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20/20 Hindsight - Week 10

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.”

It’s been an excellent second half of the fantasy football season for me. The sole exception has been my dynasty league. But just as I thought I was a favorite in the Adrian Peterson Draft Derby, my team picks this week to play football:

Dynasty League
 Actives  Total  Comments
S.McNair 33.25 If you didn't expect this total, you don't watch football.
C.Dillon 10.3 Should have went with Westbrook, but had a (wrong) feeling Dillon would have a big day.
F.Gore 29.3 Just imagine what he would have done if he didn't get hurt.
J.Galloway 0
C.Johnson 54.1 And I thought LJ's days for the past two weeks were impressive!
D.Stallworth 23.9 Ask me two years ago if I thought I'd start Stallworth over Randy Moss.
J.Shockey 1.5 Boom or bust for most of my players this week.
J.Feely 8.5 And he missed two FG’s, which is a negative for my league.
K.Bulluck 9.5 Mr. Consistency.
J.Vilma 4.5 The 3-4 is killing his fantasy productivity.
E.Dumervil 2.0 The problem with defensive rookies…
T.Hali 1.0 He was playing well…
T.Polamalu 1.0 Knocked silly early--otherwise, he averages more than all but 2 DBs in this league.
A.Wilson 10.0 The bedrock of my defensive unit.
Total 188.85 It has been my defense that has come to play this year, but the offense came to life for a change.

November has been a bit of a roller coaster ride in the FFTOC. Here’s my effort for week nine:

FFTOC Update
 Pos  Player  Pts  Comments
QB M. Bulger 9.4 A very disappointing outing.
RB K. Jones 11.5 I thought about starting Jones and Gore this week—not as if I earn a consolation for that.
RB A. Thomas 10.9 Could have been worse and it saved me a better RB for another week.
WR T. Houshmandzadeh 8.8 Overshadowed by Chad Johnsons’ career day.
WR Mark Clayton 17.8 See why I started him later in this column.
WR J. Galloway
TE J. Witten 5.8 Nothing special.
K J. Hanson 7.0 Decent, but I expected a higher scoring game.
DEF Ravens 3.0 Are you kidding me? I have a great defensive track record this year but I start the best fantasy defense on their worst week? Wow…
  Total 74.2  

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

Mark Clayton Would Be A Better Option Than Ernest Wilford
Last week, Wilford was a waiver wire darling while Clayton was the equivalent of sloppy seconds. I was able to grab both in one league, but on Sunday I opted for Clayton to replace Joe Horn in my lineup despite Wilford’s huge week nine. Consistency was the key difference among the two. This is a perfect example of examining player performance with a broader scope rather than reacting to the flavor of the week. Here’s a comparison of the two players thus far using the scoring system from my auction league where I picked up these two receivers.

Mark Clayton
        Receiving Rushing
Week Pts Opp Status Rec Yard TD Att Yds TDs Fum Lost
1 1 at Buccaneers PFS-TonyFinn - NS 2 18 1 -8 0
2 3 vs Raiders PFS-TonyFinn - NS 1 30 0
3 7 at Browns PFS-TonyFinn - NS 8 74 1 -6 0
4 3 vs Chargers PFS-TonyFinn - NS 4 37 1 -3 0
5 2 at Broncos PFS-TonyFinn - NS 5 27 0
6 22 vs Panthers Free Agent (Q) 5 101 2 0
7 Bye FantasyGuru - NS
8 1 at Saints FantasyGuru - NS 1 17 0
9 7 vs Bengals Free Agent 8 73 0
10 18 at Titans FFToday - S 7 125 1 2 -7 0

Ernest Wilford
        Receiving Rushing
Week Pts Opp Status Rec Yard TD Att Yds TDs Fum Lost
1 5 vs Cowboys Football Diehards - S 3 58 0
2 2 vs Steelers Football Diehards - NS 4 27 0
3 3 at Colts Football Diehards - NS 3 32 0
4 3 at Redskins Football Diehards - NS 3 30 0
5 4 vs Jets Football Diehards - NS 1 40 0
6 Bye Football Diehards - NS
7 0 at Texans Football Diehards - S 2 26 1
8 1 at Eagles Football Diehards - NS 1 16 0
9 16 vs Titans Free Agent (P) 3 44 2 0
10 5 vs Texans FFToday - NS 2 50 0

Although Wilford had a nice game versus the Titans, he’s been one of three receivers that rotate for significant playing time. I also have a tough time believing how anyone can view David Garrard as a better passer than Byron Leftwich. Garrard has better mobility, but he’s neither as accurate nor as good at seeing the field as the Jags injured starter. As I mentioned last week, Garrard’s best career game was last week.

In contrast, Mark Clayton is the unquestioned starter for the Ravens and plays with a quarterback that is light years ahead of Garrard as a passer. Weeks six through nine were good indicators for what one should expect from the second year receiver out of Oklahoma. Week seven was the bye week, but week 8 was the case of Clayton getting banged up—which prompted the Fantasy Guru team to drop Clayton. But Clayton proved in week 9 that he had sufficiently recovered and continued to garner positive attention from McNair. Just look at the number of receptions Clayton has per game in comparison to Wilford. By sheer targets, Clayont was the choice. Then there’s the even more obvious fact that Clayton was playing the same team where Wilford had his best effort of the season. Throw in the fact that McNair was returning home and there you have it.

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

Ocho Cinco Would Put Up Cincuenta Y Cuatro (Well, With Bonus Points Over 100 Yards)
Stuart Scott did a variation on my lead-in last night, but I had it first (yeah, like you care, but I just had to mention it). No matter how good the player, it’s hard to fathom a player could have this kind of day. Since 1950 there have been 28 receivers with 200-yard days—that’s well over 25,000 games! Here’s the list to satisfy your curiosity.

