Posted on: August 30, 2011 8:27 am
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User Mock Draft - 3

Every year during the preseason I take part in mock drafts with users. I post on Twitter @jameyeisenberg the day I will be doing the mock draft, and then I let you know the draft room location on my Facebook page at Jamey Eisenberg, CBSSports.com. If you would like to draft with me, follow me on those two sites.

What I like to do is draft with you guys and talk about different players and see your strategies. It's a fun exercise for me, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

For this mock draft, we did a 12-team league with a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and Flex (RB/WR) with five reserve spots. I drafted at No. 5 overall, and my strategy was to take Chris Johnson and build my team that way. But that got thrown off when Jamaal Charles fell to me at No. 5. It then got even better when Michael Vick was there in Round 2. I'm thrilled with my running backs with Charles, Mark Ingram, DeAngelo Williams and Javon Ringer, but I had to reach a little at wide receiver after Reggie Wayne with Chad Ochocinco, Pierre Garcon, Lee Evans and Nate Burleson. And since wide receiver was a little weak, I went early on tight end in Jermichael Finley.

I encourage you to comment on each team below and also vote on who you think has the best team. And stay tuned to my Twitter and Facebook pages for when we will draft again.

Jamey Eisenberg

Player Position Round

Michael Vick QB 2
Jamaal Charles RB 1
Mark Ingram RB 4
Chad Ochocinco WR 7
Reggie Wayne WR 3
Jermichael Finley TE 6
DeAngelo Williams RB-WR 5
Nate Kaeding K 14
Cowboys DST 13
Bench
Mark Sanchez QB 12
Javon Ringer RB 11
Nate Burleson WR 10
Lee Evans WR 9
Pierre Garcon WR 8

Ramin

Player Position Round

Ben Roethlisberger QB 6
Felix Jones RB 5
Adrian Peterson RB 1
Miles Austin WR 2
DeSean Jackson WR 3
Dallas Clark TE 4
Ryan Grant RB-WR 7
Neil Rackers K 9
Packers DST 8
Bench
C.J. Spiller RB 10
Marcedes Lewis TE 14
Davone Bess WR 12
James Jones WR 13
Hines Ward WR 11

Dale

Player Position Round

Peyton Manning QB 3
Shonn Greene RB 4
Chris Johnson RB 2
Calvin Johnson WR 1
Jeremy Maclin WR 5
Rob Gronkowski TE 9
Kenny Britt RB-WR 6
Stephen Gostkowski K 14
Patriots DST 12
Bench
Ryan Fitzpatrick QB 11
Marshawn Lynch RB 7
Isaac Redman RB 13
Jonathan Stewart RB 8
A.J. Green WR 10

Mike

Player Position Round

Josh Freeman QB 7
Jahvid Best RB 4
Matt Forte RB 3
Larry Fitzgerald WR 1
Vincent Jackson WR 2
Jason Witten TE 5
Danny Amendola RB-WR 6
Sebastian Janikowski K 14
Lions DST 13
Bench
Joe Flacco QB 9
Eli Manning QB 8
Jamie Harper RB 11
James Starks RB 10
Deion Branch WR 12

Adam

Player Position Round

Matt Schaub QB 5
Cedric Benson RB 4
Ahmad Bradshaw RB 3
Greg Jennings WR 2
Hakeem Nicks WR 1
Jimmy Graham TE 8
Beanie Wells RB-WR 6
Garrett Hartley K 13
Jets DST 10
Bench
Chad Henne QB 11
Braylon Edwards WR 9
Greg Little WR 12
Lance Moore WR 7
Andre Roberts WR 14

Chris

Player Position Round

Drew Brees QB 2
Arian Foster RB 1
Steven Jackson RB 3
Anquan Boldin WR 4
Wes Welker WR 5
Tony Gonzalez TE 10
Steve Johnson RB-WR 6
Dan Carpenter K 14
Bears DST 12
Bench
Kevin Kolb QB 11
Pierre Thomas RB 8
Mike Tolbert RB 7
Jacoby Jones WR 13
Sidney Rice WR 9

Jordan

Player Position Round

Matthew Stafford QB 6
Rashard Mendenhall RB 2
Ray Rice RB 1
Dez Bryant WR 3
Percy Harvin WR 4
Greg Olsen TE 8
Tim Hightower RB-WR 5
Ryan Longwell K 14
Ravens DST 12
Bench
Jay Cutler QB 11
Brandon Jacobs RB 9
Aaron Hernandez TE 10
Julio Jones WR 7
Denarius Moore WR 13

tommy

Player Position Round

Tom Brady QB 2
BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB 5
LeSean McCoy RB 14
Dwayne Bowe WR 3
Brandon Lloyd WR 6
Antonio Gates TE 4
Antonio Brown RB-WR 8
Mason Crosby K 10
Steelers DST 7
Bench
Matt Cassel QB 12
Jason Snelling RB 13
Danny Woodhead RB 11
Plaxico Burress WR 9
Derrick Mason WR 14

