BRIAN DAWKINS, WEEK #4 PICKS/ FANTASY START EMS-SIT EMS

So today, as Brian Dawkins officially retires as an Eagle, it will be an emotional day for anyone that has any connection with the Philadelphia Eagle’s Organization (past or present) wether it be Players, Coaches, Ownership, Fans, and the list continues. Brian Dawkins is a Legend…An Icon in the Philly Sports Realm. Being an Eagle’s fan for my whole life there have been many great players that have donned the Green! Wilbert Montgomery, Mike Quick, Ron Jaworski, Randall Cunningham, Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Clyde Simmons, Seth Joyner, Troy Vincent, Keith Byars, Keith Jackson, Ricky Waters, Donovan McNabb, Deuce Staley, Brian Westbrook, Hugh Douglas, Jeremiah Trotter, Terrell Owens, Michael Vick, Deshaun Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Trent Cole…the list could go on forever if you are a die-hard Eagle’s fan. Well…for me Brian Dawkins is my all time favorite Eagle notwithstanding Reggie White. Brian Dawkins is the epitome of the Philadelphia Sports History. He wore his heart on his sleeve 100 percent of the time and then some. He gave his heart and soul to this team and city. He played relentless defense at a position that has become more important every year as the Athletes are getting better and better…especially tight ends who the Safety is generally responsible for covering. When Brian would hit an opponent…there was no question wether he was in the play or not. I rank him right there when it comes to the hardest hitting safety’s in NFL history…right there with Andre Waters, Ronnie Lott, Darren Woodsen and Ed Reed. Brian is also known for his faith off of the field as he is truly a Godly Man. But when he is on the field of battle…there was no player of my time that brought the intensity, the tenacity, and the energy to the field. I can remember years ago when I would sit in the end zone and Dawkins would run onto the field and bring the crowd to an absolute frenzy!!! When this team let Brian Dawkins walk into free agency…I did not want to be a fan anymore. That’s how much this player meant to me…I have a Dawkins shrine in my basement. My sister even named her dog Dawkins. My buddy Kenny also named his dog Dawkins. I would be willing to bet many other Eagle’s fans named their pets after this absolute legend. Also known as WEAPON X…it will be so great to see his number retired in an Eagle’s uniform. I am sure there will be many tears shed as the ceremony takes place tonight in South Philly. What better team to be playing than the New York Giants! Brian…we all Love You and miss your presence on the field, and you will never be forgotten. Your hits galore…the time you crunched Crumpler in that NFC Championship. The hit on Vick in that same game, You raising the NFC Trophy high and proud…your blood sweat and tears in the 2004 Superbowl…countless memories. Brian…no one deserves this more than you. You will never be forgotten.
Ok…now that I got that off my chest…onto my picks.
1) New England @ Buffalo- The Patriots are favored by 3.5 points in this one. The Patriots are in danger of losing 3 in a row which has not happened since 2002! As good as Buffalo is this year…cannot see them beating Tom Brady and Company! Take the Patriots in this one with the points.
2) Carolina @ Falcons- The Falcons are favored by 7 in this one. Look for the Falcons to continue their winning streak, but the Panthers will cover the spread as these games are always close.
3) Minnesota @ Detroit- Detroit is favored by 4.5. The Vikings looked solid last week but look for the upstart offense of the Lions to wreak havoc in this game. Take the Lions with the points.
4) Titans @ Texans- Houston is favored by 11.5 and usually I would say this is a fair line but they are playing the Titans. The Titans have not been great but for some reason they always play the Texans tight. This is my upset of the week…Go with the Titans.
5) Chargers @ Chiefs- The Chiefs are favored at home but only by a point. The Chargers are playing much better so I’m taking them on the road.
6) San Francisco @ NY Jets- The Jets are favored at home by 4 but the 49ers will be hungry after being upset by the Vikings last week. Look for the Niners to win this one easily on the road against the Jets minus Durelle Revis.
7) Seattle @ St. Louis- The Rams are favored by 3 but I am taking the Seahawks on the road in this one. I agree that they lucked out in Green Bay and won on a horrible call…but one cannot deny that they played a very good Green Bay offense to the T! Seattle wins.
8) Bengals @ Jaguars- The Jags are only favored by 1.5 in this one but Cincinnati has been absolutely horrible on the road. Jacksonville has been playing much better. Look for Jones-Drew to tear up the Bengals poor run defense. Jaguars by a Touchdown.
9) Raiders @ Broncos- The Raiders are favored by a Touchdown on the road in Denver where they have owned the Broncos. However, Peyton Manning is still out to prove that Indy made a huge mistake letting Him go. The Broncos win this one by a field goal.
10) Dolphins @ Cardinals- The Dolphins are favored on the road by 4.5 against the Cardinals. Last year I would have said take Miami, but Arizona is turning a lot of heads. They have beat New England and Philly in the past 2 games. Look for the Cardinals to continue their win streak.
11) Saints @ Packers- The Saints are favored by 7.5. This game will be a shootout. I’m taking the Saints due to the law of averages. I cannot see a talented team such as the Saints starting 0-4. Saints win but the Packers cover.
12) Redskins @ Buccaneers- Washington is favored by 2 on the road. My money is on the Bucs with their surprise Defense.
13) Giants @ Eagles- The Eagles are favored by 2.5 @ home, which I think is a stretch. However, The Eagles will win this one and cover the points due to an emotional Brian Dawkins retirement ceremony that will give Home Field Advantage another Meaning!
14) Bears @ Cowboys- Monday night madness in Dallas. Dallas is the better team but I’m taking the Bears on the road and to improve their Monday Night Record.
Ok….
Start Ems/Sit Ems
Start-
QB- Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning.
RB- Maurice Jones Drew, Matt Forte, Arian Foster
WR- Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall.
TE- Brent Celek, Vernon Davis, Tony Gonzalez
K- Henry, Hanson, Crosby
D- Eagles, 49ers, Jaguars

