Tuesday, August 17, 2010

NFL Preview Part 2 (AFC North)

I love Baltimore this year...I know Ray Lewis is a year older, and Ed Reed is injured, but I still think the Ravens could make the AFC title game. Ray Rice is a stud, and with Anquan Boldin on board Joe Flacco has someone besides Derrick Mason to throw to. Seriously, Derrick Mason sucks, but he's been their number one option for a few years. This is a very good team.

After them though, I have no idea what to make of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. Owens and Ochocinco (by the way, a year later, it still makes me laugh to type that) have both lost a step. Despite their love for themselves, they're not elite receivers anymore. But they might be just good enough. And if Pittsburgh can hang around until Rapistberger gets back, who knows?

Oh, and the Browns play in this division too. Just a reminder as it's easy to forget about them.

You leave Derrick Mason alone. He and I have had some good fantasy years together. He's a standard possession receiver though and shouldn't be your Number 1 guy. Boldin is a good addition except he will only plays like 10 games a year due to his physical style. But yeah, there's no reason that Baltimore doesn’t win the division. How’s that for a double negative?

Cincinnati will drop this year. That team wasn't that good. They somehow won games. I watched some of them last year cause I had Benson and man they were boring. Carson Palmer just isn't right and Chad Johnson isn't elite, just decent. Owens isn't even decent. He's a cancer. This team drops straight back to 5-11. Well, maybe not that much, but drops.

And Pittsburgh, uh, is Charlie Batch starting for them? Byron Leftwich? How many games does The Rapist miss? I think 4. Will they go 0-4? 1-3? They play the Lions, Giants, Broncos and Panthers in the first 4 weeks. I think 2-2 is their best case scenario without him. Regardless, I think the Steelers go 8-8.

And when having Jake Delhomme as your QB is an upgrade, well, your team sucks. Here's how I see it.

1. Ravens (13-3)
2. Steelers (8-8)
3. Bengals (7-9)
4. Browns (3-13)

So 3.6 seconds after sending my initial email, I went over to espn.com and read the following:

"Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome faces a tough month ahead. The season-ending knee injury to cornerback Domonique Foxworth will force Newsome to study rosters closer than any other front-office executive so that he can make trades and waiver claims on cornerbacks. Foxworth was a $7 million-a-year fix for the cornerback position last season. The combined salaries of the remaining players at cornerback are slightly more than $6 million. The Ravens are hurting at cornerback.

To make matters worse, Fabian Washington, who makes $1.809 million on a one-year deal, and Lardarius Webb, who makes $395,000, are coming off major knee injuries. Webb probably won't be ready for the opener, and Cary Williams opens the season with a two-game suspension. Newsome already has made a trade for cornerback Doug Dutch of the Washington Redskins, giving up quarterback John Beck, and he can dangle quarterback Troy Smith to get another corner."

OK, so Ray Lewis is a year older, Ed Reed is hurt and they have no cornerbacks. Is it too late to back away from my AFC title game prediction? I still think they win the division though.

Back to the Browns for a second...I follow football pretty intently, but I don't think I can name five of their players. There's Delhomme, I know that. And I think Joe Thomas is on the offensive line. Is Kellen Winslow still there? What about Jamal Lewis? Hell, Bernie Kosar might still be there for all I know.


1: Baltimore (10-6)
2: Cincinnati (8-8)
3: Pittsburgh (8-8)
4: Cleveland (1-15)

This is a fun game. Name the Browns players.

1. Jake Delhomme
2. Derek Anderson (i think)
3. Mohammad Massaquoi
4. Montario Hardesty
5. Josh Cribbs

That's all I got. I'm pretty proud of that list.

Derek Anderson is in Arizona with the Cardinals now, so you're down to 4. But I was wrong on Kellen Winslow- he's in Tampa. Turns out he was there last year too. From one irrelevant team to another. I had no idea.

I've never even heard of Hardesty. I really think Jamal Lewis is still there. Hang on a sec...yep! 9 games last year!

Wait, Jamal Lewis is in Cleveland? I thought you were joking. And Anderson, who knew? Jerome Harrison is in Cleveland, and I couldn't think of his name, but then I just read a fantasy column and he was referenced. I'm giving myself a half a point.

Lewis has been there for a few seasons winding down his career.

I just thought about this. I'm in a 14-team fantasy league, 13 players per roster. That's 182 players who will be drafted. And there's a good chance not one will be a Brown. Incredible.

I bet 3 guys get drafted.

1. Jerome Harrison
2. Montario Hardesty
3. Mohammad Massaquoi

I read someone predict that Hardesty would get Rookie of the Year. I wish I could go back and find out who, cause that's hilarious to think that offense will move the ball or score points.

Will Tampa Bay have people drafted besides Kellen Winslow?

I have no idea. Maybe Josh Freeman goes as an insurance QB in the last round. Hey- does Warrick Dunn still play for them? I'm asking that honestly. I don't even know. Either I know less about football than I thought, or Tampa and Cleveland are completely irrelevant.

Warrick Dunn dropped several late drive passes 2 years ago and lost me my fantasy playoff game (I lost by 1 point). He was in Tampa then. I'm pretty sure that was his last year there.

Who are the Tampa Bay RBs? I think it's Cadillac Williams and that guy they signed from the Giants, whoever was Brandon Jacobs backup. This is so confusing.

I totally forgot about Cadillac. OK, now I have to go see...it was Derrick Ward. I could have sat here for 5 hours thinking about it and never come up with that name. And get this, their leading receiver was Winslow. With 884 yards. Their leading receiver was TE with less than 900 yards. Wow.

Check this out. I'm guessing their leading wide receiver was Sammie Stroughter. I have no idea where I pulled that name. See if I'm right.

Close- it was the one and only Antonio Bryant. But Sammie was next in line.

Damn you Antonio Bryant!

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