Tag Archive | Minnesota Vikings

Take It To The Bank: NFL Week Nine

By Brett Malamud

Digg for gold

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs has scored 43 fantasy points over the last three weeks, making him one of the most intriguing names on the fantasy football waiver wire. He’ll take on a St. Louis Rams defense that has a tough secondary. I’m not sure that this will be a huge outing, but Diggs should still be considered as a flex play.

Big Ben’s Back

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned from a sprained MCL injury last weekend, completed 28-of-45 passes for 262 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions Sunday against the Bengals.. Not such great numbers. I think that this week, Big Ben returns to his old self, and has a big day against an Oakland Raiders defense that has allowed the most passing yards in the league. Look for wide receiver Antonio Brown to have a huge day as well.

Same Face, New Place

Headlines were made this week as the Denver Broncos traded two sixth round picks this week to acquire two time pro bowler, tight end Vernon Davis. This had me intrigued for the main reason that quarterback Peyton Manning loves his tight ends. Let’s take a look back. Julius Thomas had 24 touchdowns from Manning in his final two seasons as a Bronco. I think that can be Davis this season, and am highly attracted by the potential that this trade has. He does have two other tight ends on the roster to compete with (Owen Daniels and Virgil Green), but there’s a reason why Denver traded for him. I say take a number and stash Davis on your bench this week.

The time to pick up Vernon Davis is now (Via Fox)

The time to pick up Vernon Davis is now (Via Fox)

Waiver Wire Pickups

Last week we saw many players go down with major injuries, crippling fantasy teams everywhere. Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell tore his MCL and PCL, and he is done for the season. DeAngelo Williams is going to replace him, and if you were lucky enough to snag him on the waiver wire, he should be in your lineup right away. Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte suffered damage to his MCL and will be out for a few weeks. Enter Jeremy Langford. I expect him to have a big week against the Chargers on Monday Night Football.

Your Bold Prediction

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski takes on the Washington Redskins this week, who have allowed the 12th fewest yards per game to tight ends. Of course, they’ve yet to face Gronkowski and I’m predicting three touchdowns today from Gronk.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

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Take It To The Bank- NFL Week Two

By Brett Malamud

The second week is here and there were many surprises in week one. From the four-touchdown game by Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, to the 27-point fantasy outburst from Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski. We look back on those performances, and look ahead to the upcoming week with our weekly prediction column: Take it to the Bank.

AP Gets It Together

Last week, we watched as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was held to just 31 yards on 10 carries. Not really the numbers that fantasy owners were expecting after almost all took him in the first round. This week, Peterson and the Vikings return home for the first time this season. I’d expect AP to get his regular workload and should make an impact against a Detroit Lions team who lost some big guys off their line this offseason.

 

Adrian Peterson looks to get back on track (Via Fantasy Pros)

Adrian Peterson looks to get back on track (Via Fantasy Pros)

It’s On Like Gronky Kong

This past week, Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan said that he may have to opt to put three defenders on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. While I found this a bit humorous, I don’t really think that Rex was kidding. There will be times where Gronk has three players covering him. I’d expect Gronkowski to have a below average game, but anything is possible. Pats wide receiver Julian Edelman is expected to have a good fantasy outing, and Danny Amendola is a sneaky play this week.

Super Mariota

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was in for a huge week in week one, becoming just the second rookie quarterback ever to throw four touchdowns in his first career game. This week, Mariota turns his attention to the Cleveland Browns, who just allowed a big game to New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick last week. Expect big things for the rookie this week.

Macaroni and Brees

The search party is out for New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees this week. Listen, I know that he still threw for 355 yards last week against the Arizona Cardinals, but the stat that stood out to me was that Brees had only one touchdown pass on four trips to the red zone. Now while there is concern about Brees, the veteran will get to try in week two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who allowed four touchdown passes in the first half to Marcus Mariota. We’ll see how much easier that makes it for Brees. Start him as normal.

Gurley Birds…Again

In case you haven’t heard, the St. Louis Rams have been practicing with running back Todd Gurley this week. The rookie halfback isn’t supposed to return to the lineup until week four after tearing his ACL last season at the collegiate level with Georgia. This is great news for Gurley owners, as it signals the possibility of a week three return. Currently, Gurley is listed as questionable for this week’s matchup against the Washington Redskins, but I’m not confident that Gurley will play this week. Look for Tre Mason to get the start at running back for the Rams.

