Sports Buzz Fantasy Football Friday

Posted: October 7, 2011 by robjoneslyes in Bloggin' Interns: John Hammon

**Quick Note: I will personally answer ALL fantasy questions posted to this blog. I eat, breathe, and sleep this stuff, so you can have Matthew Berry. Post your question here or on the 1450 The Sports Buzz facebook page today and you’ll get an answer from your very own Intern/Fantasy friend.**

I admit it. I can be guilty of enjoying some good schaudenfreude. (Enjoying the failure of someone else.) Last night watching A-Rod whiff on two separate HUGE at-bats in the later innings of the Yankees-Tigers game five, I couldn’t help but think about you and your fantasy league (that’s right.)

Are you that guy? Are you a schauden-freak? Are you the guy that got just a little bit excited when your league’s hottest team lost Kenny Britt for the year? When your opponent in week 2 lost Jamaal Charles were you guilty of a small fist pump? Do you realize that Arian Foster thinks you’re sick?

First of all, don’t be that guy. And secondly, you can’t get anywhere by the failure of others. The success of others can and should be your success as well. However, when it comes to fantasy football, falling asleep at the wheel can lead to the success of others at your own expense. So let’s take a look at some matchups you can take advantage of on Sunday. Hopefully you were able to take advantage of some of the pickups I recommended Tuesday. Now it’s time to take advantage of our superior knowledge and go out there and hang an “L” on that sucker who’s not reading this blog… For the record, I’m not saying to bench anyone in the “Ten Down” column or start anyone in the “Ten Up” column. Use your own best judgment. But these are players who for matchup purposes will play better or worse than their usual expectations…

Ten Up

Darren Sproles– Elite in PPR. He’s the reincarnation of Jamaal Charles. There’s still a few seats left on the hype-wagon.

Larry Fitzgerald– Antoine Winfield being out means a fantasy feast for Fitzy. I love alliteration and hate facing him in my main league this week…

Cam Newton– He’s matchup proof. Accept it. You can throw on the Saints and he’ll be passing from behind all day.

Titans Defense– Against a banged up Pittsburgh offense, the underrated Titans defense will actually be a top 4 defense this week. Great bye week start here.

Vernon Davis– With Aqib Talib draped all over Michael Crabtree, Alex Smith will lean on the shorter passes to his tight end and running backs. Should be a nice PPR day even if he doesn’t find the end zone.

Fred Jackson– Again… he’s elite as long as he’s healthy. He’s a fantasy Ron Popeil. You can set it and forget it. (You’re not here for the comedy, you’re here for the fantasy info…right?)

Kevin Walter/Owen Daniels– Andre Johnson being out will create a ton of new targets to go around in this offense. Jacoby Jones is banged up, and Schaub will be looking for guys he knows he can trust in the passing game. Should be a decent week for Walter and a huge week for Owen Daniels.

Mike Tolbert– Mainly just a hunch here. But while Tolbert is quickly losing fantasy value as Ryan Mathews continues to emerge, Denver’s putrid defense should allow him to score some late points and hopefully give you a passable day. He makes a good bye week start and if he does produce you need to start shopping him around before he really drops off in value.

Sidney Rice– This is a terrible matchup for the Seahawks, flying cross-country for a 1:00pm start against a gritty Giants team. But while the ‘Hawks are gonna get walloped in this one, they’ll also be passing all game, and I see Rice getting a garbage time score that makes you glad you stuck by him while he was hurt.

Denarius Moore– Moore is a great flex play this week as the Raiders will also be throwing from behind and Houston’s secondary is mediocre. Moore is a homerun hitter who will find pay dirt again Sunday. Get him in your lineup!

Ten Down

Legarrette Blount– Blount finally had a dominant performance on Monday night, but against the 49ers he’ll be facing a stiff run defense, and his style of straight ahead, downhill running will be straight into the teeth of this defense and Patrick Willis. If you have better options, sit him down.

Jets Defense– Don’t start any defense against the Pats. Just don’t. Trust me.

