Category Archives: Fantasy Football

How Mike Tolbert fits with the Carolina Panthers

For National Football Authority, we break down the Carolina Panthers’ signing of ex-Chargers RB Mike Tolbert. What does the move mean for RBs DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, and Mike Goodson in Carolina? How does it change Cam Newton’s role? Click here to find out.

New Panthers RB Mike Tolbert, via

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Interview with new Colts DE Cory Redding

For National Football Authority, we talk to new Colts DE Cory Redding. We find out why he chose to leave Baltimore and follow head coach Chuck Pagano to Indy, whether the Colts are switching to a 3-4 defense, what that might mean for current Colts DEs Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney. Click here to read all about it.

New Colts DE Cory Redding, via

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Fantasy Football: 2011 Top 50

Arian Foster

Arian Foster runs onto Tier 1. Image by AJ Guel Photography via Flickr

The lockout and resulting post-lockout craziness has thrown a major kink in our fantasy football preparation, but we can finally launch our top 50 for this fall. The top 50 this year encompasses our Tiers 1 and 2. Here is the top 50 as it stands now; as always, things are subject to change as events warrant.

Tier 1A

1. RB Adrian Peterson, Vikings

2. RB Arian Foster, Texans

3. RB Ray Rice, Ravens

4. RB Chris Johnson, Titans

5. QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers

Tier 1B

6. RB Jamaal Charles, Chiefs

7. RB LeSean McCoy, Eagles

8. RB Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers

9. WR Andre Johnson, Texans

10. QB Michael Vick, Eagles

11. RB Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars

12. WR Roddy White, Falcons

13. WR Greg Jennings, Packers

14. WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals

15. QB Tom Brady, Patriots

16. RB Michael Turner, Falcons

17. WR Calvin Johnson, Lions

18. QB Philip Rivers, Chargers

Tier 2A

19. RB Darren McFadden, Raiders

20. RB Steven Jackson, Rams

21. RB Frank Gore, 49ers

22. WR Hakeem Nicks, Giants

23. RB Matt Forte, Bears

24. WR Mike Wallace, Steelers

25. QB Drew Brees, Saints

26. WR Reggie Wayne, Colts

27. RB Peyton Hillis, Browns

Tier 2B

28. RB LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers

29. RB Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants

30. WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs

31. RB DeAngelo Williams, Panthers

32. WR Miles Austin, Cowboys

33. QB Peyton Manning, Colts

34. WR DeSean Jackson, Eagles

35. TE Antonio Gates, Chargers

36. WR Vincent Jackson, Chargers

Tier 2C

37. WR Dez Bryant, Cowboys

38. RB Knowshon Moreno, Broncos

39. RB Jahvid Best, Lions

40. QB Tony Romo, Cowboys

41. WR Mike Williams, Buccaneers

42. WR Stevie Johnson, Bills

43. WR Jeremy Maclin, Eagles

44. WR Marques Colston, Saints

45. RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots

46. RB Shonn Greene, Jets

47. RB Felix Jones, Cowboys

48. RB Mike Tolbert, Chargers

49. WR Santonio Holmes, Jets

50. RB Tim Hightower, Cardinals


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Buffalo Bills 2011 Season Preview

Fred Jackson of the Buffalo Bills

Bills RB Fred Jackson. Image via Wikipedia

For National Football Authority, we previewed the Buffalo Bills. In the preview, we discuss rookie Marcel Dareus’ impact, Stevie Johnson’s fantasy value, Shawne Merriman’s return as a pass rusher, the running back battle between C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, and more. Click here to read all about it.


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Broncos feeling Foxy

Carolina Panthers Training Camp

The Denver Broncos joined the NFL hiring spree Thursday, naming ex-Panthers head coach John Fox  as their new head coach. Fox replaces Eric Studesville, the interim coach who replaced Josh McDaniels. Below are some thoughts on the hire, and we compare it to others in the NFL this offseason in this updated post.

