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Posted on: April 12, 2009 10:07 pm
 

Wade gets 55

MIAMI -- Dwyane Wade is not going to win the MVP award. That much is clear, thanks to LeBron James.

But Wade made another case to steal some votes Sunday with his performance against the Knicks in 122-105 victory. Wade had a career-high 55 points, which finished one shy of the franchise record, and caused some playful controversy between coach Erik Spoelstra and his All-Star guard.

Wade had 50 points at the end of the third quarter and scored for the final time with 5:31 remaining in the game. He only needed one more point to match Glen Rice's record of 56 set April 15, 1995 against Orlando, but Wade started passing to open teammates at the end of the game.

Instead of going for the record, Wade left to a standing ovation with 1:06 remaining in the game since the score was out of reach. Spoelstra said he had no idea Wade was close to the record until an assistant coach told him after Wade was on the bench.

Spoelstra's excuse was he didn't want to risk Wade getting hurt with the playoffs less than a week away. The Heat clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with Philadelphia losing at Toronto on Sunday and will face No. 4 seed Atlanta in the first round.

Wade has been dealing with an injured ankle, and Spoelstra wants to make sure his best player is 100 percent when it matters most. Still, the rookie coach was aware what he had done.

"I told Dwyane he better not 'MF' me," Spoelstra said. "This is about the bigger picture right now.

"He's broken every other record for the franchise. Let's leave one for Glen Rice."

Wade, even though he likely wanted the record and will have plenty of chances to get the mark in the future, agreed with his coach. He said he "didn't care for" the record because he was focused on clinching the No. 5 seed with two games to play.

Wade did say he could tell a big game was coming. He felt good shooting the ball before the game and hit 23 three-pointers warming up.

Then he took it out on one of his Olympic coaches in Mike D'Antoni, who was an assistant with Team USA during the summer. Wade hit a career-high six three-pointers and also added nine rebounds and four assists. He was 19-of-30 from the field and 11-of-13 from the foul line.

D'Antoni and Wade shared a moment near the end of the game after Wade had scored all of his 55 points.

"I said this is nothing personal," Wade said.

"It was me just complimenting him," D'Antoni said. "I told him, 'It's sort of ridiculous that you're this good.'"

At one point after the exchange, D'Antoni said something to Wade that made him laugh. After the game, Wade wouldn't divulge the final words.

"It was something about LeBron," Wade said. "He told me not to say."

Maybe it was that Wade was the best player in Beijing, which is what D'Antoni said prior to the game. Maybe it was that Wade -- and not James -- would look better in a Knicks uniform after the 2010 season when both are going to be free agents and sought after by New York.

Or maybe it was that D'Antoni thinks Wade should win the MVP over James. Wade did have the higher point total against the Knicks this year, with James going for 52 in February. (Kobe Bryant has the NBA season high with 61, also against the Knicks).

"It was unbelievable," D'Antoni said of Wade. "He was hitting shots that once he starts, you can't stop him. He did a great job."

Wade wasn't the only Heat player with a career performance. Rookie forward Michael Beasley tied his career high with 28 points and set a new career high with 16 rebounds.

Beasley is starting with Udonis Haslem (hand) out and finally playing with confidence. It's coming at the right time for the Heat with the playoffs starting.

"I was just out there playing," Beasley said. "Coach is playing me more minutes. He is trusting me a little bit. The team is putting their trust in me a little bit. I'm just playing my game and trying to do what the team needs. It's easier to play when you have confidence and you know the team is trusting you and the coach is trusting you."

Even with Beasley's performance, the story Sunday was Wade. He's been the story all year for the Heat.

This was his third 50-point game this season, and he continues to show how good he is when he's healthy. Rookie guard Mario Chalmers said Wade "makes you say wow a lot."

Now, a year after missing the postseason, we get to see what Wade can do in the playoffs again. He's not going to win the MVP award, but he's definitely had a magical regular season.

He likely added one final memory -- and one last push for some MVP votes -- with his game against the Knicks. If only he got two more points, he would have added another record.

Posted on: April 7, 2009 4:34 pm
 

Q-Fest

Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin will host the fifth-annual Q-Festival as part of the Anquan Boldin Foundation from April 16-18 in his hometown of Pahokee, Fla. The weekend will feature a golf tournament, a celebrity basketball game and a "fun day in the park" for local kids.

Proceeds from the event go toward helping under-privledged kids in Pahokee and Arizona to provide clothes, sports programs, computers, etc. to "create a brighter future for the children and their families."

Scheduled to attend the event are Boldin's teammates Larry Fitzgerald, Edgerrin James and Steve Breaston. Other players from around the NFL include Andre Johnson (Houston), Steve Smith (Carolina), Clinton Portis (Washington), Greg Jones (Jacksonville) and Ray Lewis (Baltimore).

Boldin is looking forward to the basketball game, but the golf has become a challenge.

"It's a humbling sport," Boldin said. "I can hit the ball off the tee, but my short game needs work."

It's a good thing Boldin has a day job in the NFL. And it's also a good quality that he takes part in giving back to his community.

Boldin said he constantly gets letters and calls from people back home asking about the event. He hopes this year is just as successful as the previous four.

"This year, as we know, is a tough year for everybody," Boldin said. "We're trying to help out in any way we can. It's just a way of bringing some joy and excitement to people and hopefully provide some support."

