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Fantasy Football

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If anyone knows who the Deathdealers are, please have them contact Newman ASAP:

newman@SW.com

Apparently, there is a third place and he's got that spot.

I thought we changed it to 1st and 2nd place only. Tell Newman just to give his prize to Hughes. I know kidgolieth personally. He doesnt expect the money. Its cool.

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If anyone knows who the Deathdealers are, please have them contact Newman ASAP:

newman@SW.com

Apparently, there is a third place and he's got that spot.

I thought we changed it to 1st and 2nd place only. Tell Newman just to give his prize to Hughes. I know kidgolieth personally. He doesnt expect the money. Its cool.

Alright, I emailed Newman again and told him to split the 3rd place prize with me and Carp as that seems like the fair thing to do.

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If anyone knows who the Deathdealers are, please have them contact Newman ASAP:

newman@SW.com

Apparently, there is a third place and he's got that spot.

I thought we changed it to 1st and 2nd place only. Tell Newman just to give his prize to Hughes. I know kidgolieth personally. He doesnt expect the money. Its cool.

Alright, I emailed Newman again and told him to split the 3rd place prize with me and Carp as that seems like the fair thing to do.

Domo air gato........PIF.

Ruuuuuuun SIRI! Ruuuuuuuuuun!

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Didn't really want to start a new topic just for this one post but since it's still fooball season, I thought irish and maybe others might be interested in this bit of news. I used to watch Tom Brookshier and Pat Summerall on CBS back in the day and enjoy their announcing of NFL games.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=A ... &type=lgns

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After busy offseason, an early look at how the 32 teams stack up now pt 1

1. Green Bay. It's not just the maturation of Aaron Rodgers. It's the carryover from a fluky end to 2009 (the weird playoff loss at Arizona) and the fact that only one team in football -- New Orleans -- had a better point differential than the Pack's plus-164 last year. I like Jermichael Finley to become a great player in his second starting season. I don't trust the pass-rush (where Clay BM is the only real thing), and I worry about two of the top three corners coming off ACL surgery, and aging. But the defensive front is formidable, and a very good match for the good run teams of the NFC North. I also like Weeks 2 through 5 on the schedule (Buffalo, at Chicago, Detroit, at Washington), which sets up for a strong start.

2. San Diego. I didn't like how much the Chargers traded to get Ryan BM (the 28th and 40th picks in a strong draft) when they probably could have gotten him for less, but that doesn't mean I don't like what BM is going to do. I think he'll be the offensive rookie of the year. He has everything a good back needs -- opportunity (he should get 320 carries if healthy), playing from ahead a lot, and a good offensive line. And did I mention Philip Rivers will throw for 4,500 yards and contend strongly for MVP?

As with Green Bay, I don't know where all the pass-rush will come from, but the Chargers are relying heavily on Larry English to break out of his freshman slump and give it to them -- and hope that, in a salary-drive year, Shawne Merriman can give the franchise one last productive year. It's more likely, I think, that Shaun Phillips has seven to 10 sacks and provides cover for English. I like the Chargers to go at least 5-1 in the division, which gives them an edge over the other three division winners, setting them up for home-field in the AFC playoffs.

3. Baltimore. I think the Ravens have hit a few home runs this offseason, and those moves could carry them to the AFC Championship Game. I like the remake of their receiver corps. Anquan Boldin won't make it through 16 games healthy, but he'll give Joe Flacco a good, physical target for 12. Donte' Stallworth will be reborn as an effective third or fourth wideout, with the speed at the position the Ravens haven't had. On defense, I wish I saw something better at cornerback than waiting for Lardarius Webb to come back from knee surgery sometime this summer so that the starting corners opening day aren't Chris Carr and Domonique Foxworth. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison obviously has to be hoping for it to be third- and-long so often (with a great run-stuffing front) that he doesn't have to worry about the more than occasional coverage error downfield.

4. Indianapolis. I see no reason, either in the competitive level of the division or in the Colts' slippage, for Indy to regress. Manning will be Manning, and he has the young weapons to be good as long as his body will hold up now, even if one of his valuable pieces like Reggie Wayne breaks down. They've backstopped everywhere on the roster pretty effectively, and last year got two kid corners the kind of experience under fire that will serve them well going forward at a position Bill Polian uses interchangeably. Third-round pick Jerraud Powers played as effectively as any other rookie corner in football last year, and Indy's set with him and Kelvin Hayden, with Jacob Lacey in relief there. The Achilles heel, again, could be San Diego. The Chargers are a major matchup problem for Indianapolis, and even with some upheaval in San Diego, the AFC still could come down to Indy having to win at San Diego to make it to the Super Bowl.

