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Archive for September, 2012

Last Minute Emergency Lineup Changes: Week 4

The NFL season is off to an exhilarating and completely unpredictable start.  I mean who would have guessed that after 3 weeks, the Patriots would be tied on the bottom of the AFC East with the Miami Dolphins.  How about the fact that there are only 3 unbeaten teams and one of them is the Arizona Cardinals, or that there are only 2 winless teams, one of which is the highly touted New Orleans Saints.  While the Replacement Refs made a slight mockery of the NFL through the first three weeks, they are gone now and sanity will prevail once again.  There are a lot of quality week 4 matchups which will require a lot of quiet players to come out of their shells to help their team’s.  Here are my top 5 picks for players that you might want to consider starting for this upcoming weekend.

Jacquizz Rodgers:  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

After starting the season 3-0, the Atlanta Falcons must be thrilled to have a matchup at home against their divisional foes, the Carolina Panthers.  In 2011, Cam Newton had 2 of his 4 worst passer rating games against the Falcons, and Atlanta has only gotten better while the Panthers have seemed to regress just a little.  A lacking Panthers offense means more time for Matt Ryan and company to dominate the game.  While Michael Turner absolutely ate the Panthers defense alive last year, I feel that the torch will be passed to the man with the coolest name in the game, Jacquizz Rodgers.  Rodgers is listed as the #3 tailback for the Falcons, but those rankings are deceptive.  Atlanta consistently switches running back formations and they always keep their opponents guessing.  Carolina’s defense has been guessing wrong through the first 3 weeks and teams have been running and passing all over them.  Luckily for owners of Rodgers, he is both a beneficiary of the pass and run game.  Just in his 2nd year out of Oregon State, Rodgers is yet to have that breakout game.  Wait no longer, because I feel Jacquizz will be a big factor in this game.

Predictions for week 4:  10 rushes for 70 yards and a touchdown, 4 receptions for 40 yards

Deion Branch:  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

The Patriots are in last place in the AFC East?  Sure, as a Jets fan I am jovial with that news, but as a realistic Jets fan, I know exactly how long that will last.  Tom Brady is not a losing quarterback and, the best cheater in the world, Bill Belichick, is one of the best coaches ever.  In this divisional game against the 2-1 Buffalo Bills, the Patriots will come in fast and hard because of the anger they are carrying over from last weeks controversial Sunday Night Football call that cost them the game against the Baltimore Ravens.  A lot of players are injured for the Pats right now, so for Brady to be successful he will need his supporting cast to really step it up, especially against a Buffalo defense that seems to be finding its footing.  I feel that the recently resigned veteran, Deion Branch, will be Tom’s ace in the hole.  Branch has been playing with Brady for the majority of his 11 year career and knows how Mr. Bundchen thinks and operates.  While Branch doesn’t have the same power and speed he once possessed, he is still a very intelligent receiver and will do his darnedest to find the openings on the field.  Buffalo’s secondary has been suspect in the early stages of the season, so I predict that Brady will have his way with them.

Predictions for week 4:  6 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown

Brandon Gibson:  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

While I don’t feel that there will be many reasons to watch the St. Louis Rams this season, I think Brandon Gibson will give us one on Sunday.  Danny Amendola has been Sam Bradford’s favorite target in the early going this year, having his receiving yards account for nearly 50% of Bradford’s total.  That is why the quality Seahawks defense will have majority of their secondary focus on Amendola.  Enter Gibson!  Sam Bradford is an average QB that shows signs of a very good one and while Amendola has been the only player who really has excelled this season on the Rams receiving core, Gibson has shown signs of stardom in his fourth season.  I am expecting Seattle to completely shut down the St. Louis rushing game which will force Bradford to find solace in the passing attack.  I am also expecting Amendola to be double teamed the entire game which will give Gibson some freedom to receive one-on-one coverage.  Brandon found the endzone in each of the first two games but was nearly completely shut down last week against Chicago, as was his whole team.  This will be a good recovery week for the Rams and especially for Brandon Gibson.

