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

Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

by Bill Barnwell and Ian Dembsky

Ian: What an awesome week of football it's been. Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Chicago staked their claims as the teams to beat in their respective divisions. New Orleans showed they're legit contenders by dismantling the Falcons at home, thanks in large part to the kind of hometown support they're not used to getting. Tampa Bay's season is in serious jeopardy after a tough loss at home, not to mention the loss of Chris Simms to a serious injury. Carolina, meanwhile, showed how dangerous their offense can be with the return of Steve Smith, even when he's not at full strength. Denver and Seattle also won big statement games.

It was a big week off the field as well. Shaun Alexander now has a broken bone in his foot -- though it looks like he'll only miss a few weeks. Consider this a wake-up call to those of you that neglect to protect your big investment by handcuffing his top backup. Thankfully, Shaun may be back after his bye week two weeks from now, probably driving down the price of Maurice Morris as a free agent. But if you're an Alexander owner and you don't have him, don't wait for the news to get worse.

Elsewhere, the Terrell Owens saga took a new twist, though certainly not one we were expecting. It's too uncertain to pretend we really know what's going on, but suffice to say he's got some problems, and just about anything could come of it. Finally, Dennis Green continued his favorite dance -- the Quarterback Shuffle. While reports are that Leinart was to start, then the coaching staff changed their minds, I don't believe that for a second. Why would they go public with it? This was posturing, plain and simple. A message was delivered, and delivered well. Time for Kurt Warner to protect the football, or he's going to be protecting the Gatorade on the sidelines.

So which wins were the biggest this past week? First and foremost, I'm looking to New Orleans. Not only was it a huge win, but it was the most surprising one. Most everyone expected New Orleans to make a nice showing for the home crowd, but in the end Michael Vick and Atlanta were going to run all over them. That was most certainly not the case. Most impressive was the New Orleans linebacking crew, who kept the running game in check and did a great job of covering short routes as well.

Were they playing well beyond their normal skills due to the energy of the home crowd, or is this team for real as a playoff contender? If you ask me, both. Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister, Joe Horn, and the surprising Marquis Colston make for an offense that can really spread the field. The Saints don't get much time to relax though; it's off to a huge showdown in Carolina this weekend. Expect another inspired effort from New Orleans, and a big game from Steve Smith. I expect Carolina to use the home crowd to energize them to victory, but it won't be easy.

Loser Leaguers of the Week

Bill: Sadly, this was another relatively quiet week in the annals of Loser League. With most teams putting on relatively respectful performances, and the Giants showing up in the fourth quarter, there's not much in the way of real duds this week. That being said, someone always needs to hold up the rear, and this week it's ...

QB: Ben Roethlisberger?!?!? Well, maybe we need to reconsider the importance of the appendix to quarterback throwing motions. Roethlisberger's 4 this week was the low score for quarterbacks, with his fellow former MAC superstar Byron Leftwich going for a 5. Again, this would've been Eli Manning's category had he been benched for J-Load in the fourth quarter. I know I want to see Jared Lorenzen get some garbage time. And I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

RB: Again, no real stinkers this week among guys who would expect to appear on a number of fantasy teams (i.e. no Maurice Morris). Frank Gore and, surprisingly enough, Rudi Johnson were the bottom of the barrel this week, each recording 5 points. Ron Dayne scored a 6, but if you didn't know that Ron Dayne was stinky, you should've checked our website before it went down. You know, the 803rd time it did this off-season. I think it was the 803rd time, at least.

WR: Low man on the totem pole was Shaun McDonald, whose -1 is a pretty rare score for wide receivers -- essentially, it requires making two catches totaling less than twenty yards and fumbling one of those balls away. A -4 from a WR would pretty much be the highlight of a Loser League season (non-Nugent division). Other wide receivers with low scores this week included Reggie Williams (0) and the three-headed hydra of Hines Ward, Robert Ferguson, and Greg Lewis (1). Ward may lose additional points for being voted Regis and Kelly's Favorite Athlete.

K: The Fantasy Anti-Performer of the Week is Jacksonville's Josh Scobee, who missed one field goal badly and kicked another off the right upright in Jacksonville's loss to Indianapolis. His -2 narrowly beats out the Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski, who had a kick blocked for the second week in a row. Forget Adam Vinatieri -- the Patriots might miss Matt Chatham more.

You can check your Loser League team here.

The Fantasy Stock Market

Ian: The simplest rule when it comes to succeeding in the stock market, as well as the fantasy football trade market, is to buy low and sell high. It's never easy to do; after all, there's a lot of satisfaction in owning a good "stock," and it's hard to give up value for a "junk bond." But doing that is what makes for a winning season. Remember, it's only Week 4: hardly panic time. Here are some "hot tips" on how to approach the current market.

Buy Low

Shaun Alexander -- It likely won't be easy to make an Alexander owner part ways with their first pick, but if you ever can, now's the time. The latest news updates have Alexander only missing a few weeks, but this has likely put their owners in full-fledged panic mode. Take advantage; as Seattle gets used to their four-wide offense, they'll be more explosive than ever. Expect more fantasy points, as well as more pass interference calls in the endzone -- which means more touchdowns for Alexander as the season goes on.

LaMont Jordan/Randy Moss -- The value of the Raiders offense can't be much worse than it is right now. Two games they've played, and they've barely threatened to score a touchdown yet. Don't forget, however, that these games were against two stellar defenses in Baltimore and San Diego. Things are going to get much easier in upcoming weeks, and there's no way these guys can continue to be this bad.

