Week 1 NFL Fantasy Rankings

by LaDonna Williams

QB’s

  1. Ben Roethlisberger            at Was
  2. Andrew Luck                        vs Det
  3. Aaron Rodgers                     at Jac
  4. Russell Wilson                      vs Mia
  5. Cam Newton                         at Den
  6. Eli Manning                           at Dal
  7. Carson Palmer                     vs NE
  8. Drew Brees                            vs Oak
  9. Brock Osweiler                     vs Chi
  10. Derek Carr                             at NO

QBs to stay away from

Whoever starts for the 49ers. Blaine Gabbert or Colin Kaepernick have not proven they are going to have an outstanding season this year. You might not want them on your team at all.

Tannehill playing against Seattle. The blitzing defense and Sherman is regarded as one of the best shutdown cornerbacks. Thomas the best safety for tackling, coverage and helps defensive backs line up in correct places.

RB’s

  1. Todd Gurley                       at SF
  2. Lamar Miller                      vs Chi
  3. Adrian Peterson               at Ten
  4. David Johnson                   vs NE
  5. Ezekiel Elliott                     vs NYG
  6. Eddie Lacy                           at Jac
  7. Deangelo Williams           at Was
  8. Devonta Freeman             vs TB
  9. LeSean McCoy                    at Bal
  10. Doug Martin                        at Atl

Reason Jamaal Charles isn’t on the list due to his unknown status for the game. Spencer Ware will get the ball, if Charles is out.

RB’s to stay away from

SF Carlos Hyde that line has major issues.

CJ Anderson, who had a mediocre season last year, will not have awesome game against Carolina. Although, Carolina defense wasn’t the best against the run last season. They will get the job done on Thursday.

Jeremy Langford wouldn’t be a good start either. They are playing the Texans and they have one of the best run defenses in the league.

 

WR’s

  1. Julio Jones                        vs TB
  2. Antonio Brown               at Was
  3. DeAndre Hopkins          vs Chi
  4. Dez Bryant                        vs NYG
  5. Odell Beckham                 at Dal
  6. Amari Cooper                   at NO
  7. Jordy Nelson                     at Jac
  8. AJ Green                              at NYJ
  9. Allen Robinson                 vs GB
  10. Brandon Marshall            vs Cin

WR’s to stay away from

Victor Cruz, he is just coming back from injury. He will be a little rusty.

Demaryius Thomas the biggest reason his QB. Trevor Siemian isn’t Peyton nor has he had a snap in the NFL.

Josh Gordon, who hasn’t played since 2014, will be suspended for the first game.

TE’s

  1. Rob Gronkowski       at Ari
  2. Jordan Reed                vs Pit
  3. Greg Olsen                  at Den
  4. Travis Kelce                 vs SD
  5. Gary Barnidge            at Phi
  6. Julius Thomas             vs GB
  7. Delanie Walker          vs Min
  8. Coby Fleener               vs Oak
  9. Zach Ertz                      vs Cle
  10. Jason Witten               vs NYG

TE’s to stay away from

Zach Miller, I see Orton doing horrible against Texans defense. Miller may get the ball just because a double team against Jeffery but not a significant amount.

Any tight end from the Jets… plain and simple they are all horrible.

 

Defense

  1. Panthers           at Den
  2. Seattle               vs Mia
  3. Vikings              at Ten
  4. Rams                   at SF
  5. Green Bay          at Jac
  6. Denver                vs Car
  7. Arizona               vs NE
  8. Houston              vs Chi
  9. Bengals                at NYJ
  10. Patriots                at Ari

Kickers

  1. Stephen Gostkowski             at Ari
  2. Chandler Catanzaro             vs NE
  3. Steven Hauschka                  vs Mia
  4. Mason Crosby                        at Jac
  5. Graham Gano                         at Den
  6. Dan Bailey                               vs NYG
  7. Justin Tucker                           vs Buf
  8. Blair Walsh                              vs Ten
  9. Chris Boswell                           at Was
  10. Adam Vinatieri                       vs Det

Enough Is Enough

by Brian Jones

On Tuesday, the NFL announced that 4 players would potentially face an indefinite suspension in relation to the league’s investigation into an Al-Jazeera report that named five players that had taken banned substances without the league’s knowledge. 

The players involved are basically being strong-armed into cooperating with the NFL. I don’t think the players should do that at all. Under no circumstances should they go along with this.

The original report was filled with errors and inconsistencies and the reporter recanted 100% of everything in their report and the story was eventually pulled altogether. They apologized for doing it and for bringing the players into this and that should have been the end of it. Roger Goodell and the powers that be don’t see it that way.

