Posted on: September 10, 2010 8:48 am

Year 4 of the All-Female Fantasy Football League

It's the fourth year of the All-Female Fantasy Football League, and this year's draft was interesting. We had one owner, Vicki Smith, drafting from Egypt. She is on vacation and woke up at 3 a.m. to do the draft. Now that's dedication.

This league features 12 women from all walks of life who just love Fantasy Football. As all of them will tell you, it's not just a man's game. We have four members of the sports media world -- our own Lauren Shehadi, radio talk show host Anita Marks, Broncos beat writer Lindsay Jones and Patriots beat writer Monique Walker -- as well as accountants, school teachers and several moms.

All are experienced in Fantasy Football, and they all want to win. Last year, Kristin Griffin from Delaware was our winner when she beat Brandie Taylor from Florida in the finals.

Who will win this year? You can follow along all season right here.

Here is an introduction of the 12 owners:

Lauren Shehadi
Occupation: video host
Home: Fort Lauderdale
Fantasy Football history: Three years
Her team ...
QB: Brady and Smith
RB: Rice, Stewart, R. Bush, Maroney and McGahee
WR: Boldin, Owens, Evans, Breaston and Aromashodu
TE: Witten
K: Rackers
DST: 49ers

Suzie Silvestri
Occupation: Treasury Analyst
Home: Salt Lake City
Fantasy Football history: Four years
Her team ...
QB: Kolb and Orton
RB: Mendenhall, R. Brown, Spiller, D. Brown and L. Johnson
WR: A. Johnson, White, S. Moss and Holmes
TE: Celek and H. Miller
K: Prater
DST: Dolphins

Lindsay Jones
Occupation: Broncos/NFL Beat Writer, The Denver Post
Home: Denver
Fantasy Football history: Four years
Her team ...
QB: Brees and McNabb
RB: Foster, Harrison, F. Jones and Gerhart
WR: Marshall, Wallace, Bryant, Gaffney and Britt
TE: Finley and Gresham
K: Carpenter
DST: Cowboys

Brandie Taylor
Occupation: Middle school teacher/coach
Home: Pembroke Pines, FL
Fantasy Football history: Six years
Her team ...
QB: Schaub and Roethlisberger
RB: D. Williams, Bradshaw, Jennings, Moore and Forsett
WR: D. Jackson, Bowe, Garcon and L. Robinson
TE: Z. Miller and Olsen
K: Akers
DST: Eagles

Ashley Phagan
Occupation: Business Development Manager
Home: Charlotte
Fantasy Football history: Six years
Her team ...
QB: Rivers and Palmer
RB: Benson, Addai, Tomlinson, Hillis, Buckhalter and S. Morris
WR: Nicks, Ward, Driver and Mason
TE: Winslow
K: Vinatieri
DST: Steelers

Monique Walker
Occupation: Patriots/NFL Beat Writer, The Boston Globe
Home: Boston
Fantasy Football history: 10 years
Her team ...
QB: Ryan and Stafford
RB: Jones-Drew, Grant, Jacobs, M. Bush and McFadden
WR: Fitzgerald, S. Smith (NYG), McCluster, Hester and Ja. Jones
TE: Clark
K: Buehler
DST: Chargers

Kristine Griffin
Occupation: Doctor
Home: Georgetown, DE
Fantasy Football history: Four years
Her team ...
QB: Favre and Young
RB: C. Johnson, Charles, McCoy, F. Jackson, Forte and T. Jones
WR: C. Johnson, Austin, Collie and Berrian
TE: Keller
K: Tynes
DST: Titans

Jennifer Fernandez
Occupation: Sales Manager for a wine company
Home: Chicago
Fantasy Football history: Five years
Her team ...
QB: Flacco and Henne
RB: Gore, R. Williams, Wells, Moreno and Westbrook
WR: R. Moss, Colston, Floyd and M. WIlliams (TB)
TE: Cooley and Carlson
K: Crosby
DST: Packers

Anita Marks
Occupation: Radio host
Home: Baltimore
Fantasy Football history: 22 years
Her team ...
QB: E. Manning and Garrard
RB: Turner, Mathews, Slaton, Huggins and Washington
WR: Jennings, Sims-Walker, Maclin, Knox and V. Jackson
TE: Gates
K: Kaeding
DST: Jets

