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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Commentary From the Edge - Week 3
Kevin Ratterree
September 20, 2005

The decline of the great Colts offense continued with a 10 point effort in the dome against Jacksonville.  How is that first round Manning pick working out for you?  Harrison and Wayne both in single digit fantasy points had to inspire some dry heaves on Sunday as well.  Not to worry.  The good news is the Colts have just completed the tough defense portion of the season and should return to fantasy god status soon.  The bad news is that the defense looks improved to the point that the offense no longer has to score 35 to win.  Great for the Colts.  Not great for your fantasy team.  If you drafted Manning in the first round and are considering giving your walls a splatter coat of "head red," put the gun down there fella.  You can take solace in the fact that at least you didn't waste a first round pick on McGahee, Jamal Lewis, or Kevin Jones.

Hey, did anybody by chance drop Braylon Edwards for Frisman Jackson last week?  If so you are probably in a good waiver wire spot to get him back this week.  Lesson learned.  It sounds ridiculous but a guy in one of my leagues actually did this, and started Jackson.  This is why we don't panic.

Tatum Bell is apparently going to gain few yards but many cobwebs sitting on the bench this season.  Here is an amusing stat.  After the first 2 weeks the leading fantasy point machine for Denver running backs is (ka-ching)  Kyle Johnson (16.40)  followed by Mike Anderson (12.50)  Bell (7.00) and Dayne at (4.40).  This is using point per reception scoring.  A heavily debated situation in pre-season and beyond turns into much ado about nothing.  None of these guys will help your fantasy team, unless you are gunning for the toilet bowl.

Do you get the feeling maybe the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a bit underestimated going into the season?

I saw a bird land on one of Chad Pennington's passes this week.

What were we thinking?  The Bears are the best team in their division.  Holy Crapoli.

The Bungles are dead.  Long live the Bengals!!

Someone please explain to me how the Redskins are 2-0.

The parity report.  At this moment in time I think we could easily envision 8-8 winning both the NFC West and North.  And every team in the AFC East is 1-1.  The Jets were the only team to lose in week 1 and the only team to win in week 2.  It's a new season every other week in the AFC East. 

On Sunday night football, when I heard the voice of Mike Tirico instead of the Three Stooges, I must admit I was really happy for a moment.  Until I came to the sad realization that they would be added to my Monday Night viewing.  The Three Stooges and John Candy and Joe Levit all on the same night.  Now that's a full evening of good old fashioned comedy. .....I think....watch his feet.....Boom!!

Count me in as a Sam Ryan fan.  Her voice is not annoying.  Her knowledge does not lack.  And if I  a) wasn't married  b) wasn't poor  c) was 10 years younger d) had more hair e) didn't have numerous other personal issues............ Well, you get the idea. 

Madden's poor choice of words of the night: ".....and look at him as Roy Williams comes on him." 

If you have a freakishly restored face, it takes real guts to do a television commercial that shows a close-up of your pinned up mug.  Even if you are a rich owner of an NFL team.  That takes guts.  Or a bad case of cataracts. 

It's fun to say Manumaleuma..  But a bitch to sew on the back of a jersey I'll bet.

Draft Player YTD Pts
1 P. Manning 22.84
2 K. Jones 15.30
3 J. Lewis 14.30
4 D. Culpepper 28.96
5 R. Brown 12.10
6 JJ Arrington 6.70
7 M. Bennett 9.50
8 A. Johnson 11.50
9 T. Bell 7.00
10 Ravens D 3.00

Early candidates for the Worst Fantasy Draft Choice of the Year award - in loosely the order they were drafted (table to the right):

You can probably add Burleson to that list and a few others.  Now don't start sending your hate mail about Manning and Culpepper.  I'm not here to pass judgement on your draft choices.  I am here to help.  Two bad games do not a bust make.  But the fact is these guys are all vastly on pace to under perform their average draft position.  They may pull out.  Some will.  But several on this list look to be bonafide tankers, ready to oil spill all over the shores of your fantasy teams.  At this moment I wouldn't blame you if you traded any of these guys for good value.  It's still early.  It is risky to cut and run this early.  But if they tank one more week their value definitely takes an even bigger hit as name recognition value wears off and reality of the situation sets in even to the feeble minded in your league.  Jamal Lewis and K.J. may come around but to me they both look like busts in the making.  Harrington and Boller/Wright/whoever don't figure to turn the corner, and these runners may be doomed by that fact.

MISERY INDEX

(10.5) Patriots:  I must take this rare opportunity to acknowledge a putrid performance by a team that rarely gives me the chance.  When you average a loss about every 15 games you just don't get many opportunities to crack the Index.  I'm still not exactly sure what I saw, if it was maybe a mirage, a case of bad whiskey the night before, maybe some expired sausage I ate for breakfast Sunday.  But it appeared as though the Panthers pushed around the Pat's offensive line like cardboard cut-outs.  For a whole game.  I don't remember the last time we saw that happen.  Many sausages ago.  Chink.

