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ChiSide’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft

Edit: 6:57: Updated swap of picks three and four.

1.) Indianapolis Colts select…

Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Unless you live in a cave without access to human life, this won’t be news. Not much more can be said about Luck than you’ve already heard. He’s touted as one of the best QB prospects in a long while thanks to his physical ability (he tested similarly to Cam Newton at the NFL Combine), coupled with his outstanding football IQ. In short, the Colts are expecting a player that one-day will develop into an Aaron Rodgers-type with Peyton Manning-like brains.

2.) Washington Redskins select…

Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

History says that one of these two top QBs are doomed to fail — but my eyes tell me otherwise. Griffin is worth as much (if not more) than the three 1st round picks and one 2nd round pick Washington sent to St. Louis to secure him. Washington may finally have hit the jackpot they have been searching for, for all these years with Griffin. He brings Michael Vick athleticism in addition to excellent arm strength and accuracy. There’s not much more to be had.

3.) Cleveland Browns select…

Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

After finishing last season with one of the league’s most effective secondaries, this leaves the Browns with two choices at number three: elite running back Trent Richardson or the blazing fast Justin Blackmon. Richardson seems like the most logical choice of the two, although Blackmon fits as well. However, Cleveland’s main option in the back field is unproven Montario Hardesty, who did little to impress when given extended action last season. Richardson is the only elite talent at his position and Cleveland can take a chance on a WR later on, especially since there’s more depth at the position.

4.) Minnesota Vikings select…

Matt Kalil, OT, USC

The Vikings should not even consider taking anyone but Kalil at number four. Wide receiver Justin Blackmon and cornerback Morris Claiborne are hard to pass up on, but Minnesota’s best bet is to immediately improve a porous offensive line if they want to sustain the career of Adrian Peterson and give their young QB room to operate. The Vikings can afford to take a wideout or a corner in the early second round.

5.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers select…

Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

The Bucs take Richardson in a heartbeat if he’s still around, but unfortunately for them, he won’t be. Claiborne is a great consolation prize, though, as he will instantaneously bolster a struggling secondary. Starter Aqib Talib may miss games due to jail time and Ronde Barber is nearing retirement. Coincidentally, Tampa Bay recently hired LSU’s secondary coach, Ron Cooper. Continue reading

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Fantasy Football: Week 15 Waiver Wire Pickups

DeMarco Murray owners got an early stocking full of coal this past weekend, with the news of a season-ending ankle injury to the stud running back. You know what that means?  Another busy day on the wire. Here are my picks:

Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans

Locker has been piling on the fantasy points late in games when replacing starter Matt Hasselbeck. Locker finally gets his chance to shine against one of the worst defenses in the league, Indianapolis’. Locker, like many of the rookie QBs this year, has the ability to throw as well as run it, which makes him all the more valuable.

Felix Jones, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Jones is coming off an impressive 100+ yard game off the bench in place of the injured DeMarco Murray. Jones shouldn’t disappoint this week either, as he gets the Tampa Bay defense, who just gave up four touchdowns to Maurice Jones-Drew. Merry Christmas!

Ryan Grant, RB, Green Bay Packers

Grant looked like the Grant of old last sunday, rushing for 85 yards and a pair of scores (his first of the year) in Green Bay’s routing of Oakland. Grant likely won’t see the endzone twice this week, but he’s a good bet on getting at least 70 yards against a bad Chiefs defense.

Jabar Gaffney, WR, Washington Redskins

Gaffney seemed to benefit the most from TE Fred Davis’ suspension. Gaffney managed to catch six balls for 92 yards and a score against a generous New England defense. This week he gets a similar defense in the New York Giants. He’s a worthy candidate to start in your lineup.

James Jones, WR, Green Bay Packers

Jones hasn’t been very effective as of late, but with the injury to Greg Jennings, he should start seeing some more looks his way. Aaron Rodgers love to spread the love on sunday, so you might have to hope for a big play or two to make Jones’ totals look respectable.

 

 

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Fantasy Football: Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups

Something like this probably happened to one of the players on your fantasy team

Week 7 of the NFL season was probably one of the most frustrating weeks in recent memory if you were relying on studs like RB Darren McFadden, Beanie Wells, Marshawn Lynch, Earnest Graham, Tim Hightower, and Ryan Mathews amongst others to save your team. All pulled up with injuries and less than ten fantasy points. Some injuries worse than others. Graham and Hightower unfortunately have been lost for the season, while the rest should see time in the upcoming weeks. Here are my pickups of the week:

Alfonso Smith, RB, Arizona Cardinals

Smith, like last week’s waiver wire pickup Jackie Battle, is more of a downhill runner. Starter Beanie Wells left the game with a mysterious knee injury that nobody knows anything about. Wells’ injury could sideline him for at least 1-2 weeks, opening the door for Smith. The bad news is, however, Smith will have to face the tenacious Ravens’ defense in Week 8. The good news is, if Wells isn’t back by Week 9, Smith gets to face the Rams’ defense. Potential Smith suitors hope and pray.