Sit-
QB- Ryan Fitzpatrick, RJ3, Michael Vick
RB- Shonn Jones, Steven Jackson, Demarco Murray
WR- Deshaun Jackson, Wes Welker, Steve Smith
TE- Rob Gronkowski, Jermichah Finley, Jason Witten
K- Nick Folk, Lawrence Tynes, David Buehler
D- Saints, Packers, Lions

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Remembering Ronnie James Dio

6/10/42-5/16/10…As a metal fan…when I hear the name Ronnie James Dio…I immediately think of the “Metal Horns” hand gesture for which he is known for popularizing. When Ronnie (Otherwise known as DIO) passed away in May of 2010 of stomach cancer, the Heavy Metal community lost a true legend. As I sit here listening to the Black Sabbath Album…”Heaven and Hell”…it sends chills down my spine. I mean…Ozzy Osbourne was the face of Black Sabbath…but I am not sure there has ever been a band where a lead vocalist left and the band did not miss a beat. I mean, Ozzy does not come close to matching Ronnie as far as vocal intensity and range. Ronnie will always be known for his high range pitch and the knack for hitting every vocal note possible.
Ronnie was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1942. He graduated from the Cortland City School in 1960 and went on to attend pharmacy school. He would never finish as he started his own band. His first significant band was called “Elf”, which formed in 1969. Ronnie adopted the nickname “Dio” named after the mafia member, Johnny Dio.
While performing in the band Elf, Ronnie recorded 3 albums and was the main opening act for the band Deep Purple. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple took a liking to Dio’s vocals and recruited him for his own band when he left Deep Purple. The band was known as Rainbow. His time in Rainbow was short lived as he only stuck around for 2 albums. In 1979 Dio left Rainbow and took over for Ozzy as lead vocalist for Metal Legend Black Sabbath.
In 1980, Black Sabbath released the album Heaven and Hell, which revitalized the career of Black Sabbath. The album was a huge success and hit platinum in sales in just 6 years (1,000,000)! After Heaven and Hell, Black Sabbath produced “The Mob Rules,” which was Dio’s 2nd and last album with Sabbath as their were disagreements between the band members.
At this point, Dio and Vinny Apice (Drummer) left and formed “DIO.”. The band featured Dio on vocals, Apice on Drums, Vivian Campbell (who later joined Whitesnake and Def Leppard) on guitar, and Jimmy Bain on Bass, Bain having played with Rainbow. The first album “Holy Diver” was released in 1982. Holy Diver hit 56 on the Billboard 200 in the US and hit #13 in the UK. The album featured the hit title track as well as the single Rainbow in the Dark. All in all, DIO released 10 Studio Albums and was constantly on tour until the band broke up and Ronnie formed “Heaven and Hell” which featured former Sabbath mates Geezer Butler and Toni Iommi along with Vinny Apice in 1986. Ronnie is also accredited for writing some of the very first power metal lyrics in metal music.
Ronnie also participated in many fund raisers during his career, the most notable being Hear n Aid, which was similar to Live Aid. A huge festival that was created to raise money for hunger. Ronnie is known for his deafening lyrics and powerful dark themes. Dio was a musical genius and will always live in the hearts of us metal die Garda.
Ronnie James Dio was more than a vocalist…he was a field general when it came to his stage presence. He was performing right up until his death. Dio is an Icon/ Legend/ Star Vocalist. He popularized his style. Heaven and Hell is one of the top metal albums. Pop it in your CD player and let it play straight up! Ronnie is truly a musical genius. He will never be forgotten.

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RA DICKEY FOR CY YOUNG/REPLACEMENT REFEREES REPLACED

Today RA Dickey of the New York Mets became the first 20 Game Winner for the franchise since Frank Viola won 20 in 1990. He is also the first Knuckleball Pitcher to accomplish this achievement since Houston’s Joe Niekro in 1980…32 years ago! Wow! This is not only huge for the Mets franchise itself…but also for Dickey who never won more than 11 games before this year. He could become the first New York Met’s pitcher to win the CY YOUNG award since Dwight Gooden (The Doc) in 1985. RA (which stands for Robert Allen) is 37 years old and is the type of feel good story that they make movies about!
RA was originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in 1996 in the 18th Round. Amazingly enough…after he was drafted it was discovered that Dickey was missing an ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow joint. RA should not be able to open up a door let alone pitch a baseball in the major leagues. He was not too successful in his early career and in 2006 he transitioned to the Knuckleball, which saw him struggle early on. On January 5th, 2010 he RA was signed by the New York Mets to a spring training invitee contract. Since then he has become a huge bright spot for the team by tying or breaking many records. In late May, Dickey became the first Met to toss back to back double digit strikeout games since Pedro Martinez in 2006. 2012 also saw Dickey become the first pitcher in MLB to throw back to back 1 hitters since Toronto’s Dave Stein in 1988. He also had a consecutive scoreless innings streak of 44.1 which is one of the longest in MLB history.
Dickey has also overcome much adversity on a personal level as well. His book was released earlier this year which documents his battle with childhood abuse and suicidal thoughts as an adult. Look…I’m a Phillies fan and the Mets are our biggest rival. But this guy has to win the CY YOUNG AWARD. The only other pitcher close in numbers to Dickey in the NL is Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals. Let’s face it though…the Nationals have other talent. With Dickey’s 20 wins…that is almost a 3rd of the Mets total wins. One could argue that Dickey could win the MVP also as he definitely was the most valuable player for the Mets. His story is truly amazing and continues to unfold in front of us. It’s early but I am joining the campaign for RA to win the CY YOUNG! He definitely deserves it!
In the NFL…the replacement referees have finally been replaced….by the real refs. Yes that’s right…the replacements have been replaced. This September continues to heat up with hot sports topics but today the main story is RA DICKEY. So now that we are on the subject…who would play RA in a movie when it comes out. Let’s have some fun…looking for comments!

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Thursday Night Football Pick, Fantasy, Phillies

Week #4 already…which means another Thursday Night Football Game featuring the Baltimore Ravens VS the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens beat New England by 1 point and they are firing on all cylinders on both sides of the ball. The Browns have not played horrible this season, but they will not stand a chance against a Baltimore Ravens team that now has a potent offense to go with it’s stellar defense. I’m taking the Ravens by 10 points in this game. As far as fantasy goes…Start Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, And Baltimore’s Defense. Sit Anquan Boldin, Brandon Weeden, and Trent Richardson. This game should be the lock of the week. In other news…The Philadelphia Phillies Have failed to make that run that I predicted. They do not deserve to get into the playoffs. Being swept by the Astros was the turning point….unacceptable. Rumor has it that next year the Phillies will bring up Freddy Galvis to play 2B and move Chase Utley to 3B. Utley has had a comeback year and this move should benefit his health as 3B puts less wear and tear on his hips. As far as injuries go I would just sit Roy Halladay the remainder of the season. And yes…injuries did play a part in the disappointing season, but in my opinion they were not an excuse to not make the playoffs. This team was talented enough to overcome these injuries. Poor coaching, playing down to talent, and inconsistent offense were the main reasons this team will fail to make the playoffs for the first time in 6 years. Oh well…there is always next year.