Matt Forte– Picture yourself watching the Monday Night game and needing eight points. It’s the 3rd quarter. Detroit has a 14-point lead, the crowd is going bananas, and Jay Cutler just sailed one just out of the cornerback’s reach. Meanwhile Forte is blocking and getting blasted by Suh. You can’t sit him. I get that, but if you’re depending on him you may want to throw a high-risk/high-reward player into the lineup to try and gain an advantage over your opponent. Just don’t put yourself in a position to trust any bears this Monday night.

Mike Wallace– I’m a charter member of a Wallace owner support group. Such a complete receiver, but it’ll all be for nothing if Big Ben gets injured. I’m not benching him either, but I don’t like the looks of this Titan’s game. Could be a defensive battle and Wallace could be forgotten as he has in the second half of the last two games for the Steelers.

Maurice Jones-Drew– Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock. I’m a happy Deji Karim owner, let’s put it that way. And the Bengals front seven is one of the more underrated units in sports. These guys aren’t pushovers.

Stevan Ridley– Congratulations on the sexy waiver pickup. Now bench him for a week. The Jets don’t care if he’s sexy. Rex Ryan might if he was a foot, but that’s neither here nor there.

James Starks– I’m of the philosophy that you can’t trust either Starks or his battery mate, Grant. This team doesn’t run, and you’re losing touches to both Rodgers and Kuhn. Then you’ve got a timeshare on top of that. You need to dump Starks/Grant on some owner desperate for a running back. Let them play the guessing game. I also have a feeling Atlanta will be pissed and out for blood in this one. Can they stop the Pack? Hell no. But they can make life difficult in the trenches.

Bernard Scott– This one seems pretty obvious. Benson is still waiting to hear on his suspension and so he’ll play this week, making Scott worthless for now. But I have heard that the ruling will be coming in the next few days. Keep your eyes out for that, and if Scott is somehow unowned in your league, I would absolutely grab him. A starting back during the bye weeks is invaluable.

Chad Ochocinco– Cut. Bait. Now.

Nate Washington– Since Kenny Britt’s injury everyone is going nuts over Washington’s potential. I don’t know what I’m missing, but has Washington ever been good before? Does this look like a pass-first offense to you? Well, it has been, but Washington’s not a burner and as I said earlier, this one will be a grinder. Own Washington, but don’t trust him. He’s a bye-week fill-in at best.

That’s all for this week, Buzzers. Again, send me your questions in the comments here, or on the 1450 the Sports Buzz facebook page to get your question’s directly answered by a self-proclaimed fantasy insider!


Hey Cards fans, thought you may want to read something other than conference news. I don’t know about you, but all of these rumors start to drive me crazy after a while! So here is a short little article on Senior Defensive Tackle, Greg Scruggs…

Most fans probably would not get too excited about their favorite college football team recruiting a guy that played in the marching band for 3 years in high school, and only played football during his senior season. UofL fans, however, have to be glad that the former staff noticed something about Greg Scruggs that caught their attention.

All during Scruggs’ time at St. Xavier high school in Cincinnati, the head football coach, Steve Specht, would try to convince Scruggs to come out and play football. Scruggs kept declining. He was a member of the band. When Scruggs started to think about college and how in the world he was going to pay for it, Specht told him that if he just gave him one year on the football field, he would get Scruggs a college scholarship. Specht told college recruiters that “I’ve got a young guy that might come out next year, and if he comes out next year, he’s going to be a guy you want to recruit.”

Scruggs finally gave in for his senior season, and it definitely paid off. Although he only played 1 season, Scruggs led St. X to a perfect 15-0 record and a state title. He started all 15 games and ended up being a 3 star prospect on That is pretty impressive for someone that played the quad drums for 3 years before even playing football.

Scruggs has spent time at both defensive tackle and defensive end during his career at UofL. He has been limited this season after being injured, but he made key contributions in the victory over UK, including a big sack late in the game. After 4 games he has 10 tackles, 3 of those being sacks. With him healthy, it gives the Cards a versatile defender who can get after the quarterback and also line up in the middle to stop the run.

If you have twitter and you don’t follow Scruggs, you should. His handle is G_Scruggs. For media day this year, Scruggs, Chris Philpott, Josh Chichester, and Victor Anderson had terrible luck with flights being cancelled and they never even made it to media day. Instead of just letting all that time pass, Scruggs made a documentary about their trip. It was bout 20 minutes and was very entertaining! He has also been filmed doing an impression of Coach Strong. So it is refreshing to see someone as talented on the field as Scruggs, also have a good personality off the field. It makes him a very easy player to root for.

