The 14 Pole

The 14 Pole

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010
2:58 PM
By Frankie O
CSNChicago.com

Thats not my heritage, although it is numerically correct, but where we stand in this NFL season. For us fantasy geeks, it presents the proper time to assess where we stand. I always expect doom, my Philly heritage is never far away, but my team, at 3-1, might surprise, so Ill give it time before I blow it up. The great thing about the NFL is that there have been a lot of surprises, Randy Moss, and more sure to come. No surprise though, that I have some opinions and here they come, its time to go through the 32 teams in 32 sentences.

Ill start with the AFC and New England, no Moss, no matter, Brady will still light it up and how could you not love Woodhead? Miami has a passing game with Marshall as the beast and Bess as a guy who should not be on your waiver wire. I think the Sanchise is the real deal for the Jets, but Id be afraid of over-use of L.T. early, leading to a late-season collapse. If youre a team that is awful, like the Bills, how could you not be playing your 1st round RB, who everyone loves, more than 10 snaps a game? (Free Spiller!) Why I still like Vince Young I dont understand, just like I dont understand the Titans offense. Peyton Manning creates fantasy monsters and in Indy this year, Austin Collie is the one. With all of the focus on the Houston aerial attack, it figures that Arian Foster is the RB with the most up-side this year.

If you see a JAX next to any player that is on your opposition, laugh out loud! Pittsburgh will always be known for its D, and its once again one of the top scoring units, a solid fantasy base. The Ravens offense to me is about as dangerous as any ones, the problem is that with so many weapons, who to take? I would normally not even consider any one playing for Cleveland, but this year Im on the Hillis Highway! In the Queen City, you live with Cedric Benson, then, you die with him! Can you imagine a Chargers game without Gates dominating? Oakland will always be a mess, but when youre mining for gold, youll find Zach Miller. I know the Chiefs are undefeated, but thats not going to last long, and neither will you if you have to depend on one of them to be your stud, besides Jamaal Charles, that is. In Denver, and in fantasy circles, neck-beards are the rage in honor of our throwing-machine, Kyle Orton!

In the NFC, I guess it will take some time here in Chicago for the Martz Express to get untracked! (LOL!) In Detroit, Mega-Tron is my boy, but if you want a sleeper, Id be all over a tight-end with a large up-side, and backside, Jumbo-Tron! Could you imagine if you wasted a high pick on the Vikings diva Brett Favre? My pick for highest point total this year, is the Packers Aaron Rogers and part of the reason is that he has my tight end, Jermichael Finley to throw to. A Warner-less offense in Arizona, means a total mess for anyone who owns a Cardinal. Picking a player from Seattle means that you trust Pete Carroll, and I do not! San Franciscos fantasy output so far reminds me of Singletarys favorite saying: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

In St. Louis, I must be losing my mind, but I think a rookie QB can be a fantasy team savior. In New Orleans, its all about playing Brees roulette, who will he throw to today? Carolinas has always been about the RBs and this year is no different, but the real Steve Smith just disappearing? The Falcons Matt Ryan would be my fantasy comeback player of the year, if there was such a thing. Heres a fantasy football equation: Tampa bay = Abyss. If the Giants could play the Bears every week, they would have the highest scoring defense of all-time, but I just think its a matter of time before they quit on their coach. Everyone wants my opinion about McNabb, in Washington and in fantasy, and in both instances, hell be just good enough to get you beat. That being said, it looks like hes going to be better than any QB option in Philly, where I dont think Vick will stay healthy, and who wants a QB, Kolb, who has the nickname Captain Check-down? And last, and definitely least, I will never, ever have any Cowboy on my team, not rooting against Dallas, for me, wouldnt be right and that is where my fantasy is a reality!

Fast Break Morning Update: Jonathan Toews powers Blackhawks past Canucks

Fast Break Morning Update: Jonathan Toews powers Blackhawks past Canucks

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

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Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

Five Things from Blackhawks-Canucks: Corey Crawford rebounds

The Blackhawks’ starts have been all over the map this season but their finishes have usually been strong. That was the case again on Sunday night as the Blackhawks took a lead, lost a lead and regained a lead for good in their 4-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

This one featured a little bit of everything. So let’s just get to the Five Things to take from the Blackhawks’ victory over Vancouver.

1. Jonathan Toews breaks through. If the Blackhawks captain’s confidence was a little shaken with his lack of scoring this season, it should’ve gotten a boost with his Sunday outing. Toews’ goal and three assists were as big for him as they were the Blackhawks, who needed every bit of it late against the Canucks. In his last 12 games Toews has three goals and eight assists. He’s getting there. Said coach Joel Quenneville, “it seems like he was around the puck way more and when he does that, usually good things happen.”

2. Great start. This hasn’t been written very often but it was more than evident on Sunday night. If this wasn’t the Blackhawks’ best opening period of the season it was pretty close, as they broke out to a 2-0 lead against the Canucks. The Blackhawks, outside of a 3 ½-minute sequence without a shot on goal, were tenacious and ready to shoot, taking an 18-9 shots-on-goal edge in that first.

3. Corey Crawford rebounds. Quenneville considered Scott Darling for this game, an understandable thought with Darling coming off a 30-stop shutout. But he wanted Crawford to get back to where he was prior to his appendectomy, and Crawford took a step in that direction on Sunday night. In stopping 25 of 27 shots Crawford got his 18th victory of the season and 200th of his career. Quenneville said Crawford “looked like he was in control.”

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4. Michal Kempny’s tough stretch. When Kempny has been good this season he’s been very good. When he’s been bad... The defenseman was in the penalty box when the Canucks scored their first goal and he was beaten by Bo Horvat on the Canucks’ second goal. Kempny didn’t play the final 14 minutes of the game. Quenneville, who liked what Kempny brought on the team’s road trip, said Kempny just has to work through some things. “Coverage with awareness and knowing sometimes it’s man coverage, sometimes it’s playing the puck and clearing the loose stuff,” Quenneville said. “Defenseman is a tough position as you’re growing and learning it, but the more you play the better you play and I still think he’s making progress.”

5. Brian Campbell gets to keep No. 500 this time. Campbell thought he had his 500th point against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night but it was taken away. Well he got it back on Sunday night, setting up Richard Panik’s 11th goal of the season in the first period.