Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Carter – Workhorse Wednesday

Offensive Workhorse – Larry Fitzgerald, WR (Ari)

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In my opinion, Larry Fitzgerald deserves the workhorse award every week. I feel like he’s easily among the top 10 wide receivers in the NFL and every week he puts everything he’s got into the game to try and get a win for his team. He has quite a daunting task too, as the Cardinals are a somewhat offensively challenged team. They have all of the pieces, they just need to put them together. Anyways, Fitzgerald had 7 catches for 146 yards and 2 touchdowns. One of those receptions was a 37 yard, over the shoulder grab that placed Arizona on the one yard line. This set up the game winning play in which John Skelton found Early Doucet in the endzone to beat the Eagles 21-17. Now a lot of people look at the struggling Eagles and say, “Well their defense never shows up but their offense is poison.” They have the 11th ranked pass defense which probably isn’t up to par for the players they have, but that doesn’t mean that guys like Asante Samuel and Nnamdi Asomugha aren’t playing lockdown coverage. When you talk about Fitzgerald defenders’ names rarely matter. He’s got the speed, size, and athleticism to beat double and sometimes even triple coverage. I think people overlook and sometimes forget about him, just because of the team he plays for, but I respect number 11 and the effort he shows every week.

Defensive Workhorse – Andre Carter DE (NE)

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It was between Andre Carter and Roman Harper for the defensive workhorse, but I’m certain that the better man won. Seeing as the Patriots have the worst all around defense, I felt like it was worthy that someone from New England stood out. The main reason for his outstanding performance was his franchise record setting 4.5 sacks against the Jets. His previous best sack total was 2.5 at Carolina in 2009 when he was still with the Redskins. The previous Pats record was held by Julius Adams, Tony McGee, and Mike Hawkins. It was Carter’s 3rd game this season with 2 or more sacks and he now leads the team with 9 on the season. Although the Patriots’ pass defense is ranked last, they fair very well against the run. Obviously their struggle against the pass is huge and has cost them so far this season, but to say that they are hopeless is a false assumption. There are plenty of young guys on this defense who will blossom into stars. Kyle Arrington and Devin McCourty are two corners who are going to develop into top notch defenders. Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton, and Brandon Spikes are linebackers who hit hard and play smart, I don’t really like the Patriots but they do have one of my favorite linebacking cores in the NFL. When you take the guys mentioned, and mix them up with a few key veterans like Vince Wilfork, Shaun Ellis, and Andre Carter, they will develop into the defenders that Bill Belichick is looking for. While some people doubt their likeliness of success, I’m just waiting for this defense to start showing they can play with the best, because they can and will.

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NFL Fantasy Football Week 9: Worst of the Worst

QB – Curtis Painter (Ind)

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The replacement for Peyton Manning is hardly even coming close to filling the shoes of the legend. Then again, he’s not expected to win so the Colts can stay in the “Andrew Luck Sweepstakes”. Regardless of the intent, Painter has been pretty horrible as of late. He hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in 3 games and hasn’t thrown for 100 yards in 2 of those. This makes it not so shocking to see Painter at the bottom of the quarterback barrel with 1 fantasy point (ESPN) for the week. Indy plays Jacksonville this week and that’s not good news for the Colts at all as the Jags’ D held the Ravens to only 146 total yards and didn’t give up a first down until Baltimore’s 28th play, in the 3rd quarter.

RB – Chris Johnson (Ten)

This is the second time that Johnson has been on the worst of the worst post, and it isn’t because I have a personal vendetta, it’s because I’m confused and disappointed. This man has been an absolute animal in the past and this year has been, in my opinion, one of the biggest fantasy busts. He finished with just 64 yards and 10 fantasy points (ESPN) this week against the Bengals in his 3rd best fantasy performance of the year. He hasn’t scored a touchdown in the last 3 games and has only 1 game with 100+ rushing yards. This week the Titans play the Panthers, who have given up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs. CJ should have a great game given the opposition, but he’s proven me and the match ups wrong before, so don’t hold your breath.

