|Randy Moss: I still have a lot of love for Patriots, but I’m with Niners now||12.12.12 at 9:17 pm ET|
Randy Moss said Wednesday he’s still got fond memories of his time with the Patriots, but now, he’s a member of the 49ers.
The former New England wide receiver, who called Foxboro home from 2007 until the early stages of the 2010 season, said that he didn’t want to compare the two organizations “because whatever I say is going to be the wrong thing to say,” but said that the Patriots still hold a place in his heart.
“Basically, I’ll leave it at that I still got love and respect for the New England Patriots and everything we did as a team. But now, I’m a 49er, so hopefully, like I said, we go up there Sunday night and give it a good game,” said Moss, who caught 259 passes for 3,904 yards and 50 touchdowns in 52 regular-season games with the Patriots.
“Hopefully, we can complement our defense, [but there’s] no telling what’s going to happen,” he added. “But like I said, we have to play complementary football, and I think if we do that and try and not let Tom [Brady] and the [New England] offense run the score up on us, I think it’ll be a good game.”
Through 13 games, the 35-year-old Moss has 21 catches (on 37 targets) for 326 yards and two touchdowns for San Francisco. His best all-around outing of the year came in the season opener against the Packers, when he had four catches (on four targets) for 47 yards and a touchdown. Despite the dip in his numbers, the Niners praised Moss on Wednesday, with San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh saying he’s been a “great teammate.”
“He’s a good teammate,” said linebacker Aldon Smith. “He’s a guy I looked up to as a kid growing up, and being able to be in the locker room and sit next to him is cool. It’s a dream come true.”
“He’s done a nice job,” said Harbaugh. “He’s been a contributor, he’s produced, and he’s been a great teammate.”
He’s also getting a lot of respect in New England. Safety Devin McCourty spent training camp and the initial stages of the 2010 season as a teammate of Moss, and recalled Wednesday how the veteran receiver helped him grow up on a daily basis as a young defensive back.
“He’s still a very, very good receiver,” said McCourty. “I learned a lot just going against him when he was here. You see him out there, and he’s still able to make plays. I think one of the special things about him is that he’s still able to get vertical and run by guys. I guess one good thing is that we have some familiarity with him, and that can help us a little bit. But he’s still a very good receiver.”
“He does a great job of reading defenses,” said Wes Welker. “He knows when he’s about to get the ball and he knows when to kick into high gear and get open and make plays. He really understands defenses, how they’re trying to play them and how to attack them.”
“I think Randy looks like Randy. He’s the greatest deep ball receiver I think that’s ever played,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick. “Nobody runs better patterns or has a better feel over the deep part of the field like Randy Moss. I still see him doing that. Because of his ability to do that, it certainly opens up a lot of other things as well because you have to respect the ability to stretch the field and go deep and get behind you.”
|Fantasy Football: Week 12 waiver wire||11.20.12 at 10:33 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 12 waiver wire. Once again, we have a very active week in terms of shifting player values. Perhaps the biggest riser is QB Colin Kaepernick, who might have stolen the starting gig in San Francisco with two strong performances in the wake of Alex Smith’s Week 10 concussion. There’s some shape-shifting going on in backfields around the league as well with material changes in Pittsburgh, Jacksonville, Arizona, New Orleans and Green Bay. There also are a few bust-out receivers led by New England’s Julian Edelman and San Diego’s Danario Alexander, who is on the wire for the third straight week. With the bye weeks past us, it is now time to solidify rosters and to collect players with high upside, which now trumps depth when it comes to making pickups. If you are in a deeper league, come on over to Rotobahn, where I will be adding players throughout the day as I work through more Week 11 game film.
Matt Schaub, Texans
A monster game like the one Schaub had in Week 11 always will get a lot of attention, but the bigger fact is that Schaub has been very good for the last month if you throw out the one stinker at Chicago. With Houston likely looking to scale back Arian Foster’s carries, we think Schaub could be solid down the stretch. He should be owned in all leagues.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
It’s easy to see the 49ers making a switch at quarterback after what Kaepernick has done the last two weeks. He’s a great athlete with a very good arm. San Francisco traded up in the draft to get him. It might be time … and if you can get him, especially in long-term formats, I think it’s a good move. The 49ers look like a better team with him at the helm.
Jake Locker, Titans
He’s healthy now, and with Chris Johnson running all over the place, he will have some open targets downfield. If Locker plays well, he could be very good for fantasy owners over the final five weeks. He has some nice matchups left, especially this week’s game in Jacksonville.