Jake Delhomme -- You probably didn't need me to tell you this, but the impending return of Steve Smith will be a fantasy boon for Delhomme and the rest of the Carolina offense. Expect a surge in productivity from the running game as well, as defenses are stretched to cover the One-Man Offense that is Steve Smith.

Tiki Barber -- Tiki's value won't be very low right now, but it's not going to get much lower. Barber hasn't gotten the big numbers owners expected, but he's looked fine during games, it's just been a matter of opportunities. The Giants have been playing through a brutal schedule so far, and find themselves playing catch-up enough that the running game often vanishes. Don't expect this to be the case all season long.

Sell High

Jerricho Cotchery and Greg Jennings -- Two of the more popular waiver pickups this season, Cotchery and Jennings have certainly earned it. This early in the season, however, don't lose sight of the fact that their season totals are inflated by two huge plays, neither of which is likely to be repeated. The more weeks that pass by, the more these guys' numbers will settle into league-average. Don't hesitate to include them in a deal to upgrade at a different position.

Frank Gore -- A shame for me to have to say this, as Gore has lead my team to first place so far in several leagues. But in case you haven't notices, he's got a severe fumbling problem, repeatedly coughing up the ball on the opponents' goal line. He's still likely to put up solid numbers, but look for his touchdowns to decline, returning him to second-tier status as a starting back. If you have running back depth, look to deal him for a top receiver.

Keyshawn Johnson -- You may have figured this out already, but Keyshawn's looks are going to decline pretty rapidly the more Steve Smith plays. You can sell another owner on the fact that Steve's presence will actually increase Keyshawn's value, but the fact remains he needs the ball to remain as productive as he's been, and he's not going to get it nearly as much.

Hold Steady

Marques Colston -- Colston has come out of nowhere to be a force at receiver for the New Orleans Saints. Thanks to the threat of Joe Horn downfield and Reggie Bush out of the backfield he often finds himself open in mid-range routes. He's got great hands, and he can catch a deep ball as well. Enjoy the ride, and expect it to last; especially if he qualifies at tight end in your league.

Brett Favre -- Brett Favre was a rather late-round selection in most drafts this season after looking terrible a season ago. It's hard to understand what exactly has changed, but he is having some serious fun out there. It helps that the Packers have a defense that gives up a lot of points, as well as a running back who's probably better catching screens than he is taking handoffs. Brett knows this is most likely his last season, and it seems he's intent on going out with a bang. Take advantage.

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

Scramble for the Mailbag

Mactbone: I have Jerrious Norwood, Correll Buckhalter, Ladell Betts and maybe Maurice Jones-Drew (from waivers) and I got offered Philip Rivers and Mike Bell for Brett Favre and Ladell Betts. I already have Peyton Manning so I don't need Favre. I do need running back help badly and I'm wondering whether it's better to bet on Betts continuing this role or Tatum Bell suffering an injury.

Bill: Well, Mactbone, that is one ugly core of running backs you have right there. I believe one of my core fantasy rules is that when you are relying on signing players with hyphenated last names off waivers to improve your rushing game, your team is in serious trouble. It's not an oft-repeated rule, but a rule nonetheless, back from Karim Abdul-Jabbar's second stint in Miami.

Ian: Is Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala still in the league?

Bill: I think you should be pretty inclined to accept this trade. I am one of the few people who thinks that Brett Favre has something left -- but I am also one of the many people around Football Outsiders who thinks great things of Philip Rivers. Rivers' performance in the first two weeks of the season has done nothing to cause me to think otherwise, so I think you'd be getting the better quarterback in the deal. With regards to the running back swap, while Ladell Betts has better stats as of right now, Betts' playing time is going to decrease with Clinton Portis' return to health. I think you get the better of this deal at both positions. I'd accept it before the other owner changes his mind.

Keep Choppin' Wood

Ian: It would be easy to pick on Ben Roethlisberger this week, but his troubles are due in part to a pretty impressive comeback from injury, so hard to fault him completely. Charlie Frye's interception in the end zone was a huge mistake. Kurt Warner also did his part to earn the award this week by pretty much handing the ball and the game to the St. Louis Rams. But it's about time we stopped blaming the quarterbacks every week.

This week's winner is none other than Josh Scobee. By missing two makeable field goals, he forced Jacksonville to go for the touchdown late in the game rather than being in a position to kick for the win. Given the magnitude of the game, and how well the Jaguars had played the Colts all day, it's a shame that his performance cost them an early division lead. Congrats to Josh Scobee, recipient of this week's Keep Choppin' Wood award!

Best Bets

Bill (2-1 last week, 6-3 overall):

TENNESSEE (+10) over Dallas

It takes a pretty great team to get ten points on the road and still cover. Indianapolis is giving 9.5 at the Jets this week, and I'm a little hesitant to go and pick one way or the other because Indianapolis has, at least, the potential to be a pretty great team. Dallas is not a pretty great team. They're not even fit and working again, and this day, the Cowboys won't be beating the Titans by two scores.

Seattle (+3) over CHICAGO

I don't doubt that Chicago's good, and if this line were 2.5, I'd feel a lot better about this pick. But the Seahawks are a fantastic team. No Shaun Alexander? The Seahawks will manage. The Bears' defensive backfield can't match up against the Seahawks offense, and as good as Lance Briggs is, he can't cover Darrell Jackson or Deion Branch.

KANSAS CITY (-7) over San Francisco

I understand that Trent Green isn't playing this week. And that's fine. I also understand the 49ers have looked pretty decent so far this season. That's also fine. It's Alex Smith, on the road, in the worst or second-worst (depending upon how you feel about Qwest Field) stadium to play at in the NFL. This could get ugly.

