Scramble for the Ball
Fantasy football, the Loser League, and general goofiness

Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

by Bill Barnwell & Ian Dembsky

Ian: Greetings, Rotohead Nation, and once again welcome to another installment of Scramble for the Ball. For those that haven't been involved yet, I highly recommend you sign up for the 2006 Loser League Part II by following this link. It's free, it's fun, and it could win you a free copy of Pro Football Prospectus 2007! Also, in case you missed it, a first-half season recap can be found here.

On to the field, and where better to start than with a good ol' fashioned knee to the groin? For those that didn't see it, what have you been watching over the past few days? ESPN has replayed it a million times; Tyler Brayton had enough of Jerramy Stevens taunting and shoving him, and finally gave him a solid knee to the groin. If only he'd thrown a football at Stevens' groin, then Homer Simpson could vote it for best indie film of the NFL season. One lingering question remains... After taking such a solid shot, why was Stevens hopping around with a ridiculous grin on his face? Shouldn't that hurt? In watching the replay, the knee connected pretty well, and the only conclusion I can come up with is that like the ability to catch passes, Jerramy Stevens lost his nads a few years ago.

Bill: Well, it's either that or we'd be speculating on Jerramy Stevens' potential BDSM tendencies, which would be bad. In fact, I think our spam filter just ate the column. It's funny, that's where I always had Shockey pegged...

Ian: The game of the week in New England turned out to raise more questions than it answered. Why did the Patriots run the ball so little? Why did Brady repeatedly throw into heavy coverage downfield? And why did Adam Vinatieri miss two key field goals in his return to his old home stadium? You have to wonder if his misses were mentally impacted by the team he was facing -- conditions were fine, and he almost never screws up under pressure like that.

Bill: I presumed it was some sort of Papa Gino's-related issue. Of course, Vinatieri could always argue that the kicks weren't clutch enough for him to make.

Ian: Fortunately for him, Brady threw his fourth interception with a chance to tie the game late. Sure, everyone agrees that it's Kevin Faulk's fault the last pass was intercepted, but let's not ignore the fact that the pass was a bit high and wide, which led to the non-catch. Sure, that's being picky, but if we're gonna argue about whether or not Brady is the best quarterback in football, he's gotta deliver throws like that to the breadbasket.

Bill: Yeah, that's being real picky. Let's assume Faulk catches that pass -- it did hit him in the hands -- and the play goes for a few yards. Does anyone say "That was a nice catch there by Faulk?" No. When you make your living in the NFL as a third-down back who can catch balls out of the backfield, that is a pass you simply have to catch.

Ian: I'm astounded at how teams so often fail to hand the ball off when it makes sense, and fail to pass when they shouldn't hand off. Watching Oakland get killed by Seattle was infuriating, simply because I couldn't believe Oakland wouldn't give LaMont Jordan the ball more often. Jordan had nine carries for 63 yards, a nifty 7.0 yards per carry. Walter was getting killed in the pocket because the Seahawks were ignoring the run and running upfield chasing after sacks. And yet down only two scores in the third quarter, it was pass, pass, pass for an offense that simply couldn't pass the ball. With the defense stepping up the way they did (hey, it's a Warren Sapp sighting!), a couple of solid drives could have seriously given them a chance to win.

On the other hand, in Cincinnati, the Bengals wouldn't give up on the run until it was too late. Fourth quarter, Cincy down six, no timeouts left and 3:21 on the clock. First-down play: Rudi Johnson to the right end for a one-yard gain. 30 seconds ran off the clock before second down. What kind of a call was that? You've got as much talent at wide receiver as any other team in the league, and you're handing off in that situation? A very strange call, and the results were what the team deserved.

One of the more bizarre performances of the season had to come from Pittsburgh, where Ben Roethlisberger ...


Ian: ... threw for over 400 yards, and managed to have a bad game while doing it. Wait, Bill, what the heck was that?!?

Bill: Sorry, excuse me, never mind. Like Yogurt trying to read Lone Starr's medallion, I was just clearing my throat.

