Archives for June2015


An Open Letter to United States Lawmakers

Please speak up, stand up, and fight for ALL students! Listen to educators and get ESEA right.

The Every Child Achieves Act is a good start. As an educator and a constituent, I want to share my views on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

ESEA-the cornerstone of the federal presence in K-12 education aims to support programs to level the playing field for students most in need.

The reauthorization should set a new vision of shared responsibility for public education to promote opportunity, equity, and excellence for all students. To do this, a bipartisan bill, similar to the approach taken so far by the Senate, is likely needed. And the bill should:

-Include a dashboard of key indicators to identify and close opportunity and resource gaps to ensure all students, but especially those most in need, have access to a well-rounded education;

-Give students more time to learn by reducing over-testing, decoupling tests from high-stakes decisions, and providing more flexibility for states and districts to determine an assessment system that helps teachers help students; and

-Ensure educators’ voices are heard and empower them to lead.

I urge you to get ESEA right with a bipartisan bill that advances opportunity for all students, ensures more time for students to learn and for teachers to teach, and empowers educators to lead.

kids

 

– Mike Lerchenfeldt

Twitter: @mj_lerch

BeerRightNow.com

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You’re sitting around scrolling through StuffDudesLike.com and you notice you’re missing one thing to complete this setup: BEER! Let’s face it, when it comes down to sorting out stuff that dudes like, the #1 thing any guy would ramble off first is probably beer. Now to make things better, what if I told you there was a beer delivery service – yes, a beer delivery service – that would bring you a case of beer right to your door? Well great news, it exists with BeerRightNow.com!

Assuming this is the first time you’re hearing about us, what we are is a digitally based service acting as the virtual hand connecting you and your local beer, wine, and liquor distributors. By logging onto our site and entering your zip code, BeerRightNow.com provides you with an up-to-date inventory matching that of the distributor to get your favorite brands smoothly delivered to you in as quick as 30 minutes! To make things better, we can even supply you with any snacks and mixers you might need to buy to go with your alcohol!

So check out BeerRightNow.com and get your beer delivered… RIGHT NOW! While you’re at it, make sure to follow us on Twitter at @beerrightnow as well as Instagram at beerrightnow and give us a shout out when you’ve fallen in love with the idea of beer delivery as much as we have once you give us a try.

Cheers!

 

– Mike & the BeerRightNow team

WEB:beerrightnow.com
TWITTER: @beerrightnow
INSTAGRAM: beerrightnow

 

~ Serving Markets: Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, LA, Austin, Chicago – more to come! ~

Up and Coming: Twenty One Pilots

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Image Credit: Twenty One Pilots

Since the release of their latest album titled Blurryface on May 17, 2015 the popularity of the music duo called Twenty One Pilots has skyrocketed, but where did this popularity actually come from?

The band was formed in 2009 and was originally a trio of college friends consisting of Tyler Joseph, Nick Thomas and Chris Salih releasing a self released album named after the band itself. By the time they released their second self-released album titled Regional at Best hit stores on July 8, 2011 the band was now a duo with Josh Dun now joining the band as the lead drummer and Tyler Joseph remaining as the band’s front man.

Following the release the band signed a deal with Fueled By Ramen and together released the band’s first studio album titled Vessel on January 8, 2013. The album included several songs originally released on the album that was ultimately pulled from shelves, Regional at Best. With the release of Vessel the popularity of the band grew with a hit song on the radio that summer titled “Holding on to You”. The band is also big on social media and very close to their fans, referring to them as “The Skeleton Clique”.

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Image Credit: Twenty One Pilots

The music from the band is so relatable and makes you feel like the duo are your best friends and that you’ve shared some of the best and worst times of your life with them. They make days where you feel worthless and feel all alone just a little bit better, like that they’re in it with you. For the first time since Green Day I’ve never had a deeper connection with a band. They told me it’s ok to be weird and insecure through their music. Their music is a story of triumph through the darkest days of life. Without the help of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun I’d still be in the dark and I’d still feel worthless, but i found a band that understood me, that gave me peace of mind and made it a little bit easier to sleep during the hardest time. I advise everyone to give them a listen because you won’t regret it, I know I don’t.