Ian (0-2-1 last week, 3-5-1 overall): Ugh; it's been rough-going so far. I'm amazed that the Pats were thoroughly dominated last week by the Broncos, as well as that the Bucs offense scored as many points as they did with an injured quarterback. It led to a poor week of selections. Fortunately, I feel much better about this week's picks than I did about last week's.

Green Bay (+10.5) over PHILADELPHIA

No doubt about it, this will be a high-scoring game. Green Bay can't contain Westbrook or McNabb, which gives the Eagles a great chance to win. But by 11 points? Over a rejuvenated Brett Favre on Monday Night Football? I don't think so.

Indianapolis (-9.5) over the NEW YORK JETS

Indianapolis has "the potential" to be a great team? They are a great team. Maybe not in the playoffs, but during the regular season they've been near unstoppable. The Jets can't run the ball, but have been moving the ball on offense thanks to quick hitters and yards after the catch. The Colts defense is built on speed, and should be able to shut down Pennington and the passing game. Throw in an emotional rallying behind Reggie Wayne and his lost brother, and I don't see this being a close game.

Cleveland (-2.5) over OAKLAND

Oakland will get better with time, but don't expect too much in Andrew Walter's first year at the helm. Charlie Frye and the frisky Cleveland offense will do just enough to win and over the spread.


103 comments, Last at 04 Oct 2006, 1:36pm

1 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Umm, you took Seattle and the points but you'd be feeling better about it if you were getting fewer points?

Am I misreading something?

4 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I need some trade help (it's a PPR league):

I have a bunch of RBs (Rudi, LaMont, C Taylor, K Jones, F Taylor, Maroney) and Cooley, my TE has been pretty worthless.

I offered a guy (who is in serious RB need now that Alexander is out):
C Taylor & A Boldin for T Heap & A Johnson

He countered with:
C Taylor & A Boldin for T Heap & J Walker

I don't think that his deal is worth it since A Boldin is a better WR than J Walker. But what do you think about my deal? Am I screwing myself? I have a lot of depth at RB but right now C Taylor looks like my RB2 (until LaMont and the Raiders figure things out).

5 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Green Bay can’t contain Westbrook or McNabb, which gives the Eagles a great chance to win.

Green Bay hasn't won in Philly since 1962, and it certainly isn't going to change on Monday night. This is a great game to make money betting straight-up on Philly winning.

6 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I guess my Email about Branch didn't make it in on time. So here it is:

Will Deion Branch be a #1 or #2 fantasy starter this season? I've also got TJ Housh, Reggie Wayne, and Donald Driver on the team in question. Should I just play the matchups?

9 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Ok, I have a whole bunch of pretty decent options at WR (but no real stud). I have 3 WR spots and a W/R spot to fill with:

Wayne @ NYJ
Muhammad v. SEA
Bryant @ KC
Andre Johnson v. MIA
Reggie Brown v. GB
Bennett v. DAL

Kevin Jones @ STL

The WW has a couple of possibilities too:
Michael Robinson (Gore's backup and probably SF's goalline back who I could actually play as either RB or WR)

10 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Re Bill's Seattle pick, why would you feel better if the line was 2.5, you would be getting fewer points. I don't get it. ch

12 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Might be my favorite cartoon yet! Closely edging out Peyton telling Eli about the ghost of Ryan Leaf's future eating rookies in San Diego. And then admitting, "Man, was I wasted when I said that." Or something like that.

13 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

This week I probably face a very tight game in my league, so some Advice as whom to start would be helpful, especially as Yahoo seems to disagree with my own feelings.

Hasselbeck vs Chi or Losman vs Min
I know Chi is pretty tough defense, but with Hasselbeck shouldering it all he should get is numbers.

DEF (with differential scoring):
San Diego vs BAL or Eagles vs GB
While the eagles probably might get some more INTs, I would still think the general mediocrity of the BAl Offense should easily aarry the day for me.

15 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Re #4

I don't think the problem in that trade is the Bolden for Walker. That actually might work in your favor, if/when Warner gets benched. I think there is alot of risk attached to the Cardinal's WR's right now. As we saw last week, Javon could be a guy that scores 2 td's a week, and you don't really have that potential with Bolden, with Fitzgerald in the house. So I actually like the Bolden for Walker trade straight up.

I don't really like the C. Taylor for Heap aspect of the trade. Since when is a rock solid No. 2 RB getting 25 touches a game equal a good TE? My thought is that you counter with one of your other RB's, such as F. Taylor or K. Jones. You are for sure giving that guy 8-12 points every week, and that's what he should expect out of the #2 RB spot. Quality RB depth is a rare commodity. You deserve to get the better end of the deal. I say Bolden/F. Taylor for Walker/T. Heap would be a fair trade.

16 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Hey Bill, why don't you have any pretty red text?

Or are you just an imposter pretending to be Bill? I know, it sounds unlikely that Bill would have any impersonators running around, but if someone's willing to impersonate Brandon St. Pierre...

17 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Re: 13

I'd agree with you on both counts. Hasselbeck has the tougher matchup, but no matchup is tough enough to bench him over J.P. Losman.

And with as banged up as Philly's secondary is right now, I could see that game being something like 42-27.

19 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

#15: That's why I wanted A Jonhson & Heap. My logic is that C Taylor is worth more than Heap & A Johnson is worth more than Boldin so it evens out.The other guy already rejected F Taylor although maybe he'll get more desperate as the week goes along.

