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NFL Notes
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 10/14/2008 4:10:00 PM
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I haven’t gone back and looked at the details, but I’d venture to guess Matt Ryan’s first six games of his NFL career are as impressive as any rookie QB ever. And to think about the Michael Vick and Bobby Petrino disasters. Is there a better young trio in the league than Ryan, Roddy White and Michael Turner?...It’s possible Devin Hester may turn into a viable wide receiver after all. There certainly is the opportunity…Lately an easy schedule has helped, but I’m very surprised with how competent Kyle Orton has been. I got this one wrong…It’s been beaten to death by now, but the decision to squib kick while up one point with six seconds left was indefensible. I’ve heard some argue it was the right call, just that the execution was the problem. I don’t buy it. I’ve seen that scenario lead to great field possession, one play and then a field goal 10 times as often as I’ve seen a team return a normal kickoff for a touchdown at the buzzer.

One of the most unpredictable stats of the 2008 season: Chad Pennington getting 8.0 YPA. And with that receiving corps. Over the last three games, he’s completed 78 percent of his passes...As a proud Ronnie Brown owner, I was none too pleased seeing Ricky Williams get essentially an even split of the carries Sunday. Luckily, Brown countered that with a productive day in the passing game, something the team needs to better utilize moving forward…Texans corner Fred Bennett led the NFL in YPA against last season. This year, he’s basically been benched. DBs remain one of the most fluctuating positions on the field. Unless you’re Nnamdi Asomugha, of course…It would be really tough to choose who’s the No. 1 fantasy WR right now, Andre Johnson or Brandon Marshall…Still not sure why everyone doesn’t consider Matt Schaub a clear QB1 moving forward.

It shouldn’t be underestimated just how well that Ravens secondary was playing before Peyton Manning shredded it to pieces Sunday. And as I see it, the news he had a second knee surgery is actually good, giving him a valid excuse for the slow start. It looks like a monster second half is in store…Joe Flacco, meanwhile, appears to be undergoing some growing pains. Shake it off kid, not everyone can be Matty Ryan…Well, I guess I prematurely wrote off Marvin Harrison. I’d still try to sell coming off that game…There’s still hope with that cushy playoff schedule, but after this year, I’m done with Joseph Addai as an early first round pick. Health is a skill he clearly doesn’t possess.

This Vikings team is a fraud. The defense has shown signs of improvement, but with a below average passing game and a clueless head coach, they’ll be watching the playoffs from home…I’m not going to kill him for it, but Dan Orlovsky’s safety was easily one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on a football field. The fact Detroit lost by two points makes it that much better…Bernard Berrian has become a legit fantasy option…The trade of Roy Williams should boost Calvin Johnson’s value, as I’m always on the more targets outweighs more coverage side of the ledger, at least for the most part…It’s hard to have a more disappointing 111-yard rushing day than Adrian Peterson’s Week 6. It’s true the holes simply haven’t been there, but come on, at home against Detroit and just 4.4 YPC? His fumbling has become a real problem as well.

See, it was definitely Lane Kiffin’s fault. I loved hearing how he called JaMarcus Russell last week to go over the Saints game. That was cool…Is it possible to play any better than Drew Brees did Sunday? It’s doubtful…If that’s Deuce McAllister’s upside in perfect conditions, he can’t be used in fantasy leagues…New Orleans’ front seven has played fantastic run defense of late…Never in the history of football has there ever been someone so valuable with a 3.1 YPC mark than Reggie Bush in 2008. The No. 1 ranked running back in most fantasy leagues, Bush hasn’t had more than 31 rushing yards in any game since Week 3.

There were two plausible scenarios for Chris Perry this season: he’d miraculously stay healthy and be extremely productive, or more likely, he’d get hurt. Naturally, he’s stayed healthy and been about as unproductive as possible. The Bengals’ current best runner is Ryan Fitzpatrick…Who’s worse? Fitzpatrick or Tyler Thigpen? Quick, someone page Shane Falco.

I wouldn’t have drafted Warrick Dunn on a bet this year. How does a 33-year-old RB with more than 2,500 career carries average 5.1 YPC after getting just 3.2 last season? Unreal…Sticking with Tampa Bay, nice to see my boy B.J. Upton clobber five bombs in seven postseason games after hitting nine all season long. Where was that all year? He’s going to be a monster next season. But not quite as big as Evan Longoria, who looks like a clear top-15 fantasy pick in 2009.

