AVOID: Brady Quinn, QB, Browns If you're looking for a backup quarterback in the late rounds of your draft, it may be tempting to draft Brady Quinn, the presumptive starter in Cleveland. But remember Quinn hasn't been officially announced as the Browns starter. Eric Mangini is keeping it a big secret. But this isn't the good kind of secret. This isn't your girlfriend or boyfriend keeping it a secret about where you are going for your anniversary. Or you not knowing exactly how big your year-end bonus will be. This is a bad secret. Like being told that someone played a prank outside your front door and you not knowing if it's a flaming poo bag on the welcome mat or a rotten fish shoved in your mail slot. Either way it's bad. So whatever you do, don't draft this poo bag. (Quinn is the poo bag, of course. Duh! Derek Anderson is totally a rotten fish.)
It has worked for the Ravens defense.
Now Baltimore offensive coordinator Cam Cameron hopes it will work for the Ravens offense.
Bounties, that is.
"I'm tired of this team being so imbalanced between our great defense and punchless offense," said Cameron. "The Ravens have been in this town for 13 years and their offense has sucked every one of those years. Maybe these guys need some extra impetus to score."
So just as the Ravens defense has posted bounties on the heads of certain opposing offensive players in the past, Cameron is posting bounties of his own this year. On the end zone.
"Get in the end zone, score a touchdown, I will personally give you $2,000," said Cameron. "It's pretty simple. I hope I'm out a lot of money at the end of this year. But with these guys' track record, I'm afraid I won't be. I am more than willing to be surprised, though. It's on them."
Cameron's end zone bounty offer isn't as simple as he makes it sound.
"Yeah, there is some fine print," he said. "Well, basically it's just one thing. These have to be legitimate offensive touchdowns that we create all by ourselves as an offensive unit. Like, an actual drive like you see good teams have. I'm not giving anyone any money if Ed Reed picks off a pass and runs it back 60 yards to the 2-yard line and then we punch it in. That doesn't count. That's pretty much how we score all of our offensive touchdowns. I'm sick of it. It's embarrassing."
Under those narrowed terms, Cameron estimates he would have been out $4,000 last year.
"Two drives. Two real, NFL-quality drives. All season," says Cameron. "That's pathetic. And I think both of them came against the Browns. I don't know if I would pay out for touchdowns against the Browns. Those are cheaper than the ones set up by Ed Reed."
DRAFT: Matt Forte, RB, Bears Forte was last season's breakout rookie, totaling 1,238 rushing yards, 477 receiving yards and 12 total touchdowns. And this year, with Jay Cutler in the fold, Forte should face fewer eight-man fronts. Granted, there is some growing concern in football circles that the former Tulane star is more a numbers guy than a legitimate force on the football field. They point to the fact that Forte averaged less than four yards a carry last season and only broke 100 yards three times in 16 games. Most surprising of all, there are apparently people who value actual football ability over the ability to post meaningful fantasy stats. Weird!
Most kids who love sports dream of hitting the game-winning shot or throwing the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl or crushing a home run to win the World Series. But Tyler Stallman is not most kids. He is much larger than most kids.
"Fat" you could even say. "Morbidly obese" if you were trying for accuracy.
"For as long as I can remember, since he was a little boy, Tyler has dreamed of being an offensive lineman," said his mother, Jackie. "And I think he can do it. Look at him. He's a tub."
Most days Mrs. Stallman can find her son outside in the yard of their trailer home imagining himself throwing the winning block in the Super Bowl.
"And Peyton Manning drops back to pass but they are blitzing him!" Tyler will say. "Who will block for him? Oh! It's Tyler Stallman! What a block! It's the play of the Super Bowl! Also, a touchdown was scored on the play."
"He would be out there for hours every day," said his mother. "But usually he gets winded pretty quickly and comes inside for a snack and a nap. Or he'll just collapse in the yard and wake up and drag himself in later when he gets hungry."
Stallman's bedroom is a testament to his desire to be an offensive lineman one day. Its walls are covered with drawings of great linemen.
"Nobody sells posters of linemen, so I have to draw them myself," says Tyler. "This one over here is William Roaf. I traced the body from a Santa decoration we put up at Christmas."
If Tyler keeps working hard at the dining table, some think he has a legitimate chance of playing in the NFL one day and living out those dreams.
"He's only a kid now," said Jack Riggins, head coach of the local high school team. "But he definitely has the girth I look for in a lineman. I like to build my teams from the line out, and I have my eye on this Stallman kid. I've tracked him since his birth announcement in the paper said he was 13 pounds. If he can stay fat for the next three years and not fall prey to society's pressures to be slim and healthy, I think he can be a star."
For now, though, his football career will have to wait, as none of the youth league uniforms or helmets fit his enormous body.
Tyler says he won't let anything stand in the way of his dream.
"Look at this," he said, opening a container of Oreos for dinner.
"I'm so proud of my boy," said his mother. "He's going to be rich one day and get me the new house and stomach stapling I've always wanted."
"Grmupfh," promised Tyler, his mouth full.
