By Jay Hathaway, FFC Columnist
Hey there again, fellow fantasy dorks! We are now fully all up in week 12, which means for many of you that playoffs are right around the corner, and for others, well, I dunno, go outside and do something productive. I myself have a few teams that aren't going to be around much longer, so I have been trying to pay more attention to my 5-5ish teams, making last minute desperation moves in order to make the final cut. For example, I was severely lacking at RB for one team a couple of weeks ago, so I took a chance on Pats RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis while Sammy Morris was out, and it paid off, until last week, when my benched and forgotten Kevin Faulk got most of the run work. Very annoying. Anyway, I've dropped 'em both now in favor of Bucs RB Warrick Dunn, being that Earnest Graham is done for the season. Also, I can finally start Detroit RB Kevin Smith to fill in some voids as well. It only took 10 weeks for him to get going. Luckily, patience is one of my better virtues.
Week 9 is over and many of us are finding ourselves half-crazy, halfway to gone, half-drunk on the drama that has been the 2008 NFL season. Ah, it seems like just yesterday that the Heartbreak Kid Tom Brady broke the hearts of many a fantasy owner that took him with their oh-so important first pick, going down in the first game with a season-ending injury. Then there was Willie Parker looking like this year's LT right out of the gates, only to fall to injury for most of the first half. Some of you thought that this would be the breakout year for Vince Young and the Titans. Well, you were half right. Then, there were those of us that took the Lions' 4-0 preseason start as a sign of a fantastic year. I believe I actually said to someone, "Our road to the Super Bowl starts in Atlanta!" Sigh. My delusions aside, there have been some really incredible and incredibly dreadful performances that warrant some recognition, an award if you will. Being that I think each player is unique, I have named these awards to personally match the players themselves. I have no actual trophies to hand out, but being mentioned on the pages of a website of such high repute as the FFC is a fine prize in itself. So congrats to those of you savvy owners who found success in the first half, and to those who didn't: There is still time to draft a fantasy basketball team.
I hit the Jackpot this week or so I thought until I flipped over the channel to the Panthers game and saw it was DeAngelo Williams and not Jonathan Stewart running up the score. I almost wept because I only started Williams in one league and that was because I thought he would get Stewart's garbage time, Vice Versa. How could I have known? Well I couldn't, and you tend to kick yourself for knowing that you had down both backs, but you also kick yourself because you know most people started the featured back as I did. So when Stewart scored his 7 fantasy points and sat on the sidelines while Williams ran amuck on the Chiefs poor pitiful defense, I felt your pain because I was right there losing with you. If I put someone in this column you can pretty much believe If I have them they are starting. If I put them in the Flex it will be there (Flex), It all boils down to, If I don't even take my own advice how can I expect you to take it. We columnists and I will say this generally
speaking, (For Myself) I don't even follow my teams anymore really, I mean I check the scores. When I am watching a football game I am routing for the players I said to sit to fail, the ones I said to start blow up and the ones I said to pickup to be great for that week. If all that is frutatious. Then I feel good, I havent felt good for awhile but this week I felt damn good. So on with the constant self loathing.
Welcome to Fantasy Football Rant, Week Five Edition.
here we are. As the guys with LOSING RECORDS like to call
it: “still early” in the Fantasy Football season, or as I like to call it: “more than 1/3 finished” the Fantasy Football "regular" season.
Let’s focus on some of those NFL stories, after 5 weeks, now.
countless other fantasy football players who thought they were making
the right choice benching or trading him, I was sorely dismayed to see
the game Ronnie Brown had last week against the Patriots. I let Ronnie
go before the season started, along with Kellen Winslow, Peyton, and
Patrick Crayton, in exchange for Jay Cutler, Todd Heap, Torry
Holt, and Adrian Peterson (the Minnesota one, naturally). I think
history will bear the trade out as one of the most dead-even in FF
history - as long as Brown can stop scoring five touchdowns a
game, for crying out loud.
Welcome to Fantasy Football Rant, week Two edition.
Hi, My name is Rob (Hi Rob), and I’m a Fantasy Footbahollic.
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for the NFL, and with months and months of pre-season excitement and anticipation, it certainly hasn’t disappointed. There have been storylines, and side storylines, injuries and unretirements. Rookie super-stars in the making, old fogy superstars that are still getting it done.
And, after two weeks of the season, the talking heads are actually starting to talk about someone other than Brett Favre! Hallelujah!
Well, the Madden curse appears to have been broken…. Or… has it just been cheated?
Sure, it’s only week one, so there’s plenty of time for EA Sports Madden 09 to catch up to Favre (See; Vince Young 2008 (injured quadricepts), Shaun Alexander 2007 (broken left foot), Donovan McNabb 2006 (sports hernia), Ray Lewis 2005 (torn right hamstring), Michael Vick 2004 (fractured right fibula), Marshall Faulk 2003 (ankle injury), Daunte Culpepper 2002 (knee injury).
My take? The cover of Madden 09 WASN’T supposed to be Favre. Sure, he was great last year, but the only reason he was on the cover was his (cough) “retirement” (cough cough). I think we can all pick a QB performance from 2007 that was better. Need a hint? How about a perfect regular season, and a record setting 50 touchdown passes. OH YEAH. Him! But then, Mr. Tearful Goodbyes retires, and of course, the Madden love-in is on. And you know Madden loves him some Favre. The cover should have been Brady. Ergo, and ipso facto, torn ACL/MCL, and Favre skips the curse. Well played, Monsieur Favre.