For more information on the Anquan Boldin Foundation, check out his web site at anquanq81foundation.com.

 

 

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 21, 2009 6:14 pm
 

Miami Regional by the numbers

Here are some interesting stats and facts I've found on the four teams remaining at the Miami Regional of the NCAA tournament

-Since the NCAA tournament field was expanded to 16 seeds per region in 1985, there have been only seven matchups between teams seeded No. 12 and No. 13. It happened twice last year: Western Kentucky played San Diego and Villanova played Siena, both games taking place in Tampa. It will happen again Sunday between No. 12 Arizona and No. 13 Cleveland State.

-Syracuse is 49-31 in the NCAA tournament.

-Syracuse and Arizona State have met just once in before. It was 1968 in the Far West Classic, and Arizona State won 93-77. Herb Sendek is 1-1 against the Orange with N.C. State.

-Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim needs two wins to reach 800.

-Arizona State is 10-5 against the NCAA tournament field: 3-0 vs. Arizona, 2-0 vs. UCLA, 1-1 against Cal, 1-2 against Wasington, 1-2 against USC, 1-0 against BYU and 1-0 against Temple.

-Cleveland State is 3-2 vs. ranked opponents this year, with the three victories against Wake Forest, Syracuse and Butler.

Posted on: March 20, 2009 7:09 pm
 

Syracuse sick

The Orange could use some oranges. Anything that can help cure this cold in the NCAA tournament.

Jonny Flynn and Jim Boeheim were both coughing at the podium Friday following Syracuse's win against Stephen F. Austin in the first round. Boeheim said several members of the team's travel party are sick, and top reserve Kristof Ongenaet was out with the flu.

It didn't bother the Orange against the Lumberjacks in a 59-44 victory, but it could be an issue Sunday against Arizona State in the second round. Ongenaet's status is unknown.

With all the overtime games, travel and pressure of the NCAA tournament, Syracuse can use some rest Saturday before facing the Sun Devils. Still, the Orange looked good early against Stephen F. Austin and held on late to win.

Because of the victory, Boeheim said "I don't feel that bad" when asked about his health.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: March 19, 2009 12:05 pm
Edited on: March 19, 2009 7:04 pm
 

Miami Regional

CLEVELAND STATE

Cleveland State isn't going to be distracted by being in Miami. The Vikings were here earlier this season for a tournament in November, so the South Beach experience isn't a factor.

Cleveland State isn't going to be intimidated by facing Wake Forest. The Vikings played at Washington, at West Virginia and at Syracuse -- a game where Cedric Jackson's 60-foot heave at the buzzer helped CSU pull off the upset.

Cleveland State also isn't worried about tournament play. After all, the Vikings just beat Butler on its home court to win the Horizon League Championship.

So what is Cleveland State concerned about since the Vikings haven't been in the NCAA Tournament since 1986, when Jackson was 9 days old?

"I would say we're not nervous because we've been prepared to play teams like this all season long," Jackson said. "We've played against big teams. It prepared us for Friday."

The Vikings seem confident for a No. 13 seed. They don't seem worried even though Wake Forest was ranked No. 1 in the country at one point this season.

Senior center Chris Moore, who is from Madison, OH, is hoping this year's Vikings can duplicate what the 1986 team did by knocking off Indiana and coach Bob Knight.

"That's something that's still talked about in the city all the time," Moore said. "It's definitely an honor to be compared to those guys. But we're trying to create our own legacy and step out of that shadow and be something else that's remembered in the city of Cleveland."

Can Cleveland State do it again and knock off another giant? The Vikings are ready to give it a try. 

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ARIZONA

First, Arizona wasn't supposed to be in the NCAA Tournament. Now, the Wildcats are favored to pull the upset as the No. 12 seed against No. 5 seed Utah.

What gives?

"Utah is a very good team," Arizona junior forward Chase Budinger said. "They've got the No. 5 seed for a reason. They had a great year, and they're a good team. And even though people are saying that this is an upset-type game, we're not letting that get to us at all because we know that Utah is a very good team. We're not going to overlook them at all. Like I said, they got that No. 5 seed for a reason."

The Wildcats are trying to say all the right things after finishing 19-13 and sneaking into the NCAA Tournament. Arizona lost four of its past six games, which took the luster off quality wins against Kansas, Gonzaga, Washington, USC and UCLA during the year.

The best statement Arizona can make about deserving to be here is winning and proving the upset can happen.

"We're grateful and thankful to be in the NCAA Tournament," Wildcats coach Russ Pennell said. "Our journey was a little bit different than some of these teams. We kind of had to sweat it out, I think, on Selection Sunday, and actually the last couple of weeks did not win as many games as we would have liked to have."

Pennell was asked his thoughts on taking a spot away from Creighton or Saint Mary's.

"Well, first of all, I think that deserving to be here is probably left up to other people to debate," Pennell said. "We certainly felt like we deserved to be here, and we make no apologies for getting in.

"As far as that underdog thing, I think that the important thing right now for everyone in this tournament to understand is that everyone is 0-0. The seedings mean absolutely nothing right now because it's one-game seasons. If you win, you stay. If you lose, you go home. Really that's our motivation, we would like to stay in the tournament, and in order to do that, we have to defeat a very good Utah team."

