Posted on: October 20, 2008 12:17 pm

Bengals, Fantasy and Hines Ward

Okay, I don't want to spend too much time talking about my Bengals loss to the Steelers.  I just don't think they are worth the effort right now but a few things do need to be mentioned before moving on.  First of all, we lost Keith Rivers for the year to a jaw injury handed to him by Hines "I like men" Ward.  Chances are he will get fined for the hit because he did lead with his helmet, and he should.  It was a blind side block and that sort of thing can injure both the players.  At the same time, I think that the fact that Ward went through the rest of the game without the Bengals trying to hurt him shows how the Bengals aren't playing as a team and that they have no heart.  At least Cedric Benson went out there and laid out Troy Polamalu.

From a fantasy perspective, I got hurt bad by this game.  Mewelde Moore decided to go on a tear and put up 33 points against me.  At the same time, Santonio Holmes missed a touchdown by a yard at the beginning of the game and didn't manage to do much of anything close to 33 points.  That's frustrating.  Not a good day fantasy wise for any of my teams outside of CBS sports.  I had Thomas Jones go for 150 yards on the ground but NO touchdowns.  I also had Steve Slaton do well, which made sure that my sitting of Jonathan Stewart and Matt Forte was worth it.  Not by much, but they both scored less than who I started.  My major problem was at WR.  I put T.O. out there despite my best judgment and he only managed 30 yards.  Then Jericho Cotchery decided to put up a donut as well.  I should have started Santana Moss but I was nervous and paid the price.  I am also extremely let down by all of my quarterbacks across my leagues, including Brett Favre who put up a whole 3 points, Derek Anderson who barely made himself known with 1 TD.  I still have Jay Cutler to go in another league, but I'm in a deep hole already, so I need Brandon Marshall and Cutler to have themselves a day against the Patriots.

Beyond all this, I'm excited about a later game Sunday against Houston.  I work in the early afternoon, so I should be able to catch most of the game.  I also have much better luck in fantasy if I'm around for more of the games.  We could beat Houston right?  Steve Slaton could definitely be a problem, and Matt Schaub seems to have turned it on...  Trouble.
Category: NFL
Posted on: October 14, 2008 12:22 pm

Bengals to Hell in a Handbasket.

So, our season is absolutely sunk at this point as Bengals fans.  It's been a rough couple of week. Fortunately I had to work last weekend so I got to miss the mess with Brett Favre and the Jets.  At least I played the match-up with Thomas Jones and that paid off (I still lost by one point... I have been getting seriously unlucky match-ups.  I almost lead the league in total points but I'm still 2-4.  I've had to put up more than 100 points each week in order to win and even lost one with with 102... F'n A.) So, having the Bengals being so awful, and having Carson Palmer with problems I thought it was appropriate that the Week 7 Mayhem Question regarded how you would change your team this week for the immediate and future.  Here was my response:

If I were the GM, I would bring in Daunte Culpepper to play the remainder of the season in place of Carson Palmer.  Palmer's injury is such that extended rest would do him well and rushing him back right now is pointless considering we have no chance at the playoffs.  We don't have a guy behind him that is worth anything, and Daunte will more than likely play his heart out for anyone who gives him another chance.

At the same time, I would get rid of Chris Perry and bring in Shaun Alexander.  In a RBBC running scheme, Alexander and Cedric Benson would make a solid one two punch, especially with Alexander being able to teach the younger Benson a thing or two.  Chris Perry is just too ineffective at the positive and coughs up the ball too much.  Having that veteran presence would be priceless.  Plus, again, Alexander would play his heart out for someone who gave him a chance.

Next, I would trade Chad Johnson for another first round draft pick.  This way we could get two quality starting players in the upcoming draft.  We might even be able to get a later round pick for him as well.  This is definitely a build for the future move and considering we need a better offensive line, more defense and possibly a future franchise QB, we'll need all the picks we can get.

There really isn't much we can do to salvage this year but salvaging the future is something we can start right now.  The main thing is keeping Carson healthy.  If he gets damaged much more we could lose him forever, effectively putting us in the same situation as the Falcons of last year.  So far they have gotten lucky with Matt Ryan and I don't think we'd pick up a QB in the draft that we could franchise out of the gate.  More than likely we'll need someone we can work with behind Carson Palmer the same we he apprenticed under John Kitna.

Beyond our immediate QB situation, as you can see, I think Chad Johnson is expendable.  More than likely he is trying to pull the football version of Manny Ramirez, and tanking himself to get traded.  At this point, getting rid of him is the best option for the team.  Not only would it get that plague of a mouth out of the locker-room, but we could start to bring up our "heralded" waste of draft picks at the WR position, in Jerome Simpson.  We need to give T.J. the shot as the #1 anyways because the guy has played well enough to warrant that. 

As for our RB situation, anything we do right now is merely a temporary fix.  Either this draft or the next we will need to get ourself a first round guy.  It's too bad we missed out on last years class with guys like Steve Slaton, Matt Forte, Tim Hightower, et al.  Hopefully we'll get lucky and get someone along the lines of Forte that could work with Alexander and really get a solid running game going.  The veteran status of Alexander would be invaluable for a young guy. 