 

– Joe “Coupe” Ricupero

TWITTER: @coupeNYR

WHY JIM HARBAUGH WILL FAIL AT MICHIGAN

The fact that Jim Harbaugh is running around with his shirt off at satellite football camps in SEC country should tell you everything you need to know. Harbaugh has quickly found out that coaching at your Alma mater is an entirely different level of pressure then leading Stanford or even the San Francisco 49ers. I believe the 51-year-old Harbaugh took a huge gamble by accepting the Michigan job. He could’ve had any open NFL gig that he wanted, but instead he chose to “come home” to Ann Arbor. Either he will return the Wolverines back into a National Power or he’ll be forced to leave like Brady Hoke, unceremoniously shoved out the door. There are no other possible endings. I say this not as a Harbaugh hater, but as a realist who knows when someone is not a good fit.

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Image Credit: freep.com

I am well aware that my opinion of Harbaugh’s future at Michigan is contrary to popular thinking. Everywhere you turn there is someone praising Harbaugh’s moves since he arrived on campus. However, I think it would be wise to hold off on planning any championship parades. I know Michigan fans don’t want to hear it or believe it, but Harbaugh ultimately will come up empty in Ann Arbor. The reason has nothing to do with Harbaugh’s game management or preparation. I don’t even think the school that begins with the letter “O” will cause his demise. The reason will be Harbaugh’s hard-nosed, my-way coaching style. There will be some modest gains at first, but eventually Coach Harbaugh’s controlling ways will wear thin with 4 and 5-star recruits just like it did with his players in San Francisco.

Story after story poured out of 49ers headquarters during this past season. Harbaugh’s players were fed up with all of his rules. Players reportedly felt he treated them like children. In fact, on planes, his players weren’t allowed to listen to music, or even play cards. Players also complained about Harbaugh’s never ending mind games, which some felt went a little too far. Pause and think about it for a second. He treated grown men that way. What do you think is going to happen when he’s that hard on a bunch of teenagers and kids in their early 20’s? Do you think Harbaugh is going to change overnight and become a players coach? When you take a look at his background, the answer is pretty obvious.

Image Credit: sbnation.com

Harbaugh is a “Michigan Man” from glory days past. His maize and blue roots run very deep. He grew up in Ann Arbor while his father was an assistant coach to the legendary Bo Schembechler. He later played and starred for Schembechler during the 1980’s. Harbaugh might have butted heads with Schembechler but he also thrived under his coach’s iron fisted style. When the NFL came calling Harbaugh ended up in a Bears uniform playing for Mike Ditka, a guy who made Schembechler look like a sweet old man out for a Sunday drive. It’s only fair to assume these two old school coaches were a major influence on Harbaugh when he finally decided to become a head coach himself.

To Harbaugh’s credit, his coaching style has led to a lot of success. He has become a first class turn around specialist wherever he has gone. From the University of San Diego, Stanford and then San Francisco. However, all of those places have one thing in common, they aren’t his Alma mater. The pressure Harbaugh is feeling at Michigan, whether he wants to admit it or not is far greater than anything he ever felt during those other coaching stops. Besides dealing with trying to build an immediate winner, he also has to adjust back to coaching college kids. Clearly this is already has become an issue when you consider several players have already transfered from Michigan to programs like Auburn and West Virginia.

To make it clear, I don’t think transfers from the program will decide the Wolverines fate, but it does speak to the way Harbaugh has decided to deal with the players at Michigan. It’s Harbaugh’s way or the highway, which is a lot easier in the NFL with the pro’s under contract. In today’s age of coddling big time recruits, I wonder if Harbaugh will be able to dial it back and stroke all the necessary ego’s to keep his top players in a Michigan uniform. If not, you can expect the transfer train to keep rolling.

