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» Defense and Rest Time

Do defenses really wear out over the course of a game? Do defenses benefit from long drives that give them more time to rest on the sideline? Guest columnist Ben Baldwin investigates.

04 Oct 2006

Scramble for the Ball: Line Up

by Bill Barnwell & Ian Dembsky

Ian: Howdy Scramble-maniacs, and welcome to another week of Scramble for the Ball. Plenty going on in the league this week, from both real and fantasy perspectives. First of all, let's talk about lines. Offensive and defensive lines, that is.

Is it me, or does it seem like games are won more by the offensive and defensive lines than by any other position in football these days? For an excellent example of this, look no further than the New England Patriots. Two weeks ago, The Pats were demolished at home by Denver. Even though the final score was 17-7, the game wasn't that close. What happened? When the Patriots had the ball, Denver's defensive line dominated. Neither Laurence Maroney nor Corey Dillon could find any room to run; as a team New England had 21 carries for 50 yards -- a paltry 2.4 average. With the running game going nowhere, the passing game couldn't get going, and the offense could do nothing. The lone Patriots touchdown was late in the game and meaningless.

When the Broncos had the ball, their offensive line didn't dominate, but it was good enough to neutralize a usually strong Patriots defensive front and lead Tatum Bell to 123 yards rushing. With the Broncos running effectively, the passing game opened up enough for some big plays that made the difference in the game.

Meanwhile, in Cincinnati, Richard Seymour and company owned the Bengals up front. They didn't shut down Rudi Johnson, but they relentlessly pressured Carson Palmer on passing downs, forcing fumbles and third-down incompletions. The Bengals have a talented group of wideouts, but if the quarterback has no time to find them, it won't do much good. On offense, the Patriots dominated in the ground game. Not to take anything away from Laurence Maroney, who made the most of his carries in the open field, but it was a heck of a lot easier with the offensive line parting the defense like the Red Sea.

You have to believe that just about any running back would have had a terrible game running against Denver behind the Pats line two weeks ago, while even Kevan Barlow would be racking up yardage against Cincinnati last week. Rex Grossman may look like the next coming of Brett Favre, but did you see the protection he had against Seattle Sunday night? Teams may look good one week and bad another, but you'd better believe it's the battle of the trenches that has the most impact.

Bill: I agree with you, Ian, but Kevan Barlow couldn't rack up clothes at Old Navy, let alone yards at Cincinnati.

Ian:Elsewhere in the league, the Baltimore Ravens continued to exceed expectations with a huge win against San Diego. Watching the game, frankly, San Diego was the better team for the first 55 minutes of the game. They could move the ball some; the Ravens could not move the ball at all. While the Ravens as a team are clearly for real, the offense is not.

Bill: This means our bet is a push. Right? Right???

Ian: After watching a lot of Jamal Lewis, take it from me, the guy is finished. His happy feet routine behind the line of scrimmage, followed by plowing into the line for a gain of 2 to 4 yards, is as depressing as it is predictable. McNair makes as many bad passes as Donovan McNabb; he just doesn't make enough sweet passes to make up for it. All that being said, he's got it when it counts; McNair can certainly lead the team down the field with the game on the line. With a defense that keeps the score close, that's all the Ravens need, isn't it?

One team that needs more than a good defense is the Minnesota Vikings. They're only giving up just over 16 points per game, but they're only scoring just under 16. Their fumbled handoff against the Bears in Week 3 was crushing: They'd likely still be tied for first place if they could have simply run the clock some then punted. When you're a team that relies on strong defense and an offense that's just good enough, big mistakes are unacceptable. This week, two second-half interceptions proved to be a decisive factor in a tight loss to the Bills. The Vikings can win a lot of games if they can simply ride the defense and not turn the ball over. They've got to get their act together.

Hey, look, it's a Santana Moss sighting! The Redskins finally remembered how to be successful: Get the ball in the hands of their best playmaker. The threat of Clinton Portis is enough to keep a defense honest; look for offensive games like this to be the norm rather than the exception as the season goes on. This may be your last chance to buy low on Chris Cooley before he returns to the form of last season. Speaking of which, here are some quick hits on fantasy football advice:

Sell high on Laurence Maroney; he's still splitting carries with Dillon and his stock won't get higher ... A matchup against Cleveland was exactly what the doctor ordered for Lamont Jordan. Expect another nice week against San Francisco, but then look to deal him if you can; it's a brutal schedule the rest of the way ... It may be time to give up on the Miami offense; they're flat-out terrible ... What can you say about Pennington and the Jets? Keep riding them while they're hot ... Those of you who drafted Reggie Bush as a starter, it's time to abandon that experiment ... Finally, don't look now, but Kevin Jones is starting to live up to the hype. Expect him to get better before he gets worse.

Bill: Kevin Jones has had two decent games against the Packers and the Rams. If he got to play his own team, I would say that he would have some potential for big games, but unless you're in a Lions Practice Fantasy League, no dice. That being said, he has a pretty favorable schedule for run defenses over the next few weeks; he doesn't play an above-average one until Miami in Week 12.

Loser Leaguers of the Week

Bill: You know how we get down at the Loser League: All direness, all the time. This week, finally, brings us some truly awful performances, even from players whose teams actually won in Week 4. In addition, this week also saw some widely-selected favorites lead their Loser League teams to ... the opposite of glory.

QB: I don't have the data on how often players were selected in the Loser League this season, but if I had to guess, Alex Smith had to be one of the most-selected players. While he's started off the season relatively strong (compared to last season), he harbored no such delusions of mediocrity in Week 4. 92 yards passing and two interceptions cancel each other, meaning the 11-yard run that Smith went on is the only thing that earned him a 1. Kurt Warner, meanwhile, celebrated what will likely be his final week of actually helping his Loser League teams by contributing a 2; his -6 yards rushing came close to earning him a negative rushing point, which might have actually been up for discussion by the Loser League judges.

RB: Full marks this week go to Jamal Lewis (3) and Cedric Benson (3), both of whose teams did, in fact, come up victorious. Chris Brown also rolled a 3, but his team didn't do so well. And, for those non-believers, Reggie Bush only mustered a 4 this week.

WR: It wasn't a good week to be a tall, white wide receiver in the AFC. Matt Jones and Drew Bennett each scored a 1 in Week 4 play. The real loser of the week, though, was Kansas City's Samie Parker, who scored a 0 while his team racked up 41 points. 41! And he couldn't even muster ten yards receiving on two catches!

K: While Samie Parker was busy not helping his team to 41, Joe Nedney was on the other side of the field, helping his team to ... zero. Nedney missed a 51-yard field goal en route to a -2 and low score of the week dishonors. On the bright side for San Francisco, though, at least Frank Gore didn't fumble on the goal line again this week -- only his own 30 this time.

Scramble for the Mailbag

B. Hooven: I've been offered either Isaac Bruce or Greg Jennings for Reuben Droughns. I'm pretty much going to take it; which one should I take?

Also, what do you think about my trading Matt Hasselbeck for Laurence Maroney? I haven't decided if I'm getting screwed (as the current Hasselbeck owner). I have David Carr who I'm perfectly comfortable starting, and I could pick up Huard as a backup.

