As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted
to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy
My famous last words about
Chad Johnson were served up for dinner this week—and it
was mighty tasty. But before I continue, I want to thank the dozen
of you that corrected me about all-time yardage performances for
receivers. I failed to include Willie “Flipper” Anderson
and Stephone Paige—both receivers topped the 300-yard mark!
Of course, what happens after I discuss the rarity of breaking
the 200-yard mark? Lee Evans does it in a half! Still, Johnson
is pairing up with Frank Gore to bring my dynasty team back from
the dead—if this keeps up, I could actually still have a
shot to win the league despite being ranked ninth out of ten teams
entering week ten.
Here’s a look at my week 11 in the FFTOC as the regular
season portion of the tourney winds down:
||The mother lode of fantasy points.
It helped me this week, but I understand why so many
leagues still don’t count against turnovers.
||I’m guaranteed a Falcons game on
television nearly every week. I knew all I needed to
know, except that Lewis would get 3 TDs!
||Waffled between Dillon and McCallister—this
was a good play of Dillon now rather than later.
||Disappointing day for Philadelphia
as a whole.
||After watching the Giants game I
had a hunch about Bradley.
||Finally a game where I have as many
WRs perform as decently as my RBs.
||Disgusting to see a talented player
wasted by his team until garbage time.
||Can’t believe Stover missed a field
goal, but he was due.
||Aaron Brooks made this contest more
||Holding steady with two weeks to
If I experience any post-season success with this tourney, I’ll
have my boy Bentley to thank. Last year, we did a free version of
the FFTOC with some guys in our local league. Bentley beat me easily.
His method was to keep it simple. He didn’t overanalyze the
weeks ahead. He simply picked smart match ups week to week. As a
result, he capitalized on opportunities that he couldn’t have
predicted at the start of the season. I’m discovering similar
opportunities occurring for me every week because I didn’t
try to force a strategy. This method also supports my theory that
we don’t really know which teams have a strong or weak schedule
until at least four to six weeks into the season. Plus, why save
your studs for late in the year—a time where many are likely
to get rest for the playoffs?
The Jags Would Throw More To Their Tight
End Than The Giants
Jeremy Shockey has every right to be confused about not getting
the football. Even from the limited perspective of television
replays, Shockey was open several times in key situations, but
did not receive a target. Shockey might be the most talented receiver
on the Giants roster. This guy has every bit of the same talent
as a Kellen Winslow or Tony Gonzalez, but when the Jaguars—a
team that rarely uses the tight end in the passing game—gives
theirs more looks than Shockey something is wrong with the offense.
Of course the first opportunity he receives is a drop. Then again
they don’t use Shockey’s greatest strength—his
ability to stretch the field from his position. Does Eli Manning
have difficulty seeing the field? It looked like the Jaguars understood
how to use an athletic tight end in their offense on third down
better than the Giants. Yet to be fair, Shockey garners double
coverage far more often than Wrighster.
Ocho Cinco Would Put Up Cuarenta Y Seis
(Well, With Bonus Points Over 100 Yards), But Lee Evans Would
Top Him With 265 Yards And 2 Scores?
I never learn. Just when I start talking about the relative impossibility
of something happening in consecutive seasons, much less consecutive
weeks, not only does Chad Johnson have another huge day but Lee
Evens also has an insane day—with a quarterback that El
Ocho Cinco might be doing next to nada if paired with regularly.
So here it goes—Chad Johnson should be glad he had two great
weeks, because he’ll likely never have this kind of performance
for the rest of his career (hey, you can’t blame me for
trying—it worked wonders for my dynasty team this weekend!).
Damien Nash Would Put On An Impressive
Display As The Change Of Pace To Mike Bell
Last year Nash was an un-drafted rookie out of Missouri sitting
behind Jarrett Payton in Tennessee. This year he found his way
to running back wonderland—otherwise known as fantasy runner
hell. So one would have good sense to conclude that Nash’s
nice day demonstrates that Denver can plug any back into its system
with success. Not so fast—Nash would have been at least
a 4th round pick if his maturity weren’t an issue.
