Tag Archives: Jamaal Charles

Casinos Are Bad, Mmmkay?

As you have heard by now, the NFL stepped in it AGAIN. This time they banned the first ever National Fantasy Football Convention, just weeks before its scheduled opening.

Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison
Star-Telegram/Rodger Mallison
Tony Romo has been the public face of the event, the NFFC, for the past several months. However, in the proverbial eleventh hour, the NFL put the deep-6 on the convention on, get this, moral grounds. The League had concerns about the event being held at a Las Vegas casino, because, of course, gambling does not look good for pro sports (see Tim Donaghy, Pete Rose, and the 1919 Chicago Blacksox).

The NFFC would have provided a great opportunity for players and fans to meet, greet and mingle. Not that anyone would want to help GROW the NFL brand, or anything.

Tony Romo, who only recently joined Twitter, thanks in part to the investigative work of our Founder, Jamie Kelly, said in one of the few tweets from his account:

Cowboys teammate and fellow NFFC headliner Dez Bryant was quite agitated in his response:

Fantasy football is a $3 Billion industry that affects every facet of the NFL. It brings in more fans who love fantasy sports, and it increases viewership, which obviously helps the League.

The NFFC was to feature Cowboys Romo, Bryant, and Jason Witten, and many other NFL stars, including Jamaal Charles, Antonio Brown, DeMarco Murray, T.Y. Hilton, Emmanuel Sanders, Randall Cobb, Eddie Lacy, Julio Jones and DeMarcus Ware. It was to also feature around a dozen media personalities, including Michael Fabiano of the league-owned NFL Network and NFL.com. Fabiano‘s participation alone further proves that the NFL has nffc posterknown about this event for some time, and simply chose to wait until it was beyond the point of no return to pull the plug.

This three-day event was scheduled to be July 10-12 at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas. The NFL confirmed via email a Fox Sports report about the league’s longstanding policy that, “Players and NFL personnel may not participate in promotional activities or other appearances in connection with events that are held at or sponsored by casinos.”

HUH? The NFL won’t allow that, but they allow NFL owners to own stock in racetracks in New Jersey, Baltimore and Florida.

CBS Las Vegas
CBS Las Vegas
The NFL‘s indignation about gambling is a glorious, joke. It is estimated, conservatively, that anywhere from $70-100 BILLION is wagered on NFL games each year, and only a small part of that is done legally. I’m sure that many of you have participated in office pools, bought squares for a big football game, or even bet someone a Coke on a game. Obviously gambling boosts attendance and TV revenue. When you have money invested in something, you’re typically going to watch.

I’ll give you an easy example of how the NFL‘s actions are counter to what they say about gambling. The League requires each team to state before games (usually on Thursday) which players may have to sit out due to injury, and which players are questionable. Why? The information benefits gamblers. Does the League care that newspapers run the points spread? Of course not.


Just when you think it can’t get any worse… No, on second thought, I think we all agree that it can, and will, get worse. There are, in fact, several documented cases of the NFL getting in bed with either organized crime or big time gamblers.

1. The Chicago Bears

largeIn the early 1920s, George Halas turned to a man who was a noted bootlegger, gambler, racetrack owner and known associate of Chicago’s Al “Scarface” Capone‘s mob to finance the Bears. His name was Charles Bidwell. Yes, THAT, Bidwell. Later on, Bidwell bought the Chicago Cardinals. Guess whose family owns the Arizona Cardinals? Yep. The Bidwell family.

2. The Cleveland Browns

Cleveland_Browns_63602_zpsb375f1adThe Cleveland Browns were owned by crime syndicate bookmaker Arthur “Mickey” McBride, the head of the Continental Racing Wire, the mob’s gambling news service. The U.S. Senate’s Kefauver Committee called that news service “Public Enemy Number One.” In 1961, the team was sold to Art Modell, who among many things, was a partner in a horse racing stable with Morris “Mushy” Wexler, whom the Kefauver Committee named one of the “leading hoodlums” in McBride’s wire service. In 1969, Modell was married in Las Vegas at the home of William “Billy” Weinberger, who just happened to be the president of Caesar’s Palace, whose hidden owners included: Tony “The Big Tuna” Accardo, Sam “Momo” Giancana, and Vincent “Jimmy Blue Eyes” Alo. When he finally died in 1996, The Las Vegas Sun called Weinberger the “dean of casino gambling.”

3. The San Francisco 49ers

159571aThe Youngstown DeBartolo family, long involved in casinos and racetracks, owns the Niners. In the late 1990s Edward DeBartolo Jr., then the head of the 49ers, paid the Louisiana Governor $400,000 to get a riverboat casino license. The Governor went to jail for that crime, and DeBartolo got a slap on the wrist. He did have to leave the 49ers, but his family still runs the team while DeBartolo Jr. runs the company that is based back in Youngstown.

joe namath bachelors iiiNow, here’s an oldie but a goodie. In 1969, a hypocrisy of all hypocrisies happens in the Big Apple. New York Jets quarterback, Joe Namath invested in a Manhattan bar. The National Football League told him to sell his shares because the joint had ties to big time gamblers and unsavory individuals.

WHAT?

The league said NOTHING about Modell‘s ties or the unsavory ties of numerous other team owners.  The late Carroll Rosenbloom, a high roller with major interest in a mob-run casino, owned the Baltimore Colts AND the Los Angeles Rams at different times.


I personally think that the NFL got its feelings hurt because this National Fantasy Football Convention did not include them, nor were they going to see a red cent of monies from it either.

And, lastly, the NFL showed it’s immaturity when the NFL tweeted this to Tony Romo:

Was the league trying to be funny, or were they trolling Tony Romo? In either case, the league looks bad, and guess who’s the head of the NFL? Good ol’ Roger Goodell.

America! You can gamble on our games, but please don’t ask our players to have a meet, greet, and mingle with you at a resort because well, we have our integrity to protect.

TOO LATE.


Ronnie Garcia is the Voice of Reason at The Scoop. He is also an avid guitarist, educator, and all around smarmy guy. Ronnie co-hosts The Fanatics on Monday nights from 7-9pm on KTSR-db. You can follow him on twitter @TheRonMann.

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Friday’s First and 10 –- Week 6

On Tuesday, we’ll be more than a third of the way through the fantasy football season. And what do we have to show for it?

BleacherReport.com
BleacherReport.com

For starters, we have J.J. Watt with more RECEIVING touchdowns than Keenan Allen, Anquan Boldin, Dwayne Bowe, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Emmanuel Sanders, Percy Harvin and Wes Welker. (Hint: those last eight guys are on the field for the specific purpose of SCORING RECEIVING TOUCHDOWNS.)

And, in standard leagues—yes, I’m bemoaning the struggles of my favorite mancrush … again—LeSean McCoy has been outscored by pedestrian running backs Matt Asiata, Knile Davis, Chris Ivory, Antone Smith, and Bobby Rainey. And even Trent Richardson. Pick it up Shady, or I may have to shift my mancrush allegiances. There are other fish in the sea, ya know.

But for now, Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday. On this TGIFFF, I’m looking forward to some things.

  1. Percy’d Again?

Dallas plays in Seattle Sunday, with Tony Romo attempting to NOT wilt under the 12th Man’s Spells and transform into Turnover Tony. But I’m more concerned with Percy Harvin, and his impact on MY fantasy world. I love me some Harvin, but have been Percy’d two out of five weeks already this year (as I outline here: #IGotPercy’d). So, what happens this Sunday? Will I be snake-bitten again by another Percy performance? I predict a big game for Percy; I’m calling for a long TD catch & run, and TD another on a running play. Dear fantasy football gods, I don’t want to be Percy’d again. I’ll be eternally grateful.

  1. Ball Buster
DenverPost.com
DenverPost.com

Now that Montee Ball is down for the count for a couple weeks, who will Peyton trust to occupy his office on Sunday? The most popular waiver wire replacement pickup was Ronnie Hillman—and he should, indeed, get the bulk of the early game looks, with C.J. Anderson sprinkled in. Having said that, this game has more of a Peyton to Demaryius and Emmanuel sort of feel to it. After all, the Jets yield the 6th most fantasy points to WRs on the year. But humor me here. I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see short Wes Welker completions take the place of the running game a bit, especially since Jets slot corner Kyle Wilson, who will likely line up across from Welker on most routes, has allowed 10 completions on 12 pass attempts this season.