Ian: Can I talk you out of this? Admittedly, there isn't much context here; but a starting running back, even one who's been as poor as Droughns, is almost always worth more than a third or fourth wide receiver. That being said, you're probably in a position where you have running back depth and need help at wideout, so if you're set on choosing I'd go with Greg Jennnigs. Favre looks to him often, giving him planty of chances to break loose for a big play. The running game hasn't been strong enough to keep Favre from throwing often. Jennings is pretty much the second scoring option in Green Bay, while Bruce is the third option in St. Louis. And when all else fails, go for the upside.

As far as trading Hasselbeck for Maroney -- can I at least talk you out of that one? Seriously. Maroney had a great game and Hasselbeck had a terrible one, but this is a classic case of selling low and buying high. Maroney still splits carries with Dillon, while Hasslebeck still pilots one of the best offenses in the NFC.

A. Bundy: Hey guys. Here's a real test for your fantasy knowledge. Which two of the following three quarterbacks should I start this week: Damon Huard, Vince Young, or Andrew Walter? Yeah, it's that bad.

Bill: I don't know if this is that much of a test, Mr. Bundy. I mean, you're in trouble no matter what you do here. It's not like anything I say is going to help that. This is a situation where you should be starting people based on their opposition as opposed to anything they really bring to the table. Huard is playing Arizona (19th in Pass Defense DVOA), Young Indianapolis (20th), and Walter San Francisco (28th). Young might end up throwing forty passes in the game, but he might also get taken out for his own safety. I'd go with Huard and Walter.

Eli: Should I go with the Saints Defense at home against a terrible Tampa offense, or Indy's Defense at home against Vince Young's Titans? Turnovers are huge in my league.

Bill: You ask that like Tennessee's offense is a well-oiled machine. Colts defense.

Josh: I never thought I'd be asking whether to sit Antonio Gates, but he's been quiet, in large part due to Martyball, and I have Colston as a WR/TE. Should I play Colston over Gates?

Bill: Assuming you don't have a TE slot to put Gates in, when it comes to FLEX spots, it's a lot like a catcher coming out from behind the plate and playing first base or the outfield in baseball (I'm looking at you, Josh Phelps); the different context strips away some of his value. Antonio Gates goes from being the #1 TE in football to being, well, a top 10 or so WR that's off to a slow start. That all being said, New Orleans is at lowly Tampa Bay this week. It's hard to see them needing to throw the ball very frequently. San Diego is playing at Pittsburgh -- while Pittsburgh's defense is a lot better, the pressure they bring upon Philip Rivers could have him relying on targets that are close by, in front of his face, and gigantic -- like Gates. I'd hold out hope for Gates, but don't feel like benching him for a WR is an impossibility.

Keep Choppin' Wood Award

Bill: It would be easy to award this week's Keep Choppin' Wood Award to Albert Haynesworth for his end zone stomp but, well, it's not as if the Titans EV went down that much after his ejection. If you're already down multiple scores at home, chances are losing a defensive tackle isn't going to make that much of a difference.

This week, the Keep Choppin' Wood Award goes to Jets RB/KR Leon Washington. The Colts followed a fourth quarter Justin Miller kickoff return for a touchdown with a drive of their own where the Jets, realistically, should've just allowed them to score without defending whatsoever in order to get the ball back, Madden-style. Regardless, the Colts kicked off with 50 seconds left. The ball bounced (Martin Gramatica: Kickoff Specialist) all the way down to about two feet inside the Jets end zone, where kick returner Leon Washington decided to pick it up and, instead of downing it, return the kick. He then proceeded to stop on the two yard line, stutter step to deke no one in particular, and then go down under a hail of Colts. He'd taken three crucial seconds off the clock and made the Jets' job eighteen yards harder, not costing the game, but making an already hard task a near-impossible one. For that, Leon Washington can Keep Choppin' Wood.

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

Best Bets

Bill: OK. So last week, I picked the Titans against the Cowboys giving up ten points on the road, and as you all know, the Cowboys shellacked the Titans. Now, I have been asked to eat crow and admit that Dallas is a "great team" in more than one of our threads. Unfortunately for the person that requested I do so, I cannot make such a statement.

When it comes to the bet I made, as you again are all aware, Tennessee changed starting quarterbacks on Saturday night, switching from Kerry Collins to Vince Young. Now, I am not entirely positive on this -- Ian can correct me if I am wrong -- but that would be a drastic move that would allow me to cancel my bet, which was made on Monday night. While I'll be counting the bet against my record, had I made it in real-life, I would've cancelled it because the situation changed drastically. I would not, under any circumstances, back a quarterback in his NFL start. Especially if that quarterback is Vince Young (sorry, Tim).

As for the Cowboys being a great team, to be honest, I don't see it. They did beat the Titans by a wide margin, and I did say that a great team would do that. However, I feel like instead of underestimating the Cowboys, I overestimated the Titans instead. Having not watched the Titans play this year, I was operating under the impression that the team had a pulse. I was and am clearly mistaken. The Titans aren't as bad as most analysts say they are -- they're worse. Even ignoring the Albert Haynesworth foot stomp, the game was just embarrassing from the Titans' standpoint. I can't fathom why they signed four or five veteran free agents the second salary cap space became available; they were at the bottom of the success cycle and I guess they must've deluded themselves into thinking they were better off than they actually were. On this form, the Titans look to be fighting it out with the Raiders for the privilege of being the NFL's worst team; unfortunately, though, the Titans can't use Brady Quinn.

Now, if the Cowboys beat the Eagles by two touchdowns...

Bill (1-2 last week, 7-5 overall)

Miami (+10) over NEW ENGLAND

OK, so Miami's been relatively awful through four weeks. And, on top of that, New England's coming off of an emphatic victory over a Super Bowl contender. So, why Miami here? For one, Saban and Belichick know each other well enough that they're going to anticipate what the other does before they do it. To me -- and I am basing this off of exactly two games' worth of evidence, so it may be entirely untrue -- that would suggest a low-scoring, relatively close game.

The Dolphins kept it close against the Patriots last year, losing by six in Miami (and winning a meaningless game in Foxborough), and I think that the Patriots are worse and the Dolphins are better than they were at that point last year, even if neither showed it last week. In addition, the Patriots' offensive strength (rushing) is mirrored by a good Dolphins rush defense (fourth against the rush so far this season). After all, that kind of analysis has never got me in trouble before. Think I've talked myself into this one being a good idea. Onward.

JACKSONVILLE (-7.5) over New York Jets

I've watched the last three Jets games. The Jets are better than they were last year -- they certainly try harder, as Dan Dierdorf said last week in a thinly-veiled shot at Herman Edwards. In fact, there was pretty much no veiling. Let's go with sheerly-veiled shot. The Jaguars, on the other hand, are 2-2 and in danger of falling three games behind Indianapolis, who play Tennessee -- at home, even -- in Week 5. The Jets are playing a little over their heads, and some regression to the mean is in store for their performance. The Jets have shown very little proclivity for stopping the run so far this season, which bodes well for Jacksonville's scheme. I'm going to say 210 yards rushing for Jacksonville, and a double-digit win.