20 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

re 4 & 15 agree with ScotK on the RB bit of the deal, not as much on the Boldin/Walker part. No way you can trade a top RB for a TE/WR combo. Maybe Chet Taylor on his own for Walker/Heap, but not with Boldin thrown in. Boldin is a PPR god, Fitz or no. The trio of CTaylor, Boldin, Cooley (or, say, Eric Johnson for awhile) is better in all ways than Heap/Walker/Johnson. Don't do that trade.

re Ray#6: Wayne is basically a must-start every week he is active. You can play matchups with Driver and Housh, but with TJ you never know when the big game is coming. I don't see Branch being a #1 or 2, unless an injury occurs. Not to Branch.

re 13: Hasselbeck is an every week starter. I'd play Philly's D vs. GB, but admit to not knowing what "differential scoring" equals in FF...

21 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

re 20:
apart from the usual stuff like sacks, TD, INT and fumbles you don't only score points for shoutouts, but also (less) points for keeping the score low I think break even is about 23. And I expect Favre to put a lot more onto the board than McNair.

22 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Philly's D versus Green Bay is probably a good bet: Philly's currently third in adjusted sack rate, and Chicago's defensive line gave Green Bay fits. It'll probably be worse versus Philly, which means a few sacks, possibly a few forced fumbles, but very likely a few interceptions. Plus very likely a bunch of drives killed by offensive holding penalties, which means not a lot of points for Green Bay.

Yeah, Brett Favre can still quarterback. But he won't have any time versus Philly's defensive line, which means he won't really have time to throw the ball deep. I don't think there's a lot of risk here, and a lot of potential reward.

23 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Who should I start at one RB/WR and one WR spot: Lamont Jordan, DeShaun Forster, Maurice Morris, Ron Dayne, Jerricho Cotchery or Maques Colston?
I’m planning to go with Jordan and Cotchery this week, anyone strongly disagree?

24 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Should I, then, consider trading Warrick Dunn and Greg Jennings for Alexander, if I also try to sweeten the pot with anyone from my bench of Branch-Barlow-DeAngelo Williams-McNair? (McGahee is my other RB) I also have Colston as a backup to Witten, so I suppose I could throw him in as well.

25 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Wait, Chicago is favored to win against Seattle?
12: I remember that cartoon, but I think it was Archie who told Eli about the ghost of Ryan Leaf, and Peyton said Dad must have been wasted.

26 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I should say that I need WR TDs (my starters Wayne and Horn have none so far), and the Alexander owner has Holt, Keyshawn, Rod Smith and Braylon Edwards. Her other RBs are Maurice Morris, Westbrook and Thomas Jones, so I think this could be doable.

28 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Don't forget San Diego is missing two safeties against a team that loves to throw to a pretty good tight end -- go with Philly's pass rush against GB's line.

29 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Plus keep in mind that Baltimore's been pretty good in pass protection so far, ranked 12th in adjusted sack rate. McNair's not been playing fantastic, but he is still doing a very good job feeling pressure in the pocket.

The Philly preseason game's a good example of that. Philly's defensive line was an absolute terror before Kearse went down (and it's still pretty good) but McNair just kept stepping up and either throwing the ball away or finding an open receiver. McNair might not have a great game, but fantasy wise, I don't think San Diego's defense will either.

31 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Fantasy question for anyone:
I play in a league starting two each of RB, QB, WR, and with an additional offensive player (scoring gives QBs 6pts for touchdowns but standard otherwise).

I currently have C Taylor, L Tomlinson, Kevin Jones, L Maroney for RB and Kitna, Brees, Culpepper and Warner for QB. My WRs are in bad shape (L Coles, Reggie Williams, Rod Smith, Deion Branch). I am trying to figure out a way to increase my talent, especially at WR. I can probably trade for a very good WR (one guy has steve smith, torry holt, reggie wayne, andre johnson, keyshaun johnson, derrick mason, and lee evans) so I could probably make a trade for one of his middle WRs and get an upgrade.

My question though is, who should I be willing or trying to trade away. Thanks for help

32 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market


If anyone will give you anything decent for Culpepper or Warner, I'd take it. Culpepper's struggling and anyone in your league who hasn't been paying attention to the news this week might overpay for Warner.

34 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

The Packers don't throw deep very often. The 75 yard TD to Jennings was an 8 yard pass that the Detroit secondary turned into a huge play.

Favre has responded to McCarthy's coaching by quickly checking down as the protection breaks down. Which, as everyone has noticed, happens pretty quick these days.

The two interceptions against the Bears happened with the team down 26 and Favre reverting to his '05 form. After a supposed talking to by McCarthy similar throws have not happened against the Saints or the Lions. As I wrote a while back, some writers who cover the Packers are already suggesting that Favre is being TOO cautious. I find this notion absolutely nuts but am compelled to report what is being said by the locals.

The Eagles game will be a "litmus test" for the true impact of McCarthy's coaching. The offensive line somehow managed to keep Shaun Rogers at bay while Ahman Green did a great job of catching the ball out of the backfield. Philly's speed on defense will almost certainly cut down on the short passing game being very productive forcing Favre to find his receivers and TE. And with Bubba Franks running like he carrying a piano one has to wonder how much of an impact he can provide. Toss in the obvious superior pass rush and one has to think that Favre will have to choose between the 2005 version of "chuck it" or the 2006 version of "accept and live to fight another series".

It's all moot anyway. The Packer defense will be shredded by McNabb & Co. Manuel is a joke at safety and Collins looks great in a uniform but has no cover skills whatsoever. Woodson takes every other down off. Poppinga has been abused by every TE he has tried to cover.

Unless the pass rush gets to DM in less then 2.5 seconds look for Donovan to have 200 plus passing yards at halftime. No hyperbole here. The pass defense by GB is THAT bad.

35 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Re 4, 19, 20.

