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26 Sep 2007

Scramble for the Ball: Best Week Ever

by Bill Barnwell


SCRAMBLE FOR THE BALL SPONSOR

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Some weeks, everything just goes right.

When owning a fantasy football team, you'll have weeks that see you crush your opposition. Those are fun. Other weeks, you'll put up record-low numbers and get heckled by your fellow owners. That's also fun, in the keying-your-friends'-cars sort of way. The best, though, is when your fantasy team does so preposterously well, so far above what could be expected, that you get congratulatory and somewhat awe-struck messages from your fellow owners ... by halftime of the first slate of Sunday games.

This week, I managed to pull off such a trick in one league. The high score through two weeks in this league had been 145. In Week 3, I put up a whopping 236. The players with huge days weren't my stars; Willie Parker was merely good as opposed to great, and I left Tony Romo on the bench. Instead, it was my secondary guys: Ronnie Brown, Kevin Curtis, Jon Kitna and Roy Williams all put up enormous games, and even though my opponent had Donovan McNabb, I'd won the week by 3 p.m. EST.

While this performance will go down in the annals of my league, the point of Scramble isn't to brag. Just wait till we get to Best Bets. This gigantic performance and all the big games we saw on Sunday made me wonder -- was this the highest-scoring week in fantasy history?

Of course, we need to put some qualifications on "fantasy history." The wonderful pro-football-reference.com's games database only has game-by-game performance back to 1995. In addition, it only has game performances for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends, and has no fumble data. So, then, we should compare apples to apples and see how this week's performances match up based upon those criteria only, using a point-per-reception system with otherwise standard scoring.

The answer? Week 3 of the 2007 season was, in fact, the highest-scoring fantasy week in the last thirteen years. Kevin Curtis' 51.1 points led the way, with ten players scoring more than 30 points. Curtis' performance was tied for twelfth-best in a single game since the 1995 season, and was fifth amongst wide receivers in that timeframe.

This week, quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends garnered 2,836.2 points of fantasy goodness (again, not including fumbles). An average week sees 2,306.4 fantasy points scored by the players at those positions.

The previous high was 2,813.4 points, set in Week 13 of the 2004 season. That week, as you might imagine, saw a barrage of huge games. Ten teams scored 30or more points, highlighted by the Colts, who put 51 on the Titans, but didn't enjoy the fantasy standout of the game; Drew Bennett caught three passes for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Brandon Stokley put up 153 yards and a touchdown across from him, so it was a great game for gritty fan favorites everywhere.

Probably the most important game for fantasy players, though, was Cincinnati's 27-26 victory over the Ravens. Rudi Johnson only ran for 56 yards, but Carson Palmer threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns (all in the fourth quarter) against the second-ranked pass defense in football, leading to a Shayne Graham field goal at the death for the win. Chad Johnson had 10 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns, while the then-still emerging T.J. Houshmandzadeh also caught 10 passes for 171 yards and a score. They're one of only four wide receiver tandems since 1995 to each catch 10 passes in one game -- one tandem did it last year, and you'll never guess who it was. Answer's at the end of the column.

The biggest performance of that week, though, was just like this one -- in Philadelphia. Brian Westbrook only had 12 carries for 37 yards, but he caught 11 balls for 156 yards and scored three times, leading him to 48.3 fantasy points. Donovan McNabb was the second-high scorer of the week, his 464 passing yards and five touchdowns pacing all quarterbacks. Terrell Owens had eight catches for 161 yards and a touchdown, giving him 43.2 points. The only other person above 40 was Julius Jones, who ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns and caught three passes for 11 yards against the Seahawks. Keep in mind that there were only 15 40-plus-point performances that entire season, and three of them occurred in this week alone, and you'll understand what a huge fantasy burst this was, especially for teams on the precipice of making the playoffs.

This week also saw three 40-plus-point games: Curtis, McNabb and, pretty much overlooked in a big week, Anquan Boldin, who caught 14 passes for 181 yards and two scores against the Ravens in a performance that will go from great to otherworldly after opponent adjustments are implemented after Week 4.

