Fantasy Football Trade and Waiver Wire Targets for Later in Season

Fantasy Football season is upon us. With Week 1 nearly done and dusted, the attention of fantasy players will shift to the waiver wire and to the trade market. Here’s a look at some trade targets (or waiver wire additions if they’re available in your league) that you should look into.

Some of these players may be candidates to buy low now on and reap the benefits later, but they’re all worth a look.

Michael Thomas

Thomas caught six passes against the Raiders for 58 yards in Week 1. Also, the Saints like to throw the ball—a lot. Thomas may not out-produce Willie Snead, but he could put up big numbers as a rookie in New Orleans. He’s a worthy flex play moving forward and could grow into a WR2.

Jimmy Graham

Yes, he isn’t 100% healthy yet, and yes he didn’t do too much in Week 1, but the Seahawks are going to throw the ball more, and that should generate in more looks for Graham. He won’t struggle like he did last season, and someone may be willing to sell low on the tight end.

Derrick Henry

If Henry takes over for Demarco Murray, the rookie could put up top-10 running back numbers as a starter. He’s that good.

Travis Benjamin

If you need a Keenan Allen replacement, this is your guy. The former Brown made seven catches in Week 1, and should get a healthy number of targets moving forward. He put up some big numbers for Cleveland last season, and could thrive with Phillip Rivers throwing him the ball.

Chris Hogan

Like Thomas, Hogan won’t overtake some of the other receiving options on his own team (Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski) in the pecking order for targets. However, he could easily settle into the New England offense as the number three option. As a flex play, he’s worth a look.

Tyrod Taylor

Taylor has the chance to be a top fantasy quarterback thanks to his ability to rack up points through the air and on the ground. You could get him for cheap following his struggles against the Ravens in Week 1.

Coby Fleener

Like Taylor, Fleener is a buy-low candidate after a quiet Week 1 (one catch for six yards). In a high-octane offense in New Orleans, Fleener could post elite numbers at the tight end position.

Thomas Rawls

Another buy-low candidate, Rawls could be back up to full speed in the not-too-distant future. Christine Michael and C.J. Prosise will be a part of the offense moving forward, but it will be hard to keep the talented Rawls off the field for the Seahawks. Buy low if you can.

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Seattle Seahawks Fill Needs, Add Intriguing Upside in Early Rounds of Draft

Seattle Seahawks front office members made a number of trades, but ended up with a first-round pick, a second-round pick and three third-round picks.

John Schneider and friends certainly had a lot to work with, and they did well to add players who not only fill needs, but add significant talent and upside to an already young and exciting Seahawks team. Here’s a look at the team’s picks.

1st Round Pick, 31st Overall, OT Germain Ifedi

Initially assigned the 26th-overall pick, the Seattle Seahawks traded down five spots with the Denver Broncos. For moving down just five place, Pete Carroll and company netted an extra third-round draft pick.

When it came to picking at 31, Seattle took offensive lineman Germain Ifedi. The Texas A&M product is extremely physical up front and could potentially start right away.  What’s more, Ifedi could stay a starter for a long time. He has significant potential thanks to tremendous length and strength.

He isn’t a finished product by any means, but the presence of offensive line coach Tom Cable, Seattle can take some more risks with offensive lineman. The team knows they can eventually be coached up. Ifedi has a pretty solid base to begin with, and should only improve under Cable’s tutelage.

2nd Round Pick, 49th Overall, DT Jarran Reed

Seattle used the team’s second round pick to snag the last player left in the green room, Alabama defensive tackle Jarran Reed.

Reed should also contribute right away after earning a reputation as a tremendous run stopper. That’s where he’ll earn a living with the Seahawks, stuffing the run. The fact that Seattle got a defensive tackle with first-round talent with the 49th-overall pick is fantastic for the team moving forward.

Defensive line was a need for the Hawks entering the draft, and adding Reed gives the team a potential impact player on the line.

3rd Round Pick, 90th Overall Pick, RB C.J. Prosise

New Seahawk C.J. Prosise played wide receiver at Notre Dame before transitioning to running back. Physical and elusive, he can also contribute in the pass game thanks to his background as a wide out.