I don't see alot of difference between Walker, Bolden, and A. Johnson. That's a personal preference thing as far as I'm concerned. I don't see any significant downside to Walker instead of Johnson. If its a PPR league, then maybe Bolden has slightly more value. I didn't assume PPR league. But that value is mitigated by future QB risk, so something to keep in mind. At the end of the day, the WR trade is not germane to the value calculation of the RB/TE trade. It's just an exchange of roughly equal #2 WR's.

We all agree that C. Taylor for T. Heap is not a good trade. C. Taylor for Heap AND Johnson/Walker is pretty good trade, but I would be surprised if he bites on that. If you don't want to roll on the WW with E. Johnson and playing matchups, then I see no problem in sacrificing a F. Taylor or K. Jones type to solidify your TE position. In a vacuum, its not a great "value" trade, but you want a TE, and you will be getting a pretty rock solid one, so you have to surrender slightly more than you will be getting. Just don't give away the house in C. Taylor. Good luck.

36 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

B, You're absolutely right, Eli asked if dad was serious and Peyton said man, was he wasted. Thanks for setting the record straight.

RE #18, Basilicus, not only is Kubiak missing eyebrows (well, they're damn faint--maybe the sunlight reflected off Elway's shining teeth bleached them), but did you notice on MNF that Mora Jr. doesn't appear to have
any either? Put Groucho Marx eyebrows on Mora and we could be brothers, but he just looks incomplete without them.

37 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I've got a Loser League scoring question. Since there's no decimal scoring, I'm assuming scores are rounded up; I'm wondering why Reggie Williams didn't get one point for his 8 receiving yards (or .8 points) instead of zero?

i guess I'm assuming he has to get to ten yards first. Just curious... (by the way, Reggie if you're reading, no more of those 6-47-td and 8-95 monstrosities please. 2 for 8 works quite well...)

38 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

30: Hasselbeck. Favre can put up decent numbers, but you just don't know.

Anybody have thoughts on Lamont Jordan this week? He's playing Cleveland, so Oakland might show some semblance of offense. I'll probably start Gore and C. Taylor instead, so I'm just wondering.

39 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

The market analogy is apt, but your use of terms is incorrect.

A "junk bond" is not a reference to its overall market value, but rather, the credit worthinss of the company backing it. They are called junk bonds because there is a higher likelihood that the company will not paying on the bonds, or even return you principal for that matter, and hence, your bonds become worthless. At any given moment I could show you a "junk bond" with a significantly higher market value than an investment grade one.

Sorry for the OT post, but incorrect comparisons bug me.

43 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Big question - Rex Grossman or Matt Hasselbeck?

I've picked wrong each of the last two weeks and it's cost me quite badly (the guy on the bench put up 40 points both weeks).

44 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Fantasy Football question here. I have Carson Palmer and Matt Hasselback on my team with LT. I just got an offer of Shaun Alexander for Carson Palmer. Do I take it, try to talk him into Hasselback or stand firm? It seems like an obvious trade that is good for both of us. Any comments?

45 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

re: 41 Taylor; Buf DEF allowing 115 ypg.
43: hasselback. both might throw for 200 yards a a TD, but Hbeck has much better receivers. One of them might get behind the CHI DEF and rip off a long (30+ yd) TD.

46 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market


After reading the linked article, I have a feeling it is either going to recover really quickly, or it's going to linger for a while. No in between.

The power of cross-continental prayer among family members on the telephone. An ultrasound machine working overtime. And optimism so rampant, it led him to jump up and down on a broken bone.

Upon his return from the latest tests, Alexander was wearing blue jeans over running shoes - and not the protective boot the Seahawks' medical staff had given him.

48 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Power of prayer can allow the body to heal itself. But it can only heal so fast. I hope he does wear the boot if I make this trade. Any comments on the trade itself? There is a little downside to only having one #1 QB. I can't switch them out based on match-ups. But if Alexander comes back in a couple of weeks, I could have a winning combo.

49 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

#36, click on my name to see the Eli Manning/Ryan Leaf 'toon in all its original glory. In regards to Kubiak's eyebrows: They were standard Broncos issue, he had to turn them in with his clipboard when he left town.

50 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Deep league with bye week and injury problems. I need to fill a WR slot and you can also get points for a player's individual punt and kick return yards (1/15pr; 1/25kr). My choices are Matt Jones (hurt; did nothing last week); Wes Welker (sweet matchup; return bonus possibilities; but Daunte as QB); or Reggie Brown (on waivers - I'd have to dump Welker for him). Thanks.

51 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I just wanted to take this opportunity
to point out that the officiating in
the Denver/Pats game last Sunday was
the worst that I have ever seen.

52 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I know. The Pats got away with so much. Too cheap to pay Branch. Too cheap to pay the refs. What is going on with that franchise?

55 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

So I'm playing fantasy football for the first time ever this year, and thanks to FO/PFP2006, I'm leading the league at 3-0.

1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR/TE, 2 flex, 1 K, 1 DEF. Scoring is both points & yards, too complex to explain quickly, though.

I have Hasselbeck & Vick (haven't started him, nor do I plan to), my backup was Simms. I've picked up Brad Johnson, but I don't feel good about it. Pennington is free, should I pick him up?

RBs - Ronnie Brown, Reuben Droughns, J. Norwood

WR/TE - Darrell Jackson, Andre Johnson, Antonio Bryant, Doug Gabriel, Chad Jackson (NE)

The question here is, do I just start Brown, and then pick 4 WRs, or do I gamble on Droughns playing like he says he's going to? Or should I be looking to trade for another RB, and if so, do I attempt to package Vick with a WR to do so?

