Monday Morning Quarterback: By @YeahFlanny

– My oh my, Florida State QB Jameis “Jaboo” Winston has been unconscious this season and this past Saturday against Maryland was the best performance of his young career. Winston threw for 393 and 5 TD’s, in a 63-0 rout of Terps. He has proven in just 4 games that his indeed the real deal, and a dark horse Heisman candidate. His poise, leadership, and football IQ are off the charts, and each game he makes numerous plays that make you scratch your head, in a great way. Couple his abilities with a plethora of weapons, add a defense full of studs that looks to finally be clicking, and the Noles are a formidable task for anyone.

– In two weeks FSU will travel to Clemson in what some are calling the biggest game in the history of the ACC. On Saturday, the Tigers easily handled the Syracuse Orange in the Carrier Dome. This week Clemson will square off with a Boston College team that gave FSU fits two weeks ago. Barring a major upset, the Tigers will welcome in FSU (and likely College Gameday) for a top 6-7 match-up between two undefeated national title contenders. Death Valley will be electric!

– The Oregon Ducks are far and way the best team in the nation. At this point of the season, that really cannot be debated. They have dismantled every single team that has stepped on the field with them, doing so Saturday without their most electrifying player, DeAnthony Thomas. The Ducks dismantled Colorado 57-16 behind 7 total TD’s from QB and my Heisman trophy leader, Marcus Mariota.

– UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley is better than advertised. He led his undefeated Bruins squad into a very tough environment Thursday night, to face a very pesky Utah squad and came away with an easy victory. Hundley threw for 211 and a TD, and added 85 yards and a TD on the ground. More important than the stats though, Hundley is a gamer, who very rarely gets rattled and more often than not makes the perfect read. The Bruins are looking good, and Hundley is looking like a sure fire first round draft pick.

– The Ohio State Buckeyes have officially adopted the mantra of the NCAA basketball tournament; survive and advance. The Buckeyes AGAIN snuck out a late victory Saturday night against upset minded Northwestern. Led by bruising running back Carlos Hyde and All-American linebacker Ryan Shazier, the Buckeyes edged out the Wildcats 40-30. They have to lose one of these tight games eventually…right?

– The game of the week though took place in Knoxville. Sheesh, we haven’t heard that in a while. The #6 ranked Georgia Bulldogs came to town an got everything they could handle, and more from the Vols. Veteran QB Aaron Murray was able to lead a late scoring drive to force overtime, and after an inexcusable fumble by Vols RB Alton “pig” Howard into the end zone for a touchback, UGA kicked the game winning FG and got out of town with a victory, but not unscathed. Georgia lost half of their 1-2 RB punch, when Keith Marshall tore his ACL. Starting WR Justin Scott-Wesley also tore his ACL. The SEC east crown may no longer be a formality for the Dawgs.

– The Stanford Cardinal continued their winning ways in a nail biter in Seattle against the #15 ranked Huskies. Stanford came out of the blocks with a Ty Montgomery touchdown on the opening kickoff. The Huskies duo of QB Keith Price and RB Bishop Sankey found the endzone a combined 4 times, but Stanford always answered the bell and squeaked out the 3 point victory. As I’ve said all season, the PAC 12 is fun to watch and will only get better as the conference powers begin playing one another.

Quick Hitters-

– The Texas Longhorns beat Iowa State on Friday….by 1 point. Mack Brown get’s to keep his job for another week. But, with Oklahoma and The Red River Shootout looming, that seat is as hot as ever. Don’t expect OU to feel sorry for Mack, as this one will surely get ugly.

– Bama played some football this week. They won, by a good margin. They also played Georgia State. I don’t even know their mascot for Christ sakes.

– Louisville also played this week. They beat a lowly 0-4 Temple team, 30-7. They were rightfully jumped in the polls by Florida State. Louisville is good, really good, and while it’s not their fault, their conference and in turn, schedule is an absolute joke, an undefeated record won’t even get them to Pasadena.

– This coming Saturday we get three marquee match-ups. Mizzou will travel to Athens to face a depleted UGA team. I believe Murray and a banged up Gurley, will the Dawgs to a win at home. LSU will host the Gators, and officially welcome QB Tyler Murphy to the SEC. Unless Mettenberger takes a huge step back, I got the Tigers winning, easily. Gameday will be at Washington, as the Oregon Ducks will face their biggest test of the year. Keith Price and Bishop Sankey are capable of putting a ton of points up on the scoreboard, but not more than the fast paced Ducks.

Advertisements

2013 Fantasy Football Primer

The season is upon us! No, not the football season, that’s still a little over a week away. Unfortunately. But, we’ve officially embarked on the 2013 fantasy football season.  Being that we are just days away from the season kicking off, many of you will be conducting your drafts this weekend. It is pivotal that you have you draft as close to the end of preseason as possible, so that you are aware of any inquiries to those players you may select. Season altering or even ending injuries occur to star players every preseason and the last thing you want to do is use an early pick (or any pick for that matter) on a player that won’t contribute to his team and yours.

