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Posts Tagged ‘tony gonzalez’

I think…

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

1. I think … I’m glad I had RB Chris Johnson on my team in one league. But I am not so glad I had to play against him in another.

2. I think … RB Cedric Benson is shaping up to be a very nice RB2. He is tied with RB Michael Turner for the most carries in the league through 2 weeks.

3. I think … the GB offense has disappointed thus far. The OL is the problem. And it could have a major affect on QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Ryan Grant, and WR Greg Jennings if it does not improve.

4. I think … NYJ CB Darrelle Revis is very good. He held WR Andre Johnson to 4 catches for 35 yards in week 1 and WR Randy Moss to 4 catches for 24 yards in week 2. I might consider benching your WRs against him.

5. I think … RB Darren Sproles is not a great RB. But, damn, he is great when he gets the ball in space. He is worth starting every week, especially while RB LaDainian Tomlinson is hurt.

6. I think … RB Felix Jones could benefit greatly if RB Marion Barber misses any time due to his quad injury. But watch for RB Tashard Choice to get some touches, too.

7. I think … As (I) expected, WR Devin Hester is not a real WR. However, its a little surprising to see rookie WR Jonny Knox has become the leading WR in Chicago.

8. I think … I love the NFL. QB Jay Cutler throws 4 INTs and CHI loses go GB in week 1. Then CHI beats PIT in week 2, and GB loses to CIN. So tough early on to tell who is for real.

9. I think … QB Matt Ryan is the real deal. And TE Tony Gonzalez is his new best friend.

10. I think … I was wrong about WR Dominic Hixon. It looks like WR Mario Manningham and WR Steve Smith are going to lead the way. One or both might even be available in your league.

TE Rankings

August 7, 2009 Leave a comment

My TE Rankings are (finally) up for your 2009 fantasy draft preparation. No real surprises here. Some other people have Gonzo ranked above Witten. But I think Witten is going to have a great year now that TO is gone. Before he and Romo got injured last year, he was having an unreal year. Even with the injuries, he stil had a great year. I think he stays healthy in 09 and is far and away the best TE.

Here are my top 10 TEs:

1. Jason Witten (DAL)
2. Antonio Gates (SD)
3. Tony Gonzalez (ATL)
4. Greg Olsen (CHI)
5. Dallas Clark (IND)
6. Owen Daniels (HOU)

7. Chris Cooley (WAS)
8. . John Carlson (SEA)
9. Kellen Winslow (TB)
10. Zach Miller (OAK)

Click here for the rest of the TE Rankings.

“I Love You, Man”

July 23, 2009 Leave a comment

Every year, there are guys who are not rated as highly as I think they should be. And then there are some guys who, for some reason or another, I simply fall in love with. You cannot really call most of these guys “sleepers”, since they are definitely on peoples’ radars. But they are guys who I think are underrated.

QB Aaron Rodgers (GB): Yes, he is consistently ranked as a top-10 QB, and even top-5 on a lot of lists. But he was second only to QB Drew Brees last year in total scoring. And I think he will only get better in 2009. The Favre-saga is [mostly] behind him and now he is the unquestioned leader of the team. I have him ranked 3rd, after Brees and QB Tom Brady.

RB Steven Jackson (STL): The more I think about Jackson, the more I like him. And its not just because of his sweet Nike commercials. Last year, Jackson held out thru training camp. And, in the history of the NFL, that basically guarantees that you will get injured. (RB Ryan Grant suffered the same fate.) However, this year, he comes into camp ready to play. And the Rams’ line is much-improved. I think Jackson will return to fantasy stardom. He is not without risk, however.

RB Steve Slaton (HOU): Slaton has everything you want in a top fantasy RB: (1) youth, (2) running ability, (3) receiving ability, (4) a high-powered offense, and (5) no potential threat as a backup. Last year, Slaton surprised many with his combo of running and receiving skills, and posted over 1600 yards and 10 total TDs. I think he will be even better this year. And I am not at all worried about RB Chris Brown or RB Ryan Moats taking carries away from him. Which is a huge plus these days.

RB Marion Barber (DAL): Barber was expected to blow up last year. But injuries limited him in the second-half of the season. Guys like Barber can be annoying in fantasy football: They are too tough to sit down when they are hurt, but they are less effective (for fantasy purposes). It was clear his toe injury was bothering him. But I think he will be back this year. He may never be a full-time RB, due to the flexibility and talent of RB Felix Jones and the emergence of backup RB Tashard Choice, but he is still the most complete RB on that team, and he has one of the best noses for the endzone in the NFL.

RB Ryan Grant (GB): He struggled last year because he tried to play through a hamstring injury after missing camp due to a holdout. But he should come in this year healthy and ready to pick up where he left off in 2008. For some reason, the Packers like to utilize one RB, which is good for Grant. Barring injury, I think he will end the year as a borderline RB1.

RB Kevin Smith (DET): Smith quietly put up a very solid rookie season in 2008. And keep in mind, he did that while sharing carries with RB Rudi Johson (seriously?) early in the year and while playing for the 0-16 Lions, who were constantly playing from behind. I do not expect the Lions to be much better than last year, but Smith should be the unquestionable starter and get quite a few carries. I think he is a solid RB2.

RB Ray Rice (BAL): I think the RB Willis McGahee experiment in Baltimore is about to end. Rice looked very good last year and McGahee has struggled mightily with injuries lately. Plus, he seems to have lost his explosion and desire. Rice, on the other hand, has both. Unfortunatley, as long as McGahee (and FB/RB Le’Ron McClain) is in the picture, Rice will not be the stud he could otherwise be. Watch the news from Ravens camp to see how the team decides to use these guys.

WR Terrell Owens (BUF): It hurts my [football] soul to even include him on this list, but I do think TO is underrated this year. QB Trent Edwards is a better than you think. And WR Lee Evans is better than anyone TO has had across from him in awhile. Plus, TO always has a one-year honeymoon period with his new team, before he starts tearing them apart from the inside. And he only has a one-year contract. Much like WR Randy Moss when he first showed up in New England, TO will have something to prove.

WR Dwayne Bowe (KC): He is ranked pretty high on most lists, but not high enough, if you ask me. This guy is a stud. And he put up very good numbers over the past couple years with very marginal QBs . In 2008, he was third to only WR Brandon Marshall and WR Andre Johnson in targets among WRs. And QB Matt Cassel is clearly better than the previous KC QBs. So Bowe should benefit. And without TE Tony Gonzalez, Bowe should become the primary redzone target.

Sleepers

July 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Here is a list of players who I consider “sleepers” for the 2009 fantasy draft.

QB Jason Campbell (WAS): Most think Campbell has been disappointing thus far in his career. But you should remember that — until this year — he has yet to have the same head coach and offensive coordinator for two years in a row. I think HC Jim Zorn will have Campbell playing well this year. He should be a better-than-average backup, and could even be your starter against weaker teams.

QB Kyle Orton (DEN): Of course, QB Jay Cutler got all the attention in the blockbuster trade of the offseason. But it could be Orton who ends up benefiting the most. Orton was not all that terrible last year. And now he has guys like WR Brandon Marshall and WR Eddie Royal to throw to, in addition to a pretty solid running game. He should put up respectable numbers, especially in the AFC West, which is weak against the pass. A very solid backup.

QB David Garrard (JAX): Last year, the Jags struggled due mainly to injuries across their offensive line. Assuming the same does not happen this year, I expect Garrard to put up better numbers. Plus, they brought in WR Torry Holt, who may be old, but he is better than anyone they had before. Another very solid backup.

RB Lesean McCoy (PHI): If RB Brian Westbrook gets injured, McCoy should be a stud in the Eagles offense. And he should get quite a few touches either way.

RB Michael Bush (OAK): I am not a big fan of RB Darren McFadden. Yes, he is fast and athletic. But so is RB Reggie Bush. Unfortunately, D-Mac struggled with injuries last year, so it is hard to tell. But I do not think he can be a full-time RB in the NFL. He runs too upright. Which should open the door for Bush, who would have been a first round pick but for a nasty leg injury in college. Rumors are that he has looked great this summer.

WR Brian Robiske (CLE): Despite the fact that he is a Buckeye, I like this kid. His dad is a WR coach in the NFL. He has good size and good (enough) speed. And — most importantly — he runs good routes. And he can catch the ball. Combine all of those, and you have the recipe for an effective rookie WR. And the rumors out of Cleveland are that he is penciled in to start opposite WR Braylon Edwards. And we learned from last hear (e.g. WR Eddie Royal, WR DeSean Jackson) that rookie WRs that start have a good chance at doing something good.

