Thursday, October 08, 2009

FRO’s Favorite Five” Frankie’s Favorite Fantasy Picks Week 5

“FRO’s Favorite Five”
Frankie’s Favorite Fantasy Picks
Week 5
By Frankie Underwood, Senior Fantasy Writer at Email questions and comments to

Jacksonville Jaguar’s Quarterback David Garrard looked great Sunday against the Tennessee Titans this past weekend. Hopefully that momentum will carry across country to Seattle where he will face a depleted Seahawk’s secondary. Seattle has been terrible at stopping the run so they should concentrate on holding Maurice Jones-Drew in check. If they do focus on MJD that should open up downfield for the other hyphenated rising star WR Mike Sims-Walker, and it seems that once Jacksonville abandons the run, they tend to forget to go back to it. In case you forget, whichever Philly QB starts this weekend against Tampa Bay should be in your line up.

The New York Giants RBs have a dream scenario this weekend. First they are playing the lowly Oakland Raiders who can’t stop a running back. Second, their star QB Eli Manning is hurt for a game that they should be able to win without him. Needless to say start Brandon Jacobs this weekend. Since I don’t give the easy choices here, let’s go deeper, as in Ahmad Bradshaw and deeper still, Gartrell Johnson. Only one of these two backs will be playable so watch the injury report, If Bradshaw plays, then he is your man. If he doesn’t, and you need a flex player or are in dire need of a RB, pick up Johnson as a long shot that could pan out. Also, If you have Mendenhall, get him in against Detroit, and Julius Jones is home against the Jags, get him in.

Up to this point Dwayne Bowe of the Kansas City Chiefs hasn’t had the all-star season that he was projected to have. Neither was Denver’s Brandon Marshall until he ran into Bowe’s next opponent, the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas’s defense has been shamed by the likes of Byron Leftwich and Kyle Orton. In fact every QB facing the Cowboys is putting up over 200 yards and at least one td. Chiefs QB Matt Cassel should be able to keep up the trend. Although Cassel has favored new addition Bobby Wade in the Red Zone, Bowe matches up perfectly with Dallas’s smaller CB, not to mention they have a starting safety out in this game. As a side note, keep an eye on Cleveland’s Mohamed Massaquoi, with Braylon Edwards out of town Massaquoi should continue as Derek Anderson’s favorite target.

TE was difficult this week, but I want to test a new theory. Most ¾ defenses struggle to cover TEs. I looked at the New England Denver Match up, but neither team has a true starting TE. Then I looked at Dustin Keller in Miami, I liked the talent but Miami does seem to cover TEs. Tony Gonzalez against the 49ers? Who isn’t starting him? Unfortunately I settled on Brandon Pettigrew of the Detroit Lions who should be playing catch up with the Pittsburg Steelers. The Steelers have given up yards and scores to tight ends this season and the Lions should be passing plenty. If Matt Stafford toughs it out and play I love this match up, but Culpepper is a wildcard. Back up QBs, like Culpepper, tend to favor the number three WR, which could be Dennis Northcutt or even Derrick Williams. I’ll take my chances. By the way, Owners should play Keller if they can.

Defense might have been harder than TE this week. All the Poor teams (St. Louis, Oakland, and Tampa Bay) are playing Defenses that you would start anyway (Minnesota, NY Giants, and Philly). That left me choosing between Dallas at KC, Buffalo versus Cleveland, and Washington at Carolina. Washington and Buffalo have both let me down in the past, so let’s give the Dallas Cowboys a shot. The secondary scares me, but hopefully, KC’s offensive line allows the Cowboys outside rushers to finally pressure a QB into some mistakes. Washington could also show up If Delhomme hasn’t improved.

Last Weeks Favorite Five

Carson Palmer – 2 Tds, That’ll work

Darren McFadden – Injured after a terrible start, sorry.

Devin Hester – Injured early in the game, sorry.

Zach Miller – Injured, are you serious, did I jinx these three or something? I guess Palmer lucked out.

Buffalo Bills – 6 Sacks is pretty good, too bad they couldn’t recover one of those fumbles.

Fantasy Tips:
Do not play Seattle Running Back Julius Jones when his team is on the road!
Backup QBs favor the third receiver, who was probably the starting receiver on the second team.
3-4 defenses struggle against TEs, so do Houston and Minnesota.