(10)  Cowboys:  After a mostly sleepy Monday night double header, the end of the Redskins Cowboys game was great.  Watching Daniel Snyder jumping up and down in the owners box like a teenage girl at a slumber party after the second long touchdown pass to Santana Moss.  Man that was painful.  But then to see Jerry Jones turn green on the sideline and chew his fingernails down to the cuticle in the last two minutes.  That was sweet.  I have to give Parcells and Jones a lot of credit though.  Neither one of them blew chunks on the field.  I'm pretty sure I would have.  

(9) Lions:  Lots of people drinking the blue Kool-aid, but a thrashing at the hands of the mighty Bears has some doing a spit take.  Five interceptions for Harrington.  If not for the beast Roy Williams I think Harrington might have actually netted negative fantasy points.  Nothing to see here folks.  Move along now.

(8) Cardinals:  The Rams finally ran into a team with worse clock management skills than they have.  The mean looking red birds were a popular sleeper pick in the preseason.  I didn't buy into it.  Here's hoping you didn't.  Kurt Warner's play in the closing seconds was a fitting ending, and was all that needed to be said about the Rams decision to let him walk.  Luckily, in this division 0-2 isn't a death sentence.  As a matter of fact 0-8 may not be a death sentence in this division.

(7) Chargers:  The Chargers let one slip away in Denver, which is nothing new for the Chargers, and almost like pair of big comfy pair of slippers to Schottenheimer.  And now the AFC West Champs start the season in an 0-2 hole.  Only 3 of the last 36 teams to start the season 0-2 made the playoffs.  Ouch!!

(6) Raiders:  The Raider nation had a case of Randy-Interruptus when the special teams muffed the Chiefs first punt.  More Randy prolong-ment after Collins muffed it in the first possession.  But eventually, paydirt.  Touchdown Moss!!  Then the entire crowd in the Black Hole lit up a cigarette simultaneously.  At least Raider fans have that to look forward to.  Moss gets a long touchdown every week.  Collins fumbles once a week.  The Raiders win once a month.

(5) Jaguars:  Just in case you missed it, Leftwich shouted obscenities and flipped the bird to the Colts bench while the camera's were on him.  And you have to ask me why I love this game?  The Colts must have never watched Star Wars.  You don't want to get Chewbacca riled up.  Just not a good idea.

(4) Texans:  Getting jacked up by Pittsburgh isn't really that disgraceful in the big scheme of things.   But I have laid low on this expansion team over the last few years, giving them a free pass out of the Misery Index a majority of the time.  But I think the pity party is over.  The Texans are not progressing.  Dom Capers simply isn't getting it done.  The offensive line is a shambles, Carr is shell-shocked beyond repair, and until that is remedied this team goes nowhere.  Ditching the OC is a start but promoting the offensive line coach to coordinator seems a stretch considering that it is the offensive line that seems to be a huge part of the Texans wretched play.  The logic fails me here.  It reeks of PR move.  Blow it up and start over again.

(3) Vikings:  I don't know what to say.  I wrote a column in preseason with a list of players to avoid in your fantasy draft.  Culpepper was on the list.  But even though I expected a fall in production from Culpepper and company, I never envisioned that it would be the train wreck that it has been.  Culpepper looks like he's auditioning for a role in The Ryan Leaf Story, and the defense is no match for the 5 turnovers a game they are trying to overcome.  Another popular pre-season sleeper crashes and burns, taking down those fantasy players who hitched their star to Dawbers wagon.  And now Dawber is going to be doing the play calling?  And chew gum at the same time?  Label me skeptical. 

(2) Ravens:  Averaging 8.5 points per game.  That's not the defense folks.  The defense is giving up 25 points a game.  The star running back, reduced to 9 carries a game may be contemplating giving up this whole football thing for a lucrative opportunity in the international contraband trade, and the defensive squad is being harassed by AARP reps.  Worst of all, this team has lost it's main weapon.  No, as scary as it was I'm not talking about Billick's beard.  Intimidation.  They ain't the Big Bad Wolf any more.

(1) Packers:  Favre bounced back number wise.  But the team bounced right to the top of the Misery Index.  At home?  To the Brownies?  You gotta be kidding me.  The very soil of Lambaeu Field is now and forever tainted.  The once hallowed ground where no visiting team could wrest away a win, now reduced to a killing field for the men in green.  Remember how bad the Packers were when Favre came to town?  A lot of you probably don't.  Well, they were just about this bad.  To everything turn turn turn.