WR Miles Austin (DAL): Someone has to catch balls opposite WR Roy Williams. TE Jason Witten will continue to be QB Tony Romo’s main target, but I expect Austin to work his way into the rotation and get quite a few looks. He has very good size for the position. He will probably be somewhat inconsistent, but he is a borderline WR3.

WR Chris Henry (CIN): Henry has had his fair share of problems since coming into the NFL. But I think he actually figured out that he has to stop screwing up if he wants to succeed on the field. The reality is, Henry is extremely talented. So if he can focus on football, he could be a very good WR, especially now that WR TJ Houshmandzadeh is gone and QB Carson Palmer is healthy.

WR Josh Morgan (SF): I liked this guy last year, but he could not stay healthy long enough to get into the lineup. Although the 49ers like to run, I think Morgan will get some changes to make plays. And the arrival of WR Michael Crabtree should force defenses to direct their focus elsewhere. Keep him in mind in the late rounds. Stash him on your bench and see how he develops.

WR James Jones (GB): I love this kid. But, as with many others on this list, injuries kept him from doing much last year. However, his knee is healthy and he has dropped some weight in order to increase his speed. He will play behind WR Greg Jennigns and WR Donald Driver, but if QB Aaron Rodgers throws for around 4000 yards again (which he will), Jones should do well enough to use as a bye-week fill-in or spot-starter. And bump him way up if either Jennings or Driver misses any time with injuries.

WR Earl Bennett (CHI): He was very (very) quiet last year. But someone has to catch the ball in Chicago, right? I am simply not convinced that WR Devin Hester is that guy. I might be putting too much stock into the fact that Bennett and QB Jay Cutler were college teammates. But that has to be worth something, right? (A bench spot, perhaps.)

WR Mike Walker (JAX): Like Morgan, I was high on Walker last year. But also like Morgan, he could not stay healthy. But I expect him to get his opportunity this year, since guys like WR Jerry Porter and WR Matt Jones are now unemployed. I doubt many people will even consider picking him, but I think he is worth a bench spot on your roster.

WR Sidney Rice (MIN): All this guy does is catch touchdowns. No, he is not Cris Carter. But seriously, all he does is catch TDs. Last year, he had 15 catches and 4 TDs. Not bad. I love his size (6-4, 202). If he can stay healthy (anyone sense a trend?), he should make some plays this year, especially if QB Brett Favre is lobbing jump balls in his direction. If he can stay healthy, he could be a very solid WR3 option if he can get involved in places that are not the endzone.

WR Steve Smith (NYG): The Giants have a high-powered offense. And QB Eli Manning looked to Smith often last year when he needed a 1st down. Smith is not a burner or big-play guy, but he runs very good routes and has reliable hands. He should have a surprisingly solid year. My guess is he will make a solid WR3 in most leagues.

WR Mark Clayton (BAL): I pick him as a sleeper every year. Its sorta like a tradition, at this point. I believe in you, Mark!

WR Mark Bradley (KC): He has never stayed healthy. But if he can, he could do well in the new-look KC offense. Defenses will have to focus on WR Dwayne Bowe, allowing Bradley to get open. But he has never stayed healthy. Ever. So you can likely get him off waivers after the first couple weeks if he is not already on nursing an injury.

WR Michael Jenkins (ATL): After doing very little during his career, he actually looked like a decent WR last year. Part of this was due to the surprisingly solid play of QB Matt Ryan, but it was also due to the emergence of WR Roddy White. Jenkins is slow, but he has great size (6-4), making him a good possession receiver. Also, having TE Tony Gonzalez taking up some attention should help him get open on third downs and in the endzone. Likely waiver material, but keep an eye on him.

WR Harry Douglas (ATL): Two Atlanta WRs on this list? I must be crazy. Perhaps. But Douglas looked good last year coming in as a rookie. And I think he will continue to develop this year. Keep an eye on him early in the season to see how he is used.

WR Keenan Burton (STL): Call me crazy. But I think the Rams will be (slightly) better this year. And, other than WR Donnie Avery and RB Steven Jackson, there is no one else to throw the ball to. And Avery is more of a deep threat. So look for Burton to compliment Avery’s speed. Another guy to watch on waivers, perhaps.

Week 14: Start

December 4, 2008 Leave a comment

Ah, the playoffs. Some of you are likely starting Round 1 this week, and others are trying to win one last game (and hoping an assortment of other teams lose one last game) so you can sneak in. As you set your lineups, here are some players who have favorable matchups.

QB Kyle Orton (CHI) vs. JAX: Starting CB Mathis is out for the Jags. And they were not that great to begin with.

QB Gus Frerotte (MIN) @ DET: I bet I could throw for 2 TDs againt Detroit.

QB Peyton Manning (IND) vs. CIN: Last week was an anomaly. He will rebound.

QB Eli Manning (NYG) vs. PHI: I hate the mouth-breather, but he should put up decent numbers.

QB Drew Brees (NO) vs. ATL: This is a must-win for the Saints, and I doubt the Falcons will get as much pressure on Brees as the Bucs did last week.

QB Matt Ryan (ATL) @ NO: He is playing well, and the Saints can be beat through the air.

QB Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs. HOU: Cannot sit him against Houston. He will get his yards and TDs. Especially if Grant is beat up.

QB Chad Pennington (MIA) @ BUF: Remember, this game is being played in a dome in Toronto, not in the wind and cold of Buffalo. Pennington ate them up earlier in the year.

QB Brett Favre (NYJ) @ SF: Brett should play well in the warm(er) weather of the Bay.

QB Matt Cassel (NE) @ SEA: He could throw for 400 on them…

QB Tyler Thigpen (KC) @ DEN: Despite last week, Denver is awful on defense.

QB Jay Cutler (DEN) vs. KC: But so is Kansas City.

QB Kurt Warner (ARI) @ STL: Who wouldn’t love to see Warner torch his former team? I would. But I am biased. He is my fantasy QB.

QB Tony Romo (DAL) @ PIT: I know — the Steelers are tough on defense. But Romo should do well enough to warrant a start. It is a close call, though.

QB Joe Flacco (BAL) vs. WAS: Eh, why not?

RB Matt Forte (CHI) vs. JAX: Apparently he is not familiar with “the rookie wall” concept.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX) @ CHI: Yards might be low, but he should score. Or not. These things are hard to predict.

RB Adrian Peterson (MIN) @ DET: Well, hard to predict, unless it is AP against Detroit. I think he faced tougher competition in practice while at Oklahoma.

RB Kevin Smith (DET) vs. MIN: But only if the Williams boys’ suspension is upheld. Otherwise, avoid him like the plague. Or, perhaps I should say, avoid him like he plays for the Lions.

RB Brian Westbrook (PHI) @ NYG: I will never suggest sitting him again…

RB Brandon Jacobs (NYG) vs. PHI: Beast.

RB Chris Johnson (TEN) vs. CLE: They should run all over Cleveland.

RB Michael Turner (ATL) @ NO: Yardage might not be high, but always a threat to score.

RB Pierre Thomas (NO) vs. ATL: Deuce is out. And Bush is not 100% yet. So Thomas wins by default.

RB Steve Slaton (HOU) @ GB: Green Bay cannot stop the run. Period.

RB Thomas Jones (NYJ) @ SF: Man on fire.

RB Frank Gore (SF) vs. NYJ: Tough matchup, but he should do well enough.

RB Kevin Faulk (NE) @ SEA: Nothing other than a feeling.

RB Peyton Hillis (DEN) vs. KC: The white boy can play.

RB Larry Johnson (KC) @ DEN: I know. I am as surprised as you.

RB Tim Hightower (ARI) @ STL: I think he will get back on track this week.

RB Steven Jackson (STL) vs. ARI: He looked pretty good last week, and should be in line for more carries this week.

RB DeAngelo Williams (CAR) vs. TB: The kid is playing like they thought he would when they took him in the first round.

WR Matt Jones (JAX) @ CHI: He actually looks like a WR. Although he has an awful attitude (and haircut).

WR Bernard Berrian (MIN) @ DET: Everyone loves them some Lions.

WR Calvin Johnson (DET) vs. MIN: You can’t really sit him, but it’s tough to recommend any Lions.

