• Peyton Manning breaks Brett Favre’s Touchdown Record

    With the ball on the one-yard line and Peyton Manning one touchdown pass away from the all-time record, everybody in Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium and everybody watching at home knew the Broncos were going to throw the football.

    The play sequence on the one-yard line to reach 509 was not particularly picture-perfect for Manning. On first down, Manning threw a tough pass that tight end Julius Thomas was unable to control. On the next play, Manning tripped on his center’s leg and fell back all the way to the eight-yard line.

    The third time was the charm.

    On third down, with 3:09 left in the second quarter, Manning threw an eight-yard strike to his favorite target, wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for the score, putting Manning on top of the NFL record books.

    Manning made his record breaking touchdown pass look easy but Bronco’s receivers Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Julius Thomas played a friendly game of keep away with the record-setting touchdown ball, making it a little more challenging for Manning to get the ball back.

    Brett Favre, now second on the all-time touchdown list, had some gracious words for Manning on the jumbrotron after he threw his 509th touchdown pass.

    “I want to say congratulations for breaking the touchdown record,” Favre said. “I’m not surprised. You’ve been a wonderful player and I’ve enjoyed watching you play. I’ve enjoyed competing against you. I wish you great success for the rest of the season and the rest of your career.”

    Later in the game, Manning threw his fourth touchdown pass of the day to Demaryius Thomas putting him at 510 touchdown passes overall and leading the Broncos to a 42-17 win over the 49ers.

    Manning was able to break Favre’s record in only 246 games, 56 games fewer than Favre. That’s more than three seasons worth of football.

    Peyton Manning attributes the success throughout his career to his coaches and teammates in Denver and Indianapolis.

    “I do think about how many people have helped throughout my career with something like that and just how grateful I am for that help and support,” Manning said. “Football is the ultimate team game and so I guess one man kind of has to accept it, but I kind of accept on behalf of a lot of coaches and teammates.”

    Throughout his career, Manning has thrown his 510 touchdown passes to 45 different players. His top five touchdown targets are wide receivers Marvin Harrison (112), Reggie Wayne (67), tight ends Dallas Clark (44), Marcus Pollard (34) and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (29).

    Most people consider Peyton Manning to be the best regular season quarterback of all time but due to his lack of Super Bowl victories critics hesitate calling him the greatest quarterback ever.

    Many people associate Joe Montana, the former 49ers quarterback, as the best quarterback of all-time after Montana won four Super Bowls in four attempts. Peyton Manning only has one Super Bowl victory in three attempts but his regular season statistics throughout his career speaks for themselves. Joe Montana threw for only 273 touchdown passes and Montana’s replacement, Steve Young, threw for 232. Manning has thrown more touchdown passes than both Montana and Young combined.

    Manning’s record-breaking touchdown pass might silence his critics.

  • Fantasy Decisions: Setting a Lineup and Week 8 Rankings

    Fantasy football ultimately comes down to one thing over anything else, setting the right lineup.

    It doesn’t matter if you have the top three weekly scorers in fantasy if they’re sitting on your bench. Today I want to give you a peak behind the curtains at how I set my lineups. The formula isn’t difficult, it just takes a little time and I really think you can be successful. If you ever want help with your specific lineup, don’t forget to send an email to FantasyDecisions@gmail.com and I’ll give you an answer by the end of the day. 

    Here it is:

    1.     Start your studs. You didn’t draft Jamaal Charles to sit on your bench. I don’t care if he’s facing the fourth toughest defense in the Rams this week, you start the guy and you don’t regret it. You jumped on board back in September, so as Dido’s hit single goes… “I will go down with this ship”.

    2.     Always start the player who will get more snaps. If I’m deciding between Percy Harvin and Mohamed Sanu at WR2 and I hear Rex Ryan saying Percy isn’t going to play too many snaps, Harvin is quickly making a trip to my bench. I want the guy who is going to get the most snaps because more snaps is never a bad thing. However, snaps alone aren’t going to make or break the case for starting. I’m talking about efficient snaps. I say week after week how important targets are for WRs and TEs, and how huge touches can be for a RB. Look at these stats and then look at what kind of snaps your guys are getting. Efficient snaps are key to fantasy success.

    3.     Always look at the opposing defenses rank against each position. As an example, this week Carson Palmer is an excellent value/fill-in play at QB. He’s facing an Eagles defense ranked 5th to last in defense against the pass. This is a key stat you can take advantage of.

    4.     Rankings can help. Obviously you’re looking here first to see my rankings, but also make sure you check around different websites to gauge other writers’ love/hate for certain guys. Rather than just relying on ESPN or CBS, look at three or four different websites and try to get a sense of where the player’s value lies in the week ahead.