Predictions for week 4:  6 receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown

Brandon Stokley:  Sunday 4:05 PM EST

I guess this is the week where washed up veterans or just people named Brandon will have an impact.  There was once a time, long ago, when a young QB out of Tennessee helped rebuild a franchise into an AFC powerhouse.  That young man was Peyton Manning.  Peyton is trying to rejuvenate his career with the Denver Broncos and while it hasn’t been easy sailing thus far, he has shown signs of his former self.  He has two extremely young and talented receivers in Decker and Thomas but his wildcard is the one I’ll be watching this weekend.  In Indianapolis, Peyton had a lot of “toys” to play with and one of his favorite was Brandon Stokley.  Now Stokley has rejoined his friend Peyton and is the #3 option for a Broncos team that went from a primarily rushing attack formation to a pass friendly system to accommodate their big FA acquisition.  Stokley has always been a reliable receiver and has great field awareness.  Peyton is going to feast on the Oakland Raiders defense all game long.  I am picturing a Peyton-esque performance with nearly 400 yards and 3 touchdowns.  I am also expecting Stokley to be one of the big recipients of a lot of Peyton bombs.

Predictions for week 4:  8 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown

Ramses Barden:  Sunday 8:20 PM EST

While I would love to see my Jets be the best team in New York, I don’t feel that will happen as long as Eli Manning is on the Giants.  In a huge divisional Sunday Night Football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Eli Manning will look to be at his absolute best.  Both teams are sporting a 2-1 record and while the game is being played in Philly, that might end up being an advantage for Eli since he is without question the best road QB in the game.  Manning has his obvious favorite targets in Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, but what Eli discovered last week has Giants fans extremely happy.  While Hakeem Nicks was out with an injury, which he might be again, Eli needed someone to step up big time.  Barden ended the game with an impressive 9 catches for 138 yards.  Some people are comparing Barden’s instant stardom to what happened with Victor Cruz last year.  To me, Barden is a must start and will have a huge game that could end up being the difference between a win or a loss.  The Eagles defense has proven to be much improved this season and their primary focus on Sunday will be on Cruz and Nicks, if he plays.  This will leave Barden with a lot of opportunities to prove last week wasn’t just a fluke.

Predictions for week 4:  8 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown

Here is our free advice for you to take now and thank us later.  We will be posting 5 players every week who we feel will make a significant impact for that week.  If you agree or not with our predictions let us know.  If you take our advice and are successful because of it congratulations and tell your friends.

 

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AL East Up For Grabs

This is about as close as it gets.  With 6 games left, the New York Yankees have the slimmest of division leads over the Baltimore Orioles, as they enter play tonight with a mere 1 game advantage.  Tampa Bay is only 4 games out of first as well, meaning there is a lot to be determined in the next week.  The New York Yankees play three games against two out of contention teams, Toronto and Boston.  While each of these opponents have had a disappointing season, we all know that both of them would love to help contribute in the Yankees losing out in the divisional race.  It is up to the Bronx Bombers to make sure that it doesn’t happen!

ImageThankfully for the Yankees, the Orioles and Rays will play each other the final three games of the season, meaning if they take care of their business, there is a good chance those two squads will knock inflict enough damage to the other to allow the Yanks to escape with the crown.  In years past, making the playoffs as the Wild Card was just as effective as clinching a division, but with this years rule change of a Wild Card play-in game, the importance of capturing the division has never been greater.

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The Yankees have a lot of question marks this year.  The recent woes of both Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova lead the team to believe they really don’t have a fourth starter.  The bats have been criticized to be all of nothing, that is if the Yanks don’t hit HRs, they don’t usually win.  However, I believe their solid record against both the Red Sox and Blue Jays this year will stay true to form during the last 6 games.  During a season in which the Yankees have been ravaged by injuries, it is looking as if their health might be at an all-time high entering the post season.  Andy Pettitte and Brett Gardner (in a defensive and pinch running role) have recently rejoined the club, and now the Yanks eagerly wait for Mark Teixeira to battle back from his ailment.

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Once the Yankees make it into the playoffs, I truly feel they would be a tough out for any opponent.  The ability to throw CC, Andy and the overachieving Hiroki Kuroda in the first three games of any series will keep the Yankees in any series.  If players like Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and ARod can somehow snap out of some of their recent woes, which they are all capable of, the Yanks still have as potent of an offense as their is in baseball.  The acquisition of Ichiro Suzuki seems to have invigorated the veteran outfielder, and his recent contributions are a huge reason they are still in first place today.  If all these guys follow the lead of their captain and carry themselves like Jeter does in October, I still like my Yankees chances to capture the crown.