Ian: Oh, ok. Anyways... Big Ben was actually very impressive. He showed mobility in the pocket that we haven't seen from him before, extending plays by evading the rush and sometimes turning a sack into a big play, like the time he found Willie Parker in the end zone after Fast Willie had run from the middle of the field to the right sideline, then run all the way back to the left side of the field. On the other hand, like many quarterbacks in his position, he feels obligated to try and make a play after evading the rush, and this was his downfall. His interceptions were poorly thrown forces, when he would've made a nice play by simply throwing the ball out of bounds instead. Mobility = Good. Forcing Passes = Bad. Ben must learn the ways of the Force.

Bill: Hopefully for Ben, the force doesn't involve putting passes right in Champ Bailey's hands. Did you know he's actually really good? Even without throwing him the ball!

Ian: Like any NFL prognosticator, I am certainly wrong from time to time (especially when picking against the spread, but we'll get to that later). I really felt that the Vikings were going to win their division this season. A strong defense, a solid run game led by Chester Taylor and Steve Hutchinson, and the consistent, conservative quarterbacking of Brad Johnson would lead the way. I was wrong. Brad Johnson is simply not playing smart football. Last season he had 12 touchdowns and four interceptions; so far this season he has four touchdowns and eight interceptions. The defense is giving up under 16 points a game, which should lead to a better record than 4-4. The 9-3 loss to San Francisco was an embarrassment; it may be time to see what Minnesota has in Tarvaris Jackson.

Check out the Football Outsiders comics archive for the early adventures of Wee Brooks Bollinger.

The Stock Report

Ian: I feel I haven't been giving fantasy footballers enough love lately, so it's time for another edition of The Stock Report. If you'd read the last edition of the report, you hopefully acquired the soon-to-return Shaun Alexander and the running-wild Tiki Barber, while trading away Jerricho Cotchery, Frank Gore, and Keyshawn Johnson while their value was high. You also hopefully held on to Marques Colston, who continues to shine. The key to winning at fantasy football is knowing when to buy low and sell high, and here's some more advice on who to target in trade talks.

Buy Low

Shaun Alexander -- Why not start again with the main man in Seattle? His return is imminent, but again has been pushed back one more week. Alexander owners are surely tired of waiting, which gives you one more chance to pry him away from them. Look, the season is only half over, and he has plenty of time to regain value. For those of you in playoff leagues, a Week 15 matchup at home against San Francisco has to look mighty nice.

The Lions' Offense -- Shhh ... Mike Martz really is getting Jon Kitna going. Roy Williams is absolutely tearing it up, Kevin Jones is finding the endzone often, and Mike Furrey is consistently catching passes. With a defense that's struggling due to some missing players and a lack of talent in general, it's often a shootout with the Lions, making everyone (including Jason Hanson) a nice fantasy play.

Joseph Addai -- For those that haven't noticed, Addai is now The Man in Indy's backfield. Not only has he relegated Dominic Rhodes to a backup, he's fresh from not having taken nine weeks of punishment so far, and he looks tremendous running the football. We all know Indy can put points up with the best of 'em, which should lead to many more touchdowns for Addai in the second half than in the first half. The time table for picking him up is shrinking rapidly, so act while you still can.

Jason Witten -- For most of the season, Witten has been a fantasy dud. He hadn't caught more than four passes in a game and hadn't reached the endzone once until Tony Romo arrived. Now all that's changed. In Romo's first start, Witten caught for 80 yards and a touchdown. This past week, five catches for 50 yards. The two of them room together on road games and are good friends, so don't think that Romo doesn't look to Witten often on the field. Terry Glenn's pass targets are vanishing, and Witten and T.O. are the beneficiaries. Take advantage.

Sell High

Javon Walker -- Look, Javon's value simply can't get higher than it is now. After shredding the Steelers defense (and mainly Ike Taylor), he is among the league leaders in receiving. It won't last. He's only topped five catches in a game twice -- the Pittsburgh game, and against Cleveland. Against solid defenses like Oakland and Baltimore Jake Plummer's been held in check, and so has Javon. The schedule down the road is a tough one, including at Oakland, San Diego twice, and at Kansas City. If you have a reasonable alternative, I'd get top value for him and help my team elsewhere.