Vicki Smith
Occupation: Accountant
Home: New York
Fantasy Football history: Four years
Her team ...
QB: Rodgers
RB: Thomas, Greene, C. Williams and C. Taylor
WR: S. Smith (CAR), Crabtree, Chambers, M. Williams (SEA), N. Washington, R. Williams and Meachem
TE: Shiancoe
K: Gostkowski
DST: Vikings

Alison London
Occupation: Middle school teacher
Home: Miramar, FL
Fantasy Football history: Five years
Her team ...
QB: P. Manning, Cutler and Tebow
RB: Best, S. Jackson, Sproles, Hightower and F. Taylor
WR: Ochocinco, Harvin and Burleson
TE: Gonzalez and Shockey
K: Longwell
DST: Saints

Kim Broder
Occupation: Advertising and marketing
Home: Miami
Fantasy Football history: Four years
Her team ...
QB: Romo, Cassel and Sanchez
RB: Peterson, Barber and Portis
WR: Wayne, Welker and Edwards
TE: Davis and Daniels
K: Hartley and Bironas
DST: Ravens and Bengals

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 6, 2010 9:28 pm

Rex Ryan ... not a Fantasy Football fan

Rex Ryan apparently doesn't care too much about Fantasy Football. I guess that's a defensive coach for you. Here's what he said today.

"Well, what we’re trying to do is trying to win here," Ryan said. "Whatever we think gives us the best opportunity to win, that’s what we’re going to do.  I think, at the end of the day, we get paid to win. Fantasy football, that’s someone else’s deal."
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 6, 2010 4:20 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2010 4:23 pm

Maurice Jones-Drew

If you're not aware, Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew is a big fanatic of Fantasy Football. And he takes his standing as an elite rusher seriously. So when news broke recently that he had knee surgery and would be lost for the year, which caused Fantasy owners to shy away from Jones-Drew at No. 3 overall (he didn't fall out of the Top 5), he was upset at the erroneous report.

This was provided to me by Mark Long, who covers the Jaguars for the Associated Press.

"I'm upset that I dropped in the Fantasy drafts," Jones-Drew said. "It's OK. The people that stuck with me stuck with me. Once again it was a false statement, and somebody ran with it."

Sounds like someone is in line for a big year. And now he has the motivation he was looking for. Here comes MJD. Look out.
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 6, 2010 6:30 am

User emails

I'll be doing a lot more blogging this season -- columns, random quotes, user emails, etc.
As an example, here are some user emails I got this weekend on their drafts. Feel free to comment on the results. Talk to you throughout the season right here.


I hope things are well and enjoy your Labor Day. I am working at the Fire Station all day, so hopefully it will be a little down time. Per your request, here is my Draft from this Saturday.
Our League is a 12 Team PPR (.5) and standard scoring: 6 TDs, etc
Also, our 8 Starters / 6 Reserves consist of: QB, RB, RB, WR, Flex#1(RB/WR/TE), Flex#2(WR/TE), DST, K
My Team:
Rd. 1> Ryan Mathews - I had to go Mathews here…a gut feeling, because I know I would get Mendenhall, Benson or Greene
Rd. 2> Ryan Mendenhall - Workhorse….
Rd. 3> Brandon Marshall - I changed my thoughts and went WR when I saw him drop to me…I had to get some sort of Elite
Rd. 4> Phillip Rivers - I have had Rivers going on my 4th year…Solid!
Rd. 5> Pierre Garcon - Look who is throwing the ball to him
Rd. 6> Hakeem Hicks - Another WR that was just in front of me that many passed up on…it might be a nice pick up.
Rd. 7> Felix Jones - A good Flex and Bye week. PPR, etc.
Rd. 8> Darrin Sproles - The best time to handcuff Mathews, plus a really good back if Mathews does go down. I'm feeling good
Rd. 9> Tim Hightower - I like Hightower's play; Wells is hurt on/off and his PPR is solid. They play a good schedule for him
Rd. 10> Johnny Knox - Speed and the no. 1 WR on a "thrown" Offense.
Rd. 11> Vishanth Scanco - Farve loves the red zone with him and he was just sitting there on the snake.
Rd. 12> Chad Henne - I made a mistake here in getting a no.2 QB when I should of gotten a DST…this might hurt me.
Rd. 13> Arizona DST - Okay, I might have to play weekly DST's because of my previous pick's mistake. Thoughts here: They do play STL?.
Rd. 14> David Buelhar - Cowboys are going to score and/or be in the red zone for any points they can get…my sleeper. LOL.