In his only season as a starter in the backfield the former receiver ran for 1,029 yards on 6.6 yards per carry. He found the endzone 11 times while also adding 26 catches for 308 yards and another score through the air.

As a pass-catching compliment to Thomas Rawls, this is an excellent pick. You can bet the Seahawks will try to get him the ball in different ways, lining him up in different spots and things of the like.

3rd Round, 94th Overall Pick— TE Nick Vannett

Seattle had two third-round picks, the team’s own and the pick they got from Denver when the Broncos wanted to move up a few spots in the first round to take Paxton Lynch. The Seahawks used the pick from John Elway and company on athletic tight end Nick Vannett.

Athletic with solid hands, Vannett gives Seattle some legitimate depth at tight end. With Jimmy Graham and Luke Willson already in the fold, Vannett gives the team another quality tight end. At 6’6” with serious athleticism, the Ohio State product will contribute. Did I mention he’s a solid blocker? The Seahawks got a good one here.

3rd Round, 97th Overall Pick— Rees Odhiambo

The Hawks’ last third round pick came via a compensation selection. Seattle took another offensive lineman, this time selecting Boise State’s Rees Odhiambo. Originally from Kenya, the lineman will likely see time at both guard and tackle. Strong and athletic, if he can stay healthy, he could be a long-term solution for the Seahawks on the offensive line.

Carroll, Cable and the rest of the Seahawks’ coaching staff values guys who can play multiple positions up front, and that’s Odhiambo. At worst, he’ll be a solid depth piece. However, he could easily develop into a starter.

TBD TBD: A Season (Mostly) With My/Your Fantasy Football Team

Hello all,

I’m going to try something a little different in this space. Normally I’ve posted analysis pieces, YouTube videos and snippets from Vine. I’m going to switch things up. Don’t worry, I’ll still keep the pieces/videos/Vines coming, but I’m going to write about my fantasy football team. I’m going to draft a team in an ESPN draft room in a 10-team league and provide weekly looks at the team. These updates will include roster decisions, starting lineup choices, etc. It’s my hope that some of these decisions help you in some way with your fantasy team, or just provide an entertaining read.

I’d also like to evolve you, the reader/football fan. Until further notice, my team will be called the TBD TBD. I want you all to pick the name, so leave suggestions in the comments—you know, providing the names aren’t spam/vulgar/offensive.

Additionally, I want your input on roster decisions throughout the season, so I’ll be posting polls and asking you to comment in the comment section with your suggestions and opinions. If you don’t feel like responding to any of these methods, give me a shout on Twitter at any one of these accounts with your lineup/roster advices: @BenRosener, @knowhitter272, @kingdomeSEA.

So, without further ado, here are my draft results.

(Note: I was out of the office during Week one, so everything will start from Week 2. Also this is a real draft on ESPN.com.).

First Impressions/Pre-Draft Strategy

I lucked out and received a high draft pick. I’ll be picking third overall.

(Another note, I’ll have to change my name after the draft. It’s “Team Ben” for now simply because of default. I’ll change it right after the draft.)

first image draft

Round 1
1 Team 1 RB Le’Veon Bell Pit
2 Minnesota 8 RB Jamaal Charles KC

As you can see, I like running backs, my draft strategy is to hoard as many top running backs as possible. I go with Marshawn Lynch with my first pick. The logic is pretty simple, Seattle’s offense is run-dominant and Pete Carroll and company will feed ‘Beast Mode’ the ball until the cows come home. My hope is that I can snag another elite RB in the second round.

3 Team Ben RB Marshawn Lynch Sea
4 Team 2 RB Adrian Peterson Min
5 Team Winning RB Matt Forte Chi
6 Team 3 TE Rob Gronkowski NE
7 Team 4 RB Eddie Lacy GB
8 Team nicora WR Antonio Brown Pit
9 SWAGGY P RB Jeremy Hill Cin
10 Dallas Cowboys QB Aaron Rodgers GB

 

Mid-Round 1 Update

After taking Lynch, I see a number of players I wanted to fall to me get taken. These include Matt Forte, Rob Gronkowski, Jeremy Hill and Aaron Rodgers.

