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 entered week two of the FFTOC Finals with the #1 ranking,
||I thought he was the best candidate
for a 4-Td performance, go figure…
||This one hurt. I kept waiting for NFL.com
to show that 80 yard run to Taylor was their mistake.
I also had Selvin Young and Travis Henry available,
but the Broncos RB of choice of RB for any given week
is a frustrating pick.
||Not bad, though I needed a lot more
to make up for Peterson.
||I was satisfied with this, until I saw
||The odd man out on a better passing
day from GB than many thought.
||I considered Donald Lee and Gates, but
got too cut with this pick.
||Decent for a kicker.
||I was beginning to regret not going
with Buffalo, but Clint Ingram helped.
||I should still be within reach if I
perform better next week.
This wasn’t a total burnout, but taking a chance on Marcedes
Lewis and Adrian Peterson’s inexplicably bad day hurt me.
QB (Need 2): D. Garrard; J.
Kitna; M. Bulger; E. Manning; J. Cutler; M. Schaub; T. Edwards
To think I’m disappointed with a 2-touchdown effort from
a quarterback who I last saw play at Oregon State prior to this
season says a lot about this topsy-turvy season. My remaining
options are intriguing, but not necessarily clear cut choices.
RBs (Need 4): J. Addai; F.
Gore; Peterson (Chicago); E. Graham; R. Droughns; F. Jackson;
T. Henry/S. Young/A.Hall; J. Fargas; D. Foster; L. Maroney; J.
Chatman; K. Smith; M. Morris; D. Williams
Next week should look as good on paper for me as last week, but
with hopefully better results.
WR (Need 6): L. Fitzgerald;
L. Evans; J. Cotchery; D. Bowe; J. Gage; M. Jenkins; I. Hilliard;
S. Moss; D. Mason; J. Porter; M. Muhammad; M. Furrey; S. McDonald;
N. Burleson; A. Toomer; E. Wilford; K. Robinson; J. Jurevicius;
K. McCardell; J. Reed; D.J. Hackett; D Henderson; A. Davis; B.
Wade; S. Rice; D. Northcutt; V. Jackson; M. Booker; T. Ginn; S.
I’m feeling a little better here, because Cotchery and
Evans have some life left in them.
TE (Need 2): A. Gates; J. Shockey;
D. Lee; J. King; G. Olsen; B. Watson; T. Scheffler; L.J. Smith;
Gates, Shockey, and Lee aren’t bad remaining options two
bad I didn’t opt for two of these three last week…
Let’s move on to the week fourteen files of 20/20 Hindsight.
We’d Have So Many 4-Touchdown Passers:
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning posting 4 scores in a game is nearly
an expectation. Matt Hasselbeck’s day was no surprise. Jay
Cutler’s 4-td day was a surprise, but Broncos fans would
probably tell you they’ve been expecting him to do something
like this sooner or later. But when Trent Edwards throws four
touchdowns on a less than impressive stat line of 11/23 for 165
yards, that’s pretty shocking—except when you consider
he faced the Dolphins.
Lesson Learned: All four quarterbacks lead teams that are in the
hunt for a playoff spot or division crown—coincidence? I
Adrian Peterson Would Have 14 Carries
For 3 Yards: If this isn’t a season-ender for many
a playoff team, I don’t know what is. Peterson came off
a terrific performance against Detroit only to follow this up
with this log of carries:
- 1st QTR yardage by carry: -2, 2, and 4
- 2nd QTR yardage by carry: -6 and –3
- 3rd QTR yardage by carry: 0,3,0, and 1
- 4th QTR yardage by carry: -1, -1, 4 (there was a 21-yard
run called back on a holding penalty on Matt Birk)
Most of the carries were to the left side or up the middle. What’s
so puzzling on the surface is Minnesota got up early on the Niners
and one would have thought the early lead would have set the tone
for a big day from All Day. Unfortunately, it never happened against
a team that, up to this point, allowed more yards on the ground
than all but 6 NFL teams.
Lesson Learned: The Niners planned to stop Peterson and despite
being successful, the Vikings were able to beat San Francisco
with Taylor and a very efficient Tarvaris Jackson.
Samkon Gado Would Be A Better Play Than
The Vikings Adrian Peterson: If someone told you to start
Gado over A.D. would you have listened? Gado had 93 yards from
scrimmage and two scores while subbing for Jesse Chatman—21
more fantasy points than Peterson. This seems more like a fantasy
football version of News of The Weird.
Lesson Learned: Only five teams allowed more fantasy points to
RBs than the Bills. Of any offensive skill position, runners have
the easiest time adjusting to a new team. We’ve seen enough
from Gado to know that he’s capable of producing when given
Detroit Would Nearly Beat Dallas Due To
Their Ground Game: More News of The Weird. Not only was
it a surprise to think Jon Kitna and the Lions would even be competitive
in this game after they embarrassed the Cowboys in 2006, but it
was also mildly shocking they were up 27-14 in the 4th quarter.