Hi Jamey,I hope you had a great Summer. First off, thank you again for all your advice last year as it helped me bring home a trophy!!!I wanted you to review my draft results and provide your opinion. I drafted in the 4th spot of a 12 team league which uses a standard scoring system.1-Andre Johnson, 2-Calvin Johnson, 3-Larry Fitzgerald, 4-Matt Forte, 5-Marion Barber, 6-Jermichael Finley, 7-Brett Favre, 8-Thomas Jones, 9-Fred Taylor, 10-Ravens DST, 11-Jabar Gaffney, 12-Lawrence Tynes, 13-Tashard Choice, 14-Indy DST, 15-Jay Feely, 16-Matthew Stafford.Thank you,Rob


Hey Jamey just did my draft and wanted your opinion My QBs Schaub & Eli RBS are Rice, Javid Best, Forsett, Harrison & Michael Bush, WR are Wayne, Bowe, Floyd, Laurent Robinson, Celek Manningham & Benn Kicker is Akers & DEF Bengals. Just wonder what you think and with wr & rb who u would start. Thank You in advance.


Hey Jamey,

Our draft was tonight and I appreciate you taking the time to answer my lengthy questions.
Moss WAS available, but I decided to stick with my original plan. I still got Flacco in round 5 (12th QB taken!)

Here's the squad:

Joe Flacco
Vince Young
Ray Rice
Felix Jones
Justin Forsett
Fred Jackson
T Choice
Randy Moss
Steve Smith (NYG)
Bernard Berrian
Mike Thomas
Anthony Gonzalez
Dallas Clark

Thanks to you and Dave for all the advice. Feel pretty good about my chances!

Tampa FL

Category: NFL
Posted on: August 23, 2010 10:20 pm

XPE Sports

Training NFL Talent

By Jamey Eisenberg

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. -- Tony Villani has an impressive Fantasy roster. Except in this case the roster is real, and he's the quarterback.

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.

In the past, Villani has worked with Hines Ward, Jamal Lewis, Takeo Spikes and Osi Umenyiora. More recently, Villani has trained Pierre Garcon and Jerome Harrison, and his rookie class this year included first-round picks Eric Berry, Kareem Jackson and Jahvid Best. He also worked with second-rounder Montario Hardesty and third-rounder Major Wright, among others.

"I tell anybody who wants to go to the NFL that maybe you're fast, maybe you're strong, maybe you're quick, but you're going to improve in all areas with Tony," Hardesty said. "I'm a testament to that. Tony knows what he's doing."

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.

For example, Hardesty said a day at training was spent at the beach with players having to leap over waves in the ocean. As a running back, Hardesty said this was a good drill to prepare for tacklers hitting him at the knees.

"It's all to get you in great shape," Hardesty said. "Tony has a lot of experience. He helped me get ready for the season."

Villani, 36, started out with the strength and conditioning departments with the Washington Capitals (NHL) and the Orlando Magic (NBA) before starting his program in Atlanta. He moved to South Florida and said "my program continues to grow, which is good."

His focus is on combine training and helping players improve their draft stock. And he got great results this year.

Berry, a safety, was the No. 5 overall pick for the Chiefs. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, had 19 reps in the bench press, leaped 43 inches in the vertical jump and 130 inches in the broad jump.

And Best, who is considered one of the most explosive rookies, was the No. 30 overall pick for the Lions. He ran a 4.35 40-yard dash, did the three-cone drill in 6.35 seconds and the 20-yard shuttle in 4.17 seconds.

"He prepares us," Garcon said. "He makes us better. I was happy to be introduced to him."

