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The Few Things I Remember From This New Year’s Weekend

My body came back yesterday, but I think my head just finally returned from Tahoe this evening. It was a blurry three days up at the cabin, but I managed to sprinkle in some sports here and there. The majority of it came on Saturday morning/afternoon, as it was do or die for not only the Oakland Raiders, but also the West Sac Narwhals (you guessed it, my fantasy team). Here’s the recap of my weekend in sports…

Boring Morning Games – The scores may look close, but the 49ers-Rams and Jets-Dolphins definitely didn’t feel as close as your average 34-27 or 19-17 games. Neither had much meaning, other than the Jets being able to make a small claim toward a playoff berth. The Niners were also able to sew up a bye in the first round. The fantasy relevance was limited, with only Steven Jackson struggling to muster up 9 points. The Rams did a good job of wiping points away from my opponent though, putting up 17 against his 49ers Defense. I’d have much rather been watching the Lions-Packers. I opted to start Matthew Stafford for just the second time this season. The only other time was during Tom Brady’s bye week, and he turned in a dismal 12 point performance. Who would’ve thought, though, that it’d be the other Matt throwing for 6 TDs. But, when you’re in Northern California, you can’t expect to see any other NFC games while the 49ers are playing. Maybe I was just bored waiting for the game of the year….

Oakland Raiders Can End 9 Year Playoff Drought – The scenarios were many, but one was simple. Beat the Chargers, and get a Denver loss at the hands of Kyle Orton and the Kansas City Chiefs, and they’re in. Beating the Chargers isn’t usually a doable task, but Oakland beat them in pretty convincing fashion in front of a national Thursday night NFL Network stage IN San Diego. Throw in Orton’s return to Denver (he HAS to light it up against his old team, right?), and I was feeling like the chances were good. The Chiefs took care of business, even if Orton didn’t light it up. A 7-3 ballgame seemed like the perfect setup for the Raiders to get in. Ultimately, though, a porous defense and untimely turnovers – both Raiders staples this season – squandered away a golden opportunity. Oakland will miss the playoffs yet again, and Denver backs into the playoffs, riding a 6-22, 60 yard, 1 interception, and a fumble lost game by Tim Tebow. Sounds to me like a perfect script for a Denver upset against Pittsburgh next weekend. Too bad I wasn’t still 10 minutes from Nevada anymore!

Demarcus Cousins Demanded Trade From Sacramento Kings – This one caught me way off guard. I read the news on my phone, and quite frankly, I was many sheets to the wind at this point. The headlines, though, were crystal clear….

“Demarcus Cousins DEMANDS Trade”

“Demarcus Cousins SENT HOME For Good”

“Demarcus Cousins Has Played His LAST GAME In Sacramento”

By the time I got caught up on all the news, it was over. I just watched the Kings lose to the Grizzlies, but Cousins was back out there as if nothing ever happened. Albeit he came off the bench and played just 22 minutes, it’s amazing enough that he saw the floor at all. He struggled offensively, just 4 points on 1-5 shooting; but he grabbed 8 rebounds, including a game-high 6 offensive boards. I’m hoping it gets more back to normal in the next few games. Here’s a BIG reason why… Tonight, I was officially SOLD on Jimmer Fredette as an effective NBA player. He CAN get his shot off. He CAN create off the dribble. He CAN shoot 3’s from NBA range. OK, I suppose no one ever doubted the last one. Well to make up for that one, I’ll add that he CAN pass. Like Tyreke Evans, no one will ever be sold on him being an NBA point guard, but he can find the open man like one. So maybe two of those guys in the backcourt can equal one point guard. They’ve got another guy who can light it up with the best of them too in Marcus Thornton. If only they had a tall, quick, athletic, passing big man to round it out. Oh wait, they DO. It appears they’re on the brink of trading him though. If they end up shipping Cousins away, we’ll know it had to have been bad, because he’s a once in a decade talent, like a second coming of Chris Webber. Unfortunately, it took Webber a trade or two to really find his groove. Cousins has lasted longer in Sac than C-Webb did in Golden State, but it feels eerily similar. Who knows, maybe Demarcus gets reunited with John Wall in Washington for a few years, then he spends his prime in Oakland for the Warriors.

