October 2009 Blog Postings

Just a quick update that this week's Where to Put'em column and the weekly FFN newsletter will be either delayed until Saturday evening or postponed until next week. Read more...

October 22, 2009

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for the week. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Put 'em In The Game: Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler comes into the Week 7 rankings at #9 among QB's. He looks more and more comfortable each week and faces a Bengals defense that ranks 28th against the pass giving up 252 yards per game. Cutler should have a good game.
Put 'em In The Game: Tony Romo
Tony Romo has had his share of ups and downs this season, but he should keep the points coming this week against the Falcons who rank 21st against the pass. The Falcons will be without CB Brian Williams and that makes me like Romo a little bit more.
Put 'em In The Game: Matt Cassel
I'll go out on a limb here and put Matt Cassel in the Start 'em column. The Chargers have been giving up points to QB's their past 2 games and they rank 13th against the pass and 28th in points allowed. You won't be benching a stud to play him, but he could be a great bye week starter.
Put 'em In The Game: Ryan Grant
Ryan Grant has looked almost lethargic so far this season, but I expect that to change this week against the Browns who are giving up a whopping 165 yards on the ground. Grant should be able to break a big run and find the endzone this week.
Put 'em In The Game: LaDainian Tomlinson
LaDainian Tomlinson hasn't spent much time on the FFN Start 'em List but that changes this week as he faces the 25th-ranked Chiefs who are giving up 130 yards on the ground. Welcome back LT.
Put 'em In The Game: Hines Ward
Hines Ward has been a monster as of late, especially in PPR leagues. Did you know that he's hauling down 120+ yards per game at home this year? He's also the 7th-ranked WR in FFN's Week 7 rankings. Put 'em in the game!
Put 'em In The Game: Donald Driver
Driver played second to Greg Jennings last year, but he's outscoring him each week now. Cleveland is currently 23rd against the pass. If the Green Bay offensive line can give Aaron Rodgers enough time, expect big games from both Driver and Jennings.
Put 'em In The Game: Miles Austin
Miles Austin won't have 250 yards and 2 TD's again, but he'll still turn in a respectable performance worthy of a starting spot in your lineup.
Put 'em In The Game: Jason Witten
We haven't seen much of Witten lately, but that should change this week. The Falcons rank 21st against the pass and opposing TE's are averaging nearly 10 points/game.
Put 'em In The Game: Heath Miller
You don't normally hear much from Heath Miller, but he's quietly becoming one of the best fantasy TE's in the league with 4 TD's in his last 3 games. He's still available in 20% of FleaFlicker leagues.
Put 'em On The Bench: Brett Favre
I like the old gunslinger and have been starting him in my flex position, but I'll bench him this week. The Steelers have Troy Polamalu back and that changes things. He's ranked #15 among QB's this week and may find it difficult to find 200 yards through the air.
Put 'em On The Bench: Jake Delhomme
C'mon. Seriously. Delhomme has been absolutely awful. He has a bad match-up this week and that puts him on double-secret-probation.
Put 'em On The Bench: Jason Campbell
We're going to learn what kind of guy Jason Campbell is on Monday. There's a ton of pressure on him to deliver, but I just don't think he's going to come through. The pressure will be too much particularly because the whole country will be watching. Oh yeah, he's also facing the Eagles.
Put 'em On The Bench: Clinton Portis
Also facing the Eagles is Clinton Portis. He hasn't lived up to expectations this year. He was good last week against the Chiefs. If it wasn't for one fantastic run, he'd have been awful. The Eagles aren't exactly the Chiefs.
Put 'em On The Bench: Brandon Jacobs
You didn't draft Jacobs to sit him, but control your expectations. That shouldn't be too hard considering the performances he's turned in this year. Ahmad Bradshaw has become a factor in the backfield outperforming Jacobs and Arizona has the #1 rush defense in the league allowing a paltry 59 yards per game.
Put 'em On The Bench: Steve Smith
I knew I was taking a chance when I drafted Smith and now I'm paying for it. Delhomme can't get him the ball and I don't care how talented a guy is - if he doesn't get the ball, he can't score. That's why he falls all the way to 27th in this week's WR rankings.
Put 'em On The Bench: Roy E. Williams
Roy Williams should be back this week from his injury, but don't rush to pluck him back in your lineup just yet. He's ranked 37th among WR's this week, because he's not much of a factor anymore. He wasn't a factor when he was healthy either.
Put 'em On The Bench: Owen Daniels
I'm going to go against the grain on this one. The 49ers may not have the best pass defense in the league (20th) but they've been pretty tough on opposing TE's allowing an average of 3 points/game. It looks like I'm alone on this one as Owens comes into Week 7 ranked #5 among TE's. We'll see.
Put 'em On The Bench: Zach Miller
Don't expect a repeat of last week's performance.