UPDATE (Sunday 9/20 @ 11:30 AM): Gurley is inactive today. The Rams are targeting a week three return.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

2014 NFL DRAFT

The NFL Draft starts at 8:00 PM EST tonight. You can follow the draft coverage here

Pick Team Player Position College
1 Houston Texans Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina
2 St. Louis Rams (From WSH) Greg Robinson OT Auburn
3 Jacksonville Jaguars Blake Bortles QB Central Florida
4 Buffalo Bills (From CLE) Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
5 Oakland Raiders Khalil Mack OLB Buffalo
6 Atlanta Falcons Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
7 Tampa Bay Buccanners Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
8 Cleveland Browns (From MIN) Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State
9 Minnesota Vikings (From CLE) (Via BUF) Anthony Barr OLB UCLA
10 Detroit Lions Eric Ebron TE UNC
11 Tennessee Titans Taylor Lewan OT Michigan
12 New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr. WR LSU
13 St. Louis Rams Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh
14 Chicago Bears Kyle Fuller CB VA. Tech
15 Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Shazier LB Ohio State
16 Dallas Cowboys Zack Martin OT Notre Dame
17 Baltimore Ravens CJ Mosley LB Alabama
18 New York Jets Calvin Pryor S Louisville
19 Miami Dolphins Ja’wuan James OT Tennessee
20 New Orleans Saints (From ARI) Brandin Cooks WR  Oregon State
21 Green Bay Packers Ha-Ha Clinton Dix S Alabama
22 Cleveland Browns (From PHI) Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M
23 Kansas City Chiefs Dee Ford DE Auburn
24 Cincinnati Bengals Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State
25 San Diego Chargers Jason Verrett CB TCU
26 Philadelphia Eagles (Via CLE) (From IND) Marcus Smith DE Louisville
27 Arizona Cardinals (From NO) Deone Bucannon S Washington St.
28 Carolina Panthers Kelvin Benjamin WR FSU
29 New England Patriots Dominique Easley DT Florida
30 San Francisco 49ers Jimmie Ward S Northern Illinois
31 Denver Broncos Brandon Roby CB Ohio State
32 Minnesota Vikings (Via SEA) Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville

 

Draft Day Trades:

  • Bills acquire No. 4 Pick (Sammy Watkins) from Browns for No. 9 pick (Anthony Barr), plus 2015 1st & 4th round picks
  • Browns acquire 8th pick (Justin Gilbert) from Minnesota for 9th pick (Anthony Barr)
  • The Cardinals traded No. 20 (Brandin Cooks) to New Orleans for No. 27 (Deone Bucannon) and their third-rounder, Pick No. 91.
  • The Browns traded Pick No. 26 (Marcus Smith), and their third-rounder, Pick No. 83, to move up to No. 22 (Johnny Manziel)
  • Vikings acquire the 32th pick (Teddy Bridgewater) for the 40th pick and 108th pick
Amid all of the hype for other players this season, expect Clowney's name to be called first at the NFL Draft (Via Jeff Blake/US Presswire)

Amid all of the hype for other players this season, expect Clowney’s name to be called first at the NFL Draft (Via Jeff Blake/US Presswire)

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Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

 

NFL All-Arrest First-Team Offense

By Nick Vespasiano

The NFL has seen many arrests in recent years, many for ridiculous reasons. This begs the question, what if all of those arrested players were on the same team? Presenting the NFL All-Arrest First Team offense:

 

QB – Michael Vick: Dogfighting

Mike Vick was arrested back in 2007 and sent to prison for 23 months for dogfighting as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. To this day his reputation among NFL fans is mixed. Pretty interesting how fans will turn on someone like Vick while embracing someone like Ray Lewis (who killed a guy). It was hard not to choose Daunte Culpepper for this spot but the Vikings “love boat” is already on the list.

In recent years, Michael Vick has taken a stand against dogfighting. (Via AP)

In recent years, Michael Vick has taken a stand against dogfighting. (Via AP)

RB – Marshawn Lynch: Hit-and-run, felony gun charges, DUI

Super Bowl champion, Marshawn Lynch has been arrested three times. The first was in 2008 as a Buffalo Bill when he hit a woman in his Porche and drove off. Thankfully she was ok and he lost his license. In 2009, still a Bill, Lynch was arrested and sentenced to probation in California when police found a loaded gun in his car. Finally, as a Seattle Seahawk in 2012, lynch was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Lynch gets the first RB spot for getting arrested three separate times for three different things.

 

RB – Dion Lewis: falsely reporting a fire, reckless endangerment

Plenty of running backs get arrested, most recently Ray Rice for assaulting his fiance (they still got married!). I hadn’t even heard of former Philadelphia Eagle Dion Lewis but his 2012 arrest was the most unique of the RB’s. He and his brother, both drunk, pulled the fire alarm on their hotel when they got locked out. He was charged with falsely reporting a fire and reckless endangerment but somehow the charges were dropped.

 

FB – Corey Macintyre: exposure

Of all the arrested FB’s, this guy takes the cake. In 2009, the former Buffalo Bill allegedly “fondled himself” outside the window of a 59-year-old woman at 8:30 in the morning. The charges would eventually be dropped.

