Fantasy Cricket

When playing fantasy football you obviously want to score as many points as possible every week and a key component to doing so is making sure you have good backups to fill in when your starters have the week off. There are two primary bye week strategies you need to keep in mind: pre-draft and post draft.

When preparing for your fantasy football draft your first priority is to make sure you understand your league scoring system and rank the best players at each position so you can quickly grab the best available players when it's your turn to draft. If it's your turn to draft and there are no stand out players available then you should take bye weeks into consideration before drafting a player. If your fantasy football league doesn't post bye weeks beside of each player's name then make sure you create a quick reference of team byes before your draft starts. Here are ways to deal with bye weeks for each position during your draft.

Quarterbacks - In most standard leagues you can only start 1 quarterback so most people only draft 2 for their roster. You should draft a #1 QB that is preferably a pro bowl caliber QB that you'll play for most of the season and then draft a #2 QB that has a different bye week and a few favorable match ups when your primary QB faces tough defenses.

Wide Receivers and Running Backs - In most standard leagues you can typically start a total of 5 running backs and wide receivers so you'll definitely want to draft a couple extra at each position to give you enough depth to make it through your bye weeks

Tight Ends - Draft 1 tight end and pick up a replacement from the free agent/waiver wire pool during the season when your starter is scheduled off and/or faces a tough opponent.

Defense/Special Teams (DST) - Draft only 1 defense/special teams for your roster as you can pickup a replacement DST pretty easily during the season.

Kickers - Draft 1 kicker and pick up a bye week replacement during the season from the free agent/waiver wire pool of players.

Bonus tip - When possible, it's best to draft a kicker and defense with bye weeks that come late in the season. This will give you extra roster space at the beginning of the year to pick up undrafted running backs and wide receivers who become valuable players when starters go down with injuries. (which always happens)

If you are like many fantasy football competitors, you probably drafted the best available players without regard to their bye weeks. Hopefully you lucked out and your backups don't have the same bye week as your starters, but if not here's the process you should follow.

The world is mad about the game of cricket. People in many countries follow the cricket religion with immense chauvinism. In the present Internet savvy world, everything is available at the click of the mouse. So how can Cricket be an exception? Online fantasy cricket is the latest hot thing happening. Many people know about fantasy cricket where you can make your own teams where you are the selectors and this is just the beginning.
It is for all those cricket crazy fans out there who wish to get associated somehow with the game of cricket. One can play online cricket games and satiate one’s hunger for the game of passion called cricket. It is a way of connecting to the game whether or not any tournament is happening. It is actually a way to entertain yourself. Many websites allow you to play games and win prizes online.
Internet is fast engrossing the whole world. It has everything for everyone. For cricket lovers also, there is lot that they can do online. Just sitting in your room and you get cricket match updates their live scores and so on but playing cricket games is a real fun . It is actually a boon for the people passionate about cricket that they are getting so much of the cricket world online.
It also provides a chance to people to play the game of cricket virtually. One can choose the cricket teams, manage them also know about cricket players profile and this is not the end . There are many websites that fulfill all your cricket fantasy desires. S electing your own team at your own risk so now nobody is to blame it’s only you who are wholly responsible for everything. One advantage of this cricket is that if you find a player is not performing well just substitute him with another without hurting any body’s emotions and in case your player wins points are credited to your account. By this giving competition to other teams can be really interesting.
With IPL cricket going around you can play Fantasy IPL matches freeze your teams just before start of match and just check whether you can be a better selector or not and if your selected players performs well you can win a lot of prizes. So at warofcricket you can have fun and fulfill all your desires.

Move Over, Harry Potter! Fantasy Novels Just Got Sexy!

1. Every category is worth the same: Know that every category is worth 1 point! This means a home run is just as good as a stolen base or a hit in some leagues. Some leagues use holds as a stat which can be very useful if you get a few relievers who get plenty of hold opportunities.

2. The power of the pitcher: In you average head to head league, you get around 7 pitchers, but you get around 10 batters. With fewer pitchers than batters, pitchers mean a lot more. Generally half the stat categories are for pitchers and half are for batters. Those 7 pitchers are worth as much as those 10 batters therefore pitchers are more important generally.

3. Throwing a category: This is not something that everyone recommends or likes to do. But if used wisely can be very powerful. For example, let's assume saves is a category and all the top closers have already been picked in the draft. Rather than picking up average closers, it might be more beneficial to throw the category. Picking up no closers and trying to dominate other categories can be much more beneficial. The general rule is if you can give yourself a significant advantage in 2 categories when throwing 1 category, then throwing the category is a good decision.

4. Know all the rules: This goes for any type of fantasy league. You should know the rules and how to exploit them to help you. For example, in a daily league, you should make sure you know what pitchers are starting each day. Don't leave a starting pitcher on the bench unless you have already filled your SP spots or expect a bad outing. There also could be more pitching than batting categories (or vice versa) and that needs to be taken into account when making all decisions.

5. Draft players that cover multiple categories: When you draft your team, you want to get players that could help you in multiple ways. For example, Matt Kemp can hit Home runs, steal bases, get runs, get RBI's, and have a good average. He is a perfect example. Also a pitcher who can get a lot of strike outs adds a lot to his value because along with that, he usually has a good whip, era, and gets wins.

6. Make good use of your bench players: In a head to head league, there is no reason to have backup players just hanging around on your bench the whole year. You want players who you can sub in and out and actually put up good numbers for your team. In daily leagues, you can swap your pitchers in and out every day to have the most innings possible. In weekly leagues, you can check if a pitcher has a 2 start week and put him in over a pitcher who is only starting once.

7. Home Runs are overrated: A lot of people look at Home run hitters and assume they are the best batters. With some players like A-rod and Pujols, this is true. But players like Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Renyolds are very overrated. HR's are an important stat and it brings in RBI's, runs, and counts as a hit. But those hitters get a lot of K's, little stolen bases, and most importantly have a low batting average.

8. Don't focus too much on a single category: When you are drafting make sure to always keep track on what categories you are taking with each player. Sometimes you might have to go for a player who isn't the best option out there just to fulfill your category. This is where being one step ahead is important. Aim for players who can win you multiple categories. Another option is to lets say take a player at a later round that would be considered a steal (a player still available that should have been picked much earlier). For example, if you get Mariano Rivera in the 9th round, that is a steal. If the player that is a steal is better in a category that you don't need, then trade for someone who can help in a category

9. Have a Backup Catcher: Having a backup catcher is not always in people's mind. It is more important to have a backup catcher than a backup for any other position. Catchers get more days off than any other position. Having a backup can ensure that you get points on your starting catcher's day off. In addition, catchers get injured a lot.

10. Don't put Rank before stats: Some people look at the rank of a player and if it is higher they sometimes drop their starter on their team to pick him up. Sometimes this pays off but there are a lot of other things you have to consider. You have to check what categories he fulfills and if you need those categories. Just because he is ranked high, doesn't necessarily mean that he is the best option to pick. A player could have been hurt most of the year and now that he is back he is the best option but his rank is bad because he hasn't played a lot.

