East Coast Offense
By Christopher Liss
RotoWire Managing Editor
One of the things that's great about writing for Yahoo! Sports is the feedback you get. People respectfully disagree with some of your observations from time to time, and it's always interesting to hear other points of view. Take for example the following email I received on Sunday morning:
You are the worst beat reporter in this game. Where do you get your information from??? Do you just make shit up??? Do you pay any attention to details?
A drunk chimp could analyze football way better than you. Do you have any clue on how to do your job? I'm not the only football fan who thinks your incompetent. EXAMPLE...NY GIANTS.... your not even close, get some better contacts. I'm gonna e-mail your boss aswell, I don't think he knows how much you suck. UUUUUU SSSSSUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sure, this guy is retarded, and yes, he's also on steroids, but you shouldn't discount his point of view on those grounds alone. In fact, I'm going to the LA zoo Sunday morning with some beer, and hopefully, I'll be able to coax some five-star locks out of the chimpanzees. Don't laugh - Richard Dreyfuss picked a winning horse in Let It Ride (a vastly underrated movie) after it winked at him. And chimps are smarter than horses and even some humans.
Best ball league
It's easy to speculate about what players we'd rank where, but in a season like this one, where so much has changed since draft day, one of my colleagues, Scott Pianowski, figured we'd put ourselves to the test and have a midseason expert draft (for real money). Of course, none of us have time to manage another league, so we made it a "best-ball" league.
The "best-ball" draft took place on Tuesday with pretty standard rules except that we used team quarterbacks and no defenses. Also, the "best ball" aspect means that we make no moves the rest of the way, and just take the scores of our best quarterback, two running backs, three WRs and flex each week. In other words, there's no lineup setting - everyone gets their perfect lineup. But the point is, you draft - at least in the first few rounds - for this league, exactly as you'd do for a regular draft. Here were the first two rounds.
Well, Jesse Chatman's the obvious get with Ronnie Brown done for the year. Lorenzo Booker and Patrick Cobbs could also be worth a look - once the established guy's gone, typically all bets are off. Not that the Dolphins will be running out a lot of leads in the fourth quarter anyway... Brian Griese's throwing the ball an awful lot, and the emergence of Devin Hester and Greg Olsen in addition to Bernard Berrian, Muhsin Muhammad and Desmond Clark gives him a lot of targets... Speaking of which, Olsen is justifying the hype about him in camp - he could be a top-10 tight end the rest of the way. Jay Cutler should be available in some leagues as well and should improve with experience, though losing Javon Walker doesn't help... And if anyone dropped Vince Young, go ahead and take a flier on him. He hasn't run much so far this year, but his run/pass upside is still there.
Around the League
Article first appeared 10/24/07
Beating the Book
We got back on track last week in this forum, backing the Broncos to cover and win outright against the Steelers to put our record against the spread here at 2-5. Unfortunately, we went 5-9 overall to drop our season record to 51-44-8.
Bills +3 at Jets
The Bills have played better than the Jets so far this season, but New York is a desperate team, and this is a winnable game at home for them. Expect the Jets offense to move the ball reliably, while Buffalo struggles a bit on the road with its rookie quarterback. Back New York.
Jets 27 - 20
Surviving Week 8
We have a bit of a problem here, as we took the Giants in this forum last week, but switched our pick on RotoWire to the Redskins at the last minute. (Yes, I know that was stupid, and it cost me three years of my life in terms of added stress). That means that we're able to take the Giants in our own pools and will pick them on the RotoWire. For those of you who used the Giants (and the Pats and Chargers who we took in previous weeks, our pick is the Titans).
We're going with the Giants, but we do have certain misgivings. First off, the game will be played in London, and that's going to throw off the routines of both teams. Distraction and disruption is always better for the underdog because when the teams have been in their routines, the favorite has obviously been better. Also, we don't like that the Dolphins are winless and playing on an international stage - that just adds to the desperation, and we expect they'll do whatever it takes not to embarrass themselves under the circumstances. Still, with Trent Green, Ronnie Brown and even Chris Chambers (who we're not high on) out, the Dolphins offense is incredibly thin, and their defense has been one of the worst in the league this year. We give the Giants an 80 percent chance to win this game.
If you've used the Giants, then we'd take the Titans, who with Vince Young back, and the offensive and defensive lines playing very well, should be able to handle the Raiders at home. Expect Daunte Culpepper to pitch in with a couple turnovers at least. We give the Titans a 72 percent chance to win this game.
The full article comes out on Thursday morning.
Article first appeared 10/24/07