier Three
Anquan Boldin (He is the Steven Jackson of pass-catchers so long as he doesn't make a trade.)
Dwyane Bowe (He's the #1 receiver. He gets the lions share of Tony Gonzalez's targets. But he couldn't be bothered to show up to OTA's in shape. Boy's acting like a fool.)
Vincent Jackson (There's not enough targets for him to have a breakout year. Between Gates, Floyd, Tomlinson and Sproles. Vincent Jackson's breakout is going to be quiet.)
Marques Colston (He takes a long time to get back to good off injury. And when you consider he's had issue with several body parts? Not the least his recent knee issue. He's gonna start slow. Hear that.)
Antonio Bryant (Could it be that at long last Antonio Bryant has sent down his demons and is ready to be great? Just wait until Josh Freeman overthrows him on a slant pattern for the FIFTH GODDAMN TIME!)
Chad Eight-Five (Wants to swing the Gilbert Arenas Whimsical-Annoying scale back toward the whimsical. Last shot at redemption.)
Braylon Edwards (Nobody's winning the Browns quarterback job and Braylon's dropsies don't engender trust.)
T.J. Houshmanzahdeh (He's not going to go back to his 100+ catch 14 score days of 2007. But 90 catches and 10 scores is a solid choice for a high #2.)
Roy Williams (I don't care if he's going to be the #1 receiver. I don't care if he's going to get all of Terrell Owens' targets. He is the guy who sinks your team.)
Brandon Marshall (Does contract year supercede his actafoolery? I say yes.)
Wes Welker (He'll lead the league in catches. Also in 12 catch games that don't get you 100 yards in receiving.)
DeSean Jackson (I'm in a league where he just might be a WR1. Returns/Distance Scoring/1 point for every ten yards rushing and receiving. Your mileage may vary. But I will not not bless this selection.)

Tier Four
Eddie Royal (Could this be the Wes Welker to Brandon Marshall's Randy Moss? Yes. But don't expect 100 catches.)
Bernard Berrian (He will have two games that make him look great, and four that will make him look stupid. The Favre inevitable may make him look like a worldbeater in the first half. But he will be merely good.)
Santana Moss (West Coast offense does not allow his skills to flourish. If Malcolm Kelly has a good camp, I will reconsider this.)
Lee Evans (Remember, there are few deep threats quite like him. If you get distance scoring bonuses? This pick just might win you the league in Round 6.)
Kevin Walter (He has good value. He's the red zone threat that gets single coverage. His is the sincere best friend.)
Hines Ward (There is a difference between being unsexy and injury-prone. In the past few seasons, Hines hasn't made it to November healthy. And he's 33. He's had a good run, but his techno may have become unlistenable.)
Santonio Holmes (Usually, with a receiver who starts right away hits his stride in his 3rd or 4th season. With an injury prone Hines Ward? He can bring some magic to the proceedings.)
Jerricho Cotchery (He will get the lions share of Laverneus Coles 118 missing targets and a Brandon Marshall amount of targets for Jerricho Cotchery means WR1 numbers with Round 7 value.)
Anthony Gonzalez (All he does is catch the ball.)
Mark Clayton (At this point, he plays the Derrick Mason role with a home run upside.)
Michael Crabtree (This is sheerly based on instinct, but I think he has a chance to be Anquan Boldin if he's healthy all year.)
Lance Moore (It's not as if you have to use your shoulders to make catches, right? And a torn labrum needs a lot longer than three-four months to heal.)

