Justin "Arby" Arbogast

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Down the Seam: Top Fantasy tight ends for Week 7

Tight ends are becoming workhorses in fantasy football. I remember when 7-10 points was a good day for a fantasy tight end. Now, 10-15 is a disappointment for the top pass-catching blockers.

Here’s a list of guys to start week seven that should put up great numbers!

 

5. Antonio Gates vs. Chiefs

 

Gates had a relatively quiet week six against a surprising Raiders defense that held him in check, but Phil Rivers knows that Gates is still his guy. The two have connected numerous times this season and have rekindled the magic that made Gates one of the best tight ends at one point. He’s still a legit threat to be able to beat a defender downfield and his size makes him a threat in the endzone. Mix that with a trio of speedy receivers and there’s plenty of ways to get the defense slipping. This week against the Chiefs, Gates should put up some pretty decent numbers in the divisional match that’s always a good one.

4. Jordan Cameron at Jaguars

Jordan Cameron is finally healthy and has fought through the shoulder injury that kept him sidelined or playing decoy. Brian Hoyer is balling out and his favorite target is Cameron. The beast was targeted several times last week and should definitely be the focus once again this week against a laughable Jaguars defense.

3. Martellus Bennett vs. Dolphins

Bennett continues to climb the ranks as one of the best tight ends this season and it appears there’s no slowing him down. The Bears have kept the ball on the ground more often than not over two weeks, but Bennett still gets his way in the passing game. He’s been held without a touchdown over two weeks but has still reeled in plenty of yardage to keep him afloat our rankings. This week against the Dolphins he should see the endzone as the Fins have given up a load of points to opposing tight ends.

2. Rob Gronkowski vs Jets

Gronk hasn’t been the monster that we’ve known, but he’s still at par a better option than most tight ends in the game. He’s been consistently floating around 12 points per game (standard scoring) and has been targeted 10 or more times each game. He’s a weapon that the Jets don’t like to see as he’s owned them for years now despite their strong secondary.

1. Julius Thomas vs. 49ers

THERE’S NO SLOWING THIS MAN DOWN. That was evident Sunday when Thomas caught his second touchdown of the day and his ninth of the season and ran to television cameras screaming “it’s too easy!”. Thomas has been Peyton Manning’s best friend and it’s paid off as the Broncos continue to use him in every spot on the field. He’s lined up behind 18, he’s played wideout and he’s even played a snap at running back. The freak remains the top option moving forward, barring injury.

 

Check out our other fantasy columns:

In the Backfield: Top RB’s (Coming soon)

Under Center: Top QB’s (Coming soon)

Over the Middle: Top WR’s (Coming soon)

Rock Solid: Top D/ST’s (Coming soon)

 

Broncos top Cowboys as “America’s Team”

 

When you hear “America’s team” chances are you correlate the phrase with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, but that is no longer the case.

After years on top of the fandom totem pole, the Dallas Cowboys are now America’s fourth favorite team in the league, according to the latest Harris Interactive poll.

The new “America’s team” moves up two spots to claim the glory in 2014 – the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos.

After a decade of ranking in the lower two-thirds of the league, the Broncos surged to top five once they acquired Peyton Manning and have slowly taken over from there. Rounding out the 2014 top five is the New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The defending Super Bowl Champion Seahawks come in at sixth after ranking 12th one season ago.

Basically, America is one big bandwagon.

You can check out the entire rankings by visiting the Harris Interactive poll’s website, where the Jacksonville Jaguars rank last once again!

Go Jaguars!

Down the Seam: Top 5 Fantasy tight ends for Week 5

It seems like forever since I had written my fantasy advice for tight ends, but due to a couple poor options on Thursday night football and my anniversary, I delayed this a bit. It’s definitely worth the wait, though!

Let’s get to the top five options for this week!

5. Rob Gronkowski vs. Bengals

 

Gronk and the Pats offense couldn’t quite get going Monday night against the Chiefs – largely in part due to the fact that the Pats dressed just three wideouts and started two rookies on the offensive line. This week they should revert back to their old ways as they take on the Bengals. I’m not sure what decisions led to the roster last week, but the play was definitely impacted. This week they should at least be able to put together a couple drives and get Gronk on the board. Despite the laughs at Brady on Monday, he’s still a legit quarterback and he’ll lean on the guys he trusts, starting with Big Rob.