Clinton Portis -- Portis has erased any early-season doubts about his shoulder problems, rushing for nearly 500 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season. Unfortunately for him, defenses are starting to realize what makes the Redskins offense tick, and that's short passes and the running game. Teams are crowding the line of scrimmage, and Mark Brunell isn't making them pay downfield. As a result, Portis has topped 100 yards in a game only once all season. He's a solid back, but his reputation is greater than his performance, and it's not a bad idea to see what you can get for him.

Terry Glenn -- I mentioned him earlier; the fact is that Tony Romo looks to T.O. first, Jason Witten second, his running back third, and then maybe to Terry Glenn. He's becoming a forgotten man in the Dallas offense, but that's not a problem since they've been generally effective. No one other than Terry is going to complain that he isn't getting the ball as long as the offense continues to move the ball. Throw in the fact that he caught a touchdown this past weekend, and it's the perfect time to deal him while he still has perceived good value.

Hold Steady

Tony Gonzalez -- He's in a contract year, and he's playing like it. He's torn it up for three weeks, and thanks to the ground game getting going, it's hard to see his performance tailing off. I was skeptical of Tony G's value before the season began, and for weeks it looked like I was right, but he's really turned it on lately, and with the Chiefs winning ballgames I expect that to continue.

Drew Brees -- If you drafted Drew Brees, you have to be loving the production you've gotten lately. The offense has done a tremendous job of balancing Deuce McAllister's power with Reggie Bush's agility and Marques Colston's downfield skills. The other wide receivers are also chipping in to help spread the field. Brees has been incredible, throwing for three touchdowns in three straight games. Expect him to keep it up, and ride him as long as you can.

Loser Leaguers of the Week

QB: Tom Brady, as our readers are aware, has been inextricably linked to another quarterback over the last several years, so much so that there's been an absolute moratorium on discussion of comparisons between Brady and this fellow quarterback on threads on this website, and with good reason. With all that said, though, it is my duty as a writer to inform you all that the debate has been completed. After much scrutiny, we can determine that Brady is, in fact, better than Alex Smith, as the former's 4 beat Smith's 3. We can all now go back to debating the injured Matt Hasselbeck versus healthy Tim Hasselbeck issue now. The shocking thing is, though, that they were both soundly defeated by Brad Johnson, whose interception and two fumbles led him to the quarterback low of the week with a solid 1 point. Keep in mind that you can get a 1 by throwing a screen pass and having your running back go for twenty yards. You could get a 1 by running for 10 yards on third-and-32. A freaking 1! Jesus!

RB: I am sure that the Saints' play fakes to Reggie Bush work out really well for them. That doesn't mean Reggie Bush is doing an even remotely competent job of running the ball. His -5 rushing yards (on 11 carries) were sadly only halfway to a full negative point, but 22 receiving yards did give Hot Sauced a 2 for the week. Runners-up include frequent targets Reuben Droughns, who didn't get to play the Jets defense this week, Cadillac Williams, who didn't get to run behind the Auburn offensive line this week, and Cedric Benson, who had 70 total yards against Edmont... oh. Wrong guy. They all had 3's.

WR: It wasn't a good week to be an old wide receiver. Actually, it's almost never a good week to be an old wide receiver, but this one especially stood out. Amani Toomer and Eddie Kennison were kind enough to combine for 35 yards of receiving on the day, earning them each a sole point. A verifiable bounty of receivers earned two points, including Michael Jenkins, Derrick Mason, Eric Moulds, Antonio Bryant, and Scott McDonald. Mason also managed to have me, Ian, and Aaron all yelling at him for something or another during his performance on Sunday.

