As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted
to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy
This was a great weekend of football. Reggie Bush out-gains
the Colts or Bengals offense. Paying $18 for Larry Johnson to
back up Priest Holmes in this showcase
auction league is shaping up to be a bargain (and so does
drafting him in the 6th round after I already had Edge, Martin,
and Cadillac). And the return of Cadillac, Boldin, and Bruce has
provided some promise for a stretch run in a few leagues. Unfortunately,
you can stick a fork in the practical application of my FFTOC
||Played to my expectations this week.
||In this type of league, this performance
can actually be considered a disappointment.
||He started strong, but had me wishing
I put Alexander in the lineup by the 4th Qtr.
||This was a gimmee…
||I liked CB Fabian Washington at Nebraska—unfortunately
he had to further impress.
||Late-week substitution for Randy Moss.
||Pretty good, but not Gonzalez Good.
||I clearly picked the wrong defense in
this match up! Wow…
||Unless I have Larry Johnson-like performances
at every position next week, I’m done.
Based on a review of my weekly performances, it appears I missed
a shot at qualifying for the final phase by five bad picks. As I
try to figure out which Turkey Week Lineup I can play that will
give me the best shot at scoring 350 points, let’s check out
the week eleven files of 20/20 Hindsight.
You Couldn’t Go Wrong With Holt,
Bruce, Or Curtis In Your Lineup
As I mentioned at the top of this column, I’ve been hoping
Isaac Bruce would return to health and he demonstrated that he’s
ready to resume his productive career with 83 yards and a score.
Torry Holt continues to fight back from his PCL sprain and put
up a typical Big Game performance of 129 yards and a score. And
Kevin Curtis’ 98 yards and a touchdown send a clear message
that he’s the idea slot receiver with these two veterans
on the outside. Too bad they can’t defend the pass, because
Kurt Warner came to town with two receivers that may not have
as much experience, but they can run over you as often as they
out run or out leap you.
Lesson Learned: With Houston,
Minnesota, an ailing Philly secondary, and San Francisco on the
schedule, the Rams look like a team that will not only make a
run for a wild card, but also have great match ups for fantasy
points as much through the air as on the ground. If you kept Isaac
Bruce on your roster and made due until his return, congratulations—you
are about to reap the benefits. If Bruce is still on your waiver
wire, I hope he falls to those of you that actually have a chance
to make the playoffs.
You Couldn’t Go Wrong With Smith,
Jones, Or Wilford In Your Lineup
Choosing which WR to start from Jacksonville’s corps were
among my most difficult lineup decisions this week. It turns out
I was in pretty good shape regardless of the choice. But the best
choice was QB Byron Leftwich. The Jaguars QB threw for three scores
and ran for another.
Lesson Learned: I’ve
been saying this all year, the Jaguars are a going to be an excellent
end of the season play with an upcoming schedule of the Cardinals,
Browns, Colts, 49ers, and Texans. Leftwich and his three receivers
are really developing some chemistry and it’s creating enough
problems for defenses that even long silent, TE Kyle Brady got
a score this weekend. I’m not sure there’s another
QB I’d rather have in fantasy football for the next 5-6
Michael Vick Would Put Up 300 Yards On
The Buccaneers Defense
This may have been one of the more quietly impressive events I
witnessed in football all weekend. Although I grew up in Atlanta
and don’t live far from town, I’m not a Falcons fan
and I’ve been skeptical of Vick’s development as a
passer. But when football’s version of the Human Highlight
Film has an efficient, and productive game against the NFL’s
third-ranked passing defense—a unit that has long-haunted
him—I have to give the guy some credit. I have the feeling
I was wrong about Vick, and the thought of him becoming a good
passer in the next season or two doesn’t look so implausible
after this performance in a losing. Still, Tampa’s pass
defense padded it’s ranking on an easy first half schedule,
so I’m not ready to say Vick has arrived as a passer, just
Lesson Learned: Look out for
rookie WR, Roddy White down the stretch. He and Vick are gaining
some rapport, and he’s by far the most physically talented
receiver on the Falcons. White’s development will make it
much easier for Finneran and Jenkins. If you are in a league where
the thought of Isaac Bruce languishing on your waiver wire is
laughable, maybe White better fits the profile of the type of
receiver still a free agent. If so, and you need some help, you
may want to look here.
Brandon Lloyd Would Once Again Put Up
Good Numbers With A Slightly Experienced QB
I benched Lloyd at the last minute in three leagues because I
just didn’t have the guts to start him despite the fact
I knew his rapport with Dorsey has been solid in the past. Of
course, Lloyd racks up over 100 yards and a score and makes two
amazing catches—one that counted as a reception. Brandon
Lloyd may be the most frustrating fantasy prospect around because
of his great talent, and the lack of a consistent passer to distribute
the ball. It should be a against the law for a player this adept
at catching a ball to be in this offense right now.
Lesson Learned: Is there another
receiver in recent memory that has made as many impressive grabs
as Brandon Lloyd? Randy Moss had his share in the first few years
of his career, but Lloyd’s percentage of great catches to
total receptions has to be staggering in comparison to anyone
else. In fact, some of Lloyd’s grabs make some of Randy
Moss’ look pedestrian. Seriously, put a highlight video
together of Lloyd’s acrobatic receptions and put them in
the company of the best from Randy Moss, John Jefferson, Lynn
Swann, Wes Chandler, or anyone else, and Lloyd still comes out
looking great. I’m not talking about the game situation,
just purely the physical feat of making a tough catch.
The Titans might be fighting Jacksonville for a playoff spot
if they had Lloyd paired with McNair. Do not, I repeat, do not
trade this guy if you have him your dynasty league. It would be
a shame to watch the Niners finally have someone to exploit this
guy’s talent after he’s spent a couple of years languishing
on your bench. Be patient, it’s going to pay off.
Nagging Feelings—Week 11
Anyone else notice the volume get turned way down on the Samkon
Gado hype machine last night? That’s the power of
fumbling. I have the feeling the Packers will resume their regularly
scheduled program of Tony Fisher as the primary back until the
2006 draft. Reggie Bush in the Green and Yellow could keep Favre
around for a few more years, don’t you think?
I have the feeling Mike Tice has finally come around on Mewelde
Moore. Then again, it sure looks like Ciatrick
Fason is seeing more time lately…Speaking of the
Vikings, Koren Robinson sure
saw a lot of time at receiver and actually made some nice plays,
too. I hope you picked this guy up for next year because he’s
more talented than any receiver they have on their roster if he
By the end of 2006, we’re going to realize that a vast
majority of NFL teams will have a quality, receiving tight end
in their lineup. Joe
Klopfenstein, Mercedes Lewis,
and Vernon Davis… especially
Vernon Davis…are three more top tier pass catching ends
ready to make an impact. I’m willing to bet Cincinnati takes
a look around the AFC and decides they would like an option like
the Colts have in Dallas Clark. As we know the NFL is very trendy.