Posts Tagged ‘packers’

That time of year again is here where NFL players have expired contracts and are either on the prowl for a new team or hoping to stay with their current team for a bigger contract.  Free agency can be a stressful for the fans, owners, and the players.  In the 2014 draft there were some players that were signed quickly because the team recognizes the value in keeping them, but we have also seen some high value players hit the free agency market due to either off field issues or cant afford them anymore.  What has been interesting is seeing how some teams have dived right into this and signed a bunch of players, and to see some teams sit back and let all the players slip through their fingers.  Some teams have had salary cap issues so it makes sense why they have been sitting back not doing anything; and they have been focusing on keeping their current players or waiting for the draft.  Some times the free agent period can make or break a team and its shaping up to be an interesting 2014 season.  Below are some of the big named receivers that have signed to new teams. 

Wide Receivers

1. Steve Smith – Went from the Panthers over to the Ravens.  The Ravens are giving him $11 million with a $3.5 million signing bonus for 3 years.  Even at the age of 35 Smith can still offer a lot to the struggling pass offense of the Ravens.  With Torrey Smith on the other side and Dennis Pitta across the middle it should be an open field for Steve Smith.  And we all know that Flacco could use another weapon in the offense.

2. Eric Decker – Went from the Broncos over to the Jets.  This was kind of surprising since he was in the best pass offense and he is now going to a team that had very serious pass issues.  Now Decker did hit pay dirt by signing a 5 year $36.25 million deal with $15 million being guaranteed money.  The Jets finally released Sanchez, but signed Michael Vick to replace him.  This is going to give Decker to shine now that he is out of the shadow of Thomas and Welker.

3. James Jones – Went from the Packers over to the Raiders.  I think this is a good move for Jones and his career.  The Raiders have added a lot of people to the roster already and with Jones being a deep threat it should add a lot of depth to the offense.  The Raiders added Matt Schaub and even though Schaub had a terrible 2013 campaign he should be able to connect with Jones.  We have to remember Schaub fed the ball to Andre Johnson for a lot of years so he should have no problem getting it to Jones.  Jones was bound to get picked up quick with how he has a knack for getting in the endzone. 

4. Golden Tate – Went from the Seahawks to the Lions.  I can see this going very well, or very bad.  Tate just helped the Seahawks win their first Super Bowl and now he is going to a team that has never been to the big game.  The plus is that the Lions is a pass happy team who has the best WR in the game in Calvin Johnson.  Now Stafford may not be the most consistent QB in the game, but he will have no problem getting the ball to both Tate and Johnson.

5. Hakeem Nicks – Went from the Giants to the Colts.  This is a great pickup for the Colts and I really think that Nicks needed to get away from the Giants.  As long as Nicks can stay healthy he should be able to have a fresh start with the Colts.  Andrew Luck is just getting better and better and Nicks could be a useful tool to help the team get farther in the playoffs.  Nicks was a big part of the offense in New York and when he was healthy he was almost unstoppable. 

Emmanuel Sanders – Went from Steelers to the Broncos
Andre Roberts – Went from Cardinals to the Redskins
Brandon LaFell – Went from Panthers to the Patriots
Devin Hester – Went from the Bears to the Falcons
Dexter McCluster – Went from Chiefs to Titans

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Pretty much everyone can throw their “pre-season” predictions out the window because it has been a crazy NFL season so far.  The worst team in the NFL in 2012 is now undefeated, we have two teams that have only won one game, and we have teams that were supposed to be Super Bowl contenders just fall off the face of the earth.  But, thats whats fun about football; you never know whats going to happen.  We are now 10 weeks into the 2013 season and a playoff picture is now starting to form.  There are some teams that we can tell are playoff bound, and at the same time I really think we will have a crazy Wild Card race going into the playoffs.  So, with that being said here is the current NFL Power Ranking; along with some other interesting facts.

1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-0) – Ten weeks ago when it was Week 1 the Chiefs were ranked at #22.  People will make the argument that the Chiefs have not played a tough team yet, but the fact remains they are undefeated.  The Chiefs defense has really been a surprise and they have been holding opponents to under 18 points a game.  The Chiefs offense is not the best in the NFL, but Smith and Company have been doing something that most teams do too much of and thats NOT turning the ball over.  It is very rare that the Chiefs turn the ball over and when you add that to a stout defense it equals victories.  In the next 3 weeks the Chiefs will play the Broncos twice so we will really see what they are made of.

