Posts Tagged ‘Jamaal Charles’

Our Week 2 picks in the NFL didn’t get off to a good start for Dan the Man Mr. Fantasy and I as we all took the Kansas City Chiefs to win the first Thursday night football game of the NFL season on CBS. Schaumburg Stu was the only one of us smart enough to take the Denver Broncos to win which they did 31-24 on one of the odder plays to end an NFL game that will probably see this season. Maybe picking the Thursday night game wrong will be better for me this week. I picked last week’s game right and then went on to have a sub .500 week.

Back to that odd ending. Kansas City had the football with about :30 seconds to go in the game and the score tied at 24. Instead of taking a knee Kansas City decided to run a play and they handed the football off to Jamaal Charles. Charles is one of the better running backs in the NFL and a lot of people rate him as the best duel threat back in the league with his ability to catch the football out of the backfield. Charles is also thought to be one of those type of players that can score any time he has the football in his hands. So it makes some sense to get the ball into Charles hands and see if he can gain enough yards to allow the Chiefs to win the game in regulation. Alex Smith hands the football off to Charles and while he’s on his way to the ground he’s hit by a Broncos defender and the football pops out. Bradley Roby of the Broncos was right there when the ball came out and was able to pick it up and return it 21 yards for a touchdown and a Denver win. This is where it all starts. I’m sure before both teams got off the field there where people questioning Chiefs head coach Andy Reid’s decision t run a play and not just kneel down and tale the game into overtime. One of the first things I heard was people comparing it t a play that happened in a game quite a few years ago between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles. The big difference there was the Giants where down on their own goal line when they ran there play. So right away Reid is taking all the blame for this loss and as a head coach he accepts it for his team, but is it really his fault? While Reid did call the play he wasn’t the one who put the football on the ground. I think that Charles has to take the majority of the blame for this loss, but it doesn’t seem to be going that way. People point to the fact that Charles had fumbled earlier in the game as reason for the Chiefs to just kneel down and head into overtime. In 2013 Charles led the NFL in fumbles with 19 and last season (2014) he fumbled 14 times. Charles averaged a fumble every 17 touches last season. Now think of how people would’ve reacted had Charles broken the run off and it help Kansas City get into field goal range and win the game. They’d be touting Reid as the greatest coach in the NFL today and it would’ve been a great play call. I’d also like to see a little bit of blame given to Smith as well. Smith was the last Chiefs player with a chance to stop Roby from scoring and he had a clean shot at him. Now I know that teams don’t like their starting quarterbacks to even try to make tackles and earlier in the game Peyton Manning just watched as Marcus Peters picked off one of his passes and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown, but this situation is a little different. Now even if Smith makes the tackle there’s a better than average chance that Denver just kicks a field goal to win the game, but there’s also a chance they miss that field goal and the game goes into over time. I’m not even sure if Smith touched Roby and after he got past Smith there was nothing between him and winning the game.

It’s a tough loss for the Chiefs who jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the game only to watch Denver come back and tie it up. After the teams traded field goals it looked like Knile Davis’ 8 yard touchdown run to give the Chiefs a 24-17 lead might be the game winner. Manning responded by taking the Broncos on a 10 play 80 yard drive capped off by a 19 yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders to tie the game at 24 which led to the Charles fumble and the game winning return.

Fantasy wise Manning threw for 3 touchdowns and 256 yards in the game, but did throw 1 interception. Smith wasn’t much help for your fantasy team as he threw for 191 yards, but was picked off 2 times in the game. He did add 15 yards rushing for you. Denver’s running backs won’t end up being much help to you this week. Ronnie Hillman was their leading rusher with 34 yards on 9 carries and they didn’t have a rushing touchdown. Despite the fumble Charles had 21 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown. Sanders and Demaryius Thomas each had 8 catches for Denver and while Thomas had more yards (116) Sanders caught 2 touchdown passes to go with 87 yards. Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin each had 4 catches to lead the Chiefs. Kelce had 1 more yard  receiving than Maclin 58 to 57. Don’t forget that both teams defenses scored in this game.

It looked like Dallas Keuchel was going to have a chance to establish himself as the top candidate for the AL Cy Young if he had a good outing against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday. Keuchel’s team the Houston Astros had just fallen out of 1st place in the AL West by losing the first two games of there series against the Rangers, but a win would put them right back in 1st place. Keuchel lasted 4 2/3rd innings giving up 9 runs on 11 hits; 3 of which where home runs. It was Keuchel’s shortest outing of the season and it couldn’t of come at a worse time for him or his team. If the door is open for someone else to join the Cy Young race who would it be. David Price may  be that next pitcher in line. Price is 16-5 and leads the AL in ERA at 2.42. Price is also 4th in the AL in strikeouts with 212. Keuchel of course may still be the front runner as he is tied for the AL lead in wins with 17 and is 2nd behind Price in ERA at 2.56. Is it a 2 man race or are there any other contenders. Sonny Gray is tied for 2nd in ERA with Keuchel and is 13-7 on the season, but his team isn’t contending and voters seem to lean towards players on winning teams. Felix Hernandez is tied with Keuchel with 17 wins, but he’s also on a non-contending team. Colby Lewis is 16-8 for the 1st place Rangers, but he has an ERA of 4.41. Chris Archer has had a solid year 12-12 with an ERA of 2.95 and is 2nd in the AL in strikeouts with 243, but with Tampa bay fading in the wild card race he may be over looked. Let’s look some place Cy Young voters  never seem to look; the bullpen. How about Andrew Miller. The Yankees closer has saved 34 of 35 games this season. He has an ERA of 1.80 covering 55 innings in 54 games. Miller has a WHIP of 0.800 and a strikeouts per 9 innings rate of 14.6. It seems difficult for Cy Young voters to vote for a reliever, but with no starting pitcher running away with the award this might be the year to look that way.