Of course, it's also worth bringing up the worst week for fantasy players: Week 8 in 1998 saw an appallingly-low 1,735 fantasy points go on the board. While Terrell Davis actually put up a gigantic game with 44.1 fantasy points, there were dire performances around the league. Eric Zeier went eight of 19 for 34 yards. That's not even two yards per attempt. Tony Graziani was seven for 14 for 86 yards and threw an interception. Trent Dilfer was in "just win" mode, going 20 of 44 for 186 yards. No one was moving the ball this week, apparently. Robert Holcombe put up a zen-like 12 carries for 18 yards. It wasn't pretty by any means. And speaking of not pretty...

Loser League

Quarterback: The Rams were the team up against it this week. Marc Bulger, their leader, led them down. His -1 tied him for Losingest Loser of the Week. Throwing three interceptions is one thing; only garnering 116 yards through the air is another. Drew Brees turned the ball over five times, but managed to pick up a single point by throwing for 225 yards against the Titans' prevent defense.

Running Back: The biggest mystery of the fantasy season is Maurice Jones-Drew. Well, maybe disappointment is the better word. The mystery is Jack Del Rio and his hiring of Dirk Koettner. Of course, if MJD doesn't fumble inside the three, we're not bringing him up here. He scored two points. PFP 2007 suggested that Rudi Johnson might be slowing down after three years with a heavy workload, and so far, the book's been right. Johnson's only averaging 3.1 yards per carry, and while he had 118 yards in the shootout against the Browns, he had nine yards on 17 carries against the Seahawks front seven this week. 33 receiving yards got him to three points. Chris Brown, DeAngelo Williams, Larry Johnson, Warrick Dunn and Frank Gore all had four apiece.

Wide Receiver: Good news for Lee Evans: He put up 15 points this week. Bad news for Lee Evans: That was because he had one catch for seven yards, and hit the penalty. Hint: Buy Low. Four receivers put up a single point this week: Javon Walker, Isaac Bruce (no points for concussions), Kevin Walter and Ernest Wilford.

Kicker: The co-Losingest Loser of the Week? Jeff Wilkins, who put one field goal through but missed two others. It's pretty rare to see an offense have two negative-point guys in one week. Rian Lindell and Jason Hanson only had one point each.

Check out the Football Outsiders comics archive and Jason’s wacky Gil Thorp blog.

Best Bets

1-1-1 last week, 4-4-1 overall

I wasn't sure whether to root for or against the Giants in the second half last week. On one hand, I'd bet against them here, and I also want them to fail miserably so they can recognize the major flaws in this team, get a high draft pick and actually build around the useful parts that are there. On the other hand, I'm a Giants fan. This led to much consternation regardless of what was happening. This week, I'm avoiding the Giants altogether, as well as the Colts, who appear to be getting leads and just sitting on them so far.

CINCINNATI (+7.5) over New England

I think the Patriots are fantastic. I think the Bengals secondary is pretty miserable. I also think, though, that the Patriots secondary can be exploited. The Bengals are too good of a team, especially at home, to be laid this many points.

DALLAS (-13) over St. Louis

On the other hand, St. Louis has shown little in the way of effectiveness over the first three weeks, and appear to be losing key offensive players by the week. I don't honestly think the Cowboys will win more than ten games, but this is going to be one of them, and it's not going to be close.

Baltimore (-4.5) over CLEVELAND

I know, I know, I picked Cleveland to go to the playoffs. I was wrong. Game tape of Derek Anderson against the Baltimore defense might qualify as a snuff film in some countries.

Keep Choppin' Wood

KCW this week goes to Joe Gibbs and Al Saunders. Instead of tailoring their game plan to the Giants' obvious weaknesses on defense, the Redskins employed the same scheme they used to little success throughout 2006, the smoke-and-mirrors screen pass attack, while running the ball primarily using tosses and stretch plays. The thing is, of course, that the Giants' weaknesses this year are overpursuit and inability to cover in the middle of the field. I'm not sure if this was chutzpah or ignorance, but it cost Washington the game. In addition, there was a bizarre two-minute drill that Saunders has to take the blame for. After picking up a first down in Giants territory inside 1:30, the Redskins decided to run another play without spiking the ball -- a play in the shotgun. Jason Campbell wasn't prepared for the snap while directing players around, fumbled and had to fall on the ball. He then spiked the ball on second down, costing the Redskins time and a play. Furthermore, when the Redskins actually got the first down and had first-and-goal inside the two with a minute left, they spiked the ball again. This cost them a down that they would need when the Giants stopped them three consecutive times for a victory that saved their season.