If you have a team on either Yahoo or FleaFlicker, you can now import that team in the FFN Lineup Analyzer with a single click. Read more...

October 15, 2009

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for the week. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Put 'em In The Game: Matt Hasselbeck
That's the Matt Hasselbeck that we remember! After a fantastic performance last week, Hasselbeck gets to face an Arizona defense this week that bleeds points to QB's. I can't see myself starting him every week, but this week he's a no-brainer.
Put 'em In The Game: David Garrard
You may be thinking "No way", but let me explain. Garrard faces a St Louis defense that gives up 224 yards through the air and ranks 28th in points allowed. He should be able to slice his way through their secondary and the experts seem to agree. Garrard makes his first appearance in the FFN Top 10. Now, you're not going to bench Brady, McNabb, or Rodgers for him, but Garrard makes for a nice bye-week play.
Put 'em In The Game: Knowshon Moreno
Even if Correll Buckhalter is deemed able to play, Knowshon Moreno is a fantastic play this week facing a Charger's Defense that gives up 151 yards (26th in the NFL) on the ground. Even better, San Diego bleeds points to running backs and Moreno is really starting to come into his own.
Put 'em In The Game: Rashard Mendenhall
Early reports indicate that Willie Parker will be back this week and Mendenhall will become more involved on a consistent basis. You've got to love the match up this week against the league's worst run defense. Mendenhall is currently ranked #2 among RB's in standard scoring leagues this week. Start him with confidence.
Put 'em In The Game: Wes Welker
In standard scoring leagues, Wes Welker is ranked #11 this week. In PPR leagues, he's looking at #6 among WR's in the FFN rankings. The 2009 Titans are a different team. They have given up 287 yards per game through the air and that makes guys like Welker and Moss great plays this week. Welker has been limited in practice this week but all indications are that he'll start.
Put 'em In The Game: Nate Burleson
Hasselbeck is back and the Seahawks are playing the Cardinals. That explains why Nate Burleson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh find themselves in the Top 10 this week. Burleson should see the endzone and you should see some points from him.
Put 'em In The Game: Kellen Winslow
Who else is Josh Johnson going to throw to? The Eagles have a tough D (2nd best pass defense) and Winslow went over the century mark in receiving with two scores. Unless Carolina really focuses on him, he has the ability to do well here. The match-up isn't the reason to start him. The fact that there's nobody else to throw to in Tampa Bay is why you'll put him in your lineup.
Put 'em In The Game: Jeremy Shockey
There's always a little extra motivation when you're playing your former team. For Shockey, this is a game that he'll be primed for in an offense that will face it's first real challenge of the season. Brees should be looking for Shockey when he's feeling that Giant-sized pressure. Shockey is ranked #10 among TE's this week.
Put 'em On The Bench: Trent Edwards
I think we've given Trent Edwards enough chances to prove his worth. Unfortunately, he's been a big disappointment, even with Evans and Owens at his disposal. He hasn't thrown for more than 200 yards in the past 3 games. He has 1 TD and 5 picks in that same time frame.
Put 'em On The Bench: Matt Cassel
Cassel did very well last week against the Cowboys throwing for 253 yards, 2 TD's, and no picks. This week he faces a Redskins defense that is much, much stingier against the pass allowing an average of just 171 yards. He's going to be feeling the pressure all day long and that makes it tough to throw for big numbers.
Put 'em On The Bench: Brandon Jacobs
Who would have thought that Jacobs could be such a disappointment this season? He's losing carries to Bradshaw (who was brilliant last week) and he faces a New Orleans defense that ranks 7th in the league against the run. If you've got a better option, it may be a good idea to play it.
Put 'em On The Bench: LaDainian Tomlinson
It doesn't feel good to put LT on this list, but he hasn't been healthy and he turned in a poor performance against a tough Steeler's D in Week 4. Denver's defense is no slouch and they're currently ranked 6th in the league against the rush giving up a paltry 81 yards per game on the ground. LT may see the end zone this week, but he's going to have a tough match-up.
Put 'em On The Bench: Terrell Owens
Can you believe that T.O. would end up on your bench? If you can't get him the ball, he can't make plays and he can't score. Edwards has been a disappointment and that hurts Owens's value. He's been so inconsistent that he doesn't warrant a starting position.
Put 'em On The Bench: Derrick Mason
Joe Flacco's going to have his work cut out for him this week against the Vikes and Mason will also find it difficult to put up big numbers. He's ranked #31 among WR's this week in the FFN rankings. There are better options this week than Mason.
Put 'em On The Bench: Zach Miller
Two words: JaMarcus Russell.
Put 'em On The Bench: Greg Olsen
Cutler seemed to like him against Seattle, but otherwise Greg Olsen has been invisible. He had 1 gimme TD against Detroit and that was his only reception for the day. Unless he's targeted in the endzone, there's no reason to believe that Cutler's going to him anytime soon.