DENVER (-4) over Baltimore

I will essentially continue to bet against Baltimore until they lose. It's really just out of spite at this point. I mean, I've already all but lost the Jersey Watch -- sure, not because of the Ravens' passing offense, but nonetheless I am already pricing out Ravens jerseys (I hope you like those commercials for Manhattan on TV, Dembsky, because that's where your jersey is coming from) and cursing Charlie Frye and Marty Schottenheimer. This team, I will keep repeating, just isn't that good. Will they make the playoffs? Probably, because it's hard to win four games to start off the season and not go 6-6 the rest of the way. Are they staying within a touchdown of Denver in Denver? Nope.

Worst Bets

Ian: Until I can turn things around, I'm calling this Worst Bets. What's going on? Hard to say -- maybe I had too much faith in Brett Favre and Peyton Manning this past week. No better time to turn things around than the present.

Ian (1-2 last week, 4-6-1 overall)

Washington (+4) over NEW YORK GIANTS

The Washington offense is clicking, and there's no real reason to think the Giants will slow them down. If the Giants win, it will probably be after Eli gets his act together in the last 10 minutes of the game, and it probably won't be by more than four points.

Kansas City (-3) over ARIZONA

Damon Huard is finally getting comfortable in the Kansas City offense, finding both Dante Hall and Eddie Kennison for touchdowns last week. L.J. is heating up, while Matt Leinart is making his first NFL start. This doesn't look promising for the home team.

CHICAGO (-11) over Buffalo

The Bills offense hasn't looked that bad lately, which is the only thing keeping this line as low as it is. The Seattle offense hadn't looked that bad either before last Sunday night. The Bears probably won't give up a touchdown, and Robbie Gould will probably continue his torrid field goal pace. Look for a comfortable win for Chicago.

Posted by: Bill Barnwell and Ian Dembsky on 04 Oct 2006

125 comments, Last at 08 Oct 2006, 1:07pm by Adam B


by cjfarls (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:21pm

FF question: Pick a QB: J.Plummer v. BALT, A.Smith v. OAK, or C.Frye @ CAR

by compucrazy (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:28pm


by Tyler (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:28pm

A few questions: At QB, Phil Rivers (vs PIT) or Matt Leinart (vs KC)? And yes, I'm serious. Also, McGahee (vs CHI) or Fred Taylor (vs NYJ)?

by cjfarls (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:53pm

Ouch... your QB situation sucks. Flip a coin? And for RB take Fred Taylor.

by C$ (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 6:54pm

how do you feel about a Santana Moss/Droughns trade for Andre Johnson/Bush or a Carnell Williams/Wayne trade?

by Harris (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 7:39pm

Barlow can't get yards but the rat bastard got two TDs to ruin my Loser League score. My running backs are killing me.

by Phil (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 7:50pm

2 FF Questions:

1-Kevin Curtis @ GB this w/e or J. Jurevicius @ Carolina for my flex positions? Suggestions?

2-Also, Someone in my league has offered me J. Cotchery/NYJ for S. Jackson/STL. Does anyone think J. Norwood/ATL for Cotchery would be a fair counter? I have Norwood as a 'handcuff' for Dunn.


by MM (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 7:52pm

I got a trade offer in one of my leagues. 10 yards = 1 point for rushing and receiving yards
I get Reggie Bush
I give Droughns
Should I do it?

by jake (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 8:02pm

#1: Don't start Akili Smith. He's a bust.

by Cristian (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 8:28pm

Is this the week Randy Moss breaks out??? he's up against SF. or is E. Kennison v. Ariz a better bet? Also have Gabriel v. Mia (looks like he is Brady's favorite target now). Need to pick one of these guys, any suggestions?

Also #7 I'd go with Curtis, I'm a clevelander and I don't think the Browns are going to do well this week considering both Bodden and Baxter may not play (S. Smith... could rack 40 catches for 900 yds this week). Also I think offering Norwood is pretty fair, if you are desperate for WR help.

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 8:47pm

I have exact same QB dilemma as # 3 since hasselbeck is on bye. Rivers or Lienart?

by JCD (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 8:51pm

Who should I start regularly (not including bye weeks) Vick or Bulger? I've been playing the matchups so far and have managed to choose the low scoring QB all four times.

Also I have Rudy Johnson, Maroney, K. Jones, Addai, and Cadilac Williams at RB. I could use an upgrade at reciever (I have Branch, Jackson, Reggie Wayne and Reggie Brown). Who should I trade and what level of WR should I look for? Someone offered me Berrian (Bears WR) for K Jones and I'm leaning towards declining it. Any advice? Thanks.

by Jay B. (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 9:07pm

My second RB is currently Jamal Lewis. This is unacceptable, obviously. Unfortunately, the free agents aren't great.

Help me choose between the following:
J. Lewis (Bal) @ Den
M. Bell (Den) vs. Bal
L. White (Ten) @ Ind
V. Morency (GB) vs. StL
M. Moore (Min) vs. Det

I'm leaning toward White or Morency. Thoughts?

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 9:40pm

you'd be a fool not to pick Morency. THe unknown status and health of Ahman Green would make him a perfect pick. He ran for bout a 100 yards against philly.

by Kal (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 9:44pm

Rivers will almost certainly give more points than Leinart; SF has some kind of decent offensive line and KC's D gave them fits. What do you think the chiefs are going to do to a rookie QB? Rivers may not get many points, but he's likely to be good for a few.

#13, White and Morency are kind of a mixed bag, but I'd likely bet on Morency given Tennessee's ineptitude.

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 9:48pm

who should I pick for a WR spot and TE spot.

I have Antonio Bryant-WR(SF) M. Colston-WR/TE(NO) and Tony Gonzalez-TE(KC)...

I need one TE and one WR keepin in mind that Colston is both a WR and TE...

Tony hasn't been his usual self..but i heard Huard is doin fine lately... I'm soooo confused...

Antonio Bryant did good his first couple games...then it went down hill...but he still has potential to put up a bunch of yards...AND he's vs. OAK.

Colston is obviously good but should i place him at TE with Antonio at WR or put him in WR with Tony Gonzalez at TE???

Thanks to anyone who can help me squeeze the most points outta this spot...

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 9:57pm

RE: 12
u lucky to have two players with potential to put up a bunch of points...i would base it off the team the player is playin. Make sure u look at the strength of the secondary and the d-line of the opposin team. basically dont put bulger on when they play the Bears...

by BillWallace (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 10:02pm

#12 Berrian for Jones seems terrible to me. I'd trade Maroney or even Maroney and Addai for a WR.

#11 I vote Rivers!

#8 I'd keep Droughns

I need to pick one of Maroney vs Miami, Gore vs Oakland, or LJordan vs SanFran.

I'm leaning Jordan.

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 10:07pm

Maroney & LaMont Jordan...

no question with Maroney but Gore and LJ can get a little close.

