Articles By Athlon Sports

All taxonomy terms: Overtime, Overtime
Path: /overtime/20-halloween-related-names-sports
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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.

 

Teaser:
<p> 20 Halloween-Related Names in Sports</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 06:15
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-start-or-sit-week-8
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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
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-quarterback-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 Web site can give you.

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

2012 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Aaron Rodgers GB vs. JAC Reigning MVP has 16 TDs, 2 INTs last 4 games.
2 Drew Brees NO at DEN Four straight games w/ at least 3 TD passes.
3 Peyton Manning DEN vs. NO Has three straight 300-3 performances.
4 Tom Brady NE vs. STL (London) Only one game w/ 3+ TD passes so far.
5 Robert Griffin III WAS at PIT Steelers No. 1 in passing defense.
6 Ben Roethlisberger PIT vs. WAS Redskins worst in NFL against pass.
7 Matt Ryan ATL at PHI Looking to put Week 6 (1 TD, 3 INTs) behind him.
8 Eli Manning NYG at DAL Only had 213 yards, 1 TD vs. Cowboys in Week 1.
9 Andrew Luck IND at TEN Titans have allowed 16 TD passes vs. 5 INTs.
10 Michael Vick PHI vs. ATL Is his job on the line against Falcons?
11 Tony Romo DAL vs. NYG Put up 307-3-1 against Giants in Week 1.
12 Cam Newton CAR at CHI Has just one 300-yard game to this point.
13 Philip Rivers SD at CLE Extra week to stew on 6 TOs vs. Broncos.
14 Carson Palmer OAK at KC Averaging 40+ pass attempts per game.
15 Matthew Stafford DET vs. SEA Has more INTs (6) than TDs (5).
16 Jay Cutler CHI vs. CAR Will his ribs be an issue against Panthers?
17 Josh Freeman TB at MIN (Thurs.) Has thrown for 728 yds., 6 TDs in last two games.
18 Matt Hasselbeck TEN vs. IND Gets 4th straight start, looking for 3 Ws in a row.
19 Alex Smith SF at ARI (Mon.) Has thrown 1 TD pass vs. 4 INTs in last two games.
20 Brandon Weeden CLE vs. SD Has posted 6:3 TD:INT ratio over last three games.
21 Sam Bradford STL vs. NE (London) Rams' passing attack been inconsistent all season.
22 Christian Ponder MIN vs. TB (Thurs.) Only 58 yds. (1 TD, 2 INTs) last week vs. Cardinals.
23 Mark Sanchez NYJ vs. MIA Threw for season-high 328 yds. last week vs. Pats.
24 Russell Wilson SEA at DET Has 2:7 TD:INT ratio on road vs. 6:1 at home.
25 Ryan Tannehill MIA at NYJ Rookie has just 4 TD passes (6 INTs) thus far.
26 John Skelton ARI vs. SF (Mon.) Cardinal QBs have been sacked 35 times already.

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

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Week 8 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: Week 8</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 05:49
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-running-back-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 Web site can give you.

Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Houston are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 LeSean McCoy PHI vs. ATL Falcons allowing 143.8 rushing yards per game.
2 Jamaal Charles KC vs. OAK Had just 40 yards rushing vs. Bucs in last game.
3 Matt Forte CHI vs. CAR Has 203 yards rushing in past two games combined.
4 Ryan Mathews SD at CLE Browns are 27th against run.
5 Adrian Peterson MIN vs. TB (Thurs.) Bucs have allowed only one 100-yard rusher so far.
6 Marshawn Lynch SEA at DET Ran for 103 on the road vs. 49ers last week.
7 Darren McFadden OAK at KC Has only one game with more than 70 yards rushing.
8 Chris Johnson TEN vs. IND After slow start, CJ averaging 112.8 ypg over last four.
9 Willis McGahee DEN vs. NO Saints allowing most fantasy points to RBs.
10 Frank Gore SF at ARI (Mon.) Ran roughshod (131 yds.) vs. Seahawks, ribs OK?
11 Alfred Morris WAS at PIT No. 2 rusher vs. No. 5 rush defense.
12 Reggie Bush MIA at NYJ Only had 61 yds. last game vs. Jets (injured knee).
13 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG at DAL Producing on Sundays, but foot remains an issue.
14 Doug Martin TB at MIN (Thurs.) Averaging 125+ total yards over last two games.
15 Michael Turner ATL at PHI Eagles have allowed only 2 rushing TDs.
16 Stevan Ridley NE vs. STL (London) Still lead back, but getting fewer carries.
17 Darren Sproles NO at DEN Still looking for first rushing TD of season.
18 Rashad Jennings JAC at GB His time to shine with MJD sidelined (sprained foot).
19 Steven Jackson STL vs. NE (London) Patriots are ninth against the run.
20 Trent Richardson CLE vs. SD Rib injury clearly worse than he let on, timeshare coming?
21 Shonn Greene NYJ vs. MIA Held to just 40 yards vs. Dolphins in Week 3.
22 Vick Ballard IND at TEN Titans are 28th against run.
23 Mikel Leshoure DET vs. SEA Last week Bears (No. 2 vs. run), this week 'Hawks (No. 7).
24 Felix Jones DAL vs. NYG Expected to start despite bruised knee.
25 Jonathan Dwyer PIT vs. WAS May keep starting job even after others are healthy.
26 Alex Green GB vs. JAC Packers just not running the ball a lot right now.
27 Jonathan Stewart CAR at CHI Reports are he could become Panthers' lead back.
28 LaRod Stephens-Howling ARI vs. SF (Mon.) Busted out (159 total yds.) last week, but 49ers on tap.
29 Pierre Thomas NO at DEN  
30 Montario Hardesty CLE vs. SD Keep eye on Richardson's status/rib injury.
31 Michael Bush CHI vs. CAR Not getting as many opportunities with Forte back.
32 Daryl Richardson STL vs. NE (London) Averaging nearly 10 carries per over last three games.
33 Rashard Mendenhall PIT vs. WAS Has chance (Achilles) to play this week.
34 Kendall Hunter SF at ARI (Mon.)  
35 Danny Woodhead NE vs. STL (London)  
36 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL at PHI Hasn't seen many opportunities last two games.
37 Phillip Tanner DAL vs. NYG Should get his carries even with Jones expected to start.
38 Andre Brown NYG at DAL Resumed backup role to Bradshaw in first game back.
39 Shane Vereen NE vs. STL (London) Got start last week vs. Jets, Patriots like to use all RBs.
40 DeAngelo Williams CAR at CHI Only eight carries in last two games combined.
41 Jamie Harper TEN vs. IND Been used in goal-line situations recently.
42 Mark Ingram NO at DEN  
43 William Powell ARI vs. SF (Mon.) LSH appears to have taken control of Cards' No. 1 job.
44 Joique Bell DET vs. SEA  
45 Ronnie Hillman DEN vs. NO  
46 Daniel Thomas MIA at NYJ  
47 LeGarrette Blount TB at MIN (Thurs.)  
48 Isaac Redman PIT vs. WAS Chance he (ankle) could play. 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 8 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Week 8 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 8</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 05:48
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-wide-receiver-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 Web site can give you.

Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Houston are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Calvin Johnson DET vs. SEA From one physical secondary (CHI) to another (SEA).
2 Percy Harvin MIN vs. TB (Thurs.) Vikings getting ball to Harvin any way they can.
3 Brandon Marshall CHI vs. CAR Has seen 27 targets (16 rec.) in last 2 games combined.
4 Victor Cruz NYG at DAL Leads all wide receivers in fantasy scoring.
5 Demaryius Thomas DEN vs. NO Big target could be big problem for Saints' secondary.
6 Jordy Nelson GB vs. JAC Has 17 catches, 243 yards and 4 TDs in last two games.
7 Marques Colston NO at DEN Has five touchdowns in past three games.
8 Reggie Wayne IND at TEN Career vs. Titans: 90 rec., 1,208 yds. 8 TDs (20 games).
9 Mike Wallace PIT vs. WAS Redskins allowing most fantasy points to WRs.
10 Roddy White ATL at PHI Sixth in league in with 92.2 ypg.
11 Vincent Jackson TB at MIN (Thurs.) Posted 7-216-1 in loss to Saints last week.
12 Julio Jones ATL at PHI Tied for team lead with 4 TD catches.
13 Wes Welker NE vs. STL (London) Averaging 11.5 targets per game since Week 1.
14 Larry Fitzgerald ARI vs. SF (Mon.) Poor pass protection hampering Cards' aerial production.
15 Miles Austin DAL vs. NYG His 4 career TDs vs. Giants are most against any team.
16 Eric Decker DEN vs. NO Saints allowing third-most fantasy points to WRs.
17 Randall Cobb GB vs. JAC Averaging 91 ypg and has 3 TDs over last three games.
18 Antonio Brown PIT vs. WAS Leads Steelers in targets (57) and receptions (36).
19 Hakeem Nicks NYG at DAL Just six catches for 28 yards in Week 1 loss to Cowboys.
20 Dez Bryant DAL vs. NYG Groin injury seemed to hinder him against Panthers.
21 DeSean Jackson PHI vs. ATL Just one TD catch and six receptions of 20+ yards so far.
22 Dwayne Bowe KC vs. OAK Can he and new starter Quinn get on the same page?
23 Jeremy Maclin PHI vs. ATL Says he is completely over hip pointer injury.
24 Steve Smith CAR at CHI Bears' secondary figures to be tough task.
25 Denarius Moore OAK at KC Just one game with more than 71 yards receiving.
26 James Jones GB vs. JAC Held out of end zone for first time in four games last week.
27 Malcom Floyd SD at CLE Browns allowing second-most fantasy points to WRs.
28 Brandon Lloyd NE vs. STL (London) Pats' recent game plans not been kind to Lloyd.
29 Kenny Britt TEN vs. IND Appears to be healthy, breakout coming?
30 Lance Moore NO at DEN Had season-high nine catches, 121 yards last week.
31 Josh Gordon CLE vs. SD Weeden's top target for the time being.
32 Jeremy Kerley NYJ vs. MIA Establishing himself as viable deep threat.
33 Mike Williams TB at MIN (Thurs.) Saw streak of 100-yard games end at two last week.
34 Michael Crabtree SF at ARI (Mon.) Only 57 yards receiving combined last two games.
35 Brandon Gibson STL vs. NE (London) Patriots have allowed 10 TD passes to WRs.
36 Nate Washington TEN vs. IND Caught game-winning TD vs. Bills last week.
37 Santana Moss WAS at PIT Had first 2-TD game since Dec. 2010 last week.
38 Brian Hartline MIA at NYJ Didn't catch a single pass in last game vs. Rams.
39 Titus Young DET vs. SEA Huge opportunity with Burleson (leg) done for year.
40 Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK at KC Seems to be getting back into the flow.
41 Andre Roberts ARI vs. SF (Mon.) Caught fifth TD pass last week.
42 Chris Givens STL vs. NE (London) Vertical threat could be a factor against Patriots.
43 Donnie Avery IND at TEN Titans are 30th against the pass.
44 Sidney Rice SEA at DET  
45 Stephen Hill NYJ vs. MIA Three touchdowns in as many games played.
46 Kendall Wright TEN vs. IND  
47 Cecil Shorts JAC at GB Probably better option with Gabbert rather than Henne.
48 Brandon LaFell CAR at CHI  
49 Greg Little CLE vs. SD Plagued by drops, but has caught last nine thrown to him.
50 Leonard Hankerson WAS at PIT Led team in receptions (6 for 70 yds.) last week.
51 Robert Meachem SD at CLE  
52 Davone Bess MIA at NYJ  
53 Devery Henderson NO at DEN Has 11 receptions, 198 yards, TD in last two games.
54 Mario Manningham SF at ARI (Mon.)  
55 T.Y. Hilton IND at TEN  
56 Brandon Stokley DEN vs. NO Crafty vet has three TDs in last four games.
57 Devin Hester CHI vs. JAC  
58 Justin Blackmon JAC at CHI Jags still looking for first-round pick to make an impact.
59 Emmanuel Sanders PIT vs. WAS  
60 Randy Moss SF at ARI (Mon.) Has a total of four catches in last four games.
61 Kevin Ogletree DAL vs. NYG Could be in danger of losing No. 3 job to Dwayne Harris.
62 Michael Jenkins MIN vs. TB (Thurs.)  
63 Ryan Broyles DET vs. SEA Should see more playing time w/ Burleson sidelined.
64 Jon Baldwin KC vs. OAK

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
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Week 8 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 8</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 05:37
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-tight-end-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 Web site can give you.

Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Houston all are on bye.

2012 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Rob Gronkowski NE vs. STL (London) Hauled in two TDs vs. Jets last week.
2 Tony Gonzalez ATL at PHI Still leads all TEs in receptions with 43.
3 Jimmy Graham NO at DEN Surprise scratch last week, back this week?
4 Aaron Hernandez NE vs. STL (London)  
5 Antonio Gates SD at CLE Caught 2 TD passes in last game (Week 6).
6 Vernon Davis SF at ARI (Mon.) First game with no catches since 2008.
7 Jason Witten DAL vs. NYG Had 3 rec. for 10 yds. in Week 1 vs. Giants.
8 Heath Miller PIT vs. WAS No. 4 in fantasy scoring among TEs.
9 Martellus Bennett NYG at DAL Put up 6-40-1 vs. Cowboys in Week 1.
10 Kyle Rudolph MIN vs. TB (Thurs.) Four targets, 0 receptions last week.
11 Brent Celek PHI vs. ATL  
12 Dustin Keller NYJ vs. MIA Had best game (7-93-1) last week.
13 Greg Olsen CAR at CHI  
14 Brandon Pettigrew DET vs. SEA  
15 Jared Cook TEN vs. IND Colts allowing fewest fantasy pts. to TEs.
16 Brandon Myers OAK at KC Led Raiders in receptions with 7 last week.
17 Jacob Tamme DEN vs. NO  
18 Jermichael Finley GB vs. JAC Shoulder continues to hamper production.
19 Coby Fleener IND at TEN Titans allowing most fantasy pts. to TEs.
20 Joel Dreessen DEN vs. NO  
21 Dwayne Allen IND at TEN  
22 Anthony Fasano MIA at NYJ  
23 Marcedes Lewis JAC at GB  
24 Dallas Clark TB at MIN (Thurs.) Put up 5-51-1 last week vs. Saints.
25 Logan Paulsen WAS at PIT Takes Fred Davis' (Achilles - IR) starting spot.
26 Lance Kendricks STL vs. NE (London)

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 8 Waiver Wire

Week 8 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: Week 8</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 05:36
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-kicker-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 Web site can give you.

Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Houston are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Kickers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT
1 Stephen Gostkowski NE vs. STL (London)
2 David Akers SF at ARI (Mon.)
3 Blair Walsh MIN vs. TB (Thurs.)
4 Matt Bryant ATL at PHI
5 Lawrence Tynes NYG at DAL
6 Greg Zuerlein STL vs. NE (London)
7 Sebastian Janikowski OAK at KC
8 Jason Hanson DET vs. SEA
9 Robbie Gould CHI vs. CAR
10 Mason Crosby GB vs. JAC
11 Matt Prater DEN vs. NO
12 Phil Dawson CLE vs. SD
13 Garrett Hartley NO at DEN
14 Dan Bailey DAL vs. NYG
15 Alex Henery PHI vs. ATL
16 Rob Bironas TEN vs. IND

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 8 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Defense/Special Teams

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Week 8 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Kicker Rankings: Week 8</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 05:35
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-defensespecial-teams-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 Web site can give you.

Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati and Houston are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 8 Fantasy Football Rankings — Defense/Special Teams

Rk Player OPPONENT Notes
1 Chicago Bears vs. CAR Bears looking to add to Panthers' woes.
2 San Francisco 49ers at ARI (Mon.) 49ers could seize control of NFC West with W.
3 Green Bay Packers vs. JAC Jaguars will be w/o MJD, possibly Gabbert too.
4 Seattle Seahawks at DET Hawks allowing 16 ppg on road.
5 Minnesota Vikings vs. TB (Thurs.) Vikings hoping to slow down Freeman/passing game.
6 Arizona Cardinals vs. SF (Mon.) Cardinals gave up 153 yards to Peterson, Gore up next.
7 New England Patriots vs. STL (London) Patriots gave up 403 total yards vs. Jets last week.
8 Atlanta Falcons at PHI Falcons hoping to capitalize on turnover-prone Eagles.
9 Detroit Lions vs. SEA Defense played well in 13-7 loss to Chicago on MNF.
10 Miami Dolphins at NYJ Dolphins held Jets to 93 yds. rushing in Week 3 loss.
11 San Diego Chargers at CLE Facing Weeden welcome sight after getting Brees/Peyton.
12 New York Giants at DAL Gave up 433 total yards to Cowboys in Week 1 loss.
13 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. WAS Steelers No. 1 in total defense, No. 2 against pass.
14 New York Jets vs. MIA Have allowed only 172 yards rushing last two games.
15 Cleveland Browns vs. SD Chargers' Rivers turned ball over six times in last game.
16 Dallas Cowboys vs. NYG Held Giants to 269 yards of offense in Week 1 win.

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 8 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers

Week 8 Waiver Wire

Week 8 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 8</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 05:34
Path: /college-football/start-vick-ballard-randall-cobb-rashad-jennings-philip-rivers-week-8
Body:

Only four teams are on bye in Week 8, compared to six last week. While owners will welcome some familiar faces back to their lineups, others will be faced with some difficult decisions. That’s especially the case at running back as Arian Foster, Ray Rice, C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson are all unavailable this week. Here are two ball carriers that may be able to fill in along with two other names worth starting in Week 8.

Vick Ballard, RB, Indianapolis vs. 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.

Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay vs. Jacksonville
When Greg Jennings initially went down with a groin injury, James Jones was the early beneficiary as he capitalized on his additional playing time and put together a streak of three straight two-touchdown games. However, he’s not the only Packer receiver to emerge while Jennings has been sidelined. Over the past three games, Cobb is averaging 91 yards receiving per contest and 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, even when Jennings finally returns. Not to mention that the Packers, who are on a nice little roll offensively, welcome the lowly Jaguars to Lambeau Field this Sunday.

Rashad Jennings, RB, Jacksonville at Green Bay
Speaking of the Jaguars, Maurice Jones-Drew will likely miss several games with a sprained foot. His injury opens the door for backup Jennings, who himself missed two games earlier this season with a knee injury. The Jags 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?

Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego at Cleveland
I am fully aware that Rivers turned the ball over six times (4 INTs, 2 fumbles) the last time he played. That final turnover cost me a victory in the league I own him, so believe me I felt your pain too. That said, I still believe in Rivers and think the bye came at the best time for him and the Chargers. Norv Turner said he was going to simplify the playbook to try and help his embattled field general, and I think we will see the fruits of this decision starting this Sunday. 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. In fact, Michael Vick put up 19.9 points against the Browns in Week 1 despite throwing four interceptions. 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.

Week 8 Positional Rankings

Week 8 Waiver Wire

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 25, 2012

Teaser:
<p> Start Vick Ballard, Randall Cobb, Rashad Jennings, Philip Rivers in Week 8</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 04:47
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketballs-worst-coaching-tenures-1984-85
Body:

Sometimes a coach inherits a bad team or steps into a program where the university simply does not invest in basketball. In some cases, through recruiting, Xs and Os and inspiration, that coach can turn a bad team into a good or even great one.

The guys on this list are not those coaches. Here are the 20 worst coaching tenures in the six major conference since the NCAA Tournament expanded in 1985.

WORST COACHING TENURES IN MAJOR CONFERENCES SINCE 1984-85
1. Dave Bliss, Baylor
Years: 1999-2003
Record: 61-57, 19-45 Big 12
Before his undoing at Baylor, Bliss took three teams to the NCAA Tournament (Oklahoma, SMU and New Mexico), but his downfall at Baylor remains one of college athletics biggest disgraces. One player, Carlton Dotson, pleaded guilty to murdering teammate Patrick Dennehy in 2003, and Bliss' actions in the aftermath did not help an already tragic situation. Bliss was found to have paid part of Dennehy’s tuition and that of another player (both NCAA violations), and then asked an assistant and players to lie to investigators about the payment, saying Dennehy had been dealing drugs. That, among other NCAA and recruiting violations put Baylor under harsh sanctions through 2010. On the court, Baylor had one winning season and never finished better than 6-10 in the Big 12.

2. Bob Wade, Maryland
Years: 1986-89
Record: 36-50, 7-35 ACC
Wade took over after the drug-related death of All-American Len Bias, who had just been drafted second overall by the Boston Celtics. With an academic scandal at the end of coach Lefty Driesell’s tenure as well, Wade did not take over in College Park under ideal circumstance when he was hired from the high school ranks from Baltimore Dunbar. After three seasons, including two where Maryland went 0-16 and 1-14 in the ACC, Wade resigned amid his own allegations of NCAA violations. He was replaced by Gary Williams, who resuscitated the program and won 461 games with the Terps.

3. Bob Staak, Wake Forest
Years: 1985-89
Record: 45-69, 8-48 ACC
Staak took over for Paul Tacy, who had reached the postseason in five consecutive years (three pre-expansion NCAAs, two NITs) before Staak arrived. The former Xavier coach and Connecticut player went 8-21 and winless in the ACC in his first season and never won more than three conference games during his four years at Wake. He resigned amid an NCAA inquiry into recruiting violations and was replaced by Dave Odom, who would lead the Demon Deacons to their most successful era in the 1990s and early 2000s.

4. Bill Foster, Northwestern
Years: 1986-93
Record: 54-141, 13-113 Big Ten
The only program from a major conference not to have reached the NCAA Tournament, Northwestern has had its share of futile coaching tenures. Foster’s, though, was the worst. The Wildcats finished in last place in six of his seven seasons, went 2-16 in the Big Ten five times and winless once. His successor, the late Ricky Byrdsong, reached the NIT in his first season with Northwestern. And interesting footnote: Foster also preceded Mike Krzyzewski at Duke.

5. Paul Graham, Washington State
Years: 1999-2003
Record: 31-79, 9-63 Pac-10
The Cougars aren’t known for their basketball success, but before Graham, Washington State built a solid program under Kelvin Sampson and reached the NIT under Kevin Eastman. After Graham, Dick Bennett and son Tony Bennett built Washington State into an NCAA Tournament team. A rash of play departures also didn’t help Graham’s short-lived tenure at Wazzu.

