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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Commentary From the Edge - Week 2
Kevin Ratterree
September 13, 2005

Week one's just blow you away.  It never fails.  Half our assumptions about the upcoming season get thrown out the window.  The Rams are the 49er's adult female dog?  The Chiefs defense not only holds a team under 30 points but almost pitches a shutout?  Miami scores 34 points in less than 4 games?  The Colts come seconds away from laying a goose egg on the Ravens?  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers push around the Vikings in the dome?  Yeah, it's a world gone mad.

But if we look logically on some of these strange occurrence, we can explain away if we wish to.  The Rams?  Outdoors.  Maybe taking their opponent lightly.  The Chiefs?  Arrowhead opening day.  Adrenaline gone wrong for the Jets and right for the Chiefs.  Miami?  Broncos a cool thin air team playing in the thick Miami heat. Colts?  Facing the worst offense in the league.   Buccaneers?  Coach with an IQ over 70.    

The city of Miami will begin constructing a shrine to Nick Saban if they go 2-0.  I may be wrong but I think the guy may be able to coach in this league.

Ditto for Mike Nolan who pulled out all the stops and became the latest coach to outsmart Mike Martz.

If Mark Brunell is your savior, the cause is probably beyond redemption.

Patrick Ramsey is demanding a trade.  To where?  Who is he going to start for?  Nobody.  Who has a more brittle starter than Brunell?  Nobody.  I guess the possibility exists that Ramsey is just wracked from the weekly pounding he takes, and would be happy to go hold a clipboard somewhere else.

Anthony Wright takes over for the Ravens this week.  I don't know how he can be any worse than Boller.  Wright certainly looks much more comfortable and confident in the pocket than Boller.  This move might stick if Wright doesn't throw to the wrong colored jersey's.   

While the 49ers were trouncing the Rams, Kevan Barlow didn't join in the fun ripping off a typical 14/22.  If you picked up Frank Gore late in the draft you may just be on to something.

Here is how the 1st round picks in the Huddle Top Gun draft fared using 1pt. per reception performance scoring.

  1. Tomlinson 13.20
  2. Alexander  7.30
  3. Edge         14.40
  4. D. Davis     7.70
  5. P. Holmes 16.00
  6. Manning    17.96
  7. McAllister  20.90
  8. McGahee   16.20
  9. J. Lewis       6.20
  10. Moss          24.00
  11. K. Jones     11.60
  12. Dillon          23.30

The top 5 may be a little underwhelmed with week one.  It was a rough day for lots of early round fantasy draft picks though.  Don't yield to the temptation to re-make your fantasy team if you came out on the short end in week 1.  Wait until after week 3 to panic and blow up your team.  Patience.

The Colts and Chiefs dominating performances after 0' fer  preseason's says about  all you need to say about preseason.

It looks like Larry Johnson just won't be denied.  And it would appear at this point that the Chiefs should be considered RBBC .  For those of you who picked Priest with a first round pick, off the cliff with you.  For those of you who have Johnson as a 3rd RB, time to do the happy dance.  Right now Johnson is one of the top 10 backs in the league.  All he needs is carries.  Priest is a great player.  If healthy he should continue to be.  But his days of weekly monster numbers are probably over.

So it turns out Terrell Owens problem all along was the fact that his fellow Eagles told the press last season after Owens injury, that they felt they could make it to the Superbowl and win the Superbowl without Terrell.  T.O. got his little feelings hurt.  Isn't that special.  Nice to see he's in touch with his feminine side.

This has nothing to do with football in particular, but I am not impressed with commercials that amp up the sound of somebody honking down a hamburger.  The sound of loud chewing is not something that I strive to hear.  As a matter of fact I avoid that sound if possible.  And I avoid fast food chains that feel the need to inflict that sound upon me against my will.  What next?  Intestinal noise?  Now I have something to live for.

ESPN's Monday Night Countdown finally found a format that works.  Pre-game melee, complete with ejections.  Now that's good television.  My reaction to the incident.  Total BS.  Even if you want to follow the league rules to the letter it would be hard to consider what Trotter did as anything more than a "hand check".  Trotter did not "throw a punch" which dictates ejection from the game.  And to top it off the officials even watched it on instant replay like we all did.  Can't they ever get it right?  I guess the NFL's position is, "when in doubt, toss 'em out."  That being said, Trotter showed little in the way of leadership by even allowing himself to be put in that position.  In chess terms the Falcons lost a Rook and the Eagles lost the Queen.  Before the game even started.  Right in front of the commissioner.  No way out of that hole.

Would somebody tell Mcnabb that he can still run if he wants to.  Thanks.