Round 2
11 Dallas Cowboys RB LeSean McCoy Buf
12 SWAGGY P WR Julio Jones Atl
13 Team nicora RB DeMarco Murray Phi
14 Team 4 WR Demaryius Thomas Den
15 Team 3 RB C.J. Anderson Den
16 Team Winning WR Emmanuel Sanders Den
17 Team 2 WR Dez Bryant Dal

Second Round Pick

I’d like to hoard running backs, but with the top back on the board being Mark Ingram, I need a quarterback. I take Andrew Luck.

18 Team Ben QB Andrew Luck Ind
19 Minnesota 8 WR DeAndre Hopkins Hou
20 Team 1 WR Odell Beckham Jr. NYG
Round 3
21 Team 1 WR Calvin Johnson Det
22 Minnesota 8 RB Carlos Hyde SF

Third Round Pick

I’ve got a number of receivers available to me with the third pick in the third round, including A.J. Green, Randall Cobb, Alshon Jeffrey, T.Y. Hilton and Mike Evans. I go with Cobb. Top wide out in a top offense, no brainer. Hilton was my second choice, but with Jordy Nelson missing the year due to injury in Green Bay, Rodgers is going to lean on Cobb a lot.

I’m looking at Joseph Randle, Jimmy Graham, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Frank Gore and Russell Wilson with my next pick.

23 Team Ben WR Randall Cobb GB
24 Team 2 WR A.J. Green Cin
25 Team Winning WR Brandin Cooks NO
26 Team 3 WR Alshon Jeffery Chi
27 Team 4 RB Mark Ingram NO
28 Team nicora RB Alfred Morris Wsh
29 SWAGGY P WR Mike Evans TB
30 Dallas Cowboys WR T.Y. Hilton Ind
Round 4
31 Dallas Cowboys RB Lamar Miller Mia
32 SWAGGY P QB Drew Brees NO
33 Team nicora WR Keenan Allen SD
34 Team 4 QB Peyton Manning Den
35 Team 3 WR Jordan Matthews Phi
36 Team Winning QB Tom Brady NE
37 Team 2 TE Jimmy Graham Sea

 

Fourth Round Pick

Graham goes the pick before. I need another running back so I go with Randle. He’s going to dominate behind Dallas’ offensive line.

38 Team Ben RB Joseph Randle Dal
39 Minnesota 8 QB Ben Roethlisberger Pit
40 Team 1 RB Justin Forsett Bal
Round 5
41 Team 1 QB Russell Wilson Sea
42 Minnesota 8 WR Jarvis Landry Mia

Fifth Round Pick

Arian Foster is going to be a top-five running back once he’s healthy—and that will sooner rather than later. Another no brainer. Having Lynch and Randle affords me the opportunity to stash Randle on my bench until he’s healthy. Johnson, Todd Gurley, Gore, Davante Adams and Ameer Abdullah are next on my list. Abdullah gets taken just as I write this. I’ll try and trade for him after the draft or during the season.

43 Team Ben RB Arian Foster Hou
44 Team 2 RB Melvin Gordon SD
45 Team Winning RB DeAngelo Williams Pit
46 Team 3 RB Jonathan Stewart Car
47 Team 4 RB Ameer Abdullah Det
48 Team nicora WR Julian Edelman NE
49 SWAGGY P RB Frank Gore Ind
50 Dallas Cowboys WR Davante Adams GB

Fifth Round Update

There goes Gore as well. He has the potential to be a touchdown machine in Indy. He isn’t going to run for 1,500 yards, but in an Andrew Luck-led offense, he’s got huge potential. Adams goes right after Gore. I’ll try trading for them along with Abdullah.

Round 6
51 Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten Dal
52 SWAGGY P TE Travis Kelce KC
53 Team nicora WR Brandon Marshall NYJ
54 Team 4 D/ST Broncos D/ST Den
55 Team 3 WR Vincent Jackson TB
56 Team Winning TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins TB
57 Team 2 WR DeSean Jackson Wsh

Sixth Round Pick

Todd Gurley is the best player available and atop my list. It’s risky taking two injured running backs, but Gurley has massive potential, especially on a St. Louis team who will rely on the run.