For several decades, the alluring world of Fantasy novels was dominated by such stalwart offerings such as the classic Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. In recent years, huge hordes of readers surged towards the imaginative magical world of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. In both cases, the genre of fantasy novels was redefined and extended to include new visions of fantastic locales, amazing characters and new styles of storytelling for this popular genre.
Now, thanks to a newly published effort by American author R. Leigh, called The Winds of Asharra, the Fantasy fiction genre has been radically redefined once again, this time for grownups seeking fantasy characters with some sizzle and sex appeal. In short, The Winds of Asharra is genre bending, a combination of Fantasy and Romance novels, with equal parts adventure and sizzle. It’s enough to fog Harry Potter’s glasses or make Tolkien’s hobbits blush.
The Winds of Asharra is 600+ pages long, set in the sensual world of Asharra, a place with twin suns and a purple sky. Unlike traditional fantasy fiction, there’s not a wizard, witch or troll in sight. Instead, the reader is treated to such unique and diverse characters as evolved feline-like creatures, intelligent telepathic trees, musical dragons and dream inducing mystical crystal beings. The main characters, two 18 year old Earth teenagers, Victor and Zoe, unexpectedly arrive on the surreal and sensual land of Asharra and embark on a journey of self discovery in a world where adventure, love, sex and home all have new meanings. When Ionera, a troubled Asharran girl with a mystical secret enters Victor’s life, his priorities turn upside down and new challenges present themselves including the beginning of an epic quest which will benefit all of Asharra if successful.
While these elements, although unique, sound appealing, there are two reasons why The Winds of Asharra represents a distinct change in popular Fantasy Fiction. Apart from the adventure elements, WOA (as its fans refer to it) adds great romance and humor to its story, elements which are often lacking in modern fantasy fiction. In fact, we found it difficult to categorize the Winds of Asharra. Was it Romantic Fantasy, Fantasy Romance or something else? In any case, it’s Fantasy fiction for adults, definitely not for the pre-teen set.
The final reason why WOA should be regarded as decidedly different is the successful effort to develop and insert a complex fantasy philosophy into the book. Much like L Ron Hubbard had done in years ago with Dianetics, Author R. Leigh introduces a plausible philosophy of the Asharrans into WOA, a creative, positive, life affirming worldview that is refreshingly optimistic in these troubled times.
Even the author of WOA is decidedly different and uniquely mysterious as the back cover of the book suggests: “Author R. Leigh is a mystery to local neighbors, appearing enigmatic and ageless, and wearing an ever present red crystal pendant. Some have guessed this author’s secret other-worldly origin, speculating that the tales of Asharra might somehow be true. Outskirts Press does not confirm this and will not comment on rumors that the manuscript for this novel appeared in our offices out of nowhere. We urge you to read this book and decide for yourself.” True or not, this made us smile and secretly hope that there are elements of the fantastic in our world, waiting to be discovered.
In conclusion, The Winds of Asharra is unabashedly different, worthy of examination by any graduate from the Harry Potter books who is eager to take the next step into a new fantasy universe, the world of Asharra.
Potential readers can visit their official website at
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The Winds of Asharra is published by Outskirts Press and available in Paperback and Hardcover from selected retailers and online booksellers around the world. US wholesale distribution is through Ingram and Baker & Taylor

Evaluating Fantasy Baseball Trades and Player Pickups With VORP

Fantasy football projections are a bit different than fantasy rankings. Rankings will just give you a numbered list from the number one player to whatever number they decide to go up to. Projections are actual statistics that someone projects a player to have by the end of the year.

Sometimes new players (or even older experts) mix up the terms which is then more confusing to people trying to learn how to play fantasy football. They two concepts are very similar, but they have different uses when your planning your roster or cheatsheets.

A sample fantasy football

list:

1. Runnngback(RB) Chris Johnson /Tennessee Titans

2. RB Adrian Peterson/Minnesota Vikings

3. RB Maurice Jones-Drew/Jacksonville Jaguars And so on...

A sample of fantasy football

1. RB Chris Johnson/Titans -1735 Rushing Yards, 503 receiving yards, 12 Touchdown(TD)

2. RB Adrian Peterson/Vikings-1650 Rushing Yards, 333 receiving yards, 13 TD

3. RB Maurice Jones-DrewJaguars-1291 Rushing Yards, 447 receiving yards, 10 TD

4. Wide Receiver Randy Moss/Patriots 89 receptions, 1300 receiving yards, 12 TD

5. Quarter Back(QB) Drew Brees/Saints 4447 passing yards, 26 TD, 10 Interceptions

You can see that projections usually include the ranking system as well. While this probably wouldn't be an actual top 5, these are just to give you an idea of what would be projected for each position.

As you can see, projections are much more specific. Fantasy football projections are a prediction of points you are estimating that a player could earn in the future. Projections help you build out your rankings.

I did my own projections a few seasons ago and found that it's pretty much the same as ranking your players anyway, so to me it just seemed like a little extra effort that wasn't really needed. As long as you have a solid ranking system, I think projections may just be a little over-rated. However, if you do prefer using a website that uses projections, here is a strategy that may be able to help you.

Simply compare how the fantasy football website posted rankings compares to where you think the player should be ranked. You can then move them up and down depending on if you think they will do better or worse than what has been projected.

However, remember that each website may have very different projections for players. Projections are based upon points. The point system varies from league to league.

This can give you a good feel on developing your own rankings, and by using this method in conjunction with all of the other sources you choose to use, it could help you develop a winning team.

Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) is a sabermetric statistic made popular Baseball Prospectus. Essentially what VORP does is compare the value a batter or pitcher contributes to his team verses the contributions of an average player at the same position. This average player is referred to as the replacement player.
Why is VORP better than using standard traditional rankings which are based on accumulated statistics? When looking at the Yahoo rating you will miss out on a player that has hit a recent hot streak. Furthermore, the VORP calculation takes into account position scarcity as well as home field effects. For example, a player with a lot of home runs playing in Yankee stadium this year will have a slightly discounted rating since the average player is hitting an above average amount of home runs at the new Yankee stadium.
Another way of defining VORP for batters is the number of runs a player contributes vs a replacement player off the waiver wire. VORP for batters can be calculated using the formula below. Essentially the number of runs a player has generated (normalized for ballpark factors) is subtracted from how many runs the player would have generated if he was an average replacement player. However, in order to allow for realistic player to player comparisons it is necessary to normalize a players statistics for ballpark effects before calculating VORP. Obviously, it is harder to hit in pitchers parks like San Diego and San Francisco than in hitters ballparks such as Coors Field and the new Yankee stadium. The last part of the equation also requires clarification. After calculating how many runs would be generated by the average replacement player, the number is scaled by a factor called % of league average. Since the level of talent in the major leagues is far from a normal distribution, the assumption is made that the replacement players statistics should fall below the real league average. For most positions the replacements players statistics are assumed to be 80% of average. However, for thin positions like the catcher position the replacement players numbers are further scaled down using a % of league average factor of 75%.
BATTER VORP = Players Runs** – [((Leagues Avg Runs / out )* (# of player outs**)) * % of league average]
A simple way to think about VORP for pitchers is the number of runs that pitcher prevents as opposed to a random pitcher taken off the waiver wire. Interesting to note is that rather than use ERA the creators of VORP have decided to measure a pitchers contribution by how many runs are allowed while he is on the hill (Avg Runs) regardless of who is at fault. Another thing to note for the PITCHER VORP calculation is that starting pitchers and relief pitchers are treated differently. This is to account for the fact that most relief pitchers will have a significantly lower Runs Average than a starting pitcher. Also, similar to BATTER VORP the calculation of a pitchers Runs Average per nine innings must be normalized to account for ballpark effects.
VORP = ((Repl. Level – RAvg)/9)*Innings Pitched
For starting pitchers, Repl. Level = 1.37 * League RA – 0.66
For relief pitchers, Repl. Level = 1.70 * League RA – 2.27
In summary VORP is a useful statistic for comparing players and can also be used to evaluate trades. The great thing is that by normalizing for ballpark effects and position scarcity the metric is a good measurement to compare players across multiple positions. To find out more about VORP as well up to date player VORP calculations check out the Baseball Prospectus.

Ray Rice Over Willis McGahee

Ever heard of Challenge Games? Challenge Games announced the release of Baseball Boss, the first online game that bring together the fun of baseball card collecting and the excitement of fantasy sports. This browser based game allows you to create a fantasy team using virtual baseball cards and play head to head against other teams, even the historical ones. You can play Baseball Boss for free at baseballboss.com.

