Wow, Time flies when we are having Fun. Yes, we are officially at that time of the year again where everything gets complicated in the world of sports. The NBA is back. The most easy answer to the question: If you were able to pick anyone in the NBA today to build your franchise around…who would it be? 92 Percent of people that were asked this question in a recent poll voted Lebron James. The NHL is in full swing and the Toronto Maple Leafs are off to the races. The Philadelphia Flyers on the other hand are creating many angry faces. The World Series culminates tonight in Boston with Game Six between the Saint Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox. The Red Sox are hoping to clinch a championship in front of their home town fans for the first time since 1918. Standing Room Tickets are going for $1,000 on EBAY. Let us all hope that the Cardinals can win game six and force a Game 7 on Halloween Night. Don’t forget, there is also a Football Game on Thursday Night with the Cincinnati Bengals playing the Miami Dolphins. And as this very exciting time comes around again, we are officially at the halfway point of the NFL Season.
First of all, I would like to analyze the season thus far and give you my list of Winners and Losers. Well, who would have saw the Kansas City Chiefs going 8-0 after a dreadful 2012 season in which they finished dead last in the NFL. This is an amazing turnaround. Yes, many people will argue that Andy Reid stepped into the perfect situation. However, I would argue that he had better Offensive Superstars in Philly and the one difference maker has been the Chief’s Defense. Jamal Charles has been nothing less than spectacular. However, Reid had LeSean McCoy in Philly so one could argue that there is no difference here. Dwayne Bowe is the Chief’s best wide receiver and he has just been about average. DeSean Jackson has been and is still one of the best wide receivers in the league. And Michael Vick, injuries and all, will always be a better Quarterback on paper than Alex Smith. However, they do not play this game on paper. Yes, the Chiefs have been efficient on offense, barely turning the ball over, while creating many turnovers on Defense. The Chiefs are ranked #1 on Defense and have the best turnover ratio. So the Chiefs take first place on my winner board.
The Denver Broncos have been nothing less than spectacular. Peyton Manning leads the entire league with 2,919 Yards Passing, 29 Touchdowns/6 Interceptions/and 119.4 Quarterback Rating. The Broncos are 7-1, there only loss coming to Peyton’s former team the Indianapolis Colts. The Broncos are loaded with weapons: Demariyous Thomas (685 Yards-3rd in NFL/6 Touchdowns-9th in NFL), Wes Welker(9 Touchdowns-1st in NFL, 555 Receiving Yards-19th), Eric Decker(669 Yards-6th in NFL/4 Touchdowns-20th NFL) and Julius Thomas(8 Touchdowns-3rd NFL/39 Catches-451 Yards) at the Tight End position. Take that receiving core and Add Running Back Knowshon Moreno into the mix. Knowshon Moreno(457 Yards-11th/Touchdowns-8 Rushing/2 Receiving-1st in NFL). That is a scary bunch of players. Denver does not have the best Defense, but they have shown they can outscore any opponent, even the Dallas Cowboys who they beat two weeks ago, 51-48. In that game, Tony Romo threw for over 500 Yards and 5 Touchdowns while the Dallas Offense put up well over 600 Yards of Offense. No Problem Peyton Manning said, as he lead the Broncos to that winning score.
The Seattle Seahawks have picked up where they left off in 2012. The Seahawks are the best team in the NFC with a record of 7-1. Ironically, the Seahawks only loss also came to the Indianapolis Colts. Seattle is first place in the NFC West and are probably the most balanced team in the NFL as far as Offense and Defense. Second Year Quarterback Russell Wilson has a 99.0 Quarterback Rating with 1,628 Yards Passing, 13 TD/4INT and another 339 Yards and 1 Rush TD. Marshawn Lynch has 601 Rushing Yards and 6 Touchdowns, both good enough for 4th in the League. Lynch has chipped in another 181 Yards Receiving and a TD through the air. The Seahawks are Second in Total Defense and 15th in Offense. However, they have the goods to go far in the playoffs.
The New Orleans Saints appear like they are back and prepared to shock the NFL. The Saints are 6-1. They have the Sixth Ranked Offense and 12th Ranked Defense. They are Second in creating Turnovers to the Chiefs. Drew Brees is second to Manning with 19TD/5INT, 2,290 Yards and 109.2 Quarterback Rating. Star Tight End Jimmy Graham has 40 Receptions for 630 Yards and 8 touchdowns. He has been unstoppable. Their Defense has been even more of a surprise. Right now, the Saints lead the South by 2.5 Games over the surging Carolina Panthers. This team is actually my sleeper pick to win the Super Bowl.
The Cincinnati Bengals are my Fifth winner. This team actually on paper is the most balanced of the list with the 8th Ranked Defense and 9th Ranked Offense. Andy Dalton is coming into his own and has a legitimate receiving core with AJ Green and Marvin Jones. Dalton has 183 Completions (Good Enough For 65.5Percent), 16TD/7INT, and 2,249 Yards Passing. AJ Green is second only to Megatron in receiving yards with 734 and also has 5 Touchdowns. His counterpart, Marvin Jones had a 4TD game on Sunday and is becoming an extra threat for teams to account for. Marvin Jones has 379 Yards Receiving and a whopping 7 Touchdowns. Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis and Giovani Bernard have provided the lightning and thunder in the backfield rushing for over 700 Yards and 5 TD’s. The Bengals are another dark horse in the league.