58 Team Ben RB Todd Gurley StL
59 Minnesota 8 TE Martellus Bennett Chi
60 Team 1 RB Joique Bell Det
Round 7
61 Team 1 TE Greg Olsen Car
62 Minnesota 8 WR Kendall Wright Ten

Seventh Round Pick

It’s a tough call here between Johnson, Sammy Watkins and Amari Cooper, but with Hilton out, Luck is going to have to rely on Andre Johnson. It doesn’t hurt that the former Texan had ten targets in Week One. Even with Hilton healthy, Johnson has the potential to haul in double-digit touchdowns. He’s essentially a receiving version of Gore in terms of value. Lot’s of TDs, not a ton of yards.

63 Team Ben WR Andre Johnson Ind
64 Team 2 WR Amari Cooper Oak
65 Team Winning WR Danny Amendola NE
66 Team 3 RB Latavius Murray Oak
67 Team 4 RB LeGarrette Blount NE
68 Team nicora RB Chris Ivory NYJ
69 SWAGGY P D/ST Seahawks D/ST Sea
70 Dallas Cowboys WR Sammy Watkins Buf
Round 8
71 Dallas Cowboys D/ST Titans D/ST Ten
72 SWAGGY P RB Bishop Sankey Ten
73 Team nicora RB Giovani Bernard Cin
74 Team 4 WR James Jones GB
75 Team 3 WR Golden Tate Det
76 Team Winning D/ST Bills D/ST Buf
77 Team 2 RB Andre Ellington Ari

Eighth Round Pick

I need a defense here. J.J. Watt and the Texans D is the pick. I don’t love some of the options at this point to I feel fine reaching for a defense.

78 Team Ben D/ST Texans D/ST Hou
79 Minnesota 8 D/ST Rams D/ST StL
80 Team 1 RB T.J. Yeldon Jac
Round 9
81 Team 1 WR Jeremy Maclin KC
82 Minnesota 8 K Matt Prater Det

Ninth Round Pick

Cardinals receiver John Brown is the pick here. Carson Palmer is going to throw a lot in the desert and Brown will be on the receiving end of a high-volume of those throws. He’s got breakout written all over him.

83 Team Ben WR John Brown Ari
84 Team 2 WR Mike Wallace Min
85 Team Winning K Matt Bryant Atl
86 Team 3 QB Matt Ryan Atl
87 Team 4 K Brandon McManus Den
88 Team nicora QB Tony Romo Dal
89 SWAGGY P RB Rashad Jennings NYG
90 Dallas Cowboys RB C.J. Spiller NO
Round 10
91 Dallas Cowboys RB Isaiah Crowell Cle
92 SWAGGY P WR Allen Robinson Jac
93 Team nicora TE Jordan Cameron Mia
94 Team 4 WR Larry Fitzgerald Ari
95 Team 3 WR Eric Decker NYJ
96 Team Winning K Stephen Gostkowski NE
97 Team 2 WR Nelson Agholor Phi

Ninth Round Update

People are starting to take kickers. Think I’ll wait on that.

Tenth Round Pick

Martavis Bryant is the pick here. Another stash player (given his suspension), but one with high upside and value relative to the draft spot.

98 Team Ben WR Martavis Bryant Pit
99 Minnesota 8 QB Carson Palmer Ari
100 Team 1 WR Charles Johnson Min
Round 11
101 Team 1 RB Ryan Mathews Phi
102 Minnesota 8 RB Danny Woodhead SD

Eleventh Round Pick

I need a tight end. Zach Ertz has the chance to shine in Philly’s offense.

103 Team Ben TE Zach Ertz Phi
104 Team 2 WR Torrey Smith SF
105 Team Winning QB Cam Newton Car
106 Team 3 WR Michael Floyd Ari
107 Team 4 WR Roddy White Atl
108 Team nicora RB Darren McFadden Dal
109 SWAGGY P WR Steve Smith Sr. Bal
110 Dallas Cowboys RB Tre Mason StL
Round 12
111 Dallas Cowboys RB Doug Martin TB
112 SWAGGY P K Steven Hauschka Sea
113 Team nicora TE Delanie Walker Ten
114 Team 4 WR Terrance Williams Dal
115 Team 3 RB Shane Vereen NYG
116 Team Winning D/ST Jets D/ST NYJ
117 Team 2 RB Tevin Coleman Atl

Eleventh Round Update

I don’t love a lot of the options left at this point. I’ll be going for upside/lottery tickets with the rest of my picks.