Then there’s the Jeff Fisher-Mike Shanahan relationship.
As I mentioned with Jay Cutler in the preseason, these two coaches
have regularly discussed personnel and coaching. It wouldn’t
be a surprise if Damien Nash’s name came up at some point.
Does that mean you should pick Nash up for next week? Not on your
life. You could keep an eye on him as a dynasty league player
for your practice squad, but the point I’m making is the
NFL has a lot of talented players that only need the right opportunity
and a system that complements their skills.
Frank Gore Would Be A Big-Time Stretch
Were you looking at Mike MacGregor’s strength of schedule
tables? If not, you at least heard about it here: Frank Gore had
a rough stretch early in the second half of fantasy schedules,
but if he faired decently, you knew you had something good for
the stretch run. The past two weeks illustrated what we’ve
been saying around here. Gore has that elite combination of power,
moves, acceleration, and receiving skills. He’s a poor man’s
Ladainian Tomlinson—not on the same level, but good enough
to make any fantasy owner very happy.
Nagging Feelings—Week 11
There are quite a few established players I think will be searching
for new teams in 2007. Running backs lead the way: Fred
Dillon, and Ahman
Green are some of the bigger names I expect to see mentioned
as old faces in new places. The reasons all boil down to age.
Taylor and Green will believe they are good enough to be elite
starters when healthy and will be playing to prove they aren’t
over the hill. This difference of perception between the player
and their current organization will likely mean the end to their
stint with their respective teams. Foster and Jones will be forced
to cede more time to the younger backs behind them on the depth
chart. Both will feel disrespected, especially Jones, a player
that has earned his starting job. I think Dillon has the best
shot at staying with the Pats as a role player because he’s already
been through what these other four backs are about to experience.
Still, the Pats could decide to cut him loose before his performance
goes further downhill. If I were the Cleveland Browns, I’d go
after any of those five players and be happy with the depth they
provide—or more accurately, the depth Rueben Droughns would provide
as a back up.
If you have a good fantasy team last week was likely your last
chance to acquire Santonio Holmes off waivers. If you’re
lucky enough that your league still has him as a free agent you
need to get him on your team for the stretch run. He’s a
definite playoff weasel. Roethlisberger was one of those players
that some of the more astute fantasy writers in this hobby pegged
as a sleeper, but they were a year early. Dynasty owners should
be all over Big Ben if they are shopping for a quality starter.
Then again my friend Mr. MacGregor made a nice suggestion for
a column and cited Holmes as a potential Onterrio Smith-in-waiting
as an example of the topic. This could very well be the case—and
detrimental to Roethlisberger’s prospects. I don’t
agree, but it sounds like the makings of a good argument.
Want of a list of potential fantasy studs that are languishing
on benches due to more established players in front of them. Here
are a few of my favorites:
Chris Perry: Every time I see
him in the game he looks impressive. If Rudi Johnson ever misses
extended time, Perry will play well enough to keep the job for
good. He’s a better receiver than Johnson and has better acceleration.
Health in the preseason has been a huge issue.
Kris Wilson: Gonzalez strikes
me as one of those players that will wind up on a contender that
needs an aging veteran. If that day comes, Wilson has the skills
to step in and produce. I talked about Wilson last week, but it
doesn’t hurt to mention him once more.
Ronald Curry: Injuries have
been holding back Curry’s progress, but this athletic receiver
is bound to get his chance with Moss demanding a trade and Porter
on the verge of exile. The former Tarheel quarterback might be
more physically talented than the two mentioned above.
Turner remind you of Larry Johnson? If I were an NFL team
in need of a starting back, I’d forgo just about every back available
in 2007 to land the Burner. This hoss of a back returns kicks
better than most of the speedy guys you see in this league. He
manhandles defenders in the open field. Out of any player that
doesn’t get full-time opportunities, he’s the one I’d most like
to see earn a starting job elsewhere.