WR – Dez Bryant (Dal)

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With Miles Austin out for what could be a month, and Roy Williams no longer with the Cowboys, Bryant really needs to step his game up as the primary receiver. His 5 fantasy points (ESPN) this week against the Seahawks was less than impressive yet the Stars are still 4-4 on the season. Bryant only has 1 TD reception in the past month and needs to fill in the empty slot Austin will leave in order to have success through the air. Jason Witten is still a reliable target but you can’t expect Tony Romo to lead a win with his tight end as his only go-to option through the air. Bryant is an extremely talented wide out and has everything it takes to cover up for Austin’s injury, we just need to see the results happen on the field.

TE – Vernon Davis (SF)

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Vernon Davis is one of my favorite tight ends in the game right now. His size, athleticism, and pure talent are extremely deadly. He has been struggling this season, however. He had 2 fantasy points (ESPN) this week against the Redskins and it has been rather reflective of his performance all year. He has only 1 game this season with more than 50 yards and hasn’t caught a touchdown pass in the last 3 games. He hasn’t been used heavily in the endzone with only 3 targets, half of what Michael Crabtree has. Blame Davis as his performance is clearly lacking, yet some of the underachieving could be due to lack of use in situations where he thrives.

Vernon Davis analysis:

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Monday Night Football: Problems, With a Little Bit of Football

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Lately Monday Night Football has really been getting on my nerves. After this Monday night’s game of the Eagles and the Bears, I thought it was time to voice my opinion on the matter. There are several things that are wrong and very aggravating that happen during Monday night games. The first and foremost of the list, THE COMMERCIALS. Commercials are the most annoying aspect of watching TV in general, unless it’s the Super Bowl, but even those are declining in comedic value but that’s a story for another day. We all understand the usual timing for commercials in which we retrieve a beverage, use the restroom, do homework, etc. These slots are during long timeouts, injuries, after points are scored, after a turnover, after a punt, and between quarters. However, there are slots that commercials happen during that simply do not need to happen. If a commercial break happens after points are scored and the kickoff follows, there is no need to run another break after the kick. I understand that before and after the kickoff there are short breaks on the field for the special teams and offense and defense to switch, but there are better things that can happen during the shorter breaks. I’d rather see Jaws, Mike and Jon Gruden in the booth talking about relevant stats, game changing moments, key players, news around the league, and basically anything football related than see more commercials than need be. I do realize that advertising is part of the business world and money is to be made, but there is simply no reason I should sit down to watch football and see more advertisements for cars average people can’t afford and crack sealants, than the actual game. The second, more debatable issue with MNF, is the camera shot choice. I bet we’ve all been in the position where a close play happens or a challenge flag is thrown and we say, “If they show the right angle I’ll be able to tell what happened no problem.” Then, after the instant replay is shown 7 times from 4 different angles, they still don’t play one that gives any sort of evidence which way the call should have gone. Not only close plays, but big plays are sometimes missed. For example, in the game this past week between the Eagles and Bears, the Eagles tried going for a punt fake on a 4th down. While the camera was showing a highlight from the previous play, Mike Tirico was heard yelling frantically that the Eagles came up short, with the camera only switching in time to show the football hitting the turf. We completely missed the play that was extremely close to the Eagles converting the 4th down, either because the crew assumed they were kicking it away, or thought the highlight was more important. These are just some things I found making my blood boil during this week’s MNF game, and felt the need to convey. If you share the same opinions, I feel your pain and you’re not alone.

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NFL Fantasy Football Week 8: Best of the Best

QB – Michael Vick (Phi)

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After losing 4 out of the first 6 games of the season, the Eagles finally bounced back after their bye week to smash the Cowboys. Vick was in fine form as he threw 21 completions on 28 attempts for 279 yards and 2 touchdowns. He ended the day tied with Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford with 24 fantasy points (ESPN) for quarterbacks. This week on Monday Night Football the Eagles face the Bears and their 28th ranked pass defense. Their rushing defense is much better so if Vick can find success through the air early, it can hopefully open up the run. They definitely need the win to stay in contention for the NFC East because the Giants are starting to pull away from the floundering Cowboys and Redskins.