Tier Five
Devin Hester (Cutler loves his skills, and he loves to throw it deep. Finally, at long last, Hester may be able to graduate from weapon status.)
Domenik Hixon (I trust that he will get a lot of looks now. But watch in camp. A bad camp may make him the #3 for Eli Manning. Be vigilant in watching Hixon.)
Steve Breaston (He gets the looks of a #2, has the skills of a #1, with Boldin's ability to be injury prone? He's a great #3/bye week replacement.)
Donnie Avery (The Football Outsiders would deem this pick a sleeper. My Scoring system would deem this pick a sleeper. But you know what? He's vibe is the same as Berrian. Feast or famine.)
Donald Driver (I'm not saying don't. I'm not saying that I want to be right about this pick. But he's got the sword of damocles and two good #3 potentials on his ass.)
Percy Harvin (This is a lottery ticket pick. A smart coach would give him 5-10 touches a game. In space, he's dangerous. If he stays healthy and doesn't act a fool? His game has level 30 charisma.)
Ted Ginn (He's a deep threat without the ability to gun it deep. Not saying he won't get looks, just saying temper expectations.)
Laverneus Coles (He's a tough player, but he's not as gung ho about the posession receiver ethic as someone like a Houshmanzahdeh. Considering what Chris Henry can do? I would start now, old man.)
Torry Holt (A high character guy, and if he's healthy, he will get run with the team, but expect Issac Bruce as a 49er type of numbers. Okay? Okay.)
Mushin Muhammad (He's 36 for crap sake. They have no one else. He inspires nothing. But he gets targets.)
Justin Gage (Well, suffice it to say he's the most unsexy #1 receiver ever. EVER!)
Bryan Robiskie (Really. He's going to be very popular in the Cleveland area. Basically because he's polished and won't drop stuff. Expectations are low.)
Darrius Heyward-Bey (I'm honestly tempted to put Chaz Schilens in here. DHB may not be Troy Williamson, but he's not in a situation to let his Chris Chambers shine.)
Miles Austin (Ridiculous upside potential. But we all know that. Thus he's not a sleeper anymore.)
Patrick Crayton (I hedge my bets as we get have competitions, but trust me, he's not worth your time.)
Joey Galloway (Now there's a line of logic as to why he'd be a good bye week plug in. As a #3 in 2007, Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney combined for a line of 82-1146-8. If Galloway stays healthy? He's definitely a solid #4.)

Tier Six
Earl Bennett (He does have the college rapport with Cutler. He does have a chance to be firmly entrenched as a possession receiver with a touch of yards after catchability. But do not draft him early without doing your homework on him.)
Deion Branch (If I feel like doing an impression of slightly vindicated Senator Ted Stevens about a player's fantasy prospects about a player. It would be Deion Branch. And that does mean Deion Branch is a series of tubes.)
Greg Camarillo (Greg Camarillo is the perfect sort of receiver for Chad Pennington. But he's not going to break out for a Welker run. He just might be a very good #4.)
Kevin Curtis (He's strictly a bye week plug-in. He's a good bye-week plug-in. But just a plug-in.)
Bobby Engram (206 year old posession receiver with an opoortunity to play.)
Kenny Britt (He's working with Rod Smith and Justin Gage isn't exactly the most difficult sort of roadblock to being the #1 receiver. Probably a great 2010 sleeper, but don't discount him here.)
Demetrius Williams (See the post below...he's got Mike Walker skills.)
Mike Walker (A perennial tease. Whichever rookie is the #3 receiver is the play here. Tiquan Underwood may be getting whispers of next Colston.)
Mark Bradley (Staying healthy is a skill. If he can, Bobby Engram wouldn't come close to being a consideration.)
Steve Smith-NYG (Could both guys cancel each other out? After all...)
Hakeem Nicks (...they both have similar skills and the same opportunity.)
Chris Chambers (Meh.)

QB's and the positions nobody cares are yet to go.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Derrick Mason Retirement.

Means three things for the Ravens.

1) Mark Clayton has to step up to the Derrick Mason role.

You've always thought Mark Clayton could have been better. Maybe you thought he should have been better. But he does have a home run threat to his game, and with Joe Flacco and his big arm? If the Ravens don't make a move, he has a chance for a better late than never breakout.

2) Demetrius Williams

He's got a chance to start at present, and if he stays healthy? He could be great. But he's got a mid-Atlantic Mike Walker sort of a thing about him. Marcus Smith becomes a name for the waiver watch list. Not Justin Harper. Marcus Smith.

3) They have a free shot to make a move.

If they trade for Brandon Marshall, disregard Clayton and the talent from 3-5. Brandon supercedes everything. The same may go for Plaxico Burress. But if the move is Amani Toomer or D.J. Hackett? You have no reason to notice that. Toomer would get outplayed by a certain point this year. D.J. Hackett is a Demetrius Williams who had his shot.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Motive Means Opportunity Sleepers at Wide Receiver

Okay, you live in a world where some say the sleeper is dead. And in a way? It is. Everybody knows the first wave of sleepers. And you best be paying attention for the second. Kurt Warner and Steve Slaton didn't appear in any sort of magazines, now did they?

That's where I come in. I will give you six names and one situation to look for. Dragger Deep sleepers. These are guys to slam onto the ol' waiver watch list.

Chaz Schillens
Oakland is a mess with pass-catching. DHB has a hamstring issue. Javon Walker has a suck issue. Johnnie Lee Higgins has two routes on the tree. Now Zach Miller is awesome. But who gets the other targets? Schillens. He developed some rapport with Russell when he saw the field in this final two games. He's got a shot to be Russell's #1 receiver this year.