I'm in several leagues again this year and wanted another tool to help me manage my lineups in each. Before the season started, I started working up a prototype analyzer for my lineups. I was about 70-75% done when I got an email from one the FFN API users. Paul Warner has created an open-source Fantasy Football Analyst application. I downloaded it but had some difficulty running it unless I ran it as Admin on my computer. Once it was running though, it was seriously slick. There are a few bugs to work out, but overall it's a great idea and he's done a fantastic job. I still needed a reliable analyzer tool so I went back to my original work and wrapped it up. Read more...

October 8, 2009

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for the week. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Put 'em In The Game: Donovan McNabb
It's always hard to guess how effective a quarterback will be after returning so quickly from an injury. All reports indicate that McNabb will suit up and play against the Bucs. I'd be a little hesitant solely because any lingering effects from the injury are unknown. The upside here is that the Bucs give up a ton of points to opposing QB's and this is a great match up.
Put 'em In The Game: Tony Romo
Romo may have struggled lately and may have given many fantasy owners heartburn, but he should turn that around this week as he faces a Kansas City defense that ranks 28th in the league against the pass giving up 250 yards per game. KC has also given up 8 TD's on the year so far so if Romo is going to have a breakout game, this is the week.
Put 'em In The Game: Rashard Mendenhall
If Willie Parker is out, Mendenhall is your guy! Detroit ranks 20th in the league against the run giving up 120 yards on the ground. Even better - they're giving up 20+ fantasy points to RB's, and based upon last week's performance, there's no reason to expect Mendenhall to do anything less.
Put 'em In The Game: Knowshon Moreno
When Correll Buckhalter got hurt, Moreno was able to pick up the pace with the additional carries and come into fantasy relevance. The Patriots defense is ranked 11th in the league against the run, but this is the same defense that allowed Ray Rice to rip them apart for 152 yards. Moreno may not be Rice, but he should be a good start this week while he gets the majority of the workload.
Put 'em In The Game: Brandon Jacobs
Brandon Jacobs has been "ok" so far. Not great. Just OK. I, along with thousands of you, am hoping that this week he finally breaks out and gives us the game we've been waiting for. The Raiders give up 146 yards on the ground and Eli's nursing a sore foot. If Jacobs can't deliver a big game this week, his fantasy value will take a hit.
Put 'em In The Game: Steve Smith
You're probably thinking to yourself "That's not the Steve Smith I'm used to seeing". Well, you'd be right and you'd also be well served to get him into your lineup if you were fortunate enough to grab him off the wires. Steve Smith can now be considered a stud worthy of starting each week regardless of the match up. The only concern surrounding him this week is the health of Eli Manning.
Put 'em In The Game: DeSean Jackson
With or without Donovan McNabb, DeSean Jackson is racking up the fantasy points. The Bucs rank 17th against the pass giving up 221 yards per game. While not terrible, they're also giving up plenty of TD's to WR's (9 so far this year). Hopefully McNabb is back in throwing shape.
Put 'em In The Game: Derrick Mason
