Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Matt

Matt's Articles

20/20 Hindsight - Week 12

As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday's "Fantasy Football Confessional."

Entering the final week of the FFTOC's qualifying rounds, my plan for the final month was working well. I moved up from 488th place to 195th—1.16 ahead of the last qualifying team. All I needed to do last week was maintain a ranking within the top 200 to advance. Considering how narrow the point distribution is among most of the teams jockeying for a qualifying position, maintaining my ranking might not be so easy. In fact, it's going to be too close to call.

FFTOC Update
 Pos  Player  Pts  Comments
QB D. Brees 29.42 Originally scheduled B. Leftwich for this week, but glad I changed to Brees.
RB L. Tomlinson 22.3 Yardage totals weren’t great, but his two touchdowns did the trick.
RB C. Martin 9.9 Thought about Rudi Johnson here, wish I stuck with my original plan.
WR A. Boldin 8.7 Not bad, but didn’t expect this total from my #1.
WR N. Burleson 2.1 Originally went with Stokely—this could be the difference in my season.
WR D. Stallworth 4.6 Eric Parker and K. Washington were options. Moss’ return put a dent here.
TE A. Gates 21.2 Glad I waited on Gates. Should have started every Charger WR this week!
K J. Elam 6 That attempted game winner would have been nice to have…
DEF Bears 3 Parcels had to ruin it by taking Henson out of the game.
  Total 107.22  

The difference was my decision to keep Rudi Johnson and Brandon Stokely on the bench. Adding these two players would have easily kept me in the top 200, but my alternatives were big disappointments. I did wind up averaging 17 points more than my calculated baseline for the month of November, but the fact I was only 1.16 ahead of the last team going into week 12 means it could come down to as little as a point or less.

My second RB choice really places me in jeopardy. I originally slated Rudi Johnson for week 12, but the Browns were allowing less than four yards per carry and I wanted to go with more of a sure thing for this final week. I considered Warrick Dunn versus the Saints' horrible run defense, but came to my senses when I realized Jim Mora's decision to take the leash off Vick's running was cutting into Dunn's production. Unfortunately, my other two alternatives to Martin were William Green (75 yards and a score) and McGahee (116 yards and four scores)—either might mean the difference between playing for the $10,000 and my FFTOC season coming to an end. Even Michael Pittman was a better play.

Lesson Learned? Play to win. Play to win. Play to win. This is the one piece of advice I have neglected all season and it's cost me some pivotal games. Going with Martin was a decision to play "not to lose," and turned out to be the worst RB choice of all my options. Benching Stokely was also a clear decision to play it safe. I originally though to start the Colts' slot receiver for all the right reasons:

  • They were playing in a dome.
  • The Detroit pass defense is weak.
  • Stokely's best performances were at home (dome & turf).
But just hours before the game I lost my nerve to start him. But 107 points scored doesn't mean all is lost. In fact, if I do managed to make it, I still have some decent players available for the last month of the season. Some aren't big names, but they are playing well enough down the stretch to be nice choices:

FFTOC - Still Available
T. Brady W. McGahee R. Moss
B. Leftwich R. Johnson L. Fitzgerald
D. Bledsoe D. Staley R. Williams
M. Hasselbeck J. Jones B. Stokely
C. Pennington M. Pittman K. Colbert
D. Carr W. Dunn E. Kenninson
  P. Holmes J. McCareins
  K. Jones A. Bryant
  W. Green R. Curry
  L. Suggs L. Evans
    P. Price

Although many of my studs are gone, I'd still like to see what I can do with these up and comers for the next month. Stay tuned. On to the weekly files of 20/20 Hindsight …

Would've (From The Who Would Have Known File)

Willis McGahee would score four touchdowns? Although Seattle's defense is statistically pretty good, the loss of Grant Wistrom and Anthony Simmons to season-ending injuries really hampered the Seahawks. McGahee has been looking better with every week he's been the starter. Want more evidence? Just look at the Bills over the past two weeks with wins over the Rams and Seahawks—McGahee has opened up the passing game with his ability to break the long run.

Lessons Learned: When the entire offense's production improves with the insertion of one player into the lineup, that speaks volumes about that player—McGahee is here to stay.

Could've (From The Who Could Have Known File)

Jamaar Taylor would catch more than 100 yards worth of passes? Taylor, a rookie out of Texas A&M was impressive in training camp and had been getting increased looks in the lineup after Tim Carter was lost for the season. Taylor—like Bernard Berrian of the Bears—has shown flashes of talent leading up to this week. Now that rookie stable mate, Eli Manning, is in the lineup, Taylor becomes a more viable option due to their familiarity with each other as cohorts on the depth chart to begin the season.

Lesson Learned: Unless you are in a league like the FFTOC, there's no reason to consider starting a guy like Taylor until he proves he can have some consistent production. If you are in such a league, starting WRs that share the bench with a back up might not be a bad gamble on occasion: Berrian with Krentzel, Taylor with Manning, Houshmanzadeh with Palmer, etc.

Could've (From The Who Could Have Known File) - Part 2

Jerry Porter would have 136 yards and 3 touchdowns on Champ Bailey? Porter had one touchdown all year before busting out in last night's Denver snowstorm. Although the first touchdown pass looked like a Bailey slightly misjudged the pass and barely missed getting the ball as he dove for it, the other two scores weren't even close.

Lesson Learned: Bad weather is a great equalizer when it comes to athletic ability. Even the aging Rod Smith proved this point with a career long, 85-yard touchdown reception.

Should've (From The I Knew I Should Have File)

Brandon Stokely was a must-start. Just check the FFToday message boards and you could find at least two threads from last week that detailed which conditions made Stokely a better start than others. When you think about it, the Colts decision to go with more three-WR sets on turf makes sense. The Colts are a highly versatile offense. On grass, this team can go with a two-tight end set and be just as balanced on turf with a three-receiver, one-back set. Stokely is making the type of impact that Az-Hakim did for the Rams offense in 1999. The difference is that Stokely is arguably a better receiver with a better quarterback.

Lesson Learned: Play to win. Play to win. Play to win.

For those of you that made the right decisions this week, congratulations. For those of you that didn't: Hindsight's a …