I'd like to see ESPN put Michael Irvin into a sports jacket with the sleeves sewn to the sides all the way to the elbow.  He's quite a grabber.  When he wants to say something, he can't wait for Steve Young or Tom Jackson to finish their sentences, so he grabs an arm as if to say, "shut up now, I need to pollute the air with my enormous blow hole."  I guess that wouldn't be quite so annoying if more than 2% of viewers gave a rat's ass what he had to say.  Irvin is improved slightly, but still far too annoying to be anything other than a nuisance to my Sunday morning television viewing.  Dat's ok doh.  I have a remote control and I'm not afraid to use it.

MISERY INDEX

10)  Javon Walker:  Walker and his agent's worst fears realized.  He came back without a big new contract.  He did the "right thing".  And he got blasted.  This is now exhibit A of why players hold out.  But also exhibit A of why owners hate to give out that signing bonus.

9)  Javon Walker owners:  The first major casualty of the season, and while Walker wasn't quite being drafted as high as the upper echelon wideouts, but a brutal hit for any fantasy owner banking that Walker might hang with the upper crust.  Count me among the grieving.  Hey, it just wouldn't be fantasy football for me without a week one injury to a major player.  That's the kind of stuff I live for!!  It's all about the struggle. -sniff-

8)  Packers:  A putrid performance against the new kids in town.  A most telling moment was late in the game, after the game was already decided.  The camera closed in on a dejected Favre slumped over on the bench.  I don't think I have ever seen that particular expression on the face of a player during a game.  Hopeless.  Lost.  A million miles away.  Lot's for Brett to think about.  And now added to the list is the fact that he called out Javon Walker to come back without a new contract, and now Walker is apparently facing a relatively bleak future, having never milked the great NFL cash cow.  Favre is lined up behind an offensive line that can't protect him and he just lost 1400 receiving yards with Walker.  To me, Favre looks like a guy who could bail at any moment, and who would blame him if he did?     

7)  Vikings:   This one is a shocker.  I figured the Vikings might not show up in the Misery Index  until later in the year, when they finally piss away the season for good.  I don't think you will find more than a handful of people outside Tampa nation who figured Brian Griese would out duel Culpepper.  Gee, maybe the ownership should have kept Moss and got rid of Tice.  Speaking of which, I cannot hold back the temptation any more.  Mike Tice will from now on be referred to in this column as Dawber.

6)  Rams:  Mike Martz outcoached.  Players outplayed.  San Fran fans in the stands with their mouths hung open and bewilderment in their eyes.  Half the "pick a winner" Survivor fields wiped out in week one.  It always seems to happen.  Opening week is the hardest one to predict in terms of winners and of fantasy players.  But when picking the Rams on the road, especially outdoors, never forget how truly horrible they are capable of being in that situation.  Especially with the 75% pass 25% run Martz trolling the sidelines.  It's always a good idea to keep your defense on the field as many minutes as possible.  Remember that boys and girls.

5)  Jets:  The gruesome performance against the Chiefs was a tough one to figure.  But opening day at Arrowhead is a brutal experience.  A tough place to trot out your new offensive scheme.  I'm going to assume the Jets stay in the Misery Index will be a short one.  But they looked an awful lot like a sub .500 team on this Sunday.  They are on pace to fumble 112 times this season.  That might be a bit hard to overcome.

4)  Seahawks:   Seattle's game plan ran about as efficiently as league management servers all over the Internet.  Those typically run from pretty cheap all the way to free. The Seahawks dog and pony show however, costs several million dollars as I understand it.

3)  Panthers:  With an opening home loss to the miraculously focused Saints, and a season ending injury to Kris Jenkins, a guy being counted on to help return the team to '03 form, the Panthers might be thinking, "here we go again."   A matchup against the Patriots this week doesn't bode well for a rebound.  I blame myself though, for mentioning in this column last week that they would be the challenger to the Eagles reign of terror.  Oh, wait a minute.  They were on the cover of Sports Illustrated weren't they?  Whew.  I'm off the hook.  Damned SI.

2)  Bears:  Losing to the Redskins really puts you in your place right away.  Pull up a chair and get comfy Bears.  You have a season pass to the Misery Index.  Don't worry, the 'Skins are coming to join you next week.

1)  Chargers:  This might seem an odd spot for the Chargers.  They haven't hit the pinnacle of the Misery Index since Antonio Gates showed up on their doorstep.  A  lot of people might disagree with this, but is it just possible that the Chargers might have won this game with Antonio Gates on the field?  I mean it was a close game throughout.  Any little tip of the pendulum  might have swung a victory the Charger way.  The suspension of Gates may well go down as the single most idiotic event in the history of the NFL.  Ineptitude at the highest levels.  That's what makes America great.