Articles By Athlon Sports

All taxonomy terms: Philadelphia Eagles, NFL
Path: /nfl/5-coaches-who-could-replace-andy-reid-philadelphia
Body:

It’s all beginning to fall apart in Philadelphia where the Eagles showed so much promise a year ago. Maybe it was never smart of them to embrace the “Dream Team” nickname, but after their spending spree before the 2011 season everyone was sure they’d be good.

But they haven’t. Their record is a disappointing 11-13 since then. Michael Vick, once an MVP candidate has become a turnover machine and after a 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, they have put themselves in a 2 ½-game hole that appears far too deep for them to climb out.

And now, after 13 1/2 mostly successful seasons – albeit 13 ½ seasons without a Super Bowl championship – Andy Reid looks lost. He seems clueless about how to revive the franchise. And there are many who think Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is finally ready to pull the trigger on a coaching change.

It won’t be easy to replace a man who has become a fixture in that rough-and-tumble city, who has managed a .597 winning percentage (129-86-1) despite residing in the hyper-competitive NFC East. When Reid was hired, he was a largely unknown assistant coach who came highly recommended but didn’t carry the star power fans usually crave.

Could the Eagles go that route again? Or will they go for the big splash? It’s far too early to tell. Who knows if Reid even will be fired after the season? But if he is, here are 5 very interesting names for Eagles fans – and fans of any team around the NFL that might soon have a coaching search – to watch:

 
Sean Payton – First of all, he’s a longshot for anyone. But the door was opened last week when the NFL reportedly voided the contract extension he signed with the New Orleans Saints, putting him on schedule to be a free agent after the season. Despite the BountyGate scandal that he oversaw, the Saints want to retain the only coach that took them to the Super Bowl. But Payton is also a Dallas native and would be just the sort of big splash Jerry Jones would love to make. If he’s available, if nothing else, you could bet the Philadelphia Eagles would get in line if they were looking for a replacement for Reid. Payton, a former assistant with the Giants and Cowboys, does have roots in the NFC East.
 
 
Steve Spagnuolo – He wouldn’t be a splashy hire, but he’d be a solid one with Philly roots. He was a long time assistant there under beloved defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. Then he left and was the defensive coordinator that helped the Giants upset the mighty New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. His stint as St. Louis Rams coach wasn’t good, but most people saw that as an impossible situation – same for his position now as defensive coordinator of the BountyGate-saddled Saints. He’s still well-respected, knows the division, and has a defensive mind that would get the Philly faithful inspired.
 
 
Jon Gruden – In a division that has Tom Coughlin and Mike Shanahan and whatever big name Jerry Jones eventually hires to replace Jason Garrett, the Eagles may choose to match and there might be no bigger available name than Gruden. OK, there’s Bill Cowher and you might as well throw his name in too, but Gruden’s brash, confident, outgoing natures seems more Philly’s style. It helps, too, that his last stop before he became a head coach was as the Eagles offensive coordinator from 1995-97.
 
Mike McCoy – If the Eagles did want to go the unknown assistant route – especially since it served them so well with Reid – they might consider McCoy, the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. Think about what he’s done in the past two years. He started running an offense with Kyle Orton at quarterback, quickly changed midstream to win with Tim Tebow, and then re-overhauled everything in the offseason when they brought in Peyton Manning. To continue to have success while reinventing your own scheme is pretty impressive. He’s going to be high on the list of a lot of teams looking for the next bright young mind.
 
Chip Kelly – Ask people around the NFL for the top college coaching prospect in the nation and they’ll probably mention Alabama’s Nick Saban. But since nobody expects him to leave the Crimson Tide, Oregon’s Kelly is next on the list. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly tried to hire him before they hired Greg Schiano, and a few other teams will come knocking on his door this offseason. His spread offense with the Ducks is not only exciting it’s proved to be a winner. He may not be able to run that exact same scheme in the NFL, but he might be able to adapt some components to help out a nimble quarterback such as … oh, maybe Michael Vick?
 
—By RALPH VACCHIANO
Teaser:
<p> If the Eagles Fire Their Coach, Here Are Their Best Bets</p>
Post date: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 05:52
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-positional-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any website can give you.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Start or Sit

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Note: Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington are all on bye this week.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 05:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-quarterback-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington are all on bye this week.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Tom Brady NE vs. BUF Tom Terrific is 19-2 vs. Bills w/ 49 TD passes.
2 Peyton Manning DEN at CAR Came up just 9 yards shy of 5th 300-3 game in a row.
3 Drew Brees NO vs. ATL Has thrown for 15 TDs vs. 3 INTs in last five games.
4 Matt Ryan ATL at NO Threw for 342 yards, but no TDs (or INTs) vs. Dallas.
5 Ben Roethlisberger PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Only two games with 300+ yards, but 16 TDs.
6 Andrew Luck IND at JAC (Thurs.) Posted NFL rookie record 433 yards last week.
7 Matthew Stafford DET at MIN Only eight TD passes in eight games so far.
8 Eli Manning NYG at CIN Only 2 TDs w/ 4 INTs in last four games.
9 Cam Newton CAR vs. DEN Total TDs after 8 games: 18 in '11 vs. 10 in '12.
10 Josh Freeman TB vs. SD Has 11:1 TD:INT ratio over last four games.
11 Michael Vick PHI vs. DAL Has 11:3 TD:INT ratio in 6 career games vs. Dallas.
12 Tony Romo DAL at PHI Nine of his 13 INTs were thrown in two games.
13 Carson Palmer OAK at BAL Posted fifth career 400-yard game last week.
14 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF at NE Put up 350-4-4 in Week 4 loss to Patriots.
15 Philip Rivers SD at TB Tampa Bay last in league (321 ypg) in pass defense.
16 Joe Flacco BAL vs. OAK Less than 200 yards passing in 3 of last 4 games.
17 Andy Dalton CIN vs. NYG Giants 26th against pass, allowing 264 ypg.
18 Alex Smith SF vs. STL Tied season high with 3 TD passes in last game.
19 Ryan Tannehill MIA vs. TEN Played through injury, put up 290-1-0 vs. Colts.
20 Matt Schaub HOU at CHI Bears are 4th in sacks, tied for 1st in INTs.
21 Jay Cutler CHI vs. HOU Texans are No. 4 against pass, tied for 6th in sacks.
22 Jake Locker TEN at MIA Will resume his starting job, barring a setback.
23 Russell Wilson SEA vs. NYJ Has yet to throw an INT at home.
24 Sam Bradford STL at SF Comes off of bye to face league's No. 2 pass defense.
25 Blaine Gabbert JAC vs. IND (Thurs.) Tied season high with 2 TD passes vs. Lions.
26 Mark Sanchez NYJ at SEA Seahawks have allowed only 3 TD passes at home.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 10 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Week 10 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:59
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-running-back-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Ray Rice BAL vs. OAK Rookie Doug Martin gashed Raiders for 251 last week.
2 Adrian Peterson MIN vs. DET All Day is leading the league in rushing.
3 Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. NYJ Beast mode could be in effect vs. No. 27 rush defense.
4 LeSean McCoy PHI vs. DAL Averaging 96 rushing yards per game over last four.
5 Arian Foster HOU at CHI Faces tough task against No. 6 rush defense.
6 Doug Martin TB vs. SD Rookie has 386 rushing yards, 5 TDs in last two games.
7 Stevan Ridley NE vs. BUF Bills giving up league-worst 5.7 ypc.
8 Willis McGahee DEN at CAR Averaging 20+ attempts over last three games.
9 Frank Gore SF vs. STL Sore ribs shouldn't be an issue coming off of bye.
10 Matt Forte CHI vs. HOU Texans have yet to allow rushing TD.
11 Reggie Bush MIA vs. TEN Titans are allowing 141.6 yards rushing per game.
12 Chris Johnson TEN at MIA CJ (141, TD) lone Titans bright spot last week vs. Bears.
13 Jamaal Charles KC at PIT (Mon.) Has 83 yards rushing in last three games combined.
14 Ryan Mathews SD at TB Bucs are No. 1 in league against rush (77.3 ypg).
15 Michael Turner ATL at NO Posted second 100-yard game vs. Cowboys.
16 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG at CIN Averaging only 56.3 ypg over last three.
17 C.J. Spiller BUF at NE Averaging 7.2 yards per carry.
18 Rashad Jennings JAC vs. IND (Thurs.) Colts allowing seventh-most fantasy points to RBs.
19 Mikel Leshoure DET at MIN Leshoure had just 70 yards, but 3 TDs vs. Jaguars.
20 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN vs. NYG Season-best 91 yards rushing came back in Week 1.
21 Isaac Redman PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Should get another start after 147-yard effort vs. Giants.
22 Vick Ballard IND at JAC (Thurs.) Donald Brown's health dictates Ballard's workload.
23 Shonn Greene NYJ at SEA Hoping to get Ground and Pound going coming off of bye.
24 Pierre Thomas NO vs. ATL His role increases if Sproles (hand) is out.
25 Steven Jackson STL at SF San Francisco is No. 5 in league vs. rush.
26 Fred Jackson BUF at NE Longest rush thus far has been just 13 yards.
27 Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. DEN Broncos are ninth in the league in rush defense.
28 Felix Jones DAL at PHI Saw Lance Dunbar cut into carries last week.
29 Marcel Reece OAK at BAL Should have impact in the Raiders' passing game.
30 Daniel Thomas MIA vs. TEN Averaging 10 carries over last three games.
31 Andre Brown NYG at CIN Bradshaw's lingering foot mean more work for Brown.
32 Darren Sproles NO vs. ATL DNP last week (hand surgery), may be back vs. Falcons.
33 Joique Bell DET at MIN Making an impact as both rusher and receiver.
34 DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. DEN Fewer touches, but scored TD last week on 30-yard run.
35 Mark Ingram NO vs. ATL Saw more carries with Sproles sidelined.
36 Jonathan Dwyer PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Expected to be back this week.
37 Chris Ivory NO vs. ATL His role is dependent upon Sproles' health.
38 Daryl Richardson STL at SF Has gotten 7+ carries in four straight games.
39 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL at NO Has been more active in passing game recently.
40 Danny Woodhead NE vs. BUF Second on team in carries, 4th in receptions.
41 Taiwan Jones OAK at BAL His workload is dependent on Goodson's ankle.
42 Kendall Hunter SF vs. STL Total of 19 carries in past two games.
43 Mike Goodson OAK at BAL Next up after McFadden, but he also has ankle injury.
44 Peyton Hillis KC at PIT (Mon.)  
45 Michael Bush CHI vs. HOU Doesn't get many chances if it's not a blowout.
46 Donald Brown IND at JAC (Thurs.) Listed as Questionable, but played vs. Dolphins.
47 Ronnie Hillman DEN at CAR  
48 Ronnie Brown SD at TB Role has increased over past four games.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Week 10 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:58
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-wide-receiver-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 A.J. Green CIN vs. NYG Tied for league lead with 8 TD receptions.
2 Julio Jones ATL at NO Saints have allowed 14 TD catches by WRs.
3 Roddy White ATL at NO New Orleans giving up most fantasy points to WRs.
4 Victor Cruz NYG at CIN Ranks among top 7in catches, yards and TDs.
5 Calvin Johnson DET at MIN Seven-catch, 129-yard effort welcome sight for CJ owners.
6 Brandon Marshall CHI vs. HOU Leading fantasy scorer at his position.
7 Reggie Wayne IND at JAC (Thurs.) Leads league with 837 yards receiving.
8 Wes Welker NE vs. BUF Put up 11-129 against Bills in Week 4.
9 Vincent Jackson TB vs. SD First game against former team.
10 Demaryius Thomas DEN at CAR Seen six or more targets in every game but one.
11 Marques Colston NO vs. ATL Had just 4 rec., but caught sixth TD last week.
12 Mike Wallace PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Chiefs allowing 16.9 ypc to WRs.
13 Miles Austin DAL at PHI Has seen 9+ targets in each of last three games.
14 Eric Decker DEN at CAR No. 7 fantasy WR has 7 TDs in last 5 games.
15 Steve Smith CAR vs. DEN Scored first TD last week vs. Redskins.
16 Brandon Lloyd NE vs. BUF Scored twice in last game, had TD in Week 4 vs. Bills.
17 Andre Johnson HOU at CHI Has eight or more receptions in each of past three games.
18 Denarius Moore OAK at BAL Saw TD streak end at three games in a row last week.
19 DeSean Jackson PHI vs. DAL Produced just second 100-yard game of season last week.
20 Torrey Smith BAL vs. OAK Only one 100-yard game, but 5 TDs.
21 Stevie Johnson BUF at NE Dealing with hip issue, but should play Sunday.
22 Dwayne Bowe KC at PIT (Mon.) Bowe better fantasy option with Cassel at QB than Quinn.
23 Dez Bryant DAL at PHI Hip could be issue, just one catch for 15 yards vs. Falcons.
24 Hakeem Nicks NYG at CIN More swelling in knee, keep eye on status.
25 Mike Williams TB vs. SD Averaging 17.4 ypc, has 5 TDs.
26 Malcom Floyd SD at TB Bucs are giving up second-most fantasy points to WRs.
27 Brian Hartline MIA vs. TEN Posted first 100-yard game since Week 4.
28 Jeremy Maclin PHI vs DAL Has total of 61 yards receiving in last two games.
29 Michael Crabtree SF vs. STL Caught two TD passes vs. Cardinals in last game.
30 Kenny Britt TEN at MIA Dolphins allowing fourth-most fantasy points to WRs.
31 Lance Moore NO vs. ATL Averaging 15 ypc and has two 100-yard games so far.
32 Emmanuel Sanders PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Big opportunity with Antonio Brown (ankle) likely out.
33 Danny Amendola STL at SF Rams, Bradford should get No. 1 option back this week.
34 Anquan Boldin BAL vs. OAK Only TD came back in Week 1.
35 Sidney Rice SEA vs. NYJ Has TDs in three of past four games.
36 Cecil Shorts JAC vs. IND (Thurs.) Colts have allowed 11 TDs to WRs.
37 Nate Washington TEN at MIA Fins have given up second-most receptions to WRs.
38 Jeremy Kerley NYJ at SEA  
39 Titus Young DET at MIN Didn't fare as well in second game as starter last week.
40 Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK at TB Averaging 19.1 ypc since return from head/neck injury.
41 Davone Bess MIA vs. TEN Has seen at least 6 targets in every game.
42 Donnie Avery IND at JAC (Thurs.) Dealing w/ hip issue, watch status for Thursday game.
43 Laurent Robinson JAC vs. IND (Thurs.) Put up 9-41 against Lions in first action since Week 4.
44 Golden Tate SEA vs. NYJ Only 24 receptions, but 5 TDs.
45 T.Y. Hilton IND at JAC (Thurs.) Could see more targets if Avery (hip) is limited/out.
46 Michael Jenkins MIN vs. DET Increased role if Harvin (ankle) can't go.
47 Chris Givens STL at SF  
48 Justin Blackmon JAC vs. IND (Thurs.) Rookie caught first NFL TD pass last week vs. Lions.
49 Kendall Wright TEN at MIA Injured elbow last week, but should still play Sunday.
50 Donald Jones BUF at NE Patriots allowing ninth-most fantasy points to WRs.
51 Andrew Hawkins CIN vs. NYG Hasn’t produced much since Week 3.
52 Stephen Hill NYJ at SEA  
53 Randy Moss SF vs. STL Flashed old form on 47-yard TD vs. Cardinals.
54 Brandon Gibson STL at SF Looking at reduced role with Amendola's return.
55 Mario Manningham SF vs. STL Posted 3 or more receptions in every game.
56 Danario Alexander SD at TB Bucs have allowed second-most yards (1,847) to WRs.
57 Brandon Stokley DEN at CAR  
58 Ryan Broyles DET at MIN  
59 Jerome Simpson MIN vs. DET More opportunities if Harvin (ankle) is out.
60 Devery Henderson NO vs. ATL  
61 Kevin Ogletree DAL at PHI Posted best game (3-96-1) since Week 1 breakout.
62 Earl Bennett CHI vs. HOU  
63 Kevin Walter HOU at CHI  
64 Percy Harvin MIN vs. DET Says he's "a longshot" to play vs. Lions.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Week 10 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:57
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-tight-end-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington all are on bye.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Rob Gronkowski NE vs. BUF Has caught 2 TDs in each of past two games.
2 Jimmy Graham NO vs. ATL Back in form after missing game b/c of ankle injury.
3 Tony Gonzalez ATL at NO Only one TD in last five games.
4 Jason Witten DAL at PHI Leads all TEs in catches (58), only one TD.
5 Heath Miller PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Second only to Gronk w/ 6 TD catches.
6 Owen Daniels HOU at CHI Has a TD in five of past six games.
7 Vernon Davis SF vs. STL Has just 5 receptions in past three games.
8 Aaron Hernandez NE vs. BUF Should be back this week (ankle), but watch.
9 Antonio Gates SD at TB Only 3 catches, but did have TD last week.
10 Jermaine Gresham CIN vs. NYG Has at least 3 rec. in every game.
11 Martellus Bennett NYG at CIN Has not caught a TD since Week 3.
12 Brandon Myers OAK at BAL No. 7 TE in terms of fantasy scoring.
13 Dustin Keller NYJ at SEA Seven catches in each of past two games.
14 Brandon Pettigrew DET at MIN Has 39 receptions, only 1 TD.
15 Dwayne Allen IND at JAC (Thurs.) Fleener out for second straight game.
16 Brent Celek PHI vs. DAL Five or more targets in all but one game.
17 Scott Chandler BUF at NE Caught 2 TD passes vs. Patriots in Week 4.
18 Greg Olsen CAR vs. DEN Broncos allowing third-most points to TEs.
19 Jared Cook TEN at MIA Inconsistency makes him hard to trust.
20 Kyle Rudolph MIN vs. DET No receptions in 2 of last 3 games.
21 Anthony Fasano MIA vs. TEN Titans have allowed 7 TDs to TEs.
22 Joel Dreessen DEN at CAR Averaging a TD every 5 receptions.
23 Dennis Pitta BAL vs. OAK Has seen sharp decline in targets.
24 Jacob Tamme DEN at CAR Has 29 receptions, but only 1 TD.
25 Dallas Clark TB vs. SD Chargers have allowed 1 TD catch to TE.
26 Zach Miller SEA vs. NYJ Getting a few more looks, but still not many.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Week 10 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:56
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-kicker-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Lawrence Tynes NYG at CIN
2 Matt Bryant ATL at NO
3 Stephen Gostkowski NE vs. BUF
4 Blair Walsh MIN vs. DET
5 Sebastian Janikowski OAK at BAL
6 Jason Hanson DET at MIN
7 David Akers SF vs. STL
8 Justin Tucker BAL vs. OAK
9 Robbie Gould CHI vs. HOU
10 Shaun Suisham PIT vs. KC (Mon.)
11 Matt Prater DEN at CAR
12 Greg Zuerlein STL at SF
13 Shayne Graham HOU at CHI
14 Garrett Hartley NO vs. ATL
15 Connor Barth TB vs. SD
16 Dan Bailey DAL at PHI