WEEK 3 WINNERS & LOSERS/FANTASY RESULTS

Wow….Thank God Aaron and I aren’t picking these games with money on the line! This week we both went 6-10 with our picks so for those of you keeping score after 3 weeks….
Jason-24-24
Aaron-21-27.
Each week we have went backwards as far as the results of our picks. There have already been more upsets this year than the entire last season. San Francisco losing to Minesotta…New Orleans losing at home to Kansas City to fall to (0-3)….Detroit losing to Tennessee in overtime after coming back from 17 down in the 4th quarter…Washington losing to Cincinnati at home…Philly losing to Arizona in the desert (they got destroyed)….Oakland beating a ferocious Steelers defensive attack…and then Monday Night’s Officiating debacle notwithstanding, The Seahawks beating Green Bay on a last second Hail Mary. This is a topic we will cover in another post…the negative outcome of replacement referees.
I don’t know too many people that picked Seattle…I was one of them, but the outcome truly came on a bad call so technically I was 5-11. That last minute gaffe was a bad call that I’m sure will be debated from now until next season. San Francisco was also upset in dramatic fashion as the Vikings played a near flawless game against the 49ers Top Rated Defense. Philadelphia was humiliated by the Arizona Cardinals! How many more times do I have to hear those infamous words out of Andy Reid’s Mouth…”Well they outplayed us and out coached us…I have to put my team in a better position…I have to be more prepared to play these games…we were not prepared”. This is getting so old. He is the most stubborn coach in the history of the NFL, as he never learns from his mistakes. With a banged up offensive line and many other weapons out of action…..why in the hell would you attempt 60 passes and run for less than 20x….especially when you have LeSean McCoy that is arguably a Top 3 Running Back! Andy never learns…every analyst could see this coming.
In Fantasy…I actually won my first game as I am now (1-2). My big stars finally performed….Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, and Maurice Jones Drew. Like my best friend said, our daily numbers are right in line…only the two prior weeks I face 2 teams that scored league highs, so I could very have well been 3-0 This point. I’m really hurting at Quarterback and may have to make a trade in order to get more suitable Passing Game. Vick has been a tremendous disappointment thus far. Stay tune till tomorrow…when I will pick my Winner/Loser for Thursday Night Football and any Fantasy must starts and sits. It is what it is!

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NHL (NO HOCKEY LEFT)

I’m sure that I am not the only person right now wondering WTF NHL Commissioner Gary Betman was thinking when he let this season go into a full on lockout! Remember the last lockout…1994….it took about 15 years for the league to fully recover to the point where the sports tv ratings and live attendance figures matched that of those before the lockout of 1994. I will never forget that lockout…the New York Rangers, of all teams had won it’s first CUP in 54 years on the Shoulders of Mike Richter and Mark Messier. The league was having the same sort of disagreement on a variety of issues at that time also. The 1995 Lockout lasted over 3 months and reduced the season to 48 games. I remember that year very well because the Philadelphia Flyers made it to the Conference Finals against the Devils and it marked the first season of the classic Legion of Doom. Eric Lindros won the Hart Memorial Trophy for the MVP if the regular season when he scored 70 points in only 46 games. However, although they did end the lockout that season they lost a ton of fans and revenue that took over 15 years to regain. In those 15 years such things as new teams, new playoff formats, rule changes, an attempt to make the game more offensive, and all sorts of other promotions were used in order to regain the fan base that they so desperately need. I know many more people enjoy Football, Baseball, or even Basketball but those of you who are die hard hockey fans know exactly where I am coming from when I say there is absolutely nothing that compares to “Playoff Hockey”! This is a sad state of affairs right now and both sides are being greedy. The biggest fool of all though, is the sports commissioner who sees no problem with the lockout and actually believes it will have no negative effect on the sport! BULLSHIT…tell that to season ticket holders who pay lots of hard earned money to support their teams. Tell that to the lower level employees of these teams who have been laid off and are unemployed. Tell that to children with disabilities who idolize their favorite players in every sport. Tell that to the players who are only effecting their futures and their families. Tell that to the owners who will never get back to the point that this sport had risen to up until recently. Tell that to the Die Hard fans who are left with nothing to so right now unless their football or baseball team is successful. Many towns that have hockey as their sport do not even have professional Baseball and Football teams. This is a travesty. The NHL should be ashamed of itself. Then Alex Ovechkin….one of the faces of the league makes the statement…that if any one player loses more than a penny in this…he will not return to the NHL. What is he smoking. Or I guess he doesn’t care. He can go back to his homeland where he is more comfortable and can still make millions of dollars and date six hot Russian models at the same time. This is why this league is a joke. More Americans should become involved with this sport but it remains so expensive at the teenage, high school, and college levels. Well…Bettman better get his head out of his ass and rectify this dilemma quickly or he will risk losing a great majority of the league. What is stopping all of these foreign players from signing overseas. Nothing right now because the Collective Bargaining Agreement has expired. Well all you Hockey Fans…we should all be pretty pissed right now at these greedy BASTARDS. Millions of dollars and cannot even settle a disagreement. Hell I wish I could make 100 grand! Oh well…we sit back and watch a bunch of babies cry about money and all while homeless people are starving…sick people are dying…and the national debt keeps increasing…and the unemployment rate keeps skyrocketing. What Does the NHL stand for now? NO HOCKEY LEFT!

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TESTAMENT: THE BIG 5

Many people ask the question if there was a BIG 5…who would be the Fifth Band amongst METALLICA, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer. Everyone has their own opinion and there are probably a few bands that would come close but the Band that would receive the most votes would be Testament.
Testament is an American Thrash Band that was formed in 1983 in Berkley, CA. Considering the Band played the San Francisco Bay area, they received widespread exposure from the underground metal community just as fellow bands METALLICA and Megadeth. The band was originally formed by guitarist Eric Peterson…and has been through numerous line up changes during its 29 years of existence.
Many people don’t know this, but Testament was originally named Legacy, which actually became the Title of their first album…that was released in 1987. Originally joining Eric Peterson in the band was Alex Skolnick, a Joe Satriana disciple. Also joining the band was lead vocalist Chuck Billy, who replaced Steve Souza, who went on to form the Metal Band Exodus.
When “Legacy” was released in 1987….Testament quickly became a popular trademark in the Thrash Metal Community. In order to promote their new album, they began a tour with Anthrax, who was actually promoting their own new album “Among the Living.”. Legacy and it’s follow up album, consisted of many dark and gothic themes along with the occult. Testament continued to rise to the top of Metal Charts across the world.
Their 3rd album, “Practice What You Preach,” was released in 1989 and shared more realistic themes like politics and world corruption. Then came the Grunge era and Testament was failing to connect with their fans so they released a slower metal album called “The Ritual” was released in the late summer of 1992…over 20 years ago. When it was released it hit 55 on the Top 100 Bilboard List, which was the highest Testament ever went up to this day. The single “Return to Serenity” received favorable reviews and topped the charts at 22. This song received extended radio airplay…allowing them to gain a larger audience.
Up until now, Testament has released 10 Studio albums in the following order:
1) The Legacy (1987)
2) The New Order (1988)
3) Practice What You Preach (1989)
4) Souls of Black (1990)
5) The Ritual (1992)
6) Low (1994)
7) Demonic (1997)
8) The Gathering (1999)
9) The Formation of Damnation (2008)
10) The Dark Roots of Earth (2012)
From 1999-2008 the band failed to produce an album. Chuck Billy was even diagnosed with Cancer and had to temporarily quit the band. They reunited and toured from 2005-2008. Finally, in April of 2008 Testament released Formation of Damnation, which marked the return of Alex Skolnick who had left the band after “The Ritual.”. Now just recently, they released “Dark Roots of Earth” which marked the return of the original lineup. Their newest album, which was released in July , 2012 went back to their heavy roots and Alex Skolnick was better than ever.
Most people are aware of the Big 4…the concerts that toured all over the world with METALLICA, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. One always wonders who would make the list of the Big 5 if there was such thing. Testament fits the bill as closely as any other bands of this era. Even though they went through much adversity…it’s no different from these other 4 Bands.
Let’s go back 20 Years ago to 1992 when Testament released “The Ritual.”. This album was “their” Black Album (METALLICA)/ “Countdown to Extinction (Megadeth), “Among the Living (Anthrax), and “Reign in Blood” (Slayer). This album was much more mainstream than what they had put out in the past and was able to sustain some serious air play with a few songs, mainly “Return to Serenity.”. “Electric Crown” also garnered a lot of positive attention from the Metal community. This album is still heavy and really shares Alex Skolnick’s talents on guitar as he has a lot of solos…but more it established that Chuck Billy is capable of singing a more classic heavy metal than the style of Thrash that it’s fans had become accustomed to.
Testament in my mind is right up there with these bands and they deserve much consideration when establishing the Top 5 list of Thrash Bands in America. Last fall…thy supported a tour with Death Angel and Anthrax which promoted the new studio album by Anthrax “Worship Music.”. The tour was a huge success and put Testament back on the map. Me and my best friend had the pleasure of seeing a show on this tour, in north Jersey, and I was very impressed with Testament and their live stage presence and musical talents. Of course…They just released their 10th Studio album “Dark Roots of Earth” which went back to their heavy roots. I give the album a 9 out of 10 rating and highly suggest any Thrash Metal fan pick this album up. It may be their best album to date. Classic Thrash sound and heavy guitar/drum riffs. Next year I am suggesting they create the Big 5. Testament belongs in this group although they never were as popular as the other 4 bands…but they showed they belong in this class. Let’s get a petition up to METALLICA to form the Big 5. Chuck Billy still rocks and Alex Skolnick has refined his guitar skills and can play lead and rhythm with the same intensity. Buy this album…support this band!

