Oct 1, 2011

Week 4 Previews

As we approach the end of the first quarter of the First Season, the theme of the league thus far has been parity. Only one team remains undefeated, and only one is winless. The first two weeks saw a flurry of points on a scale no one quite expected as quarterbacks and receivers league wide went off big time. As we head into the middle part of the season, the waiver wire has heated up and whispers of trade rumors have started to be heard. The next few weeks will begin to separate the league elites and those fighting for good draft picks. Many more surprises are likely, and there is still plenty of time for the top to fall and the bottom feeders to rise.

Red Hawks (1-2, 0-2) vs Angler Pigs (2-1, 2-1)

The long-time rivalry between Angler Pig's owner Drew and Red Hawk's owner Mitchell begins a new chapter with raised stakes as it moves over to the Dynasty League. Rumors had it that these two managers were locked in mid-week trade negotiations that nearly resulted in a deal before talks suddenly broke off. As a result, the Red Hawks will field a similar team to the one that put just under 90 points last week. Meanwhile, the Angler Pigs, who have scored at least 100 points in all three weeks, continue to work the waiver wire and free agent pool to get a better defensive match up and will start their third different DST of the young season. This is an important game for both teams, outside of the obvious rivalry bragging rights that the winner will enjoy. A win for the Angler Pigs would allow them to keep pace with the undefeated White Star Fleet in Division 1, while the Red Hawks could find it difficult to fight back from a 1-3 start should they lose.

Yahoo Prediction: Angler Pigs win 106.07-98.96
Drew does not predict his own games.

Players to Watch:
Red Hawks: WR Sidney Rice- Will the lone roster change for the Red Hawks make a difference?
The Rabid Penguins: WR Mike Wallace- Rumored to be part of the trade-that-didn't-happen, will the Red Hawks regret not getting the deal done?

White Star Fleet (3-0, 2-0) vs The Rabid Penguins (1-2, 1-2)

While the White Star Fleet has enjoyed a white-hot, undefeated start, the Rabid Penguins look, well, sickly. No team has scored fewer points than the Rabid Penguins, while the White Star Fleet is only three points out of first place in the points race. Based on those stats alone, it does not look like Ryan will be able to give his father his first loss. Yahoo, however, does give him a fighting chance, with at least somewhat favorable match ups for the Rabid Penguin's receivers, running backs and defense. Then, of course, there is Mike Vick. So far, his injuries have not sunk the Fleet, but will that luck continue?  The Fleet also enjoys some favorable match ups, so while the Penguins may put up a fight, it probably won't be enough.

Yahoo Prediction: White Star Fleet wins 103.93-91.44
Drew's Prediction: White Star Fleet wins

Players to Watch:
White Star Fleet: QB Mike Vick- He has been banged up recently and could be one big injury away from damaging the Fleet's dominance.
The Rabid Penguins: RB Maurice Jones-Drew- If MJD can get 50 yards and a score before New Orleans pulls ahead, the Rabid Penguins could have a decent week.

Red Dragons (0-3, 0-3) vs Mike's Big Dawgs (2-1, 2-1)

So far, the Red Dragon's points have been like real dragons: non-existent. Mike's Big Dawgs, on the other hand, may just be the most inconsistent team in the league, due in part to some injury problems. The Big Dawgs have scored anywhere from 134 points in week 2, to just 62 last week. Despite that low score last week, they still amazingly got a win in what is now the record lowest scoring match on the young league. Much of the Big Dawg's hope rests on the hamstring of Arian Foster, who Mike gave the top overall contract to after the draft. The Red Dragons will enjoy some favorable match ups though and could manage to pull off the upset. However, there is a reason the Red Dragons are 0-3 and the second lowest scoring team in the league.

Yahoo Predictions: Red Dragons win 92.21-88.64
Drew's Prediction: Mike's Big Dawgs win

Players to Watch:
Red Hawks: WR Marques Colston- He should play after a controversial quick return from a broken collarbone in week 1. Is he really ready to go?
Annihilating Angels: RB Arian Foster- It sounds like he is ready to return full time, but will the hammy hold up?

Dogs of War (1-2, 1-1) vs Annihilating Angels (1-2, 0-2)

The Annihilating Angels once again got annihilated last week, and have been the victim of the biggest blow out of the week two out of three times. After putting up nearly 133 points in Week 2, it looked like the Angels were ready to put their dismal start behind them. However, they only managed 71 points in Week 3 and hit the waiver wire hard this week to try to remedy the problem. The Dogs of War, on the other hand, have shaken up the top of their roster from within. Fantasy beast Ryan Fitzpatrick finally gets the start and should have a good game in a shoot out against Cincinnati. That is unless you believe in the Sports Illustrated curse (the Bills were on the front cover this week) and the fact that Scott is a Bill's fan who is afraid to hope too much after over a decade of Bills misery. One interesting story line to go along with Fitz-magic is the appearance of Bill's receiver David Nelson in the Angel's line up. When adding in points for yardage, a receiving touchdown is worth more than a passing one, so any looks towards Nelson will help the Angels.

Yahoo Prediction: Dogs of War win 96.23-89.07
Drew's Prediction: Dogs of War win

Players to Watch:
Dogs of War: RB Beanie Wells- There is a large injury concern here. Even if he does play, will he be effective?
Mike's Big Dawgs: QB Tony Romo- He injuries have been much publicized and he has done decent despite them. But the Lions are tough, aggressive, and Romo is without his top, maybe top two receivers.

Ferocious Foxes (2-1, 2-0) vs Lehman Demons (2-1, 2-0)

With these two teams, the record for most points in a match (247.20) may very well be in jeopardy. The Demons rank first in points scored, while the Foxes rank third. Adding their average weekly scores, they would come up just short (about 238 points), but they could easily exceed averages thanks to some favorable match-ups. Unfortunately, for the Foxes, however, WE Kenny Britt hit the IR this week after tearing up his knee last week. Britt had been tied with WR Steve Smith for most points on the Foxes' for a non-QB. It can be assumed that fantasy-rookie Maria will insert Smith into the lineup in Britt's place, though Smith's 49 points on the season may be inflated due to a big Week 1 game. The Demons, meanwhile, are taking advantage of the two surprises of the year: the Lions and the aforementioned Bills. QB Matt Stafford ranks third among QBs in scoring, and WR Stevie Johnson is enjoying another great season as the number-one wideout in Buffalo's high powered passing attack. Then, of course, there is Bill's RB Fred Jackson who is also third in his position.

Yahoo Prediction: Lehman Demons win 100.99-99.22 (assuming Steve Smith in Foxes' line up)
Drew's Prediction: Lehman Demons win

Players to Watch:
Ferocious Foxes: RB Chris Johnson- So far, he simply has not gotten it done. He needs to get going if the Foxes are to have a chance.
Lehman Demons- QB Matt Stafford- He has an injury history, got a little banged up last week, and faces a Cowboy's team that leads the league in sacks.

Prediction Records:
Last Week (Week 2) and Overall:
Yahoo! Predictions: 3-2 (0.600)
Drew's Predictions: 3-1 (0.750)

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