In the brackets on CBSSports.com, 58.1 percent of people chose Utah to win with 41.9 percent going with Arizona. On Friday, we'll find out who got it right and which team can advance.

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WAKE FOREST

Wake Forest junior guard Ishmael Smith and his teammates had no idea about Cleveland State's history. That is, until Smith ran into a campus police officer earlier this week.

Smith said the officer told him about Cleveland State's last appearance to the NCAA Tournament in 1986 when the Vikings upset Indiana and Bob Knight. CSU was a No. 14 seed then and played the role of Cinderella. The Vikings are a No. 13 seed now and looking to make similar noise.

Smith said the officer told him "Don't let that happen to you guys."

It will be a tough test for Wake Forest, especially since Maryland laid the blueprint for how to beat the Deacons. In the ACC Tournament, Maryland forced Wake Forest to shoot outside, and the Deacons shot 30 percent from the field and went 3-of-25 from the three-point line.

CSU might take a similar approach, and Smith is ready.

"We know we're not a great three-point shooting team," Smith said. "As coach said, 10-to-12 threes, that's a good sizeable amount for us, and it doesn't have to be more than that. We've worked all week on that, and hopefully we won't make the same mistake when we see it again."

Added senior guard Harvey Hale: "Guys are really working hard, and we're really moving the ball. I think that's going to separate us from being good to great."

Coach Dino Gaudio said this is "a danger game." He said for the Deacons not to get upset and execute, they need to come ready to play.

"I think we've just got to try to narrow our focus," Gaudio said. "I told them, don't make the moment bigger than it is. There's a tendency to do that as they watch the games and we come into the arena, and all of a sudden the game gets to be a little bigger than -- like I said, we're just talking about let's try to win the next possession."

They're also trying not to make 1986 happen all over again. 

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UTAH

Luke Nevill, the 7-foot-2 senior center for Utah, is from Perth, Australia. He said Thursday his mom has been visiting him from home and plans to stay through the Final Four.

Maybe he can give her a tutorial on the NCAA Tournament.

Nevill said the tournament isn't it big in his country. According to Nevill, Australians might know more about Lleyton Hewitt than they do about Mike Krzyzewski.

"You know, last time I was back in Australia before I went to college, no, we didn't see any coverage," Nevill said. "You'd see the highlights, but besides that, we don't see any tournament games. So it's not a huge deal over there."

Nevill, who coach Jim Boylen said "is a lottery pick" in the NBA, got a new haircut for the tournament. He went from shaggy blond locks to a cleaner cut.

He wanted to keep a promise he made after the Utes won the Mountain West Conference.

"I kind of told my team that I would get a haircut when we won the conference, so it was going to happen since I was pretty confident that we were," said Nevill, who averages 16.9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks. "I just went and got it done. Plus it's hotter here, humid, so it's more streamlined."

That comment drew laughter from the media in attendance. But the Utes are focused on not being a No. 5 seed to fall to No. 12 Arizona. Many people around the country believe Arizona will knock off Utah, and that has the Utes focused.

"We more look at it as just motivation to just keep proving people wrong," senior forward Shaun Green said. "We were picked fourth in our conference, and we ended up being tied for first. I don't think anybody picked us to win the conference tournament and we ended up winning that. Now we're underdogs it seems like again for the NCAA Tournament, and that's fine. I mean, we've been that all year, and we're just going to keep playing the way we've been playing and just keep trying to prove people wrong."

Added senior guard Tyler Kepkay: "I think it's been a trend all year that we've been the underdog, so we're pretty used to it. We are just going to handle it, prepare and take care of business tomorrow."

For Nevill's sake, hopefully everyone in Australia will be watching.

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ARIZONA STATE

Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek said Thursday that Pac-10 Player of the Year James Harden is dealing with a bruised Achilles' tendon. He's expected to be fine, but hopefully he'll be 100 percent against Temple in the first round.

Harden averaged 20.8 points and 5.5 rebounds this season. Temple coach Fran Dunphy said Harden is a lottery pick in the NBA once he leaves college.

"For us as we look at Harden, we know how good a basketball player he is, and unless we pay attention to every detail defensively, he's going to take advantage of that," Dunphy said. "I think he's a terrific basketball player. The guys that I sit and listen to, the prognosticators, the pro guys who talk about him, they liken his game to a Paul Pierce. Everybody likes to say, "Who does he remind you of?" and they're mentioning his name with a guy like Paul Pierce. That's pretty lofty company."

The matchup with Harden and Temple's Dionte Christmas should be fun to watch. Sendek is also 5-1 in first-round games in the NCAA Tournament.

But for the Sun Devils to avoid the upset, Harden has to play well, something he didn't do in the Pac-10 Tournament Championship against USC. Harden was held to 10 points, which could have been due to the Achilles' injury.

"You know, that was the third game in three days for James," Sendek said. "He played a lot of minutes. Once again, in defense of him, he was doing the best he could with a bruised Achilles' tendon. We had to take him out a couple times in that game just to see if we could rejuvenate him a little bit. Hopefully that's calmed down and he's feeling a little bit better going into this week's game."

Harden's teammates aren't worried about him having a bad game against Temple.

"Him being an all-star player, it's always important for him to have a big game," senior Jeff Pendergraph said. "But I'm not too worried about James. He's a big-time player, big-time guy when the lights are on."

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SYRACUSE

The last time Syracuse guard Jonny Flynn said he faced a 5-foot-3 player was in the seventh grade. He'll have to remember what that's like when he goes against Stephen F. Austin junior guard Eric Bell.

Bell, at 5-foot-3, is the shortest player in Miami.

"You've got to watch out for guys like that, real scrappy, quick, can be a pest on the defensive end," Flynn said. "Watching him on the film, he's a guy that really gets especially up and down the court and really is going to get after it defensively. I've got a tough match-up right there, but my big guy, I'm going to have him come up and set some screens for me and get me open, so hopefully everything is going to be the best."

Flynn is going to need to be moving, and he hopes to have the legs to do it. Flynn said his legs are still tired after playing in seven overtimes -- six against UCONN -- in the Big East Tournament last week.

Flynn played 67 minutes against the Huskies in the quarterfinals and then 45 minutes against West Virginia in an overtime game in the semifinals. After the UCONN game, Syracuse got back to the hotel at 2:30 a.m., but Flynn couldn't sleep.

"I was just so hyped after a win like that, beating UCONN," Flynn said. "It was a perfect story line - got two Hall of Fame coaches in Jim Boeheim and (Jim) Calhoun, you've got the Syracuse-Connecticut rivalry and you're on the biggest stage in the world, New York City, Madison Square Garden. There was just a lot of adrenaline running through my body, and I actually didn't go to sleep until around 7:00, 7:30. It was fun to play in a game like that and it was something to share that moment with my teammates."

Now it's time for Flynn and the Orangemen to refocus for the NCAA Tournament. They get the Lumberjacks in the first round, and Syracuse needs to be ready.

While Syracuse played in the toughest conference in college basketball this season in the Big East, the Orangemen can't overlook a small school from a lesser conference. And if they need a reminder, they just need to look at Cleveland State.

In December, Cedric Jackson's 60-foot heave in Syracuse helped Cleveland State pull the upset, 72-69. CSU is at AmericanAirlines Arena to take on Wake Forest, and Syracuse knows any team can win at any time.

Even Lumberjacks coach Danny Kaspar admitted it's probably going to take a last-second shot for his team to win.

"In college basketball you can't take no team lightly," Syracuse junior Paul Harris said. "I think Cleveland State was a great team, and it was just a last-second shot that was a miracle, and in the NCAA Tournament there will be a lot of those kind of shots happen. You just never want to get yourself in that type of position, and you want to keep on the other team if you can and keep the pressure on. Hopefully it don't come down to a shot like that."

Harris' teammate, Arinze Onuaku, didn't seem worried. He was asked about going out on South Beach, and he already knows when that's going to happen.

"We know what we came here to do," Onuaku said. "We're focused but after we get our win tomorrow, we can walk around, have a little bit of time and get back to game plan."

Onuaku walked past coach Jim Boeheim after saying that. Syracuse hasn't been to the NCAA Tournament in two years, and Boeheim said he's not about to let his team get "sidetracked" by being in Miami.

It doesn't sound like there will be time to walk around South Beach at all.

"We'll play just as well here as we would in Boise or Minneapolis or anyplace else, I guarantee you that," Boeheim said.

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TEMPLE

I'm looking forward to seeing Dionte Christmas play. The Temple senior, who has scored 30 or more points 10 times in his career, is ready to go against Arizona State.

"He's a terrific shooter," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "He doesn't need a lot of time, nor space, to get shots. He has very good range. He's had an interesting year. I think he's made more big shots this year for us but not -- he hasn't shot the best percentage this year. He's had some struggling games that teams have really concentrated their defenses greatly on him, and other times where he's had open looks.

"We've become so spoiled watching him play that we think that every time he shoots it, it's going to go in the basket."

Christmas averages 19.9 points and will likely want to make his presence known against ASU star James Harden, the Pac-10 Player of the Year.

"I think Dionte has been a catalyst for us these last couple years now," Temple senior guard Semaj Inge said. "I don't think we're going to win a lot of big games if Dionte doesn't have a great game."

Christmas is going to have figure out the ASU matchup zone. It's frustrating to play against, and Christmas compared it to the defense the Owls used to play under former coach John Chaney.

"It's very similar," Christmas said. "Those guys are very long on the defensive end. I think it's going to be tough to get shots against that defense. But I think as long as we move the ball and keep cutting and using each other, I think we're going to do a great job against them."

Only one problem with Temple: The cover of their media guide says "Five Months of Christmas" with his picture on the cover and standing next to the Atlantic 10 trophy with a Santa Claus hat on it. That's a little too much.

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STEPHEN F. AUSTIN

I'm here at the Miami Regional for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and I'll be bringing you notes all day.

So far, Stephen F. Austin has had their media appearance with players and the head coach. They have a great story.

Their nickname is the Lumberjacks. This is their first NCAA Tournament appearance. And after winning the Southland Conference Tournament title last weekend, they returned home to an empty campus.

The joys of spring break. All the kids were gone.

Sophomore guard Eddie Williams said friends have congratulated him through Facebook. But some of the Lumberjacks faithful are making the drive from Nacogdoches, TX to see Friday's game against Syracuse.

In fact, junior guard Eric Bell's parents have never missed a game, no matter where they've played. On Thursday, Bell said they were still on the way to make the 12:15 p.m. start Friday.