This game allows you to collect and trade virtual baseball cards so that you can assemble your own favorite fantasy team in order to challenge other player created teams or historical teams. Winners earn points which can then be use to purchase more packs of player cards. Currently, online baseball cards are available for the 1907 - 2007 baseball seasons and with new season card packs to be released in the near future.

The reason Baseball Boss is unique is because of its short-form design which allows you to play 5-15 minute increments rather than a long marathon sessions. This format is ideal for both casual and hardcore gamers, who are looking for something new and challenging to pay in between longer gamming sessions and during free time. Because Baseball Boss is asynchronous in nature, it can be played whenever a user wants. Players can challenge other teams and results can be accessed at the players' convenience. Gamers may also create their own private leagues to play with their friends, join one of many public ones, or play in a variety of fee-based premium leagues, which have additional features. Teams can be altered by trading cards with other players, purchasing cards from other players in online auctions using points earned, and by purchasing new card packs as they are released. Baseball Boss can be played for free. Players also have the options to purchase additional card packs with money and to join as VIP members for a nominal fee.

It all started out as a question mark going into the 2009 NFL season. No one really knew who to rely on in Baltimore when it came to their fantasy football drafts. Last season, a three headed monster spearheaded the running game in Baltimore, as Willis McGahee, Le’Ron McLain, and Ray Rice all got their share of carries.
Would any of these running backs be worth owning in 2009, or would the split in playing time simply deem all of them worthless in the eyes of fantasy owners?
After the first two or three games of the season, it looked like McGahee was the right move here. While Ray Rice had gotten some nice yards per carry, Le’Ron McLain had really seen little action through the first week of the season, and the goal line action was all going to McGahee. He had a couple of games where he scored more than one touchdown, and he was simply phenomenal as a fantasy option through the first few weeks of the year.
The last two or three weeks have told a completely different story though. Ray Rice has emerged as the clear winner in the battle of the running backs in Baltimore. Having scored his first three career TDs, Rice has begun to break through for major carries, with touchdowns from 20 yards out and more. His yardage per carry is amongst the best in the NFL, and he’s now averaging the second highest number of yards from scrimmage per game in 2009.
Ray Rice has officially arrived. Congrats to all of those who took a chance on him.

Fantasy Hockey As March Begins

So why do you need to know what's going on in your wife or girlfriend's head? Well maybe it's something she'd really like to try, or maybe it's just something she wants you to talk dirty about while you're having sex. Either way, you'll benefit! So how do you start? The easiest way is to be the first one to open up and share some of your own sexual fantasies.

Just like you, your wife or girlfriend probably believes that she can't share her intimate fantasies out of fear that you will judge her and think she's some sort of freak. Fantasies should never make anyone feel guilty, shameful, or disgusting about what turns them on mentally. Showing some vulnerability on your part will give her the courage to do the same. The most important thing to remember is to start out small. Rumor has it that if you throw a frog in boiling water he will quickly jump out, but if you put a frog in a pan of cold water and raise the temperature ever so slowly, the gradual warming will make the frog doze happily.

In fact, the frog will eventually cook to death, without ever waking up. Just like boiling a frog, you should follow the same approach in sharing your fantasies with your wife. If you start off with sharing a wild and crazy fantasy that will totally shock her, she'll just jump out of the water, and it will be harder to get her to go back in because she knows what's coming. If you start off small, and gradually work your way up, her temperature will naturally adjust and before she knows it, she will have revealed some of her most intimate thoughts.

Sharing sexual fantasies is always easier to do in a quiet and intimate setting, where you both feel safe and connected. It can be as simple as just lying in bed together, and talking to your wife while caressing her body. Some women feel more vulnerable when they are naked, so it might be easier to discuss sex outside the bedroom. She might prefer to just talk over a glass of wine with clothes on so she does not feel pressured in any way. It is also essential for her to feel loved. She needs to know that no matter what she tells you, you will still love her.

With the Olympics coming to an end, the NHL, and subsequently, fantasy hockey, gets back on its feet in March. We’ll get you jumpstarted on fantasy hockey with the next installment of our 2-Week forecast.
Even sports fans who aren’t into hockey have likely at least heard of the name Alexander Ovechkin. With all due apologies to Sidney Crosby, Ovechkin is the popular choice as the best player in the world, and his numbers bear that out. He leads the NHL with 89 points and is tied with Crosby for the league lead in goals with 42 while also claiming the top spot in shots on goal. Stamkos and Gaborik aren’t far behind in goals, with each putting 35 in net, while Malkin’s 44 assists trail only Ovechkin in this group, and are the eighth-most in hockey.
Marleau leads this group, and is third in the NHL, with 38 goals, while Heatley and Kovalchuk also each have more than 30 tallies. Heatley’s 34 assists lead this bevy of players, followed closely by Parise, though Parise shoots the puck like an alcoholic shoots whiskey, and holds a rather lengthy lead in putting the puck on net. No player in this particular collection of fantasy hockey stalwarts has fewer than 27 goals, and only Marleau has less than 30 helpers.
Zetterberg’s injury earlier in the season means his overall point total isn’t quite at the level of the others in this group, but he makes up for that by leading in shots on goal. St. Louis is sixth in the NHL in points, due in no small part to the fact that his 49 assists are tied for fourth in all of hockey. Coincidentally, the person he is tied with is also among this assortment of skaters, with that person being Dallas center Richards. Kane and Kopitar don’t have the assist totals of those two, but they do have the most goals in the group, with 25 and 28, respectively.
Nash and Ryan lead this group, and are tied for ninth in hockey, with their 28 goals. Nash got to that mark with four goals in four consecutive contests before the Olympic break. However, neither of them can claim the assist totals of the other three players, each of whom has over 30, led by Langenbrunner and Perry’s 37.
Cammalleri’s 26 goals are tops among this aggregation, though Eriksson and Stall each have at least 20. Koivu has the fewest goals among the fantasy hockey options in this group with just 16, and he went into the break with a nine-game goalless streak; still, he’s the only player here with 40 assists.
This cluster of defenseman doesn’t have point totals that will blow anybody away – in fact they all have between 31 and 35 points – but their shot totals may, as only Pitkanen isn’t among the top-10 defenseman in hockey in shots on goal. Weber leads the group with 11 goals, while Pitkanen is first in assists with 31.
Kuba leads this company of blue-liners with 25 assists, and only McCabe has fewer than 20 helpers, but he has 19. McCabe does lead the group with seven tallies, followed by former No. 1 overall pick Johnson, who has six. Johnson, who has been playing the best hockey of his career lately, leads this posse in shots and is 15th among all defenseman with over 130.
The third group is where the points are in this particular fantasy hockey contest, as each player here is in the top-16 among defenseman in points. Doughty, Gonchar and Zidlicky are in the top-10 with 45, 37 and 36 points, respectively. Doughty’s 11 goals leads this cluster of high-scoring defensemen, and are tied for second in hockey among all d-men, with Robidas right behind him with 10 tallies. That’s fitting, because Robidas leads the group in shots, though Gonchar is third despite having played 15 fewer games.
Brodeur leads the NHL in shutouts, but hasn’t been his typical self of late. That was true even before he got pulled after allowing several soft goals to Team USA in Canada’s loss during the Olympics.. Before the break, Brodeur had won just two of his last seven games, and had allowed at least three goals in seven of his last eight contests, with a save percentage below.900 in six of them. For the season, he’s ninth in hockey in GAA, and 15th in save percentage. He’s been a fantasy hockey giant in net throughout his career, but that just hasn’t been the case lately. Meanwhile, Kiprusoff is second in the league in GAA among goalies who have played at least 30 games, while Vokoun and Nabokov are in the top-three in save percentage. Vokoun has the most overall saves in hockey with nearly 1,600.
Miller may be hockey’s breakout star for the Olympics, as his performance against Canada fit perfectly with the hockey cliché of a goalie “standing on his head.” He’s No. 1 in the NHL in GAA among goalies who have played at least 30 contests, and No. 2 in save percentage. However, Quick leads all NHL goalies in wins, and Anderson is tied for third with six shutouts, and has the second-most overall saves in the league.
Howard’s 2.28 GAA is the leading mark in this group, but Huet is just a fraction behind him at 2.29. Huet also is the co-leader here in shutouts with four, a mark that Turco can also lay claim to. Howard, Turco, Mason and Backstrom are Nos. 13-16, respectively, in overall saves, with Huet well behind at 29th in the league.
San Jose is second in the entire NHL with 89 points, though New Jersey and Ottawa have point totals that are nothing to scoff at, with 77 and 76, respectively. However, they’ve gone different directions of late, with the Devils sporting a 3-5-2 record over their last 10 games while the Senators have been blistering hot with an 8-2-0 record over their last 10.
Chicago’s 87 points are the most in this group, and the third-highest mark in the league. The other four teams in this group are clumped together with between 75 and 78 points. The Kings were the hottest among teams here before the Olympic break, with an 8-1-1 record in their last 10 games, while the Sabres struggled to a 3-5-2 record in their last 10.
Dallas and Detroit each have 68 points, Boston has 65, Montreal has 64 and Tampa has 63, though they all have one thing in common in that they are each are fighting for a playoff spot in their respective conferences. None of these teams were terribly hot or equally as tepid before the break, with each winning between three and six games over their last 10.

Create Computer Games – Get Started on Creating Your Own Virtual Worlds

The 2008 Cincinnati Bengals finished 4-11-1 thus once again living up to their famous ineptitude and giving their fans virtually nothing to cheer about for the majority of the season. Well, what do you expect when you have Ryan Fitzpatrick leading your team? The teams downfall last year can be directly attributed to the elbow injury that sidelined QB Carson Palmer much of the season leaving the reigns to a signal caller who is completely incapable of throwing a downfield pass. Palmer only played in 4 games last year and that clearly impacted the rest of the offense especially the receivers. What do the 2009 Bungles have in store for fantasy owners? Let's dissect that very topic.

It is amazing to me that teams do not invest more in their backup QB's and it is absolutely astonishing that someone like Fitzpatrick (now with the Bills) is in the NFL. I watched a few of their games last year and he literally never attempted a pass more than 10 yards downfield. Enough about Fitzpatrick however as Palmer looks 100% and will be under center when the Bengals open their season September, 13th at Paul Brown Stadium against the McDipshit led Denver Broncos. I am looking for the Bengals to rebound this year and possibly make a run at the playoffs and if that holds true will be largely due to Palmer's rebound. Palmer has been an elite fantasy QB in the past and I believe he has the potential to get back to that level in 2009. First, Palmer's elbow appears to be 100% based on all reports coming out of Cincinnati. Furthermore, although T.J. Houshmandzadeh has left for Seattle Chad Ocho Cinco seems to be motivated again as he has been working out using a boxing regime. Ocho Cinco called 2009 an "embarrassment" and also said that "words cannot explain what kind of shape I am in right now". The team also signed former Jet Laveranues Coles and although a step down from Houshmandzadeh will provide Palmer with another nice threat on the outside to go with Ocho Cinco and Chris Henry. I think Palmer could really be in line for a nice year this year and I consider him a low end number 1 QB with high upside potential.

The Bengals may have found themselves their workhorse back with former Chicago Bears castoff Cedric Benson toting the rock in 2009. Although averaging only 3.5 ypc last year Benson seemed motivated and was a nice surprise for Head Coach Marvin Lewis last year rushing for 747 yards and 2 TD's. Cincinnati elected to bring Benson back signing him to a 2 year deal thus illustrating the teams confidence in him. I actually like Benson this year as a number 3 back with the potential to start as the year goes on. First, Benson will be the workload this year for the Bengals and will also be the goal line back. Moreover, the team released the under achieving Chris Perry leaving the team with just Kenny Watson and rookie Bernard Scott to go along with Benson. Finally, the drafting of LT Andre Smith out of Alabama is another sign for both Benson and Palmer. I really think Cincy will be improved this year and if they are it will be due to Palmer's passing and Benson's running. If you can snag Benson this year after the 6th or 7th round you are committing larceny. Neither Scott nor Watson warrant draft picks at this time in any format.

I saw the segment with Ocho Cinco on NFL Network and he called last season an "embarrassment".

Ocho Cinco on NFL Network set

When you analyse things #85 must surely improve from 2009 when caught a mere 53 passes for 540 yards and just 4 TD's. Much of this can be directly attributed back to Fitzpatrick but obviously the year was a complete bust and yours truly actually cut Ocho Cinco after 5 weeks because he was such a joke. I actually look for Ocho Cinco to rebound much in the same way I believe the Bengals as a team will. Houshmandzadeh being gone will help as Ocho Cinco will surely see more balls his way. Draft Chad as a nice number 3 WR and if he and Palmer get back on the same page could catapult himself back into number 1 status. Coles is a steady veteran and although I wouldn't recommend starting him is a nice player to have on your bench to use in a pinch or a bye week replacement. The receiver I really like out of Cincinnati is Chris Henry. Palmer has always had a great rapport with Henry and swears that the troubled receiver has finally gotten his life together off the field. Henry is a huge target with a lot of talent and in the mock drafts I have been participating in has been going very late. Take a chance on Henry if he is available after round 12 as he may pay big dividends for you this year. No Bengal TE is worth drafting at present time.

The addition of LB Rey Maualuga represents a nice addition for the Bengals DST which showed nice improvement as the year progressed. That being said look for other options when it comes to picking your first unit DST. Shayne Graham is serviceable at the all important position of kicker but be leery of the fact that he will be kicking in inclement weather as the season deepens.

In summary, there may be some decent fantasy values this year for the Bengals who will be looking to rebound from last seasons disappointment. Next up: The Cleveland Browns.