 

TE – Matt Spaeth: public urination

Tight ends (excluding Aaron Hernandez) seem to be more well behaved than other positions. But former Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth was cited for disorderly conduct in 2009 for publicly urinating outside a restaurant near Heinz Field. Spaeth’s teammate, kicker Jeff Reed tried to interfere with the police and got himself arrested as well.

 

WR – Randy Moss: careless driving

In 2002, the former Minnesota Vikings wideout struck and pushed a traffic officer half a block in Minneapolis. Police allegedly found marijuana in his car but he was never charged. Moss pled guilty to careless driving, costing him $1200 and 40 hours community service. Not the first or last of his antics but definitely the most notable of his career.

 

WR – Plaxico Burress: criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment

Who can forget when in 2008 Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg accidentally in a New York City night club? A member of the New York Giants at the time, Burress was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a handgun and reckless endangerment after the gun tucked in his jeans went off. He had no license for the gun. Burress was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of supervised release. He was also suspended for the Giant’s last four games and released after the season ended.

 

OT – Bryant McKinnie: indecent conduct, disorderly conduct, and lewd or lascivious conduct

Bryant McKinnie was one of four members of the 2005 Minnesota Vikings involved in the “love boat” incident. The party on Lake Minnetonka involved two boats, 16 other Vikings, prostitutes from Atlanta and Florida, and 90 people in total. Without going into too much detail, McKinney apparently had himself a good time. He ended up paying a $2,000 fine, completed 48 hours community service, and forfeited one game’s worth of pay.

 

OG – Eric Steinbach: boating under the influence

Only six NFL guards have been arrested since 2000. Former Cincinnati Bengal Eric Steinbach was cited for drunken boating back in 2006. The fifth Bengal to be arrested that year and the only drunken boater on the list, Steinbach drove through an idle zone on the Ohio River in Kentucky before being pulled over and failing several field sobriety tests.

 

C – Kenyetta Jones: assault, battery on a law enforcement officer, obstruction, trespassing

While a member of the New England Patriots in 2003, Kenyetta Jones poured scalding hot water on his roommate, giving him second and third-degree burns. He was released by the Patriots and went on to play in the Arena Football League. In 2008, he tried to urinate on the dance floor of a St. Petersburg night club which ended in his being charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, obstruction, and trespassing after police tried to remove him.

 

OG – Jeremy Bridges: assault and battery, communicating threats

Just before 2007 training camp, as a member of the Carolina Panthers, Jeremy Bridges was arrested for pointing a gun at a woman in a strip club parking lot. He was suspended 60 days, given a year probation, a $500 fine, and 60 hours community service. The very next year, while he and his wife celebrated their anniversary at a restaurant, Bridges bought a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne and proceeded shake the bottle and spray other customers. When asked to leave he allegedly got physical with a bouncer and was arrested on a $2500 bond.

 

OT – Andre Smith: attempting to board an airplane with a loaded gun

In early 2013, Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andre Smith tried to get on a plane at the Atlanta airport with a loaded handgun. I don’t know what’s worse, not knowing you can’t bring guns on airplanes or thinking you could get away with it. He claims he didn’t know the .380 pistol was in his bag before going to the airport yet somehow he didn’t bother checking. He was released from jail on a $3,000 bond.

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Nick Vespasiano is a senior English major at St. Olaf College and aspiring sports writer. He was raised in Minnesota, favorite teams are the Vikings, Wild, and Twins. Favorite athletes are Randy Moss and Jaromír Jágr.

Vikings Hire Zimmer

By Nick Vespasiano

Mike Zimmer was hired on Wednesday to be the ninth head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. The first time head coach was the Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator since 2008 after holding the same position with the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys. The hire came just over two weeks after Leslie Frazier was let go by the team.

Personality wise, Zimmer’s blunt honesty sharply contrasts Leslie Frazier’s passivity. When addressing the media, Leslie was often painfully vague or sounded like he was just repeating what general manager Rick Spielman wanted him to say. Vikings management was not willing to give up on Christian Ponder despite his lack of talent and Leslie stood by as we lost game after game. Zimmer is not that kind of coach. He will not be Spielman’s “yes man” like Frazier was for three seasons. Had he been head coach of the Vikings during the Christian Ponder era, Zimmer would have put up more of a fight when Spielman insisted Ponder be the starter.

One thing Zimmer and the former Vikings head coach have in common is they are defensive minds. Excluding a dismal 2010 season, in his six years in Cincinnati, the Bengals yards, touchdowns, and points allowed per drive and sack totals trended from the bottom half of the league to the top ten. Last season the Vikings ranked 31st in yards allowed and last in points allowed. Zimmer’s defenses in Cincinnati featured very few Pro-Bowlers, but the Vikings hope he can improve their defense that lacks top talent.