NFL rosters have been cut down to 53 players. Some bigger names didn't make it. I spoke to my sources to find out why.
Jeff Garcia, QB, Raiders Coaches says Garcia did everything asked of him and provided just the veteran leadership they wanted. He just wasn't a good fit with the team because it turns out many of Oakland's plays have S's in them and Garcia's lisp confused play calls at the line of scrimmage.
Ian Johnson, RB, Vikings It was a numbers issue with the former Boise State star in Minnesota. There were just too many quality backs already on the roster. But Johnson may have earned himself a spot on the practice squad with a dramatic proposal to head coach Brad Childress.
Carey Davis, FB, Steelers Davis has been a solid contributor for the Steelers and had a good camp. But Pittsburgh wants to limit distractions this year while trying to repeat. And some coaches worried his first name was a subtle request for more carries.
David Tyree, WR, Giants Tyree struggled catching the ball in camp and coaches were not open to his idea of wearing helmets on each of his hands.
Alex Smith, TE, Patriots Alex Smith was hurt again by sharing the same name as that piece of crap 49ers quarterback. He struggles to break through those expectations no matter how well he plays.
Andrew Walter, QB, Patriots Bill Belichick got a hankering to cut someone and Walter just happened to be nearby at the time.
John David Booty, QB, Vikings Booty lost his job because some old turdbag simply can't move on with his life.
DRAFT: Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions The No. 1 overall pick in this year's rookie draft has been named the starting quarterback for the Lions. With no expectations on him this season and weapons around him like Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith Stafford could post solid numbers. Consider him for your backup quarterback position. Consider him even more if you play in a keeper league. If Stafford is available in the mid to late rounds, take him. Remember: fantasy football isn't all about winning; it's about fun, too. And by the mid to late rounds, fantasy drafts begin to wane a bit. If you pick Stafford, not only do you get a potential future quarterback, you get a Detroit Lion. And that's a good 10 to 15 minutes of joke fodder. Funnest. Draft. Ever? Maybe. And it's all thanks to you.
Jagodzinski [jag-o-zin-ski, dum-ass, mor-on]
1. to lose a stable job while carelessly and publicly seeking another job, only to eventually lose the job you moved to, leaving you without any job at all.
Jobless, his life in shambles and with no way to pay his bills, Jeff chided himself for engaging in such careless jagodzinski.
2. any person who engages in jagodzinski.
That guy can't keep a job. He's a total jagodzinski.
Picture: Your typical jagodzinski looks a lot like this guy, complete with that stupid grin and haircut and expanding chin area.
AVOID: Carson Palmer, QB, Bengals Like a hot dog, Carson Palmer may seem appetizing, but he is tainted by toxic ingredients you should avoid if you are smart.
Consider the similarity between what fills a hot dog and what surrounds Carson Palmer.
Hot dog: leftover scrap meats /Bengals: Cedric Benson
Hot dog: saturated fats /Bengals: Andre Smith
Hot dog: filler /Bengals: Chad Ochocinco
Hot dog: floor scrapings / Bengals: Laveranues Coles
Hot dog: mechanically separated poultry / Bengals: Chris Henry
Hot dog: preservatives / Bengals: Marvin Lewis
Hot dog: unidentifiable /Bengals: Ben Utecht
And even if Carson Palmer wasgood and even if he wasn't injury prone and even if he played on a good team really. That picture. You can't draft him. You just can't. You must question his judgment. If there's one pass on the line with my fantasy season in the balance, I don't want the guy who thought it was a savvy marketing move to fellate a weiner making the decision on where to put the ball.
Despite reports that he sustained a shoulder injury when Albert Haynesworth fell on him, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady insisted today that he has absolutely no pain in his throwing arm.
"Look at my arm. It looks perfect, doesn't it? Almost without flaw," said Brady, pointing to what looked awfully similar to a prosthetic arm connected to his right shoulder. "I have no pain at all. I don't even have nerves. I'm good to go for Week 1."
But Brady refused to say whether he had been outfitted with a prosthetic limb.
"Oh, come on. You know that's not how we work," said the quarterback, laughing. "All those kinds of questions have to go through coach. I'm sure he'll list something on the injury report."
Bill Belichick also denied his star player suffered such a severe injury that his arm had to be amputated.
"He got a little banged up. It's football," said Belichick. "These things happen. I don't know what everyone is freaking out about."
He then chafed at suggestions Brady would take the field with a prosthesis.
"Even if he did, are you saying that would make him somehow less than ideal? Less than perfect?" he said. "I'd like to hear you share that opinion with some of our wounded military men and women."
Even with the insistence that Brady is 100-percent, the Patriots have reportedly been looking to improve their backup options behind him, reaching out to Jeff George and working with MIT scientists to create a football-throwing robot.
And Brady's health is further complicated after he accidentally let his right arm sit on the grill at the team's dining facility today, melting the right hand off.
"What? I meant to do that," he said. "I like the smell of burning flesh when I eat. Burning human flesh. Even though mine sort of smells like plastic."