As we all know Hindsight is 20/20. This weekly column is devoted
to learning from common mistakes and serves as FFToday’s “Fantasy
You know it’s not going
to be an easy season when you have the feeling you might do better
picking a winning horse at the track than a productive receiver
for your lineup. Especially when you know receivers much better
than thoroughbreds. If you think my receiver total is bad with
the FFTOC team, you should have seen my local leagues. Of course,
who finally has a good game but none other than the Smoothie King,
Randy Moss. I know, wrong franchise but when I was reading about
Moss manning the blenders at the grand opening of his smoothie
franchise, I daydreamed of the Raiders receiver handing me my
order and I’d say “I pay when I want to pay,”
before heading for the door. Once outside, I’d mock moon
him from the display window and as he tried to flag me down for
his money, I’d offer him a ride on the hood of my car.
||I thought this match up was a no-brainer,
but it didn’t become one until the 3rd – 4th quarter.
||A second no-brainer.
||I wish I could thank Ron Jaworski for
this one, but I chose James on Wednesday morning, therefore,
all the credit.
||Really sub-par outing for Coles. Too
bad that rainbow in coverage from Pennington dropped
perfectly into McCareins’ hands instead.
||With this game, I’ll blame it on his
former AFC East ties
||My second true AFC East receiver with
the exact same result.
||Respectable effort, although he didn’t
find the end zone and hurt Harrington’s stats and the
team with his drops/tips.
||Elam missed a field goal???
||I’d trade my proficiency for picking
defenses for a couple good WRs every week. I even picked
the Vikings and Cardinals two other leagues with Baltimore
on a bye!
||I’m hanging in there, but I don’t want
too many of these weeks.
Fortunately, I don’t have receiver problems in my showcase
leagues. But I am losing ground to re-take the division lead for
this tourney. The key will be to continue to rebound from poor performances
with better outings the next week.
Corey Dillon Would Have A 2-Touchdown
The Patriots starter looked excellent against the Bills after
the bye week. This statement should tell you everything you need
to know. Okay three words should tell you everything you need
to know: starter, Bills, and bye. At this point, Laurence Maroney
is more often than not a fantasy football phony for as long as
Corey Dillon has the word “starter” associated with
his role in New England. Did you pay attention to my tirade about
Michael the Burner Turner? If not, pay attention to this and the
Chris Chambers Could Have A 29-Yard Performance
With Harrington Posting 414-Yards
I’m sure few would think Chris Chambers would have a poor
outing if you only saw Harrington’s totals, but that was
the case. Here’s the first of two requests for readers to
respond: Someone tell me more about the nature of Joey Harrington’s
9 targets to Chambers. Where the passes poorly thrown or did Chambers
drop the ball? Was it miscommunications with routes? Nick Saban
sounded off on his players and the highlight packages alludes
to Randy McMichael’s muffs of passes as one of the targets
of Saban’s ire, but was Chambers also a culprit?
Wali Lundy Would Rack Up The Yardage Despite
Gado Starting The Game
This was a source of frustration for more than a few fantasy owners
hard up for a bye week back that picked up Lundy when at mid-week
it was announced the rookie would get significant action in the
Jacksonville and likely be named the starter. Then on Sunday morning,
ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported that Samkon Gado would get
the start and the majority of carries only for soon to be frustrated
owners to discover by game’s end that Lundy rushed for 93
yards and a score.
What gives, Gado only had 10 carries to Lundy’s 19 attempts?
Was this unreliable information or misinformation fed “media
insiders?” Not out of the realm of possibility, but I realized
it might be better to check the play
by play. It turns out Lundy didn’t see the field until
the second quarter and it appears Kubiak just stuck with the hot
hand. Another factor worth knowing is that Lundy gained 56 of
his 93 yards on two of his 19 carries. To me this means, Lundy
stayed in the game because of his ability to break longer runs
but it also demonstrated the Texans weren’t pounding out
4 and 5-yard gains with every carry, either.
So while it might have seemed the media got it wrong about Lundy,
the record of the game demonstrates it’s a coach’s
prerogative to make adjustments. In other words, don’t shoot
the messengers and don’t try to predict mid-game adjustments
whenever you can avoid it!
Remained Cautious About Matt Leinart
Hey, I’m not the only one. Steve Young was lauding Matt
Leinart as the most NFL-ready rookie he’s seen in years
after watching the Cardinals starter from the sidelines against
Chicago. At least I didn’t go that far—I still believe
Cutler will be better and Vince Young might have more success—and
Leinart’s two-interception performance against a Raiders
squad that can’t be mistaken for the Bears demonstrates
the ups and downs of rookie quarterbacks.
But what it also points out is the reactionary viewpoints of media
analysts as well as a method of monitoring player performance
that I don’t understand. Steve Young’s observation
of Leinart from the sideline is what bothers me. What is the benefit
of analyzing player performance from any vantage point other than
film? Now I grasp the fact some positions can’t be seen
on film unless you have several cameras focused on each individual
throughout the game. But the when studying a quarterback, it seems
to me the sideline might be one of the worst places to get a good
read on a player.
I’m not reverting back to an unfavorable opinion on Leinart,
but it’s good to temper one’s enthusiasm for a first-year
guy playing the hardest position in football. Then again just
don’t get me started on Bruce Gradkowski and his savvy play.
He only had 104 yards, but he continues to limit his mistakes
and put the Buccaneers in position to win with every start. You
know I had to throw that one in there…just wait until Jay
Cutler takes the field.
Nagging Feelings—Week 7
When is Joseph
Addai going to get the start? It is definitely a notion of
the minds of many fantasy owners. This is the third game where
the LSU rookie has out-performed his running mate, Dominic Rhodes.
I have a feeling it will happen within two games if Dominic Rhodes
has a second poor game and Addai continues to run tough. This
was the first week where Addai gained significantly more yards
on fewer carries than Rhodes. He’ll need to prove it against Denver
and New England to win it outright and that will be no easy task.
Will someone that watched the Jets’ game tell me whether
Leon Washington’s performance was a product of him gaining
a lot of yards after contact or the offensive line blowing the
Lions off the ball? I only saw the highlights and the ones NBC
showed of Washington were runs where he made it untouched to the
second and third levels of the Detroit defense. I watched enough
of Washington at Florida State to believe he’d make a fine
special teams and change of pace back, but his recent success
has been a surprise. I have a feeling the Jets offensive line
is making life easy for Washington, but I’d like someone
to confirm or deny my impression.
Fantasy owners love to cite the offensive line as an underrated
factor to evaluate the prospects of running backs. Trust me, if
you ever saw this column from two
years ago then you know I experienced that inclination. But how
do you predict future success with stats, especially when the
offensive line experiences vast personnel changes. Take Ahman
Green heading into 2005 with the loss of his two guards or Shaun
Alexander losing Steve Hutchinson and Chester Taylor’s subsequent
success. Common sense works…well, sometimes—think Larry Johnson
with the retirement of Willie Roaf. Or Walter Payton and Ladanian
Tomlinson early in their careers. See what I mean? It’s a dicey
area to predict.