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The next week will be fascinating to watch.  I’ll admit that I thought Baltimore would have fallen back by now, but they have played unbelievable in September.  I figured Tampa Bay would be a factor until the end, but definitely did not figure the pesky O’s would be so hard to shake.  To me, this is the greatest time of the sports calendar and I can’t wait to watch this story, and the other races around the big leagues unfold.  My Yankee fandom allows me to always stay optimistic  (the polar opposite feeling I have when thinking about my Jets), and I truly believe when the dust settles, the Yankees will remind everyone what organization will always prevail over all others.  The playoffs basically start tonight and I’m excited to see how all these teams respond.  Enjoy your hardball!


Sports Debaters Expert Picks Against the Spread: Week 4

Gamblers rejoice, here are our Week 4 Sports Debater expert picks against the spread.  (We are NOT responsible for any money lost)

odds courtesy of 5Dimes.eu

Game Time

Teams

NYBobby Picks

MatthewToddErich Picks

Thursday, September 27, 2012: Cleveland Browns (+12)  @ Baltimore Ravens (-12)  Ravens   Ravens
Sunday, September 30, 2012: Carolina Panthers (+8) @       Atlanta Falcons (-8)  Falcons    Falcons
Sunday, September 30, 2012: New England Patriots (-4) @ Buffalo Bills (+4)  Bills  Patriots  
Sunday, September 30, 2012: Minnesota Vikings (+4.5) @ Detroit Lions (-4.5)  Lions    Vikings 
Sunday, September 30, 2012: Tennessee Titans (+13.5) @ Houston Texans (-13.5) Texans  Titans
Sunday, September 30, 2012: San Diego Chargers (0) @        Kansas City Chiefs (0) Chargers   Chiefs
Sunday, September 30, 2012: San Francisco 49ers (-4) @         New York Jets (+4) 49ers    Jets
Sunday, September 30, 2012: Seattle Seahawks (-1) @                St. Louis Rams (+1) Rams    Seahawks
Sunday, September 30, 2012: Miami Dolphins (+7) @          Arizona Cardinals (-7)   Cardinals   Cardinals
Sunday, September 30, 2012: Oakland Raiders (+7) @           Denver Broncos (-7) Broncos    Broncos
Sunday, September 30, 2012: Cincinnati  Bengals (-1) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+1) Bengals    Jaguars  
Sunday, September 30, 2012: New Orleans Saints (+9) @   Green Bay Packers (-9) Saints   Packers
Sunday, September 30, 2012: Washington Redskins (+2.5)@ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5) Buccaneers    Redskins
Sunday, September 30, 2012: New York Giants (0) @ Philadelphia Eagles (0) Giants    Eagles
Monday, October 1, 2012: Chicago Bears (+3) @                Dallas Cowboys (-3) Cowboys  Cowboys
Overall Records: (This is our first official week because lets face it… gambling with the replacement referees was an awful idea!) NYBobby: 0-0-0 Matthewtodderich: 0-0-0

Browns vs. Ravens Previews and Predictions

If you love massacres or are just a big fan of underdog stories that don’t make a turn for the better, then you will love tonight’s division rivalry Thursday Night Football game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens.  This is a true David vs. Goliath story; the only difference is that this one will end up with David’s head rolling around on the floor while Goliath celebrates by doing the Ray Lewis dance.

The Browns are coming into the Ravens M&T Bank Stadium at the most inopportune time.  The Ravens are coming off their huge and emotional Sunday Night victory over the universally hated New England Patriots.  While there was yet another controversial call by the Replacement Refs to end the game in which the Ravens game winning field goal appeared that it may have been just wide, the real story of the game was the emotional triumph of Baltimore’s wide receiver Torrey Smith.  Smith’s younger brother died in a tragic motorcycle accident on Saturday and in a last minute decision, Torrey decided to play the game in his brother’s honor.  Smith ended the game, which was played against one of the leagues best teams, with an amazing and heartfelt 127 yards and two touchdowns.  While I never root for the Ravens, being an AFC powerhouse on a consistent basis, I was truly cheering for Smith that entire game.  He is a real class act.

Oh!  Don’t worry about the Replacement Refs botching another call tonight because guess what? Ding Dong the Rent-a-Refs are gone!  The league has come to terms with a news agreement for the Real Refs.  Watch here for more news on that.