After a largely successful nine-year tenure in Carolina that ended poorly, Fox gets an immediate chance of redemption in Denver. He’s completely different than offensive-minded coaches Josh McDaniels and Mike Shanahan that have led the Broncos in the recent past. Fox is a nuts-and-bolts coach who plays conservatively on offense, depending on a running game, and aggressively on defense. That defensive emphasis will serve the Broncos well, because their inability to get anything done defensively doomed both McDaniels and Shanahan. With Elvis Dumervil returning in 2011, Fox will have a top-end pass rusher, but Dumervil has been a 3-4 player, and Fox has stuck with the 4-3 most of his career. If the Broncos change their system, it will slow down progress, but the front seven is so bereft of impact players that rebuilding is necessary either way. Fox’s other big decision right off the bat will be what to do at quarterback. Kyle Orton is a Fox type of QB, but the past Broncos’ regime invested so much in Tim Tebow that he needs to get a shot to play. However, Fox’s tendency in Carolina was to eschew young players in favor of more reliable veterans, even if they were less talented. That decision at quarterback will only impede Tebow’s development. And that’s the place where Fox’s tenure could break down. He’s a solid coach, but he must be more about development in Denver to rebuild a mediocre roster. Inexperienced Broncos exec John Elway and GM Brian Xanders will have to encourage and/or strong-arm Fox into playing young guys. If he doesn’t, it’s hard to see Denver climbing from its decline.

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Fantasy Football: 2011 Playoffs research

In case you’re participating in a postseason fantasy league, here’s a quick summary of the primary scorers on all 12 playoff teams. We’ve omitted players who are on injured reserve or are no longer on their teams.

And if you’re looking to play postseason fantasy football, here’s a great way to do so. We play this way in our office every year and love it.



New England (1st seed)

QB: Tom Brady (36 passing TD, 1 rushing TD)

RB: BenJarvus Green-Ellis (13 rushing TD), Danny Woodhead (5 rushing TD, 1 receiving TD)

WR: Wes Welker (7 receiving TD), Deion Branch (5 receiving TD), Brandon Tate (3 receiving TD, 2 return TD)

TE: Aaron Hernandez (6 receiving TD), Rob Gronkowski (10 receiving TD)

PK: Shayne Graham (71 points)

Defense: 6 TD


Pittsburgh (2nd seed)

QB: Ben Roethlisberger (17 pass TD, 3 rush TD), Charlie Batch (3 pass TD)

RB: Rashard Mendenhall (13 rush TD), Isaac Redman (2 receiving TD)

WR: Mike Wallace (10 receiving TD), Hines Ward (5 receiving TD), Emmanuel Sanders (2 receiving TD), Antwaan Randle El (2 pass TD)

TE: Heath Miller (2 receiving TD)

PK: Shaun Suisham (61 points)

Defense: 3 TD


Indianapolis (3rd seed)

QB: Peyton Manning (33 pass TD, 1 rush TD)

RB: Donald Brown (4 rush TD), Joseph Addai (4 rush TD), Mike Hart (1 rush TD), Dominic Rhodes

WR: Reggie Wayne (6 receiving TD), Pierre Garcon (6 receiving TD), Blair White (5 receiving TD)

TE: Jacob Tamme (4 receiving TD)

PK: Adam Vinatieri (129 points)

Defense: 4 TD


Kansas City (4th seed)

QB: Matt Cassel (27 pass TD)

RB: Jamaal Charles (5 rush TD, 3 receiving TD), Thomas Jones (6 rush TD)

WR: Dwayne Bowe (15 receiving TD), Dexter McCluster (1 receiving TD, 1 return TD)

TE: Tony Moeaki (3 receiving TD), Leonard Pope (2 receiving TD)

PK: Ryan Succop (102 points)

Defense: 3 TD


Baltimore (5th seed)

QB: Joe Flacco (25 pass TD, 1 rush TD)

RB: Ray Rice (5 rush TD, 4 receiving TD), Willis McGahee (5 rush TD)

WR: Anquan Boldin (10 receiving TD), Derrick Mason (9 receiving TD), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (6 receiving TD)

TE: Todd Heap (7 receiving TD), Ed Dickson (2 receiving TD)

PK: Billy Cundiff (117 points)

Defense: 3 TD


N.Y. Jets (6th seed)

QB: Mark Sanchez (17 pass TD, 3 rush TD)

RB: LaDainian Tomlinson (5 rush TD), Shonn Greene (1 rush TD)

WR: Braylon Edwards (7 receiving TD), Santonio Holmes (6 receiving TD), Jerricho Cotchery (2 receiving TD), Brad Smith (1 pass TD, 1 rush TD, 2 return TD)

TE: Dustin Keller (5 receiving TD)

PK: Nick Folk (127 points)

Defense: 3 TD




Atlanta (1st seed)

QB: Matt Ryan (28 pass TD)

RB: Michael Turner (12 rush TD), Jason Snelling (2 rush TD, 1 receiving TD)

