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20/20 Hindsight - Week 2

As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy Football Confessional.”

Despite a so-so week two in the FFTOC finals, I entered week three 4th overall.

FFTOC Update
 Pos  Player  Pts  Comments
QB J. Cutler 17.26 Decent game, but I hoped for another 6-10 points. It was him or Garrard—wrong choice for this week.
RB F. Gore 14.7 Not bad for a guy having a disappointing year.
RB J. Addai 9.7 I considered Stecker here, but figured this might be the last week Addai gets significant time in the regular season.
WR D. Mason 10.5 For Mason and the slumping Ravens, I’m happy with this effort.
WR L. Fitzgerald 8.7 The touchdown at least made this a decent performance for me.
WR L. Evans 3.6 I was on the road when I learned about the blizzard conditions. In other words, the dog ate my homework…
TE A. Gates 0.8 For a while I didn’t think he was playing. Another week I missed out on Donald Lee…
K J. Elam 7.0 Decent.
DEF Seahawks 2.0 This was a surprising disappointment.
  Total 74.26 I will need a monster effort of historical proportions next week to win it all.

Unless the rest of the top teams had similar weeks, which is possible if my competition used Brady, Manning, Romo and their primary receivers, I’m probably dropping out of the top 30 teams. I’ll need to score 100 more points in the final week than what I did in week three to have a shot at winning.

QB (Need 2): D. Garrard; J. Kitna; M. Bulger; E. Manning; M. Schaub; T. Edwards

Garrard is playing well, but I might opt for Bulger or Manning after I study the mach ups.

RBs (Need 4): 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

Fargas’ knee hurts more than him—I planned on starting him. But Maroney showed signs of life and he could be valuable versus the Dolphins. Selvin Young? Strong possibility.

WR (Need 6): J. Cotchery; D. Bowe; J. Gage; M. Jenkins; I. Hilliard; S. Moss; 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. Morey;

This is going to be the real challenge—Santana Moss and Jerricho Cotchery are my biggest name receivers but neither are in great shape to produce huge efforts.

TE (Need 2): J. Shockey; D. Lee; J. King; G. Olsen; B. Watson; T. Scheffler; L.J. Smith; Z. Miller.

With Shockey's injury, it looks like it will be Lee, or Scheffler. Will I be a week too late starting Lee?

Let’s move on to the week fifteen files of 20/20 Hindsight. After reading Kirk Hollis’ Monday Morning Buzz, there’s little I can add to what he said at this stage of the game. So in honor of the 2008 Rookie Scouting Portfolio now available for you to purchase at a pre-publication discount of $9.95, we’ll do an all-rookie edition of 20/20 Hindsight.

Would've (From The Who Would Have Known File)

Matt Moore Would Beat One Of The Hottest Teams In The NFC: A huge reason for Carolina’s success was much better play at the line of scrimmage on either side of the football. The Panthers offensive line gave their rookie QB a lot of time to throw the football and opened lanes for Foster and Williams when it counted. The Carolina defensive line played a more disruptive brand of football than recent weeks and the second and third level improved its tackling. But with that said, Matt Moore, the un-drafted rookie out of Oregon State did a fine job managing the football game. Here’s my take on Moore last spring and a link to his 2007 RSP Profile:

Matt Moore, Dallas—Mel Kiper was all over Matt Moore as an underrated prospect, but the QB did not get drafted as the ESPN analyst expected. But Kiper is right about Moore. The free agent was signed by the Cowboys and don’t be surprised if this former pro baseball prospect develops into a starter. His athleticism, accuracy, and ability to see the field are similar to that of a young Matt Hasselbeck.

The undrafted free agent simply lacks experience. This manifests in various ways such as tipping off the direction he’s throwing the football and making the correct adjustment at the line of scrimmage. But I like Moore’s chances in Dallas. Tony Romo is still unproven, Brad Johnson is strictly playing out the last days of career, and Isaiah Stanback has been moved to receiver.

Rookie Impact: Matt Moore has a good chance to not only make this team, but also be the #3 QB with a shot at developing into the backup in short order.

Three to Five-Year Outlook: Potential starter for someone.
Lesson Learned: Just because a team cuts a player doesn’t mean the player lacks a future in the league. Football is a team sport.

Could've (From The Who Could Have Known File)

Selvin Young Would Be The Broncos Gravy Train In The Backfield: While I didn’t evaluate Ryan Grant or James Jones for the 2007 RSP, I did have plenty of opportunities to watch Texas’ Selvin Young—a back that looked as good as any runner I saw in the NCAA last year. Adrian Peterson may be averaging close to 6 yards per carry after 200 attempts, but Young has a healthy 5+ ypc average with 108 carries.

