As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted
to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy
With three weeks of the preliminaries remaining, I’m in
good shape to make the final cut and have strong players available
for when it really counts.
||I’ll need to begin playing some of the
marquee QBs whose teams won’t be fighting for a playoff
spot down, but this was a good match up.
||Was there a more obvious play this week?
||I had Earnest Graham here all week,
but was worried Michael Pittman might get more time.
||This was an easy call, although Antrel
Rolle was tougher than Cincy expected.
||I thought I might get burned here, but
had to take my shot.
||This might have been the more obvious
play and it saved my week.
||I’m very happy with this week due to
the fact I saved good players.
At this point of the season it’s time for me to use a bit
more strategy with my player selection. Looking at the players below,
I’m more inclined to begin using players who are with teams
that will not have their division wrapped up when I need them most.
So far those teams are likely New England, Green Bay, Dallas, Indianapolis,
and maybe Pittsburgh.
QBs—P. Manning; B. Favre; D. Anderson; J. Kitna; M. Bulger;
E. Manning; J. Cutler; M. Schaub; J. Campbell; J.P. Losman
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; M. Morris.
WR—L. Fitzgerald; L. Evans; Roy Williams; H. Ward; G. Jennings;
A. Johnson; D. Driver; J. Cotchery; D. Bowe; R. White; A. Davis;
I. Hilliard; B. Marshall; S. Moss; D. Mason; J. Porter; D.J. Hackett;
TE: A. Gates; J. Shockey; K. Winslow; G. Olsen; C. Cooley; B.
Watson; L. Pope; D. Lee.
As you can see, I used most of the players from those teams I
mentioned, so that means I’ll have to take my chances on
players who aren’t high-end choices. If I can get decent
production for the next two weeks to make the cut, I’ll
have enough firepower to contend for the money if I make the right
Let’s move on to the week one files of 20/20 Hindsight.
Tony Romo And Terrell Owens Would Pitch
And Catch For A Combined 8 Fantasy Touchdowns: I’m ahead
by 20 points in a dynasty league at 5:30 P.M. EST, Sunday afternoon
until Romo and Owens go on such a tear that I’m down by 70 points
at 6:30 P.M. There’s nothing like a 90-point swing in the span
of an hour to turn your team’s fortunes upside down.
Lesson Learned: A divisional
rivalry where the opposing secondary is decimated makes it ripe
for an all-pro quarterback and all-pro receiver to set the world
on fire. Kind of like…
Tom Brady And Randy Moss Pitch And Catch
For A Combined 8 Fantasy Touchdowns: With the help of Bernard
Berrian, Patrick Kerney, and Randy Moss, I actually cut that 70-point
lead to a 13-point deficit going into Monday night with Keith
“Mr. Monday Night” Bulluck ready to earn my squad the most improbable
comeback of the ages.
Lesson Learned: Like I said:
A divisional rivalry where the opposing secondary is decimated
makes it ripe for an all-pro quarterback and all-pro receiver
to set the world on fire.
Brian Westbrook Could Handle The Rock
30+ Times And Remain Productive: I’ve been saying Westbrook
could run between the tackles since I first started writing for
FF Today as far back as 2004. The Eagles starter literally carried
this team to a victory as a runner between the tackles despite
the fact he missed practiced with a swollen knee. With 32 carries
for 148 yards, Westbrook shattered the myth that he can’t grind
it out for a tough victory.
Lesson Learned: If you check
this one out and come to the list of backs with Westbrook’s
dimensions, you can now add Maurice
Jones-Drew and Willie
Parker to this list of small, but effective inside runners.
Devard Darling Would Catch 104 Yards Worth
Of Passes For A Score: The Ravens receiver has been a Gutcheck
favorite as a sleeper/developmental receiver for a few years now.
Is it possible the light has come on for Darling? Or has Darling
been ready to contribute, but offensive genius, Brian Billick
hasn’t recognized he had a player of this caliber on his roster.
Don’t laugh. Billick didn’t seem to have a problem with letting
Derek Anderson get away…then again this was the Browns secondary
that Darling burned twice for big plays.
