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 moved up to 10th out of 594 FFTOC entries for the $60 tournament
so I have a bit of room to take some risks. Since we’re
in the thick of the bye weeks, I really had no choice.
||It wasn’t Tom Brady-like, but it was
definitely a good choice.
||And to think Kenny Watson was the real
stud RB for this NYJ-CIN contest!
||Not bad, but shut out of the end zone.
||That impressive end around for a touchdown
made him a respectable pick.
||Stallworth looked like he had the same
catch and this versus Dallas, didn’t he?
||What a miserable week to start this
||Miller saved my week with this performance.
||Would have been a terrific week to use
Bironas, but I used him 2 weeks ago.
||I don’t know what to make of Chicago
or Philly as this point—yuck!
||Looks like this is my worst week thus
far. At 7 weeks in, that’s not bad…
While this wasn’t a total bust of a week, I can only afford
3-4 of these games to make the cut.
Let’s move on to the week one files of 20/20 Hindsight.
Brady Would Have 27 Touchdowns After Week 7: Seriously,
did you think the Pats quarterback would even have 30 scores for
the entire season? He’ll beat that mark in week eight if
he continues to produce to his current season average, although
Washington’s defense is probably the best unit New England
has faced—or will face—all year. True, they’ll
face Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Philly, but each unit has had
their share of ups and downs this season. Washington has been
the most consistent unit.
I had someone ask me if they should trade Brady while his value
is sky high. To be fair, the owner could use a second running
back and he has Jon Kitna on the bench, but he’s also 5-2
with a decent enough roster to ride the Pats quarterback for all
its worth. But to play devil’s advocate, maybe this is the
perfect time to trade Brady. The Jets, Bills, Bengals, Browns,
and Dolphins defensive units have allowed prolific performances
from offenses that aren’t even in the same hemisphere as
New England. Both San Diego and Dallas are weak against the pass.
So I’m thinking this week’s game will be a telling
match up for Brady. If the Pats QB has less than 2 scores in this
game, it might be a sign that Brady and the New England offense
have been beneficiaries of a confluence of factors going in their
favor—a “cake” schedule to start the year being
one of them. But if he slumps, how bad will he need to go down
the tubes for you to have felt good about dealing him?
I think Major Tom will have to average 1 score or less per contest
for you to feel good about giving him away. For Peyton Manning
to reach 28 scores—a typical total for the Colts QB—he’ll
need to average 1.8 touchdown passes per contest from last until
the end of the season. Even if Brady’s 3.85 passing scores
per game rate drops by 2 scores per contest for the rest of the
year, he’s still performing like an elite signal caller.
Lesson Learned: In my opinion, you better get Tomlinson and a
solid starting QB or WR if you’re going to deal away the
most valuable player in fantasy football. Unless you are psychic
and know Brady’s going to miss time, ride the hot hand and
stop over analyzing your success!
Lee Evans Would Come To Life Against The
Ravens With A Rookie Starting QB: D.J.
Nestrick got the right result, but not by the correct means:
Evans and a good week, but not according to Mr. Expert Debunker’s
theory. According to our resident Hugh Grant impersonator (if
you saw his pic—you’d understand), Evans was unhappy
about J.P. Losman losing his job due to injury and the Bills coaching
staff made it a point to feed the Bills receiver to avoid alienating
him further. It’s good logic from a Hollywood Actor, but
Evans has been the primary guy in this offense in every game.
In fact, Evans has had a consistent number of targets per game
for most of the year.
Lesson Learned: It’s more likely rookie Trent Edwards is
just improving to the point that he’s anticipating Evans’
routes and developing a greater rapport. The Buffalo QB converted
on a deep throw versus the Ravens early in the game, which requires
the two things from Edwards that I must mentioned above. This
tells me the Bills rookie QB is headed in the right direction
as a football player. From a fantasy perspective, Edwards won’t
be starter material this year, but look for Evans to return to
the ranks of fantasy starters down the stretch and Marshawn Lynch
to continue performing as a solid #2 RB.
Kenny Watson Would Have 130 Yards And
3 Scores: Please email a link or clip of a fantasy writer
who predicted a great game from the journeyman running back. I
won’t believe it until I see it. Although he averaged a
little over 4 yards per carry, his three scores were in goal line
situations from no further than the 3, so this made his production
look less efficient on the surface.
Lesson Learned: Only the Lions allow
more fantasy points per game on the ground than the Jets.
Ronnie Brown and Brian Westbrook are certainly excellent runners,
but Maroney, McGahee, and Lynch are a notch below, and not runners
you’d compare favorably to a healthy Rudi Johnson. Kenny
Watson proved a point this weekend—if in doubt, pick a back
facing the Jets defense.
Rob Bironas Would Kick 8 FGs: I
was fortunate enough to get 21 points from Chris Boniol of the
Cowboys in a Monday Night game several years ago and it “earned”
me a victory. Bironas owners were fortunate enough to have their
kicker involved in a crazy contest.
Lesson Learned: Every dog has their day…if you lost to
someone because their kicker scored more points than most backs,
receivers, and QBs in a typical scoring system, you can rightfully
call it a fluke.
Kevin Walter Would Have Two Good Weeks
In A Row: Six grabs for 97 yards and a score, with a long
reception of 40 yards.
