As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted
to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy
I dropped from #17 to #44 after my worst week of the season
in the FFTOC, but that still keeps me well within range of advancing
to the final stage. Although no longer winning my bracket, I’m
still well within range of advancing to the next round.
||I thought about Losman and Warner here,
but the decimated Redskins secondary was too good to
||I’m thrilled he had a decent week and
I don’t have to count on Benson at the next level of
||It was between Foster and Dunn at this
spot and the lack of certainty at QB for Carolina this
week sealed the deal.
||A last-minute substitution that paid
||Oh well…it’s not like he was a marquee
WR like say…
||…I picked the wrong Cardinals receiver
||The Niners line was in max protect for
much of the game…sucks for me.
||Wow…I don’t think I ever had a kicker
score this low.
||I thought for sure Baltimore would rebound…
||Better effort overall. I could ride
this type of effort the rest of the way.
Although the score was just slightly above average, I got this effort
out of players I didn’t want to use in the finals. McNabb
should continue to get better, but he’s been the very opposite
of the most consistent QB of the past 5 years—something he
once was prior to the ACL tear. Benson just lacks that special something
you see from a lesser physical talent, but better overall player
like Marion Barber. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Barber
in Chicago or Seattle next season if Dallas doesn’t re-sign
him. Warrick Dunn was an ideal match up against a Carolina squad
that didn’t have the offensive firepower to build a lead that
would force Atlanta away from running the football. Again, the output
was decent at best, but the fact I actually hit on a decent week
from Reggie Brown is huge.
At this point in the season I’m still feeling good about
the remaining players for the final cut:
QBs—P. Manning; B. Favre;
D. Anderson; M. Bulger; E. Manning; K. Warner.
RBs—B. Westbrook; J.
Addai; S. Jackson; F. Gore; A. Peterson; J. Lewis; S. Young/T.
Henry; J. Fargas; L. Maroney; J. Chatman; E. Graham; J. Jones;
R. Grant; D. Foster; D. Williams; P. Holmes; C. Taylor; M. Morris.
WR—L. Fitzgerald; L.
Evans; Roy Williams; H. Ward; G. Jennings; A. Johnson; D. Driver;
C. Henry; J. Cotchery; D. Bowe; R. White; A. Davis; I. Hilliard;
I. Bruce; B. Marshall; S. Moss; M. Clayton; D. Mason; J. Porter;
D.J. Hackett; B. Engram.
TE—A. Gates; J. Shockey;
K. Winslow; G. Olsen; C. Cooley; B. Watson; L. Pope; D. Lee.
Let’s move on to the week one files of 20/20 Hindsight.
Clinton Portis Would Be A Second-Half
now has consecutive 120+ yard efforts, this time versus an Eagles
defense, which is still a more respectable unit than the New York
Jets. Despite the fact the Redskin receiving corps had to feature
former Eagle, James Thrash, Portis was still able to turn it up
a notch and gain 137 yards on 30 carries. This helped the Redskins
control the time of possession in the game, but it was Brian Wesbrook’s
big play at the end that ultimately did them in.
Lesson Learned: Portis has
long been a second half stud. From 2003-2005 he averaged nearly
3 fantasy points more per game during weeks 9-17 than he did in
the first eight games. This may be less dramatic a difference
than some other backs, but few have played as many games and consistently
turned it up a notch down the stretch as often as the Redskins’
starter. No one is really talking about Portis, but he’s
the 5th-ranked fantasy RB heading into week 10. All I know is
that the RB is dressing up for press conferences again—must
be a good sign he’s feeling more like himself. That’s
a good thing for fantasy owners down the stretch.
Clayton Would Have A One Hundred-Yard Receiving Effort:
It was the
Raven wide receiver’s first good statistical game of the year,
but didn’t arrive until week 10. This is a receiver found on most
waiver wires and with McNair and Boller throwing the rock his
way it’s no surprise he’s been a fantasy castoff. But Clayton
was one of the few offensive bright spots for Baltimore this week.
Lessons Learned: Although Clayton
has only 8 “second half” games under his belt from 2003-2005,
he was only second to Lee Evans as a stretch-run player during
that period. Clayton also demonstrated great improvement last
season from weeks 9-17. If you want a buy low option with upside,
I’d take my risk with Clayton. The Ravens can’t get much worse
on offense and it wasn’t as if Buffalo was a juggernaut when Lee
Evans was having his typically explosive weeks down the stretch.
James Thrash Would Have 2 Scores:
receiver had 5 catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns. The
11th-year vet was a huge reason why Washington stayed in the ball
Lesson Learned: Veteran receivers
aren’t bad risks to take in a desperate situation. This year we’ve
seen surprise performances from Ike Hilliard, Bobby Engram, and
Andre Davis. None of them were counted on to be starters at the
top of the season but they have faired admirably well in spot
Selvin Young Was A Guy Not To Sleep On:
Here was my take on Selvin Young in July’s Rookie Impact
Selvin Young has two ifs attached to his reputation as a football
player. If #1: Injury concerns—he tore his ACL in 2005.
If #2: He has shown repeated difficult protecting the football.
These were enough for Young to go undrafted, but the Denver Broncos
thought enough of Young to sign him as a free agent and let go
of journeyman Cedric Cobbs—a player who actually looked
good enough at times last preseason to warrant a serious look
at starting in 2006.
I liked Young’s quickness, elusiveness, and receiving skills.
I watched the Texas Longhorn runner make some impressive catches
in coverage—even on a deep, wheel route 20-30 yards downfield.
Young split time with Jamaal Charles, a player I believe is one
of the better runners in college football, at Texas and still
acquitted himself well.