2. Denver Broncos (8-1) – Peyton Manning has been a thrill to watch this year and he is leading the NFL in pretty much every passing category.  Another surprise on the Broncos offense has been Knowshon Moreno, he has found the endzone 8 times this season.  The Broncos defense has suffered some setbacks, but when you get an offense that will score almost 40 points a game it really helps.  The 3-headed monster on the team is the combo of Welker, Thomas, and Decker and with those 3 running routes at the same time makes it almost impossible to defend.  The lowest the Broncos ranking has been this year was 4th; I dont see a way that the Broncos wont be deep into the playoffs.

3. Seattle Seahawks (9-1) – When the season started the Seahawks were ranked #1 and the lowest they have gone is 5th.  The Seahawks have had one of the best defenses in the NFL, not to mention a very high powered offense.  Lynch has already scored 7 rushing TDs and is second in the NFL in rushing yards.  Between Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas they have combined for 8 interceptions which makes it very difficult to pass on the Seahawks.  I really cant see anything slowing Seattle down between Russell Wilson, Lynch, Golden Tate, and a powerful defense it would not surprise me to see Seattle playing in the Super Bowl.

4. New Orleans Saints (7-2) – When the season started the Saints were ranked at 14 and had a terrible defense in 2012.  It has been a major turn around this season with Brees throwing 25 TDs already and over 3,000 passing yards.  Lets not forget Jimmy Graham who has been a dominating force with 10 receiving TDs and 54 receptions; which is more than most receivers on other teams.  Someone that gets overlooked on this offense is Pierre Thomas; with Sproles not being as productive as usual Thomas has been the primary running back to shoulder the load in the running game and he has made a bigger impact this year than he has in previous years.

5. New England Patriots (7-2) – The Patriots have had their struggles this year, but they have made the adjustments they need to still win games.  Brady has been doing his best to utilize the young receivers he has and the running game has almost been non-existent up until a few weeks ago with Blount and Ridley.  Now with Gronkowski coming back into the mix it has given Brady a reliable target in the pass game and the young receivers have been improving every week. 

6. Carolina Panthers (6-3) – Yes you are reading this right; the Panthers are in the top 10 in the Power Rankings.  Just 10 weeks ago they were ranked down in the 23rd spot and now with a 5 game win streak they have cracked the top 10.  Its mostly the defense that is making this possible by holding opponents to under 19 points a game for the last 5 weeks.  Obviously Cam Newton has been keeping the offense rolling, but the defense is their best weapon as of late.  Players like Charles Johnson with 8.5 sacks, Mike Mitchell with 3 interceptions, and Luke Kuechly with 75 tackles is keeping the Panthers in games.  Believe it or not, but the Panthers could make a playoff run this season which would be the first in almost a decade.

7. Indianapolis Colts (6-3) – Despite getting handled by the Rams this week the Colts are still looking pretty sharp.  They have the weapons in Luck, Richardson, Hilton, and Fleener but they need to utilize them more.  Everyone thought that Richardson would be the answer to the run game, but so far it has been a disappointment and with Reggie Wayne going to IR the load has fallen on Hilton and Heyward-Bey.  The Colts defense has stepped up when needed as well in tough games.  What fans are hoping for is that Luck and Company can continue to get the ball to the endzone and make another playoff run.

8. San Francisco 49ers (6-3) – Once again the 49ers defense is one of the best in the NFL; but the offense is not doing their part.  The 49ers have an incredible running game with Gore, Hunter, and James; but Kap is literally dead last in passing yards.  The Niners have weapons too in Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin, and Mario Manningham.  Eventually Crabtree will come back, but its not going to matter if Kap cant get the ball to them.  It would not surprise me if the Niners still make a playoff run, but it will be short lived unless the offense steps it up soon.  The good news is that the defense is stepping up big time.  When you have players like Patrick Willis, Navarrow Bowman, and Justin Smith you are bound to have a solid defense, but the Niners cannot rely on them to get them to another Super Bowl.

