Week 6 Fantasy Football Preview by justinwhitaker
October 15, 2010, 4:48 pm
Filed under: Justin Whitaker, NFL, Uncategorized | Tags: ,

by Justin Whitaker

(Puts hand on Bible)

“I, Justin Whitaker, swear to not make any jokes about Ben Roethilsberger’s ‘triumphant’ return or Brett Favre’s package during this fantasy football Week 6 preview even as tempting as it may be to take a shot below the belt.”

The Studs

Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego Chargers at St. Louis Rams

Because I am a little biased, I am going to limit the times I put Peyton Manning in this slot. If I wasn’t fair then he would be locked as King Stud every week. Instead it’s the NFL leader in yards and touchdowns six weeks into the season who will have another solid game this week. Rivers has thrown over 400 yards twice this season and has had at least two touchdowns in each game. The quarterback’s play is finally starting to catch up with his loud mouth.

Projected Stats: 350 yards, 3 TDs

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars

Through five weeks, CJ’s performance has seesawed every other week. Two touchdowns and at least 125 yards in weeks 1, 3 and 5. Well it’s Week 6 and it is time for Johnson to bust his trend on Monday Night Football.

Projected Stats: 135 yards rushing, 35 yards receiving, 2 TDs

Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants versus Detroit Lions

If you ever doubted Nicks’ ability, (I did), then it’s time to wake up. Eli Manning’s No. 1 target had 12 catches for 130 yards and 2 TDs last week against the porous Houston secondary. This week against the Detroit Lions, expect more of the same. This 22-year-old wide receiver is here to stay.

Projected Stats: 7 catches, 120 yards, TD

Honorable Mention: Peyton Manning, QB (325 yards, 3 TD), Mark Sanchez, QB (280 yards, 2 TD), Rashad Mendenhall, RB (125 yards, TD), Ray Rice, RB (140 total yards, 2 TD), Miles Austin, WR (8 catches, 125 yards, TD), Malcom Floyd, WR (6 catches, 100 yards, TD)

The Duds

Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears versus Seattle Seahawks

The offensive line of the Chicago Bears is weaker than Betty White’s bench press. It’s God-awful how embarrassing they are. How successful will the (probably not) apprehensive gunslinger be returning from a concussion? I would guess not very well, Cutler doesn’t trust his line and I wouldn’t either. Watch to see how he fares in this one before starting him as your No. 1 QB.

Projected Stats: 250 yards, TD, 2 INT

Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

After a season-high 15 carries and 109 yards last week one would think the success might continue. Well do not buy into the same hype that so many people believed that the Cowboys were actually good. This team is a mess right now so it’s completely unpredictable on what they will do. This game could either be a high scoring aerial assault or a 4 field goals win the game type of matchup. Either way Jones doesn’t seem to fit into either of those outcomes.

Projected Stats: 9 carries for 32 yards, 2 catches for 12 yards

Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars against Tennessee Titans

The fantasy breakout star of 2009 has been extremely disappointing so far in 2010. In three home games this season here is Sims-Walker’s total, 2 catches for 34 yards. In THREE games. This week against the division rival Tennessee Titans don’t be surprised if much like their games in the city of Jacksonville, Sims-Walker is blacked out. It’s probably a good thing Jacksonville fans won’t get to watch this.

Projected Stats: 2 catches for 28 yards

Honorable Mention: Donovan McNabb, QB (200 yards passing, TD, INT),  Arian Foster, RB (12 carries for 44 yards), Knowshon Moreno, RB (15 carries for 46 yards), Johnny Knox, WR (2 catches, 23 yards), Donald Driver, WR (4 catches, 42 yards)

The Sleeper

Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers versus New Orleans Saints

The rookie from Syracuse has caught a touchdown in three of his four games this season and is only owned in 50 percent of all ESPN leagues. While he might have hit his ceiling already, pick him up and give Williams a chance before everyone else in your league catches on.