DEF - Seahawks, Eagles

Do I play Seahawks at Bears or Eagles at GB? Seahawks have been okay (thought keeping the Giants at 3 would have been awesome). I'm not sure about the Eagles vs. GB, could be good, could be bad.

56 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Hasselbeck vs. Chicago


Pennington vs. Indy

Considering NY can't run the ball and will likely be playing from behind, I am actually leaning towards the Chadster. Anyone have any advice?

57 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market


Pennington should have been picked up already. Scoop him up NOW.

Without knowing the rest of the teams, trades are hard to comment on. I think Droughns is a better play than either of the NE WRs.

58 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I'd like to think someone would impersonate me before Brian St. Pierre.

Nope - I was at work and didn't remember the ol' password. Yep. I'm a goof.

59 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I’m not sure about the Eagles vs. GB, could be good, could be bad.

I don't see how it could be bad - at least, not any moreso than any other defense.

Even against the Giants, Philly's defense still had a field day fantasy football-wise: 8 sacks and an interception. Week 1 they had 5 sacks, week 3 they went crazy with 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown.

Even if Green Bay does score, Favre will throw a few interceptions, they'll get a few sacks, and they'll probably get a few fumbles recovered too. That's an easy play.

61 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Re #44 - I just got an offer of Shaun Alexander for Carson Palmer. Do I take it, try to talk him into Hasselback or stand firm?

I would hop on that FAST. Having two #1 QBs is pointless unless you can start two every week. But having two of the top three RB in the league on your team to pair with your top 3 QB (Hass) is gold. You want to unload one of those QBs for a good RB, and RBs don`t get much better than Alexander. Unless you think his injury is a big concern then take it quick before he changes his mind.

Just my opinion.


62 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Lineup question:

The bye weeks are hitting me this week, knocking out Rod Smith and T. Bell,

I'm going with Addai to replace Bell, but am unsure about who should replace Smith.

I'm starting two WRs I've got: D.Branch v.Chi, E.Kennison v.SF, Bryant v.KC, and Gabriel v.Cin.....Which two should I pick, I'm leaning toward taking a shot on Branch and Bryant, but Gabriel is an interesting choice, he recieved the most targets of the NE WRs last week. In my eyes Kennison is hindered by the QB situation even though its a favorable matchup....I'm starting to get scared about Bryant against the KC defense, accorind to FP they were 10th best in the league in defending against #1 recievers last year and have done a good job thus far. Give me some feedback please, Thanks!

63 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

re #44 - I'd too jump on that trade. No reason to compile points on the bench. If Alexander comes back to form, you may have one of the best team ever compiled. If he doesn't, you really didn't lose anything..... unless Peyton gets hurt. But then again if you don't trade, you're probably a lot worse off if Tomlinson gets hurt. You probably have some other servicable backs you can trade for an above-average backup QB. See if the guy you're trading with will throw in his existing QB.

64 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

RE 62: of the WR listed, I like Bryant and Kennison.

The SF/KC game should be a high scoring affair and with the 49ers stacking the box to stop Larry, there should be some extra room to run in the Seconday. Bryant is the only real target in SF, so should get some looks.

Branch is just too risky at this piont to start. Does he even know the playbook?

Just an opinion.

67 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Okay, I need just a bit more advice. First: Cooley or Eric Johnson at TE? I know Cooley's better, but if the Redskins aren't going to use him, it doesn't do me much good.

Also at RB: Gore, Robinson, or Addai?

68 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Okay, I need just a bit more advice. First: Cooley or Eric Johnson at TE? I know Cooley's better, but if the Redskins aren't going to use him, it doesn't do me much good.

Also at RB: Gore, Robinson, or Addai? I have Winslow at TE, and I could put Robinson in there. Should I do it to get that extra RB?

69 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Hmm, sorry for the double (now triple) post. I clicked back after the first time to change it, but it looks like it posted it anyway. I only clicked 'Say it!' once.

70 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

My league plays 3WR, 2RB, 1 W/R

For RB's I'm starting
Westbrook v GB
Taylor v Buf

Who should I start for the 3 WR and the W/R positions?

Jenkins v Arz, Bryant v KC, Williamson v Buf, Kennison v SF, Jackson v Cin
Jordan v Cle, Turner v Bal


72 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

"This early in the season, however, don’t lose sight of the fact that their season totals are inflated by two huge plays, neither of which is likely to be repeated."

I disagree saying it is unlikely that jennings will have any more big plays. Heck in the preseason alone he had 2 70+ yard plays and already has one early this year. The reason to not play Jennings is you are afraid of his consistency, not because you think his 1 long Touchdown was a fluke.

73 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Assuming that Terry Glenn will be healthy enough to start this week, I'll have one other slot to fill between three WRs: Braylon Edwards at Oakland, Bernard Berrian vs. Seattle, or Reggie Brown vs. Green Bay.

Also which RB would be the better deal to trade one of those WRs for, Tatum Bell or Maurice Jones-Drew?

74 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

#62 - I agree with #64. Your best bets are Bryant & Kennison.

#67 - Definitely Johnson over Cooley. Cooley's done nothing, and I don't know why that would suddenly change. I'd start Gore at RB, but if you don't want to be too reliant on SF, then go with Addai.

#70 - Bryant, Williamson, Kennison, with Jordan as your W/R flex. If Jordan can't get something going this week, he's not going to be worth it any week.

#71 - With Alexander out, Hasslebeck will have to pass. He'll get decent numbers - not great - against CHI. Pennington seems to be hit or miss this week. Hasslebeck seems to be safer points than Pennington, and he's basically a must-start QB.

