As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted
to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy
Heading into week 6, I was ranked 23rd out of 594 FFTOC entries
for the $60 tournament and my picks couldn’t have been much
better across the board.
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 six:
||KC was going to be able to run on Cincy
so Palmer would have to throw a lot, and it worked out
just as I imagined.
||The Bengals defense is a unit I have
routinely targeted each week and LJ’s effort was questioned
last week in the media. Don’t believe that LJ doesn’t
read the papers…
||No touchdowns, but excellent yardage.
||Eagles are always good after the bye
week and the Jets defense is suspect.
||When my worst skill player performance
this week is a decent day from Chad Johnson, I’m thrilled.
||The Bills have a suspect defense; the
Jets have a suspect defense; and yep, you guessed it,
3 out of 4 AFC East defenses are sieves.
||Still the most reliable option through
the air for KC.
||The run on good kicker performances
||This could be a top-10 week.
Let’s move on to the week one files of 20/20 Hindsight.
Adrian Peterson Would Have A Game For
The Ages Against The Bears Defense:
looked like he took a quarter of his college highlight reel and
re-enacted them at Soldier Field out of the I-formation. And then
the rookie nearly runs out of his pants on a kick return to put
the Vikings in position for the upset. The funny thing is Chester
Taylor had an okay fantasy effort for a bye week player—Taylor
and AD had over 300 yards on the ground.
Lesson Learned: I love Adrian
Peterson’s skill as a runner. If you heard me try to make a semi-interested
Mike Krueger watch my DVD recording of Peterson run like a one-man
wrecking crew in the second half against Oregon at the Insight
Bowl, you’d understand. If you have kids under the age of 12,
then it’s possible you saw the Disney movie, Spirit Stallion of
the Cimarron. If you did, and remember the scene where the horse
refuses to be broken by the cavalry, then you have a perfect comparison
of what Peterson looked like with the ball in his hands in that
Yet before I enshrine Peterson in Canton, I would like to point
out that as good as the rookie looked in the open field, the Vikings
offensive line absolutely made craters out of the Bears defensive
front. I honestly believe these backs could have gained at least
40 yards on each of these highlight reel runs we’ve enjoyed from
Peterson this weekend: LT, LJ, Bush, Norwood, Ronnie and Chris
Brown, Maroney, Alexander, Lynch, Dunn, Parker, Davenport,
Green, Julius and Thomas Jones, Addai, Jones-Drew, Taylor, Jackson,
Deshaun Foster, and DeAngelo Williams.
You don’t agree? Just last week the Bears made Deshawn
Wynn look like a first round pick! We’re talking about a
back that lacks breakaway speed and still gained over 40 yards
on a run up the gut in the first quarter of the game. Some of
the guys I mentioned could have scored on the same run hopping
on one foot! Seriously, Peterson was amazing in the open field,
but there was a lot happening in his favor to give him a running
start and no one within a 4-yard radius of him until he was into
the second level of the defense. The reason has been the decimated
Bears defensive front. The linebackers aren’t getting free
reign to make plays anymore.
Peterson is a special back, but if the opposing team gets ahead
early you’re not going to see numbers reminiscent of LJ
or LT on a regular basis. I recommended AD as a 4th or 5th round
pick this year and there’s no denying he’s put up
elite numbers this month. Just remember that even the great Earl
Campbell and Eric Dickerson had teams with a complementary passing
game—the Vikings don’t. With that said, if you play
in a league with me, I’ve got some potential deals for you
to take Peterson off your hands so you can allow me to deal with
his inconsistency…(If we’re in a dynasty league, I
could be swayed to pull a Ditka and offer you my entire draft!)
Derek Anderson Could Continue To Play
At A Productive Level:
A month ago, Browns fans were chanting Brady…Brady…Brady…Now they’d
be chanting Derek…Derek…Derek
if Crennel and the Browns opted to start Quinn. When you go 18
for 25 for 245 yards and 3 scores and lead your team to a 41-31
victory, you can make the hometown fans forget about their native
son and Golden Domer. With 14 scores in five starts, you can’t
deny is the leading candidate as the surprise fantasy player of
the 2007 season and a must-start at quarterback.
Lesson Learned: I believe this speaks volumes about in-depth,
player scouting. Anderson was a decent player at Oregon State
and coach Mike Riley told anyone who would listen that his quarterback
had the fundamental talent to develop into an elite quarterback
at the next level. Considering that Brady, Bulger, Romo, Warner,
and Hasselbeck were no where close to 1st round picks, forgetting
about a young player can come back to bite you.
