As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted
to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy
Three weeks straight of making
the wrong choice at the #2 RB cost me in my local league. This
week I went with Marion Barber over Bush, Addai, and Betts. While
I still would have lost the opening round of our playoffs, it
would have been closer. As for the FFTOC, we’re halfway
through the playoff portion of the tourney. I’m in the middle
of the pack after great expectations, but a slightly under whelming
performance this weekend:
||Epitomized my squad’s performance this
||At least someone I picked went off this
||Nothing like saving someone this good
for a mediocre day—that’s the breaks.
||Okay effort for a bad day from Kitna.
||All those passing yards and not much
for the possession receiver in the offense.
||Better than nothing.
||Last-quarter score ruined a stellar
evening for this defense.
|| Better than last week, but I was expecting
a 120-point effort from this lineup.
I will need two huge weeks to ascend to a money spot in this tourney,
but I do have enough weapons to make it possible. Do you believe
in miracles? I do…but we’ll see if this becomes one
of the minor kind.
Marion Barber Would Be A Playoff Fantasy
Don’t you just love when everyone is talking about a player
being a better player than the starter in front of him? Especially
when everyone is ignoring the fact that Bill Parcells never made
Barber III the starter! I’m guilty as charged here, and
it cost me. Definitely a powerful lesson to consider in the future:
It’s still a greater risk than going with a starter to rely
on a back up as a fantasy starter. Unless the starter is hurt
(Ladell Betts subbing for Portis) or the backup has a clear role
lined up at another position when the starting back is on the
field (Reggie Bush), opt for the back up (Barber III and even
the high-performing Maurice Jones Drew, a player I’ve been
starting for weeks in a league I’m having a great season)
at your own risk.
Artose Pinner Was The Play Over Ciatrick
Fason seemed like the fashionable pick due to his draft status
and Taylor’s injury, but Pinner got the rock and the scores.
The former Kentucky Wildcat was seen as an underrated prospect
when he arrived in Detroit. He’s a better than average downhill
runner that plays the game hard. He lost out on any true opportunity
with the selection of Kevin Jones and then the change of offensive
philosophy that complemented their top draft pick’s receiving
and open field skills.
Pinner is a great match behind a Vikings line that emphasizes
a more conservative ground game. Fason could develop into a fine
back, but he still runs too upright and lacks the patience to
exploit his physical talent to its maximum potential. At this
point, the coaching staff picked the guy that was going to help
them win by doing all the right things that will keep them from
losing: running with discipline rather than always trying to make
the big play; ball control; and pass blocking. Pinner turned out
to be that man.
Continued To Start Reggie Bush
As I mentioned last week, Bush looked like he’s finally
beginning to “get it.” The fact he lines up in formations
with McAllister in the backfield tells you he’s a worthy
player to rely upon in some manner. Despite his sub par yardage
per carry on the ground and low attempts, Bush has been a consistent
performer as a flex option or a low-end #2 RB in most fantasy
lineups even in non-point per reception leagues.
Nagging Feelings—Week 15
is quickly becoming one of my favorite new NFL players. Sure it
helps he plays for my favorite team and has a childhood mentor-relationship
with my well-known favorite player, Steve McNair, but I’m especially
impressed with his guts and leadership. By the way, did you see
Steve McNair knock the helmet off a Chief on a tackle? Great stuff.
Anyway, back to Young, he’s a fiery personality that gets his
teammates into the game, but he plays with the kind of composure
you don’t see from a rookie. Plus, he’s fun with the media—his
response to what he was thinking on his 39-yard touchdown run
in overtime to run the game was classic: “I was imagining my mom
chasing me with a belt.” Well Vince, those comeback victories
got my attention and have won over your team. This guy is a star
in the making.
Back to McNair,
the Ravens have a great shot at a Super Bowl. The Patriots and
Colts have clear weaknesses in multiple phases of their game and
the Chargers are still vulnerable against a decent passing attack.
The most balanced team on both sides of the ball in the AFC is
Baltimore. The most important factor is McNair, who is healthier
at this stage of the season than at any time since 1999—his last
opportunity to win a Super Bowl. The best quarterbacks in the
playoffs not only pass well from the pocket, but also improvise
effectively in pressure situations. Montana, Elway, Favre, Steve
Young, and Bradshaw all had that ability to run or throw on the
run. Philip Rivers? I don’t see it. McNair can be effective in
any situation. I have a feeling McNair will leave his mark on
the 2006 playoffs in a huge way. It might also be why Drew
Brees should lead the Saints deep into the playoffs.
I have a feeling David
Carr will be on the hot seat in 2007, but it won’t be before
Houston selects a high profile rookie receiver to slowly take
over for Eric Moulds and complement Andre Johnson. You don’t need
a dominant defense to win a Super Bowl, just one that is good
enough to keep your offense in the game. Balance is more important
and that’s something that is rarely discussed on sports talk media.
It’s always the cliché of the extremes: Dominant defense or high-octane
offense is the rule according to the talking heads. But look at
the Super Bowl winners and other than the beginning of the Steeler
Dynasty and the Bears, most of the champions were essentially
balanced units that both made huge plays to win games.