Nov 21

Capitals Recall Dmitry Orlov From Hershey, Set To Make NHL Debut Tonight

The Washington Capitals, who are clearly missing Mike Green’s presence on the blue line, have called up defenseman Dmitry Orlov in an effort to try to make up for the production and presence of Mike Green. Orlov is widely considered to be the Capitals’ top prospect and has been compared to Mike Green. While Orlov is still learning things on the defensive end, I think he’s definitely ready to contribute on the offensive end. The Capitals have missed Green’s stellar play from the point, especially on power plays. Orlov has the ability to make things happen from the point. He will be making his NHL debut tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes.

My guess is that Orlov will stay up until Green is 100%. I imagine he’ll be sent down after that because of bonuses for games played. He also has quite a bit to work on defensively, and the NHL is not an ideal place to do that when you’re a defenseman.

Here’s my player profile on Dmitry (and other prospects).  I’m very excited to see what Orlov can do.

Nov 21

Baltimore Ravens report card versus Cincinnati Bengals


Quarterback- Joe Flacco got off to a slow start but played well most of the game. Flacco had the support of a strong running game that eased the pressure. His only blatant mistake was the bad interception near the end of the first half. Still, he threw a couple of beautiful passes to Torrey Smith. Flacco’s numbers were good, finishing with a 105.5 qb rating while throwing for 270 yards and two touchdowns. Grade B

Running back- A Ray Rice sighting? What a pleasant surprise. Rice had a huge game rushing for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Rice was also good in the passing game with 43 receiving yards on five receptions. Ricky Williams was ineffective as a backup. Grade B+

Receivers- Torrey Smith had a monster game with six receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown. Anquan Boldin was relatively silent but had a 35-yard touchdown reception. Grade B

Offensive line- The Ravens offensive line had one of its better games of the season. The only sack on Flacco was on a missed assignment. They opened up some huge holes for Rice against a tough run defense.  Grade B+

Defensive line- Cedric Benson has crushed the Ravens in the past, but not this game. The Ravens held Benson to only 41 yards rushing. He did have two short yardage touchdowns. Pernell McPhee continues to play well, contributing to one of the Ravens two sacks. Grade B

Linebackers- Missing Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain playing banged up, this unit still preformed solidly. McClain had nine tackles and read plays very well. Terrell Suggs provided pressure on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton which caused him to intentionally ground the ball late in the game. Grade B

Secondary
- This unit played well despite giving up some gaudy passing numbers. Jimmy Smith had his first career interception and played well with the exception of blowing one coverage. Lardarius Webb and Ed Reed also had interceptions. Grade B+

Special teams
- Nothing special, nothing bad either. Billy Cundiff had a short field goal and did not allow the Bengals to return a kick. Sam Koch was good except for one bad punt. Nothing special on the kick returns as they played conservatively. Grade B

Coaching staff- The Ravens started out slow but came back. Cam Cameron had an old school Ravens offensive game plan with the addition of threatening the Bengals deep with Torrey Smith. The Ravens should have put the Bengals away earlier and let them come back. Part of the blame goes on Cam Cameron for running the ball three straight times instead of trying to put the Bengals away for good. Grade B

Nov 19

Songs to get you Pumped. Metallica style

Nov 18

Baltimore Ravens Cincinnati Bengals injury report


Baltimore Ravens

Out

RB Anthony Allen (Thigh)
DT Art Jones (head)

Questionable

LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh)
WR Lee Evans (ankle)
LB Ray Lewis (foot)

Cincinnati Bengals

Doubtful

WR AJ Green (knee)
TE Donald Lee (foot)

Questionable

DE Carlos Dunlap (hamstring)

Probable


CB Nate Clements (knee)
C Kyle Cook (foot)
S Chris Crocker (knee)
DE Jonathan Fanene (illness)
WR Andrew Hawkins (hamstring)
CB Adam Jones (groin)
RB Brian Leonard (knee)
LB Dontay Moch (illness)
DE Frostee Rucker (knee)
S Gibril Wilson (ankle)

Nov 17

Between the Hashes- Week 11 Edition

Hello Fantasy Footballers,

It’s Week 11 in the NFL, tonight the New York Jets travel to Denver to play the Broncos on Thursday Night Football. There’s some pretty good match-ups on Sunday as well. But first, let’s look back at the players I mentioned last week.