I’ve always loved video games, ever since I first played them on a friend’s computer in the afternoon after elementary school. There’s something almost magical about the fact that we can move images around and interact with virtual worlds, a living fantasy presented for us to interact with however we please. I’ve also always wanted to make games myself but, until recently, didn’t have the technical knowledge to do so. Now, I’m a second year software engineering student, so if I weren’t able to code a game without too many dramas there’d be something drastically wrong. But what about the common person: the person for whom the term ‘memory leak’ conjures up images of their grandfather, ‘pipeline’ is where the water flows, and ‘blitting’ is unheard of? Well, everyone can get in on the game creation process, and you don’t even need to learn ‘real’ programming to do so.
So where do games start? With an idea. Games, like all fiction, require an idea to be successful. Sure, in the same way you can just sit down and write a story without foresight, you can jump on in and slap a game together. However, unless you get ridiculously lucky, the best works are usually the ones that have been well thought out beforehand.
There are two methods of planning a project. You can start from a known technological standpoint and build your project on top of that or you can just go for the design, add as many features and ideas as you like, and then remove the ones that you can’t use when you’ve decided on the technology you’re going to implement the game with. In general, the second type is probably the best one to go with when designing games. When you’re first starting out however, the first option will save you many headaches.
So, for a first game you’re going to want a pretty simple idea. Don’t get me wrong, crazy-go-nuts game ideas are fantastic, and there should be more of them out there, but you’re not going to be able to create a real world simulator with fifty billion virtual people all interacting real time with your actions having a butterfly effect on the future of the virtual universe when it’s just your first game. Really. Many people try it; none that I know of have succeeded. Imitation is the best way to start out. Simple games such as ‘Space Invaders’, ‘Tetris’, ‘Pacman’ or even ‘Pong’ are great places to start. All are largely simple to create but have some inherent challenges. ‘Pacman’ for example, requires path finding for the ghosts. I recommend that you start even simpler than that for your very first attempt. ‘Space Invaders’ is a nice point to jump in. You can make a simple, complete game without much effort and it’s almost infinitely extensible.
If you’re stuck for an idea, pick a genre that you enjoy. Do you love adventure games such as ‘Monkey Island’, ‘Grim Fandango’, ‘Space Quest’, ‘King’s Quest’ etc.? Design one of those. Are you into fighting games like ‘Street Fighter’, ‘Tekken’, ‘Soul Calibur’, ‘Mortal Kombat’ and so on? Come up with an idea for that. Do you like first person shooters such as ‘Quake’, ‘Half Life’ or ‘Doom’? I don’t recommend it as a first project, but you can always give it a go. Feel free to be as generic as you like, this is a learning experience after all.
Now that you have your idea it’s time to flesh it out. Don’t worry about the technology or the fact that you may not know how to actually implement a game just yet, just grab yourself some paper and a pencil and go crazy with ideas. Describe the main characters, game play, goals, interactions, story, and key mappings, anything you can think of. Make sure you have enough detail so that someone can read through the notes and play through the game in their head with relative accuracy. Changing game design during the coding process is almost always a bad idea. Once it’s set, it should remain set until the tweaking phase (I’ll go into this more later) or you’re likely to enter ‘development hell’, where the project goes on and on; more and more work is done with less and less outcome.
At the end of this period of your game creation, you should have the following:
– A written outline of the game’s characters and possibly a sketch or two (be they space ships, yellow circles, cars or the prince of the dark kingdom of Falgour, you need to know who or what the player will be and who they will compete against)
– A written outline of the story (if there is one, this isn’t too vital for ‘Space Invaders’ or ‘Tetris’, but for ‘Uber Quest: An Adventure of Awesomeness’ it’s a really good idea)
– A description of game play, written or storyboarded. Storyboards are visual representations of ideas. Draw your characters in actions, with arrows showing the flow of action and short written descriptions detailing the events occurring in your image (because some of us aren’t fantastic artists and our images can be a little… open to interpretation…)
Now that you have a fleshed out idea, it’s time to work out how this will all get put together. If you’ve gotten to this point and are worried that you’re going to have to spend years learning complex programming languages in order to implement your idea, fear not! Others have already done the hard yards for you. There are many RAD (Rapid Application Development) Tools available for game creation, a number of which are available for free online. Some of them still require you to learn a ‘scripting language’ (a simplified programming language made for a specific task) but in general this isn’t too complicated or involved. I’ve compiled a brief list of some of these I have found at the end of the article. The free ones are listed first, organized by game genre.
Well, that should be enough to get you started in the creation of your game. The most important thing to remember once you’ve gotten this far is that you need to complete your game. Many people start a project and then lose interest and it fails, or they keep moving on to one new project after another without finishing anything. Start small, build a working (if simple) game that is, above all else, complete. When you get to this stage you will always have a huge number of things that you wish to change, fix etc. but you’ll get a great feeling from knowing that it is, in its way, finished.
From this point, you can start the tweaking phase. Play your game a few times and ask others to do the same. Take note of what isn’t fun or could be better and change things here. At this stage, it is more important than ever to keep backups of previous versions so that if a change doesn’t work you can go back and try something different without losing any of your work. It is at this point that you can add all new features, improve graphics and sounds, whatever you please, safe in the knowledge that you’re working on a solid foundation.
When you’re happy with your game, why not share it with the world? There are many cheap or free places out there for you to host your files on and then you can jump on link lists and forums and let everyone know about your creation. Well, I hope that this has been a helpful introduction into the art of creating games. It’s a great deal of fun, and can open whole new avenues of creative expression for you to explore. Jump in and have fun!
Links:
General Game Creation:
(Tools that allow easy creation of many different game types)
Game Maker:
MegaZeux:
Adventure Games:
(Games such as Monkey Island, King’s Quest, Space Quest etc.)
Adventure Game Studio: [http://www.bigbluecup.com]
AGAST:
3D Adventure Studio:
ADRIFT (for text adventures):
Role Playing Games (RPGs):
(Games such as Final Fantasy, Breath of Fire, Diablo)
OHRPG:
RPG Toolit:
Fighting Games:
(Games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Soul Calibur etc.)
KOF91:
MUGEN (unfortunately the site is largely in French):
Side-Scrolling Games:
(Games such as the 2D Mario Games, Sonic the Hedgehog, Double Dragon etc.)
The Scrolling Game Development Kit:
There are many others available as well. One particularly useful site for finding game creation tools is:
Also of note, although not freeware, are the excellent game creation tools available by Clickteam at: [http://www.clickteam.com/English/]
Klik and Play and The Games Factory in particular are the programs to have a look at and download the free demos of.
If you really want to do things right and program the game yourself, there are some excellent programming resources available at the following locations:
Java Game Programming:
Visual Basic Game Programming:
[http://markbutler.8m.com/vb-tutorial.htm]
C++ Game Programming:
General Information:

How To Do Perfect Basketball Fakes

As a follow up to my previous article on CBS Fantasy Hockey Draft Strategy, I wanted to come back with a breakdown of how you should approach drafting in a standard head-to-head Yahoo league.  Many of the principals are the same as CBS (and any league for that matter).  For now, I'll focus on the specific things you need to know for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey leagues in order to draft a winning team.

Roster Limits

The first thing to note about the standard Yahoo settings is that they choose to break down forwards by specific position (C, LW, RW), as opposed to grouping wingers, or all forwards together.  This has a huge impact on your strategy.  In most other formats, I tend to focus on goaltending and defense out of the gate; however, in this league, Left Wingers are at a premium.  The talent at this position drops off drastically after a small handful of elite options.  According to Yahoo's rankings and position classifications, the top 10 options are all worthy of very early draft consideration.    After that, you're left with Alex Burrows, Patrick Elias, and Dustin Penner as your starting LW.  And you need to field two players at that position.  Contrast that with the RW position.  Post top 10, you still have strong options: Kessel, Hossa, Horton, Eriksson.  It's even more dramatic when you look at Center.  Sure, it's great to have a Crosby, Stamkos or Malkin leading your charge, but will you really be suffering to settle for the likes of: Zetterberg, Getzlaf, Carter, Mike Richards or Kopitar.   You can go 20 deep and still have outstanding choices like Stastny or Brad Richards.

So, while I still strongly recommend pouncing on a goalie and perhaps a top 5 defenseman early, you should make it a point to pick a left winger by round 3.  After your first LW is taken, unless you're willing to stack the position at the expense of other positions, you can wait on your second LW until late in the draft.  The options you'll get in round 6 aren't much better than what you'll find in round 12.

Flexible players

It only applies to a handful of players, but it's worth noting that several players each season get the special designation of applying to more than one position.  These guys carry extra value on your roster, since you can use them where needed.  The ones most worth noting:  Dany Heatley (LW/RW),  Rick Nash (LW/RW), and Patrick Marleau (LW/C).  Heatley is the most valuable, as he could easily qualify as your top LW or top RW.  Drafting Heatley gives you an edge in terms of flexibility later in the draft, and throughout your season.

 I/R Spot

Yahoo has a unique option that lets you carry one player on the IR that won't count against your other roster spots.  Take advantage of this throughout the season, and even during the draft.  I recommend drafting a player you know will start the season injured (Markov, Burrows).  At the start of the season, you can put him into the IR spot and you'll have a free pick to backfill it.  Always look to pick up hurt stars and keep the spot filled.

Point System

As opposed to CBS, which awards fantasy points based on stats, the standard head-to-head Yahoo leagues are scored on an old-school rotisserie fashion.  (Note: this is one major reason I no longer play on Yahoo.)  This setup affects your strategy in several major ways.

1. Pay attention to all categories. 

In a points based system, +/- can largely be ignored.  In a Yahoo league,  having the best +/- is just as important as goals.  This makes no logical sense, but that's the way it is, so plan your draft accordingly.  If a guy is notoriously bad in +/- or refuses to take a penalty to save his life, downgrade that player. 

