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Thursday Night Football

Last Minute Emergency Lineup Changes: Week 9

I have to say that I am very relieved that the Jets are on their bye week because I do not know if I could have endured another showing like last weeks game against Miami.  While teams take their bye weeks, every fantasy team is still in action and with bye weeks, every fantasy teams owners need to make last minute changes to their lineups.  This week I see some familiar faces coming back and I also feel that a couple of new players will shine brightly in week 9.  If I included the Thursday night football game into my sleepers article this week, I would have definitely chosen the Chargers defense because I feel that Kansas City is the new Cleveland, but I decided that this week will be the week of the Tight Ends and I have chosen 5 different ones for you to put in your lineup this week.

Dennis Pitta (TE):  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off of a much needed bye week after getting their asses kicked two weeks ago against the AFC favorites, Houston Texans.  While coming off of their bye week, the Ravens have the luxury of facing the Cleveland Browns, who have been playing pretty decently of late.  The last time these two teams met was back on 9/27 and the Ravens won but only by 7 points.  A player who was nonexistent for that game was Dennis Pitta.  This week I feel that the Ravens and their clever coaching staff  have prepared a new look for the rejuvenated Browns and I think Pitta will be a huge part of it.  Pitta sees 7 targets a game on average and he has already found the endzone twice this season.  I am expecting a big week from the usually reliable Pitta and if you have your starting Tight End on bye this week, then Pitta is a no-brainer.

Predictions for week 9:  7 receptions for 90 yards and touchdown

Jermichael Finley (TE):  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

Not many players have been as big a disappointment this season fantasy-wise then Jermichael Finley.  Last season, Finley exploded for 800 yards and 8 touchdowns as he developed into Aaron Rodgers’ favorite third down target.  This year, Finley has been basically forgotten about and fantasy owners are pissed.  As a matter of fact, Finley is only starting in 54% of ESPN Fantasy Leagues as of today.  Rest easy Finley supporters because I have some good news for you, Finley will have his best game of the season this week and will reassure anyone who has doubted him since the season started.  It is hard to find any Quarterback hotter than Aaron Rodgers right now and with Greg Jennings still out and with how accurate I was with Donald Driver last week, I think you should heed my advice with Finley.  Keep in mind that Jordy Nelson is questionable as well.

Predictions for week 9:  7 receptions for 85 yards and a touchdown

Anthony Fasano (TE):  Sunday 1:00 PM EST

There was once a time where the 7 year man out of Notre Dame, Anthony Fasano, was a threat to get in the endzone on a weekly basis.  This year did not start off with that type of optimism, but with back-to-back weeks with a touchdown, Fasano seems to be finding his old form.  The Miami Dolphins are one of the hottest teams in the league right now and Ryan Tannehill really seems to be coming into his own.  There are some skeptics out there about Fasano this week because the team they are playing, the Indianapolis Colts, have allowed the least amount of fantasy points for Tight Ends in the NFL.  To me, that is an arbitrary stat because it all depends on the type of offense being run against them.  The Dolphins do not have a good receiving core and they will need Fasano this week if they hope to win against a hostile crown in Indy.  While I do not expect Fasano to rack up a lot of yards, I do see him entering the endzone for a third straight week.

Predictions for week 9:  5 receptions for 60 yards and a touchdown

Dallas Clark (TE):  Sunday 4:05 PM EST

Dallas Clark was once one of the favorite targets of the best QB in the NFL, Peyton Manning.  He caught everything that came his way and even made his fair share of touchdowns.  Clark played the first 9 years of his successful career with the Colts, but found himself wearing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers jersey at the start to this season.  As the season started, Clark found it very difficult to work himself into the Bucs offense and Josh Freeman rarely ever looked his way.  Over the past two weeks, Clark has seen his targets go up and so has his yardage.  He only has 1 touchdown on the season but I am expecting him to at least double that total by the end of week 9.  Vincent Jackson has exploded of late and he will demand a double team on every possession which should mean more looks for Clark and Mike Williams.  The Bucs are playing in Oakland this week which should be a very winnable game as long as their passing game can match their running game.

Predictions for week 9:  6 receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown

Brent Celek (TE):  Monday 8:30 PM EST

I am one of those many Fantasy football owners that has not had a stable Tight End all season long, so I have consistently found myself watching that waiver wire to see who I can pick up week by week.  This week I am going with Brent Celek for a couple reasons.  The main reason is that the Philadelphia Eagles are facing the worst defense in the NFL, the New Orleans Saints, and Philly will have no problems moving the ball up and down the field.  This is also a must win game for the Eagles as they try to stay alive in the very competitive NFC East.  Like the Eagles, Celek has been extremely inconsistent this year and has driven fantasy owners crazy.  His QB, Michael Vick, has been the headline of many conversations about whether or not they can win with him at quarterback.  This week Vick and Celek will shut all of the critics up as they will connect on two touchdowns and win this game easily.

Predictions for week 9:  9 receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns

 

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Sports Debaters Expert Picks Against the Spread: Week 7

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, October 18, 2012: Seattle Seahawks (+8.5) @ San Francisco 49ers (-8.5) Seahawks 49ers
Sunday, October 21, 2012: Tennessee Titans (+3) @ Buffalo Bills (-3) Bills Titans
Sunday, October 21, 2012: Washington Redskins (+7.5) @ NY Giants (-7.5) Redskins Redskins  
Sunday, October 21, 2012: New Orleans Saints (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5) Saints Saints 
Sunday, October 21, 2012: Dallas Cowboys (-1) @ Carolina Panthers (+1) Cowboys Cowboys
Sunday, October 21, 2012: Baltimore Ravens (+4.5) @ Houston Texans (-4.5) Ravens Ravens
Sunday, October 21, 2012: Cleveland Browns (+3) @ Indianapolis Colts (-3) Colts Browns
Sunday, October 21, 2012: Green Bay Packers (-5.5) @ St. Louis Rams (+5.5) Packers Rams
Sunday, October 21, 2012: Arizona Cardinals (+5.5) @ Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) Cardinals Vikings
Sunday, October 21, 2012: NY Jets (+11.5) @ New England Patriots (-11.5) Patriots Jets
Sunday, October 21, 2012: Jacksonville Jaguars (+4) @ Oakland Raiders (-4) Raiders Raiders  
Sunday, October 21, 2012: Pittsburgh Steelers (-1) @ Cincinnati Bengals (+1) Steelers Steelers
Monday, October 22, 2012: Detroit Lions (+5) @ Chicago Bears (-5) Lions Bears
Overall Records:

 

NYBobby: 20-23 MatthewToddErich: 22-21

Sports Debaters Expert Picks Against the Spread: Week 5

Gamblers rejoice, here are our Week 5 Sports Debaters 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, October 4, 2012: Arizona Cardinals (-1)  @ St. Louis Rams (+1)  Cardinals   Rams
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Miami Dolphins (+3) @

Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

 Bengals   Dolphins
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Green Bay Packers (-7.5) @ Indianapolis Colts (+7.5)  Packers  Colts  
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Baltimore Ravens (-7) @

Kansas City Chiefs (+7)

 Ravens   Ravens 
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Cleveland Browns (-10) @ New York Giants (+10) Giants  Giants
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Philadelphia Eagles (+3) @

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3)

Steelers  Eagles
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) @

Washington Redskins (+2.5)

Falcons  Redskins
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Seattle Seahawks (+2.5) @

Carolina Panthers (-2.5)

Panthers  Seahawks
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Chicago Bears (-7) @

Jacksonville Jaguars (+7)

Bears   Bears
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Denver Broncos (+7.5) @

New England Patriots (-7.5)

Broncos    Broncos
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Buffalo Bills (-11) @

San Francisco 49ers (+11)

49ers    Bills  
Sunday, October 7, 2012: Tennessee Titans (+5.5) @

Minnesota Vikings (-5.5)

Vikings   Vikings
Sunday, October 7, 2012: San Diego Chargers (+3) @

New Orleans Saints (-3)

Saints   Chargers
Monday, October 8, 2012: Houston Texans (-9) @

New York Jets (+9)

Texans  Jets
Overall Records:

 

NYBobby: 7-8 MatthewToddErich: 5-10

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.



A Thursday Night Party!

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What day is Thursday Night football on?

There are a lot of decisions that various commissioners of our Major Sports leagues legislate that I disagree with.  However, Roger Goodell and the NFL’s decision to play a game every week of the season on Thursday night is one I am fully onboard with.  Tonight’s matchup of the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears will kick off the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football schedule, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch these historic rivals square off!

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I have a man-crush on man-crushing.

I love the NFL.  I love everything about the NFL.  It is the only sport that I could watch two teams that I couldn’t care a thing about and enjoy every second of the game.  You will not catch me watching the Astros and Rockies playing a baseball game in July.  I will never watch the Timberwolves and Pistons square off in early January.  But give me two NFL teams beating the hell out of each other any month of the year, and now any day of the week!

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Oh G-d, PLEASE don’t let the networks create a decent Thursday night lineup; at least not one my girlfriend likes!

I don’t understand how anybody in the world could think that it is possible that a full Thursday Night schedule is “too much football”, which I’ve heard some people say.  What a Thursday game does is ensure that football junkies like myself never have to wait more than two nights before watching another NFL game.  Now I can watch football all day Sunday, catch the Monday night game, let the lady watch whatever she wants on Tuesday and Wednesday (building up serious brownie points), and then I work in the Thursday game before taking her out Friday and Saturday night, earning the ability the follow the same schedule the next week.  Thursday is a beautiful night for some pigskin.

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Damn. Now my only nights to sleep are Tuesday or Wednesday.

Other people say that the players in the game are at a disadvantage, not having as much time to prepare on such a short week.  However, if you think about it, don’t both teams have the same exact time to prepare.  Also, the teams that play on Thursday will then be rewarded with an extra long week to get ready for their next Sunday game.  Almost seems like an advantage to play Thursday night.  I’ve also heard some fans complain that if they go to the Thursday night game in person, they won’t get home at a decent enough time to wake up early for work.  To that I say boo f”ing hoo!  The next work day is Friday, drive your ass to work, go through the motions and then enjoy the weekend.  It’s much easier going to a Thursday night game then it is attending a Monday night game.  Suck it up or trade in your fan card.

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4 out of 5 cardiologists think more nights of football are needed!

The NFL picked a great game for the opener as the oldest rivalry in the NFL will be showcased tonight.  It’s time to set the fantasy rosters, get together with the guys and have a quick preview of Sunday’s festivities.  Eating wings, drinking beer and watching football has been a Sunday and Monday staple in America for as long as ABC started the Monday night spot.  Let’s welcome this beautiful activity to the Thursday night spot permanently starting tonight!  Hell, there are a lot worse things I could imagine doing with my time tonight, like, well, just about anything!