East Coast Offense
By Christopher Liss
RotoWire Managing Editor
ESPN's New Brett Favre Commercial
Did you guys see the new ESPN Favre commercial on Monday night? I think you can see the short-cuts version on DirecTV in about 17 minutes, but the uncut three-hour version was really cool. I'm not sure who the Packers were playing, (Is Favre even on the Packers these days, or does the "G" on the helmet stand for "God bless Brett Favre?"), but I do know that ESPN loves Favre. They love the guy, and rightly so because he's great guy, and he and his family have been through so much. If you've ever read the Old Testament, you're probably familiar with the Book of Favre, where God takes away everything from Favre, but he still performs incredibly well on the football field - even in 2005 where he threw more interceptions than touchdowns, and his team did badly.
While most people are heaping praise on Terrell Owens, Michael Vick and Ricky Williams, it's so refreshing to see a network with the courage to give proper praise to a great player and person like Favre. Personally, I've always rooted for Favre in spite of all the criticism he's taken. Now that I know ESPN roots for Favre, I feel good about ESPN as a brand.
The sad thing is it was actually a pretty exciting game, one in which Jay Cutler led a terrific game-tying drive, and Favre really did make two legitimately incredible throws.
Why the Falcons Refuse to Give Jerious Norwood Carries
Got more feedback this week - not quite as insightful as last week's (by the way, the drunk chimp steered me very wrong, as you'll see below) - but I'll include it here nonetheless:
There are two reasons that Dunn is still getting more carries than Norwood, even though Norwood is obviously more explosive:
1) Jerious Norwood can't block - this is a big deal with Atlanta's porous O-line and immobile QBs, and
2) He doesn't know the playbook yet. Some players pick up a new offense more quickly than others. Jerious, unfortunately, is one of the "others" for some reason. The coaches can't trust him full-time because they can trust him to know what to do on every play.
This must be true, because there's no other plausible explanation. Nonetheless, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution thinks that the team will turn to Norwood before long anyway.
But I appreciate the intelligent feedback - for a while I was worried that even Brad Evans' readers were smarter than mine.
I'd like the record to show that in the Yahoo! Friends and Family league, I owned Ryan Grant and Justin Fargas at one point. Of course, I dropped them when they weren't getting any carries, and now I'm quite sure they won't be around for me to pick up. But maybe you've got a higher waiver priority in which case, you should roll the dice. Grant, who got 100 yards against Denver's awful run defense, will start going forward, and Fargas could get a bigger slice of the carries for the Raiders with LaMont Jordan ineffective since returning from his back injury. (Dom Rhodes is also in the mix, but he's No. 3 on the depth chart).
Chris Henry has been the Titans' most explosive back when he's gotten the chance to carry the ball, and with Chris Brown perpetually nicked up, Henry has a chance to stay in the mix. If anything were to happen to LenDale White, not exactly a paragon of durability, the upside for whoever's running behind that offensive line is significant.
Michael Bush might also be worth a look - he started practicing with the team - and for the season's final four games it could be the JaMarcus Russell/Michael Bush show. Both are long shots to make a major fantasy impact, but in deep leagues, any back who might get carries is worth a look, and Bush has the size and athleticism to be very good if healthy.
Kellen Clemens was finally named the starter in New York. There's no reason to think he won't be productive given the positive signs he's shown in limited action, the quality of the Jets' receivers and the potential for shootouts given the team's leaky defense.
J.P. Losman will also get at least one start, and that might be all he needs - Cincinnati's an ideal match for a shootout. Buffalo's also got Miami twice and Cleveland left on the schedule - which makes Losman a decent spot starter down the stretch if he keeps the job.
Around the League
Article first appeared 10/30/07
Beating the Book
It was a truly awful week for us against the spread - we knew that going in, and I was actually tempted to tell people to bet the opposite of our picks. But you can't do that because then your picks ARE the opposite of your picks, and they should do the opposite of that. We were so turned around by last week's slate that we were going to go wrong, either way. The good news is that despite three bad weeks, we're still at .500, and historically we're better in the second half of the year anyway. We also got the pick in this forum wrong with the Jets, putting us at 2-6 here, and our 3-10 showing overall dropped us to 54-54-8 on the year.
Patriots -5.5. at Colts
We know the Patriots have covered eight straight weeks, and we've gone against them most of the time, actually, and gotten killed. But so have the bookies, because every average schmoe is putting more and more cash every week on the Pats. So naturally, the bookies are eventually going to set a line so absurd that all the blind-faith New England money is going to come back to them. This is that line.
Think about it - the Colts are the defending Super Bowl champs, they're undefeated, and they're blowing out teams with winning records like Carolina and Jacksonville on the road. That they would be getting this many points at home against anyone is insane. If you figure three points for home field advantage, that means this line would be 11.5 in New England. Can you imagine an 8-0 team coming off a Super Bowl win and looking better than ever getting 11.5? That's what this line is. Total madness. That doesn't mean the Pats can't cover - they could. But the odds are against it. Back the Colts.
Colts 30 - 27
Surviving Week 9
It wasn't pretty, but the Giants got the job done, and that's good enough for us. Unfortunately, most of the big favorites won except for the Bears, so not too many people got knocked out of our pools.
This week, we're going with the Steelers who we haven't used yet. It worries us a bit that they get Baltimore off the bye week, and that Baltimore killed them twice last year. But this isn't the same Ravens team, and it's not the same Steelers one, either. For one, Roethlisberger's having a Pro Bowl type season, and two, the Ravens defense isn't what it was. We give Pittsburgh a 75 percent chance to win this game.
The full article comes out on Thursday morning.
Article first appeared 10/30/07