K: Want to know the best way to lead the Loser League? Be the kicker on a team that gets shut out. Sebastian Janikowski does have a strong leg, and Oakland did punt three times inside Seattle territory, including a fourth-and-1 from the 39. But, apparently, Art Shell ... um ... maybe he was sleeping. I'm not really sure. Sea Bass is your Losingest Loser of the Week. Rob Bironas hit the lone extra point he attempted, giving him a single point to finish second.

Keep Choppin' Wood Award

This week's Keep Choppin' Wood Award goes to the Cowboys' Kyle Kosier. Now, granted: his penalty realistically should have only been a five-yarder instead of the 15-yard variety. That being said, if he doesn't face mask Taylor at all, he doesn't leave it up to the refs for them to make the decision.

Our runner-up this week is Republican eight-term incumbent Charles H. Taylor. Mr. Taylor managed to be the first person to lose to Heath Shuler since Shuler was at Tennessee. Congratulations, Charles H. Taylor.

On a side note, Heath Shuler's Wikipedia page notes that, "He trains competitive hunting dogs in his spare time." What does that actually mean? How do these hunting dogs compete?

Scramble for the Mailbag

Josh: I need this game for my life: Do I start Marc Bulger @ Seattle, Tony Romo Horror @ Arizona, or Trent Green @ Miami? (OK, so that one's obvious since the defense got their soul back and Green might not even start and if he does he'll be ginger.)

Bill: He ... I ... don't ... think Trent Green is a daywalker? I mean, you would figure he wouldn't be as accident-prone, no? I'm going to go with Bulger here; Seattle's pass defense is worse than Arizona's, Bulger's a better quarterback than Romo, and I think Dallas is likely going to be beating Arizona and running the ball a lot; St. Louis will be competitive but behind Seattle at home, which means more throws.

Best Bets

Bill: (3-0 last week, 18-8-1 overall)

Let's see if I can avoid jinxing myself before I get to 20.

INDIANAPOLIS (-12.5) over Buffalo

Buffalo's defense is decent against the pass -- 14th in the league -- and against #1 WR's, they're 11th! Unfortunately, they can't stop #2 or #3 WR's. I wonder if Peyton Manning will take note of that. Maybe Buffalo can sign Roc Alexander off the Texans practice squad so Manning can feel even more comfortable. Willis McGahee being hurt just makes this even more of a good bet.

PITTSBURGH (-4) over New Orleans

Vegas still believes in the Steelers. This week, they won't go down 14 points in the first quarter. Steelers by a touchdown.

Chicago (+2) over NEW YORK GIANTS

Say it with me now -- the dream is gone but those eyes are real -- this is your Catholic Match Girl Staredown Lock Of the Week. The Giants are all banged up and Eli Manning (not coincidentally, a grown man of 25)'s top two targets are either out (Amani Toomer) or questionable (Plaxico Burress), which means that it'll be a long night for Lil' Manning. Bears bounce back here.

More Best Be.. Nah, Shoot. More Worst Bets

Ian: (0-3 last week, 9-15-3 overall)

I really thought I'd turned a corner after last week's 3-0, but it seems that was more a mirage than an oasis. Oh well. For good advice, seek Bill's picks. For a good laugh, here's what I think will happen this weekend.

CAROLINA (-9.5) over Tampa Bay

Carolina's coming off a bye week. Tampa Bay is coming off another embarrassing performance. The Panthers have had plenty of time to watch game film of Gradkowski, and I'm sure they'll put it to good use Monday night. Also look for Steve Smith to have a breakout game, as he's been relatively held in check all season.

New York Jets (+10.5) over NEW ENGLAND

I don't think the Jets will actually win, but I do think it will be closer than 11 points. This game pretty much has the division title on the line, so expect a hard-fought game on both sides. Missing Rodney Harrison won't be a big enough problem to cost the Pats the game, but it will likely be closer than they'd prefer.

DETROIT (-6) over San Francisco

I mentioned this in the Stock Report, but the Detroit offense is seriously clicking right now. Look for them to put up plenty of points at home against San Francisco and win by double digits.


