Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ NFL Fantasy Football: The 2013 perfect draft ]]> Lead story image

LADD BIRO: In a perfect fantasy world, my starting lineup this season would feature Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, C.J. Spiller, Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green and Jimmy Graham. That would be the same perfect world in which all my kids get full-ride college scholarships, Kate Hudson stalks me and I lose weight every time I eat Tex-Mex. ]]> Fri, 30 Aug 2013 10:03:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ NFL Fantasy Football: Sleeper draft picks for 2013 ]]> Lead story image

LADD BIRO: Who are this year’s hidden gems in fantasy football? Let’s take a look at my Sleeper Picks of 2013 – several players poised to out-perform their current average draft position. ]]> Mon, 26 Aug 2013 11:18:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy football: Need a tight end? There are quality players to be had ]]> Lead story image

It never takes long for fantasy owners to go running to the waiver wire because of injuries. Bills running back Fred Jackson couldn’t last the first half in  Week 1. Hopefully his owners were smart enough to handcuff C.J. Spiller, who shined in Week 2. Bigger problems arose Sunday, when two top-10 tight ends went down. The Patriots’ Aaron Hernandez suffered a sprained ankle in the first quarter and reportedly will miss four to six weeks. Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was a surprise inactive with a rib injury. Given his track record, no one knows how long he’ll be … ]]> Sat, 20 Oct 2012 06:16:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy football: Bucs’ Doug Martin is type of rusher owners crave ]]> Lead story image

Everyone is looking for a workhorse running back. Though there are fewer these days, they’re out there. A few who might have surprised fantasy owners showed themselves Sunday. The question is whether they’re capable — or will be allowed — to carry the load for the long haul. Shonn Greene, Jets Remember this guy blowing up defenders at Iowa? In three NFL seasons, all he’s done is blow up owners’ lineups. So don’t give too much thought to starting Greene next week against the Steelers. On Sunday, he rushed 27 times for 94 yards and a touchdown in a surprisingly … ]]> Sun, 14 Oct 2012 13:32:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ NFL Week 1 fantasy football: Starters and benchwarmers ]]> Lead story image

Wondering whether or not to start Aaron Rodgers and Rob Gronkowski, or to bench Ryan Tannehill and Kenny Britt? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, read on. ]]> Fri, 07 Sep 2012 15:53:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy football: Bears have viable options for first time in years ]]> Lead story image

Not long along, it was a fantasy to consider any Bears for your fantasy team. We’re talking about a 92-year-old franchise that just found its all-time best quarterback. This season, fans have six viable options to choose from, including the defense/special teams, which has been the Bears’ most consistent point producer for years, and steady kicker Robbie Gould. The highest-ranked Bear on most draft boards is running back Matt Forte. Granted, he’s better in a yardage league than a scoring league, but he can be very productive. When he hurt his knee in Week 13 last season, he was on … ]]> Sat, 06 Oct 2012 13:47:49 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy football: Be wary about picking Cam Newton in first round ]]> Lead story image

Cam Newton is not a first-round draft pick. There, I said it. But before you avert your eyes from this page, understand my position. I’m not saying you shouldn’t draft Newton, who’s coming off a season no one has had before. I’m saying there’s a downside that makes him more worthy of a second- or third-round pick. Some might think he’s a first-rounder because he’s the first player in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 500 yards in a season. He left a bigger impression with a quarterback-record 14 touchdowns. Newton has great size (6-5, 244 … ]]> Sun, 30 Sep 2012 06:19:37 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sweet 16 for Rodgers ]]> Lead story image

Aaron Rodgers earned his place on fantasy’s Mount Rushmore with his five-touchdown Week 16 performance on Christmas night, propelling millions of gleeful owners to championship glory. That’s the type of overwhelming firepower you’re dreaming of when you invest a first-round pick on a quarterback. Many of those who took that gamble are celebrating today. Then again, if all they got from Rodgers’ masterful evening was a ticket to a Week 17 Super Bowl, they’d better party hearty now. Because their All-World quarterback won’t be playing much, if at all, in the Packers’ meaningless regular season finale. That’s why your league … ]]> Sat, 28 Jan 2012 08:13:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ Upsets rule fantasy, reality ]]> Lead story image

Upsets made headlines across the NFL this past week. So it should come as no surprise that several top-seeded fantasy teams were sent packing, as well. Who could have imagined that the lowly Chiefs would spoil the Packers’ march to perfection? Even more inconceivable was a scoreless first half performance by Aaron Rodgers and the most prolific offense in the NFL. Rodgers managed to finish with respectable fantasy numbers, but Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady and Tony Romo put him to shame when it counted most. Remarkably, three of the top seeds in my four leagues went down to … ]]> Sat, 21 Jan 2012 08:14:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cry me a Philip Rivers ]]> Lead story image