5. New Orleans. The Saints face a daunting task: Only four times in the last 20 seasons has a team repeated as Super Bowl champ (San Francisco in 1990, Dallas in 1994, Denver in 1999 and New England in 2005). The Saints will surely score enough to win again. The question is whether defensive coordinator Gregg Williams can tread water in 2010, because I think that's all he's going to have to do. New Orleans doesn't have to be in the top 10 in defense -- the Bills allowed 15 fewer points last year, the 49ers 60 -- but Williams, again, will have to find a way to get pressure with middling front-seven talent and make sure the Saints don't have to score in the 30s every week to win.

I think Carolina will be better, and Atlanta might be, so this is not a mail-it-in division race for New Orleans. But when the Saints had to pick it up last year, they did, in a big way. Will complacency bite them? That's something you can never tell at this point of the offseason, but they're young at enough important positions to make another Super Bowl run.

6. Miami. I probably like the young quarterback more than most do; I think Chad Henne is set for a breakout year, and I think the receiver group (BM Marshall, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess) will be good enough to give Miami enough at that position for the first time in years. Even though the Dolphins didn't get a fourth receiver like the one they wanted (Demaryius Thomas) on draft day, they'll be good enough there to contend.

The most important rookie in the league to a playoff contender, other than Ryan BM of the Chargers, could well be Koa Misi, the second-rounder projected to rush the passer for Miami. But as Bill Parcells has said since he came out of the womb, "They don't sell insurance for that kind of thing.'' They don't, and Misi needs to have immediate impact to bolster the one area of the Dolphins that they need the most help -- pass-rush.

7. New York Jets. Tough team to forecast, through all the glitz. The one thing I like a lot about the Jets is their ability to make tough decisions, even when the decisions seem ruthless. GM Mike Tannenbaum said goodbye to two locker room pillars, running back Thomas Jones and guard Alan Faneca, when he knew there'd be player rumblings about it. Tannenbaum has put his trust in offensive line and running-game guru Bill Callahan to keep the best running game in football rolling. There's a lot about this team that's a tinderbox. Will Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards coexist peacefully? Can LaDainian Tomlinson be happy being a middle-relief pitcher? Will Antonio Cromartie tackle, even a little? Make no mistake about it: There's more pressure on Rex Ryan than on any other coach in football this year

8. Carolina. Dangerous team. Very deceiving 8-8 record last year. While everyone tiptoed around it because everyone in the Carolinas loves Jake Delhomme, something awful happened to him in the last year and a half, and he just couldn't play quarterback for this team anymore. Check out what Matt Moore did in his last three starts: three wins, 66-percent accuracy, seven touchdowns, zero picks, and the Panthers outscored three foes 90-26. (Asterisk on the third, New Orleans, because the Saints played the JV that day.) This will be John Fox's last year with the Panthers -- the owner, Jerry Richardson, doesn't want to be in the business of laying off employees and paying a former coach $6 million a year in this economy -- and I think he'll say full speed ahead, damn the torpedoes, forget next year, I'm doing everything I can to win right now. And he'll win enough to make the Wild Card.

9. New York Giants. Pick a team out of the hat in this division. In the last six years, the NFC East champs, in order, have been Philadelphia, New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, New York and Dallas. The Giants have spent so much money and draft currency on the defensive line, and it simply has to be better or the natives rightfully will be able to wonder if Jerry Reese knows how to build a team, or did he just catch lightning in a bottle in his first year, the Super Bowl year. The offense will score enough, that I know. What it comes down to for the Giants is the defensive investment being smart enough, and I say it will.

10. Dallas. No other team has a better twin pass-rush threat than DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, and few teams have the multiplicity of weapons on offense. If Dez Bryant catches on quickly -- that's a big if -- the Cowboys could be the first home team to win a Super Bowl ever. But something always happens in the NFC East, something weird. The Eagles could rebound with the energy of a new quarterback to make the playoffs, but I feel pretty good about a second team making the playoffs out of the division. For five straight years, the East has produced at least one Wild Card.