4. Heath Miller vs. Jaguars

The Steelers are pissed off that they let the laughable Bucs come back and beat them last week. Antonio Brown said losing to one of the league’s worst teams hurt pretty bad – so they should be ready to pounce on THE WORST TEAM IN THE LEAGUE this week in the Jaguars. Heath Miller is a pretty underrated target that Bathroom Ben can take advantage of (Sorry not sorry for the pun). Through four weeks Miller has been thrown at 21 times, and when they relied on him most last week he produced well. He’s available in more than 90% of leagues and this week would be a good week to grab him and start him.

3. Martellus Bennett @ Panthers

Bennett has been a beast this year and having Jay Cutler recognize that is a plus for fantasy owners. They say that their offense starts and ends with Matt Forte, but taking a look back at Marc Trestman’s past offenses, they usually make the tight end the feature player. It helps that he has Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on the outside too. Marshall shouldn’t slow down like years past, as he has a good place in this offensive system.

2. Julius Thomas vs. Cardinals

Thomas and Peyton got a little heated in week three before they headed to the bye week, but Thomas wasn’t in the right place so he got a rare bitching from Manning. Usually he’s the one barking at other offensive players to be doing to the right thing at the right time. The pair has had tremendous success over the last two seasons and it shouldn’t slow down. They’ll face a tough defensive secondary in the Cardinals this week but they should be able to take advantage of some mismatches and get the ball down the field.

1. Jimmy Graham vs. Buccaneers

Graham was a bust last week and I thought he was going to break all sorts of records. The Saints offense was held in check by a rather surprising Dallas defense that came from outer space. Getting Orlando Scandrick back was huge for them moving forward – but on to Jimmy. They’ll play the lowly Bucs this week, who have no great options in their defensive backfield. They’ve spent some early picks back there and it hasn’t paid off. The Saints have won just one game this season and should they expect to get to the playoffs they’ll have to scrap the rest of the way. This should be an easy week for them to get the offense in check and get rolling.

 

Check out our other weekly fantasy columns!

In the Backfield: Top 5 RB’s

Over the Middle: Top 5 WR’s

Under Center: Top 5 QB’s

Rock solid: Top 5 DEF/ST’s

Down the Seam: Top 5 Fantasy tight ends for Week 4

We had a pretty good week last week with a couple new guys on the list like Martellus Bennett, who popped the Jets for a few touchdowns.

Let’s keep that momentum going into week 4!

5. Greg Olsen @ Ravens

Olsen has been a focal point of Cam Newton all season. Even on a down day like Sunday night, they found a way to get Olsen involved in the pass game to put points on the board. Cam is adjusting well to Kelvin Benjamin, but his main guy is still Olsen and he should be safe this week against the Ravens.

4. Vernon Davis vs. Eagles

Davis suffered a high ankle sprain in San Fran’s week two loss and it appeared he’d miss several weeks. Heading into week four, Davis says he feels great and has every intention of being on the field Sunday against the Eagles. They’ll need him, as he is the cog of their offense and they seem to skip a beat without the threat of him on the field. Philadelphia has started off slow each week this season and if the 49ers want to take advantage of that, Davis will have to help them do it. Kaepernick missed him last week so he should get plenty of targets.

3. Rob Gronkowski @ Chiefs

The Chiefs defense has done a pretty good job on tight ends this season, but they’ve also let a few big plays go. Like Davis for Kaepernick, Gronk is the guy that keeps the Patriots offense going. Brady is still an all-pro caliber player, but he has to have a little help. Gronk is that guy. He’s sure to Gronk spike once again this week.

2. Martellus Bennett vs. Packers

Bennett has started off on fire this season and the Bears plan on using him like they have all season. He’s becoming a main focal point with injuries to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Even if the two monster receivers are healthy, the Bears would be silly to shy away from getting Bennett the football. He’s a legit redzone threat that every team has to account for.