Young was one of my candidates for my annual long shot article in the spring, but I thought that Travis Henry had a better hold on the job than Brandon Jacobs and Reuben Droughns—two backs who lack the quickness and vision that my long shot candidate Ahmad Bradshaw possesses.

Lesson Learned: Young was a player I had a higher grade than runners many analysts hyped without any regard to the Texas back: Antonio Pittman, Tony Hunt, and Brandon Jackson. In fact, here are my preseason thoughts on Jackson.

Brandon Jackson, Packers: There was a time where it was out of the question to second-guess Green Bays draft day selections. Even prior to Aaron Rodgers that day has passed. It sure sounds like I am down on Brandon Jackson. I’d rather say I’m just not as high on him as others. Is there a difference? Allow me to explain.

Jackson catches the ball well and has tree trunks for thighs. He looks like a powerful back with good quickness. I just don’t believe he’s as good as Vernand Morency, which for the price of a 2nd round pick, I’m second-guessing the Packers. Morency has speed to burn and I think he has more potential than Tatum Bell, but toiled on a slower learning curve due to the fact he started with the Texans. Jackson is not a speedster, and I believe the Nebraska alum and Morency will split time, at best.

The reason is Jackson looks the part more than he plays the part. What I saw on film was a back who went down easily in comparison to other backs in similar situations. Jackson is like a few backs from big-time programs where the offensive linemen are massive (hint: Ohio State and Penn State) and many of their “impressive” runs are products of huge gashes in the defensive line. I think he’s actually the best of the big-time university backs that I’ll profile later, but it doesn’t mean he’s the automatic starter for the Packers. He’s worth selecting late in a re-draft, but I wouldn’t overspend. In fact, I’d rather avoid what I see as imminent frustration with the Green Bay backfield and pick a player like Brian Leonard as a quality handcuff at a cheaper price.
Although Brian Leonard wasn’t the big-time sleeper I imagined, he was still a better option than Jackson, and the rest of the “big-school” options this year who were over valued.

Should've (From The I Knew I Should’ve File)

Taken Dwayne Bowe Over Robert Meachem, Sidney Rice, Dwayne Jarrett, And Craig Davis: I know I have Steve Smith and Jason Hill as my top receivers after Calvin Johnson—and I stand by my long-term grades—but these guys were both workout warriors and productive players on film. This wasn’t the case with the four guys (Rice a lesser exception) often drafted ahead of Dwayne Bowe. Meachem, Rice, and Davis were more heralded due to their speed, but ask Bill Belicheck and Scott Pioli about Bethel Johnson and his football skills. As for Jarrett vs. Bowe, the winning factor for scouts who liked Jarrett was his proven hands. But if you watched Bowe on tape as a senior, there was marked improvement with Bowe’s hands and his athleticism makes him a much better prospect than the USC star.

Lesson Learned: Pick receivers who aren’t afraid of contact when the ball is in the air and have the work ethic to improve season to season. Bowe and Rice are the only two receivers on this list who demonstrated these two qualities.

Nagging Feelings—Week 16

Don’t you love reactionary analysis? Before the Monday Night game, I listened to analysts praising Tarvaris Jackson for his completion percentage and his progress towards becoming the next Donovan McNabb. After the game these same analysts are saying Jackson was immature, a liability, and was one of the reasons why the game looked like it was a performance of high school proportions. The guy couldn’t even beat coverage with a single safety in the defensive backfield while the other was in the box. I know Bryant McKinnie was being funny, but when he jokes on national TV that the entire huddle can’t understand a word Jackson is saying and then see his performance, it leaves one to wonder.

I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Merrill Hoge, but I can see the Jacksonville Jaguars as a potential playoff spoiler if they have to face New England in a bad weather playoff game. They have the ground game, efficient QB play, and physical secondary to make things difficult for the Pats in rough conditions.

Unless Jessica Simpson paid a conjugal visit to Romo before the game and at halftime I don’t really want to hear about her or any other girlfriend being the cause for the Dallas QBs woes on Sunday.

Brian Westbrook’s slide at the one-yard line cost me points in two pivotal games. Although it didn’t make a difference in either outcome, it got me to thinking that I wish there were a way to reward owners for smart plays made by players that don’t show up in the stat column. If so, Westbrook’s non-touchdown should have been worth two scores considering it put the game out of reach.

Is it just me who notices, or does Trent Edwards make a great throw in every week? He may not have a lot of yardage, but he’s keeping the Bills in every game. I still believe he’s going to be the best QB to come out of this 2007 draft class. The fact that Bill Walsh made a lengthy recommendation on Edwards’ behalf validates all I saw from him on film. Give me Edwards, Beck, and Moore over Russell and Quinn any time. I know Beck has been horrible, but he got thrown to the wolves. He’ll get better.