QB’s

Tony Romo- 270 yds/3 TD – Relatively easy day for Romo and the Cowboys against the Bills.

Eli Manning- 311 yds/2 TD, 2 INT – Manning threw the ball a lot Sunday, the Niners secondary is tough and they again made plays at crucial times in the win over the Giants.

Matt Schaub- 242 yds/2 TD – Schaub was on his way to a nice game against the Bucs, but ended up getting hurt and could possibly be out for the season with an injury to the Lisfranc joint in his foot.

RB’s

LeSean McCoy- 14/81/1 – McCoy scored for the Eagles, but they still do not know their identity on the offensive side of the ball.

Michael Bush- 30/157/1 – I wrote this article before last Thursday nights game, and hopefully everyone started Bush  because he showed he can handle a huge workload if the opportunity presents itself. Bush also had 85 yds receiving in the win against the Chargers.

Darren Sproles- Sproles carried the ball twice for just one yard as the Falcons did a great job of shutting down the Saints running game.

WR’s

Dez Bryant- 6/74/1 – Bryant had a tremendous catch for his TD early in the game against the Bills. He’s showing he can be a beast with all his skills on display.

Anquan Boldin- 2/22 – What happened here? Joe Flacco was out of sync with Boldin all day. Flacco threw the ball 52 times in the loss to Seattle, and the Seahawks physical CB’s took him out of the game.

Antonio Brown- 5/86 - Brown continues the climb up the Steelers depth chart, and he had himself a nice performance against the Bengals.

TE’s

Jermichael Finley- 3/67 – Finley didn’t score in this game, but did have a nice grab in double coverage to set up one of Aaron Rodgers’ four TD’s.

Aaron Hernandez- 4/41 – I thought Hernandez would be the one to watch in the game against the Jets, but typical of the Patriots, it was actually TE Rob Gronkowski who had the better game.

Greg Olsen- 4/45 – Olsen had 11 targets in the game, but struggled as did Carolina’s offense against Tennessee. He fumbled in the redzone in addition to a dropped pass.

Week 11 Bye Weeks: Indianapolis, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Houston

Let’s look at some players I like this week.

Quarterbacks

Carson Palmer (OAK)- Palmer flashed a strong arm last week against the Chargers in their win, throwing 2 TD’s. Although the Vikings still have a good pash rush led by Jared Allen, Palmer should have relative success as the Vikings are still banged up on the backend and giving up the most FP to QB’s over the last five weeks.

Prediction: 230 yds/2 TD/INT

Jay Cutler (CHI)- The Bears face the Chargers, who a few weeks back got into a shootout with QB Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. Cutler’s O-line has been playing better as of late, so Cutler should be able to throw and have some volume to that. Chargers are giving up the 2nd-most to QB’s the last five weeks.

Prediction: 255 yards, 2 TD’s

Running Backs

Maurice Jones-Drew (JAC)- Really like MJD this week, though the Jaguars offense overall isn’t something to like that much. Jones-Drew has been as consistent as anyone at the RB position this season. That will continue against the Browns this week, giving up the 6th-most to RB’s last five weeks.

Prediction: 113 yards/TD

Marshawn Lynch (SEA)- Ran hard against the Ravens and that should continue again this week against a Rams defense with a lot of injuries on that side of the ball.

Prediction: 90 yards/TD

Brandon Jacobs (NYG)- Ahmad Bradshaw is looking less likely to play this Sunday against the Eagles, and Brandon Jacobs is healthy, so he’ll get the rock. He’ll do it against the Eagles who are still sorting their defense out. Giants should control this game, so Jacobs could close this one out with some carries.

Prediction 75 yards

Michael Bush (OAK)- Bush is the starter again this week filling in for RB Darren McFadden. I’ve been high on this guy for a few weeks and he should continue to handle a large workload in this run-heavy offense.