Joe

Player Position Round Drafted

Philip Rivers QB 3
Frank Gore RB 2
Maurice Jones-Drew RB 1
Marques Colston WR 4
Mario Manningham WR 5
Vernon Davis TE 6
Daniel Thomas RB-WR 7
Alex Henery K 14
Saints DST 13
Bench
Michael Bush RB 9
Rashad Jennings RB 10
Jacoby Ford WR 11
Robert Meachem WR 12
Steve Smith WR 8

Tim

Player Position Round

Aaron Rodgers QB 2
Ryan Mathews RB 5
Knowshon Moreno RB 4
Andre Johnson WR 1
Brandon Marshall WR 3
Kellen Winslow TE 8
Reggie Bush RB-WR 6
David Buehler K 14
Giants DST 13
Bench
Kyle Orton QB 11
Darren Sproles RB 10
Arrelious Benn WR 12
Austin Collie WR 7
Mike Sims-Walker WR 9

Les

Player Position Round

Tony Romo QB 5
LeGarrette Blount RB 3
Peyton Hillis RB 4
Mike Wallace WR 2
Roddy White WR 1
Brandon Pettigrew TE 10
Joseph Addai RB-WR 6
Matt Bryant K 14
Eagles DST 11
Bench
Donovan McNabb QB 13
Willis McGahee RB 9
Ricky Williams RB 12
Santana Moss WR 7
Mike Thomas WR 8

Joseph

Player Position Round

Matt Ryan QB 5
Darren McFadden RB 1
Michael Turner RB 2
Santonio Holmes WR 4
Mike Williams WR 3
Owen Daniels TE 7
Fred Jackson RB-WR 6
Josh Brown K 14
Chargers DST 13
Bench
Sam Bradford QB 8
Montario Hardesty RB 12
Ben Tate RB 10
Malcom Floyd WR 9
Johnny Knox WR 11
Category: Fantasy Football
Posted on: August 29, 2011 5:43 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 8:21 am
 

User Mock Draft - 2

Every year during the preseason I take part in mock drafts with users. I post on Twitter @jameyeisenberg the day I will be doing the mock draft, and then I let you know the draft room location on my Facebook page at Jamey Eisenberg, CBSSports.com. If you would like to draft with me, follow me on those two sites.

What I like to do is draft with you guys and talk about different players and see your strategies. It's a fun exercise for me, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

For this mock draft, we did a 12-team league with a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and Flex (RB/WR) with five reserve spots. I drafted at No. 12 overall, and my strategy was to take the two best receivers on the board, which I did with Calvin Johnson and Roddy White. I then went heavy on running back with my next four picks in Jahvid Best, Shonn Greene, Tim Hightower and Ryan Mathews, who I consider a steal in Round 6. You can see how the rest of my team filled out, but I like this squad a lot, especially getting Matthew Stafford in Round 7, Jimmy Graham in Round 8 and Javon Ringer in Round 10.

I encourage you to comment on each team below and also vote on who you think has the best team. And stay tuned to my Twitter and Facebook pages for when we will draft again.

Jamey Eisenberg

Player Position Round

Matthew Stafford QB 7
Jahvid Best RB 3
Shonn Greene RB 4
Calvin Johnson WR 2
Roddy White WR 1
Jimmy Graham TE 8
Tim Hightower RB-WR 5
Matt Bryant K 14
Saints DST 13
Bench
Joe Flacco QB 9
Ryan Mathews RB 6
Javon Ringer RB 10
Greg Little WR 12
Hines Ward WR 11

Greg

Player Position Round
Drew Brees QB 3
Arian Foster RB 1
Daniel Thomas RB 6
Vincent Jackson WR 2
Wes Welker WR 4
Jason Witten TE 5
Steve Johnson RB-WR 7
Neil Rackers K 11
Eagles DST 9
Bench
Tony Gonzalez TE 13
Malcom Floyd WR 10
Robert Meachem WR 14
Mike Thomas WR 8
Roy Williams WR 12

Zander

Player Position Round
Ben Roethlisberger QB 7
Steven Jackson RB 2
Rashard Mendenhall RB 1
Dwayne Bowe WR 4
Dez Bryant WR 3
Aaron Hernandez TE 8
Percy Harvin RB-WR 5
Josh Brown K 14
Cowboys DST 13
Bench
Ryan Grant RB 6
Montario Hardesty RB 11
Antonio Brown WR 12
Braylon Edwards WR 10
Mike Sims-Walker WR 9