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 10:09pm

my bad...isn't Gore comin off an injury??

by DavidH (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 10:12pm

Bill -

I think you misunderstood the last guy's question. He was asking who to start at TE - Colston or Gates. Not whether he should start Gates at a WR/TE spot.

by crcalfa (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 10:25pm

Can I assume that based on your Bal/Den pick you would suggest starting Tatum Bell this week? It looks like he's getting the bench on my tea, behind Portis (@ NY/A), Foster (Cle), and Addai (Ten). Thoughts?

by saneiac (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 10:31pm

I agree with #17 to play the matchup, but if that still doesn't help you decide, I'd go with Bulger. Bulger will consistently give you average to above average quarterback points every week. Vick might get some ridiculous weeks, but he also mixes in weeks where he throws for 38 yards with 2 interceptions. Gross inconsistency like that will kill a fantasy team.

by Cristian (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 11:12pm

#22 Bell is in line to recieve the majority of carriers, I'd take him over Addai (I have both on my team and am starting both this week, but if I was forced to remove one it would be Addai, until he starts recieving the majority of carriers).

R. Moss v. SF, Kennison v. Ari, Gabriel v. Mia....? Who should I pick, I need to start one?

by jimmo (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 11:47pm

Sorry if this a double post...

re cjfarls #1: Smith.

re tyler #3: Leinart & Taylor

re C$ #5: yes on Moss & Droughns for Johnson & Bush in a PPR league (if you're getting Johnson/Bush). Depends on your roster if its a non-PPR; if Droughns and Moss are your #2 (or lower) guys @RB & WR, I'd probably do it. That is, take a chance on Bush's upside over Droughns' steadiness. If that spot is someone you have to play every week, keep Droughns. I like Johnson over Moss the rest of the year.

re Phil #7: Curtis hasn't done a thing this year and is barely third on the depth chart w/McDonald (Of course Philly's #4 WR torched GB...); I'd say Jurevicius or surely someone better exists on the waiver wire, especially for a flex. Anyone who would offer you Cotchery for Jackson straight up as a serious offer probably won't go for a Norwood/Cotchery counter-offer. Can't hurt to try though.

re Cristian #10: I'd stick w/Moss, for the same reason you're considering Kennison: he's playing SF and they made the Huard-Kennison connection actually look good last week.

re JCD #12: trade Vick and stick w/Bulger. You should probably get a decent mid-level receiver for Vick (Braylon Edwards, Derrick Mason, hell you may be able to get Ward or Chambers or Burress from a disgruntled GM). Trading Vick may be hard by the looks of it, though. Just by looking at your roster, and not knowing your league, it seems you let QB go a bit to stock up on RB and to a lesser degree WR, which usually means plenty of other teams are set at QB. Maybe the Warner GM is desperate, or the Culpepper guy is frantic right now. Anyway, Jones for Berrian is horrible for you; I'm not so sure you even need much of an upgrade at WR. Jackson and Wayne are solid at 1 & 2, Brown has been productive so far, and Branch is good Jackson insurance. You've got big names at RB, but the two rookies are sharing time, and Caddy is possibly hurt. I'd hang with your backs for now, move Vick if at all possible (and pick up Frerotte on the cheap now to offest Bulger's inevitable injury.)

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Wed, 10/04/2006 - 11:50pm

Re: 24

Gabriel. Simple because the 'fins secondary is a joke and Gabriel is becoming Brady's main target, ahead of Chad Jackson.

by JonL (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:27am

Which is the better option this week: Colston at WR and Witten at TE, or Colston at TE and either Joe Horn or Greg Jennings at WR? Right now I'm leaning towards Colston/Jennings, but what do I know?

by Oswlek (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:37am


Bill, you and I have had our disagreements, but up until now I could see the validity of your position. This statement is beyond ridiculous, however:

The Dolphins kept it close against the Patriots last year, losing by six in Miami (and winning a meaningless game in Foxborough), and I think that the Patriots are worse and the Dolphins are better than they were at that point last year, even if neither showed it last week. In addition, the Patriots’ offensive strength (rushing) is mirrored by a good Dolphins rush defense (fourth against the rush so far this season).

There is not a single measure, not points, yards, DVOA, Dave, whatever that backs your position that Miami is better and NE is worse since their last meaningful meeting. In fact, every single measure indicates just the opposite. It seems that you have forgotten just how bad NE's D was at that time last year.

Beyond that, however, the Miami game was the absolute Nadir of NE's health situation last year. In that game, NE's starting RB and starting SS were signed that very week! They lost Dan Koppen early on meaning that they were playing with backups at LT, RT and C. It was Hobbs' first start, as well as Seymour's first game back. Bruschi and Vrabel were still getting acclimated to being in the middle together. The fact that NE was able to go into Miami and pull out a victory in that shape should lead on to believe that they will destroy Miami at home and in better health.

And the claim that Miami is playing better than last year? It must be the sparkling 14 ppg that they have scored against two of the worst teams in the league that makes you think that. That is mighty impressive.

I have no problem with someone claiming that they think it will be a close game. But your rationale has no basis in reality.

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:39am

Re: 27

Don't you just hate Colston's versatality? Ha. I'm havin the same issue with Antonio Bryant(WR), Colston(WR/TE) and Tony Gonzalez(TE). Don't know who to pick with those.

With yours, go with ur instincts and start Colston/Jennings.

What if two months ago someone told you that Jennings and Colston would be good starters and Santonio Holmes and Chad Jackson are garbage?

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 1:36am


You're welcome to disagree, but Miami's brought in more talent, their best player in my opinion - Ronnie Brown - is better, and while they've played poorly this year, I think their overall talent is higher than it was last year. Yes, against evidence.

Will the Patriots not be using backups this week at all?

You also bring up the point about how I have no evidence and then bring up that "Bruschi and Vrabel were still getting acclimated to being in the middle together", which I'm confused about. Is that like when you start dating someone (i.e. Catholic Match girl) and you have to get used to their fancy? I mean, it's not like they played together for years before that either. OLB or ILB, that's a ridiculous statement.

I could argue that Daunte Culpepper is getting "acclimated" to the Miami offense this year and that he'll break out against the Pats secondary. I mean, you're welcome to disagree with me, but it's a little hypocritical if you're going to criticize me for not having evidence and then make another statement without any factual basis behind it as a refutation of my position.

Then again, this is the internet.

by Ian (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:20am

"The Dolphins kept it close against the Patriots last year, losing by six in Miami (and winning a meaningless game in Foxborough),"

That game wasn't meaningless. It meant a hell of a lot to NE to lose.

by saneiac (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:44am

Correct me if I'm remembering this wrong, but wasn't it in New England's best interests to try to lose that game? The loss meant they got to start the playoffs against the team considered the AFCs weakest playoff contender (Jacksonville) rather than the very hot Cincinnati. There were also some who thought Belichick lost on purpose to allow his good friend Saban to finish the season with a winning record. Hardly meaningless.

by Randy (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 3:07am

I got a fantasy conundrum. There's two WR slots and a WR/RB flex spot. I have Steve Smith, Randy Moss, Hines Ward, and Reggie Williams (16 team league, I spent my first three picks on WRs). Should I bench Ward or Moss for Reggie?

by Becephalus (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 5:06am

32 The first part of that is plausible, the second part is the most rediculous thing I have ever heard. I cannot imagine any NFL coach losing a game for their wife, much less an old friend.

by Rick (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 7:24am

Re: 31
Huh? The Pats didn't care about the Miami game at the end of the season. They'd already clinched the division and rested most of their starters. Tom Brady only played the first quarter and Corey Dillon didn't play at all.
The Patriots were two-time defending Super Bowl Champs at the time. They certainly didn't throw the game just to avoid playing the Bengals at home. They didn't care who they played - it was going to be a home game either way and they had no chance at getting the first-round bye.