Garcon said the best thing about Villani is he gets on the field with the players and does drills with them. He sprints, runs with the sled and sweats as much as the guys who, in some cases, are 15 years younger.

"I don't ask them to do anything I can't do," Villani said. "I've gotten slower over the years. They're beating me where in years past they couldn't beat me."

Villani's players don't get beat often on the field. That's because they are in great shape, and his training is a big reason for that.

For more information on Villani and his training program visit You can also find out about the non-profit program XPE runs for high school kids, which encourages school work before football.

Posted on: July 6, 2010 4:06 pm

Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall has had his share of off-field problems throughout his NFL career. But he's looking at his opportunity with the Dolphins as a fresh start, and he's taking that attitude to the community.

Marshall, who was traded from Denver to Miami in April, has started the Brandon Marshall Camp 19 this offseason, which is a football camp for kids aged 6-14. He's already held two in Davie, Fla., where the Dolphins play, and in Orlando, Fla., where he went to school at the University of Central Florida. The third camp is this weekend in Pittsburgh, which is Marshall's hometown.

Marshall said in a phone interview Tuesday the camp is to teach football skills, but it's also about showing kids right from wrong.

"I didn't have anyone to look up to when I was a kid," Marshall said. "I know how important it is. This is about giving back to the community and the kids."

There were about 300 kids at the camp in Orlando, and Marshall expects about 500 kids in Pittsburgh. Marshall said he's brought in offensive and defensive line coaches to teach all the football fundamentals, and he's also gotten help from his friends.

At his camp in Orlando, Jaguars wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker, Lions running back Kevin Smith and Rams tight end Darcy Johnson, who all played at UCF, showed up to help work with the kids.

"It's important to get some support from your peers," Marshall said.

And, despite offseason hip surgery, Marshall has got on the field to run some drills as well. He's made enough progress that's he will be ready for training camp, and he said "the fun part of the camps" is working directly with the kids.

"I'm feeling good," Marshall said. "I'm ahead of schedule with no restrictions. I feel like I'm on track."

He's on track on the field. And it appears like he's on track off the field as well.

Category: NFL
Posted on: April 19, 2010 5:42 pm

Anquan Boldin

PAHOKEE, Fla. -- Anquan Boldin held the 6th annual Q-Fest this past weekend to raise money for the Anquan Boldin Foundation. It's a worthy cause to expand the educational and life opportunities of underprivileged children.

Boldin, who was traded to Baltimore in March from Arizona, is from Pahokee and holds the event there every year. There was a celebrity golf tournament Thursday and a celebrity basketball game Friday. Some of the participants included Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald, LeSean McCoy, Steve Breaston and Ray Lewis.
"It's always good to come back home," Boldin said. "I always feel welcome."

The high school stadium in Pahokee is named after him based on his donations, and Boldin's newest venture is to help build the Boys and Girls Club on Pahokee.

"Right now we're just in the process to raise money and get the program up and running," Boldin said. "I donated some land out there so that we would have enough space to get the facility built. We're in the process of raising money now.

"It's a much needed thing in this area. That's something I really want to do. I want to make sure it's built and make sure it's run right. The kids need it."

Breaston said that what Boldin does is for a worthy cause, and he's happy to support his former teammate.

"I'm always here to support Q," Breaston said. "Since I stepped in the door in Arizona he was one of the guys I could go up to, and he taught me a lot there. He's a good guy. You want to be a part of things like this. He knows where he came from. Even though he went away, he still comes back and gives back to the community."

For more on Boldin's charity, you can click on his website here:

Category: NFL
Posted on: December 26, 2009 2:22 am

Andre Johnson and our Top 12 receivers for 2010

Press Box View

By Jamey Eisenberg

Andre Johnson is finally getting the recognition he deserves. The Texans wide receiver is finally looked at as the best player at his position.

It used to be that Johnson was mentioned after players like Randy Moss and Larry Fitzgerald. He also doesn't get a lot of attention because he's not a diva like Chad Ochocinco or Brandon Marshall.

Instead, Johnson lets his play on the field speak for itself. And he has dominated all wide receivers this year -- on the field and in Fantasy leagues.

He is enjoying his spot as the No. 1 wide receiver in the NFL.

