Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NFL 2011 Fantasy Rankings: Running Backs

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-Digger's Daily-

Fantasy drafters usually concur - building a winning team all depends on selecting a big time scoring Running Back. Champion fantasy teams always feature at least one high scoring back (most have two very serviceable ground gainers). Most kickoffs will be touchbacks in 2011. Guess what this means? Top RB's will have career years in yards from scrimmage.

Let's get right to it. All World All Sports Top 20 for 2011:

1 - Arian Foster (HOU) Exploded on the scene in '10. He's my top pick for '11 in Houston's high scoring machine. Texans are destined for a fine season. Foster will rumble. 1850 yards, 18 TD.

2 - Chris Johnson (TEN) Never misses a running lane. 1450 yards, 18 TD.  CJ might miss the season as a contract holdout.  Not a smart move by both Titans and Johnson.  Keeper league coaches must be miffed.

3 - Adrian Peterson (MIN) A highlight reel RB. Times are changing in Minnesota. Opposing defenses top priority is stopping AP - who's had fumble issues in past years. 1600 yards, 15 TD.

4 - Michael Turner (ATL) Falcons have many weapons. Running lanes plentiful. 1500 yards, 15 TD.

5 - Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX) He'll be back as a scoring machine in '11 (if his balky knee holds up). A bit of a gamble at #5 unless you believe in my projection - 1300 yards, 18 TD.

6 - Rashard Mendenhall (PIT) Pittsburgh's back is tough to stop when staring at the end zone. He'll have a big year. 1500 yards, 14 TD.

7 - Matt Forte (CHI) Career year coming up. Forte sets career highs - 1400 yards, 15 TD.

8 - Frank Gore (SF) Another new era in 49ers play. New coach. New offense. Results pending. Gore will see more touches as a rusher & ball catching back. 1400 all purpose yards, 10 TD.

9 - Peyton Hillis (CLE) A successful '10 landed his face on Madden '12. Popular RB is a bruising runner. Hype? Or, is this guy for real? We'll soon find out. 1300 yards, 12 TD.

10- Jamaal Charles (KC) Charles put up great numbers splitting time with Thomas Jones. JC is an anything can happen back. A quick beginning earns him more touches. A slow beginning will lead to sharing time again. Don't get suckered into drafting JC in top 5. 1300 yards, 10 TD.

11- Darren McFadden (OAK)
12- LeSean McCoy (PHI)
13- Stephen Jackson (STL)
14- DeAngelo Williams (CAR)
15- Shonn Greene (NYJ)
16- Armani Bradshaw (NYG)
17- Brandon Jacobs (NYG)
18- LeGarrette Blount (TB)
19- Cedric Benson (CIN)
20- Ryan Matthews (SD)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NFL 2011 Fantasy Rankings: Quarterbacks

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-Digger's Daily-

NFL 2011 regular season action kicks off Thursday September 8. NFL did a fine job with a superb opening day match-up featuring Super Bowl Champions of the past two seasons. New Orleans Saints (2009) take their show on the road to the home of current champion Green Bay Packers. If this game lives up to it's billing then we're to witness a fine contest between two of football's best teams.

Opening night also features two of the NFL's top quarterbacks, Drew Brees vs Aaron Rodgers. Thousands of fantasy football coaches have been busy studying draft lists preparing for a new season of play. For the next few days, I'll be posting rankings for key fantasy football point contributing positions. There are various fantasy football games and scoring variations. Do your homework to select the best game for your liking.

Time for segment #1 - Quarterbacks:

1 - Tom Brady (NE) Coming off a superb 36 td, 3900 yard 2010 campaign - only 4 int's. He has more weapons, better defense and perhaps NFL's best coach. Projection: 4200 yards, 35 TD.

2 - Drew Brees (NO) Saints pass first offense sits well with strong armed Brees. Averaged 289 yds/game in '10 with 33 TD/s. Interceptions were high (22) and should be better in '11. Projection: 4500 yards, 30 TD.

