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  • Matt Pitzer Fantasy Insider

    Seahawks top-flight; Cardinals taking off

    Since 1999, the NFC West has been the domain of the St. Louis Rams, but no more. With the Rams showing cracks and the San Francisco ***** rebuilding, the Arizona Cardinals are ready to become an offensive juggernaut after hiring coach Dennis Green. The Seattle Seahawks will be one of the division's preseason favorites.


    What we learned in 2003: Anquan Boldin is good. He had a rookie record 101 catches to go with 1,377 yards and eight touchdowns and should be a top playmaker for years.

    Key changes: New coach Dennis Green drafted Larry Fitzgerald and named Josh McCown the starting quarterback. Fitzgerald could form an incredible duo with Boldin, but Boldin is the better pick this year.

    Remaining questions: Besides wondering if McCown can complete enough passes, the Cardinals need to improve their running game. Coming off a zero-TD season, Marcel Shipp is not a good fantasy option, Emmitt Smith is too old, and Green likes young Josh Scobey, who has no carries in two seasons.

    What the schedule says: Road games at St. Louis and Atlanta and a home game against New England are a tough opening, but the second half features poor defenses and no bad-weather games.


    What we learned in 2003: The Rams belong to Marc Bulger. Kurt Warner is gone, and Bulger's backup is non-threatening Chris Chandler. Bulger needs to improve his 22-22 TD-interception ratio.

    Key changes: Aside from Warner leaving, the only significant change is the first-round draft pick, running back Steven Jackson. Jackson has great value in a dynasty league but very little value in year-to-year leagues.

    Remaining questions: How Bulger handles the pressure of being the clear-cut starter and whether a third receiver steps up. Dane Looker had 47 catches last year, but coach Mike Martz wants either Kevin Curtis or Shaun McDonald to step up in their second seasons.

    What the schedule says: The Rams won't have many tough games. Their home game against the Eagles in Week 16 is the only tough one down the stretch.


    What we learned in 2003: The ***** didn't like what they had last year. They gutted the offense this offseason and will be a motley bunch this season.

    Key changes: Virtually everything. Quarterback Jeff Garcia is gone, to be replaced by Tim Rattay if he recovers from a torn groin. Receivers Terrell Owens and Tai Streets will be replaced by Cedrick Wilson, Brandon Lloyd and first-round pick Rashaun Woods. Kevan Barlow is the feature back after Garrison Hearst's departure.

    Remaining question: Do you want anybody on this team? Other than Barlow, no. Even Barlow likely will be drafted too early for a guy who has never carried more than 201 times in a season.

    What the schedule says: It doesn't matter whom the ***** play. Every team will be better than them.


    What we learned in 2003: All the pieces are in place, and the Seahawks have the potential to be one of the most valuable fantasy teams in the league.

    Key changes: The Seahawks' only important move on offense was re-signing free-agent receiver Darrell Jackson.

    Remaining question: How good can the Seahawks be? Running back Shaun Alexander has 50 TDs the past three years and will be one of the first eight picks. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw a career-high 26 TDs last year and should push 30 this year. Jackson and Koren Robinson both could be double-digit scorers.

    What the schedule says: Seattle plays four road games in five weeks midseason, but that enables the Seahawks to close with five of their final seven games at home in what should be a playoff push.

    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: Matt Pitzer Fantasy Insider

    Where do I start?

    the Arizona Cardinals are ready to become an offensive juggernaut after hiring coach Dennis Green
    :redface: Ok, I guess hiring an offesive coach, drafting a good receiver in the first round, relying heavily on a young unproven QB, and hoping Bolden can follow up on a great rookie season is all you need to become a JUGGERNAUT? Please; no ground game and this team is toast.

    The Rams won't have many tough games. Their home game against the Eagles in Week 16 is the only tough one down the stretch.

    Really, I think Matt Pitzer needs to check the standings from last season again. Last I checked, both the Panthers and Pats were in the Super Bowl.
    The Rams play some of the best teams in the league this season. Of course not counting the Seasqwaks or whiners. :tongue:

    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey


    Related Topics


    • Nick
      by Nick
      Second quarter, Cardinals are up 7-0 and driving. Go Big Red!
      -10-24-2004, 01:53 PM
    • txramsfan
      Arizona Cardinals....sleeping giant???
      by txramsfan
      The three QB's in this draft....Leinhart, Young, and Cutler, are going to go early. Arizona is picking ONE spot ahead of the Rams. Remember when we drafted Kennedy? Who was in front of the Rams that year? Seattle. Who did Seattle take? Trufant. Trufant played excellent against the Rams and I have a feeling that song is going to play again. With Arizona picking ahead of the Rams, with Edge at RB and a stable of WR's that would make Bob Baffert jealous, when they take one of these three....whichever one.....they are my pick for supremcy in the NFC West for a long time.
      -04-28-2006, 08:14 AM
    • laram0
      A weak NFC WEST
      by laram0
      Let's face it none of the other 3 teams in our Division are powerhouses. Unfortunately we have "probably" fallen to far behind for the Divison Title this season. We do have an opportunity in front of us to go on a very possible winning streak. Maybe get to 4-8 and hope that our Division foes (Cardinals & Seahawks) lose a game here or there that we don't expect.