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Additional Week 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Week 10 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:55
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player OPPONENT Notes
1 San Francisco 49ers vs. STL Have shutout Rams in 2 of last 3 played at home.
2 Chicago Bears vs. HOU Have 28 takeaways (17 INT, 11 fumbles) in 9 games.
3 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. KC (Mon.) Chiefs have league-worst 29 turnovers.
4 Houston Texans at CHI Texans are No. 3 in total, pass defense, No. 2 vs. rush.
5 Seattle Seahawks vs. NYJ Seahawks giving up 13 ppg at home.
6 Denver Broncos at CAR Broncos eighth against pass, tied for 6th in sacks.
7 New York Giants at CIN Have only given up 28+ points once this season.
8 Miami Dolphins vs. TEN Dolphins are No. 3 in league against rush.
9 Baltimore Ravens vs. OAK Ravens likely won't see McFadden in backfield.
10 Detroit Lions at MIN Christian Ponder struggling, Percy Harvin hurting.
11 New York Jets at SEA Rush defense (27th, 141.4 ypg) will be tested by Lynch.
12 Minnesota Vikings vs. DET Defense has struggled last two games.
13 New England Patriots vs. BUF Tied for 7th against rush, but 28th against pass.
14 Atlanta Falcons at NO Falcons looking to slow down Brees on road.
15 Dallas Cowboys at PHI Defense has allowed total of 2 TDs in last two games.
16 St. Louis Rams at SF Rams are 13th in both total and rush defense.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Additional Week 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Week 10 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:54
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-waiver-wire-week-10
Body:

And then there were two, bye weeks that is. Week 10 is the second-to-last bye week on the NFL schedule, but this is one that Aaron Rodgers and Robert Griffin III owners have possibly been dreading. No Packers, Redskins, Browns and Cardinals this week mean no reigning MVP or RGIII, also known as the top two scorers in all of fantasy football, along with several other reliable fantasy producers.

Whether you are looking for a fill-in quarterback or have a need at another position because of a bye or injury issue, here are some options worth considering as you prepare your team for Week 10.

Week 10 Positional Rankings

Week 10 Start or Sit

Bye week teams: Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay, Washington

Quarterbacks
Week 9 Recap: Matt Cassel added to his league-leading turnover total with two more in Kansas City’s 31-13 loss to San Diego. If Brady Quinn is cleared to practice, he may get the start on Monday night in Pittsburgh. Matt Moore didn’t even see the field on Sunday as Ryan Tannehill played through his injuries and performed pretty well (290-1-0) in the Dolphins’ 23-20 loss in Indianapolis.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills
Fitzpatrick had his best game of the season the last time he faced New England, throwing for 350 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-28 loss to the Patriots in Week 4. He did have four interceptions in that game, but still managed to score 32.4 fantasy points. The Bills and Patriots hook up again in Foxboro, Mass., on Sunday and as good as the Pats have been against the run, they are 28th against the pass and are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Wilson has thrown nine touchdown passes and no interceptions in four home games, compared to four scores and eight picks in five road contests. He is averaging 29 fantasy points over his last two contests played at CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks are home to the Jets this Sunday, and while the Jets are No. 6 against the pass, keep in mind that Wilson’s flawless home performances have come against the Packers, Cowboys, Patriots and Vikings.

Running Backs
Week 9 Recap: Joique Bell had a nice day for Detroit, leading the team in rushing with 73 yards on 13 carries and a score and adding three receptions for 36 yards. Even though Mikel Leshoure had three rushing touchdowns in the Lions’ win in Jacksonville, he and Bell tied in terms of total of number of touches (16 each), meaning Bell is someone definitely worth keeping an eye on moving forward. Donald Brown was listed as Questionable heading into Sunday’s game with Miami. He did play, but managed only one catch for seven yards and didn’t receive a single carry in the Colts’ win over the Dolphins. Justin Forsett got just six carries as Houston struggled somewhat to put away Buffalo. Peyton Hillis got seven carries, second most on the team, against San Diego, but finished with just 14 yards on the ground.

Lance Dunbar, Dallas Cowboys
DeMarco Murray will resume his role as the Cowboys’ lead back once he returns from his foot injury. There’s a chance Murray could be back in there this Sunday in Philadelphia. Until he’s back, however, the team continues to look for ways to jumpstart a sluggish running attack, which is why Dunbar got one less carry (9 to 8) than Felix Jones in Sunday’s loss in Atlanta. Dunbar finished with only 26 yards rushing (3.3 ypc), but with Jones’ well-documented injury history and the fact that Phillip Tanner got just one attempt against the Falcons, don’t be surprised if Dunbar gets a fair amount of touches against the Eagles should Murray miss a fourth straight game.

Mike Goodson, Oakland Raiders
Darren McFadden left Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay with a leg injury that is now being reported as the dreaded high ankle sprain. He was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday, but at this point, he has to be considered very questionable for this week. The Raiders abandoned the running game after McFadden left, but that’s also partially due to the fact they were trailing the Buccaneers 28-10 headed into the fourth quarter. Goodson figures to be first in line to take McFadden’s place in the backfield and he’s averaging 6.5 yards per carry in limited action. He also has been hampered by injuries, including an ankle injury on Sunday, so Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones are two other names to watch. Reece is extremely valuable as a receiver, as he led the Raiders in receptions (8) and yards (95) and caught a touchdown pass from Carson Palmer. The team also likes Jones, but he has missed a lot of time with a knee injury and got his first carry of the season on Sunday.

Isaac Redman, Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have certainly had their share of injuries when it comes to running backs, but it also seems like whoever they hand the ball to lately is getting the job done. Sunday was Redman’s turn as he rushed for a career-high 147 yards on 26 carries (5.7 ypc) and a touchdown in the win over the Giants. The Steelers don’t lack for backfield options with Redman, Jonathan Dwyer and Rashard Mendenhall all taking their turn as lead horse, but right now it’s Redman who is the healthiest and he played a huge role in Sunday’s victory. If Mike Tomlin chooses to stay with the hot hand, Redman could have another big game with Kansas City on tap for Monday night.

Wide Receivers
Week 9 Recap: T.Y. Hilton had a hand in Andrew Luck’s record-setting performance against Miami as the rookie hauled in five passes for 108 yards (21.6 ypc) and a score. Darrius Heyward-Bey accumulated 74 yards receiving on just five catches against Tampa Bay, while Titus Young managed just two for 20 against Jacksonville. Dexter McCluster got more carries than receptions (4 to 2), but finished with only 34 total yards in the Chiefs’ loss to San Diego.

Danario Alexander, San Diego Chargers
After being with the Rams the past two seasons, Alexander signed on with the Chargers in late October. Injuries to Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal thrust Alexander into action on Thursday night against Kansas City and the San Diego’s newest receiver responded by catching all three targets thrown his way for a team-leading 61 yards. Alexander averaged better than 16 yards per reception when he was with the Rams, and Philip Rivers has been looking for a deep threat to take Vincent Jackson’s place all season. It remains to be seen exactly what Alexander has to offer in terms of fantasy production, but it certainly does look like he will get more chances to prove his worth in the Chargers’ passing attack.

Danny Amendola, St. Louis Rams
Keep an eye on the practice reports, but Amendola could be back in action this week after missing the Rams’ past three games with a shoulder injury. The match up with San Francisco isn’t great by any means, but Amendola is quarterback Sam Bradford’s undisputed No. 1 option, as evidenced by the 44 targets he saw in his first four games. For the season, Amendola has 32 receptions for 395 yards and two touchdowns. It’s not often you have the possible opportunity to add a No. 1-caliber wide receiver as late as Week 10.

Davone Bess, Miami Dolphins
Teammate Brian Hartline has better numbers, but one could argue that Bess has been more consistent. He has caught at least two passes in every game and has five games with four or more receptions. He’s seen nine targets in each of the past three games and has reeled in 16 receptions during that span. He’s still in search of his first touchdown on the season, but that could change with Tennessee’s porous pass defense on tap this Sunday. The Titans have allowed 20 touchdown passes, which is tied for the most in the league. Because of his consistency and match up, Bess could be a WR3/Flex option this week, especially in PPR leagues.

Justin Blackmon, Jacksonville Jaguars
It took eight games, but Blackmon, the fifth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, finally found the end zone. Blackmon has struggled getting acclimated in his first pro season, but he’s showing signs of progress. He has nine receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown in his last two games. In his previous six he had 14 catches for 126 yards and no scores. Better still, he has caught 57 percent of his targets (9 of 17) in his last two contests, compared to only 38 percent (14 of 37) in his first six. Cecil Shorts is still the Jaguar receiver to own, but the team has a lot invested in Blackmon, so he should continue to get his opportunities as well.

Emmanuel Sanders, Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown suffered an apparent high ankle sprain in Sunday’s game against the Giants, and Sanders made the most of his opportunity. He caught both targets thrown to him, including the Steelers’ first touchdown of the game. For the season, Sanders is fourth on the team in both targets and receptions and should see his role increase if Brown misses any games because of the ankle injury. Jerricho Cotchery, who caught four passes for 50 yards on Sunday, also could see more opportunities if Sanders replaces Brown as the starter opposite Mike Wallace.