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FANTASY MUST START/MUST SIT…Last Minute Lineup Changes

Let’s go back to Week #2. Sometimes Fantasy Football can be a CrapShoot. Looking back at my picks for Fantasy Start Ems and Sit Ems from last week….one would probably say WTF does this guy have any business playing Fantasy. In fact, My own Team Da Birds in the Echo Beach Fantasy League (CBS SPORTS) is 0-2. No problem here…I have been in this spot many a years prior and ended up finishing on top. Alright…Enough Bullshit….let’s get to the gist of this Blog. Here is my breakdown of Must Start/ Must Sit by position for Week #3:

MUST START
QB- RJ3 ( Washington plays Cincinnati and they are at home for this contest. Teams have been able to throw the ball against the Bengals. Look for RJ3 to have a huge day), Matthew Stafford (Detroit is playing Tennessee and they are due for a breakout game all around on offense….Stafford will shine today on the road), Drew Brees (Brees has been a disappointment thus far so I am expecting a big passing day against a weak Kansas City Secondary. Both of these teams struggle to play Defense, so expect Brees to put up some solid numbers on the day), Tony Romo (Dallas is at home against Tampa Bay, who just gave up over 500 yards through the air last Sunday…look for Romo to attack their mistake prone secondary early and often), Matt Cassel (Kansas City should be able to exploit the New Orleans Defense, which has been non existent the first 2 Weeks).
RB- CJ Spiller (As I stated in my previous post…I am expecting a career day from Spiller who is seeing the majority of carries for Buffalo, while Fred Jackson slowly mends on the sideline. Spiller is a 2 Dimensional back and will put up huge numbers today…book it), Demarco Murray (Another Fantasy new comer that should have NJ problem against Tampa Bay and their last ranked defense), LeSean McCoy ( As I said…I refuse to be a homer…last week I had McCoy sitting against a usual tough Baltimore Run Defense. However, McCoy proved why he was taken First in many leagues this year with another solid game. Never pick this guy to sit again this year!), Maurice Jones-Drew (After missing the entire pre-season, MJD is due for a breakout game…he always performs well against rivals so what better rival than Indy…He will be featured on the ground and will also do some damage with the screen play today), Alfred Morris (Morris has quickly become the Redskins starting running back and should be able to tear up a very weak Cincy run defense.)
WR- Miles Austin (Miles has 2 100 yard game weeks in a row while nursing a groin injury. Look what Giants receivers did last week to Tampa Bay and Austin owners should be salivating this week. The entire Dallas Offense is a Must Start today), Dwayne Bowe (Throwing the ball on New Orleans should be a priority today as Kansas City tries to upset the Saints on the road…expect Bowe to have at least 100 yards and a touchdown in this matchup), Marques Colston (Any receiver in this game should be starting today, at least as a Flex Option), Calvin Johnson (Megatron has been injured so far…but expect him to have a stellar day today and finally earn his spot as the Number 1 Fantasy Receiver in the Game), Larry Fitzgerald ( He always plays big against Philly and this contest will be no different. Arizona is at home and should be playing from behind so they will throw the ball quite often.)
TE- Vernon Davis (Going into week #3 Davis is the number one point scorer at Tight End and he should continue his stellar season against a very weak Vikings Secondary), Jason Witten (As stated start all Cowboys today), Grontkowski ( With Hernandez out with an injury for a few weeks…look for the Patriots to feature Gronk early and often…Baltimore showed a weakness against the pass against Philly so Tom Brady should be able to utilize his Tight End), Brent Celek ( Celek is looking like he did a few years back when he was a Fantasy Stud…With both Eagles receivers having some injury problems…look for Vick to use his Tight End as his number 1 Weapon on Sunday in Tempe), Tony Gonzalez ( Gonzalez is like the Energizer Bunny…he should do well against a porous Chargers Pass Defense.)
K- David Akers ( The Eagles must be kicking themselves today for letting Akers walk as he has been resurgent for the Upstart 49ers), Jason Hanson (Detroit will put up a decent amount of points and sometimes struggles in the Red Zone, so there should be some Field Goals in this one), Adam Vinnatieri (He may be a lock for the Hall of Fame and Indy always has exciting games against their rival Jacksonville…he should put up decent numbers on Sunday), Alex Henry (The Eagles will score often but will struggle in the Red Zone as always so Henry should have a very busy day today), Mason Crosby (Seattle has a very underrated Secondary so they should bend but not break in this contest. I actually have them as my upset team over the Packers so Crosby should be very busy as Green Bay will settle for multiple Field Goals.)
D- San Francisco (Number 1 and won’t change), Philadelphia (They should be able to wreak havoc against their former QB Kevin Kolb), Pittsburgh ( They have their Mojo back so expect them to punish the Raiders weak passing game), Miami (Their Defense is playing solid in all facets of the game and should have Sanchez running for his life), (Chicago-At home I think they put a hurting on St. Louis an their young offense.)