RB – LeSean McCoy (Phi)

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McCoy barely beat Steven Jackson for best running back of the week. McCoy tore up the Cowboys 4th ranked run defense for 185 yards on 30 touches, while punching in 2 touchdowns. He’s been having a pretty good year but the 31 fantasy points (ESPN) he had this week are his highest on the season. Now that the Eagles offensive line has much more unity and cohesion it isn’t surprising that McCoy has 311 yards in his last 2 games, and looking for more against the Bears this week. Like I said for Vick, if the Eagles can exploit the Bears poor pass defense then McCoy might be able to break some good runs, or he can just do what he did against Dallas and make a strong defense look non-existent.

WR – Calvin Johnson (Det)

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Megatron just never stops. He has recorded 100+ yards in the last 4 games and has over 100 yards in 5 out of the 8 games this season. He had 125 receiving yards on 6 receptions with a touchdown against the Broncos going into the bye week and lead all receivers with 18 fantasy points (ESPN). The Lions are on a bye week this week but week 10 they face off against the Bears, there is a trend building. As mentioned, the Bears have the 28th ranked pass defense, which doesn’t bode well for them against either the Eagles or the Lions in the next 2 weeks. Assuming Jahvid Best still isn’t up to par, Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Brandon Pettigrew, and Nate Burleson are more than enough weapons to beat the Bears in the pass game.

TE – Scott Chandler (Buf)

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Chandler is a hit or miss basically every week. He had his second best game of the season with 35 yards and 2 touchdown receptions but it was his first time scoring a TD, recording more than 10 yards, and scoring any fantasy points in the last 4 games. Starting him is a gamble every week, regardless of the opponent. I had him early on in the season and quickly realized the inconsistency and went with someone else. If you have him as your everyday tight end then you might want to either start shopping him or look for a replacement. He’s an especially skeptical start this week against the Jets 7th ranked pass defense as well. Some possible substitutes if they’re open in your league are Jermaine Gresham, Benjamin Watson, and Randy McMichael.

 

Andrew Hedglen speaks on LeSean McCoy’s success against the Dallas Cowboys.

Check out his Fantasy Football blog here.

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NFL Injury Report & Acquisitions; Caption Contest Winner

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T.J. Houshmandzadeh – WR (Oak)

We all know that the Raiders recently picked up Carson Palmer because of the need to replace Jason Campbell who is most likely out for the season with a broken collarbone. Now it looks like there is an ex-Bengal fetish going on in Oakland as they black and silver acquired Houshmandzadeh, former Cincinnati wide receiver and teammate to Palmer. Oddly enough, Houshmandzadeh is no stranger to Raiders’ coach Hue Jackson either. Jackson spent 3 years as the Bengals’ receiving coach, so familiarity may be an advantage. Houshmandzadeh signed a 1 year, $910,000 deal and is looking to continue the success that he and Palmer shared during their 6 years together in Cincinnati. Housh may turn out to be Oakland’s go to receiver as Darrius Heyward-Bey is the only consistent wide out left due to plaguing injuries to Jacoby Ford, and a lack of productivity from Denarius Moore. If Houshmandzadeh is available in your fantasy league I do advise picking him up, but NOT starting him. He is not familiar with the playbook and will most likely not put up insane numbers. However, in the long run, he is a great go-to guy who can catch in traffic and, once settled in, may be a big threat to have.

Darren McFadden – RB (Oak)

The workhorse of the Raiders went into their bye week with a mid-foot sprain. Oakland was confident that he’d return for week 9 but he hasn’t practiced at all this week and left the facility yesterday on crutches with his foot in a boot. Since the Raiders go into week 10 playing the San Diego Chargers on Thursday, it’s a huge possibility that he will take limited snaps, if any at all. From a fantasy standpoint, I advise sitting him out and finding a replacement. Michael Bush is most likely going to be the starting guy come Sunday against Denver, but hopefully McFadden is back to form for week 10 against the Chargers.