By the way, that tag team of wideouts that each caught 10 passes in a game in 2006? The vaunted passing attack of ... the Houston Texans. Andre Johnson and Eric Moulds each had 10 catches against the Jets in Week 12.

Scramble Administriva

First, I won't be joining you next week in these pages. I'll be moving to the bright lights of San Francisco, where I can finally scream about East Coast biases with only a slight hint of irony. Your substitute writer will be Doug Farrar. He will be reporting back to me, so behave yourself, kids. I've left him a number of assignments and if you don't complete them...

Secondly, we're delighted to welcome a new addition to the Scramble family. Ian Dembsky and his wife, Aprille, welcomed Alison Hope Dembsky into the world last week. While passing this information onto fellow FO emeritus Al Bogdan, Ian also managed to text him his first Loser League pick for our internal weekly draft. Unfortunately, Julius Jones was one carry short of a 2, and instead hit the penalty. Guy's already losing his touch. Congratulations, buddy.


For the next few weeks, we'll also be presenting a Best Bet from the Scramble sponsor, Doc's Sports Odds. You can get a free week of winning NFL picks from Doc's Sports Handicapping Service by calling 1-866-238-6696 or e-mailing service@docsports.com with "Free Football Outsider" in the subject line.

This week's Doc's Sports Best Bet is Detroit (+3) over Chicago. Finally, our long national nightmare is over: Rex Grossman has been benched in favor of Brian Griese. That¹s great news for Bears fans. Trouble is, Chicago's defense and offensive line have are battered and bloodied and their secondary could be without two more starters. Detroit has won three of the last five at home in this series and seven of the last eight meetings in Detroit have been decided by six points or less. Also, home dogs that surrendered 40+ points the previous week have covered the spread at a 64.8-percent clip over the past 21 years.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 26 Sep 2007

53 comments, Last at 28 Sep 2007, 9:19am by Dash

Comments

1
by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 4:35pm

Look, I don't know if I would lay money on the Patriots, but to call taking 7.5 points and a team which gave up 51 to the Browns, when the opponent is Brady, Moss & Co., a best bet, well, that's contrarian, if nothing else.

2
by BillWallace (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 4:40pm

As a Redskins fan I am completely furious about the two preposterous spikes with over a minute left. Some of you probably heard me yelling at them.

What a choke.

3
by Jimmy (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 4:43pm

Shouldn't that have been Alison Catholic Hope Match Dembsky?

4
by ChargersFan (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 4:57pm

I think the Patriots will win their first legitimate Superbowl this year. Of course, they do benefit from past cheating, in a sense. Top players are willing to play for the Patriots for less money than they're worth, because they want to be on a good team. I doubt Randy Moss would be playing for them if they hadn't won three superbowls.

5
by jtp (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:04pm

I know exactly what you mean about there being so many unexpected fantasy stars this past week. Yahoo's point projections (obviously not the most accurate to begin with) had me favored over my opponent by 30 points (110 vs 80) and I wound up losing by a score of 120 vs 190 because my opponent had Curtis, McNabb, and Ronnie Brown. Ugh.

6
by Jake (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:10pm

Re 4: Nevermind. It's not even worth it.

7
by jtp (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:13pm

Quick fantasy question:
I just checked in on my league and Maurice Jones-Drew has been put on waivers by a very frustrated owner. I'm number 2 on the waiver list and so I'd have a reasonable chance of getting him if I put in a claim (the guy ahead of me almost never mixes up his team). What's the consensus on whether Jones-Drew will recover his fantasy value?

8
by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:15pm

Giving Norv the title of "Amateur Coaching Enthusiast" literally made me lol. Nice.