9. Detroit Lions (6-3) – When I think of the Lions there are 3 names that come to mind; Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford, and now Reggie Bush.  Between those 3 guys the Lions have become a very powerful offense.  Calvin has already found the endzone 9 times and is almost to 1,000 receiving yards already.  Reggie Bush has been a double threat by being the main rusher on the team and a safety valve for Stafford.  Picking up Bush was the best thing for the Lions and Bush has taken advantage of it by having 4 total TDs and almost 1,000 total yards.  Lets not forget about the defense, DeAndre Levy leads the NFL with 5 interceptions and Stephen Tulloch with 72 tackles.  The Lions actually do have a good chance at a playoff run with the Packers and the Bears both multiple games in the last few weeks.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) – The Bengals have now dropped 2 straight games; both in overtime, but dont count them out yet.  AJ Green leads the NFL in receiving yards and second in receptions; and between Bernard and Green-Ellis the running game has gotten a lot better.  To me, the issue is Dalton.  He is a good QB, but he is still making bad decisions in crucial times of the game.  When Dalton is hot he is almost impossible to stop, but when he is cold he is ice cold.  The Bengals have had an incredible defense this year and it is because of the defense that the Bengals are leading in their division.  If the Bengals can pull the offense together they should be able to take the NFC North with no problem.

11. Chicago Bears (5-4) – I had high hopes for the Bears after they came out of the gates with 3 straight wins, but recently they have been a bit disappointing.  Part of it was the fact that Cutler was injured, but you cant blame all of it on that.  The Bears main weapon is still Brandon Marshall, but Alshon Jeffery has been a nice compliment in the pass game.  Also, the emergence of Martellus Bennett has been a nice addition in the pass game.  My problem with the Bears is that they have re-vamped offensive line and a killer RB in Forte, but they are not giving him the ball enough.  Forte is almost to the 700 yard mark and a solid 7 TDs, but I feel he should be used more like an Adrian Peterson type back.  With Cutler back under center I think the Bears can give the Lions a run for their money, but only time will tell.

12. New York Jets (5-4) – The Jets were ranked dead last when the season began, but they have clawed their way up to #12.  The best thing that the Jets did was bench Sanchez; I am not saying Geno Smith is that much better, but it is definitely an improvement.  You cant blame everything on Smith though; the offensive line has given up a lot of sacks and the running game has not been too impressive.  So, how are the Jets 5-4?  Simple answer; defense.  The offense has stepped up in big situations, but the defense plays a full 4 quarters of football. 

13. Green Bay Packers (5-4) – Very rough season for the cheese heads.  The Packers have just been plagued with the injury big with key players going down, such as; Aaron Rodgers, Randall Cobb, and Jermichael Finley.  The bright spot though has been the outstanding play of rookie Eddie Lacy.  The Packers have been searching for a franchise RB and they found it big time.  Lacy as a rookie is ranked 8th in rushing yards and 7th in rushing attempts in the league.  This may not be the year that the Packers do well, but this team is going to be extremely tough for years to come.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5) – Its been an up and down season for the Eagles, but I think they are on the right track now.  I think its official that Vick is not going to have a job next year, but Foles has played very well in a short amount of time.  And when you add in LeSean McCoy to the mix it just makes the offense that much better.  The Eagles have also found a star in Riley Cooper who is playing for the injured Jeremy Maclin; who also may not have a job next year.  The offense is finally coming together and even with the NFC East being a sloppy division, the Eagles could take the division easily.

15. Dallas Cowboys (5-5) – Speaking of NFC East its time to talk about the Cowboys.  What bothers me with the Cowboys is that they have all the weapons they need on offense and defense.  You have a better Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and DeMarco Murray.  And on defense you have Sean Lee and Ware who are having Pro Bowl years.  So whats the problem?  With the schedule that the Cowboys have I really thought they would be 7-3 right now.  Everyone wants to blame Romo (because its a habit), but I cant say its all his fault.  The Cowboys are going to need to step up their game if they hope to win this horrible division.

16. Arizona Cardinals (5-4) – Another team that has an awesome defense, but a mediocre offense.  I dont see the Cardinals making a playoff push, but if they can get some better offensive players I think they could be a contender in the NFC West.  In my opinion it starts with the offensive line.  The Cards have a decent run game and they have weapons in Fitzgerald and Roberts, but if Palmer cant throw the ball they will be useless.