Prediction: 85 yards rushing/60 yards receiving/TD

Wide Receivers

Brandon Marshall (MIA)- Marshall had a great game last week catching seven passes as he has some chemistry going with QB Matt Moore. He caught 19 against the Bills in two games last season. Look for more of that this week.

Prediction: 80 yards/TD

Jordy Nelson (GB)- It’s just a lot of fun to watch the Packers offense right now. They are scoring at will, and QB Aaron Rodgers is on an incredible roll. Nelson caught two of Rodgers’ four TD passes last week. That will continue again this week against a worn-down Buccaneers secondary.

Prediction: 70 yards/TD

Earl Bennett (CHI)- If this game against the Chargers turns into a shootout, which I can see happening, then Bennett should be very active in this ballgame. Chargers are giving up the 2nd-most to WR’s and were lit up last week against Oakland.

Prediction: 75 yards

Tight Ends

Tony Gonzalez (ATL)- Had a ton of targets last week against the Saints, scoring a TD. Titans are giving up the 4th-most to TE’s last five games. Start him.

Prediction: 60 yards/TD

Fred Davis (WAS)- Facing the Cowboys, Davis should be active for the Redskins. If he can get the ball from Rex Grossman who is now the QB for Washington.

Prediction: 75 yards

Good luck in Week 11 to all Fantasy players!

Follow me on Twitter: MattCLund

 

Nov 17

Baltimore Ravens Cincinnati Bengals injury report



Baltimore Ravens

Did not participate

RB Anthony Allen (thigh)
DT Art Jones (head)
LB Ray Lewis (foot)

Limited participation

WR Lee Evans (ankle)

Full participation

LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh)

Cincinnati Bengals

Did not participate

WR AJ Green (knee)
TE Donald Lee (foot)
LB Dontay Moch (illness)

Limited participation


DE Carlos Dunlap (hamstring)
DE Michael Johnson (NIR)
CB Adam Jones (groin)
RB Brian Leonard (knee)
DE Frostee Rucker (knee)
S Gibril Wilson (ankle)

Full participation

CB Nate Clements (knee)
C Kyle Cook (foot)
S Chris Crocker (knee)
DE Jonathan Fanene (illness)
WR Andrew Hawkins (hamstring)

Nov 16

Baltimore Ravens Cincinnati Bengals injury report


Baltimore Ravens


Did not participate

RB Anthony Allen (thigh)
DT Art Jones (head)
LB Ray Lewis (foot)

Limited participation

LB Dannell Ellerbe (thigh)
WR Lee Evans (ankle)

Cincinnati Bengals

Did not participate

CB Nate Clements (knee)
S Chris Crocker (knee)
DE Jonathan Fanene (illness)
WR AJ Green (knee)
CB Adam Jones (groin)
TE Donald Lee (foot)
RB Brian Leonard (knee)
DE Freostee Rucker (knee)
S Gibril Wilson (ankle)


Limited participation

C Kyle Cook (foot)
DE Carlos Dunlap (hamstring)
WR Andrew Hawkins (hamstring)

Nov 15

Ravens report card versus Seahawks


Quarterback- Joe Flacco was given full responsibility of the Ravens offense. He threw the ball 52 times and completed 29 of those passes. Flacco threw an interception along with a touchdown pass. I thought he played well, the offense was not the reason the Ravens lost this game, now was Flacco. Grade B

Running backs- Ray Rice had his first career touchdown pass when he completed a short pass to Ed Dickson. Over wise the run game was a none factor, Rice led the team with 27 passing yards. That will not win many games. Grade C

Receivers- Ed Dickson showed great hands the entire game, he had 10 receptions and two touchdowns. The tight ends and running backs accounted for most of the receptions. The wide receivers only had 5 receptions total. Grade B

Offensive line- Flacco was only sacked one time. They blocked Seattle well and gave Flacco time in the pocket. The lack of false start penalties was a positive sign. Grade B

Defensive line- They played better than they looked. Marshawn Lynch may have had 109 rushing yards but he needed 32 carries to do it. Later in the game is when the defense wore down. Grade B

