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)

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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)



Fantasy Football has completely changed my sunday allegiances by matthudson14
September 24, 2010, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Matt Hudson, NFL | Tags:

By Matt Hudson

Last summer, when I was interning at ESPN Radio, the topic of fantasy football was broached while on the air.  I didn’t have very strong feelings about it, having never played it, and not really knowing anyone that was too serious about it.  Yet from observing from afar, it kind of felt like Guitar Hero originally felt to me – something for wannabes to do to make them feel like they were a part of something greater.  

When we talked about it on the air, one of our producers made the mistake of saying that fantasy football was for losers.  The dozens of people who called in soon thereafter could not have disagreed more.  Yet their passion for “Dungeons and Dragons for jocks” was still not enough to get me interested. 

This year, I still had reservations about it, because I wasn’t sure I would want to take any time setting up, and then following a team.  Then came the draft, complete with rookies, sleepers, and Ben Roethlisberger in the later rounds, and I actually started to care.  Now, I’m addicted.  And the strange part about it all is that it has completely altered the way I watch football on Sundays.  Normally, I watch the entire Colts game, bits and pieces of others, and highlights on NFL Network or ESPN. 

Now, every game that a player of mine is involved in, I’m watching as intently as a virgin watches his computer screen on a Saturday night.  Michael Vick may have been exciting before, but try watching him when your fantasy livelihood is on the line.  And even though fantasy football has increased my interest in NFL games I would normally be indifferent to, part of it bothers me – the part that has me rooting for players on San Diego and New England.  

I tried my best to avoid picking players on teams that I hate, but could I really pass up Ryan Mathews in the 5th round?  Looking back, I wish I had.  But in fantasy football, you have to be objective, not only picking players for teams that you like, but also teams that you despise. 

The good news is, I didn’t draft anyone on the Jets, so I can continue hating them.  It really is awkward though.  Like last weekend, I picked up New England’s defense because I figured after week one, Mark Sanchez was good for at least three interceptions.  So in a game in which I would normally be rooting for a tie, I was rooting my ass off for New England, a team that I’ve hated without reservation for a decade.  And not only did New England not win, but their defense got me one freakin’ point.  I should have known never to root for the Patriots. 

And as much as I’ve hated the Chargers, Jets, Steelers, and New England over the course of the years, I have found myself hating Jahvid Best, C.J. Spiller, and the Falcons’ medical staff more than any of those teams in the past couple weeks.

As much as it bothers me rooting for teams that I don’t like, the added advantage of fantasy football is that if your favorite football team loses that week, your fantasy team can still be your saving grace.  I couldn’t have been more pissed off about how the Colts game went in week one, yet, my fantasy team won, so my weekend wasn’t a total loss.  Is that bad? 

Is it bad that I want to see a convicted felon put up better numbers than Peyton Manning?  Is it bad that I was a little bit happy to see Hakeem Nicks score at the end of the Colts game?  Is it bad that I’d rather hang out with Matthew Berry than Halle Berry?  6 weeks ago, I would have said yes to all of those.  But now, I have a league to win. 

Maybe my observations are five years late.  Maybe everyone already knew everything I just said.  Maybe you already hate Jahvid Best as much as I do.  But ultimately, it’s just a game, and at the end of the day, we still go back to rooting for our favorite team over our fantasy team.  Right?



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)



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



DO’S AND DONT’S OF FANTASY FOOTBALL SEASON (PART TWO) by dustinlytle

By: Dustin Lytle

A couple weeks ago, I wrote an article entitled “DO’S AND DONT’S OF FANTASY FOOTBALL SEASON (PART ONE)” In which I wentinto five “do’s” of fantasy football. This is to serve as an additional reference to anyone who is fairly new to the game or looking for new ideas. My article this week is a list of “don’ts” in fantasy football. The goal of this article is to keep you from making mistakes that occur in fantasy football that most people make on a consistent basis. These are based on my experiences playing fantasy football over the years and I believe will help players who are looking for some more insight. I have picked five separate topics than those mentioned in the previous article.

Five Don’ts for Fantasy Football:

  • Don’t draft more players at one position than you need. I see this mistake happen every year. It seems logical in theory, but rarely pans out when all is said and done. The “brilliant” strategy of drafting four running backs in the first five rounds is usually a perilous one. Rarely is someone in your same league going to offer you a reasonable deal for one of these running backs. The only way it happens is if A) You have a schmuck in your league that doesn’t know any better, or B) Someone in your league has both of their starters go down and doesn’t find waiver-wire pickups to supplement until the injured players return. The first scenario is the more likely one as there always seem to be waiver-wire pickups each week, especially at running back. Either way, it is not worth the risk, when you will most likely get nothing significant in return.
  • Don’t start a player because of his name. If Reggie Wayne is going against someone like Revis (Assuming he plays), don’t start him unless you have to. It’s not worth the risk of getting 5 points, when your next best guy is a guaranteed 12-15 point play. It sounds ludicrous but I see it almost every week.
  • Don’t listen to every fantasy football “analyst”, including your friends. The numbers aren’t that hard to find and the match-ups are fairly easy to see. The difference in many cases between winning and losing is going with what YOU believe is right. If you think that starting Beanie Wells over AP is going to win you the game because Beanie is going against the Lions and AP is going against the Steelers, go for it.
  • Don’t draft a Defense unless a great one is available to you in the last round. It sounds foolish, but unless your league makes you draft a player at each starting position, it does not make sense to draft a defense, when all but a very select few defenses (3-4 a year tops) positively differ from the rest points-wise at the end of the year. In other words, drafting the Colts defense in the last round when you could have drafted someone who will make an impact. Three weeks into the season, that team you would have drafted will probably be on the waiver-wire. Just as reinforcement to this point, these players were drafted in the last round of my fantasy football league’s draft last year: Ricky Williams (2nd pick in the round), Jamaal Charles (6th pick in the round) and Pierre Garcon (last pick of the draft). Those players finished the season as fantasy starters; Williams and Charles as key players on fantasy teams. I’m just sayin.
  • Don’t forget to check the injury status before kickoff. By before kickoff, I mean like 12:55PM before a 1PM game. Some teams don’t release the information until right before kickoff and others don’t release it until the player steps on to the field to play. This could very well mean the difference between a W and an L if you don’t play this smart. If someone is questionable, I won’t play them. If they are probable and there has been no talk of him missing the game, I play them. Of course there are almost-always some fluke performances by injured players or bogus injuries listed, but it is better to be safe than sorry when deciding whether to start a player who may not play.

