East Coast Offense
By Christopher Liss
RotoWire Managing Editor
There's No Justice in Fantasy Football
Let's face it - fantasy football is about doing a good job drafting and managing a team, then hoping the chips fall right come playoff time. Drew Brees might have gotten you there, but for all the foresight you had to draft him, he probably also got you bounced from the playoffs. Antonio Gates wasn't helping much either of late, and Willis McGahee, Reggie Bush and Shaun Alexander probably came too late to the party to matter. If you owned those players, you were probably watching the finals from the sidelines and seeing your team badly outscore the two guys contending for the title. On the other hand, if you were desperate enough to start Ron Dayne or Isaac Bruce, you might have taken down the LaDainian Tomlinson owner. Not that the Tomlinson owner deserved to win anyway - picking him in the top three just means you did what anyone would have. Of course, none of this mattered to me, as my teams all found their final resting places in Week 15. I already told you one story, and I won't bore you with the others. Suffice to say they were all horrific bad beats that destroyed my well being and self-esteem irreparably. Only one team wins each season, and everyone else learns that whatever forces govern our cosmos, they are at best indifferent and, at worst, sadistic.
Around the League
Let's get caught up quickly on the major developments of the last few days:
When the smoke cleared, Harrison was the top receiver in fantasy football, with the second most receiving yards (1292) and the second most touchdowns (11). Terrell Owens led the league in TDs with 12, but he had more than 200 fewer yards, while Chad Johnson led the league in receiving yards, but had just seven touchdowns.
The Saints, Bears and Seahawks have nothing to play for, so be wary of using their players, assuming your season goes 17 weeks. Thomas Jones, Rex Grossman, Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Deuce McAllister, Reggie Bush, Shaun Alexander, Matt Hasselbeck are all risky plays.
If you were to start in 2000 and skip forward in time to last week, you'd think that Ron Dayne was exactly the back the Giants had hoped he'd be, while Tiki Barber is probably too small to be an every down runner. Of course, Barber is only the third back in NFL history (M. Faulk, M. Allen) to have 10,000 yards rushing and 5,000 receiving. He's averaged 4.7 yards per carry for his career, and he had the second highest single-season yards-from-scrimmage total in league history last year. And even though Barber has 1428 rushing yards this season and 55 catches for 441 more yards, if the Giants don't beat the Redskins in Washington Saturday, his career will have ended with a whimper. In fact, you could say that about the whole team - it would be fitting if rookie tackle Guy Whimper was made eligible for the last play, and they threw the ball to him.
There's no justice in fantasy basketball, either. Actually, there's more than in football.
Below the Radar
Beating the Book
We went 8-8 against the spread last week and are now 128-103-9 on the season. We picked the Seahawks here last week, and they covered. We're now 9-6-1 in this forum.
Bills +9.5 at Ravens
I've slowly come around on the Ravens, finally realizing that they're one of the NFL's two or three elite teams, and that they'll be a tough out in the playoffs. But the Bills have played very well of late, and I expect them to get up for this one, even if they have nothing to play for. Nine and a half is a little bit too much. Back Buffalo.
Ravens 20 - 19
For the rest of this week's slate, check out Beating the Book
Surviving Week 17
Well, our top choice, the Colts didn't make it last week, our No. 2 the Chiefs did, but both our third and fourth teams (Dallas and Atlanta) also lost.
This week, we San Diego over Arizona (Chargers still need a win to secure home field advantage), Dallas over Detroit (Cowboys can still win the division if they win, and the Eagles lose), then the Jets (playoff berth at stake) at home over the Raiders, then Denver at home against the 49ers.
The full article comes out on Thursday night.
Article first appeared 12/26/06