Problem here is that the NFL is pursuing and threatening to suspend James Harrison (who has been extremely outspoken on the matter), Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers and Mike Neal over an inaccurate and since withdrawn story that wasn’t based on facts. This investigation by the league shouldn’t have been initiated to begin with.

This has become regular business at 345 Park Avenue as of late. Threatening and suspending players on the basis of opinion and hyperbole without having actual facts? Really? I’m personally not surprised by this at all. You can look no further than Tom Brady and the Deflategate drama for an example.

Brady was basically pursued (legally, mind you) and, yes, suspended on the basis of a Wells Report that stated that Brady was involved – or as the report said, “more probable than not” – with deflating footballs. Not to make this into a bigger debate or issue but the NFL never actually had solid, lockdown evidence that Brady was “beyond a reasonable doubt” guilty. He was suspended without actual factual evidence.

There’s no evidence here that beyond a reasonable doubt (or again, any factual evidence available) that any of these four men did anything, literally did anything. No evidence is present here. You’re going after these men, their reputations and careers on the premise that a since recanted news report that was a sham to being with. That being known now means this needed to be dropped and left alone.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. The Collective Bargaining Agreement has armed Goodell with the power to be the judge, jury and executioner – and the players agreed to it! They had the opportunity during the most recent lockout to take that power away and didn’t do it. Period, simple as that. A ten-year agreement was signed with the players’ blessing and this provision wasn’t argued or fought to have the power thrown out. This has to stop. The sooner, the better.

Goodell was allowed to strong-arm Brady, he’s being allowed to strong-arm these four players and he’ll continue to do it to others until his powers are removed or modified. Brady eventually caved and had to take his suspension and now these four are going to have to eventually cave as well. Goodell has been even more empowered by the ruling in the Deflategate case and also by a ruling in the league’s favor in the Adrian Peterson case. The deck is clearly stacked in the NFL’s favor.

No other commissioner in any of the other North American major sports has this much power. Until Goodell has his power taken away or reduced he will continue to abuse and use it as he sees fit. Enough is enough. The NFLPA and the players themselves need to get on the same page and make this happen before the next baseless situation or case comes along and Roger Goodell and the NFL rules with their iron fist once again. If that means modifying or adding some language to the CBA or taking away his power altogether, they need to do it. Whatever it takes.

Image result for roger goodell

Realistically, this won’t happen but they need to band together to at least give it a try. They owe it to themselves to try and make this happen. If they don’t and keep things as they are this policy of punishing players without legitimate or actual evidence will continue to be enforced. The players and the union constantly complain about Goodell, his power and how unfair he is and has been. They say they want change. Now is as good a time (and this as good a reason and cause) to step up and do something about this

NFL Weekly Review of Aug 1st-7th.

By LaDonna Williams

What a week in the NFL pre-season this week. This blog will be a weekly round-up of what has happened in the NFL every week.  Let’s take a look at key injuries that happened within the past week.

  • On July 28th, Browns defensive lineman Desmond Bryant out for the season after tearing his pectoral muscle.
  • On Aug 1st, Chargers wide receiver Stevie Johnson tore his meniscus, his season is doubtful. We won’t know his timetable until he has surgery.
  • On Aug. 2nd, Steelers cornerback Senquez Golson season ended before it even started. He had surgery at the end of July, on his shoulder. He will be out for the rest of the year.
  • On Aug 3rd, Cowboys backup quarterback Kellen Moore broke his ankle and he is more than likely done for the season.
  • On Aug 4th, Bengals William Jackson tore his pectoral muscle his season is done, but Coach Marvin Lewis is hoping otherwise.
  • On Aug 5th, Redskins linebacker Steven Daniels tore his labrum (shoulder) he is out for the season. Ravens defensive end Bronson Kaufusi broke his ankle, done for the season.
  • On Aug 7th, Bills linebacker Reggie Ragland went down with an injury to his knee. The Bills haven’t released to the public the severity of the injury yet, but they already signed Brandon Spikes to the team. This injury doesn’t sound good for the rookie.

 

Things that make you go hmm?


What is going on in San Diego? The season starts in a month and they still haven’t signed their number 3 pick Joey Bosa. The talks between the two are at a stalemate. He is the last NFL draft pick to be signed in the NFL.

For the last few weeks there have been articles stating the Los Angeles Rams couldn’t find their running back Tre Mason. Family member were worried about his mental well-being. Over this weekend Mason was found at his mother’s house in Florida.