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Our fantasy football drafts are getting closer and closer. We have our auction draft Saturday night and then are snake league draft is Sunday night. Mr. Fantasy and I also have our money league draft Sunday morning. They auction draft isn’t so bad as it’s just deciding on how much you want to pay for a player and hitting on that player. Oddly I always seem to think that I got a deal on a guy and he ends up having a terrible season. The money league Mr. Fantasy and I share a team in is also a snake style draft. In case you don;t know snake style means your rounds go from the 1st pick to the in our case 20th pick and then the 20th team gets the first pick of the 2nd round. It goes back down to the team who draft first overall which is the end of round 2 and then they start round 3 with the first pick and so on until the draft is done. There’s a little more on the go strategy in the snake style draft because if you get caught on a run of a position you can get stuck with a lesser player at that position. If you play your pick right in a round you can actual start the run which is where you’d prefer to be. I know Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy prefer the auction draft over a snake style draft, but I still like the snake style draft better. In our two leagues we run through Yahoo it can be tough to get your draft strategy set up as you don’t know were you’ll be drafting until 30 minutes before the draft starts. That situation is much tougher for first time player to handle; so luckily I’m not one of those this season. As the draft gets closer I look more and more forward to it and hopefully I’ll land a good draft position and hit on my players.

I mentioned that we run our leagues through Yahoo and they set up a ranking of players for you to use as a guideline. This season their Top 5 picks are all running backs. Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings is ranked #1. Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks is ranked #2. Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs is ranked #3. Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers is #4 and Le’veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers is ranked #5. Don’t forget that Bell has to miss the first 2 games of the season. He is suspended for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. I downgraded Bell for this, but I guess Yahoo doesn’t feel the same way. As four the other 3 running backs I think you could pretty much put their names in a hat; pull one out and be happy with that pick. There’s almost no way to decide between those 4 players. Peterson did miss almost all of last season; so will him be rested or rusty. I do wonder if Jimmy Graham will take away some goal line attempts from Lynch. Not that Graham is going to run the ball, but would they throw a jump ball to Graham instead of handing the football to Lynch. Who else just had a Super Bowl flashback? With the season ending injury to Jordy Nelson Lacy might be the guy to go with out of this group. Charles has had his share of injury issues and the Chiefs also signed Jeremy Maclin to help the receiving game and that may hurt Charles overall touchdowns. Now there aren’t really huge negatives with any of these players and that;s why their ranked where they are going into this weekends drafts. It really boils down to who you happen to like and then you’ll have to see how the pick works out for you this season.

The San Francisco Giants lost a tough game to the Los Angeles Dodgers last night (Tuesday) 2-1 to fall 5 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the National League West. I think the Giants need to find a way to win these next 2 games against the Dodgers or I believe they’ll miss the playoffs this season. Zack Greinke picked up the win for the Dodgers pitching 7 1/3rd innings giving up 5 hits; allowing just 1 run while striking out 5 and walking 1. Greinke also lowered his major league leading E.R.A. to 1.59. Madison Bumgarner started for the Giants pitching 7 innings giving up 8 hits; allowing 2 runs while striking out 8 and walking 1. Adrian Gonzalez gave the Dodgers the lead by singling home the 1st run of the game in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Joc Pederson gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead by hitting his 24th hoe run of the season off of Bumgarner in the bottom of the 7th inning. Matt Duffy drove in the Giants lone run of the night with a single to centerfield in the top of the 8th inning. Kenley Jansen got the Giants 1. 2. 3 in the top of the 9th to pick up his 28th save of the season and give the Dodgers their 2-1 win. It’s not going to get any easier for the Giants to make up any ground on the Dodgers tonight as Clayton Kershaw will be the Dodgers starting pitcher tonight. San Francisco will counter with Mike Leake. Kershaw is 11-6 with a 2.24 E.R.A. in 26 starts this season. Leake is 9-6 on the season, but 0-1 with the Giants. His season E.R.A. is 3/53, but it’s 3.38 with the Giants. Leake has made 24 total starts this season, but only 3 of them have been with San Francisco. The Giants traded Keury Mella and Adam Duvall.to the Cincinnati Reds for Leake on June 30th. While it’s difficult to say that tonight is a must win for the Giants, but it would be nice if they could take at least one of these 3 games against the Dodgers. Don’t forget that the Giants lost the 1st game of the series 5-4 in in 14 innings on Monday night. The Giants have 30 games left while the Dodgers have 31 games left this season. These two teams do meet for a 4 game series at the end of this month, but for the Giants to still have a chance to win the N.L. West they’ll have to cut into that 5 1/2 game lead the Dodgers have by the time that 4 game series rolls around. San Francisco is actually a game closer to catching the Dodgers in the N.L. West than they are catching the Chicago Cubs for the 2nd wild card spot. We’ll have to watch and see how the last month of the season plays out.

