East Coast Offense
By Christopher Liss
RotoWire Managing Editor
All Overrated Team
My car's in the shop yet again - this time because some valve blew, and they want $600* to fix it. This after I had to replace an engine coil three months ago for $500. And that two weeks after the transmission started slipping. That would have cost me five grand, but it was only four months out of warranty, and I had just 40,000 miles on the car. And I bitched and wrote letters until Audi relented. But if I could go back to last February and not buy the car after my lease expired, I surely would.
I also would have bet the Rockies to win the NL Pennant and bought lots of stock in RIMM, but that's besides the point. My car's put me in the mood to talk about things we paid too much for.
*That was the original estimate as of Monday, but I got them down to $320 including the $89 service and $200 replacement of brake pads thanks to a fantastic customer care rep on Tuesday.
QB: Vince Young - I only have him in half my leagues, thankfully - apparently other people were willing to take him in the fifth round, too. It's not entirely his fault, though - Norm Chow and Jeff Fisher have made abysmal use of his talent, and it'll probably cost Tennessee a playoff berth. A good example was in overtime Sunday when the Titans got the ball deep in their own territory. They ran the ball twice up the middle with slow, fat LenDale White, and he got very little. Then on third and long, they put Young in the shotgun, and he threw an incomplete pass. There was no thought apparently to rolling him out, or not putting him in that spot to begin with. If they wanted a pocket passer, they should have drafted Jay Cutler. And what was so wrong with the Vince Young of last year anyway?
Honorable mention: Philip Rivers
RB: Reggie Bush - I know some backs have done less fantasy-wise, but his hype to performance ratio is off the charts. On Monday Night Football, they showed Bush on the sidelines with his headphones and diamond earrings in both ears (you need to be like Michael Irvin or Deion Sanders to pull that off - the quiet, dignified type should usually dress like a man), and then they showed a graphic that Bush is the second highest paid entertainer/athlete under the age of 25, just behind LeBron James - a rare example of a top prospect who's exceeded the hype. The contrast between Bush and James, to this point, could not be starker.
RB2: Laurence Maroney - I know Larry Johnson, Steven Jackson and Frank Gore were all drafted higher, but at least those guys have an excuse. Maroney was dinged up early, but even since he's been healthy, he hasn't come close to doing what journeyman Sammy Morris did earlier in the year. And at least those other three have shown the ability to stay healthy under a heavy workload at some point in their careers.
Honorable mention: Shaun Alexander
WR1: Chad Johnson - There are plenty of receivers who did worse than him - Marvin Harrison and Javon Walker (injured), Lee Evans and Steve Smith (terrible quarterbacking), but none is as delusional about his ability or as annoying when he scores a touchdown for a losing team. Plus, like last year, it's a rare game when Johnson gets in the end zone - 4-of-16 in 2006 and 3-of-13 in 2007. This for a guy who was the first receiver off the board in a lot of drafts.
WR2: Anquan Boldin - 11.5 yards per catch, one 100-yard game all year and constant nagging injuries. The Cardinals throw the ball 36 times a game (8th), and Boldin hasn't been a regular beneficiary.
WR3: Calvin Johnson - He's built like Terrell Owens, only taller and faster, but he's been a big disappointment even for a rookie receiver. Sure, he was bothered by a back bruise for a few games, but on Thanksgiving, the Lions targeted him a ton, and he had several key drops. Dwayne Bowe has shown better instincts and more of a nose for the ball. At this point, Johnson's probably closer to Matt Jones than Owens. (I know I just touted him in this space last week as an upside playoff guy, and it could still happen this week. But unless and until it happens, he's had a disappointing rookie year for a No. 2 overall pick).
Honorable mention: Vincent Jackson
TE: Jeremy Shockey/Alge Crumpler - Slowing down and hurting, neither player has been a top-10 tight end this year.
K: - Not bothering with kickers.
Defense: Baltimore Ravens - Res Ipsa Loquitur
(That's for Herbst, a lawyer and Ravens fan who frequently comments on RotoWire columns).
It's time for Mr. Big Board to get what's coming to him in the Yahoo Friends and Family League this week. Sure his team just scored 144 points last week and is far better than mine offensively, but he hasn't faced the shut-down virtual defense I drafted.
Are people still scouring the waiver wire at this late stage? Sam Gado, Aaron Stecker, Pierre Thomas, Garrett Wolfe, Anthony Gonzalez, Darius Walker, Reggie Williams. If you're in the second round of your playoffs, you probably don't need any of these guys, but who knows?
Around the League
Article first appeared 12/11/07
49ers 24 - 21
Surviving Week 15
We could have taken just about anyone last week - all the favorites rolled, and Jacksonville was among them.
This week we were sold on Tampa early, but are a bit wary now that Bobby Petrino's sorry act just left down. It wouldn't have been such a shock had Falcons owner Arthur Blank not just made a jackass out of himself on Monday Night Football, saying that he was even more impressed with Petrino than when he hired him after seeing Petrino deal with adversity. How preposterous! In any event, we don't like Cincinnati, obviously, and we've used most of the other big favorites, so it's between Minnesota and Tampa Bay. For now, we'll go with Tampa Bay, but we reserve the right to switch to Minnesota as we expect Atlanta to show Petrino up by playing a good game after he quit on them. Still, we give Tampa an 80 percent chance to win this game at home.
The full article comes out on Thursday morning.
Article first appeared 12/11/07