For instance, there’s Matt Moore, another quarterback from
Oregon State who many draft analysts and scouts liked as a developmental
prospect with a high ceiling for success. In fact, I’m one
of them. I know that Vinny Testaverde was brought off his couch
to start over Moore this week, but it wasn’t as if Derek
Anderson was leading Baltimore on winning streaks before getting
cut. Here’s my take on Moore.
David Garrard Would Be Interception-Free
For This Long:
Although his fantasy points per game average makes him a low-end
starter at best, David
Garrard is a player you don’t want to ignore. He’s completing
66% of his passes to a bunch of no-name receivers. His fantasy
production isn’t spectacular because he hasn’t faced a team that
has scored more than 14 points against the Jags until last weekend.
If his numbers versus the Texans indicate what he might do versus
an opponent with an offense, you might want to hang onto the Jaguars
quarterback. Especially when you consider that Jacksonville had
to completely retool their offense to fit Garrard when Del Rio
made the decision to dump Leftwich.
Lesson Learned: Something you will see in my Thursday column
is that nearly half the top 20 fantasy producers at RB and QB
after the first 6 weeks will rise or drop more than 7 spots between
now and the end of the season. David Garrard could be one of those
guys on the rise as he faces the meat of the division schedule
with an offensive system beginning to gel. He won’t be a
stud QB, but I think he could become a solid starter who continues
to limit his mistakes.
Kurt Warner Would Get Knocked Out Of The
Game After 2 Attempts:
I was so high on Warner
as a mid-season waiver wire gem once Leinart went down. Now I’m
glad I only won him in one league. Still, my hopes of riding a
Cardinals offensive juggernaut to a title will likely remain a
Lesson Learned: When it rains, it pours…
Larry Johnson Would Have A Good Effort
Versus The Bengals:
like the bruiser of old against an ailing Bengals defense that
can’t stop anyone. If not for a terrific play from Deltha O’Neal,
Johnson could have had a 2006-typical, two-score day. This was
a much-needed, breakout week for Johnson’s owners who were beginning
to sour on the Chiefs meal ticket.
Lesson Learned: If you don’t
think most players furtively pay attention to the media then you
are living in a dream world. Even if they ignore the newspaper
and broadcast media, reporters will routinely ask players questions
about media-related analysis from other sources. Last week I heard
a few NFL analysts say that Johnson wasn’t making his best effort.
This week, Johnson appeared to be hitting the hole very hard and
with a level of intensity we didn’t see previously. Did his hold
out hurt him? Are the Bengals just that bad and this game is just
a nice moment in a very disappointing season for LJ? Or is LJ
just warming up, ala LT this weekend? I think LJ makes a great
#2 RB—just where I rated him this summer, but not where you could
likely have drafted him.
Kept Daunte Culpepper On The Bench:
had 5 touchdowns, but only 75 yards passing against a woebegone
Miami defense who allowed 41 points to Cleveland. Despite a bye
week to prepare, Culpepper mustered just 1 score and 2 interceptions
against the Chargers.
Lesson Learned: Culpepper’s stat line is likely to become
the norm this year: 230 yards passing, 5 yards rushing, a score,
and a couple of interceptions. If you reverse the touchdown to
interception ratio occasionally, you’ll know what to expect
from the Raiders QB.
Nagging Feelings—Week 7
You know now I mentioned Ken
Darby last week? He was cut by Tampa 24 hours before the game
to make room for Zack Crockett. I’m not sure of this move, but
Crockett is a known commodity for Gruden. As long as he doesn’t
bring back Tyrone
Wheatley or Napoleon Kauffman…
Anyone else notice that Vincent Jackson has been a disappointment
for fantasy owners? I’d pull the plug on this guy if you
rely on him as anything more than a #3 fantasy WR. The more the
Chargers return to the Schottenheimer game plan—let’s
call it what it is, Norv—the less Jackson will get targets.
Walter the AFC South version of Wes
Welker? Nope. Walter is 6-3, 215 lbs., and lacks the speed
of Welker. At the same time, he’s going to continue to receive
a lot of targets with Andre Johnson in the training room. It would
be more accurate to call Walter the AFC South version of Brian
Finneran. If it’s the early version of Finneran, the Texans
(and fantasy owners) can expect a sticky-fingered receiver with
good body control. If it’s the Finneran of recent times, don’t
bother adding him to your roster. Personally, I think last week
was the game of his life, but he’ll have more chances to prove