Ever since I mastered the art of flicking a paper football across a table until it dangled off the edge, then drilling it through a two-fingered goalpost, I have loved fantasy football. Of course, we young lads didn’t call it “fantasy” back in the day, but I’m sure the grade-school time-killer has its place in the evolution of the game. But my love of all things fantasy is being tested this year, mostly by Philip Rivers, whom I drafted as a “can’t-miss” anchor of two teams but has played more like a “miss-take” waiting to happen. Even on Sunday, amid … ]]> Fri, 09 Dec 2011 08:21:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy football: How we would draft differently at midseason ]]> Lead story image

AFTERNOON SPORTS CLUB: So, uh, how’s that Chris Johnson pick working out for you? Still think Peyton Hillis was a steal in the third round? Yes, it’s time for our semi-annual exercise in self-flagellation, when we reflect back two short months on what could have been had we made all the right moves during our preseason draft. Step right up for The Perfect Draft 2.0: Midseason Review. ]]> Tue, 01 Nov 2011 13:18:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ Free agent pickups for Week 9 ]]> Lead story image

So, how perfect was your draft? One consolation: If recent history holds, roughly half of these players will not be on our final Perfect Draft roster at season’s end. Hope abounds! To win a fantasy championship, it helps to start with a great draft. But filling in your roster throughout the season with the right free agents also is important. Here’s a look at players worth considering, and others who would look better in someone else’s lineup. Catch ’em while you can ◆ Javon Ringer, RB, Titans: If you had never played fantasy football before 2011, you’d have already dropped Chris … ]]> Fri, 02 Dec 2011 08:21:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Coaching controversy ]]> Lead story image

In one of my leagues, our commissioner decided to try out a new option offered by the league-management site to add a head coach to our rosters. Each team win yields seven points, with a loss registering a goose egg. I wasn’t in favor of this tricked-up option, but a collective shrug from the rest of the guys allowed the commish to institute the change. The first challenge presented itself in the draft, since it’s awfully hard to determine the proper draft position for a head coach. So I decided to trigger a run on the position by selecting Bill … ]]> Sat, 19 Nov 2011 08:51:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy football: Starters, benchwarmers for NFL Week 6 ]]> Lead story image

AFTERNOON SPORTS CLUB: Wondering whether or not to start Aaron Rodgers and Ray Rice, or to bench Donovan McNabb and Donald Driver? The network bozos specialize in that kind of advice. If you’re looking for help with your real starting lineup conundrums, check out our starters and benchwarmers for Week 6 of the NFL season. ]]> Fri, 14 Oct 2011 12:00:59 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy Football: Receivers steal spotlight, points ]]> Lead story image

Fantasy scores were down virtually across the board this past week, thanks in part to the onset of the dreaded bye weeks. But a quick glance at some of the top performers Sunday also sheds light on the statistical downturn. BenJarvus Green-Ellis out-scored his quarterback. Darren McFadden played second fiddle to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Brandon Lloyd racked up a measly 20 receiving yards which, remarkably, was 24 more than his counterpart, Eric Decker. Matt Cassel connected on four touchdown passes, for crying out loud. Meanwhile, very few of us own such wideouts as Doug Baldwin, Victor Cruz, James Jones, Steve Breaston … ]]> Mon, 23 Jan 2012 03:19:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy football: Starters, benchwarmers for NFL Week 5 ]]> Lead story image

AFTERNOON SPORTS CLUB: Our starters and benchwarmers in NFL Week 5. ]]> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 20:23:32 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy Football: 6-team bye weeks will challenge owners ]]> Lead story image

It seems we’ve just gotten our starting lineups settled, and already we have to start juggling them with the onset of bye weeks. From this week through Week 8, six teams will take a breather. In Weeks 9 and 11, four teams will be off. For some reason, the byes get a bye in Week 10. Last season, the open dates started and ended a week earlier; but only two weeks featured six resting teams. This year, with four consecutive weeks of six-team byes, roster shuffling could become an art form. We’ll get our feet wet this week with a … ]]> Tue, 15 Nov 2011 12:16:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ Fantasy football Week 4: waiver wire pickups, drops ]]> Lead story image

AFTERNOON SPORTS CLUB: Here’s a look at players worth picking in Week 4, and others who would look better in someone else’s lineup. ]]> Sun, 08 Jan 2012 01:15:13 -0500