My favorite story no one had written about yet is how if Favre had waited until after week one, he would have been the main candidate everyone would be talking about to take the Patriot’s QB job. But then again, Favre would probably just hate all of that attention. But then of course, I was watching NFL Network while writing a portion of this column, and Adam Scheffler mentioned the exact same thing. Curse you Scheffler!!
Since we’re on the topic, and I don’t want to break what seems to be a journalistic rule of mentioning Brett Favre at least 10 times in every NFL-Related column… I better get the old fogey part of the column out of the way.
"If you’re too old to cut the mustard, but you can still lick the jar."
Check out the old farts that can still get it done! Brett Favre has actually looked really good in a Jets jersey (block your eyes if you’re a Packer fan). In week one, despite a whole new book of tricks for an old dog, he looked great, showing some real chemistry with WR Jericho Cotchery getting his first win (ok, half a win, it was Miami). In week two, he connected with WR Laveranues Coles for 72 yards. Ok, it was a loss, but it was the Patriots, so I still think he put on a pretty good performance.
And then, there’s Kurt Warner. Holy cow. Check out the stats on the grey beard! In week 2, he went 19-of-24 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns! If you’re keeping score, (and I know you are, because if you’re reading this you’re a Fantasy Footballaholic), that’s 38-of-54 passes for 558 yards and 4 touchdowns in two weeks! In NFL.com fantasy football, that places him as the 4th best point earner of any player. If you’re a Warner-owner (like this columnist) I don’t know whether to rejoice at my Waiver-wire skills of picking him up after Leinart was announced the un-starter, or whether it’s time to “sell high”. Let’s remember these numbers are against the 49ers and the Dolphins. Although, he did a much better job against the Dolphins than the aforementioned Brett Favre.
Next week’s QB start of the week? Whoever is playing against the Dolphins.
Welcome to the NFL – Matt Cassel!
Who invited Death from “The Family Guy” into the Seattle Seahawks locker room? I picture him with his little black robe, tucked under his Seattle Seahawk helmet, as sort of a cross between the Grim Reaper and that Puddy character from Seinfeld who’s always looking for the high-five (Puddy). Unbeknownst to them, each week a different Seahawk player comes up to him and gets a high-five, and then they’re out for the season.
Engram/Branch: Sure. Sounds good. Snap. Crackle. Pop.
Week One -
Death: Hey Burlesson! Nice play.. high five!
Burlesson: Thanks Death! (high fives him), ow! My knee!
Week Two -
Wallace/Payne: Thud. Thud.
And what about the running back rookies? Hopefully you had a couple of them in your draft, or on the Waiver Wire before they went off. Forte looks like hbe’ll be great week in and week out, as does Johnson, Stewart, and McFadden if Fargas stays out, others look to be fine bye-week replacements like Felix Jones, Tim Hightower, Steve Slaton and Ray Rice, Pierre Thomas and Kevin Smith. You know what sucks more than NOT drafting one or more of these rookie RB’s? Drafting Rookie RB Rashard Mendenhall. He seems to be the only rookie RB you aren’t seeing on any score sheet these days. I guess he doesn’t have the trust of his coaches, but man, he really seems like the only rookie RB to miss the boat so far.
All Points Bulletin – Be on the look out for the entire
Cincinnati Bengals offense, the Minnesota Vikings passing game, the Miami
Dolphins defense, and any sightings of and NFL franchise in the Michigan area.
Quote from the Florida Licensing Office – “Sorry Mister Cinco, it takes 60-90 days to change your name again, even if it’s a “change” to your previous name.”
Have a good week in Fantasy Football.
Author – Rob Pashko, FFootball Collective.
Post any comments about this article below the article, and I'll try to respond.
As a 30+ year Patriots fan, I was completely screwed by the injury to the NFL MVP. Not only is he my favorite player, he is also on BOTH of my fantasy teams!(Yahoo & CDM) To make matters worse, I also have Nate Burleson on yahoo! However, as a fan of this team and someone who has watched every game #12 has played and Bill Belichick has coached, I think I can give you an idea how this team will play offensively for the start of the Matt Cassel era.
1- Run,run, run- Team has more veteran and explosive runners than in 2001 when Brady had Antowain Smith, Kevin Faulk, Marc Edwards, Patrick Pass and JR Redmond in the backfield. This time, Faulk is joined by Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Lamont Jordan and FB Heath Evans. They can run this group 35-40 times, slow the game down and rest that veteran D. Veterans Morris and Jordan are great fits in this system as a do it all types. Faulk is also a great screen-3rd down type back who can keep drives alive on draws and tosses. Maroney is almost exclusively used as a runner and returns kickoffs from time to time.
2- Spread them out--- In 01, Brady threw a ton of WR screens to the likes of Troy Brown and David Patten. This also allows Cassel time to read the D and ID blitzers and so forth. Wes Welker is a strong target in this area.
3- Max protect, send out Moss and Welker--Use TEs,Rbs and allow Moss and slot man Wes Welker to work magic. This WR core is far superior to the group Brady won the SB with. Players like Kelley Washington and Jabar Gaffney would have played bigger roles on that Super Bowl 36 club.
4- TE- Another Brady 01 staple was the underneath short zone TE pass to Jermaine Wiggins. I bet u even money TE David Thomas catches 5-6 balls Sunday. Ben Watson will be huge when he returns from a knee injury.
In summary, I would look at Cassel is you are Brady owner, start Moss, keep all WRs on the bench if u have stronger options and we see who is showcased with the new QB. I would also hold off on Pats runners if you have other healthy backs that are guaranteed touches, Pats RB situation as far as fantasy goes is among the hardest in the NFL to forecast.