Thursday, November 7, 2013


By Michael H. Osinski
According to sources, Miami Dolphin players have bestowed upon Richie Incognito a peculiar status..."Honorary Black Guy." What? Not that I am qualified to make these sorts of calls, but Richie Incognito seems about as black to me as Conan O'Brien. But that's just me talking.
Just goes to show you that perceptions differ...and in some circumstances, they are black and white.
At the beginning of the season, who thought KC would open 9-0? If you told me that in August I'd be thinking of you the same way I am thinking of those unnamed Dolphin players. Nick Foles a 7 TD game? Come on...most of us didn't have him pegged for 7 TDs for the season.
The point is how perception affects value and that that is precisely why we play this game. I don't see Incognito as an "Honorary Black Guy" anymore than I saw Case Keenum as a viable option when I lost Mike Vick. However, a lot of people who lost Aaron Rodgers Monday night are no doubt looking at Keenum.
We spend a lot of time looking at players, match ups, injuries and other intangibles to rank players. When we are right, we credit it to hard work and intelligence. When we are wrong, we blame it on the noisy couple upstairs. We want to be more right than the other guys..
That's the uncertainty. But if you drill down and spend a little time you can rate players well, make reasonable choices and perhaps even win your league. We don't have to be perfect, just good enough to get into the playoffs.
The playoffs are about a month away, so we don't have much time to assure we get into the playoffs. I have 2 teams that will most assuredly get in and 1 that is a longshot unless it wins 4 of its last 5.
So let's take another stab at distinguishing Cameron Jordan from Jordan Cameron...
We were not so bad last week save Foles, Brady and Alex Smith.  KC, Cleve, NE and Jets on bye...and obviously not including Vick, Rodgers etc. Not sure what to do with Cutler. If he plays the matchup puts him in the top 12.
1. Peyton Manning (DEN): Tough to put him anywhere else and the Chargers secondary is used to getting torched.
2. Phil Rivers (SD): The over/under is 57! Denver is better, but still not so hot keeping the score down.
3. Drew Brees (NO): Because he gets DAL and he is never going to be mistaken for Ponder.
4. Russell Wilson (SEA): Atlanta may start mailing the season in...and Wilson is starting to roll.
5. Matthew Stafford (DET): The secondary is still banged up and he is no Seneca Wallace.
6. Eli Manning (NYG): Maybe not 7 TDs, but matchup is pretty good.
7. Robert Griffin III (WSH): MIN not stopping folks so much these days.
8. Cam Newton (CAR): Even vs. SF, we expect a reasonable day, and he will have to run a bit.
9. Andrew Luck (IND): Assuming he doesn't repeat last week's first half showing.
10. Jake Locker (TEN): He's got JAX, and that is usually enough.
11. Tony Romo (DAL): This low only because NO has been good against the pass.
12. Nick Foles (PHI): GB didn't really stop McCown.
Just out: Kaepernick, Pryor
I'd avoid Ryan, Flacco and Tannehill if you can
Best shot for a sleeper if you need it: Carson Palmer
Man did we whiff on Ray Rice. I have a hunch he may be hurt. If I had an option, I'd sit him. We kinda missed on Mathews and Murray and didn't realize Foster and McFadden would get injured.
The rest were close enough. I really feel sorry for Murray and Rice owners. Murray I'd try to trade. Rice too, but you will only get 20 cents on the dollar, Not sure what to say about SJax owners. He looks old and slow.
1. Marshawn Lynch (SEA): Like I said, ATL is starting to figure out next season.
2. Adrian Peterson (MIN): WSH a little better than early season, but still not so hot.
3. Matt Forte (CHI): Loves Trestman's system...faces DET who plays a lot of shootouts.
4. Alfred Morris (WSH): He will hopefully avoid the TD vultures around him.
5. Eddie Lacy (GB): Whoever is QB is going to lean on him.
6. CJ Spiller (BUF): That game off was sooo good for him. Expect games like down the stretch in 2011.
7. Knowshon Moreno (DEN): Just remember, the over/under is 57!
8. Reggie Bush (DET): A shootout brewing here.
9. LeSean McCoy (PHI): Would be higher if Vick were playing.
10. Zac Stacy (STL): IND a bit tough to run on, but 20+ carries.
11. Chris Johnson (TEN): I don't trust him, but it is JAX.
12. Le'Veon Bell (PGH): BUF has been run on some.
13. Frank Gore (SF): CAR is a top 5 defense.
14. Lamar Miller (MIA): Look what happens when they give him the ball.
15. Mike James (TB): Look what he did vs. SEA.
16. Danny Woodhead (SD): 57! Somebody has to score.
17. MJ Drew (JAX): Losing faith in him...and they get behind early and pass a lot.
18. DeMarco Murray (DAL): He had 4 carries last week. Tough to have him any higher with the way they are using him.
19. Rashad Jennings (OAK): Looked good in garbage time, but it was PHI.
20. Gio Bernard (CIN): Erratic, but boy is he fast.
21. Andre Ellington (ARZ): Did well with 17 touches last time out.
22. Steven Jackson (ATL): Hasn't been himself since he's been back.
23. Ben Tate (HOU): The ribs are troubling, but I am assuming no Foster.
24. Pierre Thomas (NO): Assumes Sproles out and that Ingram still sucks.
25. Trent Richardson (IND): Wow!
Just out: Fred Jackson, Ryan Mathews
I'd try to avoid Rice, the Carolina guys until Stewart passes the others
Sleeper?...Joique Bell seems due in a shootout.