Travis

Player Position Round
Tony Romo QB 3
Frank Gore RB 2
Darren McFadden RB 1
Brandon Lloyd WR 5
Santana Moss WR 7
Jermichael Finley TE 6
Knowshon Moreno RB-WR 4
Sebastian Janikowski K 14
Ravens DST 13
Bench
Michael Bush RB 8
Rashad Jennings RB 9
Pierre Thomas RB 10
Jacoby Jones WR 12
Stevan Ridley RB 11

Joe

Player Position Round
Josh Freeman QB 7
LeGarrette Blount RB 3
Jamaal Charles RB 1
Mario Manningham WR 5
Mike Wallace WR 2
Vernon Davis TE 6
Peyton Hillis RB-WR 4
Alex Henery K 14
Packers DST 13
Bench
Sam Bradford QB 9
Jamie Harper RB 12
Isaac Redman RB 11
Austin Collie WR 8
James Jones WR 10

Jonas

Player Position Round
Matt Ryan QB 4
Ahmad Bradshaw RB 3
Adrian Peterson RB 1
Kenny Britt WR 6
Hakeem Nicks WR 2
Kellen Winslow TE 10
Beanie Wells RB-WR 5
Rob Bironas K 14
Jets DST 13
Bench
Matt Cassel QB 11
Ryan Torain RB 12
Lee Evans WR 9
Jacoby Ford WR 8
Steve Smith WR 7

Quinten

Player Position Round
Philip Rivers QB 3
Mark Ingram RB 5
LeSean McCoy RB 1
Larry Fitzgerald WR 2
Brandon Marshall WR 4
Zach Miller TE 11
Marshawn Lynch RB-WR 6
Garrett Hartley K 14
Bears DST 13
Bench
LaRod Stephens-Howling RB 10
LaDainian Tomlinson RB 8
Arrelious Benn WR 12
Plaxico Burress WR 7
Johnny Knox WR 9

Michael

Player Position Round
Matt Schaub QB 6
Ray Rice RB 1
DeAngelo Williams RB 3
Marques Colston WR 5
Greg Jennings WR 2
Antonio Gates TE 4
Danny Amendola WR 7
David Akers K 14
Patriots DST 13
Bench
Kyle Orton QB 12
Reggie Bush RB 9
Willis McGahee RB 8
Greg Olsen TE 10
Davone Bess WR 11

stephen

Player Position Round
Peyton Manning QB 4
Matt Forte RB 2
Chris Johnson RB 1
Santonio Holmes WR 5
Reggie Wayne WR 3
Owen Daniels TE 7
Mike Tolbert RB-WR 6
Mason Crosby K 13
Cardinals DST 14
Bench
Kevin Kolb QB 12
Roy Helu RB 10
C.J. Spiller RB 9
Michael Crabtree WR 11
Julio Jones WR 8

kevin

Player Position Round
Michael Vick QB 2
Felix Jones RB 4
Maurice Jones-Drew RB 1
Anquan Boldin WR 5
DeSean Jackson WR 3
Marcedes Lewis TE 10
Chad Ochocinco RB-WR 6
Ryan Longwell K 14
Steelers DST 7
Bench
Jay Cutler QB 12
James Starks RB 9
Ben Tate RB 11
Dustin Keller TE 13
Pierre Garcon WR 8

Dale

Player Position Round
Tom Brady QB 2
Joseph Addai RB 6
BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB 4
Miles Austin WR 3
Andre Johnson WR 1
Dallas Clark TE 5
Jonathan Stewart RB-WR 7
Nate Kaeding K 14
Chargers DST 13
Bench
Brandon Jacobs RB 8
Darren Sproles RB 12
Danny Woodhead RB 11
Deion Branch WR 10
A.J. Green WR 9

Joe

Player Position Round
Aaron Rodgers QB 2
Cedric Benson RB 4
Michael Turner RB 1
Jeremy Maclin WR 5
Mike Williams WR 3
Rob Gronkowski TE 11
Fred Jackson RB-WR 6
Stephen Gostkowski K 14
Giants DST 13
Bench
Eli Manning QB 9
Brandon Pettigrew TE 12
Nate Burleson WR 10
Lance Moore WR 8
Sidney Rice WR 7

Category: Fantasy Football
Posted on: August 12, 2011 4:36 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 5:38 pm
 

User Mock Draft - 1

Every year during the preseason I take part in mock drafts with users. I post on Twitter @jameyeisenberg the day I will be doing the mock draft, and then I let you know the draft room location on my Facebook page at Jamey Eisenberg, CBSSports.com. If you would like to draft with me, follow me on those two sites.

What I like to do is draft with you guys and talk about different players and see your strategies. It's a fun exercise for me, and I hope you enjoy it as well.