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Now that NFL training camps are open fantasy football drafts should start happening. Yesterday (Friday) on Sports Time Radio we spent the entire show discussing football. There’s also suppose to the first Mr. Fantasy mock draft coming soon; so look for that. The conversation of who would be the #1 overall pick in our league came up. I believe that it will be Philadelphia Eagles running back LeShom McCoy or Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. Mr. Fantasy added in Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. While any of these 3 would be good choices I think Charles is the pick here. Out of these 3 running backs Charles is the only one with an experienced NFL quarterback in Alex Smith. While Nick Foles had a break out season last year for the Eagles there are still some questions about him and remember he didn’t play a full season. Even though Peterson is used to have what you would call a below average quarterback under center it allows teams to stack the line of scrimmage against him and it does hurt his numbers. Can you just imagine the kind of numbers Peterson might out up with just an average quarterback. Does Peterson having Matt Cassell, Christian Ponder or rookie Teddy Bridgewater handing him the ball make you think teams won’t be keying on him. Top running backs always need help from a quarterback and while McCoy will get some help from Foles I don’t think Peterson will get enough from his quarterback and Charles will get the most from Smith. If you don’t end up with a top 3 pick; what do you do? Well with the Marshawn Lynch hold out Matt Forte clearly looks like the next best running back on the board. After Forte there are a group of players that could have great seasons for you or could leave you looking at your team asking yourself why you drafted this guy in the 1st round. In our league you have to start 2 running backs a week; so we have to hunt up other guys as well. I have three running backs that I’m looking at and wondering if I get them as my 2nd running back will they be worth that spot. Toby Gerhart is with the Jacksonville jaguars now and all reports are saying they like him as a 3 down back. If this is the case even on a bad team Gerhart might be worth a shot. This is the first time Gerhart will be the #1 running back for a team and that may have him trying to prove something. Another running back who hasn’t really been under the radar the last few seasons, but has changed teams and is that teams #1 running option is Ben Tate. The Cleveland Browns signed Tate to be their #1 running back and take some pressure off of Brian Hoyer to start and then Johnny Manziel, Tate has put up good number before as Arian Foster back up with the Houston Texans, but in Cleveland he’s the clear-cut #1 running back. The 3rd guy on my list is Rashad Jennings now with the New York Giants. David Wilson is coming off a serious neck injury and even when healthy was a disappointment last season. Jennings has some injury concerns of his own, but the Giants like to run the football and this could increase his numbers for you. Jennings should be the Giants #1 running back and it’s nice to have the #1 running back on a year that likes to run the football. If your that Fantasy football guy who likes to try to find the best rookie running back this may be a tough season for you to do that. Off the bat it seems like the only one who might get a reasonable amount of playing time would be Bishop Sankey of the Tennessee Titans. While Sankey is scheduled to split time with Shonn Greene; Sankey is the receiving back out of the pair. This should help Sankey pick up points from 20 yard line to 20 yard line, but it’s Greene who the Titans will use in-goal line situations. That means Greene will steal some touchdowns that belong to Sankey and of course points from your team. As always it’s still early in the NFL season and injuries change things in a big, big hurry. Will have to see how pre-season plays out, but it’s always fun to talk about it.

It seems like when Dan the Man wasn’t looking the San Francisco Giants took the National League West division lead from his Los Angeles Dodgers. While the Giants only have a half of a game lead over the Dodgers as I’m writing this a lot of baseball experts had the Giants as dead when the Dodgers went past them into 1st place earlier in the season. In pre-season picks we all went with the Dodgers to win the West, but a lot of people made that choice. I did have the Giants in the playoffs as one of the wild card teams. As the trade deadline draws closer you wonder if either team will make a move to try to separate themselves in the division. There has been some talk that Matt Kemp would be okay with being traded by the Dodgers and you have to wonder what they could get in return for him. Kemp is signed through 2019 for around $20 million dollars a season. I guess the question I would ask is would Kemp the right combination of prospects and a whole bunch of money be enough for the Dodgers to land David Price. Dan the Man’s ears just perked up. Yes I said David Price. While the Tampa Bay Rays have worked their way back into the pennant race in the American League East you have to wonder if a deal like that could happen. Would the Dodgers be willing to deal a Joc Pederson, Julio Urias, Corey Seager or Alexander Guerrero in a package to bring back Price. It would be a lot to give up, but it could give the Dodgers a World Series. Without a deal by either the Giants or the Dodgers will have some fun watching the N.L. West these last couple months of the season.

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.