Key moves around the NFL

The Atlanta Falcons signed veteran pass rusher Dwight Freeney. The Falcons needed this pickup, because the team as a whole had the lowest number of sacks (19) out of the whole league.  They also signed veteran wide receiver Lance Moore.

The Kansas City Chiefs signed quarterback Nick Foles to a one-year deal. Foles is reunited with Coach Andy Reid, who drafted him to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Hall of Fame Weekend

This past weekend was the Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, Ohio. On Saturday, we all saw the 2016 class give their speeches and receiver their gold jackets. This year’s class included coach Tony Dungy, Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Kevin Greene, Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel.

On Sunday, the Hall of Fame Game between Green Bay Packers Vs Colts was cancelled. The game was cancelled due to poor field conditions. What happened was someone painted the center of the field with the incorrect paint. Made the field feel hard and made it dangerous. The NFL cancelled the game, because they were afraid of player’s safety.

 Check out next week’s blog for this week’s updates on what is happening in the NFL.

 

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Jared “Abracadabra”deris Puts on a Magic Show in Practice on Saturday 

Green Bay fans where ecstatic a few years back, when Packers General Manager Ted Thompson dipped into the local talent pool and selected Wisconsin Badger alumni,  Jared Abbrederis in the 5th round of the 2014 draft.

After watching him consistently shred rival defenses in the Big Ten, the Packers faithful had high hopes for the young wide receiver as he prepared to trade in the “Red and White” for the “Green and Gold.”

Those hopes dimmed a bit after his rookie season was lost to injury, and Packers fan waited anxiously for him to get a chance in his second season. As expected, those hopes  flared up again momentarily his sophomore year until he was hurt again.

Just when it seemed hope was gone…

Fans started murmuring that Abby probably wouldn’t even make the roster, until ironically, another injury may just saved his chances to remain a Packer.

When Green Bay star, Jordy Nelson, tore an ACL, the Packers needed all the receivers they could get. All of a sudden Abbrederis’ future looked bright, until he managed only 9 receptions, for 111 yards all season.

Just when it seemed hope was gone, the Packers wide receiver group wore thin again due to injuries in the playoff game against the Cardinals, and Rodgers was forced to target Abby 12 times. Even though the young receiver was only able to snag 4 of those passes, each one of them went for a first down, and Abbrederis finally got some national attention. 

With Nelson coming back healthy this season, and the Packers drafting another receiver in the 2016 draft, it looked once again like Abbrederis was about to become the odd man out on a roster loaded with receiving talent.

Then training camp started and after watching a couple of others guys show off their stuff in the first few days, the third year pro decided it was his turn to steal the show.

During an 11 on 11 period, Rodgers hit Abbrederis with a slant pass that he snagged and finished off with a solid run.

There’s always something you can improve on.

When the practice moved to red-zone drills, an area the Packers offense struggled with last season, Abbrederis hauled in multiple touchdowns, including a spectacular catch to save a potentially bad throw from Rodgers.

When asked about his day, the receiver responded with his trademarked humility. 

“It was an OK day,” Abbrederis said. “I left one out there, so as a competitor, that’s what you think of. You don’t really think of all the good plays, but you think of what you can do more. There’s always something you can improve on.”

After the luck he’s had so far in his young career, that is the perfect mentality to have, for a guy who’s knows at this point he’s not even guaranteed a roster spot.

However, if he keeps putting in work, he will definitely win over the hearts of his coaching staff and quarterback the same way he did with his many fans years ago.

If that happens, defensive backs all over the league would be wise to take notice…

that the magic show is about to begin.

Do all championships matter?

January 15th, 1967
Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi enjoy a cigar together. They have just won their 4th championship together, it’s a back to back championship  (they would 3-peat a year later) they had just won a game they had considered a formality. To us now it was a way more important game. It was Superbowl I. This date divides NFL fans like no other. Imagine what Vince and Bart would have thought if this game, that meant so little to them at the time, would matter more then the 3 championships they had already won. That this one was more real then then the one they had won just the year before.

…do all championships deserve to be counted in any sport?

In 2020, just 4 years from now, the NFL will celebrate it’s 100th anniversary. That NFL season will crown a champion at Superbowl LVI  (56). That leaves 44 championships that happened before the Superbowl. Do those presuperbowl championships count? This question divides many NFL fans. If you enjoy a good argument go to a group with a Packer fan (the NFL leader with 13 if you count presuperbowl) and a Steelers fan (the NFL leader if you only count Superbowls with 6) and ask them if championships count before the Superbowl era. 