 2. Goons are welcome.

Because penalty minutes are valued equal to goals, why not draft a goon to round out your wingers?  One player could single-handedly win that category for you, so even if Zenon Konopka  only nets you 2 goals again next season, his 15 Pims a week may be worth it. 

3. Bring on the backup goalies.

Total goals allowed and saves matter not here.  It's all about the averages (GAA / save %).  What that means is that a workhorse like Vokoun who may lead the league in saves won't necessarily be as valuable as a guy who plays every other game and puts up a low GAA in the process.  So don't necessarily shy away from backups or goalies in a split-crease scenario.  You have to meet a minimum games played each week, so the best strategy here it to grab a top-notch, # 1 goalie early in the draft, then wait it out for your 2nd goalie.  There will be plenty of solid backups out there into the 10th round and beyond.   Guys like Gustavson and Giguere become viable, as they'll both see a game a week and should register decent numbers behind that Toronto defense.  In a points-based league, these two would go undrafted.  This approach may hold you back in wins and shutouts, but you'll benefit in the other categories. 

4. Sadly, Defense is irrelevant

It breaks my heart to say this, but in this format, you can and should treat defense as an afterthought.  If you can grab one of the top 5 defensemen early, go for it, because the talent level drops off significantly after that.  Mike Green will score like a forward and so he is worthy of early selection.  However, since defense and offense are grouped together in Yahoo leagues for scoring, they have relatively little value.  Best plan is to grab 1 elite defenseman if you can early, get your second D around round 8-10, then fill up your other starting spots before rounding out this position.

Draft Room Rules

Unlike CBS, Yahoo leaves you the keys and lets you drive your car how you please.  There is no restriction on the number of players you can draft at any position.  If you want to fill your bench with 4 goalies, you're free to do so.  I only point this out, as it's a dramatic difference from the approach in CBS.  Here, you're free to take the best player available at all times.

Player Rankings

Finally, take a close look at those Yahoo player rankings and play off of them accordingly.  The average GM will tend to follow Yahoo's picks rather blindly.  Be informed and watch for these situations.

 Undervalued

Here are some undervalued players that you can wait on and grab as a steal later than you would in other draft rooms:

Goalies: Anti Niemi, Marty Turco

Defense: Shea Weber, P.K. Subban, Lubomir Visnovsky

Centers: Anze Kopitar, Jordan Staal

Left Wing: Dany Heatley, Wojtek Wolski, James Neal

Right Wing: Alexander Semin, Marian Hossa 

Overvalued

Here are some names that will fly off the board before their time, based on Yahoo overrating them:

Goalies: Craig Anderson

Defense: Andrei Markov (hurt), Niklas Kronwall (hurt), Sheldon Souray

Centers: Jonathan Toews, Tomas Plekanec

Left Wing: Alex Burrows (hurt), Patrik Elias

Right Wing: Daniel Alfredsson, Nikolai Zherdev

In order to be an offensive threat you must be able to elude your guard whether you have the ball or not. A fake is an act designed to throw your guard off balance, so you can drive past him or free yourself for a shot. Do this by faking with your head, eyes, feet, shoulders, and body. The fake drive-and-shot is designed to throw the defensive player off balance and force him back to make room for the shot. Feint a dribble around the guard, using the front foot to force him back. The offensive player then comes up to position for the shot. Any feint will produce some recoiling action on the guard’s part. The fake shot-and-drive is a maneuver in which the player with the ball fakes a shot at the basket to draw the guard close to him so he can dribble around him. When you are faking, keep the ball protected and in position for the dribble. The first stride should be a long one with the right foot if going right, placing the ball well out in front while driving by the guard. A double fake is executed by faking a drive with a deep step to the right, causing the guard to drop back a little. The offensive man then moves his front foot a bit back and poises for a set shot. As the guard comes up on his toes to stop the shot, the offensive man lowers his body and drives off his front foot, placing the ball well out ahead and drives in for the goal. To go to the right side, the deep step is faked to the left with the right foot. The shot is faked, then comes the drive to the right. A left-handed player will use his left foot as the forward foot and follow the same technique as above.
In starting a fake, a player never knows whether it will be a single or a double fake. This will depend on the action of the guard. Sometimes a guard commits himself on the first fake. If he is not fooled on the first fake, then try the double fake. A common fault of many players executing feints is that they do not allow enough time for the defensive player to “fall for” the deception. Shooting or driving too soon simply means that the deception is wasted. Dribble Tips:
1. Do not take a one-bounce dribble when you first get the ball. This robs you of the opportunity to move with it.
2. Keep your head up and eyes ahead so you can get a good view of what the other players are doing.
3. Do not try to dribble in congested areas.
4. Do not slap at the ball-push it to the floor with your fingertips.
5. When advancing to your front court with the high dribble, be sure that there are no opponents nearby who may steal the ball.
6. Learn to keep your body between your man and the ball.
7. Use a high dribble for speed and a low dribble for control and deception.
8. Fake with your eyes, head and body when dribbling. This will add defensive pressure on your man.
9. Dribble only when necessary. Over-dribbling is a waste of time. Passing will advance the ball more quickly than dribbling.
Moving without the ball Players often do not know how to act offensively when they do not have the ball. In my coaching experience I have found this to be especially true of young players. Too frequently they do nothing. They stand around watching the man with the ball, waving their arms for a pass even though he is closely guarded. The easiest man to guard is the player who stands around and moves slowly and aimlessly. Basketball is a team game and all five players must work as a unit to get the best results.
1. Move at all times to prevent the defense from double teaming a teammate.
2. Keep the middle of the court open to permit plays down the middle.
3. Set up a screen for teammates.
4. Be alert to cut in for a possible play.
Situations change with every pass of the ball. Watch for weaknesses in the defense so you may take advantage of them. It is important to know what you intend to do. Indiscriminate running will only tire you out. Never run straight or in circles. An opponent can easily guard you. Deception and change of pace will help you elude your guard. Learn how to cut. A few of the cutting movements will be described and illustrated here. The “L” cut is a straight cut down the sideline with a 90 degree change of direction. The “L” cut is used for squaring the corners in the fast break.
1. “L” cut right.
2. “L” cut left.
The “buttonhook” is used primarily in cutting for the basket, but it can also be used when meeting a press. The player drives for the basket, stops, then comes out to meet the pass.
1. Buttonhook right.
2. Buttonhook left.
The “S” cut is started by cutting in one direction and then cutting back to the original position. “S” cut. This cut can be used on either side. Slicing off a post man is another means of freeing yourself for a shot. 1 passes the ball to 2 and immediately cuts off him. 2 times his cut to drive off l’s back and uses 3 as a block. Breaking out from the corner toward the outer half of the free-throw circle is an offensive set-up play. If a pass is received, the corner man can jump-shoot or pivot on the right foot and drive in for a lay-up or set up a post position. 1 breaks out of corner, goes right and left.
The “V” cut is used to change direction and cut for the basket. It is used a great deal in cutting from the corners.
1. “V” cut.
2. “V” cut left

NFL Game Day Roster Limits

Over-valued fantasy football players are not necessarily players that will struggle this season. They are players that are being drafted too high in the draft compared to their predicted output versus players at the same position being drafted much lower. Successful fantasy football team owners are the owners that recognize value in each round and draft accordingly. There is no set methodology on what position to draft in each round or what players should be drafted in each round. As always, KNOW YOUR SCORING system and let that dictate your drafting strategy and be flexible about your strategy so you can make adjustments on the fly based on how the draft is unfolding so you can recognize Value in the players still available.

Assuming a standard fantasy football scoring system, we are going to cite players that we are seeing drafted too high compared to other players at their position. Currently, the most over-valued fantasy football players thus far, according to their Average Draft Position, are as follows.

