Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Years Day should be Bowl Day

The Counselor is IN: 

The Tostitos BCS Championship Game  is on January 10th this year.  When I heard this I was taken back by it. My first thought was, “why is it so late in the year?”  I do understand the answer is money but I am frustrated with that answer.

I know I might sound like some old timer with these thoughts but I hate that the College football season does not end on New Years Day.  When I was a youth, all of the big College Bowl games occurred on January 1st. There were some minor Bowl games during the week after Christmas, but the 1st was College Bowl Day.  We would watch the top level Collegiate football all day long.

This season there are 7 Bowl games after the New Year.  There are a few big historical Bowl games on this list like the Orange Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Cotton Bowl and of course the BCS Championship Bowl game.  But there are other ones that are not big name games after New Years like GoDaddy.Com Bowl, and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.  

When the BCS game started, they slated it to January 2nd.  I did not like it then.  Now it is on January 10th.  When does this extending of the season end?  Is Martin Luther King Jr Day the next big Collegiate Bowl day?  Why not push it back to the weekend before the Super Bowl or put it on Presidents Day?  Why not start March Madness off with the BCS Game?  

Lets end the insanity and make New Years Day the big Bowl game day that it was in years past.

 The Counselor is OUT: 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Is Jason Garrett the answer in Dallas?

The Counselor is IN:

Two weeks ago, I would have laughed at this question, “Is Jason Garrett the answer in Dallas?”  The only thing that brought more fear to me than leaving Wade Phillips as the coach, was to give the position to Jason Garrett because his offense appeared to under achieving more than Wade’s defense.  After two victories under Garrett, I am not so quick to deny the validity of the question.

During the first 9 weeks of the season (only played 8 games because of bye week) , the Dallas Cowboys average right around 10 penalties a game.  In the two weeks under Jason “Red Headed Genius” Garrett, the number penalties have almost dropped in half.  The Cowboys have averaged 5.5 penalties over the last two weeks.

Under Wade this season, the Cowboys continually turned over the football.  They were -10 on the turnover ratio for Wade’s eight ball games.  Over the last two games, the Cowboys are plus 3.

Jason Garrett is having the Boys work on the small details.  He has them wearing pads and practicing at full speed during the week.  He is enforcing meeting times and making the players be responsible.  He even implemented a dress code for the players for flights and game day.  You can see this has made a difference by watching how different this team has approached both of these games under Garrett.  It is hard to argue with the declining penalties and turnovers.

It does appear that Garrett has been the answer over Wade Phillips for these two games.  After just two games, I am not willing to declare Garrett the long term answer in Dallas.  They need to continue to stay focused and disciplined.  If Garrett can get the Cowboys to play more focused and to continue to work on the details this season, then he just may be the long term answer in Dallas.

 The Counselor is OUT:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rangers Win First Playoff series

The Counselor is IN:

As a Texas Rangers fan, this is a time of celebration.  Congratulations Rangers.  Don't celebrate to long because you will be facing the New York Yankees come Friday. 

It is a strange story how I became a Rangers fan.  I grew up and still live in Southwest Missouri.  In the early 80s both  the ST. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals were fantastic.  Since they were both so good, the local fans would argue over which team was better.  I grew tired of these debates so I picked a random team from the list of MLB teams.  I had no idea where the Texas Rangers played (other than in Texas).  I continued to cheer for both the Cardinals and Royals but from that time forward, I am a Texas Rangers Fan first.

As I started rooting for the Rangers, I quickly learned that this team was not like the Royals and Cardinals of the early 80s.  The Rangers were not a winning team and did not have a positive mentality. It did not matter because I picked them as my team and I continued to cheer for them. 

I loved the Nolan Ryan years for the Rangers.  I still smile when I think about Nolan Ryan beating the snot (and blood) out of Robin Ventura. 

I hoped and dreamed the Rangers of the late 90s when the made the playoffs but then ousted by the Yankees. 

I am very excited about the Rangers victory over the Rays.  It was a strange series with the road team winning each game.  I was enthralled with tonights game with the Rangers aggressive base running to take the lead and keep it on the Rays.  Go Rangers and beat the Yankees.

The Counselor is OUT:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fantasy Football: Pick Up or Dump

The Counselor is IN:

Pick Up or Dump is a section about what players you should pick up on the waiver wire this and those players you should drop from your roster.

Pick Up

1)  RB Arian Foster - Texans

Huge Up Side for all season and in keeper leagues 

Foster is already owned in many leagues.  ESPN is showing him available in 15 % of leagues and Yahoo shows him available in 29 % of their leagues.  If he is available in your league, pick him up quick.  He will not be available for long after last weekend's performance.  He will not rush for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns every week but he should be a solid #2 RB for you. 