    5.     Some consistency mixed with some high ceiling is a good formula. I always try to make all my decisions in fantasy with this in the back of my mind. The best fantasy lineups are mixed with good, consistent guys who have high floors but maybe lower ceilings, and high-risk high reward players. You can take a chance on a guy like Desean Jackson or Sammy Watkins when you’re coupling them with a nice grounded player like Emmanuel Sanders who may not go off for 200 yards but so far this year has been start-able in 5 of the 6 games he’s played. This way, even if the flame burns out on your big risk play, you’ve still got consistent production from somewhere else.

    6.     Projections can help but shouldn’t be given too much weight. These are a good starting place to get an idea of what you might be able to expect from your second running back, but projections only go so far. As I was starting this addiction we call fantasy football, I fell into the trap of seeing a huge projection and getting thrilled. You see ESPN projecting Bishop Sankey for nearly 15 points and don’t think twice about starting him. But I’d much rather have Andre Ellington on my team even though he’s projected to get five points less than Sankey. Ellington got a career high 30 touches in week seven and has had at least 75 total yards every single week this year. Sankey is still finding his footing while the Cardinal RB has been one of the most consistent RB options this year. So take those projections with a grain of salt when it comes to setting your lineup.

    7.     Go with your gut. This is really an overarching theme when figuring out who to start. I don’t care if a guy is projected for six points, ranked 25th at his position, and is facing the second toughest defense in the league. If your gut is screaming, “Start Matt Ryan against the Lions”, go with it. You’d always rather go with your gut, start the guy, and be disappointed than fight your instincts and watch the guy go off on your bench.

    Week 7 Rankings

    QB

    1.     Aaron Rodgers

    2.     Andrew Luck

    3.     Peyton Manning

    4.     Philip Rivers

    5.     Russell Wilson

    6.     Drew Brees

    7.     Carson Palmer

    8.     Tony Romo

    9.     Tom Brady

    10.  Cam Newton

    11. Kyle Orton

    12. Matthew Stafford

    13. Jay Cutler

    14. Nick Foles

    15. Alex Smith

    16. Matt Ryan

    17. Ryan Tannehill

    18. Ben Roethlisberger

    19. Ryan Fitzpatrick

    20. Joe Flacco

    RB

    1.     Arian Foster

    2.     Matt Forte

    3.     Marshawn Lynch

    4.     DeMarco Murray

    5.     Le’Veon Bell

    6.     Ben Tate

    7.     Eddie Lacy

    8.     Jamaal Charles

    9.     Lamar Miller

    10. Giovani Bernard

    11. Andre Ellington

    12. Jerick McKinnon

    13. Branden Oliver

    14. LeSean Mccoy

    15. Shane Vereen

    16. Joique Bell

    17. Justin Forsett

    18. Chris Ivory

    19. Mark Ingram

    20. Alfred Morris

    21. Ahmad Bradshaw

    22. Darren McFadden

    23. Ronnie Hillman

    24. Tre Mason

    25. Bishop Sankey

    WR

    1.     Jordy Nelson

    2.     Dez Bryant

    3.     Demaryius Thomas

    4.     Jeremy Maclin

    5.     Antonio Brown

    6.     Julio Jones

    7.     Randall Cobb

    8.     Golden Tate

    9.     Brandon Marshall

    10. A.J. Green

    11. Alshon Jeffery

    12. Mike Wallace

    13. Emmanuel Sanders

    14. T.Y. Hilton

    15. Vincent Jackson

    16. Julian Edelman

    17. Andre Johnson

    18. Michael Floyd

    19. DeSean Jackson

    20. Kelvin Benjamin

    21. Steve Smith

    22. Sammy Watkins

    23. DeAndre Hopkins

    24. Kendall Wright

    25. Eric Decker

    TE

    1.     Rob Gronkowski

    2.     Julius Thomas

    3.     Greg Olsen

    4.     Jimmy Graham

    5.     Antonio Gates

    6.     Jordan Reed

    7.     Martellus Bennett

    8.     Travis Kelce

    9.     Owen Daniels

    10. Zach Ertz

    11. Dwayne Allen

    12. Heath Miller

    13. Delanie Walker

    14. Jordan Cameron

    15. Jason Witten

    D/ST

    1.     Dolphins

    2.     Chiefs

    3.     Texans

    4.     Bills

    5.     Cowboys

    6.     Patriots

    7.     Vikings

    8.     Browns

    9.     Jets

    10. Seahawks

    Flex

    1.     Arian Foster

    2.     Matt Forte

    3.     Marshawn Lynch

    4.     Jordy Nelson

    5.     Demarco Murray

    6.     Dez Bryant

    7.     Demaryius Thomas

    8.     Le’Veon Bell

    9.     Jeremy Maclin

    10. Rob Gronkowski

    11. Ben Tate

    12. Eddie Lacy

    13. Antonio Brown

    14. Jamaal Charles

    15. Lamar Miller

    16. Giovani Bernard

    17. Andre Ellington

    18. Julius Thomas

    19. Julio Jones

    20. Randall Cobb

    21. Golden Tate

    22. Jerick McKinnon

    23. Branden Oliver

    24. Brandon Marshall

    25. A.J. Green

    26. LeSean Mccoy

    27. Shane Vereen

    28. Greg Olsen

    29. Alshon Jeffery

    30. Mike Wallace

    31. Joique Bell

    32. Jimmy Graham

    33. Justin Forsett

    34. Emmanuel Sanders

    35. T.Y. Hilton

    36. Vincent Jackson

    37. Chris Ivory

    38. Mark Ingram

    39. Alfred Morris

    40. Julian Edelman

    41. Andre Johnson

    42. Michael Floyd

    43. Ahmad Bradshaw

    44. DeSean Jackson

    45. Darren McFadden

    46. Kelvin Benjamin

    47. Steve Smith

    48. Sammy Watkins

    49. Ronnie Hillman

    50. DeAndre Hopkins

    Good luck in week 8!

    Send in your lineup questions, waiver wire wonders, or trade help to FantasyDecisions@gmail.com

  • Big 12 continuing to create chaos

    The wild ride that has been the Big 12 this season continued this past weekend as conference favorites Baylor and Oklahoma lost to lesser opponents.
     
    No. 4 Baylor traveled to West Virginia and suffered its first loss of the season 27-41 largely due to the outstanding play of WVU quarterback Clint Trickett.
     
    Oklahoma, my preseason pick to win the Big 12, lost 30-31 at home to Kansas State for the second time in the last three years.
     
    The Big 12 has certainly asserted itself as the most competitive conference in the NCAA to this point. It seems that no team has a foothold over the others.
     
    As it stands, five of the 10 teams in the Big 12 are currently ranked in the top 25 with TCU and Kansas State leading the way at Nos. 10 and 11.
     
    Kansas State, having only lost to Auburn earlier this year, is the only Big 12 team yet to lose in conference play.
     
    This weekend looks to be just as interesting as the last.
     
    West Virginia, now ranked No. 22 in the nation, will travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to take on Oklahoma State. If the Mountaineers can come away with a big win on the road, they’ll assert themselves as a serious contender for the Big 12 this season.
     
    Kansas State will host the Longhorns this weekend in another significant Big 12 match up. The Longhorns, after struggling for most of the season, have now seemingly found their legs on the offensive side of the ball.
     
    This rivalry has certainly heated up in recent years. Kansas State holds a 7-3 record over Texas going back to 1998, Mack Brown’s first year as head coach.
     
    Kansas State boasts one of the best offenses in the Big 12 this year led by quarterback Jake Waters. The Longhorns will have to muster their best effort to win on the road, where they are 0-3 in the last decade.
     
    Here are the Big 12 match ups for this weekend:
     
    Saturday Oct. 25
     
    1)    Texas at No. 11 Kansas State – 11 a.m. (cst) ESPN
     
    2)    No. 22 West Virginia at Oklahoma State – 2:30 p.m. (cst) ESPN
     
    3)    Texas Tech at No. 10 TCU – 2:30 p.m. (cst) FOX
     
     

  • Tiger getting busier while Rory still dealing with lawsuite

    As professional golf waits for the season to gear up again, Tiger Woods eyes a return, while Rory McIlroy continues to settle his lawsuit with his management company. 

    After pulling out of the PGA Championship due to back issues, Woods will return to the golf course to participate in his foundation’s tournament, the Hero World Challenge, on Dec. 4-7. 

    According to Woods’ agent, Mark Steinberg, Tiger is still listening to his doctors.  The former great is having had back surgery on March 31, while also returning to the golf course in June, participating in four events.  However, he pulled out of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and a week later missed the cut on Aug. 8 at the PGA Championship. 

    Woods began the year ranked highly, but fell to 17th because of his results and inactivity. 

    Yet as Woods works to get back to course play, he announced on Tuesday that his first golf course, El Cardonal course at Diamente in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, opens on Dec. 16. 

    He plans to open a course called Bluejack National, near Houston, but we will have to wait to see how his first course turns out.  Woods has tried to design courses in the Dubai desert, Asheville, North Carolina, and Mexico’s Baja Coast, but none of them came through. 

    Now that we have looked at the former No. 1 player, what is Rory McIlroy, the current No. 1 player up to? 