We are looking forward to a great rest of the season for Scruggs on the defensive line. Remember the Cards kick off at noon this Saturday at North Carolina. It will be televised on ESPN 2.

Go Cards!

Justin Renck is a contributor to 1450TheSportsBuzz. His material also appears on

Steve Jobs’ Randoms for Thursday

Posted: October 6, 2011 by robjoneslyes in Bloggin' Interns: John Hammon

Thoughts compiled while wondering if I’m allowed to look at these ESPN the Magazine “The Body Issue” photos at work…

– “Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.” -Steve Jobs. The link below is to a commencement speech given at Stanford about a year after he was diagnosed with cancer. You may have already seen it, many have. But it’s excellent, so I hope you enjoy.

Word bouncing around Twitter last night that Mike Sanford was out as offensive coordinator at Louisville. If the decision is a realization that they’ve made a wrong choice and the chemistry truly doesn’t fit, then good for them to have the courage to pull the trigger now. I’ll always believe in decisiveness. But if it’s just a knee-jerk reaction and he’s just a sacrificial lamb for the Marshall loss and the poor offensive output in that one, then that’s not decisiveness, it’s pandering. And it’s troubling. Only time can really tell whether it’s the former or the latter.

-Did they seriously make a movie about Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots? It’s getting solid reviews, but I don’t care. I can’t take that seriously.

-If you could somehow sign Adrian Beltre to a series of 162 one-game contracts, he’d rewrite baseball history.

“We are the poster child for compliance…” -Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. I think I’m just gonna leave that quote from Tuesday there for you.

-You know what, Brett Favre? Might want to stop talking for awhile… maybe sit the next few plays out.

-North Carolina rookie running back Giovani Bernard doesn’t blow me away with his overall speed, but it’s good enough. Where he hurts you is his ability to fight out of contact and keep moving downfield. If Louisville doesn’t wrap him up and tackle on first contact, he’ll make them pay. He runs hungry.

-Hey, yeah, so everyone on my Facebook feed… I don’t have time to watch Breaking Bad right now. I promise I’ll get to it. I’m sure it’s great. Now leave me alone.

-Am I crazy or is there any reason they can’t pick the Monday night game the week prior instead of before the season starts? There’s nothing else on Monday nights and we need that game to be a hit every week! We need to call an audible on some of these games! Next week is Miami against the Jets. Seriously. We get the Jaguars and Chiefs twice apiece from here on out, and the Packers once. You’ve got to give me something to watch, because I’m not going back to trying to figure out how that guy met the kid’s mother. They lost me after about the sixth girl turned out to actually just be another skank.

-I can’t explain it but does anyone feel a little guilty when you teach the autocomplete on your cell phone a new swear word?

-There were 150 tents lined up around the new Chik-Fil-A on Hurstbourne Lane on Wednesday night. They were giving away free chicken for a year or something to the first hundred customers Thursday morning. When I asked a friend who was working there why there were more than one hundred camping out even though the free chicken was just for the first hundred, they said “They’re just there to have a good time.” What is Chik-Fil-A putting in that chicken? Who tailgates a restaurant opening? What are they gonna do tomorrow, just get a chicken sandwich and go home to blog about it? My head is spinning.

-The Yankees using CC Sabathia in the bullpen for tomorrow’s game 5 while Detroit has Verlander on ice represents everything wrong with baseball. From the willingness of teams to put the team above the player’s career, to the difference between a smaller market team’s limitations and a large market team’s ability to be frivolous with a valuable asset. Here’s hoping the Yankees get bumped off tomorrow and we can celebrate another season free of a New York or Boston championship.

Until next time, Buzzers…

Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate!

Duck and cover, buzzers…basketball season is in the air here in the bluegrass. Whether it be the falling leaves, the firing of offensive coordinators, or Kentucky entering the portion of the SEC slate where a string of 49-7 beatings is inevitable, this is the time of year when hearts and minds in Kentucky turn to basketball. While other basketball “meccas” like Tobacco Road, and Lawrence, Kansas are still thinking about football, it seems the state of Kentucky sets itself apart by heating things up a little earlier every year. A new tradition on the  calendar this year seems to be Rick Pitino and John Calipari reminding everyone that they don’t really care for one another either. If you’re behind on the news, here are a few links to catch you up and then a few thoughts…

The original geographically-challenged barb thrown by John Calipari. (Maybe I’m crazy, but it sure seems like Cal is trying to hold back the grin.)
A link to the quote from Pitino, describing his strategy of (ahem) ignoring Calipari.
Rick Bozich fires away at Calipari this morning, saying Calipari has a bad case of “Pitino-Envy.”
And we’ve hit the national news, as Jeff Goodman of CBS has weighed in…
I for one want to say kudos to both Calipari and Pitino. Most coaches see their fans as a “nature of the beast” type obligation at best, and a hindrance at worst. When asked for a comment from a fan boy turned reporter, they would give a pre-packaged response. Something like “it’s a great rivalry and they look forward to it, but the next game on the schedule is the focus, blah blah blah, good to see you, I’ve got to get going.” Not here. Like generals leading their armies out onto the field of battle, Cal and Rick don’t mind getting into the trenches with us and like Rob said Tuesday on the Afternoon Buzz (Weekdays from 5-6pm… I am a company man.) it’s a Player Hater’s Ball here in Kentucky, and the two heads of state are leading the charge.
I say raise a glass to both of these crazy guys, to their candidness, and to their desire to smash each other’s face into a jelly. I definitely think Cal is watching what Rick is doing. Taking that job with the Dominican team is a dead giveaway. He absolutely has a massive ego, and looks for any chance he can get to feed it. I also think his shot at Louisville did exactly what he hoped it would do. It got the cameras on him, and stirred up both fan bases.
I really enjoyed Rick’s counter punch as well. Saying that he’s simply ignoring Cal. Ignoring him in all his jealous, malicious, ignorance. Rick has a way of delivering that wry condescension that says “Slow your roll… I’m still the one with the ring.” I’m sure Cal would claim that he’s ignoring Rick as well. He’d probably claim that his quote was just an oversight. The cards just slipped his mind. Yeah, right.
Sure, that’s all this is. Just two guys ignoring each other. And instead of getting hot under the collar about it, we as the fans need to sit back, get our popcorn ready, and be thankful for the best rivalry in sports.
I’m interested to hear the response from you guys on this. What are your thoughts on the shots our coaches are taking at each other? Who got the better of this exchange?

Following a disappointing 17-13 loss at home to Marshall, the Cards will try to turn their luck around on the road this weekend at North Carolina. Oddly enough, the Cards have played better on the road than at home under Charlie Strong. To this point, they are 4-2 on the road, and just 4-6 at home. Saturday’s game will be a tough one, as North Carolina is 4-1 overall with their only loss being at #25 Georgia Tech 35-28. They are averaging 31.4 points per game, while the Cards are only averaging 18.8.

It will be interesting to see who Charlie Strong goes with at Quarterback. If Will Stein is healthy, does the junior get the start on the road over the true freshman? Teddy Bridgewater has already proven that he can play on the road in a hostile environment. Although UNC is a better team than UK, it was still huge for him to get that game experience on the road. I feel good with either quarterback playing, and I will easily put my trust in what Charlie Strong decides is best for this team.

For the most part, the defense has been solid. They have been able to get good pressure on the QB and stop the run. Through the first 4 games, the Cards lead the nation in tackles for loss per game at 9, which is huge. Other than the FIU game, the defense has not given up the big play very often, as people expected coming into the season with the inexperience at cornerback. They will need to step up again this week because UNC has a 6’4 225 lb receiver in Dwight Jones. He has 514 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns. He has to be a focal point of the secondary this week, or we could see the FIU game all over again as far as big plays go.

We also have to establish some kind of running game. I don’t think we can expect this team to sling the ball all over the field and have success. On the road, you need to be able to run the ball and control the clock and keep the crowd out of it. That should set up some big plays. I feel like we didn’t take a lot of deep chances against Marshall like we did at UK.