11. Seattle. I don't love the division, so it's logical to give Turnaround Team of the Year to Pete Carroll and the Seahawks. "I know one thing we will do,'' he said to me a month ago. "We will increase competition at every position on the roster.'' Charlie Whitehurst, Leon Washington, LenDale White (laugh if you must, but he'll be a factor because Carroll will know how to press his buttons) and a slew of other role players will see to that. I say Matt Hasselbeck has one more sound year in him, and he'll have weapons enough to edge the 49ers and Cards for the division.

12. Pittsburgh. Surprise: They survive a month without Ben Roethlisberger to eke out the final spot over New England and Houston, assuming Roethlisberger's ban is only four weeks. -- I hope Dennis Dixon gets a shot the first four weeks, because he's good enough to win with. But they'll need defensive playmaking from LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu to win at least twice while they make do at quarterback. This is the true test of a good coach, making sure your team wins when it's not at its best. Mike Tomlin didn't do a great job at that last year. But he's young, he's still learning, and I think he'll respond better this summer in camp and in September.

ON THE PLAYOFF BUBBLE

13. Minnesota. Whether old What's His Name comes back or not will determine Minnesota's fate. Brett Favre or no Brett Favre, the Vikings have an offensive line in decline.

14. New England. I still don't know who will rush the passer, who the shutdown corner is, who the Mike Vrabel/Rodney Harrison defensive leader is, and if there's enough depth at wide receiver to survive until Wes Welker returns.

15. Philadelphia. I was in favor of going to Kevin Kolb, but that doesn't mean there's a 12-win season waiting to happen. There's likely to be growing pain, maybe with a Mike Vick replacement game or two.

16. Atlanta. The Falcons are healthier, and better. I just think there are two teams in the division better right now -- unless Matt Ryan has a Drew Brees-type year. I don't think he has one of those in him ... yet. Not many quarterbacks do.

17. Houston. Will the Texans be in it after eight weeks, with the Brian Cushing debacle and the schedule (Indy, at Washington, Dallas, at Oakland, Giants, Kansas City, at Indy, San Diego)? That offense had better rev it up.

18. Denver. Not very complicated. The Broncos have to be better than a 20.4-points-per-game team to give an OK defense a chance to hold up. To do that, one of the quarterbacks has to play well, which I think is possible under Josh McDaniels. Likely? That's another matter.

19. San Francisco. The Niners allowed just 281 points last year, 39 fewer than San Diego, and they return their solid up-the-gut unit led by Patrick Willis and impenetrable tackles. That's fine. But Alex Smith is the quarterback and Donovan McNabb isn't, and that will likely be the difference between winning a division and finishing second.

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After busy offseason, an early look at how the 32 teams stack up now pt 2

WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR

20. Washington. The natives won't be thrilled with 8-8, but there's lots of deadwood, and deadwood attitude, to flush out of the organization for Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen. If McNabb is his usual self, the Redskins will be in 13 games in the fourth quarter.

21. Jacksonville. Lots to find out this year -- whether David Garrard is the longterm quarterback, whether Jack Del Rio will be around longterm, and whether the franchise can sell enough tickets to survive in north Florida. We'll know an awful lot after the Jags see San Diego, Philly and Indy in Weeks 2-4.

22. Arizona. Let's just say everything I hear about Matt Leinart is lukewarm. I don't get a confident feel that he'll be a good or long-range replacement for Kurt Warner, and without a strong passing game, the Cards can't score enough to help an OK defense with some holes. Now, if Joey Porter can turn back the clock six years ...

23. Cincinnati. I love Carson Palmer. I worry about Carson Palmer. And I bet if you ask every Bengals fan out there, they'd say the exact same thing.

24. Detroit. If the Lions were in the NFC West, they might win it this year. They're making significant progress -- assuming Ndamukong Suh is the genuine item and Kyle Vanden Bosch has something left.

25. Chicago. The Mike Martz-Jay Cutler marriage could work, or it could explode. The defense will be solid, assuming Julius Peppers comes to play, but he can't solve everything on a unit that allowed 375 points last year.

26. Kansas City. I think Matt Cassel was unfairly blamed last season for too much on an offense with few weapons, but he's good and will make strides this year. Having Dexter McCluster will help. Giving up 26.5 points a game again can't happen if the Chiefs want to be a threat of any kind, which is why Eric Berry has to be the genuine item from day one of training camp.

27. Tennessee. Tough to see a Jeff Fisher team down for a second straight year, particularly coming off such a strong finish last year. But this is a team in transition, unsure where the pass-rush will come from and whether Vince Young can be the quarterback of the future.

28. Oakland. Good for Tom Cable. He stays and gets a defensive quarterback (Rolando McClain) to pilot the other side of the ball. But while everyone is thrilled JaMarcus Russell is gone, and it's clearly addition by subtraction, those left in his wake -- Bruce Gradkowski, Jason Campbell -- aren't proven NFL winners. So here are the Raiders in five-win-ville again.

29. Cleveland. Still can't believe the Browns could end up paying Jake Delhomme $7 million to play quarterback this year. For a team I rank so low, there's a lot about Cleveland I like, though the passing game is not one of those things.

30. Tampa Bay. What I like about the Bucs: that the top five draft picks will get a chance to play right away, and a lot. What I don't like about the Bucs: that the top five draft picks will get a chance to play right away, and a lot.

31. Buffalo. Drafting C.J. Spiller is the one thing a terrible offense did this offseason to get better. Unfortunately, he can't throw the football.

32. St. Louis. The Rams are 6-42 in the past three years. They were 32nd in points scored last year, 31st in points allowed. The Lions scored 87 more points. But there's a quarterback now, and there's a solid defense captain now in James Laurinaitis. The cavalry's on the way, St. Louis. Give it another year or two, if you've got the stomach.

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Chris Johnson has skipped the Tennessee Titans' voluntary practices this offseason as he hopes to get a bigger contract after his 2,000-yard 2009 season. One of the best running backs in NFL history applauds his stance.

Marshall Faulk told The (Nashville) Tennessean that Johnson is doing the right thing.

"Without a doubt, if more money is what he wants, he has to hold out," Faulk, who is now an NFL Network analyst, told the newspaper. "You have to know who you are dealing with. The Titans aren't known for caving in or paying, it doesn't matter who you are. In my opinion, there is no way he can come in and play under the current contract.''

Johnson is expected to be absent when the Titans take part in their fifth practice of the offseason Tuesday.

Johnson has three years left on the $12 million contract he signed in 2008 that featured $7 million guaranteed. But his base salary for 2010 doesn't even put him close to being one of the best-paid players on the Titans, let alone the NFL. Johnson is due $550,000 for 2010.

Faulk told The Tennessean that Johnson has to use his leverage with the Titans while he still has it.

"Chris has outplayed his rookie deal. He has beyond exceeded the expectation where he was drafted,'' Faulk told the newspaper. "When you are drafted you are paid as to where you were drafted, not to how you play. And then after you play and prove your worth you are then paid as to how you play. He has exceeded the money he is making, the Titans know it and everyone in the league knows it."

Johnson also has some online fan support in his bid for a big pay hike. A new petition titled "Pay CJ2K (Get Chris Johnson A New Contract)" has been set up to support Johnson and had 64 signatures by Tuesday afternoon. Johnson retweeted the link Tuesday to his more than 73,000 followers on Twitter.

The running back, picked No. 24 overall in 2008, started talking of wanting more money as he wrapped up his second season as The Associated Press' 2009 Offensive Player of the Year.

"That's something my agent has got to take care of, my agent and upstairs," Johnson said in January, the day after the season ended. "I'm not sure. I need to get [owner] Bud Adams' number."

Johnson ran 358 times for 2,006 yards as the NFL's leading rusher, 590 yards more than Steven Jackson of the St. Louis Rams.

Johnson also set the single-season record for yards from scrimmage with 2,509, topping Faulk's mark of 2,429 set in 1999 with St. Louis. He became the first player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards and catch 500 yards in the same season.

He also became the first player in NFL history to rush for three touchdowns of 85 yards or longer in a career, which he did in one season. Through two seasons, Johnson ranks third in NFL history with 3,234 yards to start his career. Only Eric Dickerson (3,913) and Edgerrin James (3,262) ran for more in their first two seasons.

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He might be the #1 pick going into next year. I was surprised I was able to grab him last year with like the 6th of 7th pick in the first round.

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Had my first draft over the weekend and there were a few surprises. The first being Aaron Rodgers taken as the 1st qb overall with the fourth pick. I agree he's gonna be good, but I still think Drew Brees needs to be the first qb taken.

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Had my first draft over the weekend and there were a few surprises. The first being Aaron Rodgers taken as the 1st qb overall with the fourth pick. I agree he's gonna be good, but I still think Drew Brees needs to be the first qb taken.

I agree.

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