Roy Helu, RB, Washington Redskins

I guess it’s finally time to bring out old Roy from the depths of the waiver wire. Just don’t come crying to me when coach Shanahan decides to still give RB Ryan Torain 30 carries while Helu gets a modest 7-10.

Keiland Williams, RB, Detroit Lions

The Lions clearly really wanted to split carries between Keiland Williams and Maurice Morris. Both had exactly nine carries. Both should get a few more against a very weak Denver Broncos team. When the Lions score early and often, the Lions will look to both of their backups to run out the clock.

Kregg Lumpkin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Lumpkin is the only healthy back right now on the entire Tampa Bay roster. The Bucs have a bye week coming up, and by Week 9 starter LaGarrette Blount will probably be back in the lineup. Lumpkin did not look all that great against the Bears last Sunday, but from a PPR standpoint, he looks like a sure-fire pickup. He’ll do exactly what Earnest Graham was doing before going down with a season-ending achilles injury.

Javon Ringer, RB, Tennessee Titans

No, Chris Johnson did not get hurt last week. I have an eerie feeling though that he might get benched due to his horrendous production. CJ had 10 carries for a measly 18 yards while Ringer enjoyed a nice three carries for 31 yards. Stash Ringer on your bench if you have the room to.

Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings

I’m not going to lie, Ponder impressed in his first career start versus Green Bay. He threw two touchdowns and two interceptions, but he showed great resilience and almost lead the Vikings to a huge upset over undefeated Green Bay. Not worth a start just yet but could be a roster stash for when he faces a weak defense.

Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Like last week’s waiver wire winner Demaryius Thomas, Brown looks to capitalize on an injury to second string WR Hines Ward. Brown had his first 100 yard game of his career last week on seven receptions and could easily produce like this when given the opportunity.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers

Sanders, like Brown, shared second string WR duties and was able to produce. Sanders caught a touchdown from Ben Roethlisberger in addition to his 46 yards. Brown seems to be the more polished receiver of the two so look to him first on the wire.

Jabar Gaffney, WR, Washington Redskins

Starting WR Santana Moss broke his hand and is scheduled to be out five to seven weeks. Gaffney should be relatively productive in the starting spot, competing only with TE Fred Davis. Davis won’t catch everything QB John Beck throws, so Gaffney should garner the rest of his passes.

Jake Ballard, TE, New York Giants

Ballard has been surprisingly productive the last few weeks, averaging a solid 10 fantasy points per game. QB Eli Manning has been looking his way more and more, and hopefully that doesn’t change as defenses start to take notice. Buyer beware.

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Fantasy Football: Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups

Do you really want this guy starting on your team?

While last week’s waiver wire picks were mostly on byes, this week’s look to give you that instant boost you might need if you’re on the verge of not cracking fantasy playoffs. Deals have happened upon the trade deadline Wednesday evening, and the biggest include the trading of QB Carson Palmer to the Oakland Raiders for a ridiculous guaranteed 1st round pick in next year’s draft as well as a conditional 1st rounder in 2013. Vince Lombardi said it best: “What the hell is going on out here!?” Jokes aside, is Palmer a worthwhile look on the waiver wire?

Carson Palmer, QB, Oakland Raiders

Palmer hasn’t played since 2010, where he put up mediocre numbers (82.4 QB rating, 26 TDs, 20 INTs), and with starter Jason Campbell out indefinitely with a broken collarbone, Palmer now has a few nice toys at his disposal. Palmer, however, since having elected not to receive Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm, has lost his arm strength and has decreased accuracy. He might be a better pure passer than Campbell, and should be a roster stash on desperate teams until we actually see him get some playing time.

Matt Moore, QB, Miami Dolphins

Yes, Matt Moore didn’t look very nice in last Monday’s matchup against the Jets, but let’s face it, he was facing one of the league’s better defenses. Moore gets to face a very weak Broncos defense Week 7 and he’ll surely be better, I promise.

DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys

Murray looks to replace the banged up Felix Jones in the Cowboys Week 7 game against a bad Rams team. He’ll probably be splitting time with Tashard Choice, but I think Murray will get the majority of carries due to his potential as well as Choice’s poor play last Sunday.

Maurice Morris, RB, Detroit Lions

The Lions may have dealt for RB Ronnie Brown from the Eagles, but I guarantee you that Morris will get the majority of the snaps for the Lions come Sunday. Morris received 25 snaps behind Jahvid Best last week, and should see a ton more considering Best suffered his second concussion of the season last Sunday against the 49ers.

Montario Hardesty, RB, Cleveland Browns

Hardesty is probably the most talented back on the list of players available, and will get to showcase it this Sunday. Starter Peyton Hillis, who may or may not be a part of the Madden Curse, has undergone hamstring surgery and could be on the shelf for a while. Hardesty should be owned by everyone, however, this week he does not face a good matchup against Seattle, one of the league’s best defenses against the run.