17. San Diego Chargers (4-5) – They have had some bright spots in Woodhead, Rivers, and Gates, but they are having a tough time stopping teams from scoring.  Rivers is having a Pro Bowl type year, but that wont be enough in their division to make a playoff push.  They are competing in the AFC West that has the Broncos and the Chiefs; so I dont really see them going to the post-season. 

18. Baltimore Ravens (4-5) – Even with the Ravens being this low they could still make the playoffs.  The AFC North has the Bengals (who the Ravens just beat), the Steelers, and the Browns.  Over the alst few weeks the Ravens have been playing like the defensing Super Bowl Champs; especially the defense.  The biggest difference in the Ravens offense has been the poor play of Ray Rice who is barely averaging 3 yards per carry.  But, its not all his fault either the pass game has been almost non-existent this season.  But even with that said the Ravens could slip into the playoffs as long as they keep pulling in the wins.

19. Cleveland Browns (4-5) – Obviously in a re-building year trading away Richardson and going through QBs like I go through underwear.  The two bright spots have been the emergence of Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon.  The Browns and the Ravens have the same record, but dont expect the Browns to be a playoff team.  There are a lot of holes in the offense, defense, and staff that will not benefit them for the remainder of the season. 

20. St. Louis Rams (4-6) – Sam Bradford is out for the rest of the year, the running game is finally working, and Tavon Austin finally had a breakout game.  There were some high hopes for the Rams coming into the season but they were quickly put to rest.  Up until last week the Rams didnt even have a rushing TD and we were just waiting for Austin to show why he was a first round pick.  The Rams could improve for future seasons, but I dont see them advancing for this season.

21. Tennessee Titans (4-5) – Even being ranked this low the Titans could push to be a Wild Card team.  In their division its the Colts, Texans, Jags, and the Titans.  Obviously the Jags and Texans have sealed their fate for this season, but the Titans still have a sliver of a chance.  You wont find any of the offensive players leading in any stats, but when you combine Chris Johnson, Jake Locker, Kendall Wright, and Nate Washington I think they could slide into a Wild Card spot if they get more wins under their belt.

22. Miami Dolphins (4-5) – Everyone was shocked when the Dolphins came out guns blazing winning 3 straight games.  But it has not taken long for the whole team to just crumble.  Since their 3 win start they have only won one more game which was in OT against the Bengals.  People thought having Mike Wallace in Miami would be an improvement and that has proven to be a disappointment, and most people listed Lamar Miller as a sleeper for fantasy players which has also been a disappointment.  Now with the Dolphins getting a lot of negative attention its only going to add to a growing problem for the franchise.

23. Washington Redskins (3-6) – I just dont understand this team at all.  Alfred Morris is probably one of the more reliable backs in the game, yet he is getting a lot less carries than his rookie year and more importantly, Morris is getting a lot less redzone carries which confuses me greatly.  I really cant tell what is going on with RGIII either.  One week he is unstoppable then the next week he cant do anything right.  It has been a treat to see Garcon play to his potential this season and I think he is one of the main reasons that the Redskins have won 3 games.  The Redskins have a long road ahead of them, but I still think that RGIII is the answer to most of the problems.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6) – Another team that just baffles me.  They are just letting games slip through their fingers.  Antonio Brown leads the NFL in receptions and has proven to be a reliable target for Big Ben, but he cant get in the endzone.  When it comes to the running game its literally hit or miss.  Le’Veon Bell is a good runner when he is healthy, but they do not have that reliable RB to back him up if something happens.  The “Steel Curtain” has not been up to par either this year and I cant tell what the problem is.  The Steelers are a good team and they have been for decades, but this has not been a good year and I dont see a playoff birth for 2013.

25. New York Giants (3-6) – Talk about a team that just fell right on their face.  It was mostly in the running game when they released Bradshaw, then Wilson played poorly, then Wilson and Brown got hurt, then Jacobs got hurt, then Hillis stepped in, and now Brown is back.  The defense has been really soft this year too by allowing well over 20 points a game which equals a lot of losses.  I know the Giants are a good team, but they got off on the wrong foot this year and they are paying for it now.

26. Buffalo Bills (3-7) – Between having a rookie QB and Spiller being a bust its just been one thing after another for the Bills this year.  People were really putting a lot of faith into Spiller and Manuel going into the season, but injuries put a stop to that quickly.  The Bills also have weapons that can add up tp wins, but they need to be able to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.  Eventually I could see the Bills being a playoff contender; just not this year.

27. Oakland Raiders (3-6) – It has been a treat to see how much Pryor has improved since the beginning of the season and I think Oakland finally has a QB they can groom to be a franchise QB.  One piece of this puzzle though is DMC needing to stay healthy for a full season.  McFadden has put up good numbers this year, but he is still plagued with the injury bug.  I gotta give the Raiders defense some credit because the few wins they have had this year have been won by the defense.

28. Houston Texans (2-7) – I really thought the Texans were going to be a solid playoff team this year; was I off or what?  It was very hard to watch Matt Schaub literally throw this team into the ground for the first 4 weeks, but its even tougher now with Foster being injured and the defense has fallen apart now that they are talking about cutting Ed Reid.  I am hoping this is just an “off” year for the Texans and they come back next year and get back on track.

29. Atlanta Falcons (2-7) – Roddy White, Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Steven Jackson, and Tony Gonzalez.  When you look at those names all you see is Pro Bowls, TDs, and great players.  The fact that they are all on the same team you would think that it would be an unstoppable offense; well its been a different story this year.  I was predicting the Falcons to make another deep playoff run, but between injuries and just poor play they find themselves searching for answers.  2013 was not kind to the Falcons, but they will be better next season that much I know.

30. Minnesota Vikings (2-7) – I can sum up this teams season in two words; QB issues.  I can seriously say that the Vikings can blame the majority of this crappy season on the poor play of all 3 of their QBs.  Adrian Peterson is playing well and carrying the team as best as he can right now, but the QB (no matter who it is) is not helping matters.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) – With the loss of Josh Freeman and Doug Martin the Bucs have been using inexperienced players to try and carry the team.   Its been a sad year for the Bucs, but its mostly sitting on the offense to pick up the slack for next season.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) – They finally got a win.  To be honest I dont really think too many people had high hopes for the Jags this season.

Well; the first week of the 2013 season was everything I wanted plus more.  We had blow out wins, upsets, huge performances, and numerous busts.  I have been looking forward to the start of this season since the last play of the Super Bowl and watching the games this week was pure heaven.  There were a lot of players that were traded to new teams, numerous contract re-negotiations, and new coaches and managers.  It was really hard to tell how some teams were going to do just based on personnel and schemes.  

The Broncos and the Ravens got the season off to a huge start since it was a repeat of the AFC Divisional Game from 2012 when the Ravens just barely beat the Broncos in the final seconds which killed the Super Bowl run for the Broncos.  Peyton was not going to let that happen again and he had a career day throwing 7 touchdowns and over 400 yards to destroy the Ravens in the season opener.  There were other QBs that had awesome performances as well.  Eli Manning had 450 passing yards and 4 touchdowns in his loss to the Cowboys.  Colin Kaepernick had a career day passing with his first 400 yard performance and 3 touchdowns in his win over the Packers.

What surprised me was that there were only two running backs that rushed for over 100 yards in week 1.  LeSean McCoy took to Chip Kelleys offense very well with 184 rushing yards and a touchdown.  The other 100 yard rusher was Shane Vereen after Stevan Ridley had a terrible performance.  Vereen ended up with 101 yards on 14 carries in the Patriots victory.  It seemed that most RBs got their fun in short passes and touchdowns.  Adrian Peterson scored 2 touchdowns on the ground and caught 1 touchdown in the Vikings loss to the Lions.  On the other side of the ball Reggie Bush had 90 rushing yards, 101 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown.  Most of the first round draft picks for fantasy football did not do as well as owners wanted to, but it is early in the season so there is nothing to worry about.

A lot of the action in Week 1 came through the passing game and Victor Cruz took full advantage by having 118 yards and 3 touchdowns.  The surprise for week 1 was Anquan Boldin with his 13 receptions, 208 yards, and a touchdown in the 49ers win over Green Bay.  AJ Green did what he always does and had 9 catches for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Bengals loss to the Bears.  With Peyton throwing the ball almost every Denver receiver had a good game (excluding Decker), Demaryius Thomas pulled in 161 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Broncos victory over the Ravens.  Even though Andre Johnson did not find the end zone he did manage 12 catches for 146 yards in the Texans win over the Chargers.  There was a nice surge for the Cardinals with Palmer throwing the ball to Fitzgerald; he had 2 touchdowns and 8 receptions in the loss to the Rams.  There was also a lot of tight ends that made their name known in week 1.  Both Vernon Davis and Jason Witten had 2 touchdowns; and Jared Cook also had 2 touchdowns and 141 receiving yards.  The big surprise was Julius Thomas who had 2 touchdowns from Peyton Manning and 110 receiving yards.  Jordan Cameron led all tight ends with 9 receptions for 108 yards and a touchdown for the Browns.

+Scores+

Broncos – 49
Ravens – 27

Dolphins – 23
Browns – 10

Vikings – 24
Lions – 34

Raiders – 17
Colts – 21

Chiefs – 28
Jaguars – 2

Bucs – 17
Jets – 18

Falcons – 17
Saints – 23

Titans – 16
Steelers – 9

Bengals – 21
Bears – 24

Seahawks – 12
Panthers – 7

Patriots – 23
Bills – 21

Packers – 28
49ers – 34

Cardinals – 24
Rams – 27

Giants – 31
Cowboys – 36

Eagles – 33
Redskins – 27

Texans – 31
Chargers – 28

 

We get to hear it almost everyday about how wealthy some NFL contracts are, and how much NFL teams will spend on their team.  Sometimes the numbers seem outlandish and un-realistic; but they are very real and crazy to think about.  This article is going the other way; how much each NFL franchise is worth.  Surprisingly enough almost every team makes very good money (except for a few); but it is interesting to see how much a team makes compared to how “good” the team actually is. 

When you think about a revenue stream for an NFL team it is really is a science.  Even though owners will shell out a lot of money to player, coaches, and stadiums; the real revenue comes from us; the fans.  The NFL does obviously contribute to each team but think about how NFL teams make their money.  There are ticket sales, season ticket holders, VIP suites, parking, merchandise sales, television, cable, etc.  So like I was saying; even though owners will shell out a lot of money; there is a ton of money coming in.  Below is the complete list of the richest and poorest NFL teams as of 2013. 

1. Dallas Cowboys – Worth $2.3 billion
2. New England Patriots – Worth 1.8 billion
3. Washington Redskins – Worth $1.7 billion
4. New York Giants – Worth $1.55 billion
5. Houston Texans – Worth $1.45 billion
6. New York Jets – Worth $1.38 billion
7. Philadelphia Eagles – Worth 1.31 billion
8. Chicago Bears – Worth $1.25 billion
9. Baltimore Ravens – Worth $1.22 billion
10. San Francisco 49ers – Worth $1.22 billion
11. Indianapolis Colts – Worth $1.2 billion
12. Green Bay Packers – Worth $1.18 billion
13. Denver Broncos – Worth $1.16 billion
14. Pittsburgh Steelers – Worth $1.11 billion
15. Seattle Seahawks – Worth $1.08 billion
16. Miami Dolphins – Worth $1.07 billion
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Worth $1.06 billion
18. Carolina Panthers – Worth $1.05 billion
19. Tennessee Titans – Worth $1.05 billion
20. Kansas City Chiefs – Worth $1 billion
21. Minnesota Vikings – Worth $1 billion
22. Cleveland Browns – Worth $1 billion
23. New Orleans Saints – Worth $1 billion
24. Arizona Cardinals – Worth $961 million
25. San Diego Chargers – Worth $949 million
26. Atlanta Falcons – Worth $933 million
27. Cincinnati Bengals – Worth $924 million
28. Detroit Lions – Worth $900 million
29. St. Louis Rams – Worth $875 million
30. Buffalo Bills – Worth $870 million
31. Jacksonville Jaguars – Worth $840 million
32. Oakland Raiders – Worth $825 million

Yet another edition of the 2013 Fantasy Football Busts.  I know that all of my “Busts” are totally subjective; but based off the information I have either read or heard on TV I have concluded these players to not do as well as most people think.  If you have not read my first volume of Busts you can find that on my home page.  There will be one more edition of this coming out in about a week, but in the mean time here is another crop of players who I will be staying away from in my fantasy drafts.