MUST SIT
QB- Mark Sanchez (He will be on his ass guaranteed), Carson Palmer ( Probably the biggest disappointment this year), Jake Locker ( Detroit has a Great pass rush and should be in the youngster’s face all day), Kevin Kolb ( The Eagles should limit Kolb who may get some garbage points at the end of the game), Sam Bradford (Chicago’s Offense may be inconsistent but they are still Fantasy Studs against the Pass…Although Btadford had a career day last week look for him to come back down to earth this week…look what the Bears did to Aaron Rodgers.)
RB- Adrian Peterson (He is not the same back and he is facing the League’s toughest Defense), Michael Turner (A disappointment and going against a much improved Chargers Defense), Shonn Greene (You just cannot run against the Dolphins Defense…that seems to be a given every year), Cedric Benson (I have the Seahawks upsetting Green Bay on their home turf and a big part of that will be the ability to shut down the run…they held Murray of the Cowboys to 44 all purpose yards last week), Ben Tate ( The Broncos are 5th against the run, so Tate should come back to reality.)
WR- Vincent Jackson (The Cowboys have not given up a passing Touchdown in 2 weeks), Santonio Holmes ( He is embarrassing in his past 5 games against Miami…don’t chance him this week to break that trend), Greg Jennings (Seattle will give the Packers fits and Jennings has been an underachiever so far this year…wait another week), Eric Decker (Houston is playing stellar on both sides of the ball and Decker has not shown his worth thus far), Wes Welker (He has not faired well against Baltimore…they may be the only team to limit him under 100 yard receiving consistently and today will be no different.
TE- Jacob Tamme, Marcedes Lewis, Fred Davis, Jermichah Finley ( I would stay away from Green Bay this week against the Seahawks dominant Defense…holding Tight Ends hostage), Scott Chandler (Buffalo will pound the ball with it’s fierce rushing attack).
K- Sebastian Janikowski, Justin Tucker, Matt Prater, Greg Zurlein, Nick Folk.
Defense-Broncos, Bengals, St. Louis, Arizona, Baltimore.

Ok so these are my Week #3 Fantasy Studs and Duds. Should be an exciting week. In other sports news…Roy Halladay may have had his worst start of his career at the most inauspicious time of the year. Meanwhile, Dickey got Win #19 and Gio Gonzalez got Win #20. Dickey is my CY YOUNG pick hands down. Gonzalez has been great but he is not the only reason the Nats are going to make the postseason. Without Dickey, the Mets could have lost 100 games this year. He is a pimp. Hockey still in the toilet and they are slowly making themselves look foolish.