As for the matchup, SFA coach Danny Kaspar knows his team "needs a last-minute shot" to beat the Orangemen. Kaspar said he was preparing for a game in the Southland Tournament with an assistant coach when the Syracuse-UCONN game was going on. Kaspar said "we just kept glancing up at the TV" during the six overtimes.

And now he gets to see Syracuse in person.

 

 

Posted on: March 4, 2009 10:54 am
Edited on: March 4, 2009 10:55 am
 

Champions

You always remember the comebacks in basketball. The moments when the impossible become a dream in a matter of seconds.

Think Reggie Miller vs. the Knicks. Or Mario Chalmers and Kansas vs. Memphis to win the NCAA Tournament title. Or this high school player who recently scored 11 points in 46 seconds http://deadspin.com/5160247/how-to-
score-11-game+winning-points-in-46-seconds
.

The CBSSports.com Men's Basketball Team had one of those moments Tuesday night in our championship game at Sugar Sand Park in Boca Raton, FL. While it wasn't as vital as any of those other games, it was a night we will never forget.

First, the players. From CBSSports.com we have coach Corey Guerrera, Ryan Simmons, Chris Woodruff, Adam Wayne and myself. There also are former employees David Gonos, Danny Kadoche and Brett Tresky and friends Jason Garcia and John Hett.

Our team has never played to its talent level, so we ended up in the "B" playoffs. Hett called our division the "WNBA" of the league while we were watching the "A" championship before our game. Woodruff said we were "more like the WNBA D-League."

Still, we won our first playoff game before advancing to the finals. We finished the regular season at 3-7, but in two seasons we are 3-1 in the playoffs, so we come up big when it matters most. That happened Tuesday.

We played Blue Chips, which had beaten us earlier in the year and re-defined poor sportsmanship. One of their players started a fight with Kadoche during the season, and Tuesday the same guy stuck his middle finger at our bench when he made a free throw.

Blue Chips was ahead 46-42 with under a minute when the magic started. Simmons hit a three-pointer -- his first of the season.

At halftime, Simmons was shooting threes and hit three in a row. Gonos said to him "save it" for the second half, and Simmons did.

After Simmons hit the shot, he ran back and stole the ball and passed it to Woodruff. Simmons yelled "shoot it, Woodruff, shoot it." Nothing but net.

You never know when something like is going to happen, and the other team was stunned. Our team went into total euphoria.

I know, it's kind of pathetic for grown men to get over-excited about winning the lower division of a rec league, but we have been parading the trophy around the office. Hey, we're entitled to our Al Bundy moment.

After all, this is what sports is all about.

Category: Fantasy
Tags: Fantasy
 
Posted on: December 19, 2008 10:52 am
Edited on: December 19, 2008 10:53 am
 

Mock Draft

Here are the second and third round for my 2009 mock Fantasy Football draft.

Feel free to post a comment or send an email to dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com and put "Mock Draft" in the subject line. I will answer any lineup questions you have from an email.

Round 2
13. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Buffalo
14. Clinton Portis, RB, Washington
15. Andre Johnson, WR, Houston
16. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans
17. Joseph Addai, RB, Indianapolis
18. Brandon Jacobs, RB, New York Giants
19. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis
20. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona
21. Tom Brady, QB, New England
22. Randy Moss, WR, New England
23. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas
24. Thomas Jones, RB, New York Jets
 
Round 3
25. Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit
26. Ronnie Brown, RB, Miami
27. Larry Johnson, RB, Kansas City
28. Anquan Boldin, WR, Arizona
29. Terrell Owens, WR, Dallas
30. Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis
31. Ryan Grant, RB, Green Bay
32. Brandon Marshall, WR, Denver
33. Steve Smith, WR, Carolina
34. Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego
35. Roddy White, WR, Atlanta
36. Jay Cutler, QB, Denver
Category: NFL
Posted on: November 2, 2008 11:16 pm
 

Horror Stories

It took a few days longer than I expected, but here are some of the responses from the quaterback horror stories you sent in from last week's Four Downs.  Thanks for responding, and I'm sure some of these have gotten worse with Kyle Orton (ankle) and Matt Schaub (knee) getting hurt in Week 9.

From Doug ...

