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

Teddy Bridgewater ACL Injury puts Vikings once promising season in jeopardy

By: Michael Eccleston

Well, it’s official: Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s season is over before it even started after he left practice with a torn acl. It was a non-contact injury when he dropped back during the very first drill of the day.

Wow. This is exactly why coaches, teams, and players all hold their breath throughout the preseason. Because of things like this. The Vikings were expecting a big season from the third year quarterback out of Louisville. This is a devastating blow to a team that was so poised to go into this season and go toe to toe with the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North division crown. Minnesota’s current backups are 36 year old Shaun Hill, who has been in the league for what seems like forever and hasn’t played many meaningful minutes, and the rookie out of Wisconsin Joel Stave who was just trying to make the 53 man roster.

Ouch… So where do the Vikings go from here? Do they make a trade for another solid quarterback? It appears that they have to if they want to have any chance of sniffing the postseason this year. The division title is most likely out the door, (I say most likely because weirder things have happened), but they might still be able to make a run for one of the wildcard spots if they make a trade for a decent starting option. In my opinion they don’t need a stud behind center in order to be a playoff team. They still have Adrian Peterson and Jerick McKinnon in the backfield, they still have some solid options at wide receiver, and they’re still loaded with young defensive stars like Anthony Barr, Everson Griffen, Harrison Smith, Xavier Rhodes and Eric Kendricks.

They aren’t going past the first round of the playoffs without Bridgewater. I think that’s pretty much out the door. But they possibly still can make it to the postseason… If they make a trade. It’s obvious that neither Shaun Hill or Joel Stave are taking this team anywhere right now. The NFC is extremely competitive right now, so they need to act soon.

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

Adrian Peterson has Become a Negative for the Minnesota Vikings…

The NFL is evolving at a very fast pace. It’s gotten to the point where most teams can’t even keep up. 

Offenses have mutated from slow, calculated and methodical, to complete chaos. And stifling defenses which were once rare, are popping up all over the place. 

 

The teams who do succeed, adapt quickly. The ones who don’t are left sputtering in the dust.

The Minnesota Vikings are a prime example of the latter. While everyone else is chucking the ball around at a ridiculous rate, they are still trying to win with a workhorse back. 
 

There were only seven teams this year who had a running back with over 1,000 yards (As opposed to 13 in 2014 and 2013, 16 in 2012 and 15 in 2011).

Out of all of the teams from this year, Minnesota had the top rusher, Adrian Peterson. He led the league with 1,485 rushing yards. The Vikings were also the only team out of the seven to make the playoffs, but were one of the very first teams ellimanated.

After how important the every down back had been in the past, it may be hard for some teams to adjust to the new system, and to realize how important making that change may be.

Bill Belichick, the head coach of the New England Patriots was the first to master the art of the disposable running back. 

 

He isn’t afraid to use a player for a season, a game, a play, or even just a specific scenario, and then send him packing.

He knows better than everyone else, that being a great back doesn’t mean you match up well against certain types of defense or schemes. That there are different styles of play needed for each individual situation.

Look at the success he’s had.

The rest of the league seems to be finally figuring it out as well, as most of the teams that made the playoffs this year, have done it by utilizing multiple running backs or simply using their backs to compliment a highflying passing attack.

The Kansas City Chiefs are a prime example of a team that came across this idea accidentally. They were struggling immensely while utilizing Jamaal Charles. 

As soon as he went down with a season ending injury, they were forced to rely on multiple backs and turn more towards their passing game. It didn’t take long before they became the hottest team in the league. 

 

The Vikings themselves were forced to use multiple backs in 2014 when AP missed most of the season, and they tasted the success of having offensive variety, even with a rookie quarterback at the helm. 

 

However, for some reason, they didn’t learn their lesson, and went back to the same futile style of offense that has left them struggling for years. 

Even though it worked in certain situations, and they found some success, it should be clear to them that it’s time to catch up to the rest of the league.
The advent of the high flying aerial attack has changed the face of the NFL and the way General Managers manage their cap space.

Where the strategy used to be to spend your cash and draft picks on high dollar  running backs and an immovable offensive line, it’s now all about receivers and defense. 

 

The good news is it has solved the quarterback disparity, at least for the moment.  With all those targets to throw at, nobody bats an eye anymore if a QB goes for 3,500 yards and 30 TDs.
The bad thing is it has created a large gap between the good teams and the great teams.

One dimensional teams like Minnesota can still have a decent season, but no longer stand a chance in the playoffs. 

The Vikings finished 2nd to last, ahead of only the St.Louis Rams, in passing yards (2928), and passing TDs (14). 

 

With the current state of the league, teams can no longer win the big games in a cloud of dust. You are now forced to put the ball in the air consistently.

Viking fans can blame the early exit from the playoffs on their kicker, but the truth is, they failed to get the ball in the end zone all game long. 

 

It’s sad to imagine that a guy like Peterson, who will go down as one of the greatest running backs of all time, is possibly ushering in the extinction of his position, as he prepares to leave the league in the near future.