The NFL Rank ‘Em Up: Final Four QBs

July 4, 2011 at 10:56 pm (Sports) (, , , , , , )

Well, I think I’ve made you wait long enough, time to tackle the big names.  The ones that you’ll absolutely need at least a third round pick or, more realistically, a second rounder to grab.  They’ll consistently give you great performances each and every week.  These are the guys who can win championships for you.

I tried to find an image of Peyton Manning, but this was all I could find. Sweet mustache, though.

Peyton Manning would be a little higher than fourth on this list, if he didn’t have that inexplicably bad spell against New England, San Diego, and Dallas.  He’s starting to get a little older, heading into his 13th season.  He’s never been injured in his pro career, but who’s know how long he can keep that up with that high-speed offense, non-existent running game, and developing offensive line.  I still think that he’s almost a lock for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns, I just think that he’s not the best quarterback in the league anymore.

My mancrush on Tom Brady has already been well-established, so I’ll try to describe Brady professionally at #3.  Um…  OK, screw it, fanboy time.  OH MY GOD, TOM BRADY IS THE GREATEST.  He won the MVP Award unanimously last season, he turned Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez into stars, and everybody is saying that Brandon Tate is next on the “future star courtesy of Tom Brady” list.  And what’s really impressive is that he’s this good with a great running game.  Just look at other elite quarterbacks.  Other than Michael Vick (who is practically his own running game), there’s no elite quarterback with as good of a running game as New England’s.  Brady still has at least three good years left in him, and I believe he’ll throw for 8,000 YARDS AND 75 TOUCHDOWNS!!!!  Excuse me, that got out of hand.  Anyway, Brady should have a great season again, barring another injury.  Whew, that got a little scary for a second.

At the runner-up spot is New Orleans QB Drew Brees.  Drew is starting to remind me of Peyton Manning of five years ago.  Consistently throwing for 4,000+ yards and 25+ touchdowns, with an elite receiving corps, and a freshly drafted late-first round SEC running back.  I think that with Mark Ingram on the roster, New Orleans will finally have a good running back that can keep defenses honest, which means that Drew Brees could be even better this season.  That’s a scary thought, but I like Drew’s chances this season.

Yes, Aaron. You won the NFL Rank 'Em Up: Quarterback Edition. Now could you please explain to me the point of that belt?

Which means that my #1 QB on this list is Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.  Simply put, he has the best chance to be the best quarterback in the NFL this season.  A returning Ryan Grant and James Starks mean that defenses have to stay honest most of the time.  A returning JerMichael Finley means that Rodgers will have another yet target in his ever expanding receiver corps.  A newly drafted Derek Sherrod means that Aaron won’t get knocked down as much.  Rodgers is in a very good position, and if it weren’t for the concussion that he got last season, I’d say that he has no downside.  But if you want Rodgers, it will cost you.  You’ll have to give up an early 2nd round pick for Rodgers, if you’re lucky.  But, it could be worth it, if Rodgers turns into the superstar I think he’ll be.

And that’s it for the quarterbacks.  In a few days, I’ll give you the #48-41 running backs in the NFL.

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Feeling Drafty #24: New Orleans Saints

April 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm (Sports) (, , , , , , , , )

The consistency this guy shows is simply ridiculous. Drew Brees ran away with New Orleans Team MVP.

Even though I’ve said before that Chicago is my favorite team, I’ll lived in Louisiana all my life.  That philosophy hasn’t always been a good one for me, since I like all of the Chicago teams.  Remember when the Bears defeated the Saints in the 2007 NFC Championship Game.  How about when the White Sox beat the Astros in the World Series?  Guess who that didn’t end well for?

Everyone knows that the hardest thing to do in football is to pull a repeat.  And in case, you haven’t heard, the Saints had a big loss in the playoffs.  Besides shocking losses to Arizona and Cleveland, the Saints had a pretty good season.  They went 11-5, and made the playoffs again (as a wild card), but lost in a shocking upset to the Seahawks (more on that tomorrow).

Drew Brees was still scorching defenses, going for his 5th straight season with at least 4,400 passing yards and 25 touchdowns.  (That has to be a record, right?)  Let me ask you, if San Diego could have a re-do, would they take Drew Brees or Philip Rivers?  Tough decision, but I’d give the nod to Brees.

New Orleans’ running back situation is as confusing and convoluted as ever.  Reggie Bush was injured a lot, ineffective, overpaid, and probably will be leaving The Big Easy.  Pierre Thomas was injured even more, but at least when he was on the field, he was effective.  Christopher Ivory broke out this season as an undrafted free agent.  Ladell Betts and Julius Jones were hanging around picking up carries.  You can’t describe the New Orleans running game without including the word “cluster”.