by Rick (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 7:27am

Oh, and it would have meant playing the Steelers, not the Bengals. The Bengals were the other division champ and were hosting a first-round game. Given how much NE has owned Pittsburgh in the playoffs in recent years, you're going to have a hard time convincing me that the Pats threw a game to avoid them.

by Jimbo (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 9:45am

Historically, the Ravens under Billick have owned the Broncos under Shanahan. The 2000 Wild Card game, a 2001 at Invesco even when the Ravens were struggling with Grbac, a 2002 MNF victory for a then-winless Baltimore team. Even last December, Denver only eked out a 12-10 home win over a disintegrating Baltimore team because Boller turned the ball over 3 times (including twice in the red zone). For whatever reason, the Denver offensive line's style matches up poorly vs. Baltimore's defense.

by ammek (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 9:56am

Nobody's mentioned it at all, but I love the cartoon. Michael Flatley!

by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 10:16am

#36: No one will actually know what happened until Bellichick writes his memoirs. It's not, however, beyond reason to say that the coach (he of the intentional safety) wouldn't do what he thought made his team's path to the superbowl easier. In this case, this meant a Jacksonville team generally regarded as overrated as opposed to a white-hot Pittsburgh. Regardless of whether or not he did it, I'm sure he at least considered it. That's his job.

by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 10:19am

Any idea when the Loser League stats get updated?

by Oswlek (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 10:32am

Bill #30,

Sorry for the tone of my last post. I just reread it and it came off a little strong. I stand by the content however.

That said, your reply to me isn't consistent with your quote above. Your belief that Miami has more talent than is showing is not a stretch, nor is it unrealistic to think that Culpepper will improve as he acclimates himself to his new team. Neither of these statements, however, are related in any way to how the teams are playing. NE is playing much better than they did last year and Miami is playing much worse. That is not really up for debate.

With regard to NE's backups, I think it is safe to say that their offense will probably be a little better with at least two, and probably 3 returning starters on the line, as well as 3 RBs that are dramatically better than what they had last year. On defense there may be some questions, as it appears that they will be playing a few backups in the secondary...again. That said, the secondary that will play Miami is still light years better than the one that went into Miami last year.

Lastly, Miami's OL is playing terribly right now and NE's DL is playing better, largely due to not all being injured, than they were when they met last year. I will be shocked if Miami goes over 14 points.

Miami/NE is historically a close game, regardless of the status of either team. Like I said before, I have no probelm with someone believing the spread is a little too big, but I still cannot see any validity in your statement above.

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:28am

Os - apology accepted, no worries.

That being said, what I wrote in the column was, "...the Patriots are worse and the Dolphins are better than they were at that point last year, even if neither showed it last week."

I didn't say they were playing better - which is why I mentioned the thing about last week. I was implying their talent level was lower.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:38am


You also have to remember that the patriots second string almost beat miami last year. NE would have to be significantly worse this year, to not have their first string beat them.

by Rocco (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:39am

Am I crazy for a) starting the 49ers defense this week (my other option is the Eagles, whose banged-up secondary scares me) and b) picking the 49ers in a survival pool? I know they're a lousy 1-3 team, but the Raiders may be historically bad, and I want to ride the wave. I need someone to push me in one direction or the other, and my friends are involved in my leagues with me and can't be trusted. :)

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:55am

The Patriots second string almost beat Miami in a game that was meaningless for Miami.

by Pat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:05pm

#44: I wouldn't take SF in a survival pool. Given the options, I'd take their defense, but this could be a bad matchup for the 49ers. Their defense is terrible versus the pass, and pretty bad versus the run, and Oakland's running game is the only thing that actually has worked at all this year. And Oakland's defense isn't exactly good, but it isn't horrible either.

It's kindof similar to Oakland's Cleveland matchup last week, actually.

by moloch g (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:08pm

with all you guys at fo stating that manning, eli basically sucks he is second in the league in completion percentage and second in ypg. just imagine if he got to play four quarters of football like the rest of the leagues qb's.

by Jeremy (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:18pm

The Patriots second string almost beat Miami in a game that was meaningless for Miami.

Meaningless, sure, but not enough to keep them from playing their first string, right?

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:37pm

I'm not sure what your point is.

Who would be more motivated - a second string that doesn't get as frequent a chance to play - or a first string that's played 15 games?

Not to mention that I'm guessing that the Dolphins' second string probably saw more PT in that game than you might imagine.

by JonL (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:38pm

Two more questions:

1.) Is Huard worth picking up to start, rather than go with McNair (Hasselbeck's on a bye)

2.) Which two RBS should I start: McGahee (vs. Chi), Barlow (vs. Jax), DeAngelo Williams

by turbohapy (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:42pm

Well the rest of my team did very well (8 pts), but my running backs killed me this week! 2 of them didn't play and Barlow got a pair of goal line TDs to screw up what otherwise would have been a poor performance (34 yds), giving me 30 points for my RBs!!!

by MCS (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 12:46pm

WR 2 question:

Reggie Williams vs NYJ
Greg Jennings vs StL
Antonio Bryant vs Oak

My other WR is Reggie Wayne.

Per DVOA, Reggie Williams has the best match-up by far, but I'm still uncertain.


by Jeremy (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 1:03pm

I’m not sure what your point is.

Who would be more motivated - a second string that doesn’t get as frequent a chance to play - or a first string that’s played 15 games?

Are you suggesting that motivation trumps talent in every case? Otherwise it's your point that is muddled.

Not to mention that I’m guessing that the Dolphins’ second string probably saw more PT in that game than you might imagine.

Is this really the sort of analysis FO wants in the red text? "I'm guessing"?! A simple look at the boxscore shows that:

-- Gus Frerotte (Miami's starting QB) threw all the passes. The vast majority of the Pats' passes were thrown by Matt Cassel.

-- RB carries went mostly to Ricky Williams (28) with 8 to Ronnie Brown. On the Pats side, they were split pretty evenly among Patrick Pass, Cassel, Kevin Faulk, and Heath Evans. Zero for Corey Dillon.

-- Marty Booker caught 7 balls, Chris Chambers caught 5, and Randy McMichael caught 5. All starters, and that's 17 of Frerotte's 22 completions right there. The Pats' receptions were, again, split pretty evenly among Ben Watson, Andre Davis, Bam Childress, Tim Dwight, Evans, Deion Branch (2), and David Givens (1).

-- The top tacklers for Miami were all starters (Zach Thomas, Donnie Spragan, Kevin Carter, etc.). On the New England side: Matt Chatham, Ellis Hobbs (pretty sure he was still a reserve last season, but with all their injuries I'm not 100% sure), Hank Poteat, James Sanders, Tully Banta-Cain. All reserves. Bam Childress had 4 tackles -- that's right, the tiny little receiver played some defensive end in that game.

Now, is it my "imagination" that's wrong, or your uneducated guess?

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 1:15pm

47: That's a good point. If Eli had been playing four quarters of football like the rest of the league's QBs, you'd be able to tell from his conventional stats as well that his performance was mediocre, because they wouldn't be inflated with all those attempts against what were basically prevent defenses.

