As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted
to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy
Does week two clarify anything for fantasy owners? If you watched
Derek Anderson out-duel Carson Palmer for the victory, the answer
is no. Still, there were quite a number of things from week one
that gave us a clue about what might happen in week two. If I
only had enough of a clue to keep Palmer in my lineup Sunday morning
I might be ranked in the top 5 for week two of the FFTOC.
||Not bad, but originally had Carson Palmer
||Although I picked the wrong starter
in this match up, Rudi did okay.
||Definitely on the wrong side of the
||Heís huge versus the Saints and every
talking head mentioned it Sunday.
||My worst WR performance and Iím very
happy with it.
||Houston can score, but they still have
trouble versus the pass.
||I tried to go the TE vs. Indy Cover
2 route, but no dice.
||Niners-Rams have been FG matches as
of late, I guessed well.
||Devin Hester topped off a must-start
game versus the hapless Chiefs.
||Excellent week despite the fact with
Palmer it could have been spectacular.
Young was a counterintuitive move on my part. Originally I selected
Palmer after watching Roethlisberger riddle the Browns secondary
in week one, but changed my mind because I thought the Browns’
offense wouldn’t play any better in week two and this would
limit Palmer’s chances to have a huge week. I’m not
sure if asking Bill Beclicheck to do a PSA on sportsmanship would
be a worse move than my last-minute substitution of Vince Young.
The most positive thing I can say about this move is that Young
was decent and if the Madden Curse comes into play, at least I got
a healthy, productive week from In-Vince-able. I figured Young would
have a lot of room to run versus the Cover 2—which he did—but
this bend but don’t break style of defense limits big plays.
Let’s move on to the week one files of 20/20 Hindsight.
Steven Jackson Would Have A Difficult
Day Versus The Niners—21 carries for 60 yards is
not what you expect from a fantasy stud. Sure, Jackson had another
36 yards on four receptions, but he was kept out of the redzone
in a low-scoring battle. The fantasy darling of the 2007 preseason
is off to an under-whelming start for the real deal.
Lesson Learned: Orlando Pace is out for the year and Jackson
went over the vaunted f/carry stat I’ve been harping on
since last summer. With a reshuffled offensive line, the passing
attack takes a hit and this will make it even more difficult to
complement the ground game. Opposing defenses would rather take
the risk on Bulger beating them behind a makeshift line where
they can generate pressure than Jackson controlling the clock.
But perhaps what stands out the most is the 49ers defense. Patrick
Willis, Michael Lewis, and Nate Clements solidify an aggressive
unit that held the Rams vaunted passing offense to a single touchdown.
It’s very clear the Niners are heading in a similar direction
that the Chargers traveled in recent years: aggressive defense,
smart young quarterback, and an amazing feature back.
Lamont Jordan Would Play Like A Top-Tier
Back At A Late Round Price—Good
call? So far, it looks to be the case. Denver’s defense
isn’t bad and Jordan’s 25-carry, 159-yard day was
a splendid follow up to his 159 yards from scrimmage (with a score)
performance versus a Detroit defense that only allowed 115 total
yards from the vaunted Adrian Peterson who got owners excited
last week versus Atlanta. One could try to pose the argument that
Denver was trying to force the Raiders to the run the ball, but
do you really believe Josh McCown is a bigger threat than Jordan?
No, I didn’t think so.
Jordan is healthy and as I like to remind readers every once
in a while, Colts GM Bill Polian had Jordan rated as nearly as
high as LT coming out of Maryland. Remember that Polian opted
for Edgerrin James and Joseph Addai. Jordan simply got stuck behind
the great Curtis Martin. Ask Larry Johnson what it was like being
stuck behind a great runner.
Lesson Learned: Sometimes the preseason really does tell you
something worthwhile. While it is still debatable that the Raiders
offensive line has improved, it is clear Jordan is healthy and
ready to perform like he did in 2005. If you picked the player
Polian called a “master blaster” coming out of college,
congratulate yourself on an apparent steal (I’ll trade you
Maurice Jones-Drew for him).
Derek Anderson Could Throw For 5 Touchdowns—Heading
into Sunday if you were to bet there were a team that would allow
multiple scoring passes, the Bengals were on the short list of
candidates. Certainly Cleveland would be another on this list,
but for the two teams to combine for 11 touchdowns through the
air is crazy. What’s more insane to me is that thought that
Derek Anderson lost the starting job on a coin flip??? The Oregon
State Beaver who came to the Browns after a stint with the Ravens
absolutely shredded the same defense that put the cuffs on Steve
McNair. I wonder if Brian Billick will give this any thought,
considering Boller’s contract expires next year and McNair
is literally being held together by duct tape…
Lesson Learned: If the Bengals defense is this bad, what does
that say about the Ravens offense? Then again, what does his say
about the Jets defense that gave up their fair share to Baltimore
this week? Can you see why this train of thought will not get
you to a logical stopping point? Still, you can bet the Ravens
had an off day in week one and the Browns were clicking on all
cylinders in week two when the Bengals blew a coverage several
times. If you own a quarterback facing the Browns or Bengals defense,
he earns serious consideration.
Joey Galloway Would Burn The Saints (Yet
Again)—Did you look at the player
history stats FFToday provides you on a weekly basis? Including
Sunday, Galloway has 9 career scores versus the Saints as a Buc
alone! That’s 1.5 tds per contest, folks. He and Jeff Garcia
may be over the hill, but they sure looked like they were running
downhill all day today. I’m not pronouncing the Bucs playoff
contenders, but they only need a few games to go their way in
what looks like a weak NFC South to actually make some noise.
If Garcia and Williams stay healthy, it’s not out of the
realm of possibility.
Lesson Learned: Garcia was on his way to a decent day in week
one before a concussion derailed him. This week he picked up where
he left off and looked every bit like the second coming of Rich
Gannon in Gruden’s Florida panhandle offense. As for the
Saints, they are in a funk. This team has too much talent to continue
performing this poorly on offense, but I’m more inclined
to believe the ground game will jumpstart the aerial attack. So
if you plan to bench any Saints offensive players next week, consider
the receivers first.
The Chicago Bears Defense Would Post Good
Fantasy Stats Vs. KC—If not for a holding penalty
Devin Hester would have had two kick returns for a score, but
the rest of the Bears defense did more than enough to give fantasy
owners what they sought. Chicago’s monsters of the midway
had 4 sacks and forced two turnovers en route to a 20-10 victory.
Lesson Learned: Kansas City’s offense looked pretty bad
against the up and coming Texans defense, so even with the absence
of Dustin Dvorcek and Mike Brown in the middle of the Bears defense
you had to think Chicago would have this kind of game. All the
Chiefs have at this point is LJ. Kennison is the Chiefs only consistent
option (Dwayne Bowe will develop, but not soon enough for an impact
this year) in the passing game, but he’s in the training
tub with a partially torn hamstring. So if you’re keeping
track, the Browns, Bengals, Saints, Jets, and Chiefs are good
defenses to face as a fantasy owner (in that order of preference),
but the Chiefs also own the indignity of being an offense you
want your defense to face in any given week. If you plan on playing
the waiver wire with your team defense, follow the Chiefs, Jets,
and Browns schedules.
Nagging FeelingsóWeek 3
Williams is a receiver I touted as a sleeper and he had a
few key receptions to keep the Titans close. He made an excellent
double move on Kelvin Hayden in the first half for a huge gain,
made a diving td reception, and had a great catch where he tight-roped
the sideline for a first down. With 4 grabs for 72 yards and a
score, look for the Titans to make Williams a bigger part of the
offense in coming weeks. Itís clear Young looks to Williams whenever
the third-year receiver is on the field. Eric
Moulds got the nod to start the season because heís a veteran,
but I think heís already looking over his shoulder for his spot
on the depth chart.
Tomlinson will be just fine. If youíre worrying about his
lack of production, may I remind you LT faced the Bears and Patriots
after not playing a single snap in the preseason? Furthermore,
LT has a history of slow starts. Since 2001, LTís totals for the
first two games of each season are 1062 yards on 273 carries for
an uninspiring 3.89 yards per attempt. Considering his career
average per carry is nearly 4.5, relax and enjoy the fact you
have a great player with an easier schedule on the horizon.