WR: Roddy White (15 receiving TD), Michael Jenkins (6 receiving TD), Harry Douglas (4 receiving TD)

TE: Tony Gonzalez (5 receiving TD)

PK: Matt Bryant 128 points

Defense: 3 TD


Chicago (2nd seed)

QB: Jay Cutler (23 pass TD, 1 rush TD)

RB: Matt Forte (6 rush TD, 3 receiving TD), Chester Taylor (3 rush TD)

WR: Johnny Knox (5 receiving TD), Earl Bennett (3 receiving TD), Devin Hester (4 receiving TD, 3 return TD),

TE: Greg Olsen (5 receiving TD)

PK: Robbie Gould (110 points)

Defense: 1 TD


Philadelphia (3rd seed)

QB: Michael Vick (21 pass TD, 9 rush TD), Kevin Kolb (7 pass TD)

RB: LeSean McCoy (7 rush TD, 2 receiving TD), Jerome Harrison (1 rush TD)

WR: DeSean Jackson (6 receiving TD, 1 rush TD, 1 return TD), Jeremy Maclin (10 receiving TD), Jason Avant (1 receiving TD),

TE: Brent Celek (4 receiving TD)

PK: David Akers (143 points)

Defense: 2 TD


Seattle (4th seed)

QB: Matt Hasselbeck (12 pass TD, 3 rush TD), Charlie Whitehurst (2 pass TD, 1 rush TD)

RB: Marshawn Lynch (6 rush TD), Justin Forsett (2 rush TD), Leon Washington (1 rush TD, 3 return TD)

WR: Mike Williams (2 receiving TD), Ben Obamanu (4 receiving TD), Deon Butler (4 receiving TD)

TE: John Carlson (1 receiving TD)

PK: Olindo Mare (106 points)

Defense: 3 TD


New Orleans (5th seed)

QB: Drew Brees (33 pass TD)

RB: Julius Jones, Reggie Bush (1 receiving TD), Ladell Betts (2 rush TD)
NOTE: Pierre Thomas and Chris Ivory both went on IR this week, knocking them out for the playoffs.

WR: Marques Colston (7 receiving TD), Lance Moore (8 receiving TD), Robert Meachem (5 receiving TD), Devery Henderson (1 receiving TD)

TE: Jeremy Shockey (3 receiving TD), Jimmy Graham (5 receiving TD)

PK: Garrett Hartley (100 points)

Defense: 2 TD


Green Bay (6th seed)

QB: Aaron Rodgers (28 pass TD, 4 rush TD)

RB: Brandon Jackson (3 rush TD, 1 receiving TD), John Kuhn (4 rush TD, 2 receiving TD

WR: Greg Jennings (12 receiving TD), James Jones (5 receiving TD), Jordy Nelson (2 receiving TD), Donald Driver (4 receiving TD)

TE: Andrew Quarless (1 receiving TD), Donald Lee (3 receiving TD)

PK: Mason Crosby (112 points)

Defense: 4 TD

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Fantasy Football Applaud or a Fraud Week 16

Each week, we sort through the box scores to determine what fantasy football performances we should applaud, and which are merely frauds. As always, we’ll give more details about what each verdict means as we break it down. Now that we’re at the end of the seasons, we’re only noting players who have a chance of starting in a Week 17 championship game or who emerged out of nowhere in Week 16.

Tim Tebow


Josh Freeman, Buccaneers – Freeman has emerged as a fantasy starter this year, and if you hadn’t noticed, Sunday’s five-TD performance against the Seahawks should have turned your head. He’s a top-10 fantasy quarterback both this year and next. Verdict: Applaud

Carson Palmer, Bengals – Palmer has had a solid fantasy season even though his on-field performance has been awful. But Sunday against the Chargers, he was truly good, throwing for 269 yards and four touchdowns while completing 16-of-21 passes. The fact that he put up such good numbers without Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens was surprising, but the truth is that the Bengals are on their way to another late-season rush that means nothing. So if you want to ride Palmer next week against Baltimore, go ahead. Verdict: Applaud

Stephen McGee, Cowboys – McGee was pressed into action when Jon Kitna was injured on Christmas night, and he performed fairly well with 111 yards on 11-of-17 passing and one touchdown without an interception. If Kitna misses Week 17, McGee qualifies as a desperation play in two-QB or incredibly deep leagues because of Dallas’ strong receiving corps. We could see a two-TD game out of him as a starter. Verdict: Applaud