2) RB Brandon Jackson - Packers

Huge Up Side for all season and for keeper leagues

Running back Ryan Grant was placed on the Injured Reserve with a torn ligament in his right ankle.  This has promoted Jackson to the starter.  Grant has 1253 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns last season.  Jackson was drafted 4 years ago to be the starter until Grant beat him out for the starting gig.  Look for Jackson to attempt to prove he should be the starter. 

3) QB Michael Vick- Eagles

Some Up side and potential

Michael Vick had a great week one coming in for QB Kevin Kolb who had a concussion.  It is unlikely that Kolb will have recovered enough to play this next weekend.  If Vick continues to play well, he could start a QB Controversy in Philly.  Kolb was not having a good game when he got his concussion. 

4) WR Dexter McCluster - Chiefs

Long term Up Side and Potential especially in a keeper league

McCluster had a huge weekend as a return specialist.  He has a lot of potential as a wide receiver in an improving Chief's offense.

5)  WR Mike Williams - Bucs

Major Upside and Potential especially in a keeper league

Rookie receiver Mike Williams is the number one receiver already in Tampa.  He has a ton of potential.  He had 5 catches and a touchdown in weekend. 


1)  WR Anthony Gonzalez - Colts

Gonzalez was the up and coming Wide Receiver for the Colts at the beginning of last season.  He went down with an injury and has lost his place.  He is injured again with an ankle injury.  Many believed he would be back to that same level but he is clearly behind Collie and Garcon. 

2)  WR Patrick Crayton - Chargers

Crayton was traded to the Chargers.  Many thought he would step into a starting role since Jackson is still holding out.  It is clear after this last weekend that Crayton is no better off with the Chargers than he was with the Cowboys.

3)  WR Chaz Schilens - Raiders

Chaz was the top receiver on the Raiders coming into season.  He had a decent season last year and was expected to progress with a new QB.  With his injury, his potential for a big season is dropping fast.  I suggest dropping his a quick.

The Counselor is OUT:

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Week 1 Fantasy Football Injuries- Thursday Edition

Here are the Thursday edition of Week 1 fantasy injuries and my commentary. I am posting a Thursday's edition and the regular Weekend edition. The Thursday Edition will list injuries for the Thursday's games only.

QB Brett Favre is probable with a sprained ankle. Favre will continue his record of most starts and will play on Thursday night's opening of the NFL season.  I look for a shootout from two of the best QBs in the league.

WR Sidney Rice is out indefinitely with a hip injury.  He is expected to miss about half the season. 

WR Marques Colston is probable with a
bruised kidney.  He suffered the bruise in the final preseason game but will start.  The kidney should not affect his fantasy value. 

The Counselor is OUT:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Updated Cheatsheets

The Counselor is IN:

All of the fantasy football cheatsheets have been updated on Saturday September28th.  Check the original posts for the Top 150 and each position and those are the updated cheatsheets.

The Counselor is OUT:

Fantasy Football Sleepers

The Counselor is IN:

Here is my list of fantasy football sleepers.  A sleeper is someone that is undervalued and should reward you for picking them up.  I have three different levels of sleepers: Sleepers, Deep Sleepers, and Rip Van Winkle Sleepers.  

These players most likely will be drafted but are being drafted lower than their estimated value.  I rank them in order that they may be able to be productive starters or rotation guys.

1)  Ryan Matthews, RB, San Diego Chargers
If you have not seen a Chargers pre-season game, you are missing the up and coming stud running back.  Do not sleep long on Matthews.  He is a great #2 RB for you and may be a stud #1.  If you are in a keeper league, make him a priority.

2)  RB Arian Foster  Texans
Foster had a good year last season after becoming the starter.  It looked like he had lost his job to the rookie RB Tate but an season ending injury has given Foster the starting job again.  Look for him to prove he deserves it.

3)  RB Carnell Williams - TB
Cadilac has become a forgot runningback.  Don’t forget about him.  He is a great flex or third RB and could prove to be a really good #2.  

4)  RB Michael Bush- RaidersEverything points to Bush as the starter for the Raiders.  He is being drafted far after McFadden.  He is a great backup and could prove to be a starter.

5)   QB Jay Cutler- Chicago
Cutler starts his second season in Chicago.  He has been sporatic but this may be the season that he puts it together.  He is a fine backup and could become your starter.

6)  RB Jahvid Best-Detroit Lions (Rookie)
Rookie runningbacks are often good picks later in the draft.  Many are cautious of Best because he is on the Lions.  I look for Best to have a good rookie year and would be a good #4 back for you.