This will be my 8th season competing in fantasy football. My first season, 2006, just so happened to be the same year LT rushed for 1,815 yards and 28 TD’s. My first pick that year? Yup. LaDanian Tomlinson. Needless to say, I ran away with that league, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m now in three leagues, and simply can’t get enough fantasy football. If i wasn’t a recent college grad, with loans to pay back, I’d be in ten leagues (we play for money around here). I’m no Mathew Berry, but I do consider myself a seasoned vet these days, and I’m always eager to pass along my fantasy do’s and don’ts. Here are ten pointers you’ll need if you want to be hoisting that fantasy football trophy this season.

– Don’t be a prisoner of the rankings. The rankings are there as a reference, so you can assign value to guys, not so you can draft exactly as the list is set up. If that’s the case, don’t even show up to the draft, and let auto-pick do it’s thing.

– After referencing those “experts” rankings, create your own. You want to go into your draft with a plan on how you want to set up your team. Assign value to each guy you want on your squad and have multiple back up plans if that guy is gone when you wanted to select him. You don’t want to be caught off guard when “your guy” is taken one pick before you, that’ll likely end in a major reach. Seen it happen last Sunday. Tragic.

– Know your league’s settings. While your rushing and receiving TD’s may get you 6 points, passing scores may only net you 4. This will put a premium on running backs and receivers, and make QB’s a little less valuable, and mat alter your draft strategy.

– Know which position groups are deep, and which ones aren’t. RB’s are at a premium this year, and that should likely be where you go in round one. The same can be said for quarterbacks. There is a big drop off at QB after those “elite” guys are gone. The wide receiver group on the other hand is very deep. Don’t you dare take a wideout before a running back or QB, unless their name is Megatron or AJ.

– Don’t trade up, unless it’s to #1. AP is far and away the #1 guy this year, and whoever goes at #2 isn’t in Adrian’s league. If your in say, a 12 team league, drafting at #8-#12 is a great position to be in. You can lock up two potential fantasy stars, while those guys drafting in the top 5, will be sweating it out until their turn comes back around.

– Don’t get attached to the guy who carried you last season, even in a keeper league. Just because they put up monster stats last season, it doesn’t mean that’ll be the case this season. I broke this rule myself this draft season. I got Adrian Peterson and Peyton Manning in rounds 3 and 4 respectively last year, as no one wanted to touch them after the injury. I wasn’t able to grab AP, but I did take Manning in multiple leagues this season. I wouldn’t typically suggest doing that, but I’m willing to bet on Peyton.

– Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks while drafting, but have back up plans. CJ Spiller is a hot name amongst fantasy drafters this year. He seems to finally be healthy, and when he’s healthy, he’s nearly unstoppable. But, he’s not always healthy and that’s usually not what you want to hear when drafting a guy in rounds 1 or 2. Spiller, like many guys each year is in the “boom or bust” category, and because of this you need to make sure you have multiple serviceable backups on your roster in case he turns out to be a bust, so draft accordingly.

– If your going to reach, don’t reach on a skill player. In the middle rounds, people tend to reach on QB’s or backs, and I wouldn’t recommend that. A defense on the other hand is a bit more understandable. There are only a couple defenses that create turnovers regularly and/or score special teams TD’s. Reaching on a D that could produce a big chunk of points each week, would likely be a strategy that pays off down the road.

– Become good friends with the waiver wire. Don’t feel entitled to stick with the team you drafted. Some of those guys should not finish the season on your roster. Guys will disappoint and free agents will emerge. Do not be afraid to drop a guy you drafted for a free agent who’s showing some promise, or someone you believe could be a factor late in the season. This is how championships are won, on the waiver wire.

– Remember that your fantasy playoffs will likely be played in the last few weeks of the NFL regular season. You need to structure your roster accordingly. Having Tom Brady on your team during weeks 14-17, when his team has already clinched the division may not be as beneficial as having say a Tony Romo or Phillip Rivers or Ben Roethlisberger, who’s team may be fighting for a playoff spot. Those guys won’t be holding anything back, and could put up huge points. The players who get you to the mountain, may not always be the guys who get you to the mountain top.

There you have it folks. Flanny’s top ten fantasy football tips. Now, you can trust in these pointers, have a stellar draft, wreak havoc all season, and win a fantasy football title (and hopefully some $$$). Or, you could call me a hack, totally disregard everything above, draft Arian Foster at #2 overall (where the “experts” have him), pick a kicker before the last two rounds (I’m all for a kicker in round 15!), not pick up one free agent all season, and finish dead last…..Your move.

Good luck folks!