  1. What Can Brown Do For … You, Versus the Browns?

I referenced earlier in this column, that I’m considering transferring my mancrush allegiances away from one Shady McCoy. Potential suitors include Percy Harvin, Brandon Marshall, Andre Ellington, the youngster Allen Robinson and Antonio Brown. Brown tops all fantasy WR scoring so far this year, and in that Pittsburgh offense, shows no signs of slowing his pace. After all, other than Heath Miller every third week, no other Steeler pass-catcher is showing up on the stat sheet. Big Ben has targeted Antonio 23 more times than any other Steeler WR (Markus Wheaton). Factor in that the Browns pass defense is 28th in the league, and Joe Haden is hobbled? You’ve got yourself a potential Brown-anza, my friends. AB could literally go off for another 200 yard and 2 TD game.

  1. Hurt Locker, ClipboardJesus or The Whiz Kid?

Jake The Hurt Locker Locker is still banged up. If you read my stuff at all, you know I’m a cult Charlie Clipboard Jesus Whitehurst follower. But he and his hair need to remain on the sidelines with said clipboard. So is it Zach The Whiz Kid Mettenberger’s shot this Sunday versus the Jags at home? Yes, I just gave him that nickname; let’s see if it sticks. The Titans are winless since Week 1, so why not give the kid a shot. And wouldn’t Jacksonville, at home, be the right opportunity for him to grow up? Reports have Jake sitting this one out, with Charlie getting the start. If Clipboard Jesus doesn’t work miracles for the Titans, I’d say we’re gonna see The Whiz Kid.

  1. Red Rover, Red Rover … Let Shady Come Over [IE: Ditto]

Shady McCoy’s slow start is well-documented. Through four weeks, McCoy is the 26th ranked (PPR) RB in fantasy. He’s averaged less than 3 YPC on the year. Right tackle Lane Johnson returned this week, to give the Eagles three of their five starting five on the offensive line. I continue to try and pry McCoy away from a couple other owners, with buy-low offers. So that should tell you I’m seeing some light at the end of the Shade. I say the slump is broken this week. What, you’ve read this before? Cut n paste works here, baby.

  1. Tears for Fears?
CBS Sports
CBS Sports

It’s being reported that Knowshon is nearing (?) a return to the field from a dislocated elbow; perhaps we’ll even be treated to one of his famous tear episodes? As well as his on-the-field know-how and veteran presence on display? Fantasy owners are left hanging, though, as Lamar Miller has performed admirably with Moreno on the shelf, averaging 14.95 fantasy points (standard) over his past two games—after only 8.55 per game in the first two. Will a timeshare be in effect? Will Knowshon revert to his 19.4 from game one? I think if healthy, Knowshon wins back the fantasy points battle.

  1. Cat Fight

The Bengals play the Panthers in the infamous Ferocious Cat Bowl. What, you’ve not heard of this? I read it was a thing. Of course, I wrote it down, then I read it. But still. One thing I’m watching in this matchup? Assuming A.J. Green sits out to rest his ailing Green Toe—see what I did there?—whose fantasy value increases? I picked up Mohamed Sanu in a couple leagues. BUT, I really think the Bengals lean on their run game, especially since Carolina gives up the 7th most fantasy points to opposing RBs. So, I’m looking for a huge game from Giovani Bernard. And to a lesser extent, Jeremy Hill, as well.