For this mock draft, we did a 12-team league with a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and Flex (RB/WR) with five reserve spots. I drafted at No. 1 overall, and my strategy was to take the No. 1 running back in Arian Foster and then two elite receivers in Mike Wallace and Vincent Jackson. You can see how the rest of my team filled out, but I like this squad a lot, especially getting Matt Ryan in Round 6, Mike Tolbert in Round 7 and Jimmy Graham in Round 10.

I encourage you to comment on each team below and also vote on who you think has the best team. And stay tuned to my Twitter and Facebook pages for when we will draft again.

Jamey Eisenberg


Player Position Round
Matt Ryan QB 6
Jahvid Best RB 4
Arian Foster RB 1
Vincent Jackson WR 3
Mike Wallace WR 2
Jimmy Graham TE 10
Mike Tolbert RB-WR 7
Dan Carpenter K 14
Cowboys DST 13
BENCH
Matt Cassel QB 12
Michael Bush RB 8
DeMarco Murray RB 9
Braylon Edwards WR 11
Wes Welker WR 5

Jeff

Player Position Round
Matt Schaub QB 5
BenJarvus Green-Ellis RB 4
Michael Turner RB 1
Dwayne Bowe WR 3
Greg Jennings WR 2
Brent Celek TE 8
Chad Ochocinco RB-WR 7
Mason Crosby K 10
Steelers DST 6
BENCH
Matthew Stafford QB 9
Willis McGahee RB 11
Ricky Williams RB 13
Malcom Floyd WR 12
Dolphins DST 14

Bryce

Player Position Round
Aaron Rodgers QB 2
Maurice Jones-Drew RB 1
Ryan Mathews RB 3
Miles Austin WR 4
Julio Jones WR 7
Vernon Davis TE 6
Daniel Thomas RB-WR 5
Josh Brown K 14
Patriots DST 13
BENCH
Roy Helu RB 10
Rashad Jennings RB 9
Thomas Jones RB 12
Lee Evans WR 11
Lance Moore WR 8

Les

Player Position Round
Joe Flacco QB 9
Joseph Addai RB 5
DeAngelo Williams RB 3
Calvin Johnson WR 2
Roddy White WR 1
Tony Gonzalez TE 11
Brandon Marshall RB-WR 4
Matt Bryant K 13
Saints DST 14
BENCH
Kevin Kolb QB 10
Ryan Grant RB 6
Tim Hightower RB 7
Ryan Torain RB 8
Plaxico Burress WR 12

Matt

Player Position Round
Michael Vick QB 1
Ahmad Bradshaw RB 2
Knowshon Moreno RB 3
Pierre Garcon WR 6
Santonio Holmes WR 4
Dallas Clark TE 5
Jonathan Stewart RB-WR 7
Neil Rackers K 9
Packers DST 8
BENCH
Jay Cutler QB 12
Maurice Morris RB 13
Chris Cooley TE 14
Jerome Simpson WR 10
Hines Ward WR 11

Kyle

Player Position Round
Peyton Manning QB 4
Peyton Hillis RB 3
Adrian Peterson RB 1
Anquan Boldin WR 5
Reggie Wayne WR 2
Jermichael Finley TE 6
Ryan Williams RB-WR 7
Alex Henery K 14
Bears DST 12
BENCH
Reggie Bush RB 10
C.J. Spiller RB 9
Louis Murphy WR 13
Steve Smith (CAR) WR 8
Roy Williams WR 11

Greg

Player Position Round
Drew Brees QB 3
Shonn Greene RB 4
Chris Johnson RB 1
Kenny Britt WR 6
Hakeem Nicks WR 2
Jason Witten TE 5
Brandon Jacobs RB-WR 7
Stephen Gostkowski K 13
Chargers DST 10
BENCH
Eli Manning QB 9
Darren Sproles RB 8
Marcedes Lewis TE 11
Deion Branch WR 12
Steve Smith (PHI) WR 14

Ian

Player Position Round
Philip Rivers QB 3
Frank Gore RB 2
Ray Rice RB 1
Percy Harvin WR 5
Steve Johnson WR 6
Antonio Gates TE 4
Sidney Rice RB-WR 7
Sebastian Janikowski K 11
Eagles DST 10
BENCH
Danny Woodhead RB 12
James Jones WR 9
Robert Meachem WR 8
Ryan Longwell K 14
Giants DST 13

Bill

Player Position Round
Tony Romo QB 5
Jamaal Charles RB 1
Matt Forte RB 2
Dez Bryant WR 4
Mike Williams (TB) WR 3
Owen Daniels TE 7
Marshawn Lynch RB-WR 6
Adam Vinatieri K 14
Falcons DST 13
BENCH
James Starks RB 8
Arrelious Benn WR 12
Jacoby Ford WR 9
Johnny Knox WR 11
Mike Sims-Walker WR 10