I hope these two articles have helped some of you out, and I look forward to writing more fantasy football articles as the season comes along.



Football Season Begins, Finally by kentsterling
August 11, 2010, 1:52 pm
Filed under: College Football, NFL | Tags:

by John Miller

As an IU student there is very little my life consists of during football season.  Go to class during the week (or at least try to), play basketball in the evening at the HPER, and watch lots of football on weekends.  The football season also means an end to a rather boring period in sports.  I personally could watch baseball, golf, and NASCAR (yes, I’m from Indiana) all day, but for the common viewer it can seem like nothing is happening.  Football is the one sport the entire country seems to love.  Whether it’s going to the local high school game on Fridays, drinking beer and tailgating on Saturdays for your favorite college team, or lounging on the couch and not moving for 12 hours on Sunday while you sit in front of your biggest TV, football provides interest for everyone.  There are three things that make me excited as we are nearing football season: the Colts, the Hoosiers, and fantasy football.

Football season means I get to go around and tell all my friends how good Indiana is going to be this year.  Heck, I do this every year and one of these years it will actually happen.  The Hoosiers are going to score a ton of points and they are going to give up a ton of points.  I always like to focus on the plus side of things, however, and I think I can smell roses!  Here are a few strengths the Hoosiers have:

  1. Wide Receivers:  The Hoosiers provide the best top to bottom wide receiving core in the Big 10.  They return two very productive juniors in Tandon Doss and Demarlo Belcher, recruiting prize of the 2009 class Duwyce Wilson, and a steady senior to groom the young receivers in Terrance Turner.  Look for Doss to continue his tear from 2009 in which he caught 77 passes for 962 yards and 5 touchdowns.  He is being picked by many to be a first team all Big 10 receiver. Wilson is poised to be one of the top freshmen in the conference if he gets enough balls thrown his way, and he should plying alongside Doss and Belcher and having Ben Chappell throwing him the ball.
  2. Ben Chappell:  Chappell will lead the Hoosiers as the starting quarterback again this season and will look to use his senior leadership and solid arm to propel IU to a bowl game.  Ben had a very solid season last year and is primed to deliver again.  The one downside to Chappell was summed up perfectly by head coach Bill Lynch earlier this summer, “Ben runs like a dry creek”.  After being spoiled watching Kellen Lewis make it look easy running down the field and leaving defenders in the dust. It’s a change of pace from what the team usually looks for in a QB as IU emphasizes team speed.  That very well may change next year as redshirt freshman Edward Wright-Baker will likely handle the reigns as the new starting quarterback.  We should get to see EWB this season in the “Wild Hoosier” (wildcat)..  He has a nice blend of speed and size and will help the team on short yardage situations.
  3. New Facilities for Recruiting:  The new horseshoe end zone and incredible weight room have recruits really paying attention to Indiana.  The new scoreboard they are installing should only help things as well.  It is going to be 36 feet high and 91 feet wide and will be one of the top 10 largest in the country and second in the Big 10 behind only Minnesota.  These changes has allowed IU to have 21 kids already committed for the 2011 class including two Rivals 4-star recruits and Rivals top 250 in ATH Raymon Taylor from Michigan and LB Zach Shaw from Ohio.  To this day the Hoosiers have never signed a Rivals 4-star, so let’s keep our fingers crossed they do not decommit. The new found attention to football at IU has to be credited to Fred Glass.  Glass has gone beyond expectations as the Athletic Director and from a student’s standpoint is a great guy.  He walks up and down the stairways at games greeting the IU students and thanking them for coming out to watch.  It’s easy to see the guy really cares about Hoosier athletics.

I look forward to joining the blogging staff here and hearing all of your comments and opinions.  As a footnote, I created three different fantasy football pick’em leagues that everyone is free to join.  I want to share my excitement for the upcoming season and this will give bragging rights to determine who really knows what they’re talking about around here (it’s probably not me).  The three leagues are through Yahoo! (it’s very simple to create an account if you do not have one).  Just click on the hyperlink and then click join custom group once the page loads.  Enter the information for particular leagues as follows:

NFL Pick’Em – Simple, create a team and pick the winners of the games each week.  Just need to have the picks submitted 5 minutes before kickoff of the particular game begins.

LEAGUE ID# – 6219                        PASSWORD- football

http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/pickem

NFL Pick’Em Against the Spread – Same as above except you are picking against the point spread.  This makes every game basically a 50/50 and should be very challenging.  Same rules apply as the NFL Pick’Em as far as submitting picks.

LEAGUE ID# – 6222                        PASSWORD- football

http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/pickem

NCAA Pick’Em – Headliner games, AP Top 25 games, and all Big 10 games will be picked.  Just create a team and pick the winners.

LEAGUE ID# – 2547                        PASSWORD- football

http://football.fantasysports.yahoo.com/college