Chris Henry
I know what you're saying. The Cincinnati police department have a mad on for Chris Henry (and that will lead to a suspension). I say to that fie. Fantasy football doesn't have a chemistry score. And when you consider that Palmer has shown a real trust for Chris Henry along the goal line, a league that leans toward scoring may make Henry great value as a late round sleeper.

Josh Morgan
He killed it in camp as a rookie before injuries slowed him up. He has remarkable physical gifts and has to beat out Brandon Jones to see the field. Sure, the quarterback situation is awful, but if someone can get the ball out to the receivers, he's going to get a solid amount of targets. And he will be the deep threat, so to speak.

Deon Butler
He's the new Bobby Engram. He has good solid receiver skills with hands of glue. He's going to make the team as a 4th receiver. However? If the opportunity strikes (and with Deion Branch and Nate Burleson's ability to stay healthy, it's more likely than not). He can develop a lot of trust with the quarterback.

David Anderson
You've seen his skills, and you may not remember them. One of his touchdowns last seasons was puncuated by the Conan O'Brien string dance. This year? He's the Texans third receiver. Alone, it might not be worth much. When Matt Schaub goes down with his inevitable ligament tear? It may not be worth much. But if Kevin Walter or Andre Johnson go down? David Anderson has a chance to be a hero.

Sammie Straughter
I know what you're saying. This guy is going to be the next Marcus Colston? And I say to you, no. But he could roll up on Tampa and take the #2 job. He has a Greg Jennings skill set. Great hands, more quick than fast, a little bit more of a home run threat than what you would expect. And look at who he has to beat. Michael Clayton? Maurice Stovall? Please. That's simply bollocks. Double-S is going to start at some point this season.

The Packers #3
Yeah, they aren't going to throw the ball to such lengths as they had last year, so the three isn't draftable on it's own. But even if Donald Driver is the Packers answer to Rod Smith, injuries are that much worse, lost steps count for more. You can see him disappear right quick. And the Packers have the best 1-5 at wideout in the NFL. The winner of the James Jones/Jordy Nelson battle becomes a must watch scenario.

I'll level with you. There's more receivers that you can consider a pick-up if the right opportunites to come around. I may have a second part to the motive, means, opportunity sleepers post.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wow. I'm Lazy...

This was what I worked on as I built Appalachian State into a powerhouse in NCAA Football 09. Trenchant analysis and attempts at wacky. Did I fail? You decide.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The No-Hitter...

It's my favorite thing ever in sports. Better than fantasy sports. Better than the NFL Draft. Better than anything.
Why? It's the thing that reminds me of my dad the most.
The Wisconsin sports market was rather bereft for a child of the 80's. I mean sure, the Bucks were entertaining for the most part, but they never were a threat for glory. So my earliest sports memory? It was a Juan Nieves no-hitter. Robin Yount made the diving catch to clinch it.
My dad would always yell at the TV. I would repeat it, but I would get yelled at for it.
But this started a streak. We ended up watching or listening to several no-hitters in my childhood. Dad woke me up for Nolan Ryan and the double no-no. We would spend an afternoon listening to Wilson Alvarez get his piece of baseball immortality. And then there was the inexplicable Jose Jimenez no-hitter.
But tonight's made me wistful. Jon Sanchez is the second Puerto Rican to toss a no-no. The first? Juan Nieves. 
Tonight would have been fun to watch with my dad. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The worst part of fantasy football is the Tight End. [Tier System Part Two]

The tight end is like the closer in baseball if there were only three teams that didn't use the Bullpen by comittee. If you love having a position give you minimal points per game, you love the tight end. I mean, drafting a second tight end is very likely not going to be worth your time.

And even this year? You can see there reasons to fail these guys beyond the big three. Heck, there's reasons to worry about the big three.

But I'll give you a new tier system. Remember...

Don't follow this list in order.
If I have their name italicized, I expect them to be busts.
If I have them in the courier bold font? They are sleepers.

Tier One
Jason Witten(Targets? Yes. Red Zone looks? Not as much. Martellus Bennett has some vulture capabilities.)
Tony Gonzalez (He'll fall off from 96-1108-10, but considering the lack of much receiver depth and Matt Ryan's lack of an underneath game? He'll be fine.)
Antonio Gates (If his legs are healthy? He goes back to 100+ targets and a solid weapon, but Vincent Jackson is becoming solid. Malcom Floyd is emerging as well. Is Gates getting phased out? He honestly might be.)