A difficult but true fact for the Michigan faithful is that the Bo Schembechler way of doing things no longer translates in College Football. I don’t fault Harbaugh for not adjusting. It’s what he knows, he’s been successful in the past. I personally would love to play for a Jim Harbaugh. I admire his business first approach. All of his rules wouldn’t bother me, but unfortunately I am in my 40’s. I come from a completely different generation. The caliber of player Harbaugh needs to compete for Big 10 titles and national championships aren’t going to stick around if the coach is a control freak.
Like it or not, we are now living in a “ME FIRST” culture more than ever before. The question is, can Harbaugh adjust to that or will his inner Schembechler get the better of him?

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Image Credit: USAToday.com

 

– Brett Martzke

TWITTER: @brettmartzke

Funky Gorilla Fist – Chapter 3

DONT FORGET TO READ CHAPTER 1

AND CHAPTER 2

 

CHAPTER 3

 

Boy, do I remember that night. It was an unusually busy Saturday night at the
club. We were packed to the walls, the A/C was busted, and it was making for
quite an active night. We had seven bachelor parties in house and had already thrown two out.

Like thirty rats in a two rat hot box.

Then what do you know, some jerkoff jumps on stage, and guess what? It was the bachelor of the party.

Well, I get my hands on him just before he gets his hands on the girl. Of course then the whole party springs to their feet, but not before the other nine bouncers are already en route to the pending fray.
I pull him off the stage.

The best man punches me in the mouth.
His Dad hits me with a bottle.
They are both tackled.
I get the guy to the door, let him go, he swings, I kick him in the sternum, I hear,

CRACK, “GASP!” He falls.

As I hold the door for one of the other bouncers to toss two other guys, I realize that one of my front teeth is hanging by a thread (or nerve more likely.) So I reach up, pop it back in
place, and head back into the club like a Gorilla on speed.

No more taking them outside first, if you are within arm’s reach it is time to take a nap.

You see, any club goer knows that when there is trouble you get as far away as possible.

Sort of like in prison movies, when there is a fight, all the other inmates instinctively, line up against the wall

So now the best man’s brother is holding off two of the other bouncers with a chair. To be honest, I think he was just in shock that I walked straight at him because he didn’t even swing the chair. He just sort of stood there like a deer in the headlights as I hit him so hard I literally break his face.

You see, your sinuses are behind your cheekbone. And in case you didn’t know, your sinuses are hollow and your cheekbone is relatively thin, like a clay pot, and your eye sits on top of what amounts to the ceiling of your sinus.

Well, I shattered this guys cheekbone,

Think hammer,

Think clay pot.

All the fragments of his cheekbone and his eye fall into his sinus. So, think dent. Think big, big dent in this guys face and no eye in the socket. Well, as he falls he hits his head on the stage and a pool of blood starts to spread behind his head.

I’m still looking at the dent in his face when the girl on stage leans down and yells to me over the music,

“You know something, the blood under the blacklight, mixed with the neon and flashing lights, sort of looks like an oily puddle of water on the blacktop in the sunlight”

It was then that I knew that I had to get to know this girl.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Jennifer,” she says.

 

 

– Anthony Pepe

TWITTER: @AnthonyMFPepe
FACEBOOK: anthonyfpepe
EMAIL: FunkyGorillaFist@hotmail.com

Guys, are we the true gentleman we think we are?

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Image Credit: onewed.com

Lately many of the females I’ve been hanging around with at school, work or in social situations have been complaining about their “supposed Knights in shining armor”. When I heard that, I thought to myself the age old saying, “Don’t let a few spoiled apples ruin the bunch.” It kind of peeves me when people think a few other people represent a certain party or demographic/group. I’m sure many of us fellas have had the encounter of the female saying, “Men don’t do anything, he doesn’t pay attention to me, he’s lazy, he’s playing video games, he’s too into his fantasy football” blah, blah, blah. Now I’m not bragging and saying I’m better than most guys in that department, but I feel pretty good that I wouldn’t hear many of those complaints from a female.