Lesson Learned: I guess if
it’s a divisional rivalry where the opposing secondary is weak,
even a second-string quarterback and second string-receiver can
set the world on fire. Does Darling have a chance to become a
Second Half Wonder? With the way Mark Clayton is playing, the
answer is yes. He seems to have a rapport with Kyle
Boller and if the second string QB gets a chance to keep playing,
Darling could be another fantasy surprise down the stretch. I
think next week is pivotal for owners to see if Darling has a
chance here. If you have roster room, pick him up this week and
wait. Worst-case scenario is you drop him next week.
Chester Taylor Was A Great Play Against
The Raiders: The fact we’ve all been harping on Brad Childress
not using Peterson as the starter over Taylor does not take away
from the point that Chester Taylor was a 1200-yard back last year.
That makes the Vikings “second string” back an “above average
starter” based on performance. If Childress had not made questionable
decisions with his personnel choices and management of off field
issues in addition to his depth chart moves at RB, one might consider
that the Vikings coach was right about Peterson splitting time—especially
in light of Peterson getting hurt.
Lesson Learned: This was a classic
match up with a great offensive line facing a poor front seven.
The least talked about lesson that could prove important down
the stretch for many fantasy owners is the Vikings line is so
strong that if Taylor gets hurt and Peterson is still out, then
Moore becomes a hot commodity. Remember Mewelde Moore down
the stretch, because he’s good enough to make your fantasy lineup
successful if thrust into the starter’s role.
Denver’s Ground Game Would Be Productive
Against The Haynesworthless Titans Defense: It’s always
difficult to fathom that one defensive lineman can make such a
difference, but that difference was apparent last night as Selvin
Young and Andre Hall ran right up the gut of the Tennessee
defensive front. Speaking of the Denver ground game, I can’t stand
how the commentators kid about these “anonymous” runners that
are so sorry that Tony Kornheiser can gain yardage if he got the
ball. Andre Hall may have gone un-drafted, but he’s a promising
young runner that you should have heard of a couple of years ago.
He was actually the player that put South Florida on the map.
Lesson Learned: Here’s my
scouting report on Hall, a player who demonstrated excellent
balance both in college and in this game. Why was he not drafted?
The same reasons Brian Westbrook was considered a top-5 player
by ability, but a mid-round pick due to his size.
Nagging Feelings—Week 12
you see Kurt
Warner making big plays under pressure? He almost looked Favre-like
with a couple of those underhand pitches to J.J. Arrington and
Leonard Pope in the face of the pass rush. The Cardinals QB was
a great fantasy option down the stretch in 2005. If he stays healthy,
When I went out on a limb a few years ago and said Byron
Leftwich would be a better quarterback than Michael
Vick I didn’t think I would win that argument because of the
events that transpired this summer—for both QBs. And if you really
examine whether I won this argument, I’d actually say it’s an
ugly draw: Vick never became a good passer and Leftwich has yet
to remain on the field long enough, which is partially his fault
for his slow wind up and lack of mobility. Leftwich was a player
I liked prior to studying film in the systematic fashion I do
for the Rookie Scouting Portfolio.
Unfortunately, Leftwich is like a poor man’s Drew Bledsoe.
What’s fascinating to me is that Vick and Leftwich are
diametric opposites of what doesn’t make a good NFL quarterback:
Vick is all mobility but doesn’t keep his eyes downfield
and Leftwich is recognized as one of the better QBs in the league
in regards to field vision, but his mobility is nonexistent. You
need to be able to move enough and have a quick release—neither
qualities Leftwich has. There are only a handful of teams I can
see which have the offensive line to protect Leftwich to be effective.
Unfortunately for the Falcons QB, the only offensive line that
could help him maximize his talents would have to be the equivalent
of John Madden’s group in Oakland that protected the statuesque,
Meanwhile, I should give props to David
Garrard yesterday. The Jaguars quarterback and Reggie Williams
were in sync against the Chargers. But it’s this last phrase that
keeps me from doing so—the Chargers are an underachieving team
that has never had a good secondary. Two weeks ago was a game
of the ages for Antonio Cromartie and the worst game of Peyton
Manning’s career—you can throw that one out of the Rolodex. Until
I see Garrard and Williams looking good against a team like the
Colts, Cowboys, Packers, or Pats, I’m not convinced.