1. Jimmy Graham @ Cowboys

Every tight end the Cowboys have faced for almost two years goes HAM on their defense. That won’t change this week as Drew Brees is foaming at the mouth waiting for this matchup. Graham may very well break a record for most fantasy points scored by a tight end in history. Sorry, Cowboys fans, your defense can’t stop tight ends – let alone the best one in the game.

 

Check out our other weekly fantasy columns:

Over the Middle: Top 5 wide receivers
In the Backfield: Top 5 running backs
Under center: Top 5 quarterbacks
Rock solid: Top 5 defense/ST’s

Down the Seam: Top 5 Fantasy tight ends for Week 3

Last week was killer for tight ends in fantasy leagues around the world. Some guys were lucky and started names like Antonio Gates and Delanie Walker,  who were nowhere on fantasy radars – and names like Vernon Davis and Rob Gronkowski were held relatively in check.

Lets hope this week is better for our top five guys!

5. Martellus Bennett

Bennett was a late bloomer to our list last season and so far he’s on a pretty good streak. Someone must have taught Jay Cutler to look away from Brandon Marshall once in a while, because Bennett has been getting a fair share of targets. He’s grabbed all but two passes thrown his way and he’s been able to get a fair amount of YAC for points. He’s been targeted in the redzone as a second option, where nearly everyone on defense is focused on Marshall. Bennett should be a safe start against the Jets’ stingy defense that has not allowed a tight end to score yet this year, but they haven’t faced an athlete like the unicorn.

4. Antonio Gates

Gates was nowhere on our fantasy radar last week as the Chargers were matched up against the Legion of Boom. He reminded the world that he is definitely one of the better tight ends in the game still after a few seasons dealing with injury. He probably won’t grab three scores again this week against the Bills, but he should grab at least one with a nice chunk of yardage as Philip Rivers has ‘his guy’ back to form.

3. Rob Gronkowski

Gronk is still easing his knee into game speed. He’s played in half of the Patriots offensive snaps this year, but should be full-go this week against the Raiders at home. Oakland’s defense may have a lot of big names, but they haven’t gelled and they’re playing like crap. If there’s any week to get full Gronk at full speed, its this week.

2. Julius Thomas

As noted above, I don’t like tight end matchups against Seattle’s secondary, but Peyton Manning has leaned on Thomas more than anyone else on offense this season. The offense isn’t on cruise control like it was a season ago and there’s a few new guys in there. Thomas has been the target on nearly every play and this week will be no different. The Broncos want revenge for being slapped around in the Super Bowl and they’ll be hungry to get a win. It starts with Peyton Manning and ends with Julius Thomas this week.

1. Jimmy Graham

Graham gave his fantasy owners a scare last week after getting off to a sluggish start, but he corrected things quickly and put up monster fantasy numbers. The Saints are 0-2 and will need a win at home against the Vikings so they’ll be using their top guy often. Then again, they are playing the Vikings, so the starters may be benched for rest after the first half. Just kidding, they’ll run up the score and make their home opener a fun one for the rowdy Nawlins fans.

U.S. Senator slams the NFL; “It’s a nightmare”

The NFL is typically a league that hoards headlines, but usually for on the field things. When a PR bomb exploded last week with a release of a Ray Rice video, child abuse allegations against Adrian Peterson and the monitoring of both Greg Hardy and Ray Mcdonald’s cases – they have become quite the focal point.

Several companies like Anheuser-Busch and Nike have stepped in and gave a stern message to the NFL that if things don’t change, they can walk away from their billion dollar investments.

The problem starts and ends with Roger Goodell, who was the judge and jury in the handling of Ray Rice’s situation where he received just a two game suspension for his actions that left his then-fiance out cold in an elevator shaft.

What these huge fights are going to result in is Goodell’s departure from the league, whether forced or voluntary. There’s no way the 32 club owners will let billions and billions of dollars walk away because Goodell was wrong, in his own words.

Several U.S. Senators have spoken out on the issues as well, saying they’re disappointed with the league.

But one Senator, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, slammed the league today with a graphic showcasing a teams depth chart – with names of accused and convicted abusers.

While the Senator may have a point, it’s not one that the league doesn’t see first hand.