  1. Battle of the Pretty Boys?

I asked a female football fan this week what she thought of Jay Cutler and Matt Ryan. You know, from a … not strategic, on the field perspective. She called them both—and I quote—pretty boys. Whatever the case, I find this Bears at Falcons Sunday tilt incredibly enticing, fantasy-wise. Chicago’s defense yields the 8th most points to opposing WRs. And other than the Packers, they’ve not played anyone with WR weapons like Julio and Roddy. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s defense gives up the most points to opposing RBs. Hello there, Matt Forte. I will say I think Martellus Bennett continues a slow slide, not keeping up his early season gaudy fantasy numbers. So, my fake football friends, crank up your Falcons and Bears skill position player options. Forte. Brandon and Alshon. Julio and Roddy. And, of course, the pretty boys Matt Ryan and Jay Cutler. It should be a field day for fireworks and fun.

  1. Where Does It Hurt?

Like you, I’m keeping my watchful eye out for the other injury-riddled guys—and their replacements.

  • Will Megatron play? If not, how does this affect Matthew Stafford (likely down) and Golden Tate (likely up)?
  • The quarterback situation in Arizona remains a bit of a mess. Carson Palmer looks to be out (at least) another week, and Drew Stanton doesn’t look to be ready from his concussion. So, Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd get to run routes for Logan Thomas, he of the 1-for-8 passing and two sacks taken on ten dropbacks in relief last week. It seems we’ve heard this one before for Fitz and company.
  • The Bucs WR corps are banged up. Mike Evans looks good to go, as does Vincent Jackson, this week, though neither are at full strength. They’re going against a Ravens defense giving up only four passing TDs through five weeks. This bodes not so great for Mike Glennon.

Eats

I’m doing nachos, fajitas, soft tacos and Coronas Sunday. Why? Because I can’t go more than a couple days without eating Mexican-American / Tex-Mex food. And, hell, we’re into Week 6 now. I’m going through withdrawals.

Besides, a wise man once said that Mexican food and beer help you stay strong, show kindness and have NO RAGRETS. Nope, that wise man was not the Dos Equis Man.

[NOTE: This week’s NFL stats courtesy of ProFootballFocus.com. Standard fantasy stats courtesy of FantasyPros.com.]


Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

Friday’s First and 10 –- Week 4

Welcome to Hell Week.

Dreamworks, LLC
Dreamworks, LLC

Crazy, but I always thought Hell Week referred to the week of hazing before initiation into a college fraternity or sorority. Ya know, when the experienced, current brothers or sisters force you to do things against your will, in order to show your stripes, indicating you are worthy. For whatever reason, as I’m typing this, all I can envision is the scene where Will Ferrell runs naked through the streets in the now cult-ish classic flick, Old School.

While looking ahead in this year’s NFL schedule, most circled Weeks 4 and 9 of the 2014 fantasy football season and officially pronounced them Hell Weeks. The schedule-makers take on the role of the experienced frat brothers, making us fake footballers do things against our will. Things like picking up and starting Greg Jennings and Riley Cooper, while Demaryius Thomas and AJ Green are on byes. I’ll be honest; I’m not sure I want to be the guy running through the streets, though.

This week sees Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle and St. Louis on bye weeks. That means dependable 2014 fantasy staples such as Marshawn Lynch, Giovani Bernard, Peyton and his schoolyard friends, as well as the Seahawks D/ST are not available.

Yet, in spite of the impending #ByeNado,—@AdamAizer, I hope you trademarked that phrase—life, or Fantasy Football as we know it, carries on. And you can rest in the comfort that today is TGIFFF: Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday. Now let’s get to what I’m watching for this weekend.

1. Start Your _________________ ?

Last week, we said to start your Saints. That ended with a big meh. This week, we’re saying to start your Bears and Packers. Fake footballers everywhere are praying to the football gods that Brandon Marshall plays, and that Matt Forte actually has some yards per carry.

CheeseheadsRodgers and his gang assuredly should bounce back … if we all just R-E-L-A-X. In case you don’t know about this, Aaron Rodgers encouraged the cheeseheads everywhere to simply relax. Then when you’ve finished relaxing, start Aaron, Jordy and Randall on your fantasy teams.

2. Pick a Jag, Any Jag.

I’m actually somewhat interested in seeing some of the young receiver talent the Jags have accumulated for Blake Bortles to throw to. There’s Cecil Shorts, Marqise Lee and the Allens (Hurd and Robinson). [This doesn’t even include their 2012 fifth overall pick, Justin Blackmon, suspended indefinitely for substance abuse.] The only problem is … are any of them experienced/healthy enough to play … effectively? Who knows who will get the looks—my money is on Robinson, long-term—or if they’ll simply cancel one another out for the remainder of the season. But it should be fun to watch.

3. Running Backs … Back

In Week 4, a couple of name-backs return to action.

Kansas City Star/David Eulitt
Kansas City Star/David Eulitt

If all goes according to plan, Jamaal Charles is set to return to action, pushing dependable fill-in Knile Davis back to the bench. Fantasy owners hope that a definitive announcement as to Charles’ health is made … sooner than later. Unless your friend, The Handcuff, has been implemented, you’re left to guess how much work JC Superstar will actually garner, and how much a shared backfield will be implemented.

Secondly, will Doug Martin have any impact whatsoever, as HE is set to return against the Steelers on Sunday? Since his strong rookie campaign of 2012, he’s had one 100-yard game, rushed for less than 500 yards total and caught 13 passes. And then we find out he doesn’t like the nicknames Dougie Fresh or Muscle Hamster. Sigh. OK, now read this.

4. The Bishop Needs Dancing Lessons?

After compiling a whopping 28 yards on 8 carries though the first two games, rookie Bishop Sankey “exploded” for 70 yards on 11 touches.

George Walker IV/The Tennessean
George Walker IV/The Tennessean

In spite of being the obvious bright spot in Tennessee’s backfield, Titans head man Ken Whisenhunt still wonders aloud if the Bishop has the feet for the job. All preseason, I said Sankey would eventually become the man in the Titans backfield—but I preached patience. Perhaps we’ll see that soon after some dance lessons, as suggested by Eric.

5. Running of the Colts

Do you think Chuck Pagano and Pep Hamilton watch the same games as we do?

 

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

I’m beginning to wonder. How can Trent Richardson continue to “start” and see more touches than Ahmad Bradshaw? SURELY, smarter heads will prevail. I know this fantasy owner hopes that to be the case. Bradshaw just looks faster, more energetic and, simply put, more valuable to Luck and that Colt offense.

6. Royal Flush?

Eddie Royal fooled the fantasy world once. Shame on us.

FOX Sports
FOX Sports

Last year he began the season with 5 touchdowns on 10 catches, over his first two games. Over his final 12 games, he averaged just over 3 catches per game and 3 total touchdowns. Fool us twice, shame on you. After logging a single catch in Week 1, Royal has tallied 11 catches and 2 TDs in the past two weeks. Here we go again? I’m not buying. Are you?

7. What Can Brown Do for You?

Eight months back, I wrote that Antonio Brown would be a Top 5 fantasy WR in the 2014 season.

Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

After three weeks, AB is the #3 fantasy scoring player (PPR), not just receiver, trailing only Julio Jones and Andrew Luck. It seems Big Ben looks to him every time he drops back to pass. And it certainly helps that Pittsburgh’s ground attack has picked up steam, opening up the passing game. As the 1. and 1.A. option for Roethlisberger, Brown is poised to continue his rise to fantasy stardom. I know what Brown can do for my fantasy team. Do you?

8. Scones—and Kickoff—at High Noon

There’s been so much off-the field shenanigans through the first three weeks of this NFL season, it feels like the on-field play has taken a backseat to the tabloids. So I wonder how many others heard that the Miami “at” Oakland game would be played across the pond and wondered why this hadn’t gotten more press?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oh yeah, I guess it got buried on page 13 of the NFL press releases, behind some headlines involving Rice, Roger, Adrian and Greg. I almost feel sorry for the London game ticket purchasers. They’ll be treated to that magical Tannehill-to-Wallace connection. The NFL London Experience will be getting to see which past-his-prime, injury-prone back the Raiders trot out to get stuffed by the Miami D. If the Packers v. Bears game is a bonanza, is this one a Costanza?

For Week 4, in homage to Old School, I’m going all college life by ordering pizza and drinking cheap beer. You know, PBR in the can or some Natty Light. Or if you really want to class the joint up, you could go all out and get some Coors Light. Live a little.

So enjoy the waiver wire pickups playing their British hearts out for your fantasy teams, the pizza and beer. And go watch Old School again. Or Animal House.

Until next time, stay strong, show kindness and NO RAGRETS.


Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

 

Friday’s First and 10 – Week 3

After two weeks of fantasy craziness, we find ourselves here again on Friday.

Falcons-Bucs Disaster
Buccaneers.com

After last night’s Thursday Night Football debacle–I’m not sure anything was INSIDE those Bucs helmets–we need the weekend to restore the sanity. (If there is such a thing as fantasy football sanity.) Anyhow, it’s TGIFFF: Thank God It’s Fantasy Football Friday. So let’s get to it.

1. Start Your Saints

Let’s see. Sean Payton’s bunch is 0-2. Drew Brees is presently not in the Top 12 fantasy quarterbacks. The Vikings—sans AP—come to town. Who ya gonna start? Your Saints. Pretty darn near all of them could bust out. Breesus, Colston, Cooks, obviously Graham. BUT, this game could be a blowout, early, allowing the Saints running game to thrive. Hello, Pierre Thomas? And definitely Khiry Robinson.

2. He’s Not My Cousin(s)

Last year when RG III was deactivated for the final three games of the season, Kirk Cousins stepped in and started those three games. He had 20 fantasy points at Atlanta, then 11 versus Dallas, then -2 at the Giants. And you likely know he had a good showing (250 yds, 2 TD’s, 16 fantasy points) in Week 2, filling in after RG III again went down. But I’m not yet buying in. Perhaps this week versus the Eagles, but not for the long haul.

3. AE versus the Niners

I know Andre Ellington is bravely battling a nagging foot injury. I know that I believed all the preseason hype and drafted him in multiple leagues. I’ve also silently wondered if he’s just a bit fragile? Now that Jonathan Dwyer is out of the picture, I guess this Sunday is a good test, going up against the not-as-feared-but-still-solid San Francisco defense. I really, really want him to be more Jamaal Charles, and less CJ Spiller (in terms of fantasy relevancy). Speaking of Charles …

4. JC Superstar Is Into Condos?

Not condos. Timeshares. My bad. But you get me. I’m hearing that if Jamaal Charles plays this week, it could be on a timeshare basis with Knile Davis. I’m more than anxious to see if the consensus top fantasy back drafted—as well as the far-and-away top scoring RB last year—would really be placed into a shared scenario?

5. Half-Size Hummer

So I read in GQ  that Darren Sproles doesn’t like to be called Super Smurf. Instead, he likes nicknames Tiny Tank and Half-Size Hummer. In any case, I don’t know that the average fan realizes he only had 25 snaps Monday night. Granted, they produced crazy output (178 total yds and a touchdown). This week should be another stellar day versus the Redskins D. But I do wonder if he can produce at this rate over the full year.

6. Andre the Giant(-killer)?

In this day of the big-name, big-body, and at times big-ego wide receiver, it can be understood if one overlooks Andre Johnson. He’s even gotten lost on my radar. He doesn’t pound his own chest, but the dude has been a beast his entire career. A consistent beast. Over the past 5 years, he’s averaged over 100 catches a year—despite getting up in years (33), and some of the revolving QB scenario in Houston over that time. He’s started out well this year, averaging 14 fantasy points per game, with new QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Can he keep it going? For my money, Andre IS the giant to have another consistent season. But … this week against the Giants? Feeling Houston may go run-crazy with Arian Foster.

7. Show Me in the Show-Me State

DeMarco Murray has had quite the start to this fantasy year. He leads the league in rushing and is a Top 4 fantasy back. He’s the most consistent piece of the Cowboy offensive puzzle thus far. Yet, the Rams give up the 23rd most fantasy points to RBs and likely will be keying on stopping him. I wouldn’t be shocked if he doesn’t put up quite the numbers this week as we’ve seen in the first two.