Tier Two
Greg Olson (There are some who think G-reg of the 7th floor crew is going to be spectacular. And he's got good physical skills. But I just don't see how he's going to get enough targets to break out. Hester seems to have finally shown something in OTA's, Bennett has a connection with Cutler, and Desmond Clark may not get 70 targets, but he's not going to see all his looks disappear.)
Chris Cooley (He's unsexy. Seeming new hotness in Greg Olson and Owen Daniels may move him down toward the 7 or 8 in the rankings. He's still the Redskins posession receiver.)
Zach Miller (I liked him as a breakout candidate last year, and he delivered the yards and catches. The touchdowns come this year.)
Owen Daniels (He'll have a chance to show himself worthy of an extension. But here's the thing. The Texans drafted Anthony Hill and James Casey. Casey especially is the sort of Dustin Keller type who can vulture Daniels.)
Dallas Clark (It's four great games, 6 weeks of listings as questionable, and 8 to 10 games of dreck.)
Kellen Winslow (It's another if-then scenario. If the quarterback situation sorts itself out somewhat and if Winslow stays healthy? Then he has a great year. It's a needle that may not be worth the thread.)

Tier Three
Dustin Keller (If there is a vertical passing game, Keller gets the benefits. Stuckey is decent, but injury prone. He has the means and motive. This year he gets opportuinty.)
John Carlson (Greg Knapp is someone who would marry the short passing game if people like Tony Dungy weren't so adamant. Anyway, this means that while they signed Housh, John Carlson's grittiness is going to be successful.)
Kevin Boss (I like Kevin Boss because the situation in Giants camp is a mess. Outside of Hixon there is an opportunity for targets. I'm not saying he's going to be a member of the big three, but he has means and the goal-line targets to be very interesting. While they drafted Beckum, the window is his.)
Bo Scaife (They want Jared Cook to be Dustin Keller. Maybe not so much of a worry this year, but Cook is a weapon and Scaife is not starting material.)
Jeremy Shockey (Stick a fork in him. He's done.)

Tier Four
Tony Sheffler (I was burned by Tony Scheffler last season. He's shown flashes of awesome. But McDaniels doesn't love the pass catcher tight end. And Scheffler doesn't block. I don't trust.)
Heath Miller (Heath needs to be healthy for all 16 games to be worth something. Matt Spaeth is somewhat of a vulture. But if you don't trust Hines Ward? Miller has a chance.)
Visanthe Shiancoe (He just won't get the looks to be anything more than a bye week replacement.)
Donald Lee (The Packers want to transition him out. A good camp from Jermichael Finley and he's toast.)
Marcedes Lewis (Perennial tease.)
Anthony Fasano (Even if David Martin gets more targets this year? He still will get the targets on the goal line. Take him on a bye week and hope he gets six.)

Tier Five
Brent Celek (A fools gold sleeper.)
Vernon Davis (He is West Coast Marcedes Lewis.)
Randy McMichael (If you take an end of the draft flier and McMichael stays healthy? You have a good value. Long odds he stays healthy.)
Brandon Pettigrew (Wait until next season for anything spectacular. But he will get 5 or 6 scores this season.)
Ben Watson (Meh. The New England Tight End scenario is the ugly version of the New England Running Back situation.)
Shawn Nelson (This is a pick designed for Dustin Keller seam splitting over the middle. Great athleticism, great hands, never mind the run blocking. He'll get decent targets. He's not going to be a member of the Top tier, but if Buffalo breaks right? Nelson could be a fringe starter.)


That's what some lazy punster of a headline writer will say if and when Roy Halladay gets traded. Because his will be the game changer deal of the free agency. So, because we can't trust J.P. Riccardi to make a good decision? I will tell you what teams would be the best fits.

5. Milwaukee

The Brewers have interesting pieces, but with such a dearth of pitching prospects and the double and triple swearing that Alcides Escobar and Mat Gamel are untouchable and the fact that you would just add to an outfield logjam with Corey Hart, I just don't see them developing a package to wrest Halladay.

4. Los Angeles Angels
Best Likely Package: Peter Bourjos, Brandon Wood, and Jose Arrendondo

Why they would be a good fit? Because these are propsects who have a tremendous pedigree. Wood and Arrendondo would be instant big league impact, and Bourjos would be ready for when Wells and or Rios would be gone.
Why would they not? Because for an organization that had such a wide and varied array of super prospects in the middle of the decade? The impact has proven to be minimal.