3 - Phillip Rivers (SD) River's turned in a gutsy season in the absence of a Chargers running game. Averaged almost 300 yds/game while tossing 30 scores. Projection: 4250 yards, 30 TD.

4 - Aaron Rodgers (GB) Super Bowl Champion QB, enough said. Projection: 4000 yards, 28 TD.

5 - Matt Schaub (HOU) Solid starter for a team on the rise. Has a chance to lead Texans to first division title. 3800 yards, 33 TD.

6 - Michael Vick (PHI) Perhaps the most exciting NFL player. Throws, runs - and gets hurt. Buyer beware. A healthy MV playing a full season could produce best fantasy numbers. He'll have to prove he can go the distance before advancing up my rankings. Projection: 3200 yards, 25 TD (passing) - 600 yards, 7 TD (rushing).

7 - Matt Ryan (ATL) Always the student, Ryan watches tapes of Brady & Peyton Manning with great results in '10. A few more targets and solidified offensive line should post solid results. Projection: 3500 yards, 25 TD.

8 - Mark Sanchez (NYJ) I might be the only 2011 prognosticator placing Sanchez in top 10 status. Why? Explosive 3 WR set with Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress & Derrek Mason - throw in TE Keller - a strong ground game - and better offensive line. Jets sports top 3 defense so all systems say Sanchez will have great field position with plenty of weapons to score. Projection: 3300 yards, 30 TD.

9 - Eli Manning (NYG) Eli tossed and fumbled away 2010. He was terrible in crucial moments - very un-Manning-like. 2011 brings new challenges especially with 3 new linemen. If he protects the ball then Eli moves up the list. Projection: 3800 yards, 25 TD (watch out for turnovers).

10- Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) Look past Big Ben's 2010 stats. Many forget he was suspended first four games. He's back and on a mission for an aging Steelers team. Projection: 3500 yards, 23 TD.

Wild Card Player - Peyton Manning (IND) Incomplete injury information has everyone in Colts country on edge. Will Peyton be ready for the season opener or not? Some speculating Manning is out for an extended period of time recovering from what was once billed as minor neck surgery. Obviously, he's a top performing and fantasy point contributor when healthy. Problem is nobody seems to be saying how healthy he is - or isn't! Colts just nudged Kerry Collins out of retirement which means something's afoul in Indianapolis. Manning should not be your first QB selection this year.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Power Rankings Movers & Shakers

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-Digger's Daily-

Baseball's playoff picture is gaining clarity. Or, is it? AL East will be Boston vs New York for the duration. White Sox have come back from the dead and now sit a mere 3.5 games behind Detroit in Central action. Will Detroit show off another late season choke? Texas keeping a firm 7 game grip in the West over LA.

Philadelphia remains NL's top team while Milwaukee and Arizona surged into 1st place in Central & West divisions. Atlanta's inspired brand of baseball leads all NL Wild Card contenders.

Teams are having a tough time remaining in All World All Sports baseball power rankings. Early season wannabe's Pittsburgh and Cleveland continue their swan dives. Late comers making a move. There's still a long way to go. Current rankings thru games of 8/17:

1 - Philadelphia
2 - New York
3 - Boston
4 - Texas
5 - Atlanta
6 - Milwaukee
7 - Arizona
8 - San Francisco
9 - St. Louis
10- Detroit

Don't get too caught up in NFL rankings as teams filled with new faces are just beginning to gel. Plenty of position battles, especially on offensive and defensive lines, rage on.
1 - Green Bay
2 - New England
3 - New Orleans
4 - New York Jets
5 - Atlanta
6 - Pittsburgh
7 - Philadelphia
8 - San Diego
9 - Houston
10- Baltimore

Saturday, August 13, 2011

NFL 2011 Predictions

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-Digger's Daily-

Countdown to regular season is underway. There was a time not long ago many thought owners vs players impasse would severely disrupt the 2011 NFL season. Once both sides inked a new deal teams had much work to do adjusting rosters to meet salary cap constraints. There was a flurry of activity from roster cuts to free agent signings.

The dust has settled and teams are busy playing pre-season games in preparation for another great season. Time for pre-season predictions (subject to change based on final rosters).

New York

*Green Bay

*New Orleans
Tampa Bay

St. Louis
San Francisco

*New York
*New England



*San Diego
Kansas City

* = playoff team

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sweet Revenge, Woods ex-Caddy Wins Again!

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-Digger's Daily-

Adam Scott finished tops on the Bridgestone Invitational scoreboard to win his first World Golf Championship. Congratulations Adam. And congratulations for making a great decision to hire caddy Steve Williams. Williams was the long time caddy of Tiger Woods who was recently fired for unknown reasons.

Williams firing stunned the golfing world. Williams is a winner. A former Wood confidante who stood by Tiger's side during Woods shocking and very public divorce only to be abruptly discarded two weeks ago. Revenge is sweet. Wood struggled mightily while Adam Scott cruised at Bridgestone. Williams was ecstatic:
"I've caddied for 33 years -- 145 wins now -- and that's the best win I've ever had," Williams told CBS Sports on the 18th green. This from a guy whose 12 years working for Woods featured 13 majors and 16 world titles among 72 wins worldwide. That includes the 2001 Masters, when Woods won an unprecedented fourth straight major.
Scott played near flawless golf on his way to 17 under par, winning by four. He openly thanked Williams for expertise in knowing the course so well and offering excellent strategic suggestions when necessary. Scott also displayed a sense of humor:
"I can talk about Steve now and not Tiger," Scott said to laughter, alluding to the countless times he and other players have been asked about Woods. "I'm sure there are a lot of other golfers who wouldn't mind that, either."
A subtle public feud continues simmering between Williams and Woods. Both accounts on how the championship caddy was released differ greatly. Tiger's rants and actions continue to stun those who were once closest allies. Even Charles Barkley chimed in recently. Barkley and Woods were once very close friends. Sir Charles claims he hasn't heard back from Woods in two years is opening questioning what's wrong with Tiger....
"It's been very frustrating to watch everything that has transpired," Barkley said Wednesday on ESPN New York 1050's The Mike Lupica Show, "and getting rid of Steve Williams was probably the last straw for me."
"You think you're friends with a guy. You talk to him once a week for 15 years. You're like, this dude is my friend, we do things, we have fun together," Barkley said. "I haven't talked to him in two years and I'm wondering what the hell is going on."
Tiger's saga will continue for years. Right now, the sun is shining brightly upon Adam Scott and his new championship caddy Steve Williams.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Power Ranking MVP & Cy Young Candidates

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-Digger's Daily-

Time to try something not done before now. Power ranking current 2011 MLB MVP & Cy Young candidates by league. Baseball's trading deadline is over. Waiver wires filled and a few select players could soon be on the move. Pennant fever is alive and well in cities not used to watching their teams win in late season play. It's been another wild ride in baseball land. MVP chants beginning to pick up steam in parks around the country.

Which diamond players make the short lists to bring home hardware in 2011? Take a glance at All World All Sports rankings...

1 - Matt Kemp (LAD)
2 - Ryan Braun (MIL)
3 - Lance Berkman (STL)
4 - Jose Reyes (NYM)
5 - Joey Votto (CIN)
6 - Justin Upton (AZ)
7 - Ryan Howard (PHI)
8 - Prince Fielder (MIL)

1 - Adrian Gonzalez (BOS)
2 - Curtis Granderson (NYY)
3 - Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)
4 - Jose Bautista (TOR)
5 - Dustin Pedroia (BOS)
6 - Michael Young (TEX)
7 - Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE)
8 - Jered Weaver (LAA)

Cy Young
1 - Roy Halladay (PHI)
2 - Clayton Kershaw (LAD)
3 - Ian Kennedy (AZ)
4 - Jair Jurrjens (ATL)
5 - Cole Hamels (PHI)
6 - Joel Hanrahan (PIT)

1 - Jered Weaver (LAA)
2 - Justin Verlander (DET)
3 - CC Sabathia (NYY)
4 - Jon Lester (BOS)
5 - Jose Valverde (DET)