After winning four straight games, including back-to-back victories in Dallas and in Philadelphia, the Redskins then lose at home to the winless Rams? Yes, this game of football can be hard to predict. That said, this truly was a fluke, as fumbles (NFL’s true equalizer) were mostly to blame. St. Louis’ offense remains a joke…There’s been a Shaun Alexander sighting! Don’t be the sucker rushing to go pick him up in your fantasy league…Richie wasn’t very “Incognito” during his egregious penalty that nearly ruined the upset of the year. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

Despite missing Week 1, Brandon Marshall has 10 more targets (69) than any other receiver in the league. And they called me crazy when I made a bet this summer that Marshall would have the better fantasy season than Randy Moss…He’s been long gone in all my leagues, but it’s worth reiterating – go pick up Ryan Torain if available…I can’t wait to see what Maurice Jones-Drew will eventually do once he has that backfield all to himself…This Denver defense isn’t just bad, it’s atrocious.

Steve Breaston can clearly play, and Larry Fitzgerald may very well be the best receiver on the planet. Imagine trying to defend this passing attack once Anquan Boldin returns. Of course, even if there’s only three men in the box, Edgerrin James will muster 3.5 YPC…Ten games of Roy Williams for a first, third and sixth round pick? Really? He’s had exactly one season during his career where he’s met or exceeded expectations. I didn’t realize the passing game was an area of need. I’m sure Terrell Owens will enjoy fewer targets, and receiver is an easy position to transition from one team to another. Only not. Still, I can’t complain about some rare trade action in the NFL…Wade Phillips’ sideline antics have officially become full-on embarrassing. Dallas has plenty of talent, especially at the high-profile skill positions, but this team is soft and undisciplined. They need a coaching change fast…The word is often misused, but the fact Pacman Jones has been suspended indefinitely due to a fight with a security guard who was hired purely to help keep him in the league is, in fact, ironic. I’m not sure who’s crazier, Pacman, or George Brett (NSFW).

When the 9ers go down, they go down in style. Like being outscored 23-0 in the fourth quarter Sunday. I’m beginning to think J.T. O’Sullivan has ball security issues…There’s been a Vernon Davis sighting! It’d probably result in a 50 percent catch rate (or worse), but it would be interesting to at least see a bunch of targets thrown his way…Andy Reid must have one of the worst short-term memories around. I really think he’d trot David Akers out there again when Philly is in 45-plus FG range. Or keep pounding up the middle during short-yardage situations when his line is ill suited for that. L.J. Smith simply can’t block…Speaking of Philadelphia, if Joe Torre was willing to bring in Jonathan Broxton in a tie game in the eighth inning, why not do so with a two-run lead? Just a brutal loss by the Dodgers. But pretty cool redemption by Shane Victorino, who I thought handled the whole bench clearing situation well.

Was it just me, or did Charlie Frye not look very good Sunday? Mike Holmgren came back for one more year of this?...I keep preaching patience with Ryan Grant, but that was certainly yet another highly disappointing effort…If Maurice Morris is available in your league, I’d stash him…Greg Jennings has gotten an eye-popping 12.6 YPA this season. Lee Evans has gotten 14.4 YPA, but that’s in nearly half the targets.

Have you read all those quotes from Laurence Maroney? Something is clearly going on there. Of course, Bill Belichick treats football like the JFK documents, so it’s unlikely we’ll ever find out the real “issues”…As a Vincent Jackson owner in numerous leagues, Chris Chambers’ ankle injury can’t heal slow enough…Call me crazy, but it looks like the Patriots are going to miss Tom Brady after all…Coaching is important in football – I’d say more so than any other sport by far – but you won’t see a bigger mismatch than Belichick versus Norv Turner, and San Diego once held a 30-3 lead before winning by 20. I’m just saying…Speaking of Turner, will you please get Darren Sproles more involved.

And to think, people were keeping a straight face while calling Eli the better Manning last week. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to overreact to one bad game and still expect a fine season from Eli, but let’s not get crazy here. He clearly has the far superior team surrounding him than Peyton…Welcome to 2008, Braylon Edwards…Do you realize Derrick Ward is averaging 7.4 YPC this season?! In fact, the Giants as a team are getting 6.1 YPC, which would be the highest average in NFL history over a single season.


DDD - very humorous summary. Great points all around. I know you have been a huge Schaub fan all season and I have him as my backup behind Peyton. My current RB2 is either J. Stewart or D. Williams (ugly, I know). Would I be crazy to trade Manning for R. Brown and roll with Schaub the rest of the way?? Or just sit back and wait for Torain to get healthy, and try to trade Schaub later? Also who do you like more going forward as a WR3 in a ppr league - Ward or Evans? Thanks!
Posted by lzeis24 at 10/14/2008 4:31:00 PM
I don't have my notes either, but you may want to compare Ryan and Dan Marino. I don't believe Marino started right away, but I believe he got off to a pretty good start once Shula took away the clipboard.