Greg Little, WR, Cleveland Browns

Little is now QB Colt McCoy’s prime target in Cleveland. Little had his best game of the year so far last Sunday, compiling six receptions for 72 yards. Look for him to get progressively better statistics-wise week-in and week-out.

Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos

Thomas looks to step up into a big role since the Broncos decided to give away Brandon Lloyd for a bag of peanuts. Thomas should take over the second starting WR spot behind Eric Decker. I really like Thomas because he has the size and skill to be a Brandon Marshall type eventually. There’s a reason the Broncos took him before Dez Bryant in the 2010 NFL Draft. The only concerns about him are that he’s extremely injury prone.

Arrelious Benn, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The former Fighting Illini standout isn’t a staple on fantasy rosters just yet, but presents a good big-play threat every game. The Bucs’ offense has been quite a letdown this year, but if QB Josh Freeman picks it up at some point, Benn can be quite valuable.

Lance Kendricks, TE, St. Louis Rams

Kendricks, who played big in the preseason, finally came to light in the regular season last week, catching four balls for 71 yards. New WR Brandon Lloyd should open up more space for Kendricks to run and may surprise even more throughout the year.

Dallas Cowboys Defense/ST

America’s team looked great against the high-powered Patriots, holding Tom Brady to just two touchdowns and even intercepting him twice. If the Cowboys defense could keep up their play, you can expect huge gains from them in the upcoming weeks, as they face St. Louis this week, Seattle in Week 9, Washington  in Week 11, and Miami in Week 12.

 

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Video: Michael Vick kicks ball into cheerleader’s face

I haven’t seen a cheerleader take balls to the face this hard since… well, nevermind.

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Fantasy Football: Week 5 Waiver Wire Pickups

RB Isaac Redman should be picked up in all leagues this week

Many of last week’s waiver wire picks seemed to put up solid numbers. Patriots’ RB Stevan Ridley had the most productive day of them all, carrying the ball 10 times for an impressive 97 yards and a score. Giants’ WR Victor Cruz caught six balls for 98 yards, and Titans’ WR Nate Washington caught two for 62 yards. Here are this week’s pickups for your fantasy squad:

Isaac Redman, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

 Let’s face it: Rashard Mendenhall has been a pain in the butt for all owners of him. Hopefully owners handcuffed him or are high on the waiver wire, because Redman looks to get the start in Week 5 for the Steelers due to an injury to Mendenhall’s hamstring. Redman hasn’t been getting many touches this year, but when he has, he proved he could play. In Week 2, Redman had 10 rushing attempts and managed to garner 49 yards and reach the endzone. Everyone should pick him up as a spot start this week.

Ryan Torain, RB, Washington Redskins

 Redskins’ coach Mike Shanahan was up to his usual shenanigans last Sunday, giving Ryan Torain the reigns to the offense before even having a carry the whole season. Torain made Shanahan look great, getting 135 yards and a score. Tim Hightower owners beware. Torain is looking like a solid RB2/Flex.

Jacoby Jones, WR, Houston Texans

Jones is slated to take the place of the injured Andre Johnson for the next few weeks, but potential fantasy owners should beware. Jones has been anything but productive the last few weeks this season, but should get more targets the next few weeks as well. Jones averaged a little over 90 yards and five receptions per game when Johnson was missing last season. However, he could easily put up as little as 0-3 points. This guy is a WR3 at best.

Kevin Walter, WR, Houston Texans

Walter has had just as productive of a season as Jones had (not very). The missing presence of Andre Johnson will mean more targets though. Owen Daniels won’t make all the catches for Houston. I like Walter as a spot start if you absolutely need someone. He’s proven himself throughout his career.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

 The undrafted rookie out of Stanford has quietly been producing for the anemic Seattle Seahawks offense. Baldwin started off the season hot, catching four balls for 83 yards and a touchdown in Week 1, to almost a repeat performance last week against the Steelers. Baldwin didn’t find the endzone, but still managed to muster up 84 yards on five catches. He’s not a must-pickup, but keep an eye on him for now.

Jermaine Gresham, TE, Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have been the surprise team of the league this year, and TE Jermaine Gresham is part of the reason why. Gresham has shown consistency this season, totaling 50+ yards in three of four games and catching two touchdowns. He’s worth a look in deeper leagues or as a spot starter this week.

Ed Dickson, TE, Baltimore Ravens

Dickson’s role in the Ravens’ offense is steadily continuing to grow. Dickson hasn’t put up any huge numbers as of late, but he is getting targeted a bunch, which should lead to success in the future. He got 12 targets last week against the New York Jets, and his 32 targets are fourth in the league for TEs. He has a bye this week though, but is worth a spot on your roster.

Cincinnati Bengals D/ST

The 2-2 Bengals have proved the doubters wrong and are looking better than expected on both sides of the ball, especially defense. The Bengals are first in the league in total defense, and look like a great matchup play this week as they plan to face a weak Jacksonville Jaguar offense. Rookie QB Blaine Gabbert hasn’t found his rhythm yet, and is due for at least 1-2 interceptions.

 

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