One Last Thought – Were there ANY College Football Bowl Games on New Year’s Day? I thought New Year’s Day was supposed to be about Bowl Games…? I swear, when I was a kid, roughly 6 of the best 7 of all 15 bowl games were on New Year’s Day. If I remember my weekend correctly (which I certainly don’t), NONE of the 35 Bowls were played on Sunday. What the HELL?! Oh well, Sunday was for BBQing. I broke out my new smoker and probably served up the best trio of Tri-Tip, Pork Loin, and Smoked Salmon this side of the Rocky Mountains. Yeah, I said smoked Tri-Tip… It’s California. I can’t find a brisket to save my life out here. One day, smoked Tri-Tip is gonna be a nationwide phenomenon though. It’s gonna be the Tim Tebow of barbeque… no one thinks it can be that good, but all it does it WIN.


Sunday’s Fantasy Stars

Shonn Greene, RB, New York Jets: 144 rush yds. 2 TD

Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco: 7 rec, 93 yds, 3 TD

Owen Daniels, TE, Houston: 7 rec, 123 yds, TD

Carson Palmer, QB, Cincinnati: 20-24, 233 pass yds, 5 TD

Chad Ochocinco, WR, Cincinnati: 10 rec, 118 yds, 2 TD

Cedric Benson, RB, Cincinnati: 189 rush yds, TD

New York Jets Defense: 0 pts allowed, 3 sacks, 2 INT, 2 Fumble Recoveries

Wes Welker, WR, New England: 10 rec, 107 yds, TD

Sydney Rice, WR, Minnesota: 11 rec, 136 yds

Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego: 5 rec, 142 yds, TD

Ryan Grant, RB, Green Bay: 148 rush yds, TD

Steve Slaton, RB, Houston: 60 rush yds, 4 rec, 22 yds, 2 TD

Miles Austin, WR, Dallas: 6 rec, 171 yds, 2 TD

Ricky Williams, RB, Miami: 80 rush yds, 3 TD


Doin Work Fantasy Football 2009 Mock Draft

The most comprehensive fantasy football mock draft this side of espn or yahoo.   Here’s who we’d pick and why….

ROUND ONE

#1 Drafting Under the Influence – RB Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

This isn’t even a decision in my mind. He’s a threat every play to go the distance, and even when it looks like he’s stuffed he can break off a Barry Sanders-esque escape. Nobody is surprised when he puts up 200 yards and a score or two! His skill set is off the charts and better than every other RB in the draft. He vowed to come back this season bigger and faster, definitely scary for any of the competition he’s about to run over!

#2 TD’s Are My Forte – RB Michael Turner, Atlanta Falcons

Love having the 2nd pick, Turner is a no-brainer choice for me here. Atlanta has a dynamic offense which makes keying the run more difficult, and we know what Turner is capable of doing. I project him not only matching his offensive numbers last season, but slightly increasing them. Until I see Maurice Jones-Drew in a full time role, he doesn’t pass Turner here. Should be interesting to see who is left on the board on the way back in the 2nd round.

#3 Who Shot Plax? – RB Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans

Titans have always been built as a run-first offense, as  Conservative is Jeff Fisher’s middle name.  Don’t quote me on that, could be Fred for all I know.  As the Titans continue to employ a sub-par passing game, the two back system will flourish, and Johnson will receive the bulk of the carries on 1st and 2nd down.  I was impressed with his receiving game as well last year, a great target with much better than average hands, shiftiness, and speed.

#4 White Russians For Breakfast – RB Deangelo Williams, Carolina Panthers

Looking at my options on the board, I’m intrigued by both DWill and MJD.  I’m a bit hesitant about SJax, LT, and BWest in their current situations, Sjax on a shitty team, LT running close to empty (?) and Westbrook having surgery on his foot.  I like Deangelo because they looked for extra ways to get the ball in his hands in the Wildcat and I think he’ll have a decent receiving year.  A few vultured goalline carries will be made up in other areas like long runs and perhaps a passing TD or two this year.

#5 No More Madden For Me – RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville Jaguars

I wasn’t happy about sitting at five, you typically watch the 3 sure fire running backs get picked, and are left with about 5 different players who all have there pros and cons (this years crop includes Steven Jackson, LT, Westbrook, Gore, and Portis). But holy smokes does a gift fall to me with Maurice Jones-Drew. With the featured role in the back field all his, and the experts putting him at 2 at worst 3 on there boards, I feel like I get a big time break here. More then likely I will be looking to match a catch happy MJD with a top tier wideout in the next round. Continue reading