"It is exciting," Johnson said on a conference call heading into Week 16 at Miami, which is his hometown. "You always want to try to be the best at what you do. For people to be talking about it, it lets you know that you are headed in the right direction and that what you are doing out on the field, people are paying attention to it. To be honest, I don't really care if some people may not feel I am the best because everyone has the right to their own opinion. I really don't care too much about the attention either. I have never been a guy who was big on attention."

It's hard to avoid the spotlight based on his play. He has 90 catches for 1,433 yards and eight touchdowns. With 10 more catches he will have his third 100-catch season and second in a row. He's also one touchdown away from a new career high.

In standard-scoring Fantasy leagues, Johnson has scored 186 points, which puts him ahead of Miles Austin (176), Reggie Wayne (172), Randy Moss (167) and DeSean Jackson (165). We already have Johnson penciled in as the No. 1 wide receiver in 2010.

Check that, it's written in ink -- no one is passing Johnson on that list.

The Texans know Johnson is their best weapon, and they will continue to feed him the ball as often as possible. Coach Gary Kubiak said Johnson still has room to grow, which is a scary thought for the seven-year veteran.

"Obviously he is a hell of a player -- as good as I have ever been around," Kubiak said. "For me, since I have been here, he has played his best football the last two years. So he has gotten better for me each and every year. I don't see any reason that doesn't continue to happen. Very hard worker, takes good care of himself, studies football awfully hard. When you have those traits you tend to play a long time or play well for a well long time. So I think he is well on his way."

Johnson has benefited the past two seasons from the growth of quarterback Matt Schaub. And Schaub is on his way toward starting 16 games for the first time in his three years with the Texans.

The two have developed an outstanding rapport, and Johnson credits Schaub for his success. Like Johnson, Schaub is having a tremendous year with a career-high 4,181 passing yards, 25 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

"I remember when he first got here and we used to be in practice," Johnson said. "Every time I came back to the huddle he would tell me why he did not throw me the ball. When he would tell me, I would be like, 'Yeah, I saw the same thing.' It was kind of weird for me at first, but I was like we are out here seeing the same things so maybe we are on the same page. As time went along, the relationship became better. We became more on the same page. To this day, when we are in games, we are talking about plays. We are seeing the same things. I think it helps us out a lot when we are out on the field because we can communicate well with each other."

As Johnson and Schaub continue to get better, other teams try to take Johnson away. He sees constant double teams, which only got worse when tight end Owen Daniels (torn ACL) went down in Week 8. It doesn't help that Kevin Walter is having a disappointing season, and the Texans have struggled to run the ball.

Still, Johnson has thrived, which is what makes him so difficult to defend for opposing coaches.

"We've faced a lot of great receivers, and to me, he's one of the top guys," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. "I just think this guy is outstanding. He's a heck of a football player, makes all the catches, makes the really hard catches, runs through double coverage like it's easy. The guy just makes things look pretty easy out there. I have a lot of respect for this guy."

Fantasy owners have a lot of respect for Johnson also, and he will enter next year as the first player drafted at his position with either a first- or second-round pick. And if Kubiak is right and Johnson continues to improve, then he could be a dominant force in all leagues.

But first, Johnson could lead many Fantasy owners to a championship. He is the reason many of you are still in the playoffs, especially recently with 27 catches for 488 yards and three touchdowns in his past three games against Jacksonville, Seattle and St. Louis.

Not many wide receivers can post those kinds of stats. But not many wide receivers are as talented as Johnson.


1. Andre Johnson, Houston
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
3. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
4. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia
5. Randy Moss, New England
6. Marques Colston, New Orleans
7. Vincent Jackson, San Diego
8. Wes Welker, New England
9. Brandon Marshall, Denver
10. Calvin Johnson, Detroit
11. Miles Austin, Dallas
12. Roddy White, Atlanta


1. Andre Johnson, Houston
2. Vincent Jackson, San Diego
3. Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
4. DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia
5. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis
6. Brandon Marshall, Denver
7. Randy Moss, New England
8. Roddy White, Atlanta
9. Miles Austin, Dallas
10. Wes Welker, New England
11. Calvin Johnson, Detroit
12. Marques Colston, New Orleans

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or