Tight Ends
Week 9 Recap: Brandon Myers led all tight ends in fantasy scoring with 22.9 points as he caught eight passes for 59 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa Bay. Zach Miller didn’t score, but he did add two more receptions for 47 yards to his recent stretch of solid production.

Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts
Teammate Coby Fleener is expected to miss a second straight game with a shoulder injury, meaning Allen will get the start once again this Sunday in Jacksonville. This past Sunday, the rookie from Clemson saw seven targets from Andrew Luck, hauling in six of them for 75 yards. He has passed Fleener in receptions and yards on the season and has a two-to-zero advantage on him in touchdowns too. With as well as Luck has been throwing the ball (NFL rookie record 433 yards passing against Miami), Allen is definitely starter-worthy this week against the Jaguars.

Joel Dreessen, Denver Broncos
Dreessen may trail teammate Jacob Tamme in terms of targets, receptions and yards, but he has four touchdown catches compared to just one for Tamme. The opportunities have also been a little more even in recent weeks as both saw four targets on Sunday against Cincinnati. Dreessen, however, is clearly Peyton Manning’s more favored target in the red zone, as evidenced by his four touchdown receptions, and scores from tight ends is what makes all the difference when it comes to fantasy value.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 9 Recap: San Diego’s defense converted two Matt Cassel turnovers into touchdowns in the fourth quarter as the unit scored 27 fantasy points in the win over the Chiefs.

Denver Broncos
The Broncos are seventh among DSTs in fantasy scoring, thanks to an effective pass rush (24 sacks) and the ability to capitalize on turnovers (three defensive touchdowns so far). Denver goes to Carolina this Sunday, and while Cam Newton is not the easiest quarterback to bring down (sacked just 17 times), the Broncos’ pass rush could still prove beneficial in forcing Newton into making a mistake should he choose to throw the ball while being pressured. The Broncos also seem to have found a new special teams weapon in the addition of kick returner Trindon Holliday, who took the opening kick of the second half against Cincinnati back 105 yards for a touchdown.

Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point per 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.

— By Mark Ross, published on Nov. 6, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 10</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:05
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Legends Poll, News
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-10
Body:

The Legends Poll Top 25After surviving in a thriller at LSU, Alabama proved once again it’s worthy of the No. 1 ranking in the Legends Poll.

Trailing by three with just over a minute left in the game, quarterback AJ McCarron was able to lead Alabama down the field, and connected with running back T.J. Yeldon for the go-ahead score.

The Crimson Tide received all 17 first-place votes for the seventh straight week.

“I think Alabama has got the total package,” former Syracuse coach Dick MacPherson said. “And I don’t think anybody else has what they have.”

Oregon and Kansas State continued to jockey for second in the top 25 poll. Oregon edged Kansas State this week and jumped back into the No. 2 spot.

Notre Dame remained at No. 4 after it survived a scare of its own, a triple overtime victory over Pittsburgh.

No. 6 Georgia and No. 7 Florida State flip-flopped in the rankings after Georgia’s victory over Ole Miss. The Bulldogs can wrap up the SEC East title with a win over embattled rival Auburn.

Florida, Clemson and Louisville rounded out the top 10.

No. 20 Louisiana Tech also jumped five spots, but No. 17 UCLA was the biggest mover in the rankings, vaulting back into the top 25 after a 66-10 victory over Arizona.

Texas and TCU were also newcomers to the rankings.

No. 23 Mississippi State fell seven spots in the rankings after suffering its second straight loss.

Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and West Virginia dropped out of the poll.

To see the individual votes by coach, visit the Legends Poll.

THE LEGENDS POLL TOP 25

 
RK TEAM RECORD POINTS PV RK
1 AlabamaAlabama (17) 9-0 425 1
2 OregonOregon 9-0 401 3
3 Kansas StateKansas State 9-0 397 2
4 Notre DameNotre Dame 9-0 368 4
5 LSULSU 7-2 338 5
6 GeorgiaGeorgia 8-1 337 7
7 Florida StateFlorida State 8-1 336 6
8 FloridaFlorida 8-1 309 8
9 ClemsonClemson 8-1 296 9
10 LouisvilleLouisville 9-0 268 10
11 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 7-2 227 11
12 Oregon StateOregon State 7-1 226 12
13 Texas A&MTexas A&M 7-2 224 14
14 StanfordStanford 7-2 222 13
15 OklahomaOklahoma 6-2 197 15
16 NebraskaNebraska 7-2 166 19
17 UCLAUCLA 7-2 106 -
18 Boise StateBoise State 7-2 95 17
19 USCUSC 6-3 85 18
20 Louisiana TechLouisiana Tech 8-1 79 25
21 NorthwesternNorthwestern 7-2 78 23
22 TexasTexas 7-2 71 -
23 Mississippi StateMississippi State 7-2 66 16
24 RutgersRutgers 7-1 44 24
25 TCUTCU 6-3 38 -
 

Others Receiving Votes

Texas Tech 29, Michigan 24, Oklahoma State 20, Cincinnati 16, Utah State 13, West Virginia 10, Wisconsin 9, North Carolina 2, Miami (FL) 2, UCF 1

Teams Dropped Out from Last Week's Poll

Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, West Virginia

 

* The Legends Poll voting process is exactly what the BCS is trying to create and Athlon will bring it to you as the de facto Selection Committee for fans to follow over the next two seasons, allowing you to see how the Selection Committee will operate from 2014 onward.  You can see the entire Poll at www.legendschannel.com.

Teaser:
<p> As voted on by 17 coaching legends</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:05
Path: /news/donald-brown-unlikely-play-expect-vick-ballard-start
Body:

UPDATE: Several sources are now reporting that Donald Brown will sit this week.

Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts

Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis Colts vs. Miami Dolphins
A return to practice on Friday gave us optimism that Donald Brown would be good to go for today’s game against the Dolphins. A downgrade to questionable on Saturday after swelling was found in the knee now leaves Brown owners pessimistic as Sunday’s Week 9 games will soon kick off.  It was already expected to be a time-share with Vick Ballard, much like last week’s 14-12-carry advantage for Brown over Ballard. Brown did more with his carries (14-or-80 to 12-for-55) but Ballard got the TD on his lone catch, leaping into the end zone for a 16-yard score. That was against a Titans team now ranked 30th against fantasy backs; today the Colts draw the seventh-ranked defense against fantasy RBs. They haven’t allowed a TD on the ground to a RB since Week 1 and haven’t allowed a TD through the air since Week 2.  Along the way, yardage totals of 79, 76 and 77 are the most allowed. Look elsewhere if you’re counting on a Colts RB as anything more than a deep flex.

Teaser:
Post date: Sunday, November 4, 2012 - 09:02
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-start-or-sit-week-9
Body:

The calendar has turned to November as we enter Week 9 of the NFL season. Following this week, eight weeks remain in the regular season, meaning in essence, we are halfway home. However, there are still three more bye weeks to manage, including this week as any Patriots, 49ers, Jets or Rams you have on your roster won’t get you any points in Week 9.

Athlon Sports is here to help you make all of those important lineup decisions for your Yahoo!, NFL.com or ESPN fantasy football league with our weekly Start and Sit suggestions. Keep in mind these are merely our suggestions as the ultimate decision comes down to you, the owner.

Week 9 Positional Rankings

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Bye week teams: New England, New York Jets, St. Louis, San Francisco

Sneaky Start of the Week
Dwayne Allen, TE, Indianapolis vs. Miami
Allen may have been drafted a round later than teammate Coby Fleener, and has fewer receptions and targets than the former Stanford Cardinal, but he definitely has one advantage this week. Allen is playing and Fleener is not.

Fleener injured his shoulder in last week’s overtime win in Tennessee and is expected to miss the next two games. This means Allen will replace Fleener as the Colts’ starting tight end and likewise he won’t be competing with him for targets during this time.

Fleener and quarterback Andrew Luck may have been teammates at Stanford, but that hasn’t affected Allen and Luck’s chemistry one bit. While Fleener does have more targets and receptions, Allen has just four fewer catches (17 to 21) and he has two touchdowns, compared to zero for Fleener.

Between Fleener and Allen, Luck has targeted these two a total of 59 times in seven games. That’s an average of more than eight per contest. While Allen won’t get every single TE target this week against Miami (Weslye Saunders is also on the roster), I think he will get more than enough additional opportunities to make him a legitimate starting option in a week that has Rob Gronkowski, Vernon Davis, Aaron Hernandez and Dustin Keller on bye.

Surprise Sit of the Week
Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay at Oakland
Wait a minute. Sit the guy who led all running backs in fantasy scoring last week by piling up 205 total yards (135 rush, 69 receiving) and two touchdowns against, by all appearances, what seemed to be a pretty good Minnesota defense? More on the Vikings' D later (see below), but as it relates to Martin, feel free to call me crazy, but I just don’t think he will have near as much success this Sunday against Oakland.

The Raiders are ranked 11th in the league against the run, allowing 102.1 yards per game. Of the 715 total yards rushing the Silver and Black have surrendered, 583 have been gained by running backs. Of that total, 284, or a little less than half, belong to Reggie Bush (172) and Willis McGahee (112). They also have scored three of the five rushing touchdowns the Raiders have allowed to backs.

Outside of these two, the other running backs have accumulated 299 yards rushing on 113 carries, which works out to 2.6 yards per carry, and two touchdowns. I’m not saying Martin has not performed on the same level or better than a Bush or McGahee to this point. I just don’t think the Raiders’ run defense has been that bad if you look at the whole picture.

My other hesitation with Martin for this week revolves around the loss of All-Pro left guard Carl Nicks. Nicks, who was one of the Bucs’ big free agent signees this offseason, has been placed on injured reserve with a toe injury. Regardless of how deep Tampa Bay’s offensive line is, the loss of Nicks will have an impact that's almost certain to show up on the field.

Someone will have to move over and take Nicks’ left guard spot, which results in a domino effect across the line, or a reserve will be asked to fill some pretty big shoes. Either way, I would not be surprised to see the Bucs’ running game, and perhaps even pass protection, struggle this week on the road against the Raiders. I don’t think Martin will get shut out, but I wouldn’t count on an encore performance this week out west.

Quarterbacks
START

Cam Newton (CAR) at Washington
Regular readers of this feature would probably bring up the fact that on more than one occasion, I have suggested sitting Newton. I still view Newton as one of the bigger disappointments in fantasy football this season, when you compare production with draft position, but that doesn’t mean he still can’t put up big numbers any given week. And considering Washington is last in the league in passing defense, has allowed the most touchdown passes (18) and yards (2,532) to quarterbacks, I really like his chances to do just that on Sunday.

Michael Vick (PHI) at New Orleans (Monday)
Like Newton, Vick has been another frequent Sit target here. What’s worse, Vick could be playing for his job, as the heat is on him, head coach Andy Reid and the rest of the team and organization to try and turn things around. Whether the Eagles can pull out the win in New Orleans on Monday night or not remains to be seen, but I do like Vick’s chances to do his part against the Saints. New Orleans is allowing the sixth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, and outside of 7.1 points by Matt Cassel, no quarterback has scored fewer than 23.2 against the Saints. Like Cassel, Vick has had his problems with turnovers, but I think he flips that script this week and plays his best game of the season. If not, he may find himself on the bench, and I’m just not referring to the fantasy aspect here.

Jay Cutler (CHI) at Tennessee
Cutler has been about as boom or bust as a quarterback can be this season. He’s had three games of 22 or more fantasy points, yet he’s also posted three games with fewer than 10. Last week against Carolina was one of those (9.8), but I will grant him some leniency as I think his sore ribs were bothering him more than he let on. So why am I on the Cutler bandwagon this week? Let’s just say I think the home cooking will do him some good. Cutler played his college ball at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., and on top of a visit to his old stomping grounds, he also gets to face the Titans and their 29th-ranked passing defense. What better medicine for an ailing quarterback than a defense that has given up 17 touchdown passes and the fourth-most fantasy points to the position.

SIT
Joe Flacco (BAL) at Cleveland
The last time Flacco faced the Browns back in Week 4 he threw for 356 yards, had two touchdowns (1 pass, 1 rush) and just one interception (24.6 fantasy pts). So why the change of heart for this week’s rematch? Two reasons, the first of which is that Flacco has not played well in Cleveland. In four career games in the Dawg Pound, Flacco has completed less than 59 percent of his passes for an average of 165.8 yards per game, to go along with four touchdown passes and one interception. The bigger reason is that when the Ravens and Browns played in Week 4, cornerback Joe Haden did not as he was in the midst of serving a four-game suspension. Haden returned in Week 6 and in the Browns’ last two games, the defense has given up a total of 340 passing yards and no touchdowns. I just don’t see the Ravens throwing it as much or with near as much success this time around against the Browns.

Christian Ponder (MIN) at Seattle
After not throwing an interception in the first four games, Ponder has seven in the past four. He also has just six touchdowns in that same span, further limiting his fantasy production. The Vikings are in Seattle this week to take on a Seahawks defense that has already held Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Tony Romo in check at home. Last time I checked, Ponder wasn’t on any of these guys’ level, even with the issues Romo has had recently with interceptions.

Matt Hasselbeck (TEN) vs. Chicago
With news coming out that Jake Locker is dealing with a fracture in his non-throwing (left) shoulder, Hasselbeck will remain the Titans’ starter until further notice. That said, I wouldn’t plan on using the veteran this week against Chicago. Even though the Bears’ defense has fared worse against the pass than the run, it’s still a pretty stout one overall and I don’t think the Titans have an offense that can be expected to do all that much. For what it’s worth, Hasselbeck isn’t the only Titan I’m down on this week (see below).

Running Backs
START

Alfred Morris (WAS) vs. Carolina
Let’s see, Morris is third in the NFL in rushing and he’s facing a Carolina defense that’s giving up 114.4 yards per game along with the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. No one it saw coming, but Morris has become basically a must-start option each week and that’s certainly the case this Sunday.

Reggie Bush (MIA) at Indianapolis
Bush hasn’t rushed for more than 67 yards in a game since exploding for 172 against Oakland in Week 2. Fortunately for him, Indianapolis and the Colts’ 27th-ranked run defense are on tap. The Colts have already given up 177 yards to Maurice Jones-Drew and 161 to Shonn Greene. I’m not sure Bush will get that many, but I am predicting he will end up with around 100 and probably a score or two.

Jonathan Stewart (CAR) at Washington
The Redskins have done a decent job against the run this season, as they are ranked 10th in the league. However, Jonathan Dwyer put up 107 on the ground against them last week and while Stewart probably won’t reach that mark, I think he will do more than enough as both a rusher and receiver to put up decent numbers. Remember, Stewart has been named the No. 1 ball carrier for the Panthers, so he’s getting more touches than he was in previous weeks. After having just six in Week 5, he’s averaged 17 in the past two games. More touches don’t automatically result in production, but they certainly don’t hurt either.

SIT
Fred Jackson (BUF) at Houston
It’s bad enough for Jackson owners to have to watch him share carries with C.J. Spiller (and the same goes for Spiller owners too). Now, the Bills have the pleasure of going down to Houston to face a Texans’ defense that’s fourth in the league in rushing yards allowed and has yet to give up a rushing touchdown. Reduced opportunities have already taken away from Jackson’s production potential, combine that with a tough match up and you come up with a strong argument to leave Jackson on the bench this week.

Chris Johnson (TEN) vs. Chicago
Credit Johnson with this much, he has done a good job of turning things around after getting off to a horrendous start. He has 91 or more yards rushing in four of his last five games. Unfortunately, this Sunday he will be facing the NFL’s top rush defense (77.9 ypg), which has given up more than 63 yards to any running back only once. The Bears also have given up just one rushing touchdown, and that came in Week 1. Johnson has taken several steps forward in recent weeks, but it looks like it will be a step or two backwards on Sunday.

Michael Turner (ATL) vs. Dallas
Take out Turner’s lone 100-yard effort this season (103 vs. Carolina in Week 4), and he’s rushed for 312 yards in six games. That’s averages out to 52 yards per game. He’s also scored a total of three touchdowns in those six games and has only seven receptions for 15 yards. He’s still getting the opportunities (24 carries last week), but Turner the Burner just doesn’t seem to be getting the job done any more. I don’t expect Dallas, which is 13th in the league in rush defense, to make things any easier on him this week either. With Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez doing as much damage as they have, the Falcons are slowly becoming a more pass-oriented team, which does not bode well for Turner’s fantasy outlook the rest of this season.

Wide Receivers
START

Steve Smith (CAR) at Washington
If Cam Newton (see above) is going to have a big game against Washington, he’s going to need some help from his receivers. Brandon LaFell is a little banged up, which means Smith and even tight end Greg Olsen (see below) will be asked to carry the load. The good news is that Smith is more than capable of doing so, and the Redskins’ defense has more than obliged this season. The Redskins have allowed the most receptions (124) and yards (1,819) to opposing wide receivers this season, to go along with 10 touchdowns. What more needs to be said?

Jeremy Maclin (PHI) at New Orleans (Monday)
Similarly to the Newton-Smith connection, Michael Vick will need his wide receivers to come through if he’s to enjoy the fantasy success against New Orleans on Monday night that I am predicting (see above). While I do think DeSean Jackson is a solid play this week, I am casting my vote for Maclin. The Saints are allowing the most fantasy points to wide receivers, including 13 touchdowns, so there should be plenty to go around regardless. However, I think Maclin is more of a complete receiver than Jackson, who relies heavily on the big play/reception, so I like his prospects of having a big night down in the Big Easy a little better.

Titus Young (DET) at Jacksonville
In fantasy football, there’s no better change agent than injury when it comes to a player’s outlook. Take the case of Young. Labeled a sleeper or player on the rise to start the season, the young receiver couldn’t seem to get out of his own way and was passed in the Lions’ pecking order by Nate Burleson. Burleson then breaks his leg in Week 7 against Chicago and Young immediately becomes the starter opposite Calvin Johnson. Young then proceeds to catch nine passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns against Seattle the very next game. Johnson may be dealing with a sore knee, but as long as he’s on the field he will draw the majority of the defense’s attention, not Young. Change can be a good thing, and that appears to be the case here for Young, not to mention his owners.

SIT
Jordy Nelson (GB) vs. Arizona
Nelson missed last week’s game against Jacksonville because of a hamstring injury. Reports are he won’t even try to test it until Friday, and even then he will probably be a game-time decision at best. Green Bay is on bye next week and the Packers have already have seen what happens when someone comes back from injury too soon. Greg Jennings tried to do that after injuring his groin and now he’s out indefinitely after deciding to undergo surgery. One has to figure that even if Nelson does play, he will be limited. For the Packers, the more prudent decision would be to sideline him this week in hopes that he will be back to full strength after the bye. I think that’s the wise decision for his fantasy owners too.

Torrey Smith (BAL) at Cleveland
Smith caught six passes for 97 yards and a touchdown against Cleveland in Week 4. But, as has already been referenced (see Joe Flacco, above), that was against a Browns’ defense missing its best cover corner – Joe Haden. Haden will be back for this game and not surprisingly, the Browns’ pass defense has fared much better in the last two games. Smith relies too much on big plays to get his numbers and I don’t think Haden and co. let him get them this Sunday.

Kenny Britt (TEN) vs. Chicago
The good news is that Britt has played in the last four games, and no other injury issues have appeared during this stretch. The bad news is, he hasn’t done a lot in these four games either, catching a total of 13 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown. Don’t expect this trend to change this Sunday as the Bears have given up four touchdown receptions to opposing wide receivers. Britt may be playing, but I wouldn’t start him unless I had no other choice.

Tight Ends
START

Greg Olsen (CAR) at Washington
The Redskins have allowed the second-most receptions to tight ends (52) and are tied for the most touchdown catches (7). Olsen is a tight end who is averaging better than six targets per game. Sometimes it is just as easy as that.

Kellen Davis (CHI) at Tennessee
The only team to allow more catches to opposing tight ends than the Redskins is the Titans (56) and they also have surrendered seven touchdowns to the position. Davis has only caught a total of 10 passes so far, but two of those are for touchdowns. I don’t think Davis will double his reception total in one game, but I will be surprised if he doesn’t finish with more than three, his current season high, and finds the end zone for the third time.

SIT
Kyle Rudolph (MIN) at Seattle
Rudolph does have five touchdown receptions, which ties for him for the third-most among his position, but he’s caught a total of two passes in his last two games. That’s also the number of touchdown passes the Seahawks have allowed to tight ends all season. In this instance, 2 + 2 = Rudolph on the bench.

Dennis Pitta (BAL) vs. Cleveland
Pitta had 18 receptions and two touchdowns in his first three games. Since then he’s caught 12 passes for no scores in his past four contests. Cleveland has given up only two touchdowns to opposing tight ends, and in Week 4 against these same Browns, Pitta didn’t catch a thing. I’m not expecting an exact repeat, per se, but I also would look at other options if I had Pitta on my roster.

Defense/Special Teams
START

Denver at Cincinnati
The Broncos held Drew Brees to 213 yards passing and the Saints to just 14 points last week. This week they go to Cincinnati to face a Bengals team that is struggling to run the ball (26th in the league in rushing) and has allowed five sacks and eight takeaways in its last three games. Advantage Denver.

Atlanta vs. Dallas
The Falcons have been fairly steady when it comes to DST production. They are 10th overall in fantasy scoring and have scored 10 or more points five times. The Cowboys are coming off of a game in which they turned it over six times, have a running game that’s pretty banged up and a quarterback that’s thrown 10 interceptions in the past four games. It doesn’t hurt that this game is on the Falcons’ home turf either.

SIT
Minnesota at Seattle
This appears to be a defense that’s reeling somewhat. Since Week 5, the Vikings’ DST has scored a total of 27 fantasy points. Seventeen of these came in one game, a dominating Week 7 performance against Arizona and its porous offensive line. In the past three games (which includes that same game against the Cardinals), the Vikings have surrendered an average of 156 yards rushing. Next up? Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks, in Seattle. I’ll pass, thanks.

Philadelphia at New Orleans (Monday)
The Eagles have a new defensive coordinator, a lot of other defensive issues and are on the road this weeks. Chances are you weren't planning on playing New Orleans' DST in this game either as this one has the look of an entertaining, high-scoring affair. And if that wasn't enough reason to give you pause on plugging the Eagles in there, how about this? The Saints have only turned the ball over nine times. Contrast that to the Eagles, who have coughed it up 17 times.

Kickers
START
Lawrence Tynes (NYG) vs. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is 2nd in the league in total defense and tied for ninth in scoring defense (20.6 ppg). However, this game is in New York and there's a reason that Tynes has already made 24 field goals, six more than any other kicker. I think the Giants will be able to move the ball against the Steelers, but will be held out of the end zone enough times to allow Tynes to add to his league-leading total of three-pointers.

Garrett Hartley (NO) vs. Philadelphia (Monday)
Hartley has only made seven field goals, as the Saints have been somewhat a touchdown-or-nothing kind of offense. That said, I don't think it matters this week as I am fully expecting the Saints-Eagles match up on Monday Night Football to feature lots of offense and plenty of points. Unless it's a safety, the only way a team can score points is with a kick (field goal) or a play that results in a kick (PAT). That's where Hartley comes in for the Saints. Likewise, I think Eagles kicker Alex Henery would be a solid option this week as well.

SIT
Rob Bironas (TEN) vs. Chicago
I will admit, Carolina's Justin Medlock proved me wrong last week, as he drilled five field goals and added a PAT in the Panthers' loss to Chicago, after I tabbed him as a Sit. So even though I am somewhat tempting fate by picking Bironas this week against the Bears, I'm willing to take that chance. The Bears' defense is still pretty good and as you can see by my previous Sit designations for Matt Hasselbeck, Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt (see above), I'm just not that optimistic about the Titans' prospects of doing much of anything on offense on Sunday. This blanket statement includes Bironas.

Jay Feely (ARI) at Green Bay
Arizona managed a total of three points on Monday night at home against San Francisco. Does anyone really expect the Cardinals to fare that much better this Sunday on the road at Lambeau Field? Green Bay is tied for first in the league (ironically with Arizona) in sacks (26), while the Cardinals have given up 39 quarterback takedowns. That's 11 more than any other team in the league. Does anyone else think these two statistics portend a rough day at the office for John Skelton and company?

— By Mark Ross, published on Nov. 2, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Start or Sit: Week 9</p>
Post date: Friday, November 2, 2012 - 06:20
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-positional-rankings-week-9
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any website can give you.

2012 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 9 Start or Sit

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Note: New England, New York Jets, St. Louis and San Francisco are all on bye this week.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings: Week 9</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-quarterback-rankings-week-9
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

New England, New York Jets, St. Louis and San Francisco are all on bye this week.

2012 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Drew Brees NO vs. PHI (Mon.) Brees looking for home cooking vs. Eagles
2 Aaron Rodgers GB vs. ARI Jags held A-Rodg to 186 yds., 2 TDs.
3 Peyton Manning DEN at CIN Threw 3 INTs in 1st qtr vs. ATL, 1 in other 27.
4 Robert Griffin III WAS vs. CAR Redskins have given up league-high 18 TD passes.
5 Matt Ryan ATL vs. DAL Has four games with 3 TD passes.
6 Matthew Stafford DET at JAC First multi-TD pass game (3) vs. Seahawks.
7 Eli Manning NYG vs. PIT Steelers No. 1 against pass, but 11 TDs vs. 3 INTs.
8 Ben Roethlisberger PIT at NYG Giants are No. 26 in pass defense, but have 16 INTs.
9 Cam Newton CAR at WAS Redskins: 314 passing ypg, 19 TD passes.
10 Michael Vick PHI at NO (Mon.) Saints' pass defense's TD:INT ratio is 15:3.
11 Andrew Luck IND vs. MIA Dolphins giving up 281 ypg through air.
12 Josh Freeman TB at OAK Freeman has 9 TD passes, 1 INT in last 3 games.
13 Tony Romo DAL at ATL Season-high 437 yds last week, but also 4 INTs.
14 Carson Palmer OAK vs. TB Bucs are yielding 310 passing yards per game.
15 Matt Schaub HOU vs. BUF May not need to pass much vs. Bills run defense.
16 Joe Flacco BAL at CLE Put up season-high 356 yds. in Week 4 vs. Browns.
17 Andy Dalton CIN vs. DEN Broncos held Brees to just 213 yds. last week.
18 Jay Cutler CHI at TEN Vanderbilt alum returns to old stomping grounds.
19 Philip Rivers SD vs. KC (Thurs.) Put up 209-2-1 in Week 4 win at Kansas City.
20 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF at HOU Could throw a lot if Bills have to play catch up.
21 Brandon Weeden CLE vs. BAL Threw for 320 yds. against Ravens in Week 4.
22 Russell Wilson SEA vs. MIN Rookie is 3-0 w/ 6 TDs, no INTs at home.
23 Christian Ponder MIN at SEA Four straight games with at least one INT.
24 Matt Hasselbeck TEN vs. CHI Bears tied for league lead with 16 INTs.
25 Matt Cassel KC at SD (Thurs.) If only he could cut down on turnovers.
26 Blaine Gabbert JAC vs. DET Showed toughness playing w/ broken labrum.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Week 9 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: Week 9</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 05:59
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-running-back-rankings-week-9
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

New England, New York Jets, St. Louis and San Francisco are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Arian Foster HOU vs. BUF Rested Foster gets worst rushing defense.
2 Ray Rice BAL at CLE Rice held to just 43 yards in Week 4 vs. Browns.
3 LeSean McCoy PHI at NO (Mon.) Saints allowing most fantasy pts. to RBs.
4 Matt Forte CHI at TEN Titans are No. 28 against run.
5 Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. MIN Posted second straight 100-yard game last week.
6 Adrian Peterson MIN at SEA No. 1 rusher vs. No. 5 rush defense.
7 Alfred Morris WAS vs. CAR Held to just 59 yds. vs. Steelers.
8 Trent Richardson CLE vs. BAL Coming off of season-high 122 yds. vs. Chargers.
9 Willis McGahee DEN at CIN Posted season-high 122 yards vs. Saints.
10 Ryan Mathews SD vs. KC (Thurs.) Had 61 yards on the ground vs. Chiefs in Week 4.
11 Darren McFadden OAK vs. TB Bucs are No. 6 in rush defense.
12 Jamaal Charles KC at SD (Thurs.) Pretty sure he'll get more than 5 carries this week.
13 Doug Martin TB at OAK Rookie exploded for 214 total yds., 2 TDs last week.
14 Reggie Bush MIA at IND Has only one game with 70+ rushing yards.
15 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG vs. PIT Steelers are ninth in rush defense.
16 Rashad Jennings JAC vs. DET Lions have allowed only two rushing TDs.
17 Darren Sproles NO vs. PHI (Mon.) Has three TD catches in last four games.
18 C.J. Spiller BUF at HOU Averaging 7.3 yards per rush attempt.
19 Chris Johnson TEN vs. CHI Bears bring No. 1 rushing defense to Music City.
20 Jonathan Stewart CAR at WAS Second game as Panthers' lead back.
21 Michael Turner ATL vs. DAL Season-high 24 att., but only 58 yds. last week.
22 Mikel Leshoure DET at JAC Left last week's game with leg injury, monitor status.
23 Jonathan Dwyer PIT at NYG Dealing with injured quad, monitor status.
24 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN vs. DEN Had 24 att. Last two games after just 9 in Week 5.
25 Fred Jackson BUF at HOU Texans No. 4 against run.
26 Donald Brown IND vs. MIA Had 80 yards in return from knee surgery.
27 Alex Green GB vs. ARI Averaging 2.4 ypc over last three games.
28 LaRod Stephens-Howling ARI at GB Followed up 104-yd game with just 4 yds. vs. 49ers.
29 Felix Jones DAL at ATL TD salvaged otherwise poor game vs. Giants.
30 Pierre Thomas NO vs. PHI (Mon.)  
31 Michael Bush CHI at TEN  
32 Daniel Thomas MIA at IND  
33 Vick Ballard IND vs. MIA Probably get less work with Donald Brown back.
34 Andre Brown NYG vs. PIT Ready to step in if Bradshaw struggles or gets hurt.
35 Joique Bell DET at JAC Could see more work if Leshoure is limited/out.
36 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL vs. DAL Had team- and season-high 60 yards (7.5 ypc) last week.
37 Peyton Hillis KC at SD (Thurs.) Returned from ankle injury last week.
38 Ronnie Hillman DEN at CIN Rookie rushed for 86 yds. last week vs. Saints.
39 Justin Forsett HOU vs. BUF Ben Tate out with hamstring injury.
40 Ronnie Brown SD vs. KC (Thurs.) Led Chargers in receiving last week.
41 Dexter McCluster KC at SD (Thurs.)  
42 DeAngelo Williams CAR at WAS Could be in danger of dropping to No. 3 in depth chart.
43 Phillip Tanner DAL at ATL If Jones struggles, Tanner will get more carries.
44 Montario Hardesty CLE vs. BAL  
45 Robert Turbin SEA vs. MIN  
46 Mark Ingram NO vs. PHI (Mon.) Has almost reached irrelevant status in Saints' offense.
47 Isaac Redman PIT at NYG Could be back on field this week (ankle).
48 DeMarco Murray DAL at ATL Not likely he returns this week, but monitor status.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Week 9 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 9</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 05:58
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-wide-receiver-rankings-week-9
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

New England, New York Jets, St. Louis and San Francisco are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 A.J. Green CIN vs. DEN Tied for league lead with 7 TD catches.
2 Brandon Marshall CHI at TEN Has seen 41 total targets in last 3 games.
3 Demaryius Thomas DEN at CIN Has three 100-yard games in last four.
4 Victor Cruz NYG vs. PIT Only two catches for 23 yards last week.
5 Calvin Johnson DET at JAC Megatron dealing with knee issue.
6 Percy Harvin MIN at SEA Tied for league lead in receptions (60).
7 Marques Colston NO vs. PHI (Mon.) Averaging 13 targets per game over last 4.
8 Reggie Wayne IND vs. MIA Leads NFL in receiving yards (757).
9 Vincent Jackson TB at OAK Saw three-game scoring end last week.
10 Steve Smith CAR at WAS Redskins are last in pass defense.
11 Andre Johnson HOU vs. BUF Bills have allowed 12 TD catches to WRs.
12 Julio Jones ATL vs. DAL Came up big (5-123-1) vs. Eagles.
13 Roddy White ATL vs. DAL Had season-low 3 rec., 38 yds. last week.
14 Mike Wallace PIT at NYG Giants have allowed third-most yards to WRs.
15 Jordy Nelson GB vs. ARI Hopes to return after missing last week (hamstring).
16 Denarius Moore OAK vs. TB Bucs have given up 111 receptions to WRs.
17 Larry Fitzgerald ARI at GB Took hard hit, but stayed in game vs. 49ers.
18 Miles Austin DAL at ATL One of three Cowboys with 100+ rec. yds. last week.
19 Randall Cobb GB vs. ARI Three TDs in last two games.
20 Hakeem Nicks NYG vs. PIT Only TD catch came in Week 2.
21 DeSean Jackson PHI at NO (Mon.) Saints are allowing most pts. to WRs.
22 Torrey Smith BAL at CLE Put up 6-97-1 in Week 4 win over Browns.
23 Dez Bryant DAL at ATL Injured hip last week, but should play on Sunday.
24 Dwayne Bowe KC at SD (Thurs.) Posted 7-108-1 against Chargers in Week 4.
25 Stevie Johnson BUF at HOU  
26 Eric Decker DEN at CIN Four straight games with at least one TD catch.
27 Antonio Brown PIT at NYG  
28 Jeremy Maclin PHI at NO (Mon.) Saints have given up 13 TD receptions to WRs.
29 James Jones GB vs. ARI Has 13 catches, but no TDs in last two games.
30 Malcom Floyd SD vs. KC (Thurs.) Averaging 16 ypc, but only one TD so far.
31 Titus Young DET at JAC Stepped up (9-100-2) big in Burleson's absence.
32 Mike Williams TB at OAK Season-high six receptions (68 yds., TD) last week.
33 Josh Gordon CLE vs. BAL Deep threat could be problem for depleted Ravens secondary.
34 Lance Moore NO vs. PHI (Mon.)  
35 Santana Moss WAS vs. CAR Has three TDs in last two games.
36 Anquan Boldin BAL at CLE Best game (9-131) came vs. Browns in Week 4.
37 Andre Roberts ARI at GB  
38 Sidney Rice SEA vs. MIN Caught season-high six passes (one for TD) last week.
39 Brian Hartline MIA at IND  
40 Cecil Shorts JAC vs. DET Looks like Jags' No. 1 option right now.
41 Kenny Britt TEN vs. CHI Has yet to put up huge numbers in a game.
42 Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK vs. TB  
43 Brandon LaFell CAR vs. WAS  
44 Kendall Wright TEN vs. CHI  
45 Nate Washington TEN vs. CHI  
46 Greg Little CLE vs. BAL Doing better job holding onto ball lately.
47 Andrew Hawkins CIN vs. DEN  
48 Davone Bess MIA at IND  
49 Donnie Avery IND vs. MIA  
50 Earl Bennett CHI vs. TEN Vanderbilt alums Bennett, Cutler return to Nashville, TN.
51 T.Y. Hilton IND vs. MIA  
52 Brandon Stokley DEN at CIN Steady vet has 2 or more catches in every game.
53 Golden Tate SEA vs. MIN Posted season-high seven receptions last week.
54 Kevin Walter HOU vs. BUF  
55 Donald Jones BUF at HOU  
56 Emmanuel Sanders PIT at NYG  
57 Justin Blackmon JAC vs. DET Went for 4-67 (16.8 ypc) last week against Packers.
58 Leonard Hankerson WAS vs. CAR  
59 Devery Henderson NO vs. PHI (Mon.)  
60 Michael Jenkins MIN at SEA  
61 Robert Meachem SD vs. KC (Thurs.)  
62 Ryan Broyles DET at JAC Has three catches and a TD in each of last 2 games.
63 Kevin Ogletree DAL at ATL  
64 Devin Hester CHI vs. TEN

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Week 9 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 9</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 05:57
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-tight-end-rankings-week-9
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

New England, New York Jets, St. Louis and San Francisco all are on bye.

2012 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Tony Gonzalez ATL vs. DAL Had season-low 3 rec., 29 yds. last week.
2 Jimmy Graham NO vs. PHI (Mon.) Put up 5-63-1 in return from ankle injury.
3 Jason Witten DAL at ATL Set NFL TE record with 18 rec. last week.
4 Heath Miller PIT at NYG Six TDs just one away from career high (2007).
5 Antonio Gates SD vs. KC (Thurs.) Only caught two passes last week.
6 Owen Daniels HOU vs. BUF  
7 Brent Celek PHI at NO (Mon.) Saints are No. 30 against pass.
8 Martellus Bennett NYG vs. PIT Hasn’t caught TD pass since Week 3.
9 Greg Olsen CAR at WAS Redskins allowing second-most pts. to TEs.
10 Brandon Pettigrew DET at JAC Posted seven catches last week.
11 Kyle Rudolph MIN at SEA Only two receptions in last 2 games combined.
12 Jared Cook TEN vs. CHI Emphasis on run game has limited his snaps.
13 Jermaine Gresham CIN vs. DEN  
14 Scott Chandler BUF at HOU Hasn't caught a TD pass in last three games.
15 Brandon Myers OAK vs. TB Has 3+ catches in three straight games.
16 Dennis Pitta BAL at CLE  
17 Jermichael Finley GB vs. ARI Just hasn’t been big part of passing attack.
18 Jacob Tamme DEN at CIN No TD catches since Week 1.
19 Logan Paulsen WAS vs. CAR Has caught six passes in each of last 2 games.
20 Joel Dreessen DEN at CIN  
21 Dallas Clark TB at OAK Has posted 8-91-1 in last two games.
22 Dwayne Allen IND vs. MIA Teammate Fleener expected to miss next 2 G.
23 Kellen Davis CHI vs. TEN Titans have allowed NFL-high 7 TDs to TEs.
24 Anthony Fasano MIA at IND  
25 Zach Miller SEA vs. MIN Caught first TD pass of season last week.
26 Marcedes Lewis JAC vs. DET

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 8 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Week 9 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: Week 9</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 05:56
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-kicker-rankings-week-9
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

New England, New York Jets, St. Louis and San Francisco are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Matt Bryant ATL vs. DAL
2 Lawrence Tynes NYG vs. PIT
3 Sebastian Janikowski OAK vs. TB
4 Blair Walsh MIN at SEA
5 Jason Hanson DET at JAC
6 Mason Crosby GB vs. ARI
7 Robbie Gould CHI at TEN
8 Shayne Graham HOU vs. BUF
9 Shaun Suisham PIT at NYG
10 Garrett Hartley NO vs. PHI (Mon.)
11 Matt Prater DEN at CIN
12 Connor Barth TB at OAK
13 Kai Forbath WAS vs. CAR
14 Alex Henery PHI at NO (Mon.)
15 Dan Bailey DAL at ATL
16 Phil Dawson CLE vs. BAL

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Week 9 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings: Week 9</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 05:55
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-9
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

New England, New York Jets, St. Louis and San Francisco are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player OPPONENT Notes
1 Chicago Bears at TEN Defense fueled last week's comeback vs. Panthers.
2 Green Bay Packers vs. ARI Defense w/ most sacks vs. offense w/ most sacks allowed.
3 Houston Texans vs. BUF Rested Texans coming off of bye.
4 Seattle Seahawks vs. MIN Allowing only 14 ppg at home.
5 San Diego Chargers vs. KC (Thurs.) Forced 6 turnovers in Week 4 win at Kansas City.
6 Atlanta Falcons vs. DAL Falcons 10th against pass (217 ypg).
7 Detroit Lions at JAC Lions allowing 16.8 ppg over last four.
8 Denver Broncos at CIN Held New Orleans to 252 total yards, 14 pts. last week.
9 Minnesota Vikings at SEA Gave up 135 yards rushing to Doug Martin last week.
10 Baltimore Ravens at CLE Ravens rested for Round 2 against Browns.
11 Miami Dolphins at IND Dolphins are No. 5 in scoring defense (18 ppg).
12 New York Giants vs. PIT Picked off Romo 4x last week, but also gave up 437 yds.
13 Pittsburgh Steelers at NYG No. 1 passing defense will be tested by Eli, Cruz, Nicks.
14 Cleveland Browns vs. BAL Allowed only two field goals to Chargers last week.
15 Arizona Cardinals at GB Been better against pass (No. 4) than run (No. 21).
16 Washington Redskins vs. CAR Can league's worst pass defense slow down Cam and co.?

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

Additional Week 9 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers

Week 9 Waiver Wire

Week 9 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 9</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 05:54
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-waiver-wire-week-9
Body:

Three more bye weeks remain with four teams getting a break each week up until Thanksgiving. As for Week 9, New England is the team owners will miss most, although San Francisco, St. Louis and the Jets have their respective useful players.

So whether it’s Tom Brady or Frank Gore or the 49ers DST you need to find a replacement for this week, here are some options for those positions and others worth considering as you look to fill out your Week 9 roster.

Week 9 Positional Rankings

Week 9 Start or Sit

Bye week teams: New England, New York Jets, St. Louis, San Francisco

Quarterbacks
Week 8 Recap: Josh Freeman posted his third-straight three-touchdown game against the Vikings, while Matt Hasselbeck, Chad Henne and Brandon Weeden combined to toss one TD pass. That came from Hasselbeck, as it was the only touchdown his Titans’ managed in their overtime loss to Indianapolis. Weeden’s Browns also scored a total of one touchdown, but that was enough to beat the Chargers. Henne didn’t even see the field as Blaine Gabbert played through a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder and helped the Jaguars put up a good fight before falling to Green Bay.

Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs
Just as he lost his job in part to a concussion, Cassel could have his starting job back after Brady Quinn sustained one this past Sunday against Oakland. Even though the Chiefs lost to the Raiders, Cassel didn’t play that poorly – 20-of-30 for 218 yards passing and a team-high 35 yards rushing. Turnovers, however, continue to be an issue as Cassel coughed up another fumble and threw a pick to increase his season total to 16 (10 INTs, 6 fumbles). Quinn will need to pass the mandatory concussion tests before he is cleared to practice, let alone play, so there’s a strong chance Cassel will be the starter this Thursday in San Diego.

Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill left the Dolphins’ 30-9 win over the Jets early after hyperextending his left knee and bruising his quad following a first-quarter sack. The rookie has said he is hopeful of playing this Sunday in Indianapolis, but if not the veteran Moore will get the nod. Moore wasn’t asked to do that much (11-of-19, 131 yards, TD) against the Jets, but he has plenty of starting experience under his belt. The Colts are allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, so if Moore gets the start, he could be a potential sleeper option if you are looking for one.

Running Backs
Week 8 Recap: Jonathan Dwyer reeled off his second straight 100-yard effort, as he rushed for 107 yards on 17 carries (6.3 ypc) in the Steelers’ win over the Redskins. Dwyer is making a strong case to keep the starting job even once Rashard Mendenhall and/or Isaac Redman return. Vick Ballard gained fewer yards rushing than Donald Brown (see below), but it was Ballard who scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime against the Titans after catching a pass and diving into the end zone. Rashad Jennings got 23 touches (17 carries, 6 receptions) and produced 115 total yards against Green Bay, while Danny Woodhead only saw seven for 59 total yards in the Patriots’ rout of the Rams. That was still more chances than Phillip Tanner (three for 13 yards) had in the Cowboys’ loss to the Giants.

Joique Bell, Detroit Lions
Bell got only three fewer carries (7 to 10) than Mikel Leshoure in the Lions’ win over Seattle and added four receptions to his afternoon’s work. For the season, Bell is averaging 3.9 yards per carry and is averaging better than five attempts over the past three games. He also has 20 receptions on the season and has caught three or more passes in five of the past six contests. Unless the Lions decide to give Leshoure the full workload, Bell could have some potential as a flex option, depending on how deep your league is, down the road.

Donald Brown, Indianapolis Colts
Remember me? Brown was the Colts’ starting running back until knee surgery sidelined him after Week 5. He returned on Sunday against Tennessee and led the team with 80 yards rushing on 14 carries (5.7 ypc). Vick Ballard did a respectable job in Brown’s absence, but unless the coaching staff has had a change of heart, one would assume that Brown would resume his starting role, perhaps as early as this Sunday against Miami. Either way, Brown is definitely someone that should be added to your roster, if he’s still available in your league.

Justin Forsett, Houston Texans
After spending his first three seasons with Seattle, Forsett now finds himself in Houston. Forsett also could find himself with more to do now that Ben Tate will be out of action for some time due to a hamstring injury. Arian Foster is the undisputed top dog in the Texans’ backfield, but he’s already had a heavy workload (league-leading 168 carries), so there’s a chance the team may turn to someone else to help lighten the load. There’s also the matter that Houston comes off of its bye to play Buffalo this Sunday. The Bills are last in the league in rushing defense (176.9 ypg) and have given up 13 touchdowns on the ground. The opportunity at least appears to be there for Forsett to be a potential sneaky flex option this week.

Peyton Hillis, Kansas City Chiefs
Like Brown, Hillis also dropped off most people’s radars as he’s been out of action since Week 4 with an ankle injury. Hillis finally returned on Sunday and although he only had 23 yards rushing against Oakland, 17 of those came on one lone carry. He also finished with just one fewer carry (4 to 5) than Jamaal Charles, which no doubt frustrated Charles’ owners to no end. While I am not expecting Hillis to surpass Charles in the pecking order for any reason other than injury, it at least appears that Hillis will resume his backup role in the Chiefs’ running attack. If that’s the case, Hillis becomes a clear handcuff for Charles’ owners and a potential flex option/bench depth for others.

Wide Receivers
Week 8 Recap: Cecil Shorts caught eight balls for 116 yards against the Packers, while Santana Moss caught another touchdown pass in the Redskins’ loss in Pittsburgh. Jeremy Kerley and Nate Washington each hauled in five passes for their respective teams.

Darrius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders
Heyward-Bey seems to be getting back into the flow of things with the Raiders after missing some time due to a concussion. He caught four passes for 85 yards (21.3 ypc) two weeks ago,  and this past Sunday he made his one catch count as he took it into the end zone from 32 yards out against Kansas City. Denarius Moore has established himself as Carson Palmer’s top target, but Heyward-Bey is more of a vertical threat. This Sunday, Oakland hosts Tampa Bay, who is ranked second-to-last in the league in passing defense (310 ypg).

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts
With four or more targets in each of the Colts’ past five games, Hilton is becoming a consistent part of his team’s passing attack. The rookie caught a season-best five passes against Tennessee and is averaging more than 14 yards per reception. With as well as Andrew Luck has thrown the ball, there will be opportunities behind No. 1 option Reggie Wayne, and Hilton should be in the mix for those along with Donnie Avery and the Colts’ tight ends.

Dexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs
In some leagues McCluster also qualifies as a running back, but in every sense of the word he’s a legitimate flex option. His performance was somewhat hindered by an earlier elbow injury, but he appears to be completely healthy once more. McCluster led the Chiefs with six receptions against Oakland, which went for 54 yards and their lone touchdown. He has six catches in each of the past two games, occasionally gets a carry or two out of the backfield, and can return kicks if need be. As much as the Chiefs’ offense has struggled this season, McCluster will more than likely continue to get some chances in hopes of providing some sort of spark.  

Titus Young, Detroit Lions
For a variety of reasons, Young couldn’t seem to get out of his own way to start the season and Nate Burleson took advantage of the opportunity and posted decent numbers. Burleson is out for the season after breaking his leg in Week 7 and this time, Young didn’t let another chance pass by. Young caught nine passes, on as many targets, for 100 yards and two touchdowns, all team highs, in helping the Lions defeat Seattle on Sunday. There’s no denying the talent that Young, the Lions’ second-round pick in 2011, has, it’s just been a matter of capitalizing on that untapped potential. With no one in front of him on the depth chart and All-Pro Calvin Johnson to attract plenty of attention on the field, there are no more excuses for Young to fall back on. Because this time, if he doesn’t, he may get bypassed by teammate Ryan Broyles, who caught his second touchdown pass in as many games against the Seahawks.

Tight Ends
Week 8 Recap: Logan Paulsen caught four passes for 43 yards in his first career NFL start, while David Thomas didn’t make the start, nor see much time on the field, as Jimmy Graham returned to the Saints’ starting lineup.

Zach Miller, Seattle Seahawks
After averaging nearly 57 receptions over a four-season span with Oakland, Miller caught a total of 25 passes last season, his first in Seattle. Miller already has 16 this season, including one that went for a touchdown this past Sunday against Detroit. Miller’s track record speaks for itself and it looks like Russell Wilson is realizing this and is starting to look the tight end’s way a little more frequently.

Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders
Myers has averaged five receptions and 52 yards receiving over the past three games. Carson Palmer clearly trusts his tight end, as Myers leads the Raiders in receptions (31) and is second only to Denarius Moore in targets (37). If he could find his way into the end zone a few times, Myers could develop into a borderline starting option depending on the week and match up.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 8 Recap: Atlanta got to Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick three times in its win on Sunday, but the Falcons weren’t able to force the Eagles into any miscues, limiting their fantasy output.

San Diego Chargers
The Chargers’ defense has performed pretty well to this point, as the unit is 10th in total defense and second in rushing defense. The Chargers held the Browns to just one touchdown in a 7-6 loss on Sunday, and will host the Chiefs on Thursday. Kansas City has had its share of issues on offense, most notably with the quarterback position, and is tied for 29th in the league in scoring at 17.1 ppg.

Scoring is based on Athlon Sports default scoring which is 6 points for all TDs, .5 points per reception and 1 point per 25 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving and 40 return yards.

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 30, 2012

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<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 9</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 08:30
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Whether it’s their given name or a nickname, these athletes and sports figures fit right in on Halloween.

Hal Mumme
College football coach (Iowa Wesleyan 1989-91, Valdosta State 1992-96, Kentucky 1997-2000, Southeastern Louisiana 2003-04, New Mexico State 2005-08, McMurry 2009-present)

Mumme (pronounced mummy) has been a college football head coach for more than 20 years and has more than 130 wins on his resume. For all his success, however, he is best known for his four seasons at Kentucky, where he went 20-26 overall and only 10-22 in SEC play. Mumme’s tenure with the Wildcats was (ahem) wrapped up at the end of the 2000 season with an eight-game losing streak and an investigation into NCAA rules violations related to illegally paying recruits. After taking a break from coaching, Mumme returned to the profession in 2003 and currently is the head coach at Division III McMurry in Abilene, Texas.

Boo Weekley
PGA golfer (2002-present)

Weekley’s given name is Thomas Brent, but everyone knows him by his nickname, Boo. This nickname came from Yogi Bear’s sidekick, Boo Boo, and not from trying to scare people, which is fitting given Weekley’s colorful personality on and off the golf course. It was on full display during the 2008 Ryder Cup when he rode his driver like it was a horse down the fairway during Singles play. Weekley and the rest of the U.S. team certainly put a fright into the European team at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky., as the underdog Americans won back the Ryder Cup with a convincing five-point victory.

Boomer Esiason
NFL (Cincinnati Bengals 1984-92, ’97; New York Jets 1993-95; Arizona Cardinals 1996)

A quarterback for 14 years in the NFL, Norman Julius, better known as Boomer, finished his career with 37,920 passing yards and 247 touchdown passes. His best season came in 1998, when he was the league’s MVP and led the Bengals to a spot in Super Bowl XXIII. He and his teammates came up short in that game against San Francisco, but Esiason will always be loved in Cincinnati, where he spent 10 seasons. The same cannot necessarily be said in New York, at least as it relates to his playing career. Esiason heard many a boo from the home crowd during his 15-27 run as the Jets’ starting quarterback from 1993-95. Esiason has remained in the game as a television and radio analyst and he also co-hosts a morning radio show on WFAN Radio in New York.

Red Grange, “The Galloping Ghost”
NFL (Chicago Bears 1925, ’29-’34; New York Yankees 1926-27)

Harold Edward, better known as “Red,” first made a name for himself and earned his spectral nickname when he starred as a halfback at Illinois. While noted sportswriter Grantland Rice was the first to record Grange’s collegiate exploits in prose, it was his colleague, Warren Brown, who then wrote for the Chicago American, who dubbed Grange “The Galloping Ghost.” Grange went on to play10 seasons in the NFL, most of them with the Chicago Bears, who later retired his number. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

Spook Jacobs
MLB (Philadelphia Athletics 1954, Kansas City Athletics 1955-56, Pittsburgh Pirates 1956)

His given name was Forrest Vandergrift, but for some unknown reason  he went by Spook during his brief baseball career. A second baseman, Jacobs hit .247 in 188 career games and never hit a home run.

Jerry Adair, “Casper the Friendly Ghost”
MLB (Baltimore Orioles 1958-66, Chicago White Sox 1966-67, Boston Red Sox 1967-68, Kansas City Royals 1969-70)

Adair’s major league career lasted 13 seasons, in large part due to his glove and ability to deliver in the clutch. He played most of his career for the Orioles and was a .254 hitter with 57 career home runs. He finished with a career .981 fielding percentage as he played all four infield positions (primarily second base and shortstop) at some point during his time in the majors.

Michael Myers
NFL (Dallas Cowboys 1998-2003, Cleveland Browns 2003-04, Denver Broncos 2005-06, Cincinnati Bengals 2007)

Mike Myers
MLB (Florida Marlins 1995, Detroit Tigers 1995-97, Milwaukee Brewers 1998-99, Colorado Rockies 2000-01, Arizona Diamondbacks 2002-03, Seattle Mariners 2004, Boston Red Sox 2004-05, New York Yankees 2006-07, Chicago White Sox 2007)

Michael Dewayne Myers terrorized quarterbacks as a defensive end in the NFL for six seasons collecting 15.5 sacks, while Michael Stanley Myers lasted 13 seasons in baseball as a left-handed relief pitcher. Myers didn’t exactly slash his was through major league batters, as he played for nine different teams in his career. His major league totals include a 25-24 record, 4.29 ERA, 256 walks and 429 strikeouts in 541 2/3 career innings pitched.

John Candelaria, “Candy Man”
MLB (Pittsburgh Pirates 1975-85, ’93; California Angels 1985-87; New York Mets 1987; New York Yankees 1988-89; Montreal Expos 1989; Minnesota Twins 1990; Toronto Blue Jays 1990; Los Angeles Dodgers 1991-92)

Candelaria was a left-handed pitcher who won 177 games during his 19-year major league career. The “Candy Man” finished with a respectable 3.33 career ERA over his 2,525 2/3 innings pitched. He was at his sweetest in 1977 when he went 20-5 with a National League-leading 2.34 ERA. He made his only All-Star Game that season and finished fifth in the NL Cy Young voting.

Vladimir Guerrero, “Vlad the Impaler”
MLB (1996-2003 Montreal Expos, Anaheim Angels 2004, Los Angeles Angels 2005-09, Texas Rangers 2010, Baltimore Orioles 2011)

For 16 years Guerrero struck fear into the hearts and minds of major league pitchers because of his tendency to swing at whatever they threw at him, regardless of where it was located. A career .318 hitter who was named AL MVP in 2004, Guerrero finished many of his at-bats holding his wooden stake after driving it right through the pitcher’s heart with yet another monster home run or game-winning hit.

George Wolfman & Cedric Wolfman
Minor league catcher 1934-35; Minor league pitcher 1954-56

Neither of these guys got a chance to howl on the major-league level, although I bet they were a lot of fun on nights with a full moon.

Moonlight Graham
MLB (New York Giants 1905)

Best known for his inclusion in the iconic movie, “Field of Dreams,” Archibald Wright, better known as “Moonlight” was in fact a real major leaguer. The outfielder’s career in the big leagues lasted all of one game, actually one inning, with the New York Giants 1905 when he was 27. He spent seven seasons in the minors, including his last in professional baseball in 1908. After his baseball dreams came to an end, he worked as a doctor in Chisholm, Minn., for 50 years before passing away in 1965 at the age of 85.

Warren Moon
NFL (Houston Oilers 1984-93, Minnesota Vikings 1994-96, Seattle Seahawks 1997-98, Kansas City Chiefs 1999-2000)

After going undrafted out of college, Moon started his professional football career playing for the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos. Six seasons later, Moon migrated from north of the border to Houston where he started his NFL career with the Oilers. Moon played 10 seasons for the Oilers, setting numerous franchise records, before moving on to the Vikings, Seahawks and ending his career with the Chiefs in 2000. Moon’s No. 1 jersey was retired by the Oliers (now Tennessee Titans) and he finished his NFL career with 49,325 yards passing and 291 touchdown passes. In 2006, Moon became the first modern African-American quarterback inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s also a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (2001).

Jose Bautista, “Joey Bats”
MLB (Baltimore Orioles 2004, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2004, Kansas City Royals 2004, Pittsburgh Pirates 2004-08, Toronto Blue Jays 2008-present)

Bautista bounced around with four different teams in his first season in the majors before finding a home in Pittsburgh. However, it’s been the past three seasons in Toronto that Bautista has made a name for himself and earned his nickname for the damage he’s done with his Louisville Slugger. In 2010-11, Bautista truly drove opposing pitchers batty as he hit a combined 97 home runs, drove in 227 runs, scored 214 and walked 232 times. He was named to the American League All-Star team and finished in the top four of the AL MVP voting each of these seasons. He was off to another strong start this season before a wrist injury caused him to miss more than a month and eventually led to season-ending surgery.

Torii Hunter, “Spider-Man”
MLB (Minnesota Twins, 1997-2007, Los Angeles Angels 2008-present)

The recipient of nine straight Gold Gloves from 2001-10, Hunter has an established reputation for his defense, most notably the art of robbing the home run. First with the Twins and now with the Angels, Hunter earned his nickname for his adept ability at climbing the outfield wall or timing his leap just perfectly to snag what seemed like a certain home run. Many a batter has experienced the agony of defeat as they watched the baseball that seemed ticketed to go over the fence get ensnared in the web of Hunter’s glove instead.

Spider Webb
Formula 1 driver 1950, ’52-‘54

Webb’s racing career lasted all of four races, in which he never finished higher than 19th. Tony Stewart may have made the move famous, but it would have been something to see Webb climb the fence after reaching Victory Lane, no?

Webb Simpson
PGA golfer (2008-present)

The professional golfer’s given name is James Frederick Webb, but whatever you choose to call him, you have to include major champion in that title. Simpson won this year’s U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco with a final score of one-over par. Simpson played in his first Ryder Cup this year as well, one of four rookies on the U.S. team. Simpson went 2-2 in his matches, but one of those losses was in Singles play as the European team roared back to defeat the Americans and retain the cup despite trailing by four points entering Sunday.

Brandon Webb
MLB (Arizona Diamondbacks 2003-09)

Shoulder injuries have short-circuited his pitching career, but Webb was at his best from 2005-08. He won 70 games during that four-year span, including 22 in 2008. He spun the best season of his career in 2006 as he went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA and was awarded the NL Cy Young Award. He finished second in the voting the next two seasons, but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2009.

Spud Webb
NBA (1985-91, ’95-‘96 Atlanta Hawks; Sacramento Kings 1991-95; Minnesota Timberwolves 1996; Orlando Magic 1998)

Anthony Jerome, better known as “Spud,” stands all of 5’7, but he never let his lack of size limit his impact on a basketball court. After playing at NC State for Jim Valvano, Webb was drafted in the fourth round of the 1985 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons. He never played for the Pistons and ended up spending the first six seasons of his NBA careeer with the Atlanta Hawks. Webb will forever be remembered for winning the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star weekend as he surprised everyone in defeating defending champion and Hawks teammate Dominique Wilkins for the title. Webb remains one of only two participants under six feet tall (Nate Robinson, who is 5’9 won it in 2006) to win the slam dunk competition. Webb’s NBA career lasted 12 seasons and he is documented as the third-shortest player in NBA history.

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 30, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 20 Halloween-Related Names in Sports</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 06:15
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It’s Week 8 of the NFL season, which also marks the halfway point of the bye weeks. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, all teams will have gotten their one-week respite, which means fantasy owners will only have to worry about injuries or a coach’s decision keeping their main players off of the field. Until then, four teams will be on bye each of the next four weeks, which means there are still plenty of who’s in, who’s out questions that need to be answered.

Athlon Sports is here to help you make all of those important lineup decisions for your Yahoo!, NFL.com or ESPN fantasy football league with our weekly Start and Sit suggestions. Keep in mind these are merely our suggestions as the ultimate decision comes down to you, the owner.

Week 8 Positional Rankings

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Bye week teams: Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Houston

Sneaky Start of the Week
Vick Ballard, RB, Indianapolis at Tennessee
Ballard was handed the Colts’ starting job after Donald Brown was sidelined because of knee surgery. Brown’s closer to returning, but if Ballard can build on his performance from last week, the Colts' backfield will be that much deeper.

Ballard’s first career start against the Jets was entirely forgettable (8 att., 25 yds.), but he bounced back nicely last week against Cleveland. The rookie out of Mississippi State had 84 yards rushing on 20 carries (4.2 ypc), including a long of 26.

He will have the opportunity to take the next step this week against Tennessee. The Titans are 28th in the league in rush defense (134.7 ypg) and are allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs. The fewest fantasy points the Titans have given up to any team’s backfield so far is 16.7 to the Vikings in Week 5.

Surprise Sit of the Week
Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City vs. Oakland
As bad as Matt Cassel has been this season, there’s no guarantee new starter Brady Quinn will fare any better. Quinn threw for just 180 yards and two interceptions in his first start in Week 6 against Tampa Bay, but he will get another shot this Sunday at home against Oakland.

Coming off of the bye week, the Chiefs decided to stick with Quinn rather than going back to Cassel. As of right now, the safest fantasy bet in KC is probably Jamaal Charles. After that it’s play-at-your-own-risk when it comes to the Chiefs and that includes Bowe, their No. 1 wide receiver.

Bowe’s numbers weren’t spectacular with Cassel under center, but two weeks ago with Quinn pulling the trigger he had just three catches (on nine targets) for only 25 yards. Prior to that game, Bowe was averaging 13.6 yards per reception.

Bowe is more of a vertical threat than a possession-type of receiver, and Quinn’s 4.7 ypc average (180 yards on 22 completions), which is what he produced against the Buccaneers, does not bode well for the wideout’s fantasy outlook.

Quarterbacks
START

Philip Rivers (SD) at Cleveland
I am fully aware that Rivers turned the ball over six times (4 INTs, 2 fumbles) the last time he played. That said, just as I stated last week, I still believe in Rivers, especially given who he will be facing on Sunday, Cleveland. The Browns are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and only two starters have scored fewer than 24.6 points against them. The turnovers are certainly frustrating and something that will hopefully be corrected, but if the Browns’ track record is any indication, Rivers should be able to bounce back this week.

Carson Palmer (OAK) at Kansas City
Take out his Week 4 showing against Denver and Palmer is averaging 21 fantasy points per game. That average over those five games would be eighth among all quarterbacks for the season, higher than Eli Manning, Andrew Luck, Michael Vick and Cam Newton, to name a few. The lack of touchdown passes (7) is what is really holding Palmer’s fantasy production back, but this could change against Kansas City. The Chiefs have given up 13 touchdown passes compared to just four interceptions.

Brandon Weeden (CLE) vs. San Diego
Weeden has put together a streak of three productive outings in which he has averaged 20.8 fantasy points during this stretch. He could make it four in a row on Sunday as San Diego is allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. The Chargers have surrendered 14 touchdown passes in six games, with half of these coming in their last two games. Granted, Weeden isn’t anything close to the level of a Drew Brees or Peyton Manning, but as long as he plays like he has been lately (6 TDs, 3 INTs last three games), he should be able to post some decent numbers against the Chargers at home.

SIT
Matthew Stafford (DET) vs. Seattle
It’s been brought up before, but needs to be reiterated. Through his first six games last season, Stafford had thrown 13 touchdown passes compared to just four interceptions. After six games this season, that ratio reads 5:6. To put it another way, Stafford had at least two touchdown passes in his first six games of the 2011 season. He is still looking for his first game with at least two scoring strikes this season. And I wouldn’t count on it coming this Sunday either considering that Seattle has given up a total of five touchdown passes in seven games. The Seahakws have already played (and beaten) Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Tony Romo.

Alex Smith (SF) at Arizona (Monday)
Smith started the season strong, posting back-to-back 22-point games, but outside of his 35-point explosion against Buffalo in Week 5, his production has plummeted. Smith has scored fewer than 14 fantasy points in four of his past five games, including just 2.5 in a Week 6 loss to the Giants. It seems that the coaching staff is showing less faith in Smith and the passing game lately, and his case isn’t helped any by the fact that Arizona is giving up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Unless the 49ers play the Bills again, it’s probably safest to go with someone other than Smith at quarterback.

John Skelton (ARI) vs. San Francisco (Monday)
Skelton won the starting job in Arizona in the preseason, but suffered an ankle injury in the Cardinals’ Week 1 win over Seattle. He got his job back finally in Week 7 as Kevin Kolb went down with a rib injury against Buffalo the previous week. Kolb hasn’t had much chance to show what he’s capable of, but unless his offensive line can do a better job of protecting him (NFL-worst 35 sacks allowed) it won’t matter. The match up with San Francisco, the league’s No. 3 defense against the pass, doesn’t help Skelton’s fantasy outlook either.

Running Backs
START

Willis McGahee (DEN) vs. New Orleans
Believe it or not, but McGahee is 14th among his position in fantasy scoring, ahead of Darren McFadden, Chris Johnson and Reggie Bush, among others. McGahee has obviously been overshadowed by Peyton Manning’s Denver debut, but it’s not like the Broncos have stopped running the ball either. McGahee has at least 14 carries in every game but one and better yet he has New Orleans on tap. The Saints are 31st in the league against the run (161 ypg) and Manning is smart enough to exploit a weakness in a defense when he sees it. I think McGahee will be both busy and productive this Sunday night.

Rashad Jennings (JAC) at Green Bay
Maurice Jones-Drew will likely miss several games with a sprained foot. MJD's injury opens the door for his backup,  Jennings, who himself missed two games earlier this season with a knee injury. The Jaguars also could be without starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who tore the labrum in his non-throwing shoulder last week, leaving Chad Henne under center against Green Bay. Either way, Jennings should get his chance to carry the load and the Packers have been somewhat susceptible to the run (109.9 ypg, 17th overall). This also is a guy who averaged 5.4 yards per carry in 2009-10 combined. May as well find out what he can do, right?

Jonathan Dwyer (PIT) vs. Washington
Who needs Rashard Mendenhall or Isaac Redman when you’ve got Dwyer. All Dwyer did was rush for a team season-high 122 yards on 17 carries in last week’s win In Cincinnati. Prior to that, the most any Steeler had rushed for in a game was 81 yards by Mendenhall in Week 5 against Philadelphia. There’s a chance that Mendenhall (Achilles) and Redman (ankle) could play this Sunday against Washington, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Mike Tomlin turned to Dwyer to carry the load once again. The Redskins have done a good job against the run, but I’m not going to bet against Dwyer, who you know will be fired up as he wants to show the coaching staff why he should remain the Steelers’ lead back.

SIT
Steven Jackson (STL) vs. New England (London)
Having produced seven straight 1,000-yard seasons, Jackson definitely has some tread on the tires, and it looks like it may be catching up to him this season. He has 380 yards rushing in seven games, which puts him on pace for 869 for the entire season. That’s not horrible by any stretch, but couple his reduced production with just one touchdown and you get the No. 26 running back in fantasy football. Injuries have played a role in his “decline” this season, as has the presence of backup Daryl Richardson. Worse for Jackson is the fact that New England is eighth in the league against the rush and have given up just two touchdowns to opposing running backs this season.

Trent Richardson (CLE) vs. San Diego
On paper, the conditions seemed right for Richardson to have his first breakout game as a rookie last week against Indianapolis. Or at least that’s what I thought. Instead of a breakout, however, what everyone saw was pretty much a breakdown, as Richardson’s rib injury was worse than he let on, resulting in him producing a measly eight yards rushing on as many carries. It got so bad that Richardson ended up getting benched for the second half as Montario Hardesty (7 att., 28 yds.) took over and finished the game. The coaching staff has already voiced their concern about Richardson's status for this week, so there’s a chance he may not even see the field this Sunday. Plus considering San Diego is allowing the fewest rushing yards per game in the league, this is shaping up to be a good week to leave the rookie on your bench.

DeAngelo Williams (CAR) at Chicago
Changes are coming in Carolina and I’m not jsut talking about the general manager who got fired earlier this week. There have been signs that the Panthers are changing their offense to feature more of a power running game with Jonathan Stewart assuming lead back duties. This certainly appeared to be the case last week against Dallas as Stewart led the way with 10 carries, while Williams got a total of two. He had only six carries the game prior that and for the season has a total of 177 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The Panthers have a lot of money invested in Williams, but it doesn’t look like he’s a big part of their current offensive plans.

Wide Receivers
START

Demaryius Thomas (DEN) vs. New Orleans
Thomas is a big target (6’3, 229) who also can get his fair share of yards after the catch. His 16.9 ypc average is ninth in the league, while his 269 yards after the catch (YAC) is third. He’s tied for the league lead with 12 receptions of 20 or more yards, and there’s no reason to think he won’t add to this total on Sunday night against New Orleans. For one, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is on a roll with three straight 300-3 games and two, the Saints are allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and 13.6 yards per reception. Besides Thomas, I also like fellow wideout Eric Decker to have a good game, although the same can’t be said for a Broncos tight end (see below)

Randall Cobb (GB) vs. Jacksonville
Over the past three games, Cobb is averaging 91 yards receiving per contest and the second-year pro from Kentucky caught two scoring strikes last week against the Rams. Considering the Packers have thrown the ball 41 more times compared to rush attempts in their last four games combined, there’s little reason to think Cobb won’t continue to get his chances. Not to mention that the Packers, who are on a nice little roll offensively, welcome the lowly Jaguars to Lambeau Field this Sunday.