Chad Henne, Jaguars
He’s a guy for large formats, obviously, but he looked good and should be the starter for the time being. Add him if you have a hole or want some depth.
|Fantasy Football: Week 8 starts, sits||10.26.12 at 9:09 am ET|
Welcome to Rotobahn’s Week 8 starts and sits. Head to Rotobahn and use our full lineup rankings if we fail to cover your lineup questions here. As usual, we’ve done our best to avoid the obvious choices and to talk about players that are on the fringe of lineups in 12-team leagues. We’ll be doing a Sunday morning chat at 11 a.m. at WEEI.com, so join us if you have any last-minute issues. And if you are looking for late-breaking Sunday news, sign up to follow us on Twitter.
Good luck to all in Week 8!
Michael Vick, Eagles vs. Falcons
You are going to get Vick’s best effort this weekend against his old team. You might see an interception or two and perhaps a fumble, but barring injury, Vick will fill the stat sheet in his usual way. Don’t let all the bad press affect your lineup choices. He’s still a high-end fantasy option, and we expect solid fantasy output in Week 8. Vick is a good option in all leagues.
Jay Cutler, Bears vs. Panthers
Make sure he practices fully Friday, but we like Cutler this week if you are looking for a bye week option. He’s without Alshon Jeffery, which hurts, but Matt Forte is healthy again. Forte and Brandon Marshall should be all Cutler needs to have a solid fantasy start this week.
Matt Hasselbeck, Titans vs. Colts
This should be a competitive game, and we like Hasselbeck at home vs. a soft Indianapolis defense. He has a deep receiving corps to work with, and Chris Johnson’s resurgence gives the Titans some balance. Hasselbeck can start for you this week in 12-team leagues.
Philip Rivers, Chargers at Browns
He might be just fine, but we’re concerned with the Chargers in general. They are making a lot of knee-jerk decisions, and now coach Norv Turner is talking about being more conservative. It always worries me when teams start to doubt their identity. So while Rivers certainly is viable, we are not looking to start him this week in 10-team leagues and he’s not a great play in 12-team leagues either.
Alex Smith, 49ers at Cardinals
On the road against a good defense is not the spot to play Smith if you can avoid it. We also are concerned about his finger injury, which has been blamed for his recent struggles. Smith is a player we want to see play well again before we put him in our active lineup.
|Fantasy Football: Week 5 starts, sits||10.12.12 at 11:29 am ET|
Welcome to Rotobahn’s Week 6 starts and sits. There are plenty of quality options on the bye this week, so feel free to go to Rotobahn.com and use our full lineup rankings if we don’t highlight your key lineup choices here. As usual, we’ve done our best to avoid the obvious choices and to talk about players that are on the fringe of lineups in 12-team leagues. Good luck to all in Week 6!
Andrew Luck, Colts at Jets
He should be able to find the holes in the Jets defense. He’s also a good bet to pick up points with his feet against New York’s slow linebackers. Luck has a solid fantasy floor in Week 6.
Andy Dalton, Bengals at Browns
The Browns get top CB Joe Haden back, but we like Dalton enough to play him as a bye week replacement. The key is that he has been using all his weapons, so if they take A.J. Green away, guys like TE Jermaine Gresham and WR Andrew Hawkins can make big plays. Dalton is our 13th ranked QB in Week 6.
Christian Ponder, Vikings at Redskins
If you have bye issues at QB, Ponder can help. The Minnesota passer has been steady all season long. He should post high-end QB2 numbers in Week 6. Start him with confidence.
Alex Smith, 49ers vs. Giants
Smith is capable of having a big game against a good defense, but this game could be a defensive struggle and there are better options out there this week. If you need to play Smith, go for it, but we’d at least check out some other options. Check out our lineup rankings at Rotobahn.com if you need any more ideas.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins vs. Rams
I like the Dolphins rookie, but this is a rough matchup, so consider other options before playing Tannehill on a less-than-average week for him. The Rams have been playing some very solid defense in 2012.
|WEEI NFL Power Rankings, Week 6: Patriots return to top 5||10.09.12 at 10:19 am ET|
For the third straight week the Falcons (1), Texans (2) and 49ers (3) remain at the top of the WEEI NFL Power Rankings. At a combined 14-1, those teams have one major thing in common: balance. They are strong on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
One team that is no stranger to the top five is the Patriots. Tom Brady and company hop back in at No. 5 after a three-week absence. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are the latest team to get bounced after their loss to the Colts. Green Bay drops to No. 7.
One division that has gone from rags to riches is the NFC West. The 49ers (3), Cardinals (10), Seahawks (16) and Rams (25) are all bolstered by solid defense and are progressing week to week.
Week 6 has the potential to be the most impactful week yet. In a rematch of the NFC championship, the 49ers will be out for revenge against the Giants (8). Meanwhile, the Texans will battle the Packers as Green Bay attempts to avoid dropping to 2-4.