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 1:23pm

In response to where you brought up Miami playing their first string in a "meaningless" game, I simply pointed out that a first string in a meaningless game might not be so inclined to win versus a second string that plays all season. Not a fact.

As for the Dolphins comment, the fact that I was wrong was PRECISELY why I said "I'm guessing". Not "It is a truthful statement" or "This is what happened". A guess. Just because I have red text doesn't mean I can't guess about something or be wrong.

If you're going to say that it's an uneducated guess that a team might play more second-stringers in Week 17 than in any other week, well...

by Jeremy (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 1:27pm

If you’re going to say that it’s an uneducated guess that a team might play more second-stringers in Week 17 than in any other week, well…

My problem with an uneducated guess in that scenario is twofold: (a) it's not all that hard to find out what actually happened; and (b) you're talking to people who ACTUALLY WATCHED THE GAME, and it wasn't all that long ago.

by MCS (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 1:30pm

OK, Here's my 2-2 take on whom to start:

#3 Rivers and Taylor
#7 Curtis and make the Norwood trade only if you need WR help.
#8 No, unless you're in a keeper league
#10 Gabriel
#11 Rivers
#12 Decline
#13 Morency
#16 Bryant and Colston
#18 Maroney
#24 Gabriel
#27 Colston and Jennings
#44 Niners Def.
#50 Huard, Barlow, Williams

I have been offered "pick a RB" for Ronnie Brown. He also has offered Stallworth or Horn. His RBs include W. McGahee, DeAngelo Williams, J. Addai, LenDale White, He also has other guys I am considering countering for (Burress, Boldin or T. Gonzalez). My other start worthy RBs are Maroney and LJohnson.

I rejected his offer out of hand, but I am now reconsidering. Any thoughts?

Also, need advice for WR above.

Rushin' Roulette

by Oswlek (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 1:39pm

Bill #42,

I guess I didn't make the distinction, but I still have to disagree. Miami's overall talent has been vastly overrated this entire offseason. Equally exaggerated were the losses that NE has suffered. The only player of any real consequence that NE lost this past year was Deion Branch. That is all. Sure Gostkowski makes me nervous when he lines up for a FG, but his KOs have been worth more points of field position than the 3 lost with a missed FG. And I firmly believe that he will be around 75% at the end of the year, which is only slightly lower than Adam's lifetime average.

The talent gap was not bridged this offseason. Frankly, if anything it has widened.

And with regard to the final NE/Miami game, it meant much, much more to Miami than NE. They were trying to prove their legitimacy, while NE was just trying to not get injured. I actually believe that NE wanter to lose because it would guarantee a date with the Jags.

by Fredster (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 1:40pm

For my second WR, do I start:

Rod Smith vs Baltimore or

Jennings is now my only weekly starter

Strange fantasy season already....

by Phil (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 1:53pm

My 2 Cents on the Miami/NE debate: NE would have forfeited that game without playing if that was an option last year. Making that game more important to Miami be default. I also agree with Oswelk. Miami wanted to make a statement at the end of the season by winning its last six games.

by Phil (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:00pm

And thank you to the people that responded to my FF Questions.

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:22pm

Jeremy - I simply disagree with you. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to argue over and over about the same thing.

Oswlek - I was actually thinking about the McGinest loss as their biggest dropoff, as well what appears (so far) to be the mediocre performance of Vrabel and, to a lesser extent, Bruschi. I'm still reasonably high on Gostkowski.

I still think Miami improved at QB and DB this offseason, and the Patriots improved at RB. The Miami improvements were more significant than the Patriots', and the Patriots lost (at least) one player of note, while Miami did not. I respectfully disagree.

by Oswlek (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:32pm


* I thought that Willie was a big loss early on as well. However, a few things have happened:

1) Banta-Cain has played pretty well.
2) Seau came aboard. He isn't great, but if you saw who NE was putting in the middle when Vrabel was outside before...ugh.
3) Mike Wright has stepped up as a good backup. This is bigger than many think, because it gives NE 5 good lineman and makes 4 DLs easier to use and still keep guys freash.

I don't think Willie would have added much to this team more than the cumulative effect of the above players. In fact, a case could be made that Wright and/or Seau have made more of a difference themselves.

* Miami's secondary has looked worse to me, not better. I guess we'll just disagree on this one until Monday.

* The loss of Ricky Williams will prove to be bigger than any of the NE's player defections.

* Thus far, it is hard to justify any QB improvement for Miami. Sure Culpepper should be better than Frerotte, but he hasn't yet been. I guess you could say that his line has not helped, but it isn't like they are bringing a different OL to NE than they have played so far.

by Spike (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:38pm

Hey! Speaking of Miami and New England...

Been sitting on Ronnie Brown's lameness, but also have Dominic Rhodes on the bench. How do people like Rhodes v. TEN this week, rather than Brown v. NE? Brown obviously doesn't have to share.

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:44pm

Os -

I thought Banta-Cain played well last week, but I hadn't been impressed at all before that (at least, during the regular season). I didn't see the Denver game - did he have a good one there?

I have not been impressed with Seau, either. Then again, he's probably better than (insert your favorite Chief defender here).

Mike Wright was real solid last week, but it's not as if Mike Wright and McGinest are mutually exclusive things. The Patriots could use them both and would benefit, I think, if they had them both.

While Willie's not an All-Pro, his level last year was higher than Seau or Banta-Cain have provided from what I've seen.

I think the Dolphins' secondary has performed worse so far, but having seen every Giants game, replacing Will Allen with Sam Madison was a fantastic move. Yeesh.

The Culpepper > Frerotte idea is theoretical at this point. :) That QB year-after-ACL study in next year's book is going to be real interesting.

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 2:47pm

Miami's O-line is playing signficantly worse then they were last year, with almost all returning starters. I don't know what happened, but it's possible they may start playing at a high level again. Of course, it may be because Culpepper holds onto the ball to long, and makes his O-line look worse than they really are.

by JonL (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 3:21pm

RE: #57

Yeah, that's what I was leaning towards, too. Since McGahee is the only one of thsoe RBs who's not sharing carries, I'd go for him. Stallworth vs. Horn probably depends on how heavily your league weighs TDs (Stallworth if a lot, Horn if not so much).

by cjfarls (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 3:40pm

Anyother opinions besides jimmo on my QB conundrum (Plummer, Smith or Frye)? I too am leaning toward Smith, but also got burned benching Plummer v. NE for Leftwich v. Indy... shows you what I know (aka nothing).

by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 4:05pm

#1: Frye. Go for the jugular!

I propose a blanket rule for FF: unless it's an absolute stud at WR or RB, never ever start a player against the Bears.

by Not saying (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 4:13pm

Re: 21
"Bill -

I think you misunderstood the last guy’s question. He was asking who to start at TE - Colston or Gates. Not whether he should start Gates at a WR/TE spot. "

At first I thought you were crazy, but then I looked back and thought you might be right. Any thoughts on this Bill?

by Bill Barnwell :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 4:21pm

I think #21's right, actually. I would still stick with Gates, though.

by Andy S. (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 5:03pm

For what's it's worth:

McGinest: questionable this week. Has not played last two weeks for the Browns.