Projected Stats: 5 catches for 85 yards, TD

Honorable Mention: Kevin Kolb, QB (275 yards, 2 TD), Ryan Torain, RB (90 yards, 1 TDs), Kenny Britt, WR (4 catches, 75 yards, TD)


Week 5 fantasy football preview by justinwhitaker

By Justin Whitaker

After taking my bye last week, I’m back and ready to help forecast Week 5 of fantasy football in the NFL.

The Studs

Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts versus Kansas City Chiefs

Manning could easily be in this spot every week but this week’s situation makes him King Stud.  The Kansas City secondary ranks 24th in the NFL in passing yards but once Manning gets done with the Chiefs look for them to be even lower. The first quarter of the NFL season’s MVP will continue his hot streak this week.

Projected Stats: 335 yards, 3 TDs

Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills

While MJD started off slow, the bowling ball is slowly but surely on the rise. Look for MJD to be a strike this week as he rolls over the dreadful Bills defense who give up a league worst 31.2 points per game.

Projected Stats: 125 yards rushing, 30 yards receiving, 2 TDs

Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions versus St. Louis Rams

As evident by the fact that Shaun Hill is throwing him the ball, Kent Sterling or myself could be throwing him the ball and he would be having an All-Pro season. If Johnson had an elite QB, his statistics would be the best in the league year in and year out. Due to St. Louis’ lack of corners expect a big day out of the Georgia Tech product.

Projected Stats: 9 catches, 120 yards, TD

Honorable Mention: Matt Schuab, QB (300 yards, 3 TD), Matt Ryan, QB (275 yards, 2 TD), Arian Foster, RB (115 yards, 2 TD), Jahvid Best, RB (150 total yards, TD), Roddy White, WR (7 catches, 115 yards, TD), Reggie Wayne, WR (8 catches, 110 yards, TD)

The Duds

Gotham City's former DA and Joe Flacco's alter-ego, Two-Face.

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens versus Denver Broncos

Thus far Flacco’s season has mirrored Batman villain Two-Face. One half of it has been really good (Week 3, 262 yds and 3 TDs) and the other has been dreadful (Week 2, 154 yds and 4 INTs). Champ Bailey does a great job limiting a team’s No. 1 receiver so look for Anquan Boldin to struggle in this game also. Flacco will be Harvey Dent’s bad side in this game, stay away.

Projected Stats: 220 yards, TD, INT

Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego Chargers against Oakland Raiders

After all the preseason hype and SI.com’s Peter King stating, “Take Mathews in the first round, he’s worth it.” Well sorry to burst your preseason bubble Mr. King, but Mathews has played more like a waiver wire drop. He’s 100% owned in all ESPN league but 100% a bust up until now. Sure it’s only Week 5 and he’s been banged up, but 156 yards and a TD is something he should’ve had in a game, not three. Plus look for Mike Tolbert to steal a lot of carries since he’s actually playing well

Projected Stats: 10 carries for 42 yards, 2 catches for 15 yards

Anyone seen Marques Colston?

Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals

Whenever you are shopping at your local Marsh, Kroger, look at the back of a milk carton. If Colston isn’t there, no one knows where he is. He’s had no game with over 5 catches or 67 yards and no touchdowns. It’s not like the Drew Brees in the Saints suddenly starting running the Maryland I. Something is off sync here, but up to now, Colston has been a huge disappointment.

Projected Stats: 4 catches for 38 yards

Honorable Mention: Matt Cassel, QB (250 yards passing, TD, 2 INT),  Beanie Wells, RB (15 carries for 54 yards), Joseph Addai, RB (12 carries for 36 yards), Braylon Edwards, WR (3 catches, 40 yards), Dez Bryant, WR (4 catches, 27 yards)

The Sleeper

Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland Browns versus Atlanta Falcons

Having back-to-back games of over 100 yards and a score in every game doesn’t make you a sleeper, but playing for the Cleveland Browns does. With all of Hillis’ success this season, no one is really noticing because of the team he’s on and the rarity of the success of a white running back. But jump on the bandwagon now, he’s getting all of the carries in Cleveland and has been successful so far. Just hope the bandwagon doesn’t break down before everyone else jumps on.