Posted by vtadave at 10/14/2008 4:40:00 PM
I'm pretty sure there were 11 seconds left on the squib. Pennington isn't the reason behind his 8 YPA, it's Dan Henning. That offense may be the most creative in the league, ask Patrick Cobbs (what's his YPA?). Upton a top 15 pick next year? Don't forget he's now an OF. Good call on Victorino, the anti-Sheffield. He was man enough to take a beaning, just didn't want a concussion.
Posted by kevinccp at 10/14/2008 4:45:00 PM
The Pokes apparently re-upped Williams so at least they didn't pay that much for a rent-a-player. I suppose it will take him a while to learn the system, but the offense is in downshift mode anyway until Romo comes back out of the garage. The Week 10 bye helps.

The opportunity vs. protection thing is funny, because in the fantasy community at large you'll hear every possible angle argued with passion and certainty. At the end of the day I take it on a case-by-case basis, but opportunity generally comes first, to me. That all said, Calvin Johnson's got major problems unless there's something great about Dan Orlovsky and Drew Stanton that no one knows yet.
Posted by spianow at 10/14/2008 4:46:00 PM
Pennington is getting a lot more YAC-help than I expected. And Greg Camarillo can play, a poor man's Welker.
Posted by spianow at 10/14/2008 4:47:00 PM
I think the squib kick is the right call there. Norwood already had an 87-yard return in that game. The kicker screwed it up by only squibbing it to the 35 yard line. That kick has to be squibbed to the 20 or so - then it works. No excuse to allow them one 20-yard pass to get into FG range.

The Cowboys have a ridiculous amount of talent. Sure they overpaid for RWilliams, but I can see them re-upping him this year. Who knows how long TO will be around.
Posted by MPStopa at 10/14/2008 6:13:00 PM
lzeis - I'd def trade Manning for R. Brown and roll with Schaub. Check out Miami's playoff schedule...He loses value in a PPR format, but I'd still prefer Evans to Ward.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 10/14/2008 6:16:00 PM
Dave - Looks like Marino finished his rookie year with a 20:6 TD:INT ratio and 7.5 YPA, which is to say, you're right. He threw 48 TDs the next year.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 10/14/2008 6:19:00 PM
Kevin - You're right about the squib. There were six seconds remaining after the kick...Miami's offense has def. been innovative to be sure...I called Longoria a top-15 pick, not Upton. Although I do see Upton as a third rounder.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 10/14/2008 6:21:00 PM
Spianow - That didn't take long to lock up Williams, apparently. Wonder how much money they threw at him...I don't think Orlovsky has to be good for Calvin to be productive, but I hear you. Do you think it hurts his value with Williams leaving?...Camarillo is a sneaky PPR play.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 10/14/2008 6:24:00 PM
Stopa - The Norwood factor makes it less egregious, but I just can't get on board with that strategy. Kickers just can't be counted on in that area. Put it this way, if I'm a Falcons fan before the play, I'm rooting for a short kickoff.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 10/14/2008 6:27:00 PM
how hard is it to make a squib kick to the 20? You're a professional kicker! You have one job in life - to kick! There's no excuse for not ensuring that the kick gets to the 20. If they are that concerned with the bounce or with it happening to bounce to an upman, then do one of those high chip kicks that gets caught at the 20. There's no way a professional kicker shouldn't be able to do that.

I enjoyed the blog, BTW, as usual.
Posted by MPStopa at 10/14/2008 7:01:00 PM
Sorry 3D thought you were refering to Upton. I'd even go top 10 with Longoria.
Posted by kevinccp at 10/14/2008 7:26:00 PM
Agree that the Orlovsky safety was hilarious - he just panicked and ran out of the back of the end zone untouched. No idea what he was thinking. A. Johnson/B. Marshall/L. Fitzgerald top three right now. But we made the Moss bet before Brady went down... Put Patrick Ramsey in for Cutler, and there would be more suspense. That Pennington/Orton/Ryan are good QBs, and Hasselbeck/Palmer/Bulger injured/disastrous would have been hard to forsee. Also, Brady's out, Manning and Anderson finally came around, and Romo's out now. Only Drew Brees has lived up to his billing. A. Rodgers has been great fantasy-wise, though.
Posted by cliss at 10/14/2008 9:33:00 PM
The George Brett link is hilarious - actually he had hooked up with a girl I dated a long time ago. She said he was "aggressive". He probably didn't incorporate the Bellagio story into his rap, though.
Posted by cliss at 10/14/2008 11:19:00 PM
Chris - Oh I fully admit I obviously got a break with Brady going down. It's frustrating you now have a built-in excuse - haha...Good point about all those QBs being busts. I'd assume that's usually the most consistent position of them all. One more reason to wait on them going forward...George Brett - "I'm good for that twice a year." Classic.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 10/15/2008 8:57:00 AM
I'm as skeptical of Roy Williams as anyone, but I'd argue that he definitely "hit" in two seasons - his rookie year and (obviously) the big 2006 season. Getting 817 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie wideout (and in just 14 games) is not shabby at all.
Posted by spianow at 10/15/2008 3:51:00 PM
Posted by IRA at 10/15/2008 7:09:00 PM

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