Twelfth Round Pick

Donte Moncrief. Someone besides T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson are going to catch passes in Indianapolis. Moncrief has chance to be successful.

118 Team Ben WR Donte Moncrief Ind
119 Minnesota 8 D/ST Dolphins D/ST Mia
120 Team 1 WR Marques Colston NO
Round 13
121 Team 1 RB Devonta Freeman Atl
122 Minnesota 8 D/ST Ravens D/ST Bal

Thirteenth Round Pick

I really like the Colts offense. They’re going to score points in boatloads. That’s why I’m taking the team’s kicker, Adam Vinatieri.

123 Team Ben K Adam Vinatieri Ind
124 Team 2 RB Duke Johnson Jr. Cle
125 Team Winning TE Dwayne Allen Ind
126 Team 3 RB Andre Williams NYG
127 Team 4 TE Tyler Eifert Cin
128 Team nicora QB Marcus Mariota Ten
129 SWAGGY P QB Tyrod Taylor Buf
130 Dallas Cowboys RB Alfred Blue Hou
Round 14
131 Dallas Cowboys WR Anquan Boldin SF
132 SWAGGY P D/ST Cardinals D/ST Ari
133 Team nicora QB Philip Rivers SD
134 Team 4 D/ST Chiefs D/ST KC
135 Team 3 RB Charles Sims TB
136 Team Winning K Justin Tucker Bal
137 Team 2 QB Ryan Tannehill Mia

Fourteenth Round Pick

Another lottery ticket. Percy Harvin is the pick.

138 Team Ben WR Percy Harvin Buf
139 Minnesota 8 WR DeVante Parker Mia
140 Team 1 RB Knile Davis KC
Round 15
141 Team 1 D/ST Lions D/ST Det
142 Minnesota 8 WR Pierre Garcon Wsh

Fifteenth Round Pick

I need a backup QB. I’ll take Sam Bradford. Something tells me he’ll do well in the Eagles’ offense. He’s much better than a number of the quarterbacks Philly has trotted out.

143 Team Ben QB Sam Bradford Phi
144 Team 2 K Cody Parkey Phi
145 Team Winning D/ST Eagles D/ST Phi
146 Team 3 K Dan Bailey Dal
147 Team 4 QB Matthew Stafford Det
148 Team nicora K Dan Carpenter Buf
149 SWAGGY P TE Antonio Gates SD
150 Dallas Cowboys WR Devin Funchess Car
Round 16
151 Dallas Cowboys K Mason Crosby GB
152 SWAGGY P K Blair Walsh Min
153 Team nicora D/ST Vikings D/ST Min
154 Team 4 TE Ladarius Green SD
155 Team 3 D/ST Patriots D/ST NE
156 Team Winning RB Toby Gerhart Jac
157 Team 2 D/ST Packers D/ST GB

Sixteenth Round Pick

Owen Daniels. Known fact: Peyton Manning likes throwing to his tight ends.

158 Team Ben TE Owen Daniels Den
159 Minnesota 8 TE Kyle Rudolph Min
160 Team 1 K Phil Dawson SF

Just to recap, here is my starting lineup and bench. (Note, because of the draft’s time, I was unable to make changes to my team, hence Gurley being in the lineup even though he is out).

My Fantasy Football team starting lineup.

My Fantasy Football team starting lineup.

My Fantasy Football starting lineup

My Fantasy Football team’s bench.

Your Opinion

If you have any ideas for the team name, motto, color scheme, etc, please leave them in the comments section below. Same goes for roster and lineup decisions, trades I should propose, etc. I want your input.

If you don’t feel like responding to any of these methods, give me a shout on Twitter at any one of these accounts with your lineup/roster advice: @BenRosener, @knowhitter272, @kingdomeSEA.

Andre Johnson or Donte Moncrief?

Vote below, comment or get a hold of me on Twitter. Whichever avenue you chose, tell me who I should start at WR, Andre Johnson or Donte Moncrief.

