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20/20 Hindsight - Week 13

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.”

Ah, nothing is like the Holiday Season for good things in abundance: family, food, and spirits. Of course, they say too much of a good thing can be a problem. Well only if you don’t know what to do with it. Unfortunately, I haven’t picked the best runner in my local league for two weeks and it cost me a chance at extra money. Last week I lamented choosing Reggie Bush over Joseph Addai. This week I play Addai and Bush goes nuts! At this rate, I should probably stick with Marion Barber III despite the fact he’s not technically the starter. I could have picked, Bush, Barber III, or Ladell Betts and won my match up, a share of the league’s best record prize, and the points title. Now I’ll just be happy with a playoff berth and the points’ title. Of course my buddy Schuelke and his Tomlinson-led squad is only 40 points away from overtaking my LJ-led roster for the points title. Sadly, a win this week—which would have happened with Bush in my lineup—would have meant a share of the best record, too.

Speaking of playoffs, it’s down to the final 33% in the FFTOC pool. I didn’t get off to a great start, but enough to be within the top 40% of the remaining participants. Here’s a look at week 13:

FFTOC Update
 Pos  Player  Pts  Comments
QB T. Brady 12.4 Tom Brady was more Tom Typical than Tom Terrific.
RB D. McAllister 14.0 Would have been nice to use Reggie Bush, but this was a respectable total.
RB J. Addai 6.7 Not like I expected 4 scores, but 1-2 seemed reasonable against the Titans. Then again so was a Colts victory and we saw how that turned out.
WR D. Henderson 1.4 Last-minute choice—yeah I watched Ron Jaworski—that should teach me. No offense Ron, you’re great at breaking down film, but even when Chris Berman is trashing your predictions it is a bad sign. Especially when I had Antonio Bryant in this slot.
WR J. Cotchery 15.9 Pretty good pick this week.
WR L. Fitzgerald 10.6 This was a respectable total, but you know I was expecting much more from Brady and Fitzgerald…
TE Des. Clark 0.0 Two weeks of shutouts with a “D. Clark” in my lineup!
K J. Carney 10.0 Decent…
DEF Raiders 7.0 Ditto
  Total 78.0  

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

Bush Would Come To Life
Months go by waiting for Bush to have a huge game. You only have to watch the way he runs to know it would come at some point. So I continued to insert Bush into my lineup on those occasional games versus weaker run defenses without success. It is amazing I won a points title in a league with the amount of games Bush was my #2 RB—maybe I spoke too soon, Stallworth just scored, and another touchdown like this could mean I lose my grip on the points’ lead (a suddenly narrow, 17-point lead).

Several doubters feel Bush is more of a utility player—a 3rd down or receiver hybrid that can’t run the ball. But Bush showed flashes of Sayers in the open field yesterday with double moves and stutter steps that left his opponents frozen. He also finished his runs with determination and enough power to move a few piles. The only thing that holds him back is the presence of Deuce McAllister. If anything, you should take advantage of those dynasty owners that might be too quick to write off Reggie Bush as a potential stud and deal for him this off-season. It won’t be more than another season before McAllister is either the back up or elsewhere.

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

Marcel Shipp Vultures Edgerrin James!
Three touchdowns off 7 carries for 21 yards from a player we haven’t heard from all year? From an aesthetic standpoint of the fantasy owner, to have a runner gain over 100 yards and lose three touchdowns to a seldom-used sub is disgusting. Speaking of disgusting, there’s another completion to Stallworth—111 yards and a score—why Joseph Addai, why??? I feel like that clown in the fantasy commercials biting the white towel like Jerry Tarkanian (hmmm, it worked for the UNLV coach).

Should we worry about Shipp down the stretch? Absolutely. He has the skills to be the ultimate fantasy vulture—a precursor to Marion Barber III—a guy that can catch, run with vision, and pass block and those skills endear him to the coaching staff. Look for James to lose out on more red zone opportunities for the remaining three weeks of the fantasy playoffs.

I think the towel thing worked, Garcia to Brown for a long score! Take that, Schuelke—you may win the best record, but the points are mine buddy! Uh-oh, Dawkins intercepted the ball. More scoring chances for the Eagles—took the towel out too soon? Nope…points title!!! We’ll that will add to the Holiday Fund or maybe some holiday fun.

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

Drafted Deangelo Williams And Stashed Him On My Roster
Well, maybe I don’t personally feel that way, but I’m sure a lot of DeShaun Foster owners have these thoughts. Williams’ style reminds me of a cross between Brian Westbrook and Emmitt Smith. Low to the ground with great balance and deceptive power, the Carolina pick also has the elusiveness and burst to make the big play. No, the Eagles defense isn’t close to what it once was, but Williams had some runs that would have been impressive against any NFL opponent. If Foster doesn’t make it back again, Williams could wind up the stretch player of this playoff season.

Nagging Feelings—Week 14

I have the nagging feeling Jeff Fisher will remain in Tennessee. Too bad for the NFL or college organizations hoping otherwise—Fisher is the best coach in the NFL that no one talks about. In fact, he might be the best coach in the NFL, period. He finds ways to keep his team playing hard and stays in ball games despite losing streaks that could divide a talented team (2001), or injuries (2004), or dearth of talent (2005). He’s also won division titles with a wide-open passing attack and a pummel-you-into-dust ground game.

Wins against the Eagles, Giants, and Colts have the Titans at 5-7 thus far—not a great record, but better than expected with a young team and a rookie quarterback. Speaking of that rookie, Young has already proven he’ll be the leader of that franchise for the next decade. Tennessee really bumbled the Steve McNair situation, but they found a good replacement. Hopefully they’ll their lesson when it’s Young’s time. Then again if they don’t with Fisher this off-season, all of Young’s potential is going to be at a great risk to be wasted with a new sideline leader in tow.

Mike MacGregor came up with a fun variation of the hobby that he’s calling Fantasy Throwdown. It’s a one on one match up between two owners. Here’s Mike’s email that details the rules:

We will use the 3 games from Thursday Week 12 to create the draftable player pool: MIA-DET, TB-DAL, DEN-KC.

Draft positions: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 2 DL/LB/DB, 1 "Block" player (any position).

Starting lineup: 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 K, 2 DL/LB/DB.

Scoring is default, FF Today scoring. Draft method is serpentine (i.e. Team A, Team B, Team B, Team A, Team A, etc.) The block player does not score any points, but can be used in the draft to hold a player to prevent the other team from drafting him.

Pretty fun way to play, I must say. Especially choosing the games, it adds a great wrinkle to the strategy. We’ve faced each other three times in two weeks. Look for more from this idea in the 2007 season.