In our little 8-team league, I was "lucky" enough to find Carson Palmer in the 8th round of the draft when I had been targeting Jay Cutler, so I passed on him for Palmer. Then, In the final round, I picked up Phillip Rivers as a bye week replacement. Then I got cold feet and dropped Rivers for Jon Kitna before week 1.   Luckily, I've settled down with Matt Schaub and Ben Roethlisberger off waivers. From Brad ... I drafted D. Anderson and Favre, feeling lucky to get Favre in the 8th round - After an 0-2 start I traded Wes Welker and Favre to another team for Palmer and Brandon Jacobs - Jacobs has been great, but I am about to drop Palmer as it looks as he is done for the year.  In week 3, I picked up JT O'Sullivan carrying 3 QB's, hoping Palmer or Anderson would come around. A few weeks later I needed a roster space due to bye issues and chose to drop Anderson as I thought Palmer had better upside and DA was playing the Giants that weekend - he was claimed off waivers and we all know how well he played on Monday night.  I managed to grab Orton in week 6 and, although he has been great I was forced to start O'Sullivan this week - which looked like a good play against Seattle.  From Vince ... I drafted Carson Palmer and Matt Hasselback. Do I need to continue? Kerry Collins in week 4. Gus Ferrotte was my hero in weeks 6 and 7. And was fortunate enough to pick up JT O' Sit hit down for week 8. QBs only get 4 points for TDs in my league, so I guess it could be worse. Bottom line is 8 weeks and 59 fantasy points for the QB position. My best week was 15 points when Ferotte threw 4 INTs! Did I mention my team is 1-6. Still alive in week 8. From Nick ... I play in a 16 team dynasty league where we keep 10 players each year. I Entered the season feelig pretty good at the QB position with Carson Palmer and Vince Young.... I am now stuck with starting Kerry Collins.. If thats not bad enough I also have Steven Jackson and Larry Johnson as my starting RB's nothing like being the pre-season favorite to last place in the league....The only bright spot was I drafted Steve Slaton with my second pick in the first round and was able to trade him and Palmer for Jay Cutler only to have Cutler get hurt the first game after I traded for him....Wow what a season.... From Michael ... I drafted Derek Anderson as my starting QB. Later on in the draft I proceeded to pick up Jon Kitna as my backup. I dropped Kitna after he went on IR and picked up Brad Johnson. I also started Gus Frerotte the week he played the Lions. Its been a mess. From Bill ... So I know you guys wanted to hear horror stories about fantasy team's QB situation, however I'd like to share the horror story that is my entire team! This year, almost every week I have lost players to injury and somehow I have managed to be 3-4 (hopefully 4-4 by the end of tomorrow).

Week 1: Lost Nate Burleson for the season.
Week 1: Lost Marques Colston until Week 7
Week 3: Lost Brian Westbrook till Week 5
Week 3: Lost Willie Parker, still out
Week 3: David Patten leaves game hurt
Week 3: Bryant Johnson sustains injury after the game
Week 4: Lost Brandon Lloyd
Week 5: Lost Justin Gage after Game 4
Week 5: Domenik Hixon leaves game injured
Week 5: Deion Branch leaves game injured
Week 5: Brian Westbrook reinjured
Week 6: Lost Kellen Winslow to injury and suspension
Week 6: Eli Manning injured during Browns game, hurts overall score
Week 7: Devin Hester leaves game
Week 7: Steve Heiden injures bicep

So...basically my teams has been the walking wounded since Week 1. In Week 6 I did not have my #1 (Westbrook), #2 (Colston), #3 (Parker) and #5 (Winslow) draft choices playing. I haven't had Willie Parker for over a month, Marques Colston is turning out to be a bust and Westbrook is always questionable. It has been a rough season for me injury wise, but somehow, through the waiver wire (thanks to the excellent columns you guys write) I've been able to win a few games.

Hope this makes it into the blog!
From Mark ... Funny thing happened at the draft this year. I thought I had managed to come up with a good strategy, although my positioning made it difficult to put into effect, and ended up with appeared like a pretty solid squad including an awesome #1 & #2 option at QB. I had Matt Hasselbeck as my #1 and David Garrard as my #2. Other than the vital signs that Garrard has shown over the past 3 games or so, it's not been good.From Marlon ...

Luckily I was not so stubborn that I would stick with Hass & Garrard too long. I picked up Kerry Collins who didn't lose weeks for me and had very solid output from Gore & Lynch at RB, Calvin Johnson & Larry Fitz at WR to reel off a few wins in a row. I wasn't completely dominating but I wasn't out of it by October either. I've managed to pick up Schaub since then and Garrard has recently shown signs that he's back to the guy who led me to draft him as my backup in the first place.

If only things continue along this route, I should do okay this year. My friends who ended up with Brady are not in the same boat, but neither obsess quite as much as I do about ff.

Thought you might enjoy the story.

I had the worst season last year and i managed to trade my franchise player to aquire Tom Brady before the draft. filled my roster and managed to get carson palmer in round 6 which i thought was a steal. Thanks to the way the season is progressing i was surviving by a hair with the play of jt o sulivan the 49ers qb but now he got benched! back to the toilet bowl for me. From Chris ...
They say hope springs eternal at every draft but soon thereafter all hope was lost for my team. I was more than happy with the first two quarterbacks I drafted in my 12 team league. Carson Palmer…Check, Vince Young…check, and as an afterthought, Chad Pennington would be nice as a bye week replacement. Little did I know that Chad would be steering the ship on this team come week 5. I had picked up Brian Griese, and he was my savior for one blessed week until he went down in flames as well. I can only apologize now to Pennington for what will surely be a season ending injury at the hands of my fantasy QB death touch. From Nathan and Natalie ... Here is my (still going) QB nightmares.  I had a pretty good draft, I thought.  Westbrook, Wayne, A. Johnson, Willie Parker, and I picked up Carson Palmer whom I thought would put up some great numbers finally with all of his great weapons.  I learned that he belongs on my blacklist of players I will never pick again (My list includes players like:  Cedric Benson, Julius Jones, Chad Johnson, and Cadillac Williams---  you know, "fool me once. . . .").  I felt really good about picking up Favre in later rounds as my backup who I felt really good about.  Palmer has just plain sucked!  In week 4 I benched Favre and played Palmer, I figured it was a better matchup for Palmer in a rivalry game.  Of course that was the game the Favre EXPLODED for 6 touchdowns, to make matters worse. . .   I was out of town and couldn't check in the last minute like I always do on players, Palmer was a last minute inactive.  So I ended up losing 46 points because of this, which cause me to lose since I only scored 65 points that week.  Since then I have had to rely on Favre, who has proved he is human.  Luckily he has been serviceable as a QB and has given me some  points on a weekly basis.  Now I am riding the old, tired back of Favre and hoping he can throw to the guys on his team.  I still hold Palmer but in reality there is no one out there who I can count on more then Favre, and it sucks!!