Projected Stats: 115 yards rushing, TD

Honorable Mention: Carson Palmer, QB (275 yards, 2 TD), Ahmad Bradshaw, RB (105 yards, 1 TDs), Jeremy Maclin, WR (6 catches, 100 yards, TD)

Week 3 Fantasy Football preview by justinwhitaker
September 23, 2010, 4:37 pm
Filed under: Justin Whitaker, NFL

By Justin Whitaker

As we enter into the football season, the fog is starting to clear on who is for real and who isn’t. There have been some surprises, disappointments and everything in between so let me help you forecast for this week’s round of games.

But first, let’s take a look at some of my picks from last week.

For last week’s studs, Peyton Manning had a solid game, but when a team only plays with two defensive tackles on their roster, then that might change the gameplan a little. Steven Jackson had 130 yards last week as I predicted, but it was combining rushing and passing yards. Anquan Boldin did not have a great game last week but you might be able to contribute that to his quarterback’s 23.8 rating.

For the duds of last week, Michael Vick played like one of his old dogs, like his life depended on it. Don’t expect that every week, the average at best Vick will be back soon. The usual superstar Chris Johnson only had 34 yards rushing last week so hopefully you listened to me and started someone else. Michael Crabtree also was a nonfactor as I projected last week. He had only one catch for 32 yards. As Chad Ochocinco would say, “Child, please.”

Kyle Orton surprised me last week, even exceeding what I projected for him (250 yards, 2 TDs). He ended up with 307 yards and 2 TDs. The former Purdue quarterback is a solid middle of the pack fantasy QB who will give solid performances with rare treats of breakout games.

Now let’s look at Week 3’s matchups!

The Studs

Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots versus Buffalo Bills

After losing a tough game against the division rival New York Jets last week, Brady will look to take their frustration out on the lowly Bills. The loss will motivate the Patriots much like Katy Perry appearing on Sesame Street motivates me to watch Elmo and Co. more often.

Projected Stats: 345 yards, 3 TDs

Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens versus Cleveland Browns

Ready to see if Rice was worth your first round selection? This is the week to finally see if it pays off. Against the Browns, Rice should be extremely successful. This is make or break game after a pretty tough beginning of the season. If he does well then his owners are finally happy, if he falls on his face then look for the Ray Rice bandwagon at the bottom of the White River. You didn’t read it here who drove it in though.

Projected Stats: 125 yards rushing, 50 yards receiving, 2 TDs

Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans

Dallas’ only star from their 0-2 start is their superstar receiver Austin. He has opened the season with 10 catches and over 140 yards receiving in each game. Why would his production stop against a Houston secondary that allowed Donovan McNabb to throw over 400 yards last week? Start him and if you don’t have him try to get him.

Projected Stats: 11 catches, 130 yards, TD

Honorable Mention: Phillip Rivers, QB (325 yards, 3 TD), Donovan McNabb, QB (300 yards, 2 TD), Frank Gore, RB (135 yards, 2 TD), LeSean McCoy, RB (115 yards, TD), Randy Moss, WR (8 catches, 120 yards, TD), Greg Jennings, WR (6 catches, 110 yards, TD)

The Duds

Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

Old man time might have finally caught up to the 55-year-old Favre. But just as easily Favre could break out and throw for 350 yards and 4 TDs, but I highly doubt that will happen. The young Lions are on the way up and the old Favre is just stuck going nowhere fast without any healthy receivers.

Projected Stats: 200 yards, TD, INT

Matt Forte, RB, Chicago Bears against Green Bay Packers

With the exception of his 89-yard receiving touchdown in Week 1, Forte has been pretty quiet. The Mike Martz-led offense of the Bears would rather have Jay Cutler throw 70 times then give Forte 20 carries. Due to his lack of productivity on the ground from the Bears atrocious O-line look elsewhere if possible. He could maybe break a catch lose, but that is a maybe.