Mike

Player Position Round
Tom Brady QB 3
Steven Jackson RB 2
LeSean McCoy RB 1
Marques Colston WR 4
Brandon Lloyd WR 5
Kellen Winslow TE 7
Mark Ingram RB-WR 6
David Buehler K 14
Jets DST 9
BENCH
Kyle Orton QB 13
Ronnie Brown RB 10
Dustin Keller TE 12
A.J. Green WR 11
Santana Moss WR 8

Francisco

Player Position Round
Ben Roethlisberger QB 7
Cedric Benson RB 3
Darren McFadden RB 1
Larry Fitzgerald WR 2
DeSean Jackson WR 4
Rob Gronkowski TE 11
Felix Jones RB-WR 5
Garrett Hartley K 13
Vikings DST 14
BENCH
Pierre Thomas RB 9
LaDainian Tomlinson RB 12
Danny Amendola WR 10
Austin Collie WR 6
Mike Thomas WR 8

Matt

Player Position Round
Josh Freeman QB 8
LeGarrette Blount RB 3
Rashard Mendenhall RB 2
Andre Johnson WR 1
Jeremy Maclin WR 4
Brandon Pettigrew TE 11
Mario Manningham RB-WR 5
Nate Kaeding K 14
Ravens DST 13
BENCH
Sam Bradford QB 9
Fred Jackson RB 6
Beanie Wells RB 7
Davone Bess WR 10
Michael Crabtree WR 12

Category: Fantasy Football
Posted on: July 8, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Training during the lockout

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – The NFL lockout has left players working out on their own this offseason without the guidance of coaches. Most teams have organized player-only minicamps, but that's not enough to be ready once training camp starts.

That's where Tony Villani comes in. He has his NFL guys ready to go.

You might not know who Villani is unless you're a regular reader of this blog. We first introduced you to Villani last year around this time.

Villani is the founder of XPE Sports, which stands for Xtreme Performance Enhancement. It is a training program designed for NFL players, and it's based in South Florida.

Villani works with rookies entering the NFL Draft to help them prepare for the combine. He also trains current players in the offseason to prepare them for the rigors of a 16-game season, and he has a proven track record.

Fantasy owners are definitely aware of Villani's work since in the past he has trained Hines Ward, Jamal Lewis, Takeo Spikes and Osi Umenyiora. More recently, Villani has worked with Anquan Boldin, Pierre Garcon, Jacoby Ford, Eric Berry, Kareem Jackson and Major Wright. He also has trained rookie running backs Daniel Thomas and Ryan Williams and rookie tight end Rob Housler.

"It's very important because I know Tony is going to have me ready for the season," Berry said. "I worked out with him last year before I went to OTAs and camp. I came in feeling good. I was in shape, running around all day and I didn't have any injuries. I felt like he had me very well prepared for the season."

Villani's goal is to help players improve, and it's personal trainers like him who help NFL stars succeed. We're all aware the NFL has become a year-round profession, and players now want an edge along with OTA workouts, minicamps and training camp. That's where Villani comes in.

He works on fitness level, explosion workouts and speed drills -- any kind of training to help players gain an extra step. He's not afraid to go off the field and out of the weight room, and his players respect that.

When I watched him train players this year, he had former NFL standout wide receiver and current ESPN analyst Cris Carter working with him. Carter was instructing the receivers on different moves, and he wasn't afraid to challenge players like Ford to work harder.

"You can't ask for anyone better than that," Ford said of working with Carter. "He's a legend. He's helping me out as much as possible. … I like when he gets on me. It shows he cares."

Carter said working with Villani will help players not just this season, but also in the future.

"Getting guys ready for the season for what they're going to endure, a lot of these guys don't understand the type of conditioning it's going to take," Carter said. "It's not just speed work, it's strength work. He knows what type of shape you have to be in going into camp. I believe his business is more valuable now because you don't have access to the facilities with the strength coaches. This is the way that you're not going to lose your skill."

For Villani, working out with players is his passion. He talks openly about wanting players to have a career year and earn a bigger paycheck.

And when the lockout ends, he wants his players to be ready for a big year in 2011.

"A lot of agents and athletes think they shouldn't be working hard because they'll be hurt," Villani said. "Then you got the other group of athletes that are going to use this time to get better. Of course I'm in the business of trying to get people better so I like the guys on my side that are out here working hard. I want them to go into camp and be better than all their teammates. It's non-guaranteed money in the NFL so it's always a contract year. The guys that are laying off and not trying to get hurt are going to get hurt in training camp."

Villani's players don't get hurt often. That's because they are usually in the best shape of their life thanks to working out with a standout trainer.