1. (1) Falcons (5-0) — Matt Ryan has led the Falcons to their first 5-0 start in franchise history. Mike Smith‘s team put up 17 points in the fourth quarter to remain perfect. Great teams win close games and find ways to prevail. The Falcons have proven they are capable of that so far.
2. (2) Texans (5-0) — The pulse of the Texans defense may be out for the year. The early reports suggest Brian Cushing suffered a torn ACL in Monday night’s win over the Jets, and that could be a crippling blow.
3. (3) 49ers (4-1) — The Niners have outscored their opponents 79-3 in their last two games. That’s a pretty remarkable statistic. It shows how dominant this team is but also how terrible the Jets and Bills are as well. They’ll face some real competition next week against the Giants but there are reasons to be concerned. Alex Smith has a sprained middle finger on his throwing hand.
4. (5) Ravens (4-1) — It wasn’t pretty but the Ravens improved to 4-1 without scoring a touchdown. Ray Rice rushed for over 100 yards and that usually means a Ravens victory. Baltimore is 13-2 when Rice rushes for over 100 yards. For John Harbaugh, the formula to victory is simple: Get Ray Rice the rock.
5. (7) Patriots (3-2) — As long as the defense remains opportunistic, the Patriots will continue to roll. The defense has forced key turnovers in crucial moments throughout the season. A solid giveaway/takeaway number is usually a great indicator of how good a team really is, and the Pats and the Falcons top the NFL with a plus-10.
|Fantasy Football: Week 4 starts, sits||09.28.12 at 10:48 am ET|
Welcome to Rotobahn’s Week 4 starts and sits. As always, we’ve tried to avoid the obvious choices and have focused on players that represent tougher lineup choices. We’ll be releasing full lineup rankings at Rotobahn.com Friday and Saturday, so check us out this weekend if you need a little help. Good luck to all in Week 4.
Andy Dalton, Bengals at Jaguars
Dalton is rolling right now, and that should continue against a very beatable Jacksonville defense. He’s using A.J. Green as he should, but he’s also spreading the ball around to all his other targets and keeping the opposition honest. Dalton can help you in all formats this week.
Matt Schaub, Texans vs. Titans
It’s a good matchup, and the only risk we see with Schaub this week is that Houston wins too easily and goes to the ground game for most of the second half. He’s a pretty safe play in all formats if you need a QB.
Christian Ponder, Vikings at Lions
Ponder has looked very good so far and he gets WR Jerome Simpson back from suspension this week, which gives him one more quality weapon to go with Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin and Kyle Rudolph. The Lions have been shaky so far on defense, so this one should go well for Ponder.
Alex Smith, 49ers at Jets
There will be the inclination to write off the Jets defense without Darrelle Revis, but New York can still defend the pass better than a lot of teams. San Francisco is a conservative outfit and the Jets might not be able to score much at all in this one. Alex Smith may be doing a whole lot of handing off in Week 4. We see a score to Vernon Davis and a whole lot of ground and pound. You can do better.
Jay Cutler, Bears at Cowboys
The Bears need to show me they can protect Cutler before I can trust them against a team like the Cowboys, who shows up with a stud pass-rusher and two very solid cornerbacks. We like Cutler, but we don’t trust his support system in this one.
|WEEI NFL Power Rankings, Week 3: Patriots plummet to No. 7||09.18.12 at 9:52 am ET|
For the third straight week, a new team climbs to the top of the WEEI NFL Power Rankings. The 49ers now have the throne as they come off two dominant performances against playoff teams. The Patriots’ reign at No. 1 didn’t last long and they drop to No. 7 after a shocking loss to the Cardinals at home.
Balance is the key attribute to the top three teams. The 49ers (1), Texans (2) and Falcons (3) all have great defenses to go along with a strong offense.
The Saints continue to march in the wrong direction and fall all the way to No. 18. Meanwhile, the 2-0 Eagles jump all the way to No. 5 after a huge win over the Ravens.
More change is in store for the teams in the top 10. Two of the powerhouses of the AFC, the Patriots and Ravens, will face off on Sunday night. One team will bounce back after suffering a loss in Week 2 while the other will fall a game below .500.
Check back here next Tuesday to see how all 32 teams rise and fall. Here are the rankings, with last week’s rank in parentheses:
1. (2) 49ers (2-0) — It’s clear, the 49ers are the best team in the league. Jim Harbaugh‘s team doesn’t seem to have a weakness. The Niners have a strong run game, a formidable passing attack and an elite defense. Alex Smith has completed over 70 percent of his passes and has been protecting the ball well.
2. (4) Texans (2-0) — The Texans took care of business in Week 2 and improved to 2-0. It’s tough to gauge how good this team really is after Houston played two extremely weak opponents. It will be fun to watch the Texans against Peyton Manning and the Broncos next week. Read the rest of this entry »
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