And how about the receivers for this team.  Marques Colston was the most consistent receiver on this team, but he still had his off games.  Every year, it seems as though a different receiver jumps from the #4 receiver to the #2 receiver.  This year, it was Lance Moore.  The #4 receiver this season was Devery Henderson, so if you want a deep sleeper, Henderson could be the guy.  Robert Meachem is still there, so keep an eye on him.  But, next season’s breakout for the Saints will probably be Jimmy Graham, he had a good second half of the season, and now Jeremy Shockey is like Jim Croce and has “Carolina on his mind”.  Keep an eye on him, too.

This little-known big man, Muhammad Wilkerson, will be a welcome addition to a strengthening Saints D-line.

With all of this talk of New Orleans’ offense, the defense is the side that needs the help.  Even though the Saints recently picked up former Cleveland DT Shaun Rogers, I think the Saints will draft Temple DT Muhammad Wilkerson.  If you haven’t heard of this guy, don’t feel bad, you’re not the only one, he’s a bit under the radar.  But, he racked up 70 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 9.5 sacks.  Questions are around concerning the level of competition that he went up against, since he was competing in the “ultra-competitive” MAC, but those questions always come up for small-school prospects.  (Also, I think he’ll switch to DE with the addition of Shaun Rogers.)

That’s it for the teams that got eliminated in the wild card round.  Tomorrow, Seattle, the first team with a losing record to win their division.  Yay, for them.

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My Chris Johnson Moment

August 12, 2010 at 5:20 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , )

Anyone who plays fantasy football knows that there is usually one player who is, hands down, the must-have player.  He’s usually the first pick and if you’re lucky enough to get that #1 pick, you essentially have a lock on the best player in the game.  If you have the #2 pick, there is a chance that he might fall to you, if the guy ahead of you over-thinks the decision, but if you’re beyond the third overall pick, there’s almost no chance of getting him.

Almost.

Earlier this year, I was taking part in a 20-player fantasy draft (Some people would ask, “Who would do something like that?”, apparently, me and 19 other people).  I had the sixth overall pick, which meant not only would I not get the best player, Chris Johnson, but I also probably wouldn’t get one of the big four fantasy players, Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Maurice Jones-Drew, or Ray Rice.  So leading into the draft, I had to decide who I would have to settle on.  “Frank Gore is pretty good.  Andre Johnson will probably be there.  Michael Turner will give me solid numbers.”

So, the draft got started and me and 18 other players, waited with anxiety as we waited for the first overall pick.  And when it came in, me and 18 other players saw “Round 1: Pick 1: QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis”.  Peyton Manning?  We were in a 20 team draft, so quarterbacks would be scarce later in the draft, but Peyton Manning with the first pick?  We were all thinking quietly to ourselves, what was he thinking, but then we moved on to the second pick.

Round 1: Pick 2: RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota

Okay, back to sanity.  Adrian is one of the best players in our game, and he’ll have a ton of touchdowns, but I was curious as to why he didn’t get Chris Johnson.

Round 1: Pick 3: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville

Again, no Chris Johnson, but Jones-Drew is no slouch either, so nobody really questioned this pick.

Round 1: Pick 4: QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

Cue massive second-guessing. Another quarterback? That’s two out of the first four! But then I realized that now I was guaranteed to get one of the Big Four!  I didn’t have to settle for Gore or Turner or Andre Johnson! I would be able to get Ray Rice, because there was no chance that the guy with the fifth overall pick would pass up Chris Johnson. I mean, he only set the NFL record for scrimmage yards, became the sixth running back to run for over 2,000 yards in a season, and destroyed every Tennessee rushing record in the book.  Who could this guy possibly pick other than Chris Johnson?

Round 1: Pick 5: QB Drew Brees, New Orleans

Oh.  Three quarterbacks in the first five picks.  I am clearly surrounded by people who have never played this game before. But, then it hit me.  Chris Johnson was still on the board.  I almost didn’t want to pick him because I felt like I was taking advantage of the other players for effectively stealing the best player in the draft. But if I did that then I would be no better than the other five players who foolishly passed up this guy. So…

Round 1: Pick 6: RB Chris Johnson, Tennessee

Finally, the big man was off the board.  I’ll bet that the guy with the 7th pick was praying that Chris Johnson would somehow fall to him, but he did walk away with a pretty good consolation prize, Ray Rice, the last of the Big Four.

Oddly enough, not only was my first round pick interesting, but also my final round pick:

Round 25: Pick 486: CB, Chris Johnson, Oakland

For most people, getting Chris Johnson would not only make their draft, but their entire fantasy season. I got two Chris Johnsons, how about that.

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