Mason has just been awesome and he's riding high on Joe Flacco's arm. Baltimore has become a solid team overall and Mason's fantasy value has risen since the preseason. The Bengals rank 26th in the league against the pass giving up 242 yards/game.
Put 'em In The Game: Vernon Davis
The 2009 Vernon Davis is 180 degrees different than the 2008 version. Davis is flourishing in the 49'ers offense this year with solid outings the past two weeks. The Falcons rank 27th against the pass giving up 245 yards/game. Davis is solid starter this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Brent Celek
Brent Celek has become a fantasy surprise this year, hasn't he? He's currently ranked #2 among TE's this week on FFN and he gets to face the Bucs who give up yards and points to tight ends. Start him with confidence.
Put 'em On The Bench: JaMarcus Russell
Sorry Raiders fans, but I enjoy seeing him listed here. Especially when both Kyle Boller and Marc Bulger from STL are ranked ahead of him.
Put 'em On The Bench: Derek Anderson
How could anyone possibly think that Braylon Edward's departure could help Derek Anderson? He now has no reliable receiving threat and that offense is still a mess. His only possible hope at fantasy relevance this week is the fact that Buffalo gives up 226 yards through the air (21st in the league).
Put 'em On The Bench: Matt Ryan
This is a tough one, but there are better options this week. Ryan faces a very stingy 49'ers defense that ranks 10th in the league against the pass and only gives up an average of 1 TD per game. He should produce an average day, but it's unlikely that he'll do much more.
Put 'em On The Bench: Kevin Smith
Like Matt Ryan, it's tough to sit someone like Kevin Smith, but sit him if you've got a better option. The Steelers rank 3rd in the league against the run giving up just over 60 yards per game. This is a bad match up for Smith.
Put 'em On The Bench: Larry Johnson
I had such high hopes for a resurgence of Larry Johnson. Unfortunately, the KC offensive line is about as good at the Packer offensive line (which as been pathetic). Johnson has been a fantasy disappointment so far this year and his match up against a middle-of-the-road Cowboys D isn't going to help.
Put 'em On The Bench: Braylon Edwards
Even with an upgrade at QB, Edwards isn't a safe fantasy play this week. He's new to the Jets and still has to learn the playbook. I think he has potential once he gets acclimated to his new team, but the safe play is to put him on the bench this week.
Put 'em On The Bench: Santana Moss
Santana Moss comes in this week at #19 among WR's in the FFN rankings, however I think that's a bit generous. Moss is inconsistent and he's facing a Carolina defense that ranks 6th in the league against the pass. Campbell will have a difficult day and so will Moss.
Put 'em On The Bench: Zach Miller
Is Zach Miller still on your team? His #16 ranking on this week's FFN TE list is perhaps a bit high. The Giants have the #1 pass defense in the league and they'll be watching Miller. Oh yeah, he also has JaMarcus Russell throwing to him.
Put 'em On The Bench: Kevin Boss
Here's a game where neither team's TE is startable. Miller's a bust and Kevin Boss gets lumped into that category as well but for slightly different reasons. While the Raiders offense may sputter, their defense is actually quite good and ranks 11th in the league against the pass. Boss is nursing a sore ankle and that could hamper his production this week.

You know it's going to be an interesting day when Braylon Edwards and Michael Crabtree are in the headlines. Read more...

October 4, 2009

Here's the quick rundown of what we're watching in time for those last minute lineup changes. Read more...