Ok, that is the TOP 5…The Honorable Mention is the Indianapolis Colts (5-2), New England Patriots (6-2), San Francisco 49ers (6-2), Green Bay Packers (5-2) and the Detroit Lions (5-3). The Colts have beaten the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. Their two losses have come to the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers, so going by their tough schedule, they appear to be in this race until the end. Miami and New Orleans are the only tow teams that the Patriots have beaten with winning records. The Pats have been uncharacteristic on Offense and really are lucky to be leading their Division. The 49ers have dominated after an early season struggle. They held Houston to 3 Points, Tennessee to 17, and Jacksonville 10. I mean, those are three bad teams but their Defense still has been on fire. Kaepernick and Gore are playing top notch and Anquan Boldin and vernon Davis are having excellent seasons catching the ball. Their two losses have come to Seattle and Indy. Green Bay, despite all of their injuries are still leading the Division behind Aaron Rodgers. And Finally, the Detroit Lions come in as another sleeper in the NFC. They are 3rd in Total Offense. Their Defense is 25th. However, with Calvin Johnson, they are in every game as they proved this past Sunday beating the Dallas Cowboys in the last minute of the game.
Ok, now the fun part. The worst team in the league is definitely the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags may go 0-16. They are 32nd in Offense, worst in the league and 28th on Defense. The only four teams that have allowed more yards are the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. Hmmmmm…Notice something ironic. Three of the Four worst Defenses come out of the NFC East. When was the last time you remember this division this bad. The NFC Least is Putrid and I say the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and New York Giants are my next three losers. These teams have been horrible, none of them performing up to their Talent. The Pittsburgh Steelers are my Sixth Loser at 2-5. Pittsburgh has been downright horrible and very inconsistent. I cannot remember a Steeler’s team that has played this bad in recent memory. Of Course, rounding up the list of Losers is the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have been terrible and are the only other team besides the Jaguars without a win. They even cut their Franchise Quarterback, talk about controversy.
Ok, the halfway point of the season is also a time to analyze the best and worst performers in Fantasy Football. I will provide a list of the Top 20 Performers Thus Far and this is of course in a PPR League, so some players may be ranked higher than others:
1) Peyton Manning (QB)- 322 Fantasy Points- At this point Manning is on a record setting pace both in Fantasy and on the GridIron.
2) Drew Brees (QB)- 242 Fantasy Points- Brees has been hot as of late, he tossed 5TDs last week.
3) Matt Stafford (QB)- 241 Fantasy Points- Stafford is having another excellent season and now has Reggie Bush along with Megatron.
4) Tony Romo (QB)- 229 Fantasy Points- Romo is having a career year thus far.
5) Aaron Rodgers (QB)- 214 Fantasy Points- Rodgers is always in the Top 5 Every Year.
6) Andy Dalton (QB)- 212 Fantasy Points- Dalton is somewhat of a surprise to be this high on the list.
7) Philip Rivers (QB)- 205 Fantasy Points- Rivers is another Steady Performer Week after Week.
8) Matt Ryan (QB)- 199 Fantasy Points- Ryan has struggled but that is more due to injuries to his weapons.
9) Cam Newton (QB)- 189 Fantasy Points- Newton is having another solid year and has been hot as of late.
10) Jamal Charles (RB)- 187 Fantasy Points- Charles is the First Non Quarterback on the list…thats saying something.
11) Russell Wilson (QB)- 184 Fantasy Points- Wilson is not having a sophomore slump!
12) Andrew Luck (QB)- 180 Fantasy Points- His production may drop off with the loss of Reggie Wayne for the season.
13) Sam Bradford (QB)- 179 Fantasy Points- Bradford was having a stellar year before his season ending injury.
14) Colin Kaepernick (QB)- 170 Fantasy Points- Consistent Performer.
15) Calvin Johnson aka Megatron (WR)- 169 Fantasy Points- Calvin leads all Receivers and don’t forget he missed two games with injuries.
16) RG GriffinIII (QB)- 163 Fantasy Points- Griffin has been hampered by injury.
17) Jay Cutler (QB)- 161 Fantasy Points- Cutler has been out with an injury.
18) Wes Welker (WR)- 159 Fantasy Points- Welker is on the Best Offense with the Best Weapons and still cracks the Top 20.
19) Knoshown Moreno (RB)- 158 Fantasy Points- Moreno is on fire and reaping the benefits of playing with Manning.
20) Dez Bryant (WR)- 155 Fantasy Points- Dez has been the most consistent Receiver week to week.
Now the worst of the worst…not by points but just sheer disappointment…
Marques Colston, Roddy White, Ryan Matthews, Tom Brady, Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, CJ Spiller, Dave Wilson, Miles Austin, Mike Williams, Robert Meachem, Joshua Cribbs, Mike Wallace, Maurice jones-drew, Kembrell Thompkins, Tayvon Austin.
****Best Fantasy Sleeper Picks****
Well, I took Josh Gordon with the very last pick in my draft and he is now my Number Two Receiver. I would say he is the best. Other Sleepers include Andy Dalton, Knowshon Moreno, Antonio Gates, Ruben Randel, TY Hilton, and Brandon Gibson.
Now for some of the best Free Agent/Waiver Picks:
Julius Thomas, Terrance Williams, Giovanni Bernard, Alshon Jeffery, Kendall Wright, Chris Clay, Ted Ginn, and Billal Powell.
Ok, last but not least…Contenders and Pretenders:
Contenders- Kansas City Chiefs, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, New Orleans Saints, Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions.
Pretenders- New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers.
MVP- Peyton Manning, Offensive MVP-Peyton Manning, Defensive MVP-Tamba Hali, Best WR- Calvin Johnson, Best Running Back- Jamal Charles, Best TE-Jimmy Graham, Best Defense- Houston Texans, Best Kicker- Matt Prater.
****Stay Tuned, I will have my Thursday Pick Tomorrow and I will Reveal My Next Installment, in the meantime…Go Saint Louis!!!!!!!!!!!!