Thursday, September 07, 2006

NFL Week One

I may not have much time to blog these days, but it seems as if the guests are doing a better job than I normally do in my absence. Keep it up, and thanks!! :)

Last year, I used to post my NFL picks each week for the pool I run. This year, I am running two pools [and please, feel free to join!] and my brother-in-law asked me to join him and create a fantasy team, so there's a bit more to put down. In addition, a friend asked me to split two entries with him into a huge survivor pool that has a grand prize that is somewhere between $150 and 200 thousand dollars.

Here are this weeks picks:

Survivor:
Arizona (vs. San Francisco)

The Cardinals are opening their brand-new, ridiculously cool stadium to a sold-out crowd, and picked up Edgerrin James this off-season. And they get to host one of the worst teams in the league, too. Sweet.
Survivors with friend:
Arizona (vs. San Francisco)
Tennessee (vs. NY Jets)

The Titans host the worst team in the NFL. That's pretty much it.
Pool:
Home teams in CAPS; my picks in bold
Mia 2 PIT
Phi 11 HOU
Buf 8 NE
Den 1 STL
Bal 9 TB
Nyj 15 TEN
Sea 10 DET
No 13 CLE
Cin 5 KC
Atl 12 CAR
Dal 4 JAX
Chi 3 GB
Sf 16 ARZ
Ind 6 NYG
Min 14 WAS
SD 7 Oak
Fantasy: We had the 7th pick of the draft, which means that each round we alternated between 7th and 6th (of 12) pick of the round. The best RB available at #7 was Stephen Jackson, and at #18 Warrick Dunn was the last very good back available - and Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, Steve Smith, Chad Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald were all gone. Our 3rd rounder was WR Reggie Wayne; we wanted Matt Hasselbeck at QB, but he didn't come around, so our 4th pick was Eli Manning. We didn't want to wait and hope Marc Bulger came around, and we're lucky we didn't. Our 5th pick we were a bit stuck, so we took WR Derrick Mason - worst comes to worst, we can trade him later as part of a package. In the 6th round we happily took TE Alge Crumpler, and when the Panthers Defense was taken, we took RB Mike Bell in the 7th round - a very good backup for our RBs. We had been hoping on taking Matt Jones - and almost took him, until Bell lasted - but he got snatched at the beginning of the 8th round, so we took the Jaguars' defense. For the 9th round, we were undecided: Drew Brees was still around, and he'd be a great backup QB, but we wanted a backup WR, so we took WR Braylon Edwards knowing there were plenty of other backup QBs available. Brees got taken a couple picks later, so we took K Adam Viniateri, then QB Michael Vick. At this point we had no needs, but we are required to draft one more RB or WR; a backup TE; and a 2nd defense. In the 12th round, we figured WR Deion Branch was a great gamble. If he plays, he's a top-tier WR; if not, he was a nothing pick. He's great trade-bait, too. Our last 2 picks were my brother-in-law taking rookie TE Joe Klopfenstein and me taking the Browns' defense.

Our roster this week:
QB E. Manning (vs. Ind)
RB M. Bell (@ StL)
RB S. Jackson (vs. Den)
WR R. Wayne (@ NyG)
WR B. Edwards (vs. NO)
TE A. Crumpler (@ Car)
K A. Viniateri (@ NyG)
DEF Cleveland (vs. NO)
We're benching Dunn against the Carolina D, figuring that even if Bell only plays half the time against St. Louis he'll get better numbers and have more shots at a TD. There's no reason to start Vick against Carolina, and Manning should be fine against the Colts; Branch is still a holdout, so we can't play him. Mason is questionable, and Edwards should have fun against the Saints' secondary; Crumpler against Carolina is a tough one, but Klopfenstein is a rookie in his first game. The Jaguars are hosting Dallas, one of the most high-powered offenses, and one of the few teams I'd sit them against, and primarily because it's Week 1. The Browns are hosting the Saints, who are better but still not great on offense, and it's Drew Brees in his first game as a Saint; no Dante Stallworth; and Reggie Bush's first game ever. They might play okay, but I don't see big numbers from either of them or Joe Horn in this one, and the Browns - who had the 4th best passing D and were 7th in points against last year - are much improved on defense (Ted Washington, Kamerion Wimbley, Willie McGinest, much better subs...).

And that's Week 1. :) Ahh... my favorite time of year... Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?!!?

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