      Seahawks (5-4)
      Cardinals (4-5)
      Whiners (2-7)
      RAMS (1-8)

      Remaining NFC WEST teams schedule:

      RAMS @ Whiners
      Bears @ Seahawks
      Cardinals @ Bengals

      Seahawks @ RAMS
      Whiners @ Cardinals

      Falcons @ RAMS
      Seahawks @ Eagles
      Browns @ Cardinals

      RAMS @ Bengals
      Cardinals @ Seahawks

      Cardinals @ Saints
      Packers @ RAMS
      Seahawks @ Panthers

      Steelers @ RAMS
      Falcons @ Cardinals
      Ravens @ Seahawks

      Seahawks @ Falcons
      RAMS @ Cardinals
      Whiners @ Browns

      The good news for us is that our 3 toughest opponents are coming to our house.
      -11-16-2007, 07:21 AM
    • r8rh8rmike
      Sando: Why NFC West Linebackers Did Not Register
      by r8rh8rmike
      Why NFC West linebackers did not register

      June, 3, 2011 Jun 3
      By Mike Sando

      Aaron Schatz's piece on defensive stop rates caught my attention for what it did not include, namely any mention of NFC West players among the highest- or lowest-ranked linebackers.

      The San Francisco *****' Patrick Willis sets the standard at the position. The St. Louis Rams' James Laurinaitis has emerged as one of the better 4-3 middle linebackers. The Seattle Seahawks' Lofa Tatupu, slowed by injuries recently, also escaped mention.

      Taking a closer look at the criteria allowed for a fuller understanding of the statistic. Stop rates reflect what percentage of a player's statistics produce successful outcomes against running plays. The stat defines successful outcomes as those when the opposing runner fails to gain certain percentages of the yards required for first downs. The percentage is 45 on first-down runs, 60 on second-down runs and 100 on third- or fourth-down runs.

      So, if Willis tackled the opposing runner after a 4-yard gain on first-and-10, the tackle would qualify as a successful stop because the runner gained only 40 percent of the yards needed for a new set of downs. But if Willis tackled the opposing runner following a 4-yard gain on the ensuing second-and-5 play, his effort would count as a failure because the runner would have gained 80 percent of the yards needed for a first down.

      The stat does not necessarily measure how well a specific defender plays the run, but it does paint a clearer picture of where defenders make their tackles in relation to the first-down marker. A player talented enough to make plays all over the field could have a lower stop rate than a player with less range. This likely explains Willis' relatively low stop rate (57 percent).

      Schatz provided NFC West-specific information for the charts below. Each player had at least 25 tackles on running plays.

      2010 NFC West Stop Rates: Defensive linemen
      Defensive lineman Team Stop Rate
      Alan Branch Cardinals 90%
      Aubrayo Franklin ***** 89%
      Colin Cole Seahawks 81%
      Darnell Dockett Cardinals 80%
      Junior Siavii Seahawks 79%
      Chris Clemons Seahawks 78%
      Calais Campbell Cardinals 78%
      Justin Smith ***** 76%
      Brandon Mebane Seahawks 75%
      Dan Williams Cardinals 74%
      James Hall Rams 74%
      Kentwan Balmer Seahawks 66%

      The stats for linebackers seem to penalize Willis in particular for his ability to make clean-up tackles anywhere.

      The ***** allowed 3.46 yards per rushing attempt, second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers (3.02) among NFL teams.

      2010 NFC West Stop Rates: Linebackers
      Linebacker Team Stop Rate
      Parys Haralson ***** 83%
      Clark Haggans Cardinals 74%
      Joey Porter Cardinals 73%
      Takeo Spikes *****...
      -06-03-2011, 01:17 PM
    • UtterBlitz
      Cardinals versus the Seahawks
      by UtterBlitz
      1st quarter and the Cards are up by 14 points. Zowzer.....

      Who do you think is going to win this game?
      -12-10-2006, 01:42 PM