While Cleveland is one of the only two remaining winless teams left in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints being the other, they still have a lot of hope for the future.  No realistic Browns fan came into this season thinking that with a rookie running back and quarterback that they would be a success right off the bat.  The Browns current roster is the true definition of a work in progress.  While Trent Richardson has shown signs of future stardom, his PIC, Branden Weeden is yet to have his breakout performance.  Sorry Cleveland fans, you will have to wait at least another week to see that happen because Ray Lewis and company have built their careers off of eating rookies and inexperienced players for breakfast.  Oops! Next weeks game is against the New York Giants.

Even if the Browns had a team filled with veterans, the Ravens would still have a clear advantage in this game based solely on the fact that the Ravens have dominated the Browns for 8 straight contests.  On top of that, Joe Flacco has been at the helm for each of those lopsided victories and is off to the best start of his young career.  The Browns have averaged just over 11 points a game during that losing streak to their division rivals and tonight’s game should be right around those same numbers…maybe worse.  The one advantage that the Browns might have, if you are looking really hard for the silver lining, is that the Ravens are one of the oldest teams in the league and now they have to play on a short 4 days rest.  In all honesty, I feel that if the Ravens had a double header against a bye week rested Browns team, Baltimore would still come out victorious, so to me the rest really doesn’t matter.

To add salt to their wound, Cleveland has a few injuries that will make the final score of this prime time game even more lopsided.  The Browns #1 wide receiver, Mohamed Massaquoi, will be sidelined with a hamstring pull and veteran back up Tight End, Alex Smith, will be out with a concussion.  On top of those injuries, Trent Richardson, the one bright spot of what has been a nightmarish start to the season, has a banged up knee and while he is listed as probable to play I doubt he will be effective.  On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Ravens have a completely healthy team and their star player, Ray Rice, is coming off his most impressive game of the season where he had his first 100 yard game of the year and a touchdown.  I am expecting that between Ray Rice dominating the clock with his fearless power running and Joe Flacco picking apart the Browns extremely porous defense, this will look more like a scrimmage during training camp between the starters and the third stringers.  While I would never wish the big “Doughnut” season on anyone, I feel that the Browns have a good chance of being winless this season.

My prediction for tonight’s massacre is a Baltimore victory, 34-7.  Sorry Cleveland, at least you still have the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.



Aside

5 Lessons I Learned During Week 3

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1.  Jamal Charles is the running back we saw two years ago.  After rushing for 233 yards and receiving another 55, it is safe to say that Jamal Charles is back from his devastating ACL tear from a year ago.  With the Chiefs down 24-6 to the New Orleans Saints and on the verge of dropping to 0-3, Charles rushed for a 91 yard TD and told his teammates to put the game on his shoulders.  He showed that burst of speed that he had prior to his injury that many around the game thought he would never regain.  In the effort, Charles also has a career high 39 touches, showing he is ready to be a feature back.  Against New Orleans, Charles became the second player in NFL history to put up 225 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in the same game, the first being the all-time great Jim Brown.  Kudos to the comeback player of the year!

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2.  The Atlanta Falcons are clearly deserving to be mentioned in the NFL elite.  In a battle of 2-0 teams, the Atlanta Falcons went into San Diego and smacked the Chargers around like they owed them money.  Matt Ryan is finally starting to earn the nick name Matty Ice.  He is currently leading the league in passing rating as he is utilizing his many tools on offense.  Roddy White and Julio Jones are in a short conversation of best 1-2 WR combinations in the game.  The Falcons are a team that has fallen short in the postseason time and again in the past few years but with other contenders struggling early (Saints, Packers, Lions, Panthers, Cowboys), the Falcons look poised to amend many years of disappointment.

Image 3.  Torrey Smith is as courageous of a player as we have seen in a while.  In the Ravens 31-30 Week 3 win over the Patriots on Sunday night, Torrey Smith put up 127 yards on 6 catches with 2 TDs.  Considering the WR lost his younger brother Tevin less than 24 hours prior, he showed an amazing amount of strength and character to even step onto the field to honor his brother.  After the game, Torrey said “It was tough. I didn’t know until 4 o’clock if I was going to play. I only had like an hour of sleep. Emotionally, I didn’t know how I was going to hold up.”  On a day in which Smith suffered an incredible loss to his immediate family, he mustered the strength to lift his football family past a rival in a huge victory.  Smith provided his teammates with strength and courage and they rallied around him.  Even if you are not a Raven fan, or football fan at all, this was the easiest  player to root for in any sport on any given night in quite a long time.

Image4.  Injuries can absolutely derail a season.  Personally speaking, my New York Jets lost their best player for the year due to a non-contact knee injury.  Plugging Kyle Wilson in for Darelle Revis is going to be devastating and most likely end the what little hope the Jets had for a successful season.  Though Revis might have suffered the worse injury of the week, many other games were affected by injuries.  Matthew Stafford left the Lions game with a leg injury, a game in which they fell to the lowly Tennessee Titans and Stafford’s backup Shaun Hill gave the game away with an OT botched play.  Reggie Bush also went down with a knee injury which appears minor, though was bad enough to take him out of action in Miami’s Week 3 loss to the Jets.  Other key players like Willis McGahee, Beanie Wells, CJ Spiller, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Dexter McCluster all left their games in Week 3 with injuries, which leads us to the realization that on any given play, any teams season can be lost due to the violent nature of the game.  How would the Patriots look without Tom Brady, or the Packers with no Aaron Rodgers?  Probably very similar to the Jets without Darrelle Revis.

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5.  The replacement refs need to go.  This week was by far the worse on record.  Everyone is still talking about the MNF debacle in which the referees gave the Seahawks a win over Green Bay on a last second interception.  Other than that debacle, we had the Patriots losing on a possible missed FG, the Cowboy’s Kevin Ogletree stepping on a referees hat which was thrown 20 yards onto the field of play, replacement referees having no idea what a pass interference calls looks like but calling them damn near every play and the San Francisco 49ers were granted extra challenges in their loss to the Vikes.  There were many more examples or referee incompetence all around the league that were just as bad as those mentioned above.  It’s making the pace of games almost unwatchable and the NFL is becoming a punch line, as players have taken to twitter to trash the product the league has put onto the field.  If the Packers game doesn’t end this lockout, I have no idea what will!


Enough is Enough!

Unless you have been on a deserted island for the past 3 weeks, you have been witness to the most disgraceful thing that has ever happened to the NFL since O.J Simpson…Replacement Refs.  This past weekend was the epitome of what has been pure debauchery and humiliation placed upon the NFL.  These rent-a-refs have proven that not only do they absolutely suck more than a new Dyson product, but their ineptitude has now cost teams complete games.  After last nights horrific ruling of a touchdown for the Seattle Seahawks, Roger Goodell a.k.a Satan, and his minions have to be reconsidering the employment of these replacement refs.  At first I found myself laughing at the calls that were made incorrectly. and the length it took these morons to make the simplest of calls.  Now that the Green Bay Packers literally had a game taken away from them by these glorified Footlocker workers, the joke is over and we need our properly trained professionals back.

These replacement refs are literally ruining the integrity of the greatest sport in the world.  I feel like I am being taken advantage of because Goodell knows that no matter how bad these stupid ass Refs are, us true NFL fans will be there ever Sunday to see their moronic calls.  From a ref throwing his hat onto the field and incidentally tripping the Cowboys Kevin Ogletree to calling the most obvious interception of the season a game winning touchdown, I feel that these scabs have ruined enough of this NFL season.  I think it will be in their best interests to just quit at this point because there are thousands of angry fantasy football fans and NFL gamblers that want their heads.  A source said that over $150 million dollars shifted hands on that one idiotic call last night.  News has also surfaced stating that a handful of these Refs were previously fired by the Lingerie League…yes, that’s right, the Lingerie League. I for one am fed up and can’t wait to see some real refs on the field again.

The Sports Debaters want to know how you feel about these Rent-a-Refs so go to the comment page of this article and tell us how you really feel.  Before you do that, watch the video of what will go down as the worst call in NFL history and then a hilarious parody of the Flo Rida song “Whistle.”

Now enjoy this parody of the Flo Rida song Whistle that perfectly depicts whats going on in these refs heads.


Royalty in Detroit

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The “National Pastime” has been taken down a few notches over the past few decades.  Though it’s my favorite sport for many reasons, the national interest in baseball has been on the decline for years.  Turn on ESPN tonight and you will see coverage of 14 September NFL games well before anything is mentioned of MLB’s many exciting pennant races.  The largest piece of evidence to my theory is the fact that a current Major Leaguer has the chance to make history in a way no player has in 45 years, and this feat has barely been covered in the national media!