8. What the Kaep?

Admittedly, I’ve not been on the Colin Kaepernick train. Not last year, when he finished Top 12. Not this pre-season. I avoided drafting him. Maybe it’s those McDonald’s ads he and Joe Flacco did? Come to think of it, I’ve never owned Flacco either. Truthfully, it’s more of a gut, a fantasy eye-test for me. I like his real game, just not his fake game so much. Too inconsistent for me, in a very deep position. And really, on a team that wants to run the ball. I’m anxious to see if he can put up fantasy numbers against a pretty athletic Cardinals D. I have my doubts.

9. Old School Super-Chargers

Antonio Gates has us partying like it’s … well, 2004. A decade ago—over a 4-year span—Gates averaged nearly 1,000 yards receiving and over 10 TDs per year. Pretty good numbers in the pre-Gronk / pre-Graham era. Last year, he came out a-blazin’ as well. In weeks 2-5, he averaged almost 20 fantasy points per game, but fizzled to less than 7 points per games in the final seven games. So what does 2014 bring? I’m holding on to Gates for a few more weeks—perhaps through Week 8 at Denver—then selling high.

10. Hoodie Jonesin’ for a Blowout

So James Jones has been a nice surprise for the Raiders and for fantasy owners to start this year, landing in the Top 10 scoring receivers in PPR leagues. But … in Foxboro? When Belichick can scheme to take away the opponent’s top threat? Wait, is Jones their top threat? Either way, I think fantasy owners are in for a letdown in production this week. After all, being the best receiver on the Raiders is like being the most handsome guy in an empty room. Thank you, @DaveRichard.

Week 3 eats? I’m going wings, wings, wings. BBQ wings. Boneless wings. Come on, do boneless wings really exist? Spicy wings. Hot mustard wings. Oh yeah … and your favorite American beer. My choice this weekend? Yuengling. America’s oldest brewery, established in 1829. Check one out, and let me know.

Enjoy the football, wings and beer—and may your fantasy team’s Sunday games NOT resemble the Buccaneers performance last night—and stay strong, show kindness and NO RAGRETS.


Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.

Tuesday’s Takeaways from the Trenches –- Week 2

I hope you had a six-pack handy while watching relevant names like Jamaal Charles, AJ Green, Knowshon Moreno, DeSean Jackson and RGIII all going down with (what look to be) significant injuries.

cry-babyIf you don’t drink, Sunday may have been a good day to start. Or at least grab your baby blankie, curl up in the corner and suck your thumb.

I don’t recall seeing such consistently low fantasy scores—across the board—in a very long time. In one of my competitive money leagues, the total points scored by BOTH TEAMS was 150. Three teams eclipsed that mark in Week 1. Yes, individually.

Stats That Make You Go Hmmmm – The following head-scratchers are based on PPR scoring.

  • QB: Geno Smith, Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins all finished with more fantasy points than Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and Matt Ryan. Yeah, next beverage on me if you saw that coming.
  • RB: Silas Redd, third on the Redskins depth chart, finished with more fantasy points than Matt Forte or Eddie Lacy (as well as the injured guys – Charles, Knowshon and Ryan Mathews).
  • RB Part Deux: Three of the top five fantasy RBs this week were not in the Top 30 RBs picked in fantasy drafts this year: Darren Sproles, Knile Davis and Ahmad Bradshaw.
  • WR: Sammy Watkins (25.70) had as many fantasy points as Percy Harvin (10), Cordarrelle Patterson (9.60) and Kendall Wright (6.10) combined.
  • WR Part Deux: Parity. Good stuff from Jon Kelly.

  • TE: Of the Top 5 scoring TEs this week (Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham, Delanie Walker, Niles Paul, Owen Daniels), only Graham finished in the Top 13 TEs drafted this year.