7)  WR Mike Williams - TB (Rookie)
Rookie Wides are often a bust but Williams has displayed in the pre-season that he is the best WR on the Bucs roster.  I would be pleased with him as a fourth WR.  I would definitely pick him up in a keeper league.

8) WR Jacoby Jones- TexansJones toys has toyed with my sleeper list the last couple of years.  It is possible that he might beat out Walter before the end of the season as the #2 WR in a potent Texas passing attack.

9) WR James Jones - GB PackersJones has become a forgot man in the Packers offense.  He looks like he is now on the same page with Rodgers.  He has lots of potential this season.

10)  WR Johnny Knox- Chicago
Knox came out of no where for many last season as a spot starter who was very hot and cold.  I look for Knox to continue to develop with Cutler and to put up decent #3 WR numbers at the cost of a #5 WR.

Deep Sleepers
These guys should be bench players for you but could pay off and become starters if the situation turns their way.  Don’t overpay for them but these players do have good upside.

1) RB LaDainian Tomlinson-  Jets
LT is past his prime but still has some moves and may get all the goal line carries.

2) WR Mike Wallace- Pittsburgh Steelers
Wallace has potential especially when Big Ben returns.  

3) TE Dustin Keller- Jets
Keller has a ton of potential and should be the safety value for a developing Sanchez.

4)  TE Zach Miller- Raiders
Miller has a new QB and should return to the world of owned TEs.

5)  WR Chaz Schilens- Oakland Raiders
Schilens has some good games last season and should have a better season with a new QB.

6)  WR Kenny Britt- Titans
Britt has ton of potential.  If Young continues to develop at QB, Britt will have a good year.

7)  WR Julian Edelman- Patriots
Edelman is known as a poor man’s Welker.  He has a chance to come out of no where like Welker did a couple of seasons ago.

8)  WR Early Doucet- Arizona
Doucet has a lot of potential and has moved up the depth chart but his QB situation could keep him from breaking out this year.

9)  RB Marshawn Lynch  Buffalo
Remember that Lynch was a fantasy stud just a few seasons ago and he is only 24 years old.  I look for him to get traded or prove himself this season.  This is a hit or miss pick.

10)  RB Willis McGahee- Baltimore
McGahee continues to produce from time to time.  If Rice gets injured then McGahee could become very valuable.  

Rip Van Winkle Sleepers
These players are flyers in the late rounds.  They have potential to have a break out year but are also likely to do nothing for you except be waived for a pick up.

1) WR Devin Aromashodu- Bears

2) WR Laurent Robinson- STL

3) WR Jordon Shipley- Cincinnati

4)  RB Montario Hardesty- Browns

5)  QB Josh Freeman-, Buccaneers

6)  WR Dwayne Jarrett - Carolina

7)  QB Matthew Stafford - Detroit

8)  QB Chad Henne  Miami

9)  QB Alex Smith- SF

10) RB Kenneth Darby- STL

The Counselor is OUT:

Friday, August 27, 2010

What to Bring to Your Fantasy Football Draft

The Counselor is IN:

If you have a live draft or auction, then I have 10 suggestions. These are the things to bring with you to a draft.

1) Your custom draft list- you should be making these in advance and editing every week or so until you are done with all your drafts.

2) Pencil and paper to track your players, other owner’s players, auction prices, and to mark off players from your list.

3) Be a good guest and bring snacks to share with others- people prefer to trade with people that they like and bringing snacks sure helps.

4) Bring beer that others like- it is better to get them drinking than for you to drink (limit it if you do partake).

5) Calculator if you are in an auction league- need to track everyone's money.

6) Injury report- this is for you and to share with other owners- it will make you look knowledgeable and a nice guy.|

7) Projected depth charts for all the NFL teams- this is for you only.

8) List of sleepers for late rounds and keep auction players.

9) As much knowledge as you can find about the other owners including their favorite teams, players, and typical draft strategies. It is always good to chit chat with owners to help understand who they like and don’t like.

10) You ability to adapt to change with the draft. Things will not go as you planned. You will need to leave your plan and list from time to time.

The Counselor is OUT:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Overrated Fantasy Players

The Counselor is IN:

Every season there are players who are taken too early in the draft for various reasons.  This does not mean these players are bad players or that you should not draft them.  These hyped players will not give you the bang for your pick or your auction dollars that other players might give you.  Here is my list of players that I consider to be overrated.

1)  QB Aaron Rodgers- Packers
Rodgers is a great player.  I have ranked as my 4 best QB and should be taken in the middle of the first round.  In many mock drafts, Rodgers is going in the mid first round as the first quarterback taken.  Aaron was sacked 50 times last year.  He is likely to get injured if he continues to get pounded.  