Ryan Mathews RB Chargers – The Chargers used to have one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL; but now they are one of the worst and Mathews is not helping.  He has been plagued with injuries and has not lived up to expectations.  Not to mention that the Chargers also have Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead in the back field.  I am not planning on Mathews making a huge splash this year.

Mark Ingram RB Saints – Ingram is a solid, strong, and tough runner; but the problem is that he is on a pass first team and there is a grip of running backs fighting for the starting spot.  Ingram has had some injury issues, but I think if he was on a team that ran the ball then he could be a good fantasy option.  Sproles is the main running back since he has speed; and Ingram and Thomas will be battling for the starting job. 

Any St. Louis RB – It is an absolute mess over in St. Louis and I don’t see a situation where one of the three RBs will emerge as a good fantasy option.  There is Pead, Richardson, and Stacy.  All of them are young; and none of them have too much experience and that makes them all a very shaky fantasy option.  I do not see a situation where I would have any of those guys on my fantasy team. 

Danario Alexander WR Chargers – This is another player who is yet to play a full NFL season due to injuries.  Philip Rivers used to be one of the most dependable passers in the NFL, but over the last few seasons he has been turning the ball over a lot.  If Danario can stay healthy then maybe I will change my mind, but it is hard to put a lot of faith into a WR that cannot stay healthy. 

Sidney Rice WR Seahawks – Back when Rice was with the Vikings I remember having him on my team and he would always put up strong numbers.  Since going over to Seattle he has not had the same fire he once had.  He has had numerous injuries and spotty fantasy numbers.  Now with Seattle bringing in Percy Harvin that drops his stock even lower.  If Rice is available for your very last pick he may be nice to have; but do not plan on using him that much.

Jermichael Finley TE Packers – I know it seems strange to put a Green Bay receiver on this list, but Finley is kind of the odd man out in Green Bay.  A few seasons ago, Finley was one of the elite tight ends and was putting up great fantasy numbers, but now he has a reputation for dropping passes and his touchdowns have gone down quite a bit.  I am not saying you should not draft Finley, but I would use him as a back up player.

Robert Griffin III QB Redskins – Now I am sure people think I am crazy for putting RGIII on this bust list but I have very valid concerns.  Redskins are a run first team, he is coming off a terrible knee injury, and his receivers are kind of unreliable.  I know that RGIII is going to be a great QB, but the 2013 season makes me kind of concerned and even though I had him on my team last year; I do not think I would take a chance on him this year.  He may prove me wrong but for now I feel he will be a bust.

Whenever I see a ranking of NFL players I normally get skeptical because it is normally based purely off stats or it is made up by a few people instead of a large group.  I prefer it to either be a fan vote; or a large panel of experts that decides a ranking.  In this ranking this is purely based off the fans.  NFL.com did a large poll on who the most popular players in the NFL are for 2013.  Now in this day and age it is very important to be a popular player because it helps your image as a player, helps to get fans to the stadium to watch you play, and of course; merchandise.  Now NFL.com did the top 100; I am going to show you the top 20 players that were voted on by the fans.

20. Clay Matthews LB Packers
19. Rob Gronkowski TE Patriots
18. Julio Jones WR Falcons
17. Russell Wilson QB Seahawks
16. Von Miller LB Broncos

Just in the first five I was kind of shocked.  I would have thought that Clay Matthews would have been higher.  He has been in commercials. I see his jersey everywhere, and everyone flexes when they see him.  I also noticed a lot of young players too like Wilson and Julio.  That is a good sign for their career that they are young and popular; as long as they keep the bad publicity away from them then this can only help their careers.  I also thought that Gronkowski would have been placed higher now that Welker and Hernandez is out of New England; maybe after he plays a few seasons with no injuries he will be bumped up.

15. Ray Rice RB Ravens
14. Andre Johnson WR Texans
13. AJ Green WR Bengals
12. Larry Fitzgerald WR Cardinals
11. Robert Griffin III QB Redskins

Once again a few young players on here and that is impressive.  What’s interesting here is that RGIII sells the most jerseys; but he is not the most popular player….interesting.  Seeing players like Fitzgerald, Johnson, and Ray Rice should be a nice reminder that there are classy players in the NFL that can play for a long time.  Most of the players we have listed on this list so far have had no publicity and they handle themselves with class.  There has not been one real troublemaker on this list and that should go to show that being classy and dependable will get you a long ways in the NFL.  Now it is time for the top 10!

10. Patrick Willis LB 49ers
9. Marshawn Lynch RB Seahawks
8. Arian Foster RB Texans
7. Drew Brees QB Saints
6. JJ Watt DE Texans

Once again; classy players and young players.  I am also noticing numerous Texans on the list too.  Another thing that all of these players have in common is that they put up good numbers every game they play.  They may have off games; but for the most part you can rely on these guys to come through when you need them.  I think that is another reason why people voted these guys to be the most popular.  Now for the Top 5!

5. Aaron Rodgers QB Packers
4. Tom Brady QB Patriots
3. Peyton Manning QB Broncos
2. Calvin Johnson WR Lions
1. Adrian Peterson RB Vikings

All 5 of these top 5 players have something in common too.  They all are on their way to the Hall of Fame.  Rodgers is one of the best passers in the NFL right now; he is so good he is making people forget about Favre.  Brady has won numerous championships with the Patriots and has turned the club into a dynasty.  Peyton has been one of the most outstanding passers in the NFL for awhile and has achieved everything a player could ever want to have.  Calvin is going to be around for awhile and has already been breaking records.  Adrian Peterson is a freak…that’s alli can say about him.

 

There are few players that have played in the NFL that did what Reggie White did.  From all accounts he was a great team mate, friend, and just a good person.  He had an amazing 15 year career in the NFL and has been recognized as one of the best to ever play.  He has also become on the the most decorated players of all time.  His death came to everyone as a shock to the world and I feel he is a player that should never be forgotten.  I do not know a lot about the early years of Reggie White, but I am very aware of how he impacted the game of football.

Reginald Howard White was born on December 19th, 1961 in Tennessee.  His parents were not married, and he was raised by his mother until he reached the age of eight.  He was then placed into care of his grandmother.  He attended Howard High School and he was a football player, basketball player, and did track.  He lettered in every sport he played in and was sought out by a few colleges to continue his education.  He decided to go to the University of Tennessee where he was a power house and led the team in tackles and sacks.  In his senior year he was named the SEC Player of the Year.

After college he played in the USFL for two seasons with the Memphis Showboats.  He started in 36 games and racked up 23.5 sacks, 198 tackles, and 7 forced fumbles.  At the time it looked as if White had found a place he could call home.  He always considered the NFL, but once the USFL collapsed he was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles.

As an Eagle White made a great name for himself; he played in Philadelphia for 8 seasons and had 124 sacks which is a franchise record.  He set another franchise record by recording 21 sacks in 1987.  Still to this day he is recognized as one of the best Eagles defensive players of all time.  White actually accumulated more sacks as an Eagle then games he played.  He was actually voted by ESPN Sportsnation as the greatest Eagle in franchise history.

In 1993, White was a free agent and was immediately picked up by the Green Bay Packers.  White stuck with the Packers for 6 seasons and racked up 68.5 sacks which was a franchise record at the time.  White was a tremendous leader for the Packers defense and he helped lead them to 2 Super Bowls.  He was an important part in their Super Bowl XXXI vicotry; and that proved to be his only championship.  In 1998, he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year.  In 1998, White retired from football, at the time he had already been in the league for along time.  In 2000, he came out of retirement to play one more season; and he was picked up by the Carolina Panthers.  He did have 5.5 sacks; but once the season was over he opted to retire for good.

White was rushed to the hospital on the morning of December 26th, 2004.  He suffered from a fatal cardiac arrhythmia; and was pronounced dead the same day.  He also suffered from sleep apnea and he had cardiac and pulmonary sarcoidosis.  It was a very sad for the NFL and for the nation upon hearing his passing.  He was; and still is, a huge inspiration to fans everywhere.

White had a very incredible career and in 2006 he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.  During his career he had 1,112 tackles and 198 sacks.  He went to 13 Pro Bowls, Super Bowl Champ, 2 NFL Defensive Player of Year, 3 NFC Defensive Player of Year, 1986 Pro Bowl MVP, NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, NFL 1990s All-Decade Team, NFL 1980s All-Decade Team, and the USFL All-Time Team.