Givens: out with an injured thumb.

Vinatieri: returning this week from injury/Gramatica's kick off gave Jets good field position.

Branch: ok he could be an impact but I like taller big WRs against the Miami defenders.

So I don't see any drop offs in the 2006 Pats personnel compared to 2005.

by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 5:34pm

Just as a note for those of you asking for advice:

Every single fantasy football player matchup I've asked about here, has lead to me getting the least possible points out of those positions.

by Daniel (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 5:35pm

I got my own trade dilemma: been offered Rudi Johnson and Reggie Williams for Willie Parker and Housh. I'm a little light in receiver--my others are Lee Evans and Brian Berrian--and my other rb's are Dillon, Maroney, and Reggie Bush. I'm inclined to take it for 2 reasons: (1) I'm nervous that Parker will decline, and this may be my last chance to deal him before he tanks and (2) I'm getting the best player in the deal, usually a sign that I'm coming out ahead. I'm only nervous about dealing Housh. Any thoughts?

by Cleveland (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 5:39pm

NE's touchdown against Denver was not meaningless in the least. They scored with nearly 10 minutes left and got the ball back three more times. They had plenty of opportunities to tie it up.

by Oswlek (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 5:54pm


I would make the trade. Housh will probably outperform Williams, but now that Williams has clearly become the #1 target in Jax, the spread may not be that much.

However, Johnson is far more of a sure play every week than Parker is.


I am a Pats fan, but I never thought that they were coming back even after that score. It felt entirely anti-climactic to me.

by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 6:26pm

#74: Housh is good but too inconsistent. Make the trade.

by weinsteinium (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 6:38pm

WR question. I need to start three:
Boldin vs KC
Driver vs STL
Mason vs DEN
Kennison vs ARI

by cjfarls (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 6:39pm

OKay, one more question from another league I'm in...

pick 2 of 3 choices:
Cooley v. NYG, Colston v. TB, Bennett v. Indy

BTW: Just looked at Carolina's Pass Def DVOA... are they really that bad? wow... maybe Frye is the right play...

by cjfarls (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 6:41pm

Re: 78- I'd go Kennison, Driver & Boldin

... and #74 should definitely take that trade.

by GBS (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 8:21pm

This is off topic in this thread, I suppose, but I didn't know where else to put it.

Corey Simon is out for the season with an undisclosed illness. The Colts claim it in not life threatening, but Simon has gone to the Mayo Clinic for treatment.

by Slade (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 9:11pm

I have a receiver heavy team with good receivers - Steve Smith, Marvin Harrison, Darrell Jackson, and Terry Glenn. I can start two RB but have only 1 - Stephen Jackson - so I've been starting 3 WR instead. Should I try picking up a waiver wire RB like Jones-Drew to start as 2nd RB, or go with the best 3 WR each week and start only 1 back?

by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 9:55pm

Take Jones-Drew if he's on waivers. He's looked good.

by Ryan Carney (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 10:45pm

To the guy who was going to make the Bush for Droughns trade, take Bush if you are in a keeper league. If not keep Droughns. Willie Parker is not going to tank, and Housh is going to put up numbers, because Henry is a criminal and Chad is NOT himself (I think that Cleveland safety emotionally careered him) I would say look at Willie and Rudi's schedules, because Cinci won the division last year and will probably play the better teams, and you have the for sure better receiver in the deal. PLUS look at who Parker has played already, their schedule can only get easier after San Diego this week. And considering he and Rudi are in the same division, those matchups are the same. (I have Willie Parker, so this may be a bit biased, but i am pretty objective, because I have McNabb.

by Ryan Carney (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 10:46pm

On a personal note, for those of you GMs out there who like to hear about beautifully lopsided trades, I just got Willis McGahee, Santana Moss, and Ben Watson for Larry Fitzgerald and Tony Gonzalez

by Cristian (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:02pm

#73 Well then I guess everyone should just do the opposite of what is reccomended. there. problem solved.

by Cristian (not verified) :: Thu, 10/05/2006 - 11:07pm

#73 I do agree that this section of FO is a little bit of a let down (not really there fault) its basically oppinions. I was hoping for more of a stats based discussion of opponents, but maybe much of that info is not available yet (i.e. a defenses' DVOA against #1 WR, #2 WR, etc...) Maybe i'm just not finding this stuff, if so, please direct me to where I can find these stats.

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 1:11am


i'd pick Driver and Kennison and leaning towards Mason. KC's secondary has been lights-out this year...

by Bill Barnwell :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 1:18am


Would you happen to know where I could purchase a platinum football field?

by DSHarting (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 1:21am

I need to start either KC (@ Ari) or Car (Cle) at team defense in week 5.

(Sliding scale for points allowed starting with 10 for a shutout reaching 0 at about 21, sacks 1, takeaways and safeties 2, TDs 4)

Kansas City has been playing better defense, but does that translate to higher fantasy scoring? How important is home field? After an in-depth study of Cle and Ari, them seem equally inept with Ari more prone to giveaways.

Help appreciated.

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 5:15am

Re: 89

Give Birdman a call

by MCS (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 8:57am

I have a must win already. I went out and got the KC defense to put me over the top.

Here's to Leinert looking at the sky and throwing picks.

by Gil (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 9:59am

With Hasselbeck out on a bye, should I pick up Jon Kitna (@Min), Damon Huard (@ARZ) or stick with current back up Alex Smith (OAK)?

by Gil (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 10:01am

90: I like Carolina there.

by Jay (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 10:44am

Who wins on a Branch and Addai for Frank Gore trade? I'm curious about this one, assuming that Branch would be either the second or third WR on either fantasy team and Addai and Gore are both starting RBs for the fantasy teams

by Gil (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 10:51am

95: I don't think I would trade Gore in this case. Branch will probably be inconsistent, only if he is replacing a terrible WR in the lineup might he worth the downgrade from Gore to Addai. In 10 or 12 team leagues you can probably find a WR to pair with Gore on the waiver wire that would make for a better tandem than Addai-Branch.

by Andrew (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 11:51am

I've managed to acquire the following wideouts now:

Reggie Williams
Doug Gabriel
Muhsin Muhammad
Bernard Berrian
Rod Smith
Greg Jennings

I'm leaning towards starting the first two, but am concerned about the Jets defense with WR's, and wonder if maybe Greg Jennings is a better play.

by Eli Sprecher (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 3:29pm

kevin jones against minnesota's 6th ranked rush defense or maurice jones-drew against the jets' 32nd? thoughts?

by Crushinator (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 4:06pm

QB Dilemna

Jake Delhomme at home vs the Browns
Brett Favre at home vs the Rams

by Kal (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 4:24pm

So I just traded Harrison for Gore and Cotchery. Normal league rules. I had LJ and then Droughns/Addai as my RB2. I have Fitz, B. Edwards and then some randoms for my other WR. I think it was a good move, but I'd be curious what others thought.

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 4:26pm

take Jake...who says the better half of Big Tymers ain't got rhymes?

by Peter (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 4:27pm

98: I would go with Drew. Minnesota plays tight, boring games, and there's a good chance the Jets will get killed and Jones-Drew will get a lot of carries.