Andre Johnson – WR (Hou)

This is one of the most crucial injuries of the season so far. It was expected that Johnson would return this week against the Cleveland Browns, but he has yet to participate in practice this week. He says he still feels tugging in his hamstring when running at a normal pace, so there is no way he’ll be able to hit the gas with no hindering discomfort. The Texans will not push him to play because if something more serious happens they can’t afford to lose him for the remainder of the season. The Browns do have the 5th ranked overall defense so if he returns it will be a huge boost. For those of you still looking for replacements, I highly suggest Early Doucet. He is getting a lot of looks with defenses draped all over Larry Fitzgerald and has established himself as a consistent target in the endzone and between the 20’s. The only risk involved here is that Kevin Kolb has been suffering from a slight toe injury, so this could affect Doucet’s output. Still, if you need a guy to fill in, he’s worth it.

Caption Contest Winner:

After careful consideration and viewing of the entered comments, I have chosen a winner. Congratulations to Kevin Moss at Snapback Rap who came up with the caption, “It’s only awkward, if you make it awkward.” Enjoy the bragging rights and your blog shout out. To see what’s new with underground hip hop visit Kevin’s blog here.

Photo from funnylifestyle.com

“It’s only awkward, if you make it awkward.” – Kevin Moss, Snapback Rap

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Fantasy Football Week 7: Worst of the Worst

QB – Joe Flacco (Bal)

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It’s safe to say that the Ravens offense highly underestimated the Jaguars defense on Monday Night Football. Flacco threw for just 137 yards and 1 TD and a completed pass to himself that resulted in an 8 yard loss. He ended the night with just 7 fantasy points (ESPN), tied for his second lowest point production of the season. He’s my starting quarterback in one my leagues and I only needed him to outscore Maurice Jones-Drew to break a tie and win me the game for the week. He ended up getting 1 less point than MJD (8) and lost me the match up for the week. He should definitely have a better showing this week against Arizona, but then again, he showed you never know what kind of production you’re going to get out of him.

RB РChris Johnson (Ten) 

CJ2K had is worst game of the season against the Texans this week. He had 10 carries for a horrific 18 yards. Houston does have the 7th ranked rush defense in the NFL, which could have had a hand in the pathetic 3 fantasy points (ESPN) that Johnson put up. He only has 1 TD on the season so far and if he doesn’t put up fantastic numbers this week against the Colts’ 31st ranked rush defense then fantasy owners who haven’t already gotten fed up with him might have reason to be nervous.

WR – Dwayne Bowe (KC)

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The “Double DwayneBowe” is one of the most consistent and explosive receivers today. It was disappointing to see him only reel in 6 catches for 76 yards and 7 fantasy points (ESPN). The Raiders only have the 25th pass defense and the Chiefs as a team failed in the passing game. Steve Breaston and Dexter McCluster both performed worse than Bowe and Matt Cassel didn’t throw a TD but did throw 2 picks. They can be thankful their defense showed up, or that the Oakland QBs didn’t. Moving into next week Bowe’s problems might continue as Kansas City faces the 3rd best pass defense in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers. He only had 4 receptions and 1 TD last time they played in week 3 so his success might ride in how well Cassel can perform.

TE – Brandon Pettigrew (Det)

It really does hurt to put Pettigrew on the list this week but it had to happen. He only had 3 fantasy points (ESPN) this week against Atlanta in the Lions second straight loss after starting out undefeated. This could be due to the fact that they are trying different ways to keep the offense productive without Jahvid Best. Look for him to get more looks as he fills the void in the run game. They are trying to work more screens and short passes his way and they go into the week facing a Denver defense that is inconsistent, so it’s a hit or miss situation. I wouldn’t recommend putting all of your trust here, but if you have a tight end who isn’t giving you the production you like, he will be getting better numbers.

In depth analysis of Joe Flacco’s faults from week 7

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Caption Contest; Bill Belichick and Bill Parcells

CAPTION CONTEST

The person who submits a comment with the funniest caption for the below photo will be mentioned in a post on the All Purpose Yards blog. All comments must be submitted by midnight, next Tuesday, November 1. The winner will be announced and congratulated in a post next Thursday, November 3. Good luck to all and looking forward to some funny comments!

Photo from funnylifestyle.com

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