Brandon Gibson (STL) vs. New England (London)
As good as New England has been against the run (eighth), the Patriots have been just as bad when it comes to pass defense. The Pats are 29th in the NFL in this category, allowing 290 yards per game through the air. They have given up 16 touchdown passes and just had Mark Sanchez light them up for 328 yards passing last week. The Rams will more than likely have to throw the ball to keep up against the Patriots, and given the numbers, Sam Bradford should have some success doing so. Gibson has become Bradford’s No. 1 option in place of the injured Danny Amendola, so he should be in prime position to capitalize against a defense that’s allowing the 10th-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

SIT
Michael Crabtree (SF) at Arizona (Monday)
Not surprisingly, Crabtree has pretty much gone as his quarterback, Alex Smith has gone (see above). Outside of a seven-catch, 113-yard game against Buffalo in Week 5, Crabtree has a total of 15 receptions for 112 yards and no scores in his four other games dating back to Week 3. He has only one touchdown on the season (came against the Bills) and is facing a 49ers defense this Monday night that has given up two touchdown receptions to opposing wide receivers. Smith isn’t a smart play this week and I think the same goes for Crabtree.

Brian Hartline (MIA) at New York Jets
It was only about a month ago when Hartline was one of football’s best early surprises after his 12-catch, 253-yard performance against Arizona. In his two games since, he’s caught a total of four passes and all of those came in Week 5 against Cincinnati. He didn’t catch a single pass in Miami’s last game against St. Louis, and this week he will face a Jets’ defense that’s allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. This includes a Week 3 game against the Jets in which Hartline had one catch for 41 yards. This doesn’t mean Hartline’s still not a good story, I just don’t think it’s a good idea to start him this week.

Andre Roberts (ARI) vs. San Francisco (Monday)
Roberts is coming off of a game in which he caught seven passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, and he’s No. 13 among wide receivers in fantasy scoring. The problem I see, however, with using Roberts this week comes in the form of San Francisco’s defense. Not only are the 49ers surrendering the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers period, they really aren’t permitting teams’ secondary receivers, such as Roberts, to do much of anything. With the exception of Week 1 (Green Bay), all 12 wide receivers not listed as No. 1 on their team’s depth chart that have played against the 49ers (and caught at least one pass) have scored a combined 46.9 fantasy points. That’s an average of 3.9 per wideout. I’m not saying Roberts can’t break this pattern, but between the 49ers’ track record and the problems the Cardinals’ offensive line has had protecting their quarterback (see John Skelton, above), let’s just say I don’t like his chances.

Tight Ends
START

Martellus Bennett (NYG) at Dallas
Bennett got off to an extremely strong start the first three games, a stretch that began with him going 4-40-1 against Dallas in Week 1. Bennett hasn’t been as productive since Week 4, but some of this can be blamed on a knee injury. He seems completely healthy once again after catching five passes for 79 yards against Washington last week. He’ll get another shot at tormenting his former team on Sunday, and it’s against a Cowboys’ defense that will be without leading tackler and signal-caller Sean Lee.

Brandon Myers (OAK) at KC
Myers has seen 17 targets combined in the last two games. He has turned those targets into 12 receptions for 106 yards. The only thing missing from his stat sheet this season is a touchdown. With as much trust as Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer has shown Myers (team-high 10 targets last week), I think that changes this Sunday in Kansas City.

SIT
Jared Cook (TEN) vs. Indianapolis
The Titans have won two games in a row, but Cook hasn’t necessarily played a big role in either of those victories. He’s had just six catches for 91 yards combined in those last two games. His diminishing presence in the offense could have something to do with the re-emergence of Chris Johnson and the running game. If that’s the case, don’t expect much more from Cook this week either as the Titans host Indianapolis and its 26th-ranked rush defense. On top of that, the Colts are allowing the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

Jacob Tamme (DEN) vs. New Orleans
Tamme is getting a fair share of catches (has 23, on pace for 61), but as everyone knows, Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning likes to spread the ball around. Being a tight end, Tamme’s best opportunity to produce would appear to be the red zone, but teammate Joel Dreessen has seemingly taken that role away from Tamme. Dreessen has three touchdown catches (compared to just one for Tamme), and all of them have come once the Broncos reach the opponent’s 20-yard line. For what it’s worth, I’m not sure either tight end will get many red zone looks in this game, as the Saints have allowed just one touchdown reception to a tight end, but if I had to pick a Bronco tight end to play, it would be Dreessen and not Tamme.

Defense/Special Teams
START

Green Bay vs. Jacksonville
Even though the Packers’ DST has scored just 62 fantasy points, good for 17th among the position, what’s not to like about this match up with Jacksonville? The Jaguars are last in the league in total, passing and scoring offense. They also may be without starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert, and even if he does play he will be doing so with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. Did I mention the game is at Lambeau Field?

Detroit vs. Seattle
Detroit lost on Monday night in Chicago, but what may been lost in the final score is how well the Lions’ defense played against the Bears. The Bears scored only 13 points and had less than 300 yards of total offense. The Lions’ defense has played better since the team’s Week 5 bye and now it gets a Seattle team at home that has a rookie quarterback. As well as Russell Wilson has played at home, he has a 2:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio in road games. Does anyone else think the Lions’ D is licking its chops?

SIT
Dallas vs. New York Giants

Statistically (4th in total defense, 3rd vs. pass, 15th vs. run, 14th in scoring defense) speaking, there are no glaring weaknesses when it comes to Dallas' defense. Unfortunately, the unit's on-field performance has not translated into fantasy success. The Cowboys’ DST is currently tied for 26th in fantasy scoring, behind the likes of Tennessee and Buffalo, who are currently 30th and 31st in total defense. Why is this? In standard leagues a DST’s value really comes down to sacks, turnovers and touchdowns. Dallas has 12, six and 0 in the aforementioned categories. As good as the Cowboys’ defense has played on the field, the unit simply isn’t scoring enough to merit fantasy consideration right now.

St. Louis vs. New England (London)
The Rams’ defense has played very well this season, ranking 10th in total defense and tied for 10th against the run. However, it’s been a little more susceptible to the pass (16th), something that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers took advantage of last week – try 342 yards passing and three touchdowns. On tap this week is Tom Brady and the Patriots in London. It may be a jolly good show for the locals gathered in Wembley Stadium on Sunday, but I don’t think that will be the case for the Rams’ D.

Kickers
START

Robbie Gould (CHI) vs. Carolina
I’m just not sure Jay Cutler will be 100 percent after sustaining that shot to his ribs this past Monday night. I think this may stymie, but not stifle, the Bears’ offense. Enter Gould and don’t lose sight of the fact that the Panthers have given up the most field goals to opponents.

Adam Vinatieri (IND) at TEN
Tennessee is allowing 34 points per game. If a team gets four touchdowns and two field goals, that would give them 34 points, right? Two field goals and four PATs would be at minimum 10 points for Vinatieri. Who wouldn’t take that from their kicker? Class dismissed.

SIT
Phil Dawson (CLE) vs. San Diego
Dawson has connected on all 12 of his field goal attempts, including four from 50 yards and out. While that’s impressive, San Diego has only given up four field goal attempts this season, the fewest in the league. I’m not expecting the Chargers to shut the Browns out, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see them continue to give up more six-point plays rather than three-pointers.

Justin Medlock (CAR) at Chicago
Chicago’s defense has given up six touchdowns to opposing offenses (one other touchdown came on an interception return, another on a fake field goal), while the unit has scored five of its own. Medlock has attempted a total of two field goals. Does anything else really need to be said here?

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 26, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Start or Sit: Week 8</p>
Post date: Friday, October 26, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, LSU Tigers, News
Path: /college-football/mathieu-among-4-former-lsu-players-nabbed-drug-arrest
Body:

Baton Rouge, LA (Sports Network) - Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and three other ex-Tiger football players were arrested on drug possession charges Thursday following an apartment search conducted by Baton Rouge police.

Mathieu, a Heisman Trophy finalist last year who was kicked off the LSU team in August for repeated violations of the school's substance abuse policy, was charged with simple possession of marijuana following the search of his residence.

A release issued by the Baton Rouge Police Department stated the officers also found a marijuana grinder, a digital scale and 10 bags of high-grade marijuana. Seven of the bags were located in a backpack belonging to former Tigers defensive back Derrick Bryant, who was charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Also arrested was Jordan Jefferson, a three-year starter at quarterback for the Tigers whose eligibility had expired after last season, and former linebacker Karnell Hatcher. Both were cited with simple possession of marijuana, with Hatcher booked as a second offender.

Mathieu had re-enrolled at LSU this fall after completing the first two stages of rehabilitation at the Right Step recovery center in Houston, where he was being mentored by former NBA player and coach John Lucas, with the intention to rejoin the football program next season. However, Thursday's arrest has likely compromised those plans.

The 20-year-old would be eligible to enter the 2013 NFL Draft and still has two years of college eligibility remaining.

According to the report, police had been summoned to Mathieu's apartment by a maintenance worker at the complex who had engaged in a dispute with Jefferson after the ex-quarterback had attempted to force his way through a security gate.

Teaser:
<p> Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu and three other ex-Tiger football players were arrested on drug possession charges Thursday following an apartment search conducted by Baton Rouge police.</p>
Post date: Friday, October 26, 2012 - 05:03
Path: /nfl/5-best-wide-receiver-tandems-nfl
Body:

Roddy White made his preference clear in an NFL Network interview that aired in late September. He noted the competition coming from the wide receivers in New York, but he cooly brushed them aside.

“The thing that me and (Julio Jones) bring to the game,” White said, “we’re probably the best duo in the league right now.”
 
The counterargument came a few weeks later, from Giants defensive end Justin Tuck.
 
“Well, I know that the ones down in Atlanta get a lot of pub too, but I think you'd be (hard) pressed to show me anybody better than Victor (Cruz) and Hakeem (Nicks)," Tuck said. "That combination, those two guys ... Hakeem has had some issues staying healthy a little bit lately here, but when those guys are healthy and rolling ... I think they are one of the -- if not the -- greatest combos of wide receivers there is."
 
One thing seems certain when considering what team has the most dymanic duo of receivers in the NFL: There is a big drop off after the two in Atlanta and the two in New York. And the truth is, it’s almost impossible to separate the top two tandems based on ability and statistics. And the choice may have to do with your preference, and even then it could change week to week.
 
So who are the top tandems in the league, and the most dangerous receiving duos in the game today? Here’s one list. And again, it’s close between 1 and 2.
 
Not so close after that.
 
1. Victor Cruz/Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants
One year ago the idea that they’d be the top tandem would’ve been laughable, especially since Mario Manningham was the starter opposite Nicks and Cruz was a bottom-of-the-roster player. Then Cruz exploded for a franchise record 1,536 yards and has followed that up this season with some of the best stats among receivers in the NFL (50-627-7). Nicks’ numbers aren’t there because he’s been hampered by foot and knee injuries – which, admittedly, hurts his value. But look at what they did together in Week 2, when Nicks was at his healthiest. Cruz had 11 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown, and Nicks had 10 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown. It’ll be tough for anyone to beat that. Plus, as evidenced by Cruz’s 77-yard, game-winning touchdown catch against the Redskins on Sunday, the Giants’ wideouts have a knack for the big play.
 
 
2. Roddy White/Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
These two have the advantage in pedigree, no doubt. White is a four-time Pro Bowler and Jones was the sixth-overall pick in the 2011 draft. And their stats this season are pretty impressive. White has 37 catches for 553 yards and four touchdowns and Jones has 30 catches for 376 yards and four touchdowns. They are both explosive, good route runners and have everything you’d want in a wide receiver. Maybe the only thing that makes them qualify as the No. 2 tandem instead of No. 1 is this: Neither one of them are the leading receiver on their own team. That honor goes to tight end Tony Gonzalez (43-430-4). Jones and White are tremendous in their own right, but having one of the greatest tight ends in history to draw some of the attention is a huge advantage to have.
 
 
3. Miles Austin/Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
For a moment, put aside Bryant’s off-the-field and character issues, forget about all of Austin’s injuries, and ignore the up-and-down nature of their quarterback, Tony Romo. Based on pure ability, explosiveness and the danger to make a big play, these two might be right on the heels of the top two duos. Bryant has the potential to be one of the NFL’s best if he can ever get his head screwed on straight. He has 36 catches for 378 yards and two touchdowns this season, which is good but hardly great considering he had 63 catches for 928 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. Austin’s numbers aren’t up to par either (25-428-4)but it was only two years ago that he was coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. This may be based more on potential than current production, but the danger is undeniably there.
 
 
4. Mike Wallace/Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers
He hasn’t put up huge numbers this season, but Wallace (29-397-4) is one of the fastest, most dangerous receivers in the NFL. There’s no doubt, though, he’s been hampered a bit by an offense that has struggled, especially in running the ball. Still, while he’s drawn the double teams, he’s opened the door for his dangerous sidekick, Brown, who leads the team with 36 catches for 442 yards (and a touchdown). Brown is less of a breakaway threat than Wallace, but two complement each other well. And if the Steelers can ever get a rushing attack going, their numbers should shoot way up.
 
 
5. Anquan Boldin/Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens
Ray Rice is the star of this team and the defense sometimes gets the headlines (undeservedly so, lately), but the Boldin-Smith combo has “danger” written all over them. Boldin has been a terrific receiver for years. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler still averaging 14.6 yards per catch (31-453-1) at age 32. And while Smith is only fourth on the Ravens in catches (behind Dennis Pitta and Rice), he’s averaging an impressive 17.4 yards per reception (25-435-4) and has very explosive potential. For proof, just look at his six-catch, 127-yard, two-touchdown game against New England in Week 3. Smith is also just 23 years old, so he’s getting better. They could easily start inching up this list by the end of the year.
 
—By RALPH VACCHIANO
Teaser:
<p> These double threats would make any QB smile.</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-positional-rankings-week-8
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any website can give you.

2012 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 8 Start or Sit

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Note: Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Houston are all on bye this week.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings: Week 8</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 05:50

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