OK, we don't expect another 3 TDs the rest of the season for Cotchery.  We were overly optimistic about Jordy and Denarius Moore. We obviously undershot Andre Johnson and TY Hilton.
So one week Marvin Jones snags 4 TDs and Jericho Cotchery this week gets 3. So did Riley Cooper, Andre Johnson AND TY Hilton. I'll go out on a limb here and predict nobody gets 3 this week.
1. Calvin Johnson (DET): Nobody better right now.
2. Wes Welker (DEN): All 3 guys are in the top 10.
3. AJ Green (CIN): The added attention to Jones helps.
4. Brandon Marshall (CHI): Doesn't matter who plays QB.
5. Demaryius Thomas (DEN): Lots of catches and TDs to go around.
6. Dez Bryant (NO): It's the matchup.
7. Pierre Garcon (WSH): He had 170+ last week.
8. TY Hilton (IND): Did well his first time as the feature WR.
9. Keenan Allen (SD): Rivers goes to him.
10. Eric Decker (DEN): He actually leads the team in targets, receptions and yards.
11. Jordy Nelson (GB): All about the lack of Rodgers.
12. Victor Cruz (NYG): Still having a neck issue...if he is 100% Sunday, he rises to about 7.
13. Andre Johnson (HOU): Come on, he didn't have any TDs before last week.
14. Antonio Brown (PIT): On pace for 120 catches.
15. Vincent Jackson (TB): Getting doubled since Williams went out.
16. Larry Fitzgerald (ARZ): If he is 100%, he is higher.
17. DeSean Jackson (PHI): When Foles plays, Cooper gets some of his targets.
18. Cecil Shorts (JAX): Not sharing with Blackmon anymore.
19. Torrey Smith (BAL): CIN is a tough defense.
20. Harry Douglas (ATL): Ryan still throws a lot.
21. Alshon Jeffery (CHI): He is not a fluke.
22. Terrance Williams (DAL): Austin is still out.
23. Golden Tate (SEA): He falls if Harvin plays.
24. Denarious Moore (OAK): If you avoid the pass rush, Pryor can throw on the Giants.
25. Kendall Wright (TEN): Has become the #1 option a lot of the time.
Just out: Lance Moore, Michael Floyd, Hakeem Nicks
I'd avoid Colston or Roddy White until they prove they are healthy
Sleeper? If Nicks struggles, Rueben Randle
We were pretty good (as usual this season) on these guys. We were too optimistic on Reed and underestimated Witten (but he has been all over the map this year).
1. Jimmy Graham (NO): This guy was supposed to be hurt. Yeah, right.
2. Rob Gronkowski (NO): He is back.
3. Julius Thomas (DEN): Assuming he is healthy...he practicing already.
4. Jordan Reed (WSH): TEs shred MIN (See Witten last week)
5. Antonio Gates (SD): Seems like 2008...
6. Tony Gonzalez (ATL): He and Douglas will see most of the work, and we know Ryan is throwing a lot.
7. Vernon Davis (SF): Thinking a lot of read-option to cross up the CAR front 7.
8. Greg Olsen (CAR): Cam usually looks here first.
9. Heath Miller (PIT): Security blanket.
10. Tim Wright (TB): TDs in each of the past 2 games.
11. Martellus Bennett (CHI): McCown doesn't look for him as much as Cutler does.
12. Delanie Walker (TEN): JAX gets killed all the time.
Just out: Charles Clay, Zach Ertz (matchup)
I'd avoid Brandon Myers...he looks even slower
Sleeper? Zach Miller gets a good game once in a while and ATL is a good matchup
I stream a new one each week...though I'll admit I have successfully played Carolina 3 times... We just look for who get JAX, who gets NYG and who plays rookie QBs or backup guys...
1. SEA...ATL will throw 50 times, so I'm expecting 3+ picks and a handful of sacks.
2. ARZ...Rookie QB Keenum due for a clunker.
3. IND...Kellen is your QB.
4. TEN...JAX helps defenses
5. GB...Foles is not consistent.
6. SF...Not sure if Aldon Smith gonna play, but they are playing very very well.
7. CIN...This game has 17-13 written all over it.
8. CAR...Usually a top 5, but I think the read option will work.
9. HOU...Top notch pass defense vs. Palmer.
10. BAL...Like I said, 17-13.
11. NO...They are good vs. pass, but Romo is drilling all comers.
12. TB...With the problems on the O-line, expect about 10 sacks.
Just out: GB and BUF
I'd avoid PIT and OAK this week.
I really hate ranking kickers. I pick a new one each week. I had Henery  throw up a goose egg. Like with defenses, I look at matchups. With kickers I also look at who is gonna score a bunch and who is playing indoors. I rarely get Nick Folk-like 4 FG games, but I usually am lucky enough to get 10-12 points.
This week I like:
Crosby, Hauschka and Prater the best...
Novak, Akers and Gould next...
Hartley, Vinateri, Zuerlein  and Bailey next.
Good luck all. I am available for questions about rankings, rostering and trades @mhosinskiLLP

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