Kobe Bryant: The Last of the Mohican’s By @ProfessorCorria

         kobe3

“Perseverance..See the fake hustler rapper..to them..it hurts to hear this. Oh you went platinum?.. yea that’s nice..now let me see you do the same thing twice. Three times, four times..then a couple of mo’ times…please you’re Amateur Night…this is SHOWTIME.” – Nasir Jones.

kobe7

Why are we always in a rush? Why is there always such haste to see who’s “next”? We love to wax poetically about the potential of certain stars or athletes instead of enjoying what is taking place in front of us in the present time. Why can’t we wait for things to play out instead of jumping to conclusions? The proof is in the pudding, are we judging on potential or on production? The most important aspects about a basketball player are immeasurable. Do they have that indomitable will to compete, the desire to improve, and aspirations to push the game to its threshold? All of these characteristics are what separate Kobe from the pack. He’s mean, he doesn’t care if you like him or not, and most importantly he’s unafraid. If he misses the last shot, so be it. If his teammates and other players around the league don’t like him, who cares? It’s a mentality, it’s a sickness, it’s an affliction to be as driven to win as Kobe Bryant is. There have been so many great talents to play the game, but five championships aren’t for everybody. It’s a mindset; it’s an approach that affects you to the point where nothing else matters but being the ultimate winner. Have you ever looked at Kobe Bryant and thought to yourself, “Man Kobe didn’t get the most he could out of himself.” Yea, didn’t think so.

kobe9

Kobe Bryant has truly persevered through all of the eras. He came into the league as a high flying 17 year old, and 17 years, 1,448 games and 53,558 minutes played later he is a cold blooded, mid-range assassin. Kobe Bryant, from the beginning, has been ensnared in one comparison after another. Will he better than Michael Jordan? Is he a greater Laker then Jerry West or Magic Johnson? Is he better then Iverson? Vince Carter? T-Mac? And sure enough the LeBron James comparisons soon followed. If the worst thing you can say is, “Well he’s not as good as Jordan”, what are you really saying? If they can only compare you to a ghost, that means that you have no current peer. What LeBron James is doing is incredible, and should be admired, but he and Kobe are not peers. There are so many great players in today’s game, and the NBA is in great hands, but there is something distinct about watching Kobe Bryant compete.

1184309_SP_0115_Lakers_WJS

The Best way to describe Kobe Bryant is different. He is dissimilar from most NBA players in every possible way. There’s something regal about his approach to the game, a stately presence that shows that he knows his place in history and how important it is for him to perform at an optimum level every time he takes the court. There never has been or will be a time where he looks out of shape or unprepared, and he’s arguably the most fundamentally sound player in the history of the NBA. He relishes in the fact that everyone who paid for a ticket to get into the arena will have their eyes trained on him, and for better or worse he will go to great lengths to put on a show. Kobe delights in the fact that every player in the NBA is geared up to challenge him every game that he plays in, because he wants to attack them even harder. It’s what he lives for, he carries that predatory instinct that Michael Jordan had before him. He wants to see you at your peak level, bring you to your knees, and then watch you crumble as you succumb to his will. If Kobe could have an 82 game season where every game down to the final 30 seconds he could die and go to heaven. Fans would love to see him trust his teammates more, but when you’ve spent summers in the gym working out from 4 AM to 4 PM, sometimes your belief in yourself trumps the normal protocol of working within the traditional team structure. Why find the open man when you have been taking a thousand shots a day in the summer and your teammate spent all of season partying?

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant AKA the Black Mamba AKA Zero Dark Thirty AKA Vino AKA Mr. 81 points AKA Lord Of The Rings has done it all and then some. He lives for the moment that your favorite player cowers in, and it’s not because he’s super clutch, it’s because he doesn’t care if he misses. He can deal with the glory or the anguish that comes from missing late minute baskets. That’s why the criticism cascades off of him and affects his fans more than it does the man himself. Kobe outscored a LOADED Dallas Maverick team 62-61 after three quarters by his lonesome, removed himself from the game for the 4th quarter, and was roundly criticized for not trying to score more. So what did he do? Three weeks later he shelled the Toronto Raptors for 81 points, but was critiqued for only having two assists. In 2013, in his 17th year in the NBA you can still turn on embarrassingly vapid shows like “First Take” and hear two idiots debating about if a game in mid-January is going to test Kobe’s “clutch gene”, or on a scale of 1 to 10 how disappointed they are that Kobe took 23 shots in a loss. This kind of talk is senseless, his spot is solidified, his legacy already cemented in stone along with players like Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. For better or worse Kobe Bryant remains the NBA’s most interesting player, who’s Swiss-Army Knife like skill set is still wreaking havoc throughout the league. One thing is for sure, Kobe Bryant is officially the last of the Mohicans, a great white shark from a different era and a different NBA landscape, who will be sorely missed once he no longer exists. It’s amazing to watch the current group of young NBA stars flourish, but there is only one Kobe Bryant. He knows that there may be some ten year old kid watching him in the nosebleed seats that might be seeing him play in person for the first and only time, and his play reflects that. He might not have as great a career as Jordan when it’s all said and done, and he might not be as good as LeBron is right now, but it won’t ever be for a lack of effort or preparedness.

kobe10

BONUS VIDEO!!!!!!