Goodell and his “investigation” are under an investigation of its own. Should the findings show that Goodell didn’t gather all facts of evidence, his demise will surely take place.

Should sponsors of the NFL continue to come forward and billions of dollars in revenue hang above the heads of owners, they’ll likely force his way out.

All of this mess because Roger Goodell was lazy in his punishment.

He should be gone regardless.

To be fair to the rest of the league facing fire, five players out of an available 1,984 active jobs isn’t a horrible number to have. All of this controversy stems from just 0.252% of its players making bad decisions.

I hate to make it sound like NFL owners put money over humanity, but if only 0.252% of what they’re putting on the field has issues, let the problems go and continue on with your business.

Week 2 Winners and Losers

Week two has wrapped up and a lot of teams looked a lot better than they did a week ago – while other teams looked much worse than they did one week ago. That will be the case week after week as the season continues – but one thing will remain the same – there will always be winners and losers along the way.

Here’s this weeks cream and crap of the crop!

Winners: Cleveland Browns

The Browns got off to a horrible start to the year last week against Pittsburgh as they only played half of the actual game. Some late game heroics kept them in it until they lost to a field goal, but that didn’t let that stop them as they hosted the Saints today in Cleveland. After taking an early lead, Cleveland allowed New Orleans to bounce back and take a lead of their own. Brian Hoyer had the ball down one point with two minutes to go and was able to lead the Browns downfield to set up a game winning field goal. The Saints fall to 0-2 on the season and the Browns showed they can hang with the big boys under Mike Pettine.

Winners: New England Patriots

After week one there was a lot of folks hitting the panic button on the Patriots after they lost in embarassing fashion to the Dolphins, but week two was a completely different story as the Pats steamrolled the Vikings. Granted, the Vikings were without Adrian Peterson – but they did click on offense last week against the Rams. Tom Brady and the offense looked good, but the bigger story was the defense and special teams as they forced several turnovers and scored in almost every way possible. The Pats looked like a much better team this week and won in convincing fashion.

Winners: Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have been a steady football team for the last couple of years, but they haven’t really been taken serious. This year might be time for folks to start counting them in as contenders. After a second win on the season against good football teams, the Bengals look very good all the way around. Andy Dalton spent his summer with QB guru Tom Moore, and it seems to be paying off so far. Dalton is completing over 65% of his passes for around 8 yards a pass, and Sunday he did it without AJ Green who was ruled out early after a toe injury. The Bengals’ start puts them at the top of their division early on and they’re looking like they’re here to stay.

Winners: Buffalo Bills

Things couldn’t be going better for BillsMafia. They’ve got new ownership that is committed to keeping the team in Buffalo – and they’re at the top of their division, winning two games they’ve been considered the underdogs in. They’re a blue-collar football team that has been under the radar as of late and has a chance to make some noise this season. Their defense was swarming against the Dolphins and they controlled the game from the start.

Winners AND Losers: Washington Redskins

The Redskins fall under both categories this week as they win big against the Jaguars 41-7. They lost starting quarterback Robert Griffin III early in the game with a dislocated ankle that will likely put him on the sidelines for the rest of the season. They also lost their new receiver DeSean Jackson with an AC joint injury. Jackson should return to the field in soon, but Griffin is likely done. They’re in the winners column because of their big win and the fact they have a starting caliber quarterback as a backup, but they’re in the losers column because they mortgaged their future on Griffin, and he hasn’t done much for the franchise since his rookie season.

Losers: Every Fantasy League

Man, it was tough to watch fantasy scores this weekend. To name a few players lost, there was AJ Green, DeSean Jackson, Knowshon Moreno, Robert Griffin III, Jamal Charles, Doug Martin, Vernon Davis, Mark Ingram, Carson Palmer, Ryan Mathews, Tavon Austin etc etc. I’m not sure who cursed the NFL, but it wasn’t a very good week for a handful of top tier guys. Some players will miss a lot of time and others may be back next week – but it’s unfortunate that they all went down so early.