Projected Stats: 13 carries for 45 yards, 4 catches for 32 yards

Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers against Cincinnati Bengals

Jimmy Clausen will be this week’s NFL version of Lindsey Lohan with Smith playing the role of alcohol, cocaine, etc.. With Clausen making his NFL starting debut this week, do like Lohan should and stay as far away from the (alcohol, cocaine) Panthers receiver as possible. I have never been a Clausen fan since he douchely arrived on Notre Dame’s campus in the stretch hummer. Much like David Hasselhoff on Dancing with the Stars , this debut will just be a mess.

Projected Stats: 3 catches for 25 yards

Honorable Mention: Matt Ryan, QB (200 yards passing, TD, 2 INT),  Knowshown Moreno, RB (17 carries for 67 yards), Clinton Portis, RB (15 carries for 55 yards), Jeremy Maclin, WR (4 catches, 35 yards), Percy Harvin, WR (3 catches, 288 yards)

The Sleeper

Tim Hightower, RB, Arizona Cardinals versus Oakland Raiders

This hinges on if Beanie Wells plays or not for Arizona, if he does then Hightower’s production will be cut. But looking back at his 115 rushing yards and touchdown from last week, Hightower has the ability to produce good fantasy numbers against the Raiders if he is given the chance.

Projected Stats: 125 yards rushing, TD

Honorable Mention: Sam Bradford, QB (225 yards, 2 TD), Joseph Addai, RB (90 yards, 2 TDs), Kevin Walter, WR (5 catches, 105 yards, TD)

Week 2 Fantasy Football preview by justinwhitaker

By Justin Whitaker

With Week 1 of the NFL and fantasy football under our belts, how is everyone feeling? Confident? Nervous? I’m sure a little mix of both. You cannot learn about your team just one week into the season. But as the weeks go by, we’ll learn more and more about this year’s NFL and our players.

Aaron Rodgers did not tear it up like I thought he would, but still a modest day (188 yds, 2TD, 2INT.) Do not anoint him the top fantasy quarterback yet. Chris Johnson had a good fantasy day like I told you (142 yds, 2TD), I predicted him to have 130 yards and two scores so I was just off by 12 yards. But that prediction is not saying much, it’s like someone telling you the sky is blue. I said that Miles Austin was going to have a good game (I said: 110 yds, 2TD), but he had the Cowboys only score and 146 yards.

For the duds, they sure proved me right. Shonn Greene had 18 yards on five carries and two fumbles. Lee Evans, thank you for proving your mediocrity with four catches for 34 yards.

For my sleeper pick of last week, Derek Anderson did something he rarely does and prove someone right. I predicted 225 yards, three touchdowns and a pick and he did close to that. With Anderson’s 297 passing yards and one touchdown against the lowly St. Louis Rams, he made me look semi-good.

But enough with next week, let’s look forward to Week 2 and some studs, duds and sleepers.

The Studs

Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts versus New York Giants

This is a no brainer. After throwing 433 yards and nearly 60 passes, do not look for the elder Manning to slow down against the G-Men. If you look at the game plan for last week, it does not seem the Colts will run the ball much. But Peyton will carve up the Giants secondary like a Thanksgiving turkey and propel his team to their first victory of the season.

Projected Stats: 325 yards passing, 3 TDs

This is what the Raiders defense will look like Sunday.

Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis Rams at Oakland Raiders

Last week the Raiders parted like the Red Sea for Chris Johnson so don’t expect any different this week with another elite running back. Jackson should be able to easily get 100 yards and a score.

Projected Stats: 130 yards rushing, TD

Anquan Boldin, WR, Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati D could not slow down Tom Brady and the Pats last week and will have trouble stopping Boldin and Co. with the Ravens. Boldin looked great against a tough Jets secondary last week netting seven catches and 110 yards.

