As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted
to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy
As a tribute to my buddy, Mike MacGregor, whose favorite NFL
team, the Buffalo Bills, committed the ultimate error by playing
the Miami Dolphins in Toronto with the dome closed, I want to
try my hand at picking the Groin Shots of the week. Instead of
“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve”
20/20 Hindsight brings you a special edition of playoff groin
Pierre Thomas would be the star of the
Saints-Falcons Game: With Drew Brees playing like an MVP,
Reggie Bush back from injury, and Lance Moore one of the huge
surprises of the year, few people would have thought reserve back,
Pierre Thomas would post 197 total yards and two scores in a 29-25
victory. I really thought Reggie Bush’s rough outing against
Tampa in week 13 would make him poised for a big day this week
– which he did for 106 total yards and a score – but
Thomas eclipsed the Subway pitchman despite a judge making Deuce
McAllister eligible to play over the weekend.
Why it Hit Where It Hurts: When
the coaching staff is cramming the game plan into your #2 RB at
the last moment, maybe it’s ok to take a chance on the #3
RB who has been performing as the #2 RB for much of the season.
On paper the Falcons secondary looks young and old in the wrong
places, but they played a strong game this week. The Saints ran
the ball to keep John Abraham at bay and the close nature of the
game allowed them to continue handing the ball to their backs.
When a game is close and both offenses are known to score at least
20 points per game, there are usually enough touches to go around.
This should have been my response to the guy e-mailing me last
week. Instead, I told him to bench Thomas.
With one half of football Tarvaris Jackson could give a swift
kick to the fantasy prospects of the Vikings offense while rallying
the Vikings to victory: Down 16-14 to the winless Lions and losing
Gus Frerotte to a back injury, Jackson led the Vikings to a 20-16
victory with a drive culminating in a touchdown pass to his TE
Why we’re still doubled-over in
pain: Talk about an unexpected fantasy killer. If you were
desperate for a QB and though Frerotte’s match up with the
Lions would be a good risk, you got the equivalent of third degree
burns this week. Frerotte’s best game of the year came in
his first game versus the Lions, but now you were forced to watch
Jackson take over before half time. This is even worse for Berrian
owners, who had to watch the Vikings reserve signal caller run
plays that cut off half the field to prevent egregious mistakes.
Unless you had Jackson’s “sippy-cup” player,
Visanthe Shiancoe, you were crying in your beer by the fourth
Then there were Adrian Peterson owners, who expected an otherworldly
performance from their stud back. This was the day they anticipated
more than any this year. But with Jackson as the QB, the Lions
knew they could stack the line and force Jackson to beat them.
Although Frerotte threw two picks, that’s nothing new to
opposing defenses to see. They know Frerotte was capable of throwing
three scores within minutes and they had to play the Vikings offense
more honestly than they did with Jackson.
Domenik Hixon doing an imitation of Flipper
Anderson and Jerry Rice in his rookie year: Did you see
Hixon allow that bomb to bounce off his chest? You would have
thought someone was throwing him a subpoena or Antonio Pierce
was tossing him Plaxico Burress’ revolver with the sirens
in sight. Maybe he couldn’t take the pressure of Burress
grading his performance while at home with that Lo-jack bracelet
on his ankle by the county po-po. He doesn’t have one? I
guess when the only fool you are accused of shooting in the thigh
is yourself, then you don’t need one.
Starting Chris Chambers is like talking
within groin shot range of the Rockettes without a cup:
If you benched Vincent Jackson against the Raiders then you need
an education on the mixed blessing that Chris Chambers is as a
fantasy commodity. We all know Jackson is out-producing Chambers
this year, but the one-time Dolphin is still considered the better
receiver by most opposing defenses. This is why it wasn’t
difficult to guess that Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha would be dancing
cheek to cheek with Chambers. But several hard-luck owners opted
to bench Vincent Jackson this week. I can almost hear them wheezing
just at the though of seeing him score on that 59-yard reception
on Thursday night. Please remember that Chambers is good enough
to see the best CB on a team, but not good enough to produce against
them. He might be the greatest fantasy tease at the receiver position
this decade. I might be more prone to believe scientists can prove
Big Foot’s existence at this point.
Reggie Wayne owners are still walking
bowlegged at this very moment: Five receptions for 48 yards
against the Bengals? It leaves you wondering if Marvin Harrison
didn’t kick Wayne in the locker room prior to taking the
field. If he didn’t, Gijon Robinson from Missouri Western
State probably screamed his name like he was a Shaolin Monk letting
loose with a battle cry (GIIIIIIJJJJON!) as he planted a front
kick to Wayne’s crown jewels. How else could this unknown
out gain Wayne? I demand a recount.
Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch must
share a ‘nad…or J.P. Losman gave them the “1-2”
below the belt (nothing like a disgruntled teammate): It
may be Buffalo, but it isn’t Turner Gil’s Buffalo:
the Bills QB should not be out-gaining the starting runner on
the ground. I couldn’t be more thankful my team with Lynch
had a first-round bye, but this display has me feeling like one
of those European football players standing on a human wall, facing
down a penalty kick.
Two catches for 15 yards from of the Jets
pair of starting receivers can leave you feeling crotchety:
Especially when Brett Favre has 31 attempts against the 49ers.
If you were smirking about this great match up coming into the
game, you’re grimacing in pain right now.
If you faced Seneca Wallace, he may have
given you Elephantitis with this statline: 20/28, 212 yards,
3 scores, and 47 yards rushing against the Patriots. The end of
the year is always crazy, but this one takes the cake. Now you
know how Kellen Winslow feels. And if you don’t, just know
that Deion Branch’s 88 yards, and two scores was his best
fantasy game of his career!
Being forced to start a Baltimore Raven
or Washington Redskin is generally a self-inflicted wound:
Unless you had Derrick Mason or started LeRon McClain out of desperation,
using a player from one of these teams is like submitting a recording
of you causing your own groin shot to Funniest Home Videos. Think
about it, Clinton Portis was a game-time decision facing the best
defense in the NFL. Jason Campbell? Fuggitabouit. Willis McGahee?
Every other week he plays like he’s been kicked in the nuts.
Joe Flacco? He’s good for a rookie, but not Matt Ryan good
in terms of production.
The classic, threat of a groin shot:
I have a first round bye in the SOFA Auction League. Here are
some of my starters having games I wish could have happened this
Dolphins Defense – 19 points
Greg Olsen- 14.2 points
DeAngelo Williams – 22 points (well, now 32.2 with the last
Antonio Bryant – 41 points (as of the two-minute warning)
and possibly counting.
Of course, Lynch, Portis, and Brees weren’t all that great
so I’m hoping they’re saving it for week 15. I know,
how rational of me, but 149 points should never be wasted on you.
The classic, delayed effects of a groin
shot: The one team I had that I didn’t make the playoffs
was in the FFToday Staff League. Last night I was watching DeAngelo
Williams – my 1st team All-Gut Check Preseason Sleeper –
and remembered I traded him away for Eddie Royal. Hindsight is
20/20 and with that in mind, I should have traded Frank Gore a
higher quality player – say, Anquan Boldin. Williams was
the #8 RB going into tonight, Royal was the #17 WR after Sunday.
T.J. Thomas my friend, I’d say you got the better end of
the deal, but you traded him away to Mark Shutters. Actually,
I guess you did get the better end of the deal. He passed me for
the final playoff spot in my division with the trio of Williams,
Thomas Jones, and Anquan Boldin that he acquired from you for
LT, Sproles, and Donald Driver…hmm, strike that –
you earned the groin shot of the year award for that deal on September
27. My condolences, with Kurt Warner and Lance Moore, those three
players would have you in great shape.
Nagging Feelings—Week 15
didn’t have the greatest statistical effort, but he’s a great
quarterback now. Think about his receivers. Marques
Colston is a seventh round pick. Lance
Moore is an undrafted free agent cut by the Browns after his
first camp. Devery
Henderson was a high round pick, but he has panned out more
to the expectation of a seventh round pick. Robert
Meachem was a first round pick still fighting his way off
the bench. Mark Clayton and Mark Duper weren’t big-time prospects
when they were paired with Dan Marino. Steve Watson, Mark Jackson,
Vance Johnson, Ed McCaffrey, and Rod Smith weren’t big-time prospects
with John Elway. And think about Robert Brooks, Antonio Freeman,
and Donald Driver with Brett Favre. Drew Brees, like Marino, Elway,
and Favre is elevating the level of play around him.
Say what you want about Jay Cutler’s up and down performances,
but don’t be too quick to judge him harshly because you
don’t like what he said about having a stronger arm than
John Elway. My younger brother, who graduated with a math degree,
and comes from a long line of family conversant in higher end
mathematics you’d see from Will Hunting (I didn’t
swim with this gene pool), explained to me that he calculated
Cutler’s arm strength against Elway’s and found that
Cutler was actually correct. I’ll try to get the low-down
in the next few weeks and publish it for those of you wanting
I like the powder blue jerseys of the San Diego Chargers, but
I’m afraid Chris Berman’s demise at ESPN could come
if someone opens the supply closet at an inopportune time while
he’s “enjoying” them.
Did you hear Steve Young say he thought Steve
Smith was the best receiver in the NFL and if he had a player
like Smith with the 49ers, that receiver would catch 140 passes
in a season? This is likely hyperbole, but I’d sure like to see
Smith paired with a QB of Young’s caliber.
Can I saw I told you so about Jonathan
Stewart, now? Did you see him manhandle Ronde Barber? I know
Darren McFadden has been hurt, so it’s not fair to compare at
this point. Still, I think we can conclude that Stewart is for