October 2, 2009

A few weeks ago I wrote about the positive impact that women have had in fantasy football. Their numbers are increasing and that's a trend that I support. Since then I've received quite a few emails from many of you with your stories including more than one husband who has lost to his wife (I did win against mine but that's another story). I face two more women this week and they are going to be close matchups. Too close to call actually. Read more...

October 1, 2009

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for the week. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Put 'em In The Game: Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler...welcome to Chicago. Cutler finally looks comfortable and his rapport with his receivers turned into three TD's. He may have struggled against the Packers in Week 1, but it's been all down hill after that. Two great games later, he's facing an easy match-up against the Lions who ranked 30th against the pass giving up 278 yds/game.
Put 'em In The Game: Trent Edwards
Week 4 is all about match-ups and Trent Edwards has a great one. It's difficult to run against the Dolphins but you can throw on them. They rank 26th against the pass allowing 264 yds/game. The key for Edwards will be getting T.O. involved. If that happens, look for him to have a great day.
Put 'em In The Game: Cedric Benson
It looks like Cedric Benson is the real deal and he should put up real points for you this weekend. Let's look at the numbers: 76 rushing yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions for 32 yards in Week 1. 141 rushing yards at Green Bay in Week 2. 76 rushing yards and a TD against the tough Steelers D. Here are some more numbers: 184 yards, 8 TD's. Cleveland has given up an average of 184 yards on the ground per game and 8 rushing TD's over the first 3 games. If you're a Benson owner, you gotta love these numbers!
Put 'em In The Game: Matt Forte
I know I said that Forte would find the endzone last week and I was WRONG, but I feel good about him this week against Detroit. The Lions are middle of the road ranking 16th against the run with 113 yards/game. Forte comes in at the #6 ranking this week among RB's and he's got the match-up that we want!
Put 'em In The Game: Steve Slaton
Steve Slaton comes into Week 4 with a Top 5 ranking on FFN. His play so far has been mediocre (17 yards in Week 1 and 34 yards in Week 2) but that will change this week against the Raiders who rank 28th against the run and allow 155 yards/game. He had some tough defenses to contend with the first couple of weeks, so sit back and watch what he can do with someone like Oakland!
Put 'em In The Game: Vincent Jackson
Remember all the Chris Chambers hype during last year's pre-season? Well that fizzled as Vincent Jackson took the lead in San Diego and he hasn't looked back since. He's coming off 2 100+ yard games, and while the Steelers are a fearsome defense, they're not so scary without Troy Polamalu. It's not like you were going to sit him anyway, but here's validation that he's perhaps the best WR play this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Mike Sims-Walker
For the first time, Mike Sims-Walker makes his debut in the FFN Top 10 rankings this week. The Titans have the 29th ranked passing defense giving up 297 yds/game through the air. Sims-Walker has come out of nowhere to become a fantastic waiver wire pickup. He's coming off two games where he had 6 receptions for 106 and 81 yards and a score.
Put 'em In The Game: Chad Ochocinco
Chad Ochocinco has come back to fantasy relevancy this week. He has fluctuated in the FFN rankings (W1: 13th, W2:34th, W3:18th) only to find himself in the Top 5 this week. This could be because the Browns have been a mess on defense (31st for points/game) or perhaps it's because Chad Johnson (oops...Ochocinco) has a great history playing against the Browns. Does it really matter? It's a great match-up. Twitter away.
Put 'em In The Game: Vernon Davis
Vernon Davis finally came out of his shell and landed a fantastic fantasy day last week (especially in PPR leagues)! 7 receptions for 96 yards and 2 TD's. He was one of my top waiver wire pickups and he's got an attractive match-up against the Rams who rank 25th against the pass. I really hope this is the start of something good for Davis.
Put 'em In The Game: Owen Daniels
Owen Daniels comes into Week 4 with an FFN rank of #6 among TE's (tied with Greg Olsen of Chicago). The Raiders are 14th against the pass and they're going to be focused on Andre Johnson. Owens should post a nice fantasy day on par with his last two outings.