(Denver) - Peyton began showing his age towards the end of 2014. He was still the third highest scoring QB last season, but that won't happen this year and he is being drafted as the third QB. Manning is a bit slower, throws more INTs, the Broncos are relying much more on their running game and Peyton has lost a few weapons. Wes Welker and Julian Thomas are gone and RB C.J. Anderson is breaking out. I still expect 4000 yards and 30 TDs from Peyton, but you can get that kind of production later in the draft from numerous other QBs... QBs that are much younger and more mobile than the 39-year old Manning.

(Carolina) - There are many people that felt that Stewart cane into his own last season and it will springboard him into a successful 2015. Sure, he averaged 100 ypg in his last 4 and the Panthers did let RB DeAngelo Williams go, but I don't buy it. He has only had one season of over 200 carries due to injuries and has already tweaked his ankle this summer. If you decide that he is worth the risk, make sure to also grab Cameron Artis-Payne to plug in the day the switchover happens.

(Buffalo) - Sammy Watkins is as talented as a receiver gets in the AFC East, but you won't notice this season. Kyle Orton was a serviceable QB, but he has retired and the list of QBs now in Buffalo makes a person cringe; Matt Cassel, E.J. Manuel and Tyrod Taylor. Coach Rex Ryan has faced this situation before and I can guarantee you that he is going to try to win by running the ball and letting his defense do the bulk of the work. Also, Sammy is coming off hip surgery which is definitely not going to help. The NFL is chocked full of quality WRs so don't spend a pick on Watkins as it could just be a wasted pick.

(Jacksonville) - Julius is very talented but he may never see the production that he had in Denver again. Of course, he has 46 million reasons not to be too upset about it. Thomas' greatest value has always come in the form of TDs. Because Denver had so much talent, he was never relied upon to be a catch/yardage-heavy option. Now, Jacksonville is largely devoid of receiving talent, so it could mean that Thomas will compensate for his drop in TD receptions with more catches and yards, but it could also mean that he will face double-teams. He is far too risky to consider taking him in single-digit rounds when there could be a half-dozen tight ends that end up with the same, or better, numbers that are drafted in double-digit rounds.

(New England) - Gostkowski was the highest scoring kicker in the NFL last season so he should be the highest drafted kicker, correct? Well, I would agree, but why take ANY kicker before your last or second-to-last round? Philly K Cody Parker was a mere 2 field goals behind Gostkowski in points and no one is thinking about taking him over a WR4 or RB4. Fill your bench before taking a kicker.

- Along the same lines as a kicker, WAIT on your defense. Unless you have a robust scoring system that rewards defenses heavily, the difference in points between the top dozen defenses is too small to think about taking a defense in single-digit rounds. Seattle gets a LOT of press and has been to two straight Super Bowls, but they were not the top-scoring defense in fantasy last year even after having an ADP in single-digit rounds. As a matter of fact, in some formats, they were the 7-9th highest scoring defense in 2014. Before I take a kicker, I always start two rounds before and grab my first defense then grab my second defense. The top defenses fluctuate every year. Who would have figured that Philly would have had the highest-scoring fantasy defense last season?

I’ve never understood why the NFL has 53 men rosters, yet only 45 can suit up for games. It doesn’t make sense. And of the 45 dressed, 3 are considered specialists. Kickers, punters and long snappers who have very important jobs, but are not they are not exactly getting the crap beat out of them when they’re in the game. In fact the Long snappers can’t even get jacked up anymore. There is a rule to protect them from getting “canned”. (Players can no longer hit the Long snapper while he’s snapping the ball) This means they’re are only 42 player left that can be involved in the more physical nature of the game. Since there are so many collisions, at least a couple of players are injured during games, which further limits teams. This also means 15 percent of the roster is getting paid, but not playing. That’s a great deal for those who are not playing, no wear and tear on their bodies, and a healthy paycheck. But it’s terrible for the players who are playing, and the coaches too.
I don’t know how, or when 45 became the agreed amount to to suit up, but my guess it was probably in the 1960’s when teams and players did not make a fraction of the money that they make today. The game was extremely rough back then, I wasn’t around to watch, but from watching old clips on NFL films, head hunting and late hits were legal, or the referees never bothered to read that far in the rule book. Today’s players are bigger, stronger, and faster, so in turn the collisions are much more violent. The entire roster needs to be activated so as to “even out” the collisions.
Also with the roster limitations, teams often have valuable starters on special teams like kickoffs, punt returns teams. Field goal and extras point teams is the only part of the games that does not involve running into each other at high rates of speed. In fact you can put drunk fans on those teams and they would be safe, all they do is snap, kick and watch. Its the kick offs and punts are often where the high speed collisions take place. This further puts fatigued starters at risk. Having a full 53 to play can only help the game in the long run, extend careers and make owners more money. I’m shocked the owners have not figured this out. The NFL players union contract is expiring after this year. Hopefully the owners will take a look at this roster flaw.
The NFL is the only organization where it’s employees are paid lots of money, encouraged to beat the snot out of each other, while 15 percent players of it’s players, sits in the stands for free, eating hamburgers, drinking beer and getting a paycheck. Being part of the 15 percent is a great job.
If you ask the average man, or women who works at “regular” job”. If the owner or manager of your company said, ” We’re going to sit you down this week, but you’re getting paid full salary. Are you okay with that?” The answers will always be “H…. yes.”

How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Fantasy 5

Ohio State (-22) VS. MINNESOTA:

Ohio State has played much better than anyone expected as their defense is one of the best unit's in all of college football. This Buckeyes defensive squad has controlled every game they have played so far this year and they will be able to clamp down on a decent Gophers attack. Ohio State's offense is not up to par with their defense but they have been just good enough to give this team the look of past great Buckeyes teams. Although this number might be a tad high due to their offensive inconsistency, the Ohio State defense is so dominant that they will be able to control this one throughout. THE PICK: Ohio State (-23.5)Ohio State has played much better than anyone expected as their defense is one of the best unit's in all of college football. This Buckeyes defensive squad has controlled every game they have played so far this year and they will be able to clamp down on a decent Gophers attack. Ohio State's offense is not up to par with their defense but they have been just good enough to give this team the look of past great Buckeyes teams. Although this number might be a tad high due to their offensive inconsistency, the Ohio State defense is so dominant that they will be able to control this one throughout. THE PICK: Ohio State (-23.5)

West Virginia (-7) VS. SOUTH FLORIDA:

The Mountaineers visit USF in a nationally televised Friday night game that will go a long way towards deciding Big East supremacy. The success of West Virginia was not unexpected but the great play of South Florida has been surprising. They have played great defense on their way to an upset win on the road against Auburn. Of course they will have their hands full with the dynamic duo of QB Pat White and RB Steve Slaton. West Virginia has been an offensive machine this year, habitually marching up and down the field with ease. These two are quite possibly the biggest game breakers in college football and when you throw in freshman sensation Noel Devine, it becomes clear that USF will have to play the game of their lives to win this one. Go with the Mountaineers to once again shine on the national stage. THE PICK: West Virginia (-7)

BOISE STATE (-10) VS. Southern Mississippi:

Boise State has been a very good home team over the years as they are 20-4 ATS in their 24 such games. Their offense is not even close to the level they were at in storming the NCAA the last two years but they still can move the ball with good efficiency. Southern Miss also has struggled defensively and they should yield some big yardage to State. Boise State also has a nice advantage on defense as they have played well all year and should limit a weak Southern Miss offense. Bank on the fact Boise State plays well in front of the home crowd on national television. THE PICK: Boise State (-10.5)

Fantasy 5 is a popular lottery game where the drawing cash prize amount varies with number of tickets sold and if nobody gets the top prize the amount gets added to the next draw. Fantasy 5 has the Multi Draw and the Quick Pick draw in it. If you are a player of California Fantasy 5, Florida Fantasy 5, Michigan Fantasy 5 or any other state game then read these tips which tell you how to increase your odds of winning the game:-
– The fantasy 5 game has a long history and this makes the lottery pattern more defined which increases it accuracy in getting the winning numbers. The winning lottery pattern comes from the right lottery games code but cracking and getting this code is not an easy affair. After having the lottery pattern you can get the games trend which gives you the result of the future draw.
– There are some software and programs which do the number selection based on comparison of their probability. These software have a databank of past winning numbers and sequence through which it analyzes the numbers which have the brightest chances of coming in the next draw.
– The use of mathematical tools and “Smart Pick Formula” gets you a high accuracy in forecasting the winning numbers. This formula always hits on numbers which have a chance of coming in the next draw.
– Keeping the Hot Numbers, Cold Numbers and Overdue numbers in mind before selecting the final result is very important and applicable in the Fantasy 5 game. These numbers tell you the winning and losing numbers and the numbers which are worth chasing in the next few games.
These strategies might not get you the win the first time and do require a little practice. Learn and use these strategies and techniques in Fantasy 5 to find the winning numbers of the next draw as it will surely get you a Mega-Jackpot win.

