This Week in Fantasy

Dispelling Misconceptions

So, watching football this weekend, I noticed a lot of things that are actually not what the common belief might have been, or what they might’ve used to be.  Some came as a surprise to me, some are things I’ve probably known all along, but got reinforced this weekend.  Here’s what was most obvious to me:

1.  Steve Smith is NOT washed up.  When the 112th pick came up in my draft, Steve Smith was available.  He hadn’t been on any of my target lists, and I wasn’t really compelled to take him, but at the same time, to get any teams #1 receiver so late in the draft seemed like a no-brainer to me, so I took him.  Boy am I glad I did.  In 2005 he had over 1500 yards and 12 TDs, in 2008 over 1400 yds and 6 TDs.  I’m liking this every-3-years peak pattern, and with over 300 yds and 2 TDs already, if he stays healthy he could have a career year.

2.  The Cowboys are NOT a consistent football team.  So maybe this is not really a surprise to anyone.  Then how come every summer they are the perennial favorites to win the NFC East?  Yes, the Eagles and Giants get tossed into the predictions too, but the Cowboys are consistently predicted to win by at least a handful of pundits, and they are consistently inconsistent!  The first three quarters of the Jets game, I was truly scared.  They looked like a team that could not only win the NFC East, but possibly the Super Bowl.  And then Tony Romo happened, and they lost.  This week, against the 49ers, for the first three quarters I was wondering how I could’ve possibly thought they were good.  And then Tony Romo happened, and they won.  What gives????

3.  The Bills are NOT not a juggernaut offense.  I have been shocked to see, in two games I thought they would lose, how many points they’ve actually been able to put on the board.  And the offense is balanced too.  They look good, and next week against the Pats porous secondary (given up over 800 yards in passing) Fitzpatrick will probably have another good week.  But the Bills have started off strong-ish in the recent past and always seem to lose steam.  I think it’s more likely that the team relocates to LA in the next 5-10 years than they make the playoffs this year.

4.  Tom Brady is NOT from this planet.  Seriously.  How has his arm not fallen off?  Tom Brady represents everything I like to stay away from in a fantasy football player: Justin Bieber haircut, super model Baby Mama, paparazzi following; but he’s like dominating everything and everyone.  Even the most macho, borderline homophobic men I know admit to man crushes on him.  It’s like that tv show “V”–I think Tom Brady was sent here just to charm everyone so his people can take over our planet.  Be warned.

5.  Fantasy defenses should NOT be drafted before the second to last round.  It’s too hard to predict how good they are as a unit, and their fantasy performance is far more determined by strength of match up than any other position.  In one of my drafts, for example, the Steelers were the first defense off the board in the 8th round.  After two weeks, they only have a total of 8 fantasy points–ranked 26th among defenses in that league!  In the mean time, I got Nate Burleson like 20 picks after the Steelers D (and also after Saints D, which is ranked 20th), and he’s Nate Burleson!  I can’t love that guy enough.  Especially after he referred to himself as “the black Wes Welker.”  How can you not love that?

6.  “Join us next Monday night as the Cowboys take on Rex Grossman and the undefeated Redskins” is NOT a sentence I thought I’d ever hear.

and finally… 7.  Eli Manning is NOT a good quarterback.  He’s just really NOT.  He turns over the ball, he’s not mobile, he can’t convert 3rd downs, and he completely spazzes out under pressure.  (Giants fans will argue that he’s “SO clutch”, but I would have as much confidence betting against him leading a 4th Q comeback as betting on him.)  Then of course there’s the “huh?” face, which secretly brings joy to me–you know what I’m talking about–he throws and interception, and they pan to him, and his jaw is dropped and he looks incredulous, like “huh?  how’d that happen?”  It happened cause you threw a shitty pass!!!  Get some emotion!!!  (I tried to find a photo of it, but was surprisingly unable to.  His PR people must be scouring Google Images.)  Even the husband, a big Giants fan, admitted last night, “why does he never get fired up?  How can a professional quarterback be so uninspiring?”  I’m glad he’s not my QB in real life, and he never has been, never will be my QB in fantasy life either.

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