WR DeSean Jackson (PHI) @ NYG: They are gonna have to throw if they wanna win.

WR Domenik Hixon (NYG) vs. PHI: Its the sexy-pick-of-the-week, so I don’t wanna be left out, right? He should do about as good as he did last week (70+ yards).

WR Braylon Edwards (CLE) @ TEN: Just kidding.

WR Roddy White (ATL) @ NO: You gotta start him. His name is Roddy. Roddy!

WR Lance Moore (NO) vs. ATL: I worry about a guy named Lance, but the kid can play.

WR Marques Colston (NO) vs. ATL: I think Colston will join in the fun again this week.

WR Andre Johnson (HOU) @ GB: Green Bay’s secondary is tough, but Johnson is possibly the best WR in the NFL.

WR Kevin Walter (HOU) @ GB: The Packers moved CB Charles Woodson to safety this week, meaning nickel CB Tramon Williams will be matched up against Walter most of the time. Which means you should start him.

WR Greg Jennings (GB) vs. HOU: Mr. Jennings is pretty good, too.

WR Donald Driver (GB) vs. HOU: Driver is old, but he just keeps playing well. I think he is worth a start this week.

WR Ted Ginn (MIA) @ BUF: He had 177 yards last time they played.

WR Lee Evans (BUF) vs. MIA: He has been up and down this year, but I think the former Badger will connect with QB JP Losman, who actually throws a pretty good deep ball.

WR Randy Moss (NE) @ SEA: He had the dropsies last week. I think he makes up for it this week. In a big way.

WR Brandon Marshall (DEN) vs. KC: Has not been the animal we expected after his first game, but he has been pretty good. And KC is not good on defense.

WR Eddie Royal (DEN) vs. KC: See Marshall, Brandon.

WR Dwayne Bowe (KC) @ DEN: The guy seems to put up 8 to 10 points, one way or another, every week. Well, except for last week. But Oakland has a very good pass defense. KC does not.

WR Mark Bradley (KC) @ DEN: See Bowe, Dwayne.

WR Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) @ STL: The Cardinals passing attack will get back on track. (Rhyme unintentional.)

WR Anquan Boldin (ARI) @ STL: See Fitzgerald, Larry.

WR Terrell Owens (DAL) @ PIT: Very tough matchup, but you cannot sit TO. He loves him some him. So he will get his.

WR Steve Smith (CAR) vs. TB: Almost always finds a way to make plays.

TE Dallas Clark (IND) vs. CIN: I just like his name.

TE Kevin Boss (NYG) vs. PHI: They might have to keep him in to help block, but I think he will get some catches.

TE Jeremy Shockey (NO) vs. ATL: His numbers have not been outrageous, but he has been putting up solid numbers lately.

TE Jason Witten (DAL) @ PIT: Tough matchup, but you gotta start him.

TE Chris Cooley (WAS) @ BAL: Another tough matchup, but again, you gotta start him.

TE Owen Daniels (HOU) @ GB: Start all your white TEs!

TE Tony Gonzalez (KC) @ DEN: Oh, yeah. And start Gonzo, too.

Week 14: Hot & Cold

December 3, 2008 Leave a comment

Here is a quick overview of some guys who are hot and some guys who are cold, as you prepare your teams for the playoffs.

HOT:

RB Michael Turner (ATL): I was down on Turner earlier in the year, but he has proven me wrong. And on top of that, now that DT Pat Williams and DT Kevin Williams have been suspended by the NFL, his matchup against Minnesota in week 16 is looking much more attractive.

RB Thomas Jones (NYJ): Jones has over 1000 yards and 11 TDs rushing on the year, and he still has 4 games to play. He is having one of his best seasons ever, and you likely drafted him much later than most guys who are scoring much less. Look for him to continue to play well, as he has some easy matchups down the stretch.

RB Peyton Hillis (DEN): Hillis is a very unlikely late-season fantasy hero, but he has certainly delivered for those who were astute enough to grab him off waivers. He is the only RB to rush for 100 yards on the Jets this year, and the Broncos are willing to give him the ball near the goal line.

RB DeAngelo Williams (CAR): His 4-TD performance against Green Bay was nice. But overall, he has been playing pretty well. Most thought RB Jonathan Stewart would steal his carries, but Stewart (predictably) has been unable to stay healthy. Williams has scored more than 20 points in each of his last 4 games.

WR Domenik Hixon (NYG): With WR Plaxico Burress out for the rest of the year, Hixon steps into the lineup. And he should do pretty well. The Giants have a great offensive line and a great running game, which opens things up for the WRs. Look for Hixon to perform very well over the next few weeks.

WR Lance Moore (NO): He is currently the 9th highest scoring fantasy WR. And no one had even heard of this guy until after the first few weeks of the season. Think of everyone out there who drafted Devery Henderson or Robert Meachem. Or even Marques Colston. And Moore is the best WR in New Orleans.

TE Tony Gonzalez (KC): Many thought he was over the hill (or left him for dead due to the QB issues in Kansas City), but Gonzo has proven us all wrong. He leads all TEs in scoring and has put up some pretty impressive numbers lately. I expect the trend to continue.

COLD:

RB Clinton Portis (WAS): A couple weeks ago, most thought he was the MVP of the league. But injuries and tough matchups have crushed those dreams. He has scored less than 10 points in 2 of his last 3 games, and has some tough matchups down the stretch. Hopefully he will bounce back.

RB Marion Barber (DAL): Barber only scored 10 points in his last 2 games, and now is dealing with a toe injury. On top of that, he faces Pittsburgh, New York Giants, and Baltimore in his next three games. Brutal.

WR Braylon Edwards (CLE): Easily the biggest bust of the year.

WR Reggie Wayne (IND): Despite easy matchups, Wayne has not performed well lately. He does have easy matchups ahead, as well, but my confidence in his ability to be a top WR is not nearly as strong as it was early in the year.

Week 13: Waiver Wire

November 25, 2008 Leave a comment

The playoffs are right around the corner, so it is time to make some moves to set yourself up for a championship run.

When the playoffs are close, I like to adjust my strategy. Earlier in the year, I like to pick up some flyers (i.e. “sleepers”) and see if they work out and can help my team win some games. But later in the year, I usually avoid taking those chances. Not only are most so-called “sleepers” already on someone else’s roster, but the potential value is outweighed by the opportunity costs associated with losing a roster spot you could otherwise use for depth.

So, when the playoffs are near, I usually try to add the real-life backup to my key players. For example, I have Marion Barber in one league, so I am going to add his backup, Tashard Choice. If Barber happens to get hurt, Choice should perform fairly well in his place, which means my chances of winning in the playoffs are not completely destroyed, even though I lost my best player.

By now, your rosters should be set up pretty well, but here are some names to consider adding if they are available in your league:

QB Tyler Thigpen (KC): I have talked about him before and he continues to play well.

RB Warrick Dunn (TB): Starter RB Earnest Graham is gone for the year, and Dunn performed well in his absence last week. He could be a good option going forward.

RB Peyton Hillis (DEN): Even with RB Tatum Bell in the mix, it was Hillis who got most of the yards and the TD. He should do well enough down the stretch to warrant a roster spot, and is worth a start against weaker defenses.

RB Darren McFadden (OAK): In his first real action back since his toe injuries kept him sidelined, McFadden scored 2 TDs. Although RB Justin Fargas got more carries and more yards, McFadden was definitely involved.

RB Kevin Faulk (NE): It is tough to predict who will do well in New England, but Faulk remains involved enough in the passing game to make him worth a roster spot.

RB Leon Washington (NYJ): He does not get many carries, but he is explosive and is a threat to score each game. Add him, but be judicious with when you put him in your lineup.

WR Mark Bradley (KC): I have talked up Bradley before in this space, and he continues to perform pretty well in KC. WR Dwayne Bowe is still the main guy, and TE Tony Gonzalez is always involved, but Bradley still gets enough looks to be worth a roster spot.

WR Ted Ginn (MIA): The Dolphins lost WR Greg Camarillo for the year, which means Ginn should get more looks.

WR Davone Bess (MIA): See Ginn, Ted.

TE Kevin Boss (NYG): After posting zero catches last week, he came through this week with another TD (giving him 4 in his last 5 games). Considering last week was against the Ravens, we will give him a pass. He should do well down the stretch.

TE John Carlson (SEA): Although he has not looked that great, QB Matt Hasselbeck is back, which does improve the value of Carlson.