Tag Archive | National Football League

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

Take It To The Bank: NFL Week Eight

By Brett Malamud

Happy Halloween! We’ve taking the Take it to the Bank report this week and giving it a Halloween feel with today’s section: Trick or Treat! Use this section as you look to this week and beyond as you set your fantasy football lineups.

Trick: Charcandrick West

Yes, many people had Jamaal Charles in their running back slot and are looking to West to produce. Yes, West had a big game last week, rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown. Yes, I did say to pick him up (and he should be picked up), but I’m not that big on him. This player is not a RB1, and I’m not sure he’s a reliable RB2 option. You can’t judge a book by its cover, and you can’t judge West by one big game. He’ll probably have a good game this week, but don’t expect huge numbers every week.

Treat: Gurley Owners

Gurley owners that stuck through the thick and thin are now grinning at the results. Gurley has been the league’s most productive player, especially in an offense that has become run-heavy. Continue to enjoy Gurley having big games almost every week.

Trick: The Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are an interesting story. Yes they took a heartbreaking loss to the Giants last week, letting the Giants return a kickoff for a touchdown just after tying the game. But they also found new life in running back Darren McFadden. With Joseph Randle possibly out for a few games due to violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, the Cowboys will look to McFadden, Christine Michael and Rod Smith. Flashback to a week ago when Jason Garrett planned on making Michael the starter. Yeah, so that didn’t happen, and you can look elsewhere for a better running back on your team. McFadden however is a flex play at best this weekend as the Cowboys welcome in the Seattle Seahawks, so don’t be tricked by last week’s big performance.

Treat: The New York Jets

The Jets are another interesting story. The offseason changed everything for them, bringing in cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, along with wide receiver Brandon Marshall and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Many members of the New York media propelled them to Super Bowl contenders. Then the season came, and Geno Smith got punched in the jaw by his now-former teammate I.K. Enemkpali, sending the Jets predictions out the window. There was no way that Ryan Fitzpatrick could pick up the pieces right? Wrong. The Jets headed into New England last week at 4-1. They played till the final whistle and although they sit at 4-2, look at their schedule. Eight out of their remaining 10 games come against teams that are currently at or below .500 and that should be looked at closely. Fitzpatrick should be looked at if he’s still available in your leagues, and Brandon Marshall and Chris Ivory should be starting in your lineup. The defense should be starting most if not all weeks. If you want that sneaky play, look to Eric Decker, as teams are focused on stopping Brandon Marshall.

Brandon Marshall is a player worth looking at trading for this fantasy football season (Via NYDN)

Brandon Marshall is a player worth looking at trading for this fantasy football season (Via NYDN)

Trick: The New York Giants

While I’d like to stick the entire NFC East in the tricks section, I’m not going to do that because I’m not that mean. But I will stick the Giants in here with the Cowboys because of their fantasy impact. I understand that the team is 4-3, but with a lot of tough teams (looking at you AFC East and Carolina Panthers) coming up on their schedule, it’s not really an ideal situation. I definitely do not trust any of the Giants running backs, and other than Odell Beckham Jr., I don’t trust any of their wide receivers. I’d consider Ruben Randle in deeper leagues, but only if you don’t have other options due to the bye week. Quarterback Eli Manning certainly cannot be trusted in fantasy leagues, compiling just 14 fantasy points in ESPN standard leagues over the last two weeks. I’d look elsewhere for impactful fantasy players.

Treat: San Diego Chargers Tight Ends

So Antonio Gates came into the season off a four game suspension, and immediately made a major impact. Gates had two touchdowns in his first game back, and has had 90+ receiving yards in both games that he has played in. But with a sprained MCL, the Chargers looked to Ladarius Green and he has been contributing all season. Quarterback Philip Rivers loves to throw to his tight ends, and while Gates is taken in most leagues, Green isn’t so pick him up now.


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

Take It To The Bank- NFL Week Three

By Brett Malamud

Another week is here and you know what that means! Here is week three’s installment of Take it to the Bank:

Take a Chance(llor)

After weeks of frustration in Seattle, strong safety Kam Chancellor ended his holdout and returned to practice this week. The Seattle Seahawks are 0-2 headed into their home opener on Sunday, and with Chancellor back in the mix, look for this defense to return to being one of the league’s best.

While we’re on the topic of the Seahawks, tight end Jimmy Graham made headlines this week when it came out that Graham was frustrated with his reduced role. Now as I pointed out a few weeks back, we knew that this would happen. With an elite running back like Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks are destined to run the ball. Graham is being utilized as a blocker right now, but don’t expect him to NOT make an impact. Graham has the second most red zone targets (four) out of all of the league’s tight ends (New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski has the most with five). Expect Graham to catch some for touchdowns. Now is the time to buy low on Graham.

Now is the time to buy low on Jimmy Graham (Via USA Today)

Now is the time to buy low on Jimmy Graham (Via USA Today)

Fitz and the Tantrums

I think we were all shocked by the three touchdown performance by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Now, this was against a weak Chicago Bears defense, but the hype is real. I believe that Larry Fitzgerald proved that he is not done yet. Expect a healthy dose of Larry Fitz as he takes on a weak San Francisco 49ers defense.

Devin’s Day

With news that New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker is out this week, the number-two receiver slot is up for the taking. With Chris Owusu also out this week, timing couldn’t be better for second round pick Devin Smith to make his NFL debut. Smith was a long ball threat and speed receiver at Ohio State, and I’m expecting him to channel that with the Jets. You probably won’t see a big impact immediately, but with the possibility that Decker might miss multiple weeks, Smith could be a sneaky addition to your fantasy team in deeper leagues.

Matthews, Matthews, Matthews

With news of the Philadelphia Eagles setting DeMarco Murray inactive for week three, running back Ryan Matthews will get the start against the Jets. This is where I stay away, as the Jets have the fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Then we head to the other Matthews for the Eagles at wide receiver with Jordan Matthews. This is my “buyers beware” player of the week. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis will likely be on Matthews for the entire game. This matchup would essentially take Matthews out of the game and out of your lineup.


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

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

Take It To The Bank- NFL Season Kickoff

By Brett Malamud

Another NFL season is finally here! In seasons past, we have published our season predictions on the opening night of the season. Don’t worry! Those will be published on Sunday. However, over our first two years, we’ve received multiple requests for fantasy football advice. Well today, we’ll be introducing a new weekly section called “Take it to the Bank” where we’ll offer up a few bold predictions for the upcoming week. We hope that this section helps you in those last-minute lineup-tinkering situations. We’ll start off week one with a few bold predictions for the entire season. Enjoy tonight’s season kickoff and here is the first installment of Take it to the Bank:

Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood

We’ll begin with the question brought up recently in Wisconsin. Can quarterback Aaron Rodgers win a Super Bowl without top target wide receiver Jordy Nelson? The short answer is yes. The Green Bay Packers are extremely deep and Rodgers is still going to be one of the league’s top quarterbacks. Rodgers still has top wide receivers in Randall Cobb and Davante Adams, along with a fantasy sleeper pick in tight end Richard Rodgers. But wait, there’s more! Running back Eddie Lacy is the top fantasy pick out there in my opinion and will help Rodgers power this team deep into the playoffs.

 

The Newest Seahawk

Tight end Jimmy Graham was shipped out west this offseason and joins a hungry Seattle Seahawks offense, which fell one yard shy of a Super Bowl title last season. Will the offense succeed? Yes. But don’t expect Graham to put up the numbers that he did in his time with the New Orleans Saints. Thanks to running back Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks will run the football A LOT. New Orleans ran a very pass heavy offense and that is where Graham found his success. I’m not saying to beware of Graham in fantasy because he’ll still be reliable, but I will say don’t overvalue him.

The Book of Eli

The last year has been a shaky one for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning but I think that we’ll see the Eli of years past this season. I’m not saying that they’re Super Bowl bound, because the Giants still have some work to do, but it’ll be a noticeable improvement. Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Ruben Randle (a sleeper that you should take in the last round of your draft) and tight end Larry Donnell give Manning an arsenal of weapons to throw to. With no clear cut top running back, look for Eli to throw the ball more and return to his old self this season.

Turn Down for Watt

The Houston Texans D/ST is definitely a unit that you want on your team if you can’t grab the Seahawks defense in your draft. With defensive end J.J. Watt and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney rushing from either side, this defense is scary. I’d also take a look at the New York Jets defense if you can’t get Houston or Seattle due to their stacked offensive line and upgraded secondary.

The duo in Houston will be a force to be reckoned with (Via SBNY)

The duo in Houston will be a force to be reckoned with (Via SBNY)

Gurley Birds

I am putting this in writing. Todd Gurley will be a great addition to any fantasy football team. He’s slipping in fantasy drafts due to the torn ACL he suffered last November, but as the saying goes, buy low and sell high. I managed to grab Gurley at pick number 86 and for good reason. The St. Louis Rams going to be back in action around week four, and should be a force for the rest of the season. Take him on your team, sit him on the end of your bench while he’s out, and then you’ll have the last laugh come playoff time in your league.


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

2015 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

By Ryan Crawford

The hot commodities of this draft include the two intriguing quarterbacks, two high level running backs, a batch of very good interior defensive linemen, three dynamite edge rushers and a group of wide receivers that just might rival last years extraordinary crop. Here’s my initial mock draft for 2015. There’s sure to be many changes before long.

1. TAMPA BAY BUCS – Jameis Winston – QB – Florida State
Lovie Smith and the Bucs badly need a franchise quarterback and Jameis Winston can be that guy. Questions about his maturity and too many interceptions are the major red flags. I think the Bucs jump at the opportunity to snag such a high level QB prospect and hope the potential problems work themselves out.
 
2. TENNESSEE TITANS – Leonard Williams – DT – USC
I do not think the Titans are enamored with developing Marcus Mariota at QB. Williams might be the top talent in the draft and fills a huge need in the middle of the Titans defensive line.

3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – Randy Gregory-OLB- Nebraska
Jaguars are looking to upgrade on defense and Gregory is a stud.

4. OAKLAND RAIDERS – Amari Cooper-WR-Alabama
Take your choice between Cooper, White, Parker etc. but there is a clear need at the receiver position and the Raiders will have plenty to choose from. Cooper seems to be the cream of the crop.

5. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – Landon Collins – S- Alabama
Best safety in the draft fills a huge void for the Redskins.

6. NEW YORK JETS – Dante Fowler – DE/OLB – Florida
Bigtime explosive pass rusher is a welcome gift for the defensive minded new head coach Todd Bowles.

7. CHICAGO BEARS – Shane Ray – DE – Missouri
Watching the Bears play defense last season was somewhat frightening for Bears fans. Ray is a pure pass rusher who should put some pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

8. ATLANTA FALCONS – Danny Shelton -DT- Washington
Another team with a bad defense…seeing a trend down here? Danny Shelton was a monster at the senior bowl and should anchor the middle of the Falcons line for years.

9. NEW YORK GIANTS – Brandon Scherff- OT- Iowa
The Giants most important job is to keep Eli Manning upright so he is able to get the ball to Odell Beckham Jr, Victor Cruz and Ruben Randle. This load should help accomplish that goal.

10. ST LOUIS RAMS – Marcus Mariota- QB- Oregon
Rams are thrilled to see Mariota drop into their laps and will jump at the chance to replace the often injured and highly paid Sam Bradford

Could Marcus Mariota slip to the Rams at 10?

Could Marcus Mariota slip to the Rams at 10? (Via SportsChat)

11. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – Kevin White – WR- West Virginia
White ran a 4.35 at the combine. At 6’3″ with top flight speed, he can be a dynamic weapon for Teddy Bridgewater

12. CLEVELAND BROWNS – Devante Parker- WR- Louisville
Parker is another top weapon to be contended with and the Browns have major concerns at the wide receiver spot with Josh Gordon being a major question mark.

13. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – Vic Beasley-DE-Clemson
Beasley is a prolific pass rusher who will be called upon to play OLB because of his size. Certainly the Saints will require some defense sooner or later. Had a great combine.

14. MIAMI DOLPHINS – Ereck Flowers- OT- Miami
Another massive body in front of Ryan Tannehill could be just what the doctor ordered for the Dolphins.

15. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – Arik Armstead –DE/DT-Oregon
New coach, new ideas but there will be a big need to retool the ferocious 49ers defense and Armstead is a mountain of a man for the defensive line.

16. HOUSTON TEXANS – Andrus Peat – OT- Stanford
The Texans need to build up their offensive line and Peat is great place to start

17. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Eddie Goldman- DT- Florida State
With all the weapons they have on offense, the Chargers can use a little defense and this guy is a force in the middle of a four man front

18 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – Dorial Green Beckham- WR- Missouri
Green-Beckham is just one of those guys who could not seem to find his niche in college but oozes talent. The Chiefs are a team that had no touchdowns last year from a wide receiver. Seems like a match to me.

19. CLEVELAND BROWNS – TJ Clemmings- OT- Pittsburgh
The Browns continue to build up their offense. Now if they can only figure out the quarterback situation then they can start to move the team forward.

20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – Trae Waynes – CB – Michigan St
Not sure how I got Waynes to drop down this far, especially after he ran a 4.30 in the combine, but the Eagles would be thrilled if he did and snatch him up quickly.

21. CINCINNATI BENGALS – Bud Dupree- DE/OLB- Kentucky
Called a physical freak of nature, this future NFL edge rusher will help the Bengals defense immensely. Ran a 4.56 in the 40 yard dash and has a 42 inch vertical leap and did a 138 inch broad jump. All while weighing in at 270 lbs. Oh My!!

22. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – Malcolm Brown- DT- Texas
A mountain for the middle of the Steeler defensive line.

23. DETROIT LIONS – LaEl Collins – OT – LSU
The Lions have a few holes on their offensive line and Collins looks like he’ll be a pretty good one. At 6’5″ and 322 lbs, he projects at left tackle.

24. ARIZONA CARDINALS – Jaelen Strong- WR- Arizona State
At 6’4″, this blazer is another stud in the crop of highly sought after receivers. A local product, the Cards are thrilled to scoop him up at 24.

25. CAROLINA PANTHERS – Marcus Peters – CB- Washington
Regarded as the number two cornerback in the entire draft, Peters is a very physical corner who fills a major need for the Panthers.

26. BALTIMORE RAVENS – Melvin Gordon-RB-Wisconsin
The Ravens are in dire need of a top flight running back and Gordon is considered the best of a strong group.

27. DALLAS COWBOYS – Maxx Williams- TE – Minnesota
The heir apparent to Jason Witten, the Cowboys are on the lookout for a young tight end that they can develop. Williams has great hands and top speed. Reminds some of a young Jeremy Shockey.

28. DENVER BRONCOS – Devin Funchess- WR- Michigan
Broncos are in salary cap dilemmas with the Thomas boys. If they franchise Demaryius Thomas, they might lose Julius Thomas. Either way they should be in the market for a pass catching tight end with speed to play receiver and Funchess certainly fits the description.

29. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – Cedric Ogbuhei- OT- Texas A & M
When you have a quarterback with the ability of an Andrew Luck, you must wisely do anything and everything to protect him. A big tackle helps and Ogbuhei oozes with potential.

30. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Denzel Perryman – ILB – Miami
The Packers just released veteran A.J.Hawk and Perryman is a highly regarded prospect who could step into that inside linebacker role.

31. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – Kevin Johnson- CB- Wake Forest
The Legion of Boom was a little banged up by the end of the season and with Byron Maxwell slated for free agency, a young corner might be just what the doctor ordered.

32. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – Mike Bennett – DT- Ohio State
Another big body for the defensive front should help the Patriots continue to dominate the NFL.

Other Potential 1st Round Picks

Todd Gurley- RB- Georgia
Trey Flowers – DE- Arkansas
Shaq Thompson- OLB – Washington
Eli Harold- DE- Virginia
Breshad Perriman- WR- Central Florida
Quinten Rollins – CB- Miami (Ohio)

Johnny Who? Browns Should Stick with Hoyer at Quarterback

By Alex Horowitz

He has never started a professional football game. He has thrown nine total pass attempts, only one of which was a touchdown. And yet when Johnny Manziel entered the game for the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, you would’ve thought he was the second coming of Peyton Manning, based on the reaction of football fans around the nation. “Johnny Football” is more so known for his off-the-field life rather than his football skill, but nowadays that is what captivates people; it’s like the whole Tim Tebow mania from 2011.

 

Sure, he was a Heisman award winner at Texas A&M, but even two years later he still is one of the more popular players in the National Football League. In this age of Twitter and other types of social media, our society has become fascinated with his “fun” lifestyle, for lack of a better term. While he parties frequently and has been arrested on multiple occasions, this should not impact his talent as a quarterback in the least; the hype has already been bought into though. Cleveland is strongly considering starting Manziel next Sunday versus Indianapolis, but they would be incredibly foolish to do so. Simply put, Manziel has not learned the ropes yet to succeed in this brutal league.

 

Normally, a young quarterback would need to prove himself over a fairly long period of time in order to win the starting job. In the case of Manziel, what has he done to boost his on-field resume? A 10-yard rushing touchdown started a comeback effort last week, but ultimately the Browns fell short. However, this literally was his only positive play of the season. The majority of his time has been spent on the sideline, learning the ropes from the coaching staff and incumbent starter Brian Hoyer. That’s not to say this experience is not beneficial, because there definitely is value in learning from a seasoned veteran. But the mental side is only half the battle. Having the ability to hit open receivers and escape pressure is an entire challenge in an itself, and one that Manziel is not ready for at this current time- no matter what the media or anyone else makes you believe.

The Manziel Hoyer controversy has Cleveland on the edge of its seat (Via AP)

The Manziel Hoyer controversy has Cleveland on the edge of its seat (Via AP)

Brian Hoyer certainly is not one of the top quarterbacks in today’s game. His 46.67 total quarterback rating this season ranks 28th among all qualified quarterbacks. Only a handful of signal callers are worse than him in that regard. He has not had much to work with though. His leading receiver, Josh Gordon, was suspended for the first ten weeks, and Cleveland’s running backs have posted the fifth-worst yards-per-carry average league wide. These excuses aside, Hoyer has led the Browns to a 7-5 start, which is the most important statistic of them all. His team is in the thick of the AFC playoff race, something even the most optimistic of fans would have been skeptical of months ago.

 

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This will be a tough concept for Browns fans to accept, but unless they want to be heartbroken yet again, Johnny Manziel must continue to remain the backup quarterback. If the team decides otherwise, then another chapter of disappointment will be added to Cleveland sports lore. Unlike “The Drive”, “The Shot”, or “The Fumble”, this curse will be much more straightforward.

 

“Johnny Football”

 


Alex Horowitz is a senior at Briarcliff High School and is an aspiring sports writer. As a lifelong sports fan, he has rooted for the New York Knicks, New York Mets, and Detroit Lions. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhorowitz3

NFL Week Four Predictions

By Brett Malamud

As we approach another week in the NFL, we see teams begin to have their bye weeks. But for the rest of the teams, this week could help to carry the momentum for the rest of the season. Here’s my week four predictions:

BYES: Broncos, Seahawks, Cardinals, Bengals, Rams, Browns

-Giants (1-2) at Redskins (1-2), Thursday @ 8:25 PM EST

The Redskins are playing some great football at the moment, even with the loss to the Eagles last week. I’m taking them here over the Giants, who look to string together a win streak. Verdict: Redskins

-Packers (1-2) at Bears (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Aaron Rodgers told Packers fans to “relax.” However, if i’m a Packers fan, I’m not relaxing. Their lone win came against the Jets. They looked horrible against the Lions last week, much like in week one against the Seahawks. Meanwhile, the Bears are playing very well and come off their Monday Night Football win against the Jets. The wide receivers are a huge help to Jay Cutler. I’m going with the Bears here (and Packers fans definitely won’t be able to relax after this one.) Verdict: Bears

-Bills (2-1) at Texans (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Intriguing matchup here, as the AFC East leading Bills take on the AFC South leading Texans. This is sure to be a good game. The running game for Buffalo has been nothing short of the expectations headed into the season. I think they’ll run over Houston this week. Verdict: Bills

-Titans (1-2) at Colts (1-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Colts faced two of the toughest opponents they’ll meet all season within the first two weeks of the season, so that’s where their record comes in to play. The record definitely doesn’t represent the team. They’ll prove that this week against the Titans, who’ve lost their last two games. Verdict: Colts

-Panthers (2-1) at Ravens (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Panthers and Ravens head into this one both at 2-1. The Ravens have been superb on the running game, especially after the loss of Ray Rice. The Panthers took a brutal loss to Pittsburgh last week and I think the same happens here in Baltimore. Verdict: Ravens

-Lions (2-1) at Jets (1-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

A good defensive battle sees the top two defenses (thus far) face off. The Jets secondary is going to have a long day, especially with Calvin Johnson, who looks to find the end zone for the first time in three weeks. On the other side of the ball, the Jets run game has been great. Hopefully, Rex Ryan realizes that and stops Geno Smith from making more bonehead plays. I’m going with the Jets here in a shocker. Verdict: Jets 

-Buccaneers (0-3) at Steelers (2-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

This one shouldn’t be that much of a contest. The Bucs aren’t playing well at all and come off a week in which they allowed 56 points to the Falcons on national television. I’m going with the Steelers, no question. Verdict: Steelers

-Dolphins (1-2) at Raiders (0-3), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Boring matchup here, as the Dolphins face the Raiders. I’m going to take the Dolphins, simply because the Raiders can’t get anything right this season. Verdict: Dolphins

-Jaguars (0-3) at Chargers (2-1), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST

The Chargers host a team that they should run right over. The Jaguars haven’t stopped a team with a good quarterback this season, and I don’t see any reason of why they’ll suddenly do it this week. It could be a long day for Jaguars rookie QB Blake Bortles in his first career start. Verdict: Chargers

Blake Bortles heads into San Diego for his first career start at quarterback (Via Fansided)

Blake Bortles heads into San Diego for his first career start at quarterback (Via Fansided)

-Falcons (2-1) at Vikings (1-2), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

I think that Teddy Bridgewater will be good but not great this week. I also think that Matt Ryan is phenomenal and will play well.   I’m taking the Falcons in a close one here. Verdict: Falcons

-Eagles (3-0) at 49ers (1-2), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

This is my matchup of the week. The sixth-ranked 49ers defense will look to stop the sixth-ranked Eagles offense. I think that Kaepernick will have a major game by torturing the Eagles’ secondary. But in the end, I think that the Eagles will escape and move to 4-0. Verdict: Eagles

-Saints (1-2) at Cowboys (2-1), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST

This matchup was on my radar since week one. I don’t recommend fantasy owners to start either team’s defense because I believe that this will be a high scoring game. I think that the Saints take it, and Drew Brees gets another game ball to add to his collection. Verdict: Saints

-Patriots (2-1) at Chiefs (1-2), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST

This could be quite the battle throughout this one. The Patriots offense, known to be dominant, has struggled this season. The Chiefs defense, which was one of the league’s best last season, has also struggled this season. It should be a good game, but I’m going with Tom Brady. Verdict: Patriots


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

Do the Jets Need a Change to Get to the Playoffs?

By Jack Allen

Three days after sitting in the stands for a crucial nationally televised Monday night game that meant so much for the New York fans, Jets Nation is still in mourning. Geno Smith had a horrific game, throwing two interceptions at pivotal points in the football game. First on the second play from scrimmage, Bears rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller returned a Geno Smith pass for a touchdown. When the Jets desperately needed points down 24-13 in the 3rd quarter, Smith threw another. The Jets have a very hard schedule coming up as they’ll host Detroit, travel to San Diego, host Denver and then face national attention again on Thursday Night Football in Foxborough when they face the Patriots in week seven. With that schedule coming up, Geno Smith simply put, is going to have to elevate his game. Should the Jets fall next week at MetLife stadium against Detroit with yet another bad start from Smith, Head Coach Rex Ryan will be faced with some serious decision regarding his quarterbacks. Can Michael Vick lead the Jets to a playoff birth? My opinion is he should get the nod for this season and Geno should watch and learn from the veteran. Michael Vick has been a successful starter in the NFL for a long time, unlike Geno Smith who at this moment in time, doesn’t fully have the rest of the league’s respect.

Michael Vick needs to gain a greater role if the Jets want a shot at the playoffs this season (Via NYDN)

Michael Vick needs to gain a greater role if the Jets want a shot at the playoffs this season (Via NYDN)

I am going to predict that the Jets fall to the Lions at home next week 26-17 and that we’re going to see a change at quarterback. When the Jets fly out to San Diego in week five, Michael Vick will be the starter. With a 1-3 start to the season, I see the the Jets shocking America and beating San Diego 34-31 in the final minutes in their own building for Michael Vick’s first win as a member of the Jets. Then I think they’ll fall to Denver at home and win in New England week seven. After that, the Jets will be 3-4, and will be ready to push for the playoffs with games against the Bills (Home), Chiefs (@KC), Pittsburgh (Home), Bills (@BUF), Miami (Home, MNF), Minnesota (@ MIN), Titans (@ TENN), Miami (Home) and New England (Home). I can see Michael Vick leading New York to a 6-3 record through that stretch to finish the season at 9-7. This should surely make the playoffs with that record. My gut tells me that if Michael Vick gets his chance to start in a real game for Gang Green, its going to make the biggest difference.


 

Jack Allen is a writer for dabuzzza.com. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Queens Park Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball. His favorite athletes are David Wright, John Tavares, Geno Smith, Allen Iverson and Charlie Austin. He is a very passionate and determined fan. You can follow him on twitter @JackAllen99.

Studs and Duds: NFL Week Three

By Brett Malamud

In a week that almost saw Peyton Manning on the duds list, there were some exciting moments in a busy week three. While the Seahawks took down the Broncos in a rematch of last year’s Super Bowl, none of Seattle’s players made either of my lists this week. Here’s this week’s edition of Studs and Duds:

Stud: Julio Jones

Jones came into this matchup knowing that he was going to be Matt Ryan’s primary target, with Roddy White sitting out with a hamstring injury, and he was exactly that. Jones was fantastic, hauling in nine receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns.

Dud: Stephen Tulloch

My first dud handed out for week three has to be Stephen Tulloch. The Detroit Lions linebacker had a great sack on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on third down, in what was a very exciting moment in the first quarter. Tulloch was excited and opted to taunt rather than go back to the sidelines. While attempting the “Discount Double Check,” Tulloch leaps, lands awkwardly, and immediately goes down. As it turns out, Tulloch tore his ACL and will sit out for the rest of the season.

PreciousWastefulGoosefish

Stud: Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck was on point again, completing 31-of-39 passes. Luck completed passes to nine different receivers. The accuracy helped his stats, and he finished the day with 370 passing yards and four touchdowns.

Dud: Demaryus Thomas

Fantasy owner have been waiting for Thomas’ breakout game and they’ll have to wait another week. The number one Broncos receiver had four catches for 31 yards. He didn’t score any touchdowns, and heads into the bye week after an outing that was simply frustrating to watch.

Stud: Falcons Defense/Special Teams

The Falcons D/ST had themselves a phenomenal game, highlighted by a 62 yard, record-breaking punt return by Devin Hester. Hester scored his 20th career return touchdown, passing Deion Sanders for the top spot on the all-time return touchdowns list. The Falcons also had a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown and recovered four fumbles.

Dud: Larry Fitzgerald

What ever happened to the Larry Fitzgerald of old? Well, that’s what I’ve been wondering after he was virtually invisible over the first three weeks. This week, he had just three catches for 34 yards. He has yet to find the end zone this season and that doesn’t spell well for his fantasy owners.

Larry Fitzgerald is nowhere to be found this season. (Via AP)

Larry Fitzgerald is nowhere to be found this season. (Via AP)

Stud: Kyle Fuller

Fuller played a huge role under the bright lights of Broadway on a national stage. The rookie cornerback had an interception, two forced fumbles and seven tackles on Monday Night Football in a win over the Jets.

Dud: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Yes, the entire team belongs here. The Bucs got absolutely smacked by the Falcons last Thursday. They allowed a whopping 56 points on a total of 488 yards, with 344 yards coming from the air. Tampa Bay will also need to hold on to the football, after fumbling four times. They’re going to have a rough time in the final two games of their road trip in Pittsburgh and New Orleans if they continue to play like this.

Stud: Kirk Cousins

New game, same stud. Cousins has been great all season and this week was no different. Cousins threw for 427 yards and three touchdowns. If he keeps up to the pace that he’s at, Washington D.C. will have a lot to cheer about.

Stud: Nick Foles and Jeremy Maclin

Both Maclin and Foles deserve credit in their win over Washington, so I’m placing them together. The pair hooked up for eight receptions and 154 yards. Foles finished the day with 325 passing yards and three touchdowns.


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