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FF In The Groin
Week 8

The highs where higher and the lows were lower in week 8, just when Daunte Culpepper didn’t think things could get any worse.

Groin Shot of the Week Candidates

Antonio Gates (10-145 Yd, 3 TD) – Finally, a good game by Tony Gonzalez! Gonzo had 7 receptions for 97 yards and a TD, more than doubling the fantasy output of any game he’s played this year. What the? Yet he wasn’t even close to being the best TE on the field. The torch has been passed folks. In a league which has blossomed with good to great TEs the past few years, Antonio Gates now holds down the undisputed position as top TE in the league. Drew Brees was quoted in post-game, “I’m lucky to have those two” (Gates and LaDainian Tomlinson). Never have truer words been said, Drew.

Tiki Barber (206 RuYd, 1 TD) – If Tiki had a little extra breakaway speed, this would have been a 3 TD performance. At any rate, a career day in yardage is nothing to sneeze at, especially for a player who has had a quality career as he has. Tough Washington D? Poor history against the ‘Skins? These pre-game analysis factors meant little compared to the psychological motivation the Giants took into this game. Wellington Mara: the greatest person in the NFL... that I had never heard of before.

Marion Barber III (127 RuYd, 2 TD) – Talk about waiver wire gold! It wasn’t easy deciphering who Julius Jones’ handcuff was from the start of the season. Anthony Thomas had the veteran experience in his favor. Tyson Thompson was impressive in limited duty. Barber was having a tough time seeing the field. Now it is crystal clear... Barber is the handcuff to Jones. Um... or is that Jones is the handcuff to Barber? Just how good is this guy? And to not confuse him with Tiki we’re going to have to utilize Barber III, or Barber the 3rd. Maybe Barber3 like the third Aliens movie? No, here we go: Marion Barber-cubed the Cardinals on Sunday!

Groin Mail

People seem to be enjoying the Groin Mail section of the column, so let me dig into my archive a little here. This is from a few weeks ago, but an instant classic:

Mike, I'm in a money league that is points only (no head to head) Highest scorer gets paid $50 every week.

I'm trailing the guy 142 to 141 going into the Monday night game. I have no one left and he has Larry Johnson. All day long he decides not to risk it and takes him out. At the last minute he puts him back in to close the gap on the overall leader (me). What do you know 13 yards and his first career fumble. We tie. I win the tie breaker. Our first tie breaker is...*cough* kicker points. (I know how you feel about kickers.)

Now that is a "GROIN SHOT"! Thanks for your column. I look forward to it every week.


Just how often does a player score negative points for a game? That is un-freaking believable.

Comments From The Couch

  • Rhetorical question of the week: If Saints owner Tom Benson passed away, would the Saints lift their play to all-world proportions as the Giants did this week in honor of the late Wellington Mara?

  • Matt Jones and Ernest Wilford... are really screwing up the value of Jimmy Smith! And I blame Byron Leftwich too. If he has all these good receivers at his disposal, why is he just a mediocre performer week after week?

  • Good golly, we have a decent game from Trent Green for once! Too bad he's burned his chances to be an automatic starter twice over already, so I'm locked in giving Mark Brunell the starting nod instead. Doh!

  • I'm usually first in line to bash Jake Plummer when the going gets bad, so I feel it's necessary to give props to Jake Plummer for what was a truly impressive game Sunday against the Eagles. The Broncos are solid on both sides of the ball. However, I still envision a massacre of epic proportions if they have to face the Colts in Indy, in the playoffs.

  • Brett Favre was distributing so many footballs to the Bengals all day, obviously the fan who ran on the field thought it was some sort of Brett Favre giveaway promotion, and he was overly eager to get his hands on one for himself. Or he was drunk. One of those.

  • The nationally televised High Definition games left a lot to be desired this week. I thought I'd check out a tough back-and-forth division rivalry to kickoff the weekend, Redskins at Giants. Okay, that didn't work. Follow it up with Eagles at Broncos. Even though the Eagles came back to within 7, it was short lived and still felt like a blowout. And then the Bills-Pats to finish off the day. I did not get a good night's sleep on Sunday.

  • So who started Joe Nedney this week? Anyone? Anyone? Okay, who started Cadillac Williams or Michael Pittman, thinking probably both would do just fine cruising through the 49ers' defense in a Clinton Portis-esque fashion? It's games like these where the fantasy football player who only spends 10 minutes analyzing the matchups laughs at those of us who spends 2-3 hours, or more, analyzing the matchups, and with good reason.

  • Why isn't Steve Smith's 200+ yard performance in our top 3 Groin candidates this week? As Ben told me this week in an email, Smith is playing unconscious this season. It's absolutely true. Honestly, against the Vikings this performance didn't come as that much of a surprise.

  • On the complete opposite end of the spectrum of fantasy highlights and lowlights this season, Daunte Culpepper suffered a devastating knee injury. From 1st to 2nd round fantasy pick this season, I'm thinking late round flier next season?

  • Fred Taylor was one heck of a game time decision this week. Between Taylor, Corey Dillon, Cadillac Williams, Joe Horn and others, I'm beginning to wonder if there is even any point to setting my starting lineup any time prior to 10 minutes before game time. Oh yeah, except when the Internet access conks out. That's a good reason.

  • It looks like I spoke too soon about who is vying for #1 overall draft pick last week, limiting it to the Texans and 49ers, both winners this week. The Packers are in there, and lets not count out the Saints, Vikings, Jets, Cards, Browns plus Titans as a dark horse. Damn, this competition is wide open - better than the race for 1st place.

  • I'm not going to comment on Tedy Bruschi's return to action. I'm not sure what else I could possibly say that wasn't said on the Sunday night broadcast.

  • Being a Bills fan is beyond frustrating. Kelly Holcomb's 1 yard pass to Eric Moulds on 4th and 7 in the final minutes left me absolutely speechless. What the ____ (insert multiple expletives here) was that? And the really frustrating thing was that my expectations going into Foxboro to play the well rested Pats is that the Bills would get their asses handed to them. Nope, they go and make a game of it. They even look like the better team through most of it. Then they crumble in the end and look like a junior varsity team in the process. That loss was so depressing I question coaching my son Alex to cheer for the Bills as he grows up, to save him the aggravation. Of course I could use someone to wallow with, so it's a tough call.

And The Winner Is…

Amazingly, I just traded Marvin Harrison for Tiki Barber last week. My trades never work out THAT well, so I’m now bracing myself anticipating some disaster in the weeks ahead. I’m kind of heavily relying on Gates and Tiki now in multiple leagues, so, call me superstitious, but I’d rather not give them the award this week. Which means Marion Barber gets the call. How can you argue with a pick that most likely came off the waiver wire in the past 2 weeks to play like that? And not to mention I’m really annoyed I didn’t up my blind waiver bid on him last week, which I seriously contemplated but didn’t pull the trigger on. What will be really interesting to see is if Julius responds to the threat of Barber-cubed, like his older brother continues to respond to the threat of Cedric Benson. We shall see....