Linebackers- Jameel McClain and Ray Lewis played well but Terrell Suggs and Jarret Johnson were relatively quiet. All of them had a lot of tackles because Seattle ran the ball a lot. Grade B-

Secondary- A few miscommunication issues but other than that they were solid. They could have been better. Chris Carr needs to play better. Grade C

Special Teams- This unit lost the game. The two David Reed fumbles were huge and the two missed field goals by Billy Cundiff did not help either. Grade F

Coaching staff- Another letdown, coaching can not be blamed for the two David Reed fumbles. The fumbles were the biggest reason the Ravens lost. Grade B

Nov 13

Songs to get you pumped Seattle style




Nov 13

Short-handed Capitals lose to Devils 3-2 in shootout

The Washington Capitals finished off their home-and-home weekend series with the New Jersey Devils with a 3-2 loss in a shootout. It was a tough loss because the Capitals took an early 2-0 lead and were not able to finish off the Devils.

The first period could not have gone much better for the Capitals. Devils goalie Johan Hedberg got an early delay of game penalty when he sent the puck over the glass. The Capitals power play looked good until Alex Semin got called for tripping in the offensive zone. The Capitals came out with a lot of energy, and it paid off when Troy Brouwer got a takeaway in the offensive zone and got an easy goal after faking out Hedberg. It was Brouwer’s fourth goal of the year. The Capitals almost scored on their next power play attempt, scoring just after the powerplay ended. Jason Chimera deflected a John Carlson slap shot past Hedberg to make the score 2-0. Carlson and Marcus Johansson were credited with the assists on that play. In general, the Devils looked flat in the first period, while the Capitals came out with a lot of energy.

The second period was the opposite of the first period: the Devils showed energy, while the Capitals did not. This was expected, as numerous Capitals were not 100%. John Erskine was a late scratch, and Mike Green was a scratch as well. Because of this, the blue line was short-handed and Brooks Laich had to be a defenseman. Petr Sykora and Ryan Carter each added second period goals to even the score. Both times Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth did not have a chance. Sykora’s goal was pretty much unavoidable. Devils won the draw and Sykora just unleashed a bomb. Very few goalies would have had a chance at that one. The second goal was on the defense. They missed numerous chances to clear the puck, and it wound up costing them. The Capitals looked listless in the second period, managing just two early shots on goal.

The third period was a battle between the two teams. Both teams looked extremely tried, and it showed. The Capitals were unable to take advantage of power play opportunities. They had some good chances late in the period, but Hedberg came up  huge when he needed to. Both goalies did well in the third period, forcing the game to go into overtime. Overtime was relatively action-free, as both teams were clearly running on fumes, both having played each other the night before.

The Devils won in the shootout 2-1. Alex Ovechkin scored for the Capitals, Zach Parise and David Clarkson scored for the Devils. Matt Hendricks and Nicklas Backstrom both had a good chance to score but couldn’t take advantage. Alex Semin wound up losing control of the puck, which was extremely uncharacteristic of him. He’s usually the Capitals most reliable guy in shootouts. I’ll contribute it to an off-night.

Troy Brouwer and Jason Chimera both had terrific games for the Capitals. Alex Semin, outside of his one early penalty, played extremely well too. He hustled back on defense, controlled the puck well, and got some good chances. Alex Ovechkin played his heart out as usual and was a huge presence in the hitting game. The players of the game for the Capitals though were three defensemen: Dennis Wideman, John Carlson, and Brooks Laich. Wideman totaled 33:52 of ice time after totaling just under 30 minutes the night before. Carlson had 26:50 of ice time and was the Capitals best defenseman all night long. Laich did a little bit of everything: He was primarily a defenseman in both even strength and power play situations, and also spent some time at center on the PKs. Combined, Laich wound up 23:26 of ice time. Almost half of that was spent on the power play or penalty kill.

The Capitals biggest concern right now should be to get healthy. So many players are dealing with injuries and they desperately need to get healthy. All things considered, the Capitals went into this weekend and got three points in two games. I’ll definitely take that, especially with the team’s blue line being in shambles right now.

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