Projected Stats: 8 catches, 120 yards, TD

Honorable Mention: Drew Brees, QB (300 yards, 3 TD), Donovan McNabb, QB (275 yards, 2 TD), Jamaal Charles, RB (125 yards, 2 TD), Ahmad Bradshaw, RB (105 yards, TD), Andre Johnson, WR (11 catches, 130 yards, TD), Chad Ochocinco, WR (7 catches, 90 yards, TD)

The Duds

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions

Don’t be THAT guy who picks up Vick expecting him to be your savior. There’s a reason that Vick was a backup last year and the beginning of this year, he just is not that good. He’s a very speedy, exciting player to watch (sometimes) But does that make him a good fantasy option? No.

Projected Stats: 150 yards passing, 50 yards rushing, TD, INT

Instead of watching Vick on Sunday, just watch him in the coolest commercial of all-time.

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans against Pittsburgh Steelers

CJ is always a must start but this might be the week where you would want to look the other way. The Steelers D is always stifling on opposing running backs and this week will not be any different.

Projected Stats: 22 carries, 68 yards

Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers against New Orleans Saints

Unless he can emerge from Mike Singletary’s doghouse, do not expect this talented receiver to do anything this week. Especially after the 49ers struggles of last week where they did not score a single touchdown.

Projected Stats: 3 catches, 28 yards

Honorable Mention: Vince Young, QB (175 yards passing, TD, 2 INT),  Fred Taylor, RB (14 carries, 38 yards), Ronnie Brown, RB (20 carries, 70 yards), Hines Ward, WR (4 catches, 45 yards), Hakeem Nicks, WR (3 catches, 35 yards)

The Sleeper

All Orton owners hope he doesn't look like this Sunday.

Kyle Orton, QB, Denver Broncos versus Seattle Seahawks

Last week the king of the neck beard had 295 yards through the air a touchdown and interception against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Now against the Seahawks, a worse pass defense, expect positive results in Week 2.

Projected Stats: 250 yards passing, 2 TD

Honorable Mention: Jason Campbell, QB (250 yards, 2 TD), Darren McFadden, RB (100 yards, TD), Malcom Floyd, WR (6 catches, 80 yards, TD)

A letter to Bob Sanders… by justinwhitaker
September 15, 2010, 10:22 am
Filed under: Indianapolis Colts, Justin Whitaker | Tags: , ,

Dear Bob Sanders,

It is with great sadness that I have to write to you in these circumstances. If the rumors are true and your injury in last Sunday’s loss against the Houston Texans knocked you out for the season then I think it is time to part ways with the Colts.

During your short seven-year career, you have been Colts fans favorite player, laying into opponents harder and faster than anyone in the league. But after an injury there, another injury here and then just multiple injuries here and there it would be best for parties to go their separate ways.

Some fans have expressed anger during these past few injury-plagued seasons and I’ll admit, I was one of them. But after Sunday’s injury, it dawned on me that the Houston game will most likely be your last game as a Colt and maybe altogether in the NFL. I just simply feel bad for you. It’s not your fault that your 5-8, 205 wrecking ball of a body has not been able to sustain half the damage you have laid on others. It is truly sad to see someone this talented, this unique have injuries affect their career negatively.

Fans should not be angry with you for any reason though. You have to deal with the pain and surgeries, not us. Lately Colts fans really do not have too much to complain about because quite frankly, it’s been pretty special here since No. 18 arrived.  The biggest issue this preseason with the Colts was about their backup quarterback position. Yes, backup quarterback position. Some teams struggle to find a starter, let alone worry about a backup. When a team’s biggest problem is whether Curtis Painter or Tom Brandstater should be the backup then you know your team is pretty damn good. It is unfortunate that people have expressed anger towards you, but when you see people get worked up about Peyton Manning’s backup what do you expect?