And the crazy part was Kevin Jones and TJ Duckett accounted for
3 scores while Kitna’s touchdown count remained at zero.
But I think the weirdest thing is the fact that there have been
games that Detroit has pounded the ball and looked like a playoff
team, but then they’ll shy away from the ground game for
stretches and look horrible.
Lesson Learned: Something stinks in Detroit and it’s the
offensive game planning. Mike Martz may have a terrific mind for
the passing game, but he’s holding back this team. I wouldn’t
be surprised if 2008 is Martz’s last season as Detroit’s
coordinator, because the media will be critical of this lopsided
approach throughout the off season. The Patriots can get away
with this unbalanced offense because they are winning. But the
moment this team struggles for a short period of time, it’s
all we’ll be hearing about.
Brett Favre Would Play Well Against Oakland:
I heard people say Favre wasn’t a good play this week not
just because he was banged up, but analysts also credited the
Raiders defense. If you noticed Favre went 15/23 for 266 yards
and two scores—not shabby.
Lesson Learned: This is where rattling off stats like “Oakland
averages the least amount yards versus the pass” is misleading
information. If you looked at the detailed performances of quarterbacks
facing the Raiders, you would know that Oakland had yet to face
a passing offense the caliber of Green Bay. Sure, Oakland allowed
the least fantasy points per game to QBs, but do I need to say
it again? LOOK
AT THE LIST OF QBs! The last time they faced a statistically
solid passing offense was weeks 1,2, and 3…this is why stats
are dangerous. If you chose a riskier option than Favre for this
reason, hopefully that option was Edwards or Cutler.
Nagging Feelings—Week 15
I know the Chargers won on Sunday, but after watching Philip
Rivers get the cold shoulder from LaDainian Tomlinson, do you
get the feeling that LT was wishing he still had his high school
pal, Drew Brees quarterbacking his team? Brees may not be having
the same stellar year as 2006, but his team also leads the league
in dropped balls. On a night where Mike Vick began serving a 23-month
sentence, it was sad to me in a different way (and much less grave)
that Brees, who was the QB the Chargers selected in the 2nd round
with the pick they received for flip-flopping 1st round picks
with Atlanta, which got them LT and Atlanta got Vick, could have
made it a three-horse race for the AFC Title. Brees is that good
of a quarterback and leader, but you can’t compare the line
and skill positions of the Saints with the Colts, Pats, Cowboys,
or even the Chargers. Put Brees back in San Diego and their skill
talent and line is in my opinion as good as the Cowboys, and on
any given Sunday, capable of handing it to the Colts and Pats.
As I say all the time, the now-deceased
John Butler was a genius and his trade of what turned out
to be Vick for Tomlinson and Brees gains greater magnitude with
the current events. Too bad A.J. Smith would rather have a second
rate version of Bernie Kosar instead of a pro bowl caliber leader
and player, who would have never allowed a star player to disrespect
him on the bench during a game, much less allow it to get to that
point in the first place. Brees has great anticipation, mobility,
and pocket presence. If you didn’t notice that last night,
maybe you noticed Rivers lacked all three things on Sunday. Tell
me which QB you’d rather have: Rivers, Roethlisberger, or
Brees? If you answered b, c, or b or c, you watch football. If
you answered a, then I’m calling your fanhood into question.
listened to the Monday Night Football crew discuss Reggie
Bush’s future and I want to weigh in on the issue. The greatest
quality about the best athletes is their capacity to work hard:
Manning, Brady, Tomlinson, T.O., and Ray Lewis are all football
examples of players at the top of their game who prepare with
legendary intensity. 60 Minutes just profiled LT and he would
only allow the CBS crew to film a very limited part of his workout
regime. Last I remember, Bush once worked out with LT and got
sick! The only player in the NFL who may perform at the level
of these guys whose work ethic is questioned at times is Randy
Moss. Reggie Bush and Adrian Peterson were like Randy Moss in
college, but neither could sustain that physical dominance in
the pros. Bush proved this due to his lack of production in his
second season. Peterson proved it with taking the league by storm
and more importantly, the comments his team made about his work
ethic and ability to learn quickly.
After listening to the MNF team relay the Saints profile of Bush
as a natural talent who still needs to work harder, it all makes
sense as to why Bush looks like he’s trying to break one on every
play—he’s still trying to get by on talent alone. This off-season
is when Bush will get to make a choice with his career. He can
be the Dave Meggett-Kevin Faulk-Eric Metcalf style of player the
ESPN crew characterized him and do this for the remainder of his
career or he can work hard and elevate his game to Tiki Barber-Brian
Westbrook-Priest Holmes status, three players originally characterized
as “satellite” or “situational” players. If he doesn’t begin to
show signs of making this leap in 2008, stick a fork in his fantasy
career. He won’t have to be a 1300-yard back next year, but he’ll
need to show signs on the field that he’s a more disciplined runner
between the tackles.