From Nate ... I’m the co-owner of The Big Brown Sharks – the defending champions in the Corrupt Forever League.  I’ll try to keep this short – we were part of the contingency which drafted Brady in the 1<sup>st</sup> round (#3 overall).  Since his untimely injury, we are still searching for a weekly quarterback.  Through week 8, here are our starting QB’s:   Week 1:  Tom Brady Week 2:  Matt Cassel Week 3:  JT O’Sullivan Week 4:  JT O’Sullivan Desperate – we traded Wes Welker for Matt Hasselbeck.  The worst trade of the century. Week 5:  Matt Hasselbeck Week 6:  Matt Ryan Week 7:  Brad Johnson Week 8:  Marc Bulger   Yes, we have started 75% of starting NFL quarterbacks named Matt.  If your name is Matt, and you’re starting a game in the NFL, The Big Brown Sharks are looking for you.  Now, if Kurt Warner goes down we might be in business.  (Matt Leinart)   Amazingly, we are 4-4. From Noah ... I was burned last season by poor quarterback play, so this year I resolved to draft a top QB in the 3rd round.    Carson Palmer was the best QB left at that point and I took him.   Later, I drafted Vince Young as my backup.  Needless to say, I've been mixing and matching this year again despite my best intentions.   Despite a 0-2 start (thanks to early-season busts like Palmer, S-Jax, Braylon and McGahee), I have rebounded to reel off 6 straight W's playing J.T. O'Sullivan and Gus Frerotte at QB.   I think that's more of a testament to the overall poor QB play in the league this year, where no single QB has catapulted other teams to the top.
From Rob ... Here’s a good one:   I’m playing in a point-per-reception league with pretty good QB scoring, and unfortunately ended up drafting Derek Anderson and Marc Bulger.  But hey, there’s always trades, right?  And luckily, in a PPR league with Reggie Wayne, Steve Smith, Marques Colston, Laveranues Coles, and other assorted #2-worthy receivers, I had plenty of trade bait.   Imagine my glee when I found a team with weak receivers and not one, not two, but THREE solid QB’s – Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Matt Schaub.  I immediately hit the trade screen, offered a couple of #2 receivers that were an improvement on their starters, and mentioned that we had a lot of options and we could surely work something out.   Silence.   OK, I thought, the offer must have been insulting.  I’ll step it up.  I offered Smith and a #2 for Rodgers.  Nothing.  After an email, I get a response – “I don’t trade.”   The very thought confused me.  Surely they just haven’t thought it through, right?  Any logical player could see this was crazy.  I typed out an email in essay form, detailing how  they lose nothing, since we only play one QB.  I pointed out that even if they were to use their bench QB’s to play optimal matchups, they’d still be better off with the guaranteed 10-12 point per week boost they’d get from the trade.  I offered my entire WR stable to choose from.   “I don’t trade.”   I was blown away – angry, yet confused.  Surely there was a reason for this.  Maybe their season was going so well they didn’t need – nope, less than .500.  Well maybe I posed a threat to – nope, not in the same division.  Did I get drunk and make out with their mom while blacked out?  I must have, that’s the only explanation that a reasonable human being could have for acting this way.  I offered an apology.   “I don’t trade.”   I hope the fantasy football gods are having a good laugh at my expense by finding the only person in the world who won’t accept a lopsided trade and making them the only team that can afford to lose a quarterback.

From Erich ...

It's been quite a humiliating quarterback year for me.  First, I drafted Tom Brady in the 2nd round, then picked up Matt Hasselback as his back up later on in the draft.  I then made a couple of trades and got Carson Palmer.  After that didn't work out i magically found Jon Kitna on the waiver wire, which obviously didn't work out as well as I'd hope too.  Now I'm stuck with Orlovsky (A lot of teams in my league have 3 quarterbacks)  and have JaMarcus Russell as well.  How's that for quarterback woes. From Troy ... I drafted Carson Palmer, Vince Young and Jeff Garcia in our fantasy football draft. Carson went down (was hoping he would return, but looks unlikely), Vince lost his job to Kerry Collins and I dropped Garcia thinking he lost his job to Griese?  Ended up having to pickup Gus Ferotte to run my team, now they are talking about Tavaris Jackson taking that job back? So in desparation I pick up Brad Johnson, oh what a mistake. So in another desparation move I trade Steve Slaton and Joey Galloway for Brett Favre, now he is being suggested to sit. What a nightmare, I have five QB's Favre, Palmer, Ferotte, Johnson and V. Young, what a mess!    From Roger ... In my league, quarterbacks went faster than I was ready to draft them and I kept missing on the “sleepers” I wanted.  I ended up drafting three to see who would emerge, Jon Kitna, Matt Hasselbeck, Jason Campbell.  Kitna was getting me 20 points a week the first two weeks and I thought I would be fine with him and hasselbeck (once he got his receivers back).  David Garrard was dropped in my league after the first week so I replaced Campbell with Garrard. Well, come week 4 Kitna and Hasselbeck were on a bye and Garrard was averaging 8 pts a week so I dropped Garrard to take a flyer on Trent Green who was just named the starter.  Of course Green got me 8 points, Garrard’s 25 points would have gotten me a win against a team who is now 6-1. Week 5 I plugged Kitna back in, he got 1 point and was benched, injured and eventually put on IR.  Hasselbeck also got hurt that week and hasn’t played since. Week 6 I picked up Gus Frerotte because he was playing Detroit and his 16 points helped me get my first win since my 2-0 start. Week 7 I picked up Derek Anderson fresh off his big Monday Night against the Giants.  He got me 13 points, I lost. Week 8 I picked up Jeff Garcia fresh off his big game vs Seattle and started him vs Dallas beat-up secondary.  His 9 points make me wish I had gone with Anderson vs Jax who would have had me 15 points and made it more likely that a nice game out of Reggie Wayne tonight would have stolen me a win.   I now have Garcia, Anderson, and Frerotte the rest of the way…we’ll see.   Luckily with all my quarterback issues I’ve had Joseph Addai and Anquan Boldin to steady the ship?  Good times. From Dan ... I had Drew Brees as a 5th round keeper for this year. I also drafted Reggie Bush to get double points. My team was the highest scoring team after the first 5 weeks, but my record was .500. So I decided to trade Brees for Tony Romo who then broke his pinkie. So then I was left with Gus Frerotte, who was on a bye this week, and almost had to go with Dan Orlovsky, but I traded Romo for Peyton Manning. I should have never traded Brees in the first place. From Brandon ... It started a sunny afternoon in Las Vegas when I took Tom Brady with the 6th overall pick in the draft. I was so confident with Tom Brady that I stacked my team with RB's and WR's for the rest of the draft without picking up a backup QB. Then we all know what happened Week 1. After the first week I offered trades to about everybody in the league to try and get a top rated QB. I threw my bait in the pond and I caught, what I thought would be the deal of the season, no body would beat me now. I traded Ronnie Brown RB for Carson Palmer QB. I was very happy and could not believe this team traded his top QB for at the time a backup RB. Well we all know how that turned out, over the next 3 weeks, Ronnie Brown scored 50 points to Carson Palmer's 20 points. I Picked up Matt Schaub week 4 and decided to play M. Schaub week 5 (0 points) instead of C. Palmer (19 points). The Sunday of Week 5, I was going to be on an airplane all day and would not be able to check my lineup. I check all the news Saturday night and Sunday morning before boarding my plan at 8:00 am PST. I didn't find any news saying that M. Schaub was hospitalized and would not play. Ouch! a big zero for week 5 at QB. Weeks 6, 7 and 8 with M. Schaub have been great! so lets recap.

Week 1 - T. Brady = 3 points

Week 2 - C. Palmer = 1 point

Week 3 - C. Palmer = 19 points (not bad) Week 4 - C. Palmer = 0 points Week 5 - M. Schaub = 0 points

QB total = 23 points through 5 weeks.

Just to show you how bad my QB play has been, through the same 5 weeks, my starting Kicker as a total of 53 points.

From Alex ...

My quaterback horror story goes all the way back to my draft. It began with me taking Matt Hasselbeck in the 8th round, thinking that he would be a good bargain at that point. In the second to last round, I took Jason Campbell with the idea that if he learned Jim Zorn's offence, he'd have some good potential.
 
By the time Week 1 rolls around, Hasselbeck (11 points) has no viable WRs, Jason Campbell (11 points) has a below average game, and then the nightmare began.
 
With Tom Brady out for the year after Week 1, I decided to make a play for Matt Cassel. I figured, he plays for the Pats, so he could still post some solid numbers. I ended up dropping Campbell for Cassel, which really came back to bite me this week, as I'm on my way to a 1-7 record courtesy of Campbell's 300+ yard, 1 TD performance against the lowly Lions.
 
From there, here's how it's turned out (with fantasy points in brackets):
- Week 2: Started Matt Cassel (6) over Matt Hasselbeck (4)
- Week 3: Again, started Matt Cassel (7) over Matt Hasselbeck (13)
- Week 4: With Cassel and Hasselbeck on a bye, desperately dropped Cassel for Damon Huard! (12)
- Week 5: Dropped Huard to leave me with only Hasselbeck (2)
- Week 6: With Hasselbeck injured, picked up Gus Frerotte! (15) for my best output at QB to date...
- Week 7: Frustrated with Hasselbeck's injury, dropped him and Frerotte for the newly appointed 
temporary starter Brad Johnson (9) and Derek Anderson (13).
- Finally this week, I clean house again and start Trent Edwards (6) over Matt Ryan (19)
 
I am in a very competitive league, and replacement QBs were very hard to come by, as can be seen. I also tried desperately to trade for a QB, but no one was willing to cut me a deal. Now, I'm looking toward next season in my keeper league thanks to my QB play this season. As the numbers clearly show, I haven't owned a QB that has posted 20+ fantasy points for me in a given week. So, needless to say, if that's not a quarterback horror story, then I don't know what is.

Category: NFL
 
 
 
 
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