For more information on Villani and his training program visit www.xpesports.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @TonyVillani.

Category: NFL
Posted on: July 6, 2011 10:53 am
 

Fantasy Football Draft

I took part in a Fantasy Football draft Tuesday night with analysts from other sites and radio stations, including Jacksonville RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who hosts a Fantasy Football show on Sirius.

While I can't reveal all the picks for the entire draft, here is my roster and comments. It is a 12-team league, non-PPR, with passing touchdowns worth four points. Our starting lineup is QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, K, DST and seven reserves for a 16-round draft.

I had the No. 5 overall pick.

Round 1. Chris Johnson - He's a no-brainer at No. 5 overall. I was thinking Ray Rice going into the draft, but I was glad to see my No. 3 overall pick fall to me there. 

Round 2. Reggie Wayne -
I might regret taking Wayne over Steven Jackson, but I wanted to get one of my Top 5 receivers in Round 2. Wayne remains a star playing with Peyton Manning.

Round 3. LeGarrette Blount -
Could he be a one-year wonder? Sure. Could he also improve on his 2010 stats with a full season of work? Absolutely. I like Blount a lot in non-PPR leagues.

Round 4. Ahmad Bradshaw - I wanted Wes Welker here, but Bradshaw is a great consolation prize. Johnson, Blount and Bradshaw give me a trio of running backs that are tough to match in any league.

Round 5. Anquan Boldin - He was a disappointment in his first year in Baltimore, but that's when Fantasy owners considered him a No. 1 option. As a No. 2 option, he should live up to expectations.

Round 6. Matt Schaub - It pays to wait on quarterbacks if you can get Schaub in Round 6. If he has a 4,000-yard, 30-touchdown season then he maximizes the rest of the talent on my roster.

Round 7. Deion Branch - I like Branch a lot this year as a No. 3 option, and he should finish as a Top 25 Fantasy wide receiver with a full year playing with Tom Brady.

Round 8. Julio Jones - Jones could be a risk as my first reserve wide receiver, or he could be a steal in Round 8 playing in this Falcons offense as a starter opposite Roddy White.

Round 9. Josh Freeman - Shocked to see him go after Eli Manning, Matthew Stafford and Sam Bradford. I normally wait on No. 2 quarterback, but Freeman is a starter in 12-team leagues this year.

Round 10. Rob Gronkowski - Like quarterback, waiting on tight end paid off for me with Gronkowski in Round 10. He might not score 10 touchdowns again, but eight is probable as the main red-zone threat for the Patriots.

Round 11. Michael Bush - Darren McFadden has missed 10 games through three seasons, including three in 2010. Count on Bush starting a couple of games this year for the Raiders, and he will produce quality stats.

Round 12. Davone Bess - Bess has more value in PPR leagues, but he still scored five touchdowns last year. As a bye-week or injury replacement he could be useful for one week in this format.

Round 13. Rashad Jennings - Our good friend Maurice Jones-Drew should be fine, but if that knee acts up again then Jennings is a steal this late. I was surprised he lasted this long given the injury risk for MJD.

Round 14. Donald Brown - Brown could be No. 3 on the depth chart behind Joseph Addai and Delone Carter or find himself starting if Addai is gone. As my sixth running back he was worth the risk.

Round 15. Cowboys DST - My sleeper DST this year. The addition of new coordinator Rob Ryan should improve a unit that underachieved in 2010.

Round 16. Matt Bryant - My sleeper kicker this year. The Falcons play the most indoor games of any team this season, and Atlanta's offense should be explosive.

Category: Fantasy Football
Posted on: May 4, 2011 6:55 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 9:01 pm
 

Jared Allen helping soliders and Vikings

Like most Americans, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen had to be proud of what took place this week with the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden. Allen is a strong military supporter.

On June 18, Allen will host his second annual charity golf tournament called Night Ops II to raise money for his foundation, Homes for Wounded Warriors. The tournament, located in Scottsdale, Ariz., consists of nine holes of day golf and nine holes of night golf. This includes battlefield themed competitions for prizes, and United States Marine Drill Sergeants are stationed at every tee box giving orders to the “recruits.”

“It’s a crazy tournament,” Allen said in a recent phone interview.

Allen is proud of his foundation and the work they have done in a short time. Homes for Wounded Warriors work with soldiers injured in service to help make their lives easier when they return home.

Allen said the purpose of the foundation is to help re-model and design homes to accommodate soldiers who need help from injuries or the loss of limbs. He said so far they have done one house in Minnesota and two more in Arizona, and they work in conjunction with local VA hospitals.

“We’ll go wherever we can to help,” Allen said.