3. Boston
Best Likely Package:
Clay Buchholz, Manny Delacarmen, and Lars Anderson

Why they would they be a good fit? Because the only piece that the Sox truly might miss here is Lars Anderson. If they trusted Buchholz, he'd be a big leaguer right now. And many in Boston like Delacarmen but many also feel his best chance is somewhere else. So despite the division issue, they can make a deal.
Why they would not? The division thing. If the Jays contend in 2010? Halladay will stop them. And rumors out of St. Louis are that no prospect is off the table. And there are some in the Sox have no interest.

2. Philadelphia
Best Likely Package: Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, and Michael Taylor

Why would they be a good fit? Jason Donald may have been off to a bad start in Triple-A, but injury explains that. And Carlos Carrasco is rallying in triple-A. That means two instant starters. Michael Taylor causes a bit of a logjam, but they have time to swing a deal if there's a problem.
Why they would not? The Phillies don't have a third prospect with the right mixture of skill and expendability. They could get another catching prospect or a Low-A dude with tools. But they would have to part with a Drabek or a Taylor to get Halladay.

1. St. Louis
Best Likely Package: Brett Wallace, Daryl Jones, Jason Motte, and Jess Todd

Why they would be a good fit? Because Brett Wallace is a professional hitter, and Daryl Jones reminds me a lot of Michael Brantley. Jason Motte is a power arm who should close by 2010. And if he can't? Jess Todd can. I know the story may be apocryphal, but the Cardinals really want Halladay.
Why they would not? Two possibilities. The DeRosa trade may mean a piece that the Jays would want would be going to Cleveland. Two, someone else blows them away with an offer. The Phillies can knock their block off prospect-wise and the Rangers could swing for the fences, damn the owners financial scenario.

So, will we see Halladay get dealt? Yes. Will it make me feel bad? Very likely. But hey, that's how it goes in the Wild Wild West.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

LeBron has officially hit step four...

On the Tebow scale to athlete hatred.

And oddly enough? It's a relatively small event that does it. For you see? It was at a skills camp where America will turn heel on LeBron. Since I'm a lazy bum, I'll give Gary Parrish the words.

You want to see video of Xavier's Jordan Crawford dunking on LeBron James?

If so, too bad.

Because you're not going to see it.

Thanks to Nike.

Turns out, there were at least two cameras rolling Monday night when Crawford dunked on James during a pick-up game here at the LeBron James Skills Academy. It was a two-handed jam, the kind that would've circulated quickly on YouTube. But Nike officials eliminated that possibility shortly after the dunk happened by allegedly confiscating tapes from various cameramen.

And here's the reason why this is justifiable for a heel turn.

That's Devin Harris getting beat by a London Streetballer. It got to youtube. It lasted a day as news. We moved on. Devin moved on.

But to do what LeBron did is professional wrestling behavior. There are some in the WWE whom cannot allow themselves to look bad. It's something that Triple H would do. It's something that Hulk Hogan would do. Why is LeBron just as bad?

Because they can't let some random jabroni beat them. Not your random Ted Dibiase and especially some two guard who couldn't even beat out Eric Gordon in 2007. So now Jordan Crawford has the rough equivalent to Chris Jericho's first WWF title reign.

And yes, LeBron James is Triple H in my analogy. Which means he'll need to marry a fake breasted daughter of David Stern to get his first championship.

I'm not too proud to steal a joke or two.

Especially when it comes to a story like this. For you see, it's a story that would bring Carl Monday all the way from Cleveland. It has that sort of touch.

But the best part of the story? The Judges name is Hornblower.

H & J/T goes here

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Now we all know that an original name for Pearl Jam...

Was solid if unspectacular point guard Mookie Blaylock. And we all know that Gnarls Barkley is a play on the great rancontuer/power forward Charles Barkley. But did you know that 1990's female alternafunk pop quartet Luscious Jackson was named after mid-60's back-up center Lucious Jackson?

It's true! So that's why I'm here. I like music. I like basketball. And I see a trend, so bands. Read up. Give me a random basketballer and I can tell you where you want to go.

This is useless talent #43.

acie earl Pictures, Images and Photos

Hey parents! Are you looking to score a quick book off of your daughter's good looks and marginally talented voice? Then you need to look toward a failed first round draft choice. Acie Earl may have been a failure in Boston, but your little Acie Earl? She's got a future.

Robin Sparkles
And the new improved Acie Earl would have the mall pop influence that would allow her to shoot to the top for a week.