Quick Hits

  1. What’s In a Name? A guy named Orleans Darkwa, fourth string on Miami’s RB chart, finished ahead of Reggie Bush, Shane Vereen, Shonn Greene, Toby Gerhart and Chris Johnson in PPR leagues. I did draft him in my ‘Florida-Teams-Only Backup RB’ league. Unfortunately, I had him sitting on my bench behind Jordan Todman and Jorvorskie Lane.
  2. Back To the Future: Big production from Antonio Gates, Darren Sproles, Ahmad Bradshaw and James Jones. What year is this anyway .. 2012? During that season, each of these seasoned vets finished Top 20 in fantasy scoring at their positions
  3. Not So Instant Replay: Did I miss something? I thought the NFL implemented instant replay on all scoring plays? How was Percy Harvin’s 51-yard touchdown run against the Chargers NOT overturned? See for yourself here. Fortunately for the NFL, this blown call didn’t affect the outcome of a Chargers victory. The same cannot be said for me losing to @FFRittle in a money league; I lost by 4 points. That play alone gave him 11 points. I’ve officially submitted a grievance to the NFL, my league commissioner and to my local Congressman. And worst of all, now I have to wear one of Rittle’s infamous neckties this coming Sunday.
  4. You’re My Favorite Mom: James Jones may well be the best receiver in Oakland. Really. He put up a 9/112/1 line and 24 fantasy points against the Texans Sunday. I think one of my favorite lines of the weekend, though, goes to @ErinSharoni on the CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Today Podcast, when she said that being the best WR in Oakland is like “telling your mother, ‘You’re my favorite mom.’” Love. It.
  5. Someone Forgot the Crazy Glue in Oakland: Speaking of James Jones, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one player fumble twice on one play. Just Raiders being Raiders, I suppose.
  6. Good Lordy, It’s Jordy: Quick! Who tops the fantasy points leader board after two weeks? Wait for it … wait for it. In full PPR scoring leagues, one Jordy Nelson has 53.20 points on 18 catches, 292 yards and a touch. To quote Puddy, Elaine’s boyfriend on Seinfeld (but when he’s not playing some ancient animated warrior in Mr. Peabody & Sherman), “I did NOT see that coming!
  7. I’ve Fallen And Can’t Get Up: After Week 2, the NFL announced that each team could add another roster spot … not for players, but for medical staffers. Personally, I have Charles, Knowshon, Cameron and AJ Green. On the same team. You’ll never believe who didn’t win his matchup this week! I’m thinking one could field a pretty darn good fantasy team—on paper—of guys who are hurt/out/injured/suspended. RGIII or Carson Palmer at QB. Charles, Knowshon, Mathews and Mark Ingram as backs. AJ Green, DeSean, and Alshon at receiver. And the Jordans (Cameron and Reed) at tight end. It’s only Week 2. Just keepin’ in real.

Shhhh … Let’s Keep It Our Little Secret – I can admit it. I was wrong.

  • Yes, I said Tony Romo and Tom Brady would show up and put up numbers. Um, well, you see, it’s like this. I was right about the Cowboys and Patriots showing up. That counts for something, right?
  • I sat Brandon Marshall. I’ll give myself a partial mulligan here; who knew about the severity of that ankle injury? Dude came to PLAY. I can assure you I won’t be Forgetting Brandon Marshall now.
  • Stevan, Stevan, Stevan. When Ridley comes to play, doesn’t fumble, gets the carries, runs hard, doesn’t fumble, Hoodie calls his number, breaks tackles, doesn’t fumble and scores touchdowns … … he’s pretty good. Oh, did I mention he needs to not fumble?

My Arm CAN Reach Around To Pat Myself On The Back – I’m also not very humble. I’m the MAN!

  • I picked Delanie Walker to have a big game. A 10/142/1 line isn’t bad, especially when the rest of the entire Titans roster stunk up the joint.
  • I told everyone that listened—all 7 of you, thank you for listening—to pick up Bobby Rainey. Did my crystal ball tell me that Dougie Fresh Martin would not even suit up? Hey, I’m no David Blaine.
  • When Dez Bryant puts his pacifier away, he’s a beast. I said he’d come back strong and, well, even when it’s the Titans D, this is a pretty good line: 10/103/1.

So, remember. Lick your wounds, dust yourself off and don’t look in the rearview. Unless you won. Then gloat as loud as you can. Until this time next week, when we do it all over again.

Meantime … stay strong, show kindness and NO RAGRETS.


Jay Marks is the Fantasy Football Lead for The Scoop. Follow him on Twitter at @FFHottieAsst.