Ernest Wilford
Last First Team Year Opp Week Rush Att Rush Yd Rec Rec Yd Total Tds FPts
Smith Jimmy Jax 2000 Balt 2 0 0 15 291 3 47.1
Rice Jerry SF 1995 16 0 10 14 289 3 47.9
Owens Terrell SF 2000 Chi 16 1 5 20 283 1 34.8
Ismail Qadry Balt 1999 Pit 14 0 0 6 258 3 43.8
Burress Plaxico Pit 2002 Atl 10 0 0 9 253 2 37.3
Chambers Chris Mia 2005 Buf 13 0 0 15 238 1 29.8
Bennett Drew Ten 2004 KC 14 0 0 12 233 3 41.3
Bruce Isaac Stl 1997 Atl 10 0 0 10 233 2 35.3
McCardell Keenan Jax 1996 Stl 8 0 0 16 232 0 23.2
Bruce Isaac Stl 1996 Balt 9 0 0 11 229 1 28.9
Kennison Eddie Stl 1996 Atl 16 0 0 5 226 3 40.6
Smith Jimmy Jax 1999 NO 11 0 0 9 220 1 28
Beebe Don GB 1996 SF 7 0 0 11 220 1 28
Boldin Anquan Az 2003 Det 1 0 0 10 217 2 33.7
Glenn Terry NE 1999 Cle 4 0 0 13 214 1 27.4
Connell Albert Was 2000 Jax 8 0 0 7 211 3 39.1
Bruce Isaac Stl 1995 17 0 12 15 210 1 28.2
Smith Rod Den 2004 Atl 8 1 6 9 208 1 27.4
Gardner Rod Was 2001 Car 6 0 0 6 208 1 26.8
Pickens Carl Cin 1998 Pit 6 0 0 13 204 1 26.4
Burress Plaxico NYG 2005 Stl 4 0 0 10 204 2 32.4
Toomer Amani NYG 2002 Ind 16 0 0 10 204 3 38.4
Moss Randy Min 1999 Chi 10 0 0 12 204 0 20.4
Holt Torry Stl 2001 Ind 16 0 0 7 203 2 32.3
Williams Kevin Dal 1995 17 0 21 9 203 2 34.4
Smith Steve Car 2005 Min 8 0 0 11 201 1 26.1
Walker Javon GB 2004 Ind 3 0 0 11 200 3 38
Holt Torry Stl 2003 SF 9 0 0 11 200 1 26

Interesting how the Falcons appear as the toasted team on four separate occasions. Talk about a defensive identity a city would like to avoid! On the other hand Isaac Bruce appears three times on this list. If you don’t think Isaac Bruce is a Hall of Famer, you weren’t watching football in the mid-to-late nineties—he put up these huge numbers before the Mike Martz era! He did it sans Marshall Faulk, Kurt Warner, or Torry Holt.

In my opinion, Jimmy Smith’s best game was incredible when you consider the fact the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 200o with a defense recognized as one of the best of all time. Incredible stuff. Chad Johnson’s outing is a top ten performance of all time. Savor it, because it’s not likely to happen to the Bengal’s great receiver for the rest of his career. And Chad, it’s technically Ochenta y Cinco, but your self-proclaimed moniker is more fitting.

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

Valued Seneca Wallace Over David Garrard
I sound like a broken record on this topic: The better quarterbacks have pocket presence and understand how to slide away from pressure while keeping their eyes down field. Only Michael Vick may have more mobility as a runner than Seneca Wallace, but the Seahawks sub has learned to operate effectively out of the pocket and the numbers prove it. Garrard is still very much a runner when the pressure rises. Wallace’s play is aiding the Seattle running game, but it’s the Jags ground attack that aids Garrard. Even Vince Young has demonstrated a bit more pocket presence than Garrard. In fact, I think I’d rather have Young on my fantasy roster at this point…well, that’s a close call, but you get my point.

Started Joseph Addai Over Thomas Jones
Jones actually wound up with a better game, but Addai is getting better every week. Jones looked awful in the first half: missed blitz pick ups, poor blocking technique, and a general lack of productivity on the ground. Addai has the most consistent offense, more speed, and greater power. I’m more inclined to believe Addai will have the better stretch run.

Nagging Feelings—Week 11

Can the Packers make the playoffs? Based on the parity in the NFC, I think it’s possible. Especially if Ahman Green and Donald Driver can stay healthy. If Greg Jennings’ ankle heals sufficiently, Green Bay could be a nice fantasy offense down the stretch. Keep an eye on tight end David Martin.

Tony Gonzalez might miss time this week. If so, consider Kris Wilson. My sources in Kansas City that attended training camp for the past three seasons loved this tight end out of Pittsburgh. Dick Vermeil’s coaching staff regularly talked about finding ways to get Wilson on the field to take advantage of his receiving skills. If you aren’t satisfied with your production at the position, Wilson is a great value play for at least one week.

Another guy to consider is Malcolm Floyd. Every time I see a Chargers game, Rivers is going deep to this huge receiver. If they gain any sort of rapport, Floyd could be a big-time surprise in the coming weeks. As those investment bankers say, “get in on the ground floor.”

The best quarterback I graded in last year’s film study for the Rookie Scouting Portfolio didn’t even make the 2006 edition. Why? He was a sophomore. It was Louisville junior Brian Brohm. He’ll likely stay in school for another year so he can be a top five pick in 2008’s draft. If not, be aware he’s a premium fantasy rookie for dynasty leagues. Next week, you can get a nice discount on the 2007 Rookie Scouting Portfolio if you order early. Do yourself a favor and find out who the next Mike Bell Greg Jennings, Bruce Gradkowski, or Marques Colston will be next year.