Lesson Learned: What can I say? I was wrong. Who knew this Bengals
also ran could follow up with respectable production? It was garbage
time…still, Walter earned his production and you should
consider him if Johnson doesn’t make it back soon.
Moss Would Look As Good As He Ever Has: Did you see him
make those grabs in double coverage? Did you? He looks unstoppable.
Everyone keeps saying Tom Brady “put the ball in the perfect
spot” for Moss. That analysis is a joke. Brady will be the
first to tell you that he puts the ball in the general area and
Moss comes up with it.
Do you see him throwing the ball fifty yards down field in tight
double coverage to Wes Welker? Donte Stallworth? Nope. He’s
pitching them to the receiver many former NFL players, coaches,
and analysts who said he lost a step. Did you see him outrun three
Jets in week one? If he lost a step, then it’s going to
take him losing another 2-3 steps before a secondary in the NFL
catches up with him. And who cares when you can make catches in
traffic or at full-speed with the ball 40 yards in the air that
look like you just caught a Nerf on a 10-yard toss over two 8-year
Okay Pats fan, the one who emailed me 6 weeks ago that Moss was
a team cancer and crook just waiting to happen. You know who you
are. How ya like Moss now? Considering this guy seemed to have
some stones, I bet he maintains his stance. But I better hear
from him again and I want a full name this time because if he’s
celebrating Moss touchdowns, he’s got some ‘splaining
Lesson Learned: Moss was a
player folks completely overanalyzed. It’s clear now that
Brady and Moss were the pivotal players you chose if you played
to win rather than tried not to lose. These guys
on the same team were just too obvious a pick. No one wanted to
believe they’d be as good on the field as they looked on
paper. Exactly how good do Al Davis, Tom Walsh, and Art Shell
feel right now? I would imagine Coach Kiffin would have enjoyed
a Culpepper to Moss reunion, but that was never going to happen.
Roydell Williams Was A Good Choice This
Week: I’ve been saying this for weeks, if not for
two years now, Williams is the best receiver in this young, Titans
corps. He finally had a complete, regular season game where he
showcased his skills. Williams grabbed 5 catches for 124 yards,
including a 46-yard grab and a nice sideline catch in tight coverage
where he exhibited the type of concentration that caught the eye
of anyone who watched him closely.
Lesson Learned: Kerry Collins was the reason Williams played to
his potential. This will happen again, but when it does, it will
mean that Vince Young is developing into the passer he and the
Titans want him to be.
Byron Leftwich Couldn’t Last A Game
Behind The Falcons’ Decimated Line: What a nice start
for Leftwich, but he had less time to throw in Atlanta than he
did in his worst days in Jacksonville. An injury was almost inevitable
for the statue with a rifle for an arm.
Lesson Learned: Leftwich truly is an anachronism at the position.
If he were playing anytime prior to the late part of the Lawrence
Taylor era (where every team had acquired an edge rusher with
blinding speed off the corner), Leftwich had pro bowl skills.
The problem is not that he can’t run like Vince Young or
Vick, it’s that he can’t slide in the pocket like
Favre, Romo, or even Manning and Brady. It’s a shame, because
Leftwich is the example of a talent with great toughness, but
lacks that one component that will make him successful in all
but a few offensive systems.
Nagging Feelings—Week 8
Mike Ditka was absolutely right on Monday Night Countdown,
Vikings Coach Brad Childress is out of his mind. The Vikings were
ahead 14-7 at the half and Childress only gave Adrian
Peterson 12 carries for the entire game? Here’s my total D.J.
“Hugh Grant/Divine Brown” Nestrick take on Childress: the coach
is so intent on proving to the world that QB Tarvaris
Jackson was worth a second round pick that he’d rather put
the ballgame in his prodigy’s hands than feed Peterson
the ball. What other reason could there be? Was Peterson hurt?
No. Did he make mistakes as a runner? No. Was Chester
Taylor the hot hand? No. Was Peterson missing blocks in pass
coverage? Maybe he’s suspect here, but if you’re handing him the
ball out of the I-formation with a 7-point lead in the second
half, you probably don’t need to worry about throwing the football!!!
Especially when that 7-point lead turns into a 14-point margin
after Peterson chews up the Dallas defense.
When are we going to see the other Adrian
Peterson start in the NFC North? The Bears second stringer
was on the field in the 4th quarter and Cedric
Benson has shown little. You may want to search your waiver
wire for the bargain model of the Vikings version of AD.
I don’t get the Jaguars offensive play calling in the 1st
quarter of last night’s game. They did a nice job throwing
passes to make Bob Sanders think twice about crowding the box.
But, when it was time to use their power running game they punked
out. You don’t get cute on 4th and short when you risk giving
the ball to the most aggressive QB in the NFL. How many times
have we seen Peyton Manning go for the kill shot after a big defensive
play? Although this didn’t happen last night, the Colts
did drive down the field for a score—not in the typical,
devastating one-play-and-done fashion, but good enough.
How far the might have fallen. As a football fan, nothing is
sadder than to see Marc Bulger and the Rams offense suffer this
meltdown. Add this team to your weekly waiver wire merry-go-round
of team defenses.