How To Beat The On Line Football Contests

NFL week 4 lines are out and this is the week of the home underdogs. The reason we make note of this is that one of our time-tested winning formulas concerns betting on home underdogs in the correct circumstance. Home underdogs have covered at almost a 60 percent clip over the last 10 years and there are a great deal of games this week that fit this scenario. We see a number of these games where the home underdog will cover. We have given you our first impressions of these game below and later in the week we will finalize our picks for our subscribers.

Ravens (-4.5) VS. BROWNS: Cleveland is a homedog which they also were in week 2 when they covered and won against the Bengals. The Ravens failed to cover after being up big Sunday against Arizona but their defense is the type that gives young QB's like Anderson trouble.

Bears (-3) VS. LIONS: Why the Bears are favored here is the questions as this team has some major flaws that they must deal with, particularly the ineffectiveness of QB Rex Grossman. The Lions were destroyed last week against Philly and that's the type of loss that can shake a team's confidence. Home underdog scenario is at work here.

COWBOYS (-11) VS. Rams: There is no team other than the Saints that have been the NFL's bigggest dissapointment as the Rams have shown no life this season and now will lose RB Steven Jackson for this one with injury. 11 is a lot of points and it is possible the Cowboys could let down here after such a big win last Sunday on the road against the Bears.

Packers (-2) VS. VIKINGS: Fishy game here as the Vikings should be about a 7 point underdog against the 3-0 Packers. This game reminds us of the Browns-Bengals game in week 2. The Packers however are so hot that they should be able to handle them here. Another home underdog here.

Texans (-3) VS. FALCONS: Yet another home underdog scenario here as the Falcons played well last week under the same setup but failed to cover against Carolina. The Texans pushed as a home dog last week against the Colts in a wild line as some covered with Indy as they started at -5.5(we won with that number picking the Colts), while some pushed with the -6, and some even won with Houston as the line hit -6.5 Sunday morning.

COLTS (-9.5) VS. Broncos: Good one here as the Colts take on the Broncos. Denver was shocked by Jacksonville at home last week and things could turn sour quick with another loss. Expect a better performance by them in this game. The Colts on the other hand have destroyed Denver over the years, which include two playoff wins.

DOLPHINS (-3.5) VS. Raiders: Two bad teams meet in Miami with the dreaded 3.5 spread.

Jets (-3.5) VS. BILLS: The Bills will go with backup QB Trent Edwards as JP Losman will miss a few weeks with injury. The Jets did well at home in beating Miami last week and things could be turning around after a tough beginning to their season.

Eagles (-3) VS. GIANTS: Giants are home underdogs in primetime against an Eagles team that put up a ridiculous offensive showing last week.

Steelers (-5.5) VS. CARDINALS: The Steelers are 3-0 ATS so far this year and they go to the dessert to take on a Cardinals team that most likely will go with backup QB Kurt Warner which could give them a boost.

CHARGERS (-12) VS. Chiefs: The Chargers are playing poorly as they are now 1-2 after a tough loss on the road against Green Bay. The Chiefs got on the board last week against the Vikings but this team can't score at all. Both RB's in this one (LT and L. Johnson) have struggled.

Seahawks (-1.5) VS. 49ERS: 49ers are the home underdog here as they take on a Seahawks team that comes off an impressive in over the Bengals. 49ers RB Frank Gore ran wild on Seattle in both games last year.

Patriots (-7) VS. BENGALS: Yet another home underdog and this one is on MNF as the Bengals take on the Patriots.

Have you every went to your free football pick em contest site on Monday morning anticipating seeing your name in the #1 position in the standings only to find you are in 27,345 place? You picked 15 correct out of 16 possible selections and you were so far down the list that you felt like hitting the delete button on the contest site. Yep that is normal for the more popular contests like ESPN and the major sporting publications who draw hundreds of thousands of contestants each year. But don’t panic, if you really look at the above situation, you are really in 2nd place and only 1 game out of being in first place. If the maximum picks available were 16, and you had 15, the most the leader could have is 16 thus putting you in 2nd place.
There is little doubt that going up against that many people will make the contest closer to the odds of a lottery than a contest of skill. Some of these “free” contests offer some very nice prizes, but usually the big cash prizes come from the contests that carry some sort of cash entry fee. Of course now your chances of winning are enhanced as the number of participants is drastically reduced, but then again these contests are usually the ones that draw the very good sport handicappers, the ones who are the serious players in sport betting and handicapping. Personally I would rather take my chances with fewer people and put forth a little effort to research the schedule and pick the winners.
There are two types of football pick ’em contests, the ones that require you to only pick the winner of the game outright, and then the type that are played “against the spread”. Again you have a huge difference in the number of entries you are up against and the odds of someone getting a “perfect” card on a given Sunday are extremely remote. A very good football handicapper is hard pressed to win 60% of the games he picks against the spread. The spread is a number assigned to the weaker of the two teams to even the score so to speak for betting purposes. The Sport Books in Las Vegas would not exist if they allowed bettors to just place wagers on who will win the game. So they establish a point spread to try to even out the betting on each team as much as possible.
To win a on-line contest of any kind is quite difficult because of the number of people you are playing against. But you can cut the odds by playing in the contests that have a small fee and you can cut it even further by playing against the spread. Either way the goal is to pick as many winners as possible and hope between your doing your homework and a little bit (a whole lot of luck) you can get more winners than everyone else. Here are a few tips for picking winners in the no point contests:
You can determine which of the two teams is the better team by just looking at the point spread at one of the online books or sometimes in your local paper. USA Today also posts point spreads on all games. The team that is showing the (-) minus before the number is the favorite. Example: New England -7 over NY Jets means the oddsmakers believe the Patriots to be 7 points better than the NY Jets in this particular weeks game.
Once you determine who the favorites are, look for the all the favorites with point spreads of 7 points or more and just automatically pick them in your contest. These teams will only lose the game straight up about 20% of the time. You then want to look for those teams that are playing at home and are either getting 3 points or less or are favored. These should be automatic picks. Now the fun starts. Every week there are 3 or 4 games that do not fall into these scenarios, and these are the games that usually make the difference between cashing in the money and racking up the season as just having a lot of fun.
Finding those 3 or 4 teams to pull off the upset will take doing some research. Reading news articles, reviewing injury reports, looking at game situations, weather conditions etc…..Of course now we are getting into hard core handicapping, and unless you are experienced and have the time try, your best and have fun. There is a sources that can help such as sport services and betting advisors, but you certainly don’t want to pay for services for a on-line contest unless you were getting close to cashing in on a big win, but then you came this far without them, why switch now.
You might like to attend the “Las Vegas Sport Handicappers Workshop” which is free and with a panel of experts each week, you could get a big edge on some of the games for your contest, it is also a great resource for the serious sport bettor. The workshop is held each Wednesday at 9pm Eastern – 6pm Pacific. It is a free conference room with live chat and audio. For registration details, more football handicapping articles and to receive a free Best Bet selection and newsletter each week go to: