As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted
to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy
Can I say again, I thought Trent Edwards was one of the best
two rookie QBs in this draft class? Edwards made one bad play,
which was a major factor in costing them the game. But if you
can only count one bad play from a rookie making his second start
then you know how he performed against the Cowboys last night.
I’m telling you if you saw Edwards taking a beating against
USC in 2005, you’ll see why dealing with the Dallas blitz
was no big deal. Little did I know that Bill Walsh raved about
Edwards—talk about validation…
I was ranked 27th out of 594 FFTOC
entries for the $60 tournament heading into week five. Apparently,
it has been my knack for picking receivers and kickers that has
vaulted me into the top 5% after the first quarter of the competition.
Here’s a list of the teams in the tourney I have outscored
QB - 33%
RB - 46%
WR - 100%
TE - 10%
K - 98%
I have laid back a bit on my choices of runners and quarterbacks
thus far. This was not a conscious decision to conserve players
as much as I liked their match ups and they didn’t perform
(Brees and Young, specifically). Fortunately, it still paid off
for me. Here are my results for week five:
||Good thing, I don’t get penalized for
picks. At least I got a pitch and catch to Witten.
||I’d rather have this out of White than
LJ or Alexander!
|| I thought they credited Edge for the
score—that’s what the dude on CBS said at halftime.
||Much-needed production here.
||His woes, and that of the Saints, continue…
||Seriously considered Randle El, but
I wanted to save him and use a decent receiver who normally
doesn’t start, but faced the woeful Rams.
||The Bills secondary is depleted and
Witten has been Romo’s guy.
|| I just seem to have a knack for picking
decent kicker performances.
||Gus Frerotte has always been Brett Favre
Gone Wild. This was easy.
|| I’ll take this point total as an off
Not a great week, but I still have a good standing within my division
and I am well within reach of reaching the finals if my next eight
weeks come close to matching my first four. The biggest head-scratcher
was Lendale White, who had a terrific match up against the Falcons.
Although White’s early fumble didn’t help his cause
Tennessee inexplicably shied away from pounding the rock and nearly
gave the game away. Fortunately for the Titans, their defense repeatedly
stopped the Falcons offense in the redzone, including a Joe Greene-like
short yardage effort from Albert Haynesworth who leaped over the
guard and single handedly turned an easy pitch on 1st and goal for
what looked like a tying score, into a busted play and a 2nd and
long. If there’s a better defensive line in football right
now, I’m not sure I’ve seen them.
Let’s move on to the week one files of 20/20 Hindsight.
Vernand Morency Would Jumpstart The Packers
Running Game: Admittedly, Deshawn Wynn didn’t look
shabby either, but Morency is the best combo of speed, receiving
skills, and power of the runners on the Green Bay depth chart.
If you’ve been listening, I’ve been talking up Morency
for the last three weeks as the best hope for the Packers ground
game outside of acquiring a veteran through a trade.
Morency’s five receptions in the first half were more effective
than most of what Brandon Jackson did in four weeks. The Bears
defense is still on the mend, but Morency looked especially quick.
While there is an outside chance the Packers could take a shot
at an established veteran like Ricky Williams or even Priest Holmes,
I think Morency might give Green Bay enough confidence to stay
the course unless these two backs look amazing despite their respective
Lesson Learned: The Packers may have lost the game, but the defeat
was a result of two plays in the 3rd quarter: Favre’s boneheaded
throw across his body landing in Urlacher’s mitts and Charles
Woodson’s fumbled punt return. The appearance of a running
game is an actual silver lining for the Packers. As you saw with
the bomb to Jennings in the second quarter, the threat of Morency
on the ground or as a receiver in the threat sucked in linebackers
gave Favre the ability to go deep. This should only get better
as the season progresses.
Najeh Davenport Would Imitate The Bus:
The former Packer—you know Green Bay would be killing to
have Davenport right now—is making the most of his attempts
when the Steelers call his number. This resulted in a 2-touchdown
performance versus Seattle, giving him more fantasy points than
Willie Parker. And may I remind you Parker hit the century mark?
Lesson Learned: It appears offensive coordinator Bruce Arians
is beginning to make it a habit to dial up Davenport in redzone
situations. If you don’t think Pittsburgh is going to continue
this tendency then you haven’t been watching football recently.
As you can see on the field, there was a reason why the Steelers
signed Davenport to decent money for a backup.
Devery Henderson Would Return To His Late
2006 Form: Henderson returned to the expected form of big-play
threat and gained 100 yards versus the Panthers, bringing some
much needed life to the Saints passing game. Unfortunately, Henderson
alone wasn’t enough for any sustainable offensive life.
Lesson Learned: Henderson is clearly a talent, but he has always
been an up and down player because he doesn’t consistently
catch the football with his hands. Henderson is the type of player
who will drive you crazy as a fantasy owner, because he’ll
have incredible games followed by frustrating stretches. Think
of Darnay Scott—the classic 800-yard and 6-7 touchdown Bengal
with great speed but suspect hands—or Chris Sanders, the
Houston Oiler/Tennessee Titan who averaged an incredible 21 yards
per catch early in McNair’s career, but couldn’t hold
onto the ball enough to build on his incredible athleticism. Or
course there are players who tamed the drop monster to become
decent receivers. Amani Toomer and Eddie Kennison come to mind
here, although they never became top tier fantasy producers many
hoped. Henderson has a shot to be a Toomer or Kennison, but you’ll
have to ride the ups and downs along the way—and that’s
not a fantasy-friendly prospect.
Santonio Holmes Would Be Out This Week:
Did anyone known that Holmes would be out prior to kickoff? He
was actually in uniform, but he tweaked his hammy prior to kickoff.
With Hines Ward out, most fantasy owners with Holmes were licking
their chops for this match up that not only never materialized,
but also put a goose egg in their box scores.
Lesson Learned: I’m not sure what one can constructively
learn from this last-minute deactivation other than the fact that
anything can happen on Sunday and that’s what makes the
hobby so entertaining.
Jones Drew Would Get Back On Track: The Jags back returned
to fantasy prominence this week with basically one long run. The
UCLA-alum averaged over 9 yards per carry in the Jags victory
over Kansas City. In fact his scoring play where he turned around
Ty Law in the open field prompted Fred Taylor to compare Drew
to Barry Sanders.
Lesson Learned: Although Drew only had 9 carries this week his
performance should be an indicator of things to come for the second-year
back. Jacksonville is a team that was still getting its bearings
at the beginning of the season. The Jags make a surprise change
with their starting QB just prior to week one and their receiving
corps depth chart was about as stable as a tabloid queen. This
was a team lacking rhythm and cohesiveness and the bye week helped
them take some time to review the tape and figure out what they
do best. One of those things is getting the rock to Maurice Jones
Dallas Clark Would Have A Nice Day With
Harrison And Addai Out: Did I tell you Clark would be one
of the more productive tight ends in football if he played for
a team without great receivers? This week, Clark posted 49 yards
and a score against the Tampa 2 en route to a Colts victory.
Lesson Learned: A great quarterback will find his best options
on the field. And it wasn’t as if Clark was alone, with
Reggie Wayne and a young, but talented Tony Gonzalez also on the
field. Although not a stellar game, it was a productive effort
you could count on.
Nagging Feelings—Week 6
I keep talking about Ricky
Williams, but with Michael
Pittman carted off with a leg injury after Tampa inquired
Moore and Corey
Dillon, you have to believe Williams could have a great shot
at joining Gruden. If not Williams, why not Priest
Holmes? The Chiefs great should be ready to join an active
roster this month and GM Carl Peterson could possibly get greater
value out of Holmes through a trade than fuel fan and media generated
controversy about how much to use him in tandem with Larry
Johnson. If Tampa doesn’t go either of these routes, keep
an eye on Ken
Darby. Of the two runners in this draft who I thought were
rated far lower than their actual abilities, Darby was one and
Although the Chargers played an excellent game, don’t you
think the prospect of Travis Henry’s season potentially
going up in a cloud of smoke distracted the Broncos from putting
forth their A-game? I know these guys are professionals and they
would never admit to bringing this into their mind, but let’s
play Devil’s Advocate:
Say your department has a big project due at the office and your
co-worker who is responsible for crunching the numbers for the
presentation gets arrested for marijuana possession three days
before and there is a possibility he may not be able to finish
the research because of length of issues with bail. Are you going
to tell me that the rest of the team isn’t freaking out?
Especially if the person who will have to do the research will
have to start from scratch with limited time at his disposal?
Back to the Broncos—or any football time for that matter…
If you think the same guys who have never held down a day job
where their asses weren’t kissed each day and were still
expected to remain professional aren’t feeling the impact
of Henry potentially being lost for the season for something he’s
repeated had issues with, then you’re buying way too much
into the professional sports heroism/over idealism thing. How
do you lose at home by 38 to a division rival?
I know I can’t be the only one to express this sentiment,
but don’t you want to see the Bears try Devin Hester at
running back? The guy is so amazing hitting the seam on kick returns
you just wonder how that might translate to plays between the
tackles. Add Hester to the list of players I most frequently hit
the rewind button on the TIVO and admire their skills when watching
Are the Cardinals about to get a whole lot better on offense?
I think so. The job is now Kurt Warner’s to lose this year. He
has it by default for at least 6-8 weeks and if the Cardinals
keep winning and contend for a playoff spot Matt
Leinart isn’t even sniffing this job until next season.
On the other hand, Matt
Schaub has looked decent but I’m skeptical Houston is for
real. If they can get Andre
Johnson back and still have Andre Davis produce like he has,
they really have a shot to surprise. The problem is the running
game. Ron Dayne only averaged 2 yards per carry and there aren’t
many teams you beat when you have to kick—and make—five field
goals. I would not rely on Schaub much longer if he is your starter.
He’s strictly a bye week guy until Johnson and Green return to
It was a second straight win for the FFToday team in the HAFAX-II
dynasty league thanks to Antwaan Randle El (who a team tried to
pry from us this week), Antonio Gates, and Michael Boley. It would
have been by a greater margin if we started Najeh Davenport and
Dennis Northcutt, but suddenly this roster is looking pretty dangerous.
|Garcia, Jeff TBB QB
||Rivers, Philip SDC QB
|Portis, Clinton WAS RB
||Lewis, Jamal CLE RB
|Branch, Deion SEA WR
||Engram, Bobby SEA WR
|Driver, Donald GBP WR
||Jackson, Darrell SFO WR
|Randle El, Antwaan WAS WR
||Wayne, Reggie IND WR
|Gates, Antonio SDC TE
||Johnson, Eric NOS TE
|Nedney, Joe SFO PK
||Brown, Josh SEA PK
|Turk, Matt HOU PN
||Plackemeier, Ryan SEA PN
|Dockett, Darnell ARI DT
||Suggs, Terrell BAL DE
|Umenyiora, Osi NYG DE
||Williams, Mario HOU DE
|Boley, Michael ATL LB
||James, Bradie DAL LB
|Fujita, Scott NOS LB
||Pierce, Antonio NYG LB
|Williams, DJ DEN LB
||Thornton, David TEN LB
|Huff, Michael OAK S
||Ross, Aaron NYG CB
|Wilson, Adrian ARI S
||Polamalu, Troy PIT S
But the performance of the week for my fantasy teams comes from
the SOFA Experts Auction League. As the reigning champ, I got off
to a 1-3 start with two teams in my division sporting a 4-0 record.
But this week my team posted the week’s best point total for
a much-needed victory
to have any hope of staying in contention for a chance to defend
|Young, Vince TEN QB
||Huard, Damon KCC QB
|Bush, Reggie NOS RB
||Graham, Earnest TBB RB
|Jones-Drew, Maurice JAC RB
||Young, Selvin DEN RB
|Fitzgerald, Larry ARI WR
||Davis, Andre HOU WR
|Jackson, Darrell SFO WR
||Marshall, Brandon DEN WR
|Mason, Derrick BAL WR
||Williams, Demetrius BAL WR
|Miller, Heath PIT TE
||Lee, Donald GBP TE
|Crosby, Mason GBP PK
||Stover, Matt BAL PK
|Cardinals, Arizona ARI Def
||Packers, Green Bay GBP Def
I was actually pretty fortunate FOX Sports had McNabb, Ocho Cinco,
Harrison, and Rudi Johnson out this week. Still, my squad finally
played well from top to bottom and there appears to be hope for
this team yet. The Cardinals were a bye week pick up—notice
I was consistent in my thoughts about them facing Frerotte. I
also added Ike Hilliard, but thought I would give Darrell Jackson
one more chance before he sees my bench.