Along with working on his foundation, Allen is also staying in shape for the upcoming 2011 season. He is working out in Arizona, which is his offseason home, and he trains by doing kickboxing, MMA workouts and mountain biking.

Allen, 29, plans to maintain his place as one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. In 2010, he had 11 sacks, which was the fifth time in the past six seasons, including four years in a row, that he’s finished with double digits in sacks. He has 83 sacks for his career, and his goal this season is to get 100.

“I’m always trying to get better,” Allen said. “I’m constantly working on areas where I need to improve.”

Allen knows the Vikings need work after last year’s 6-10 finish, and he hopes that rookie quarterback Christian Ponder can be a difference maker as the replacement for the retired Brett Favre. The Vikings selected Ponder at No. 12 overall in the NFL Draft, and Allen said he trusts personnel director Rick Spielman and coach Leslie Frazier to make the right decision to get Minnesota back in playoff contention.

“What he brings to the table remains to be seen, but I trust Rick and coach Frazier to do what’s right,” Allen said of Ponder. “They want to win now and never liked the rebuilding thing. I trust them not to put us in a bad situation.”

Allen knows the Vikings will also be aggressive in free agency and look to improve on defense. In 2010, Minnesota was No. 8 in total defense, including No. 9 against the run and No. 10 against the pass.

“We want to be No. 1 across the board,” Allen said.

Allen is confident the season will start on time despite all the problems with the labor negotiations. In the meantime, he will continue to stay in shape in the offseason and also do some good to help wounded soldiers.

For more on Homes for Wounded Warriors you can visit Allen’s website at jaredallen69inc.com. For more information on the golf tournament, including participation and sponsorships, contact Dylan Vicha at dylan@jaredallen69inc.com.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 6, 2011 8:44 am
Edited on: April 6, 2011 8:50 am
 

Boldin using offseason to improve

Anquan Boldin is looking forward to a busy summer, lockout or not. The Ravens wide receiver has a lot on his plate and plenty to accomplish.

First off is his annual charity function, Q-Fest, which is celebrating its seventh year to benefit the Anquan Boldin Foundation. Boldin established the foundation to help improve after-school programs in his hometown of Pahokee, Fla. His eventual goal is to build a community center for kids of all ages.

Q-Fest is a three-day event beginning April 14 with a charity golf tournament played at PGA National, which is home to the Honda Classic, a celebrity basketball game at Boldin’s alma mater at Pahokee High and a kid’s day at the park. Boldin’s peers always lend a helping hand, and this year’s guest list includes NFL stars like Ed Reed, Ray Rice, Tim Tebow, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Marshall, Devin Hester and Pierre Garcon, among others.

“I’m very excited,” Boldin said. “Every year it seems to get bigger and bigger. I’m definitely looking forward to it. It means a lot to the community. They look forward to it every year. People always ask me about the next one every time they see me. I’m definitely proud of how it’s turned out.”

Boldin was also proud of his first year in Baltimore in 2010, which ended with a second-round playoff loss against Pittsburgh. Boldin finished the season with 64 catches for 837 yards and seven touchdowns on 108 targets. But he knows he’s capable of more.

He said if the lockout continues, he plans to work with quarterback Joe Flacco and fellow teammates to organize workouts in Baltimore. Flacco has also spoken about getting together with teammates and plans to work out in Arizona with tight end Todd Heap.

For Boldin, he wants to become more familiar with Flacco. He felt that was a problem at times in their first year together. Prior to joining the Ravens, Boldin was a standout receiver in Arizona, and he had an excellent rapport with former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner. Boldin hopes to develop that same kind of chemistry with Flacco in 2011.

Boldin said last year when Flacco was in trouble or needed to make a play, he would look for Heap or fellow receiver Derrick Mason. Flacco has played with Mason and Heap for three seasons, and they have become a security blanket for the young quarterback.

“It was good, but it was definitely not to the level that it could be or the level that I had with Kurt,” Boldin said of his rapport with Boldin. “Once things got rolling, he went to his safety valve, which was Mason and Heap. That just makes sense. We’ll have a better feel for each other next year.”

Boldin got off to a fast start with the Ravens in 2010, which made Fantasy owners happy. He had 38 catches for 518 yards and five touchdowns in his first seven games.

But things tailed off from there as Boldin closed the year with just 26 catches for 319 yards and two touchdowns in his final nine outings, and Fantasy owners were left disappointed. He began to see extra coverage, and Boldin said his goal was to “open things up more for Mase and Heap.” Still, not being heavily involved on offense bothered Boldin.

“It can get frustrating, especially coming from the system I came from,” he said. “But I know I’m not an outcast. I understand when it gets down to it you’re going to go where you’re comfortable. Joe and I will get there.”