    McIlroy is skipping the European Master’s BMW Master’s at the end of October and the PGA Tour’s WGC-HSBC Champions during November to devote time to his lawsuit against former management company Horizon Sports.  Supposedly during mediation talks, he and Horizon Sports could not reach an agreement and a February 2015 court date has been set. 

    Even with taking some time off, McIlroy will return to the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Nov. 20. 

    However, this court date could affect his tournament schedule for 2015.  He is still listed to participate in the Euro Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in January. 

    These tournaments will be beneficial for McIlroy as he prepares to complete golf’s career grand slam to win the Masters this year.         

  • Royals, Giants face off in Game 1 of World Series

    The 2014 World Series will get kicked off in Missouri tonight as the Kansas City Royals host the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the best-of-seven series.

    For the Royals, this is their first World Series appearance since they won it all in 1985. The Giants are back for the third time in five years and looking for their third title. Both teams started this postseason by winning wild card games and are looking to make history by winning this destiny-filled series.

    Honestly, I have no idea who will win this one. My postseason bracket this year was awful and these two teams have been playing with some kind of magic that makes anything possible. Nevertheless, here’s my brief rundown of the matchups and my pick to win it all.

    The starting pitchers that have been confirmed so far are as follows:

    Game 1- (SF) Madison Bumgarner v. (KC) James Shields

    Game 2- (SF) Jake Peavy v.(KC) Yordano Ventura

    Game 3- (KC) TBD v. (SF) Tim Hudson

    Game 4- (KC) TBD v. (SF) Ryan Vogelsong

    Statistically, the Giants have a lower team earned run average (2.18) than the Royals (2.93), but I don’t think that completely sums up the pitching comparison. San Francisco’s starting rotation has been a little better this postseason, in my opinion, but Kansas City has a much deeper and stronger bullpen. The Giants’ relievers have been good, but their bullpen isn’t as solid as Kansas City’s.

    Both closers successfully saved every game they were asked to, with San Francisco’s Sergio Casilla going 4-for-4 and not allowing a run in 6.2 innings pitched and Kansas City’s Greg Holland going 6-for-6 with one run scored in eight innings pitched. Again, I think the Royals have a slight advantage in pitching as the game goes on and I think their bullpen will need to be extra special against the Giants’ persistent offense.

    Offensively, both of these teams are incredibly dangerous. They can both score big early and know how to get runs across the plate when the game is on the line. Kansas City has a better team batting average (.259 to San Francisco’s .244) and a number of guys with impressive hitting stats through the postseason, but you can’t underestimate the veteran hitters in the Giants’ lineup.

    The Giants will be led by Buster Posey (.302 AVG, .354 OBP, 5 RBI), Pablo Sandoval (.326 AVG, .396 OBP, RBI), Hunter Pence (.256 AVG, .341 OBP, 3RBI) and former Longhorn Brandon Belt (.286 AVG, .409 OBP, 6 RBI, HR) when they come to the plate. As a team, they hit five homeruns and stole three bases in 10 postseason games so far. They have a number of supporting guys in the lineup that can get on base and drive in runs when needed.

    The Royals’ offensive attack will be headed by Eric Hosmer (.448 AVG, .556 OBP, 8 RBI, 2 HR), Lorenzo Cain (.353 AVG, .378 OBP, 4 RBI), Mike Moustakas (.241 AVG, .267 OBP, 5 RBI, 4 HR) and Alex Gordon (.222 AVG, .400 OBP, 9 RBI, HR). With an impressive 13 stolen bases so far, I expect them to continue their aggressive base running. They have a lot of speedy guys who can get on base, and with eight homeruns hit as a team in the postseason, their power hitting is getting hot at exactly the right time.

    Both teams have solid defenses that have made big plays to get them this far. Statistically, the Giants are better defensively with a .785 defensive efficiency ratio so far in the playoffs to the Royals’ .748 DER, but both have committed three errors, allowed three stolen bases and caught one runner in the postseason.

    If San Francisco’s veteran Posey can control the Royals’ base running, it could affect their offense all the way through. But the Royals have had their way on the base paths against some great catchers already, so we’ll see what happens.

    Choosing a winner in this series was very tough for me. Both teams are incredibly resilient and find ways to come up big when necessary and both can take quick leads and preserve them with solid defense. Every time I think one team has an edge, I recall something about the other team that makes me doubt whether any advantage exists.

    I don’t think there is a set favorite to win this series. These teams are too similar and both are playing with this great vibe you only see in the postseason. Anything, and I mean anything, can happen when these guys take the field. I think, and hope, this series will go the full seven games and we’ll see some wild, extra-inning, walk off baseball.

    So, who wins the title- the seasoned, veteran-filled team or the feisty club full of young stars? It’s an awfully tough decision, but I’m going to go with the Kansas City Royals.

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