Tag Archives: Defense

A Broken Leg, a QB Change, a Scuffle, and Friendly Fans…Week 6

Once again, yesterday started off much the same as most Sundays during the NFL season do:  mixed with nervous optimism and excitement all at once.  We chose to hang out at Buffalo Wild Wings to take in the action.  We knew there would be a good mix of Skins fans, Eagles fans, Cowboys fans.  But also mixed in the crowd were Giants, Niners, Ravens, and Steelers fans.  The NFL was well represented and it was GREAT.  We love connecting and meeting new fans to share commonality and argue differences.  It was FANtastic!  What more could I ask for, wings, libation and football being the backdrop to a crowded sports bar.  I kept a close eye on the Skins/Eagles, as well as the Giants/Bills game, but the game that intrigued me the most was the Lions/Niners contest.  This was a great back and forth between the two surprise teams.  Of course we know the outcome by now:  the Niners edged the Lions, giving the Detroit team their first loss of the season. But after the game is what everyone can’t stop talking about:  one coach going after the other because of a handshake and a pat on the back?  C’mon Man (yeah, I stole that).  But seriously, are you kidding me.  Here’s my take on it.  One coach was vexed by the loss and the manner in which his team lost and the winning coach was HYPED that his team pull out a win in such a competitive game.  That’s it, case closed.  You got to learn how to stay out your feelings in the NFL, Win or Lose!  I was also happy to see the Bucs rebound from last week’s loss to take out the Saints.  But the most bizarre thing about the game was the coach got injured?  I saw Sean Payton getting carried off the field like he was playing.  I heard of being a player’s coach, but I think he took it a bit too far.  Anyway, we wish Coach Payton a speedy recovery.  Regarding the Cowboys/Pats game, I think the photographic evidence says it all.  

Note to Jason Garrett:  If you are going to have Tony ROmo as your QB, you might as well let him be who he is.  If you don’t trust him, get him off the field.  Mr. Garrett, you should be ashamed of yourself calling a shuffle pass on 3rd down with over two minutes left in the game.  YOU ARE PLAYING AGAINST TOM FREAKIN BRADY!

(still hurts) Continue reading


The Bucs

To say Mike Williams is getting off to a decent start in Tampa Bay is an understatement.  I’m sure they are smiling ear to ear about the decision to draft Williams in the 4th round of the 2010 draft.  Williams led all rookies with 65 receptions for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns.  His 11 touchdowns marked a new Buccaneers franchise record for most receiving touchdowns in a single season. That’s how you come in and make an impression!  Williams will continue to be the go to #1 receiver this year in Tampa, making him a receiver to draft this year.  Tampa is an exciting, young up and coming team in the league.  The other rookie WR from last year, Arrelious Benn will still play a role in the offense, as the Bucs will look to him to step up production.  Keep an eye on him as the season picks up…he may make a difference.  The only other receiver worth mentioning in the realm of Fantasy Football is veteran TE Kellen Winslow.  Winslow had a productive season with 730 yards, and 5tds–certainly not top tier among all NFL Tight Ends, but not bad.  The Bucks did add TE Luke Stocker in the4th round…he will have to work his way into the offense…

I like Cadillac’s, but I know from personal experience that they break down.  I like Graham crackers, but if you apply enough pressure, they crumble.  That goes double when it comes to the Bucs running game.  Lucky for them, they can confidently place the ball in the hands of LeGarrette Blount.  This kid is a MONSTER!  Blount came in the league with a HUGE chip on his shoulder pads following his tumultuous final year in college.  He started off his rookie season in Tennessee but landed softly in Tampa.  The Bucs used him sparingly in the beginning of last season, but he forced his way into the starting lineup in week 8 with his break away speed and counter punch mentality.  In 13 games played, he managed 1007 rushing yards, a 5 yard per carry average, and 6 TDs.  In his last 4 games, he had 408 rushing yards, with a 6.1 yard per carry average.  I know that the Bucs will use both Cadillac Williams and Earnest Graham for a change of pace, but Blount is the man.  I think he should garner a 3rd or 4th round draft pick, though I’m sure there are some who will draft him too early.  Regardless of how early he goes in your draft, this guy will produce for you.

Very few up and coming NFL QBs have made the Fantasy impact that the Bucs’ Josh Freeman has made.  In just his second year in the league, Freeman went from Fantasy sleeper to “this guy is too hot to bench”.  I have to admit, I had no thought whatsoever about Freeman in the beginning of last season.  In fact, I didn’t think much of the Bucs going into the season.  But they surprised me and a lot of other people.  Last year, my Fantasy team struggled at the QB position.  I started 4 different QBs over the course of the first 12 or 13 Fantasy weeks till I discovered Freeman was available on the Waiver Wire.  I picked him up when the Bucs were fighting for a playoff spot.  Freeman was the main reason why they were in contention.  In the his last 4 games, he threw for 1009 yards, 9 TDs, and 0 INTs.  That 4 game stretch include a 5 TD performance against the Seahawks, which helped me win my league championship.  The thing I really like about Freeman is that he makes very few mistakes.  For the whole season, he only had 6 INTs.  He also had a good overall season performance with 3451 yards and 25 TDs.  I believe that this guy has to be drafted.  If you can’t get your hands on a Rodgers, Brady, Brees, or P Manning, Josh Freeman is a great alternative.

The Bucs spent the majority of their draft picks on the defensive side of the ball.  I would look to this defense to be a contender Sundays.  They ranked a respectable 9th in the league in Defense in the 2010-2011 season with 19 ints, 3 TDs.  With only 26 sacks (fewest in the NFC South), the Bucks needed a better pass rush and this year they drafted help.  I think with the opportunities to create more turnovers, the Bucs are going to make life a little more difficult for Brees, Matty Ice, and rookie Cam Newton


GEAUX Saints!

We are excited to have another talented sports blogger to feature on HE SAID She Said FOOTBALL! 

Damon Jackson is from Atlanta, GA.  You can find his work on  !http://hoops-nation.com/ and http://sswag.blogspot.com/.  Follow him on Twitter: @MrStats11

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STUDS

Drew Brees, QB– You already know I was going here! When drafting a quarterback it’s always important to take on in a high-powered offense. (Colts, Packers, Patriots, etc.) But Drew Brees have had arguably the most potent offense since the beginning of the Sean Payton era. Last season was a surprisingly down year for Brees. Witnessed by his career high 448 attempts, a pedestrian running game and a knee injury hurt him. No, I’m going to blame the Madden Curse for you gamers.

Pierre Thomas, RB– Expect Thomas to have a bounce back season after a high ankle sprain derailed most of his 2010 campaign. Pierre won’t get a lot of carries in a crowded backfield. But he will be a key cog in the passing game, more so with screen passes. Which means a lot of yards, and in some leagues, points for receptions. Even with Ingram and Ivory in the mix, make no mistake that Thomas will have a huge part in this offense.

SLEEPER

Jimmy Graham, TE– Graham fits in the mold of Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez. Former college basketball players transitioning to the gridiron. Although Brees spreads the
ball, Graham will be oft targeted in the red zone. All 5 of his touchdowns were inside the 20. With a bigger role in the offense this season, look for Graham to surpass his numbers in all major categories.

If you are the few who partake in indie leagues (where defensive players are individually drafted) take a look at these players.

STUDS

Jonathan Vilma, LB– Undoubtedly the leader of the Saints defense, is in just about every play. 100 plus combined tackles the past three years and still doesn’t get the recognition. Unlike most Saints players on defense, Vilma was the only consistent from the Super Bowl year. Look for the same production this season with more weapons on the defensive end.

Be Cautious Of- Will Smith, DE– One of four litigants in the StarCaps case, Smith could face a possible 4 games suspension. Drafting him too high would be unwise. But not draft would be as well. A down season in 2010, like the rest of the Saints D. But due to his drop of 13 sacks to 5.5 are partly due to double coverage on Smith. Smith is a sack machine and with rookie Cameron Jordan on the opposite end look for Smith to bounce back in 2011.

SLEEPER

Cameron Jordan, DE– The rookie out of Cal will be looking to have a big season with Smith on the other end drawing double protection. Jordan looks to finally be the solution at LE, something Alex Brown or Charles Grant weren’t. Expect 7 to 8 with Smith in or out of the lineup from the former Golden Bear.

This season you should expect improvement on both sides of the ball this fantasy season for the Saints.  Rookies Mark Ingram and Cameron Jordan give the Saints more weapons on both ends of the ball. These Saints will be marching you into a fantasy football championship game.


The Houston Texans

What Fantasy Footballer doesn’t love Matt Schaub?  Maybe one who’s a fan of the Colts, Jags, or Titans–but that’s about it.  It’s obvious the man knows how to move the football.  For the second season in a row, he has over 4,000 passing yards (last season he had 4,370) and over 25 TDs (finishing last season with 32).  In terms of Fantasy Football, Schaub is right up there with Brees, Brady, P. Manning, Vick–He’s going to get you the numbers and he’s a every week starter.  Now the reason you don’t draft him before a Brees, Brady, Manning is because of his 32 sacks, 12 ints, and 9 fumbles.  Regardless of the mistakes, Schaub will get you the points to cover them up.  A top-tier QB Fantasy Football draft pick.

If I could describe the 2010 Texans Defense in just one word, that word would have to be ATROCIOUS!  Specifically the SECONDARY.  They couldn’t cover anybody.  I think my grandmother even scored on them.  Now, I do have to say that the offense did their job keeping the Texans in games.  Even the run defense did a decent job, ranking 13th in the league.  But against the pass, they were ranked dead last.  The secondary gave up an average of 267.5 yards through the air, with a total of 4280 yards.  The also gave up 33 passing TDs and managed a paltry 13 INTs.  They did garner a shutout against the Titans, but that was no big feat since they had so many QB problems, but other than that, the least amount of points they gave up was 17 against an anemic Jags offense.  The Texans gave up an average of 26.7 points per game.  ATROCIOUS!  The Texans did address their defensive needs through this years draft.  6 of their 8 picks were defensive including 3 defensive backs.  They also hired goofball Wade Phillips as the new Defensive Coordinator.  As GOOFY as Wade is, he is a decent defensive coach, and should be able to handle the pressure since he’s not running the whole show.  There is even talk about them going hard after Nnamdi Asomugha, but until that Magical, Mystical, Majestical day happens, STAY AWAY!

The running game in Houston is to be respected.  That’s due to one fast man: Arian Foster.  Last year (due to the injury of Ben Tate) Foster ran for 1616 yards and 16 TDs. Pleasantly surprising Texans fans and fantasy owners alike, he ran for an average of 101 yards a game.  The high-powered offense of the Texans will be on point.  They have made upgrades to the defense.  So hopefully the Texans won’t have to have a shoot out with teams every week, further opening their run game.  Foster is worth the draft pick.  The Texans will drive the ball and someone needs to hit that goal line–I think Foster will still be the man.  If there is a question about  Derrick Ward-forget about it! He’s really a non-factor with 315 yards and 1 TD

The Texans have a great offense.  They have a good QB, and a great running game, whoever ends up running the ball, and they have the best WR in the NFL:  Andre Johnson.  I had the good fortune of drafting Johnson with my first pick (I think drafting a receiver first is the best Fantasy draft strategy, but that will be addressed in another post).  Johnson was plagued last year with nagging injuries which caused him to miss three games, but he still was dominant with 1216 yards receiving and 8 TDs.  He even received the Michael Westbrook Award for beating  down Courtland “Big Red” Finnegan in the heat of battle(did you notice my Five Heartbeats reference).  There is one knock against Johnson.  For a receiver with his gifts and gridiron prowess, you would like to see him get into the end zone more often.  In his 8 year career, he’s never reached pay dirt double-digit times.  However, that could be due to an effective running game.  Even though he’s never led the league in TDs, he’s still a must have and a must start, because he’s the BEST.  Johnson does have some pretty decent receiving partners surrounding him.  Kevin Walter is a slightly above average wideout lined up on the other side.  Jacoby Jones also filled in nicely when Johnson was out.  Jones is also a decent return man.  Lastly TE Owen Daniels can stretch the field, but he’s had his own injury problems, missing some time last season.  His backup Joel Dreesen, who’s a big receiving target, filled in nicely for Daniels.  I do think that Daniels is a good option to draft for your TE spot, but keep your eye on Dreesen as well.  This season, I do anticipate a lot of passing, especially with a suspect defense, so draft the Texan receivers, but with the exception of Johnson, don’t draft them too early.  That can kill a Fantasy team.


The Cards

In case you were wondering: The main Fantasy Football superstar of the Arizona Cardinals is STILL Larry Fitzgerald. Even with a dismal signal caller on offense, Fitzgerald still got his 1137 receiving yards and 6TDs. A less talented receiver would have been sent to waivers. Fitzgerald has proven regardless of the QB in Arizona, he is worth a draft pick for sure! Team mate Steve Breaston is who “some” thought (including Breaston himself) would fill the role of the traded Anquain Bolden. Because he is so NOT Anquain Bolden (plus Kurt Warner was not throwing the ball), Breaston had 718 receiving yards and 1 TD for the 2010-2011 season. While Breaston may be a pretty good poet, so far he’s not proven he’s ready for the Superstar Receiver title. With the unsure QB situation I would say the clear draftable WR in Arizona is only Larry Fitzgerald.

There could be a crowded backfield this year in AZ. Or at least it will be some competition for the starting spot. Last season, the running game was woeful, but that could have been because of the horrible QB play. Tim Hightower led the team in rushing with 736 yards and 5 TDs. Hightower was considered a big part of the one two punch that the Cards were supposed to have, along with Chris Beanie Wells. But with him being a restricted free agent, Hightower could be out of there. Speaking of Wells, can this guy stay healthy? He missed 3 games last year to injury, and only had 397 yards, and 1 TD. With this weak play, it could make way for rookie Ryan Williams, who was drafted in the 2nd round from Virginia Tech. Williams can actually make his way into the starting line-up, but he needs to work on his pass protection. Something that Wells still struggles with. I would stay away from the AZ RBs till its clear who is going to be running the rock.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt has a knack for the offensive side of the ball. One would think that spending a little time in Pittsburgh would have given him a better grip on the defensive side of the ball, but NOPE! No such luck. Coach Whisey brought Joey Porter and Clark Haggans (all of them being former Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers). Porter and Haggans each got 5 sacks on the season, but that’s about all that came from the defense. Losing so many games last season earned the Cardinals a GEM of a draft pick in Patrick Peterson. Peterson has the ability to play the role of the league’s next shut down corner or hybrid safety! Either way with Rogers-Cromartie, Adrian Wilson, and Peterson in the secondary-it should be a significantly more difficult to score on the Cardinals this season.  From a Fantasy Football perspective, am still not suggesting that you draft this Def…They still need a lot of work.

Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, Richard Bartel. Do any of these QBs make you excited? I didn’t think so. We all know about Anderson and his ineptitude as a signal caller. He “dazzled” us last year with 2065 passing yards, 7 TDs, and 10 INTs in 12 games. Don’t get me wrong: He has the “intangibles”. He looks good on paper as far as the things that are important at a combine and he even looks good in a uniform. He just isn’t a starting NFL QB. Hall played 6 games and managed just under 400 yards passing, 1 TD, and 6 INTs. Maybe the Cardinals best QB is John Skelton. Skelton had 660 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs in 5 games. He’s got a future, but only as a back-up, just like Bartel. Don’t draft any of these guys, not even for a bye week. If you listen closely, Larry Fitzgerald is somewhere crying. Arizona needs this lock out to end quickly, so they can get somebody in free agency.


How bout dem COWBOYS?!

Special thanks to KD Drummond, contributing writer on www.Bloggingtheboys.com.  He can be heard every Tuesday at 7:30pm on Flood the Block Radio on www.rocktheflow.com and seen frequently on Road Games TV show on DCTV.  Follow KD Drummond on Twitter @KDP10FOR10 and @BloggingTheBoys.

Fantasy Forecasting For The Dallas Cowboys

By KD Drummond, Bloggingtheboys.com

There’s not much that can beat watching the Dallas Cowboys score touchdown after touchdown, making a mockery of the opposing defense. I think I can remember back that far, because we sure didn’t see much of that for most of 2010.

 If there is something better, it could be having the Cowboy that reaches said promise land, penciled into the starting lineup of your fantasy football team. America’s Team and still undisputed, despite the 6-10 campaign from ’10. Cowboys fans take part in fantasy football just like everyone else; rabid enthusiasm until the requisite week 3 catastrophic injury to RB1. The difference is that with so many Cowboys fans worldwide, a publicly assigned fantasy league is destined to have at least one fan that drafts Cowboys players way too high.

 If you’re playing in a league comprised of NFC East rivals though (#Redskinsdontscore), you should be able to get your Cowboys players in the perfect round. This will allow you to maximize the value of the pick and form your strategy. What’s that you say, you don’t have a strategy? Well at least you’ll know what kind of production to expect out of the Cowboys you reached for three rounds too early.

 Quarterback Tony Romo is almost always a must get for me. His production is consistently above average, and he is consistently hated on by non Cowboys fans. In a pass happy offense, Romo has a career average of 8.0 yards per attempt. That’s guaranteed production. He has 118 career touchdowns in 61 games, close to a 2 per contest average.  Over the past three years he’s averaged over 34 attempts per game. That’s an average stat line of 270+ yards and 2 tds. I’ll take that all day and twice on Sundays.

 All these stats occurred with Marc Colombo at right tackle, who by most advanced metrics was the third-worst tackle in the entire league last year. The upgrade on the line should allow Romo more time and cut the interceptions down.  If healthy, expect Romo to throw for over 4400 yards, over 30 touchdowns with 10-13 interceptions. He should be looked at immediately after the first tier of QB’s goes, target end of 3rd, early fourth round.  QB1 material all the way.

 Running backs Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray should be targeted in the 4th and 7th rounds respectively in you play in a points per reception league. Drop them a round each if it’s a pure yardage/touchdown scoring system. Jones shouldn’t be counted on to be a RB1. Expect 1100 yards rushing with 5 TDs, plus 40 catches for 500 yards 2 TDs. If you draft Felix, you should definitely handcuff him with Murray as there is an injury history to be concerned with. Felix averages 9 yards a reception and never drops a pass. Murray is a Jones clone and can run routes as well.  A Jones injury turns Murray moves Murray up from a RB4 to a RB2. Tashard Choice is a RB4/5, as both ahead of him have a history of dings.

 Wide receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant make a dynamic one-two punch. Austin is WR1 material, and his off year without Tony Romo should allow you to grab him in the second round after you acquire a stud running back in the first round.  Bryant’s injuries and offseason nuisances could allow you to steal him in the fifth or sixth round, but I wouldn’t count on it if you really want him on your squad. Early fifth round at the latest. He is definite WR2 material with WR1 potential. Roy Williams isn’t worth the consideration. He drops more balls than anyone not in a teabagging contest. Austin could go for 1600 yards in 2011 and double digit touchdowns are a possibility. Expect Bryant to approach 1000 yards and 6-8 touchdowns. In leagues where return yardage counts for offensive players, bump him up a notch.

 Jason Witten is Mr. Consistent. Fifth or sixth round value. You’ll get 1000 yards, 90 catches (big number in PPR leages) and about 5-7 TDs. The Cowboys defense had a down year in 2010, but you can normally wait until about 6-8 defenses are picked and still get great production from the unit.  That should get you going for when your league’s draft rolls around. Go Cowboys!


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