6. Jeff Bzdelik, Wake Forest
Years: 2010-present
Record: 34-60, 11-39 ACC
Bzdelik has coached in the NBA and took Air Force to the NCAA Tournament in 2006, so it’s a mystery why Bzdelik has had such meager results at a program that has been a consistent power in the ACC. The Demon Deacons have had their share of player departures, due to transfers and off-court issues, so those are possible reasons. That said, Bzdelik had more ACC wins in his third season (six) than he did in his first two combined (five).

7. Sidney Lowe, NC State
Years: 2006-11
Record: 86-78, 25-55 ACC
Hopes were high that Lowe, a former NC State player and longtime NBA assistant, would help the Wolfpack take the next step after an unspectacular run under Herb Sendek. As NC State learned, things weren’t so bad under Sendek, who reached the NCAA Tournament in each of his last five seasons in Raleigh. Lowe recruited well, but the results didn’t come on the court as NC State never won more than six ACC games in a season and finished ninth or lower each year. Successor Mark Gottfried, however, took advantage of the influx of talent under Lowe with a Sweet 16 appearance in his first season.

8. Melvin Watkins, Texas A&M
Years: 1998-2004
Record: 60-112, 21-75 Big 12
Watkins’ predecessor, Tony Barone, also was a candidate for this list, which says something about the Aggies’ basketball program in the ‘90s. Watkins, though, capped his tenure in College Station with a winless Big 12 season and a 7-21 overall record. The Aggies won 10 or fewer games three times in his six seasons. If there was a silver lining, Watkins did bring Acie Law and Antoine Wright to Texas A&M. Under Law and Gillispie, Texas A&M reached the NIT in 2005 and the Sweet 16 in 2007.

9. Brian Mahoney, St. John’s
Years: 1992-96
Record: 56-58, 29-43 Big East
After the departure of the program’s most successful coach, St. John’s promoted assistant Brian Mahoney to replace Lou Carnesecca, but Mahoney turned out to be the first coach in a line of four who weren’t able to restore St. John’s to the glory days. Mahoney reached the NCAA Tournament in his first season, but  reached only one NIT in the three seasons thereafter. Mahoney went 17-37 in the Big East.

10. Matt Doherty, North Carolina
Years: 2000-03
Record: 53-43, 23-25 ACC
Doherty played for Dean Smith at North Carolina and was a teammate of Michael Jordan’s. Those were better days for the Tar Heels. Doherty went 26-7 and 13-3 in the ACC in his first season taking over for Bill Guthridge, but he went 27-36 and 10-22 in conference the following two seasons. During his short-lived tenure, Doherty clashed with Guthridge and Smith by replacing longtime assistants and ran off players with his abrasive style. In North Carolina’s second attempt to pursue Roy Williams, the Tar Heels landed him to replace Doherty in 2003. With some of Doherty’s recruits, Williams won a national title in 2005.

11. Eddie Payne, Oregon State
Years: 1995-2000
Record: 50-90, 20-70 Pac-10
Since the retirement of Ralph Miller in 1989 until the hire of current coach Craig Robinson, none of the coaches in Corvallis had distinguished tenures. Payne’s best season was 7-11 in the Pac-10, but the Beavers went 3-15 in conference or worse in three of his five seasons.

12. Billy Gillispie, Kentucky
Years: 2007-09
Record: 40-27, 20-12 SEC
Hopes were high for Texas A&M’s Gillispie he took over for Tubby Smith, a national title coach who never wowed the Kentucky fan base. A first-round loss in the NCAA Tournament to Marquette followed by an NIT ended his tenure in Lexington after only two seasons.

13. Larry Shyatt, Clemson
Years: 1998-2003
Record: 70-84, 20-60 ACC
Shyatt took over after a successful run under Rick Barnes and was replaced by Oliver Purnell, who remade the Tigers into a postseason contender. In between, Shyatt had only two winning seasons and never finished better than 5-11 in the ACC.

14. Jerry Wainwright, DePaul
Years: 2005-10
Record: 59-80, 20-51 Big East
DePaul clearly was not ready to be competitive in the Big East and had long since fallen behind in recruiting the Chicago area. An Illinois native, Wainwright couldn’t help matters. He was fired midway through the 2009-10 season amid a stretch in which DePaul went 1-35 in Big East games.

15. Fred Hill, Rutgers
Years: 2006-10
Record: 47-77, 13-57 Big East
Like Jerry Wainwright and DePaul, Rutgers hoped Hill’s local ties would help revive a moribund Big East program. Hill signed McDonald's All-American Mike Rosario (who later transferred to Florida), but he never won more than five Big East games in four losing seasons at Rutgers. Hill caused further problems for his program when he got into a shouting match with the Pittsburgh baseball coach after a game between the two schools (Hill’s father is the Rutgers baseball coach). Hill disobeyed his athletic director by attending later games in the series, a development that played a role in his ouster.

16. Jeff Bzdelik, Colorado
Years: 2007-10
Record: 36-58, 10-38 Big 12
Bzdelik makes his second appearance on the list. Again, he won at Air Force and coached in the NBA, but he couldn’t manage a winning season at Colorado. Successor Tad Boyle, meanwhile, took over to lead the Buffaloes to back-to-back postseason appearances.

17. Todd Lickliter, Iowa
Years: 2007-10
Record: 38-57, 15-39
Perhaps a cautionary sign for Brad Stevens that the grass isn’t always greener. Lickliter left Butler after a Sweet 16 appearance for a failed tenure with the Hawkeyes. Iowa was a postseason regular under four coaches since the late ‘70s, but the Hawkeyes finished eighth or lower in the Big Ten each season under Lickliter.

18. Ricky Stokes, Virginia Tech
Years: 1999-2003
Record: 29-55, 10-38 Big East
The above record does not include Stokes’ first season when the Hokies were a member of the Atlantic 10, which was also his only winning season (16-15) in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech was already struggling before joining the Big East as a basketball member in 2000, so the Hokies’ first three seasons in the league were no big surprise.

19. Jay John, Oregon State
Years:
2002-08
Record: 72-97, 28-69 Pac-10
Again, Oregon State has never been an easy basketball job since and hasn't been a consistent winner since the '80s. John led Oregon State to its first postseason appearance in 15 years when the Beavers went to the NIT in 2005. But four years later he also laid the groundwork for a 6-25 season in which the Beavers went winless in Pac-10 play. John did not finish that season, however, as he was fired after 18 games.

20. Darrin Horn, South Carolina
Years: 2008-12
Record: 60-63, 23-41 SEC
In his first season, Horn led South Carolina to its first SEC winning record in 11 years, but it was downhill from there. The Gamecocks' overall and conference record declined in each of Horn’s final three seasons, bottoming out at 10-21 overall and 2-14 in the SEC last season.

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball's Worst Coaching Tenures since 1984-85</p>
Post date: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 06:30
Path: /fantasy/don%E2%80%99t-start-dwayne-bowe-brian-hartline-trent-richardson-dallas-defense-week-8
Body:

Fewer teams are on bye in Week 8 than last, meaning the player pool is deeper for this week. That still doesn’t mean there aren’t those who should probably be left on your bench this week. Here are a few names I am not that crazy about in Week 8.

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, which is what he produced against Tampa Bay, does not bode well for the wideout’s fantasy outlook.

Brian Hartline, WR, Miami 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. Whether it’s defenses paying more attention to him or the ups and downs that come with relying on a rookie quarterback (Ryan Tannehill), Hartline’s production has plummeted. He didn’t catch a single pass in Miami’s last game against St. Louis, and this week faces 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. Darrelle Revis may not be playing, but the Jets’ secondary hasn’t missed a beat, which is why it may be in your team's best interests to see that Hartline "misses" this Sunday's game.

Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland 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. After all, he was getting his shot at a Colts’ defense that had been gashed by the Jets, particularly Shonn Greene, the week prior. Instead of a breakout, however, what everyone saw was pretty much a breakdown, as Richardson’s rib injury was worse than he let on and he was held to 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 is concerned about Richardson’s ribs, 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.

Dallas, DST, vs. New York Giants
The Cowboys are fourth overall in total defense, third in pass defense, 15th against the run, and 14th in points allowed. Statistically, there are no glaring weaknesses on this defense. Unfortunately, Dallas’ 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? It’s mainly because the Cowboys have only generated 12 sacks, six turnovers (2 INTs, 4 fumble recoveries), and have yet to score a defensive or special teams touchdown. In some leagues, yards allowed and three and outs and other categories count too, but in standard leagues a DST’s value really comes down to sacks, turnovers and touchdowns. As good as the Cowboys’ defense has played on the field, the unit simply isn’t scoring enough to merit fantasy consideration right now.

Week 8 Positional Rankings

Week 8 Waiver Wire

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 25, 2012

Teaser:
<p> Don’t Start Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline, Trent Richardson, Dallas Defense in Week 8</p>
Post date: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 05:15
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /mlb/2012-world-series-position-position-breakdown
Body:

The Detroit Tigers finally found a World Series opponent and will open the 108th edition of the Fall Classic against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday at AT&T Park.

While the Tigers were waiting, though, the Giants were fighting for their lives against the St. Louis Cardinals and on Monday staved off elimination for a sixth straight time and advanced to their second World Series in three years with a 9-0 win in Game 7.

Resiliency has been the Giants' calling card this October, as they also became the first team in NL history to rally back from an 0-2 hole and win a Division Series with a five-game win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Now, history has told us that the long layoff doesn't give any advantage and the Tigers can attest to that, as they were in a similar situation in 2006 and were defeated in five games by a Cardinals team that had just played a seven- game series.

In fact, since the LCS expanded to a seven-game format in 1985 there have been three instances where a sweeping team will be going up against a club that was forced to win in seven games and all three times the team with the additional rest was defeated.

Amazingly, these two storied franchises have never met in the World Series, despite this being the 19th trip for the Giants and the Tigers' 11th appearance. However, this is only the fifth time the Giants will be playing in this round since the team moved from New York to San Francisco.

Of course, the Giants' last trip to the World Series resulted in the franchise's first title since 1954, a five-game victory over the Texas Rangers in 2010.

Detroit will be seeking its first title since besting the San Diego Padres in 1984.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the matchups at each position:

 

CATCHER

Alex Avila regressed a bit this season after an All-Star campaign in 2011. His batting average fell more than 50 points (.245) and he hit 10 fewer homers (9 HR). His struggles have continued in the postseason, as he is just 5-for-22 with an RBI.

Buster Posey drove the Giants' offense during the regular season with a league-best .334 average, but has struggled here in the playoffs and is coming off an NLCS in which he hit just .154 with only one RBI.

EDGE: GIANTS

 

FIRST BASE

Prince Fielder enjoyed his first year in Motown by hitting .313 with 30 home runs and 108 RBI. However, he's only hit .211 in the postseason and has just one home run and three RBI to his credit.

Brandon Belt offers nowhere near the production of Fielder, but he's a much better defender and is better on the bases than his counterpart. Still, he hit .304 in the NLCS and homered in the Game 7 clincher.

