Fantasy News, Notes, and a Splash of NFL History

Fantasy Fantasy News, Notes, and a Splash of NFL History

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While on the surface there does not appear to be much in common between the surprising Detroit Lions and the Buffalo Bills, there is a clear link at the top their respective organizational food chains.

Ninety two year old Ralph Wilson, the Bills owner, the league’s oldest owner and Hall of Famer in his own right, was once a minority owner of his hometown Detroit Lions in the 1950’s. He sold his share in the Lions to bring football back to Buffalo when he formed the Bills in the new AFL in 1959.

Not only has Wilson played a big part with the Lions and the Bills, but his $400,000 loan to then Oakland Raiders owner Wayne Valley in 1961 enabled Valley to keep the Raiders in Oakland. The Raiders were then cash strapped and on the verge of having to move the team to New Orleans to remain financially solvent.

More history…

In week one, we witnessed a rematch of the 1949 NFL championship game between the Eagles and Rams, won in 1949 by the Eagles. They also won the rematch. Last week the 49ers and Bengals got together in a rematch of Super Bowls XVI and XXIII. The Niners won both Super Bowls and the 2011 rematch in Cincinnati, a game won by the visitors 13-8. It was anything but super!

This week the Vikings visit the Chiefs, a rematch of Super Bowl IV – a game that would be more fittingly labeled the Desperation Bowl. The loser will fall to 0-4.

The Chiefs won Super Bowl IV 23-7, so if recent history repeats, the Chiefs will win the rematch. Maybe Chiefs RB Thomas Jones will score on a 65 Toss Power Trap?

The NFC West’s four teams, the Cardinals, Rams, 49ers, and Seahawks combined to score 4 touchdowns total in week three – one each. Clearly there’s parity there.
Thanksgiving is two months away but I just have to mention that this will be the first Turkey Day in a decade  that I will not have to defend the NFL for keeping the Detroit Lions on TV Thanksgiving Day with my on and off air colleagues. As a NFL traditionalist, despite records I have always felt the Lions should be on TV that Thursday, a tradition that dates back to 1934.
So how does this year’s Thanksgiving match up of the Packers and Lions appear, attractive enough for everyone?
Browns, RB Peyton Hillis will be back Sunday against the Titans, but faces a run defense that is allowing just 89 yards a game…Cowboys RB Felix Jones will play against the Lions, despite re-injuring his shoulder Monday…Lions, Rookie wide receiver Titus Young, from Boise State has nine receptions in 2011, tied for third among rookie WR’s; with Matt Stafford spreading the ball around, Young is worth a waiver…Packers, Ryan Grant has a bruised kidney, with this type of injury most miss at least one week, more touches for James Starks against a middle of the road Denver run defense, who allow 100 yards a game on the ground.
Houston, This week’s team running back news is Arian Foster will start Sunday against the Steelers, Ben Tate will be the backup, Steve Slaton was released, Chris Ogbonnaya was  elevated from the Practice Team and Derrick Ward should be able be ready to play…Colts,  Curtis Painter should get the start at quarterback for the concussed Kerry Collins Monday against the Buccaneers…Painter faces the Tampa 2 defense every day in practice, which is the Colt base defense, he might be able to handle the Buccaneers better than most would think.
Vikings, Donovan McNabb will stay for now as the starting quarterback…Vikings have not won on the road against the Chiefs since 1974, Fran Tarkenton tossed for a couple of scores in a 35-15 victory, WR Bernard Berrian was targeted just once last week…Giants, WR Mario Manningham should be cleared to play at the Cardinals Sunday…Jets, Santonio Holmes has voiced his displeasure with Jet play calling…RB Shonn Greene has just 134 rushing yards in 2011.
Raiders, RB Darren McFadden will play this week, he injured his groin, after his 170 rushing yards against the Jets and his second week in row with multiple touchdowns, McFadden has reached elite status, meaning no matter the match up he should be started…WR Denarius Moore gives Oakland their first viable fantasy WR since Tim Brown and Jerry Rice in 2002…Eagles, Michael Vick will play Sunday…Chargers, TE Antonio Gates could miss three to 5 weeks with his injured foot, his back up Randay McMichael is a veteran with decent hands, he had 4 receptions and more than fifty yards last week, if you have Gates play it safe and get McMichael.
49ers, running back Frank Gore will play this week, and has a good match up against the 30th ranked run defense of the Eagles, the key though will be for the 49ers to stay in the game, they have been outscored by a combined 69-16 their last 2 visits into Philadelphia…Titans, WR Kenny Britt will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury, Damien Williams Lavelle Hawkins will attempt to take his place…Nate Washington has had at least six receptions in every game this year, without Britt though coverage will roll his way.


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Kurt Backert

About Kurt Backert

Kurt's passion for the game began in the 60's watching the Colts on TV and at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. He began following the statistics of not only his beloved Colts but also those of the Colts opponents, with a keen eye on Vince Lombardi's Packers. His thirst for and attention to statistical detail would eventually lead Kurt on a journey to the world of fantasy football in the late 1980's where he's captured more titles than John Wooden's UCLA Bruins   Kurt carries a distinction that no other fan of the NFL can boast about.  He is the reigning NFL National Trivia Champion and he credits his Dad for passing on such passion for the game, something Kurt also hopes to pass along to his 9-year-old son. More from Kurt Backert


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