99: I would go with Jake. The Rams D has been very good against the pass, and the Browns are atrocious.

My own personal question... in a 12-man league with 6pt touchdown passes and 15 rush/rec yards per point, I have been offered the following:
Peyton Manning and Donald Driver for Rex Grossman and Lawrence Maroney.

I have Big Ben and Jake Plummer behind Rex, and LT, Ruben Droughns, and Vernand Morency behind Maroney. I also have Reggie Wayne, Joe Horn, Furrey, Andre Johnson, Drew Bennett, and Kennison at WR.

In other words, I don't really need the WR, so it comes down to Peyton v. Maroney. Being obligated to start Ruben Droughns every week is kind of appalling, and if anything happens to he or LT, I'm in trouble. On the other hand, Peyton is probably a substantial upgrade who might net more points per week than I'm losing at RB. Thoughts?

by Kal (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 4:27pm

#98: Minnesota has trouble with dump passes. Jones should get more points. Fred Taylor is more likely to have the monster day than Drew.

#99: tough, tough, tough. If you need some points, go with Delhomme. If you need a ton, go with Favre. Favre will be boom or bust.

#97: one of those two Bears WRs is going to have a big day against the not happy Bills secondary. I don't know which one though.

by Kal (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 4:30pm

#102: it's really really tempting; if you could do it after next week (Peyton's bye) that would be a lot more interesting. If you could also trade off some of your WR talent for a RB, that would be good too. I dunno; I don't think you need an upgrade at QB at this stage, so I'd not bother because, well, how does it really help you? By getting Driver?

by Wanker79 (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 5:23pm

Man...David Carr and Chuck Frye are absolutely killing my loser league team.

by John P (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 5:24pm

My co-owner and I are arguing over this one. Addai vs Ten or McGahee @CHI?

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 5:26pm

Addai. Peyton won't play the whole game if it's done. That means Addai will be runnin loose at the end to eat up the clock.

by Sean (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 5:39pm

Re 100: I think that move will pay off in spades. Cotchery is going to continue to produce (barring a Pennington injury), and Gore is a stud. That's a major RB upgrade over Addai.

by weinsteinium (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 5:54pm

I've been offered Deion Branch for either Kevin Jones or Chester Taylor.
I have lots of RB's (R Johnson, K Jones, C Taylor, F Taylor, L Jordan & L Maroney) but my WR's have been struggling.
So how good is Branch going to be? He hasn't been very good so far. I'm thinking that Branch would be nailed to my bench.

by weinsteinium (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 6:00pm

#103: According to DVOA, MIN is 3rd against passes to RB's. But I agree that K Jones is a better play. He'll touch the ball more than Drew (And NYJ is 6th against passes to RB which hurts Drew's value).

by Kal (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 7:21pm

#109: Branch is most certainly not worth a starting RB at this point. You should be able to get a good WR that's already proven himself for a starting RB, even if it's not the best starting RB.

by Larry (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 7:43pm

3 of:
Wayne v. TEN (duh)
Bruce v. GB (Pretty certain)
Coles v. JAC
Troy Williamson v. Detroit

I get points for return yards as well, which gives Williamson an extra 2 points per week or so. Detroit is terrible against anybody but the #1 WR. The question is who will Dre Bly be matched up against for Minnesota. Anybody know?

by Identity (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 9:51pm

Can someone explain to me why the latest DVOA stats have the Jets 32nd against the rush but 6th against opponent RB's?

by Identity (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 9:59pm

Nevermind...passes to RB's. Got it.

by Larry (not verified) :: Fri, 10/06/2006 - 10:48pm

I've got two possible trades and am struggling with which to take. In a 2 QB league (25 passing yds, 15 rushing, 10 receiving, TDs = 5pass/6other), I have two offers for Brian Gradkowski:

LJ Smith - from the team I'm playing this week who has only 1 QB on the roster(My Current TE is Cooley, I actually like his matchup against the Giants this week)


Joeseph Addai. My current RBs are LJ and Gore, so this'd give me depth only.

Thoughts? Yes, I know both of these are steals, it's which one to take.

by SFC B (not verified) :: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 2:07am

I've got Rudi Johnson on a bye this week so I'm having to choose between Marion Barber vs. PHI and D'Angelo Williams vs. CLE this week to start @ RB. Any suggestions?

by Peter (not verified) :: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 2:41am

104: I turned it down, mostly on the grounds that I don't know that Peyton is a substantial enough upgrade for basically just giving up a position every week (to Droughns).

109: I agree with the other guy, Branch just isn't worth any of those RBs. You've got an incredible crew there, surely you can get a more reliable WR for somebody.

115: Isn't this a no-brainer? Addai is better, and you're not helping your opponent as much by trading with that guy. Second trade for sure.

116: I would definitely go with DeAngelo. Marion Barber might not even touch the ball, particularly if (when?) the Eagles put up a lead. Meanwhile Carolina will most likely be killing Cleveland, which means more runs. DeAngelo is better than Foster anyway, I think there's a good chance he's the one to grind out the clock.

by morganja (not verified) :: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 3:03am

Foster has been used as the power back this year. On the other hand, if they're not passing they feel safer putting Deangelo in since he doesn't pick up the pass rush well yet.

by Adam B. (not verified) :: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 4:15pm


106: McGahee. Don't bench the guy who's leading the league in yards, even against Chicago.

109: Branch is almost at FA level right now.

115: take Addai.

116: DeAngelo, no question.

One question: Ronnie Brown @ NE, or Thomas Jones v Buf?

by Gold Star for Robot Boy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 5:08pm

Who is the better RB play?
Green Bay's Vernand Morency
Tennessee's LenDale White?

Argument for Morency: Ahman Green hasn't improved much, and I'm reading lots of ink saying Morency should see more action against St. Louis.
Argument for White: Word is, he'll finally get the start this Sunday. Plus, the Titans are playing a terrible defense (Indianapolis).

Argument against Morency: Green is still the Pack's No. 1 RB, and the Rams defense is good.
Argument against White: I have yet to read anything definitive that White has been named the starter. Also, Tennessee's offense is awful, and is now starting a rookie QB, so the Titans' whole show on O may be a no-go.

by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 7:20pm

Which combination do we like better

Reggie Wayne and New Orleans D (points against is a big part of the D scoring)

or Bernard Berrian and KC D


by Gold Star for Robot Boy (not verified) :: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 7:31pm

KC's D against Arizona? Oh yeah.

by Chris (not verified) :: Sat, 10/07/2006 - 7:45pm

Steven Jackson for this week and next - at GB and home vs Seattle

Or Ronnie Brown the next three. at NE and at Jets and home vs GB.

The advantage to Brown is I get to have more roster flexibility elsewhere. It's a cap league with limited trades. So the question is, is it worth trading Brown to get Jackson if it hurts elsewhere.

by Mannie Fresh (not verified) :: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 12:10am

Re: 119

Don't bench the guy with the most rushin yards? Livin with that mentality and havin Frank Gore on your team could've messed u over early on...same goes with Antonio Bryant with recievin yards...

by Adam B (not verified) :: Sun, 10/08/2006 - 1:07pm

Mannie: we have more data now then after week one.