Tim Tebow, Broncos – In his first home start, Tebow ran for a touchdown (his fifth of the season) and threw for one. But the surprising stat was that he was able to shred the Texans’ admittedly sorry pass defense for 308 yards. Because of his rushing threat, Tebow is a startable fantasy player right now. His value is pinned to getting that rushing touchdown, but if you’re desperate, Tebow the Hero is an option. Verdict: Applaud

Running backs

Marion Barber, Cowboys – Barber had missed three games before returning on Christmas with a 58-yard game that included a touchdown. Barber still falls behind Felix Jones on the carries list in Dallas, but Marion the Barbarian is more likely to find the end zone than Jones. His return makes Tashard Choice irrelevant in fantasy terms, but that doesn’t mean we can trust Barber as a starter against the Eagles next week. Verdict: A fraud

Correll Buckhalter, Broncos – Filling in for Knowshon Moreno, Buckhalter had both a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown. If Moreno is out next week, Buckhalter becomes a flex option, albeit one with some risk. Verdict: Applaud

Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets – Both Greene and Tomlinson scored touchdowns against the Bears. It was Greene’s second touchdown of the season (first since Week 5) and Tomlinson’s first rushing TD since Week 6. We noted a few weeks ago that Tomlinson has really been slowing down, and with the Jets clinching a playoff spot this week, you’d have to figure he gets a break next week vs. the Bills. Greene, meanwhile, had 70 rushing yards against the Bears and could be coming on. We’d much rather play Greene than Tomlinson next week, but it could be that the Jets give Joe McKnight a look to protect both guys. Avoid both next week. Verdict: A fraud for both

Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai, Colts – The Colts brought Rhodes back off the UFL scrap heap two weeks ago, and this week Addai returned from a shoulder injury that had sidelined him for more than a month. Those two returns have made Donald Brown irrelevant for fantasy owners, and while Addai scored a touchdown against the Raiders, Rhodes was the leading rusher with 98 yards on 17 carries. It’s impossible to tell how this will play out next week, which means you can’t start any of them. But Rhodes is worth a claim if he’s available in your league, because he could qualify as a desperation play. Verdict: A fraud for Addai, Applaud for Rhodes

Wide receivers

Kenny Britt, Titans – Britt was having a huge season until a Week 8 injury sidelined him for nearly five games. But since his return, Britt has had four catches in every game, and he followed up Week 15’s 128-yard performance with a four-catch, 89-yard game with a touchdown against the Chiefs. Despite the Titans’ lethargic play, Britt is a must-start guy right now. Verdict: Applaud

Michael Crabtree, 49ers – Crabtree has had a disappointing season, garnering more than 61 receiving yards in just one game before his 122-yard performance against the Rams Sunday. Crabtree has talent, but the Smiths (Troy and Alex) at quarterback aren’t great, and so relying on him in any given week is just too much of a crapshoot. Verdict: A fraud

Johnny Knox, Bears – Knox has emerged as the Bears’ No. 1 receiver this year, and he’s nearly over the 1,000-yard mark on the season. More importantly for fantasy owners, Knox scored two long touchdowns against the Jets, giving him five on the season. Four of those five have come in the last five games, which means Knox has reached must-start status next week against Green Bay. And don’t worry about weather – Jay Cutler has thrown well in bad weather against the Vikings and Jets the last couple of weeks. Verdict: Applaud

Jordy Nelson, Packers – Nelson rode an 80-yard touchdown catch to a big day against the Giants. But you can’t rely on him to repeat his 124-yard performance, because he clearly falls behind Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, and James Jones in the pecking order. Verdict: A fraud

Andre Roberts, Cardinals – Roberts, a rookie out of The Citadel, had just 15 catches on the season before his five-catch, 122-yard breakout against the Cowboys that included a 74-yard touchdown. But somehow, Roberts went off while Larry Fitzgerald had just one catch and Steve Breaston and Early Doucet had none. That has all the looks of a one-week fluke that fantasy owners should ignore. Verdict: A fraud

Jerome Simpson, Bengals – With Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco out, Simpson broke out with a six-catch, 124-yard day against the Chargers that included two touchdowns. Don’t be surprised if Simpson and Jordan Shipley are featured again next week as the Bengals figure out whether they can move on from the diva receivas in 2011. Verdict: Applaud

Tight ends

Jared Cook, Titans – Cook, the Titans’ No. 2 tight end, had 96 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs. The Titans seem to want to get a better look at Cook and Craig Stevens right now, but Bo Scaife is healthy, which means you can’t rely on any of the Tennessee tight ends. Verdict: A fraud

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