59 comments, Last at 12 Nov 2006, 1:39pm

1 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

"On a side note, Heath Shuler’s Wikipedia page notes that, “He trains competitive hunting dogs in his spare time.� What does that actually mean? How do these hunting dogs compete?"

Joey Porter might know something about this.

2 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

I've got Torry Holt, Marques Colston, and Reggie Wayne

Which two do I start?

In another league I have Colston, Steve Smith, Greg Jennings, and Darell Jackson.

Which two do I start?

3 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Who to start at WR from this group (choose one): Cotchery, Henry, Kennison, and Muhammad?
I'm planning to go with Muhammad unless convinced otherwise

4 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

I seriously think if they shut down the Brad Johnson show in Minnesota, they should plan for the future and play Tavaris Jackson.

5 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Heath Shuler demolished 16 year congreesman Charles Taylor in a solidly republican district. It helps that Charles Taylor was the biggest unconvicted crook left in Congress. Heath won the Mountain counties by being a genuninely good guy. A long awaited and welcome change of pace from the scum that normally get elected to Congress.

7 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Come to think of it, Brad Johnson is from NC 11nth district too. Maybe he should have run for congress. Who should we go with, Heath Shuler or Brad Johnson?

8 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

One early Saturday morning on one of the ESPNs (I had turned it on waiting for the college football glory to commence) I saw a bit of a hunting dog competition. OK, "saw" is probably the wrong word, I was more vaguely aware that it existed as I tried to get work done before football came on, and knew there's no way it would distract me so I left it on. The only event I remember was having the dogs find decoys based on commands from the owner, they (the owners) would blow whistles and gesture to direct the dogs, and there was some scoring system based on how long it took and how many whistles were needed. I'm sure there were other events too, but who cares? Heath Shuler, that's who. Make that, Congressman Heath Shuler, that's who.

9 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

2: Holt and Wayne, Smith and Colston. Deion Branch is stealing (hiding?) too much of Jackson's thunder lately, Jennings is talented not reliable, and Colston is a great rookie in a good place but he is NOT Reggie Wayne or Torry Holt with good matchup quality.

3: Muhammad. With Berrian out he may get deep looks.

11 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Read the book "Where the Red Fern Grows." It's got competitive hunting dogs.

By the way, wouldn't Roethlisberger be trying to master the Schwartz instead?

12 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

#3 id go holt n wayne---but if u choose colston dont loose sleep over it. then colston smith is easy on the 2nd one. jackson is not that consistent and jennings will be playin hurt.

15 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Hunting dogs compete in what are called "field trials".

What Trogdor observed on television was likely a competition for either Labradors or Spaniels. Possibly also Retrievers. It is common to have the dog respond to various signals via either hand or whistle to perform tasks common to hunting.

For hounds the field trials involve the dog being judged on its ability to chase game, most commonly a rabbit. The hounds, such as beagles, will be placed either with a single beagle or as part of a larger pack and set loose in an area known to have game. Once a rabbit is found judges will observe and determine which of the dogs is better at trailing the rabbit.

There are pre-determined standards available to assess technique.

I am sure many here will scoff or mock the activity. But my family has owned hunting dogs and participated in organized events since the 19th century here in the U.S.. The 17th if one believes the family archives dating back to the ancestors in Wales.

We enjoy it.

16 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

RE Jerramy Stevens, and taking it in the nads:

I just want to point out that some people are just wired differently, down there. It's just simply not a green in the face, nausea inducing, excruciating experience for everyone. I used to win bar bets by letting people kick me in the jimmy. For me? Mildly painful, but less so than say, getting kicked in the shin, or even punched in the arm!

Oh, and before somebody goes there, all parts of my package are well above average endowment. I can send pics to Diane for independent confirmation. Hah!

17 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

2: I hate you. :) I'm not going name my WR corps.

I'd go Colston/Wayne and Colston/Smith.

Now, if your league lets you use Colston as a TE, then start all three in the first and start Jennings in the other.

18 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

You never pick the same game in your best/worst bets. Is this because one of you picks first and the other picks from the remaining games? Do you switch who gets to pick first?

On a scary note, I agree with Ian on his picks, it is going to be a bad week for me.

21 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

So, I have Addai (BUF) and C Taylor (GB). Both are listed as Questionable. Both are supposed to play. I'm leaning towards Taylor because I like him against GB's D, but I'm worried that he might not actually play. What does everyone think?

22 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

For Bill:

Would the next reference in your paraphrasing by chance be the following?

"Eli said he'd cure your ills; but he didn't and he never will."

Please reply to this; I am eagerly awaiting your answer.

23 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Last night I went to a focus group which was about NFL pregame shows. They mainly focused on the FOX pregame and which announcer was better with Terry, Howie and Jimmy. It was between Joe Buck and Curt Menefee. Most of the guys in the group orginally thought they liked Joe Buck until they watched a whole episode of him. Then all the talk was about how awful he was with the other guys and did not fit in. So when Joe Buck is taken off of the pregame, you can thank me. Now if only we can get him out of the booth as well.

24 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Anonymously #16:

Oh, and before somebody goes there, all parts of my package are well above average endowment.

Am I the only one concerned that you apparently have been staring at enough other men to have a grasp of what "average" is?

25 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

You know what makes me feel good? The fact that two players I picked up off the waiver wires get mentioned in the "buy low" portion (Williams and Jones).

Interesting that I also managed to get Walker on the waiver wire when I needed someone to cover my WR/TE flex during a bye, and he's lit it up since. I'm wondering about what I should gun for in a trade for him. I suppose a third RB wouldn't hurt (Jones and Tomlinson are my starting duo), but is there a TE in the league that I could tempt out of someone?

Also, in terms of "doesn't everyone wish they had this problem," I've got both McNabb and Brees (the former from a good draft position, the latter because I was higher on him than the rest of my league). McNabb had been my choice over the first half of the season, but I'm beginning to suspect the worm has turned and Brees should start instead. Should McNabb start, or should I let Brees light it up?

26 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

#5 - You've included "Congress" and "genuinely good guy" in the same sentence. Please proceed back to go...

#13 - Apology accepted. Better luck next week.

#15 - If people didn't look upon hunting dogs very kindly, they were immediately outraged by #16. No worries.

#22 - I would probably chalk that up to Ernie, actually.

#23 - I will travel up to 100 miles to be in this Focus Group solely to vent. Please contact me at the Scramble e-mailbox immediately.

27 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

#24: No, you're not the only one. I had the same thought.

#23: I, too, would be interested in participating in such a focus group. Is it ongoing? If so, how does one sign up?

28 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Typical, the one time I think I have a genuine reason to trot out a bad joke, it backfires on me. I deserve a kick in the nads for that.

30 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

My prediction: Heath Shuler gets recalled in the middle of his Congressional term by the voters of his district, who replace him with Gus Frerotte.

31 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Various people have asked about the picks... Yes, we avoid picking the same games. For the first half of the season Bill had first dibs on picking games; for the second half of the season, I will.

32 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Witten and Addai as buy-lows? Is this article dated in mid-October? I can assure you they cannot be bought low in any of my leagues (which range from shark strength to run-of-the-mill hobbyist level).

I don't mean to be snarky but multiple games of evidence closes the window. Witten has 10 productive quarters with Romo now (plus he's not pass blocking as much), and Addai has 40 touches to 10 for Rhodes over the last two weeks. People have noticed. Maybe a buy-low on these guys was justified a week or two ago, but the "low" no longer exists, I'm certain of that.

33 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Oh, Lord... you had first choice, and you chose the Jets, Lions and Panthers? The Panthers, maybe, but I really don't understand...

34 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

I'm pretty sure it was a one night study. And it was in the Chicago area. They did not tell me what the focus group would be about until I arrived in the room, they just asked be if I watch football on TV DUH. They went around the room asking us to rank announcers on a 1-10 scale, most guys put him between 6-9 and I was the only one who put 1. Then we watched the show and everybody lowered their number and remarked at how awful he was. I was waiting for him to come into the room and then I would really let him know.

The best part about it all is that I got paid $75 in order to rip on Joe Buck, and I'm pretty sure from the feedback that he will not be doing the pregame.

35 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

I need help. I'm in 9th place out of 10 in my fantasy league. Luckily 8 teams go to the playoffs so I still have a chance but I need to improve quickly. It is a Point-Per-Reception league.

My RB's are K Jones, C Taylor, R Johnson, F Taylor, L Jordan (start 2)
My WR's are A Boldin, D Driver, D Mason, J Cotchery, K Curtis (start 3)

I have an offer on the table of K Jones for L Fitzgerald. Mason has been terrible and I do need a 3rd WR (I just aquired Cotchery & Curtis so I haven't started them yet), but K Jones has been great and Fitz is coming off an injury. I was thinking that C Taylor was a more even trade. What do people think.
And if the trade doesn't go through, who should I start at WR?

K Curtis @ SEA
D Mason @ TEN
J Cotchery @ NE

36 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

"The best part about it all is that I got paid $75 in order to rip on Joe Buck, and I’m pretty sure from the feedback that he will not be doing the pregame."

You're my new hero.

37 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

#35: You'd be an idiot to take that trade. You should be able to get more for KJ than a receiver, especially one coming off an injury. I know your WR3 isn't the best ever, but it should be able to be better than that. Taylor's a better deal, but really, you should be able to hunt down someone like Wayne or Housh and a RB3 for Jones.

I'd also start Cotchery; I think that he'll have another fairly nice game against NE. Not absurd thanks to silly tackling, but nice.

38 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

34: Crap, I got something about some sort of focus group like that, they either asked if I watched sports or watched football, but I couldn't go to the focus group (as I almost never can, we lawyers are locked in the office till late hours). Getting to bash on Joe Buck for a while and get paid though, that would have been good for my soul.

39 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Hey guys- any thoughts on keepers for next year? I'm on the fence about trading Portis for a crapload right now or keeping him for next year. But is he going to fall apart after this workload? Any other players I should target/avoid for keepers?

41 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Did Buck do with the Cardinals jacket in the World Series, or hat only? He's really fallen off in recent years.

I'm also, apparently, one of the few people who doesn't seem to like Troy Aikman as an analyst. His two favorite moves: State the Obvious and Hedge, Hedge, Hedge. "I'm not so sure ________." One of these weeks I'll tape a full Aikman game and provide concrete examples.

42 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Ian, i've looked through the archives (up to 10/4) but i can't find any reference to trading frank gore while his value is high.

so why oh why would i want to trade gore with his remaining baby soft schedule?

43 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

I have a fantasy Question. I play in a standard scoring league except QB touchdowns get 6 points.
I need to start 2 QB and 2 RB plus one that can be either. Who to start? Drew Brees, Jon Kitna, Tony Romo, LT (obvious start), Chester Taylor, Kevin Jones, Laurence Maroney.

44 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

I have to disagree with #37, #35 you might have to take that trade because you have some decent RBs but you're only going to be able to play two a week and your WRs, especially in a PPR league, just aren't that good. This is a desperation move, but you are in a desperate situation and you need to give up on having good RB depth so that your overall WR production improves.

I will say that you would be better off trying get someone not coming off of injury, but Fitzgerald, when healthy, will be a top reciever.

45 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

thoughts on whether i should go with larry in his first game back, or with donald driver (against the bills, #11 in DVOA vs. #1's)...also, thoughts on which 3 i should start between ronnie brown, corey dillon, frank gore, and kevin jones, all of whom have pretty good matchups this week...

46 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

I have a defensive matchup question. Who do I start: Denver @Oak or NYG vs Chicago? The Denver defense is pretty banged up but the prospect of 5 sacks is attractive. On the other hand, Grossman could throw another 4 picks. Are the injuries Denver's defense sustained last week sufficient to warrant benching them against the league's worst offense?

47 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

re #46 I'm a Raiders fan and even I think that you should take Denver vs. the Raiders. The Giants are banged up also and with Osi & Strahan out, they aren't going to the get the pressure on Grossman to force picks.