This begs the question; do all championships deserve to be counted in any sport? Should we count World Series titles from before the league was integrated? NBA championships from before the NBA and ABA merged? Stanley cups from the original 6 days? College football National Champs from before the playoff system (or before the BCS)? Any heavy weight boxing champion since Lenox Lewis? 

Here’s the argument for why they shouldn’t count in the various sports. 

Baseball

So we can talk about how pitchers pitched in 3 and 4 man rotations on 3 day rest. Or how there was no such thing as specialized relief pitchers, set-up men, or closers. Let’s focus on the integration of the league. 

Stars like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson would have dominated in any league or era. Had they not been stuck in the negroe leagues, how many MLB records would these two hold? How much would the influx of these stars affect who won world series? How can you say you’re the World Champs if half the best players in the world play in a different league?

Basketball 

Which  NBA team drafted drafted Dr.J? The Milwaukee Bucks. Thing is he signed with a team from the ABA. As did so many of the stars of basketball. The two leagues champions both can legitimately claim to be the world champs. They didn’t play each other so who is the true champ?

Hockey 

Six teams. “6.” How can you call yourself the champion of anything in a 6 team league?

College Football

Here’s the one the argument is easiest. Before the BCS sportswriters just picked a champ. The top 4 teams rarely had played each other in the season. There were multiple champions in several seasons. There were years that a one lose team was champ over an undefeated team. 

Even the BCS era can be debated. Could the 2007 Florida Gators really have beaten the USC squad thats almost entire defense has made a nfl pro bowl? How can anyone justify having the championship game being two teams from the same division of the same conference? 

The NFL

Really there is no reason other then calling it the superbowl to start counting then. It started at the end of the second Packer dynasty, how can you say that the 66 or 67 Packers are intrinsically better then the 65 or 63 Packers? Many will tell you 1932 is the true start of modern football. You can make the argument that football wasn’t the game we know until 1981, when the west coast offense proved that a pass first offense can win, and transformed the league from a running back driven league to a quarterback driven league. You can even argue that nothing before 1993 and fee agency really can count. Deion Sanders, Charles Haley, and Reggie Whites free agent moves definitely changed who would win the championships for the next few seasons.

This all seems legit. The athletes back then weren’t as big or fast as today. The number of teams they had to play was so small how can they be considered champs? There were other leagues playing so how can one leagues team be the true champ?

So why should all championships count?

Simply put those other leagues weren’t as good. The NFL and AFL had agreed to merge in 1962. They had drafted as one entity from that point forward. The AFL (then the AFC) wasn’t able to actually compete with the NFL until 1969. That’s 8 years of building on equal terms before they compete with the NFL. When the NBA and ABA merged the ABA contracted 2/3rd of its teams. They entered the nba as essentially ABA all star teams. They didn’t dominate, these all star teams didn’t even win a championship in the NBA. 

It comes down to this you play the teams they put in front of you. You beat them and you are the champion.

Can players play in any era? I’m sure Dick Butkus  would still be a pro bowl middle linebacker today. Jim Brown would still be a star. Deacon Jones could lineup with JJ Watt.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robinson or Bill Russell would still dominate.

With their style of play, Jerry West and Pistol Pete Maravich would probably be bigger stars today then in their era.  Lou Gehrig and Ted William’s bats would have been feared in any era. 

You can only play the teams they put in front of you. You beat them and you are the champion. Period. If you win a NFL championship in 1941 and you win a championship playing in the NFL in 2011 you’ve won the exact same thing. What would you say if in 2027 they decide that all championships before instant replay don’t count, since they cannot be accurate?

You can’t pick and choose. You can’t say that college football championships only count from the BCS on and then say that all World Series count. You can’t say that all NBA championships count but only Superbowls count for the NFL. 

Either all championships count in all sports, or you have to draw a line in every sport. How does that line change if those teams were the best in the world in their time? 
J.Russell Zinn 7/28/16

Peter Wiseman’s Player Profiles: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

It just seems like it’s been the perfect fit since even before it ever happened. The Packers had a glaring need at safety and Clinton-Dix was looking for a team that would give him a shot to put his talent to use right away.

The problem was, Clinton-Dix was drawing a lot of attention and was being slated by experts as a possible top 15 talent in the 2014 NFL draft, the Packers first round selection wasn’t until #21. It was definitely an intriguing scenario, but seemed highly unlikely that it would actually come to fruition.

Packer fans immediately fell in love with the prospect, but were trying really hard not to get their hopes up, until something happened that made having self control nearly impossible.

Clinton-Dix posted a picture on Instagram of himself in a Packers shirt after having a phone conversation with former Alabama teammate Eddie Lacy.