Now to my question: Gore (@ KC)or Maroney (@ CIN) as my RB2? Wayne (@ NYJ), Bryant (@ KC), or Coles (vs. IND) as my WR2? I'm leaning towards Maroney at RB2, but have no idea for my WR2.

75 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

So, anybody with an opinion on this throw it out there..

Who do i start this week, I have one open flex and 1 open wr slot. Scoring is 1 pt/10yds, 6 pt/td, 1 pt\catch.

Kevin Jones, Braylon Edwards, Randy Moss, Keyshawn Johnson. Pick 2.

Always seems good to start a rb in the flex, but some of the wr have good matchups, and it's Kevin Jones, ick. Plus, is it past time to start Randy Moss every game no matter what? Seems like it to me.

76 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Oswelk, I have both now (thanks for the advice), and I'm planning on playing Hasselbeck, simply because he's been pretty solid. Also the Alexander thing.

Pennington is obviously a starter next week, as Hasselbeck has a bye.

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1 pt/catch looks pretty good, so I'd look at WRs carefully. Moss and Edwards are both playing bad defenses this week, though it remains to be seen whether Moss has a QB who can get him the ball. I would probably go with Edwards and Jones, though I would be tempted to go with Moss instead of Jones.

78 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I'm trying to decide which 2 RBs to start out of:
C. Taylor
F. Gore
L. Jordan

Am I crazy to be considering starting Jordan over Gore??

79 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Fantasy Starters (in a Point Per Reception league)

RB start 2: Rudi Johnson, C Taylor, K Jones, L Jordan, L Maroney.

WR start 3: A Boldin, D Driver, D Mason, E Moulds, Troy Williamson.

I'm thinking Rudi, C Taylor, Boldin, Driver & Mason

80 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

re: 75
I'd start Keyshawn as your WR. The Saints gave up 300 yards passing to GB and will probably give up something similar to the panthers. If Smith takes 75% of those yards that still leaves 75 yards for Keyshawn.

And take Kevin Jones as your flex. He has 16 receptions this year is looks pretty good in a PPR league.

81 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Re:68 (Ray) - As for your first question, I'd definitely go with Johnson. He put up stud numbers last year before he was hurt, and that was on the worst team in the league. This year's '9ers much improved and Johnson isn't a rookie anymore. And for your second question, I think I'd go with Addai and Winslow. Any other week I'd be tempted to get a goalline back in at TE, but not when you have a respectable starting TE going against Oakland.

Re:70 (DaveP) - I'd go with Bryant and Williamson. And I guess Jenkins and Jordan for the other two spots, but I really don't feel good about recommending Jenkins.

Re:71 (Oswlek) - I think Hasselbeck is actually going to have a pretty good game against Chicago. But with the Jets playing catchup all day, I think I'd actually go with Pennington. But I don't think Chicago is nearly as good as most people do, so take that suggestion with a grain of salt.

Re:73(JSR) - Go with Brown, especially since Stallworth may still be hampered.

Ok, now my question. I have an absolute mess this week (in a good way). I have 1RB, 1RB/WR, and 2WR spots to fill. The possibilities are (my current starters in bold:

Rudi Johnson (v. NE)
Ronnie Brown (@ Hou)
Warrick Dunn (v. Ari)
Chester Taylor (@ Buf)

Reggie Brown (v. GB)
Darrell Jackson (@ Chi)
Reggie Wayne (@ NYJ)
Derrick Mason (v. SD)
Matt Jones (@ Was)
Roy Williams (@ StL)

82 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Go with Brown, especially since Stallworth may still be hampered.

I really doubt Stallworth will have any problems on Monday. They're apparently just being overly cautious with it. Stallworth himself is absolutely positive he'll play on Monday.

Given the fact that it's a Monday game, I really wouldn't have any reservations about Stallworth. That being said, Brown's pretty much the red-zone receiver, so he's worth playing, especially against Green Bay.

83 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market


Do you play in a 6 team league?
Were you given 4 extra 2nd rounders?

How in God's name did you get a team that deep in both RB and WR? Especially considering your top talent is right up there with anyone.

84 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Okay, another question.

I already have Hasselbeck and Darrell Jackson. Should I trade (maybe Vick? or a WR?) to get Deion Branch?

I have little depth at RB, but with 2 flex players, if Branch were to put up respectable numbers, it might not matter so much.

Then again, my offense would probably go as Seattle's goes. Which could be okay, after the bye week. Of course, during the bye week, it looks like my offense will be mostly New England...sheesh.

My current roster:
QB - Hasselbeck, Vick, Pennington
RB - R. Brown, R. Droughns, J. Norwood
WR/TE - D. Jackson, A. Johnson, A. Bryant, C. Jackson, D. Gabriel
K - Nate Kaeding (currently leading my league for kickers...thanks PFP2006!)
Def - SEA, PHI

86 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I need to start two of the following RBs:

Kevin Jones (@ StL)
Julius Jones (@ Ten)
Frank Gore (@ KC)
Michael Robinson (@ KC)

I'm leaning toward Julius for one spot, but I'm not sure whether to pick Kevin or one of the 49ers.

87 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

#86, I haven't been paying (enough) attention to the SF situation, but it makes me nervous not knowing...they're both listed as probable, but man.

By VOA/DAVE, the StL defense is much worse against the run than the KC defense, so that's the way I'd lean.

88 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Hasselbeck or Grossman this weekend?

I've picked wrong the last two weeks (the guy on the bench had 40 points each week), so I really need this one.

90 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

An interviewer asked Nolan if Robinson would be the starting back, and Nolan said "What? Why the heck would I do that? Gore's fine."