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Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera is currently leading the American League in batting average, RBIs and is currently tied for first in HRs.  For those of you who are unaware of what that means, Cabrera is in position to win the Triple Crown Award.  You might ask, what’s the big deal?  Considering the last player to accomplish this feat was Carl Yastrzemski back in 1967, the rarity of this special accomplishment needs to be celebrated much more than it has in recent weeks.  His 42 HRs, 132 RBIs and .332 batting average place him in position to join the most select group of MLB icons!

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Cabrera is looking to become only the 14th player of all time to win the Triple Crown.  He looks to join baseball royalty in this exclusive club, whose members include  Ty Cobb, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Frank Robinson and Lou Gehrig.  Maybe even more shocking is the baseball legends who were never able to accomplish what Miguel Cabrera is just a few good at-bats away from.  Players like Babe Ruth, Joe Dimaggio, Willie Mays, Pete Rose and more recently Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez were never able to pull it off.  No-hitters, perfect games and cycles are celebrated throughout the game whenever they are performed, though winning the Triple Crown is a much rarer feat which calls for a player to have a great season, not a lucky day.  People, pay attention!

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With ten games left, all of which are meaningful because of the tight race Detroit finds themselves in with the Chicago Whitesox, I love Cabrera’s chances.  He should easily win the batting average, as he finds himself a good 6 points ahead of Twins catcher Joe Mauer.  He’s also 9 RBIs ahead of Josh Hamilton, which is another lead that would be hard for him to lose with only a handful of games left.  The category which will be the biggest challenge is HRs, as him and Hamilton find themselves in a tie heading into play on Monday.  However, Cabrera’s remaining games are all against the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals, two teams that are well out of it and as a result do not sport the best pitching in the sport.  A determined Cabrera is sure to have another few dingers in games that his team is dependent on winning.  Hamilton and his Texas Rangers play their schedule out against the Oakland Athletics, who have surrendered the least amount of HRs in baseball and the Anaheim Angels, who despite a disappointing finish to their season, they bolster a very solid rotation that features Cy Young candidate Jered Weaver.

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Whether Cabrera is able to close to the deal and win the award or not, he needs to be commended for the season he has put together.  Baseball has turned into a specialist sport in the past few decades.  Most power hitters will hit around .250 to .275, as swinging for the fences usually takes significant chunks off the average.  The best contact hitters in recent years, like Derek Jeter, Joe Mauer, Chipper Jones and Ichiro Suzuki will always be more conscious to put a ball in play then going yard.  For Cabrera to put everything together and incorporate both contact and power into his game in remarkable.  While I am not necessarily a fan of Miguel Cabrera, I absolutely respect what he is accomplishing and am rooting for him to etch his name in the MLB record books.


Last Minute Emergency Lineup Changes: Week 3

Here are our fantasy predictions for football. I mean our football fantasy predictions. You know – make-believe guesses about make-believe teams.

Welcome back for the third installment of “Last Minute Emergency Lineup Changes.”  Through the first two weeks, we have seen some of our predictions blossom into lineup mainstays as well as some predictions completely busting and making us look foolish.  Every team in the league seems to have something to prove this week as 20 of the 32 teams have a 1-1 record and have a make or break game in week 3.  This means that there are going to have to be some players who might not have shined thus far that need to step up and make a difference.  We are going to do our best to predict who those shining stars will be.

 

Steven Hill:  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

Making a mountain out of this Hill.

It was bound to happen people! I went the first two weeks and didn’t pick any Jets to be over performing sleepers, but this week I truly feel that it is warranted.  While week 2 for the Jets looked like the offense most people predicted they will have throughout the year, I feel that there is a lot more of what they portrayed in week 1 waiting to be unveiled.  One of the surprising contributors to the Jets week 1 outburst was the impressive play of Hill.  While he was labeled as an inexperienced buttery fingers rookie, Hill proved that he was able to hold on to pretty much anything thrown his way.  The only problem with his big week 2 doughnut was that he never got the ball passed to him.  As a matter of fact, Sanchez had a hard time throwing to anyone.  Luckily for Hill and Sanchez, they are going up against the crappy Miami Dolphins and both of them should put up similar numbers to week 1.  While I don’t think Hill will have the same 100 yards and 2 touchdowns, I do feel that he will benefit from Dustin Keller missing yet another game.

Predictions for week 3:  7 receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown

Buffalo Bills Defense:  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

We have bills to pay, so watch out! Hey, we ARE Bills to pay!