“Well, I had been talking to Eddie for a minute and I was looking through my bag and I was like, ‘Well, I guess I’ll throw this on,’ and it looked pretty good on me, so I decided to put it on,” Clinton-Dix said. “So, I was just hanging in my room thinking and I decided to take a picture on Instagram, and I put it up and it kind of blew up.” 

That was the end of the hoping for Packers fans. Now they just had to have the safety with the “funny” name on their team.

As luck would have it, he fell right into their laps, and General Manager Ted Thompson, who makes a practice of taking the best player available rather than drafting for need, got to enjoy the best of both worlds with this pick.

As if it wasn’t enough of a challenge for, Clinton-Dix, that the team he was drafted by was in need of a savior at the position he played, the Packers went ahead and added to the pressure by assigning him the number “21” previously worn by Charles Woodson.

Ha Ha answered like he always does when faced with an intense situation.

“I don’t feel pressured at all,” Clinton-Dix said. “I’m a very humble person. I’m going to get what I deserve and what I earn, so I’m going to put in the time it takes to earn that position.”

And that’s exactly what he’s done by becoming a big play ball hawk, persistent tackling machine, and the leader the Packers defense needed in the middle of that unit.

He is now anchoring one of, if not the best young defensive back groups in the league, and doing an outstanding job of it. The fact that he consistently makes the other young players around him better, shows he is not only embracing the roll, but completely owning it.

Just in case there are fans who still don’t know. Ha Ha, was born Ha’Sean Treshon Clinton-Dix, but his grandmother kept forgetting how to pronounce his first name, so she gave him the nickname.

If he keeps putting in the hard work fans and teammates have come to expect from him, it seems improbable that any one will have a hard time remembering his name any time soon, and if Packer fans get there wish…

He will have them laughing all the way to the Super Bowl.

Five Players to Watch for in the Green Bay Packers Preseason 2016

1. Kyle Murphy, OL

The Packers have a history of drafting left tackles and moving them around to different spots on the line until they find the right fit. They also seem to be starting a tradition of drafting players from Stanford, as they have selected three in the last two years. What they get with the 6,6″, 308 pound, Murphy, is a high character, high IQ player who likes to get physical and could provide a much needed boost to their run game. The Packers have a few big offensive lineman with contracts expiring, so it would make sense for them to let Murphy, who was one of offensive line coach Joe Campmen’s favorites even before the draft, prove that he’s got what it takes.

Kentrell Brice, S

Last year in college, Brice didn’t make the All-Star game and he wasn’t invited to the Scouting Combine. His only chance to prove himself was his school’s pro day, which scouts attended to watch a couple of his teammates. The 5-foot-11, 210 pound, defensive back,  put on a show by ripping off a 4.4 40 yard dash, a 42 inch vertical, 11-foot-1 inch broad jump, and 21 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press. The Packers must have been thoroughly impressed by his sure tackling and nose for the ball, since they are giving him a chance to compete for time against one of the deepest most talented backfields in the league.

Trevor Davis, WR

With an already crowded receiving core, and anything but mind blowing stats (64 receptions, 1071 yards, and 7 TDs over 2 years) it didn’t really make sense to add a pass catcher to a team that had other more pressing needs. The one thing that Davis has that is lacking on the Packers squad is blazing speed (4.3 40 yard dash), on a decent frame (6-foot-1, 188 pounds), and 10 inch hands. The product of Cal gives Aaron Rodgers a deep threat, and brings possible help to the special teams unit. Ted Thompson likes the fact that Davis only dropped 2 passes last year, and has an eye for tracking the deep ball.

Kyler Fackrell, OLB

Where should I begin? Fackrell is long and athletic, has a non-stop motor, is a tackling machine with plenty of burst and bend, and a sure tackler at that, has speed, soft hands and agility to be successful in coverage, and is basically a coach on the field.  The only knock on the 25 year old rookie, is his age and an ACL. Digging deeper, you will see that even his age comes from a source of extreme humility, he wasn’t sure he could make it in the NFL even though everyone was telling him it was a sure thing. Keep an eye out, he might just be about to prove himself wrong in a big way.

Blake Martinez, ILB

Martinez is an odd duck, but in a highly intelligent scholar (Stanford), ferocious linebacker kind of way. He doesn’t eat junk, drink soda or alcohol, and he spends his spare time dissecting playbooks and asking Aaron Rodgers questions. He may not be fast on paper, but tight ends and running backs are about to find out how persistent he is. He piles up a ton of tackles and misses few to none along the way. He can stop the run as well as cover. This kid is a strategist and a student of the game, and is on his way to not only being a star, but an intense leader and role model for his teammates.