Put 'em On The Bench: JaMarcus Russell
He's that bad. If he's on your team, why not pickup Brady Quinn who's now playing backup to Derek Anderson? Quinn will most likely get you more points by not playing that Russell will get you playing. Regular readers know that I have no respect for Russell and can't believe he's still a starting QB in the NFL.
Put 'em On The Bench: Matt Cassel
Matt Cassel falls in at #22 in the FFN rankings this week just below Matt Stafford. Bowe's hurt and Larry Johnson has yet to show up as a threat. This week he plays the Giants who have the BEST pass defense in the NFL after 3 games giving up a paltry 124 yds/game.
Put 'em On The Bench: Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez has been exciting to watch, but I think the honeymoon's over this week. He falls in at #20 in this week's QB rankings as he prepares to face a New Orleans defense that ranks 23rd against the pass. Now that means that they give up yards, but the problem is that they're picking off QB's left and right with 7 interceptions in just three games. The Saints are a high-powered offensive machine so there's a good chance that Sanchez is going to have to throw to not get behind. This one could go either way, but I'm leaning towards keeping on my bench.
Put 'em On The Bench: Ryan Grant
Ryan Grant didn't score a TD until I attended the Packers/Colts game mid-season last year. Coach McCarthy hasn't called to give me tickets yet so Grant won't have me as a good luck charm! If there was ever a game to have a good luck charm, this would be it. Monday Night Football is wildly anticipated this week as Favre finally faces his old team. Unfortunately the brick wall (Pat and Kevin Williams) will be there and the Vikings defense is so dominating. Grant will have a tough assignment amid all the game hype.
Put 'em On The Bench: Larry Johnson
I drafted Larry Johnson believing that he'd finally return to relevancy this year. I still think he'll be relevant and productive, but not until much later in the season when the Chiefs have some easier matchups. This week is not a good one for LJ as he faces the Giants who allow less than 50 yards on the ground per game.
Put 'em On The Bench: Dwayne Bowe
Matt Cassel is one the bench list this week. Larry Johnson is on the bench list this week. Why not put Dwayne Bowe on the bench as well? He's working through a hamstring issue and that doesn't help when you're facing the Giants. The numbers are just not in his favor.
Put 'em On The Bench: Roy E. Williams
Unless Jason Witten gets hurt, Roy Williams is just not going to be the guy in Dallas that Romo targets. He's ranked 21st among WR's this week and that may actually be a bit higher than he deserves facing a Denver defense that ranks 2nd against the pass. After an 86-yard, 1 TD game in Week 1, he crumbled when faced with a solid D (Giants) and only managed 1 catch for 18 yards.
Put 'em On The Bench: Braylon Edwards
Derek Anderson is back, but he threw 3 picks in his limited time last week. The Anderson-Edwards duo was fantastic a few years ago, but leave the nostalgia on the bench with Edwards. He could surprise us all, but he's not a safe play against a better-than-expected Bengals' defense.
Put 'em On The Bench: John Carlson
I know I'm in the minority on this one, but John Carlson is going to face a difficult week against the Colts in Indy. If Matt Hasselbeck wasn't injured, he may be a better option. If opposing TE's had fared better against the Colts, he may be a better option. Too many if's for me.
Put 'em On The Bench: Zach Miller
Sorry Raider Nation, but I just can't recommend anyone from the Raiders this week. Not Darren McFadden and certainly not Zach Miller. Miller has just gone downhill since Week 1. He's ranked #16 in the FFN rankings this week and that might be a bit optimistic. If you get this game on tv, watch it and you'll notice the defense doubling up on Miller. I don't care who you are, that makes for a difficult day. Houston ranks 18th against the pass and even that's not going to help him have more than an average day.
Put 'em On The Bench: Jermichael Finley
For as much hype as there was regarding Jermichael Finley, he hasn't lived up to any of it. I think he truly is the TE of the future for the Pack, but Donald Lee is no slouch and he'll continue to take away some of Finley's targets. I have low to no expectation this week against the Vikings who rank 5th in the league against the pass. As a Packer fan, I hope I'm wrong!!