Seahawks vs Broncos Recap: Youngsters Show Potential in Loss

In a game that saw the Seattle Seahawks suiting up without stars/impact performers Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Marshawn Lynch and very little of Russell Wilson, Jimmy Graham and the rest of the starters, the Hawks’ youngsters showed well.

Rookies Step Up

Tyler Lockett showed exactly why the Seahawks used a third-round pick on him. The receiver was electric on kick-returns, racking up 186 yards on the day, including a 103-yard touchdown return. He also added 18 yards on a punt return while displaying the speed and elusiveness that will make him such a vital part of the Seahawks’ receiving corps not only this season, but for years to come.

In addition to Lockett, fellow high draft pick Frank Clark (2nd round-pick) looked sharp up along the defensive line. Clark accumulated a team-high nine tackles, while constantly causing problems along the line. At the very least, he’ll be part of the rotation, if not playing a bigger role as the season progresses.

Thomas Rawls wasn’t drafted, but had almost as much an impact as Lockett and Clark. The running back brought a physicality to the running game that reaffirms the Seahawks preference for hard runners. Rawls scored on a 19-yard reception while also adding 31 yards on nine carries.

Pete Carroll’s Referee Collision Course

If a picture is worth a thousand words, than a video is worth significantly more.

Versatility, Versatility, Versatility

The Seahawks coaches are famous for their experimentation with players’ positions. J.R. Sweezy switched from defensive line to offensive line, and now it seems that B.J. Daniels is making the switch. The now-former quarterback is transitioning to wide receiver/offensive weapon. Daniels caught two passes for 15 yards and returned a pair of punts for 50 yards, including a long return of 35 yards. In addition to his offensive contributions he also contributed a tackle on special teams.

While not playing another position, Rod Smith showed an ability to contribute in both the running and passing game. Smith ran for 18 yards on two carries and hauled in four catches for an additional 29 yards. He’s got an uphill battle with both Rawls and Christine Michael also in the mix for backfield roster spots, but running backs who are receiving threats carry a certain usefulness on rosters. Smith’s definitely got a chance to make the Hawks’ final roster, if not the practice squad.

Seahawks Acquire Jimmy Graham

The latest per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports-

The Seahawks haven’t announced anything yet, but knowing how good Glazer is, you can probably expect something official soon.

I guess they didn’t want to waste time in finding Zach Miller’s replacement.

Graham lead the NFL in touchdown catches in 2013 with 16 and had 10 last season. Since 2011, he has 46 touchdown receptions and 4396 yards. His presence, along with Marshawn Lynch, will give the Seahawks two of the best red zone players in the league. Not to mention Russell Wilson, who isn’t too shabby of a player either.

All stats courtesy of http://www.pro-football-reference.com/ unless otherwise noted.

NFL Divisional Round Preview

Tebow-Mania, Big Blue, the Frozen Tundra, Houston’s First Playoff Appearance and Drew Brees’s passing records.

That’s what you’re going to hear a lot about this week as the NFL playoffs take somewhat of a center stage. Your ears will also tend to pick up a lot of the entire Josh McDaniels situation with New England, Baltimore’s surging defense and the offensively challenged San Francisco 49ers.

The first game that the nation, and world for that matter, will see is New Orleans versus San Francisco. The Saints have a prolific offense led by the record-setting Brees as well as big receiving threats Jimmy Graham and Robert Meachem. Devery Henderson and Lance Moore provide very good fourth and fifth options for a team that can also role out a stable of talented running backs with speed man Darren Sproles, talented back Pierre Thomas and slam back Chris Ivory. All those weapons plus an underrated D make the Saints a sneaky Super Bowl pick.

Now to the other sideline: San Francisco. Due to my heavy biased approach to Seattle I have to bash the Niners a little bit, or a lot. I’d be an idiot to say San Fran’s D isn’t good. It’s a very good defensive team with some excellent linebackers like NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis. Carlos Rogers and Donte Whitner were and are excellent free agent finds for Jim Harbaugh. Then we get to the other side of the ball, ehhh. Frank Gore is a perennial Pro Bowl player who consistently racks up big games. And he’s great, don’t get me wrong. But he’s the Niners’ crutch. Everything runs through him. If he’s off then the 49ers will have a lot of problems. Alex Smith is a game manager. I know it, you know it, hell even Harbaugh probably knows it. He isn’t going to light up the score board, more or less he’s going to lite it up. Smith hasn’t topped 300 yards once this year. That includes a schedule with teams like Tampa Bay, Washington, St. Louis (twice), Cleveland and the Eagles. Yikes. He has only put up 3 TDs once in a single game this season. That was in a 48-3 win over Tampa in which he managed only 170 yards. When you score 48 points you should probably have a little more than 170 passing yards. Vernon Davis is a solid tight end, Michael Crabtree is a viable option, but is likely only the third or fourth option if he were on the Saints team.

Prediction: Saints 48 49ers 21

Now we finally get to Mr. Tebow. Tebow prevailed against the defending AFC champs in round one. Granted the Steelers were banged up, a win is a win, especially in the playoffs. Denver takes its rag tag bunch into New England to face a Patriots team that made a hiring that is curious to say the least. First, let’s set it up for people who have lived under a rock for the last couple years. Denver’s head coach is John Fox. Denver hired him after firing Josh McDaniels. McDaniels went on to run the offense in St. Louis this season before he was hired by the New England Patriots as their Offensive Coordinator for next year seeing as they will lose their current one to be the next head coach at Penn State. Did I mention that McDaniels was hired after the season ended? And he will serve as an offensive assistant or something of the like for the rest of the playoffs. You make the call on the shady-ness of that one.

New England, amid all that hoopla, has a guy named Tom Brady. Not sure if you’ve heard of him. They also roll out an offense that might only be rivaled by those in New Orleans and Green Bay (certainly not San Francisco). The Pats do have a porous D that could pose problems for New England.

Denver has the underdog factor. That, Tebow, a resurgent Willis McGahee and a strong defense makes for a nice upset pick of sorts. The underdog’s luck has run out in the divisional rounds in recent years. It’s also hard to pick against Tom Brady and a full arsenal of weapons with the man they call Gronk at the forefront.

Prediction: New England 35 Denver 23

Houston and Baltimore, your playoff rookies and playoff vets, this one probably screams blowout for a number of reasons. One, the Ravens have one of the better defenses in the league. Two, Houston is down to their third string QB and has been forced to sign Jake Delhome and Jeff Garcia as a result. No typo there, Jeff Garcia is the Texans third string QB. But they do have a very effective running game with the dynamic duo of Arian Foster and Ben Tate. That also gives them an extremely efficient play action attack that is one of the better ones in the league, TJ Yates or no. Oh yeah, Andre Johnson is also their number one receiver.

Baltimore’s defense is very good. Their offense is the key. Ray Rice, is the key to their offense. So to boil it down, Ray Rice is the key. In a loss in Seattle, Rice got five carries and lost 22-17. Rice needs to get it going if Baltimore is going to have any chance at winning. This is going to be a grind it out game, lots of running and lots of defense. Look for the Ravens running and D to prevail.

Prediction: Baltimore 23 Houston 17

The defending Super Bowl Champs are taking on the G-Men. The Giants held, or rather gave, the Falcons all of two points in the opening round. The Packers on the other hand sat and watched the wildcard round in the comforts of their own homes.  New York has a lot of weapons to surround Eli Manning, while they aren’t near the level of the weapons that Aaron Rodgers has, they’re good weapons. Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, upstart Victor Cruz and the two-headed running back monster of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs.

The Packers roll out tons of weapons that go right at the other defenses: Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, Ryan Grant, Jermichael Finley, (go ahead catch your breath, there’s more) Donald Driver, Randal Cobb, James Starks and John Kuhn. So to sum that up, the Pack can score. Their defense on the other hand is the key. Their D has been a struggling unit. They are good against the run (14th), but their passing defense is last in the league. Yep, last.

This is going to be a passing clinic. The Packers are last in pass D and the Giants are 29th. It doesn’t help when the two guys at QB are both pro bowlers. Like I said, this is going to be a shoot out.

Prediction: Green Bay 42 New York 35