EDGE: TIGERS

 

SECOND BASE

Omar Infante was acquired midseason from Miami to help address a need at second base that has plagued the team the past couple of seasons. He's not a superstar, but has played real well in the playoffs, batting .274 primarily out of the nine hole.

Marco Scutaro may be the hottest hitter entering this series, and is coming off an NLCS that saw him bat .500 (14-for-28) with six runs scored and four RBI. Scutaro has been terrific since coming over from Colorado in a midseason deal, as he is hitting .362 with 44 RBI in 61 games for the Giants.

EDGE: GIANTS

 

THIRD BASE

With a batting average of .330 along with 44 home runs and 139 RBI, Miguel Cabrera led the American League in all three categories to become the majors' first Triple Crown winner since 1967. After a poor ALDS showing, Cabrera showed why he will be the league's MVP a month from now in the ALCS, as he went 5-for-16 with a home run and four RBI. Quite simply he's the best hitter in baseball.

San Francisco counters with a pretty good third baseman of its own in Pablo Sandoval, whose three-run triple in the All-Star Game is a big reason why the Giants will have home-field advantage for this series. Even though he hit .310 in the NLCS with a pair of home runs, this is no contest when matched up with Cabrera.

EDGE: TIGERS

 

SHORTSTOP

After a terrific 2011, Jhonny Peralta struggled this past season, as he saw his average drop 60 points to .239. He's been a big part of the Tigers' offense in the playoffs, though, especially against the Yankees, as he hit .388 (7-for-18), including a pair of home runs and three RBI in the clincher.

Brandon Crawford may not give you the type of production that Peralta is capable of, but there may not be a better defensive player in this series.

EDGE: TIGERS

 

LEFT FIELD

Detroit manager figures to use ALCS MVP Delmon Young in left for the games in San Francisco. Primarily the team's designated hitter, Young continued his postseason prowess against the Yankees, hitting .294 with two home runs and eight RBI.

When the series shifts to Detroit, Leyland will likely to go with Andy Dirks in left.

Gregor Blanco took over in left for the Giants when Melky Cabrera was suspended for steroids and was a solid replacement. However, he has only hit .211 this postseason, but four his seven hits have gone for extra bases. He's much better defensively than whoever the Tigers run out there, but won't match their offensive numbers.

EDGE: TIGERS

 

CENTER FIELD

Austin Jackson is already one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball, but this year he hit .300 for the first time and put up the best power numbers in his career, swatting 16 home runs with 66 RBI. He also scored 103 times. Jackson has continued to hit here in the playoffs and batted .353 in the Tigers' ALCS sweep, adding a homer in Game 4.

Angel Pagan led the National League in triples this past season, but that hasn't translated into the postseason, where he is hitting a mere .208. Defensively, he'd probably have an edge on most center fielders, but not Jackson.

EDGE: TIGERS

 

RIGHT FIELD

Leyland will likely employ a platoon here with rookies Avisail Garcia and Quintin Berry, as well as Dirks. The three of them have combined to hit .282 with five RBI this postseason.

Hunter Pence was acquired near the trade deadline to help the Giants' woeful lineup, but has struggled mightily this postseason, batting just .188. He has become the team's inspirational leader, though, with fiery clubhouse speeches, as his "look into each other's eyes" speech has become a rallying cry for the team.

EDGE: GIANTS

 

DESIGNATED HITTER

Young has become somewhat of a postseason stud for the Tigers, as his seven playoff home runs are the most in team history. He's also the first player with four game-winning RBI in one postseason.

San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy hasn't tipped his hat as to who he will use as his DH. Aubrey Huff seems like a logical choice, but he could also opt to go with Posey and put Hector Sanchez behind the plate.

EDGE: TIGERS

 

STARTING PITCHING

Justin Verlander, the AL's reigning MVP and Cy Young Award winner was sensational again in the regular season, but has taken his game to yet another level this October, going 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings.

It hasn't been just Verlander this postseason either. The Tigers' starters as a whole have been tremendous, as righties Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez and Max Scherzer have combined with Verlander to post an amazing 1.02 ERA in nine postseason starts.

Since the Giants went seven games against the Cardinals, Bochy won't have ace Matt Cain until Game 3. He will likely go with lefty Barry Zito in Game 1, as the Giants have won in each of his last 13 trips to the hill.

Then has some decisions to make for Game 2. He could opt to go with Ryan Vogelsong on short rest and have two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum ready to go in relief, a role he has flourished in this postseason, or he could start Madison Bumgarner, who won 16 games during the regular season, but has pitched to an 11.25 ERA in his two postseason appearances.

Then again, Bochy could just go with Lincecum, who is coming off the worst season of his pro career. The Freak lost 15 games and pitched to a 5.18 ERA and was hit hard in his only start this postseason. But, in 8 1/3 innings of relief he has surrendered just one run.

EDGE: TIGERS

 

BULLPEN

Leyland does have some concerns, specifically a bullpen that has seemingly removed Jose Valverde from the closer's role. After Valverde blew big leads against both Oakland and then New York in Game 1, Leyland opted to go with a closer by committee, but lefty Phil Coke seemed to be his go-to-guy against the Yankees.

Leyland hasn't stated if Coke will be used as his closer against the Giants, but he hasn't allowed a run in 7 1/3 innings this postseason and saved two games in the ALCS. Fellow bullpen mates Octavio Dotel, Drew Smyly and Al Alburquerque have also yet to allow a run in these playoffs

The Giants' bullpen suffered a big blow when animated closer Brian Wilson was done for the season with a right elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery. But, their relief corps - specifically, Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo - have been lights out in the playoffs and have combined for a 2.63 ERA in 41 innings, with a 2-0 record.

EDGE: GIANTS

 

MANAGERS

Leyland already has a World Series title to his credit with the 1997 Marlins and is one of the best managers this game has ever seen with 1,676 wins over 21 seasons.

Bochy, meanwhile, has been manager of the Giants since the 2006 season and, like Leyland, is one of only a few active managers with at least 1,000 wins. Before leading the Giants to a World Series title in 2010, he had guided the San Diego Padres to the postseason four times.

EDGE: TIGERS

Teaser:
<p> The Detroit Tigers finally found a World Series opponent and will open the 108th edition of the Fall Classic against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday at AT&amp;T Park.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 23:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-waiver-wire-week-8
Body:

Unlike last week when six teams were on bye, Week 8 only has four teams not in action. However, it’s another week full of unavailable fantasy firepower, highlighted by the running backs. No Arian Foster, Ray Rice, Fred Jackson or C.J. Spiller this week.

While it’s extremely difficult to replace any of these backs’ production in your lineup, the good news is that you hopefully will only be without them for one week and it appears there are several serviceable options out there. Here are some of those names, as well as a few for the other positions, worth considering as you look to fill out your roster for this week and beyond.

Bye week teams: Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Houston

Quarterbacks
Week 7 Recap: Carson Palmer scored a rare rushing touchdown and came on strong in the second half to lead Oakland to a come-from-behind victory over Jacksonville. Mark Sanchez threw for a season-high 328 yards, but had just one touchdown pass and two turnovers (INT and a fumble that resulted in a safety) in the overtime loss to New England. John Skelton had similar numbers (less 66 passing yards) to Sanchez in Arizona’s loss to Minnesota, while Russell Wilson managed just 132 total yards and an interception against San Francisco.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Freeman has been mentioned here before, but considering he’s thrown for 728 yards, six touchdowns and just one interception in his last two games, he deserves a little more recognition. Freeman is averaging 27. 4 fantasy points over his last three games,  and his next three opponents — at MIN, at OAK, vs. SD — are 11th, 9th and 8th respectively in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks.

Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans
Hasselbeck’s start against Buffalo in Sunday was thought to be his last one as Jake Locker was reportedly ready to resume the reigns after missing the past three games with a shoulder injury. However, after Hasselbeck (22-of-33, 205 yds., TD) led the Titans to a come-from-behind victory over the Bills, the team has decided to delay Locker’s return to the field at least another week. The Titans have won their last two with Hasselbeck under center and will get the chance to make it three in a row this Sunday against Indianapolis. The Colts are allowing the tenth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
This one is probably for informational purposes only. Henne took over against Oakland after Blaine Gabbert went down with a shoulder injury. At the time the Jaguars were in front of the Raiders. Henne proceeded to go 9-for-20 passing for just 71 yards as the Jags ended up losing to the Raiders after getting out-scored 20-6 in the second half and overtime. Even if Henne gets the nod in place of Gabbert, I’m not sure you really want to use him against the Packers in Green Bay.

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland Browns
Russell Wilson has gotten more publicity (and does have more wins), but Weeden has been more productive on the fantasy front. Weeden is averaging 20.8 fantasy points over his past three games and has six touchdowns compared to just three interceptions over this span. Depending on who your normal starting quarterback is, Weeden could be a fill-in option as Cleveland hosts San Diego. The Chargers are allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Running Backs
Week 7 Recap: Neither Rashard Mendenhall or Isaac Redman played, but it was Jonathan Dwyer (see below) and not Baron Batch, who benefitted the most. Cleveland is also a situation that bears watching as Trent Richardson was ineffective (8 yards on 8 carries) and later benched against Indianapolis. Montario Hardesty finished with more rushing yards and more carries and could be in for a larger role moving forward. Felix Jones (74 total yards) was a big part of Dallas’ game plan, but he wasn’t able to break any long plays against Carolina and missed the Cowboys’ final two drives with a bruised knee. If DeMarco Murray misses another week it appears that Jones will share the load with another Cowboy back (see below). As far as Arizona's backfield goes, LaRod Stephens-Howling did what William Powell did to him two weeks ago, as Stephens-Howling rushed for 104 yards and had another 45 receiving in the Cardinals' win in Minnesota. His production made Powell irrelevant, just like Powell did to Stephens-Howling in Week 6. What happens this week is anyone’s guess, but it’s not an appealing match-up for either as San Francisco comes calling. LeGarrette Blount was irrelevant (5 att., -2 yards) against New Orleans as the pace and the style of this game made a big, bruising running back like him unnecessary.

Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colts
Donald Brown is out at least another week or two, and Ballard showed what he’s capable of against Cleveland. Ballard ran for 84 yards and finished the Colts’ win over the Browns with more than 100 total yards of offense. He has yet to score, but that could change this week against a Tennessee defense giving up the third-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh Steelers
No Rashard Mendenhall or Isaac Redman, no problem for Pittsburgh as Dwyer averaged more than seven yards per carry and finished with 122 yards rushing in the win in Cincinnati. Dwyer, who didn’t even suit up in Weeks 5 or 6, picked up his second career 100-yard effort and will continue to carry the load until Mendenhall and/or Redman return.

Rashad Jennings, Jacksonville Jaguars
Maurice Jones-Drew lasted all of two plays against Oakland as the Jaguars’ best player was carted off of the field after suffering a foot injury. The extent of the damage is not yet fully known, but MJD has already been declared out for this Sunday's game in Green Bay. There's little doubt that Jennings will be the most-added player this week. The fourth-year back has had his own injury issues, including a knee injury that caused him to miss two games this season. However, Jennings is the starter in Jacksonville until Jones-Drew returns and he averaged 5.4 yards per carry as the backup in 2009 and ’10 combined.

