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The Weekly Gut Check - Vol. 81
Halloween Treats and the 2007 RSP

Rookie Scouting Portfolio The “Gut Feeling” is often synonymous with a sense of desperation resulting from a lack of preparation. The Gut Check is a huge proponent of studying the numbers, but there’s a point where one can place too much emphasis on the wrong information. This can result in the undervaluing or overlooking a player’s potential. Therefore, The Weekly Gut Check is devoted to examining the frame of reference behind certain number-driven guidelines that fantasy football owners use to make decisions.

Although The Weekly Gut Check doesn’t claim to be psychic, he does believe that he can dispel certain numbers biases and help you make the best choices for your team. We’ll keep a running tally of The Weekly Gut Check’s insights. This way you can gauge his views as something to seriously consider, or at least seriously consider running the opposite way as fast as you can!

If most of you reading this column fit the demographic of fantasy football enthusiasts then you will likely be spending Halloween night handing out candy to the neighborhood kids. Since the Gut Check can’t send you candy (or a bottle of Tums), he’ll give you his fantasy football version of treats: Complimentary scouting reports of five rookies that have made an impact within the last 2-3 weeks from the 2006 Rookie Scouting Portfolio. Four of the five players were prospects yours truly had rated as promising talents—Wali Lundy, Santonio Holmes, Maurice Jones-Drew, and Derek Hagan. The fourth player was a runner yours truly didn’t believe would have the skills to be anything more than a change of pace back (Leon Washington). You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access these reports, which is free to download.

Just select the links below to see the Gut Check’s take on each player in college:

Special Offer Coming...

The 2007 Portfolio will be available in early April, but FF Today will be offering the publication for early purchase in late November through late December for $9.95. We’ll then email your login and password to download the publication when it’s off the presses in April. This is a guide many purchased for $17.95 last year and found it worth every penny. Anita Marks of ESPN 1300 Baltimore stated on her show last year that she had the ESPN Draft Guide, which she thought: “was a fine publication, but the [2006 RSP] blew it away.” The New Orleans Saints front office requested a copy prior to their 2006 draft and it received excellent reviews from readers.

Week 7 League Updates

Fantasy Auctioneer Experts Invitational: It was two in a row for the Gut Check and an all-important victory against then-division leader, KFFL, despite erring on his choice of Gradkowski over David Carr. The win forced a 3-way tie for first place in the division. This week, Carr will be back in the line up to stay and Stephen Jackson returns from the bye week to face an injury-decimated, Chargers defense. But with Shawne Merriman appealing his suspension, the Bolts will remain a pretty challenging unit against the run. Reggie Brown is really coming on in recent weeks—not a bad for $10 in a league with a $200 cap.

Projected Starting Lineup: Carr, Jackson, Cadillac, Reggie Brown, Donald Driver, Joe Horn, Dallas Clark, David Akers, and the Cardinals Defense.

Ironman 3 Dynasty League: Yours truly (team name Out To Lunch) broke a 3-game losing streak on the legs of Brian Westbrook’s all-time, single game performance. Unfortunately, the Gut Check left a lot of points on the bench and decided against adding Marty Booker Sunday morning. That Wali Lundy trade paid dividends sooner than the Gut Check anticipated, but he was also on the pine. At 3-4 overall, the Gut Check still has a chance to contend for a playoff spot, but he needs Fitzgerald and Matt Jones to get healthy…yesterday!

Projected Starting Lineup: Leftwich, Westbrook, Cadillac, Gabriel, Berrian, Parker, Free Agent TE, Vinatieri, Darnell Dockett, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Jarvis Green, Derrick Johnson, Michael Boley, Julian Peterson, Karlos Dansby, Walt Harris, Charles Woodson, Sean Jones, and Nick Ferguson.

SOFA Fantasy Auction League: Three in a row for the Gut Check as LT continues to demonstrate why he’s worth the big bucks in summer drafts. He also made a nice call to opt for Maurice Jones-Drew over Cadillac—a risky maneuver, considering Drew isn’t the starter—but it paid off. If yours truly can pick the right quarterback between Pennington, Brunell, and Young on a weekly basis, he could have an elite-scoring team. He’s already raised his scoring average 12 points during the winning streak.

Projected Starting Lineup: Pennington, LT, Cadillac, Driver, Toomer, Wayne, Watson, Akers, and Panthers (possibly free agent option).

MADFAD (Dynasty Contract League w/IDP and Fluctuating Player Values): A two-game losing streak, this time to the high-scoring team in the league. Yours truly made the error of taking the chance on Maroney over Dillon, but he still would have lost the game even if he made the right choice. The goose eggs from Galloway and Shaun Phillips were bigger factors. Phillips was a “smart” waiver wire addition, but he tore his calf in the game. Tamba Hali was a keeper, though.

Projected Starting Lineup: Leftwich, Westbrook, Dillon, C. Johnson, Galloway, Berrian, Shockey, Bullock, Vilma, Feeley, Hali, Umenyiora, Polamalu, and A. Wilson.

Local League (Traditional re-draft and scoring): Another CBS league, the Gut Check lost by 5 points to the league’s best team. Amazingly, he managed a respectable total and near win despite 3.1 points total from three of four receivers. The Galloway goose egg was the difference. Thomas Jones, Frank Gore, and Reggie Bush return from bye weeks. Jones versus ‘Frisco looks like a more enticing option than those two or Addai versus Denver. Yours truly is hoping to acquire Derek Hagan—he needs the receivers. Funny enough, he could wind up staying afloat due to three rookie wide receivers…that would be a first.

Projected Lineup: Favre, LJ, Jones, Joey Galloway, Marques Colston, Samie Parker (Hagan or Henry), Marvin Harrison, Todd Heap, Mike Vanderjagt, and Ravens Defense.

FFTOC: Yours truly thought he had a sub-par game, but somehow moved up to 81st overall. He’s only 10 points behind the division leader and that team is ranked 51st overall. Maybe the Gut Check was thinking too much during the first two years of his participation in this tourney. This year, he’s played the safe bets early and waited until the first month of games revealed the breakouts and the duds. At this rate, yours truly has a good shot at advancing.

Fantasy Football Handbook Expert Mock: The Gut check remained at 5th overall, but is only a point away from his 4th place ranking. His running backs and McNabb came through for him. Want to see a consistent squad? Here are his scores by week: 105, 115, 114, 127, 112, 104, and 111. Considering his backs are mediocre, it shows how the Crank Scores can work. He had picked Jackson over Jordan, you could consistently add 10-15 points to each total and the Gut Check would be in the lead. You can select the link for the roster to see the Gut Check’s options…