The modern problem with fantasy football is not a lack of knowledge. We are inundated with so much information via television, radio, roto news sites and twitter that it’s impossible to keep up with all of the data pertinent to lineup and waiver decisions. If you’ve ever tried to drink out of a fire hose, this is the dilemma faced with the high stakes fantasy manager. However, there is a much larger problem, and that is that the fantasy expert knows so much that isn’t so.
I invested heavily in Darren McFadden in 2011. In week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs, No. 20 got up after an innocuous tackle. He headed over to the sidelines seemingly with his normal gait, without any sign of distress. McFadden would not return to the game. Initially it was reported that he suffered an ankle injury. That story morphed into a foot sprain. In the coming weeks fantasy owners were hoodwinked by Hue Jackson and the line coming out of Raider camp that it was very minor and that he might play next week. Frequently they disseminated the word that he might practice ‘tomorrow or the day after.’ This charade continued, but he didn’t practice and he didn’t play. Nevertheless, we were assured that he was close to a return. Then reports surfaced that he was on crutches and others reported that he donned a walking boot. As the weeks passed, the dreaded LisFranc term raised its ugly head. If you think Hue Jackson was being honest and transparent with the media, then I’ve got some swampland in Louisiana I’d like to tell you about. McFadden didn’t see another snap after week 7, and I’m convinced this was no surprise to Hue Jackson or any of the Raider brass.
Pierre Garcon’s fantasy stardom lasted just one quarter. A foot injury suffered on his 88-yard touchdown reception has relegated him to occasional decoy. Mike Shanahan has given us the day-to-day song and dance but I’m not buying. I’m no doctor and I could be wrong, but a couple days after news of his foot injury surfaced I’ve had a growing sense this injury is worse than they’re letting on and they’ve known it. Mike Shanahan has admitted to lying about injuries in the past. He lied in Denver about Jake Plummer’s injury, calling it a concussion when later he revealed that it really was a shoulder injury. He later confessed that the lie was presented to prevent a competitive disadvantage. Obviously, such admittance is rare; as such confessions often lead to a dent in the wallet. However, doing anything and everything possible to win is rather common, and so is perpetual BS sprinkled throughout injury reports. Tell me this. Why does the league even bother with requiring the Patriots to submit injury reports?
Is Josh McDaniels cursed? I kid, but he does seem to have a magical way of increasing the loss total everywhere he goes. It’s easy to question play calling from the couch, but it’s also easy to dismiss davenport coaches when they actually might be on to something. The Patriots threw the ball 58 times on Sunday. I submit to you that they should have thrown it more. Tom Brady averaged 11 yards per completion and 6.8 yards per pass attempt while completing 62% of his passes. On the ground Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden, and Danny Woodhead ombined for a paltry 3.3 yards per rushing attempt. The Patriots scored only 2 touchdowns on Sunday. The first touchdown drive featured 6 passes and 0 Runs and it took them only 1:46 to march down the field. During that drive the Seahawks forced only one third down. A mostly fearless, aggressive approach helped the Patriots build a 20-10 lead in a hostile environment on the road against the toughest run defense in the NFL. Through six games Seattle is giving up only 50 yards per game on the ground. With 11 minutes left in the game the Patriots had built a 10 point lead and moved the ball into field goal range behind 48 passes and 18 rushes: a 73%/27% split. Then Josh decided to call off the dogs and ‘sit’ on the lead. 7 of the next 12 plays would be on the ground and only short conservative passes mixed in. Anytime the offense forgets that its job is to move the ball by doing what it does best problems are just around the corner. The point is that fantasy owners used to draft Patriots knowing that even if they were up 70-3 with 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Brady would be under center and making it 77-3 was their life’s mission. Those days appear to be over.
Cedric Peerman’s 8 catches for 76 yards are the very definition of flash in the pan, but if injuries have you stuck with Lamar Miller and LaRod Stephens-Howling as your only bye week options, sometimes the pan flashes twice.
Felix Jones is going to be a hot pickup this week. I refuse to spend much $ on someone who reported to camp out of shape. Phillip Tanner might be worth a $1 grab if you are desperate or are low in FAAB cash. He was very impressive during the 2011 preseason.