After an underwhelming week 1 debacle against my New York Jets, the Bills got their shit together and showed the world that they won’t roll over this season.  Buffalo laid the smack down on the Kansas City Chiefs in week 2 and one of the main reasons for their success was their highly coveted defense.  The great news for Buffalo is that they get to have their encore against the lowly Cleveland Browns.  Now this will be a reoccurring theme for my predictions; as long as Cleveland remains an abysmal team, I will always suggest starting their opposing defenses.  If you don’t have a strong commitment to your defense on your current roster, like myself, Buffalo is available in a majority of the leagues and is a must start against the hapless Browns.  I am expecting a huge game from the Bills defensive line and I think this will be Baby Mario’s break out game.  I feel bad for Brandon Weeden because I feel that he will be spending more time on the ground than a legless whore.  The Bills defense is going to have their way with Weeden and the rest of the Browns offense.

Predictions for week 3:  3 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 5 sacks and 1 defensive touchdown

Jon Baldwin:  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

Baldwin will shine like the luster of ice on a cold turd; the only bright spot in a pile of …

In the only battle of the week between 0-2 teams, we are sure to see some ugly play.  Surprisingly, the two 0-2 teams that are playing each other were both predicted to be better than their respective records are indicating.  Both the Saints and Chiefs have shown how weak their defenses are, which means a lot of fantasy points are up for grabs in this battle for the worst record in the NFL.  While I think that the Saints will come out of this matchup victorious, I think that Jon Baldwin will be the breakout star of the game.  The Saints have proven to have no respectable secondary to stop any pass attack from their opponents so I think this will be the perfect game for the sophomore to have his breakout NFL game.  With only 3 catches for 62 yards this season, Baldwin is available in more than 75% of ESPN fantasy leagues.  Matt Cassel is a very solid QB and usually puts up good yardage.  Against the Saints and their pathetic defense, Cassel will look a hell of a lot better and will find a reliable friend in Baldwin.  I am predicting that this will be the best game of Baldwin’s young career.

Predictions for week 3:  8 receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown

Jason Avant:  Sunday 4:05 PM EST

Avant to be alone … in the middle of the field … catching balls!

One of the best matchups of the week is between the 2-0 Philadelphia Eagles and the 2-0 Arizona Cardinals.  The Eagles are a surprising 2-0 after having to perform an amazing escape act for both of their victories.  The Cardinals reached their fast start with a huge week 2 upset against the NFL favorite New England Patriots.  While the Eagles were picked to have a decent year that could land them as one of the wildcard teams in the NFC, the Cardinals were not expected to do much with a new starting QB, Skelton, and a pretty weak overall offense.  Regardless of the preseason predictions, these two teams are 2-0 and are playing for the best record in the league.  I feel that the Eagles will come out of this game victorious and I think Michael Vick will be the reason why.  Two of Vick’s favorite targets, Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, are both out with injury.  That leaves a lot of pressure on the star receiver DeSean Jackson.  Jason Avant has been moved to the #2 receiver on the Eagles for the week and I expect him to capitalize on the constant double teams that Jackson will be drawing for the entire game.  Avant is quick and has good hands and I am expecting him to have a big game this week in Arizona.

Predictions for week 3:  7 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown

Isaac Redman:  Sunday 4:25 PM EST

The running Redman – I expect to see a lot of this.

Now I know a lot of people got angry at Redman during week 1 when ESPN predicted he would put up 15 fantasy points and he came out of the game with a pathetic 1, but I truly feel that this will be Redman’s week.  With the Steelers starting running back, Rashad Mendenhall, still out with an injury, the carries will be split between Redman and Jon Dwyer.  Dwyer has gotten most of the carries in the first two weeks but after being shaken up with the all too familiar turf toe, Redman is looking like the go to guy in this game.  Add that with the fact that the Steelers are playing the God awful Oakland Raiders and their extremely permeable defense, Redman is poised to come up big in this game.  Not only do I think Redman will get a lot of carries, but I think he will be a good option for Roethlisberger if he ever gets pressured by Oakland.  Even though this is only week 3, I feel this is a must win game for Pittsburgh because they really want to avoid a 1-2 record.  While the Steelers are a primarily pass first offense, I think this is a week where they will mix it up and depend on the running game a little more.

Predictions for week 3:  16 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown, 5 receptions for 50 yards

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