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East Coast Offense: 2007 East Coast Offense-Week 10

Chris Liss

Chris Liss is RotoWire's Managing Editor and Host of RotoWIre Fantasy Sports Today on Sirius XM radio.

East Coast Offense

By Christopher Liss
RotoWire Managing Editor

Smoke and Mirrors

In the 16th round of the 15-round Yahoo Friends and Family League, I made perhaps the best pick in the entire draft: a killer virtual defense. My virtual fantasy defense consistently shuts down superior opposing offenses and even calibrates its level of dominance to my erratic (and usually modest) offensive output. As a result, I'm 7-2 in that league, despite being tied for 8th in points. And the only reason I'm tied for eighth in points is due to good lineup decisions because my team is terrible. Jeff Garcia leads it in total points, and my first four draft picks (it's a 14-team league) were Frank Gore, Torry Holt, Jerious Norwood and Brandon Jackson, in that order. Having a deep receiving corps, which includes Santonio Holmes, Reggie Brown, Roddy White and D.J. Hackett and very good TE, K and D (Kellen Winslow, Rob Bironas and the Giants) helps, but there's no two ways about it, this team is winning with smoke and mirrors.

We'll see how my defense does this week against Scott Pianowski's underachieving second-place team. As long as we can shut down Derek Anderson, Marshawn Lynch, Clinton Portis and Plaxico Burress, we should be fine. Hopefully, Laveranues Coles is still sufficiently concussed.

The other subplot is that Brad Evans bet me a $19 burger at Bradley Ogden's restaurant in Vegas on who would do better in the league. Evans has Brandon Jacobs, Kevin Jones, Terrell Owens and T.J. Houshmandzadeh on his team, but stands at just 3-6. Great offense, but terrible virtual defense which has historically been a problem for Evans. You might shrug it off as simple bad luck, but I've been in Vegas with the guy, and bad beats stalk him like predator to prey.

Still, I better not talk too much trash after Week 9 - my squad is bad enough to get overtaken.

Waiver Wire

With rumors swirling that Larry Johnson might be out for the year thanks to a broken foot (and at the very least likely to miss next week's game), the ancient and surgically held-together Priest Holmes should get some carries. I'd probably put my money on rookie Kolby Smith, though not very much of it, because the Chiefs weren't creating big holes even when Johnson was healthy.

The Chris Henry returning from (and not about to embark on) a suspension is worth a look, especially with Chad Johnson banged up. Even if Johnson's fine to play, the Bengals are dying for some wide receiver help, and they face a beatable Ravens secondary. If Johnson doesn't play, Henry's arguably a top-25 start. Even with Johnson, Henry's bound to get some looks, possibly even in the red zone. Incidentally, it would be cool if the Bears Adrian Peterson broke the rushing record this week - on the heels of both Chris Henrys being suspended in the same season, you'd have to start factoring a player's name into his draft slot. (The Giants' Steve Smith should be bumped up if that happens).

I picked up JaMarcus Russell in a 16-team league where I've got quarterback problems because I think he'll get his shot sooner rather than later, and his teammates all rave about his physical skills from his mobility for a big quarterback to his jaw-dropping arm strength. His coach Lane Kiffin says he doesn't want to throw Russell in with a poor supporting cast and hurt his confidence, but after one more game of Josh McCown and/or Daunte Culpepper, there's a good chance he changes his tune. Russell's a rookie QB who missed training camp, so expect a rocky first couple games at least, but the waiver wire is all about upside, and this lottery ticket could cash in time for your playoffs. If you think that's far-fetched, take a look at Vince Young's statlines down the stretch last year.

Around the League

  • Adrian Peterson's record-breaking day makes Brad Childress look like an idiot for not scrapping the timeshare with Chester Taylor sooner. It also makes Mike Holmgren and the Seahawks look like idiots for not franchising Steve Hutchinson, probably the best run-blocking lineman in football, and instead letting him go to the Vikings. And it made everyone who backed the Chargers in survivor feel like idiots. But it also made everyone who drafted or traded for Peterson this year feel like geniuses. (I feel like an idiot because I traded Peterson (and Kevin Jones) for LaDainian Tomlinson and Calvin Johnson in a league two weeks ago). A good rule of thumb is that when something amazing happens, more people feel like idiots than geniuses, and rightly so, because idiots will always outnumber geniuses.
  • The Colts fell apart against the Pats down the stretch, but keep in mind that they were playing with only one receiver on their roster and Aaron Moorehead, who dropped an easy pass on the team's final drive. The loss of Marvin Harrison probably wouldn't have been as significant had Anthony Gonzalez not also gotten injured in that game.
  • Word is that Harrison isn't that hurt - that he has just a knee bruise, but that Tony Dungy held him out in part to let the team know this was just another game, all the hype notwithstanding. Of course, that loss could send them to New England for the AFC title game, but maybe Dungy's playing chess and not checkers here. As Will Carroll, my XM radio guest said today, "Is Tony Dungy crazy, or crazy like a fox?"
  • The Packers are 7-1, and winning on the road in places like Kansas City and Denver (not that either is a great team, but both are tough places to play). And they should really be 8-0 because they were dominating a Bears team at home before inexplicably falling apart. The other NFC frontrunner, the Cowboys, absolutely annihilated the Eagles in Philly Sunday night. Either Dallas is really good, or the Eagles are a terrible mess. I'd say it's 40 percent the former and 60 percent the latter.
  • How can the Ravens call four-yard pass plays down 28 points? If Steve McNair can still get the ball down field, then the Ravens must ask him to do that. If he can't, they need to replace him. But Brian Billick, while lamenting the team's terrible play, seems likely to do neither. When they play the Patriots and Colts in the next few weeks, it'll be amusing to watch the playcalling if they're down multiple scores.
  • Don't give up on Steve Smith despite the quiet games and bad quarterbacking. The Panthers will figure out a way to get him the ball, and he'll have a couple more big games.

Beating the Book

Well, we started at .500 and finished that way, going 7-7 against the spread to put us at 61-61-8. We're not thrilled with that, but we usually come on in the second half, and it could be worse. We were right about the Colts here last week, though we had to sweat that game out a little more than we wanted to at the end. Call it a front-door cover for them and be glad that Wes Welker caught a first down pass that gave the Pats a chance to run out the clock. We're now 3-6 in this forum.

Bears -3 at Raiders

The Raiders aren't very good, but getting points at home against the Brian Griese-led Bears is a nice spot for them. Oakland's pass defense should make some plays, and the Raiders should have success running the ball against the Bears soft front as Tommie Harris hasn't been healthy all year. Back Oakland who wins outright.

Raiders 20 - 19

The full article comes out on Thursday morning.

Surviving Week 10

Last week, the Steelers went easy on us and put that game away early, and Adrian Peterson was kind enough to put some Chargers-backers in our pools out of their misery.

This week, we're probably going with the resurgent Saints at home against the Rams. We don't like going against a winless team fresh off a bye - St. Louis will be desperate, healthier than they've been in a long time, and they're used to playing in a dome. Still, the way New Orleans handled a nasty, physical Jacksonville squad and the fact that at 4-4 they can't afford to take the Rams likely, gives us a fair amount of confidence. We give the Saints an 80 percent chance to win this game.

The full article comes out on Thursday morning.

Article first appeared 11/7/07