After much thinking and debating and speaking with a few other guys I know, I’ve come up with a list of simple things us guys could do to put a smile on our pumpkins, bae’s, bb’s, babe’s, hun’s, whatever pet name you have for your treasured loved one.

Ladies, feel free to throw in some more suggestions as to what us guys could do to improve your day, better yet, if you feel your knight in shining armor deserves some recognition post that too. Guys, if you want to throw in suggestions or stories as well, we love hearing great stories!

1. Waiting patiently and attentively for our turn to speak
Everyone always has something to say, especially if it’s about our own selves. While it’s super tempting to brag or speak about something exciting we do, sometimes a moment’s patience can show that we care and are listening with attention. I find this pays off in the long run.

2. Punctuality
Arriving on time to your dates or to her house or wherever she wants to meet you shows that you are putting her first. Not only that, but it shows a great deal of responsibility and that you can be counted on. If you’re going to be late, notifying her is better than leaving her waiting and wondering if you’re safe or going to show up at all.

3. Phone Etiquette
In a world where many are always on their phones or tablets, it sometimes is hard to not look down at our phones for a text, tweet, Facebook notification, etc etc. If you really need to look at your phone, she will hopefully understand but other than that spend some quality time together not worrying about the outside world. There’s nothing like spending the night together only to find that both of you are on your phones. Put it on silent or turn it off, it’s about each of you for the rest of the night.

4. Saving the last bit of food
Guy’s, food is one of the staple items that defines us. While it’s also said that it’s one of the few things we always think about, I know it’s hard not to finish your shared meal with her. Leave the last bit of food for her and if she doesn’t want it, I find just leaving it alone is best, even if you are hungrier than you care to admit. It shows that she is more important that that last slice or piece of food.

5. Grooming
Brush your teeth, use mouthwash, comb your hair, shave your face, take care of that pimple, use lotion for dry skin….the list could go on for a few more lines but we all know that grooming is perhaps the most important or one of the most important ways to make an impact on a lady. Even if it’s just keeping a spritz or spray in your backpack or car, it’s better than wondering if you smell and create an awkward atmosphere. Just don’t overdo it, you can always spray more if needed but not the other way around. If you can’t keep up with your appearances, she may assume you can’t keep up with other aspects in your life.

6. Being Respectful
Of course this is implied on all dates but this also applies to everyone else as well. Treat your waiter/waitress with respect, keep your cool anywhere you go and more importantly treat her parents with respect. You don’t necessarily have to be a “kiss-ass” but keep the conversation going. If you can’t, maybe thinking of things to talk about beforehand can save you from the awkward silence. Overall, no one likes it when a guy causes a scene and creates discomfort for everyone, especially the date.

7. Going Out For a Walk
If you’re planning on going out on a chilly/windy day such as in the Spring or Fall, hold her jacket for her as she puts it on. Even if she says she can do it, the simple gesture shows that you care. Walk outside the sidewalk, let her take the safer-known paved sidewalk. There’s nothing like your significant other stepping in a small hole in the grass with high-heels especially or worse, stepping on a doggy doo surprise, which could potentially ruin the night. And don’t forget to open the door where you go, if it’s to the car, back inside the house or to a place of interest.

8. Money
It’s pretty much standard in today’s age that the man pays for everything on the first date. If you’re money conscience, go out to places that are within your budget. Google maps everything. From Chinese to Italian to vegan/vegetarian, dessert places afterwards, movie theaters and more, I find spending some time researching what’s in the area before going out can save time and show her that you know what you are doing. Quite the opposite can also be said in terms of money. I’ve heard many stories from quite the number of females I know that they were turned off by some of the men that flashed their money and pretended to be rich, and even if they were, there’s no excuse in being a show off like that. Part of being a gentleman also comes with being humble.