Mike Zimmer will take over as the ninth head coach in Vikings history (Via The Enquirer/Jeff Swinger)

Mike Zimmer will take over as the ninth head coach in Vikings history (Via The Enquirer/Jeff Swinger)

Zimmer has proven he can revamp a defense but the Vikings have issues offensively as well. This new coaching staff will have to find a quarterback that can consistently give the team a chance to win. If that doesn’t happen, the team likely won’t win many games and Zimmer will be fired in a few years just like Leslie Frazier. The Vikings’ offensive success will depend on not only on acquiring a quarterback either in free agency or the draft but also on hiring the right assistant coaches. While the draft is not until April, assistant coaches are being hired right now. The Vikings hired Norv Turner yesterday to replace Bill Musgrave as offensive coordinator. As the Cleveland Browns’ offensive coordinator last season, his offense had the 11th ranked passing game in the league despite an offensive depth chart worse than the Vikings’. While the offense will run through Adrian Peterson, Turner can help utilize weapons like Cordarrelle Patterson and Greg Jennings.

There are still many unknowns. There are still open assistant coach positions, free agency, and the upcoming draft. The roster and coaching staff are still incomplete but the Vikings seem to be moving in the right direction.

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Nick Vespasiano is a senior English major at St. Olaf College and aspiring sports writer. He was raised in Minnesota, favorite teams are the Vikings, Wild, and Twins. Favorite athletes are Randy Moss and Jaromír Jágr.

Broadway Johnny?

By Brett Malamud

Finally the time has come and the wait is over. After making his mark in the NCAA, Johnny Manziel has declared himself eligible for this year’s NFL draft. The Heisman winner is a projected top-ten pick with many even placing him in the top-five. While Manziel is a scrambling quarterback, he averaged 317 passing yards per game for a total of 4117 yards. This is 408 yards more than he threw for last season, a season in which he won the Heisman Trophy. In improving his passing game, Manziel had to take a step back in tucking the football and running. He rushed for only 53% of what he had rushed in 2012. However in the end, the touchdown totals remain to be consistent. Manziel finished with 47 touchdowns in 2012 and 46 touchdowns in 2013. Not too shabby when you consider the fact that Manziel threw for more yards than Andrew Luck did in any of his seasons at Stanford.

Manziel does have his problems though. He has been in the news for his behavioral issues. He was arrested back in 2012 for getting in a late night fight and possessing a fake ID. The issues continued even after he won the Heisman Trophy. He overslept while attending the Manning Passing Academy. He was kicked out of a University of Texas fraternity party. He also voiced his displeasure with Texas A&M by tweeting that he “can’t wait to leave College Station” after he received a parking ticket. His taunting on the field became quite the story during the 2013 season, and was regularly featured on ESPN. But the most notable issue came in early August 2013. The NCAA began investigating whether Manziel accepted payments from autographs that he had signed in January 2013. While it is widely believed that he did accept the money, the NCAA could not find any evidence and suspended him for only the first half of the season opener against Rice.

Johnny Manziel will enter the 2014 NFL draft as one of the top quarterbacks available (via Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Johnny Manziel will enter the 2014 NFL draft as one of the top quarterbacks available (via Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Right now if you look at the NFL draft order, Houston has the first pick. The Texans need a quarterback and are expected to draft Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater. The St. Louis Rams have the second pick and while it seems that they might need a quarterback, they have showed no indication that they want to dump Sam Bradford. The third and fourth picks belong to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns respectfully. Both teams need a quarterback. The Oakland Raiders sit in the five spot and the Vikings sit at the eight spot. It’s possible that they could each want to draft a QB as well. UCF quarterback Blake Bortles is on the board as well but it’ll be interesting to see which QB gets drafted first.

An interesting pick for Manziel though could be the New York Jets. The Jets currently hold the 18th pick. Now I’m not saying that Manziel is going to slip to the 18th pick. We did see Brady Quinn slip to the 22nd pick back in 2007, after being projected to go in the top ten. Manziel is not likely to slip based on the amount of teams needing quarterbacks. Therefore, only way the Jets can get Manziel will be by trading up picks to draft him. I think that a run at Manziel could be what the Jets need. Now I know some people look and they’ll say, “why would they do that?” Well, they’ve done it before. Back in 2009, the Jets traded up to the fifth pick to select USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. Now I know that didn’t turn out to be such a great decision now that Sanchez has lost the starting position, but Manziel is a bigger threat than Sanchez ever was. The Jets current starting quarterback, Geno Smith, had the lowest QB rating in the entire league. General Manager John Idzik stated at the end of their week 17 game that they will “look at quarterbacks” in the offseason. It is this statement that shows that Idzik doesn’t believe that Smith is “the guy.” If the Jets want to get their hands on a reliable quarterback for years to come, they must trade up and select Johnny Manziel.

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Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy