NFL Draft History 101– Infographic

Apr 26

NFL Draft History 101– Infographic

ESPN posted a great infographic from the people at InfoGraphicWorld.com, detailing some great NFL Draft history. Some of the things that jumped out at me about this graphic...

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Mock Draft Monday: Top 24 Fantasy Football Rankings (Pre-NFL Draft Edition)

Apr 23

Mock Draft Monday: Top 24 Fantasy Football Rankings (Pre-NFL Draft Edition)

With the NFL Draft upon us this week, I thought it would be good to take one final pre-draft look at the top 25 players in my Fantasy Football rankings for 2012. Some of this should change a bit after the draft, depending on surprises and trades, but for the most part, this will be close to what the first two rounds of your draft will look like.   ROUND ONE 1.01 Arian Foster, RB, Houston: Seems to be the consensus No. 1 pick in 2012, but I’m not officially sold. He might be the least convincing No. 1 pick in a few years. 1.02 Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore: Last year’s top scoring RB could climb up into my top spot before the end of summer. 1.03 LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia 1.04 Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville: MJD has averaged over 350 touches for the past three seasons. Would he draft himself in the top three? 1.05 Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit 1.06 Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay 1.07 Ryan Mathews, RB, San Diego 1.08 Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee: Probably the best high-risk/high-reward guy in the first round. 1.09 Andre Johnson, WR, Houston: Hard to believe he’ll be 31 this season, although the injuries make him seem like he’s 51. 1.10 Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans: The crazy offseason could push him into the second round at some point. 1.11 Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seattle 1.12 Matt Forte, RB, Chicago: How long will he hold out?   ROUND TWO 2.01 Cam Newton, QB, Carolina: As shocking as this ranking is, it’s really tough to make an argument for someone else at the beginning of the second round. 2.02 Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England 2.03 Tom Brady, QB, New England 2.04 Wes Welker, WR, New England 2.05 Roddy White, WR, Atlanta 2.06 Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland: Coming off a foot injury, but he loses Michael Bush to compete for touches. 2.07 Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay 2.08 Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco 2.09 DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas 2.10 Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans: Two tight ends drafted among the top 25 picks? Can’t remember this ever happening before in Fantasy Football history. 2.11 Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia 2.12 Michael Turner, RB, ATL: Six...

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NFL Draft Trivia Quiz: Are you a 1st-round pick?

Apr 22

NFL Draft Trivia Quiz: Are you a 1st-round pick?

The only thing NFL Draftniks love as much as the draft is … beer. After that, though, their second favorite thing – fantasy football. But eventually, a distant third, draftniks love trivia. Here are 10 questions that will help separate the draft fans from the draft nerds (not sure which side you want to be on here). (Select the black block below the questions and move your mouse across to reveal the answers.)   1. Who is the only team to draft four future Hall of Famers in the same year? In 1974, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected WR Lynn Swann-1st rd, LB Jack Lambert-2nd, WR John Stallworth-4th and C Mike Webster-5th.   2. Name the six players that made up the Great QB Class of 1983? 1. John Elway (BAL), 7. Todd Blackledge (KC), 14. Jim Kelly (BUF), 15. Tony Eason (NE), 24. Ken O’Brien (NYJ), 27. Dan Marino (MIA) Cliff Claven lil’ known fact: After Marino was drafted with the 27th pick, the next QB to get selected was Eastern Illinois’ Jeff Christensen, by Cincinnati, with the 137th pick (fifth round).   3. Two teams have had more top five picks (eight) than anyone else since 1990. Cincinnati is the easy one – what’s the other team? Indianapolis Colts   4. One team has not had a top-five draft pick since 1973. Name them. Pittsburgh hasn’t had a top five pick since 1973, when they selected DB J.T. Thomas out of FSU.   5. Bob Griese was the fourth overall draft pick in the 1967 NFL Draft. The third overall pick for the Niners was a Heisman winning QB. Who was he? The Niners took Steve Spurrier out of Florida with the third overall pick.   6 Since 1986, there have been four No. 1 overall draft picks that also happened to be Heisman-winning quarterbacks. Can you name them? The Bucs took Vinny Testaverde in 1987, Cincinnati took Carson Palmer in 2002, Sam Bradford was picked by the Rams in 2008, and Cam Newton went to Carolina in 2010.   7. Troy Aikman and this player were drafted before Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders in 1989. Who is he? Green Bay picked OT Tony Mandarich with the second overall pick....

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How Can I Become a Fantasy Sports Writer?

Apr 20

How Can I Become a Fantasy Sports Writer?

Becoming a Fantasy Baseball or Fantasy Football writer is not easy. For over a decade, I’ve been asked by dozens of people, “How can I become a Fantasy Sports writer?” I’ve been writing Fantasy sports columns since 2000, starting with an old website called FFInformer.com, which led to my own site, and then several years at CBSSports.com and OPENSports.com, and now, RotoExperts.com. I imagine porno actors get these same kinds of questions all the time — with people always asking them, “How can I become a Fantasy Sports writer?” Hopefully, this article will give you a good head start on getting published, creating a name for yourself and possibly working for a website like CBSSports.com, ESPN.com, Yahoo! or even RotoExperts.com.   I. Become a Well-Practiced Fantasy Writer “Could You Tell Me How To Get To Carnegie Hall?” — “Practice, practice, practice.” (Yep, that’s right. I just used a Jack Benny joke from 65 years ago, but still, it applies here.) Read and write. Stephen King, one of my all-time favorite writers, tells us to write something every day. The more you write, the better you’ll get. He also recommends reading a lot every week. You’ll be exposed to new ideas, new styles and new writers. And for a Fantasy writer, you’ll be introduced to new analysis and strategies. You can start small and post comments (100-200 words) on other writers’ Fantasy articles, message boards or forums across the web. Start conversations. Let people know you have a perspective and you can analyze the sport. You can also use Twitter to show off your chops. Scan the #fantasyfootball hashtag or search fantasy football several times a day, looking for people with questions or problems. Answer them thoughtfully, even if someone has already answered them.   II. Write For A Website (For Free!) Everyone always wants to hit the ground running, but this is the easiest way to separate the contenders from the pretenders. If someone wants to become a writer, they’ll understand they have to “make their bones,” so to speak. You have to put in the work and show that you can meet deadlines, write good copy with strong opinions, and be depended on. There are a lot of...

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2012 Fantasy Football Climbers and Fallers

Feb 28

2012 Fantasy Football Climbers and Fallers

One of my favorite post-Fantasy-Football exercises to do is to look back at the stats of the final few weeks of the NFL regular season. For the most part, the only people really paying attention to players and stats in the final few weeks are those fortunate few that make it deep into the playoffs, and Fantasy writers that are forced to follow it. Everyone else is busy with eggnog, trimming the tree and getting ready to break not-yet-made New Year’s resolutions. But now’s our chance to use a little hindsight to see what players impressed over that stretch, and which players disappointed. Remember Peyton Hillis’ final three games in 2010? He wore down quickly (107 rushing yards, zero TDs, 3 G) and it was certainly a harbinger for Fantasy owners in 2011. What about Jamaal Charles’ games in Weeks 13-17 in 2009? He rushed for 714 yards and five TDs, making him a top-five pick entering 2010. Considering most Fantasy Football commissioner services will begin clearing their league stats soon, rolling the 2011 stats into the career stats for each player, now is the time to peruse incremental stats. Here are my 2012 Fantasy Football Climbers and Fallers:   Five players whose value swung UP between Weeks 13-17 Cam Newton, QB, CAR: The No. 1 pick out of Auburn started the season like gangbusters and never looked back. He became the ’10-Michael Vick-like waiver pickup of 2011, and many road him deep into the playoffs. He was responsible for 12 TDs in the first five weeks of the season, including rushing and passing TDs, and he was responsible for 13 TDs in the final five weeks. Can a falloff be expected? You’d have to think he’s going to regress in Year 2, as defenses begin to figure him out. But he’s still going to warrant a high draft pick – like, first three rounds high. The only people that shouldn’t think about taking Newton in Round 3 are those with players on their roster named Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady. C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF: Fred Jackson was the best mid-round pick of the season, before finally going down with a broken leg. Spiller, in his second...

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