Phillip Tanner, Dallas Cowboys
Tanner, and not Felix Jones, put the finishing touches on Dallas’ win in Carolina on Sunday. Jones missed the final two drives of the game after bruising his knee, leaving Tanner with the job of running the ball to help run down the clock. Tanner’s production (13 att., 30 yds.) wasn’t that great, but he also had nine carries (for 31 yds.) in the Week 6 loss to Baltimore. It’s not known if DeMarco Murray will be back this Sunday, but if he’s unable to go, Tanner should be in line for the same type of workload against the Giants. He could get even more carries depending on how severe Jones’ bruised knee turns out to be.

Danny Woodhead, New England Patriots
Stevan Ridley is the lead back for New England, but the way the Patriots run their offense has allowed Woodhead to carve out a nice, consistent role for him too. Woodhead, whom the Patriots use as their primary back when they go no-huddle, has averaged six carries and more than 66 total yards per game over the last three. His versatility only helps his fantasy value, and again, given New England’s tendency to go no-huddle, he could be a potential flex option depending on the opponent.

Wide Receivers
Week 7 Recap: Doug Baldwin left Seattle’s game in San Francisco with an ankle injury, not that he did that much (2 rec., 15 yds.) prior to getting hurt. Chris Givens made some sort of contribution across the board (73 receiving, 50 return, 14 rushing yds.), while Josh Gordon and Denarius Moore each caught a touchdown pass despite totaling six catches combined.

Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets
Kerley has 15 receptions for 238 yards over his last three games combined. He went for seven and 120 as Mark Sanchez threw for a season-high 328 yards in the Jets’ overtime loss to New England. Although Kerley hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 3, it’s pretty clear he’s become Sanchez’ No. 1 target.

Santana Moss, Washington Redskins
The Redskins brought in several wide receivers during the offseason, most notably Pierre Garcon, but it’s the veteran Moss who continues to produce. Garcon has pretty much been a no-show since Week 1 because of nagging foot issues, while Moss is leading the team in touchdown catches (4), second in receiving yards (290) and third in receptions (19). Moss has three scores in his last three games, including two against the Giants on Sunday. With Garcon likely out until at least Washington’s bye in Week 10, there’s no reason to think Robert Griffin III won’t continue to look Moss’ way.

Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars
His costly fumble set up the Raiders’ game-winning field goal in overtime, but Shorts also caught a 42-yard touchdown pass to help stake the Jaguars to an early 14-point lead. In fact, Shorts has far and away been Jacksonville’s most productive wide receiver this season. He leads the team in touchdown receptions (3) as well as receiving yards by a wide margin (284 to 136 for the next Jaguar). He has five catches that have gone for 20 or more yards, including a season-long 80-yard touchdown reception against Indianapolis. One caveat regarding Shorts would be if Blaine Gabbert ends up sidelined after suffering a shoulder injury against the Raiders. Backup Chad Henne hasn’t been effective the time he’s been under center for the Jaguars this season.

Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans
Since catching just two passes in Week 2, Washington has had at least three receptions and 43 yards receiving since. He had a season-high six receptions for 43 yards on Sunday against Buffalo, including what proved to be the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. Washington seems to have rediscovered his chemistry with Matt Hasselbeck and it looks like the two veterans will have the chance to do some more damage at least one more week.

Tight Ends
Week 7 Recap: Jared Cook caught just two passes for 37 yards against Buffalo, while Anthony Fasano and the Dolphins were on bye. Cook is certainly a solid option this week, and Fasano could be as well with Scott Chandler Owen Daniels, Jermaine Gresham and Dennis Pitta all on bye in Week 8.

Logan Paulsen, Washington Redskins
Fred Davis is done for the season after suffering an Achilles injury in Sunday’s loss to the Giants. In steps Paulsen, who, despite having just one catch prior to this game, led the team in receiving yards with 76 on four receptions. Paulsen’s instant production makes him worth consideration, even with the Redskins bringing long-time tight end Chris Cooley back into the fold.

David Thomas, New Orleans Saints
Coming off of a bye, it was somewhat of a surprise that on Saturday New Orleans ruled Jimmy Graham out against Tampa Bay. Graham sprained his ankle in Week 5 against San Diego, and apparently hadn’t made enough progress for the team to even bring him on the trip. The hope is that Graham will be back this week for the Saints’ game in Denver, but if he’s not, Thomas has shown himself to be capable. Thomas caught four passes for 27 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Buccaneers. It’s possible he may have even shown the coaching staff enough to merit some sort of role in the passing game once Graham does return.

Defense/Special Teams
Week 7 Recap: Cleveland managed only three sacks and a fumble recovery in the loss to Indianapolis, but perhaps the Browns will get another opportunity this week as San Diego comes to town. Remember, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers turned the ball over six times (4 INTs, 2 fumbles) in his last game, a Week 6 loss to Denver.

Atlanta Falcons
Perhaps it’s because Atlanta was just on bye, but even still, there’s really no reason why the No. 8 DST in fantasy football is owned in less than 70 percent of Yahoo! leagues. The Falcons’ defense has produced 17 turnovers (10 INTs, 7 fumble recoveries) and also has 16 sacks in six games. The Falcons return to action on Sunday against Philadelphia, a team that has turned the ball over an NFC-worst 17 times.

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. 23, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Waiver Wire: Week 8</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - 05:59
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Legends Poll
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-8
Body:
After a second straight win over a ranked SEC opponent, LSU moved past Notre Dame to take over the No. 5 spot in the Legends Poll.
 
Following a victory over South Carolina, Les Miles’ Tigers took care of Texas A&M in Baton Rouge as well, 24-19.
 
“LSU’s defense has got some great speed and they’re always tough to score on,” former Auburn coach Pat Dye said. “And the fact that they played at home helped their quarterback (Zach Mettenberger). I’d say LSU probably has got the best chance of beating Alabama of anybody in the conference because they play them at home in Baton Rouge.”
 
LSU has two weeks to prepare before top-ranked Alabama comes to town.
 
But the biggest question amongst the college football pollsters is, who's No. 2? In the Legends Poll, No. 3 Florida and No. 4 Kansas State made up some ground on Oregon, but did not receive enough votes to overtake the Ducks for the No. 2 spot behind Alabama.
 
No. 6 Notre Dame dropped a spot and fell out of the top five just one week after making its first ever appearance. The Fighting Irish struggled with BYU but hung on for a 17-14 win in South Bend.
 
No. 7 Oklahoma jumped a spot over No. 8 Florida State after a second straight blowout victory. The Sooners welcome No. 6 Notre Dame and College Gameday to Norman, Okla. next weekend.
 
Unbeaten Oregon State finally cracked the Legends Poll top 10 this week at No. 9. USC stayed put and rounded out the top 10.
 
Other undefeated teams, No. 13 Mississippi State and No. 14 Louisville continued their climb up the rankings. They were followed by No. 15 South Carolina, which continued its tumble in the top 25, dropping 12 spots in two weeks after suffering two straight losses.
 
West Virginia also continued its slide in the rankings, dropping eight more spots to No. 23. The Mountaineers have fallen 19 spots in just two weeks.
 
No. 24 Wisconsin and No. 25 Oklahoma State moved back into the top 25 this week, replacing Cincinnati and Arizona State, which both dropped out of the rankings.
 

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) 7-0 425 1
2 OregonOregon 7-0 404 2
3 FloridaFlorida 7-0 389 3
4 Kansas StateKansas State 7-0 380 4
5 LSULSU 7-1 347 6
6 Notre DameNotre Dame 7-0 343 5
7 OklahomaOklahoma 5-1 311 8
8 Florida StateFlorida State 7-1 304 7
9 Oregon StateOregon State 6-0 292 11
10 USCUSC 6-1 279 10
11 ClemsonClemson 6-1 240 12
12 GeorgiaGeorgia 6-1 231 13
13 Mississippi StateMississippi State 7-0 229 14
14 LouisvilleLouisville 7-0 188 16
15 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 6-2 184 9
16 Texas TechTexas Tech 6-1 178 21
17 RutgersRutgers 7-0 147 19
18 StanfordStanford 5-2 139 18
19 Texas A&MTexas A&M 5-2 99 17
20 MichiganMichigan 5-2 97 24
21 Boise StateBoise State 6-1 87 23
22 TCUTCU 5-2 43 22
23 West VirginiaWest Virginia 5-2 39 15
24 WisconsinWisconsin 6-2 26 -
25 Oklahoma StateOklahoma State 4-2 22 -
 
Others Receiving Votes: Nebraska 21, Ohio 17, Arizona State 14, Louisiana Tech 13, Cincinnati 12, Duke 11, Texas 10, Utah State 2, North Carolina State 1, Northern Illinois 1
 
Teams Dropped Out from Last Week's Poll: Cincinnati, Arizona State

* 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, October 22, 2012 - 05:05
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-start-or-sit-week-7
Body:

Welcome to Week 7 of the NFL season, also known as the lightest slate of action before the playoffs get started. Six teams are on bye this week, which to the fans means there are only 13 games on tap. To the fantasy owners, however, this means a lot of players aren’t available and quite a few teams will be going deep into their bench to put together a starting lineup.

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 7 Positional Rankings

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Bye week teams: Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia, San Diego

Sneaky Start of the Week
Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Tennessee at Buffalo
Hasselbeck will make his third, and probably final, start this week in Buffalo in place of Jake Locker. Locker has been sidelined the past three weeks with a shoulder injury, but he returned to practice this week and Titans head coach Mike Munchak has already said the second-year player will get his job back from the veteran Hasselbeck once he’s healthy.

So if this is in fact Hasselbeck’s last start (provided Locker stays healthy), what better way for him to go out than to get the NFL’s worst defense, no? Prior to last week, Buffalo had given up more than 1,200 yards and 97 points in a span of two games.

While the Bills’ D looked much better in the overtime win in Arizona, this unit still has its share of issues. In fact, this game features two of the bottom three defenses in the entire league, so chances are this affair will feature plenty of offensive fireworks.

I like Hasselbeck to go back to the bench swinging, if you will, as the Bills are allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. If Chris Johnson can take advantage of the Bills’ rush defense (worst in the league), that should open up things even more for Hasselbeck, who has multiple weapons in the passing game in receivers Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and Kendall Wright, as well as tight end Jared Cook. The Titans may not win, but if you decide to start Hasselbeck, I think you will at least like that outcome.

Surprise Sit of the Week
Steve Smith, WR, Carolina vs. Dallas
Even though Smith is not currently leading the Panthers in receptions (tight end Greg Olsen is with 22), he’s still Cam Newton’s top target. The problem with this lies in the fact that the Panthers are 27th in the league in passing offense and Newton hasn’t been near as productive this season as he was at the start of his record-setting 2011 campaign.

Smith has a total of 21 receptions in the Panthers’ first five games. He’s still getting it done in terms of yardage (18.5 ypc), but he has yet to find the end zone. Since opening the season with consecutive 100-yard efforts, Smith has averaged less than four catches and 60 yards receiving over the past three games.

Dallas is No. 1 in both total and passing defense and has allowed the fewest receptions and yards to opposing wide receivers. Outside of Brandon Marshall (138 yards) and Anquan Boldin (98) no wide receiver has gone for more than 58 yards receiving against the Cowboys.

The Panthers’ offensive line is in a state of flux without All-Pro center Ryan Kalil, so don’t be surprised if Newton has no choice but to get rid of the ball quickly and for the Panthers to try and do some damage with short, underneath routes, which is not necessarily Smith’s bread and butter. Neither the match-up nor the likely offensive game plan, otherwise known as chuck and duck or tuck and run, bodes well for the dynamic, diminutive wideout.

Quarterbacks
START

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) at Cincinnati
Somewhat quietly, Big Ben is putting together yet another solid, productive season. He’s fourth in passer rating and tenth among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring, and eight of those in front of him have the benefit of one more game played. He has thrown 10 touchdown passes compared to only two interceptions (and has yet to lose a fumble), which is even more impressive considering the injuries and upheaval that the Steelers’ offensive line has already gone through. Roethlisberger is 12-4 in his career against Cincinnati, this week’s opponent, and he has accounted for a total of 23 touchdowns (20 pass, 3 rush) in those 16 games. Provided his patchwork o-line gives him enough time to throw the ball, it should be another productive day at the office for No. 7.

Andrew Luck (IND) vs. CLE
Luck is averaging 300 yards per game and has thrown six touchdowns and just two interceptions at Lucas Oil Stadium. Cleveland is 30th in the league in pass defense (294.2 ypg) and has allowed 15 passing touchdowns in six games. Care to guess where and against whom the Colts are playing this Sunday?

Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) vs. TEN
Matt Hasselbeck may have gotten the “Surprise Start” nod above, but that’s not to take anything away from Fitzpatrick or rather his match-up against Tennessee’s defense. As was stated previously, this game features two of the league’s bottom three defenses, not to mention that the Titans are 29th against the pass. Fitzpatrick’s biggest issue this season has been interceptions as he has eight already, but the Titans have only picked off four passes, while surrendering 13 scoring strikes. This Buffalo-Tennessee tilt is what I would call a “Green Light Fantasy Special,” meaning I wouldn’t hesitate to start any of your Bills or Titans here, other than the defenses of course.

SIT
Matt Schaub (HOU) vs. BAL
This is not a knock on Schaub, who is a capable passer (12th in passer rating) and does a good job of protecting the ball (4 total turnovers). It’s just that Houston loves to run the ball, as the Texans are sixth in rushing yards and second in attempts. Plus there’s the matter of this week’s opponent, Baltimore, who have gave up a franchise-worst 227 yards on the ground to the Cowboys last week. The Texans strangely went away from the run early in last week's game against the Packers, which contributed to their offense sputtering, resulting in them falling behind early and eventually losing big. I don’t think the coaching staff makes that same mistake twice, especially against a Ray Lewis-less Ravens defense.

Christian Ponder (MIN) vs. ARI
Ponder was flawless in his first four games, throwing no picks and contributing five total touchdowns. In the past two games he has thrown four touchdown passes, but also four interceptions. Arizona is allowing the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and has picked off more passes compared to aerial scores allowed. This seems like a good week for the Vikings to put more of the offensive burden on running back Adrian Peterson rather than their second-year quarterback.

Sam Bradford (STL) vs. GB
Bradford is coming off of a season-high 315-yard effort, in which he didn’t throw a touchdown pass and also got sacked three times. Oh and the Rams lost too. This week the Rams host the Packers, a team that leads the NFL in sacks (21) and just handled a previously undefeated Houston team rather easily. While he should get plenty of opportunities to throw the ball, I’m just not so sure he will have enough time to pull the trigger.

Running Backs
START

Trent Richardson (CLE) at IND
So it appears I was a week early in including Richardson here, as a rib injury and a fairly stingy Cincinnati defense held the rookie to just 37 yards on 14 carries. The important thing is Cleveland won, right? Oh yeah, there’s also the little matter that the Browns get the Colts this week. Richardson has insisted all along that he won’t let the rib/cartilage issue prevent him from playing this week. Then again I think pretty much every running back in the league would say the same thing if they had a date with Indianapolis awaiting them. Don’t forget the Colts put up little resistance to the Jets’ ground and pound attack last week, including 161 yards and three touchdowns to Shonn Greene alone. Flak jacket? Check. Momentum after last week’s win? Check. Really bad rush defense on tap? Double check. Talented, bruising young back ready to roll? Oh yeah.

Felix Jones (DAL) at CAR
Thanks to a foot injury suffered by DeMarco Murray, Jones saw his first significant action in some time and made the most of it. He started things off early with a 22-yard scoring run and finished the day with 92 yards on 18 carries. Murray’s sidelined at least this week after the Cowboys discovered he sustained some ligament damage in his left foot, which means Jones will get the start against Carolina. Jones has disappointed many a fantasy owner in the past with his untapped potential and injury-prone nature, but I think this time it will be different. He looked pretty good against the Ravens last week and should find some running room against the Panthers on Sunday. Carolina is allowing the third-most fantasy points to running backs and is giving up an average of 127.4 yards on the ground per game.

Darren Sproles (NO) at TB
Outside of Drew Brees, I could make an argument that the other Saint who has been most impacted by the season-long suspension of Sean Payton has been Sproles. A significant part of the offense throughout last season, Sproles’ usage to start this campaign has left many an owner scratching their head. Through the first five games of 2011, Sproles had already accumulated 57 touches (26 rushes, 31 receptions) on offense alone. So far this season, he’s had 45 (17 rushes, 28 receptions), but it goes beyond just the number of opportunities. He didn’t get a single rushing attempt in the first two games, while he didn’t catch a single pass in the Saints’ third game. Whatever the reason, I think Sproles returns to his more prominent role in the offense beginning this week against Tampa Bay, a team that he had a total of 161 yards of offense (not including returns) against in two games last season.

SIT
Shonn Greene (NYJ) at NE
Greene, who was my Sneaky Start for Week 6, exploded last week for a career-high 161 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Indianapolis. Prior to his career performance, Greene had rushed for 217 yards and one touchdown in his first five games. In other words, he nearly quadrupled his per-game average over five games in only four quarters of play. As valuable as Greene was to those owners who stuck by him, I wouldn’t expect anywhere near similar results this week. New England is eighth in the NFL in rushing defense, compared to Indianapolis, who is No. 26. The Patriots are allowing 3.4 yards per carry and have surrendered only two rushing touchdowns. In two games last year against his AFC East rivals, Greene had 144 yards rushing and one touchdown. It may be hard to bench last week’s top-scoring running back, but I just don’t see Greene putting up big numbers this week.

Mikel Leshoure (DET) at CHI (Monday)
Since rushing for 100 yards in his NFL debut in Week 3, Leshoure has collected 96 yards in his last two games combined. Detroit as a team has been inconsistent in running the ball, averaging less than 100 yards on the ground per contest, and this doesn’t figure to get any easier on Monday night in Chicago. The Bears are tops in the league in rushing defense, not to mention scoring defense and second in total defense, and are allowing less than 66 yards rushing per game. They have surrendered just one rushing touchdown and are coming off of a bye headed into this NFC North clash. Leshoure is anything but a sure thing when it comes to his fantasy outlook this week.

William Powell (ARI) at MIN
Even though he didn’t start, Powell was the most productive Cardinal running back last week against Buffalo. Powell finished with 70 yards rushing on 13 carries (5.4 ypc) and also caught a pass. However, I wouldn’t get too excited over Powell’s fantasy value because of two factors. One, unless the Cardinals decide to change it up, it appears that Powell will continue to share the workload with LaRod Stephens-Howling and possibly Alfonso Smith. The bigger reason is Arizona’s opponent this week. Minnesota’s defense has given up just one rushing touchdown so far and the only back to rush for more than 63 yards against this unit has been Maurice Jones-Drew. Powell may be a nice story and could prove valuable down the road, but MJD he isn’t. This simply isn’t the week to expect much from him in terms of fantasy points.

Wide Receivers
START

Dez Bryant (DAL) at CAR
Twenty-eight, 21, 200 and two. What do these numbers mean? They are the total number of targets, receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns Dez Bryant has in his last two games. To put it simply, Bryant is going too hot to bench right now, especially against a Carolina secondary that doesn’t have anyone as tall or big as the 6’2, 220-pound target.

Stevie Johnson (BUF) vs. TEN
Johnson is off to a decent, but not spectacular, start to the season with 27 catches for 316 yards and three touchdowns. Don’t be surprised to see these numbers go up quite a bit this Sunday as Johnson and the Bills welcome Tennessee and its 30th-ranked pass defense to Orchard Park. Calvin Johnson, Malcom Floyd and Percy Harvin have already hung 100-yard games on the Titans, and I expect Johnson to follow suit this week.  

Josh Gordon (CLE) at IND
Gordon is quickly establishing himself as not only a legitimate deep threat, but as quarterback Brandon Weeden’s favorite target. Gordon has three touchdowns in his last two games, and two of these scoring strikes were plays of more than 60 yards. For the season he is averaging 22.8 yards per catch and is starting to get more opportunities thrown his way. He has a total of 12 targets in his last two games, after seeing 14 in the first four combined. Indianapolis has done a decent job of limiting the amount of damage done by opposing wide receivers in terms of yardage, but the Colts’ secondary has been burned several times on the long ball. If you’re looking for someone to take a flyer on this week, and beyond for that matter, Gordon is certainly a worthy candidate.

SIT
James Jones (GB) at STL
Jones has definitely made his presence felt for both his team and those owners who were fortunate enough to get a hold of him. Jones posted his third straight two-touchdown game last week against Houston, and he is second only to Arian Foster in the entire NFL in touchdowns with seven. On the other hand, St. Louis is seventh in the league against the pass and the Rams’ defense has only given up two touchdowns to opposing wide receivers. By no means, am I saying the Rams are going to shut Aaron Rodgers and the Packers completely down, but I wouldn’t be surprised to not only see Jones’ two-TD streak come to an end, but see him shut out, at least when it comes to the end zone.

Anquan Boldin (BAL) at HOU
After a slow start to the season, Boldin has reemerged as a key part of Baltimore’s passing attack. He has 28 catches for 311 yards in his last three games combined and now leads the Ravens in both targets and receptions. The problem I see this week, however, is who will be on the others side, Houston. One, the Texans are still smarting from the whipping Green Bay handed them on their home turf last week. Two, the Texans’ secondary is having the most trouble with the deep passes and wideouts who are vertical threats. That’s why players like Jordy Nelson, Eric Decker, Randall Cobb and Jeremy Kerley have had the most success against their defensive backs. Boldin is not the Ravens’ deep threat; Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones fill that role. So I expect Joe Flacco, who loves to throw the ball downfield, especially when using play-action, to try and follow the same script this week, which makes Boldin a somewhat risky option.

Nate Burleson (DET) at CHI (Monday)
Burleson has settled in nicely as the Lions’ No. 2 wide receiver, as he’s tied with tight end Brandon Pettigrew (more on him below) for second place on the team in receptions (26). He also leads the way with two touchdown catches so far. That’s all well and good, but Chicago’s defense has given up just three receiving touchdowns, and no team’s No. 2 wide receiver has caught more than four passes or had more than 43 yards receiving against it. Undoubtedly the Bears will be focused on slowing down Calvin Johnson, but this doesn’t mean Burleson’s going to be the beneficiary of such attention. You never sit your studs, which applies here to Johnson and Matthew Stafford (unless you have a better option available), but I think discretion is warranted this week when it comes to Burleson.