That’s why Boldin is excited to work out with Flacco as often as possible this offseason, and he has high praise for his new quarterback. Even though Boldin loved playing with Warner, he thinks Flacco has the makings of a star.

Boldin said Flacco has the potential to be as good as Warner, Drew Brees or Peyton Manning.

“He progressed over the season,” Boldin said. “The scary thing is he hasn’t reached his potential yet. He has the best physical tools of anyone I’ve ever played with, including Kurt. He can make every throw on the field.”

We consider Flacco a high-end No. 2 Fantasy quarterback with upside. If he plays as Boldin predicts then he would be a steal with a mid-round pick. It helps that the Ravens have an excellent schedule this year with out of division opponents in the AFC South (Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee) and the NFC West (Arizona, San Francisco, St. Louis and Seattle), which boasted some of the worst passing defenses in 2010.

That should help Boldin, Mason, Heap and Ray Rice all post outstanding years as well.

“With the weapons we have right now we can be one of the top offenses in this league,” Boldin said. “I think we have the chance to be special.”

As for Boldin, he remains a No. 2 Fantasy wide receiver worth a pick around Round 4 or 5. We expect him to have a more consistent year in 2011, and his overall stats should improve.

Boldin is looking forward to a busy summer. And if all goes as planned, that should lead to a productive fall.

For more information on Q-Fest or the Anquan Boldin Foundation, visit anquanq81foundation.com.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 25, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Where will Ronnie Brown play in 2011?

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Ronnie Brown enjoys giving back to the community. The running back likes to lend a helping hand to kids whenever he can.

He created The Ronnie Brown Project, which is a comprehensive program consisting of specific initiatives designed to address critical issues and challenges faced by the youth of South Florida on a daily basis. One of his programs is 23 Ways to Stop Youth Violence, which is an anti-violence campaign aimed at middle school and high school students

Last week, I caught up with Brown at a park for a football camp to support the Jason Taylor Foundation. Taylor and Brown were helping to instruct about 150 kids ages 7-14 doing a variety of drills.

“It’s exciting,” Brown said. “To come out here and give your time back, it means so much to the kids. When I was a little kid, I never had a camp to go to. I think it’s pretty good to give these guys a chance to come out here and exercise and utilize their time in a positive way.”

Added Taylor: “We try to do as much as we can and spend some time with each kid. We have a great football camp. It’s kind of become seamless where it runs itself. It’s great this year to have Ronnie Brown join us with it.”

Taylor and Brown were former teammates with the Dolphins, and they might have something else in common soon. Taylor left Miami last season to play with the Jets – he said one kid at the camp called him a traitor – and Brown, a free agent this offseason, could also be looking for a new team.

He understands that his six years with the Dolphins might have come to an end. He knows a lot could change depending on what happens with the lockout, but Brown is prepared to move on if that’s the next phase of his career.

“It’s tough,” Brown said. “You don’t know what your future holds. I’m excited about it, but at the same time you don’t know what to expect. It’s an exciting time to see what’s next with your future, but at the same time it’s kind of weird not knowing what’s going to happen.”

Brown said he would welcome a return to Miami, but the Dolphins might want to start fresh in their backfield. Coach Tony Sparano said this past week that the team might explore free agency or look to the draft for their starting running back in 2011. Ricky Williams, like Brown, is also a free agent and could be gone.

For Brown, he wants to go somewhere where he can “win and win championships.”

“Obviously, I’d like to be back with the Dolphins, but at the same time it’s a business decision on both ends for them and me,” Brown said. “Whatever fits for me and makes sense for everybody that’s what I’m open to. At the same time I want to win, so that will probably weigh into my decision as well.”

He also wants to be a significant factor on offense.

“I want to be somewhere where I can utilize my talents as far as trying to do everything. Whatever situation, whether it’s here with the Dolphins or somewhere else, I want to make sure I’m in a situation where I can play and be utilized as a player. … I want to be an every-down back. I want to play first, second and third down. Whatever I’m called to do, I feel like I can do it. I have a lot of confidence in myself in that area.”

Brown, 29, is coming off a disappointing season in 2010 when he played 16 games for just the second time in his career and finished with 200 carries for 734 yards (a career-low 3.7 yards per carry) and five touchdowns and 33 catches for 242 yards and two fumbles.

He still has the potential to be a quality running back and a starter, and where he plays in 2011 will determine his Fantasy value. In the right situation, Brown could remain a No. 2 Fantasy running back, but he will likely be drafted as a No. 3 option in the majority of leagues with a mid-round pick.

Off the field, Brown plans to continue his charity work, whether he’s in South Florida or somewhere else. Like Taylor, he’s not going to stop giving back just because he might not be with the Dolphins any more.

For more on The Ronnie Brown Project, visit his website at theronniebrownproject.org.

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
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