I just traded for Plax but he's hurt and playing the Bears this week. Who should I start as my 3rd WR. I get 1 point per reception.

Plaxico Burress vs CHI
Jericho Cotchery @ NE
Kevin Curtis @ SEA

48 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Fantasy Fun...Pick two: M Muhammed, Lee Evans, A Crumpler, G Jennings, and S Moss. Which two should get the start? At this point, Mush and Evans seem to be the picks, simply because the are the healtiest. Thanks...

50 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

#46 Just pick the Defense with the most sacks+interceptions thus far.

#47 Plax if he is healthy, if not Cotchery.

#48 I think you answered your own question.

Ok, now my turn. Does anyone know what if any role T.Bell will play this weekend and would it be worth starting him ahead of W.Lundy v. Jacksonville (with the caveat that their starting DTs, Stroud and Henderson are doubtful and questionable in that order) Lundy ran for 91 on 19 carries with a TD last a few weeks ago against the Jags with a similar situation in regards to their injured DTs. It was his first start so there may have been a boost because the Jags probably didn't fully prepare for him, but still. This is a must win week for me!

52 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Trade question: I can only start 2 WRs so I'm looking to move one for a RB. Who should I try to move:

Steve Smith
Reggie Brown

There are 2 teams that seem like likely traders. Team 1 seems like the more active owner:

Team 1 (my WR would be their #2)
Ronnie Brown
Fred Taylor

Team 2 (my WR would be their #1)
Rudi Johson

My RBs are T.Jones, C.Taylor, Maurice J-D, & Norwood.

53 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

52: I'd try to move Steve Smith and get Rudi out of owner #2. You need a #1 RB. If owner #2 doesn't play ball, try to get Addai from owner #1 for Fitzgerald and someone.

51: Vick and Winslow. Oakland's defense can fluster Plummer and the Falcons' defense is hurting bad.

50: Talk about your bad dilemmas! I'd go with Lundy because I think all this stuff about Bell "recovering quickly" from turf toe in both feet(!) is Shanahan smokescreen. But honestly they're both terrible plays. You can't score Marion Barber III or someone off your waiver wire?

49: You might be able to trade Rivers for something if you don't need him as a starter.

48: Mush and Crumpler if Crump is healthy, substitute Evans if it looks like he won't go.

47: Start the guy you traded for. You'll feel really dumb if he puts up even a 7 on your bench.

46: Start Driver; the Cards have pretty much said flat out that Fitzgerald will only play half his usual snaps. For your RBs I'd go with Brown, Dillon, and Jones. Gore is the odd man out there due to the persistent specter of Robinson at the goal line.

54 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Thanks #53,

Its a 14 team league with deep benches, believe me there is no running backs left. I guess I flunked out in not trying to pick up A-Train of the waiver wire, but yeah I think I'm going with Lundy. I had debated with going with a reciever (either R.Moss or Gabriel) because it is a PPR league, but I actualy think Lundy might be ok based on the injured DTs and how he did against them a few weeks ago. I'm starting Addai and Westbrook so I'm not completely terrible.

58 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

Marion Barber at ARI
Anthony Thomas at IND

Barber is pretty much a guaranteed 40 yds and a TD. Only games so far where he hasn't gained at least 39 are @Jac, @Phi, vsNYG. And only ones where hasn't scored are @Jac, vsNYG, @Was.

So, basically I'm trying to decide if Thomas will get a lot of touches. I'm afraid the Bills will fall behind quickly and move away from the run. But if he does get to run a lot against the Indy D, I think he'll score well.

59 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Great Expectorations

OKay- Am I crazy because I'm considering starting F. Gore over Rudi,,, he's going against Detroit, vs. Rudi against SD... plus, I see on the wire that Rudi is not going to start because of "disciplinary reasons", has a nagging injury, etc.... I'm just afraid Rudi may only get 10-15 touches vs. a very good defense. (My other RB is Dunn vs. CLE)