I guess that's all I've got right now... I am just looking to the future because there is nothing else to do with this team right now except wait for our first win...
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 27, 2008 12:28 pm

Nasty Thoughts - Bengals/Browns 09/27

With about a week behind us since the Bengals nearly beat the defending Superbowl champion New York Giants, we must consider what is to come tomorrow.  There has been a lot of talk around the league about the Browns and Bengals, none of which has been good.  In fact, last week ESPN did a segment begging Ohio sports to improve for their fans.  It's a tough life, but at least we can't be accused of being fair weather supporters.  Keeping in mind our near victory last week, let's run down the game from a fantasy football perspective.

Carson Palmer - Palmer should have an effective day here.  The Browns have been giving up points all over the field, both rushing and passing.  As long as the offensive line stays relatively intact, look for the aerial attack to emerge.  After seeing how the running game faired in over-time last week, I would also expect this to increase the passing game.  Look for Carson to throw early, and then open the running lanes later.  2 TDs, 250 yds, INT

T.J. Houshmanzadeh - Housh should have himself another solid day.  Coverages are still following Chad Johnson around like love-sick puppies.  Still,  I wouldn't expect him to be as effective as last week for the simple fact that the Browns will have seen that game and realize that they need to be more careful than the Giants.  This will open up the game for Antonio Chatman who will probably end the game with one of Carson's passing TDs.  TJ on the other hand 80 yds, 1 TD.

Chad Johnson - Chad will be closed off this game.  I wouldn't expect this to be the time that he breaks out.  I would wait until the Jets game for that to happen.  Still, he will be more effective than last week for the mere fact that the Browns are not remotely as good as the Giants.  60 Yds.

Chris Perry - If Carson Palmer and the Offensive line can get the passing game going early in the game, look for Chris Perry to find some holes in the second half.  If the Bengals are down on the other hand, I would expect the passing to continue and Perry won't get much work.  Still, the Browns aren't playing their best football, and we could see Perry break off some large chunks of yardage.  80 yds rushing, 20 yds receiving, 1 TD.

Bengals Defense - This is a great match-up for the defense of the Bengals.  Look for Leon Hall to get at least one pick off Derek Anderson.  The guy is trying to save his job and I just don't see him being able to play through all the pressure.  Brady Quinn should be in the game by half-time and if not, maybe Hall will get another interception.  Hopefully Jonathan Joseph will return to the secondary, making the Browns passing game that much less effective.  These two could really spell trouble for opposing passing attacks for the remainder of the season.  The big question for the day will be how well we defend against Jamal Lewis.  Although Lewis has been fairly quiet this season, I would expect him to have a good game against the Bengals over-all.  Keith Rivers and the rest of the defensive line have had their hands full but they will improve as the season continues.  The good thing about youth is that they learn quickly and back it up with strong play.

The Bengals will win this game decisively due to the lack of leadership on the Browns offense.  Plus, the Bengals have confidence in the fact that they almost took down the Giants last week.  The Browns on the other hand have no momentum going into this game.

Bengals 27, Browns 14
Posted on: September 3, 2008 12:06 am

From Ocho to Cinco - Bengals Thoughts

My Reds are in the garbage right now so I'm looking towards football season hardcore. This is a position I'm used to consider my beloved baseball team hasn't treated me to the playoffs in a long long time but it's still tough. Finally, relief is here on Thursday as the NFL regular season kicks off. I could care less who wins but, regardless, it's regular season football and I have fantasy football interests. Come Sunday, my Bengals start their season against the Baltimore Ravens.

As I'm sure everyone in Cincinnati is aware, the Bengals are a bit of a question mark this season. Even before Chad Ocho Cinco hurt himself in the pre-season, I didn't have high hopes for this team. Plus, with the addition of Chris Henry I am just perplexed. Coach Marvin Lewis was very clear in his distaste for Henry and the ownership went behind his back to add him again. That sort of action from the head office doesn't bode well for the cooperation of this team. That's just the behind the scenes situation.

At the fore-front we have injuries, most notably T.J. Houshmanzadeh. Beyond that, we dropped the ailing Rudi Johnson, even after off-season touting of his increased strength. The question becomes whether or not Chris Perry and Kenny Watson are capable of getting something going on the ground. At the same time, we need Carson Palmer to be able to get the ball to T.J. and Chad. We also need them to be healthy enough to even be on the field. This could all fall apart if our O-Line is as thin as it was in the pre-season. Nothing is going to happen if Carson is on the ground the whole season.

Another urgent question that will be answered is whether Keith Rivers is enough to turn the defense around. Can this team start to stop the run and can we cause some serious turn overs in the secondary like we did in 2005. If this team isn't scoring much on offense then we will need the guys on D to really step up and stay healthy.

Health is really the key to this season. If our guys can get healthy and stay healthy, then we have a good chance of competing for the division title. We also need to stay out of trouble, and keep the press for this team positive. The guys need to take the criticism of the past and focus that into their game play. If they can play as a team and stay positive, good things can happen. This is a division that is far more open than people think.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com