People need to realize that this injury, to your other bicep (not the one that helped cause you to miss all but two games last season) will most likely put an end to your career. These injuries are not from the way you play- it’s the NFL, every defense plays and hits hard (expect yours last Sunday). Some teams are a little more physical than others, but in such a hard-hitting game like football, injuries are going to happen. It is just a shame that your body cannot sustain the physicality of this game that I love to watch you play.

Melvin Bullitt has filled in spectacularly for you in your time of injury, playing extremely well. But he is no Bob Sanders. He does not put the fear of God into opposing wide receivers or running backs like you do. Teams made gameplans trying to neutralize you, they don’t for Melvin. The Colts are a different defense with you on the field, they play faster, hit harder just completely motivated by your play. I remember the monumental 180 this defense turned in the 2006 postseason when you came back. You helped Larry Johnson turn into “Grandmama” and you hit harder than the Ravens in route to the Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears.

Bob, unfortunately Colts fans spent more time speculating about when you would be back on the field more than actually seeing you on it. But regardless of the situation, you always had people talking, good or bad.

A supportive and concerned fan,

Justin Whitaker

Week 1 Fantasy Football Preview by justinwhitaker

By Justin Whitaker

It is finally time.

After the worst waiting period in sports, the regular season of the NFL starts up this weekend.

For most football fans this means making your first selections for your fantasy football team. I’m here to help give advice and insight into your picks.

Just so it is known that I am not the biggest schmuck, I have been playing fantasy football for about eight years and have been fairly good at it. Every public league that I’ve played in, I have been successful. The league with buddies is more competitive, but I have never sucked. My career fantasy highlight would be going 14-1 in 2008 with the lone loss coming by a single point.

But enough about me, here are some studs, duds and sleepers for the week!

(With last night’s fantasy no-show from the Vikings and Saints, they’ll be excluded from this list)

The Studs

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers at Philadelphia Eagles

In what could possibly be the best game of the week, Rodgers has a field day in this high scoring track meet. He is everyone’s preseason MVP pick (almost everyone’s) and should showcase his talents against the Philly secondary. Asante Samuel bites more than the four hippos from Hungry Hungry Hippos so there will be some big play possibilities. Rodgers will be a must-start every game this year and he’ll get his fantasy season off in the right direction.

Projected Stats: 300 yards passing, 4 TDs

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans against Oakland Raiders

Saying Chris Johnson is going to have a good game is like saying Brooklyn Decker is gorgeous, it is a no-brainer. It’s not like I’m reaching out on a limb here but last season’s NFL rushing leader should be able to gash the 29th best rushing defense of 2009.  Johnson will show up Sunday much like his quarterback Vince Young does in a strip club, his head on a swivel and ready to fight.

Projected Stats: 130 yards, 2 TDs

Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins

The breakout star of the 2009 season just received a six-year $54 million contract extension and will play like it Sunday night. The Cowboys will look to air it out and as long as Austin stays away from hard-hitting safety LaRon Landry, he’ll be off to making that contract worth it on both ends.

Projected Stats: 110 yards, 2 TDs

Honorable Mention: Philip Rivers (QB), Eli Manning (QB), Frank Gore (RB), Rashard Mendenhall (RB), Brandon Marshall (WR), DeSean Jackson (WR), Dallas Clark (TE), 49ers D/ST

The Duds

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets versus Baltimore Ravens

The last time the Ravens even allowed a 100-yard-rusher was during the finale of M.A.S.H. so don’t look for that to change this week. Once the Jets get close to the goal line, LaDainian Tomlinson might swoop in and steal the TD anyways. Greene will get a fair dose of carries, but with not too much advancement. Sit Greene this week if you can and just wait for him to prey on lesser opponents the rest of the season.

Projected Stats: 18 carries, 60 yards

The first two were just so good!

Lee Evans, WR, Buffalo Bills versus Miami Dolphins

In some cases people give their reasoning for decision making stating, “It’s just business.” Well this is different, this is personal. I will never ever, ever use Lee Evans as a fantasy option. He’s fantasy anthrax. If I had to choose between starting Evans or Rick Allen (one-armed drummer from Def Leppard), I would be picking Allen. There were games two years ago where all I needed was two or three points for a win and Evans would throw up a 1-pointer (2008 Week 16 in 30-23 win over Denver, 2 catches for 19 yards) I recommend never using him, he’s just like watching Spiderman 3, you’ll just be disappointed.

Projected Stats: 1,000’s of angry fantasy players

Honorable Mention: Joe Flacco (QB), Dennis Dixon (QB), Michael Turner (RB), Ahmad Bradshaw (RB), Anquin Boldin (WR), Hines Ward (WR), Dustin Keller (TE), Bears D/ST

The Sleeper

Derek Anderson, QB, Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams

Where are they now? Probably on the end of your local exit ramp holding a sign 'Will work for QB job'

I am apprehensive about this pick, but if there is chance to see if Anderson will be semi-successful this year, then this is week. Last season, the Rams ranked 25th in passing defense and adding Kevin Dockery is not really a game changer. Larry Fitzgerald should be more open than the St. Louis Arc. If Anderson cannot throw through that then maybe it’s time to bring back Jake “The Snake” Plummer from obscurity.

Projected Stats: 225 yards passing, 3 TDs, INT

Honorable Mention: Chad Henne (QB), Alex Smith (QB), Jahvid Best (RB), Jerome Harrison (RB), Michael Crabtree (WR), Malcom Floyd (WR), Kevin Boss (TE), Dolphins D/ST

Fever kick off quest for championship tonight in NYC by justinwhitaker
August 26, 2010, 2:41 pm
Filed under: Indiana Fever, Justin Whitaker | Tags: , , ,

By Justin Whitaker

After backing into the postseason, the Indiana Fever start their bid for a championship tonight against the New York Liberty in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs tonight.

The best-of-three series will determine the better team this season as both spilt the season series 2-2. Indiana (21-13), the No. 3 seed, was the Eastern Conference leader until a late-season slide that included losing their last three games.

New York (22-12) on the other hand enter the playoffs on a hot streak and as the No. 2 seed. In the month of August, the Liberty went 9-1, including two victories over the Fever.

But with the playoffs starting, it’s back to square one. Win two games and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Lose and it’s early vacation for a roster of eleven.

Both teams won a game on the road and home-court advantage might not factor into the equation much. The Fever won their first two matchups by an average of four points, while the Liberty’s average margin of victory was 14.5 points. In their last meeting on Aug. 17 in New York, the Liberty handily defeated the Fever 78-57.

Tamika Catchings averaged 20 points per game in their four matchups. New York’s Cappie Pondexter exploded for a career-high 40 points in their July 18 84-81 loss.

Pondexter is a familiar foe for the Fever as she played against Indiana in the WNBA Finals last season for the Phoenix Mercury. The four-year veteran out of Rutgers had four 20-plus point games in the Finals last postseason. For the Fever, slowing down Pondexter is a must in order to win.

Indiana must also watch out for the streaky scorer, forward Nicole Powell. She went scoreless, shooting 0-for-10 from the field in the July 18 loss. But in the Aug. 3 matchup, Powell played like a completely different player. She led all scorers with 20 points, including 6-for-7 from the three-point line.

For Indiana to win the series, Catchings needs to continue her MVP-like season. This season has arguably been her best season offensively for the player that is usually known more for her defense. She shot career-highs of .484 from the field and .448 from beyond the arc. Catchings’ season average of 18.2 points per game was also the highest in seven years. On top of her scoring, Catchings also averaged 7.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists per game and led the league with 2.26 steals per game.

Game 1 is tonight at 7 p.m. on NBA TV in New York. Game 2 will take place at Conseco Fieldhouse, Sunday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. If necessary, Game 3 will be Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in New York.