Leftwich be a good fit in Atlanta if the Falcons choose the
sign him? You all know Iím a fan of the Marshall-alum because
of his toughness in the pocket. Although Leftwich didnít look
show a lot of accuracy in the preseason, heís actually known as
a very on-target passer, especially with the deep ball. If you
didnít know, the Jacksonville Jaguars receiving corps was on par
with the Seattle Seahawks with dropped passes. In fact, Iíd argue
the Jags corps was even worse because they lacked the experience
route runners that the Seahawks had on their squad in Bobby Engram
and Darrell Jackson. If Leftwich has time, he can pick apart a
Horn and Alge
Crumpler could really gel with the former Jags starter. The
problem is Leftwich is far less mobile than Harrington and a crash
course in Petrinoís offense isnít going to help him. Unless Lefty
gets 5-6 weeks before he leads the huddle, donít have high hopes
for him in 2007.
The Packers can easily be a playoff team if they can get Vernand
Morency back soon. The Giants defense is playing uninspired
football and Iím convinced thatís the only reason rookie Deshawn
Wynn averaged 5 yards per carry in this contest. Brandon
Jackson looks lost half the time. If Morency is on your waiver
wire, grab him. And if you really want to shoot for the stars,
might not be a bad mid-season signing. He may have social issues,
but Norv Turner said Williams was one of the smartest football
players he ever coached. Itís a distant consolation prize for
missing out on Randy Moss, but Brett
Favre could deal with a former 1800-yard rusher with excellent
Anyone else beginning to believe Jason
Avant might be the best fantasy wide receiver on the Eagles?
I know he has mismatches as the slot receiver, but after watching
balls repeatedly bounce off the mitts of Kevin
Curtis and Reggie
Brown, the sure-handed Avant, who made a beautiful, diving
sideline grab in the first half of Monday Nightís game, is looking
more appealing by the week as a bye-week fantasy option at the
receiver position. See the problem? When your best fantasy receiver
is no better than a bye-week player, thereís not much offensive
(in the best sense) in Philly.
I rebounded with a win in several leagues this week, but I had
two match ups with extremely different results. The first is an
FFToday-compiled team where Mike MacGregor is the owner, Iím
the GM, and three of my friends are coach and coordinators. This
is a very intricate league set up. Despite a 195-pont performance
(200 points is a respectable weekly total) we lost to Fantasy
FanBase and Carson Palmer. Hereís the damage.
|Garcia, Jeff TBB QB
||Palmer, Carson CIN QB
|Brown, Chris TEN RB
||Parker, Willie PIT RB
|Portis, Clinton WAS RB
||Williams, DeAngelo CAR RB
|Driver, Donald GBP WR
||Colston, Marques NOS WR
|Randle El, Antwaan WAS WR
||Smith, Steve NYG WR
|Gates, Antonio SDC TE
||Clark, Dallas IND TE
|Nedney, Joe SFO PK
||Rackers, Neil ARI PK
|Turk, Matt HOU PN
||Kluwe, Chris MIN PN
|Dockett, Darnell ARI DT
||Anderson, Mark CHI DE
|Rice, Simeon DEN DE
||Cole, Trent PHI DE
|Fujita, Scott NOS LB
||Ruud, Barrett TBB LB
|Morgan, Dan CAR LB
||Tatupu, Lofa SEA LB
|Williams, DJ DEN LB
||Jones, Sean CLE S
|Huff, Michael OAK S
||Page, Jarrad KCC S
|Wilson, Adrian ARI S
||Whitner, Donte BUF S
300 points? What kind of league has this kind of high scoring?
Look at the linebackers for Fanbase! Forget offensive players
in this league…
On the other hand, I set a scoring record in my dynasty league—a
.5-point per reception league with individual defensive players.
In this league 120 points is a good game, but Ocho Cinco, Randy
Moss, and Brett Favre have me experiencing a little Back to the
||Out To Lunch
|J. Cutler QB
||B. Favre QB
|S. Jackson RB
||F. Gore RB
|E. James RB
||B. Westbrook RB
|A. Johnson WR
||B. Berrian WR
|C. Johnson WR
||C. Johnson WR
|H. Ward WR
||R. Moss WR
|T. Heap TE
||J. Shockey TE
|A. Vinatieri K
||J. Feely K
|D. Ryans LB
||K. Bulluck LB
|T. Spikes LB
||Z. Thomas LB
|R. Mathis DL
||P. Kerney DL
|W. Smith DL
||S. Rice DL
|R. Barber DB
||S. Jones DB
|L. Landry DB
||A. Wilson DB
Does anyone else play in a league with these strange variants
of scoring systems where 100 points is a below-average day? Let
me know…Good luck this week!