Losers: New Orleans Saints

The Saints are projected to be one of the best teams in the NFC this year, but things aren’t going so well for them early. They’re 0-2 and have lost close games at the last minute. They’ll finally play in the Superdome next week, but down in the division behind two games early isn’t easy no matter who you are. Drew Brees and company are clicking well, things just won’t go in their favor.

Losers: New York Giants

The Giants changed a lot of their coaching staff after a few disappointing seasons. Things were supposed to be better this season, but so far it’s been much worse. We’ve already had a seasons worth of Manning Faces and they’re not looking to slow down any time soon. After another ugly loss, Tom Coughlin’s face is sure to be perma-Red.

Losers: The NFL

It was a bad week to be the NFL as there wasn’t much positive news. First, a new Ray Rice video emerged causing chaos. Several stories came from all sides, and now an ex-FBI agent is conducting an investigation. Roger Goodell is under fire and half the league wants him gone for allegedly lying to fans and other league executives. Things will be revealed to the public once the investigation is under wraps, and many have a feeling it won’t end well for Goodell. Then, Adrian Peterson was indicted for child abuse and the commentary all weekend was about the off the field stories from the league rather than what was happening on it. That’s never good, and the NFL should start to find a way to bring some positivity to their league rather than the opposite.

Statement from Adrian Peterson

)Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin)

)Pioneer Press: Ben Garvin)

The Minnesota Vikings announced today that running back Adrian Peterson will rejoin the team and they plan to insert him into his normal starting role on Sunday as the judicial process plays out in allegations of child abuse against him.

Peterson has been mum on the situation, but has cooperated with investigators along the way and will continue to do so.

He released the following statement this afternoon.

“My attorney has asked me not to discuss the facts of my pending case

. I hope you can respect that request and help me honor it. I very much want the public to hear from me but I understand that it is not appropriate to talk about the facts in detail at this time. Nevertheless, I want everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child.
I never wanted to be a distraction to the Vikings organization, the Minnesota community or to my teammates. I never imagined being in a position where the world is judging my parenting skills or calling me a child abuser because of the discipline I administered to my son.

I voluntarily appeared before the grand jury several weeks ago to answer any and all questions they had. Before my grand jury appearance, I was interviewed by two different police agencies without an attorney. In each of these interviews I have said the same thing, and that is that I never ever intended to harm my son. I will say the same thing once I have my day in court.

I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.
I have learned a lot and have had to reevaluate how I discipline my son going forward. But deep in my heart I have always believed I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents and other relatives. I have always believed that the way my parents disciplined me has a great deal to do with the success I have enjoyed as a man. I love my son and I will continue to become a better parent and learn from any mistakes I ever make.

I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser. I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury. No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that’s what I tried to do that day.

I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct. Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person.”

 

Photos: NFL gets the Simpsons treatment

The Simpsons on FOX is in the midst of its 25th season. It has been a fan favorite for a long time and many of the industries most famous stars have been featured on the cartoon.

Some NFL players have been on there as well, but Bleacher Report and Adrien Noterdaem have created a few of the leagues stars as Simpsonized characters.

Check them out below!

(Adrien Noterdaem-B/R)

(Adrien Noterdaem-B/R)

cutty

(Adrien Noterdaem-B/R)

Kaep

(Adrien Noterdaem-B/R)

Sherman

(Adrien Noterdaem-B/R)

To check out the rest of the awesome gallery, check it out at Bleacher Report by clicking here!

Charles Woodson: “We Suck. I’m embarrassed.”

Since leaving the team in 2005, defensive back Charles Woodson had not spoken to owner Al Davis. As Woodson returns to Oakland and with Al Davis gone, Woodson says things are different now (Credit: AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

The Raiders have fallen again for the second time in two weeks this season and haven’t looked competitive at all. It’s still early in the year and they may be able to turn things around, but hope is dwindling fast.

A blowout loss to the Houston Texans, who won just two games last year, the Raiders ended Sunday with a poor taste in their mouth.

Many of the players remain optimistic, but one vocal leader is definitely frustrated. Charles Woodson told reporters after the loss that the team sucked, and he was embarrassed to be a part of it.

This is an excerpt from our dedicated Raiders Blog, Darkside Diary. To read it in its entirety Click Here.

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