It will probably be up and down for the rest of the season for this team. We will lose games we probably shouldn’t, like we just did. But we can also win games that maybe we shouldn’t, like one of these next two games. I’d expect the coaching staff to be all over the players this week and not let them forget how flat they were in the embarassing loss to Marshall. I really do expect us to come out and be ready and play well. I don’t think UNC will look at this as a tough game, and with an early kickoff, maybe we can sneak up on them and get off to a good start. Here’s to hoping we can pull off the upset and get to 3-2.

Go Cards!

Justin Renck will be a consistent contributor with 1450 The Sports Buzz. You can also see he work at

Andy Rooney called it a career this past weekend. His eyebrows however have announced a 12-city farewell tour. Seriously, it looks like two adorable white rabbits have burrowed into his face to seek warmth.

Anyway, Here are your highlights from all the area teams for October 4th… we’ve got a couple notes apiece on the Cats and Cards.

John Calipari suffered a rare defeat on the recruiting trail as the #2 overall player and top power forward in the 2013 class, Mitch McGary eliminated Kentucky, narrowing his choices to Duke, North Carolina, and Michigan. Michigan is said to lead at this point, if it’s any consolation to Cat fans.

-Speaking of Calipari, he ruffled some red feathers today when he gave this locker room material up, talking about the state of basketball here in Kentucky: “There’s no other state –none– as connected to their basketball program as this one, because those other states have other programs. Michigan has Michigan State. California, UCLA has all those… North Carolina has Duke. It’s Kentucky, throughout this whole state, and that’s what makes this unique.” This is a significant shot-fired in the rivalry between the two schools and between Calipari and Coach Pitino. Generally we’re used to hearing veiled shots and backhanded compliments between the two coaches, but Calipari has opened the floodgates with this one. Expect the rivalry to get a little more heated this winter, if that’s possible.

-Calipari wasn’t the only one taking shots, as Jim Calhoun took one at Louisville Coach Rick Pitino. In response to Pitino saying that Connecticut trying to join the ACC was “the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” Calhoun said “The coach who said that has been talking to every conference in America.” Calhoun is more of a curmudgeon than Andy Rooney, and you knew he was good for a sound bite on Pitino’s comment. I doubt Pitino is doing any talking to anyone though, other than his Athletic Director. Anyone who thinks that basketball coaches are having anything to do with the drive behind conference realignment exhibits a fundamental lack of understanding on the subject.

-And finally, according to, the heaviest bet college football game in early betting has been the Louisville-North Carolina game. 61% of betters are taking the Tar Heels and giving two touchdowns. Apparently betters think they can make more money off of North Carolina football than last year’s front seven did. (zing!) On a serious note, it’s not uncommon for betting to reflect a poor performance from the previous week, but while North Carolina has been flashy so far with the nation’s leading freshman rusher in Giovani Bernard, and a 6’4 highlight reel receiver in Dwight Jones, they have struggled with consistency this year, winning impressively at East Carolina and at home against Virginia, but losing to Georgia Tech and looking listless in a close win over Rutgers earlier this year. Damn the sharks. Give me the Cards and the points.

John Hammon is an intern at 1450 The Sports Buzz

West Virginia to the SEC?…Again?

Posted: October 4, 2011 by robjoneslyes in Bloggin' Interns: John Hammon

Dogs and cats, living together… MASS HYSTERIA!

Rumors were swirling Monday evening about West Virginia potentially being in the final stages of a move to the SEC. The ‘Neers have been rumored to be looking for the first chance to get out of the Big East since the start of conference realignment, especially for a chance at the SEC. This move, coupled with Pitt and Syracuse leaving would seem to signal the beginning of the end for the Big East as we know it, and it’s hard to imagine that if West Virginia were to leave, Louisville wouldn’t completely set their sights on doing the same. That is, if they haven’t already.

As stated previously in this blog, Tom Jurich is almost certainly already firm on contingency plans based on various different possibilities. It seems very likely at this point that we are headed for a reality of four major conferences consisting of around 16 teams apiece. Everyone else at that point will be on the outside looking in. Everyone needs to find a dance partner, but it’s foolish not to have faith that Tom Jurich has been expecting this for a while and is working the back channels to keep Louisville on the inside track.

Comment on this post and let us know what you think the next step for the Cards will be… come on, get those opinions out there…