Young will be competing with Cecil Sapp and Andre Hall for a post
on the Broncos active roster and as the third string back to Travis
Henry and Mike Bell. Sapp is a lock because of his proven performance
in spot duty and skills as a fullback. That leaves Hall and Young
and I believe one—if not both—will see time on the
practice squad in 2007. But I believe Young has enough talent
to start in the NFL one day and he’s not a guy to sleep
Lesson Learned: I’m going
to shamelessly plug my Rookie
Scouting Portfolio every chance I get. Especially when I continue
to give good marks to players that others don’t even consider.
The 2008 version of the RSP will be available in April. Here are
Selvin Young’s checklists and profiles against two opponents:
Ohio State and
Texas Tech. The tape rarely lies…and if you ask my dynasty
league (where I’m sporting a 7-3 record), they’ll
tell you I drafted Young with my last pick in the rookie draft.
I believe in my homework.
Brad Childress Suffers From An Ego Too Big To Keep A Head-Coaching
Job: Looks like the Jaguars finally gave Maurice Jones Drew the
ball enough times to win their game—even against the top
rush defense in the NFL. This means I have to pick on someone
else and with great pleasure let’s focus on the idiot savant
head coach, Brad Childress. Most of us heard about Childress and
the Vikings initially docking Troy Williamson a week of pay for
taking off work to arrange the funeral of the woman who raised
him. That’s clearly idiot move numero uno, but to follow
it up with the statement, “Sometimes it’s better to
get it right than to be right,” as a response to backtracking
on quite possibly the dumbest personnel decision a pro sports
team has made this year is insensitive by any standard.
Childress is the same coach that proudly selected and displayed
Tarvaris Jackson as his player of the future after getting rid
of Daunte Culpepper. If you didn’t know, Jackson was a 2nd
round pick with about a 4th or 5th round grade, at best. I graded
Jackson two years ago and gave him a rating equivalent of a project;
a college star with more than one deficiency in his game that
needs development before he can even make the squad. I know I’m
just some piddling writer, but even if any of you stupid football
fans (I don’t think you are, but Childress acts as if that’s
how he views us. If he thinks he was right to dock Troy Williamson
for letting the death of his grandmother get in the way of his
job then he must think we’re even dumber) observed and graded
Jackson’s college film systematically, then you would
prefer to be known as a dumb ass when someone of Childress’
ilk is doing the name calling.
But as much a Childress deserves criticism for not using Peterson
enough against Dallas, drafting a quarterback who would not make
any other NFL roster as even the back up, and docking a player
a paycheck for behaving like a decent man, it’s one other
thing that solidifies Childress’ place in the Hall of Shame
for smooth moves as a coach and personnel man: getting rid of
Brad Johnson. I know Culpepper needed to go so that’s not
as big a deal as telling Johnson to get lost. Think about Vikings
with a quarterback who knows how to manage third downs, two-minute
drills, and keep mistakes to a minimum. They already have one
of the best offensive lines in the league, the best pure runner
in the league and a defense that would perform much better if
the offense wasn’t so one dimensional. We also know that
Brad Johnson provides that much-needed, veteran leadership and
understanding of what it takes to win a Super Bowl.
Lesson Learned: Childress
could have looked like a genius this year and made the NFC North
a genuine three-team race. Instead, he preferred to let his ego
get in the way. He’s got little man syndrome with his football
team. Threatened by Culpepper as the old leader of this team?
Gets rid of him. Drafts a QB way too high for his skills to get
attention from the media and dumps the best QB they had on the
roster in 2006 so his first-year starter can waste the talent
of the best offensive line in football. Why? Because Childress
wants to be known as an offensive genius and wants to be respected
as a leader and visionary at the cost of looking like a fool.
You can tell just from his quote in response to the Williamson
flap that he can’t stand being wrong. In hindsight, it kind
of makes you wonder if T.O. bad-mouthing Childress wasn’t
warranted a bit, doesn’t it? Probably not, but it did cross
my mind after thinking about Childress’ latest gaffe. Then
again, the Richard Nixon of the NFL was just as stupid in his
first NFL coaching stint in Cleveland and we finally saw him reach
the White House three times…
Nagging Feelings—Week 11
I have been saying this for weeks, but did you see Chris
Henry’s impact on the Bengals offense? I know Cincy didn’t
score touchdown, but the receiver fresh off suspension racked
up 99 yards on 4 receptions. This is going to have a huge impact
on the Bengals passing game and I believe Carson Palmer and company
will lead a bit of a surge in Cincy this month. In other words,
your team should have caught the Bungles in October, because the
Bengals are making a return to Cincinnati. Not long enough for
a playoff spot, but enough to spoil a chance for others.
Nagging feelings about player movement:
will be a Bear or Seahawk. It would be awe-inspiring to see McNabb
and Barber sign with the Bears, but I doubt Chicago could land
both players. The Bears need Barber more, but Seattle would be
the best fit for his skills. If Barber becomes a Seahawk and that
team stays relatively intact, Barber could make Seattle a co-favorite
in the NFC in 2008. Personally, Dallas would be nuts to get rid
of Barber over Julius
Jones. Romo may be the main event in Dallas, but Barber is
the guts of that team.
I believe Priest Holmes will have a decent game this week against
the Colts. He only averaged a shade over 3 yards per carry, but
the 20 attempts tells me that Herm believes Holmes will get better
as the rust wears off. I think we see an 80 or 90-yard game and
a score from Holmes this week and a big day against Oakland in
week 12 if LJ isn’t ready to return. Running backs need
reps and despite what Herm said about 15 touches, I think Holmes
will continue to see the ball a lot—especially with Brodie
Croyle taking over the job.