Tight Ends
START

Heath Miller (PIT) at CIN
Ben Roethlisberger and Miller have been teammates since 2005 and it’s apparent the quarterback trusts his tight end. Miller is second on the Steelers with 25 catches and his four touchdowns tie him for the team lead with wide receiver Mike Wallace. Big Ben inexplicably trusts Miller to get open and catch the ball (25 receptions on 34 targets) when it’s thrown his way. Cincinnati is allowing the eighth-most fantasy points to tight ends, so there’s little doubt in my mind that Roethlisberger will be looking for his long-time teammate over the middle early and often this Sunday night.  

Brandon Pettigrew (DET) at CHI (Monday)
As good as Chicago’s defense has been (and it has been VERY good, especially in terms of fantasy scoring as a DST), its one weak spot appears to be defending tight ends. The Monsters of the Midway are allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, while the 35 receptions by them are the fourth-most. Enter Pettigrew, who is second only to All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson in targets for the Lions. He has 26 receptions, which ties him with wideout Nate Burleson for second, along with 261 yards and a touchdown. Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford is certainly keeping Pettigrew heavily involved as the 6-5, 265-pounder has seven or more targets in all but one of the team’s five games. In two games against the Bears last season, Pettigrew had a total of 14 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. As good a job as the Bears have done pressuring the quarterback (18 sacks) and shutting down opposing wide receivers (3 TD catches), Stafford may have no choice but to look Pettigrew’s way early and often come Monday night.

SIT
Benjamin Watson (CLE) at IND
Watson has caught a touchdown pass this season, but he’s also ceding more and more targets to fellow tight end Jordan Cameron with each passing week it seems. Cleveland plays Indianapolis this week and considering the Colts have allowed the fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, it’s probably best to just stay from either Brown tight end.

Dallas Clark (TB) vs. NO
Remember when Clark caught 100 passes? Yeah me too, it was back in 2009 when he was still in Indianapolis. Clark’s now in Tampa Bay and the only way he’s catching that many passes this season is if it gets expanded to 56 games. He has nine receptions in five games. Case closed.

Defense/Special Teams
START
Minnesota vs. Arizona

Arizona has given up 27 sacks already. Minnesota has collected 15 sacks and has surrendered a total of 20 points in its last two home games. The Cardinals are down to their No. 3 running back as their starter and quarterback John Skelton is getting his first start since Week 1. Any other questions?

Oakland vs. Jacksonville
The Raiders are last among DSTs in fantasy scoring as they have collected a total of four sacks and six turnovers in five games. Fortunately for them, their first game off of the bye is against a Jacksonville team (also coming off of its bye) that has scored one touchdown in its last two games. If there was ever a time to employ the Silver and Black attack in your lineup, it’s this week.

SIT
Baltimore at Houston

I don’t need to tell you that this is a Ravens defense that will be playing its first game without Ray Lewis, a future Hall of Famer who’s the unquestionable leader and heart and soul of this team, and Lardarius Webb, one of the best cover corners in the entire NFL, do I? Or that the Ravens will be playing a Texans team that’s champing at the bit to put last week’s disappointing showing, at home and in primetime no less, against Green Bay behind it, right? Or that the Ravens gave up a franchise-worst 227 yards rushing last week and will face Arian Foster and the Texans’ vaunted ground attack on Sunday? Just checking.

Tampa Bay vs. New Orleans
The Buccaneers’ DST put up 18 fantasy points on the board last week against a Chiefs team that had Brady Quinn at quarterback. This week Tampa Bay’s D gets a rested New Orleans team that has record-setting quarterback Drew Brees at the helm. Yes the Bucs have been very good against the run, but tell me again when was the last time the Saints beat a team by running the ball?

Kickers
START
Dan Bailey (DAL) at Carolina

Carolina is allowing the most fantasy points to opposing kickers. Dallas’ ground game is coming off of its best effort yet and Dez Bryant and Jason Witten have both picked it up after slow starts. As long as Tony Romo can take care of the ball, Bailey should get a fair number of chances to score some points of his own.

Kai Forbath (WAS) at New York Giants
Forbath won the tryout to be the new Redskin kicker after Billy Cundiff was let go. He then promptly endeared himself to his new teammates by connecting from 50 yards out in the win over Minnesota last week. I think the Giants will bend but not break in the red zone more times than not, giving Forbath more three-point tries rather than solo shots.

SIT
Greg Zuerlein (STL) vs. Green Bay

The rookie known as Legatron hit his first bump in the road last week as he missed three field goal attempts. To be fair these are the first misses of his brief career and two of them were from beyond 50 yards (66 and 52 to be exact). Still, a miss is a miss and this first-year kicker has had all of this week to dwell on the fact that he has missed his last three field goal tries. I can’t help but wonder if Rams coach Jeff Fisher may think twice before sending Zuerlein out there for a long one this week against Green Bay. You may want to do the same thing for your lineup.

Jay Feely (ARI) at Minnesota
Feely was almost the hero last week against Buffalo as his franchise-record 61-yard field goal with 1:09 left tied the game at 16. He had a chance to win it at the end of regulation, but his 38-yard attempt was tipped at the line and hit the upright as time expired. To be clear, that “miss” isn’t why I’m not high on Feely this week. I just don’t see him getting as many chances against a Minnesota defense that’s tied for ninth in the league in points allowed (19.5 ppg), especially given the Cardinals’ own offensive issues.

— By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 19, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Start or Sit: Week 7</p>
Post date: Friday, October 19, 2012 - 06:05
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /nfl/report-andy-reids-son-died-heroin-overdose
Body:

Easton, PA (Sports Network) - Garrett Reid, the son of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, died in August of an accidental heroin overdose.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli held a news conference Thursday to release details of the investigation and coroner Zachary Lysek confirmed the cause of death was "acute opiate 'heroin' toxicity."

Garrett Reid died Aug. 5 at the age of 29. He was found dead in a dorm room at Lehigh University, site of the Eagles' training camp.

The younger Reid had battled substance abuse for a few years, spending time in jail as a result, and Andy Reid had mentioned the drug problems in the immediate aftermath of Garrett's death, saying in a statement his son had "lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years."

Teaser:
Garrett Reid, the son of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, died in August of an accidental heroin overdose.
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 19:00
All taxonomy terms: crossword, Monthly
Path: /monthly/october-2012-crossword-solution
Body:

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 16:31
Path: /fantasy/don%E2%80%99t-start-jermichael-finley-shonn-greene-brandon-lloyd-russell-wilson-week-7
Body:

Who should you sit in Week 7? Well, with six teams on bye this week, every fantasy owner’s roster depth is sure to be tested. With players like Matt Ryan, Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and many others not available, chances are you might be starting some unfamiliar faces. That said, here are a few names we would advise you to sit in Week 7, if at all possible.

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay at St. Louis
In Finley’s defense, he is dealing with a shoulder injury, which has cut down on his playing time. This also obviously has an adverse effect on his production. Injury issues aside, the truth is the big target just hasn’t been that effective or productive period this season. He has 24 receptions for only 210 yards (8.8 ypc) and one lone touchdown, which came in Week 1. Since that opening game against San Francisco, where he caught seven balls for 47 yards and that score, his number of receptions has gone down each successive week. Last week in a game in which the Packers put up 427 yards of total offense and Aaron Rodgers threw six touchdown passes, Finley caught a grand total of two passes for 12 yards. What’s more, this week’s opponent, St. Louis, has allowed only one touchdown reception to tight ends so far. Between the injuries, the lack of production and the match-up, you can take your pick as to the reason why you should leave Finley on the bench this week, and probably until further notice.  

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets at New England
Greene, who was our Sneaky Start for Week 6, exploded last week for a career-high 161 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Indianapolis. Of course it certainly helped that he was facing one of the worst rushing defenses in the league, no? Prior to his career performance, Greene had rushed for 217 yards and one touchdown in his first five games. In other words, he nearly quadrupled his per-game average over five games in only four quarters of play. As valuable as Greene was to those owners who stuck by him, don’t expect anywhere near similar results this week. New England is eighth in the NFL in rushing defense, compared to Indianapolis, who is No. 26. The Patriots are allowing 3.4 yards per carry and have surrendered only two rushing touchdowns. In two games last year against his AFC East rivals, Greene had 144 yards rushing and one touchdown. It may be hard to bench last week’s top-scoring running back, but I just don’t see Greene putting up big numbers this week.

Brandon Lloyd, WR, New England vs. New York Jets
Lloyd is the Patriots’ second-leading receiver in both receptions and yards, and actually has more targets than even Wes Welker. However, Lloyd has caught just one touchdown pass so far, as Tom Brady has spread out his 15 scoring strikes to six different receivers. Speaking of all those weapons, Brady got another one back last week with the return of Aaron Hernandez, who promptly caught one of Brady’s two touchdown passes in the loss to Seattle. When the season started it appeared that Welker was the one being hurt the most by the presence of Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski, two athletic, pass-catching tight ends. However, once Hernandez went down with an ankle injury, it was Welker, and not Lloyd, who made the most of the opportunity. Lloyd also hurt his shoulder late in last week’s game, and while he says he is fine, you know how mysterious (dare I say frustrating?) the Patriots are when it comes to injury disclosures. While I expect him to play, I just don’t think he’s a huge part of the aerial attack right now. Also, the Jets, even without All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis, have done a pretty good job defending wide receivers. They have only given up three touchdown receptions to opposing wideouts and are allowing the fewest fantasy points to the position as a whole.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle at San Francisco (Thursday)
For at least one week, the rookie upstaged the veteran as Wilson out-performed Tom Brady in the Seahawks’ come-from-behind victory over the Patriots. The third-round pick out of Wisconsin set career highs in both passing yards (293) and touchdowns (3), and didn’t turn the ball over as he moved his career record to 3-0 against the likes of Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo. Of course, it didn’t hurt Wilson that all three of these games were at home, and he has the support of one of the league’s best defenses behind him. Speaking of defenses, Wilson’s next test is against the No. 5 San Francisco defense, a unit that is still smarting from the whipping the Giants gave it last week. Oh and did I also mention the game is in San Francisco? In home games so far Wilson has a sparkling 6:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio. On the road, it’s 2:6. Let’s see, Thursday night game, on the road, against a fired up 49ers defense in a pivotal NFC West match-up? Good luck rook.

- By Mark Ross, published on Oct. 18, 2012

Teaser:
<p> Don’t Start Jermichael Finley, Shonn Greene, Brandon Lloyd, Russell Wilson in Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:41
Path: /fantasy/start-josh-gordon-matt-hasselbeck-felix-jones-brandon-pettigrew-week-7
Body:

Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye in Week 7. That’s a lot of fantasy firepower owners won’t be able to call on. But this is why you put so much preparation into your draft and you watch your league’s waiver wire like a hawk, right? So if you can’t use a Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, Brian Hartline or Tony Gonzalez, who can you turn to? Here are a few options that may be able to pick up the slack in Week 7.

