Fantasy Football Quarterback sleepers

If you’re looking for “sleeper” values in your regular fantasy football league at this point in the season, you’re probably dealing with an injury like Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler owners or dealing with fantasy busts like Robert Griffin III and Josh Freeman. In this case you’re scrambling to win games by picking the hot hand hoping that your stud player returns for your fantasy playoffs. Those of you playing in weekly leagues, such as those at BetAmerica, naturally have a completely different perspective. Buying low on a quarterback who can give you a big week can be the key to cashing in that week. Value is everything.

The issue with these players is inconsistency. That’s why you’ll want to be very careful about matchups when looking for quarterback sleepers.

Mike Glennon – The nightmare of Greg Schiano’s Tampa Bay team is suddenly giving way to some decent football as the Buccaneers have won two games in a row. Much of that success can be attributed to the solid play of Glennon, who suddenly looks like a real quarterback prospect. Glennon got the job following the Schiano/Josh Freeman fiasco. It was obviously handled poorly by Schiano but Freeman hasn’t exactly looked like a viable starter in Minnesota. Glennon keeps improving and has completed 154 of 248 for 1,535 yards, 11 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. In his last game against Atlanta he completes 20 of 23 passes with two TDs and no interceptions. This week he’s facing a terrible pass defense in Detroit, so he might be worth a flyer.

Carson Palmer – He faces a pretty tough defense this week in Indianapolis, but the old veteran is suddenly looking like a gunslinger again. He threw for over 400 yards last week in a win at Jacksonville, including a 91-yard TD thrown to wide receiver Michael Floyd, who is now developing into a stud wide receiver. Palmer can certainly run up some points for you.

Regarding other quarterbacks that you can get cheap, hold off on Ryan Tannehill and Geno Smith this week as they face Carolina and Baltimore this week, respectively. Carolina has a really tough defense and Baltimore’s defense is improving and they are at home.

  

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The Light from the TV Shows: On the Set with “Necessary Roughness”

Raise your hand if, when you first heard about the USA Network series “Necessary Roughness,” the first thought that came to mind was this 1991 film:

Uh-huh. That’s exactly what I thought.

Oh, fine, so I couldn’t see how many people raised their hands. I still refuse to believe that I’m the only one whose mind went down that road, though I admit that it’s possible I was the only one who was also thinking, “You might, I might actually watch that…” Not that it was a great film, but it had a pretty interesting cast (Scott Bakula, Jason Bateman, Hector Elizondo, Robert Loggia, Larry Miller, Sinbad, and Rob Schneider), and the college-football-team premise is one that would be easy to pick up 20 years after the fact.

But, no, USA’s “Necessary Roughness,” while also about football, instead revolves around Dr. Dani Santino (Callie Thorne), a divorcée who reluctantly takes on a job as a therapist for a pro football team – the fictional New York Hawks – in an effort to keep herself and her children  afloat financially. After settling into the gig, Dani’s success with the Hawks combined with a significantly increased profile lead to a sudden influx of new and equally high-profile patients. In addition to Thorne, who you may remember from her roles on “Homicide: Life on the Street,” “The Wire,” and “Rescue Me,” the show has several other familiar faces within its cast, including Marc Blucas (Riley Finn on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) as Hawks athletic trainer Matthew Donnally, Scott Cohen (Max Medina on “Gilmore Girls”) as Nico Careles, the team’s ex-SEAL head of security, and Mehcad Brooks (Eggs on “True Blood”) as T.K. King, the Hawks’ star player.

What’s that? You say you’re intrigued and want to know what you missed during the show’s first season? Wow, good thing USA thought ahead and put together the perfect collection of clips to summarize the first 12 episodes for you…

A few weeks back, USA was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to head down to the “Necessary Roughness” set, tour the facility, and meet with Thorne, Cohen, and Brooks. Each of these fine folks sat down with myself and my fellow TV critics, bloggers, and interviewers (I’m just trying to cover all the bases to avoid missing out on someone’s favorite term for themselves) and chatted about their work on the series thus far and what viewers can expect from the second season of “Necessary Roughness,” which premieres – yikes! – tonight at 10 PM.

That’s fine, go ahead and run set your DVR now, so you don’t forget. But rush right back, because the highlights of those on-set conversations are coming right up…

Read the rest of this entry »

  

Great day in Vegas at Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational

Michael Jordan was in his element, chewing on a cigar and hanging out with his celebrity pals on the stunning Shadow Creek golf course for the 11th Annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI). I was parked next the tee box on the 18th hole to get some photos as MJ and his entourage pulled up in their carts with music in the background. Everyone at the tournament was having a great time, but Jordan was top dog as usual.

I was in my element as well, enjoying a blowout weekend at the Aria Resort & Casino and hanging out on a beautiful day in the desert as I nursed a hangover from the previous night’s debauchery. As you can see from the slideshow above I had a great view as celebrities from Brandi Chastain, Aaron Rodgers, John Smoltz, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Roger Clemens blasted drives from the 18th tee. A good time was being had by all and the celebs happily mingled with the fans near the tee box.

Brandi Chastain and John Smoltz were in the lead following Saturday’s first round of the celeb-only scramble after shooting a six-under par 66. Hall of Fame broadcaster Ahmad Rashad, and teammate and former baseball all-star Roger Clemens, were two strokes back at 4-under. Clemons hit a monster drive on 18. The two-person, 36-hole celebrity-only scramble continues today with winners to be announced at 3 p.m. The winning celebs each will take home $20,000 for their designated charities. It would have been fun to bet a celebrity tournament link this at a site like bwin.


Michael Jordan chews his cigar with the 18th hole of Shadow Creek in the background

The course at Shadow Creek was simply stunning, and it has to be on your list if you’re a golfer heading to Las Vegas. It’s amazing to pull up to this oasis in the middle of the Nevada desert. With the mountains in the background as you can see from the photo above, the beauty of this course ranks up there with some of the best I’ve seen.

Check back later this week for more details from my stay at Aria, where the restaurants, nightlife and amenities give you everything you’ll need for a Vegas getaway with your gal or your friends.

  

Heading to Las Vegas to cover Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational golf tourament

We’ll use any excuse to hit Las Vegas, but covering the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI) definitely qualifies as a trip we’re excited about. This 11th annual charity golf tournament will feature stars like NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers along with Ken Griffey, Jr., Wayne Gretzky, Roger Clemens, Brian Baumgartner, Brett Hull, Maury Povich and Chris Chelios. I’ll be reporting through the weekend here on the blog and you can also follow us on Twitter for photos and updates. I’ll also be staying at the incredible Aria Resort & Casino so this is shaping up to be a great weekend!

It’s also for a number of great causes, as this is a charity golf tournament. Proceeds from the charitable tournament will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, UC San Diego Nevada Cancer Institute, James R. Jordan Foundation, Opportunity Village and Cats Care, the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats’ charity arm. Since its inception in 2001, MJCI has raised more than $6 million for charity.

The tournament is being held at the incredible Shadow Creek golf course, which is opening to the public for only the second time with this tournament. I’m looking forward to getting some great photos.

Tickets may be purchased at any MGM Resorts International box office outlet or online through the links above:

Daily General Admission Pass $30/Thursday-Sunday
Weekly General Admission Pass $100/Thursday-Sunday
Daily VIP Pass $150/Thursday-Sunday
Weekly VIP Pass $500/Thursday-Sunday

VIP spectators will enjoy access to an unparalleled view of the course from the M life VIP tent, an openair venue featuring a “VIP Party Deck” overlooking the par-5, 18th hole, catering and a full-service bar. Discounted tickets are available for military service members with valid identification, and Senior Citizens 65 years of age or older with valid ID; both groups will receive 25 percent off a daily or weekly general admission ticket. Additionally, the tournament has created a special “Bring the Kids for Free” general admission ticket offer, which provides access to Shadow Creek for youth 16 years of age and younger when accompanied by a general admission ticketed adult (up to two children per paid adult).

With the golf tournament with MJ and then the Final Four semi-finals on Saturday night, this should shape us as quite a weekend. I also get to enjoy all the amenities at the Aria and will also see the Cirque du Soleil Viva ELVIS show which should be incredible. I saw the Love show featuring music from The Beatles last year so I’m definitely looking forward to this Elvis show!

  

Bumps on the road to the Super Bowl

If you look at the 2012 Super Bowl lines, the NFC has been a heavy favorite with the dominance of the Green Bay Packers this season. With Aaron Rodgers having an amazing season, the Packers had all the momentum as they were plowing towards a potential undefeated season.

This weekend they hit a pretty big speed bump in the form of interim head coach Romeo Crennel and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have had a miserable season, starting the year with high expectations following a successful 2010 campaign. Ravaged by injuries and squabbles between the head coach and the GM, the Chiefs have been a mess all season.

But they have talent on defense, and now they have a solid quarterback in Kyle Orton to ride out the season, and Green Bay found out how difficult it is to go undefeated in the NFL.

But was this just a speed bump, or did the Chiefs expose some problems with the Packers? Aaron Rodgers is a stud and all the pundits were crowning him the king of quarterbacks even while others like Tom Brady and Drew Brees were also carving up defenses with the new rules. But Green Bay now has a problem on the offensive line with backup tackle Derek Sherrod breaking his leg and starter Bryan Bulaga getting an MRI today for a sprained knee. Aaron Rodgers may be great, but he’ll come back down to Earth if other teams can get pressure on him with four lineman like the Chiefs did yesterday. Just ask Tom Brady about his last Super Bowl appearance.

Speaking of Brady, he gave a lesson to young Tim Tebow yesterday as the Patriots spanked the upstart Broncos. The Patriots and Steelers look like the class of the AFC after the Houston Texans and the Baltimore Colts failed to show up yesterday, but the Steelers have a tough road game tonight in San Francisco with Ben Roethlisberger trying to play on a gimpy ankle.

Back to the NFC, Drew Brees put on a show yesterday. For all the talk about Aaron Rodgers this season, Brees is poised to break Dan Marino’s record for most passing yards in a season. We also have two rookies this season with over 3,000 yards, so anyone trying to tell you Aaron Rodgers is having the best season for a QB in NFL history needs to put this in context. By holding back hits on receivers and quarterbacks, the NFL has turned this into something resembling arena football. Stats are inflated.

That said, it’s still shaping up to be a Green Bay/New Orleans shootout on the NFC side. Should be fun to watch.

  

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