2)  RB DeAngelo Williams- Carolina Panthers
Williams had a great fantasy season in 2008-  1,515 rushing yards with 18 touchdowns.  He had an average season in 2009- 1,117 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns.  Stewart is another year more mature and should continue to steal carries.  This year they have Matt Moore as their starting QB and if things go badly, rookie Jimmy Clausen.  I expect 8 men in the box all year round.  He is currently going in the late first round to early second round.  He should be drafted in the late second to early third round.

3)  WR Larry Fitzgerald- Cardinals
There is a huge difference in Kurt Warner being your QB and Matt Leinart.  I have watched a some of the Cardinals preseason games and I will be down grading their whole team.  Fitz may be the best receiver in the NFL but he will have to demonstrate it continually to justify the early second round pick.  I would move him to the end of the second round to be a decent value.

4) RB Chris “Beanie” Wells - Cardinals
As stated above, this team will not be the same without Kurt Warner.  He is going at the end of the third round as the 15th overall runningback.  He is going all most a hundred picks before Tim Hightower and Hightower is ahead of Wells on the depth carth.  

5)  Jets Defense
There is no doubt that the Jets have a great defense.  Even the best defenses should not be drafted in the first 10 rounds.  The Jets are going in the middle of the 6th round.  Stop the insanity.

6)  WR Chad OchoCinco- Bengals
Chad may benefit from T.O. being in Cincinnati.  I doubt he will benefit enough to justify the middle fourth pick when T.O. is going in the middle seventh round.  Chad only  had a 1,166 yard and 5 TD season last year.  

7)  RB LeSean McCoy- Eagles
Do you think the Eagles will run the ball?  Really?  I like McCoy and think he does have potential especially catching the ball out of the backfield.  But I do not see value in picking him at the end of the thrid or beginning of the fourth round.

The Counselor is OUT:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Who to take with the #1 overall pick?

The Counselor is IN:

Who to take with the #1 overall pick?

You can make the case for a few different guys.  I will discuss three different guys. In a few lines I will give you the reasons you should chose of these guys and then why you might want to chose someone else.

1)  Chris Johnson- RB- Tennessee Titians- 24 years old.  

Johnson is the top contender for the number one spot.  He rushed for 2,006 yards, 16 touchdowns, and an NFL-record 2,509 yards from scrimmage in 2009.  He rushed for more than 100 yards in 11 consecutive games.

358 carries.  That is the number of carries that Johnson had last year.  Historically this large number of carries.  Most of the runningbacks who have had 350+ carries during one season will have a much more pedestrian season the next year.  Sometimes the player ends up with an injury plagued season.  

2) Adrian Peterson- RB- Minnesota Vikings- 25 years old.

Peterson is a competitive running back who is on a great team with Brett Favre.  Favre forces the defense to respect the pass and this will give All Day some running room.  Peterson has been a top 5 fantasy player over the last three seasons.  He had 18 touchdowns last season.

FUMBLE!  Peterson has had a bad case of the fumbles with 16 over the last 2 seasons.  His rushing yards per carry has gone down every season.

3)  Maurice Jones- Drew- RB- Jacksonville Jaguars- 25 years old.

Maurice is a well rounded back who is coming into his own.  Last season he had 1,391 yards on 312 carries with 15 TDs.  He also had 53 receptions for 374 yards and one TD.  I look for Jones-Drew to have a break out season this year.

He is not the home run hitter that Johnson is.  He is not the power back of Peterson.  He appears  to be at the level below.

When weighing out the positives and negatives, I would personally draft Peterson number 1.  I understand the rationale for drafting any of these three at overall number 1 slot.

The Counselor is OUT:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fantasy Football Defense List

The Counselor is IN:

Below is my cheatsheets for Defenses. The highlighted rows are the start of new Tiers. Remember that Defenses and Kickers are inconsistent in value and should be saved until the end of the draft to pick.

The Counselor is OUT:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fantasy Football Kicker List

The Counselor is IN:

Below is my cheatsheets for Kickers. The highlighted rows are the start of new Tiers. Remember that Defenses and Kickers are inconsistent in value and should be saved until the end of the draft to pick.

The Counselor is OUT:

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fantasy Football TE List

The Counselor is IN:
Below is my cheatsheets for Tight Ends. The highlighted rows are the start of new Tiers.

The Counselor is OUT:

Monday, August 16, 2010

Fantasy Football WR List

The Counselor is IN:

Below is my cheatsheets for Wide Receivers. The highlighted rows are the start of new Tiers.