9
by hooper (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:20pm

Since it's already started up, and this thread doesn't even mention it, I'll repeat a request here.

Can we please open an irrational Patriots-videotape thread? We can get all the endless word-splicing out of the way and actually discuss the rest of the contents of the articles produced / linked on FO? I don't mind that people want to discuss it, but it utterly destroys any attempts to converse about non-video topics.

10
by TED F!@#ING GINN!? (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:25pm

Re 4:

Now that's what I call throwing gasoline on the fire!

Well played!

(Although you probably should have waited a few more posts as there will only be 8 - 10 posts about this week's article before the comments section delves into a no holds barred grudge match between Pats Undying Love vs. Evil Empire Hatred)

Congratulations to Ian and his wife!

11
by Bill Barnwell :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:25pm

We've already had at least two irrational Patriot videotape threads.

12
by Matt (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:30pm

9 -

Manning is better than Brady becase his receivers are worse and don't have microphones in their shoulder pads.

13
by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:37pm

Okay, my team is probably already screwed (0-2-1 - thanks, Ladell Betts!), but since this league lets everyone into the playoffs, I can still pretend.

Anyway, I need to fill a RB and a RB/WR slot this week while I go through bye week hell (7 players not playing), and these are my options:

Tatum Bell
Ladell Betts
DeShaun Wynn
Donte' Stallworth
Antwaan Randle El
Brian Leonard (or anyone else on waivers)

14
by Joe Burns (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:40pm

BIG BAD BILL BARNWELL

15
by ChargersFan (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:45pm

I now realize that I should have posted my comment to the TMQ thread. Sorry about that.

16
by Adam B. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:48pm

Brees is my starting QB; Eli is my backup. I just dropped Eli (v PHI) to take Schaub (@ ATL) for my bye week and, possibly, beyond, given Brees' suckitude. Was that a huge mistake? Should I (a) stay put, (b) get Eli back on Fri when he clears waivers, or (c) grab Pennington or someone else instead?

(I'd have taken Jason Campbell, maybe, but he too has a bye.)

17
by James, London (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:54pm

Awesome Cartoon.

Norv Turner, "Amateur Coaching Enthusiast"?

That's just too funny.

And Congratulations to the Dembskys.

18
by jimmo (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 5:55pm

re:7, depends on what you consider his value. Will he perform like a 2nd round pick this year? I doubted it in draft season and still doubt it now.

Is he worth a waiver wire pickup three weeks after he was a second round pick? Absolutely. For very minimal investment (provided you're not dropping LdT or Gore or Jackson for him), you've got a great lottery ticket. If he breaks a leg next week, you've lost nothing and you get to pick up Greg Jones.

19
by jimmo (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 6:04pm

re:16, I'd keep Eli for this week and beyond. I like Schaub, but he strikes me as this years Rivers, excellent NFL numbers, very average fantasy numbers. With Andre Johnson out for a couple/few weeks, the long TD is pretty much taken out of the equation and you're left with games a lot like week 3: 70% completion, 200 yards, 0 or 1 td.

Eli is capable of monster games and though I'm thinking you wouldn't want to be rooting for him against the Eagles, Philly is still banged up in the secondary and Burress kills them (thus of course helping Eli's value).

That said, Pennington has a nice bye week matchup vs. the Bills, sparing you pulling for Eli. I'd stick with Manning though.

20
by Steve (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 6:09pm

I just traded Roy Williams and Travis Henry for Frank Gore and Reggie Wayne...Should I be as happy about this as i think? Should i worry about Gore's start and Wayne not getting the ball as much?

21
by M (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 6:23pm

(The formatting is screwed up, so this is in paragraph form). Any advice on who will be the top performing player for the rest of the season.

For QB's, we give 1 point for every 50 passing yards, 4 points per passing TD, and some bonuses for long TD's. Which guy will be best: Ben Roethlisberger, Phil Rivers, Trent Green, Matt Schaub
Joey Harrington.

For RB's, we give 1 point for every 20 rushing yards, 1 point for every 20 receiving yards, and 6 points per scored TD, and some bonuses for long TD's. Which guy will be best: Laurence Maroney, Sammy Morris, Marshawn Lynch
or some generic goal line back?