Josh Gordon, WR, Cleveland at Indianapolis
Gordon was taken by Cleveland in the second round of the supplemental draft, so chances are he has been flying under the radar, if you were even aware of him, this season. That may soon change, however, as he is quickly establishing himself as not only a legitimate deep threat, but as quarterback Brandon Weeden’s favorite target. Gordon has three touchdowns in his last two games, and two of these scoring strikes were plays of more than 60 yards. For the season he is averaging 22.8 yards per catch and is starting to get more opportunities thrown his way. He has a total of 12 targets in his last two games, after seeing 14 in the first four combined. Indianapolis has done a decent job of limiting the amount of damage done by opposing wide receivers in terms of yardage, but they have been burned several times on the long ball. Everyone knows about the Browns’ two first-round draft picks, Weeden and running back Trent Richardson, but if Gordon continues what he’s done recently, the team may have just hit the trifecta when it comes to impact offensive players it can build around.

Matt HasselbeckMatt Hasselbeck, QB, Tennessee at Buffalo
Hasselbeck will make his third, and probably final, start this week in Buffalo in place of Jake Locker. Locker has been sidelined the past three weeks with a shoulder injury, but he returned to practice this week and Titans head coach Mike Munchak has already said the second-year player will get his job back from the veteran Hasselbeck when he’s healthy. So if this will be Hasselbeck’s last start (provided Locker stays healthy), what better way for him to go out than to get the NFL’s worst defense, no? Prior to last week, Buffalo had given up more than 1,200 yards and 97 points in a span of two games. While the Bills’ D looked much better in the overtime win in Arizona, this unit still has its share of issues. In fact, this game features two of the bottom three defenses in the entire league, so chances are this game will feature plenty of offensive fireworks. I like Hasselbeck to go back to the bench swinging, if you will, as the Bills are allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks. If Chris Johnson can take advantage of the Bills’ rush defense (worst in the league), that should open up things even more for Hasselbeck, who has multiple weapons in the passing game in receivers Kenny Britt, Nate Washington and Kendall Wright as well as tight end Jared Cook. The Titans may not win, but if you decide to start Hasselbeck, I think you will at least like that outcome.  

Felix Jones, RB, Dallas at Carolina
The Cowboys had little trouble running on the Ravens last week, as DeMarco Murray got things started with 72 yards in the first quarter alone. Murray would finish with a total of 93 yards on the ground, but he wasn’t able to finish the game. He suffered a foot injury before halftime and only carried the ball one more time in the third quarter before leaving for good. Enter Jones, who scored on a 22-yard run in the first quarter, and finished his day with 92 yards on 18 carries. After the game, the team learned that Murray suffered some ligament damage in his left foot, which will sideline him for at least a week. With Murray out, Jones will get his first real start since Week 15 of last season. In that game, Jones rushed for 108 yards and he will be looking for similar results on Sunday against Carolina. Jones has disappointed many a fantasy owner in the past with his untapped potential and injury-prone nature, but I think this time it will be different. He looked pretty good against the Ravens last week and should find some running room against the Panthers this week. Carolina is allowing the third-most fantasy points to running backs and is giving up an average of 127.4 yards on the ground per game. In many ways, it’s now or never for the former first-round pick, as he will be a free agent at the end of the season. If he’s still a free agent in your league, I recommend picking him up and getting him into your lineup this week.

Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Detroit at Chicago (Monday)
Chicago’s defense is No. 2 in the league overall, first in both rushing and scoring defense and fifth against the pass. So why am I picking a Lion as a “Start” option, you ask? As good as the Bears’ defense has been (and it has been VERY good, especially in terms of fantasy scoring as a DST), its one weak spot to this point has been defending the tight ends. The Monsters of the Midway are allowing the ninth-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends, while the 35 receptions by them are the fourth-most. Enter Pettigrew, who is second only to All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson in terms of targets for the Lions. He has 26 receptions, which ties him with wideout Nate Burleson for second, along with 261 yards and a touchdown. Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford is certainly keeping Pettigrew heavily involved as the 6-5, 265-pounder has seven or more targets in all but one of the team’s five games. In two games against the Bears last season, Pettigrew had a total of 14 catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. As good a job as the Bears have done pressuring the quarterback (18 sacks) and shutting down opposing wide receivers (3 TD catches), Stafford may have no choice but to look Pettigrew’s way early and often come Monday night.

Teaser:
<p> Start Josh Gordon, Matt Hasselbeck, Felix Jones, Brandon Pettigrew in Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:35
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-positional-rankings-week-7
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 7 Fantasy Football Rankings

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

Week 7 Start or Sit

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Note: Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego 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 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-quarterback-rankings-week-7
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.

Atlanta, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye this week.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Aaron Rodgers GB at STL Rodgers in MVP form (338-6-0) against Texans.
2 Drew Brees NO at TB Bucs are No. 31 against pass.
3 Eli Manning NYG vs. WAS No TDs, 4 INTs, 2 Ls last season vs. Skins.
4 Robert Griffin III WAS at NYG Concussion? What concussion?
5 Tom Brady NE vs. NYJ Brady went 329-3-0 last time he faced Jets.
6 Ben Roethlisberger PIT at CIN Big Ben has 10 TDs just two INTs so far.
7 Cam Newton CAR vs. DAL Cowboys have given up 31 rushing yards to QBs.
8 Andrew Luck IND vs. CLE At home: 6 TDs, 2 INTs vs. 1, 5 in road games.
9 Tony Romo DAL at CAR Has three TDs, six INTs in last two games.
10 Matthew Stafford DET at CHI (Mon.) Bears allowing fewest fantasy points to QBs.
11 Matt Schaub HOU vs. BAL Threw two picks, sacked 3x vs. Packers.
12 Joe Flacco BAL at HOU Texans gouged by Rodgers (338, 6) last week.
13 Andy Dalton CIN vs. PIT Had 305 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs vs. Steelers in '11.
14 Carson Palmer OAK vs. JAC Has thrown only 6 TD passes so far.
15 Jay Cutler CHI vs. DET (Mon.) Only one TD in two games vs. Lions last season.
16 Josh Freeman TB vs. NO Coming off of huge game (328-3-1) vs. Chiefs.
17 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF vs. TEN Titans 29th against pass, last in scoring D.
18 Christian Ponder MIN vs. ARI Four INTs in last two games, after none in first four.
19 Alex Smith SF vs. SEA (Thurs.) Giants' D gave him all sorts of problems (0 TDs, 3 INTs).
20 Matt Hasselbeck TEN at BUF Gets third straight, possibly final, start.
21 Brandon Weeden CLE at IND Needs to improve upon 7:10 TD:INT ratio.
22 Mark Sanchez NYJ at NE Only 82 yards, but 2 TDs and 0 TOs vs. Colts.
23 Sam Bradford STL vs. GB Had season-high 315 yards passing last week.
24 John Skelton ARI at MIN Skelton's turn again w/ Kolb out several weeks (ribs).
25 Blaine Gabbert JAC at OAK Interesting to see how he looks coming off of bye.
26 Russell Wilson SEA at SF (Thurs.) Don't expect repeat of last week vs. angry 49ers D.

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 7 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Week 7 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:56
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-running-back-rankings-week-7
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.

Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Kansas City, Philadelphia and San Diego are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 7 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Arian Foster HOU vs. BAL Two short TDs salvaged otherwise poor showing vs. Packers.
2 Ray Rice BAL at HOU Texans have yet to allow rushing TD to RB.
3 Maurice Jones-Drew JAC at OAK Looking to jumpstart Jags' offense coming off of bye.
4 Darren McFadden OAK vs. JAC Jaguars are ranked 30th in rush defense.
5 Adrian Peterson MIN vs. ARI AP held to just 79 yards last week against Redskins.
6 Trent Richardson CLE at IND Dealing with rib/cartilage issue, but expected to play.
7 Matt Forte CHI vs. DET (Mon.) Should be fresh and rested coming off of bye.
8 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG vs. WAS Followed up 200-yard game with 116-yard effort vs. 49ers.
9 Alfred Morris WAS at NYG Giants only gave up 62 yards rushing to SF RBs last week.
10 Doug Martin TB vs. NO Saints allowing most fantasy points to RBs.
11 Stevan Ridley NE vs. NYJ Couldn't get much going vs. Seahawks last week.
12 Marshawn Lynch SEA at SF (Thurs.) "Beast Mode" will be necessary vs. fired up 49ers.
13 Chris Johnson TEN at BUF Can't ask for better match-up, Bills are last in run defense.
14 Frank Gore SF vs. SEA (Thurs.) Had just 36 yards vs. Giants, 'Hawks will be another tough test.
15 C.J. Spiller BUF vs. TEN Made the most of his opportunities last week.
16 Felix Jones DAL at CAR Big opportunity with Murray sidelined (foot).
17 Darren Sproles NO at TB Always seems to do well against Bucs.
18 Steven Jackson STL vs. GB Keep an eye on workload split with Richardson.
19 Fred Jackson BUF vs. TEN Still getting most of the carries.
20 Shonn Greene NYJ at NE Broke out in a big way (161, 3) vs. Colts.
21 Mikel Leshoure DET at CHI (Mon.) In for tough test against Monsters of Midway.
22 Rashard Mendenhall PIT at CIN Dealing with Achilles issue, but expected to play.
23 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN vs. PIT Could help himself and his team with big game vs. Steelers.
24 Alex Green GB at STL Fared pretty well in first career start.
25 William Powell ARI at MIN Took first step in establishing himself as lead back last week.
26 Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. DAL Cowboys have been somewhat susceptible to run.
27 DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. DAL Crowded backfield continues to limit touches, production.
28 Vick Ballard IND vs. CLE Had a total of 25 yards in first career start against Jets.
29 Pierre Thomas NO at TB Better option than Ingram because of receptions.
30 Daryl Richardson STL vs. GB Slowly moving towards equal split with SJax in Rams' backfield.
31 Montario Hardesty CLE at IND Workload will depend on Richardson's playing status.
32 Ben Tate HOU vs. BAL Could be flex option given Ravens' issues with run defense.
33 Isaac Redman PIT at CIN Dealing with ankle issue, keep eye on updates throughout week.
34 Michael Bush CHI vs. DET (Mon.) Has taken backseat since Forte's return.
35 LeGarrette Blount TB vs. NO Slowly developing into viable red zone back, possibly more.
36 Phillip Tanner DAL at CAR Should backup Jones, had 31 yards in 2nd half vs. Ravens.
37 Danny Woodhead NE vs. NYJ Has replaced Bolden as Pats' second option at RB.
38 Kendall Hunter SF vs. SEA (Thurs.)  
39 LaRod Stephens-Howling ARI at MIN Won't be long before Powell officially passes him on depth chart.
40 David Wilson NYG vs. WAS Has put together back-to-back strong showings.
41 Mark Ingram NO at TB Basically a one-trick pony and not get many carries at that.
42 Brandon Bolden NE vs. NYJ His touches continue to decline.
43 Mike Goodson OAK vs. JAC Has reasserted himself as McFadden's backup.
44 James Starks GB at STL Injuries and Green's emergence have made him almost irrelevant.
45 Jamie Harper TEN at BUF  
46 Cedric Peerman CIN vs. PIT Led team with 8 catches last week.
47 Robert Turbin SEA at SF (Thurs.)  
48 Baron Batch PIT at CIN Role will depend on Mendenhall's, Redman's 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 7 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 7 Waiver Wire

Week 7 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 7</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:51

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