91 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

TENNESSEE (+10) over Dallas. It takes a pretty great team to get ten points on the road and still cover.

Fryin' up some pretty big crow there, Bill. Better hope they don't cover.

92 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Fantasy Starters (in a Point Per Reception league)

RB start 2: Rudi Johnson, C Taylor, K Jones, L Jordan, L Maroney.

WR start 3: A Boldin, D Driver, D Mason, E Moulds, Troy Williamson.

I’m thinking Rudi, C Taylor, Boldin, Driver & Mason

I think you're right.

Quick question - Bledsoe @ Tenn, or Kitna @ StL?

94 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Pt per ten yards and 6 for TDs. Pick 3 of 5. R. Moss, Wayne, Mohammed, Coles & Moulds. I'm leaning Wayne, R. Moss & Coles but thinking of booting Moss for Mohammed. Thoughts?

95 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I, like apparently every other Hasselbeck owner this week, am wondering about starting him against Chicago, or going with a backup (Charlie Frye against Oakland, in my case). Are their any solid rules about playing the matchups when it comes to QBs? Most people in this thread seem to be saying that Hasselbeck should start no matter who he's facing, and I would tend to agree, but I'm just wondering what factors other people consider when making these decisions.

96 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

I have just been offered a trade and don't know if I should take it, I was ofered McGahee, S. moss, and Ben Watson for Larry Fitzgerald and Tony Gonzalez. I have stallworth and muhammad, so I have depth enough at wideout to get rid of Fitzgerald, but I think he's trying to sell high on McGahee and buy low on Fitz. I am a Buffalonian so i'm really struggling with tthe whole Mcgahee thing, I want him on my team b/c he's a Bill. But objectively I don't know if I should do it. Suggestions?

97 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

re Yaxley #95: one "rule" I use, dating back to pre-Sunday ticket days, (and astonishingly antithetical to this site): play your guys in the prime-time games when you have a chance to watch them. No stats to back it up, but in a tight decision (Hasselbeck vs. Frye is not one, I think; Frye on the road against a decent pass D, with inflated rushing TD numbers), I will use it as a deciding factor.

Haven't been able to help myself ever since Plummer and Frank Sanders combined to pull out a victory for me many years ago on a Sunday night when I was down about 30 or so in a very low scoring league. Absolutely, positively non-scientific, but lots of fun. For whatever reason, Monday nights have been less kind to me...

For what its worth, Morganja in #44 is the only guy with a real choice this week; Hasselbeck is a must-start every week in normal leagues. Leading to...

...another rule for Yaxley in response to 95: don't play matchups with top-5 quarterbacks. You drafted the guy early (presumably) so you wouldn't have to worry about matchups. Play him every week you can.

98 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

sorry for the double-post, but its 1am, I'm allowed right?

Ryan C, the trade depends on your backs. I wouldn't normally trade Fitzgerald at all, but if you're trotting out, say, Droughns and Jordan every week, you should do it.

Stallworth and Muhammed are not comfortable year-long answers at WR (nor is SMoss for that matter). Sounds like you probably have a solid RB1, late first round (Rudi, Westbrook?) and will be adding McGahee as a #2. If you have to start two, do it. If you can go 1rb, 3wr, I would stay with Fitzgerald (oh, and especially in a PPR league).

99 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

8 team league, point per reception, 20 yards=1 point. Bonus at 150 yards. Pick 3 of these 6. I'm leaning towards the first three as TO and the Mosses scare me for this week. Roy Williams, Darrell Jackson, Braylon Edwards, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, or Santana Moss.

100 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Trade offer analysis for a league with pretty standard scoring.

I give: Brad Johnson, Keyshawn Johnson, Randy Moss, Mike Bell and Larry Johnson

I get: Eddie Kennison, Chad Pennington, Shaun Alexander, Donte' Stallworth and Carnell Williams

I currently have: (and can only start 1QB, 2RB and 3WR plus other positions)
T Green (IR)
R Grossman
B Johnson
J Kitna

T Bell
M Bell
F Gore
L Johnson
M Jones-Drew

J Cotchery
K Johnson
R Moss
A Toomer
T Williamson

I feel that I need WR help, as Randy Moss is not playing to expectations and my other WRs are not that good. I am hesitant to give up Larry Johnson in exchange for Shaun Alexander, but the upgrade to Carnell Williams might be a good thing. Your assistance is appreciated.

101 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Should i go with the Saints defense at home against a terrible Tampa offense or the Colts D at home against vince young's titans? turnovers are big in my league

102 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

Re #100:
That would be a terrible trade; do not make it. Cadillac has a bad back, and the Tampa offense is in shambles. Stallworth has a bad hammy and had to leave early on MNF. Kennison isn't much better than your wideout options, and Pennington isn't much of an upgrade over Grossman.
Meanwhile, Tatum Bell and LJ will lead your team to plenty of fantasy victories this season. The Oakland offense will get better, as will Moss. Keyshawn/Toomer/Williamson can be rotated based on matchups; I'd generally lean towards Williamson as he's the #1 option.
I like the idea of buying low on Alexander, but not when you're paying this much.

103 Re: Scramble for the Ball: Playing the Market

What do you guys think about this trade in a 12 team dynasty league (you keep your entire team from year to year)?
I'd get Torry Holt and a 2007 2nd round pick (rookies and free agents only) for Deangelo Williams and Jerricho Cotchery. Here are the meaningful guys on my roster:
Peyton Manning
Tatum Bell
Willie Parker
D. williams
Musa Smith
D. Bennett
Ma. Clayton

I am 2-2 in a weak division this year. 6 teams make the playoffs out of the 12.