22
by gnomonclature (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 6:25pm

#15
Since you cheated, your future posts should have an asterisk. Your legacy is clearly tainted.

23
by M (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 6:26pm

#20: Before the season, I would have thought you had a steal. Now I think it's an even trade.

24
by cjfarls (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 6:40pm

My whole problem with this being the "best fantasy week ever" is that a large amount of the points were put up by folks sitting on benches around the country. Meanwhile, consistent studs kinda flopped (Gore, A.Green & Fitz in my case)... How many people benched Curtis this week? I'd say a bunch. "Most frustrating fantasy week ever"... I might agree with that.

Re: other posts...

I think MJD is definitely worth a waiver wire pickup... lot of potential there, especially if F.Taylor goes down.

I would also hurry to get Eli back. With no real NYG RBs to speak of, he'll get a lot of tosses, and assuming Plax decides that he's allowed to catch the ball, he'll put up decent-to-good numbers. Eli's actually a better fantasy QB than reality QB, and he's a decent reality QB at that. Definitely worth playing matchups.

The trade in post #20 is not a bad deal, assuming Gore can stay healthy. I don't think its a total steal, but I would've also made that trade if I was in you're position. The WRs are basically a wash, and Gore has better potential (if more risk) than Henry.

My question: Who to start for my WR/RB/TE flex spot:
G.Jennings
B.Leonard or
V.Davis

25
by bartleby (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 7:21pm

Is MJD hurt or are the Jags just not using him?

26
by jimmo (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 7:39pm

re:24, eliminate Davis from the equation this week and then some, as he tore an MCL (partially I guess, but still) last week. I guess between Leonard and Jennings its a wash; depends maybe if its a PPR league, probably benefitting Jennings, or if you think Dallas will completely blow out St. Louis thus limiting Leonard's rushing value.

Either/or I'd say, though I like the idea of rolling the dice with Leonard.

27
by Randy S. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 7:44pm

So thanks to bye weeks, I need to start two of the following:

Brandon Stokely
Anthony Gonzalez
Donte' Stalworth

I drafted Stalworth as a "1A" receiver, and he helped my team to an 0-2 start before I benched him. Is there any hope with him, or should I just go with the two guys that have had multiple reception games?

28
by seamus (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 7:46pm

Welcome to SF. We're glad to have you.

29
by calig23 (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 9:50pm

So with Jacksonville on their bye, what are some good defenses to pick up?

I'm thinking that Green Bay(at Min) or Seattle(at SF) might be good choices. Thoughts?

30
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 10:21pm

Is there any hope with him, or should I just go with the two guys that have had multiple reception games?
Stallworth is on the injury report: limited participation, knee. There's always hope, but I'd think he won't see a huge number of snaps unless the Pats go at least four-wide, which they didn't do *at all* against the Bills. (In three-wide sets, which they use quite a bit, they've been platooning Stallworth.)

31
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 10:21pm

#22 wins the thread :)

Oh yeah -- and Post #1 is right on.

32
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 10:22pm

So, does "Doc's Sports Handicapping" use PFP/FO numbers to make its picks? 1/2 :)

33
by Noah of Arkadia (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 10:24pm

Can we please get on with the flame war? Enough with Fantasy Football!

Have a nice trip, Bill. How about that Chris Chambers feller, hey? Will he be able to keep it up?

34
by young curmudgeon (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 10:58pm

I don't mean to alarm anyone, but the last few comments on the TMQ thread (which has been pretty much devoted to Patriots taping issues) have featured a calm, reasoned, polite discussion of one aspect of the issue. What's more, I believe one of the correspondents in this particular dialogue is a Colts fan and the other a Pats fan. What's this world coming to?

35
by DGL (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 11:21pm

A humble suggestion for the LL scoring system - change the RB penalty threshold from "8 carries" to "8 touches" (carries plus receptions).

If a team (say, the Lions) totally bails on the running game (OK, because they're down like 72 points at the end of the first quarter), but keeps a totally inept running back in the game (say, Tatum Bell) enough for him to rack up (down?) a resoundingly mediocre 5 carries (more than any other RB on the team) for 20 yards and 5 cathes for 25 yards, that would seem to obviate the penalty.

Yes, I'm just bitter.

36
by David (not verified) :: Wed, 09/26/2007 - 11:50pm

As an Antwaan Randle El owner, I'd like to see that extended to WRs as well.

37
by Kuato (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 12:37am

Playing the weekly Waiver Wire pick out a Defense game. Choose one:

Carolina Vs TB
Tampa Vs Car
Houston Vs Atl
Detroit Vs Chi

I'm leaning toward Carolina at this point, but getting the D playing against Harrington or Griese is awfully tempting.

38
by Chris M (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 1:26am

Thomas Jones or Derrick Ward this week? (PPR)

Also have a flex spot that I currently have Welker in, but could slot in Ward or Jones.

39
by masocc (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 2:02am

#13: Take Kevin Jones, if he's available, instead of Bell. I think he's healthy again, and he's a bigger threat in that offense. It *might* take you a week or two to see good return, but once he's integrated in, he will thrive as the screen/flat/draw/OMG this DE is about to kill me AGAIN! RB for the Lions. Then I'd go with Brian Leonard or any other waiver prayer.

#21:
Ben Roethlisberger, by a mile. He's the only one in a reliable offense. You *could* consider Rivers, but if the chargers come out of their slump, it'll be LdT, not Rivers that leads it.

Without knowing who's on your waivers, go with Maroney as your only viable option. The receivers can't *always* get the TDs, and the Pats will be grinding out the clock for a lot of games this season. I'll also advise you to pick up Kevin Jones if he's available, see my comments to #13 above.

Re #24: If you must, go with Leonard, as he has the most upside. But imagine *someone* better must be available. See my previous touting of K. Jones, lol.

re #29: ANYBODY vs. Minnesota is a good pick these days, and GB is playing decently on both sides of the ball.

#37: Don't pick the Detroit D. EVER. They're on the field too much. I'd lean towards TB vs. Carolina myself, the Panthers offense hasn't shown much of anything this year, whilst the TB offense appears much improved with Garcia running the show.

40
by masocc (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 2:06am

#38: Ward will be a better value over Jones, due to the PPR. For this week only (against Buffalo), I'd slot in Jones over Welker, though.

41
by Mark (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 2:23am

You have to throw out all of Tom Brady's pas accomplishments. A great reader of defense? Yep, it helps to have a video production going on the sidelines. He better thank the heavens he actualyl has a talented team this year. Cause without the cheating, he wouldn't have 1 SB.

42
by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 4:01am

OK OK. Seriously. No more Brady stuff after this message. There have already been two threads brewing about it.

43
by mawbrew (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 8:35am

I think it would be smart for the Browns (and most teams, in fact) to go no-huddle vs. the Ravens from the start of the game. If they did, I think they could move the ball reasonably well, keep Anderson in one piece, and maybe even pull the upset. But I don't think they have enough confidence in Anderson to try this approach, so I think the Ravens will likely crush them.

44
by TED F!@#ING GINN!? (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 9:20am

I have Vernon Davis as my TE in one league, and obviously he is out the next few weeks at least.

Both Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen are available on waivers and I think that the Bears offense should improve without constant interceptions and fumbles from the QB position.

Which one would be better to replace Davis until he comes back? Clark is currently #1 on the depth chart according to NFL.com, but we all know Olsen was drafted to be the guy.

Also as far as other available TE go, the top guys are Leonard Pope, Donald Lee, etc.

45
by Mr Shush (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 10:30am

#37 - If your league rewards defenses for not giving up points/yards, I would say you want the Texans, whose much improved unit should shut down Atlanta's miserable offense. If it's purely about sacks and turnovers, then I'd go with Tampa: they're good, and the Panthers O-line sucks, while with Andre Johnson out the Texans-Falcons game may be very low scoring and feature a lot of running. If the easily sacked David Carr is starting, that makes the Bucs an even better play.

Disclaimer: Texans fan, possible homerism.

46
by Stillio (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 2:07pm

Ref: MJD

He's not hurt. He looks great returning kickoffs and has a couple of nice runs under his belt this year. The problems he's having this year fantasy-wise are pretty simple. They aren't using him the same way in this new offense. Last year he got lots of screen passes and draws or delayed handoffs; this year they seem intent on making him a more standard RB and slamming him into the line a lot more. He's going to need some time to adjust is my opinion. The other thing is the injury to Brad Meester and loss of Kyle Brady in free agency. The middle of the line is having all kinds of problems opening running lanes without Meester and the outside stuff is harder to come by without Brady's excellent blocking skills. The good news for Jaguars fans (and MJD fantasy owners) is that Meester is coming back and Marcedes Lewis is finally starting to look like the pass/block combination TE they envisioned when they drafted him. Bottom line: MJD is fine and will start to put up numbers maybe as early as next week against KC and you'd be a fool to cut him or fail to pick him up if the opportunity presents itself, however he is still the backup on his own team and you shouldn't be expecting him to carry your fantasy team.

47
by Dash (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 2:13pm

#7 - pick Jones-Drew up NOW. What does it cost you if it doesn't work out? What do you gain if he turns back into the monster he was last year?

#13 - The Skins are on bye, which takes out Betts & Randle El. I'd go Bell & Leonard.

#16 - I say Schaub long-term, Eli short-term. Eli will get you points on games like this week (vs. a bad DEF), and therefore can be a spot starter, but if you've given up on Brees for more than just this week, I'd say Schaub is better for a steady 15-18 points / week.

#21 - Roethlisberger & Lynch (did you see what numbers Brown put up against the Jets last week?)

#24 - I agree with #26

#29 - I'd go GB, esp. if Jackson is starting at QB for MIN.

#37 - I'd go TB, especially if Carr is behind center for CAR.

#38 - Ward due to PPR.

#44 - Best of luck on that one. I'd guess Olsen, but who knows.

Now to my question: I need a WR2 and flex in a PPR league out of: Curtis (vs. NYG), J. Walker (vs. IND), or Branch (vs. SF). I'm leaning toward Curtis, due to the Giants pass D sucking and all, and Walker, due to IND/DEN's potential for a shootout. Thoughts?

48
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 6:05pm

Depending on the penalties for points/yards given up, the Lions' defense wouldn't have been a bad pick with Grossman starting. With Griese in, the Bears might have a passing game.

I'm starting Houston's defense myself in one league, so I'm partial to that choice in your list, Kuato.

WRD, wow. The Lions' running game sucked last week, partly due to the loss of Dan Campbell for the season and partly because the OL isn't that good. Unless the Lions are playing a team like, well, Detroit, RBs will produce through the passing game. (Goal-line TDs aren't something I'd expect from them.) Bell might be decent moving forward, but not against Chicago, and not with Jones getting more touches. I certainly wouldn't count on Jones being productive this season until after I see it, not after last season.

I had Betts rotting on one team and Stallworth on another - can't recommend them either - and with Bulger playing with broken ribs, I doubt Leonard will do anything more than Jackson did.

I guess I'd take Randle El.

49
by Nathan (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 9:15pm

except as said earlier, the redskins are on a bye.

50
by Kuato (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 10:36pm

I decided I would go with TB on D, Thanks!

Re: 47

As for your WR question, I agree with you. Curtis and Walker are the way to go. I think you have to play your Eagles this week (thus Curtis) and Indy is due for a defensive stinker (thus Walker).

51
by jimcooder (not verified) :: Thu, 09/27/2007 - 11:17pm

#43 "So I think the Ravens will likely crush him". This should be spoken in Ivan Draggo's voice from Rocky IV.

52
by b roo (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 1:16am

Bill, how can you avoid the Colts this week in what is the best bet of the season so far? Denver + 9.5 over the Colts, are you kidding me! Champ and Bly are all over Manning's boy like a spider monkey. I normally don't bet the line but this is a no-brainer.

53
by Dash (not verified) :: Fri, 09/28/2007 - 9:19am

I just got a trade offer - MJD for Norwood. I should esctatically take this, right? ATL's rush offense has stunk, and MJD is going to break out, right? (I have Taylor, so this also completes the Jax RBBC)