East Coast Offense
By Christopher Liss
RotoWire Managing Editor
It turns out that two of OJ Simpson's cohorts have pled guilty to armed robbery the other day and will testify against him. And that makes sense under the circumstances. But you have to wonder why they went along with him in the first place. For starters, the payoff seems to be recovering some memorabilia that used to belong to OJ. Perhaps I'm underestimating its value, but I can't imagine it would collectively be worth more than five or 10 grand. Since there were several cohorts and OJ, they would presumably split this score into small fractions. Second, the robbery took place in a Las Vegas casino hotel room. While there typically aren't cameras in the rooms, there are cameras everywhere else in a casino. That means that the cohorts would be on tape coming in and out of the casino. Which they were. Finally, they were accompanied by perhaps the most well known person on the planet, that everyone knows chopped up two people with a knife. You'd have to think that (1) the robbery victims would recognize and be able to later identify their assailant, (2) that the legal system would not treat OJ or his cohorts with particular leniency and (3) that if things went wrong (which fortunately they did not), OJ might take the situation to the next level, leading to a felony murder charge (and possible life sentence) for all involved. It's hard to think of a stupider decision than to go along with OJ's plan - except for perhaps when I laid the points with Seattle on Sunday night. If ever there was a soft home favorite in a weak division with little urgency playing against a desperate team needing to salvage its season, it was the Seahawks. I'll be in on OJ's next half-assed scheme before I ever lay more than field goal with Seattle again.
I told you to pick up Kurt Warner weeks ago, and now it probably cost you a win. Well, if it's any consolation, it cost me one, too. Actually, it didn't. I started him in a couple leagues, but Adrian Peterson saved me in one, and my opponent's inability to field a credible lineup saved me in the other. And I should have known better because the same thing happened two years ago - I started Warner - after he had a few 300 yard games - at home against the Texans, and he got hurt in the first quarter. Meanwhile Tom Brady, who was on my bench, and going against Tampa in bad weather, threw four touchdowns. Had I started Brady, I would have won the league. Instead I was out in Round 1. (Just so you know, I had started Brady every game to that point, and only after Warner outperformed him two or three weeks in a row and had a far better matchup did I make the switch).
How about this week? Michael Bennett's now on the Bucs and should be in the mix (why else would they trade for him), but I'm not a believer. Bennett strikes me as one of those straight-ahead burners without much toughness or shiftiness. Long speed for a back is like arm strength for a quarterback - you need a bare minimum, and it's nice if you have a lot, but it's not really what the job is about. Pick him up for the hell of it in deep leagues, but don't expect much.
Bobby Engram could be available in some leagues, and he'll see plenty of targets going forward as the only healthy receiver that Matt Hasselbeck trusts. D.J. Hackett could finally be back and play a role - the Seahawks should win by at least 40 against the Rams, and you know Shaun Alexander's not up for any real work.
Maybe Marty Booker's worth a look now that Chris Chambers is in San Diego. Ronnie Brown's still going to be the focal point of that offense, but with the defense giving up so many points, they'll have to call some pass plays.
I mentioned Kellen Clemens last week, and after Chad Pennington's awful game last Sunday, it bears mentioning again. The Jets will give up plenty of points, and they have two very good receivers - an ideal situation for a fantasy quarterback. The problem with Pennington is that he's by all accounts a great guy, and it's harder to pull the plug on someone like that. If only he had a little more Jeff George in him, the team would be better off.
In deep leagues, Reuben Droughns could be worth a look as Derrick Ward is dealing with an ankle problem, and Brandon Jacobs left Monday night's game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury of his own. The Giants run blocking is among the best in the league, and if either of the two backs were to miss time, Droughns would likely get regular work.
Around the League
Article first appeared 10/17/07
Beating the Book
We went 4-7-2 against the spread overall last week to put our season record at 46-35-8. We lost with the Dolphins here, to put our record at 1-5 in this forum. The Dolphins did get a backdoor cover of sorts - unfortunately, there were still 15 minutes left in the game.
Steelers -3.5 at Broncos
The Broncos have burned us before, but we have to take them on national television at home and getting more than three after a bye week. Their season is on the line right now, and Pittsburgh struggled at Arizona a few weeks ago, i.e., we're not sold on them as a dominant road team. The public will be all over the Steelers, but we're going the other way. Back the Broncos who win outright.
Broncos 27 - 13
Surviving Week 7
Last week, we took the Ravens, and it worked out fine, though the other big favorites all won except Seattle, and they're dead to us, anyway.
This week, we'd take the Pats if we could, but we can't, so we're probably going with the Giants, though we reserve the right to change our minds later in the week. The Giants are playing well on both sides of the ball, but it's their defense especially that should give the 49ers trouble in the Meadowlands. The one worry we have about this game is that San Fran is the type of team that can ugly it up and win on a kickoff or interception return by Nate Clements or a big run by Frank Gore. The Giants' defense should have its way with a team like that, but far stranger things have happened, and Eli Manning isn't reliable enough to avoid some bad throws to San Francisco's play-makers. Washington and Seattle are also possibilities, though if we picked Seattle and lost, I wouldn't want to be around myself, but I'd be stuck.
The full article comes out on Thursday morning.
Article first appeared 10/17/07