9. Gracious Gestures
While this one relates to the previous topic on the list in some ways, doing random acts of kindness here and there show her that you think about her outside of when you’re together. You don’t have to go out and buy her an expensive perfume or pricy bouquet of flowers, in my experience, just a box of assorted chocolates you bought when you went grocery shopping does the trick. A stuffed animal here, a flower there, filling her gas tank, tolerating her favorite chick flick, and again holding doors open, usually make a gal smile at the end of the day.

10. Properly Apologizing
Wouldn’t this be a nice world if we were all right in everything we did/said? This world would be perfect but of course it’s not. While the journey together can seem smooth and great for a while, there’s always that little bump in the road that reminds you that life isn’t perfect. If an argument or disagreement comes up and one expects another to apologize, if you know you’re wrong, apologize for what you’ve done. We’re adults, both parties should be able to recognize and admit their faults with no repercussion. If you can both come to a consensus, great! It takes a big man to stand up for what he believes in but it takes a bigger man to admit when he’s wrong and simply say, “I’m sorry.”

This list could go on for a while longer, but these were the more important things that stood out to me. While Chivalry and being a gentleman may seem like it’s an old-fashioned way of life, women out there still want their knight in shining armor. Men, if you’ve dealt with difficult women in the past, there’s plenty of fish in the sea. Again, don’t let a few spoiled apples ruin the bunch. Cheers.

 

– Fernando Martin

TWITTER: @WeLoveMetalFern

 

Romance, love, the game. And when “the one” doesn’t feel the same.

As a wealthy, good looking, charming, charismatic, mysterious…… (Shall I continue), and adventurous man there has never been a shortage of ladies in my life. It’s the most complicated and dangerous aspect of our every day lives. Who doesn’t want to find that special someone to grow old with and perhaps start a family. Scorned people, that’s who. But I’ll get to that.

Now I am a man that enjoys his freedom, flirting and attention. So not being tied down always seemed like a blessing more than a curse. But, as will happen in life, you will be thrown a curve ball. I also considered myself a bachelor. I have enjoyed the company of many different woman over the years. I very much enjoyed their company. We had our time and we both moved on. Now, with the more and more females I would meet the chances increase for meeting someone special. And I did. It’s not something you aim for or plan. It just happens. You meet someone and everything changes. You no longer want to be the bachelor, you don’t want to meet anyone new, you only want to see, know and have this one person.

It doesn’t matter how it happens. When you meet you feel something. That “it” something. It truly is like magic. They are on your mind every moment after you meet. You just can not wait for that next time you see one another. When that time happens it flies by because you are both into one another so much, as much as time will slow when you’re together, it will fly by. Because the conversations are so fluid, kisses are so explosive, etc…… That you cannot have enough and every moment ends. Over time things progress and a string of amazing days, nights and moments have you feeling that something special. That heart racing, heart dropping, head in the clouds something. Love, it may not be the same for everyone. But I’m pretty sure it’s pretty similar to this for us all. If you haven’t felt it, I’m sure you will. It’s the greatest feeling we as human beings get the opportunity to experience.
Things progress, get more serious. Discussions of moving in together and kids happen, it’s natural. It’s my favorite part of the relationship. After the courtship and honeymoon phases, which don’t get me wrong are amazing and equally as beautiful. It’s that true commitment, life planning, truly happy together period that gets me. I’m the happiest then. When you look at her (“him” for any ladies that may be reading) and feel in your soul this my woman (man) and I am the happiest person in existence.

And….. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Because as I’ve stated earlier life will happen. It will throw curve balls and wrenches into the works. It’s even harder If you had made it further in your relationship. Living together, marriage, kids….. just makes it all more difficult. I hope if life does get hard you are able to work it out. However, when life doesn’t go your way. Perhaps your past catches up with you, the 2 of you have an uncompromisable disagreement, or you are just human and made a mistake. Relationships will end. It’s something we’ve been warned about since we were kids. “Nothing lasts forever” “nothing gold can stay” “it’s better to have loved and lost, than to not have loved at all” “theres plenty of fish in the sea” when you’ve seen true beauty, the colors are brighter, the scents more fresh, and to the touch more tingly and sensitive than ever. None of those lines help when it ends. In fact nothing will help. Not friends comforting you, not crying, not a gorgeous rebound, not even all the ben and Jerry’s in the world. The only thing that can do it, at least in my experience is time. It is also easy to become bitter and scorned. I advise against this because that Will have a far longer lasting affect than the initial heart break. Trust me. It may be the hardest thing to do. But you have to keep your head up. You may feel more down now than you have ever been. The same way the person, for you, was like oxygen and water Something you just can’t live without. You are now suffocating and drowning. You will probably live with a scar. It may not be visible, but it’s there. When someone comes into your life and completely changes it. Let’s try to make it for the better. You may be down, but how are you supposed to feel the highs if you don’t know the lows. If you are the one holding on, let go. Learn the lessons that person had to teach. You will come out of this. And you will be better for it. Don’t give up, someone is out there looking for you. They just don’t know it yet.

sal

 

 

– Salvatore Morocco

TWITTER: @SalvatoreMorocc

Dinger the Ringer at Sonoma

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 Image Credit: nascar.com

With Marcos Ambrose out of the picture AJ Allmendinger has become the go to fantasy pick for road courses. The road course ringer has pretty much gone the way of the Dodo, but the Dinger is pretty close to one. He sits on the poll after winning Watkins Glen last year. A must own.

Kurt Busch is a much better road course racer than he gets credit for, he is a man to watch starting on the outside poll.

I like to go on stats, but I have this gut feeling about Gordon this weekend. He loves this course and considers it a home track. Starting 5th, he is a must start. He’s not bad at turning right either.

Martin Truex, not going anywhere as most have him super cheap, but he does have a win here as well.

Speed on the Cheap: If Dinger wasn’t on the poll, he’d be here, but he’s a favorite. So let’s go with a change of pace. He’s not super cheap at $17, but he’s starting 7th and one of the best road course racers in NASCAR. Tony Stewart is a great budget play.

Caution: Kevin Harvick, for the first time all year I would not have him in the lineup. He isn’t a great road racer and the $3-4 you save here you can make a serious upgrade at another spot.

Ideal Lineup(It’s actually a road course dream team):

Gordon
Allmendinger
Kurt Busch
Martin Truex
Tony Stewart

 
– Adam Dulski

TWITTER: @adamdulski

The JK Show

I interviewed former Pitt basketball star Carl Krauser. Krauser talked about the Pittsburgh media. He talks about Mark Madden and what he had to say was an instant classic. Check out the video below…

 

 

– Josh King

Twitter: @joshk65
buzzntheburgh.com

Great Bobboo’s Way Too Early RB Ratings

The running back position in not only the most important it is also the most consistent. If you have a stud running back they can carry you into the playoffs and win the championship just ask the owners who had Demarco Murray and C.J. Anderson. The problem is the running back position is also the most injured so you need to be careful when drafting to make sure you make the most bang for your buck. Here are my top 20 players going into the year.

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Image Credit: CBS.com

 

 

1. Adrian Peterson- At first I was apprehensive about him this high with him sitting out a whole year, however I had to “switch” my thinking. Get it Switch? Ok enough with the jokes. Peterson is going to run pissed off all year, and the Vikings are going to lean on him heavily. Peterson was at the top of his game before his suspension and a year off gave him time to rest his body. Look for over 1500 yards rushing and 13 TD’s from Peterson.

2. Le’Veon Bell- I know what you are thinking this is the same guy that was suspended for the beginning of the season, but even with the suspension this guy is the 2nd best running back on my board. Not only did he have 1,3861 rushing yards and 8 td’s he also had 83 receptions with over 800 yards and 8 td’s, basically this guy will get you a lot of points every week, and if you are in PPR league he is definitely worth the #1 pick. Bell is a great pick and will actually be healthier when it comes playoff time with not playing the first few weeks, remember you don’t win the championship in the first few weeks.

3. Eddie Lacy- I would have Lacy higher up on the list if he did not seem to have concussion issues, however you can expect a great year from Lacy. Whenever I watch Packer games and trust me it’s too much, Lacy pops out of the screen and it’s not just because he is a fat ass. Eddie Lacy is a bruising back who is also a great receiver out of the backfield. Luckily Lacy plays on the best offense in football so defenses play to stop Rodgers which leaves huge holes for Lacy to run through. I look for Green Bay to pass less this year which will allow Lacy to have an even greater season than he did last year.

4. Jamal Charles- Charles is also a great dual threat. He struggled last year with injuries, but when he played he put up quality starts, and with an improved offensive line this year in KC and I think Alex Smith may actually throw a TD to a receiver this year, I believe Charles is in a for a big year. Make sure with Charles you draft Knile Davis for his handcuff.

5. Arian Foster- Injuries started to catch up do Arian the last few years he missed three games last year, but posted the best yards after contact in his career at 2.2, and the Texans boast one of the best offensive lines in football so Foster is a pretty easy pick here. If he stays healthy he will be one of the top scoring running backs in fantasy this year.

6. Marshawn Lynch- This will be the last year that Lynch will be fantasy viable in my opinion. However, Seattle will still be a run first option and Lynch is their bell cow. With Lynch you will be guaranteed yards and rushing tds, as he is not a great option in PPR leagues. Wilson will vulture some goal line tds from Lynch but he is still a solid RB for your team. Don’t get too cute with your pics as Lynch accounted for 17 TD’s last year.

7. Matt Forte- Forte continues to be one of the best backs in fantasy, but this year although he is still worth having on your team I think his numbers will start to dwindle. John Fox is the coach now in Chicago and he will be employing a more run first offense in Chicago, and that is not where Forte’s strength is, under Marc Trestman, Forte was another receiver on the field. With Fox he will be running the ball more, and receiving it less which in my opinion is his strength. Forte will still put up numbers just not what he has done in the past. He is still a high pick, but I have seen people taking him high in the first round which I don’t recommend.

8. C.J. Anderson- Now is when the RB position starts to get really interesting. If you took a WR or QB with your first pick chances are these next few players will be available and you don’t want to miss on these guys. Anderson almost single handedly won me a fantasy championship last year. With Manning injured last year Anderson became an absolute beast. The Broncos went into the year with Montee Ball and he got injured and Anderson just took over. With Gary Kubiak coming into town and running his zone blocking scheme I look for a huge year from Anderson. During the last 8 games of the year last year no fantasy player scored more points than Anderson, and with a healthy Manning look for another huge year. Make sure if you draft Anderson you also draft Ball as a handcuff. These are my early rankings but if he is the starter out of training camp he is a top 3 pick.

9. Jeremy Hill- Much like Anderson, Hill also came out of nowhere to be a fantasy stud last year. Going into the year Gio Bernard was a high pick in most fantasy leagues, but he actually regressed especially in the passing game which led to the emergence of Hill. Hill averaged 5.1 yards per carry, but when he touched the ball more than 15 times a game it jumped up to 5.6. I look for Hill to be the featured back in Cincy and look for the Bengals to lean on him heavily. He is definitely worth a high pick, but I can stress enough handcuffing him with Bernard.

10. Demarco Murray- I wanted to put Murray up higher but with the Eagles cutting Evan Mathis one of the best guards in the league I wonder if that will cut into his production. Everyone talks about how Murray is leaving a great offensive line in Dallas and he was, but Philly’s run blocking actually rated higher than Dallas last year. I believe Murray will have a solid year, but what scares me is Ryan Matthews and how much he will be used. It will be interesting to pay attention in training camp to see how the backfield works, but Murray is definitely worth a second round pick and could carry your team again.

11. Melvin Gordon- I think Gordon will be the most impactful rookie this year in fantasy. Although I believe Gurley is a better back he won’t be playing as much with the injured knee. Gordon goes to a team that needs a running back, and he will be their workhorse back. In PPR leagues I would drop Gordon down a few spots, but in traditional leagues you can feel safe with Gordon.

12. LeSean McCoy- I was torn on this selection as I like McCoy, I just don’t like the situation he is in. Buffalo’s QB situation is the worse in the league, and NO bringing in Matt Cassel will not help. He is easily one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. This presents a problem for McCoy as he will be facing fronts designed to stop him, however I do believe McCoy will get a ton of carries and opportunities so he will have a better year than last year. If you are looking at McCoy in PPR he moves up a few spots as he is a great receiver out of the backfield.

13. Mark Ingram- Many people have C.J. Spiller as a sleeper pick this year, but I really like Ingram. The Saints are going to be a more run offense than they have ever been under Sean Payton, and I look for Ingram to have a big year. Keep in mind in PPR leagues I would have CJ Spiller ranked higher than Ingram, but in traditional leagues look for Ingram to be the best back. He is not a great receiver out of the backfield, but he will be their goal line back and will get the majority of the carries as Spiller is not durable at all. Look for 10 plus TD’s out of Ingram this year.

14. Justin Forsett- Forsett came out of nowhere to be one of the better backs in football last year. Forsett is the main option for a team that is a run heavy team. Forsett is not a sexy pic, but hey he doesn’t beat the shit out of his wife in a casino elevator either. Forsett is also a capable receiver out of the backfield with 44 catches last year. Forsett will make a solid RB2 on any roster.

15. Jonathan Stewart- For most of his career Stewart has shared the backfield with DeAngelo Williams, but with Williams off to Pittsburgh look for a big year from Stewart. Last year in the last five games the only running back that had more rushing yards than Stewart was Demarco Murray. With Williams gone look for Stewart to touch the ball a lot more and be a very productive running back.

16. Alfred Morris- Morris is not a flashy running back, but he is a great pick. Washington will run the ball a lot especially with RG3 as their starter. Morris won’t get you spectacular numbers, but look for 1,000 rushing yards and around 10 TD’s for Morris.

17. Carlos Hyde- with Frank Gore leaving for the Colts it leaves the job to Hyde. Hyde didn’t do much in his rookie season but he didn’t get a lot of opportunities with Gore being the main back. The 49ers are going to go to a more run friendly offense, as Kap has trouble completing passes past five yards, so I look for around 1000 yards and 10 TD’s from Hyde.

18. Frank Gore- For being 100 years old Gore is still very productive, and he is going to one of the best offenses in football. Gore will have a very productive season and will be on the field a lot in passing situations where he can be very dangerous. His numbers might not be as good as recent years, but will still be a very viable fantasy option.

19. Lamar Miller- I look for the Dolphins to be one of the more improved teams this year, and Miller will be a big part of that. Miller is their #1 back going into the year. Miller has breakaway speed and is also a good receiver out of the backfield. Miller has durability issues so make sure you have someone to back him up. Tannenhill’s ascension into a quality quarterback will also help with Miller’s numbers.

20. Todd Gurley- I like to take big risks in fantasy and this is one of them. Gurley is still in rehab for his knee so you want to take Tre Mason as a handcuff, but Gurley is a beast and when he plays he will be spectacular. He has Adrian Peterson type skills. Gurley is a must have in keeper leagues. Gurley’s big payoff would be towards the end of the season.

 

– Jeff Bauer

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