Danny Granger

If you're going to name a band after Danny Granger, you're going to go after a band of loyal followers. This will at once make you successful and indie. For the life of a jam band gets repetitive quickly. And anyone else who might be interested cannot bring themselves to listen causually for if you are a fan of Danny Granger? You are a douchington.

paul pierce

If you name your band Paul Pierce, you're a conflicted soul. You want to rock out with your cock out. But you can't. Your skills are smoother than that. You will be influenced by the greats of the lite rock. Your Seals and Crofts and your Michael McDonald. But, a protip for you? You will get all the ladies when you do a cover of Sarah Smile.

Michael Ruffin

If you want to be a punk outfit who eschews the poppier aspects of your Sum 41's and the emo aspects of a My Chemical Romance? Michael Ruffin is the only name for your power trio. But what seperates Michael Ruffin from your standard three chord speed burners is more of a Bad Brainsish Jah influence to their sound.

shawn kemp

Question? Why is it that most start their attempts at rocking? Answer? To get the sex. So why not make it obvious? Your music is designed to get the ladies, yes? Make your avatar the most mighty at generating a new generation of giant man-children. Shawn Kemp is for the new would be Motley Crue's

dj mbenga

I know what you're thinking, DJ Mbenga is made for Techno. You would be wrong. DJ Mbenga needs an MC to make himself more than someone who gets Burning Man garbage time. DJ Mbenga needs to drop beats for someone to rap about how Parents just don't understand and horror movies are scary. He also needs a gif of him being thrown out of an opulent Bel-Air Mansion.

von wafer

The Best Death Metal Comes Out of Iceland. Now I'm not sure just how big basketball is in Iceland, but hear me out. I want you to find your lowest register. The most gluttural you can speak. Got there? Good. Now yell out, "We Are, VON WAFER!"

That's pure Metal.

acie law IV

Now there are subtle differences here between NBA Acie's. I made an aforementioning of Acie Earl as a Mall Pop songstress. But Acie Law? Acie Law is influenced by the early X. It's more of a punk outfit, but it's Punk influenced by Rockabilly and the Blues. It's a manic indie sensation that does not hold up under the scrutiny of the big record deal. Name your band after Acie Law? You must not sell out.

Now DeShawn Stevenson is someone who rolls with Soulja Boy and has the reputation of a foolish youngblood. If you must name your group after DeShawn Stevenson, you must miss this point entirely. DeShawn Stevenson must have a sensitive, souful streak of a young John Maier and the smoothness of Usher. Luther Campbellish behavior doesn't work here.

If I write a closing paragraph on this, I will ruin the awesome that has spewed before you. So I will just bid you adieu. If you wish to leave a comment? I will try to bring music to each player.

But I got to go.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I apologize.

I have been rating my would be fantasy teams. I will come back tomorrow with a sports as well as other stuff post. So? Until then.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Off all the tragedy in the past 10 days?

Steve McNair's is the one that affects me the most.

I never met the man, but I respected everything he did on the field. He played with ridiculous amounts of pain. He subjugated his talents (which were immense) to fit whatever it was that the team needed, and while he wasn't as publicly emotional like some other quarterbacks who played the game, McNair had that lust for the game.

I know that the events are still coming out. And they lean towards an athlete being less God than man. It's a sad thing. You want to celebrate the person for what they did. But if these reports are true.

It tarnishes the legacy. I mean, at the very least, it looks like an affair.

But you know what, time's short. And nobody deserves to go out like that.

My thoughts are jumbled. It's 4 a.m. I'll sleep and see if this needs rephrasing.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Running Back Tier System...

Fantasy-wise? Running backs are at once tenuous and intriguing. You don't need to go up and get runner-runner straight away. A sharp waiver wire eye can get you to the promised land. But here's the tier system. I will make comments as to why you need to trust or distrust.

Note: Do NOT go in order. Do Not go in order. Do not...
Note II: Italics mean avoid, Courier bold means sleeper.

Tier 1
Adrian Peterson (He is the Number One Pick. Mock the drafter if they do not take him.)
Maurice Jones-Drew (You see what I said about few running backs to truly trust? He's a top three running back despite never having been the bellcow.)
Michael Turner (He is the Curse of 370's latest victim. You have to be special to avoid the curse of 370. Turner's good, but he's in no way special.)
Steven Jackson (He gets a fullback and an offensive line infusion, but he's like Westbrook in that he's only healthy for 12 games. But he's awesome for those 12.)
Chris Johnson (The upside? Jeff Fisher hates LenDale White as much as everybody else. And CJ is that damn good. The downside? He was injury-prone in college.)
Brian Westbrook (He's 30. For a runner has never been healthy? You can see a potentiality of Westbrook falling off the cliff. And he does have the ankle issue that leaves him lazier than I.)
Matt Forte (Obviously, he's productive, and he'll get his 300 carries. But why he's here is because Cutler has the dumbass that Kyle Orton just didn't have with the checkdown. That's why you may see him in the middle of the first round.)
LaDainian Tomlinson (I do not want. You shouldn't either. He's breaking down. His yards per carry was on the way down when he was healthy. In fact, he was nearly cut. And now he's 30. I could be wrong, but too many runners fall off the cliff. Let someone else take the gamble.)
Steve Slaton (I know I said that Arian Foster is a great deep sleeper, but I like Steve Slaton. With the offense that the Texans could put up? It may not matter if Slaton does not get the 3rd and goal from the 2 run. He has breakaway speed and If you draft him as your RB1 you should be in great shape.)