By Frankie Underwood, Senior Fantasy Writer at Email questions and comments to

3,000 Facebook and 7,000 Twitter friends? Have a YouTube Meetup!

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit

Someone - I think it was San Francisco Chronicle Columnist Mark Moford - asked what to do with 5,000 Facebook friends, or at least that was the headline of the column. Unfortunately, I missed my plan to read it, but it never left my mind.

Now, I've got over 3,000 Facebook friends, 7,000 Twitter followers, almost 4,000 YouTube subscribers, and am on 34 social networks and have a network of over 90 blogs.

To some like my friend MC Hammer, who has a ridiculous 1.5 million Twitter followers, I'm an ant. But to me, it's a signal to do something. Big. Someday. Soon.

That something should be a party, and yes, as I'm a YouTube Partner, it's going to be a YouTube Meetup.

For those who dont' know what a YouTube meetup is, the videos below give a real good idea of what happens at one of these things and also how I'm going to change things up a bit.

My first YouTube Meetup was in 2007 at Pier 39 in San Francisco. In fact, Pier 39 didn't officially know it was happening, even though it benefited that tourist attraction and led to a really funny video spoof of the event. Here's my video and the really funny one by "BetterBadNews":

2007 As-One Meetup:

The "Better Bad News" video:

So that's an idea of things to come but the difference is that mine will be in Oakland. I love San Francisco, but Oakland's my home and it's way, way overdue for a real good YouTube Meetup, featuring my Facebook and Twitter friends (of all political stripes).

That will be interesting.

Oh, if you're reading this and a YouTuber (which means you're a person with an active YouTube channel with videos you've uploaded), give me a ping for more information.

Oakland Gang Task Force disbanded

More at | Follow me on Twitter! | Get my widget! | Visit YouTube | Visit

The Oakland Gang Task Force, that was the much talked about unit of the City of Oakland's Police Department in the Discovery television series "Oakland Gang Wars", has been disbanded.

In fact, this action happened just about a month ago according to sources who do not wish to be named. The reason for the action is a combination of budget cutting and political infighting out of the view of Oakland's City Council.

Reportedly, but I offer this is not the exact explanation and only a caricature of entire story, the eight-person unit had one officer who was not well liked by the commanding sergeant, who wanted him reassigned. The other officers involved like and respect the officer and so disagreed with the planned removal. That set in motion a number of actions, some involving high level OPD execs, that my sources did not fully disclose but had something to do with the eventual end of the task force.

The officers which made up the group were reassigned to the narcotics beat.

I was told that the Oakland Gang Task Force did such a good job that even the criminals they caught pointed to their fairness and professionalism in their work. No, I'm not kidding when I write that. (As a point of information, I'm told that in Oakland, the estimate of 10,000 gang members may be an undercount.)

Many of the group officers are Oaklanders and former gang members themselves, who understand how that way of life works and how to navigate within it. They truly care about Oakland and reportedly conducted their work in that way.

While political infighting and budget cuts doomed the Oakland Gang Task Force, one may aak if the recent $10.8 million grant from the Obama Administration helped. I'm told it did, in that it caused Oakland to be able to retain all of the recently hired officers.

The unfair system

Some have written that the Oakland gang effort targets black neighborhoods in our city. I do agree because the other part of the problem is the demand for drugs in areas that have the resources and are mostly white but go "unpoliced". In fact, I'm told the former members of the Oakland Gang Task Force state that's a large problem.

The answer may be to increase police activity in areas of demand, perhaps even to home inspections with a search warrant. What that would do over time is wake up the population to the severity of the gang and drug problem.

But - and I'm willing to bet - that some would claim cocaine is used for medicinal purposes, and push for the legalization and taxation of its use.

I'm being "tongue-in-cheek" here to a degree, but look folks, it's really an out-of-whack society that punishes one group with arrests for selling drugs, the poor and minority, and rewards the other group with freedom of use of drugs, the rich and white.

Fortunately, Oakland's finest agree with me.

The N – Files, Volume II: Collateral Damage

The N – Files, Volume II: Collateral Damage
By Michael – Louis Ingram, Associate Editor /Director of ScoutingFootball Reporters Online
PHILADELPHIA (FRO/BASN): (two weeks later)
N-Files Glossary: UPS (Ultrasonic Pulse Scanner); BIG UPS (Bilateral Integrated Ghost Ultrasonic Pulse Scanner);
RATs (Residual Audio Templates); MAUS (Mobile Analog Uplink Source)
RBG (Red Black Green, aka Reparations by Graduations); MAMA (Modified Analog Masking Apparatus)   
“We don’t keep track of single quarter records; but geez, 356 yards – who could’ve gained more than that?”
(Seymore Siwoff, head of Elias Sports Bureau, commenting on Washington quarterback and Super Bowl XXII Most Valuable Player Doug Williams’ second quarter performance against John Elway’s Denver Broncos; Williams would lead his team to a 35 point, 356 yard explosion – which resulted in a 42 – 10 destruction of favored Denver.)
Over the din of cheers and elation over Washington and Doug Williams at San Diego’s Jack Murphy Stadium, some asshole is bleating on-air about how he hopes this (paraphrasing) “Finally dispels the myth as to whether or not Black men are capable of playing the position…”
Las Vegas…1988:
(A bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label goes flying across the room, the incensed silver-haired man who had every intention of toasting a Denver victory with the signature scotch whiskey, grabs the Presidential Suite’s house phone. “There is something very wrong here,” the gravelly gruff baritone bellowed. “We need to talk – like now!”)
Cue whistling…
Ask anyone who works for a living in Philadelphia, and they will tell you the lunch carts are the life force of the workforce. Good food and a good price for folks trying to make it, no matter what collar one wears.
Chanticleer Piper observed the noon day bustle along 16th Street in Center City, waiting to put in his order at his favorite cart, parked near the corner of 16th and Spruce streets.
The idea of a chicken cheese steak sounded even better as it was sizzling on the grill next to the other orders. A clear day and a little sunshine vitamin always stimulated the appetite, and as the sandwiches and drinks were being piled onto to the small cardboard box Piper was carrying, he spotted Agent George Wheelwright a few yards away sitting on one of the bench areas, bantering with Agent Craig Buchanan.
It didn’t take any eavesdropping device to know the subject being discussed, Piper walking into the discourse as Buchanan was pontificating. “Yeah, Wheels your Silver and Black looked good beating up on San Diego, but they didn’t get the job done!  Not like my Pittsburgh Steelers, the six time Super Bowl Champions, and the only – “
“Aww, here we go; now you know can’t get away with sayin’ that in “Iggles” country!” laughed Piper. Clearly, your temporary insanity requires nourishment, so here’s lunch. Cheese steak, chips and apple juice for CB - and a tuna hoagie with cheese, chips and an orange soda for you, Wheels.”
 Wheelwright digs into his bag, then stopped. “Hey Piper, where’s my –“
“Oops, my bad – here you go, Wheels.” Piper took the package out of his jacket pocket and handed it to Wheelwright, whose eyes lit up. “Yeah, my Krimpets,” smiled Wheelwright. These bad boys are hard to get out in Cali.” Wheelwright opened up the Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets, and chomped down on one of the iced sponge cakes.
“You don’t have to tell me, bro,” said Piper. My Aunt Dessa used to always bring those and the Chocolate Juniors and cup cakes from Philly whenever she and my cousins came to New York; when I was a kid, you couldn’t get them there, either.”
Piper took a bite out of his chicken cheese steak and a swig of his IBC Root Beer before continuing. “I think now’s as good a time as any; MAMA’s five-by-five on the signal, so plug in and enable your MAUS if you haven’t already.”
The two agents nodded affirmatively and Piper tapped in his clearance code.
“Alright, guys – time to compare notes. MAMA’s listening and Director McClain is receiving. Wheels, let’s start with you – what did you do in San Diego?
“I planted an Ultrasonic Pulse Scanner on one of the city transit’s light rail cars whose route ran by where Jack Murphy stadium used to be; confirmed unit was working and properly scanning every six hours until I left town four days later.
“I then contacted RBG Central and through one of our contacts in Las Vegas had a BIG UPS connected underneath the antenna atop the Stratosphere Hotel; it started sending signals ten minutes after confirmation of connection.
“After the composite scan, readout produced 16 pages of ghosts. After locking in on the area of greatest concentration, RBG dispatched two agents who placed RATs in the race/sport book areas of six different casinos, with timers set for January 30, 1988 - the day before Super Bowl XXII. Out of the six RATs, four picked up recoverable information before self-destructing.”       
“Sounds good, Wheels - Mr. Buchanan, what did you find out on your end?”
Pausing to digest the chomp’s worth of steak sandwich, Buchanan coughed and cleared his throat.  “You know, when you first brought this up, I started thinking about Super Bowl XXII and how Doug Williams lit up the Broncos.
“Well, it got me thinking about how hyped I was about my Steelers when they not only signed Joe Gilliam, but when he won the starting spot at quarterback in 1974. Hey, I wasn’t even old enough to really grasp the idea of it; I just knew how everyone else reacted to it so I knew it had to be something special.
“Now everybody knows Gilliam didn’t lose his job because the team was bad; by all accounts, they should’ve been a favorite that year – and he was 4-1-1 after six games.
Wheelwright jumped in. “So, Pittsburgh realizes they have a Black man leading a team with serious Super Bowl potential – and they freak out! Hey, Gilliam didn’t have a losing record – he won almost 70 percent of the games he started in.”
“Exactly,” said Buchanan. “Ain’t no other way to say it - they bitched up big time in not following through on an opportunity a Black man had earned. My Uncle Nate talked about that a lot as Williams and Washington were getting closer to the Super Bowl.
“So before we all hooked up, I did some digging on my own. According to all accounts, Gilliam had the job taken from him; he didn’t lose it.
“Well, when you put this together with the fact Jay Schroeder was supposed to be Washington’s quarterback when the 1987 season started, it further proves Williams’ elevation to first string and everything else that followed wasn’t supposed to happen.
“So I had Digital Donna plant a BIG UPS in the area that was Three Rivers Stadium (now Heinz Field) and pre-set it for September of 1974 in the hopes we could scare up a ghost or two. As of right now, we’ve got barely a page of data; the time difference is making this a bit more difficult to sort through; but it is giving up something.”  
Piper smiled. “Good lookin’ out on that, Craig – you tying in what Pittsburgh did and didn’t do gives this more weight. Especially when it came to Vegas setting the odds:
“You got to figure even with Schroeder starting that game, Washington would have gotten more play; maybe even gets a slight favorite. Because anyone who really understood football knew that in every unit – offense, defense and special teams – Washington was superior.”
Wheelwright chimed in. “You got that right, brother man. Washington’s ‘Hogs’ on the offensive line were arguably the best line in football at that time.”
“Exactly,” said Piper. And let’s not forgot how Washington benefitted from the USFL getting co-opted by the NFL in court. They used Kelvin Bryant and George Rogers to get there on the ground; and had Ricky Sanders, Gary Clark and Art Monk to catch the ball along with Clint Didier and Don Warren when they ran out of that twin tight end formation.
“Bryant, Sanders and Clark were USFL All-Stars, and Monk – well, he was only a Hall of Fame receiver.
“Denver had no answer for that.”
“They didn’t have any answer for them on defense, either,” said Buchanan. Aside from Mecklenburg at linebacker and Dennis Smith at safety being a big hitter, they really didn’t have anyone who scared you.
“Washington had a good pass rush, and three of the guys in their secondary had made All-Pro. Hell, Darrell Green was at his peak, and he’s a Hall of Famer now.”
“Okay, so you put all this together,” paused Piper, ”and in spite of all this Washington stays a three point underdog – and we know why – no way this Nigger’s supposed to beat their pigskin god John Elway.”
Las Vegas -1988…
(The silver haired man was showing streaks of red through his somewhat tanned face as he continued his telephone rant. “The goddamn game is over and how the fuck am I gonna recoup my losses?
“You said them sumbitch Redskins was a busted flush; where the fuck was all that damn offense when they were playing during the goddamn season? I lost everything – even the under – and some asshole’s running up and down the damn hall squealing like a bitch about how he made $250K on Ricky Sanders catching that damn TD pass!”
“Listen you don’t-know-shit-from-Shinola peckerwood – when you all get together in Palm Springs over the next couple months, there has to be insurance that this situation can never – and I mean never - happen again!”)
To be continued…
copyright  c 2009 michael-louis ingram