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NFL WEEK 3 PREVIEW/PICKS

Wow….already Week#3 of the 2012 NFL season. This is the best time of the year…seasons changing…leaves falling…cooler weather…pumpkins and mums…and Football is heating up. It’s also close to Playoff Baseball and of course the NHL cannot get it’s head out of it’s ass so no season on the horizon. Anyways…it’s time for my picks of the week. Hopefully I will do much better than I did last week. Aaron and I both did not have a very good week picking winners, but I have a feeling that many people had the wrong teams. I mean let’s face it…who had New England losing at home to Arizona?????!!! Once again I will show you the matchup and then make my predictions.
1) St. Louis @ Chicago- Chicago is favored in this one by a touchdown. St. Louis has not looked terrible but I cannot pick against Chicago at home…especially after they got destroyed by the Packers last week. They have had ample time to heal their wounds. I think both Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall have bounce back games and Matt Forte will have some running room. My Pick- Chicago.
2) Buffalo @ Cleveland- This is my stone cold lock if the week as Buffalo is favored by a field goal. I believe that CJ Spiller will have a career day as teams have had much success running against Cleveland. I see this game being a blow out on the road. My Pick-Buffalo.
3) Tampa Bay @ Dallas- Dallas is favored in this one by 8 points. I would normally be wary of picking Dallas by more than a Touchdown, but I think they bounce back at home against the same team that almost took the Giants to task. Tony Romo, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten all have huge games as the Giants proved that you can pass all day against the Tampa Defense. My Pick- Dallas.
4) Jacksonville @ Indianapolis- Indy is favored by a field goal at home in this one and has been the better of the two teams. Jacksonville has struggled mightly in the Red Zone. However, The Jags always play Indy tight and I think Maurice Jones Drew has a breakout game after missing the entire preseason. My Pick- Jacksonville.
5) New York Jets @ Miami- The New York Football Jets are favored by 1 point in this one. Jets/Dolphins games have always been entertaining and are usually played very close. Miami should be able to utilize Reggie Bush, who is leading in all purpose yards by Running Backs thus far in the season. My Pick- Miami.
6) San Francisco @ Minnesota- So far, San Fran has picked off right where they left off last year. They have the Top Defense in the NFL and their offense has become more dynamic. Look for more of the same in this game. The Vikings are inexperienced at the Quarterback position and the 49ers have an excellent pass rush. I think this is a unanimous vote. My Pick- San Francisco by the Touchdown.
7) Kansas City @ New Orleans- New Orleans is favored at home by 8 points. The Saints have been a huge disappointment thus far and I believe that the offseason scandal has hurt the mojo of this team. However, although they are 0-2…this team has entirely way too much talent to go 0-3. Especially against a team like Kansas City who cannot compete on offense with the Saints. My Pick- Saints win Big.
8) Detroit @ Tennessee- Detroit is favored on the road by 3.5 points. Tennessee has been much better than expected but Detroit has the potent offense to keep the Titans guessing. I do believe this game will be close and Chris Johnson should be able to run against the Lions Defense. In the end though…the Lions are looking for a breakout game from Johnson (Megatron). My Pick- Detroit.
9) Cincinnati @ Washington- Cincinnati has been a huge disappointment while the Redskins have been a huge surprise. Washington is favored in this one by 3 at home. RJ3 has been spectacular and the unknown Running Back Alfred Morris has been a huge surprise on offense. Mike Shannahan has this team playing excellent ball! I think the Redskins win this one fairly easy.
10) Philadelphia @ Arizona- Tell me how you have 9 Turnovers in the first 2 games and are 2-0 to start the season. Well…the Eagles have defied logic so far, and are a much better team on Defense this year…especially at the Linebacker position. We all know what the Eagle’s Offense is capable of but Arizona is no pushover….don’t forget they just beat New England on the road! I think this game will be very close but I am taking the Eagles by a field goal in this one.
11) Atlanta @ San Diego- Atlanta has looked unstoppable so far and they have one of the Top Offensive Teams in the NFL. However…San Diego has a solid Defense, especially against the pass. Most people are taking Atlanta on the road, but I am picking The Chargers who are favored by a field goal.
12) Houston @ Denver- Houston is only favored by 1.5 points in this one on the road. Denver looked shaky in the first half of last weeks game…Peyton Manning throwing 3 Picks. Houston on the other hand has been methodical so far this season. Arian Foster will pound the ball and this game could turn into a shootout. My Pick- Houston.
13) Pittsburgh @ Oakland- The Steelers are favored by 3.5 on the road in this one. Both teams have not been as good as advertised. However, every time I pick against the Steelers I am wrong so I am going to take Pittsburgh!
14) New England @ Baltimore- This is the battle of 2 Heavy Weights…both teams favored to make it far in the playoffs this year. Baltimore and New England both lost tough games last week…the difference being the Ravens loss was on the road. The Ravens are favored by 2.5 in this one. This game should be a very close game and could go either way, but I am going to take the Ravens at Home.
15) Green Bay @ Seattle- Green Bay is favored by 3 on the road in this one. I always have 1 crazy pick each week and I am going to take the Seahawks as a home dog to upset the Green Bay Packers.

These are my picks for the week. Stay tuned to tomorrow where I will give you my Start Ems and Sit Ems for Week #3. Good luck to the Fantasy Nation….it’s been a wild season so far and should continue to produce many memorable moments. Aaron will be on later with his picks. Until then…enjoy the rest of your night!

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Phillies Still In This

Well…you cant teach an old dog new tricks. However, an old dog can always find it’s way through difficult challenges. The Phillies have been fighting an uphill battle all season. They have truly been hit hard by the injury bug…and their Starting Pitching minus Cole Hamels has been inconsistent at best. They traded fan favorites Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence at the deadline as well as Joe Blanton at the waiver wire. There was also rumblings that they may move Cliff Lee. However…through all of this adversity the Phillies are only 2.5 games back of the 2nd Wildcard. As history has shown…once you get to the post season it’s anyone’s Game to win. After tonights win against the #1 Wildcard Team the Atlanta Braves…they are still in this race. They have won 4 in a row after dropping 3 out of 4 to the Astros. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley both homered again and continue to swing red hot bats. Kyle Kendrick…now the Number 4 starter went six innings and only gave up 2 runs lowering his ERA to 3.89. Cole, Cliff, and Roy have also been much more consistent as of late. Jimmy Rollins and Domenic Brown have also contributed immensely in the last month. Now they get Carlos Ruiz back for the stretch run…huge boost he is batting .332. Well…the Brewers and Cardinals are also hot but anything can happen. And the XFAcTOr is the bullpen which has really come on the past 2 weeks. 1 could argue that Jonathan Paplebon, who has been lights out, should be the Team MVP! Anyways….anything can happen…just ask the Saint Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants who both beat out the Phillies after Red Hot Septembers and rode those streaks to World Series Championships. All you die hard Phills fans…keep the faith…don’t jump off now! GO PHILLs!

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