The Counselor is OUT:

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fantasy Football RB List

The Counselor is IN:
 Below is my cheatsheets for runningbacks.  The highlighted rows are the start of new Tiers.

The Counselor is OUT:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fantasy Football QB List

The Counselor is IN:

Below is my cheatsheets for quarterbacks.  The highlighted rows are the start of new Tiers.
When Favre makes it official that he will play for the Vikings, then I would move him up the list to #8 in the first Tier of QBs. 

The Counselor is OUT:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fantasy Football top 150 list

The Counselor is IN:

Here is my list of the top 150 players.  This is the first draft.  We will be revising it as the season approaches.  You will notice that there are no defenses or kickers on this list.  There should not be.  Let me know what you think.

The Counselor is OUT:

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Customize your cheatsheets

The Counselor is IN:

I love it when I enter a draft or auction room and  many of the individuals are flipping through their recently purchased fantasy magazines. This scene screams that these fantasy owners have not done their due diligence in research ahead of time. They are using cheatsheets which are months old without the latest information. I start to salivate about my chances in these leagues.

A little more effective but still a mistake to surf to your favorite fantasy football website  right before the draft, print out their list, and carry it to the draft.  This information is usually updated in the last few days but it is limited to the rules and scoring of this site and more importantly it is only one opinion.  

Another issue when bringing the printed out list from one site, like“ESPN”,is many of the owners will have examined the same list multiple times and some of them may be using it themselves. Those owners will know what players you have listed and in what draft order and whom you may be likely to pick with your next selection if they can guess where you got your list.  

If you examine the top 12 players on 5 different websites, most of the players will be the same names but in a slightly different order.  After the top 25, the differences are usually profound on where is player is ranked.  Customizing will help you to rank the players where you believe they need to be on your sheet and will give you a better overall understanding.

There are Fantasy Football leagues with a variety of scoring options out there. I am in a league that is Touchdown heavy which only gives points for scoring and a few rare bonus points for yards. Previously I was in a league that gave huge bonuses for Tight Ends to increase their value.  In both of these leagues, I had to change my cheatsheets to match the rules.  If your league, like many leagues, is not a regular scoring league, then you will need to customize your cheatsheets.  If it is a standard league, I gave the reasons for you to customize your sheets above.

When you are starting out, here are a few tips to customizing your lists.  

1) Get multiple cheatsheet lists to compare. There is nothing wrong with buying your favorite fantasy football mag but do not let it be your only source. Some of the magazines will give you free updates online which can be helpful. You will have the FSC Cheatsheets available for free. There are plenty of other websites out there where you can get free cheatsheets.  Cowboys Pride, Sports Jabber, The Bleacher Report and Yardbarker have posters who give out their lists. There are sites that have customizable cheatsheets like FF Toolbox to help with leagues with non-standard scoring rules. Of course there are the big FF sites like ESPN, Yahoo, and NFL that have their lists available.  Do not rule out the pay sites because they can bring a ton of information and research with their lists for reasonable low amount of money such as my favorite Pigskin Addiction, which is well worth the money if you are in a league that has sizable prize money.

2) Compare and contrast each list. You will see that every list has a different take on how they think each player will perform.  This is one of the most time consuming aspects to customizing your cheatsheets.  Don’t let it grind on you.  You are doing what is required to give yourself the best chance to win.

3) Make your own list. I use a spreadsheet to create my lists which allow you to move players around fairly easily. You can combine the various lists and add your own twists, bias, and gut feelings. It is your list. If you think Peterson will have a terrible year then move him far down your list (I am not advising it but ...).  This is also very time consuming but well worth it.

4) Remember the off weeks. It is important to add bye weeks to your list. Every draft there is at least one person that drafts two QBs off the same week. They are not watching their off weeks. Having these listed on your cheatsheets is a great way to stay on top of the bye weeks.

5) Cheatsheets contain an overall list.  You should have the top 150 - 200 hundred players ranked on your sheet.  Your overall list is most important in the first half of the draft.  You are looking to bring in the best players for your team  especially  in the first half of the draft.

6) Cheatsheets contain individual position lists.  It  is extremely helpful during a the  draft to have a list for each position.  In the second half of the draft, you will be  more concerned with finding the best player at specific positions and may not be concerned with the overall list.  These can give you a quick reference without having to scroll through the top 200 to find the best tight end left.  

7) Tier your lists. Tiers work by grouping players together that are comparable. You want to Tier the position rankings. It is not as important to Tier the over all list but some people find it helpful. The advantage of using Tiers give you a visual on the level of that position players left and will assist you in deciding when to draft a player.

The Counselor is OUT: