Thursday, September 4, 2014

Annual NFL Picks

With the impending awesomeness that is the NFL season is finally upon us (Packers vs. Seahawks tonight), it is once again that time of the year for me to make a feeble attempt at predicting the NFL season.

After pouring through each match up and trying to do my best at predicting each game, then tweaking the records to make them fit for the visions of the future that exist in my monkey brain, I finally cranked out my playoffs and final records for the teams.

Some surprises: Both San Francisco and Seattle miss the playoffs with 9-7 records. After strong 2013 seasons, Kansas City and Carolina regress dramatically, finishing 6-10 and 4-12 respectively. Also the NY Giants finish 10-6, but miss the playoffs.

As far as what those playoffs look like, feast your eyes on this:

6) Chicago (10-6)
vs. 3) Philadelphia (11-5)

5)Tampa Bay (11-5)
vs. 4) Minnesota (10-6)

1) New Orleans (12-4) bye
2) Arizona (11-5) bye

Second round:
6) Chicago
vs. 1) New Orleans

4) Minnesota
vs. 2) Arizona

NFC Championship:
2) Arizona
vs. 1) New Orleans

6) Tennessee (10-6) 
vs. 3) New England (11-5) 

5) San Diego (11-5) 
vs. 4) Cincinnati (11-5)

1) Indianapolis (13-3) bye
2) Denver (12-4) bye 

Second round: 
5) San Diego 
vs. 1) Indy

3) New England 
vs. 2) Denver

AFC Championship: 
5) San Diego
vs. 2) Denver 

Super Bowl: Denver over New Orleans

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Link to final fantasy football column/Madden 15

My last column on fantasy football came out yesterday too. I have a fantasy football draft on Saturday, one on Sept. 3 and another at some point in the near future.

I also got Madden 15 yesterday, still the same old Madden for the most part. A bit confusing in some of the new and unnecessary stuff, but overall, it's Madden.

My roommate and I did a fantasy draft. As the eighth pick I was thrilled to get Andrew Luck. I also got Adrian Peterson, Eric Decker, Antonio Brown, several good offensive lineman. I was a little weak on defense, but got strong guys in Xavier Rhodes, Chris Long and Sean Lee. However, my right guard Zane Beadles was hurt, as was Sean Lee. They are both out for multiple weeks to start the season. I won my first game 17-14 over Buffalo in overtime. I came from behind, down 14-7 in the first half. Peterson ran for 140 yards and two touchdowns, and had two grabs for 78 yards, one that set up the game-winning field goal. 

Next week I'll post my predictions for the NFL this season. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A look back at TE and a link to 2014's WR

here's a link to my latest WR column for this year's fantasy season. It's coming up so quick.

2013 prediction No. 1: Jimmy Graham. Actual finish for Graham: First
That was easy.
2013 prediction No. 2: Jason Witten. Actual finish for Witten: Six.
Not terrible, but not really anything special.
2013 prediction No. 3: Tony Gonzalez. Actual finish for Gonzalez: Fourth.
Pretty good here. It's going to be weird without him this year.
2013 prediction No. 4: Rob Gronkowski. Actual finish for Gronk: 16.
Injuries kept him down, but I should have figured that.
2013 prediction No. 5: Jermichael Finley. Actual finish for Finley: 37.
Ouch. Literally. He's done for his career.

Thanks for reading everyone. I'm almost at 40,000 views in 4 years. That's 10,000 a year, more than 830 per month and 27 a day. That's pretty cool. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

A look back at WR plus a link to take a look at RB this year.

Looking back at predictions of WR last season. Also check out my thoughts on running backs this season. 
2013 prediction No. 1: Calvin Johnson. Actual finish for Johnson: Three.
Solid pick. I couldn't go wrong picking him to be No. 1 every year, and that's almost always what I've done.
2013 prediction No. 2: Brandon Marshall. Actual finish for Marshall: Five.
Another strong prediction. Marshall didn't have quite the season I expected, but that was likely due to his soul mate Jay Cutler being injured for a stretch.
2013 prediction No. 3: Dez Bryant. Actual finish for Bryant: Seven.
An OK selection. Bryant didn't score as much as I anticipated last year, but he still did pretty well, and anyone who took him as the third wide receiver off the board is not complaining.
2013 prediction No. 4: A.J. Green. Actual finish for Green: Four.
And boom goes the dynamite.
2013 prediction No. 5: Julio Jones. Actual finish for Jones: 64.
Should have known he would get hurt, but his upside is so high it's hard not to rank him high.
2013 prediction No. 6: Randall Cobb. Actual finish for Cobb: 60.
Another injury, but this one was a lot harder to take and see coming.
2013 prediction No. 7: Roddy White. Actual finish for White: 55.
Wow. Three in a row that were hurt for a big part of the year. Roddy was a weird case.
2013 prediction No. 8: Vincent Jackson. Actual finish for Jackson: 14.
Not a terrible prediction as Jackson had a solid year. Just had him ranked a little too high.
2013 prediction No. 9: Victor  Cruz. Actual finish for Cruz: 29.
Did not see Eli's fall, which really hurt Cruz.
2013 prediction No. 10: Dwayne Bowe. Actual finish for Bowe: 44.
Dumb, dumb idea to think that he would be better. He's done.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

2013 Fantasy Football Review: Running Backs

I'm going to take a look at how I faired in predicting running backs last season:

2013 prediction No. 1: Adrian Peterson. Actual finish for Peterson: Seventh.
It was pretty hard to not pick AD No. 1 after he almost set the rushing record, and it's not like he was bad. He just wasn't spectacular.
2013 prediction No. 2: Doug Martin. Actual finish for Martin: 56.
I could blame this on an injury, and that he played only six games, but I won't. He was not the same even when he was healthy. He got figured out by the league. He's a total bust.
2013 prediction No. 3: Jamaal Charles. Actual finish for Charles: First.
Solid pick here. I had him in two of my three leagues, and rode him to a title in one league. He's even better in PPR than in standard, but he also scored 19 total touchdowns so....yeah, he's good.
2013 prediction No. 4: C.J. Spiller. Actual finish for Spiller: 26.
Yet another bust, and this one hurts even more than Martin for me. I put a lot of stock in Spiller, and he really disappointed me, and a lot of other people too. I did somehow manage to trade him midseason for Antonio Brown (beyond me why that was allowed to happen). I do still hold out hope for him this year though.
2013 prediction No. 5: Arian Foster. Actual finish for Foster: 43.
Running backs are a fickle breed. Injuries and declines can be hard to predict, and that bit me again here. He was effective when healthy, but now has all those injury question marks.
2013 prediction No. 6: Maurice Jones-Drew. Actual finish for MJD: 20.
He's getting up there in age, and I should have figured he would decline in a poor situation in Jacksonville. Interesting to see if he can provide some middling value with the Raiders much like LT did with the Jets late in his career.
2013 prediction No. 7: Trent Richardson. Actual finish for Richardson: 35.
Another flop, and horrible pick by me, but to be fair it is probably tough to switch teams midseason. It certainly is not something that's expected, and is rare in the NFL.
2013 prediction No. 8: LeSean McCoy. Actual finish for McCoy: second.
Was not quite high enough on McCoy, as I said that I though MJD would rebound better. Fool. I did say he could "easily return to form" which he did. Yay me.
2013 prediction No. 9: Matt Forte. Actual finish for Forte: third.
Another undersell, but with the right idea. I had said that I was "high on Forte rebounding." So mark another one down for the gipper.
2013 prediction No. 10: Marshawn Lynch. Actual finish for Lynch: fourth.
Yet another undersell. Looks like I either swung and missed or did not have enough power to hit it over the fence. Running backs are the toughest to predict.

Be sure to check out this year's quarterback predictions from the paper this week.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

2013 Fantasy Football Review: Quarterback Edition

It is finally time for some more fantasy football talk. I am going to share my predictions from last year, and how they actually stacked up to the finish. I started doing this last year, and I had a lot of fun. This week I'll focus on quarterbacks, and next week I'll reveal this year's rankings.

QB fantasy football:

2013 prediction No. 1: Drew Brees. Actual finish for Brees: second.
Pretty much knew he'd be up there. Good pick. Nobody really expected the next guy on the list to beat him by that much, at least I didn't.
2013 prediction No. 2: Peyton Manning. Actual finish for Manning: first.
I know for a fact that I had him higher than many people last year, and even caught some flack for it. However, I just knew that the addition of Welker would help Manning's production to swell. What I didn't know was that it would explode into what it was, and that Julius Thomas would have as much or more to do with the jump as Welker did.
2013 prediction No. 3: Cam Newton. Actual finish for Newton: third.
Two years in a row that I correctly predicted Newton's actual finish. Thus far, I've done a really good job of predictions.
2013 prediction No. 4: Aaron Rodgers. Actual finish for Rodgers: 24.
This looks really bad, but injuries derailed what would have likely been another spectacular season for A-Rod.
2013 prediction No. 5: Matt Ryan. Actual finish for Ryan: 12.
Not a great pick. Certainly did not expect the Falcons to fall off so quickly. Certainly didn't help to not have a healthy Roddy White all year, or Julius Jones for the whole season.
2013 prediction No. 6: Tony Romo. Actual finish for Romo: 11.
Was a lot higher on Romo then he turned out to finish. I even drafted him in my most important league, which sort of worked out OK. He was hurt for a game with the rib injury. Not that it should be an excuse.
2013 prediction No. 7: Matthew Stafford. Actual finish for Stafford: seven.
Boom. Right on the money with this one. I think Stafford is pretty much relegated to this or lower each year. Don't think he has the stuff to become elite.
2013 prediction No. 8: Tom Brady. Actual finish for Brady: 15.
Though I did predict a decline for Brady from year's past, I didn't predict the drop to be far enough.
2013 prediction No. 9: Robert Griffin III. Actual finish for RGIII: 19.
Should have known he would be injured and ineffective.
2013 prediction No. 10: Russell Wilson. Actual finish for Wilson: Eight.
Underrated the most consistent performer of the year, but not far off.

11. Andrew Luck (actual: five)
12. Josh Freeman (actual: LOL)
13. Ben Roethlisberger (actual: nine)
14. Andy Dalton (actual: four)
15. Joe Flacco (actual: 18)
16. Eli Manning (actual: 21)
17. Jay Cutler (actual: 22)
18. Alex Smith (actual: 14)
19. Matt Schaub (actual: 32)
20. Philip Rivers (actual: 6)

Overall, I feel like I did about as good a job as one can do to try and predict the unpredictable world of the NFL.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why can’t we make more feel-good sports movies for kids?

What ever happened to all the feel-good sports movies for kids? 
I remember several hit sports movies geared toward the child and adult audiences alike when I was growing up. 
I mean “The Mighty Ducks” (and its sequels), “Cool Runnings,” “Angels in the Outfield,” “Space Jam,” “Little Big League,” “Little Giants” and even “Air Bud” were all feel-good sports movies. 
They couldn’t have possibly used up all the good ideas for movies like that. Did it become unsuccessful to make those types of movies? Unprofitable? 
I was watching “The Mighty Ducks” not too long ago, and I was eating up every cheesy line and remembering a day that was so full of innocence and potential. I want my godson to feel that same way when he grows up, but right now those kinds of movies just don’t exist anymore. 
Why are there no more “Rookie of the Year” movies? What about “The Sandlot”?
There is no way that they are fresh out of ideas for movies like this. I refuse to believe that there isn’t a market for this type of movie. I mean participation and interest of kids and sports can’t be that low that a great movie in the vein of the aforementioned ‘90s classics couldn’t draw a profitable audience. 
I mean, there hasn’t been a golf movie yet, right? Why not get, say, the kid from the Sprint framily commercials to play a young teenager who buys some magical set of golf clubs from a garage sale that used to belong to Bobby Jones or Jack Nicklaus or heck, even Tiger Woods? The clubs instantly make him a world-class golfer, and he gets on the pro tour. “Gordon,” the goth weirdo that nobody really knows why he is around, could caddy for the kid. This could totally work. 
With the piqued interest in soccer throughout the United States thanks to the U.S. doing well at the World Cup, don’t tell me that some sort of underdog story about a kid making his way onto some all-star soccer team wouldn’t be a great movie. 
I can’t understand why this genre of movie has fizzled. I mean, it’s also been more than 20 years since the Mighty Ducks came out in 1992; why not remake it? It has passed that point where that’s a possibility. There is no doubt a plethora of child actors in the stable at Disney Channel would be willing to learn how to skate and film in Minnesota during the winter. 
Why can’t we make this happen? 
I want my godson and possible future children to have that same experience of a magical sports story that I did when I grew up in the ‘90s. 
And I have to admit that I would like to have some more movies to enjoy myself – the cheesier the better.