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!
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
- 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