Tier 2
DeAngelo Williams (If he was anywhere else he would be right behind Peterson. But Jonathan Stewart missed time last season and still managed to get 884 yards and 10 scores running the ball last season. He's not going away. That's why he's a round 1/round 2 tweener.)
Marion Barber (The problem is he has a running style that will not be amenable to 300 carries. The other problem is that he has Felix Jones and Tashard Choice who deserve 15 carries.)
Clinton Portis (In the first half of the season? He will destroy opponents, but even if he stays healthy, he wears down as the season goes on. Draft him in the second round and trade him by week 8 and you're gold pony boy.)
Frank Gore (The system will swing back toward more of a balanced attack, and that should benefit Gore. But the offensive line won't mean he'll be back at the 1692 yard 2006 season. Expect 1300 total yards and 8 scores. Be surprised if its better.)
Darren McFadden (Now year one can be explained away. He had a toe injury. Toes are big for speed and power. The pride is back. And the guy who was that damn good for Arkansas just has to overcome the huggy bear. It will happen this year.)
Ronnie Brown (He's playing for his contract, and he is in his physical prime. He seems to have a firm lead over Ricky Williams in terms of a starting job. He may not be a keeper, but he will be a fine starter.
Kevin Smith (This may be your early third round sleeper pick. He's got a lock on the starting job, a one cut system, an infusion of offensive line help, and a relativly conservative offensive system. The expectation is that he'll be fringe top 15. I think he can be fringe top 5.)
Brandon Jacobs (Of course, if your league skews toward scoring? You can start to have Big Country [Yes, he deserves that nickname] climb up tier two. But like many other runners, you can't depend on his health, and if Ahmad Bradshaw's Family Dolla Steve Slaton doesn't get you? Danny Ware will.)
Thomas Jones (The life of a running back who is on his way out is kind of scary. You have little recourse to rage against the dying of the light. And if you do holdout? You notice that the back-up is not nearly as much of a dropoff as you'd think. Leon Washington has ached to be Tiki Barber for so long, and Shonn Greene could bring thumpers power. Hell, we could see a three-headed comittee.)
Pierre Thomas (Deuce McAlister is gone, Aaron Stecker is gone. All you have here is Reggie Bush to work the all-purpose yardage. Pierre Thomas is going to work inside. And with the passing game as an ever present threat? He will be successful.)
Derrick Ward (Why you need to like him? He ran for 1,000 yards without 200 carries. He did get starter money in his new contract. And the line is improving. But there is the foreboding spectre of the averageness of Earnest Graham and the general struggles of a team instituting a Jeff Jadgozinski run scheme.)
Ryan Grant (He does have a certain amount of bounce-back this season. The Packers are a line in transition, but there is hope, people like the prospects who are coming down the pike. Don't expect a sleeper, but expect solid.)
Knoshon Moreno (This will not be a Patriotish running back by committee. Moreno is a superman sort of a running back, and he will get 20 carries a game, and with that sort of offense? Gold!)

Tier 3
Marshawn Lynch (He will not play the first three games. But he's generally solid when he sees the field. He's not going to lose his job to Fred Jackson in all likelyhood. But he may not be a worthy RB2 in 13 games.)
Joesph Addai (For now avoid. Unless he will be the goal-line back, he will not bring enough to the table for you.)
Jonathan Stewart (You don't know the exact value of the balance between him and DeAngelo Williams, you just know that he is going to bring a lot to the table if he stays healthy. 10 scores can happen again.)
Reggie Bush (He's a back-up running back and a #3 receiver in one. With injury issues. Luckily for his situation, he will get looks while Lance Moore coalesces.)
Ahmad Bradshaw (Remember when I said that Derrick Ward ran for 1,000 yards without 200 rushes? The Giants back-up has a lot of value to a team.)
Earnest Graham (A bad ankle and a similar profile to the new hotness. Don't trust him.)
Willis McGahee (He did not have more than ten carries but once after week 8. He's in the coaching doghouse, and he may even get cut.)
Larry Johnson (He's not the person who got rid of the pain of being a man in 2005-2006. But he still has goal line power to his game. And it can't be that bad.)
LeRon McClain (No matter what happens? He will be your goal line back in Bodymore.)
Ray Rice (All he needs is one domino to fall his way and he looks like he will be a great sleeper.)
Chester Taylor (Obvious handcuff is obvious.)
Jamal Lewis (He's a starter with a lot of miles on his tread. He inspires little, but the Browns don't seem to have anybody else as I write this.)
Chris Wells (He will start. But he will not last 16 games. Take a shot at him if you have depth, if I'm wrong, you could get a chance at Top 10 numbers.)
Felix Jones (He's straight weapon. He doesn't have a clear path to carries, but any time he touches the ball he is a threat to score.)

Tier 4
LenDale White (The question is, does he get the opportunity to have a contract year? Chris Johnson runs like Vinnie Vincent plays guitar. He'll get some scores, but don't expect much smash.)
Fred Jackson (He will be solid with the starts that he will get, but that's just it. He's going to be merely solid. Marshawn will get the gig back.
Jerrious Norwood (Obvious handcuff with upside if starter gets hurt is obvious.)
Cedric Benson (Bernard Scott will be breathing down his neck. Benson may be able to hold him off this year, but I don't trust it.)
Darren Sproles: (The same sort of 10 rush #3 receiver Reggie Bush tigerstyle will come here.)
Julius Jones: (Leader of a running back by comittee for a bounce back offense.)
LeSean McCoy (Shady is like Jerious Norwood. Treat him as such.)
Willie Parker
Donald Brown (There's plenty to like here if he does get to be the front man. But considering how well UConn passed the ball, if he does get starts? He may shock the world.)
Leon Washington (If he gets a chance to start, he will be successful. But this isn't a league that likes small and shifty bellcows.)
Tim Hightower (Always remember, Chris Wells is stupid injury-prone.)
Rashard Mendenhall (He will get the goal line carries no matter what. No matter what!)
Fred Taylor (If he stays healthy, he will be the front man of the RBBC. He's not Fragile, but he is 32.)
Jamaal Charles (He's a home-run threat, he will outplay Kolby Smith if LJ does move on.)
Michael Bush (In a just and loving world, Michael Bush would be the Earth to the wind and fire that Darren McFadden provides. But with Al Davis' touch? Michael Bush is going to be the back-up quarterback.)
Sammy Morris (An oddly shaped Maurice Jones-Drew to Fred Taylor's Fred Taylor.)
Kevin Faulk (Random and consistent pass-catcher who will continue down the same road.)
Ricky Williams (A long strange trip to the short man in a time share.)

Tier 5
Shonn Greene (He could be great if he's the front man. Watch him in camp.)
Laurence Maroney (He does have the gifts to be a good pro. He's shown it. But there are roadblocks in front of him.)
Correll Buckhalter (Shoot him up to Tier 3 if the word on Moreno is struggling.)
Justin Fargas (He's your putative Raider starter in July. In September? Differesnt story.)
Maurice Morris (He's a decent runner who would do will if Smith goes down.)
Tashard Choice (I had him on this list, otherwise he would be in on my last blog post. He's awesome if he gets the opportunity.)
Mewlede Moore (Willie Parker is injury prone and Mendenhall did not show much last year.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Serbia has a real prospect of intrigue...

And if you guessed that it has something to do with Basketball? You're right. But you don't know exactly the whats and whys.

The doughy faced guy watching the action is what I want to talk to you about. Now I know what you're thinking. He's a doughy faced Serbian, how can he be good at basketball. Why? Because he's just like Kevin Love.

Okay. Not just like Kevin Love. But he does bring a spectacular level of offense to the table. He's Milan Mavcan and he is a fat Hedo. He can send the ball out to start the break with the outlet pass. He has a crafty and efficent level of offense. He can put up the three. He can set screens. He has court vision.

In fact he can run the floor as well.

Maybe this is because I'm a sort of a fat guy. But you know what? I can see him as being a literary hoops fan's guy. It's a burly dude who can play like the point guard. He is the strangest tweener ever. If you look at his Z chart, he's a one and a two. But he's going to be a four.

I know, we may never see him here. But if and when he does get here? He's going to be a fun player to watch. And fun is good, yeah?